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Thieves' World Player's Manual $17.00
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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Thieves\' World Player\'s Manual
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Thieves' World Player's Manual
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Brian E. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/21/2005 00:00:00
The Thieves? World Player?s Manual, by Green Ronin Publishing, is clearly a labor of love. Those involved wrote this material because they love and respect the fiction that it is based on, and they wrote the material with other, like-minded individuals in mind. And it shows. A lot of attention is paid to the details of the city of Sanctuary, from the minutia of currency conversion, to the interactions between different ethnic groups, to the individual languages spoken in Sanctuary. There?s even a bibliography for those who want to immerse themselves further in the Thieves? World mythos (as I, myself, would like to now). Overall, the setting information is detailed, interesting, well-written, and useful. It gives your mind a kick-start, allowing you to come up with your own ideas. One thing that I found missing, however, was a timeline of some sort. I very much would have liked a ?History of Sanctuary? section, or at the very least a timeline of major events. Considering that I, and many others, have not read the Thieves? World anthologies, this seems an obvious oversight.
As good as the setting information is, I?m somewhat less pleased with the mechanics of the setting. This isn?t to say that they aren?t good, it?s just to say that they perhaps aren?t as good as they could have been. There are good points, such as their version of the ranger (which I like quite a lot more than the core ranger), to be sure. However, there are also a number of questionable mechanics in the setting. The rules on serious injury and infection stand out to me in this regard. They certainly add realism to the setting, but they make combat much harder to recover from, they add an additional layer of complexity to combat, and I?m not entirely sure they make the game more fun (I am of the opinion that every rule contained within a game should make it more fun in some way, and if it doesn?t it should be removed). Some of the prestige classes, too, seem underpowered. The Mrsevadan Sailor, for example, has a number of useful abilities as long as he is on a ship. Once in the city of Sanctuary, however, he loses many of these abilities, or they become nearly useless. I question the utility of a prestige class like this in a game that is clearly not designed to be sea-faring.
Another thing that irked me somewhat (though I didn?t take any points off for this) was a nagging feeling of having seen many of the ?new? rules before. The rules on massive damage are almost verbatim from d20 Modern. The rules for curses seem heavily inspired by, if not taken directly from, The Ravenloft Campaign Setting. Finally, the magic system seems very similar to the one presented in the d20 version of The Sovereign Stone Campaign Setting, by Sovereign Press. As I said, these things bothered me somewhat; however, the Open Gaming Movement is all about shared material, so I didn?t dock Green Ronin any points for using other peoples? work.



LIKED: A well-written, interesting, and very playable setting, with some interesting and refreshing ideas, and a bevy of character options.

DISLIKED: Not all of the rules seem balanced, or even necessary. I experienced a lot of d?j? vu while reading.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Thieves' World Player's Manual
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Eric P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/14/2005 00:00:00
This is an excellent product that also serves as a good primer to Sanctuary to anyone (like me) who is just getting into the books.

Love the new character classes. I am going to use some for my regular d20 games. Great non-magical Ranger! The new magic system, an adaptation of the d20 system, is very cool, though a little overwhelming when first trying it. However, it feels more like heroic fantasy than the cut and dry base d20 version.

LIKED: Art is very good, writing is breezy and the product is solid in what it delivers. Character clasess awesome, magic system very good, combat changes excellent. AND NO ALIGNMENT!!!

DISLIKED: It wasn't twice as big (ROFL).

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Thieves' World Player's Manual
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Anthony R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/10/2005 00:00:00
The Thieves? World Player?s Manual is a 193-page PDF that has a color cover and black & white interior. The book has a table of contents, index and is fully bookmarked. The two-column layout is clean, with crisp fonts and good illustrations. In short, it is up to the professional standard that you would expect from Green Ronin.

The Player?s Manual kicks off with a short story. I usually find this sort of genre fiction pretty dreadful, but to Lynn Abbey?s credit, I actually enjoyed reading this one. My knowledge of the Thieves? World fantasy anthology series stops with Storm Season and so I was thrilled to next find a list of canonical books. I would have liked to have a more comprehensive overview or timeline, but I guess I will need to pick up one of the newer books to bring myself up to date on the current goings on in Sanctuary.

The entire first chapter is devoted to an overview of Sanctuary. This is very good stuff. You get information about currency, languages, laws, economics, etc. You even get a sort of walking tour of Sanctuary?s various districts. I love this kind of information, unburdened as it is from game mechanics. If I wanted to run a Sanctuary campaign with say the Savage Worlds game system, I could pull this whole chapter out and use it with no conversion. Very cool.

