This begins with a hyper-excited editorial concerning not just the arrival of Dungeons & Dragons 4e but some incoherent references to online gaming (I think referring to some of the hype from Wizards of the Coast that has yet to materialise), and saying that they'd decided to drop the Poor Gamer's Almanac in favour of a new journal. They see it as a 'newsletter with perks' with an erratic release shedule, containing upgrades of existing product to 4e, previews, playtests, maps, small adventures... a bit of whatever comes to hand or mind.
Without further ado, an update to the Noble character class, as presented in Feudal Characters: Noble; giving him some novel powers such as the ability to deliver a 'tongue lashing' - literally berating an opponent into submission (useful trick for teachers!). Next, a preview of a product called Noble Characters: Possessed, a class drawing power from a new power source, the infernal, but unlike warlock's pact magic the character can have quite a struggle keeping the demonic or devilish entity possessing them under control. Some unusual ideas there, and definitely one for those who enjoy role-playing to the full!
The next item is an exploration of noble titles, used in human circles as both rank and reward. It's intended to provoke thought in the hope of receiving feedback for future products - with such matters being important in their Feudal Lords campaign setting, it's vital to ensure that they work mechanically within the context of the game. While these noble titles - closely based on the British system, even to the proposed design for coronets! - are humanocentric, the next article covers the Ancestral Knight, a path that can be followed by eladrin or dwarven warlords; while those of evil aspect may prefer the Dark Champion instead. Good paladins can try the Knight of Dawn, dedicated to the destruction of 'foul nocturnal creatures' as they believe only the righteous can walk in the daylight.
For those who wonder what this feudalism is all about, there's a piece on Feudal Obligations - true feudalism consists of a network of obligations in both directions, each individual owing loyalty and service to his lords but having a duty of care to those inferior to him that is just as important. Putting some rules behind these obligations a sample house that you might wish to take service in is presented, along with the requirements and benefits of so doing. Finally, a couple of rather small maps of Caldor, a city that features in their campaign world, are given.
Whle a bit fragmented, and of use mainly to those using the Feudal Lords campaign setting with its structured feudal system, it is an interesting first issue. Wonder when the next one will be out?
Return to Dragon's Hoard # 1 page.
Reviewed: 5 August 2009