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  • My review of Beckett's Jyhad Diary (discuss anything within!)



    http://booknest.eu/reviews/charles/1...ettsjyhaddiary

    VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE remains the most influential of all tabletop roleplaying games in my life and is pretty much under DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS for influence on the world as a whole. The Blade Trilogy, Underworld, True Blood, Dark, Vampyr, and a huge number of other works were all influenced by it. Recently, 5th Edition Vampire: The Masquerade came out and electrified the fanbase. However, 5E didn't cover what a lot of people most remember about the game: the metaplot.

    Metaplot for those unfamiliar with it is basically an ongoing story carried from book supplement to book supplement. In, say, Book 1# you'd meet a character called Lucita who is a vampire assassin and in Book 2# she'd show up again, only to be on the run from her sire and in Book 15# we'd find out she'd killed her sire. The metaplot of the vampire books covered everything from the oncoming vampire apocalypse, a war between vampire secret societies, conflict with Asian vampires, and who ruled what cities.

    The problem with metaplot was that it often disrupted people's games. If you were playing your home game, the sudden discovery 1/13th of the vampire race was destroyed by a magical order to kill yourself was kind of a big deal. At least if you cared about fitting in with official material (and if you didn't then future supplements would be worthless). It also often set up huge dramatic plot points then completely dropped them. A 6000 year old vampire wakes up in the Middle East, declares jihad on all non-believers in the Blood God, and then is never heard from again.

    BECKETT'S JYHAD DIARY is a chronicle of virtually every single metaplot raised by the gameline from the conflicts in Milwaukee (yes, seriously) to the attempt to unearth the tomb of a 2nd generation vampire (that's a big deal). For about a decade, V:TM was a dead line in publication and all of these plots were put on hold. This basically brings them to the present and gives the Storyteller some idea how to use them. It also uses an excellent framing device in Beckett to tell the story of how all these things may go down.

    One of the most endearing characters about the V:TM setting was Beckett. Beckett was a sarcastic vampire archaeologist who traveled around the world, looking in dark tombs and crumbling castles for the secrets of vampire history. I'd always felt he was a better signature character for the Gangrel clan than the somewhat generic Ramona but I suppose we needed a Neonate somewhere. Basically, vampire Indiana Jones, Beckett was used by supplements to talk about vampire stuff in-universe. This book is a chronicle of his year-long traversal around the globe, finding out absolutely everything there is to know about these plots.

    Beckett's journey is hilarious as he goes from meeting one angry godlike elder vampire to another and never fails to tick them off with his attitude. He's completely fearless and more than a little stupid in the way he snarks at beings who could crush him with a single fist. Beckett gets nearly killed more than a dozen times and inexplicably always gets rescued, only to plunge into another insane situation. At one point, he's possessed by the Antediluvian (big deal vampire) underneath Jerusalem and another, he's made into Dracula's bride (yes, seriously). Only a few chapters aren't entertaining just for the ridiculousness of his situation.

    There's one serious downside, though. This book is going to be completely incomprehensible for anyone who is not a Rhodes Scholar of Vampire: The Masquerade. I'm talking 5 Dots of Occult: Vampire: The Masquerade specialization with maybe a few dots of Lore as well. If that doesn't make any sense to you, then you should stop reading because you're already well outside of this book's target audience. I'm pretty incredibly well-versed in V:TM trivia and know the setting only slightly less than I know Star Wars' Expanded Universe--which I could get a doctorate in. Here, there were chapters I was going, "Who, what, when, where, how? Is this a new character? Who is making these annotations? What book was this in?"

    My knowledge of setting trivia actually worked against me in some places because the book wasn't afraid to retcon and change things at will. Ur-Shulgi didn't awaken in 1999, no, he might be awakening now. The Anarch Free States are back after being apparently destroyed, conquered, and restored with nary a Cathayan in sight. Again, if you have no idea what that's about then this isn't the book for you because this is a story which includes references to books I think sold like 30 copies as major plot points.

