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Kos City (Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting) $6.99
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Kos City (Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting)
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Kos City (Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting)
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by Billy W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/15/2016 20:51:02

The first thing you think about when you think of the Mediterranean are sun, beautiful ocean views, and historical cities all around. Beautiful vistas, stunning landscapes, all sounds lovely. Too bad things aren't that simple. Welcome to the world of Kos. An alternate history of our world is one of my personal favorite ways to play. This one has it all, a rich history to play with in the form of a cataclysm that brought magic into the world with a devastating volcanic eruption to make Krakatoa look like a firecracker. Well fleshed out NPC's for your characters to interact with, like Jadzia the apothecary, and Phaeton of Rhodes, a skilled artisan and the proprietor of the Golden Age of Warfare, one of the best weapons and armor shops in the region. To put it plainly, the SoK campaign setting is amazing in its depth and breadth. I can go on and on about the setting and the people, but I feel it's time to get into the specifics on the books involved.

Kos City; this is the first book that I read from the minds of Skirmisher Games and it is amazing. This is a fully fleshed out city in every respect. The maps are adjustable to your games so that if you dont like the placement you can change them. The NPC's in the book have good grounding. The flavors and motivations of the characters, and I call them characters on purpose, are varied and many. You can use them to your hearts content. This setting can be dropped into any existing game world and can be the beginning or the end of any adventure.

We could tell by the depth and bredth of the materials provided that this campaign setting is a labor of love from the fellows at Skirmisher and it does shine through. All in all, the PlayersGuidePodcast recomends these books for any GM or ST that is looking to have some fun in the sun. Just watch out for manticores

Fangbjorn, PlayersGuidePodcast

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kos City (Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting)
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by Wayne W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/23/2013 12:20:07

Kos City (Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting) is a well done generic city setting for any fantasy rpg setting.

Kos City is set in a fantasy world much like our own, with a history much like our world from 2000 years ago.

This book is in the line of Skirmisher Press Kos setting. Many more books are coming out and are already out for this setting, but this book can pretty much be put in any high fantasy setting, regardless of gaming system used.

Set around a eastern Mediterranean center, this book centers on a city with a large number of business, public centers, and guilds that make up a city with a large number of humans, goblins and other fantasy races.

Kos City is a generic setting. No specific system is used for npcs or other rules, but each npc is given enough of a write up that any GM could be able to write one up in moments.

Each place , and there are about 70, has a detailed description, an npc or two and an adventure hook for GM to use for a game, or at least a side adventure.

There is a lot to like here. The setting itself is one thats not been done do death the last 30 years. If a GM is wanting to get characters out of the standard forests or icy mountains of the majority of most fantasy settings, moving the action south to the warm climate of the Mediterranean is a move in the right direction.

Kos City is well laid out, and the Map included is top notch. Even if the GM does not use the info in the book, the map is a keeper to use for your own city. The look of the book is quite nice. The artwork is a collection of orginial art done for the book, as well as old paintings, wood cuts and photos from various museums. This gives the reader a perfect feel for the Kos City setting, as how the average npc would look and dress and in general what the city and shops look like.

The font and page lay out is well done for E-readers and computer reading as well. ON my Ipad2, the book was easy to read without having to zoom the page at all.

On my 7inch screen android tablet, reading was easy, but I did have to scroll around a bit on the page. Thats more of a issue of the screen size, and not of the PDF design of the book.

I found Kos city hard to read on my android phone, but again, thats an issue of the phone, not the book, but I just wanted to make sure that readers knew that.

Printing was easy and reasonably ink friendly. A few pages are art heavy, but those are few in this book. I used a Samsung 2510 laser printer for great effect. Ink Jet users might want to use a printing service as that could get expensive per page.

I really dont have any major issues with Kos City. A few GMs might bemoan the lack of written up npcs, but honestly, the write ups are well done enough that regardless of system, a GM is given enough info to make write ups easy.

I see Kos city working in nearly any system. Savage World and Hero players as well as the Pathfinder and D&D player will find a lot to work with here..

I might have been a bit happier if each chapter could have been printed off separately, for those of us that like to pick and choose, but thats the only real quibble I can find here..

For the record, I did get a complimantry copy of this book from the author and I have met Mr Vorhola at Gencon and we have chatted on some podcasts.

I am a fan of the company and have bought many of the City building books Skirmisher has published. Im giving this book a 5 star rating.

Bang for buck, its one of the best buys on Drive Thru right now...get a copy, and read it….

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kos City (Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting)
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by David F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/18/2013 20:23:53

This is a review of Kos City (Swords of Kos fantasy campaign setting.) The product comes with two files, the city book and a color coded map. It's nice to have the map as a separate PDF since I can have them both up at the same time on my computer. The map is color coded with codes for Government, Mercantile, Temple, Artisan and Slum quarters, the map is also keyed to the 44 locations and where they are in the city.

