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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review - City-State of the Sea Kings - Part the First - Looks Good, Easy to Read (Judges Guild Wilderlands)

You know how I bitch and moan about some gaming books having layout that simply distracts from the words on the page, thereby making it difficult to read (Numenera, I'm talking to you)? City-State of the Sea Kings (henceforth referred to as CSotSK) does not suffer from that distraction. Simple layout, easy to read with black and white art, CSotSK has the proper "old school" feel for a work that is the first in a line to bring the Wilderlands back into print.

That doesn't mean it's all perfect. I'm glad the grey highlighting was explained by the author as a comment to a previous blogpost (it's there to highlight GM information) it would probably have been better served using a lighter gray for the highlighting. If you, like me, tend to read in poor lighting so as to not keep the significant other awake, the darkness of the highlighting can make things a tad difficult at times. Sure, I could read in better lighting - but that would cause other, non-gaming, issues ;)

The map (which is two sided) is excellent. I comes attached to the inner cover with a small bit of a rubber cement like glue. No stains to the map or the books itself.

I expected CSotSK to start out with detailed hex listed by numbers, but I was pleasantly surprised that it starts with the important settlements on the Isle of the Blest (which is the Isle this book covers). It lists them by hex number, but it isn't ordered by hex number. Having the population centers grouped together works well, especially when one is trying to read the material. I guess I'm used to sandbox styled products that list everything by order of hex number, which isn't easiest way to read material (although it does make for easy look up).

Currently, I'm at the beginning of the book, just reading about the settlements. I really want to skip ahead - I always do it seems, but if I'm going to do this right I need to go in order.


  1. Glad you liked the maps. I did the overland map and Chris did the city map.

  2. I think your cat is fascinated because that part of the map does resemble a cat's head. I know its dumb but the pics of your cat actively or inactively engaged in your blog always make me smile.

    It is good to see this material making a comeback. I was always fascinated with the Judges Guild stuff back when I was a kid reading Dragon.

    1. She's very much like a dog in many ways - she NEEDS to be involved with what I'm doing. She's rarely content to just be an observer ;)

  3. Cat: "This map sucks. It's all gray."