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Keranak Kingdoms Fantasy Setting $4.99
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
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2 0
1 0
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Keranak Kingdoms Fantasy Setting
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Keranak Kingdoms Fantasy Setting
Publisher: DwD Studios
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/13/2014 01:12:02
I really like this book.
Whether on its own to use with another game system, where its rules free run down on the places of the world allows easy prtage into any game you wanted to use the rules for, or in conjunction with the BareBones Fantasy game, with or without the third volume Flesh and Blood (which provides stats for the various other sapient species of the setting), this book does what it is supposed to do, providing a armature to refine into your very own world to play in.
I reckon you could even use the ideas for larger scale battle and conquest games, if you had a mind to. Point is, it gives sparks to light off your own imagination rather than having everything just so and all the dots on the map and labeled and all. It might seem more convenient to have everything done for you already, but this way if you misremember something and it is not just like the book says, well, that merchant guy you were hearing stories of the place from was either wrong or joking, because I don't see no magic horses 'round here.

Yeah. Especially for the price, this one is a must-own among the many various world books you could have. I'd love to see more like it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Keranak Kingdoms Fantasy Setting
Publisher: DwD Studios
by Paolo P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/29/2013 05:10:17
TL;DR version: if you need a solid, well designed, decorated and illustrated traditional-fantasy world to build your campaigns, write novels or to hack and tailor to your needs, BUY THIS BOOK. (No one single rule has been harmed during book writing, so you can use it with your favorite fantasy game with no effort)

Long version: it's a while that I thinker with the idea of building my own world to accommodate a great campaign of Fantasy Dice. While "Crimson Exodus" depicts a great world, full of interesting things to do, I don't like each and every aspect of the setting: too gloomy and magic is far too disconnected from the world, there is a lot of details about its mechanic but it's not clear "how it works" and from where it comes.

Enters Keranak Kingdoms. I bought this book as a source for my own work, since it had very good ratings and reviews, with the idea of using it as a mere blueprint on "how to depict a world in broad lines". But after having read it I'm really in doubt. I'd like to have two days a day so that I can run two games, one on Kernanak, the other on my homebrewed setting.

As for the content, I think this bulleted list can give you an idea if this is good for you:

- Every setting has a "bottom line": what's peculiar here? Here you are: "The kingdom, comprising all the known world, was founded by the gods and given to a single, gifted bloodline. The lask king died with no heir. The kingdom is still there, governed by the aging queen, but soon it will need a new king... or eventually fall apart." As dull as it seems, this creates a great scenario for mature adventures: will you take part in defending the kingdom? Will you reclaim your province and advocate secession? Will you try to be king? Exciting :)

- This is a well designed but very "standard" fantasy settings: it has human, dwarves, elfs and halflings (which really behaves like hobbits). When it comes to races, Tolkien is lurking pretty everywhere, from races characterization to idividual names, BUT this is not a mere clone. Starting from classic taste they evolved with good ideas and great characters, so the result is something "familiar but new". "New" don't get in the way here, you won't find anything "strange". Just a deeper characterization compared to other pretty silly settings (next bullet).

- Cultures are very well-designed: not just races but also location and local history contribute to form a culture. So we'll got stout dwarves, as always, but not all are "blindly" grumpy or fierce, it depends from where they grew, in which culture, etc. Elves in particular are interesting as both PCs and NPCs, divided in separated clans which developed pretty different cultures and histories.

- There is room for all, but it's not a kitchen sink. Mountains and oceans are the evergreen solution when it comes to create separation between what's "home" and what's "exotic", but the setting always have to adopt a geographical/cultural point of views to pinpoint "home" concept. Here home is the Keranak province, the heart of the kingdom. Far away provinces or territories used to be part of the kingdom, but retained their aura of mystery and unfamiliarity to common people. This creates a world full of different cultures and places but not messy like FR or similar.

- All is readable by your players: this handbook depicts all that a knowledgable keranakian commoner can know about the world. No more info is given. GM can decide what's real, what's legend, how things work, etc. It's hard to find something so detailed and so tailorable at the same time.

- Little but dense boxes are scattered around and labeled "Dungeon master advices". You could also let your players read them: they offer some ideas worth developing for GMs but more in form of questions: "what happened in this region? Why X and Y are fighting? Maybe thay know something valuable is hidden there and there?"
Actually I'd argue that making your players read that boxes will help you disseminating your campaign with red-harrings :D

Summing all up, the product is worth all the money it costs, and more.
Five stars :)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Keranak Kingdoms Fantasy Setting
Publisher: DwD Studios
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/30/2012 12:18:20
Great addition to BBF. Love the simplified maps that allow GMs to add their own detail to the broad-stroke Keranak Kingdom.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Keranak Kingdoms Fantasy Setting
Publisher: DwD Studios
by Jack B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/23/2012 12:47:30
It isn't very often that an RPG system or supplement completely takes me by surprise but the authors of Barebones Fantasy have done just that....and in a good way :)

Keranak Kingdoms supplies a 30,000 foot view of a well thought out fantasy setting. The artwork is excellent and both full page art and printer-friendly versions are provided. There are some great settings out there but what I like about KK is that just enough detail is provided to really get the creative imagery rolling....it is definitely not a "details dictated" supplement, and that is exactly what I was looking for. With this setting, you can draft an adventure idea, look for a cool place to plop it down and off you go. DWD Studios understands the delicate balance between quick and easy rules and granularity.

You just cannot go wrong with this.....5 bucks is a steal for the quality that's provided.

Good Show :)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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