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V20 Dread Names, Red List $14.99 $10.34
Average Rating:4.2 / 5
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V20 Dread Names, Red List
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V20 Dread Names, Red List
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Joseph P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/27/2016 07:07:05

The two things that really stood out to me here where the writing, which seemed all over the place, unfocused, and to leave out a great deal of important information, and the general hodge-podge nature.

Many of the subjects just didn't seem worthy of being on the "Top 10 Most Wanted", and there is a great deal of over-the-top munchkinism from the earliest books. Like with most V20 books, it goes out of it's way to ignore or undo some of the great things from Revised era, though this one has no issue imagining that their own version is better.

I had issues trying to read through most of the NPCs, as they just seemed to jump around a lot and also often just seemed way too out there, not really grounded in being believable, even within a fantastical setting. A lot of words that say very little, but that's a trend I'm seeing a lot more as V20 continues.

The material on the Alastors, campaign and story ideas, etc. . . is pretty good, and probably the best sections of the book, but not too terribly much beyond what prior books on the subject, (generally with much less space), offered. Other things are touched on, but not nearly enough. For example, the Josians. A group we don't really know nearly enough to care about, but clearly it was someone's baby and should be important, and also get some mentions in other books.

All in all, not terrible, but not great either. It felt more like a Vampire the Masquerade book than some other V20 ones have, but still seems to be missing that spark that made the other editions, INCLUDING REVISED, amazing. If you have the extra cash, possibly pick it up, but I wouldn't recommend going out of your way.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Dread Names, Red List
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Roger L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/06/2016 06:00:52

http://www.teilzeithelden.de/2016/02/27/rezension-dread-names-red-list-v20-vae-mortis/

Mit Dread Names, Red List hat Onyx Path Publishing rund drei Jahre nach Abschluss des Children of the Revolution-Kickstarters den V20-Nachfolgeband zu The Kindred’s Most Wanted veröffentlicht.

Inhalt

Wie bei der World of Darkness üblich, beginnt auch Dread Names, Red List mit einem In-Game-Text, hier in Form eines Briefes der Setitin Kemintiri an Valerius Maior, einen Tremere antitribu, dessen Name erst kürzlich auf die Rote Liste gesetzt wurde. Dieser zweiseitige Brief, in dem die sogenannte dunkle Königin der Roten Liste den „Neuling“ über einige grundlegende Aspekte der Roten Liste ins Bild setzt, bietet eine hervorragende knappe Einführung in die Thematik des Bandes.

Das folgende Kapitel „Introduction“ beschreibt in Kürze die Stimmung des Bandes, welche sich auf die drei Begriffe Jäger, Beute und Paranoia destillieren lässt. Dazu gibt es einen knappen Überblick über die einzelnen Kapitel sowie einige Hinweise auf weiterführendes Material, seien es Romane, Fernsehserien oder andere Vampire: The Masquerade-Publikationen.

Das erste umfangreichere Kapitel von Dread Names, Red List ist „History and Tradition“ überschrieben und ordnet die Rote Liste in den Gesamtkontext der sechs Traditionen der Camarilla ein. Dabei wird insbesondere auf den Unterschied zwischen Blutjagd und Roter Liste eingegangen. Während die Blutjagd durch einen Prinzen ausgerufen wird und von jedem Vampir innerhalb der Domäne des Prinzen die Teilnahme an der Blutjagd erwartet wird, wird ein Anathema, also die Aufnahme einer Peron in die Rote Liste, durch eine Konklave auf Einladung mindestens zweier Justikare beschlossen. Auch ist bei einem Anathema nicht jeder Vampir der Camarilla zur Teilnahme an der Jagd verpflichtet, es müssen lediglich Sichtungen von Personen, die auf der Roten Liste stehen, gemeldet werden.

In dem Kapitel gibt es auch eine ausführliche Schilderung der Geschichte der Roten Liste, deren bloße Existenz lange Jahre nur den Mitgliedern des Inneren Zirkels und deren vertrauenswürdigen Handlangern bekannt war. Die Ursprünge der Roten Liste verschwinden im Nebel der Geschichte. Als gesichert kann heute nur gelten, dass die erste Rote Liste in Europa in der Endphase der ersten Anarchenrevolte aufgestellt wurde. Offiziell bekannt – wenn auch nur dem kleinen Kreis aus Justikaren – wurde die Existenz der Roten Liste im Jahr 1504. Die Darstellung der Geschichte der Roten Liste reicht bis in die Neuzeit und beinhaltet auch eine Liste der auf der Konklave im Jahr 2011 benannten Justikare der Camarilla.

