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Secrets of the Covenants $17.99
Average Rating:3.9 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
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Secrets of the Covenants
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Secrets of the Covenants
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Mikko T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/31/2016 08:57:19

My opinion has always been that the storytelling in cWoD / nWoD / CofD books is mediocre at best and this book does nothing to change that opinion. When I heard that Secrets of the Covenants is going to be like the Clan books I was feeling hesitant.

Reading through the book I found a subtext that keeps repeating itself. This is the one thing that started to irk me after a while, because it's not at all subtle. Maybe the writers think that they are being clever, but then they are just being foolish. More likely this is just them pandering to an audience that I'm not a part of. The 1E covenant books told why it's cool to be part of any of the five covenants. This book is all too eager to point fingers and tell who you should side with. Effectively painting two covenants as straight-up antagonists for everyone else to strike down. Guess I don't need VII or Belial's Brood anymore, because there's plenty of hate and blame being thrown around. I will keep Belial's Brood, though, because it is the best covenant book ever written. The VII does guest-star in the book - sort of.

While reading I kept wondering: why do I like this book? It's because of two things. 1) This book gives a sense of how it feels to be in a global covenant, which is (mostly) lacking from the 1E covenant books. 2) This book gives a lot of new ideas. I love both of these things. I'm not going to use any of the material in this book as-is, because it does not meet my personal standards. Instead this book gives me a lot of starting points on something that's much more interesting. And all of those starting points are more than worth the price of the book.

I was worried that this book would try to redo what the 1E covenant books did. I'm very happy that it didn't even try to go there. I can dig through those older books for a lot of ideas and then come to this one to give those ideas an interesting spin. In that way this book complements those older books very nicely. It works with them. There are plenty of old favorites, like Courtoisie (Bloodline Discipline), in the appendix, which are now merits. I'm disappointed about that but I suppose the old stuff was too over-powered for 2E. Mechanically everything looks very smooth, which is good.

Overall this was an odd experience, just like the Clan books. A lot of what I read just gave me a luke-warm "meh" feeling, but put together with the older covenant books and you got something more interesting. Probably just means that I prefer the older covenant books and their writing style over this new style. They might be more dry reading, but the amount of content per book is nothing short of breathtaking.

With that in mind my verdict on this book comes with a caveat. Stand-alone: 2/5 stars. With 1E covenant books: 4/5 stars. Personal irritations aside there's a lot of good material in this book.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Secrets of the Covenants
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jacob K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/23/2016 19:00:49

The creative writing is superb and very atmospheric. If you've been out of the world of Requiem for a while, it really draws you right back in where you left off. The major theme of "Secrets of the Covenants" is the globalization and advancement of Kindred society. Gone are the days of The Gilded Cage - the Carthian Movement fights major battles across the globe in the footsteps of revolutions, the Circle of the Crone seek cosmic secrets, the Invictus are no longer merely an aristocracy but a grand conspiracy, the Lancea et Sanctum are experiencing a religious revival, and the Ordo Dracul are, as always, on the verge of the next big breakthrough.

"Secrets of the Covenants" does a really great job of expressing the quintessential Vampire ideal of "the more things change, the more they stay the same." It was a great read.

The names of some of the merits are hilarious!

I think this book contains enough food for thought to make storytellers think, and enough new toys to energize players.

My only dislike was that I thought the pacing felt a bit strange. The stories had barely any connection, and the interludes were usually limited to "anyway, enough of that - here's another vignette." I felt like I was looking through a window into the world of Requiem, as opposed to actually being immersed like the Clan books did.

Still, four stars. Recommend.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Secrets of the Covenants
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/16/2016 13:18:30

This book is a great look at the sometimes vastly different incarnations of the Covenants as they spread across the globe

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Secrets of the Covenants
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by David C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/10/2016 10:23:51

While the short stories are interesting, I find the lack of useful tools for storytellers and players alike a disappointment after the long wait. There are large sections of the book that are nearly illegible due to odd cursive font choices. It may make the book look pretty, but it's a horrible migraine inducing headache.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Secrets of the Covenants
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Stephen J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/08/2016 00:08:42

When it comes to the new Lore and Fluff, which is 4/5ths of this book, I feel they've done an excellent job. It really brings out the various ways the Covenants work, and provides excellent inspiration for both players and STs. I'd give that part 5/5.

For the new rules however I'm vastly disapointed. There is no thought to game balance, or things making logistical sense. It seems to be a collection of random ideas from various sources, with many providing the opportunity to easily throw a game out of wack. There's one or two nice things per Covenant, but the rest is just silly. I'd give this part 1/5.

Overall I'd recommend it if you want some excellent creative writing for each of the Covenants. If you were hoping for something that would expand well upon the various Covenant powers however, I'd say you're better off coming up with your own material and saving your money.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
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