Since there are no non-human races in the world of Sanctuary, a player instead chooses a Culture and Background for his character. The Culture provides the character an ethnicity and the Background provides some information about the character?s pre-adventuring career. Both give skill and other bonuses. The combination of Culture and Background should really help a player to define ?who his character is? in the world of Sanctuary. It is certainly more satisfying than just saying ?My character is a dwarf?. It also worth noting here that Thieves? World does not use alignments and so no d20 mechanics like spells, that are based on alignments, are used in the setting.

Many of the base character classes have been extensively reworked for Thieves? World. The Barbarian, Fighter and Thief are basically unchanged. New or changed classes include the Assassin, Godsworn, Initiate, Mage, Noble, Priest, Ranger, Savant, Survivor and Witch. Many of the changes are necessary because extensively modified magic system. All characters also have a Reputation bonus, which indicates their likelihood of being recognized in Sanctuary, that increases with level.

The book includes a total of eighteen prestige classes. These represent everything from Blue Star Adepts to Hell Hounds. I have to admit that I am not a big fan of prestige classes, but I guess that are a necessary evil of the d20 system. I would have liked to see some information about how a character actually becomes say a Hell Hound, outside of the game mechanics requirements, but the prestige classes do look well thought out and interesting.

The Skills and Feats chapter introduces one new skill (Gambling) and a host of new Feats, many related to the new magic system. I was happy to see that very few of the Feats were of the ?+2 to Skill X? variety, which is one of my pet peeves.

The Supplemental Rules chapter introduces rules for severe injuries, wound infection and lowers the standard Massive Damage threshold. This is all in keeping with the down and dirty nature of the Thieves? World setting. This chapter also discusses how the Reputation bonus works and information on obtaining and using Contacts in Sanctuary. The Equipment chapter provides lists of herbs, poisons and drugs, including the infamous krrf.

Sorcery in the world of Sanctuary is divided into three basic techniques, magic, prayer and witchcraft. All characters cast spells by making a spellcasting check. The check must equal or exceed a Mana Threshold that is determined by the spell?s level. If the initial check is not successful, a caster can continue to cast until the threshold is reach. A caster can also cast a spell as a ritual, which takes longer, but increases the spell?s duration.

Casters have a number of Known spells and Familiar spells per level. Known spells can be cast normally and Familiar spells can be cast with additional preparation time. The price of casting is that all spells (with some exceptions for cantrips) do an amount of non-lethal damage to the caster equal to the spell level. This amount is doubled if the caster casts a spell above a ?safe? spell level limit that is determined by his class level. The Sorcery chapter covers additional topics including cooperative casting, spectacular casting failures and successes, curses and magic items.

The Spells chapter lists what spells and domains are appropriate for the Thieves? World setting, as well as introducing new domains and spells. One important change to note is that there are no actual healing spells. Instead of actually healing damage, spells convert an amount of lethal damage to non-lethal damage. Besides these ?convert? spells, there are more than twenty-five new spells in the chapter.

The two appendices list the gods of sanctuary and a glossary of notable NPCs. Each NPC has an indication to show if it is from the classic ?Rankan? era or from the modern era of the new stories. There is also a Thieves? World character sheet, which for some reason has a big, black, ink-sucking border around it.

UPDATE: It has come to my attention that Green Ronin now offers an update that does NOT include the black border. Kudos to them for making the change.

The Player?s Manual is an outstanding book. It takes a setting that was primarily designed for fantasy fiction and firmly beats it into the d20 mold. It does it not by just tweaking the rules a bit and tacking on a few prestige classes, but by making thoughtful changes to the game mechanics that actually make sense. I applaud Robert J. Shwalb and company for a job well done.

There was nothing that was missing in the Player?s Guide for me except perhaps a more extensive overview of recent Sanctuary history. Things like NPC write-ups, more maps, encounter tables, etc. are sure to come in the GM?s book, Shadowspawn?s Guide to Sanctuary. If you like d20 and Thieves? World, this is a must buy. If you are looking for a grittier campaign setting, it is also an excellent choice. It is also worth checking out for its unique magic system. Good stuff, indeed.




LIKED: An outstanding conversion of the d20 system for Thieves' World. The production values and writing are top-notch.

