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Thread: Lands of Mystery
Sunday, 4th March, 2007, 06:09 PM #1
Lama (Lvl 13)
Lands of Mystery
Lands of Mystery
World of Warcraft RPG Supplement
Published by White Wolf
208 black & white pages
Lands of Mystery is a counterpoint to Lands of Conflict. While the latter focused on the lands of the east, Lordaeron, Khaz Modan, and Azeroth, this product focuses on Kalimdor. At 208 b & w pages, the book is competitively priced. Interior covers are reproductions of the World of Warcraft. Cover at is handled by fan favorite Samwise Didier, and interior art is handled by Hannah Spute, Nicole Cardiff, James Stowe and others.
The book is written in a friendly manner, introduced by Brann Bronzebeard. His insights into the so called Lands of Mystery can probably be quoted in one line. “the world is full of people who want to eat your liver.” If you like that line, you’ll probably enjoy the writing style of the book.
The book uses traditional two column formatting. Text seems a bit large, but it makes it easy on the eyes and has a good use of white space. Sidebars are done in boxed grey, as are the page borders. Instead of using those borders as chapter indicators, all they say is “World of Warcraft the Roleplaying Games” The only time that changes is at the start of a new chapter.
Unlike WoTC books, this one doesn’t waste a page with cover credits only to have a full page of credits right next to it. Nor does it have three pages of advertising, which as some White Wolf books I’ve read have had five pages of ads, is a nice touch. The only thing taking away from the page count is the old OGL. While there is no index, the table of contents does a fair job of providing all the tools you’ll need to read through the book and quickly find things.
Broken up into nine chapters, Lands of Mystery approaches Kalimdor from a location perspective. Looking for information on central Kalimdor? Go to chapter two. Looking for information on the South Seas? Go to chapter four.
The areas include a quick close up of the area in question and details on those locations named on the map. For example, North Kalimdor includes locations like Ashenvale, Azshara, Darkshore, Felwood, and others. Each location is detailed by population, major settlements, languages, faith, resources, affiliation, people and culture, geography, sites and settlements, history, and adventure subsections.
For example, under Ruotar, you’ll see that the capital is Orgrimmar with 14,000 and is run by a tribal chiefdom and the ruler is Thrall with major settlements including Orgrimmar, Razor Hill, and Sen’jin Village.
In addition to providing background details, the book also provides three short adventurers to get players immediately into the setting.
For GM’s looking for tools to help run the setting, they have details on the various civilizations rarely looked at, like the murlocks and the nerubians, as well as different organizations like the Burning Blade and the Scourge.
Organizations included membership numbers, alignment, affiliation, regions of influence, activities, background, organization, locations, and sample members that are detailed with sex, race, class, and level with background. Unfortunately, some of the information, well, much of it in some cases, is going to be familiar to anyone whose played the RTS. The information on the Scourge for example, reads more like a recap of what’s happened as opposed to providing new insights into this terrible enemy. Perfect for someone whose new to the World of Warcraft, but a tad unlikely given the huge numbers of people who’ve played the game as opposed to coming to the setting from an RPG.
Players looking for new rules will find three new PrCs, feats, magic items, steam armor and equipment, special materials and spells. The PrCs include the buccaneer, holy strider, and techno mage.
The buccaneer is a warrior style class of the sea. They gain bonus feats from a select list, have good bab, good fort and ref saves and a few special abilities related to the image of the pirate like Treasure Nose where they gain a bonus to Appraise, Listen, Search and Spot checks.
The holy strider is similar to a ranger or scout crossed with a diplomat in that they’re out on the frontier, often alone but are trying to make allies. With fair hit dice, d8, medium bab, goot fort and will saves, and good skill points, six every level, they’ve already got a fair start on some other classes. Throw in special abilities like Graceful Exit where they gain a bonus on stealth checks and initiative checks or shadow meld, and you’ve got a class perfect for that loner every group always seems to have.
The techno mage continues the long tradition of taking strange technology that shouldn’t work in the Warcraft setting, and explaining it away with the old mix of magic and steam. Techno mages benefit from combining magic with technology in interesting ways. For example, they can place spells on technological weapons. Thanks to all the mishaps that they undergo, they gain a small measure of energy resistance. This doesn’t count their continued advancement in arcane spellcasting.
The feats seem a bit uninspired for the most part. Things like Diehard, allowing you to function in the negatives, or Flyby Attack, are old standards in other OGL games.
Magic items include description, powers, caster cost, and market cost. Items range from the greatsword Hellfire, a thorium +5 unholy greatsword worth over one hundred thousand gold pieces, to steam items including the Steam Fist, a device that increases the damage that steam armor’s slam deals and provides a massive bonus on grapple checks.
Lands of Mystery acts as a good resource for players looking to have more information on the setting and for GMs, it provides several tools that can be of use, some of which can easily be moved to other d20 campaigns.
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