Midnight Roads (World of Darkness)


Midnight Roads (World of Darkness)

Midnight Roads is an expansion book for White Wolf’s “World of Darkness” setting. As such, it’s geared for “normal” (i.e. non-supernatural) PCs, though there is a lot here that will find use in a game featuring nomadic supernatural PCs, too. Promethean comes to mind immediately, of course, but nomadic changelings, werewolves or even vampires are quite possible player character group concepts. Frankly, in many ways this book is more useful for a “nomadic vampires” game than the older “Nomads” Vampire book.

It’s a fairly compact book, like many in the basic WoD series. After some (quite decent) initial fiction, the book starts off with a general look at the history and mythology behind the huge U.S. road & highway network, along with some useful hard data. While that network isn’t really all that old in global terms, there is a vast amount of mythology and urban legends surrounding it – largely due to America’s love affair with cars, in general. The book also looks at other ways of road travel (other than by own car, that is). Hitchhiking, bus travel, etc all get some mention along with some plot hooks.

The mid part of the book delves into rules mechanics, and seems quite decent. There are some new skill uses, and mechanics for both tuning up your own car or sabotaging someone else’s. There are also some coverage of things like car chases, offensive driving, smuggling etc (from a rules mechanics viewpoint). Quite useful, assuming you’re using the WoD ruleset of course.

The last parts of the book cover storytelling, along with a bunch of story/plot ideas and some more fleshed-out scenarios. As most things like this, they are a mixed bunch and will appeal to different people. All scenarios that happen “on the road” must of course handle the question of “well, why don’t the characters just drive away when things go bad?”. The solutions range from the railroady “they can’t, because (whatever)” to the more subtle “they won’t want to, because (something else)”…. or even “by they time they realize they should run, it’s way too late”. Some of the scenario ideas are a bit simplistic, but a few are quite good and creepy.

All in all, a good sourcebook for WoD games (supernatural or not) which intend to spend some time “on the road”. The book gives you some history (only useful for U.S. -based games, though), some useful game mechanics, and a pile of plot & scenario seeds.

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