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Shadowrun: No Future (A Cyberpunk Sourcebook)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/02/2019 22:20:49

Shadowrun: No Future is a sourcebook for Shadowrun and lets you know what the media landscape is like in the Sixth World of Shadowrun. It casts a wide net covering music, popular entertainment, news, sports and more. If you like this level of world building, this is the book for you, for others, there is general information on the world and run ideas but perhaps not enough to make this a required purchase.

Shadowrun: No Future, is a CyberPunk Sourcebook for Shadowrun, this particular book provides an overview of where culture is in the Sixth World, ranging from music to sports, media to fashion. The limited amount of game mechanics for the version I reviewed were for Shadowrun, 5th edition, but the cultural information is edition independent.

Following an introduction, laying out the theme of the book, as is traditional, there is one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, then begins Look Forward in Anger which looks at the power of the media to shape perception in the Sixth World and how the corporations use that to maintain their grip on the world. Each of the major megacorporations gets a short write-up of how they deploy their media power and how its works. And maybe, just maybe, how you can fight back.

Blitzkrieg Bops looks into the music scene of 2080, new music genres, who are the current stars and what happened to some of the old ones. It also looks at venues, up and coming acts from all around the world and some notes on sythlinks. It ends with a section on making music with rules for playing a rocker and making music (or other art), both live and recorded, unfortunately, the rules are essentially unusable with parts verging on incomprehensibility.

Creation Starts With Darkness covers what is being broadcast (streamed, whatever) that makes it way as part of the public perception of the world. Initially focusing on popular shows with considerable discussion of how they portray the world around them. There is a surprising amount of potential plot and adventure fodder here and that is just the show! There are also discussions about geographical hubs of activity (all North American sadly), media corporations and some of the people who hire Shadowrunners in the mediasphere. Also much flavor in the form of series guides, broadcast schedules and more. There is a page, just a page, on pornography in the Sixth World, which just skims the surface of the subject but is no less amusing for its brevity.

Next, after some fiction, is Leading & Bleeding about the news media in 2080 which is entirely corporate controlled and follows the corporate line almost all the time. A description of the corporate playbook for media control follows along with the major corporate players. Next there are the organizations fighting back against the sterilized and manipulated news. There are implied plot hooks here but they are not as frequent, clear or fun as in the previous one.

The Thrill & Agonies delves into sports, mostly professional, and the place they have in defining communities. Several “future” sports are included such as Combat Biking and Urban Brawl and information on how all of the sport have adapted to cybernetics, magic and metahumanity. This is all great background material but a little light on the adventure potential though the suggestions on fallen athletes becoming Shadowrunners, and the pitfalls thereof, has potential both for player characters and NPCs, Logos or at least colors for the new sports teams would have helped to flesh out this section and made it more useful, at least from my point of view.

We Suck Young Blood is about cool hunters, influencers and how the corporations aim to make some money off of them (and you). This implies certain sorts of missions and games and some of the corporate players are mentioned but it is not properly expanded on and there is no real guidance to how to incorporate these ideas or corporate groups into a run or campaign. Which is a shame as there are some interesting thoughts here.

Lastly, there are new toys: musical, cybernetic, fashions, weapons (of course), printing presses and other exotica. Fun as usual but nothing particularly game breaking but certainly good thematic support.

While the entire product does not match the superb chapters on music and media, it is an amazingly useful resource for making the Sixth World feel like a real place for the characters (and their players). However, if emphasizing that side of the game world is your jam, get this right away.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: No Future (A Cyberpunk Sourcebook)
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Shadowrun: The Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/10/2019 15:26:05

Shadowrun: The Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia is a sourcebook for Shadowrun and lets you know a little bit about a lot of things in the Sixth World of Shadowrun. It is edition agnostic, making it a useful book no matter which edition of Shadowrun you play though timelinewise it is set at the start of the new Sixth World Edition (2080), so some of it could be spoilers for games set earlier in the timeline. It is a fun read and a good way to provide an in-game look at the world to players but by no means a required book.

Shadowrun: The Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia, is a Deep Shadows Sourcebook for Shadowrun, this particular book provides an overview of just about everything important in the Sixth World, from a NeoAnarchist perspective of course.

As is traditional, the book begins with one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, then moves into From the Ashes, Neo-Anarchism, which explains the background to and current state of the Neo-Anarchism movement in the world of Shadowrun.

Then, the meat of the product, the data here is organized alphabetically, with some exceptions, such as famous AI (Artificial Intelligences) being tucked inside the AI definition. But the information is apportioned haphazardously, as you would expect from something that is presented as being crowd-sourced, which is often annoying at least to this reviewer. Nations often get short shrift, this is especially annoying for countries that have never appeared in sourcebooks or whose last appearance was more than a decade ago, to only get a paragraph light on details and high on snark (and some nations, like the Scandinavian Union, do not even get that).

There is also a missing referenced entry, Omnistar references that it is a combine of DocWagon, Lone Star Security and Manadyne and to refer to the individual entries . . . but there is not one for Manadyne. Very unfortunate.

But for all of these flaws, it is still a useful and interesting resource, giving the “state of play” at the beginning of 2080 and the Sixth World edition.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: The Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia
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Shadowrun: Better Than Bad (Deep Shadows)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/23/2019 19:07:12

Shadowrun: Better than Bad is a sourcebook for Shadowrun and provides support for characters “hooding” or helping the little guy. As that is a campaign style that has not seen much support for this edition, I was pleased to see this book as it is a style I like to see. If you are interest in that style of pay, or Azania which also gets explored in this product, it is a worthwhile purchase but probably not a priority.

Shadowrun: Better than Bad, is a Deep Shadows Sourcebook for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, this particular book covers the idea that Shadowrunners can actually do good in the Sixth World and not just be corporate stooges along with a visit to Azania (formerly South Africa).

