A Flames Rising Review:
White Wolf experiments with “ready-made player-characters” for those gaming groups on the go. Two such PDFs already exist, but I’ll only be talking about the Slaughterhouse Five. The PDF is 26 pages (no ads) devoted to the description of five player-characters and a bit of the world they live in. It’s an interesting idea, so let’s see how I felt it played out.
A few years ago, I wouldn’t have wanted to be fed a handful of pre-made characters to push onto my gaming group. It’s too much fun to make your own character. Right? Once upon a time, I would answered “yes” to that question without hesitation. I’ll now mend my answer to “yes, usually.” Why do I now permit myself to sacrifice creativity for availability? First, I no longer believe that question is even valid. The biggest reason why is pointed out by the blurb for the game. Healthy gaming groups are constantly evolving, trying out new games or new takes on old games. With all the transformations, character creation can sometimes drag things down.
The Slaughterhouse Five is a coterie of vampires in whatever city they are needed. As such, the layout of the game meshes in line with other Vampire: the Requiem releases. We have the attractive blood-lined borders and beautiful fonts decorating all the headers. The bulk of the PDF follows a predictable pattern, which is a two-page discussion of the character, a novice character sheet, and a seasoned character sheet (not everybody wants to start out at the bottom).
The writing for these characters is detailed. These are truly unique beings. Instead of having a Daeva party-goer, you have a Nosferatu with a raver’s addicted heart. In the case of the twins, I felt like maybe they were too quirky (despite the fact I enjoy the idea of two people playing the duo as they are written). Madison and Kostya will probably find takers fairly easily.
This undertaking is worthwhile even though this initial foray isn’t jaw-dropping. I think gaming groups will appreciate the cut-and-dried character option for convention use or one-shots or maybe even for putting into a campaign (though I suspect this is least likely). This experiment has promise.
Review by Todd Cash
Read the full review at FlamesRising.com: http://www.flamesrising.com/ready-made-pc-review