DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories













Back
Other comments left by this customer:
You must be logged in to rate this
Shardland - Muskets, Blades and Words of Power
Publisher: Judith and Christian Vogt
by Jon F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/01/2018 11:55:28

SHARDLAND, a Setting for Fate Core --- A review

Subtitled “Muskets, Blades and Words of Power”, Shardland is an independently published volume, by Judith and Christian Vogt available in German and English editions. I am reviewing the English edition. It is a volume of 87 pages, available as a PDF or printed book from Drivethru RPG. These are my earliest thoughts from a first quick reading.

I must begin by saying I really love this setting! I love the book itself too, which is attractive and clearly laid out. The book includes a lot of setting background material, and story ideas and plot hooks, rather less character creation/rules material and adversaries, and a beginning/example adventure. The rules additions are about magic particular to the setting (words and alchemy), and combat.

The setting sits firmly in the recently expanding genre of Flintlock Fantasy, based as it is on a Russian style empire of the late 18th Century-Napoleonic War era. But it is not a real world setting, eg. there is no Moscow, or Baltic sea, but obvious real world parallels are plentiful. Equivalents of India lie to the South and China to the East (with temples of warrior monks in the mountains), icy tundra to the North. The Empire is vast, and full of dark magic, bleeding over from a hidden shadow world. The magic, and the supernatural creatures depicted are all very much of the European fairytale sort, so quite grim as well as Grimm. There are strong influences from less familiar (at least to English speakers) Russian and Slavic myth as well. There are no fantasy races such as Elves, orcs, etc. (Hurrah for that choice!) The Empire is ruled by a Czar and Czarina, and is in a state of turmoil due to a religious schism dividing society at all levels. The conflict is between those who believe the traditional three faced depiction of the god Perunkya, and those who take the new idea that there is a fourth hidden face. Magic in the setting is dark and dangerous and either carried out through words of power or alchemy. Some outline of, and powers for both, are given.

The game has a strong and specific focus, in that player characters all belong to the same organisation, they are all “Wolves” a team (pack) of elite agents of the Czar, charged with completing his special missions. Policing actions, special forces missions, monster hunts, spying and intrigue, all could be on the table. All in a society riven by internal conflict as much as external threats. Exciting stuff.

The included introductory adventure is very much a “Magnificent Seven” 'save the village' kind of scenario with an emphasis on battle, although there is a political and supernatural side to it which is interesting but not fully developed. It is very much in form of guidelines and suggestions, rather than a more tightly restrained, and more fully defined adventure as are present in some Fate Worlds of Adventure such as Secrets of Cats or Masters of Umdaar.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shardland - Muskets, Blades and Words of Power
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

High Fantasy Magic: A Simple Magic System for Fate Core & Accelerated
Publisher: Nathan Hare
by Jon F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/28/2017 11:18:10

Excellent mini supplement, very useful ideas and guidelines for anyone wanting a simple magic system for their fate games. It offers guidelines for different schools (ie classes / forms / styles) of magic, enchantment of items and creating magical entities. But not too much detail. Forme this is just right. As a fan of the pared down lite Fate Accelerated Edition, where adding a complex sub system would be counter productive,  this is of particular merit. Buy it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
High Fantasy Magic: A Simple Magic System for Fate Core & Accelerated
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Jon F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/19/2016 06:06:06

An exciting and well conceived pulp "rocket ships and ray guns" type sci fi setting for Fate Core Rpg. The thing that makes it particularly interesting and different from standard fare, is the basic premise that the players characters are all heroic loyal citizens of a Utopian Mars colony. Adventures will have them struggling against oppression from Earth, and against implacable alien foes. Like the best of the Fate "Worlds of Adventure" books, Red Planet gives just enough setting detail to provide a springboard for GMs and players to create hours of interplanetary adventure. As with other "Worlds" books in the series, there are character generation rules with a few sample setting-appropriate character stunts, some details of the technology available, and rules, or subsystems to add flavour for the particular setting. In this case the new rules are concerned with detailing political and philosophical debate or "conversion", which leads me on to the subject of the controversy that has accompanied the release of this book. What has made this a contraversial setting, and has led to some fairly rabid reviews of it, and critical ccomments about it, in certain discussion groups, is that the Utopia depicted is a communist society. Some of these critics seem to have taken it as implicit, that the society depicted in this game as "communist", to be an endorsement of 20th Century earth communist states. As if the game is attempting to promote the idea that these are somehow utopian or admirable societies. That is not my reading of it however, as the Red Planet book clearly explained the Martian Communist Utopia has amongst it's enemies the earth based Soviet Union, as well as capitalist America. (and incidentally The book also includes a fairly lengthy sidebar detailing the very real evils of the historical Soviet style Communist regimes), clearly indicating that the team involved in its production, at least, are well able to distinguish between real world societies, and their real problems, and playing games; role-playing in fictional worlds, with fictional problems). Interesting, and saddening, that this setting with its depiction of an idealised Communist Utopia with lofty goals of working for the common good, should be more offensive, than, say, the default sci fi RPG mode of "space bastards" making money. But of course, each to their own. Well done Evil Hat, and author Jess Nevins, for packing so much setting, intrigue, and down right "this would make an awesome game" into such a small package. Good work!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Three Rocketeers • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Jon F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/29/2015 03:40:04

I got myself a copy of "The 3 Rocketeers" the newest World of Adventure for Fate RPG, by P K Sullivan. I thought it my offer some diverting reading over the Christmas break. How wrong I was! It was so good, such a cool premise executed so engagingly, and so tickled my fancy that I read the whole thing over the weekend, before my holiday break even started! Now I cannot wait to have a chance to play it. The setting is a combination of two major tropes. First the swashbuckling adventure and heroic thwarting of nefarious conspiracies portrayed in the novels of Alexander Dumas. Second space-age adventure, with rocket-packs and interstellar travel. Instead of musketeers, we have rocketeers as PCs and they serve to protect the young Queen of Gallia from interstellar, yet familiar rivals. There is a Britain, Germany and Spain equivalent, and even dastardly Cardinals and a Star Pope. Enough background is provided for setting the scene for CharGen and for sparking a host of stories. The swashbuckling style of The Musketeers is maintained because melee weapons and duelling are still commonplace (for the usual sci-fantasy sci-fudge reasons). I am not usually that keen on crossing-the-genres games, as they often extend towards "the gonzo" which often seems only suitable for one-off games. But this is one that feels to have some depth right-out-of-the-book, and that I think could support some extended play. By presenting a setting based on the spirit of an adventure book set in 17th century France, but transposed into an interstellar hi tec setting the game is able to be fully equal ops, and inviting to all, avoiding those perils for fully historical settings where massive gender and racial inequality permeates the cultures presented. I would have liked a star-map (just because I love them!) but it certainly is not needed. The rules are an interesting twist on Fate core, with skills ratings replaced by a simpler (but subjective) totalling of +1 for each of your 6 PC aspects that are relevant. NPCs use the 6 approaches of FAE. There is a system for fencing stunts, which seems perfectly appropriate given that it is clear that the game's intention is that there will be a lot of duelling. Other new rules include a simple system for quantifying the attributes of the conspiracy that our heroes face, and how that impacts on play. I cannot yet comment on how any of these will work in play, but nothing is so complicated as to offend my simple tastes. Almost a third of the 40 page book is taken up with an introductory adventure "Battle for the Gallian Throne". I havent studied this in detail but after a quick read looks to be a well crafted and exciting romp, that might take several sessions. With the insertion of a few extra NPCs, detours and red herrings could easily be the become a longer adventure and possible foundation for a larger campaign. All in all, a great package and one which P K Sullivan and Evil Hat should be very proud of! If I could make a criticism it is only that because my enthusiasm for this is so great, I want more than such a small world book can deliver! I have a whole bunch of questions about the setting, unanswered in the limited space available in the book, which I'd love to have illuminated.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Three Rocketeers • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Masters of Umdaar • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Jon F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/13/2015 16:05:12

A great little package, Masters of Umdaar is certainly my prompt to try out Fate (accelerated Edition) for the first time without delay. Much inspiration for anyone who wants to play games based on pulpy planetary fantasy of the John Carter, Flash Gordon, He-Man and Thundercats variety. A small book cannot contain everything you might like, but despite this being only 50 pages long it is bursting with ideas, random tables, strange magi-tec and rules for hero beast-people, people-beasts and creatures of all sorts, AND a complete introductory adventure that could easily form part one of an epic series. Dave Joria has done good work here creating an exciting and enticing setting, designed to work as a pick-up or one shot game, but quite worthy of prolonged play. As a final endorsement, what is NOT to like about a game that has the self-professed motto and philosophy; "When in doubt, dinosaur" ?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masters of Umdaar • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 1 to 5 (of 5 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
Back
0 items
 Gift Certificates