DISLIKED: I would have liked more of an overview of recent events in Sanctuary

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied

[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Thieves' World Player's Manual
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Mark C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/10/2005 00:00:00
Thieves? World has a rich background beginning as the combined efforts of a number of writers to produce a single book which turned into a series. The book has a good cover but some of the pencils inside are so good they could almost be photographs.

Thieves World uses backgrounds which give you extra class skills and modifies your age. This is a common system, perhaps best known as the occupations from d20 Modern and it is only a matter of time before it will appear in d20 core. There are a slew of new classes to chose from, including the assassin, a variant ranger and the noble who specializes in Leadership. There are a lot of interesting prestige classes. I count 19 prestige classes with a wide range for every class to move into. I had my eye on the hazard mage. The gladiator and hell hound are some very solid combat classes ? something you will need in a party to survive in Thieves? World.

There is a section for using prestige classes from the DMG. I really like this. They?ve taken the time to make sure their product is compatible with core material.

Gambling comes up as a new skill and there are many new uses for old skills. This is handy for entering a new campaign setting. There are new haggling rules for Diplomacy. There are a number of new feats including feats to gain an additional background and a number of new meta-magic feats. They do not lean on the +2 bonus to two skill feats, instead creating feats for specific checks such as dealing with criminals.

Somebody has read d20 Modern (Modern has a lot of good additions to d20). Besides backgrounds, the combat section introduces Massive Damage rules. I think this is a good idea, especially for this setting. It makes characters a little more vulnerable to assassination or dying from a very powerful blow which matches the style of the campaign. (I don?t think any of my favorite characters in the Thieves? World novel series lasted past book 4.) They have expanded the system slightly to include resulting injuries.

Ahah, Reputation! Nothing could be more appropriate from Modern. Living and dying because of fame is suitable for this cutthroat back-alley dealing campaign setting.

The book is not modern. It?s just using the best of both worlds. It is chock full of new ideas and rules such as hidden weapons, new metals and new alchemy rules ? and of course poison making. There is a chart to rival the DMG on poisons. Might be a good idea to memorize it.

The system uses a variant magic system which makes me twinge. Still it looks well thought out. There are a variety of ways to cast spells and although it uses a mana pool, there are a lot of similarities to standard magic ? plus the earlier conversion notes for using core spellcasters. There is a big chunk on curses ? no surprise there. There are new spell tables for the new spellcasting classes and new spells which are completely usable by standard classes.

The last chapter of the book deals with new deities, done in a format similar to the Player?s Handbook. The book ends with an appendix of characters but they have no stats and a new character sheet modified for Thieves? World.

A popular complaint is laid to rest. This book has a complete set of bookmarks added to the PDF to compliment its table of contents and index.


LIKED: This is a well put together book with great art and new material that is very compatible with core 3.5 material. There is everything a player needs to build an entirely new kind of character, classes, prestige classes, feats, new skill uses, spells and a new magic system all tailored to the flavor of the cut throat setting that is Thieves? World. They?ve borrowed some of the best d20 Modern rules and added them to the game.

DISLIKED: The famous characters from the Thieves? World novel series are given only a passing glance. The fact that most of them are dead may or may not have played a part in this. The last page hints at a supplement based on the character Shadowspawn and I?ll hope his stats show up there.

The book has a very clean layout which is easy to print. I would have liked a second PDF though which included pages with a background or border art. I?m curious to see if there is a printed version with additional background art.


QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Thieves' World Player's Manual
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/07/2005 00:00:00
OVERVIEW

Thieves' World, the name alone summons up images of dangerous back alleys and shadowed skulduggery, and for me, memories of gripping, gritty action in an all too real fantasy world. I have been a big fan of Thieves' World since the original anthology appeared in the '80s, Hanse called Shadowspawn and Tempus Thales are my favorite characters from the series. As a matter of fact, I just recently completed my Thieves' World collection, having gotten the last 4 books in the original series, which I haven't read yet. I also haven't read any of the new series yet. So my review will be based more on my memory of the original series, which is my 2nd most favorite fantasy series ever. I never had, nor have I ever seen, the original Thieves' World RPG, so am I am coming to this product with no preconceptions of how the adaptation should be done.

With that bit of preamble out of the way let me say, this is a pretty damn good Thieves' World game done D20 style. I think that D20 player's will find that the rules adaptations and changes will really give the feel of cruising those dangerous back alleys among the vibrant, gritty and dangerous city of Sanctuary.

CHAPTERS 1 & 2: "A Sanctan Primer" & "Cultures and Backgrounds"

These two chapters provide at good introduction and grounding in sanctuary and the thieves world setting. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the peoples of sanctuary, and its current government under the timeline of the new anthologies and Sanctuary novel. The chapter also discusses the languages spoken in the Thieves' World setting, as well as the calendar and and currencies used.

