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Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture
Nations of Theah Vol 2

The next book is available on the Kickbacker site.  Some interesting things:

  • Matushka's husband and the people he empowers,
  • untrained Sorte users, 
  • a pretty picture of the new look Freiburg
  • Crescent emigrants in Ussura and Sarmatia
  • Koshchei
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NeoTanuki's picture

I'm really liking it so far, especially compared to Vol. 1. The descriptions of the Vol. 2 nations feel more detailed, colorful and more interesting, and I like the NPCs and adventure hooks better in Vol. 2. And being a huge fan of the Commonwealth, I appreciate having the details about some of the political intrigue going on. The Queen is a great villain-evil, with deplorable qualities but with motives that also make her at least partly sympathetic and believable. 

I think the writers of the Commonwealth section did a great job making both the pro-Golden Liberty and pro-aristocracy factions sympathetic. On the one hand, King Stanislaw and Prince Aleksy have given the common people a voice, and are admirable for their idealism and personal conduct. On the other hand, the pro-aristocracy faction is shown as aiding Castillan intellectuals and scholars fleeing the inquisition, is supportive of higher education, and many who oppose Golden Liberty fear Inquisitorial influence growing in the Commonwealth. 

Also, the expanded information on Sanderis and the Ratas is VERY helpful for GMs running losejas players, in my opinion. And I think the descriptions of the supernatural locations in Curonia (Voruta, the Scholomance, the ruined city with the enchanted fruit) are all quite cool. 

I'm also really liking Eisen. The writers are clearly setting it up as the "go-to" location for GMs who want to do darker, horror-themed campaigns, but there's also a lot of potential for political intrigue around choosing a new candidate for Imperator. And it's nice to see Freiburg again...a great starting place for new players from 1st edition.

Aside from moving from islands to the mainland, Vodacce seems mostly unchanged from 1st edition (and I'm OK with that, I've always liked Vodacce.)

I haven't finished reading through the Ussura section yet, but I like the setup of a succession crisis between the Gaius' son and wife. I think Ussura so far looks like it has changed the most to make it more viable as a setting for different player groups from other nations, and that's definitely a good thing. 

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Yeah, this is a much better book overall than Volume 1.  If anything, it seems like the authors for this volume did a far better job of keeping what was written in the corebook in mind for this tome than the authors of Volume 1 did.

The change to Koschei is certainly interesting, though I kind of prefer the 1e explanation for his immortality, as it made him both very cunning to have put one over on who he did to become immortal, and the sense of contrition he had about having done so in the first place.

I did like that they have rules for untrained Sorte users, as that sort of character type (half-blood Fate Witch that was raised outside of Vodacce) seemed to crop up a fair bit from what I saw of 1e games.  I do like that it's risky to use, even beyond the Lash mechanic, which makes sense for a sorcery that's all about mucking around with Fate.

Kinda sad that we didn't get much on Giovanni Villanova, but I suspect he's being saved for a later book, where they can really delve into the extent of his villainy.  Then again, maybe the design team doesn't need to go that in-depth on him, since he's pretty much every calculating and charasmatic villian trope distilled into a single human being, to the extent of being David Xanatos sans any shred of altruism or human decency.

I did like how Sophia's Daughters essentially fell into two factions in Vodacce, as it gives an interesting bit of intrigue to a secret society that always seemed kind of bland beyond the "women's rights!" aspect (and discounting the 1e wankery of them being a heroic female Illuminati with super-magic)

I could see Eisen being used as the grounds for a very interesting political-based campaign, with the Heroes acting in the roles of kingmakers as they jockey with their peers and rivals not only for power but to also shape the future of Eisen as a nation.

I agree with NeoTanuki that they made the Commonwealth very interesting with regards to both factions in regards to Golden Liberty, with both sides having warts as well as virtues.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog

Nathan Henderson
Nathan Henderson's picture

Ilya and Ketheryna's respective last names finally make sense!

James Anderson
James Anderson's picture

The Ussura chapter is my favorite thing in 2nd Ed.  I SOOO want to actually play a game near me, so that I can use my follower of Tura.  (Instead I'm stuck as GM, as the other games around are 1st ed)

I've got major problems with Eisen though.  I'm rather at a loss. Very little to indicate which Eisenfurst controls what areas. In general, the map-to-book correlation is a mess.

The story of the southern edge of Sieger getting carved off for Castille makes no sense now - he's pretty much the dead center of the country, and the south would be Fischler or the Walder. Who runs Fontaine? Stutzung? Starkbrunn? Atemlos? Tannen? Adel? (further complicated that Adel is also a caste) How does Pratchig relate to Perchta and her Angenehme Wald? There's descriptions for Hohenlage, Kreuzweg, Wachesherz, and Heimstatt (Heimstatt really makes no sense) - where are they located?

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