|Written by Keith Herber|
|Cover Art: Timothy Bradstreet|
The secrets of the Tremere are nearly laid bare in this book. Unfortunately, there aren't many. Several different factions are detailed, however, along with the Inner Circle and Tremere himself. The rumors flying about Clan Tremere make the entire book nearly worth it. The power groups within the Tremere should be enough to make some worry about them. I did appreciate the addition of St. Germain, but I've always felt he _somewhat_ would fit as a Tremere, if only he weren't so old.
I have it! I am now the proud owner of Clanbook Tremere. I own, and have read all the Clanbooks, Tribebooks, and Traditionbooks, so I like ot at least think I know what's going on with that particular topic. For those of you who do not have it, this is Clanbook: Tremere... or a reviw of it anyway.
Tremere is the most visually stunning of all the clanbboks. While Toreador and Nosferatu where good in this area, Tremere really takes the cake. The colors (Black, Gray, White, and purple) are all done very well, as are the pages.
Unlike most clanbooks, with the tradtional black on white text, Tremere uses the Black on gray style from Children of the Inquisition. Also, the pictures themselves are some of the best that I have seen yet. Although I must say that Nosferatu was better in the full page pictures.
The actuall book itself is very well done. A real credit to Keith Herber. Everything is documented and written very well. Truly reflecting the Tremere clan. All of the steps of the Tremere Pyramid are explained, as is the Tremer's rise to power and origins in the Order of Hermes. Much of the information presented in Clanbook: Tremere is also very usefull to have for Mage: The Ascension.
While most of the Clanbooks gave either vague or overgeneralized information regarding the sterotypes of the other factions, Tremere did not have this problem. Each of the numerous factions, and a few others, where mentioned and elaborated on.
There is also more information on Thamaturgy (Of course.) and demons. The demon information was very usefull to me.
The character templates in Tremere are far better than I had expected. While I was expecting a reasonably boring group, the templates given show a lot of personality and style. Something that most earlier writing on the Tremere lacked.
The NPC section of Tremere was deffinitley the best I have read. So far it has had the most NPCs of any clanbook, as well as the best choice. While many of the NPCs from other clanbooks (Toreador and Gangrel in particular) where nearly useless, the Tremere NPCs are all important to any Tremere character, and should be feared by all. The entire Inner Circle of the Tremere is given, as is the leader of the Tremere Antitribu, and the Antideluvian Tremere himself is listed.
Tremere is definitley worth the $10 I've spent on it.
ART: Pretty good. The interior art got the "magical" mood across very well but I still have one question, what were all the little tattoo-like marks on the tremere foreheads? Are they some sort of ranking system? They couldn't be the Anti-tribu markings, there were so many of them, it _was_ CB:Tr not Clanbook: House Goratrix.
STORY/HISTORY: Not bad. (I didn't read it thouroughly, I'm a Malkavian) My pet peeve is that they're still changing around the facts in the Tremere/Saulot thing, now stating that the Third Eye did not appear until _after_ Saulot's Final Death. And the rumours section was great for scaring clan members and outsiders alike.
CLAN SETUP: This is where the book showed its quality IMO. The pyramid structure is well explained and the various "Secret Orders" are well thought out. I also liked the allusions to Tremere's roots in the Order of Hermes. I missed a few things though; in other books the Tremere are hinted as having a Revenant family employed and I would have liked this explained or denied (or maybe just a name to build on).
VIEWS OF OTHERS: Again I liked the format WW has decided to stick with (i.e. first-person viewpoint). Again, I was a little dissapointed about the lack of specific info, this time the Tremere view of Clan Tzimisce, hinted in the Sabbat books as being cool and distrustful.
POWERS: Finally, the last word on Paths 5+. . . There are none! The rules on how to make your own path and the study requirements of the rituals are a great help (my ST has added the example Path of Resistance to our Tremere repretoire). The homoculi were fun, the demon-bound disturbing and the zombies...
NPCs: The Inner Council described in full. My favourites were Grimgoroth (the magus-example of character creation from 4th Ed Ars Magica), and the two women on council (with the Councillor from Africa the best of the two).
TEMPLATES: My favourites: Cultist, Nexus, and The Underestimated. I like the inclusion of a child-vampire (the Nexus) who searches to age her body to adolescence (and her motivation is very realistic). On the down side: Child of the Tremere ("Oh, yes, sir! Whatever the Council says is the undeniable truth and must be good for our clan." A lame duck with the word "TOADY" written in letters 10ft tall)
Overall: I liked it, CB:Tr is better than the Toreador book and ranks up there with CB:Malkvaian. A good buy, but note: be careful who reads the book, I may have spoiled bits of our chron. the book has a lot of info, some of which the ST may not want a non-Tremere to see.