The book begins with one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, then moves into A Light in the Darkness, talking about “Hooding” doing good for the community and striking against the powerful, named after Robin Hood (of course). Various of the organizations that oppose the corps are covered ranging from self-help groups to full on terrorist organizations, something for everyone and a bit more. It also includes a pitch to fight the power, rock on Opti (aka Old Crow, active NeoAnarchist and host of the NeoAnarchist podcast).

Another fiction section leads into It’s All About Power, which are a bunch on in world pitches for hooding jobs across the globe from Atlanta to Mumbai, these serve as nice adventure seeds as well as giving information about what is happening across the Sixth World. A useful section is “Turning a Profit without Charging Money” which talks about the rewards for doing good beside money. It then turns to looking at some of the organizations and networks, such as the Draco Foundation and the New Underground Railroad, who are trying to do good work. A discussion of getting hired for this kind of job, for whom the contact is generically referred to as “Ms Smith” (as opposed to the corporate Mr Johnson) and how working with such non-professional tends to go very differently from the usual run along with some example run ideas and a set of random tables for generating more (though one of the tables is missing a result line).

Next we move onto the location-based section of the product, welcome to Azania (formerly South Africa) and specifically the Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vaal Metroplex. If one wants to run some adventures in Azania, this will give you the information to do so including places to visit, what the Megacorps are up to (short but let you know what area is controlled by each, making it easy to link them to run), the political situation (more fodder for runs), and notes on likely opposition from the security forces and criminal elements. There are some new para-animals including dangerous paratypes of rabbits! The way SINs work are slightly different here with the addition of color codes and that is detailed along with the problems having the wrong codes can cause.

Jacaranda Citizens presents fifteen NPCs, mostly who operate at Hooders in the PWV sprawl, many of whom could be employers or allies, with one or two targets or enemies. I would have liked to have seen more adventure hooks and fewer stats (about five pages are consumed with stat blocks). The section ends with two new qualities, one positive and one negative, and a new mentor spirit that has the worst mechanical downside of any mentor spirit, a real, what were they thinking moment, as it has the potential to trigger “you cannot play this character is this adventure.” Bad design choice.

Being Less Bad looks at the nuts and bolts of being a hooder, from an in game perspective, and gives a lot of general adventure ideas in the process. Solid section and a good read.

Building a Hooder is where all the new toys are, the “grey tech” items which provide protection from magic (but are not recommended for magically active characters) and includes a drug (“blight”) that really messes up magically active beings. There are two new spells, two new adept powers, eleven (more) new qualities: seven positive, two masteries, and two negative. New Life Path modules for characters from the Azanian Confederation are provided. It concludes with some new rules with more uses for karma and street cred.

The book ends with tables to generate Hooding runs which are useful for inspiration as well but sadly, no index.

Overall, a useful book though I remain not entirely sold on the sourcebook/location book combo. I am all for encouraging less violent and more help the people style of play, part of any cyberpunk setting should be the focus on the do it yourself, build a community aspect of punk part of the name. So, I entirely approve of seeing that focused on here.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Better Than Bad (Deep Shadows)
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Shadowrun: Kill Code (Advanced Matrix Rules)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/21/2019 21:32:34

Shadowrun: Kill Code is a sourcebook for Shadowrun and providing a useful (and clearer?) overview of the Matrix and how the rules system for it works, with general technological tools more options for technomancers and more information on the state of the Matrix. However to get best use from Kill Code you will need at least the earlier sourcebook Data Trails and several other source books. Unless you are running a Matrix, and especially Technomancer, focused game, this sourcebook is not a priority.

Shadowrun: Kill Code, is the Advance Matrix Rule book for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, this particular book expands ways to interact with and explore the Matrix for hackers, technomancers and others. As well as providing new tools and troubles for all involved in Matrix work.

The book begins with one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, then moves into a section titled “So you want to be a hacker?” which begins with a brief (in world) description of the history and current state of the Matrix, the global computer network. Followed by the Manual of the Matrix which redefines the Matrix for game play, referring back to the main rule book with page numbers and everything. Followed by How to Hack 101, which walks through the basic rules systems used for Matrix hacking. Not a good sign when you have to spend sixteen pages of a supplement to explain how the rules in the core book are suppose to work, but nice to have it clearly laid out. Then there is one new rule (reckless hacking) and a section of eleven new matrix actions, including the delightful named Squelch (which stops communications) and Subvert Infrastructure, which cover many of the things hackers need to do as shadowrunners. The Gamemaster’s Grimoire of the Matrix comes next and gives some advice for GM (naturally) on how to present and use the Matrix in play, including a nice chart for Matrix runs and advice on how the different types of hosts work and how to use them. It also answers the big question of the Matrix changeover of 2075 and what the Foundation of the new Matrix is. This is both welcome and surprising at Catalyst has a long tradition of hiding the vital “secrets of the world” in their novels and never explicitly explaining them in their source books. So, well-done Catalyst and please continue including vital setting information in the RPG source books.

Next we have Dips & Chips which includes new gear for hackers, technomancers and non-Matrix types, things for runners and tools for the corporations. There is a lot to digest here and GM will probably want to introduce part of the new runner oriented gear slowly so as not to totally upset the balance of a campaign. But lots of fun things here to provide advantage for, and against, hackers and technomancers ranging from weaponized spam to new decks and the corporations even get three new types of IC (rah?).

Disc Jockeys & Lightstream Riders provides new positive (four) and negative qualities (nineteen!) for hackers, though the writeup on a few (such as Echo Chamber) are not as clear as they should be. A set of life modules, for that variant character generation system, for hackers and technomancers are also provided.

Data Streams follow another fiction section and provides paths for technomancers to follow: Sourcerers, Technoshamans, Machinists and CyberAdepts, each emphasizing a different aspect of the technomancer abilities and each gaining access to a unique complex form; these function in a similar manner to traditions for spell casters gaining advantages, the most game changing is the technoshaman being able to summon great form sprites which have very powerful abilities.

