Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review - Earthdawn, Namegivers of Barsaive

Namegivers of Barsaive 
Earthdawn 3rd edition
This product is produced by Mongoose Publishing, on their Flaming Cobra imprint, licensed by RedBrick Ltd under the original FASA license. (yes, it's a complex arrangement.)

First Impressions: The print version is hardbound and  runs 256 pages. You flip through the book, you notice that there's lots of information. The first half of the book is fluff, that last half is pure crunch.

Art: The art is black and white except for the cover art, much of it is recycled from previous editions, but there are some nice new pieces of art, especially in the disciplines section of the book (which is nice in the PDF version because it's pretty easy to make stand up copies from it). Laubenstein's art is prevalent throughout the book, which is excellent, because his art is the soul of Earthdawn. 

Fluff: The first half of the book is pure fluff for the races. Most people can imagine how to play a dwarf or even an elf easily, but, how do you play an obsidimen, troll, or t'skrang? This book gives you all the information you need to truly understand any of the name-giver races. 

Crunch: This book compiles the original information from several 1st edition books. It is packed with crunch. The second half of the book is pure crunch, each race has at least one discipline that is race specific.  Fifteen disciplines are presented, now these are disciplines which have appeared in previous books, but have been updated to the 3rd edition. The disciplines covered are as follows: Boatman, Horror Stalker, Journeyman, Liberator, Messenger, Outcast Warrior, Purifier, Shaman, Songsmith, Taildancer, Traveled Scholar, Winddancer, Windmaster, Windscout and Woodsman. After the disciplines, is the talent discriptions for the new disciplines, and talent knacks. Skill versions of the same talents. The last big section of the book is the Goods and Services section covering armor, weapons, blood charms, potions, etc. 

Cost:  The print copy $39.99. The PDF costs $19.99 at Drivethru RPG.

Value: If you're getting into Earthdawn, this should be the 3rd book you buy, (second if you're a player). The companions are for Warden level and above (9th circle). 

Rating: Epic! Earthdawn is my favorite system for a reason, it is high fantasy that deals with magic is a unique manner. 

Earthdawn buying guide for players

Earthdawn buying guide for GMs