    It is a grand guginol of fanservice with people I never expected to show up, showing up again and references ranging from Necropolis: Atlanta's vampires to city supplements on Carthage (destroyed millennia before any edition of the game is set) and Constantinople. I loved the heavy focus on fan-favorites like Lucita, Jan Pieterzoon, Anatole, and others, though. It also canonizes video games Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines and Redemption as part of the mainstream universes.

    Favorite moments of the book that will make sense only to fans of the series:

    * A return to Chicago to find out what the hell has been going on there for 20 years after Chicago by Night 2nd Edition.
    * Lucita stealing Beckett's plane for an emergency trip to Montreal.
    * Beckett getting a car ride from the "tutorial on how to make a character" Malcolm the drug addicted vampire vigilante.
    * An Anarch Tremere faction led by a feminist revolutionary.
    * An obnoxious stenographer rewriting an angry meeting with Beckett and Jan Pieterzoon as yaoi fanfiction.
    * The return to life of Marcus Vitel, one of the setting's most over-the-top brilliant villains.
    * Lucita getting her character fixed after the hatchet job of the Clan Novel: Lasombra trilogy. I am uncomfortably obsessed with this character.
    * The aforementioned canonizing of the video games.
    * The fact they actually manage to replicate Cristof the vampire knight's incredibly obnoxious Shakespearian speech patterns.
    * Ecaterina the Wise getting back some of her mojo.
    * Acknowledging that Carthage was simultaneously a center of ancient glory and kind of a horrible bunch of child burners.
    * The appearance of Helene (of Troy) in all her horrific ancient glory.
    * Victoria Ash managing the Succubus Club. It's so brilliant, I'm surprised I didn't think of it.
    * The Ravnos are no longer extinct but aren't Romani stereotypes anymore either.
    * Rebekah the Chicago Monitor explaining the Inconnu and Golconda are not nearly as weird as people think, making them actually usable in-game.
    * The whole Dracula section where Beckett drops all his usual snark because he's genuinely unsettled.
    * Anatole! Back alive and as crazy-sane as ever.
    * Mithras possessing Coven and actually making some interesting twists on it.
    * The True Hand are nicely re-imagined as those crazy cult guys from Indiana Jones protecting all the torporous elders.
    * The Setites joining the Camarilla.
    * The Cappadochians back on their feet.
    * The Laibon (African vampires) getting a seat at the big boy's table. Ditto the Ashirra (Middle Eastern vampires).
    * Vykos and Beckett being forced to work together.
    * The great analysis of how to use Signature Characters in game.
    * The also great analysis of how the various editions were themed, including how each treated sex and sensuality. Revised being, "Eww." Hehe.

    There are some mistakes in the book, like the fact Cristof is reported as dying during the events of V:TM:R despite the fact he's alive and talking to Beckett throughout the chapter. The fact they name Kevin Jackson as Prince of Chicago when we know he's not in 5E Chicago by Night (it may not be a mistake depending on how they write him up). There's also the fact the book is already outdated by 5E with major events of that book's opening completely uncovered by this despite the book having some allusions to it. I really wish they'd managed to insert a scene about the Second Inquisition, the Anarch takeover of Berlin, and the assassination of Hardestadt the Younger by Theo Bell at the end. Then again, the book is already a mind-numbing 500 pages so I understand why they didn't. Still, we needed like a metaplot update for what's already a metaplot update.

    Which is a shame.

    The book is beautiful with fantastic art and many wonderful hidden homages, winks, nudges, and excellent game advice. It's extremely well-written but I actually think, in retrospect, it's many met Kickstarter goals may have hurt it a bit. The book has some bloat in it that I think might have benefited from splitting it into two products (say, Beckett's Jyhad Diary Volume 1# and Beckett's Jyhad Diary Volume 2#). I found the whole, "The Sabbat try to take credit for 9/11" plotline to be in horrendously poor taste despite it being less than one chapter and the fact it's stated to be an overt lie by Archbishop Polonia. I also had difficulty reading the handwriting of some of these Elders, which is problematic in a supplement. Still, it's probably my second favorite of all time supplement after Chicago by Night 1st Edition.