In the Flow adds eleven complex forms for technomancers, new positive (fourteen, seven of which can be taken by non-technomancers and one that can only be taken by non-technomancers) and negative (eleven, six of which can be taken by non-technomancers) qualities, two new sprites (companion and generalist), three new sprite powers, seven new optional sprite powers, and seven new echoes. Paragons allow for a mentor spirit like relationship for technomancers following by following the ideals of various Matrix-based paragons who aid in certain tasks and hinder others but allegiance to the Paragons in a fairly fluid thing and can be gained, lost and switched with comparative ease.

A Million Icon Bloom gives information on technomancer tribes, which are societies of technomancers (and, occasionally, others) who aid each other especially for submersion and advancement. Pretty much what you would expect with some useful bits about how to interact with these tribes for non-technomancers.

Diving Under gives some advice for those having to fight technomancers. This is an odd section, part advice and part commentary but almost entirely devoid of in game commentary. I would have liked to have seen more here especially a discussion of how corporations work to “technomancer-proof” their operations.

Infinite Realms details a few of the weird “resonance realms” that exist in the far corners of the Matrix and can be visited by technomancers. Interesting but of limited use unless you are playing a technomancer focused games. Reversing the Current look at those technomancers who have embraced the “dissonance,” the other aspect of the technomancer’s understanding of the Matrix. Three paths for dissonance users are provided each with their own tricks and abilities.

Null Signs brings us back to the Null Sect, first mentioned in Dark Terrors, which is a Matrix based and created set of being that seek to purge the Matrix of all beings and things with ties to the physical realm. An interesting idea but not sure what can be done with it in play and a lot of effort is spent spinning them into a major threat though to what end I am unsure.

Into the Wild talks about the “wild matrix” the parts that are not overseen by corporation or governments or, sometimes, any structure at all. Not quite the same as resonance realms as these can be accessed by anyone willing to leave the safety of the regulated Matrix. It also talks about who would be interested in paying you to go there or pay for data brought back from the wild.

The final section is The Core of Consciousness which provides more information and variants on the technocritters, animals with technomantic powers, and technosapients, beings of the Matrix, both first seen in Howling Shadows. Some fun creatures here that can be used by or against runners. More information about the xenosapients of the Null Sect is also provided (including some GM only information).

Kill Code is a mixed bag, there is some good information, such as making the Matrix rules a bit clearer but this should have been published as a free PDF for all players of Shadowrun (perhaps with the addition of a flowchart) as it is one of the more confusing subsystems in the rules. But it follows the trend of making magic, in this case technomancy, always ultimately much more powerful than what technology can provide hackers with. For some reason, I find that annoying as no one path should be objective the best when there are multiple paths. But overall a useful book for those campaigns that delve deeply into Matrix but primarily only for such campaigns.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Kill Code (Advanced Matrix Rules)
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Gostor: Nymph (5e)
Publisher: First Ones Entertainment
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/26/2018 14:33:41

Gostor - Nymphs: Minor Goddesses, a new race for D&D 5E, by Jean-Philipe ‘JP’ Chapleau provides exactly what it promises, the race of nymphs, nature spirits or the most minor of goddess, inspired by Greek Mythology in a playable form.

A short background of the place of nymphs is followed by the types of nymphs. A few paragraphs on using nymphs and four paragraph length adventure seeds

Nymphs, as presented here, have three playable subtypes: underworld, forest and waterway, while wild nymph and hags are noted for story reasons, and sky nymphs appear as monsters. They seem balanced though all, naturally, have some magical abilities.They are supported by two backgrounds, whose features need clearer definition of how they should be used, and one new feat, which really seems more aimed at NPC nymphs as it makes the character an ally of hags.

Two new "monsters" round out the product, sky nymphs (which oddly, cannot fly) and wild nymphs, both which have a very minimal descriptions outside their statblocks.

While this product achieves its aims, there is so much more it could have done. It only allows for female nymphs, for example, while males would have another name there is no reason for nature spirits to be confined to one sex. Some tables for suggested characteristics to go with the backgrounds and a magic item or two would have really solidified the usefulness of this product. As it is, it seems of more use to a DM than players, but even then it would have been nice to have had more support material.

3.5 rounded up to 4.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gostor: Nymph (5e)
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Worldbuilding Theory
Publisher: Dancing Lights Press
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/29/2018 16:23:24

Interesting advice book for roleplaying games masters and, to a lesser extent, players and writers. It discusses on of the three pillars of a game world (the other two being characters and adventures) and it does this through a consider amount of repetition of the framework of how it is discussed, useful and self-reinforcing but a little tedious at times. It places the various parts of world building in context of genre of fantasy (dark, high and so on) and setting (contemporary, medieval and such). Useful advice to keep in mind, nothing groundbreaking but solid, useful advice.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Worldbuilding Theory
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Shadowrun: Street Lethal (Advanced Combat Rules)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/30/2018 16:51:11

Shadowrun: Street Lethal bills itself as the Advanced Combat Sourcebook for Shadowrun but it is not that, there are new toys, some crazy bleeding edge technology, and some excellent information on corporate security along with updates on mercenaries, pirates and militias in the Sixth World. But apart from one rule section with very narrow applicability, there is not really much to make it an “advanced combat sourcebook,” it is however a very useful sourcebook, especially for a Shadowrun GM, but it could have used a more accurate subtitle.

Shadowrun: Street Lethal, the Advanced Combat Sourcebook of the 5th edition of Shadowrun, while it does not actually add that much in the way of rules it provides new weaponry, for player characters and NPCs, information on how Corporation Security works, and studies the role of mercenaries, pirates and militia in the Sixth World.

The book begins with one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, then moves straight into new weapons, with a detour through the role of less lethal weapons and the current status of some of the major weapon producers. Normally the new toys are in the back, but here they are front and center ranging from various handguns and new melee weapons, for day to day use, to machine guns and grenade launchers with a variety of new less lethal options. Also, one modification for armor is provided so defense is not totally neglected. Some of the new weapons fill useful niches, other fun and a few silly, the new weapons from Krime! mostly being in the later category (a sledge hammer than fires shotgun shells?). Several charts collect all of the weapons from this section (and this section only) for quick reference.

The next section is Military and Future Weapons (or toys for the GM), mostly comprising interesting ongoing projects from the corps such as new planes (the Blood Hawk) from Aztechnology. But there is a twelve-page section supposedly on the tech being developed in a secret base in Africa which includes gravity manipulation technology . . . This is so out there and so game and world changing that I am surprised it was not just mentioned in a thowaway section rather than page after page of stat for things like anti-grav powered vehicles, gravity grenade (no, really) and gravity force fields. I just cannot see how this section is supposed to be used, not only is such tech tonally different from anything else in the game world and it is too big of a change to suddenly add to the setting. Sure, we have magic, but now we have technology that totally breaks the laws of physics too. Why? I cannot see how this makes the game world any more plausible or interesting, just more unreasonable. Equally, even if you decide to use this crazy tech in your game, how do you do so without turning into a whole different game? This tech is not cyberpunk, it is space opera. After that it settles down a bit to Ares working with memory-wiping technology (ala Men in Black), smart bullets and anti-magic armor. Then there are microwave, sonic, centrifugal force and genetic weapons, plasma shields, warframes and powered armor (which, for some reason, is just not allowed to exist in Shadowrun in a usable form), anti-dragon weaponry, comments on atomic weapons and new nanobot and matix weapon just to cover all the angles. Apart from the one odd section noted above, this part of the book is packed with inspiration for runs and problems to happen on runs making it quite useful for the GM.

Opposition Report: CorpSec may be the most useful section of the book from the GM’s perspective, and it is not bad for players either, it begins with discussion of both what CorpSec does and how they do it, discussing active and passive security and a whole range of interesting subjects to help the GM think about how to make things secure (and make runs interesting and challenging for the players). It moves on to how each of the Big Ten megacorps approach security with some supplemental information for smaller companies and specialized subgroups. This chapter is rounded out with CorpSec themed qualities, life path modules and yet more new toys. The weapons included here are not collected in a single page reference nor are they included in the one are the end of the first section.

Unconventional Warriors covers mercenaries, pirates(!) and militias of the Sixth World, starting with a brief overview of the International Mercenaries Association, the licensing organization for mercenaries who ensure a particular code of conduct and professionalism among its members and tries to clamp down on unlicensed mercenaries. A good organization to have around and it makes sense for the world. Several mercenary groups are covered, some of which have been reference before, some of which are new and two of which are outside of the IMA and definitely enemy groups. While this is good world background it is probably of limited usefulness in most campaigns. The pirate section covers both groups and locations which makes it easy to plot intersection with where your games take place, everyone needs a pirate themed game on occasion, right? The militias are organized armed groups with political agenda, not terrorists but they may work with such. Again, lots of good adventure ideas here and they go out of their way to show what sort of work runners could find with these groups. The section ends with new qualities, new life path modules and NPC stats than can be used for members from these various groups.

Lethal Arts New Techniques and Options is where the new rules are, building from the small unit tactics rules, this adds mixed unit tactics as a skill and a bunch of maneuvers that can be executed with it along with a set of new maneuvers for small unit tactics. These are pretty much the only rules introduced in the book and they are of marginal utility.

The book ends with a set of Adventure Seeds, which I approve of, and almost all of them hook into pieces of the book, also a good choice. A few needed a little more fleshing out, but still a good addition. What the book does not end with is an index or a compilation of the new qualities and life modules, which are split across two sections, as are the new weapons and equipment (setting aside the bleeding edge tech) making finding some things more difficult than needed. A chart of all the new weapons and separate ones integrating them into the existing equipment lists would be a useful PDF addition.

Street Lethal is an interesting resource providing new tools for the GM and players, but it lacks focus, covering a lot of ground in different directions. But, on the GM side, it is well worth it for the information on corporate security and new toys to dangle in front of the characters.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Street Lethal (Advanced Combat Rules)
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Shadowrun: Shadows in Focus: Morocco
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/18/2018 21:11:39

Shadows in Focus - Morocco is a location sourcebook for Shadowrun and provides useful information on Morocco and its environs that would be useful to the sorts of people who are Shadowrunners. It is the sort of book you need if you are going to run a game set in or around Morocco.

Shadows in Focus - Morocco is a location sourcebook for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, this particular book covers the shadow nexus of smugglers, corporations and nationalism that exist in the Morocco of the Sixth World.

Morocco is a gateway to the Mediterranean and Islamic worlds so it serves as a nexus of trade, legal and illegal, as well as a gatekeeper of the Gibraltar straights. In the Sixth World, it suffered heavily during EuroWar II which saw it invaded by European forces driving back the Islamic forces which had used it as a stepping stone to invade Spain. Morocco has rebuilt with heavy corporate aid making many see the government as a puppet of megacorporate interests. The truth is more complex with the Morocco government, corporations, traditional social groups and other factions all vying for power.

With smuggling, corporate power plays and corruption permeating the government, there is considerable work for career criminals such as Shadowrunners. But they have to play the game according to local rules if they want to go far which means keeping magic and cyberware out of sight as much as possible and not offending the Islamic faith when you can manage.

As far as mechanics go there are two new animals (the Atlas Bear and the Barbary Lion), five new Life Modules for that character generation system, and some suggestion on how to model the cultural dislike of cyberware.

Shadows in Focus - Morocco is an interesting resource providing enough information to set missions in Morocco as well as a variety of potential adventures (though some adventure seeds to really spark ideas would have been nice).

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Shadows in Focus: Morocco
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Shadowrun: Dark Terrors (Plot Sourcebook)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/16/2018 16:12:45

Shadowrun: Dark Terrors is a sourcebook for Shadowrun and provides a lot of information, a lot of interesting information on the dark corners of the Sixth World but not a lot of advice on how to use or incorporate that information into a campaign, especially an ongoing campaign. I enjoyed the read but, for me, there is almost nothing I can or would use in my ongoing street level campaign. I am not sure who the target audience for this book is, it seems like it should be a GM’s book but there is just not enough here to hang campaigns on, in many cases there is barely enough to hang an adventure or two off of. Equally, players can read it and be scared of the horrible things out there but there are not any tools to help you fight the terrors. So, ultimately, I am not sure what this book is for beyond pushing the metaplot(s) forward (especially on CFD) a little.

