The TAG@Ten bundle is the gift that keeps on giving… in this case it’s giving me more Hellfrost goodies from the prolific pen of Paul “Wiggy” Wade-Williams.
Land of Fire Core Setting
Think of this as the Arabian Nights expansion for Hellfrost, a counterpart to the icy Scandinavian wastes of Hellfrost proper. You will need the Hellfrost Player’s Guide to use it (and also the Hellfrost Bestiary if you are the GM), since elements common to both are not repeated in Land of Fire.
Today, I’m in a lazy mood and will summarise the 198 pages very concisely.
Character Creation: Five races, and rules for native PCs from the Land of Fire. The races are the ubiquitous humans (two different cultural flavours), jinn-blooded (who are humans with a natural affinity to jinn magic), cakali (jackal-men), hyaenidae (hyena-men), and sand goblins (part goblin, part camel). There are a few new hindrances and quite a lot of desert-themed edges.
Religion and Magic: The history and culture of the Land of Fire is dominated by Suleiman, who spawned two religions, the Devoted and the Faithful; each PC must choose one of these, and the main difference in gameplay is that only Devoted may have magic as their arcane background, and only Faithful may have miracles. There are six new types of magical arcane background, and 12 new gods as foci for miraculous arcane backgrounds.
Desert Life: Calendars, daily life, diet, customs, travel and trade, organisations, and whatnot.
Setting Rules for desert survival and adventure; the effects of and variations in temperature (if you’re an ice wizard – sorry, hrimwisard – you might want to think twice about coming south), water consumption, nomad hospitality. So far this is all player-friendly and occupies about the first third of the book
Gazetteer, bestiary, and map, in that order. These take up about two-thirds of the book and are for the GM only. As with the Hellfrost Gazetteer, there are detailed generic settlement types (the GM is encouraged to add settlements to taste, except for cities which are all shown on the map already), sections on the various states and important locations within or between them, and details of organisations to use as adversaries. There’s a selection of desert-themed monsters and finally a two-page colour map.
It’s Wiggy’s usual broad and deep treatment of the Hellfrost setting. Nice work, although you should think of it as an expansion rather than a new setting per se, because you’ll need the base Hellfrost setting to stand it on.
This is a short (36 pages) expansion of the magical traditions of Rassilon, home continent for the Hellfrost setting, and is tightly bound to that setting; I don’t think it will be much use to you in other fantasy worlds.
The main traditions are druidism, elementalism, heahwisardry, hrimwisardry, rune magic and song magic. The book also adds three new and lesser traditions; glamour (illusions), solar magic (a lost art whose existence is known only from records), and soul binding (preserving heads to retain access to their knowledge) – these last require access to the Hellfrost Expansion books to use, and I don’t have those.
Each tradition is presented with notes on its beliefs, organisation, favoured trappings and schools if any, which races favour it, specific new power edges that members of the tradition gain access to, and so forth.
Finally there is a short selection of new edges.
This isn’t the sort of thing I would normally add to my collection, as I am almost obsessive about minimising the number of books I use in each campaign; it’s on my hard drive now as it was part of the downloaded bundle.