Categorized | Reviews, RPGs

The Book of Nod Review

Posted on November 9, 2012 by Michael Holland

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    I cannot tell you the naked fear I feel, putting down these words for once and for all. Perhaps I will regret them. Perhaps they will never see print. Yet, it is my nature to report this. It is, as they say, in the blood.

    Thus wrote Aristotle de Laurent, Noddist scholar and vampire, in the preface of the Book of Nod. This book was special because it was published by White Wolf Publishing, Inc. in 1995 to be used as setting material for the Masquerade Mind’s Eye Theatre game as well as Vampire the Masquerade chronicles. Bound in black leather the book was the perfect prop for storytellers to hand over to their intrepid players. The stories began to write themselves.

    The idea was genius and the Book of Nod remains one of the most celebrated products to emerge from White Wolf’s catalog. However, the Book of Nod was not perfect. Whether due to printing issues or layout problems there were parts of the book which were difficult to read. For the most part these imperfections were embraced by fans as part of the charm of the book.

    As we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Vampire the Masquerade this is one of those books many of us are pulling from our shelves and dusting off. For those who don’t own a copy it is available on RPGNow in PDF format but all of us have been forced to struggle through the layout issues which plague the book. Enter Pauline Benney, our heroine.

    As a treat for Gen Con attendees Pauline dug into the Book of Nod and revised the layout and design. Text no longer ran into dark backgrounds and disappeared. Spectacular art was no longer ruined by misplaced writing. DriveThruRPG fired up their print on demand services and waiting at their booth was a copy of the Book of Nod which was… perfect. The Camarilla will not be pleased.

    The Book of Nod chronicles the fall of Caine and the rise of the Kindred who swept across the world like locusts spreading Caine’s sin with each sweet kiss. Although the true author of the book is unknown several individuals have been given credit for portions of the text including Saulot, Malkav and even Caine himself. The Camarilla denounces the book as myths and lies while the Sabbat embraces it as perhaps the most important truth of all.

    The book is also filled with proverbs and prophecies about Gehenna, the Time of Thin Blood, the Clanless and so much more. Noddist prophecy became a driving force in the metaplot of the Classic World of Darkness as well as in the chronicles played by fans of the game.

    Whether it is an original print, a PDF copy or one of the Pauline Benney specials which appeared at Gen Con every troupe should have the Book of Nod.

    Five out of five stars.

    Review by Michael Holland

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