Shadowrun: Dark Terrors, is a Plot Sourcebook for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, this particular book covers a variety of dangers, threats and evils, primarily magical in nature that exist in the Sixth World.

The book begins with one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, then moves into The Heart of the Hive, which provides new information about the insect spirits. There is a fair amount of in-game story in this section that ultimately does not provide a lot of actionable (or adventurous) data, much is implied but very little is confirmed. And when dealing with a megacorp, it is nice to know what is going on. Game wise, there are many new types of insect spirits, a few of which prey on other insect spirits, along with rules for playing a free insect spirit which would be interesting but very dangerous (both from and to the other characters).

Marooned Spirits talks about the fate of the shedim, body possessing spirits, which were a major threat but since the gates to their place of origin have been closed they are less of a danger but still a danger. They remaining master shedim are plotting something, and whatever it is, it is best for everyone on Earth that they are stopped. The shedim section ends with new creature powers, primarily shedim specific ones, and some preconstructed shedim who showcase the new powers.

Paint it Blacker discusses the latest machinations of the sinister Black Lodge, a conspiracy of powerful magicians, and calls out some of their members. Let me just express a personal opinion, I do not have any use for the Black Lodge in my campaign and I do not find them interesting or plausible. Why does the setting need an evil magical conspiracy group that apparently outwits dragons and governments while twirling their mustaches and chuckling? So cliche. Can we just stick with the megacorporations as the villains of the piece?

The section entitled Monads and CFD deals with just those subjects, mostly bringing this long running storyline to a tentative close with “cures” for CFD finally available. Personally, I am pleased to see an end to this plot-line, while I applaud Catalyst for making a technological rather than a magical threat a major plot point, making it one that overwrites people’s personalities, thus stealing player autonomy, was a dead end in playability from my viewpoint.

The Hidden Faction details the latest convoluted political twists and turns of the Seelie Court for those who need more wacky fae for their games. Followers of the Elder God looks into those who are seeking artefacts and magical knowledge tied to the fourth world (the last time magic ruled) from the files of the Ordo Maximus, a secret and massively powerful vampire conspiracy (yes, another magical conspiracy!) but the items, information and creatures are interesting (though not provided with game statistics). This section at least has some explict plot hooks though they do not strike me as being very useful.

Dwellers of the Deep Foundation dips into the hidden recesses and foundations of the Matrix, and my, there are some strange things going on there. Including Matrix spawning beings, called the Null Sect, who have their own agenda for whom and what should be using their “home.” Additional there is a proto-nation of AIs and other strangeness afoot. This chapter relies on the ownership of the Data Trails soucebook and references both the Howling Shadows and Run Faster books. Fascinating setting materia but challenging to incorporate into a campaign and very niche.

The Ghoul Queen and her People takes us to the much talked about the nation of Asamando after a brief tour of how various other nations and groups are dealing with the expanded threat of the infections that created vampires (and their subtypes) and ghouls. Asamando gets a good and engaging travel log from three in setting character viewpoints. It paints an evocative image, very well written, but apart from setting up future survival horror scenarios does not really give the GM a lot of ideas or tools for how to use Asamando in a campaign. The section concludes with new awakened powers (which reference a host of other books), a new magical tradition (Dark Magic), three new metamagic techniques (two for the infected and one for blood magic) and nine infected archetypes, mostly enemies but one or two that might be allies.

The last section is Untamed Metaplanes which looks at several dangerous metaplanes that people might wish to visit or end up in along with some in-game hooks for why characters might want to risk body and soul to go there. Also there is the Hudson Valley which is chock full of astral portals and gateways to the metaplanes for those seeking to travel without all of the ritual rigamarole, while it is light on details the Hudson Valley could be a fun setting for some adventures or even an entire campaign, but the information here is just a starting point.

Dark Terrors is an interesting resource providing lots of tantalizing hints to things happening in the Sixth World but very little solid information or plot hooks to work with making it a very strange book. It is a fascinating and, mostly, enjoyable read but at the end, I am really not sure what to do with it.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Dark Terrors (Plot Sourcebook)
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Shadowrun: The Complete Trog (Runner Resources)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/24/2017 21:28:42

Shadowrun: The Complete Trog is a runner resource for Shadowrun and this makes it unusual at it is a player facing book in many ways, providing world information to make playing orks and trolls deeper and more tied to the setting. It provides considerable, if scattershot, information for ork and trolls and how they fit into the Sixth World. For any campaign that features orks and trolls (and their struggles) prominently, it will prove to be a vital resource.

Shadowrun: The Complete Trog, is the first of the Shadowrun Runner Resources for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, this particular book is all about how orks and trolls, and their variants, fit into the Sixth World of Shadowrun.

After a short introduction to what is in the book, we get two fiction sections, and then starts with a section entitled What Are You? Which is an in-game look at being a trog with commentary from others. This gives an interesting, and fairly nuanced, view on what life is like in the Shadowrun world, at least the American section, for those who are orks and trolls.

Living as a Trog in . . . looks at how orks and trolls are treated in various places across the Sixth World. Starting with the Black Forest Troll Republic (in what used to be Germany), life in the Native American Nations, Chicago, Dubai, Seattle, Neo-Tokyo and Nagasaki, and many more. Mostly providing information about places that have not had their own sourcebooks recently. These provide useful snapshots of places for characters to be from or visit. It would have been nice to see more information on the variants of orks and trolls and how they fit in, this is done a bit for the giants in Scandinavia, but other metavariants get a sentence or two at best.

Working as a Trog in . . . talks about what roles and what challenges are faced by those who work for the various megacorporations. This is useful for playing characters who are former corporate employees and for interacting (and infiltrating) those same corporations when you have orks and trolls on the team. I would have liked to have seen a little more expansion on the government employee section (they only covered Seattle). What is life like for those who join a national military in North America for example would have been exceedingly useful.

Trog Heroes is about the orks and trolls who have made it in the Sixth World whether by talent (such as rock star Orxanne) or birth (such as King Alphono XIII of Spain), a dozen successful people who can be inspirational (or not). Mostly this is interesting world background but there are some potential plot hooks woven in but you have to disentangle them. There is also a very short (page and a half) section on Or’zet, the Orkish language with some useful words and phrases.

Trog Enemies is just that, various groups ranging from political organizations to terrorist cells and powerful individuals that are oppose to ork and troll rights at the least and seek to eliminate them entirely at most. In many ways, this is one of the more useful sections, it gives you instant enemies but it is also states that there is a racist conspiracy of vast proportions that is manipulating the megacorps and governments . . . While I have no problem with an anti-meta-human conspiracy, the megacorps should not to be reduced to patsies of racist creeps, the corporations are the true villains of the Shadowrun world. (Also amusing, one of the enemies is a UCAS Senator, never once in his description, it is mentioned which state he is from.)

Trog Runners provides history and statistics (for both Shadowrun and the Shadowrun Anarchy rule sets) for sixteen well-known Ork and Troll runners, including 2XL, Bull and Clockwork. Followed by nine example starting ork and troll runners. Useful for many campaign uses: contacts, mentors or even rivals or enemies.

United We Stomp: Trog Groups & Societies is just that, starting with three groups based out of Sweetwater Creek area of Atlanta (CAS): Southern Guard (security), Trog Rock Recording (entertainment), and Big Tech (guess). All good and interesting companies, but they read a bit like the characters from someone’s campaign, which is not all bad but they have a bit too perfect of a shine to them. But good to see some more information on MoM. (Mothers of Metahumans) and the ORC (Ork Rights Committee) which have been around as long as the setting has.

It concludes with Everything Trog, new quality (mostly ork or troll only), new gear (just a little, one new piece of cyberware, one new vehicle, one new weapon and some interesting utility items), and some life modules for people who use that character generation method. Sadly, there is no index but the table of contents is fairly complete.

If you are playing an ork or troll, this is an excellent resource, it will give all you to build a solid character foundation. If your campaign is focused around orks, trolls or the struggle for metahuman rights, get this book. If neither of these are true, it is still a worthwhile reference but not a must have book.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: The Complete Trog (Runner Resources)
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Shadowrun: Book of the Lost (A Shadowrun Campaign Book)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/03/2017 10:34:32

Shadowrun: Book of the Lost is a campaign book for Shadowrun and provides a considerable amount of potential adventure for a GM. But is it necessary? Not really, unless your group is already intrigued by the Sixth World Tarot, you do not have to prioritize this book, it is pretty and has quite a bit of fun stuff but all of it will need to be adapted to your campaign. But if a tarot hunt sound like it would be fun for you and your players, then pick this up.

Shadowrun: Book of the Lost, is a Shadowrun Campaign Book for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, this particular book covers how to use the Sixth World Tarot (SWT) in a Shadowrun game and how, story-wise, that tarot deck is affecting the word of Shadowrun. The book is jam packed with beautiful full color art, much of it from the SWT, but, my, there is a lot of art.

After a short introduction to what is in the book, we get two fiction sections, and then it moves into what is known about the SWT in the setting. The chapter called Deck Building talks about the major players who are hunting the SWT and some of the tactics they use. A variety of plot hooks are scattered through this section waiting to catch a GM’s eye.

Next is Aligning the Court which deals with the interaction between the Seelie Court and the Tarot, essentially a useless section if you are not playing a Fae Court game at least it is short. More art and Using Themes and Motifs follows and gives some general advice, do not interpret the cards too literally, and gives an out for the GM (in the form of an NPC, the Wondering Fool) to help players who get lost.

Items and Objects is two parts, first an insetting lecture about the symbolism of the things that appear in the SWT (if you have a deck, it would be good to have it available as you read through this section). Interesting but very dense going without the cards as reference. The second half is a set of divinations (again, in setting) and possible interpretations thereof (i.e., plot seeds).

After more art and a very short piece of fiction there is People, a bunch of snapshots of people involved directly or indirectly in the hunt for the SWT. Useful as NPCs, just to namedrop or as plot seeds, or some mix there of. This section provides considerable amount of inspirational stuff for your game here. Next up, Taco Temple, a new fast food chain that has sprung up in the last couple of years and appears on multiple SWT cards. This section discusses what might be the secrets behind Taco Temple and its relationship to the SWT, interesting if convoluted stuff.

Codes and Puzzles is the setup for how to use the SWT in game, starting with what a character is likely to know about it, then moving into how the various power players perceive it. Then some, but not all, of the puzzles presented on the cards are discussed, others are hinted at. But the bulk of this section is sample operations and campaigns building off of the puzzles on the cards, given who is hunting the SWT some of the easy missions seem, well, too easy when they involve actual acquisition of cards from the SWT. But these puzzles provide a good foundation to work from if you want to integrate the SWT into your campaign.

Cards as Augury talks about how to use the SWT as, well, a tool for prediction. This section covers how its symbolism differs from most tarot decks and some of the patterns that appear in the SWT. It also provides some advice on using divination in a game which is always tricky.

Ending the primary resources is Power of the Cards, which talks about what sort of magic can be worked with the cards themselves, these are usually ritual and are tied to possessing four of the same card (say “2s”) of the minor arcana or any card of the major arcana. Looking at the sorts of effects the cards can generate, it is easy to see why people are hunting for them. But be warned, the effects from some of the cards are potentially campaign changing, a GM should think very carefully before letting the power of the cards loose in their game.

