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Shadow World: Emer III $18.00
Average Rating:5.0 / 5
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Shadow World: Emer III
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Shadow World: Emer III
Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises
by Maximiliano T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/26/2014 09:18:23

Just as the Xa-Ar book, this new wave of Shadow World products is filled with new stories, new artifacts and regions to explore. Not only that, but the south east of Emer has been described only lightly in all books so far, so it is great to finally know that is going on there! The book includes the lifestyle of many cultures, their interaction with a rich environment and lots of game mechanics to handle rainforest hazards. It also completes a lot of the story about some organizations that were previously mentioned. Many of the plot hooks in this book should very well be considered for any campaign you are currently running in Shadow World.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadow World: Emer III
Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises
by Sebastian K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/23/2014 15:26:39

Got my softcover version last week from England. The distribution setup works out nice. Had it been shipped from the US I'd still be waiting.

Material: The quality is in line with Cloudlords of Tanara and Xa-ar. In short: Solid! The paper has a good feel to it. The colors come out crisp and the spine makes a quality impression. I opted for softcover because these fit right in with my other ICE products from way back when. And although the PoDs are brand new, they pick up the thread where the old ones stopped. Overall I was impressed with the volume of this new tome. Given it's size, it still is a pleasure to read.

Structure: For me, this is the biggest plus aside from the captivating content. First of all, I really like the logical structure given to material released for Rolemaster and Shadow World. All the books I ever held in hand were very well executed and included an introduction, a clarification of abbreviations, the game material itself, followed by tables and a search index. This is paramount for internal product contingency and makes it possible to put aside a book and come back to it - maybe even years later - and still be able to quickly find what you're looking for. Being able to sift through 30 years of gaming material while using the same indexing mechanism is probably unique to gaming industry products and reveals a distinct level of professionalism.

Layout: Then there is the matter of type setting and formatting. The reason why I tend to buy and collect older publications is that they are for the most part "black text ond white paper" in a recognizable letter size. One evil that came with electronic publications was the idea to cram more words onto a single page because anybody with a computer could simply magnify the page on his monitor until it appeared readable. What works out with 140% magnification does not work out when trying to read the printed product. The often seen habbit of putting full scale full color illustrations underneath the text made things only worse. The production run in tiny print saved the publisher about six to ten pages while giving the product a miserable usability. Reading tiny print on full color pages is a real pain. So, based on these observations, when looking at Emer III, I am happy to see a book where everything was done just right:

  • Well selected type setting
  • Good formatting
  • Readable, black on white two column layout to make for an enjoyable reading experience

All in all: Great work !!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadow World: Emer III
Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/12/2014 04:37:47

Everyone who is familiar with Terry Amthor's work knows that his books are high standard. Emer III is no exception. It's all there: a rich history, detailled descripions of cultures, cool locations, maps, layouts, adventures etc. But what really sets Terry Amthor's books apart is the fact that they are so much fun to read. They don't read like a dry sourcebook at all. The texts are so full of details, history and background, you just can't put it away until you've read it all through. All in all, the setting of Emer III is quite exotic and even a bit unusual for RPG adventures. This is not your usual run of the mill fantasy sourcebook. The exciting jungles and rainforests described here made me want to stop my currently running campaign and start an explorer-type campaign right away.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadow World: Emer III
Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/08/2014 11:45:40

The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=41136.

Emer Atlas III is a Shadow World sourcebook for Rolemaster, detailing the southeastern areas of the Emer continent. It contains a very in-depth look at the regions history (including a very detailed timeline), geographical features, flora, fauna, cultures, climates, weather, NPCs, adventure hooks, and the kitchen sink. It’s presented in an extremely straight-forward, easy-to-read manner and flows quite nicely from beginning to end. The majority of the book is dedicated to pure source material that can be translated to any fantasy system desired and then supported by Rolemaster/Rolemaster Classic/Rolemaster Fantasy/every Rolemaster version currently supported. These mechanics are presented in a supportive manner, completely disconnected (physically, as in layout) from the source content, preventing them from getting in the way. Thus, you can casually read through all the source material and then come around it again at the end through the use of the mechanics.

Calling Emer Atlas III a sourcebook is simply not enough. It is THE sourcebook detailing the southeast of Emer. In other words, this isn’t your standard sourcebook; it sets quite an amazing benchmark. Let’s start at the beginning with the region’s history. Author Terry Kevin Amthor chose not to simply provide the readers with the basic historical look at the region. Instead, he got down to the absolute nitty-gritty, bringing you all the way back to the very first intelligent roots that arose in the region. He then takes you through this entire history leading up to present day (this spans 200,000 years). I will admit that I often became confused by the fantasy-lingo used during this timeline, but the more I read, the more I understood.

From here, the book moves into an extremely detailed look at the region’s climate, geography, flora, fauna, and inhabitants. Funny enough, I could have sworn this section was written by a climatologist and geographer, or a general scholar of those items. I was floored by the amount of information, but better yet, how plausible, believable, and realistic it seemed. I know those are basically the same thing, but that’s how I felt. Best of all, it was written in a way that can be easily referenced at a later time. This is mainly due to how they formatted the headers by including the climate zones in the headers of each applicable item (such as a particular poisonous plant).

After this highly-detailed information, the book moves on to what I would consider a more typical sourcebook format. It reviews the major areas within the southeast region, detailing the cultures, inhabitants, NPCs, and cities (with maps). There is a bit of a background story relating to the waxing and waning powers within the region and their source; a short chapter is given over to detailing this further and outside of the other content that its typically dropped into. Finally, Emer Atlas III takes everything you’ve already learned and gives it meaning by providing eight adventures and adventure hooks (the really short ones I would consider adventure hooks). What I would consider an appendix provides maps of the region and a chart of applicable fantasy weapons.

All in all, Emer Atlas III is an amazing book. If you are a Shadow World fan, this is a definite must have to expand your world in such a detailed manner. If you are just a Rolemaster fan, then you’ll be provided with a vast quantity of adventuring ideas, NPCs, weapons, and cultures to drop into your game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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