Let's Read Sword World 2.5!

Blue Orange

Gone to Texas
Wonder if they were influenced by Dragonlance's kender.

I remember seeing the dullahan in Final Fantasy Legend 3 (SaGa 3 in Japan) back in 1991...it was the most powerful cyborg you could evolve into. Guess it made an impression over there for some reason!

The lack of Japanese monsters like kappa and tengu makes me think they're engaging in a little exoticism here. ;)

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You know, I thought I was more or less done, but I realized that I never got around to Rulebook III or the Starter Sets. So here's Rulebook III:

New races: Rulebook III introduces two new races: Tienses (tee-ens) and Leprechauns. Tienses are a race created by the old Mage Kings that combine humans and monsters. They are generally charged with protection of the Wall of the Abyss, and so are found in the northern regions of Alfleim. Their special ability is that they can communicate telepathically with one of any creature in a 10 meter radius, regardless of language. This makes them excellent Riders, as they their rapport with their mount adds bonuses to the mount. Leprechauns seem to date back to the Magitech Civilization. They are about four feet tall, with hairy ears, and the men often have beards. They tend to live underground or in Magitech ruins. Their special ability is being able to cast Conceal Self on themselves.

New Skill Packages: Two new Skill Packages are introduced: Rider and Alchemist. Both are Table B Skill Packages. The Rider essentially plugs into the new Mounted Combat rules detailed in this volume. The Alchemist uses a resource called Material Cards, mixing and matching different colors to provide buffs and debuffs.

In addition to these new Skill Packages, Rulebook III provides data for leveling up all Skill Packages to Level 15.

New rules: The big addition is the Mounted Combat rules. This marks a departure from Sword 2.0, in which Rulebook III contained the Master Combat rules (2D battlefield with multiple Melee Zones). The Master Combat rules have been moved to a later supplement, and the Rider (and associated Mounted Combat rules) moved to the Core Rulebooks. Some new Action Checks related to the Rider and Alchemist class has been added, as well as a new Area of Effect: Breakthrough. Breakthrough acts like a Line AOE, except that in Advanced Combat, the user can choose to continue the line through the target, up to the effect's maximum range.

The World section begins by noting that Level 10 to 15 characters are far beyond normal people, and are even able of making themselves gods. No rules on that, mind, just letting the players and GM know where the stakes are. The Tiense and Leprechaun races are fleshed out, as is the geography of the central and northeast regions of Alfleim.

The Game Master section includes another linear scenario, and higher level spells for followers of the Ignis gods. The last 1/5 of the book is devoted to Monsters. All told, there are 17 Barbaros, 16 Fauna, 6 Flora, 14 Undead, 10 Magical Creatures, 11 Magitech, 9 Mythic Beasts, 14 Fairies, 16 Demons, and 4 Humankind. This is a total of 117, by far the greatest number of monsters in any of the Core Rulebooks. This is probably because while Rulebook I dealt with mostly low level monsters, and Rulebook II dealt with mid-level monsters, Rulebook III has monsters of all levels. It's 117 combines with Rulebook II's 104 and Rulebook I's 57 for a combined total of 278 monsters. Not too shabby.

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