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Guide to the Sabbat Hardcover – Mar 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Mar 1999
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: White Wolf Pub; Revised edition (March 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565042638
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565042636
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 2 x 28.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #407,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

The grotesque lords of humanity? The pitiful wretches of eternal hell? We are vampires, and that is enough. I am a vampire, and that is far more than enough. I am that which must be feared, worshipped and adored. The world is mine -- now and forever. No one holds command over me. No man. No god. No prince. What is a claim of age for ones who are immortal? What is a claim of power for ones who defy death? Call your damnable hunt. We shall see whom I drag screaming to hell with me. The Guide to the Sabbat examines the Sabbat exhaustively from the antitribu, or "anti-clans, " that populate its ranks, to the terrifying Disciplines they use, to their methods of waging war on the Camarilla and Antediluvians alike. This book also explores the Sabbat's progress in its war effort, chronicling the Cainites' inexorable spread across the East Coast and back to their usurped territories in the Old World.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Before I read this book, I knew very little about the Sabbat. From what little I could gather from various websites, it appeared to be a formalized gathering of anarchists, antitribu, Tzimisce, Lasombra, and other malcontents who chose to set themselves up as an opposition sect to the Camarilla. Masquerade? BAH! Kine are food. Allow your hunger to run rampant through the streets of the mortal world. Who cares? Gehenna is approaching and we must prepare ourselves for the coming battle. Ok. This book is much more than that. It outlines a much more involved code, rituals, and sociology. The Vaulderie and Vinculum bonds that result from it ... illustrate a genuine sense of vampiric camaraderie that may be imposed in the beginning, but that allows for disparate individuals to coalesce into efficient operatives dedicated to a mutual cause and immediate goal. In many ways the Sabbat is portrayed as a coalition of Cainite revolutionaries espousing understandably "human" traits, such as strength, loyalty, cooperation, and in some ways .... equity and order. They just approach things from a different perspective than the Camarilla. I agree with other reviewers who state that this book will provide more depth and dimension to the Sabbat, and if you roleplay and wish to start a Sword of Caine character - this is a resource you absolutely must acquire!
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If you're even remotely interested in the Sabbat then you should seriously consider getting this guide, as the core rulebook *barely* touches upon anything more other than Sabbat being "perceived as mindless savages and bloodthirsty fiends." This book is vital for players of Sabbat characters (and Sabbat-using Storytellers), even moreso than the Guide to the Camarilla is vital for players of Camarilla characters since much about the Camarilla is already covered in the core rulebook (but the Camarilla guide is still a nice book to have).
Just about everything about the Sabbat is discussed in depth, like initiation, ritae and war tactics. Factions in the Sabbat are covered as well as individual political positions. A specifically-Sabbat method of character creation is presented and Sabbat-appropriate Abilities and derangements are also present. Many Sabbat character templates are listed, which are all extremely helpful (and pretty interesting). There are advanced Discipline entries, usually for ranks 6-9, as well as types of Disciplines not featured in the core rulebook.
New shades of vampirism are presented here (though due to their awkwardness / susceptibility to abuse, not all are recommended as being playable): the twisted Blood Brothers, the ominous Harbingers of Skulls, the bizarre Kiasyd and the vengeful Salubri antitribu, as well as the gruff Panders, the Sabbat's own brand of Caitiff (who seem to have more status in their sect than the Camarilla Caitiff have in their own). Also, there are all the Camarilla clans' antitribu - excluding the Tremere antitribu (who do get a mention, however), for pretty permanent reasons.
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I love the Sabbat now. I've always found an attraction to the Lasombra but never the Sabbat as a whole. This book changed my perception. The Sabbat isn't a group of mindless killers as the Camarilla makes them seem, they are Crusaders against the ancient ones who would destroy them.
The books intro "Smart Moneys on Vegas" is very nice and is probubly my favorite opening fiction. It captures the mood of the Sabbat and keeps you moving through the introducion area that explains the Sabbat structure and internal strife.
The book moves to the numerous Anti-Tribes of the Sabbat and even special bloodlines that previous reviewers mentioned. One that didn't fit in to me though was a group called the Kiasyd, they are like Faeries but Vampires also... I don't see where they fit into the Sabbat or any sect for that matter.
The discipline section was medicore. Nothing to new, or ground breaking. Especially considering the neutral disciplines like Auspex are in Guide to the Camarilla. The path section is rather interesting, especially since it drills in that many sabbat aren't on paths and stick to humanity, most people can't take pathes dangers.
The section detailing Sabbat tactics for taking cities is amazing and a story based around a siege would be amazing. The tactics are varied especially due to Sabbat disciplines and considering that they already are good at fighting makes me wonder how the Sabbat could ever lose.
This book was very good all in all but my one complaint is that it really doesn't say much about what a Sabbat city really does when it isn't crusading? They weed each other out? Well, this book is still worth the price. It's information is invaluable.
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Every now and then, the Sabbat gets mentioned in our game -- only mentioned because I really didn't have the tools to make them more than paper characters. Now I do. In fact, now I have more information on the philosophy, politics, and social lives of what might be considered "one-third" of the vampire population in terms of the major categories the undead can be placed into. I really liked the comparison between elder and younger Sabbat members because it shows some of the tensions in the Independent and Camarilla groups too. A lot of time is spent on how to make a Sabbat character more than a stereotyped killing machine and how to make a Sabbat story more than a murder spree. One huge disappointment was the repetition of information about the various clans in the Sabbat -- I think the two page summary might be better worked into the more general discussion of the clans so one doesn't have to flip back and forth so much. I also think some stories from the view of "allies, antagonists and others" would strengthen the good job done on describing Sabbat packs and Sabbat society in general.
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