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Yoon-Suin $7.56
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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Yoon-Suin
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Yoon-Suin
Publisher: Noisms Games
by Joseph R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/06/2019 23:10:20

This might be my favorite setting. Ever. It is such an atmospheric, horrifying dreamscape. Every one of the cultures and regions is thoroughly described and showcases elements of debauchery, decadance, and plain 'ole evil in ways that I adore. It is also somewhat modular due to the otherworldly nature.

One bugbear I've got with it is in the print version. Not enough care seems to have been taken for some of the columns in the bestiary, which can run over to the next page, or to some spelling and grammatical errors. Nothing gamechanging, just minor nitpicking.

This is highly recommended. Seriously, even if only for the bestiary with its strange monstrosities and ghosts and the tables for creating poisons and teas.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Yoon-Suin
Publisher: Noisms Games
by Fraser S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/04/2017 19:54:01

Beautiful layout and writing. I recently played in a campaign of this and loved it. Love the influences and being apart of a culture that felt exotic and foreign to a degree I hadn't felt before. The print copy looks great, especially for POD!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Yoon-Suin
Publisher: Noisms Games
by Stephen M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/06/2015 01:28:58

A reviewer said that this product contains writing of a quality inferior to that of other OSR products. That reviewer is dead wrong.

This is one of the few RPG materials that can be read as one would read a novel. The beginning features a fictional account of a "humble" traveller which had me spellbound.

Anyone who has read the Travels of Ibn Battuta, Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, or the Travels of Marco Polo will find him or herself in familiar territory. Inferior writing? The author mimics with great skill the style of these classic authors who have been immortalized.

I no Earthly idea what kind of yardstick the other reviewer was using.

The book takes a Do-It-Yourself approach, giving a GM the raw materials and directions with which he or she can create his or her own unique Yoon-Suin campaign. Directions are given to utilize the various sections to roll dice on a multitude of evocative lists, nudging the GM to use imagination and inspiration to flesh out scenarios, NPCs, conflicts, hooks, etc.

I recommend this book highly, if only for the edification of reading the introductory travel account. Very imaginative, inspired and inspiring, and well-constructed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Yoon-Suin
Publisher: Noisms Games
by Ahimsa K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/05/2015 13:01:58

Though marred by frequent typos and the level of writing seems not as good as other OSR products, there is no denying that Yoon-Suin is chock-full of amazing RPG goodness.

It is nigh impossible not to read this and get inspired in half-a-hundred ways. Really a work of imaginative triumph.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Yoon-Suin
Publisher: Noisms Games
by Sophia B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/21/2015 18:04:51

Yoon-Suin is tea and opium, sunset over the Yellow City, melancholy and a sense of stillness and still stand, slug-men and cockroach herders, impregnable high mountains and dangerous lush jungles, ghosts and demons, and being a foreigner in a strange land. Seldom have I seen such an evocative setting. The oriental/Asian flair makes this stand out from all those vanilla fantasy material. It’s like David McGrogan, the author, took Arabian, Indian and Chinese/Tibetan tales and spun them into a vibrant tapestry. Life is cheap in the ancient Yellow City. The highest caste, the slug-men, are well-educated, rich and cruel. Humans are divided into castes, from warriors, merchants and sailors to the lowest rank, the cockroach herders. To the west of Yoon-Suin lies Làhàg, the haunted jungle and the Hundred Kingdoms, and to the south the Topaz Isles and the Gulf of Morays, home of the Dragon and the asinine crab-men. To the north lies Lamarakh, the God River forest, where nomadic boat people live and farther even is the Oligarchies and then Sughd, Syr Darya, the Mountains of the Moon and Upper Druk Yul where the ancient dragons live. Finally, to the west is Lower Druk Yul, the home of the grasshopper-men.

The book has a really unusual format, 9×7. It’s a good choice for this kind of book but doesn’t fit into my bookshelf. The illustrations by Matthew Adams are gorgeous in a spindly/scribbles style. You’ll get over 300 pages of material. There’s a bestiary of 42 pages, unfortunately without artwork. Players can choose between human, dwarf, slug-man or crab-man (new class).

David McGrogan’s writing style immediately draws you in. At the beginning of the book is a great introduction into the setting, written from the point of view of a scholar who traveled Yoon-Suin and its surrounding lands.

The book gives you tons of tools to create your own setting. In fact, it embraces the sandbox style fully and has an abundance of random generators which help you to come up with hex map contents, random encounters, personalities, NPCs, rumors, hooks and more. I absolutely love the idea of creating my own poisons, teas and opium. No Yoon-Suin campaign will be the same. There is no default setting. The intro text sets the stage and gives you a frame within the GM can play with the random generators.

There are 4 main points of interest where a campaign can start:

The Yellow City and the Topaz Isles (political intrigue and city crawl) The Hundred Kingdoms and Làhàg (war, revolution, and exploration) Lamarakh and Lower Druk Yul (wilderness adventures, exploration, trade) The Mountains of the Moon and Sukh (political intrigue, exploration in the old dwarven cities) Every mini-setting comes with tons of tables, generators, sites of interest etc..

