I like the box, I even, despite reservations about losing pages and keeping bookmarks, like the books. Some criticisms have been made about the Dragon Pass map - that's the first ever published DP map, from White Bear & Red Moon, and, as a wave of nostalgia breaks over me, one of my favourite bits of the box! It's beautiful...
The layout problems... erm... what problems? OK, I've seen slicker, I preferred Louise Perrine's art (never been equalled to my eyes), and there are all those bloody symbols instead of fractions & ellipsis. I dearly hope someone, somewhere, got their arse soundly booted for that, it is a MAJOR problem, making nonsense of Berserker magic without reference to the website. Oh, well... Anyone else noticed the Heroic Consequences chart on the handout (and the Demo pack) is screwed up? Yeah, well, OK, there are layout problems...
Contents, I'm still reading. The Animist magic sections already brought a smile to my face, and a worried gasp... entering the Spirit Realm is resisted by 10W3! Wow, I need to read that stuff on boosting magic with rituals, groups, items, and all that... Theistic magic I see no problems, the rest I've still to check out. There's an adequate selection of creatures and races, including Chaos types, but no Minotaurs. I need Minotaurs, dammit! :) There are rules for running Incarnating Heroes/Spirits, so Firshalla and Shalia (anyone else remember her?) are right in there. Roderick is a sad man, who's bio is presented as a 100-word writeup (just a starter character?) with keywords underlined... :) And there are no definitions of the Feats. Bad idea, I've said it before, I'll continue to harp on about it.
The Extended Task Resolution system has come in for some stick (that's criticism, for the Yanks), so here's my vote in defence. To my eyes, the AP bidding system is possibly the slickest fatigue system I've seen yet, wear your opponent down, choose your own degree of energetics. Bid low with a big Edge, or high with a good skill. Defend carefully, or risk all with an extreme effort. Admittedly, I'll be using the 7AP=Wound system extensively (and not just for Wounds), plus the Grievous Wounds option (he takes a Wound AND loses the AP...). The problem with not knowing your wound level until it's all over is solved using Wounds, you take wounds, the final damage level just represents the effect of the 'final' blow that won the fight.
Anyway, next Saturday, Dragon & George, Parnie Street, Glasgow (behind the Tron Theatre), from 12 noon (game on at or before 2 pm) I'll be running a demo game, probably the Hound Tower. Advertisements on a HW boxtop background, as authorised by the generous Mr. Stafford by private e-mail (nice guy, permission extends to anyone running a demo) have been posted, and I think I have 5-6 volunteers already! If demand exists, I'll run another one the next week.
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