    9/10

    The Gentleman Gamer
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-29-2018, 01:37 PM.


    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

  • #2
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    Recently, 5th Edition Vampire: The Masquerade came out and electrified the fanbase in a way that Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Edition tried to but didn't quite manage (but still respectably revived the franchise).
    Wait, you are actually serious. You really believe this shit?!?!?!

    I honestly thought the CTPhipps reviews ______ where just your way of stirring up shit.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Beckett View Post

      Wait, you are actually serious. You really believe this shit?!?!?!

      I honestly thought the CTPhipps reviews ______ where just your way of stirring up shit.
      5E is awesome.

      I did a whole cheatsheet about why.


      Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        * The fact they actually manage to replicate Cristof the vampire knight's incredibly obnoxious Shakespearian speech patterns.
        Verily, thou hath hit ye naile on ye heade with that one. Years ago, I started running a Dark Ages game set in London, and an American player asked if we were going with the thee's and thou's. He was genuinely surprised when I explained that characters in that period really didn't talk like that.

        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

        There's also the fact the book is already outdated by 5E with major events of that book's opening completely uncovered by this despite the book having some allusions to it. I really wish they'd managed to insert a scene about the Second Inquisition, the Anarch takeover of Berlin, and the assassination of Hardestadt the Younger by Theo Bell at the end. Then again, the book is already a mind-numbing 500 pages so I understand why they didn't. Still, we needed like a metaplot update for what's already a metaplot update.

        {snip}

        The book is beautiful with fantastic art and many wonderful hidden homages, winks, nudges, and excellent game advice. It's extremely well-written but I actually think, in retrospect, it's many met Kickstarter goals may have hurt it a bit. The book has some bloat in it that I think might have benefited from splitting it into two products (say, Beckett's Jyhad Diary Volume 1# and Beckett's Jyhad Diary Volume 2#).
        A Beckett's Jyhad Diary Volume 2 for the new metaplot elements would be a terrific idea, but I'm not sure how many of those are already set to be expanded in the forthcoming books.

        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        Still, it's probably my second favorite of all time supplement after Chicago by Night 1st Edition.
        For me, it's my favorite single Masquerade supplement. There are many books in the line that I love, but none with the sheer breadth of this one.

        Comment


        • #5
          I feel like if I ever use Cristof, I'd need one of my old Dark Age's characters to shout at him, "NOBODY ACTUALLY TALKED LIKE THAT! I WAS THERE!"

          Mind you, if I ever used Cristof, I'd probably reveal the poor bastard is a Brujah ex-Special Forces soldier who has been Dominated into believing he's a vampire knight by a particularly nasty Malkavian.

          If not a Kook himself.


          Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post


            VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE remains the most influential of all tabletop roleplaying games in my life and is pretty much under DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS for influence on the world as a whole. The Blade Trilogy, Underworld, True Blood, Dark, Vampyr, and a huge number of other works were all influenced by it. Recently, 5th Edition Vampire: The Masquerade came out and electrified the fanbase in a way that Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Edition tried to but didn't quite manage (but still respectably revived the franchise). However, 5E didn't cover what a lot of people most remember about the game: the metaplot.

            Metaplot for those unfamiliar with it is basically an ongoing story carried from book supplement to book supplement. In, say, Book 1# you'd meet a character called Lucita who is a vampire assassin and in Book 2# she'd show up again, only to be on the run from her sire and in Book 15# we'd find out she'd killed her sire. The metaplot of the vampire books covered everything from the oncoming vampire apocalypse, a war between vampire secret societies, conflict with Asian vampires, and who ruled what cities.

            The problem with metaplot was that it often disrupted people's games. If you were playing your home game, the sudden discovery 1/13th of the vampire race was destroyed by a magical order to kill yourself was kind of a big deal. At least if you cared about fitting in with official material (and if you didn't then future supplements would be worthless). It also often set up huge dramatic plot points then completely dropped them. A 6000 year old vampire wakes up in the Middle East, declares jihad on all non-believers in the Blood God, and then is never heard from again.

