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Yggdrasill Core Rulebook
$49.99 $24.99
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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Yggdrasill Core Rulebook
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Yggdrasill Core Rulebook
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/09/2012 19:10:46
It's easy for me to say that Yggdrasill is perhaps one of the most impressive alternate history RPGs I've read. It's clear that the authors of the book possess two very important qualities in this kind of work: A love and respect for the source, and the imagination necessary to inject a kind of fantasy to make the history become even more vibrant.

The setting of the Scandian kingdoms is given thorough treatment, with lots of call outs to the unique qualities that make a culture interesting. From the call out boxes with notes on lore and history, to giving a chapter dedicated to the culture's religion and gods, the book is as as educational as entertaining (though given that it's still a work of fantasy, I wouldn't use it as a reference for a thesis.)

The system takes a bit of getting used to, but careful reading and a few sample fights should work out all the kinks. Once you get going, everything falls into place. Combat is fast-paced and deadly while retaining a host of tactical decisions that can be used to optimize your chances of felling your opponent. Magic is a highlight of the game given that there are three different magic systems that work beautifully in maintaining the feel of the setting.

If there's one thing I wish the book had more of, it would be the treatment of the other nearby kingdoms. They get a short mention in the setting chapter, but there's not much to work on with regards to what kind of threats they might pose (if any) to the Norsemenn. But that's a very minor issue as the focus of the adventures are grounded completely in the Norsemen's lands.

For a game about vikings, there's more to Yggdrasill than axes and berserkers. There's room for a surprising amount of politicking, and the player characters are encouraged to act like the legends that they wish to be.

The addition of a complete adventure in the back of the book, which includes NPCs, plot hooks and villains all worked out is a cherry on top of the whole thing, helping new GMs who might still have some reservations about getting into a setting-heavy game like this to find their legs and run something that has that Scandian feel.

Overall Yggdrasill is a splendid product, with beautiful artwork and layout, excellent writing. Definitely a must-have for anyone interested in the setting whose ever dreamed of being a viking.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Yggdrasill Core Rulebook
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Alexander O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/05/2012 04:06:39
Yggdrasill is a fantastic combination of sourcebook and RPG. While it does choose to portray a view of Scandia that is more inclined toward a setting fitting for fantasy heroics, it does so in such a way to remain true to the history, culture, and source material.

As a sourcebook, Yggdrasill is a treasure trove of material:

- The chapter titled In the Shadow of Yggrdasill gives us a stunningly concise, yet evocative understanding of the Norse cosmology and its cults and rituals.
- The chapter titled Scandia gives us a rundown of the setting's kingdoms, rulers, geography & environment, settlements, organization, and major players.
- The chapter titled Daily Life gives a welcome idea about what the settlements and social hierarchy would be like in these kingdoms, driving home how the landscape, the environment, and the beliefs all play in shaping the people and its heroes and villains.
- The chapter titled Archetypes, while ostensibly part of the game system, further gives us an insight into the type of people that would go out and involve themselves in adventures and heroics, and shares with us a different view on magic that the people of Scandia have.
- The chapter of Magic is another eye-opener that builds on the Archetypes, explaining the three different types of magic (trance magic, incantation magic, and sacred writings) and how humans and the spirits and gods themselves use them.

Along the way, it also torpedoes several myths and misconceptions about: the term 'viking', horned helmets, drinking from human skulls, and the term 'drakkar'.

As an RPG, Yggdrasil provides not only rules on character creation, task resolution, combat, magic, and dealing with the runes of your fate, it also provides a mini-campaign that establishes the kind of epic adventure stories that the game is geared toward telling: dangers of travel, dangers of the wild, the price of fulfilling (or trying to escape) one's fate, magic and the gods, politics, and infighting among the jarls of Scandia.

I highly recommend this RPG if you've a penchant for a different type of fantasy role-playing in mind, or have always wanted a stab at adventuring in heroic Norse waters.

(this review also appears on my blog, http://armchairgamer.blogspot.com/)

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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