|Written by Teeuwynn|
|Cover Art: Drew Tucker|
The supernatural creatures of the World of Darkness tend to think of humans as little more than animals, ignorant of what really goes on in the shadows around them. The Gypsies think this of the supernaturals.
Not a review or even a rant, just a couple of comments.
WOD:Gypsies is similar to the old Mummy book, in that it's a WOD sourcebook for a new kind of WOD inhabitant, but it doesn't have the full set of Storyteller Rules. It's about the Gypsies, where they came from, what their purpose is, and their secret.
My only real gripe is that there's not a lot about the history of the real Gypsies. There's a story of their origin, and how their initial connection with the Ravnos and the Silent Striders was forged. But then there's not a lot about their real history, until World War II, when they were hunted down by the Nazis.
On the good side, I liked the feel of the book. Gypsies are outside of society, apart from the mortal world and the World of Darkness. As such, they know a lot. And their "secret" makes them the definate wild card when It (Gehena/Apocalypse/etc) arrives. While I know only a little about the Gypsies, I know enough to see that Teeuwyn did some real research.
Ick. Aside from the inherent cheesiness of making character sheets with "GYPSIES" printed across the top (now Gypsies are just fictional creatures in the World of Darkness), it doesn't add much to the world. Yeah, ok, the book can be used with Vampire, Werewolf, and Mage but anyone who would be putting Gypsies in a game had probably done their own research. Anyone who hasn't isn't going to be much inspired, I think. Ooh, ooh! A discipline kinda thing where you can hypnotize people with dancing! Scarves that you can do damage with! Where's the dancing bears? (Oh, wait, that's Animalism.) Fortunetelling! Theft! Long skirts & lots of jewelry!
Weird attempt at a disclaimer that this book doesn't reflect on real-life Gypsies (properly known as Romani or The Rom). Interesting vocab list, bibliography not useful, and generally not helpful book.
I admit that this book annoys me more than it might other people just because it's a subject I'd been working on for a while, and I respect Teuwynn as a writer, but this whole project just seems wrong somehow. Are they gonna do a World of Darkness: Orientals and have it all Fu Manchu and opium dens? Inscrutable Japs trying to take over the Western World? Oh, hey guys! Let's do World of Darkness: Negro with sports affinities and rap music as a form of Thaumaturgy. Don't forget that weakness for friend chicken and watermelon! I don't care about PC that much, but they seem to have forgotten that the Rom are a real people. Still around in modern day. Not particularly like the stereotypes portrayed in bad movies or books. It's sad in a way, but I suppose it could have been worse...