Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem wasn’t a perfect game. Throwdowns, its fanciful term for when two grunting crews of motorcyclists settled their differences by any means other than words, were a colossal waste of everything but ego — which in hindsight was an entirely suitable, if accidental, commentary on stupid machismo. But like the rest of Gale Force Nine’s licensed catalog, it carried itself with enviable thematic cohesion, capturing the petty squabbles, unchecked greed, and hooting apeness of its source material.
Contrast that against Vault of Dragons, the systematic sequel of Sons of Anarchy that transports the action from Charming, California to Waterdeep, Not California. Set in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, what thematic core does it capture? Tedium? An over-reliance on dice? Overburdened game systems? Because as far as I can tell, those are what Vault of Dragons values most.