In the series of the Enemies of NeoExodus, this product is the second what I read. It was hard to read at first, but it I felt that it is a good source of role-playing, and world-imagination. So, the book is cca. 80 page, and most of it a colossal NPC character-sheets enlist. In the very beginning we are already in the middle of things. I had a feeling of lack something about the book, and a resume of the folding circle (ie. an information card, like in the Core book).
So, what is this, the so called Folding Circle? It’s a covenant of extraordinary people. But, these people are so evil, so cruel, and violent. They have a unique history, what you can read in the book.
The Circle has five leaders:
• Makesh: he is the glue of the Circle. He was once a barbarian in the Scythian lands, but now he is something else. He is an 8 feet tall man and stone. He looks like Bane (in the Forgotten Realms), but stronger, more violent, and more stony. He found an ancient temple and the altar of Gods. His power sources from there, and their residence is here too. He has a big stone hammer, whit the symbol of Khayne. He’s a strong minded, cruel and law-maker person. He’s a barbarian judge of the world.
• Nysska: A natural born assassin from the race of the Khayne-lover exodites. She’s the first captain of Makesh, she thinks that Makesh is a chosen of the Blood-god. She’s the leader of the assassin group, called “the brotherhood”.
• The Destroyer is an Enuka, a magic-made fury. He’s a barbarian, a rager. A mystical being, what made by the shamans from the spirits of young Enukas.
• Emok-Zenyaka is a daemon in a body of prymidian mummy. She’s the magician, who transformed Makesh dead body to his recent form. She made Haru Anon, and she have her own goals.
• Haru Anon is another magic-made creature. It’s an undead with a spiritual body, and with many souls in his mind, but without consciousness now. In other words it’s a spectral machine.
The book contains the favourite tactics of the Circle, and the short description of their headquarters. Mostly, you can find a Non Player Character description and statistics. In my opinion it’s good for DMs, because there is about 4-5 alternative level/CR of the leaders. If you like to mastering a low-level campaign then you can easily pick up the 4th level leaders. And so, if you like the super-heroic challenges, the writers created them above 20th level villains too.
You find a too short description about the relations with other powers (i.e. kingdoms). New feats, if you want to be a Circle member. So, and the biggest part is the minions, or lieutenants of the Brotherhood, what is the hand of the Circle. It’s an organization under an organization. (It’s almost forty pages!)
It’s a better part too, with many NPC-s, connected to the world of NeoExodus, with many exotic taste. F.e. my favourite is Tak’ra Veruk, a Sasori monk, who is like a phoenix, and he can resurrect in a proper place in the desert, once in every year, if he killed. The other favourite is the little-rat: Silence, the cavian sorcerer. He is in the bloodline of the muted, he cannot speak, but he can cast silent spells.
At last I had only three questions what are important to Me (in a Campaign):
• I didn’t know, what was the origin of the “Folding Circle” name? (I didn’t find. Why circle? Or the outsiders know only the Brotherhood?)
• I didn’t know the time-line of the Circle. Is it a week old covenant, or hundred years old? (I hate the time-lines, what was in the old Adnd 2nd, but a few date would be useful. For example: what was the date of the Circle’s first activity?)
• I didn’t know the common persons role in a common day in the Circle. (Between two ambush, and justice-making there is a lot of time to spend common things: eat, sleep, weapon repair, learn etc.)
In my opinion, if you want to make a great adventure in NeoExodus, – against a secret society, with a great variations of enemies – then you can do with the help of that publishing. But – I think – the book much more appropriate to play with players in the Circle, as a Circle members. If your players want to be a member of a secret society of assassins, evil diplomats, and shock-troops then they can do it. The information is many in the book, the social and personal conflicts are given with the help of the description of the NPC-s. It’s better than a new monster book. It’s a book of superheroes, or super-anti-heroes. They’re strange enough, and they’re living parts of NeoExodus. The book has good ideas, exotic things, very good illustrations, but it’s just a little bit more than character sheets in a paper folder with notes. The intrinsic value is very good, but the orientation and the searching are hard. (Oh, c’mon guys, the Core book is so good, so organized.) I give only – sigh – 3/5.
Jeremy A. Wylie
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