            BECKETT'S JYHAD DIARY is a chronicle of virtually every single metaplot raised by the gameline from the conflicts in Milwaukee (yes, seriously) to the attempt to unearth the tomb of a 2nd generation vampire (that's a big deal). For about a decade, V:TM was a dead line in publication and all of these plots were put on hold. This basically brings them to the present and gives the Storyteller some idea how to use them. It also uses an excellent framing device in Beckett to tell the story of how all these things may go down.

            One of the most endearing characters about the V:TM setting was Beckett. Beckett was a sarcastic vampire archaeologist who traveled around the world, looking in dark tombs and crumbling castles for the secrets of vampire history. I'd always felt he was a better signature character for the Gangrel clan than the somewhat generic Ramona but I suppose we needed a Neonate somewhere. Basically, vampire Indiana Jones, Beckett was used by supplements to talk about vampire stuff in-universe. This book is a chronicle of his year-long traversal around the globe, finding out absolutely everything there is to know about these plots.

            Beckett's journey is hilarious as he goes from meeting one angry godlike elder vampire to another and never fails to tick them off with his attitude. He's completely fearless and more than a little stupid in the way he snarks at beings who could crush him with a single fist. Beckett gets nearly killed more than a dozen times and inexplicably always gets rescued, only to plunge into another insane situation. At one point, he's possessed by the Antediluvian (big deal vampire) underneath Jerusalem and another, he's made into Dracula's bride (yes, seriously). Only a few chapters aren't entertaining just for the ridiculousness of his situation.

            There's one serious downside, though. This book is going to be completely incomprehensible for anyone who is not a Rhodes Scholar of Vampire: The Masquerade. I'm talking 5 Dots of Occult: Vampire: The Masquerade specialization with maybe a few dots of Lore as well. If that doesn't make any sense to you, then you should stop reading because you're already well outside of this book's target audience. I'm pretty incredibly well-versed in V:TM trivia and know the setting only slightly less than I know Star Wars' Expanded Universe--which I could get a doctorate in. Here, there were chapters I was going, "Who, what, when, where, how? Is this a new character? Who is making these annotations? What book was this in?"

            My knowledge of setting trivia actually worked against me in some places because the book wasn't afraid to retcon and change things at will. Ur-Shulgi didn't awaken in 1999, no, he might be awakening now. The Anarch Free States are back after being apparently destroyed, conquered, and restored with nary a Cathayan in sight. Again, if you have no idea what that's about then this isn't the book for you because this is a story which includes references to books I think sold like 30 copies as major plot points.

            It is a grand guginol of fanservice with people I never expected to show up, showing up again and references ranging from Necropolis: Atlanta's vampires to city supplements on Carthage (destroyed millennia before any edition of the game is set) and Constantinople. I loved the heavy focus on fan-favorites like Lucita, Jan Pieterzoon, Anatole, and others, though. It also canonizes video games Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines and Redemption as part of the mainstream universes.

            Favorite moments of the book that will make sense only to fans of the series:

            * A return to Chicago to find out what the hell has been going on there for 20 years after Chicago by Night 2nd Edition.
            * Lucita stealing Beckett's plane for an emergency trip to Montreal.
            * Beckett getting a car ride from the "tutorial on how to make a character" Malcolm the drug addicted vampire vigilante.
            * An Anarch Tremere faction led by a feminist revolutionary.
            * An obnoxious stenographer rewriting an angry meeting with Beckett and Jan Pieterzoon as yaoi fanfiction.
            * The return to life of Marcus Vitel, one of the setting's most over-the-top brilliant villains.
            * Lucita getting her character fixed after the hatchet job of the Clan Novel: Lasombra trilogy. I am uncomfortably obsessed with this character.
            * The aforementioned canonizing of the video games.
            * The fact they actually manage to replicate Cristof the vampire knight's incredibly obnoxious Shakespearian speech patterns.
            * Ecaterina the Wise getting back some of her mojo.
            * Acknowledging that Carthage was simultaneously a center of ancient glory and kind of a horrible bunch of child burners.
            * The appearance of Helene (of Troy) in all her horrific ancient glory.
            * Victoria Ash managing the Succubus Club. It's so brilliant, I'm surprised I didn't think of it.
            * The Ravnos are no longer extinct but aren't Romani stereotypes anymore either.
            * Rebekah the Chicago Monitor explaining the Inconnu and Golconda are not nearly as weird as people think, making them actually usable in-game.
            * The whole Dracula section where Beckett drops all his usual snark because he's genuinely unsettled.
            * Anatole! Back alive and as crazy-sane as ever.
            * Mithras possessing Coven and actually making some interesting twists on it.
            * The True Hand are nicely re-imagined as those crazy cult guys from Indiana Jones protecting all the torporous elders.
            * The Setites joining the Camarilla.
            * The Cappadochians back on their feet.
            * The Laibon (African vampires) getting a seat at the big boy's table. Ditto the Ashirra (Middle Eastern vampires).
            * Vykos and Beckett being forced to work together.
            * The great analysis of how to use Signature Characters in game.
            * The also great analysis of how the various editions were themed, including how each treated sex and sensuality. Revised being, "Eww." Hehe.

