A first look at Destan's Valus sourcebook
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    A first look at Destan's Valus sourcebook

    I received a gift in the mail today: the Valus sourcebook by our very own Destan.

    I've only had a chance to skim through it during lunch, but it looks very promising. The changes to the game rules seem well thought out, and each one serves to distinguish the Valus from a generic D&D setting. For example, 1st edition AD&D purists will be pleased with the return of racial relationship effects (in the form of Diplomacy and Gather Information modifiers). As another example, Destan includes the frequent "Sorcerers get Eschew Materials as a free bonus feat" into the Valus rules. There are plenty of small changes like this scattered throughout the sourcebook, each with a subtle but noticeable effect.

    There's also an extensively detailed history and pantheon, with plenty of built in role-playing meat. This is good fluff, folks. If you've read Destan's story hour, you know that he can write with the best of 'em.

    All-in-all, a thumbs up from me. Good on you, Destan!
    Last edited by Joshua Randall; Wednesday, 4th August, 2004 at 06:48 PM. Reason: formatting

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    Another book that's snuck under my radar.

    Sounds interesting. Page length? Price?

    Is it mean to be a whole campaign setting, or can it be used piecemeal in another campaign like Forgotten Realms? I ask because some products are more modular than others. For example, I found Barakus to be easy enough to use in almost any setting, but elements from other settings, like Iron Kingdoms, more specific in terms of what you could do with it.

    Any chance of doing a full review? I'm sure others are interested to know more about the settign.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeGKushner
    Another book that's snuck under my radar.

    Sounds interesting. Page length? Price?

    Is it mean to be a whole campaign setting, or can it be used piecemeal in another campaign like Forgotten Realms? I ask because some products are more modular than others. For example, I found Barakus to be easy enough to use in almost any setting, but elements from other settings, like Iron Kingdoms, more specific in terms of what you could do with it.

    Any chance of doing a full review? I'm sure others are interested to know more about the settign.
    It's 176 pages, and is $29.99. If you're at Gencon, I understand that Destan will be there with autographed copies.

    It is a campaign setting, although there are plenty of ideas to mine from it. Large sections of the setting can easily be divested from the campaign, especially many of the individual locations. Enthusiasts of the story hour will find much they recognize, and details that are only hinted at in the story.

    There are a few new races and lots of small but significant changes to much of the core, all with the intent of creating a campaign with a different feel from the standard D&D game. An example are the three variant Bardic disciplines, in which a bard can specialize his talents. A skald from the Isle of Gordia is more of a warrior, while a Troubador far less of one. However, don't get the mistaken impression that it's full of tons of new rules...it's not. There are no new spells to speak of, only a handful of new feats, a smattering of new items and but a single prestige class.

    The book's meat is a gazeeter of the Valus themselves, bookended by races, class information and specific rules. While there are no new spells, there are important difference in how magic works for some, and clerics and paladins will find themselves in VERY different territory. A sample adventure is given in the back, to help illustrate what an adventure in the Valus might be like.

    You will find details for a couple of cities, an interesting cosmology, a detailed history and a very grey atmosphere. All but one of the deities are aspected for both good and evil, and one cannot assume that a servant of any particular Risen God is inclined one way or the other (again with one exception). There are both adventure and campaign suggestions aplenty.

    Also, Destan has written an adventure in the Valus that will be available at Gencon (and presumably for order shortly thereafter) called The Return of Ippizicus Childeater, based somewhat on the details from his story hour...but it's quite different from the events presented there. I consider it one of the best adventures I've ever laid hands upon, but quite honestly, I'm pretty biased.
    Last edited by WizarDru; Wednesday, 4th August, 2004 at 08:18 PM.

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    Just got my copy when I went home to let my dog out on my lunch break...weirdest thing...the postman walked up to me while I was outside my apartment building and asked, "Are you in 403?" I am. He handed my the box. It was very strange. Anyway, #11! Woo-hoo! Thanks to Different Worlds for getting it to me so quickly, and thanks to Destan for signing it.

    So far, looks great...I've been thinking about starting a game myself, because the campaign I'm currently playing in seems to be fizzling out under player schedules. Maybe I'll run in the Valus? Time will tell.

    Great work, Destan. This is a quality sourcebook.

    -Kev

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeGKushner
    Is it mean to be a whole campaign setting, or can it be used piecemeal
    It's a campaign setting, specifically Destan's homebrew world. I suppose you could use elements of it piecemeal, but the Valus have a specific feel to them: rather grim (but not as grim as, say, Midnight) with lots of moral grey areas.

    Any chance of doing a full review? I'm sure others are interested to know more about the settign.
    I'll hold off on that until I have read more of the sourcebook, but the chances are good that I will eventually write a review.

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    Joe, if I can ever get someone from ENWorld to reply with how I ship review copies to you, Alan, and the others, you'll get a copy in the mail soon. If you know the process, please email me

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    Sepulchrave II is mightily impressed and gives his first impressions of the work over here.

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    Hmm, let's see whether they send it to Germany as well...

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    Congrats to Destan again. Any idea when this thing will hit the stores?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eosin the Red
    Congrats to Destan again. Any idea when this thing will hit the stores?
    Distributors should have the book after GenCon, according to our fulfillment house.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darklone
    Hmm, let's see whether they send it to Germany as well...
    Different Worlds ships internationally. You can also order from Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books although that won't get you a signed and numbered coy of Valus

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