Children of the Revolution (Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
Publisher: White Wolf/Onyx Path Publishing
Release Date: 10/26/2012
Page Count: 132
Cost: $17.99 (PDF)/$34.99 (Print)
Get it Here: DriveThruRPG.com
White Wolf’s first Kickstarter project, Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition Companion was a financial success, but a huge failure in the eyes of critics and fans alike. Plagued by massive delays, backers were outraged with the final product which was formatted poorly, typo laden, lacking any real content and massively overpriced. Fifty dollars for eighty pages of crap was what it boiled down to. If you visit the Kickstarter project page you can still see irate backers complaining about this thing.
I bring this up because Children of the Revolution was White Wolf’s second Kickstarter project and the thing nearly failed because of how bad the V20 Companion turned out to be and because of how poorly White Wolf handled the whole affair. In fact, it came down to the wire (twenty-two hours or so before deadline) for Children of the Revolution to be funded. In the end, it had only half the backers and little over half the funds that the V20 Companion raised. Like many who were unhappy with how White Wolf and Onyx Path handled the V20 Companion I refused to back Children of the Revolution because I didn’t want to pay sixty dollars for a book that would have been the same low level of quality. Now, the physical copy of Children of the Revolution that backers were supposed to receive still has not arrived (three months late and counting) but the Print on Demand version, which is nearly half the price but lacking the faux leather cover, can be obtained easily. Ouch. As well, Kickstarter backers had to pay $25 or more for just the PDF while it’s on DrivethruRPG.com for “only” $17.99. Bigger ouch. So once again, White Wolf and company have kind of screwed over their most loyal customers and charged them MORE for getting the project out the door in the first place. At least they got their PDF in early September. That’s…something I guess.
The good news is that Children of the Revolution is a vastly superior product that the V20 Companion. It has nearly double the page count and some very nice artwork. The problem is that the book is of limited use to most people that play Vampire: The Masquerade. That doesn’t mean the book is bad by ANY stretch of the imagination. I rather enjoyed reading it. It’s just that the contents are nothing but NPC biographies and stat blocks, so it’s really only useful if the Storyteller isn’t that good at making his own characters. The book contains eighteen different biographies and an eight page introduction discussing how the core thirteen Clans deal with rebellion. Again, it’s an interesting read, but it’s not a book many will find a use for in their own campaign. As a fun foray into V:TM fiction, it is well written, but still way overpriced for what you are getting. I could recommend this in its PDF form for $9.99, but not for $17.99. Aside from that the book is laid out better and contains far less typos and content errors than the V20 Companion. I’m not a fan of the extremely small type or the font it is in, as it makes the PDF hard to read, especially on an iPad or Kindle Fire, but it is what it is.
One amusing note, the timeline for upcoming Onyx Path products is massively incorrect and it’s amusing to see things like Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition listed as coming out in October 2012, when the Kickstarter for it just ended on November 1st. You would think they would have corrected this on a product released in late October 2012, but it shows you that neither the editing side of the Onyx Path nor it’s relations side are not where they need to be. I am quite excited to see a ton of Mummy: The Curse items on the docket for 2013 though.
So who are the eighteen Kindred in Children of the Revolution? Here’s a quick rundown for you:
So that’s what you get. Basically it’s a little more than a dollar per character (More if you get the print version), which sounds rather pricey when you think about it. Although the entire book is interesting, the last three characters in it are downright terrible and it makes me sad to think they are actually canon Kindred now. Another three are truly well written and quite imaginative, while the other dozen are just kind of in the middle. Their bios are fun to read through, but are easily forgettable and even the most devout Vampire: The Masquerade fan won’t lose any sleep if they don’t pick this one up. Again, very few gamers will ever actually USE Children of the Revolution, but it is a nicely done, if way overpriced piece of V:TM fiction. If you really need a book of nothing but NPC information and stats, there are other options out there for you from previous editions of Vampire: The Masquerade – but if you already own those and you’re desperate for what little new content for the game there is, you might as well pick up Children of the Revolution. It’s a much better purchase than the V20 Companion, but once again, you won’t get much use out of this unless you’re just looking for something Kindred related to read.