            There are some mistakes in the book, like the fact Cristof is reported as dying during the events of V:TM:R despite the fact he's alive and talking to Beckett throughout the chapter. The fact they name Kevin Jackson as Prince of Chicago when we know he's not in 5E Chicago by Night (it may not be a mistake depending on how they write him up). There's also the fact the book is already outdated by 5E with major events of that book's opening completely uncovered by this despite the book having some allusions to it. I really wish they'd managed to insert a scene about the Second Inquisition, the Anarch takeover of Berlin, and the assassination of Hardestadt the Younger by Theo Bell at the end. Then again, the book is already a mind-numbing 500 pages so I understand why they didn't. Still, we needed like a metaplot update for what's already a metaplot update.

            Which is a shame.

            The book is beautiful with fantastic art and many wonderful hidden homages, winks, nudges, and excellent game advice. It's extremely well-written but I actually think, in retrospect, it's many met Kickstarter goals may have hurt it a bit. The book has some bloat in it that I think might have benefited from splitting it into two products (say, Beckett's Jyhad Diary Volume 1# and Beckett's Jyhad Diary Volume 2#). I found the whole, "The Sabbat try to take credit for 9/11" plotline to be in horrendously poor taste despite it being less than one chapter and the fact it's stated to be an overt lie by Archbishop Polonia. I also had difficulty reading the handwriting of some of these Elders, which is problematic in a supplement. Still, it's probably my second favorite of all time supplement after Chicago by Night 1st Edition.

            9/10

            The Gentleman Gamer
            Glad you are excited about V5, and we appreciate the reviews and help posts. But I’m going to have to ask you to stop the comparisons and comments with V20 as you do otherwise excellent posting, as those comments are contributing to edition war polarization. Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RichT View Post

              Glad you are excited about V5, and we appreciate the reviews and help posts. But I’m going to have to ask you to stop the comparisons and comments with V20 as you do otherwise excellent posting, as those comments are contributing to edition war polarization. Thanks!
              I'm happy to remove those elements from my review.

              I loved everything Onyx Path did for V20. It was also badly phrased and meant only to say it didn't get the attention it deserved. Blame being written at 6:30 in the morning after no sleep.

              Edit:

              Done.
              Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-29-2018, 01:35 PM.


              Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

              Comment


              • #8
                So, what was everyone's favorite part of this book?

                Any parts they didn't like?


                Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                Comment


                • #9
                  To my mind this book was a magnum opus. While its true that theres a LOT of shit in it where you have to indeed be a Cainite Scholar to know or recognize (and this coming from someone who has consumed pretty much every Vampire product for almost 20 years) I appreciate its depth and thoroughness. A treasure trove of ideas and possibilities. Magnificently written and illustrated. My particular favorite stories were D.C, the Malks Jerusalem, the Anarchs and that one where Beckett goes to that island and gets patched up by that weird dude. Oh, and the Samedi and Laibon stories. Beautiful.

