||Thieves? World Gazetteer
Thieves? finally gets a look at the world around the famed city of Sanctuary. In prior books there has been great detail on the city it self with less focus on the world around it. Finally many questions on history and relationships between many of the ancient city states is explored and detailed. This is the fourth book in the Thieves? World line and with luck more will be published.
Thieves? World Gazetteer is the latest book on Thieves? World by Green Ronin. The book is out in both print and PDF formats. It has the standard high quality lay out and art that most Green Ronin books have. The PDF version is well book marked and prints out pretty easily for a one hundred and forty five page book.
The book starts with a great overview of the continent. It does a nice job of explaining different places but not getting bogged down in exact details. The maps of the world are not claimed to be accurate. I think it would have been interesting, but also confusing, to have seen a second or third take on the world map to show how things could be different and reflect the unreliability of maps. The chapter gives great general overviews of the different directions and how to play on the feel of them. This section also gives specific ways to fit Sanctuary with other published settings. All of them are other Green Ronin settings and while it would have been nice to see ones by other Companies it really was not expected. This section does a good job of going through some of the trouble areas of using Sanctuary in another setting. The book then gives some good campaign ideas for running characters of different levels in the two time periods. I think a low level game is easy to imagine, but this part shows that even high level characters can be played and challenged in the Thieves? World Setting. To support this even more there are rules for higher then twentieth level later on in the book.
The second chapter goes into the history of the known world. There is a lot about the world and it?s history that is unknown. There are plenty of things a DM can do with defining things that are left vague. At the same time the history in here really brings a lot into perspective with questions I had from the novels. I was not really expecting that and it was good to finally learn more about Enlibar and how they came to power and who took that power away from them. The history brings the reader up to the present times of the current books. It does sum up some of the events of the first anthologies of Thieves? World written in the 1980?s. I would have liked to seen a little more done with that time period and explore how campaigns can be set and entwined in a time period when people can read what happens. The book though does a good job with suggestions for making a campaign have that anthology feel with multiple characters and round robin DMing.
The book then covers additional places in the known world. This really covers many places that are not written about much and just get a few passing entries before this. Each section is really covered well making t easy to use it for adventure or just base a character out of it. There are unknowns and mysteries hinted at throughout the section giving DM?s plenty of story ideas for all these places. This covers the big civilizations, the small ones, the nomads, and even lost civilizations.
Then we get to the Lands Beyond chapter. This is a little light on info as it obviously does not want to define many of these mysterious places. It goes into alternate planes of existence and the after life that one might expect. The book talks about how to deal with some different mechanics that can happen from combining planes that use other aspects of the d20 system.
The gods are really well covered and more then I expected are listed here. The chapter starts with the mortal followers of the deities and of the Avatars that characters can encounter. The Ilsig and Rankan pantheons are of course given the most coverage. There are many independent gods such as Death, Dyareela, Mother Bey, and others.
The book finishes up with more rules of backgrounds and cultures, some prestige classes my favorite of course being Enlibrite Steelshaper, and the higher then twentieth level rules I mentioned earlier. The book also introduces Birthright feats. Each is attached to a specific culture and represents a unique aspect that culture can gain. There is also a bestiary though it is a bit short. Monsters are rare but not unheard of and it does a nice job of covering different types of monsters like dragons and outsiders and explaining how they can best be used and keep the feel of the world. I like that there is finally a write up for the winged people referred to just as the Winged Folk. They are presented as a playable race and I like that that option was included.
The fourth book in the Thieves ?World line really covers information not easily available anywhere. Unlike books about the city of Sanctuary which much of the feel and NPCs can be learned through the novels the lands around the content are rarely talked about and never in much detail. This book is a good supplement for anyone that is interesting in the setting. The rules are d20 focused but the book is focused on information that can be applied to any rule set.
LIKED: Covers the world outside the city and provides great deatil about it
VALUE: Very Satisfied
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