Posted on December 13, 2010 by spikexan
Available at RPGNow.com
Signs of the Moon takes a look at one of the few aspects (pun intended) I love about the Werewolf (both of them) lines. The Auspices appeal to me because it always seemed realistic, as realistic as a game about shapeshifters can be. People are pulled by the moon in ways we barely understand. Just as sure as a hot August day can statistically cause a homicide rate to rise, the moon too plays a role in our little dramas. Why not write a book about it? This is a hefty 227 pages of new gifts, rules, filler and more.
The artwork to the book keeps to the feel of the line. It’s a visceral, tribal style that is so much stronger than what the original line offered. My personal fave is on page 207. I usually shy away from talking about layout in a White Wolf book because, well, they set the standard for high quality. I’m going to touch on it here though because I have a valid question more than a comment. Does filler text within a PDF mean more to players than when it’s within a dead tree book? I’ve never really gotten into fake spreadsheets, diary entries, and the like (though recent attempts to heavily lace the fiction with the rules are excellent). That said, in a PDF format they make more sense to me. White Wolf has really explored this too. Their Horror Collection contained audio files, printable documents, and photos to enhance the gaming experience. My
question (and I’d love to see comments aflame about this) is this: does it enhance your gaming experience?
The book contains an Introduction, six chapters, and an afterword. Let’s skip the Intro, but cut right to the afterword. You see, this is the final dead tree version of the Werewolf: the Forsaken line. It, like the other lines, are coming to a close. If you’re a Luddite, sorry (though I’m glad to find you on-line). The afterword looks at the line as a whole and where things will go from here.
The first five chapters are broken into phases. Each of these lay out the general stereotypes each lunar phase creates. Discussions of popular themes, inherited gifts, heaps of “materials” gleaned from numerous sources, and discussion of two Lodges associated with each phase. All in all, each phase gets a thirty-plus page treatment, which is more than fair (or perhaps needed) to hammer home the points.
Chapter six (also at thirty-something pages) is this book’s crowning gem. I’m not completely sold on why it isn’t Chapter one. It’s here that you will find solid discussion on themes, moods, and fleshing out a good story with the book’s material. There are also some stories to be told along with characters to populate them.
Do I think this book is a great end to the line? Maybe. Signs of the Moon says that it is about choices. There are some we make and some that are made for us. Who am I to argue with that. After all, I love an open road (even if I’m told this book is the end of this particular one).
My scores for this book are:
Artwork/Layout: Four out of Five Dice (looks great)
Writing: Three out of Five Dice (the writing is great, but I’m feeling a book that should have been 127 pages instead of 227).
Overall: Four out of Five Dice (A good end)
Review by Todd Cash