The final section is a bunch of stat blocks for the people referenced in the People section, the problem is, it is mostly just stat blocks. A few get a couple of sentences of tactics, some get a paragraph of background info, but mostly just page after page of stats. There are three new mentor spirits, an alternate Raven, Goddess and Lion, and the highest of high end comlink as new equipment, scattered through here as well. And, as is mostly usual for Shadowrun books, no index.

This book looks beautiful with the color pieces from the SWT scattered throughout and there is so much implied adventure here as long as you want to focus on the magic and mystical side of the Shadowrun setting. If you prefer to focus on the grim and gritty cycberpunk side, this book will not give you much to use. Still, a worthwhile addition to a GM’s library if not a priority.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Book of the Lost (A Shadowrun Campaign Book)
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Through Their Own Eyes (5E)
Publisher: Tribality Publishing
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/06/2017 11:19:27

Through Their Own Eyes: New Personality Features for Fantasy Races for D&D 5e presents good roleplaying tools for constructing nonhuman characters. It is entirely support for character building and is quite helpful for those interested in playing nonhuman characters.

Through Their Own Eyes: New Personality Features for Fantasy Races for D&D 5e by Brandes Stoddard and published by Tribality Publishing is what you would expect, new traits for fantasy cultures tied to the traditional type of fantasy folk. The layout is clear with thematic color photographs for illustrations.

For each dwarves, elves (surface and drow), halflings, gnomes, half-orcs, dragonborn, tieflings, aasimar, goblins, and kobolds there is a short paragraph with thoughts on their culture. Then each of either six or eight options for personality traits (gnomes get ten options here, the only ones that do), ideals, bonds, and flaws to mix and match with those from backgrounds.

The only layout issue is that the notes on aasimar culture are repeated, it is not a lot of wasted space but some more thoughts on aasimar would be interesting. While primary player oriented, a DM can get some food for thought about the nonhuman cultures in their campaign world as well.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review. Also, Brandes is a friend of mine and one of the players in my original Sea of Stars campaign, but I like to think that did not influence this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Through Their Own Eyes (5E)
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Shadowrun: Forbidden Arcana (Advanced Magic Rulebook)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/25/2017 09:46:44

Shadowrun: Forbidden Arcana will be on the list to acquire for anyone GMing a magic heavy Shadowrun campaign, both for useful background information on what is happening with magic and new things to play with. For players, sightly less useful but there is still a lot of good information and interesting options for characters here. Overall, one of the more solid works to come out of for Shadowrun lately.

Shadowrun: Forbidden Arcana are the Advanced Magic Rules for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, expanding on the earlier rules presented in the Street Grimoire (which is required to use several sections of this work).

The book begins with one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, then it begins with a section called Seeing the Invisible World which talks about how non-magical people perceive magic with a variety of (in game) first hand accounts of encounters with magic. This is useful for both for players and GMs when describing magical effects to characters who cannot directly see magic.

The Magic Mastery section is the character option section starting with new Mastery Qualities representing the ability to manipulate magic in refined ways all of which have requirements, usually skill based, and which can be acquired after character creation (which is good as many of them have steep requirements) at no increase in cost. Some of these provide interesting options, from improved alchemy to allowing mundanes to assist with rituals and new options for peace makers, which are rare in most game systems. New focused spellcasters: elementalist, hedge witch/wizard, null mage and seer provide more ways to have character to use a narrow section of magic. There is new metamagic, including way for characters to flip to insect or toxic shamanism, most of which builds on that presented in the Street Grimoire but tarot magic and necro magic is new to this book. Aspected magicians are expanded with new options for “apprentices,” enchanters, explorers and the barely magical Aware. Of course, there are new spells, including one that manipulates gravity(!) and a few new rituals, including the necro-magic one that creates animated dead things, always good for a scare.

Traditions talks about, well, traditions and how there are changing under the effects of Unified Magical Theory (UMT) and its effects on existing traditions, updating seven existing traditions which include some radical changes to how some of them work which may cause problems in an ongoing campaign with practitioners of these traditions. Some advice for GMs on how to incorporate (or not) the way these traditions change for existing characters would have been helpful. The eleven new traditions cover a lot of ground and variety, from cosmic to green (plant) magic, Olympian gods to Tarot, red (animal) and necro magic, good tools for players and GMs alike. Fourteen new mentor spirits are presented, including one for religions Holy Text, and alternate versions of three existing totems (rat, spider and wolf) are included again, providing some strong new options for those using mentor spirits. Magic oddities introduces the possibility of hybrid traditions and rules for an awakened martial art (Way of Unified Mana Hapsum-do). A section on magical demographics, i.e. how many magically active people are out there?, rounds out this section and is an interesting read.

No prize for guessing what is in the Blood Magic section, this builds on the rule presented in the Street Grimoire and tries to restrict the use of blood magic as well as presenting a noble path (self-sacrifice) that uses blood magic. There is a lot of information on how blood magic works, what sorts of people are drawn to using it and the dangers of doing so. Additionally, there are new blood magic spells and rituals, blood crystals (functionally magical cyberware) and new spirits (bone spirits and blood shades). Lastly, there is the addiction danger of blood magic which will turn the user of blood magic into a remorseless and casual killer if they succumb. Placing limits on blood magic, social and cultural as well as mechanical, is a good call as maybe that will keep players from messing with it.

Where the Wild Things are drops back into UMT and how that has affected the application of magic and spirits in the Sixth World and what (may have) been behind the explosion in the number of wild spirits in the world and the new sorts of spirts than have been appearing including the spirits of beast, radio waves and vehicles! So much fun to have with spirit here. Then, then, a huge amount of metaplot partly revealed through in-game world discussion. This section concludes with statistics for the new spirit types and new rules for summoning and negotiating with wild spirits.

Advanced Alchemy is just that, with a discussion of corporate alchemy, new reagents, new tools, compounds (which are new ways to use alchemy) and preparations (which are common ways spells are bound into alchemical items). All of which give the alchemist considerably greater flexibility and utility which they sorely needed. A short discussion on how the “dark traditions” (blood, insects and toxic) use alchemy to leverage their forms of magic in ugly but effective ways. Research, Rumors and Legends are five bit of knowledge which, unusually but usefully, each come with a set of adventures seeds both for groups with or without an alchemist in them. This section ends with some brief advice for the shadowrunning alchemist, basic but solid.

