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Antagonists Source Book for nWOD

  

All games (or at least the majority) need a bad guy, a villain, an antagonist and, not surprisingly, that’s what Antagonists gives you, a collection of, well, antagonists that could be used in pretty much any game, mortal or supernatural. This is not a collection of enemies you will have seen before in the supernatural lines, nor is it an exhaustive list of every possible monster and spectre they could think of. What you get here is four chapters each dealing with a different category of monster and how to use them in a game. There are stats for example creatures here that can be taken and used in a game immediately, but that is not the main focus, rather the idea is you will create your own using the rules and guidelines provided. Let’s have a look inside.

 

 

Antagonists

Chapter One: The Living Dead

  

Zombies! Everyone loves zombies, especially in an RPG. Having a shambling horde to unload shotgun shells into is perfect for some no-nonsense combat, but that horde can also be used as an ever present horror, adding tension and panic as the PCs struggle desperately to get their vehicle moving again before they are over whelmed. There is a lot you can do with zombies and this chapter has it all! It gives example of the different ways zombies can be created, from experimental virus to voodoo rituals as well as the different types of zombies from mindless and fragile (a good solid whack with a spade and its off with their head!) to near indestructible rage zombies. Rather than giving you the stats of each different type, they present you with a table of all the different zombie powers so that you can build your perfect zombie. The options here are good, allowing you to build the zombies from any film, TV show, book or computer game you fancy. 

 

The chapter then goes on to talk about other types of living dead, including Imbued (creatures made from bits of dead people) and Reverants (ghosts that have taken control of a body). These come with ideas for how to work them into your campaign or to run a game based entirely on one of these things, as well as a list of powers they could have, much like the zombie section previous. There are some really creepy things you could do with this section which is, of course, why we play WoD. 

 

 

Chapter Two: A Need For Vengeance

  

This is the least “crunchy” of the chapters but is also the most interesting as it take the normal roles of a horror story (protagonist=human, antagonist=monster) and flips it on its head. Many of the mortal residents of the World of Darkness have been exposed to things that go bump in the night, and some of them have reason to take up arms against them. This chapter details why people would become monster hunters, the psychology behind it, the methods they would use and the sort of company they would keep. There are some sample characters but no tables or rules for creation like the previous chapter, instead this chapter is more food for thought. Reading through makes you look at the world of Darkness from a different perspective. 

 

 

Chapter Three: The Righteous and the Wicked

  

This chapter does for cults what chapter one does for zombies. Rules for creating your own cult, ways in which they would operate, religious and none religious reasons for forming a cult, etc etc. It talks about how cults recruit new members and how they keep them in the fold, including detailed mechanics for brain washing and deprogramming. There are of course an abundance of story hooks 

here, advice on running a mystery game involving a cult and how to flesh out their rituals in to something more than standing in a circle, wearing robes and chanting. 

 

 

Chapter Four: Fear Given Form

 

This is the most crunchy chapter of the book and is basically a collection of monsters that didn’t fit in anywhere else. They range from the more traditional monsters, all teeth and claws, to the more esoteric, like the internet... the evil internet that is. After the last three chapters, you would be forgiven for thinking this chapter is just a collection of leftovers with no uniting theme. However, the creatures here are all fleshed out so well you will be able to drop them into pretty much any game you are running. When i was re-reading this book for this review i was amazed at just how many of the creatures here I had used in my games and not just for mortal characters: Aswang, The Hunger, the Living Web, Toxicum Mold have all help terrorise my players at some point and have all worked brilliantly. If you are stuck for ideas and need something to for your game quickly then this is THE chapter, no matter what game you are running. 

 

 

Conclusion

  

This is not a Monster Manual, it is not a collection of stats, this is about creating a thought-provoking, unique antagonist for your game that your players will not see coming. It can be used for coming up with a idea quickly or for a long-running story arc. The information in this book is unlike most supplements for other RPGs, it is as much about working the antagonists into your game as the antagonists themselves. It questions what we think of when we think of monsters and gets you thinking about different perspectives on the World of Darkness, helping to keep you games fresh. If you are running a supernatural game then this will be useful, if you are running a mortals game however, this is essential! 

 

5 Star Rating: Highly Recommended 

 

You may also like to read:

 

Armory Second Sight World of Darkness Core Book God Machine Chronicle

 

Want to try another system?

RIFTS: Ultimate Edition Witchcraft Dark Heresy Call of Cthulhu