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Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein
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Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein
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Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein
Publisher: Iain Lowson
by Albert S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/24/2013 03:57:16

The writers definitely didnt do their homeworks. As someone actually living in Eastern Europe, I must say that the book got it all wrong about the history, demography and overall situation of the 19th century Hapsburg Empire. I wont give a lecture here, but for example the Romanians going against a unified Austro-Hungarian block in the 1860s is just ridiculous, because after 1848 there was no such unified block for almost 20 years. On the map, they didnt even got the proper names for some of the neighbouring nations!

It was a good idea, combining non-occult horror with alternate history and the revolution theme. It was even a good idea to place it in the area. But it would have been a really good idea to have someone on staff who actually knew a few things about the place and time.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Completely correct about the map (we\'ve covered that over on the website - We\'re very much looking forward to correcting that with the 2nd Edition in 2015. As to the rest, DH:LoF is an alternative history, not an actual history. As such, it plays around (respectfully) with what happened in the real world at that time so we could create the world setting we needed and let folks tell the stories they want to tell. We did stacks of research, and continue to do so as we work towards our next publication. One of the things we\'ve always encouraged is for our audience to mess with the background to make it their own for their own campaigns. If you did that, we\'d love to read about the results some time. Many thanks for your input, Albert. Much appreciated. :)
Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein
Publisher: Iain Lowson
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/28/2012 19:28:20

Few games come even close to the kind of heart that Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein has. Iain Lowson's work in Dark Harvest could be described as a love letter to gothic horror with a little wink to the steampunk aesthetic.

Setting-wise, Promethea is a strong one, full of interesting and disturbing detail. It is a world gone wrong, with atrocities committed in the name of science, ambition, greed and selfishness. The abuse of power is a prominent theme, but for good reason. The writing of the setting chapters serve to fan the flames of indignation, where any person with half a heart can find the spark needed to DO something about the conditions in Prometha. It is a setting of martyrs and heroes fighting in the purest battlefield for sacrifice, one where their valor and courage will never be recognized.

The rules for DH:LoF are a variant of the Victoriana mechanics. I'd put this in the rules-medium category, similar to that of Legend of the Five Rings, and Savage Worlds. The mechanics are easy enough to learn and teach, though it does require about 10d6 per player. Combat is closer to that of the World of Darkness, where "Tactical" concerns aren't really the highlight, though tweaking the system to allow for some measure of advantage to those who think ahead before engaging an enemy isn't too hard to do.

Character creation is meaty, and the book itself suggests minor variations depending on the group's preferences. Characters can start off with a host of advantages, and the use of social classes to determine the difficulty of certain tasks and the availability of other advantages is an inspired touch that I wish I could see more of in other games.

Overall, Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein is an inspired and flavorful game that lends itself well to many gaming groups. The blend of Horror and themes of rebellion is a rare one, and DH:LoF finds a way to inspire players to fight, rather than just give up in the face of the inevitable. I would definitely recommend this game to anyone looking for something different as far as RPGs go.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein
Publisher: Iain Lowson
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/21/2012 01:30:00

WHAT WORKS: The presentation is fantastic. There's a lot of information in here, but it never feels overbearing. The art is well-done and well-placed, never dominating the book but adding appropriate flavor. The setting is quite disturbing, with the wealthy preying off of the poor in a most unique manner, and the horrors of Frankenstein's machinations revealed in excruciating detail. The sealed off nature of Promethea also allows for extra intensity in setting that might not be there in a more "open" environment.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: The health system seems unnecessarily complicated. I probably would have liked more Talents, but with Augmentations, Assets, Privileges and Contacts, there are more options there than it appears on the surface. Perhaps my biggest gripe with the setting is that, as cool as it is, it seems to be building to a Frankenstein vs Creature encounter (okay, it says so a few times), and that seems like it would exclude the PCs from playing the major role in the future of Promethea.

CONCLUSION: A top-notch product with an inventive spin on alternate history and the Frankenstein mythos. Certainly not the first product I've seen to place the Creature in the role of the hero and Frankenstein in the role of megalomaniacal madman (Dean Koontz' series did it as well), but it still has its own spin on it that feels quite cool in its own right. Not sure I'm 100% sold on the system, as it has a few parts that feel unnecessarily complicated (like Health dice), but that may just be unfamiliarity with the system shining through. The setting alone places it on the higher end of alternate history games I've read.

For my full review, please visit:

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein
Publisher: Iain Lowson
by David C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/05/2012 18:22:15

This game is Edwardian Science Fiction done right. I hesitate to call it "steampunk" although it has a very dark, dystopian setting.

What I like best about Dark Harvest is that it remains focused on its central conciet. This is not a kitchn sink steampunk world with magic and steam lords and secret societies and smoke and steam and... Instead thE focus is on King Frankenstein's brave new world of Promethea.

The first half of the book is system agnostic setting material. The works of fiction are very evocative and set the mood well. The details of Promethea are nicely done including maps of each county.

The game makes no assumptions about which side teh Players will be on. There are at least three major factions and the campaigncould feature any of them as central. These options are the opressive regime currently running the show, the Resistance, and the "true Prometheans" who follow Victor's original utopian viswion.

The game system is a d6 based dice pool system and includes the feature of Black Dice which represent situations and factors acting against the players. GMs and Players who favor a different set of mechanics should be able to use the setting with no difficulty.

This is a game fornhorror afficinados, buit offers plenty of politics, intrigue, and action as well as the horror.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein
Publisher: Iain Lowson
by baard e. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/14/2011 06:03:15

Be warned: this is a first impression review; i´ve only had the pdf for two days, and so this is more a general impression than an in-depth analysis.

Also, i make no judgement of the rule system or the plentiful setting fiction in the text. (In general i´m not a fan of setting fiction, but what i´ve skimmed seems well-written)

But: all in all, i´m very impressed by Dark Harvest.

The setting blossoms from a cohesive and fascinating concept- Victor Frankensteins´ discoveries forcefully altering the spirit of the age, creating a Romanian hell/ paradise.

This idea allows games that effortlessly move across historical romance to horror, "retro-transhumanism", swashbuckling superheroism or angsty drama. Its hard to NOT grab a pencil and jot down game ideas while reading.

To my utter delight, the book takes its setting seriously. If you want it, you will find a clear and cohesive explanation of balkan politics and society, not just the rules and stats for horrific body modifications.. and you even get an overview with map of every one of 40+ romanian (well Promethean) regions, complete with descriptions. If you GM, this is the stuff that saves you a lot of work.

…If you like the fundamental idea of Dark Harvest, the book won´t dissapoint.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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