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miércoles, 16 de enero de 2013

Review of the Green Box of Aventuras en La Marca Del Este

Today I bring the review of the Green Box of Aventuras en La Marca del Este, the third one in the series after the Red Box and the Blue one.

The Green Box contains a booklet with character sheets of all types of character classes appeared until now (ones in the Red Box and the new ones in the Green one) and the Advanced Manual. The booklet is printed in A4 format and each sheet has the illustrative drawing of the class and specific information of each character type, including specific rules of the class and the applicable ones of the Advanced Manual; besides the sheets there’s a map of La Marca del Este and another one of the game world.

The Advanced Manual is a Compendium of Options and Advanced Rules that, taking in account its content’s extension, is thicker (and heavier) than the preceding manuals.

Let’s see its contents:

One of the first things we see opening the manual is the author’s dedicatory and a prologue with various texts by the fans.

After this entry we begin with the diverse chapters that compose the manual:

1. Nuevas Clases de Aventureros (New Adventurer Classes)

With the Advanced Manual we have 11 new character classes:
  • Assassin
  • Barbarian
  • Bard
  • Druid
  • Dark Elf (*)
  • Gnome
  • Mystic
  • Ninja (*)
  • Samurai
  • Half-elf
  • Half-orc (*)
(*) It’s recommended these characters to be played only with the permission of the referee.

Besides the new character types there’s also optional rules for matching the class Warrior of the Red Box with the other classes.

2. Equipo, Armas y Maestría en Armas (Equipment, Weapons and Weapons’ Mastery)

This second chapter offers a set of new weapons for the character classes of the previous chapter and optional rules regarding Weapon’s Mastery that permit characters to learn gradually the use and specialisation in weapons, along other rules for assess the untrained use of weapons and cover effects.

3. Habilidades (Skills)

As we have optional combat rules there’s also a new and easy skill system of direct application to already created characters. To be successful characters using this system it’s required to obtain a result in a D20 less than the sum of the characteristic score plus the skill.

The skill list (25) is to be used as a guide, so players and referees have full freedom for creating new ones as needed.

4. Aventuras y Desventuras (Adventures and Misadventures)

The present chapter is centred mainly in offering a series of basic advises for managing adventures in the typical environment of the aesthetic of Old School games: the dungeon waiting to be explored by the characters.

This environment is characterised by a set of traits that ever to be considered, like the dimly illuminated corridors, the doors waiting to be opened or the traps waiting to be deactivated...

At chapter’s end there’s also two optional systems, one for experience with other modes to raise levels and another one for accounting character’s Sanity (based in the Wisdom characteristic) in case we want to use a setting similar to the Cthulhu Mythos (lets not forget that in the Blue Box there are creature stats based in Lovecraft works).

5. ¡Guerra! (War!)

There’s always the chance that while adventuring characters become involved in a battle between two or more armies. To simulate this fact this chapter proposes a mass combat system, that not wanting to be exhaustive or realist, will allow referees to manage these battles in a simple way bearing in mind the characteristics that define the armies: Level (like characters), Quality (based in their capacities) and Battle Score (calculated according the Base Quality and bonuses for Quality).

The battle result will depend of a percentile roll to be done by every participant army, modified by tactics used by every one and Victory Points (these points depend of the balance of forces, armies’ qualities, etc.). Difference between both rolls will give the result to read in the battle result tables for the winner and the loser.

All previously said is provided for battles in the open, but there are also plans for attacking fortresses (but not prolonged sieges) and using siege machines like catapults.

Perhaps the only objection that can be made ??to this system is the absence of rules for player characters engage straight in battle.

6. Gestión de Feudos y Dominios (Feuds and Domain Management)

As battles were treated in the previous chapter in this one we have information about dominions and kingdoms to be defended and managed because there’s a set of rules to decide in which kind of lands are established, how many families inhabits them and which resources are exploited (leading to an economic management with corresponding costs and benefits). Also provided is a system to measure subjects' trust regarding their rulers (player characters at first) and to assess the chance of riots occurrence or other potentially dangerous events.

7. Conjuros (Spells)

Here we’ll find an extended list of extra spells: 114 of arcane magic (for magicians and elfs), 79 of divine magic (for clerics) and 124 for druids.

8. Objetos Mágicos y Artefactos (Magical Objects and Artifacts)

If in a game like this spells are important and so are magical objects, so here will find a complete list with 96 samples of all types (wands, rings, potions, etc.), including "curious" samples like the magical chainmail bikini created by Jason the Red...

9. Cosmologia de La Marca (Cosmology of The Mark)

If in the Blue Box information about distinct kingdoms of the game world was given in this chapter this description is expanded to embrace different existence planes of the universe, ranging from the material plane (the lands described in the Blue Box) to others like the celestial plane (inhabited by gods) to the infra-world (equipared to hell) among others.

10. Monstruos (Monsters)

In this chapter we have near 120 monsters of all kinds (demons, humanoids of diverse kinds, living dead, etc.) and a little selection of more normal human non playing characters (traders, noblemen, pirates, etc.).

11. La Fiesta de Disfraces (The Costumes Party)

The Advanced Manual also offers an adventure for testing the new rules of the Box where, as always, not all is what it seems.

This adventure also uses the latest technology so in its pages there are some optional QR codes to add a bit more complexity to the adventure.

To finish the Manual there’s an epilogue written by José A. Tellaetxe Isusi, of publisher Ludotecnia, and a few last add-ons including the optional class Star Traveller (that permits to introduce typical elements of Science-Fiction in our adventures), a critical success table and another one of fumbles (its to be noted that to obtain a critical hit in an attack roll it have to be a natural 20 and not a 1 as it is in the text of the critics table and a method for converting the negative Armor Class (AC) of the Old School Games to the positive version of more recent versions of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 or similar games.

The Green Box is a wonderful add-on for the Aventuras en La Marca del Este line and predict that the Black Box will be magnificent, but it must be noted that the illustrations of some character sheets (mainly classes corresponding to the Red Box) are a bit darker and the last fan dedicatory don’t have the correct author, because the text is by El Dado Inquieto and not Tirando Dados (the blog URL appearing is the correct one). Nevertheless these small details don’t affect the playability and geniality of the product.

This entry it's also available in the following languages:
Castellano Català

2 comentarios:

  1. Respuestas
    1. No there isn't an English version, I'm sorry. The only foreign language I know of is the Italian edition of the Red Box done by Red Glove: