Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mini Review - Beasts & Bararians Golden Edition (Savage Worlds)

Beasts & Barbarians is a Swords & Sorcery sourcebook / setting for Savage Worlds.  It's kinda cool to be reading it so soon after Crypts & Things, as it gives a different POV (as well as ruleset) for the Swords & Sorcery genre.

So, what do we get in Beasts & Barbarians which we aren't getting elsewhere?  Well, for one thing we don't get into any of the rules / numbers until around page 60.  Yep, those first pages, almost a third of the book, is all setting information.  Pretty snazzy, and it does a great job of drawing you in before hitting you with actual game info.  Strangely, Cosmic Patrol does something similar, but it didn't work for me in that case.

Next up is the Characters section.  It doesn't only deal with character generation but also new and changed skills and edges.  Surprisingly, it also covers some asian tropes, such as fighting monks and the like.  I truthfully didn't expect to find them here, but I'm glad they are, as they seem to fit well.

Arcane backgrounds are modified in this setting.  I don't have a full grasp of them in the standard Savage Worlds rules, so I'm going to need to spend some time on these before I can fully comment.  It should be noted that the party is limited to one member with the arcane background.

Gear is gear.  When it comes up, you look it up.

Around page 110 we get to the GM section of the book.  It does a great job of showing the GM how to set the tone.  It's a gritty, evil world full of larger than life nasties.  Sounds like fun.

Chapter 7 is the Adventurer Generator.  It uses a deck of cards help determine potential plots for your story lines / adventures.  It looks to be a handy tool.  I may just print out this one section for handy use whenever I'm in need of something to prod me when I need a quick adventure regardless of system.

Next up is the obligatory monster section.  Nice nice selection of demons and devil, along with a recognizable selection of less supernatural (yet still lethal) adversaries.  When you include the templates for NPCs, this is a pretty complete (and long) section.

Vengeance of the Branded Devils is the introductory adventure included with Beasts & Barbarians.  It has a pretty strong introduction and it reads well.  As for lethality - one will only know for sure when it is run ;)

Beast & Barbarians is a very complete setting / sourcebook for Savage Worlds.  The artwork, from the flu color cover to the black and white drawings inside are excellent.  My one complaint is that for a PDF of 210 pages in length, there are no bookmarks, which makes navigation more difficult than it should be.

From the blurb:

Beasts and Barbarians Golden Edition is a bigger and more savage version of the B&B; Player`s Guide. Packed with a lot of Game Master stuff, it has 208 pages full of Savage Goodness. New things we have put into it: 51 non player characters, 10 new monsters, new rules, adventure generator and an adventure! 
And of course, with a new art from Tomek Tworek! We have also included the errata and a few new informations!
IMPORTANT NOTICE - we have a special discount for people who bought the former version of the Beasts and Barbarians. If you didn`t get it from rpgnow.com, feel free to contact me at pkorys(at)gmail.com
 Welcome to the dangerous Dread Sea Dominions, a place where mighty barbarians do combat with hideous monsters, dark warlocks whisper terrible sorceries in forgotten temples and noble amazons duel in the sun scorched arenas of Faberterra, capital of a decadent empire!
In this book, you will find:
  • Thirty new Edges.
  • Three arcane backgrounds, Lotusmastery, Sorcery, and the Path of Enlightenment
  • Dozens of new weapons, armors, and mounts
  • A simple but elegant system to develop your character between adventures and to manage the enormous riches you’ll find!
  • Rules for Heroic Incapacitation
  • Henchemen and Right Hands to support your villains
  • Twenty dreadful monsters
  • Fifty-one Non Player Characters
  • An adventure generator explicitly tailored for Sword and Sorcery to create a great plot in no tim
  • A fully fledged adventure in the Dominions  
And much, much more!

  Gird your loins, get your broadsword ready and prepare to face the threats of Beasts and Barbarians, the new sword and sorcery open setting from GRAmel.

    1 comment:

    1. mechanics aside, how useful would this be for someone running a Crypts & Things campaign?


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