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Explore Magic and Socio-Political Tension in the Entromancy RPG

The Entromancy RPG is a Cyberpunk-Fantasy hybrid from designer M.S. Farzan. It is built on a 5E structure, but with additions to the system and the occasional nod to the D20 days. The design team kickstarted the game in 2018 and Entromancy became available in late spring of 2019. Like many games and settings it was inspired by a desire to write a book and so this world of late 21st century San Francisco was born. In a time when many wonder if cyberpunk is outdated, Entromancy provides a few new twists to formula.

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Setting: San Francisco

Having grown up around San Francisco, it made sense for the designer to place Entromancy in a setting they were familiar with. The city plays an important role in the setting and familiarity with that area makes everything feel more authentic. Artwork provides the image of a futuristic city, which seems cleaner than one might expect. Fans of the Golden Gate Bridge can rest easy as the bridge still stands in the late 21st century and is still in use. The bridge remains an iconic location that can play a role in your games.

As mentioned, the re-discovery of the renewable element Ceridium has given rise to a technological revolution. It also had unforeseen consequences, creating groups of people known as the Aurics. In particular it created dwarfs, gnomes, high aurics, and low aurics. Low Aurics would be considered orc-like, while High Aurics are elf-like, though those are loose analogies. An Auric nation has been created in northern California, appropriately named Aurichome. This is one of the three major factions vying for dominance in San Francisco. The other two are NIGHT, a paramilitary group with a checkered past that is trying to make a better world, though not always succeeding. The final faction are the Unaligned, who refuse to make a binary choice on politics.

Add in a dose of technomagic and other cyberpunk tropes, and Nightpath has established a setting with teeth that can grab the imagination of player and game master.

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System: 5E And a Little Bit Over

Those with any passing familiarity to the 5E system will have no issue with Entromancy. When humans are added in, there are a total of five player races living around San Francisco. There are also five classes to inhabit: Night Agent, Revolutionary, Technomancer, Terramancer, and Vanguard. Allow me for a moment to speak about the Terramancer archetype of Arcane Pitcher. This is exactly what is sounds like and you get to use spells like 7th - Inning Stretch and Slider. I think this a terrific nod to the setting, where no doubt there are more than a few San Francisco Giants fans.

Descriptions of everything are short and to the point, without wasting space. While this makes for a quick read, perhaps a more robust description gives the game system more context. There are tons of examples though, providing information on the intention of a rule or setting note.

Along with the familiar 5E beats there are a couple of small innovations I liked. The first is Momentum, which is a kind of catch all meta-mechanic similar to Inspiration. However, Momentum allows the character to attempt impossible tasks and encourages risk taking. The mechanic is simple and easy to use. The second mechanic of note are the Destinies. Destinies are a nod to the prestige classes of 3E. What makes them interesting is that gaining one of the destinies is more than just the right skills; a character must have the correct faction connections as well. Each character can only have one destiny.

Review

Entromancy is a fine example of what can be done with the base 5E system. It not only changes the classes, but streamlines the process of constructing the character. Small details tie the mechanics and the setting together, making both the better for it. Overall I find Entromancy to be highly playable and an interesting edition to both the cyberpunk and 5E game genres.
 
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Sean Hillman

Comments

Yaarel

Explorer
It seems the Entromancy system uses the D&D 5e gaming system to good effect, to represent a cyberpunk setting.
 

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