I'll probably go to the complaints I've heard about the subject matter, and the WotC's release of the Book of Vile Darkness in a later post. However, at the moment I've got other commentary on my mind.
Around when the Demon book came out I heard a lot of noise about how bad it looked, how flat, and how uninspiring it was to see a new set of templates and powers. So, until a couple days ago I didn't even bother to look at it. Then I was bored one day at my gaming store and I sat down to take a look... I was rather surprised to find that fully a quarter of this "uninspired book of templates" was rules-less background, flavored with some very interesting character's viewpoints. I do, therefore, wonder if perhaps these reviews simply skipped reading the setting material and went strait for the pretty pictures and rules. I am saddened to say that it appears so, because those portions of the book are exactly what had been described. It makes me wonder why someone would have bothered with a White-Wolf game to begin with? Perhaps it was the fleet of dice you roll for a simple action... For that reason I've never really been impressed with the White-Wolf system, and frankly always tried to avoid it despite the amount that I love the settings and concepts.
Speaking of settings. The Demon the fallen book has been attacked as unnecessary and excessive evil and darkness in a system overwhelmed with evil and darkness. A powergamer's playground and many other such epithets have been thrown in the direction of the game. Frankly, after a first reading, it's no more broken than any other White-Wolf system, and less "dark" than Vampire... or even Werewolf if you get past the I'm-a-combat-ruling-machine aspect of it. Unlike *most* of the other "storyteller" games, the part after the semicolon is the key; "the Fallen." You, by and large, don't play some demonic entity looking to destroy the world - you play an angel, someone who made a choice (albeit an uneducated one that many regret) and were abandoned for it by the beings that meant the most to you. Yes, you can play a stereotypical, "I am evil as fucking sin, I will eat souls and ravage maidens" character, however you can do that in D&D (the game where Paladins are a base class), or most other games, if you are so inclined. That's not what the game is designed for... and if you think it is, leave the powers section and read the background- initially, they did the things they did not for spite or hate, but for love. That's all they had. Yes, it's an angst filled game. It's White Wolf, if angst is a problem then I'd advise you leave the section... you aren't going to be able to understand the premise of any of these games. [/bitterness]