Es wird auch im Detail auf das Verfahren eingegangen, mit dem heute – bei Freiwerden eines der dreizehn Plätze auf der Roten Liste – neue Anathema nominiert werden. Freie Plätze auf der Roten Liste gibt es übrigens immer nur dann, wenn einer der Anathema den endgültigen Tod erleidet. Nicht einmal der Innere Zirkel kann einen Anathema wieder von der Roten Liste streichen. Aber auch hier gilt: Keine Regel ohne Ausnahme, wie der Fall des Gangrel Enkidu zeigt. Obwohl sein endgültiger Tod nie bestätigt werden konnte und die an der Jagd beteiligten Alastoren jede Belohnung abgelehnt haben, wurde Enkidu von der Liste gestrichen.

Bei den Verhandlungen darüber, wer von den einzelnen Justikaren vorgeschlagenen Personen zuerst auf die Rote Liste gesetzt wird, werden häufig von einzelnen Clans Trophäen für den- oder diejenigen ausgelobt, den entsprechenden Anathema zur Strecke bringen. Die Arten der ausgelobten Trophäen können sehr unterschiedlich sein, in der Vergangenheit wurden z.B. die Gewährung einer eigenen Domäne, die Immunität vor Blutjagden, die Freundschaft eines Clans oder einfach finanzielle Mittel ausgelobt. In seltenen Fällen gewähren die Justikare selbst geheime Belohnungen, z.B. in Form von erlaubter Diablerie, der Auflösung eines Blutbandes oder der Ernennung zum Alastor.

Bei den Alastoren, die ebenfalls in diesem Kapitel vorgestellt werden, handelt es sich um geheime Diener der Justikare, die neben der Übernahme von Tätigkeiten für die Justikare und den Inneren Zirkel vor allem mit der Jagd auf die Anathema der Roten Liste beschäftigt sind. Die Identitäten der Alastoren sind ebenso wie die Kriterien ihrer Auswahl und Details zu ihrer intensiven Ausbildung geheim. Ein Alastor wird die Tatsache, dass er ein solcher ist, nur einem Justikar, einem Archonten und vielleicht einem Prinzen in dessen Domäne offenlegen. Aus den Alastoren wählen die Justikare einige aus und ernennen diese zu Roten Alastoren. Diese Roten Alastoren überwachen und koordinieren die Arbeit der Alastoren und machen selbst Jagd auf gefallene Alastoren.

Das nächste Kapitel beinhaltet den eigentlichen Kern von Dread Names, Red List: Die Vorstellung der aktuellen dreizehn Anathema. Darunter finden sich einige alte Bekannte wie z.B. die Nosferatu Rabbat, der Tremere antitribu Valerius Maior, die selbsternannte Gangrel-Blutgöttin Karen Anatos, der Ventrue antitribu Dylan Bruce, die Malkavianer antitribu Petaniqua und die Setitin Kemintiri. Der Magus Christopher Barrow zeigt, dass man kein Kainskind sein muss, um einen Platz auf der Roten Liste zu erhalten.

Alle dreizehn Anathema werden jeweils auf drei bis vier Seiten ausführlich vorgestellt. Neben der persönlichen Geschichte vor und nach dem Kuss erfährt man auch, aus welchen Gründen und auf wessen Initiative hin die jeweilige Person einen Platz auf der Roten Liste erhalten hat. Zu jedem Anathema liegen Spielwerte sowie Hinweise zur rollenspielerischen Umsetzung durch den Storyteller vor. Dieses Kapitel strotzt nur so vor Anknüpfungspunkten für die Einbindung in eigene Chroniken, wobei klar sein sollte, dass Anathema kein günstiger Gegner für Neugeborene sind.

Ist der Leser von Dread Names, Red List am Ende der Vorstellung der dreizehn Anathema angelangt, hat er gut zwei Drittel des Bandes hinter sich. Das nächste Kapitel widmet sich nun in aller Ausführlichkeit den wesentlichen Gegnern der Anathema: den Alastoren. In „Role of the Alastor“ taucht der Leser tief in das geheime Wissen der Justikare ein. Die vorgestellten Details zu den Alastoren sind dem gemeinen Kainskind nicht bekannt bzw. geistern als Gerüchte durch die Nacht.

Der Leser erfährt beispielsweise, dass die Justikare mit Vorliebe Venrue, Nosferatu und Gangrel als Alastoren auswählen und dass mehr als die Hälfte der derzeitigen Alastoren Ventrue und Nosferatu sind. Auch sind die meisten Alastoren Kainskinder einer niedrigen Generation, da nur diese mächtig genug sind, eine Konfrontation mit einem Anathema überleben zu können. Das Aufgabenfeld der Alastoren sowie die für sie geltenden Regeln werden beschrieben. So ist für die Alastoren die übliche Clanpolitik zweitrangig, der Fokus liegt klar auf der Jagd nach den Anathema. Für die Alastoren gilt eine strenge Befehlskette von den Roten Alastoren über die Justikare zu den Mitgliedern des Inneren Zirkels, was durchaus zu Konflikten mit Prinzen, Erstgeborenen oder Sheriffs führen kann. Neben allgemeinen Ausführungen zu Handlungsweisen und Taktiken, liegt ein weiterer Schwerpunkt des Kapitels in der Darstellung der Nutzung bestimmter Disziplinen durch die Alastoren. Insbesondere Auspex, Beherrschung, Gestaltwandel, Thaumaturgie, Tierhaftigkeit und Verdunklung werden von den Alastoren eingesetzt. Alles in allem erhält man in diesem Kapitel einen guten Überblick darüber, wie man einen Charakter konzipieren sollte, damit er später als Alastor eingesetzt werden kann.

Den passenden Baukasten liefert das folgende Kapitel „Character and Traits“. Neben Anregungen zum Charakterkonzept und der Motivation des Charakters, gibt es Hinweise zu geeigneten Hintergründen, vier Disziplinskombinationen (Quick Sight, Iron Facade, Badger’s Hide und Lucinde’s Revenge) sowie neue Vorzüge und Schwächen. Abgeschlossen wird das Kapitel mit drei neuen thaumaturgischen Ritualen (Communicate with Kindred Bond Mate, Extinguish Flames und Ward versus Demons).

Das vorletzte Kapitel in Dread Names, Red List ist das „Storyteller Toolkit“. Als „Kessel Buntes“ geht es hier im Galopp durch Spielleiter-Tipps zum Einsatz der Roten Liste in der eigenen Chronik. Vom Spielstil (eher Action-orientiert oder eher investigativ) über das Charaktermanagement (bei Red List-Chroniken geben sich Justikare, Archonten, Prinzen, Sheriffs, Erstgeborene und Alastoren die Klinke in die Hand) über Story Hooks sowie sechs vorgestellte alternative Anathema lässt dieses Kapitel beim Spielleiter kaum einen Wunsch offen.

Abgeschlossen wird der Band mit „Path of Evil Revelations“. Hier finden Spieler, deren Ziel es ist, den eigenen Charakter auf die Rote Liste zu bekommen, einen durch und durch bösen Pfad samt dunkler thaumaturgischer Rituale.

Preis-/Leistungsverhältnis

Dread Names, Red List bietet für 14,99 USD viel brauchbares Material auf 128 Seiten. Neben Hintergrundmaterial zur Roten Liste und den Alastoren, welches die knappen Angaben im V20-Grundregelwerk deutlich vertieft, findet der Spielleiter viele Anknüpfungspunkte für die eigene Kampagne. Sowohl auf Seiten des Gegners, bei dem mit den dreizehn Anathema und den sechs alternativen Anathema mächtige Gegner bereitgestellt werden, als auch auf der Seite der Spieler bzw. temporärer Verbündeter findet sich hier genug. Die Spieler können in einer Chronik selbst Alastoren spielen, oder bei der Jagd auf einen Anathema mit den Alastoren in Konflikt geraten, oder mit diesen kooperieren. Und natürlich ist die Erschaffung eigener Alastoren möglich. Unabhängig vom Einsatz am Spieltisch hat bei Dread Names, Red List schon das Lesen des Bandes viel Spaß gemacht. Einer der wenigen Kritikpunkte, den ich habe: Mir hat die Vorstellung von ein oder zwei Alastoren gefehlt. Den Gegnern der Anathema wird in dem Buch viel Platz eingeräumt, sowohl vom Hintergrund als auch von den Regeln her. Da wäre die Vorstellung von ein oder zwei ausgearbeiteten Alastoren sinnvoll gewesen.

Das umfangreiche, über die Vorstellung der dreizehn Anathema hinausgehende, Material macht Dread Names, Red List für den Vampire-Spielleiter besonders wertvoll. Onyx Path hat hier richtiggemacht, was bei Kinder der Revolution falsch gemacht wurde. Dread Names, Red List wirkt einfach rund und hinterlässt bei mir nicht den faden Beigeschmack des „War das jetzt alles?“, den Kinder der Revolution hinterließ.

Erscheinungsbild

Das vollfarbige Layout ist angenehm unauffällig und drängt nicht in den Vordergrund. Es ist übersichtlich und der Test bleibt auch vor Hintergrundbildern sehr gut lesbar. Die Bebilderung ist durchgehend auf sehr hohem Niveau. Aussetzer, wie teilweise im V20-Grundregelwerk, gibt es nicht. Neben den dreizehn farbigen ganzseitigen Charakterportraits der Anathema gibt es in Dread Names, Red List nur noch zwei weitere vollfarbige Illustrationen, alle sonstigen (teils ganzseitigen) Bilder sind in braun-beige gehalten, sind aber stimmungsvoll und wissen zu überzeugen. Das PDF ist solide erstellt, Ladezeiten sind auch bei den grafikintensiven Seiten nicht bemerkbar. Das Inhaltsverzeichnis ist voll verlinkt, vermisst habe ich lediglich einen Index.

Bonus/Downloadcontent

Nichts.

Fazit

Dread Names, Red List behandelt die bei den Kainskindern sagenumwobene Rote Liste, auf der die dreizehn, nach Ansicht der Justikare, für die Camarilla gefährlichsten Gegner stehen. Diese Anathema sind zur endgültigen Vernichtung ausgeschrieben. Mit der Jagd auf die Anathema sind die Alastoren betraut: Kainskinder niedriger Generation, die den Willen der Justikare und damit letztlich des Inneren Kreises vollstrecken. Der Band gibt dem Spielleiter alles an die Hand, um Anathema in seiner Chronik in Erscheinung treten zu lassen.

Spieler haben die Möglichkeit, einen Alastor als Charakter zu erschaffen oder auch einen bereits gespielten Charakter zum Alastor werden zu lassen. Und wer stärker zur dunklen Seite neigt, dem werden die Werkzeuge gegeben, um seinen Charakter dahingehend zu gestalten, dass er bei einem freiwerdenden Platz auf der Roten Liste eine Chance hat, selbst nachzurücken. Das enthaltene Hintergrundmaterial lässt themenspezifisch einen genaueren Blick auf Teilaspekte der Camarilla zu. Ein rundherum gelungener V20-Band.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Dread Names, Red List
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Crystal M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/19/2015 14:31:02

Originally Reviews at Crystal's Game Reviews

Dread Names, Red List is a look at the war the Camarilla continues to feed by looking at the biggest enemies of the sect. The characters in this book offer some of the most dangerous and intriguing stories to tie into any chronicle. This review looks at the book itself, and does not take into affect game balance or play testing.

As with most Vampire: The Masquerade books, it starts off with a character tie in, a short attention grabber to pull you into the reason behind the book. It gives a great in character tie in to the whole book, making it seem more like a document then a storytelling guide. The history of how the Red List came into existence is rather extensive, outlining a history of how the Traditions had been violated by kindred, blood hunts ignored and the structure of the Camarilla was continually threatened and those in the upper echelons of the Camarilla trying to instill the importance of following the Traditions.

In this section, the upper echelons of the sect are outlined, from the Justicars and their role down to the Alastors and their organization. It outlines how a kindred ends up on the Red List, the politics behind it and some examples of it being manipulated with the right strings pulled at the right time to push a personal agenda. This section is wonderful for feeding a heavily political game, with plenty of tie-ins to many different aspects of this list. The Justicars are outlined as well, giving insight on how they represent the Inner Circle, serve the Camarilla, hunt the Anathema and their role in managing their clans. The hunt for the Anathema is dangerous and time consuming, but the rewards that come with victory are great. Many different prizes are offered as ideas on payment for the trophy clan, however creativity is encouraged.

The Anathema all have interesting backstories, dramatic falls leading to their ultimate placement on the dreaded list. The chapter dealing with the characters stories does not disappoint, and definitely delivers on more ties to use for hooking your current game into this direction. What's nice is that the character stats are included in their story and any special powers are given their spots at the end of the character stories along with how the particular Anathema uses it and passes the power on.

