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  • #16
    Jihelu
    Give it time. This is a LOOOOOOOOOT of text to read. Seriously. 200 pages. Don't expect an in-depth by-chapter review soon unless somebody spends the whole day reading it all. I'm also working my way through, still. I've not reached some of the Merit stuff that Aleph's already in, and I gotta head to work soon, But here's what I have so far:

    It's the first 20th book with a big, fat "Content Warning, you can turn back" right at the beginning, and it's deserved. ArcaneArts is also right that foreword alone is a punch, and give a bit of insight on where parts of the books are coming from.

    I'll say this outright though, Dwayne had it half right - in the way that the book is filled with everything, from absolute horrific, gut-wrenching real-world evils taking place right now to the absolute fantastic lovecraftian horror style Nephandi. It's the whole range, and it doesn't pull punches at all. Some people might not want part of that range in their entertainment.
    As a sidebar in the book states that, If we're talking about how to use the book in a M20 game, you really need to carefully pick which flavor of Nephandic evil you want to toss against your players - because not every kind of evil described in the book might make for a good time at the table.

    Just to be clear, this is a M20 book. It gives you Nephandi lore in gargantuan buckets - from details about the cauls, to more about Qlippothic spheres, Nephandi mindsets, history, big players, the whole works. But it also ranges from the Nephandi groups we all know with their demons and otherworldly masters and infernals and cliche villans, to new(ly revelead) Nephadi types and groups that do their Descension through very very real, non-mustache-twirling, non-demonic-cliche things - and it's not written in any edgy way, which makes it heavier.
    I can absolutely see why this book took as long as it did.

    It's hard to say if it is a "Good" book, because with this thing here? It really depends on what you are looking for when you say "Good". If you are just looking for a typical "Fun antagonists for your game!" book, then no, it isn't good. It has that with the typical Nephandic cliche groups, but the other half are not "Fun" Antagonists.

    So far I think the book is fantastic for what it is and tries to be, and exactly because it goes through the whole range of evil and the whole range of depictions of evil without holding back, and I don't mind reading it.
    But this is really, really not light material. If you use it for a M20 game as an ST, pick what parts you want to make use of, and be ware of the group at your table or online game. Seriously.
    Last edited by Ambrosia; 11-08-2019, 04:09 AM.


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    • #17
      From what I've heard so far: It's some good stuff.

      Are qlippothic spheres just a reflavor or are their mechanical bonuses? I don't need/want extreme details but I recall one book basically just said "Qlippothic spheres are regular spheres but slightly spookier"

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      • #18
        Have anybody got a little more read? Does it have something really cool or awesome like great NPCs(Al-aswad...) or materials about fallen Spheres? I really want to read this kind of book
        Last edited by Rock113; 11-08-2019, 07:21 AM.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Jihelu View Post
          Are qlippothic spheres just a reflavor or are their mechanical bonuses?
          Reflavor, though the book contains Nephandic paradigms, instruments, rotes, wonders, merits, flaws etc.

          Originally posted by Rock113 View Post
          Does it have something really cool or awesome like great NPCs
          The book has a truckload of NPCs - but not stats for many. Key Nephandic players are listed with each group. The book also contains Nephandic familiars, demons, entities, Paradox Spirits that tend to go after Nephandi, etc.


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          EXPLOSIVE cWoD STUFF! ||| How Technocrats don't think they are Mages

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          • #20
            Oh god, there actually is a wonderful hommage in the book that made me laugh out loud!
            Something funny. In this book, of all of them. Brilliant.
            I won't spoil it, but it's a entry in the list of 'Memetic Entities', that lurk in the Digital Web.


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            EXPLOSIVE cWoD STUFF! ||| How Technocrats don't think they are Mages

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
              Oh god, there actually is a wonderful hommage in the book that made me laugh out loud!
              Something funny. In this book, of all of them. Brilliant.
              I won't spoil it, but it's a entry in the list of 'Memetic Entities', that lurk in the Digital Web.
              And do we have some really powerful guys like Al-Aswad or Incarna Abba-il-Aeon? Really explosive stats?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Rock113 View Post
                And do we have some really powerful guys like Al-Aswad or Incarna Abba-il-Aeon? Really explosive stats?
                Yes, in some of the presented creatures, though non at actual Al-Aswad or Abba-Il-Aeon levels.


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                cWoD Alternative Damage Roll System ||| My explanation of cWoD Damage Levels ||| 'Interesting' Strength Attribute Stuff
                EXPLOSIVE cWoD STUFF! ||| How Technocrats don't think they are Mages

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                • #23
                  Are there mentions of infernalists who made a mistake at some point and are not super evil or is there no mention of those foolish individuals?