Information is also provided on the climate and geography of the region, illustrated by a nicely done map. Finishing out this chapter is a 12 page overview of the city of sanctuary itself. This overview includes description of each quarter or district of the city, including notable establishments and denizens. The description of each section of the city also includes notes on playing a character from that part of the city of Sanctuary. The information provided in this chapter is meaty and will help the players get into the setting, and conduct themselves like a true denizen of Thieves' World. This section also explains why you don't go into The Maze at night, or go alone, and especially not unarmed.

Chapter 2, Cultures and Backgrounds, describes the cultures, and people, that populate the Thieves' World setting. A description of common members of each cultural group is provided along with the languages they speak. Classes a character from that cultural group is likely to take are also described. Each culture is also made distinct by being given a default feat, that all members of that cultural group possess. The player is also allowed to pick a cultural feat from a shortlist for that cultural group. Backgrounds provide characters with additional skills and background traits, as well as providing back story details for the character. Thus encouraging the player to generate details of the character's life before he began adventuring. The cultures and backgrounds go a long way toward making a character feel like a native to the Thieves' World setting. Backgrounds also encourage the player to develop an interesting back story for his characters, defining how he or she has survived in the city of Sanctuary.

CHAPTERS 3, 4, & 5: "Classes", "Prestige Classes" and "Skills &
Feats".

Chapter 3 provides an overview of the character classes featured in the Thieves' World setting, modifying a few and introducing introducing new classes unique to Thieves' World setting. These new classes include such standouts as the Godsworn, a character class like Tempus Thales in the anthologies, and the Witch, whose powers are far greater than the candle and cauldron charms typically associated with the idea of the witch.

An important difference from the usual D&D 3.5 rules is that multi-classing is unrestricted, without experience penalties, which fits with the nature of the Thieves' World character's and stories. Readers of the books will reall that many of the Thieves' world characters had talents in many areas. Also fitting with the nature of the Thieves' World setting, Alignments are not used either.

Chapter 4 provides the Prestige Classes unique to Thieves' World Setting. These PrCs include The Blue Star Adept, Hell Hound, Nisibisi War Witch, Sacred Bander, and S'Danzo Fortuneteller. These are all pretty interesting and reinforce the feel of the setting, and offer some interesting abilities to wield.

Chapter 5 offers a new skill, Gamble, and additional rules for a few others, a list of new Feats is provided as well. The more interesting and Thieves' World specific ones being Sighted and Witchblooded.


CHAPTERS 6 & 7: "Supplemental Rules" & "Equipment & Resources"

Chapter 6 provides additional rules for combat. First, there are the altered massive damage rules (the amount being equal to your CON score plus a Size Modifier, and thus much more likely than the standard rules),Severe Injury rules (On a critical hit where character suffers damage greater than his massive damage threshold, he may suffer a severe injury. Which is applied as an ability drain.), and the Infection Rules (If character suffers damage equal greater than or equal to his massive damage threshold, he must make a fortitude save or suffer an infection. Infection is treated as a disease that does 1d4 constitution, so it's possible character can die from it.) Also in this chapter are a set of "Reputation" rules, whereby a character's reputation in the city can gain him advantages in social situations. A set of contact rules are also provided, providing the character with NPC's he knows that can provide him with information, influence of skill help.

The additional combat rules definitely add to the "not your typical D&D feel" of the Thieves' World stories, and will help player's empathize with the reasonable fears of character's who are not given to combat. The Reputation rules help player's develop a legendary status among the denizens of Sanctuary, allowing tales of their own exploits to be added to the storytellers' collections.

Chapter 7, Equipment & Resources, adds rules for a few items unique to the setting. Enlibar Steel for one, as well as rules for some of the many drugs found in the setting, such as Krrf, which featured heavily in the original anthology. They also provide some guidelines for the presence of magical items in the Thieves' World setting.

Though the book states that magic items should be available as in other D20 games, I have to disagree. Magic items were rather rare in the original anthology. Indeed, the appearance of shop selling magical items was the focus of a number of stories, including one involving Hanse Shadowspawn after he was stricken by a "fear stick". They do point out that Magic items are not readily or easily available for sale, and provide advice on what items are appropriate and which are inappropriate to the setting. Though this reviewer's recommendation is to make the magic items few and far between and provide the focus of a rousing adventure, much like in the original Thieves' World anthology.

