Really good settings make you want to figure out a way to carve out a part of your campaign world and place it inside. The Argyle Lorebook is one of those settings. The cultures feel different from other d20 products, the world?s flavor feels unique and the writers do not try to reinvent the basics by adding new mechanics, they simply rely upon good writing.
The book is nicely laid out with a lot of information compacted within its 160 pages. The artwork is equally impressive, with a vivid use of colors and atmosphere.
The setting really lends itself to low to mid magic campaigns. A harsh mage ruled government caused a lot of havoc in Argyle?s history . Though a plague managed to wipe out the Mage leadership, the land still frowns upon magic usage. As you find out throughout most of the book, there are no mechanical changes, but the descriptions of the land and characters adequately convey how difficult wizards and sorcerers in the land are treated.
For the DM
I have never been one for long narratives in the beginning of a book. I often find them unnecessary or thrown in to show offs the writers desire to be a fiction writer. However, the prose before the crunch here really gives the reader an understanding of the world. The reader plays the fly on the wall, overhearing a conversation between a party of different races about the history of the world. I was just happy to finally hear gnomes and half-orcs with a voice in a book.
After the History is laid out, the Argyle puts a different spin on Races, Classes and Prestige Classes. Most of the stats are the same as in the PHB, but the descriptions are quite different and most of the races have slightly different variations. Classes are given a similar makeover as well. The writers really show how you can tweak information without revising stats and abilities.
With the unique magic take though, I did notice the lack of a magjc chapter. Even if new spells were not to be included, I think a chapter devoted to explaining just how magic works and doesn?t work in the world would go wonders to making the book complete.
The Iron Words
Without introducing a new batch of stats and numbers, Silver Oak Studios delivers a compelling take on the original classes, races and feel of a Dungeons and Dragons setting. I enjoy the low magic feel of the campaign world, but needed a bit more clarification on what I should be expecting magic wise in the game.
<b>LIKED</b>: Good writing and no pointless additions<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: There's no magic chapter which could really help clarify the atmosphere of the world. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>
[4 of 5 Stars!]