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                  • #24
                    I don't know if this qualifies; but there's mention that being a Widderslainte doesn't automatically mean that you're a Nephandus: it's possible to play a mage who has a Nephandic Avatar but who resists the constant efforts by his Avatar and any Nephandi he might encounter to enter the Caul. He'll have a really hard road ahead of him, as everyone who can sense his inverted Essence will assume that he's evil, and his Avatar will pull out all the stops to push him into becoming just that; so odds are slim that he'll eventually succumb. But its not a guarantee. As well, there are a couple of sections that address the issue of redemption for a Nephandus; and while they don't completely shut the door in the idea, they say that once someone has gone through the Caul, redemption should be an epic achievement of it's possible at all.

                    And for the record, the book does deal with Infernalists. It does so in two ways: Nephandic Infernalists (one of three more or less well known factions of the Nephandi, the other two being the K'llashaa and the Malfeans) and, for lack of a better term, minions who tend to engage in Infernal Pacts. The latter aren't Nephandi, and frequently aren't even mages; the benefits that you can accrue from an Infernal Pact explicitly do not include Arete or Spheres. People who engage in Infernal Pacts are mostly talked about in the context of being cultists who serve Nephandi, and it's pointed out that Nephandi themselves rarely engage in Infernal Pacts; so the issue of an Infernalist who just made a mistake and isn't irredeemably evil doesn't explicitly come up. But you can infer the following: the first kind of Infernalist (the Nephandic kind) is as much beyond hope as any Nephandus is. The second kind, not having gone through the Caul, is a different matter.


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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                      As well, there are a couple of sections that address the issue of redemption for a Nephandus; and while they don't completely shut the door in the idea, they say that once someone has gone through the Caul, redemption should be an epic achievement of it's possible at all.
                      Well, pretty much. There is ONE (claimed) actual redemption in the past Mage books, and that is old man Senex, the goddamn frickin' Archmage leader of the Euthanatos, having *somehow* purged his mad, Nephandic apprentice from her taint - he claims - which also potentially involved her dieing and being later reborn. He's not quite telling. And not everybody believes him either. One of the oldest and most powerful mages around.
                      So yeah, there's that.


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                      EXPLOSIVE cWoD STUFF! ||| How Technocrats don't think they are Mages

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                      • #26
                        Yeah; I think that qualifies as “an epic achievement, if it's possible at all."


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                        • #27
                          Also, if you read the final piece of fiction in Ascension, which effectively ends the story of Amanda, it's pretty clear that something is wrong with her. Senex's fix may not be holding. But that story takes place in the Judgment scenario, so the Nephandi are actually fighting alongside the Traditions, Technocracy, and Marauders against Voormas, whose plan for the universe is worse than Nephandic Descension.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
                            and groups that do their Descension through very very real, non-mustache-twirling, non-demonic-cliche things . . . it goes through the whole range of evil and the whole range of depictions of evil without holding back . . . . If you use it for a M20 game as an ST, pick what parts you want to make use of, and be ware of the group at your table or online game. Seriously.
                            I feel like it's important to point out (and I hope we're on the same page about this) that when this sort of warning is given (i.e., "know your audience") it's often because there's stuff in the text that one would typically associate with trigger warnings (e.g., domestic and sexual violence; child abuse; genocide; torture; etc.,) and while that's certainly in there, it's important to go an extra, somewhat bizarre step. In this book, they call out some religious followings that are relatively popular in modern America. I was shocked when I saw it--not because it offended my sensibilities (my personal politics seem to track very closely with the people making these books,) but because they would be brave like that. I'm pretty convinced the book basically combines William F. Buckley with Pat Buchanan and makes it a Nephandi. Though, to be fair to the authors, that would be a pretty unholy amalgam.
                            Last edited by CaptOtter; 11-12-2019, 08:44 PM.


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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
                              Also, if you read the final piece of fiction in Ascension, which effectively ends the story of Amanda, it's pretty clear that something is wrong with her. Senex's fix may not be holding. But that story takes place in the Judgment scenario, so the Nephandi are actually fighting alongside the Traditions, Technocracy, and Marauders against Voormas, whose plan for the universe is worse than Nephandic Descension.
                              Now I'm curious,what's Voormas plan?
                              Last edited by Nicolas Milioni; 11-12-2019, 09:16 PM.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post

                                Now I'm curious,what's Voormas plan?
                                Killing death/entropy itself and stop the wheel so everything halts forever.

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