Neo-Exodus: A House Divided – Campaign Setting
Designed by J.P. Chapleau and Louis Porter Jr.
The name of the game would be familiar, because the old exodus has started at 2007, and it has many books, and supplements. It is based in the Open Game Licence, and connects by the way of the game mechanics to the Paizo.
It’s for the old gamers, – I think – because there is no introduction to the role-playing, no sample playing session, and there’s no intro-adventure. But you can taste a new kind of RPG world. Let’s turn into the electrical pages!
At the first sight:
The very first:
The style of the writings is important – I think so. Your eyes search the magnetizing writings; to find the “important places”. And the first sight of a page gives you a feeling about the book, and the theme what you will read.
In the Neo-Exodus you can find both simple, but in exchange it’s in a very good mood, it’s clear, and it helps the easy read. Let’s see!
It has a Rokugan-like (it is a Forgotten Realms – Oriental Setting, or a little bit looks like the old DnD2nd ed. FR – Horde Box) character/ writing for the highlights, chapter names, etc. At the side, you can find a kind of “scientific blue-line”, and writings in every page. (I think, the matrix and the klingons has met somewhere in the faraway galaxy, and they drew this side-line.)
The history of Exodus is the history of powerful beings, like the materialized common sense, the Kaga. Or the Sorcerer Kings of Abaddon, the Cordelian feudal-lords, the clan-men of Nas, the savages of the Bal Wyldlands, the mind-master underworldy, rat-men (Cavians), or the misterious, pre-historical, slave-masters, the world ruler Old Ones.
So, it’s easy to see, that the most massive part of the book is the description of World and the “Feats and Magic” chapters. The chapter of the History is shorter, but concentrated.
The graphic: the design or idea is the “reality” of the world. In the most the cases the illustrations are in good quality. There aren’t disproportionate figures, or disgusting colors.
Mostly it’s a kind of catalog of heroes from a comic. Nothing new is, or creative add-in unlike e.g. the Eberron setting (my favorite illustrated campaign setting), where the comic-like figures met with the comic-like story-telling illustrations. Well, don’t be afraid, the pictures, graphics, and paintings are good, but nothing special.
My favorites are the illustrations of the first pages of the chapters (very good montages). And I like the portraits of the iconic characters (in the end of the book); and the manga-like characters of the scorpion-man sasori and the red-skinned prymidian. When I take a look these pictures, I always want to play with a character who is one of them.
Only one of the races, the gorilla-like Enuka is a little bit – I feel – inanimate, like a big blue, padded ape. I really do not afraid from his bloody axe, what is equipped in his back; and its grip garnished with a pink (!) tape.
When I take a book, I always want to know everything about its birth. So, if you look out in the internet, you can find easily the connecting information. I give you a little assistance, if you lazy to Google it yourself.
The designers are real persons, of course. If you want to see, what’s in the designers mind, or in their webpage, take a look here:
• Blog of Jean-Philipe ’JP’ Chapleau (co-designer) – link
• Website of Louis Porter Jr Design (co-designer) – link
• Here is with some old contents of the “pre” Exodus (forum themes) link
• “Kickstarter” page (informations, moods) – link
• A short, free introduction PDF: RPGNow download
The Chapters of the Book are the following :
Chapter 1: History of Exodus
Chapter 2: World of Exodus
Chapter 3: Races of Exodus
Chapter 4: Heroes of Exodus
Chapter 5: Feats and Magic
Chapter 6: Terrors of Exodus
Okay, let’s see the History of the World first!
Chapter 1: History of Exodus
In the beginning there was the Old Ones. They were mystical rulers of the world, the slave-masters of mankind. Maybe one race or more, no one knows now. But after two thousand years of ruling, the mankind rose up against his masters, and
fought for they freedom. It’s like in any other campaign setting. But, the freedom fight led by the Kaga, the common sense. A man, who is mystically created, and owned all the knowledge, and wisdom of mankind. He’s a little bit like the Chinese cultural heroes: he teaches the mankind to culture, craft, magic, etc. And after a good work he (or she?) always disappear, and in the times of need, he always appear. Do you like it? Then read more!
From the time of the Warhammer, the skavens are the parts of the fantasy. In this setting you will find the rat-men too, the so called Cavians. But they are mind-master psions, and they were slaves as the humans were. Now, they retreated under the mountains deep.
The shattered mankind (the powerful sorcerer kings, the northern clans, and the wanderer tribes) united by the khagan, and soon destroyed by the sea-faring savages, the armans. Many battles after it, the Caneus Empire rose. The blood magic user Sanguine Covenant settled in the Empire. Meanwhile, in the East, the cannibalistic blood sect, called Brotherhood of Khayne fought deadly battles with the jungle-dweller Reis Confederacy. The tsars of the Dominion struggled too with everyone.
Soon, the empires of humans engaged the worst wars ever. One of it was called the Twilight War. And in this war were many inventions (a little bit like the Iron Kingdoms):
“The Confederacy introduced war beasts of fearsome and unnatural aspect, twisted aberrations created by ritual magic. The Caneans countered by sending superheavy knights that fearlessly fought the war beasts. The Protectorate fielded bigger ironforged juggernauts that crushed whole divisions under their gear-like wheels. The Dominion superheated the juggernauts with fire magic, cooking their crews and exploding them into the surrounding units.” (17.pp.)
After the war, the ascetic-warrior sect of the Janissaries forced the four kingdoms to unite for a greater peace and prosperity. The peace is seemingly broken nowadays, and the Empire needs heroes.
(The second part dealing with other aspects of the Neo-Exodus setting is coming soon)
Jeremy A. Wylie