Neo-Exodus: A House Divided – Campaign Setting (PRFPG) review – Part 2.
REVIEW PART II.
In the first part I shared my first impressions, now I’m continuing with the rest. But first, I have a few words from an Old Sage, as he said:
“Oh, I see, Adventurer, you came here to know more about this world, as inhabitants called it nowadays: NeoExodus. Come, come in, take a seat! I see, you are tired to fight, but extremely inquisitive to my words. Come with me now…
This world has ruled by the First Ones, they were our masters, you know it too. But what was before, only the religions tell us. The old ones disappeared, and what remains is only a world in the edge of the war and chaos. A fragile dream of peace what whispered in the desert’s wind…
What exists in the world of Golarion, it exists in our world too. Oh, yes where is Golarion? Well, I don’t know, but I know, how to reach it. Yes, through a Nexus Gateway. It’s a kind of Portal, from the ages of the First Ones. But, be careful, sometimes unexpected events had happens. If you don’t want to travel distant worlds, then use them to travel between cities. It’s not cheap, but fast. “
“So, where do you want to travel? As I see you, well, you are an Arman, the descendants of the people of the Ablas Island. Now, it’s inhabited by the Locaris. Don’t want to know what they are. They are terrors of our land, blockaded by ships of the Jannisaries. It would be enough. The Arman Protectorate is your people’s land now. Your race master of the guns, and war-machines, they are blue-eyed hunters of the flying cities. Yes, I feel, you are loyal to your Tsarina of the Kryskasz dynasty. But, I feel you are a kind of agent. You know the romance between the beautiful Tsarina and the ruler’s brother of yours western neighbour. They have the power to rule the continent. Your neighbour is the Dominion, small in populace, but strong with skills. They are the blond-headed survivors of the deserts, lead by warrior-mages, with their light horses they can reach what they want. They’re swift and sudden, as the sand-quake starts in the desert. They have assassin sects too, with the blade of loyalty to their khans. They are mage-killers, spies, or ghost in the nowhere, who knows.
Are you boring? You were there, I mean, not in the Dominion, but in the Caneus Empire. I see in your face this scar, it’s magical. I feel it too. It’s from a challenge kind a like in the Caneus Empire. And you failed in the test. How did you survive it? You were suspected a crime, and you failed. I feel it. Oh, how do I feel it? I’m an oracle, yes.
So, you’re a renegade from the Empire, the most organized kingdom of Exodus. I don’t want to know what you did, but, if you have followed by those soldiers. They are well-equipped, and well-trained. You’re in danger. No, don’t go to the east of the Empire. There’s the Janus Horde, the savage nomads’ land. The Queen’s people believe only in strength, and power. You have no future there. Go West, to Gavea!
Yes, the island. There is many mysteries, and more conflicts, ore deposits, miner giants, druids, barbarian chieftans, and more. You don’t want to go there? Then travel to North, to Koryth! It’s the base of the Janissaries, the peacekeepers, the monastic psi-warriors, and the alliance of the city-states. Very savage land too. Don’t stop here, go north again. Go to the Reis Confederacy! Those jungles are dense enough to hide you. But beware of the cannibal tribes of Bal, they believe in the power of blood-magic. And be aware of the quick-slavers of Xon. They are black-magical oozes, conqueror of your mind. Don’t be afraid, they live mostly in the western island of Unthara. But, who knows…
So, tell me now, adventurer, what do you want from me with that gladius? Can you hear the footsteps outside my hut? If you kill me, they will avenge me easily. Go, hurry, in the backdoor! Maybe I don’t say them about our meeting. But, a hundred Imperial gold crown scheduled to your head. Who knows, adventurer, who knows…”
And what happened after, I don’t know, I just wrote what I heard from a mysterious wanderer. So, in my opinion, the continent looks like a little bit small. It’s smaller the Europe (I mean, in the real world). But, there is more than 9 new playable races, and there’s a minority of the old ones (dwarf, elf, etc.). The nine races are:
- The ratmen Cavians are spies, and enemies of the humans. They have a hive mind, they can see the emotions, and they can communicate among themselves telepathically. They are a psionic race, live in the Nas mountains, mostly, in the Empire.
- The crystallon humanoids are the Cynean: strong body, magic affected mind. They are wise and slow, respectful magicians from Gavea.
- My favourites are the thinking humanoid flowers, the Dalreans, they are long-lived children of the nature. They can communicate with spores, and they do not comprehend such notions as politics, royalty. It’s a kind of funny. Oh, and they can glow at-will. It’s useful, I think.
- The Enukas are gorilla-like savages, mostly live in the Northern part of the continent. They have mutations, as exoskeletal bone-armors, horns, claws, etc. And you can choose them for your character.
- Gevet is the name of the tieflings here. They live in matriarchal society. They are family-oriented, freedom-lover magicians.
- The civilized kaliban-cannibal is the Kalisan. They are pale skinned warriors.
- The Pyramidans are maybe the favourite race of the book. They are red skinned, silver-haired humans. They have a passion for science and knowledge.
- The leopard-men made by the First Ones, from shadow and magic, to be slave-warriors. But they are freedom-lovers, and fighters. True mercenaries, who are outsiders in everywhere, they are the people, who called P’tan.
- The Sasori is another exotic race. They are scorpion-like humanoids, with tribal paintings on their carapace.
And there are the humans, by ethnicity. My favourites are the mysterious Jao, the ancient Sametian, and the powerful and noble Sorceran: they are the minorities.
When I read about the races, I feel that the Babylon-5 spaceship met – in the pocket of a voodoo shaman – with the “Neverending Story”. The races are colourful, they have many options, and they are very exciting. The DM’s have the option to make adventures without monsters. You can easily make evil villains with the help of the races.
The magic, and the religion isn’t so colourful. They have some new spells, new magic items, as in every DnD world. (I don’t like the magic system of the DnD, sorry.) But, don’t forget, it’s a Pathfinder compatible Campaign (there’s enough spell and magic).
More positive things are:
- There are new feats for the new races (more activities, greater time, damage, etc.). For example, the Caliban have a menacing feat, the “cannibalize”, when he eat an enemy’s brain, he can achieve its memories. It’s bizarre, and exotic.
- There aren’t so much Deities and Gods, there are only religions. It’s enough, I think.
- The new weapon group has many goodies. (Ball and chain to bullrush is always favourite.)
- Arcane-punk feeling: flying ships, vessels and towns. Arcane machines, and gunslingers.
- There is a “Card” from every state and race.
- More reality of Currency (maybe the first in the DnD world): different money in different countries.
- Good character options: (f.e.: they have the arcane-cleric option for the Kaga-priest). Monsters are more than monsters. I think they are mostly NPC’s than monsters, and one or two would be PC’s race. f.e.: the Draco and the fairy Ember, cynean hunter (they are the enemies of the crystalline humanoids).
- In the end of the book there are place for the character sheets, trackers, etc., and for the iconic characters. AND! Nose-cutter looks like a little bit fearsome enuka than his cousin in pink.
My opinion is that the world will be very popular in a kind of gamers, who like the new worlds, the new ideas, the uncommon problems. But it’s too complex for a weekend party, because there’re no real, common schemes (i.e. no dwarf, no elf, no good vs. evil, etc.). It’s need from the Players a little humility, like the good wine needs some time, before you can taste the new flavours. But this game is ideal for those who are liked, but bored the old Pathfinder worlds. I give a 4/5.
Jeremy A. Wylie