[GRAmel] Jalizar City of Thieves -- Quick Review

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[GRAmel] Jalizar City of Thieves -- Quick Review

#1 Postby Ryche » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:28 pm

Once again GRAmel has outdone themselves. Jalizar City of Thieves is a great add on to the Beasts and Barbarians line.

The book is broken down in to several sections, with the first being the Book of Lore. This covers the history of Jalizar and how it came to be. It is well written and provides a nice overview of the history of the city and how most of the powers came into play. It also covers current history and customs that help bring the city to life. It briefly covers the various different cultures that can be found in the city and why the migrated here. It also covers the technology and day to day life. Its done in the same style as the Book of Lore from the main setting book.

The next section covers making local residents of the city. Like most books, it has a handful of new Hindrances that fit the feel of the city. There is also a good number of new edges, with a few being very oriented to living in Jalizar. Though a sidebar covers rules on how to handle these edges should a character leave on a permanent base. One of my favorite new edges, is Still Got One, which really helps a character that relies on thrown weapons.

Magic is the next section and expands details for Lotus Masters, Sorcerers, and Englighten. It provides a good detail on how they interact with the city and also a few new trappings for different powers. There is a twist to the sorcery path, called Sewer Sorcery along with a new backlash table.

A section on gear covers some new weapons, armor, and mundane gear. Nothing special but good to see some more localized items.

The Setting Rules is well written and adds a bit of stuff. I particularly like the direction taken on some of the more harsh Hindrances like Blind, Lame, One Arm, etc. It helps provide a bit more incentive on taking these edges. Most of the new rules in this section seem to deal more with thieving tasks, such as shadowing, traps, picking pockets, etc. The author did a good job of integrating the new rules with existing subsystems of Savage Worlds, such as dramatic tasks, etc. So the rules flow smoothly without having to worry about a new mechanic.

The Game Master section then takes up about half of the book. Part is dedicated to the various factions of the city, and suggestions on how to use them to make the city come alive. There is a detailed section the sewers and how to use them to give an urban based campaign a chance to do a bit of dungeon crawling and exploration. There are several tables to help quickly generate NPC encounters, different traps, and help for those that might be stuck.

The final part of the book is an expanded bestiary covering the denizens of the city and the sewers beneath.

Overall the book is well written. Though most of the material is written for Jalizar, most of the rules can easily be ported to other cities. Or various other uses (such as random traps).

Whether it was the intent or not, while reading through the book, Jalizar reminds me a lot of Lankhmar, and if one was to run a Lankhmar game this book would provide a good basis of rules to do it with.

edit: fixed a small typo[/i]
Last edited by Ryche on Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#2 Postby GlassJaw » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:35 pm

Thanks for the review! I haven't invested in B&B yet but I plan to in the very near future. I'm a huge fan of city supplements, especially those of the grim & gritty variety.

Does the book have content for creating adventures or adventure seed ideas?
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#3 Postby greyseerco » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:47 pm

Well the book is full of adventure Seed Ideas. But as for the original B&B book's "Adventure Generator", the random adventure items here in this book focuses more on localized items - like Taverns, Things that happen in the Sewers, and such. Still there is almost 200 pages of goodness here and after reading through you will have plenty of ideas for adventures and even if you are stuck for an idea they give some excellent guidelines for building a campaign in this bustling city of crime, corruption, and ancient evil.

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#4 Postby Ryche » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:47 pm

There isn't an adventure generator perse. The book covers various campaign styles and the various factions. It has some suggestions on how to use the faction in your game and having the players working or part of them. Though, I think the adventure generator in the core Beast and Barbarians book would work well for Jalizar as well.

There are several various seeds sprinkled through the book that easily provide a good starting point for various adventures. For example, the party may be hired to find out who the mysterious silver masked prophet of the Children of Hunger is. Also, each faction has a few seeds of how to bring the PCs into their employ.

The Book of Lore leaves a few things unanswered about the history and current events in the city that could easily be expanded into adventure ideas. Along with a lot of rumors about various "treasures" that are lost somewhere in the city or below in the sewers.

Not sure if its what you are looking for, it does have a random generator for making places unique in the city, so its easy to flush out a working portion that your characters find themselves in.

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#5 Postby kaltorak » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:00 pm

Thanks Rÿche and Greyseerco for your kind words!

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