I find it interesting that the last setting which excited me that much was Strange Stars (aff) by Trey Causey (review here). He uses a completely different style. He paints his setting in broad strokes, gives brief descriptions and snippets full of flavor and fluff. But it’s a minimalist approach, with lots of room to flesh out your own world on your own. Yoon-Suin has encounter tables, an extensive bestiary, hex map locales and tons of generators. So while the two approaches are very divergent, they still achieve the same goal: a sense of wonder and enthusiasm for me, the reader and GM. Both products make me WANT to play in these settings as they are so rich and full of color.

What works? Bookmarked PDF, yay! The product succeeds at being a sandbox toolkit for old school role-playing games. It offers clear guidance on how to create your own setting with use of the thousands of generators, a bestiary, pre-generated adventure locales etc. Yoon-Suin really differs from your run-of-the-mill fantasy setting and it is carefully crafted, vibrant and something new and fresh. It has slug-men, opium dens & dragons and that works. Everything except the artwork is open content (OGL)! It’s unique.

What doesn’t work? Minimal prep, at least not for the initial setup. Yoon-Suin is a traditional OSR toolkit in this regard. Ok, this doesn’t really count as a criticism but if you buy it you should know it. The maps in the print version are a bit blurry and hard to read as they are originally in color, but the book is black and white. The PDF resolution is much sharper and the maps are in color (but the rest is black and white as well). The book could use more art. The stuff by Matthew Adams is pretty awesome, but there’s simply not enough in it. I would have appreciated illustrations of the bestiary. Sometimes the foreign names and foreign mythology (for a Western reader) makes the book difficult to read because you don’t immediately know what, let’s say, a Chu-srin is. So you’ll need to flip back and re-read stuff. The book doesn’t fit into my shelf.

TL;DR

OSR campaign setting with rules mostly suitable for B/X, new class: crab-men special snowflake setting with a Chinese/Oriental/Indian flair table-heavy book with tons of random generators tools to create your own sandbox campaign with help to make your own poisons, opium, teas four fleshed-out mini-settings with different foci more than 100 pre-written hex map locales more than 70 new monsters, for example, the War Crayfish great artwork vibrant, rich and fresh setting Disclaimer: I received a free PDF copy for reviewing purposes from the author. I bought the print edition from my own money.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Yoon-Suin
Publisher: Noisms Games
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/14/2015 10:09:54

This is a wonderful toolkit for building a RPG campaign (or region within) that will be identifiable but unique compared to others familiar with the same setting. It's wonderful, yeah I said that already but that's because it is. The author does more to present adventures an camapign building with a few paragraphs and a couple tables than one will find in entire published lines of books and this book itself is a good meaty tome. It's evocative and illustrative without locking one into specific canon or a preconceived notions of what a campaign setting is supposed to look like (maybe it has redefined that notion).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Yoon-Suin
Publisher: Noisms Games
by Zak S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/03/2015 06:46:54

This is a magnificent book -- an Eastern setting that doesn't rely on any Wuxia cliches, yet still manages to feel coherent and flexible. The tables included generate an amazing sense of momentum toward the adventure you'll be aching to run once you roll on them.

This book is an inspiration.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Yoon-Suin
Publisher: Noisms Games
by Allen H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/22/2015 13:24:07

This is an incredible product for sandbox games. There is enough area description to get a good idea of what the feel for the region is (like 1st edition AD&D Forgotten Realms grey box, before the supplements explored every single square mile), then there are tables to randomly generate your Yoon-Suin. Every Yoon-Suin will be different. Which is awesome.

When I first looked at the pdf I was reminded of when I first looked at the Empire of the Petal Throne book (the spiral bound one). Lots of cool ideas that made me instantly want to unleash my imagination. Fantasy mixed with long buried secrets.

Don't buy this expecting to be spoon fed a setting, or for the slick illustrations (pictures are few and far between, but they are oddly evocative), or because it has random tables in it (it does, though). Get this because it will really help to get the ideas flowing. It can fit into any rules system, though it definitely has an old school D&D feel to it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Yoon-Suin
Publisher: Noisms Games
by Forrest A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/20/2015 17:10:18

On first blush, this is one of the best setting supplements I have encountered in 35 years of gaming. The writing is excellent, and evokes the mood of Yoon-Suin - mystery in a well-fleshed-out series of cultures. Did I say series? Yes! This isn't just one city-state, this is an entire campaign's worth of material, and each campaign set in Yoon-Suin would be significantly different because of the way in which each sub-setting is randomly generated. There are some specific encounters (many involving new creatures specific to this setting, but which could be transplanted by any enterprising DM), which are weird, fantastic, dangerous, and even rewarding. If you are hesitating at all, don't! This setting will go down in role-playing history as one of the most thorough, internally consistent, and bizarre settings around. It has exceeded my expectations and I plan on killing many characters by way of slow, tortuous . . . er, um. I mean, I look forward to introducing many players to the wonders of Yoon-Suin. I can't rate this product highly enough!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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