?The Gates of Troy? is a sourcebook specific to detailing the history and presenting the setting of Troy on the eve and during the Trojan War. It includes information on the occupants of the city generally, and focuses on the key players as set out in Homer?s ?Iliad?. Dungeon masters interested in running this setting, or simply seeking a resource to provide the basis for their own similar setting, will find this product useful.
I have divided the review according to the major sections of this product in order to provide some idea as to the underlying structure.
Playing in the Heroic Bronze Age
This section sets the scene for the time period. It discusses character races, classes, skills, feats, equipment, magic, and monsters / mythical creatures. The suggestions range from what classes are appropriate for the setting to what adjustments should be made to core skills to maintain the correct flavor of the setting.
A History of Troy
This section begins with the founding of the city and proceeds to provide an overview which proceeds right up to the commencement of the Trojan War. Those familiar with the story will recognize, among others, the names of King Priam, Paris, and Helen. It also includes sample stat blocks for both a Trojan Guard and Trojan Warrior.
This section attempts to familiarize the reader with the flavor which should set using this setting apart. It provides sample Trojan names and discusses government, the military, religion, and trade. Included in the discussion is a stat block for one of the noted council members.
The Geography of the Troad
The area surrounding the city is presented in seven different sections in sufficient detail to allow a dungeon master to map out a countryside that will bear some resemblance to the accepted legendary setting. If your players want to cross the Plains of Troy or walk along the banks of the River Scamander, this section provides the material you will need to set the scene.
The City of Troy
Setting the scene within the actual city is the subject of this section. Initially, it presents background information on the city, including demographic information such as the population, size of military units, and a table for urban encounters. There is also a very well done image showing the city from an aerial view. While the drawing provides an idea of the general layout of the city, including the relationship between the major units of the city, it is not a useful map for a role playing game that relies heavily on mapping locations. This image labels the major regions of the city and a couple of key areas. Otherwise, it is impossible to navigate the city using this image. I should also note that inset on this page are two regional maps in different scales of the area surrounding Troy.
Any dungeon master hoping to run this campaign will, of necessity, have to create any desired maps. This includes city wide maps as well as more focused maps, such as for the palace. If you are looking for a setting that provides all the maps that are required, this product is not for you. Given that this product focuses on one city, more maps would be appropriate.
The Fall of Troy
This section plays out the legendary scene of the fall of Troy and the Trojan horse.
Using this Book
This short section presents the dungeon master with a handful of options to use the information presented. The suggestions here are mostly obvious and not presented with sufficient depth and analysis to warrant inclusion in this product.
Ten people are described and presented in this section, including stat blocks. They are the king and queen, Paris, Helen, Hector, Aeneas, Theano, Cassandra, Helenus, and Sinon. The priest class is also set out in traditional format in this section. The priest is a more studious and less martial class than the core cleric.
This section presents a number of stat blocks, including the ten heroes, in OGL Ancients (Mongoose Publishing) form and includes variant rules introduced in the text of the book in the OGL Ancients format.
This product accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do admirably. The biggest fault of ?The Gates of Troy? is that a sourcebook focused on one city should set out maps for that city. The maps provided should be sufficient for a dungeon master that does not map out every step taken by a character to rely only on the provided maps in running the campaign while inside the city. Maps of the major regions of the city, such as the palace would have been a good place to start.
However, for those of you willing to do some mapmaking, add a star to my rating and you can be happily campaigning in this legendary setting.
To rousing gaming and ample rewards,
- Legendary setting.
- Presents the setting without getting overcome with historical details.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>:
- Lack of maps.
- Minor error in Table of Contents.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>