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Midgard Worldbook for 5th Edition and PFRPG
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Bruce A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/25/2018 00:07:22

The Midgard Worldbook for 5th Edition and Pathfinder is a huge and complex campaign setting for D&D 5e and Pathfinder. The majority of the book is presented without reference to specific rules, and any necessary rules for either system are presented in short appendices at the back of the book. Its’ 461 pages contains one chapter detailing the history and background of the world, ten chapters exploring the nations and people of Midgard, one chapter detailing the deities of the world, and the two afore mentioned appendices. Unfortunately the book lacks an index, which would have been useful in a tome of this size. To run a full campaign in the Midgard setting, one of the companion books, The Heroes Handbook for 5th Edition, or the Midgard Player’s Guide for PFRPG is required. These books detail the racial and class options specific to Midgard, as well as spells and new magic rules. The Tome of Beasts is also an indispensable resource for 5th Edition Midgard specific creatures.

The world of Midgard is vast, and it is both familiar and fantastical at the same time. Many of the nations and cultures are based strongly on corresponding historical cultures and regions of Earth. There are also some areas that are entirely fantastical. The world of Midgard goes far beyond the Western Medieval culture prevalent in so many fantasy RPG settings. Midgard is based most heavily on Eastern European and Middle Eastern culture, but includes so much more, from Northern barbarians to ancient Egyptian god kings. It also offers several wildly fantastical lands that have no corresponding culture in real world history.

The jewel in the crown, for me, is the chapter on Midgard's pantheon. It presents us with gods that are both mysterious and immanent. The nature and identity of the gods is inscrutable as gods take on masks of other gods, some benign, some malevolent, yet possibly both at the same time.

The art in the book is very evocative, and does a great job of presenting the imagery that the text hints at. I found a few typos throughout the book, but nothing too distracting. For those familiar with the original Midgard Campaign Setting, this book advances the plot line of the world by about 10 years.

For a more in depth review and overview of the setting, see my blog post here



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard Worldbook for 5th Edition and PFRPG
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Arcanis 5E Campaign Setting
Publisher: Paradigm Concepts, Inc.
by Bruce A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/16/2018 01:37:39

The Arcanis 5e campaign setting by Paradigm Concepts is a large book sitting at 420 pages. It presents a campaign world for D&D 5e that is original and very deeply detailed. It is rich in politics and religion and everything else that makes for a good, epic campaign. The book is overflowing with beautiful artwork. Chapters 1 to 5 in this book entirely replace chapters 2 to 6 in the Player's Hanbook, There is also a free Arcanis Primer available if you want to get a taste of the setting before fully diving in… http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/194097/Arcanis-5E-Primer?term=arcanis&test_epoch=0

To start with, Chapter 1 presents the races of Arcanis. There is no need to flip back and forth between the Player’s Handbook and the Arcanis campaign book, however, as the races for Arcanis are all reimagined and given a definite twist to make them setting specific. Of the standard D&D races there are: Dark-Kin (Tieflings) who bear the taint of an infernal invasion centuries ago; Dwarves, formerly giants now cursed for not aiding humans as the gods intended; Elorii (Elves) former slaves of an ancient reptilian race, bonded to the four elements and mourning the loss of their dead gods; Gnomes, deformed mutants created by the mating of Dwarves and Humans; the current masters of the Known Lands. Added to the standard races are: Kio, mysterious survivors from an ancient sky city that fell to earth centuries ago; Ss’ressen, lizard folk who have abandoned their reptilian overlords to live and serve among the human kingdoms; Undir, semi aquatic river folk descended from human and undine forbearers; and Val, descendants of humans who bred with celestial Valinor, and are now the ruling class of the human nations. Dragonborn, Halflings, Half Elves and Half Orcs do not make an appearance in Arcanis.

Chapter 2 is devoted to the classes of Arcanis. As with chapter one, there is no need to flip between the Players Handbook and the setting book to sort out your character’s class. All the information is here. As with the races above, all of the classes and their archetypes are either re-imagined classics, or entirely new for the setting. The Cleric and Holy Champion (Paladin) classes are designed to fit specifically into the setting’s gods and churches. The Fighter, Fury (Barbarian), Ranger and Rogue have all new archetypes to suit the classes in this world. The classic wizard is gone, but there are two types of sorcerers, the Elder Sorcerer and the Eldritch Sorcerer. The first represents the magic tradition of the elder races of the land, and represents detailed and specific study and casting of spells. The Elder Sorcerer is the magic using class of the younger races, it is not as precise, but is fierce and is wielded like a hammer. The Warlock is not available for play (yet) but many of the rules for the warlock are cleverly redesigned to represent the spirit magic of the Shaman. The Druid and the Bard are absent from the book.

Chapter 3, Backgrounds introduces new, setting specific backgrounds and introduces background effects based on your character’s nationality. Along with these things it introduces Fate, a replacement mechanic for inspiration, which represents the Divine Harlot’s fickle ebb and flow of forces in the world. This chapter also announces that Alignment is out. The events in Arcanis are all various shades of grey, and the use of alignment is too restrictive.

Chapter 4, Equipment is also a complete replacement of the equipment chapter in the Player’s Handbook. As well as the standard adventuring gear, weapons and armor, the book introduces regional weapons and armor, and slaves.

Chapter 5, Customization Options presents rules for Allegiance to a particular country, Fame, Secret Society membership, revised rules on Multiclassing, setting specific Feats that replace those from the Player’s Hanbook, and Combat Schools.

Chapters 6 and 7 present setting specific rules for magic and new rules for psionics. They also include new spells, spell lists and psionic powers. I won’t go into details here, but the chapters are well written and clear. They present a different take on the traditional D&D metaphysics, but it is all internally consistent and fits the setting.

Chapter 8 presents the world of Arcanis, It is almost 100 pages of detailed description representing the history and geography of the world. In Arcanis, as in the real world, religion and politics play a large role in world events. We see the role of the church of the Pantheon of Man presented here from the personal piety of a peasant believer to world shaking events such as heresies and crusades. The politics and power struggles are present here as well. All the detail present shows that this is a world where the adventurers actions can affect the paths of nations. For fans of the older edition of Arcanis, it appears that the timeline has been advanced 50 to 100 years.

The book ends with 2 appendices of new monsters and new magic items and a detailed index At the time of this writing, (March 2018) the hardcover book is not out yet. From what I understand the book is expected to be out in May 2018.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Arcanis 5E Campaign Setting
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Post-Apocalyptic Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Bruce A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/02/2012 20:21:13

A nice collection of PA minis, I like my paper minis a bit larger to mix with my plastic ones, and discovered that these scaled nicely to a slightly larger size.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Post-Apocalyptic Set
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Faery's Tale Figures
Publisher: Arion Games
by Bruce A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/25/2009 12:22:41

I just downloaded the Faery's Tale figures, and am really impressed with the quality and detail of the artwork. I also appreciate that they come in three different formats for me to choose. In the past I have purchased Arion Games Biblical minis and other ancient sets, and was equally impressed. In the future, I plan to look to Arion first when looking for paper minis.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Faery's Tale Figures
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Biblicals Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Bruce A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/22/2009 08:51:21

I am running an educational game in for my homeschooled son. I was concerned that using my usual collection of orcs and goblins, etc. would ruin the mood of a historical game. I was very excited to find these, and love the historical accuracy of the figures. I'm looking for an excuse to purchase more minis from them.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Biblicals Set
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