DriveThruRPG.com
Close
Close
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
The Compass of Celestial Directions, Vol. VI - Autochthonia $11.99
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
19 5
6 1
0 0
1 0
0 0
The Compass of Celestial Directions, Vol. VI - Autochthonia
Click to view
The Compass of Celestial Directions, Vol. VI - Autochthonia
Publisher: White Wolf
by Adam E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/03/2012 21:59:43

Overall, this added a lot of depth to Autochthonia that was pretty nifty. There were several design changes I did not agree with and a few hiccups, but I'd have to reread the book to remember what they were off the top of my head.

Good read, would buy again.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Compass of Celestial Directions, Vol. VI - Autochthonia
Publisher: White Wolf
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/20/2012 23:59:07

Exalted has a reputation for being able to deliver fantastic locations and civilisations, but none can hold a candle to Autochthonia. This enormous Realm cast in brass and shadow is nothing less than the clockwork body of a god with an expanse large enough for eight nations. The description throughout the whole book lends itself to a dangerous, over-industrialised semi-lit place of constant noise, smoke, steam and claustrophobia.

It is easy to imagine how this place will stand a firm place in a gamers’ memory. Added to this is the descriptive of the highly ordered, structured and caste-based civilisation which is a commonality to all of the eight kingdoms (with some differences, as I’ll discuss later). The reader is given a great sense of how organised and efficient their society is, and this structure is the lens through which all threats to the already dying Realm must be viewed. On the surface the Voidbringers, as the greatest threat are named, seem to be innocuous – until you realise the enormity of their heresy. The book does challenge our ingrained individualistic mindset and invites us to wear another psyche and skin for a while – which is exactly what I want to do in an RPG. From this point of view the book is a massive success in my mind.

The interesting point about the societal baseline which is established in the opening chapters is that subsequent descriptions found in the eight kingdoms show how each locale takes the baseline and applies it in a slightly different manner. In this way, the reader is shown true diversity, but one grounded in a single cultural experience. My hat is off to the writers who managed to achieve such a clever feat. I came out feeling that it is not just the geography and architecture which differs in each kingdom (check out Ixut for the best example by far), but the differences in belief, social interaction, work, values and law. This made it a pleasure to read, and entices me to set my next Exalted game here.

The penultimate chapter gives the Storyteller yet more tools to set this apart from the rest of Creation in terms of environmental hazards which make the journey through Autochthonia a memorable (albeit potentially lethal) experience. The last chapter acts as a default monster manual and again there is rich flavour to be had here (and I was glad to Ixut given some special consideration here too).

I haven’t read the Autochthonians sourcebook before this, but I am hoping that it will be a fine companion volume. Even without this knowledge though, I found no concept in the book difficult to grasp. Admittedly, setting a chronicle here would require the character creation and Charm rules in the aforementioned book – but the thematic and descriptive elements of this book will make the storytelling much easier. Also, I am glad to see this released as a single title – I originally read it in tis’ serialised version and it did not have the same impact as the full book did. In any case, this should be a ‘must-have’ on the shelf (virtual or otherwise) for all Exalted Storytellers.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Compass of Celestial Directions, Vol. VI - Autochthonia
Publisher: White Wolf
by Elizabeth G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/20/2011 13:37:16

Compass VI is one of the best products in the Exalted line. Like the rest of the Compasses, this book introduces part of the Exalted setting; in this case, it's Autochthonia, a technological world that is also the body of a slumbering god-monster. Unlike the rest, this one is purpose-built to make you and your players want to play a game there.

By default, Autochthonia is isolated from the rest of Creation, and its presentation in First Edition left many Storytellers puzzled--was it relevant to characters from Creation? Were Autochthonians limited to a "Locust Crusade" for resources, or could they interact with Creation in other ways? The Compass answers both of these questions with a resounding 'yes'. It would've been all too easy to write this book as a stand-alone setting, but instead the authors stuffed it full of plot hooks suitable for any Exalted game. It's the perfect complement to Manual of Exalted Power: The Alchemicals, but you don't have to run an Alchemical game to use it.

The book opens with a description of Autochthonia's society and general structure. It's very different from Creation's cultures, but the authors are careful to avoid making judgments about which is "better" or "worse". Of special note is the section on Voidbringers--a broad term encompassing anyone who threatens the stability of Autochthonia, whatever their reasons. It illustrates the complexities of Autochthonian society, rife with opportunities for plot-driving tension and conflict. Compare this chapter with the scenarios presented in Exalted: The Autochthonians, and you will be pleasantly surprised. Autochthonia is no longer a world where hordes of worker-drones toil in endless drudgery, just waiting to swarm into Creation and strip it clean.

And if you had any doubt that this was still the case, it will be erased by the writeups of the Eight Nations. These writeups are not dry summaries of economic, political, and military capabilities--they're detailed snapshots of believable, understandable cultures. Some of them suffered a bit thanks to the limitations of word count, but I was amazed at the amount of detail the authors managed to pack into such a tiny space. They also went to great pains to differentiate the nations from each other. Autochthonia is now home to a proto-capitalist state struggling with its first organized crime bosses, a nation based off Renaissance Italy with Mesoamerican trappings, and a heavily religious state that values love and passion above all else. (And that's just three of them.) The authors also included little writeups of Xexas and Loran, the two fledgling city-states mentioned in Alchemicals. Those lack the cultural details of the larger states, but make up for it with evocative set pieces.

The Reaches chapter has comprehensive rules for Autochthonia's unique environmental hazards, and it also introduces a useful new hazard mechanic. Naturally, it includes a great deal of description of the Reaches themselves, emphasizing that they are not just an endless series of metal tunnels. All of the Elemental Poles have writeups, which include compelling reasons to risk being boiled alive by steam or incinerated by lightning. Blight zones are now even more frightening, featuring visuals that would look right at home in Silent Hill. But the star of this chapter is the section on the unique features of Autochthon's body. Where else would you find a simulated replica of Creation built to imprison an ancient faerie king, or a monument-garden built to honor the Primordials that became the Neverborn?

The final chapter--the one most people skim over--is excellent. It features mechanics for the bizarre mutants of Autochthonia's poles, a whole list of new mutations, and easily-customized stat blocks for spirits. The NPCs section also includes two Exalts, the most badass mortal in Autochthonia, and the Viator of Nullspace--a competently-statted Deathlord-caliber opponent. The quality of the crunch in this section is excellent overall, though two of the NPCs could've been detailed better or differently. Oh, and befitting the first printed work of Robert "The Demented One" Vance, there's Alchemical Charms in there, too. Good ones.

All told, this book is a welcome addition to any Exalted library. The authors put a lot of work and care into this Compass, and it shows through on every page. Get it, you won't regret it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Compass of Celestial Directions, Vol. VI - Autochthonia
Publisher: White Wolf
by Morgan H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/18/2011 10:21:00

This book is hands down the best of the Compass of Celestial Directions Series, and numbers among the very best of the entire Exalted 2e line. Truly a must have for any Exalted fan. Autochthonia gives Creation a run for its money in the "coolest setting" competition.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Compass of Celestial Directions, Vol. VI - Autochthonia
Publisher: White Wolf
by william p. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/17/2011 16:43:13

For those who bought the subscription: we know how worthwhile this book is already even when we had to wait four months for it to come in piecemeal.

For those who have not bought this: the Autochthonian setting is almost in all ways superior to the individual Directions of Creation taken either seperately or as a whole. This is a setting in which mortals matter without depriving their native Exalts of chances for heroism, glory, and dramatic failure. Heroic mortals are one of the key backbones upon which life can exist in this otherwise hostile alien environment. There is truly no limit to the possible diversity of games one can tell within the steampunk magitech confines of the Realm of Brass and Shadow without ever touching Creation or other realms of existence.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Compass of Celestial Directions, Vol. VI - Autochthonia
Publisher: White Wolf
by shawn w. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/17/2011 16:34:16

Having waited about nine years for this book all I can really think to say is that it was worth every second of waiting. I fell in love with Autochthonia and the Alchemical Exalted way back in the early days of first edition when reading Time of Tumult. When Exalted the Autochthonians came out I was extremely disappointed with how little we actually got about Autochtonia. Now some years later I've finally gotten the product I'd wanted back then. If anything this book has only managed to increase my love for Autochthonia. The writers all deserve a great deal of praise. Now if only the print on demand version would come out I could give White-wolf more of my money.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 6 (of 6 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates