I have, against all my better judgement, found myself becoming a raving Tribe 8 fan. So it was with bated breath that I rushed home from my local hobby store with my own copy of the Tribe 8 Companion. I went straight to my reading chair and began to devour it with ravenous eyes.
The results? The book is well written, well designed, and moderately useful. It is not, however, an essential product for the line and is more workhorse than brilliant.
To break down what the book does give you, it starts with two well written backgrounds for the "lost" tribes of Joshua and Mary. These are well written and add some depth to the setting, though I don't know that they would actually give you enough information to easily run a campaign based about those tribes.
Next up is a section on Quest Circles, which once again is well written, but only worth the amount of space it takes up if you intend to run a Tribal, rather than Fallen, campaign. The Dream Harrowers were, despite my problems with the section, absolutely brilliant. They were spiritual, terrifying, and almost pathetic all at once.
We next are treated to a section on the Keepers, the scions of the old world. This is a well done section that adds greatly to the Weaver's ability to use Keepers in their campaign. But once again it doesn't really give you enough to run a keeper campaign.
The weakest section of the book is the middle. Here we get two adventures, St. Christopher and the Croatan, and Sangreal. Of the two Sangreal is the better, but neither of them is exactly all that I would have hoped. They also suffer the flaws of all pregenerated adventures, limited usability and limited use in your personalized campaign.
The Weaver Resources section finishes out the book. It gives us more advice about the use of themes, and about using the new information (on the lost tribes, quest circles, and keepers) in your game. By and large this section was hugely uninspired and flat. Not terrible, but without anything that caught my attention. The section on Tribal economies was better, giving some solid numbers and advice on using the barter system, which is something many players have found difficult. The fact that it gave some population numbers and ideas also helped flesh out the world, though I had to wonder why that wasn't in the Vimary sourcebook. Finally there are the advanced combat rules, which bring the system more fully into the realm of melee combat specifics. They were well done and seem to play rather smoothly, but the truth is that unless you want hugely detailed combat scenes they are not necessary.
All in all that is the problem with The Companion. Though it is well written and laid out all the information in it is workhorse information that adds a little without truly expanding the world of Tribe 8. If you are going to have Keepers, or the lost tribes as a large part of your Chronicle, or if you want a Tribal campaign then the book is worth the price. If not then you are probably better spending your hard earned money on Vimary or Children of Lilith.