This free guide to organized NeoExodus-play is 23 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 20 pages of content, so let's check this out!
NeoExodus' idea is one of a setting involved in a meta-plot and NeoExodus-legacies-scenarios will deal with mini-campaign-arcs that allow players to shape the future of the setting - at least that's the idea. This being an organized play-guide, it includes basic terminologies and sets the rules for organized gaming by specifying types of adventures and how e.g. item-acquisition in a scenario is handled.
We also get a short primer on the history, nations of the setting, religions and dangers. The pdf also uses a 20-point-buy for attributes, specifies legal races and classes etc. as well as special rules for classes: Gunslingers must e.g. be from the Arman Protectorate, Alchemists may replace brew potion with extra bombs etc. Religions come with a table of alignments and domains and HP-progression of characters is fixed as well, with 3400 GP being starting gold.
Characters are supposed to be sponsored by a patron, who may or may not be known to the player. & sample patron organizations/courts are provided and the entries are interesting per se and they come with requirements and benefits. The pdf also sets the rules for organized play:
No PvP, only "extra gold" rewards when replaying scenarios, no bullying/being a jerk, only one character per player per scenario, no trading/selling between players. As soon as a character reaches 4th level, they can't be modified further apart from retraining. Each player may have only one combatant creature.
DMs are told to award creative solutions (which is nice) and handling death is also a part of the deal as is advice on elementals of courtesy like turning off cell phones etc. Also cool: Players will have the option to ask the Kaga and gather word on the streets. Each NeoExodus Legacy module grants between 1 and 9 XP. As soon as a character reaches 9 or a multiple of 9 XP, they gain a level. The monetary/item rewards, LRs for players and DMs and max item available per level-limit.
Prestige-acquisition is covered via Favors as using favors for NPC-spellcasting, item favors etc. is covered. The book also has 3 pages of lists covering the allowed books and 1 page that covers a sample Level Record, but no blank level-record sheet to print out, which is a pity.
Editing and formatting are ok, while I noticed e.g. punctuation glitches and e.g. words that should have been bold but weren't, the problems are minor. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's 2-column parchment-background standard and is a beauty to behold, including really neat artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and with a lite version for tablets etc., which is neat as well. All right, so this is the organized play handbook for NeoExodus? Well, from what I could tell, it looks like we'll get an interesting campaign out of the modules - and that's the point. For me, the success of organized play mostly depends on the quality of adventures and the consequences the respective prestige-gathering has on the setting/factions. Only time will tell how NeoExodus will handle them. For now, in no small part due to this being a free pdf, I'll settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for a nice organized play guide that features some good pieces of advice for players and DMs alike and could be interesting especially for novices to the world of roleplaying.
[5 of 5 Stars!]