Well, I have been quite looking forward to this since it was first announced and happily backed the Kickstarter to see it come to fruition. So, what is the actual end result and was it worth my money ?
The very quick answer to these questions are : Mighty fine and Hell yes !
The longer answer is here but first I must state that this review is based on the PDF and not the Printed Product as the latter hasn't yet arrived with me but is due oh so very soon and I decided to write this up now:
FIRST IMPRESSION : The Art is, like all Cakebread and Walton products excellent. They really have some great artists onboard (no pun intended... well, ok maybe a small one) who really create excellent visuals. This cover is so evocative and wants to really draw you in. The choice of font is good too and the layout adds rather than detracts from the feel of the product. The page count means this is one hefty tome too coming in at 349 pages (actually 347 less cover and the blank last page). So, all good so far.
THE RULES : The rules are a tweaked version of RENAISSANCE DELUXE also by Cakebread & Walton . The system is based on the D100 percentile rules that will be oh so familiar to players of Runequest, Call of Cthulhu and a stack of other games meaning most roleplayers will have a good grasp of the mechanics from the first read. For anyone new to gaming the D100 system is one of the easiest rulesets to pick up and understand which makes this (and the other Cakebread & Walton Renaissance Series games) a good starting point and also good for kids as well as adults. I really like the inclusion of Talents which works really well and Doubloons which are basically like "Bennies" from Savage Worlds and allow extreme cinematic Swashbuckling actions to be made by the players. The addition of a "Black Spot" on the back of one of these bennies really adds to it . Draw that one and you will have a really bad day :). I hope that C&W somehow make these available as a physical product at some stage as that would be a truly awesome addition.
THE SETTING : Now, the Setting. Well, let's face it THIS is what the game is about. The best way to describe it is to think 7th Sea combined with D&D, Deadlands and Pirates of the Caribbean all rolled into one with an additional multitude of ideas and thoughts as well. P&D is set on an Earthlike world around what would be our mid 18th Century but with magic and fantasy permeating it for good measure. Just one part of the world is covered: A Caribbeanesque sea and lands full of mystery and adventure. As you would expect from the title both Pirates and Dragons play quite a large part in the setting. The Dragons have made this part of the world their own. Evidence exists of a once mighty Draconic Empire on a closeby continent but for whatever reasons the remains of this empire are little more than crumbling ruins. The simple fact is that dragons are now here, in the isles along with their associated wealth due to their love of gold. Mix in some external powers entering the islands not dissimilar to the Western Powers of 18th Century Earth, local tribes, an insectoid race and the Pirates and you have a hotbed of intrigue and danger with lots of swashbuckling.
OVERALL : The book is well written and is a credit to Messers Cakebread and Walton. Long may they keep up their purveying of fine games ! There is also some good support coming for the setting and I suspect the next few years will see some real expansion of this world. I would love to see more fiction about it and also further sourcebooks as well as Doubloons ! I have just scratched the surface of the product here to give an overview. Buy it , read it, play it and enjoy it !
[5 of 5 Stars!]