                  One thing I'll admit to: while I enjoyed hell out of most of the stories containing characters and situations that I was familiar with, the parts pertaining to things, events, and characters that I wasn't well versed in seemed to drag, because it referenced things I didn't readily store in my brains RAM and instead of being the next part of a beloved story read long ago, it was more like reading a correspondence between two people that had their own inside jokes and private understandings. Not necessarily bad, but its just that I didn't get the full force of "oh, so THATS what happened with that!". I found myself at several points throughout the book debating whether or not to go back and read Chicago by Night or the Brujah clanbook or whatever just so I could be hip to the action taking place. That is not a criticism. It just means when the time comes that I reread those books, the furtherance of the story is contained within BJD waiting to be read.

                  As for dislikes, there wasn't much. I wasn't particularly fond of the idea of Lucita (ma fleur noir de la nuit!) having a "sister", such as she was, but that was about it.
                  Last edited by 12dollarburrito; 09-30-2018, 02:06 AM.


                  Light inspires illusion and interpretation. Truth can only be found in darkness.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                    I feel like if I ever use Cristof, I'd need one of my old Dark Age's characters to shout at him, "NOBODY ACTUALLY TALKED LIKE THAT! I WAS THERE!"

                    Mind you, if I ever used Cristof, I'd probably reveal the poor bastard is a Brujah ex-Special Forces soldier who has been Dominated into believing he's a vampire knight by a particularly nasty Malkavian.

                    If not a Kook himself.
                    Straight talk, Christof was unlikely to know English at all until after he rose from torpor, because he was mortal in that weird period the century after the Norman conquest, where (old) English was only spoken on England proper and by common-folk. And, you have to remember, from his perspective a castle fell on him, and suddenly it was 1999. He wasn't low generation, or old, enough to have developed the disciplines to stay conscious or active in torpor, regardless how or why he entered it. Not a lot of opportunity to learn new languages or stay up to date on the new lingo, there.

                    I like to reconcile it by saying the torpor, and the circumstances behind entering it, messed with his head and memories to the degree learning and speaking in Ye Olde Merrie Anglish is the poor bastard's way of coping.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Theodrim View Post

                      Straight talk, Christof was unlikely to know English at all until after he rose from torpor, because he was mortal in that weird period the century after the Norman conquest, where (old) English was only spoken on England proper and by common-folk. And, you have to remember, from his perspective a castle fell on him, and suddenly it was 1999. He wasn't low generation, or old, enough to have developed the disciplines to stay conscious or active in torpor, regardless how or why he entered it. Not a lot of opportunity to learn new languages or stay up to date on the new lingo, there.

                      I like to reconcile it by saying the torpor, and the circumstances behind entering it, messed with his head and memories to the degree learning and speaking in Ye Olde Merrie Anglish is the poor bastard's way of coping.
                      Either that or he just spoke French, which everyone around him (A Toreador, Assamite, and elder) would all speak.



                      Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                        Either that or he just spoke French, which everyone around him (A Toreador, Assamite, and elder) would all speak.

                        Not to be "that guy", but funny enough...not necessarily, and probably not, at least as a native tongue. It's picking nits since they're all part of the Gallo-Romance language group, but diving a bit deeper has some damned interesting implications for the character.

                        Long story short, both his given and surnames are Germanic, and if he picked Romuald as his surname to honor the saint, he's probably from eastern or southeastern France which means his native language would have been Arpitan or Occitan. I personally like the idea he's from the Rhone valley, which would have put him right in the way of potentially having been a pawn of the Cainite Heresy or their enemies in life, explaining the why and how of where he was at the beginning of VtMR.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Theodrim View Post

                          Not to be "that guy", but funny enough...not necessarily, and probably not, at least as a native tongue. It's picking nits since they're all part of the Gallo-Romance language group, but diving a bit deeper has some damned interesting implications for the character.

                          Long story short, both his given and surnames are Germanic, and if he picked Romuald as his surname to honor the saint, he's probably from eastern or southeastern France which means his native language would have been Arpitan or Occitan. I personally like the idea he's from the Rhone valley.
                          Weirdly, I didn't think he was French, I just assumed it was a lingula...franca...that he spoke.



