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City of Judas $5.00
Publisher: Dreamlord Press
by Henry d. V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/14/2015 12:18:58

Full disclosure: Playtester, here.

This game initially gave me a sort of Assassin's Creed vibe (so you know which playbook I'm claiming if anyone in my local group runs this, right?) but it quickly proved to be far richer, deeper, and more interesting than that. This is not your childhood DM's take on the Crusades, folks. Be prepared to be surprised. In all candor, the alternate history that M. Pignedoli has envisioned really helped this setting take off for me--it captures the feel of the period and the setting while being different enough to reinforce the awareness that this isn't just a re-enactment.

Mechanically it's a little crunchier than straight A*World, which was a bit of a stumbling point for us at first since we were playing online by post. (My gut feeling is that when you're around a table, the parts that puzzled us will flow much more naturally.) It's also got a mission-based format instead of the more freeform "what are you doing today" flow of the original.

Combat is a messy business, as in any *World game, but here it's complicated by an Advantage Die that gradually goes up as time goes on. Used well, it can and will save your bacon. (There's an optional rule that can speed combat up a little but makes it just a bit more lethal. Try it both ways!)

Magic is, as it should be, very strange and unsettling...and somewhat hazardous to the wielder's well-being, much like being a Brainer in A*World can be dangerous. The Sorcerer is also the single most complicated playbook in the game, but when the chips are down they have a lot of game-changing potential. Just don't ask them to cast Fireball on a moment's notice, 'cause this is a slower and more subtle style of ritual-based casting.

Overall, if your tastes in fantasy run low, grim, and a little gritty, or you want something that isn't just another dungeon crawl clone, this is worth checking out.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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City of Judas
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