The entire book ends with an index of all of the new things included inside.

Forbidden Arcana is a useful resource for any Shadowrun campaign in which magic plays a major role and even in those where it is just a background element, it is a useful book for the GMs shelf. It does provide considerable support for alchemist characters and anyone playing such will want at least access to this book (a gift for you GM maybe?) but that is probably is not worth the purchase price alone.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Forbidden Arcana (Advanced Magic Rulebook)
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Shadowrun: Cutting Aces (Deep Shadows Sourcebook)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/20/2017 14:52:35

Shadowrun: Cutting Aces is a sourcebook for Shadowrun and provides an odd mixed bag of information on the metaplot and setting which providing more options for social-based characters and challenges. As it covers some neglected aspects of the Shadowrun world, such as the Middle East and social skills, it is probably a good investment for a GM but the book is so unfocused unless cons or Constantinople are the focus of your campaign, I cannot say that it should be a priority to acquire.

Shadowrun: Cutting Aces, is a Deep Shadows Sourcebook for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, this particular book covers a variety of sins, confidence games and swindlers, Constantinople (formerly Istanbul) and a bit more about current events in the Sixth World.

The book begins with one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, then moves into what is going on with the big megacorporations and the world, including the special election for the Governor of the Seattle Metroplex, what is going on with Spinrad Industries in the Middle East, too much news from Faerie, and -perhaps most importantly- what sorts of cons (and thus scenarios) the situations exposed are ripe for.

Next we have Constantinople, in all its glory, which lacks that most useful of props, a map of the city, the two and a half pages spent on the pre-21st century history of the city would have been better used for maps. Oddly, the Constantinople at a Glance sidebar neglects to mention what languages are used in the city. The city is full of interesting places and adventure potential and the new information blocks for NPCs scattered throughout look useful. It is rather off the usual beaten path for Shadowrunners and while the adventure seeds are interesting, more ways to tie the city into an ongoing campaign would have been useful.

After another fiction section, there is Alibi Artists of Constantinople, twelve interesting NPCs done in traditional NPC stat blocks, not the one used in the previous section which contains some information that should be folded into any NPC that can be used into a contact. This section then has a selection of life modules for those who wish to play confidence artists (and use that alternate character generation method).

The Art of Confidence covers just that, running down the basics of short and long cons. It is mostly a list of traditional cons, sometime with more modern names, and some idea of how they run. At best an overview of the subject but sufficient for the purpose of most games.

Gat and Glad Rags is the toys section with new weapons, clothing (armored mostly), modification to armor, gear including many things that can be useful in a con (tailored perfume, social subscription software), a handful of smaller drones. Information for Sale lists the price to acquire various types of information that can be of use to con artists and shadowrunners both. A selection of new qualities, both positive and negative, almost all social oriented follows. Next a few new adept powers (three) and spells (four). Then it sets up the expanded social interaction section with new “social maneuvers” that really could have been better defined and structured. And this section then ends with a shift into a list of five character (personality) archetypes.

The next section, the Grifter’s Bible, is the rules section starting with Factional Reputation, that is how particular groups see you and what you can use such reputation for. A good idea but possibly too much of a bookkeeping chore as written. Expended rules for social skills detail, maybe excessively, the value of things when Negotiating prices for services (i.e. a run) or selling gear or information. Rules and structure for using the Con skill to actually run cons. Some advice on using Intimidation in the game. And the world thing ends with a page and a half example of the new social rules in action.

Cutting Aces is a interesting resource providing new tools for the GM, and possibly for the players, but it is scattered, covering a lot of ground in different directions. However, maps for the city and tables for the social maneuvering would have made this product more useful.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Cutting Aces (Deep Shadows Sourcebook)
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Three Sorcerous Arts (5E)
Publisher: Tribality Publishing
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/21/2017 08:45:25

Three Sorcerous Arts: Three Sorcerous Origins for Firth Edition provides some excellent options for sorcerers in 5E and expands the range of choices for that class. Everything seems well balanced and if you like playing sorcerer, or using them as rivals to the players, give this product a look.

Three Sorcerous Arts: Three Sorcerous Origins for Firth Edition by Brandes Stoddard and published by Tribality Publishing is just that, three new Sorcerers’ origins (or bloodlines as they would have been called in some other sources) and some supporting magic items. The layout is clear with thematic color photographs for illustrations.

After a very brief introduction to the product, it presents Royal Sorcery, the blood of queens and kings flows through you and imbues your magic. Royal Sorcery provides an interesting mix of increased combat abilities, ally support and Charisma tricks which some payers will delight in, especially though that like to take a leadership role in a game.

Tidal Sorcery is, naturally, tied to the sea and if you want to play an underwater campaign, convince some of your players to take this origin; while they are far from useless inland, they shine in, or under, the sea.

The third origin is Winter Sorcery, the fae touched magic of frost and cold, which does mostly what you would expect with some nice weaving in of the fae’s ability to charm when dealing with creatures who are otherwise not much damaged by cold. The18th level capstone ability, Master of the Frost, gives the ability to impose additional conditions but lacks a note of when those conditions end (I would say a save at the end of each of the target’s actions to shake them off, but clarification would be nice).

Lastly, there are seven new magic items several of which are only for spell casters of various type but just one is a sorcerer only item, though several get attritional benefit when used by particular type or sorcerer (and a few others). These items are all quite potent and worthy of being the end result of quests or major victories.

A solid addition to the options for sorcerers, and other spell-casters when the magic items are included, except for the one concern above (easily fixed) I would have no problem with allowing any of these in my campaign.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review. Also, Brandes is a friend of mine and one of the players in my original Sea of Stars campaign, but I like to think that did not influence this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Three Sorcerous Arts (5E)
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