Short version: Geist: The Sin-Eaters is a great concept of an RPG, but the execution for the game is horrendous. I actually found out recently from someone with social ties to the old White Wolf company that, due to deadlines, what when to press was exactly what I had suspected–an unproofed draft revision, not a finished and polished product.
And, boy, did that lack of polish show; it’s rather sad when you find a powerset (The Rage) that is broken to the point of basically being a one-hit-kill attack that can be used in a crowded city street with no drawbacks… and it’s not as powerful/broken as one of the other powersets (The Boneyard), which is broken to the point where you can’t have that powerset and vampires in the same game setting without breaking suspension of disbelief or special pleading. And that’s not counting the references to rules that don’t exist, or mutually contradictory rules text on the same page, or occasionally in the same paragraph.
So, having tried to actually run a Geist game using the Rules As Written and finding that they were incredibly unbalanced, for the last two years I’ve been working (on and off) on editing the whole rules set to be a bit more balanced.
It’s been quite the exercise in applied game design (my next project will be creating my own game system and setting from the ground up, applying what I’ve learned here), and now I’m just about done to the point where the next step is playtesting and having other eyes look over what I’ve done.
Link to the Google Drive folder here; the rewrites are in the indicated folder, with the original text in the other folders (with analysis comments).
Any help is welcome