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Thread: Arcane Quarter
Wednesday, 27th August, 2008, 08:50 PM #1
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
The City of Liberty is once again expanded on a little more. It has been an enjoyable ride. It all started with Thieves Quarter. A great book that focused on an old and run down section of the city. There is a lot of crime and problems there as one might imagine from the name. Next there was Temple Quarter which was an improvement and completely changed the tone of the city. One was able to read about the temples and religion of the city and it really did a great job of showing the diversity Liberty has to offer. Then there was a little known PDF only adventure called Ring of Thieves. I was able to run it for my own group and it is a good urbane adventure. The latest release just shows that this product line keeps getting stronger as I think it is the best book Games Mechanics has done to date. Arcane Quarter shows what magic does to alter the way a city is and how a city alters itself to contend with the magic community.
Arcane Quarter is a PDF by Game Mechanics and written for the 3.5 D&D rules. It is written by JD Wiker and Christopher West. It is about the same size of the last two quarter books coming in at almost one hundred and twenty pages. It is fully book marked and the layout and art of the high quality that was established in the other books of this product line. The maps as always are top notch. Arcane Quarter is everything one expects from this series.
Arcane Quarter is more then just a section of the city. It deals with arcane magic and shows very well how a city changes to incorporate the used of arcane magic. It has specialty shops for Wizards and intelligent ways to deal with magic. There is a lot of magical intrigue in here and some really creative places. The city has a well defined system of laws that include using magic in the city. There is even a special dueling area and the book has some of the best rules for arcane dueling I have seen. The book also has ways to make the adept NPC to make a different kind of adept and apprentice one can find in the city. There are also some new feats, spells, and magical items like one usually finds in a magic sourcebook. This book has a little bit of everything for the arcane caster.
The real gem of the product is the places. There is a very well defined Magic University in here. I can only think of Redhurst as a wizard school that offers more intrigue and possibilities. There are organizations inside the university some secret and mysterious. There is plenty of intrigue to be offered as well as a nice place for Wizards to get an education. There are two pages of color maps of the school towers and there are plenty of ways to just use the maps away from the book. One issue and that is more with the game then just the book is that stating out Wizards takes a lot of space. They have too many known spells and when it takes over a page to fully stat someone out it just does not look good and it really interferes with the flow of reading the book. The book does have plenty of NPCs stated out and that is useful for a DM. I just prefer to see these sort of stats all placed together in an appendix then in the book proper.
The next major building is the Oubliette a prison for magic using creatures and people. It has plenty of magical defenses set up to contain most creatures with pesky natural magical powers. It offers an interesting sidebar on it in that they auction off the magical items of prisoners that die in custody or prison as well as items that can not properly be claimed. It is a neat way to go about the purchase of a magical item.
The city has a Mage Guild, magic shops, and even a place the sells creatures and animals suitable for familiars. There is even an aviary the sells flying beasts. I like the liberty showcases different types of animals for transportation. They did a very nice job of thinking of the different amenities like shops that sell rare spell components and other things that cater to wizards.
Arcane Quarter is another solid book for Liberty. The place is great as another section of the city and also as a tool for using wizards and having more places in other similar cities. This would be great to help flesh out a Ptolus campaign but using it in a city like Sanctuary will require a bit of work to make it fit. Other cities like Freeport and Bluffside will take a little less work and certain buildings should fit in as is.
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