This month we have a solid cross section of various things I enjoy, plus a whole additional set of polyhedral dice and a Far Away Land sticker to go in the swag-bag. Sorry, I’ll never call my gaming tote that again.
Far Away Land is a rules light fantasy rpg built for six sided dice. The art is whimsical and silly while the rules are quick to pick up, while covering a surprising amount of ground. You’d think a quick-start guide this short would be filled to the rafters, but in this little booklet is a starter adventure to go with the basic rules. Even if I don’t end up running a FAL game, I can still reskin this “treasure island” dungeon and location in my games (if my players would ever go anywhere near the sea).
This month’s half page, three-ring binder is a small ziggurat temple encounter/mini-dungeon done up in the FAL style. The little portraits really make this product and the whole thing fits neatly on the two-sides of the page without leaving me, the DM, with a bunch of work to fill in the gaps. If I need a quick cultist temple, I can whip out this half page to create the whole temple, or at least the first two floors to stall for time until the next game (so I can prepare the rest of the temple in the downtime).
Under The Shattered Mountain by Expeditious Retreat Press leaves something to be desired. It has an extensive cavern complex with keyed up encounters, followed by a concisely written dungeon, but I can’t help pine for a stronger or more evocative theme. This is a suitable cavern/dungeon crawl with complex encounters, but feel free to insert your own more interesting goal and thematic elements. That is, unless you need a standard “cavern revealed that has rumors of lots of treasure and danger” to go somewhere in your campaign. I prefer to play up the weirdness and craziness in my places to explain why they haven’t been looted rather than the trope of caverns being opened by recent geological activity. Perhaps I am an utter fool who needs to learn how to reading comprehension, YMMV.
This issue of judges guild was heavily focused on magic and magic items, but the real gem in this one is this essay on spell systems. Why, in a world of magic, don’t the common folk have access to magic? This writer took the task of creating small magic most people are able to perform. I disagree with adding a whole additional statistic to do so, but the idea (combined with recent reading of UNSONG, Twig, and HPMOR) got me interested. What about turning those old wives tales and superstitions into literal magic that everyday folk do? Knocking on wood literally wards off bad luck by giving a small bonus to a future save against the bad thing they just mentioned. This is something to think on, and if I come up with something, you’ll be the first to know (assuming you’re subscribed to my blog, of course). You are subscribed to my blog aren’t you?