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Chronicles of Darkness $19.99
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Chris L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/25/2016 20:53:22

A much-needed update to the previous iteration of the World of Darkness. This review is targeted at people with some knowledge of nWoD 1E.

Highlights: -Much better experience system that rewards participation and roleplay, while also simplifying trait purchase costs. -Social Maneuvering system that, while not perfect, provides a mechanical framework to schmoozing. GMing this aspect for social characters always felt a little like pulling stuff out of your ass before, but no longer! -New combat mechanics make firearms much better, which makes sense, while simultaneously widening the gap between humans and the supernatural templates. -The chapter on "Horrors" provides a great framework for creating antagonists that don't fit into one of the other supernatural settings. This is completely underappreciated, IMO, because it's a perfectly streamlined system that could be integrated into any Chronicles game, human PCs or otherwise.

Biggest complaint: The Clue systems make for lazy roleplay and GMing. It's always better to let the players decide what's a relevant clue, and then to direct their investigation as they see fit. "You look in the cabinet and find X," is less compelling than describing the cabinets, letting the players decide to look in them (or in the other room that you didn't expect them to investigate!) and then describing what they found "through their own intuition." I dunno, there's probably a way to use the Clue system without ruining scenes, but I can't figure it out. And that makes it a bad, or at least poorly communicated, system.

Net opinion: The new experience system alone would make the new ruleset worth using. Adding in Social Maneuvering and the Horrors chapter are just delicious icing on the cake.

[5 of 5 Stars!]