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Arcana Rising Pay What You Want
Average Rating:4.1 / 5
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Arcana Rising
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Arcana Rising
Publisher: Bedroom Wall Press
by Joseph M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/19/2013 09:00:08

The Good: Dayjobs are a fun way to link your character to the modern setting. Spell choices are useful and have colorful quirks. Skill system don't hobble characters growth. Clear writing and easy to follow guidelines.

The Bad: Meh to Meh art (a lot of it looks stock). Monsters feel tacked on setting, this may be a side effect of setting itself with magic returning to the world. But I sit there wondering...what is the implications of critter X in the setting and it only get's touched on. Setting could really do with a 'deeper secerets' book that fleshes out the world more...but it doesn't take much effort to take the tools given to cook up modern magic stories.

It's a fun book if you know what you are getting into. Great if you want to try something different with OSR.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Arcana Rising
Publisher: Bedroom Wall Press
by Jonathan H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/25/2013 10:40:04

Hey there! If you have not yet picked up a copy of Arcana Rising, you are missing out!

The system is very familiar if you have picked up Hulks and Horrors or have ever played in any OGL game. With a quick glance at the game any goodly DM can start an AR game with their group in short order. The system is familiar as a comfortable set of gloves for any old school DM and the changes made to create a distinct flavor of modern day with the wonders of magic are logical and intuitive.

The book is written in John Berry's normal style. It is clear and engaging peppered with wit. It covers all of the bases a good DM needs and everything a new gamer needs if this is the very first RPG book they happen upon.

The illustrations keep with the Old School RPG feel and remind me of the wonderment I felt as a teenager picking up the newest AD&D books in the 1980's.

The spells and magic hold many a surprise for any gamer. The system is both new and different without moving so far from old standards that would make it difficult to understand.

All in all I must say that AR is yet another mind blowing experience from John Berry who is quickly becoming my favorite author of all things RPG. Pick it up and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Arcana Rising
Publisher: Bedroom Wall Press
by Naomi B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/22/2013 15:05:12

I really like this product. Unlike other Urban Arcana, this is set as magic is released back in to the world. The premise is that scientists have dug down to the lake under Antarctica, thus breaking a magical seal and releasing the magical waters. The reason that there has been no miracles in recent times is that the deities have backed off to maintain a balance but now they can come back - slowly. Spells and such only go to level 6 as people have to relearn how to control their new abilities.

I have only skipped through the text but I like some of the new restrictions. The Forestwalker (aka druid) has abilities that fluctuate with the seasons. Healing strength is doubled in spring while their constitution bonus increases during winter. You could probably add in the Wiccan sabbats to make things even more interesting. Power comes from sacrificing plants. You want to heal a broken leg? Touch a tree and the patient and go for it. It may kill the tree if it is too young (less than 50 years) but, hey, that's what sacrifice is all about.

Some of the items are really funny. You want to summon a Toad Lord? Then pay the price - blood from a lawyer. Good luck with that!

The diagrams are black and white and have the old look of woodcuts. No modern pictures here. Unfortunately not all the monsters in the Monsterpedia are illustrated but there are enough to muddle through.

One surprise was that the character sheet is only one page. It seems to have everything but I haven't tried to use it yet.

There is a large section on settings. At first I didn't see the point of this as the time is Today but then I saw that the presence of magic was being used to convert places to portals. Got a really deep lake? Look out for monsters coming from the Water Plane. A dormant volcano? The Fire Plane is reachable. The same for ancient cities, old graveyards and libraries of old books. That pretty much destroys Rome.

The text is fully bookmarked and easy to read in one column so you don't have to scroll up and down to read a whole page.

I really like this and intend to use it in the future.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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