Saturday, April 4, 2009
Scarrport (Reality Deviant Publishing)
In the first of their Campaign Cutouts - locations to fit in any campaign - we are introduced to Scarrport, a seedy tradeport on the banks of where two rivers converge, and its inhabitants. The PDF is divided into 5 chapters and some appendixes. We have City-fluff and NPC's (38 pages), 3 new races (10 pages), 1 new class (the elementalist, 34 pages), New magical items (10 pages), new monsters and hazards (17 pages) and last but not least, the appendixes (12 pages), which include a short level 1 adventure, random encounters in Scarrport and same sample game of chance. For $11 (discount at the time of writing, won't last forever I presume), I think that's a steal - or almost. I am going to risk my online neck and say that Scarrport suffers from the same illness as many other 3PP products. Cool fluff, awesome ideas, but not that well implemented crunch-wise.The races are either overpowered (if not broken) or just plain weird (ie no real connection between fluff and crunch). The elementalist is (IMO) clunky, with all sorts of weird conditions that must be met in order get the most of the class. On the other hand, it definitely doesn't feel overpowered (why does it have to take a feat to gain implement on summons?). It has a good AC, but with a lot of short range powers, I think the elementalist will be in for a world of hurt.In short, it didn't appeal to me, but might to others. The decisions regarding level/type of the NPC's makes me shake my head (like guildleaders who are level 9, but every guard is apparently a level 12 soldier, with common thieves being level 8 minions? The monsters/NPC's have a good deal of errors (like weird tohits and wrong number of hit points - for example, the first 20 NPC's and quite a few of the monsters have incorrect hit points - Stone dog cultist on page 35 is the first one they get right unless I am mistaken). Now, I hope you are still reading, because despite the fact that the crunch needs a lot of work, I have got to admit that they sold me on Scarrport. Because when I read the first chapter, I really felt the city come alive, especially through the NPC's described. Lots of good ideas and potential there, and despite the rating, I would buy more about the city in a heartbeat - because I like the feel of the city. But I am going to have to "fix" all the crunch parts.
Rating:* * *