The role of the Alastors are also written out in this book, giving PCs the chance to lead the hunt, should this be an option for a game. This outline includes the Alastors, the Red Alastors and the Josians. Each area is outlined, with their specific goals and limitations laid out as a reference. It goes through how they work amongst the Traditions, and how each keeps the Masquerade in tact should it become damaged. One of the most interesting parts of this section is the Mark of the Trophy, which is the Mark Alastors get upon their ascension into this rank. There is a lot of speculation as to what this mark actually does, which gives storytellers many options on what direction to take it. Alastor's are masters of creativity when it comes to discipline use as well. Several disciplines are outlined and their most common uses during the hunt for Anathema.

This guide helps to give PCs a role in the hunt of Anathema, so it gives a good rundown on how to create an Alastor, as well as suggestions for making one that will be more likely to survive the hunt. The Anathema are powerful and cunning. It will take witt to capture one, let alone destroy them.

If characters are going to walk this path, a storyteller needs to know how to run this type of game. In the Storyteller Kit section it shows how the mood of different types of hunts develop. From the politics heavy, to the epic fight scene, the tool kit gives storytellers the necessary information to make the game fun for all involved. A quick read through this whole section will give storytellers enough information to provide a good balance to their game.

The last section of the book is an outline of the Path of Evil Revelations, which is the infernal morality path several of the Anathema walk. While it may seem out of place at first glance, in the V20 system it hasn't been discussed at length. If players are looking for an in depth game, this chapter gives a very important insight to the NPCs that will be pulling characters along, possibly corrupting them along the way. This is a wonderful chapter for the antagonist of the story, and if the right strings are pulled, possible PC falls from humanity.

The art in this book was done by Ken Meyer Jr, a veteran to the World of Darkness. And he certainly delivered, giving a wonderful throwback feel to the art in the books. Full color illustrations are done for every Anathema NPC outlined, which brings a wonderful breath of life to the stories.

My one criticism in this book was I was hoping for several NPC Alastor characters to be included along with their stories. I know the point of the book was to give that position a PC purpose, but I think having even a couple of Alastors, Red Alastors or Josians included would have given wonderful PC tie ins to the hunt. There were several ones hinted in the book, but nothing ever laid out. This may be on purpose, as many Alastors go undercover while on the hunt, so a storyteller can easily incorporate one in disguise for their game.

Bonus section: I'm including a little teaser because there was a small text box included in the very first chapter called the Council of Scales. I am mentioning it because if you enjoy the position of Harpy, or you love politics, this little box should be a highlight for you. I could go on and on about the Council of Scales and the ramifications of it on global politics, but I will not here. As I said, it is a small text box and was not outlined in great detail, which is why it is a bonus and not part of the greater review.

Overall I would say this book is definitely worth the purchase. If you don't plan on running a Red List game, purchase it for the stories of cannon NPCs, which can filter into your chronicle. The teasers of infernal in the book are also wonderful flavor, and can turn into a long term story arc. The art is beautiful and the layout overall is very easy to follow. Please follow the link above, and if you purchase it, please leave a review!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Dread Names, Red List
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/03/2015 16:43:06

Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2015/07/02/tabletop-review-dread-names-red-list-vampire-the-masquerade-20th-anniversary-edition/

Dread Names, Red List is a remake/update of both The Kindred’s Most Wanted and bits of other books like The Storyteller’s Handbook to the Sabbat. Dread Names, Red List came about as a stretch goal to the Kickstarter campaign for Children of the Revolution which was a mediocre release (to be fair, all the early WW/OPP Kickstarters were underwhelming in terms of final product). It’s also kind of shocking it took three years for the stretch goal to make print, but at least it’s here, right? The good news is that Dread Names, Red List is MUCH better than the product that spawned it and the supplement is guaranteed to fill any Storyteller’s head with ideas. Plots and adventures to through at their players’ coterie.

