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Streets of Silver
$29.95 $14.95
Publisher: Living Imagination
by Gavin K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2005 08:33:37

Streets of Silver - A Twin Crown's Adventure Guide is Living Imagination's attempt in detailing the full fledged city known as Parma, the largest port of the Northen Empire province of Novarum. This book (in black and white except for the cover and pg 309) is self-contained and can be easily used in a city campaign. There are tons of hook-line-and-sinker type scenario gems that you can use found hidden within the text.

Parma is shown in all its glory on 2 pages and each neighbourhood is zoomed into further detail in the later chapters. It is made up of a mainland jutting out into sea and several large harbored islands. The names used in the book give a very distinctly Italian flavor (for example, you will see the name "Porto Vecchio" on the map and this actually means "Old Port" in Italian - try the Babel Fish translator available elsewhere on the net and you may find yourself pleasantly surprised).

The book is divided into three parts. The first part, consisting of the first six chapters, details geography and environs, history, political structure, law, economy and other important information that a player could now about Parma. The second part, or also known as chapter 7, is a big chunk describing the neighborhoods of Parma. Its like a grand tour of the whole city and it kinds of remind me of other city books like Waterdeep - City of Splendors and Ravens Bluff from Wizards. The last part of the book, comprising chapters 8 through 10, is essentially the territory of the DM where you find all the truths behind the plot lines and read about the NPCs and view their full stats.

Next I discuss what I liked and disliked in the book.

LIKES The chapter on Law is a natural... I especially loved the page on The Laws of Solaron - it makes me wonder if it was closely based on ancient law from Italy. Culture is another chapter that is highly imaginative as I get to see a calendar and its holidays, and get to learn some of the strange customs in Parma... from simple ideas, like "there must be a dessert of some kind at every meal" to complex ones like the tradition of Vendetta. The main players and shakers within the campaign world of Parma are described in Chapter 5 - Organizations. Take for example "The Wizards of Jorkum", a guild who only accepts wizards in its membership and shuns all other types of arcane wielders - they love to put on demonstrations of their prowess in illusions for the public during Carnivale. Another example is to anticipate the "kiss" when you are dealing with the Red Star Company. These little details really make a world of difference. I won't say too much about the Neighborhoods except that the wealth of information is stupendous. Also, the plot lines are very interesting and can be expanded upon in many different ways by an experienced DM.

DISLIKES Most of my dislikes and gripes about the book are actually very personal biases... I guess it's just me... but I have gotten really tired of prestige classes. So, I won't pin too much blame on Living Imagination's part... but would you fancy playing a Courtesan? Not me. Another dislike is the inclusion of rituals. I would have preferred to see more spells. Also, interior artwork is lacking in some areas. And the border artwork could have had some variation from chapter to chapter instead of the same artwork throughout the 313 pages. One other gripe is the Behind the Scenes chapter, I felt I was jumping too often between the Neighborhoods chapter and this one ... the material from both chapters should have been grouped together. I for one won't let my player's read the chapter on Neighborhoods discriminately. Guess that there's just too much page-flipping for my tastes.

That's it... I have come to the end of my review. I can sincerely say, buy this book if you absolutely love (and can't get enough of) city campaigns. Personally, as a city campaign lover, I would rate it a 4.5 out of 5... but after considering carefully from a neutral view, I would rate it 4 out of 5 because of all my dislikes and also that city campaigns would not be for everyone's tastes.

But, nevertheless, do consider getting this book. The stories that you can tell with this book could be easily profound for your group of players and yourself - with a little work, you can make your very own beautiful World of Living Imagination.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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