CHAPTERS: 8 & 9: "Sorcery" & "Spells"

Chapter 8 provides an alternate magic system that seeks to emulate the magic evidenced in the Thieves' world series. It works by requiring casters to make Casting checks to fill a mana pool until they meet the Mana Threshold of the spell. Once they have focused enough energy, they can cast the spell. Critical success and failures on these checks can have interesting effects. Spells can be cast normally or performed as rituals, which take longer but have a greater chance of success, and greater effect. Rounding out chapter 8 are the curse rules, a type of magic that anyone can perform, at great cost to themselves.

The Spells chapter provides a small list of new spells, as well as spell lists for each type of sorcery, magic, prayer, and witchcraft, and new domains for priests. It also provides a list of inappropriate spells for the Thieves' World setting. Overall the spell list is pretty good, and should please players who want to play Nisibisi Witches, Mages, Priests, and doomed Godsworn. Overall I think it is pretty well done, though it does make it likely that players will be throwing around more magic than is seen in the original anthology.

APPENDICES: "Gods of Sanctuary" & "Character Glossary"

The appendices provide first, a brief overview of the major pantheons and god's present in the Thieves' World setting, including info on their symbol, associated domains, and favored weapons. The second appendix offers a character glossary which has a comprehensive listing of characters from both the original anthology and the new anthology (but no stats at all, unfortunately). I found both of these to be useful and interesting

PRESENTATION & LAYOUT

The Thieves' World Player's Manual is a 193 page PDF done in a two column layout. The font used for most the text is a fairly ornate serif font, but is easily readable. Sections titles are marked with bar graphics, which makes the book easy to skim through. Its layout is above average and quite readable. The artwork is good, with a few pieces standing out. Though some of the more cartoonish pieces didn't appeal to this reviewer. But overall it is a very high quality professional looking product.

SUMMARY

The Thieves' World Players Manual offers up a well-done D&D derived adaptation of the Thieves' World setting. It makes important changes, and additions, to the classes, skills and feats available to support the feel of the setting. The Culture and Backgrounds do a good job of reinforcing the setting and providing an extra hook for the player's to become immersed in the setting, as well as providing a mechanical difference between characters of different cultures and backgrounds. The new combat rules make the combat a bit more gritty and dangerous, as befits the background. The Sorcery rules adapt the standard D20 magic rules to be more like the magic as shown in the anthologies, and provide a feel more like the magic present in the Thieves' World setting. Overall, I think the book does a good job of adapting the city of Sanctuary and the Thieves' World setting to the D20 system. I look forward to the other products in this game line, especially Shadowspawn's Guide to Sanctuary, and having my chance to walk the dangerous alleys of the Maze. Hopefully more info from the original anthology can be provided as well, so us old-timers can play in the "Ranken Era". As another reviewer mentioned, more adventure bits and more info on NPC's from the series would be nice, and a small adventure would have been useful too.







LIKED: The grittier combat rules, attention showed to seamier side of Sanctuary via
drugs rules and Street of Red Lanterns. Godsworn class and several of the
Prestige Classes.

DISLIKED: Availability of magic items in setting is overstated, and magic use should be
shown as being a bit rarer among sanctuary citizens than the impression given in the book.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Satisfied

[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Thieves' World Player's Manual
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/06/2005 00:00:00
Now, a fair warning to those people new to the Thieves World setting the city of Sanctuary: it can be dark. There are prostitutes, drugs, slavery, black magic, curses, rape, and other horrors in the books. The RPG acknowledges they are there and has a good small section on it and about making sure the players are comfortable with what you as DM are going to put in the game. It is always good to set some boundaries if that is what people want before going in. It is also possible to have these things in the game without over doing it. As always, know the players and what they like and expect. There is a lot of fun to be had in this setting but the possibilities of offending or disgusting the players and going to far exists.

The book starts with a nice short story from Lynn Abbey and the first chapter is a good over view of everything. It set s the tone for the book and goes into some great information about the government, laws, taxes, economy, money, coins, languages and writing, time climate, and then a good over view of the city. This is all great information but it brings my first complaint. The information is set in the new Sanctuary of the new books and not in the older city I grew up with. But a great job is done and they really have a lot of adventure ideas hidden in the city. There are talks of where the hillers set ambushes, what might be haunting the place Enas Yorl used to call home, Swift Smithy is a good person to talk to about rumors from the palace, and so much more. The climate is covered and each section of the city is described. Each section is almost a miniature city in and of themselves. The processional is very different from the Wharves which are very different from the Tween. And then there is the Maze, possible the most famous of all areas. The Maze has special rules for getting lost as it is so difficult to manage and it changes as the people build and take down buildings. Going into the maze and getting back out is an adventure in itself. It is the most dangerous part of the city and muggings or worse are not uncommon in its narrow alleys and blind corners. The chapter is a good overview and I hope we get a book that really covers the city in full detail of both the time of the modern books and the old books. One great thing the old box set did was have random tables for each distract so a DM could populate the city as they saw fit or just at random.


