[Review] Glimpses of the Unknown

Posted: July 21, 2011 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Reviews, Roleplaying Games, World of Darkness

Glimpses of the Unknown is White Wolf’s latest PDF product released for the World of Darkness. In a nutshell, the 50 page pdf is a compilation of plots and story seeds that GMs can use for their campaigns.

The book contains a whole slew of story ideas, arranged according to the various game lines in the new World of Darkness. Everything from vanilla World of Darkness, to Vampire: the Requiem, to Changeling: the Lost and even the mini-settings presented in World of Darkness Mirrors gets some love.

This is a predominantly GM-oriented product, as the story hooks are technically all spoiler territory for players.

The story seeds themselves are divided into two types. The usual Story Seeds which are about a paragraph long and present a hook or twist that could be used as a springboard to get player characters involved in supernatural weirdness, and Glimpses which are entire plotlines that discuss the issue, provide a backstory, and suggest possible means to resolve the storyline.

The one thing to note about all the above material is that is suggestive instead of authoritative. Ultimately, the GM is the one that decides the “truth” of the matter. This may end up annoying GMs who prefer to have everything statted out as the Seeds and the Glimpses do not have any NPC stats at all.

Rather than thinking of this as an “Adventure Module” I think it would be best to consider Glimpses of the Unknown as a book that addresses the common question of many new Storytellers: “Okay, I’ve got the book and read the rules, but what do my characters DO?”

Glimpses of the Unknown also introduces a few mechanics to the various game lines, but these are not really much in terms of heft. The Mage: the Awakening chapter for example, gives a new rote. Just one. The usefulness of the mechanics introduced in this book may vary depending on the GMs, but they’re not about to make this book a must buy on strength of mechanics alone.

Overall, Glimpses of the Unknown is a book that will come in handy if a Storyteller is feeling uninspired. The Seeds and Glimpses provided are all generally interesting, but whether or not they will see use in a campaign is solely up to the GM.

While the seeds are arranged according to game line, nothing is stopping people from grabbing a storyline from one line and using it in another, so thankfully the book’s usefulness doesn’t end with just the chapter specific to the game that the Storyteller is running.

I would recommend Glimpses of the Unknown to Storytellers who often find themselves without the time or inspiration to think up on new plots all the time. Ultimately, it makes for good reading, and with a little elbow grease, many of these plots could be recycled with a new coat of paint if necessary.

That said, this isn’t the book for you if you’re looking for more crunch. As I mentioned before, it’s there, but there’s not a lot to it. People going into this looking to use things to min-max characters are going to be disappointed.

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Glimpses of the Unknown is available through DrivethruRPG for $6.99 or roughly PhP 300.00

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Comments
  1. Jess Hartley says:

    Thanks for the review! It’s always so nice to see folks give our stuff a good read over! 🙂

    ~jess

    • Hi Jess!

      I’m glad you liked the review! I find that Glimpses really does address the concerns of the niche of Storytellers who are either too busy or who might not have as much experience with putting together a session for the World of Darkness. It’s a good thing to have around, and I’m glad that the PDF format is letting products like these out into the market at a reasonable price.

  2. Eddy says:

    Thanks for the review! 🙂

    • Hi Eddy!

      It was my pleasure. I keep on seeing a lot of new Storytellers pick up a game, then end up feeling lost and uninspired with what to do in a WoD game, so I feel that something like this is really handy.

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