                          Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I regret I'm banned from RPG.net for Game of Thrones spoilers I posted. Because I'd love to review this book page by page there.

                            But to get us started, here's 13 thoughts and talking points

                            13 Thoughts on the Book

                            1. There's a hilarious detail that Beckett never picks up on the fact that he and Rebekah are forbidden from Hunendora Castle. However, it's a good thing that Rebekah didn't go because the Inconnu there are a bunch of mass human-sacrificing Infernalists who are as far from Golconda as humanly possible.
                            I also really loved the fact Rebekah says that Golconda isn't that difficult of a thing to get versus the super-treatment of it in Chaining the Beast. Also, you can fall from it and then you can just get back on it. I liked that a lot.

                            2. I liked the idea of Lucita being nominated for Regent but I think that's a horrible position for her because while she has MANY of the Sabbat's virtues like a hatred of elders (despite being one), a personal love of violence, and a weird religious attitude as well--it really is a kind of dead end for the character.

                            I'm kind of sad we've apparently missed the next Sabbat Civil War.

                            3. I think Marcus Vitel would be an awesome Regent of the Sabbat but there's kind of the feeling that he might actually be too good for the Sabbat. He's playing a game at a much higher level than everyone else and it's kind of a step down for him to be Caine's Chosen. I think his third sect is kind of unusable as a concept, though, because unless you're set in his city then whatcha gonna do with it. I think Talley would work much better as Vitel's Darth Vader than his previous job, though.

                            4. I'm actually kind of surprised a couple of plot points DIDN'T come up like Hardestadt the Younger being Jurgen with maybe some Dominate or Vicisstitude involved. I think the Gehenna plot about him wanting Beckett dead because he figured it out was a really good plot to handle.

                            5. LA by Night is fine but I think the whole geopolitics thing about the city is kind of a black hole for developments. LA is such a vibrant fascinating city that whoever rules it (Vannover Thomas, Tara, Macneil, or whoever) is less important than just establishing an awesome setting.

                            Really, I hope whenever they get back to the city, they should just have Louis Fortier be Prince of the City and have Nines as Baron.

                            I did like they established Macneil just doesn't give a shit anymore.

                            Beckett not meeting Bela was a missed opportunity.

                            6. I actually am not sure about Vykos having been driven insane by the embryonic Dracon inside him but I am interested in the fact he's now a much cannier and less kookoo for cocoa puffs kind of character.

                            7. I love how the Black Hand is now this organization of the guys from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, trying to murder Beckett to protect all the artifacts. I also like the irony that Beckett found an Antediluvian before they did.

                            8. I'm not sure but is Serenna the Salubri supposed to be incredibly overprivileged or not? It seems like she's the whiniest Kindred on Earth for the fact that, "Ooooo, I'm so frustarted that a sect is keeping the ENTIRE TREMERE CLAN from murdering me."

                            Boo hoo.

                            9. Jan Pieterzoon trying to put on his big boy pants and prepare for Gehenna really makes me sad they killed him off. Killing Hardestadt is awesome and Theo Bell's crowning moment of
                            awesome but Jan? Jan had way too much potential to get rid of.

                            10. The Tick Tock Man took me by surprise as it's basically putting the kind of ridiculously broken Twink character so many players have created. "I CONTROL TIME. SO I WILL KILL THE PRINCE...FOR FUN!" then making the characters react to him appropriately.

                            I *LOVE* that.

                            11. If you do think this is an in-universe document that Kemintiri published across the globe, then you have to wonder at the ENORMOUS pile of conspiracies that have been utterly derailed. Helena exposed, the Giovanni's plan to bring about the Endless Night, the existence of Enoch, Dracula and Kupala, and who knows what else.

                            12. I loved the fact the Prince of Louisiana managed to screw over the Tremere as a Tremere.

                            13. Another random Cristof thought but where is Anezka? I assume their 3 day romance has soured a bit despite him embracing her as a 9th generation Brujah.



                            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                            • #15
                              Amazing book. Pity the majority of the plot points and plot hooks were wasted or thrown away in the transition to V5

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