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Exalted 3rd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Paul S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/23/2016 10:10:11

Speaking as a backer of the Kickstarter, I find this edition of Exalted to be incredibly disappointing. I was a huge Exalted fanboy and I wanted very much for this to be a good game that my group could enjoy.

When I got my backer copy of the rules, I spent a month pouring though the rulebook try to make sense of it. The book is full of complex and counter-intuitive subsystems, and I really had to study to figure them out. I was worried, but I still had some hope that things would work better when we actually started to play.

My first session of EX3 was a complete disaster. I have never had the first session of a game go this badly. My players instantly hated the game, and we couldn't even finish the first combat.

Don't get me wrong. There are parts of the system that are quite brilliant. The social conflict system in particular may be the best I've ever seen. But there are other parts of the rules that, while they may be mechanically sound, just make no sense. The combat movement is a notable example of this. It is two page of dense, convulated rules that might be "balanced" but are very difficult to understand and don't remotely resemble the way things work in reality.

Granted, movement was a mess in 2nd edition as well, but there it was only a marginal part of the rules and easy to fix. In 3rd edition, there a couple dozen charms and other elements of the combat that interact with the movement system, and streamlining movement would mean rewriting huge chunks of other rules. And combat movement is only one example of such a subsystem: the rules are full of things like this.

My group played and enjoyed the 2nd edition of Exalted after some house ruling to fix the weirder elements of that system. House ruling 3rd edition to the point where my group would be willing to play it would involve a nearly complete rewrite of the system. After waiting 3 years, I am left with a brick of a game that I can't use except maybe to steal a few ideas from, and I am pretty bitter about it.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
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The Compass of Celestial Directions Vol. I - The Blessed Isle
Publisher: White Wolf
by Paul S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/25/2007 18:15:56

This book provides a thorough background of everything you need to know about the Realm. Giving the widespread influence of the Realm, this book is worth having even if your campaign is set elsewhere. In addition to covering Realm society, culture and geography, it describes the Immaculate Philosophy in detail.

I have only two complaints about the book. First, some city maps would have been nice, especially of the Imperial City. Second, there are no details on the Great Houses: you need to go to the Dragon-Blooded core book for that. On the other hand, if you buy this book, you are likely to get the Dragon-Blooded book as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Compass of Celestial Directions Vol. I - The Blessed Isle
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Manual of Exalted Power: Dragon-Blooded
Publisher: White Wolf
by Paul S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/25/2007 18:09:37

If you want to run a Dragon-Blooded game, this is the book to have. The rules are pretty solid, and do a good job of making the Dragon-Blooded interesting while stil leaving them the weakest of the Exalted.

The first chapter on the Scarlet Dynasty is particularly good. The chapter on Outcastes is weaker, mainly because they are covering all the non-Realm Dragon-Blooded in less space. The Dragon-Blooded martial arts styles are some of the better styles in the game, even for non Dragon-Blooded Exalts.

I have a few quibbles in the rules: the mote-surcharge for out-of-Aspect Charms is a particular pain in play. Mostly, though, I am pleased with the content.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Manual of Exalted Power: Dragon-Blooded
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Werewolf: The Forsaken
Publisher: White Wolf
by Paul S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/24/2006 02:39:59

I didn't initially like the new werewolf game. It probably has the biggest change in the setting from the previous game. Werewolves are no longer savage heroes fighting a hopeless war. They are just, well, savages.

The game has begun to grow on me, though. The new setting is more a matter of modern tribalism. Werewolves are now a small, xenophobic race struggling in a very hostile world. They don't have big spirit allies or clear enemies telling them what to do, and must figure things out on their. The game focuses on littler stories: working to protect your kin, fighting weird (and creepy) spirit-ridden mortals and fending off your worst enemies: other werewolves.

In the end, I think I like the new game. Werewolves are certaintly better balanced than they were before: each tribe and auspice has a enough character to be genuinely unique without outshining the others. And if you don't like the new setting, it is easy enough to use the new rules with the old background.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: The Forsaken
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