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White Wolf continues to show unflagging support for their World of Darkness line with quality sourcebooks and a hardcover update to the landmark Vampire: The Masquerade. We have all the details in our January games column.

Games and game accessories are listed by publication date; most recent first. Where available, links to SF Site reviews are provided. Click on the thumbnail image to get a look at the full size cover.

New Gaming Arrivals: January 1999
Vampire: The Masquerade (Revised Edition)
Mark Rein-Hagen et al
White Wolf (rule book, hardcover, 312 pages, $29.95 US)
The first major revision of the canonical Vampire: The Masquerade rulebook since the 1992 hardcover edition, this book is beefier in almost every respect -- about 40 pages longer, and with brand new artwork and appendices. It's clear that this version has benefited greatly from the rich legacy of sourcebooks released over the last seven years, especially the clan books and other volumes which have fleshed out the World of Darkness. Plenty of concise detail on every aspect of Camarilla the lifestyle, much of which can now be found in other sourcebooks nowadays, but it's extremely handy to finally have it all in one place. If you're serious about modern role playing, this books is a must-have.
Art: Michael Gaydos
Tales of Magick: Dark Adventure (A Mage: The Ascension Sourcebook)
Phil Brucato, Aaron Rosenberg and Lindsay Woodcock
White Wolf (sourcebook, 84 pages, $14.95 US)
Now we're talking. White Wolf has perhaps the most well-supported game setting on the market in their World of Darkness line, but frankly they don't have enough adventure supplements for my taste. Subtitled "A Guide to Action in Mage: The Ascension," this sourcebook is a handy guide to High Adventure in Mage. Not quite a fully-realized adventure module, but a step in the right direction. "Takes of Magick takes Mage from the realm of abstraction and kicks it screaming into high gear. If you ever wondered how to run an exciting chronicle, check this out: story ideas for high adventure in the World of Darkness; Earth shattering events in the world of Mage; character templates, cool toys, classic bits and more!"
Art: R.K. Ferguson
Wolves of the Sea (A Vampire: The Dark Ages Sourcebook)
Geoffrey C. Grabowski, et al
White Wolf (sourcebook, 101 pages, $14.95 US)
Vampire Vikings! Aye Carumba. Now you can rape, pillage, and drain your victims of blood. Modern game designers -- they think of everything. "Viking warlords, rune-casters, outlaws and vampires, with all the screaming, ax-hurling, longship-sailing adventure you can handle!" I've had my fill already, thank you. I'll think I'll go and have a bit of a lie down.
Art: Lawrence Snelly
The Orphans Survival Guide (A Mage: The Ascension Sourcebook)
Justin R. Achilli, et al
White Wolf (sourcebook, 136 pages, $16 US)
I like these photo-realistic covers White Wolf is toying with, for the most part (this one employs real models). It's certainly a stride away from classical dragon-heavy fantasy art, in any event. "One moment, you're halfway normal. The next moment, everything goes to hell. Reality becomes a sham and you're the only one who understands the truth. Bend over, baby -- you're screwed!" You know a sourcebook with the subtitle "A handbook for the Magickally Fucked" is going to be 85% attitude, and this one delivers as promised. A densely packed gaming aid that includes gutter magick, living legends, a ready-to-run gang, and a lot more. Like most of White Wolf's World of Darkness line, this one is adult-oriented. You've been warned.
Revelations of the Dark Mother (for Vampire: The Masquerade)
compiled by Rachel Dolium
White Wolf (sourcebook, 124 pages, $10.95 US)
A compact and copiously illustrated sourcebook for Vampire players, focusing on perhaps the most mysterious woman of biblical times: Lilith, wife of Caine. "Even the Children of Caine fear her: Lilith, Mother of the Damned. She is the Dark Queen who will arise and usher in the end of the world. Explore the heretofore ignored legends of Lilith, and learn of the hidden Lilith-cults that have existed down through the ages. Discover a new telling of the Vampire creation myth, and guess at what is yet to come in the night." Maybe a cover that will scan worth a damn next time.
Art: John van Fleet
Toreador (Vampire: The Masquerade Clan Novel, Number 1)
Stewart Wieck
White Wolf (novel, paperback, 262 pages, $5.99 US/$7.99 Can)
Publication date: February, 1999

The background fiction for White Wolf's World of Darkness gaming line has consistently been some of the best in the industry -- and it's spawned a goodly number of novels set in the world of Vampire: The Masquerade, Wraith: The Oblivion, and their other linked game settings. But this novel series, kicked off by the founder and owner of White Wolf himself, Stewart Wieck, is perhaps the most ambitious in White Wolf's history. It will have no less than 13 books: one for each clan of the Kindred, those vampire sects which secretly manipulate human events and fight for control of the world, hatching complex plots which sometimes unfold over centuries. Each book will tell one clan's part in an over-arching tale, but will also stand-alone. "The Nosferatu's apparent scheme to put the Eye of Hazimel into the hands of the Setite Vegel will decide the fate of the Kindred legions -- and determine the future of the Camarilla and Sabbat, the sects engaged in a massive war along the entire East Coast. And the list of schemers doesn't end there..."
Art: Luis Royo
Run Hard, Die Fast (Shadowrun, Book 35)
Mel Odom
Roc (novel, paperback, 273 pages, $5.99 US/$7.99 Can)
Publication date: February, 1999

"There's nothing more deadly than a shadowrunner with a chip on his shoulder." I'll bet they've been dying to use that line for months. Mel Odom is all over the bookshelves these days, with everything from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch novelizations to the cluebook for the I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream computer game. His most recent novels include the Forgotten Realms books Rising Tide: The Threat from the Sea and Lost Empires: The Lost Library of Cormanthyr. "Top shadowrunner and street samurai Argent meets with a potential client only to be caught in the middle of a deadly corporation crossfire that leaves corpses scattered across the streets." Most licensed properties -- especially gaming properties -- run a few books and then quickly run out of steam, exhausting whatever vein of originality and reader interest they had. Not so with the Shadowrun books, based on FASA's role playing game of the same name -- at 35 books, they're still going strong and show no signs of slowing down.
Battletech: Prince of Havoc (Twilight of the Clans, Volume VII)
Michael A. Stackpole
Roc (novel, paperback, 288 pages, $5.99/$7.99 Can)
Publication date: January 1, 1999

Michael A. Stackpole, in addition to being one of the standard bearers for Star Wars fiction with the X-Wing series and the new bestseller I, Jedi, is also closely associated with the Battletech universe thanks to his seminal early Warrior Trilogy. He also wrote Grave Covenant (Twilight of the Clans, Volume II), and Lethal Heritage, among others. "Trained to be the Inner Sphere's finest warrior, Prince Victor-Steiner Davion has only known one enemy in battle: the Clans. A year earlier he led a massive counter-strike against the Smoke Jaguar Clan, pursuing them all the way to their homeworld. He then faced all of the Clans in one last battle for supremacy. But for a man of war like Prince Victor, can there ever be peace? When he returns home he finds the Inner Sphere in tatters, with a new order in power...leaving him a hero without a home.
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