The Red List is a vampire equivalent of the FBI’s Most Wanted List, except it’s maintained by the largest undead organization in world. As well, the Red List isn’t made up of just vampires. It’s controlled by the Camarilla sure, but Lupines, Mages, Technocrats, Fae and demons could make the list if they were a big enough threat to the organization and/or the Masquerade. The list as it stands within Dread Names, Red List is mostly vampires, but there is one mortal in the set. Of course, just because it’s 92.3% vampires doesn’t mean the list isn’t diverse. You have the offspring of Set, one of the heads of the Sabbat, a Typhoid Mary for Kindred, a religious zealot, an anarch and more. With these thirteen characters you have a wide range of potential antagonists that could fill up an entire Chronicle with their machinations. The characters are a lot of fun and it’s worth noting that several of the art pieces are based on some very recognizable people. For example the portait of Raymond Narcisse is very obiously David Heath, the professional wrestler known as both the Vampire Warrior and Gangrel. My wife, whose only exposure to V:TM is through one episode of Kindred; The Embraced and The Brood from WWF/WWE programming took one look at that picture and recognized him immediately. Part of the fun will be recognizing familiar faces in the art. Oddly enough Gangrel is a Torreador in Dread Names, Red List.

Moving on, much of Dread Names, Red List is not actually about the thirteen beings named to the Red List. The book’s true focus is on the Alastors. An Alastor is essentially a parallel to an Archon. Both are positioned given to Kindred by Justicars, but while Archons are more the police of the Kindred, Alastors are more the equivalent of its military/CIA assassins. Once given the position of Alastor, you hold it until Final Death. The problem is that your job is now to eternally hunt down and destroy those who are on the Red List. So your life becomes one of intrigue and combat. This is perfect for people who like V:TM but want something a little more dungeon crawling or hack and slashy instead of talking heads and their politics. Still, being an Alastor doesn’t mean all fisticuffs and heaping amounts of Fortitude soak rolls. You still have to investigate, sleuth and other cerebral type activities. This is V:TM after all. I’m just saying an Alastor oriented campaigns offers you a lot more combat potential than any other Classic World of Darkness game save Werewolf: The Apocalypse.

The book has five set sections along with an introduction and an appendix. The intro is the usual “This is the purpose of the book” yammering. “History and Tradition” talks about why the Camarilla has the traditions along with the origins and evolutions of the Red List. Here you learn about the Justicars and their role in the Red List as well as what happens when someone is removed from the Red List (ie, killed). The second section is unnamed but it gives you all thirteen of the current Red List “participants” along with their history, stats and a full page portRait of them. Again, several should look quite familiar to you.

“Role of the Alastor” is the next section and it’s the longest in the book. Here you learn why someone is chosen to be an Alastor and it is quite interesting to see all the aspects the Justicars look at. Age, clan, generation, politics and so on. You also learn about the complex relationship between Justicars, Alastors, Archons and Josians (Infernalist/demon-worshipper hunters). There is also a list of preferred Disciplines and their respective powers in case you want to min/max (which is odd for a V:TM game, but this also shows you how combat heavy an Alastor is meant to be).

“Characters and Traits” is for players who want to make an Alastor or who will be taking part in an all Alastor campaign/Chronicle. It gives you some things to think about when designing your new character, with a lot of emphasis on the importance of the background traits you choose. There are also some new combo Disciplines and Thaumaturgy rituals to take. This section does have a Merits & Flaws area but there is only one of each provided, both having to do with “trophies” – a type of boon and other associated rewards a character gets when they knock someone off the Red List.

The final section is “Storyteller Toolkit” and the title is pretty self-explanatory if you know your WoD jargon. This section gives some great advice on designing a Red List/Alastor oriented campaign and how to keep it both flowing and fun. There are also some story hooks in case you can’t think of any and also some people to put onto the Red List in case your players manage to destroy one of the current members.

The final part of the book is an appendix called “The Path of Evil Revelations.” As mentioned in the beginning of the review, this was originally part of The Storyteller’s Handbook to the Sabbat and allowed characters (although preferably NPCs/antagonists only) access to an infernal versions of both Thaumaturgy and an alternative to Humanity/the usual paths. It’s not a straight lift from Second Edition V:TM, but rather a recreation of the same themes and ideas to better fit the game twenty years later. It’s a lot shorter than the original version, but the Path of Evil Revelations is better left as some more open ended than concretely defined. I know WW/OPP has difficulty leaving concepts nebulous but hopefully they will leave the Path of Evil Revelations as is.

