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Fields of Blood: The Book of War
 
$30.00 $7.50
Average Rating:3.8 / 5
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Fields of Blood: The Book of War
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Fields of Blood: The Book of War
Publisher: Eden Studios
by Eric H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/26/2012 19:53:15
Fields of Blood is a book for the 'old' D&D 3.5 system, but it can work with Pathfinder very well. The book covers running a realm and fighting battles in d20, and it handles it very well. The rules for realms are clear and concise, offering a multitude of different styles of government and cultures that can be combined to produce a wide number of potential societies. You are given a number of options for things like resources (you need to stay solvent somehow, after all), guilds (thieves, wizards, etc) and the things they can do for you, temples that can bless your land in a variety of ways, and more.

The bigger part of the book is given over to mass combat. It gives you a system to raise and improve troops for yourself in a wide variety -- foot and horse and other sorts of cavalry, air troops, missile troops, specialists like combat engineers, monsters, etc. It also provides a system of mass combat that is among the better done in D&D, making combats exciting and quick and allowing for PCs to affect what happens.

The book ends with a few new prestige classes and spells, as well as guidelines on how a great many spells and magical items can be used to affect a realm's prosperity or the result of a battle.

It's an amazing value for the price, and if you want to run campaigns that involve ruling realms or warfare, you'll be happy that you got this one.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fields of Blood: The Book of War
Publisher: Eden Studios
by Cameron S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/05/2009 18:09:23
I bought this book at the current DriveThru price of USD7.50 and at that price it was very good value for money. Having now read through it I think USD10-15 would in fact be reasonable.

I bought this book for a specific purpose - I run a fantasy rpg PBP ( http://rpol.net/game.cgi?gi=33805&date=1254758160 ) and as it grows I had a need for a system to help me run the politics and larger combats which take place in the background.

I spent a while reading reviews of many systems and eventually settled on this for several reasons:
a. It contains BOTH resource management and mass combat in one book
b. The resource management scales down to fairly small settlements which is what I need - not huge empires
c. It has a strong medieval feel
d. The rules, although they are d20-based, are clearly-explained and were easy to adapt to the system I am using (Dragon Warriors)
e. Price is reasonable - some of the games I looked at weigh in at USD40 just for one part of the system
f. The rules for mass combat do not require masses of miniatures or cards - and there are even optional simplified rules for determining the result of a combat without playing it out in detailed.

Once I bought the product I was pleased at its depth, presentation and layout. Although some of the rules are fairly detailed, there are always lots of examples which help clarify everything.

Another handy feature is that the authors take pains to point out certain rules and multiplier factors which can be tweaked to give the game a different flavour or pace.

The only reason that I don't give this 5 stars is that I have not yet playtested the combat part of the rules, which are about 2/3 of the book - however I have run some experiments and they seem to fit in nicely.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fields of Blood: The Book of War
Publisher: Eden Studios
by Matt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/18/2007 20:55:11
Eden Studios have created a truly impressive pen & paper resource management sim. They describe in detail how a DM and players can incorporate these rules into their D&D 3.5 campaign. For 10th-20th level characters who decide to establish a stronghold and raise an army, this book provides a comprehensive, coherent basis for adding wargaming to your roleplaying.

However, there are aspects of these rules that are unsuitable for my own game: the rules operate on a fixed level of detail and impose certain assumptions on the way that settlements function.

Mass combat involves units of 100 basic troops, or their equivalent (a handful of giants, or one dragon). Resource management employs hexes with maximal diameter of 12 miles (just under 100 square miles in area). Since the empires in my game span millions of square miles, it is infeasible for me to describe every hamlet and outpost in such painstaking detail. Likewise, clashes between armies of thousands would be very time consuming to simulate on that scale.

The way that settlements work in Fields of Blood seems quite different to what I would expect from the Dungeon Master's Guide and DMGII. Rather than extrapolating from the D&D rules, there are certain abstractions and changes that do not sit well with me as DM.

The first of these is population growth. By investing resources in a specific settlement, the player can "upgrade" it from hamlet to village, from village to town, and so forth. The rationale for this is obvious: even Elves would be unlikely to establish a settlement and see it grow into a bustling city within their lifetime. However, although it makes the game more interesting, this isn't a rule that I would want to incorporate into my campaign world.

Another issue that I have is with the role of clerics and wizards in society. In Fields of Blood, each settlement has a single dominant religion, with an associated place of worship. None of the other myriad smaller cults that might exist have any impact on the game. This is in complete contrast with any d20 city sourcebook I have read. One might view it as simply an abstraction, but to me it doesn't fit with the standard D&D fantasy setting.

The existence, power level and political involvement of a Mage Guild is a tricky thing to establish within the 3.5 rules. Within a settlement, the level of any sorcerers or wizards is lower than most other classes. The Fields of Blood explanation is that most high level arcane spellcasters live in ivory towers, preferring to isolate themselves from society. The solitary archmage is a common trope of the fantasy milieu, to be sure, but you need to decide whether this fits with your conception of 3rd edition D&D.

Overall I liked this book a lot, but can't see how I could make use of it without redesigning my campaign from the ground up.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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