The book itself is robust at 79 pages; there is an introduction and brief explanation about the world. The intro is wrapped up by a table of contents giving the name of the establishment as well as what it is. This is good in case you don't know what the Sign of the Heron is; it gives you a heads up as GM as to what you need to prep. The general layout of the book is good, it's easy to read, line art interspersed with photos breaking up the text.

The book is system less so you could easily pop it into your campaign; each location is given a complete write-up describing the interior and people inhabiting the local. The NPC's have good backgrounds and would easily fit into any other city/campaign. Each location also has a number of character hooks that you can use as a cue for an adventure.

What more would I have liked? This is minor stuff but I would have liked the map key number next to the name of the title of the location, so I could easily glance at the number to find it, additionally I would have liked an alphabetical index so I could find it faster while flipping through it

However the book is well worth its cost and I think it would be a good addition to a GM's library and I recommend it as a buy.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kos City (Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting)
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by Benoist P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/18/2013 17:28:09

I am very impressed reading through the Swords of Kos Campaign Setting material. It comprises two volumes as of this writing: Kos City, which describes the urban environment that has been built upon and developed throughout a variety of gaming and fiction products released by Skirmisher Publishing LLC over time, and the Lands Beyond Kos detailing the surrounding regions, most of which are located around the Mediterranean sea in this fantasy Bronze Age/Medievalish Magical alternate world of theirs.

The first thing I should note is that these products are completely free of system-specific descriptions, a fact which sometimes goes against the nature of the setting or scenario described, but which in this case I feel is a strong component of its appeal, particularly when paired with its generic yet specific (mostly because of its alternate history type fantasy with a strong helping of Classical and Ancient history you don't see that often in game products) appeal as a setting. Because of these Classical influences, I think the whole of the setting would work admirably well with game systems such as Original and Advanced D&D, Mythus Prime, RuneQuest II, III and 6, and the like.

The second thing that I should say is that I like the description format a lot. I am going to get back to Lands Beyond Kos later probably and use Kos City as my primary example: fundamentally, Kos City as a game product is a map that comes along with a short history of the place and the world around summarized in a few pages. On this map, and this loose yet (again) specific and very flavorful description of the setting, is grafted the real meat of the product, which comes in the form of 50 specific locations spread across town, from the chariot race tracks to the harbor to the training halls and restaurants, the cemeteries and jails of the city, you actually get a pretty good idea of the way the whole of the city works with just those few locations, which is a way to approach such a complex gaming environment that is both word-count effective, and somewhat liberating to one's own imagination at the same time, all the time providing a wealth of detail which could be used in any number of ways by any referee worthy of the name.

What I mean by this is that the locations, plots, factions could be just as well inserted in your games using Villenor, the City State of the Invicible Overlord, Ptolus, Waterdeep, Laelith or whatever other fantasy urban setting of your choice. I think Kos City is a coherent whole that deserves to be gamed on its own merits as such, but assuming you would not like the setting described, there is much detail included which could be dropped into another city without too much work, which in itself, I think, should be a win for any GM out there, especially considering the price of the PDF. The added bonus is that it doesn't take hundreds upon hundreds of pages to get there, and that you can basically switch from one place to the next in the book however you want, opening it at random, and picking up a nugget or scenario idea wherever it lies without having to do much flipping through the contents, since ideas abound, wherever you look.

I was expecting to dislike the map of the city but ended up liking it very much. I would love to see a version without the district coloring, and perhaps a full color version one day, who knows? My only real criticism is that some locations could have used floor plans, though I understand the rationale in not including them at all, since it leaves room for the GM's imagination to do his own thing with each of them.

A last thing I want to mention is that Michael O. Varhola, one of the main contributors to the Swords of Kos campaign setting, has been working with us at GP Adventures on the Crossroads to Adventure game books series taking place in the world around The Hobby Shop Dungeon ( https://www.facebook.com/hobbyshopdungeon ).

What struck me immediately reading through the Swords of Kos material is some of the similarities between our Duinnsmere area and the fantasy milieu described in the SoK Campaign Setting, including a fanciful distortion of historical references for fantasy's sake, and a work ethic very clearly aimed at creating material meant to be played at an actual game table, and not merely enjoyed from afar. I don't mean to say that one setting would be based off one another: This isn't the case at all. It is just that these similarities of colors and inspirations reflect the workings of kindred spirits apprehending fantasy and the construction of a milieu useful for others to play in comparable, yet different ways. It would be very interesting to run a campaign in which these worlds acted as alternate dimensions of each other, perhaps at different points of the chronology one could fathom construing each as a shade of a quintessential Prima Terra somewhere.

In any case. Kos City is a solid, gameable product that will be useful to anyone running urban areas in his or her campaigns. The Lands Beyond Kos I shall get back to, for I believe they deserve their own specific review. This stuff is worth getting into! I want print copies, now! - BP

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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