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Return of the Scarlet Empress $19.99
Publisher: White Wolf
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2010 09:05:00

First, this is not the end of the Exalted line. It is, however, the last product to be released more or less simultaneously in electronic and dead tree format. Future products will be released in electronic form first, possibly followed by print or print-on-demand versions later.

That out of the way, let's take a look at this beauty. This book offers a what-if campaign layout illustrating possible events resulting from the marriage of the Scarlet Empress to the Ebon Dragon. It showcases theatres of conflict in all directions of Creation, including some options to continue the story in the underworld. The good, to me, far outweighs any meh (nothing really bad springs to my mind). We got various examples of how the Realm would wage great-scale wars, a lot of possibility for player characters to involve themselves no matter where they are and what kind of Exalt they are, from Solars in the West to Lunars in the South, from Abyssals to Infernals, with Dragonblooded, Sidereals and Alchemicals as well. While the narrative part does in many ways use the GSPs as the devices of the Reclamation, any kind of gaming group can be slotted in as movers and shakers, never relegated to the sidelines. All events that transpire in the book only happen as shown IF the players do not interfere. And there are a lot of places where the players can take the reigns of Creation's resistance (or the Reclamation from Hell). On top of that, the PCs can expect a final facedown with a fifty-mile long Ebon Dragon with the fate and future of Creation at stake, complete with stats for the Big Bad. This also for the first time shows exactly what a Primordial turned Yozi looks like. Additionally, we get more information about and stats for the Scarlet Empress, but no boring wall of Charms. Talking about charms, there are several new, from Solar to Infernal including the aforementioned I Am Ebon Dragon stuff. This is all topped by various plot hooks depending upon how the end game plays itself out and perhaps the finest example of what a truly utopian Creation could look like, even if only illustrated in a few short sentences (short does not make it any less awesome).

So, let's cut to chase. If you like to know what could result from the return of the Scarlet Empress, grab this book. If you like to know what it means to fight a 50-mile long dragon of evil and darkness, grab this book. If you like to see what a given group of PCs could grab in a powerplay for any of the 5 directions, with possible reactions by the Realm, grab this book. Hell, even if you want to know what the endgame for Creation as initiated by any of the other threats (Neverborn, Unshaped) could look like, there are a lot ideas and plot hooks right here. Which is not to say that I wouldn't love a book dedicated to this, but that is mostly thanks to how much I did enjoy this product.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Return of the Scarlet Empress
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