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Heroes of Thornwall
 
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Average Rating:4.9 / 5
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Heroes of Thornwall
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Heroes of Thornwall
Publisher: Mechanical Muse
by Nathan L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/29/2016 19:24:13

Wow fantastic product! Beautiful presentation and very theroughtly thought out. I look forward to using this setting and adventure in a campaign. Looking forward to your Kickstarter.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Thornwall
Publisher: Mechanical Muse
by Rutskarn S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/23/2015 01:23:47

Disclosure: a friend of mine worked on art and design for this project. That's how it came to my attention.

The proliferation of fantasy gaming and narratives over the years have been a godsend to tabletop; it's easier to find and convert new players than it's ever been. But these new players are making the jump from big-budget fantasy films and videogames steeped that come steeped in the tropes of tabletop. They are wise before they ever sit down at the table, and in a lot of ways, they are harder than ever for new GMs to handle.

You've got to run a game with all the classic home-grown fantasy tropes players want...but none of the cliches and universe contrivances that hours of browsing TV Tropes and picking nits with guildies have taught them to spot and turn into punchlines.

The fantasy world and towns you build aren't compared to the mental pictures they composed reading Lord of the Rings in middle school. They're compared to Stormwind, Whiterun, and Peter Jackson's Laketown--vivid contexts rendered visually by thousands of artists at the top of their fields.

Most new players will want, in their hearts, a heroic narrative for their first campaign. But they've been trained to be cynical and opportunistic by fantasy gaming that don't marry mechanics with humanity, and the need to loot and grab and level up at all costs is not easy to suppress.

If I'm going to recommend a sourcebook for GMs running their first campaign, it'll need more than a hundred new proper nouns, a magic rehash, and the standard booster pack of redundant races and prestige classes. It'll need more than a premade adventure that hits the right beats and ends by writing a check for the GM to cash all on their own. It will need to offer the GM resources they can actually use: a world that feels right, fantasy that's classic yet grounded in history and internal logic, and lessons on how to bring out the inherent goodness in both player and nonplayer characters. I've never seen a sourcebook provide these with such precision and grace before Heroes of Thornwall.

This book is full of stuff, and precisely none of it is bullshit. It's not a worldbook that leaves an inexperienced GM to fill in the big fat Google Maps blanks on the fly; it makes a complete, detailed, and accessible resource of one town. Every page of this can provide a face-to-face scene, an emotional hook, or an answer to a player's gotcha question. This is a book you can use.

The starting adventure is pretty good. It's nothing fancy, but you probably don't want to get fancy on new players anyway. A good bit of thought has gone into making it feel grounded and providing the GM answers to players' fridge logic or genre savvy. To give an example: the adventure centers around hunting down and butchering goblins. I decided my character, a young priestess I styled as inexperienced and a touch naive, had decided that goblins were not congenitally evil but a victim of rough and ragged circumstances. It's a pretty well-worn trope, but it's one that's very plausible and one most fantasy publishers don't acknowledge--I've played way too many campaign starters that didn't put more than a fig leaf over the invasion and terrorism of another intelligent species. But what would have been an obnoxious and premise-stretching attitude in a WotC product was, in this adventure, the setup to a great scene--because it's difficult to argue nature and nurture when the newborn horrors of a goblin spawning pit are swarming to devour you alive, and it's difficult to be smug when your mace is covered in the brains of infants. Perversely, but memorably and successfully, Temple of Mordren justified our characters' heroism by having us kill babies. It couldn't have avoided the problem more deftly or naturally.

If you're looking for a Pathfinder sourcebook that provides a classic experience with modern grace and thoughtful design, look into this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Thornwall
Publisher: Mechanical Muse
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/17/2015 22:33:33

A very impressive first release by an independent publisher. Very polished and detailed, and rivals the established publishers for fit and finish. I am happily surprised at how professional it feels, with great art, lots of attention to detail and no glaring editing and proofreading errors. The content itself is interesting and will help lead you into many adventures in what promises to be a lively and interesting new world.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Thornwall
Publisher: Mechanical Muse
by Lars L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/04/2015 19:10:36

This book has just about everything you need to start a new campaign. There is just enough information about the history and world in which Thornwall is set to get things rolling for players, but the star of the show is the immense and immersive town of Thornwall. The author gives detailed descriptions of the locations and includes tempting little sidequests from some of the more interesting NPCs and Places to make any PC want to just spend a few game sessions in town. The Goodwill mechanic adds some spice to PC interactions and the adventure included in the supplement brings it all together.

Oh, did I forget to mention that the maps and art are all top notch and the price is only a recommended $8 for 160+ pages of rpg goodness! If you just need to flesh out a town in your own campaign then this is well worth the price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Thornwall
Publisher: Mechanical Muse
by Kevin R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/01/2015 18:38:28

What a fantastic book! The quality is on par with anything you would get from Wotc or Paizo, a difficult deat to achieve for an indie publisher. The detail is excellent and adds a depth to your campaign. Players want to burn a roof? You have stats for the building. What can you eat at the Tavern? Covered.

Buy this and you will not be dissapointed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Thornwall
Publisher: Mechanical Muse
by Matthew E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/01/2015 14:26:03

Exciting new campaign setting with strong foundation to build future games upon. Family and friends are enjoying this original storyline. Outstanding production quality of the book, maps and artwork.

Looking forward to getting print versions of the maps in the near future to use in my games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Thornwall
Publisher: Mechanical Muse
by Eric B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/28/2015 15:00:35

Tremendous amount of detail - right down to actual recipes you can make in your own kitchen for everything on the menu in the tavern. Great dungeon crawl for characters just starting out with a ton of additional possible role playing opportunities in the town of Thornwall.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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