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Tricarnia: Land of Princes and Demons $29.99 $9.99
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Tricarnia: Land of Princes and Demons
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Tricarnia: Land of Princes and Demons
Publisher: GRAmel
by Olivier S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/09/2016 15:26:23

Tricarnia - Land of Princes and Demons is a 260 pages Beasts & Barbarians supplement describing one of the staples of Sword & Sorcery, a decadent empire. As always, there is an in-depth description of this realm in the North-West of the Dread Sea Dominions, including a two-pages map. Whether your hero is a haughty noble or a miserable slave, you'll find hundreds of ideas in this book. New edges and rule elements add some more gaming pleasure and make Tricarnia unique. (in fact, there is so much new material that it would be too long for me to list everything there, and it is a pity the book hasn't a detailed Table of Contents, just to attract interested potential purchasers). The background unveiled for this realm of Prince Priests and hopeless slaves is impressive. Of course not every corner of that huge kingdom can be entirely described but Umberto Pignatelli has provided a clever tool that allows to generate randomly the mainlines of Tricarnian sites of interest as well as their atmosphere.

Other sections are dedicated to the "Dream Kingdom", an otherworldly plane of a religion gaining popularity among rebelled slaves of Tricarnia (I shall not spoil more about this). I must say I am less convinced by this added feature to Tricarnia. Page 204, a note warns the GM "not to cross the line into absurdity". This reminds me of the warning found in the Secrets of Skelos supplement for Mongoose's Conan D20 RPG where a section listed other universes than Hyboria (Solar system planets, Lovecraftian universes, and even one realm called "The Dreamlands"), but then a small note specified "Most Conan games should never involve the characters physically travelling to another dimension (...)". Maybe I'm wrong but I think that the space dedicated to that Dream Kingdom should have better been employed to something else, like an Abstract Navigation System in a Tricarnian palace or a slaves' camp.

The book ends with an Organization management Appendix, the Clash of Kings. To sum it up very shortly, this generic system adapts to an organization the Savage Worlds rules for characters, but deviced in a way that players can, if they wish, use it without a GM. Except for that latter feature, there are already "Realm" management systems in some other RPGs. AEG's supplement for the D20 system has Empire, Paizo Pathfinder's Ultimate Campaign has 30 pages of "Kingdom Building" and, in Savage Worlds, Shaintar's Legends Unleashed has the "Long View", a "faction play". In my opinion, each of these systems is the best for a determined kind of organization. Empire is great for kingdoms ad other territorial entities; the Pathfinder rules are, in fact, tailored for cities while the Factions of Shaintar all belong to a defined category (economic, military, covert, criminal, scholastic). On the contrary, as explicitly stated in its rules, the Clash of Kings is generic and non-territorial, what entails it can work well for non-specialized entities not consubstantial to a bounded territory, like clans, tribes or... noble houses of Tricarnia !

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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