The Orphan's Survival Guide
Ever read a good crime book, like Andrew Vacchs, or early Rex Miller, or something that made you go, "Yeah! That's what it's like to be out there on the street, up to your ass in it!"? I have.
And this book ain't it.
The prose is purple, and the fiction is pulp. Don't get me wrong; it's not quite as irrelevant-seeming as Destiny's Price, or as worthless as Outcasts. It's better than those two books hands down. But it seems like it was written by a bunch of punk-wannabes out to set a record for how many times they could say the word "fuck" in a single book. Yawn. And, of course, breasts are displayed, perhaps as an artisitc statement, perhaps to sell books. (Actually, they are fairly discreet this time around!)
Information, which is what supplements are supposed to be about, is rich in some areas, sparse in others. To start, the supplement adds some much needed meat to the bones of information given about the Hollow Ones, but precious little to Orphans in general. Ironically, it doesn't give much of a common thread for the Hollow Ones to cling to; there's not even a loose consensus on what magick is. If they don't have one, why are they even a group? Attitude and similar fashion sense alone doesn't explain it! C'mon, WW, either the Darklings are a real group with real ideas behind them, or they're a statistical lump-together with no real connection to each other.
And what about Orphans who grow up in suburbs, or aren't struggling and homeless? The book doesn't say much.
Highlights: Oddly enough, the templates are somewhat inventive! And if you ever needed one more reason to dread the thought of homelessness or poverty, this book should do it. Plus, some actual magickal styles are discussed, and they don't all involve Victorian melodrama! WW even goes out on a limb and says "Not all Orphans are Goths!" Can I get an Alleluia!?
Lows: Attitude overkill. Flavor text usually works better (or at least is excused more)if there's enough information to warrant it. Plus, the rotes don't follow the rules in the Big Purple Tome, but you already knew that. Plus, White Wolf felt the need to throw in some signature characters, most of whom are eminently dispensable, but a few of whom are worth the space (Rev Dayjah Voo, for example!)
Style: 3 (Average)