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The Danse Macabre $23.99
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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The Danse Macabre
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The Danse Macabre
Publisher: White Wolf
by Matthew E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/08/2012 14:15:48

Wow. Just...wow. It's like a chronicler's guide on steroids! So many optional systems, powers, story ideas...This is just incredible. I especially liked the alternate covenant ideas and the adaptation of the Tier system first put out in Hunter; that opened up some intriguing new avenues for gameplay. If books like this were made for the other lines, I'd gladly buy them all.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Danse Macabre
Publisher: White Wolf
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/17/2012 13:53:27

The Danse Macabre is quite a major addition to the line. While other games released after Requiem have become more and more distinct from their Classic version, Requiem had the trouble of being seen as too similar to Masquerade. This also meant that the later game lines have also benefited from the game system becoming more and more well realized.

Thus The Danse Macabre is in some ways Vampire going through it's siblings and pillaging the best bits. The result is a huge tome filled with various bits you could possibly add to your game or use to create a new chronicle that has a distinct new feeling.

Chapter one looks at the Tier system, and how the game works at each tier. Something with have seen used in Hunter the Vigil and Geist the Sin-Eaters. it's discussion with respect to Vampire helps in allowing players and the Storyteller to have a better focus on what their chronicle should be. For each tier we get some sample chronicle/story ideas, which are designed to help look at the specifics of gameplay at each of these tiers. Furthermore, there are great insights given for each of the Clans at each of the tiers and how each Clan has specific issues with each of the tiers. We also get the same sorts of discussions for each of the Covenants. the net result is that we understand the nuances of Clan and Covenant at each tier, and how life can differ for vampires of similar power and age. We are also given 'Rules Shifts', which are options that can be used to further enhance the themes and moods of each tier.

Chapter 1 also adds in new optional merits and powers, plus an interesting series of new merits, called Masquerade and Requiem. These new merits essentially add back into Requiem the equivalent of a Nature and Demeanour system for those familiar with Vampire the Masquerade.

Chapter 2 looks at the Covenants in more depth, and in particular offers new, global, versions of each of the 5 main Covenants, allowing for a setting more akin to Classis Vampire the Masquerade. These escalated versions of the Covenants are given new titles, new positions for their members to fill, new merits and powers. Furthermore, the chapter introduces brand new Covenants, some of which are particularly strange and hideous, there even being one that allows for cross over with Changeling the Lost. Hell there is even one new Covenant that builds upon the idea of the God Machine (remember that in the WoD Core book!)

Chapter 3 is in some ways the sister chapter to Invite Only, and gives more detailed rules for social combat (first seen in Exalted 2nd ed). For me this is the sort of chapter you print out to have on hand to aid in the roleplaying of those scenes where you have many characters talking, and you as the Storyteller just can't do all that roleplaying. This then helps boil the scene down to the key conflicts, be it swaying a jury of vampires, shouting down a rival at a party, or directing a mob.

Further additions in this chapter are Tilts (cool combat scene modifications), how to run a montage for things that take place over long time periods and using Disciplines within those scenes, alternative morality rules, and Banes (a representation of a vampire's distance from humanity as he loses Humanity). We are also given an in depth look at Devotions, how they are created and the trials vampires go through to create them.

Chapter 4 is then a look at how to put a lot of these things together. The chapter is filled with sample chronicles, in a similar way to things such as New Wave Requiem, Mage Noir, and Victorian Lost.

Overall a great book, that will be hard to exhaust, and is ideal for any of the game lines as it can provide new rules and also new antagonists.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Danse Macabre
Publisher: White Wolf
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/17/2012 14:03:33

The Danse Macabre opens a wide vista of options for Vampire and to a lesser extent other World of Darkness games. If you wish to expand your campaign in any of a variety of directions, this book is full of useful tools and inspiration to do so.

The Danse Macabre is a 266-page PDF (260-pages if you remove the covers and ads) for Vampire: the Requiem (and the World of Darkness in general) RPG written by Russell Bailey, Benjamin Baugh, David Brookshaw, Christopher Cowger, Bethany Culp, Matthew McFarland, Greg Stolze, and Chuck Wendig and published by White Wolf Publishing.

Danse Macabre has a mix of single and double column layout, depending on what is being conveyed and is easily readable. The art is full color cover with black and white interior pieces. It is nicely book-marked but lacks an index.