The second chapter gets more into the mechanics and more into the world of Thieves World. It covers cultures and backgrounds for characters to gave and many of them detail peoples from places far away. Sanctuary is a place that people from all over find themselves in and many cultures mix in the and around the city. It is also important to note here that everyone is human. There are no demi human options in this setting. So the backgrounds serve to really show the many different types of humans. Each culture is given a description, a physical description of the people, the ethnic traits of them, the languages they mostly speak, the classes most common for them, a list of culture feats that the player gets to pick one, a small mechanical bonus that helps set the culture apart from others, and the languages they can start with. There is a quick reference table with most of the mechanical information on it as well as table for heights and weights of people from the many places. Then each character also picks a background. These are like beggar, adventurer, herder, etc. Each has an age modifier (age of character is based on class), each gets a set of skills that are always class skills, and a small trait that is another mechanical and descriptive benefit.

The book does offer new base classes. While a few of the regular base classes can be used, the changes to the rules really get rid of most of them. The Thieves World setting does not use alignments; redoes the magic system, introduces a reputation system, and has a few other small changes. A very nice thing is the book also lists what other classes from Green Ronin class books would be appropriate for the setting. I really like this cross support for their other books.

Prestige classes are where things really get cool for fans of the books. There are a lot of classes in there that from the books I had hoped to see as prestige classes. It is an impressive list of them including Hell Hounds, Blue Star Adept, Crime Lord, Gladiator, Hazard Mage, Irrune Raider, Nisibisi War Witch, S?Danzo Fortune Teller, and many many others. . And like with the base classes, there is a great section for adapting prestige classes to Thieves World. This is something that needs to be addressed for ever d20 setting and I am very pleased to see it for Thieves World. There are lots of classes in other books that would really fit into Thieves World. Some will fit as is, and some of them will really need to be altered. The general guidelines in here should aid in that.

As I have mentioned there are some rule changes. The biggest is the lack of true healing. The game uses hit points but healing spells change lethal damage to non lethal damage. Characters still need to rest to heal that. Also, massive damage is equal to ones constitution score and can be modified by ones armor and feats. In addition to worrying about massive damage, characters can get disfigured, and get infections from wounds. There are great and simple rules for both of these in here. There are the reputation rules that very well done and rules for contacts. Sanctuary is a city wear knowing the right person can easily save your life. The biggest change though is the magic. Magic using characters cast spells differently then in other games. There is no spell preparation. Characters draw in mana from the surrounding area to cast spells. The higher level of the spell the more mana they have to draw in. This can take many, many rounds. So casters have to be careful as that fireball may be coming, but three rounds after they start casting the spell. Also, there are penalties to casting spells and dangers. It is a very cool and involved system. There is a lot of risk for the powerful spells but quite a bit of reward can be generated as well.

I have a lot of good things to say about the book but it is not perfect as no book ever is. The biggest thing missing is a really good map. There is a map of the continent and a map of the city, but neither are full pages and perhaps I am a little spoiled from my big sanctuary map from the old box set, but I want a big map like from the old box set. I also would have liked a section about adventures. It would not need to be a fully fleshed out adventure as that is coming in the soon to be released Murder at the Vulger Unicorn. I would have liked a list or a section of little adventure ideas. There are bits and things in the book, but as always I want more. I also would have liked to see characters from the novels described. They would not have to be fully stated out though that is nice. But a good who?s who of the city would really be useful. Those and the lack of coverage from the old city of Sanctuary are my three biggest complaints about the book.

That is Thieves World in a nutshell. It brings forth the feel of the novels and allows people to form their own story. The most important character in my opinion was always the city. This covers the city and so much more. I have been waiting many years for someone to do a Thieves World RPG again and I am very pleased to not be disappointed.


LIKED: It captures the feel of the city from the short stories and novels and brings it alive

DISLIKED: I'd have liked bigger maps, NPCs, and more adventure ideas

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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