So that’s the book. Dread Names, Red List is a short little supplement, but it’s well written and one of the best releases for V20. The price for both the PDF and the print of demand versions are decent, making this a fine addition to your Vampire: The Masquerade collection. I can certainly recommend this over several other V20 releases, including the one that made this possible Children of the Revolution. That has to be some degree of irony, right?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Dread Names, Red List
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/29/2015 08:32:10

Did you think being a vampire was all about having others be afraid of you? Think again: this book centres around those that many vampires fear... some seek to eliminate them, others - through fear, conviction or for other reasons - support these Anathema and seek to keep them from harm. Whether the Anathema or the hunt for them play a central role in your chronicle or are just peripheral, this book presents a wealth of background information and other details to help them come to unlife in your game.

Chapter 1: History and Tradition dives straight in to show how the Anathema are interwoven with the Camarilla as a whole. The Camarilla have always striven to impose order on the night, to establish rules and guidelines whereby vampires can operate in relative safety. As part of this, they established the traditions, the laws that bind the kindred together with a set of commonly-accepted beliefs. Now, when a vampire transgresses, it is up to the Prince whom they serve to decide what to do with them - but it can lead to a call for a blood hunt to find the offender and subject them to final death. Some lucky vampires are given an ultimatum to leave that Prince's territory or else, but generally a call to a blood hunt involves everyone who owes allegiance to that Prince joining in the hunt. Those who appear on the Red List, however, have not just broken the odd tradition or stepped over the line once too often: they are persistant offenders deemed liable to endanger the entire Camarilla by their actions - and the Red List is maintained outwith individual Princes' jurisdictions (which annoys many of them, of course!) by the Justicars on behalf of the Inner Circle. Needless to say, it's all very political, with each clan nominating a Justicar to act on their behalf. A legalistic process is used to add a name to the Red List, one which does not give the accused any chance to dispute the process. There's plenty of history here, although younger vampire often never hear about it.

Next, Chapter 2: 13 Anathema presents the worst, the 'Most Wanted' of the vampire world. Each is listed in considerable detail, complete with a portrait and full stats, as well as their backstory and even role-playing hints should the party happen upon them in person. Surprisingly, one of them is a mortal, an occultist and book-seller whose hobby of turning supernatural beings into his personal slaves is what has led to his inclusion. The stories are rich and compelling, standing ready to be mined for snippets to weave into your game... although it is at times hard to discern just what makes these vampires so much worse than all the other kindred. Artefacts and rules snippets as appropriate are also included.

Then, Chapter 3: Role of the Alastor details those who hunt Anathema. Many younger vampires are barely aware of what an Alastor is and does, let alone who actually is one, as it is only recently that they have become a little more open after operating in the shadows since their inception. To become an Alastor one must either kill an Anathema or be spotted as a likely candidate by a Justicar. There are different ranks and roles, plus duties and responsibilities, for the would-be Alastor to understand. There's also plenty of advice on how to carry out this role, the ways in which to become an effective Alastor. Useful for the would-be Alastor amidst the party, or for the Storyteller who wants the coterie to interact with an Alastor at some point in the plot.

Chapter 4: Character and Traits then covers what a character will need if they wish to take upon themselves the mantle of an Alastor, retooling material from the core rulebook and adding more specialised details. It's written from the standpoint of creating an Alastor character from scratch, although it might make an interesting plot twist to have appointment to their ranks actually occur during play. There's plenty of advice as to which traits, disciplines, merits and flaws would make good choices, as well as some new ones to make available to your would-be Alastor.

Then comes Chapter 5: Storyteller's Toolkit, which proffers advice on running a chronicle involving the material in this book, including plenty of plot seeds to involve the Anathema in whatever you have going on. It examines appropriate moods and themes for your chronicle, and suggests that the most suitable styles of play are action or investigation (or indeed a bit of both) and discusses how to use these styles to best effect. There are also ideas for how to introduce the stuff of this book into an existing chronicle rather than starting over with a new one just because you'd like to use some of the material and ideas here. If you do not like the 13 Anathema presented earlier (or if one is dealt with permanently during the course of your game), there are notes about creating alternate ones of your own.

Finally, there's an Appendix: Path of Evil Revelations. Here we learn of a path followed by infernalists in all its dark glory, as well as dark thaumaturgic rituals.

This work adds a new level of complexity to vampire politics, taking the normal squabbling to a wholly-new level. Many players (and Storytellers) will revel in it, whilst those who prefer a more physical game can relish the challenge of taking on some really Big Bads... and doing so without attracting the ire of other Camarilla notables. There's a lot to think about here, but it could add a whole new depth to your game.



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