Danse Macabre begins with an introduction to this book which is designed to open up the possibilities of playing a Vampire/World of Darkness campaign and to provide the tools for doing so. Inter-spaced between the various resource filled chapters are fiction pieces (A Season of Secrets by Greg Stolze) which indirectly help with visualizing the ideas discussed.

As a framing way to look at things, it breaks the game down into three tiers of play: the bottom tier of newcomers and scut work, rarely played but the people that support the higher tiers. The middle tier, the usual level of Vampire play, where people have power, status and allies. And the top tier of elders and power players, where everyone wants to be. How each of the groups within the game look at the power structure and how to use (and abuse it) and various ways to play the masquerade and a wide set of example masks that can be used to do so.

The Bounds of Covenant looks at conspiracies of vampires, in twelve flavors, are presented for use as allies, enemies or rivals with complete and intriguing description. There is a smattering of new abilities, rules and merits here along with suggestions for making some of the conspiracies totally gonzo if that is your taste.

The Bloody Business chapter is full of new rules providing: detailed social combat rules with new tactics, use of talents and merits. Expanded mental combat rules and new ways to expand physical combat and make the scenes more interesting. Anchors and setting up social/emotional ties for characters. Rule for creating beings such as gargoyles and other toys that vampires can build for their use are provided.

The final chapter, Dead, Dread Chronicles give a set of campaign ideas such as the Dark metropolis (urban noir), When the World Ends (post apocalyptic), and Blood Mark (getting the band back together . . . after a century apart). Some fun and intriguing ideas here, a good source of inspiration for starting a new campaign or changing the direction of an existing one.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Danse Macabre
Publisher: White Wolf
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/30/2011 02:23:10

'Danse Macabre' covers a heck of a lot of ground in 256 pages, so I'll cover the four main elements I saw as useful. Bear in mind that there is a ton of other stuff, and your value may vary depending on the type of chronicle you play or run.

  1. Tiers of play. Introduces the concept of three tiers to run your game to. Each tier represents a concentric expansion to a new level, geographically, thematically and in terms of power and responsibility. Each tier is given enough detail to be useful, but the true gem here is in the description of how each Clan operates at the various levels. It covers their passions, their schemes and what really matters at each level, giving the Storyteller some good anchors for a chronicle. All new Requiem (and even Masquerade) ST's should read this section.

  2. Clans: Revisited. We're treated to a re-examination of the Clans here as the non-mechanical aspects are teased out and the question of 'Why play a ..." is answered convincingly. There is a lot of possibility from this chapter and I'd strongly suggest that all players should be given the section on their chosen Clan to read as a refresher. It should act as a spark to reinvigorate and reinvestigate why they are playing their character.

  3. Masquerade. The idea of types of Masquerade is introduced, a (sometimes disposable) mask that the vampire wears to blend with humanity, or even to explore their humanity in new ways. The monster who tries to be human is often the core of the Vampire game, and these ideas give you some additional tools to aid in your story.

  4. Social combat. I'm including this as it was very 'take it or leave it'. Whilst there are some good ideas here, I've never been a fan of mechanics for social interaction, so my interest waned rapidly.

As you can see, a very strong assortment of components that makes the book greater than the sum of its parts, but in doing so makes it appeal to varying degrees based on personal taste. Overall, I think it is a good product, well-produced and (now that it has been discounted) reasonably priced.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Danse Macabre
Publisher: White Wolf
by Joshua G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/31/2011 11:38:14

Amazing Product, the hacks and social combat system really take vampire up a level, putting it more in line with the rest of the World of Darkness games.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Danse Macabre
Publisher: White Wolf
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/12/2011 13:04:04

The naughty folks at WW deliver us another solid project. DM is a solid add to the Requiem game line. Social Combat is here in glorious nasty detail and this new aspect shines for vampire like no other aspect of the game. Vampires are by nature social monsters, and here we finally get the rules we need to play them as such. We also get global tier conspiracies, which while taking the game to the national/international scene, could detract from the personal horror that we know and love. Still, it is nice to have end-time conspiracies for those ST who want to run a Gehenna style chronicle.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Danse Macabre
Publisher: White Wolf
by Randy U. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/07/2011 22:52:16

Very impressed with another toolkit from White wolf

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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