Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Calidar: In Strange Skies
Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!
Product- Calidar: In Strange Skies
Producer- Calidar Publishing
Price- $10 here http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/133973/C-
TL; DR- How about some Spelljammer in Pathfinder? 90%
Basics- Set sail for the first star on the right! Calidar is a setting for a universe focusing on flying sky ships that sail between planets with most of the focus on the world of Calidar. While the book goes small enough to detail the kingdom of Meryath on Calidar, the book also has enough universe detail to give any game master enough ideas for how to run the universe. Let's break this book down into its parts.
Mechanics or Crunch- This is not a crunch book, but it also doesn't want to be. Any book that starts with 45 pages of story to introduce the world via fiction wants you to get the world feeling first before even considering the mechanics of the system. For the majority of the crunch here, the system uses Pathfinder for its base mechanics. It does build where it needs to by adding some creatures that are specific to the world. The book does have new sky ships as well as maps for the setting as well. It's done reasonably well, but there isn't anything that really builds on Pathfinder's mechanics to make it its own. That's not horrible as building on established mechanics system is ok, but I would have liked a bit more to make Pathfinder its own. 4/5
Theme or Fluff- Hand's down, this is the best part of the book. The book begins with a fun 45 page story and spends most of its pages building a world for the players to play it. The fantasy isn't completely original with elements like orcs are evil and many common tropes, but that doesn't made it bad by any means. If you want Pathfinder Spelljammer, this is the setting for you. 5/5
Execution- This book does something different and uses three columns for its text. The text isn't bad, but the three columns don't really suit my reading and understanding style. The art here is well done as this is the first RPG book I've ever read where the air currents are laid out! That kind of attention to detail is impressive. Honestly, a little more art to break up some text and changing to the use of two columns, and I'd be much happier with the execution of this book. That and maybe a small adventure to help me as a game master get into the world a bit better. 4.25/5
Summary-If you want Spelljammer in Pathfinder, then this is the book for you. You will get the feeling of the old school with his book. This book has lots of details while still giving the writer room to build out into the different planets and still zoom into the micro scale of each city. It's a good book that really does build its own universe. It's got its faults as I would have liked to see some Calidar specific Pathfinder mechanics to really own the rules it runs on, and I would suggest a few changes to the layout to help me as a reader get into your text. That said, if you can get past a few minor faults and you want some planet sailing fun, then the best place is to start with a contributing author to Spelljammer back in the TSR days and this book. 90%
[5 of 5 Stars!]