Posted on February 16, 2010 by spikexan
Available at RPGNow.com
Written by Christopher Lee Simmons
Published by White Wolf
I’m still six feet under only I’m under snow and it’s actually closer to six inches. What’s a little bit of exaggeration between friends? After all, you’re the one reading a RPG review, so it stands to reason that you like either telling or hearing stories. For those of you who missed my review of Book of the Dead, which you can read here (don’t worry I’ll wait), I’m in the midst of a look at White Wolf’s view of the Underworld. Today, we’re going to visit the Ebon Gate, a SAS adventure intended for Geist: the Sin-Eaters.
This adventure is 38 pages, although the first and second pages are full color and black and white versions of the cover. The layout follows the Geist format, which means subtle blues for color, more keys than you’ll find on a school custodian’s key ring, and big whopping numbered pages. I know there is an aging in the game community, but large print page numbers just seems damn odd. Being that this is a SAS product, the layout also includes the nifty digital features. You can quick-click to particular scene, character, or in-game prop. I enjoyed reading through this book because of the subtle coloring, which is also ideal for printing.
I almost uploaded my review of the Geist corebook first because of the artwork. Much of the artwork in this adventure is taken straight from the corebook, but cut to different sizes. This is the first time I can remember seeing artwork repeat in a White Wolf product. Ignoring the repetition, the artwork from this collection of artists rings perfectly with me. The corebook attributed most (if not all) pieces with their respected creator and I wish this did as well so that I could credit specific artists. I’ll make sure I do that in my Geist review rather than repeat myself over two reviews. The artwork feels a little bit Clive Barker and a little bit Dante’s Inferno. It’s really the stuff of nightmares and, seriously, who doesn’t want that in their horror gaming?
The adventure revolves around a night at the carnival that goes violently wrong.
Religion, it appears, isn’t something entrusted only to the living. Even with their attunement to the afterlife, the Geist still have questions about it. The writing for this adventure is top-notch and free of grammatical or continuity errors. The NPCs are wonderfully fleshed out, especially the Last Minister (a little fanatic can go so far in a RPG). With a little bit of tweaking, this game could switch over to a Vampire game and maybe some of the others. The cornerstone to this adventure is a cult interested in creating Geists. Little imagination is required to transform the heart of this adventure to a group of Twilight-reading vampire wannabes.
At the end of the adventure in the scene cards are a little bit of an issue. A couple of the scene cards do nothing beyond really describing things. Most scenes have bonuses and penalties based on how the adventure is going or what each character has access to. The two “fight” scenes don’t offer anything along these lines. It’s no doubt that the GM can add things on her on, but the idea of a pre-generated adventure is for it to do most of the legwork. Like the repeated use of artwork, this is a really minor thing.
This brings up two-thirds of the way through my Deadworld trilogy. My scores for Through the Ebon Gate are:
Layout: Five out of Five Dice (love it . . . even if I don’t get the ginormous numbers)
Artwork: Four out of Five Dice (Great artwork . . . just familiar)
Writing: Five out of Five Dice (this is a well-leveled adventure)
Overall: Five out of Five Dice (an excellent introduction to the surreal world of Geist)
Thanks to White Wolf for my free copy of this PDF.
Review by Todd Cash