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Minireview: Blasphemies (Werewolf: the Forsaken)

While it still didn’t totally woo me on the new Werewolf, the Blasphemies book does a good job in providing some GM tools for both non-standard “origin myths” for werewolves and better fleshed-out antagonists of several different shades.

The book begins with the alternate creation myths. Nothing earth-shattering there, but I did appreciate the hints on how certain types of changes would change the game tone (not a bad thing necessarily), and what you can and can’t do without rewriting bigger parts of the game. It’s a decent overview of some alternate takes on werewolf world background, and may be useful to GMs dissatisfied with the stock version. It also provides background beliefs to some alternate Lodges (detailed later).

The next section detail various sort of spirit cults, and it’s perhaps the best part of the book. These cults are not necessarily antagonistic, though they often end up that way due to both spirits’ limited understanding of what makes humans tick and to the general “spirit police” role typically taken on by werewolves in this setting. Lots of example cults are provided, along with sample NPCs and plot ideas. Good stuff, this.

Next up is a section on alternate lodges, many of them following an “alternate” creation myth and view of the universe. Some are a bit ho-hum, but some are quite interesting. Not much else I can say here except that it’s a mixed bag and mostly good; the majority of the new Lodges (and “Mots”) are interesting, if quite specialized.

The book finishes off with a treatment on the Bale Hounds, the sort-of replacements for the Black Spiral Dancers of the old Werewolf game. Very useful if you intend to use them in your game, this section provides some tools for making them a bit less black & white villains… though in the end, that’s very much what they are. Some Bale Hound -specific game crunch is provided, which is always nice. I get the feeling that this section ran a bit long compared to the available page count – the font used here is smaller than in the previous sections, which already were in quite compact font. It’s still legible, but the pages are quite crammed with text in places.

In the end, this is a book pretty much purely for GMs who want some new antagonist options and/or some variants on the base mythology.

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