Reviewed by: Wayne Tonjes
XXXI or to use the more descriptive subtitles, the Limited Edition Gen Con Special: Imperial Town of Tell Qa by Adventure Games Publishing is a new Castles & Crusades supplement for the d20 System variant rules set published by Troll Lord Games. These are the rules used in the core setting of the Wilderlands, which provide an old school version of the game very reminiscent of Advanced D&D;. This particular supplement cleaves to that feel with an entirely black and white production packed full of material as outlined on the product website:
“• The complete text of the very-well received Free RPG Day product Imperial Town of Tell Qa: Northern Bastion of the Falling Empire, including 83 locations complete with NPCs, plus details on races, cultures, military defenses, local Mycretian cells, adventure rumors, recent history, and streets and market places, and a gorgeous yet eminently useable map of the town;
• Complete and revised details on the Mycretians for use with the Wilderlands of High Adventure and Castles & Crusades. …
• Descriptions of the Nguak and Liowan”
The review of Tell Qa starts on the very front cover, disrupting a proper title page and cutting off a possible cover image. Still, this volume provides a decent level of detail for a setting that is often left nondescript and vacant. The description of the eighty-three locales within the city proper along with the main overview map sets a stage for a relatively safe and secure home base or a recurring urban center for rest and repairs. Supplementing this material is the description of the monotheistic Mycretian order. This group is presented as an optional class, preferentially serving as an NPC class given their rather extensive powers that are essentially limited only by divine will. The class might be usable by elite players who are willing to role play the requisite limits, but the cult is significantly pacifistic, which tends to be a poor choice for an adventuring sword for hire. The volume then closes on the weakest feature which describes two potential character races. The problem is that they are presented in differing formats which suggests one may not be a viable character race after all. The descriptions are mildly informative but lack illustrations, a problem for the entire volume.
XXXI packs in a lot of information, providing some much needed detail for its setting. Unfortunately, it is targeted for a very limited audience of players who use a subsystem set of rules in a promotional deal with only a small number of copies. The product is a little low key as a result, with a very basic layout, a scant partial image on the cover for the sole art, and one map to break up the text. The editing was relatively sharp with only thirty-four typos for all the text, but the volume is very black and white with little style to it. But the detail it provides is useful for game masters of a Castles & Crusades campaign. Such readers should take a look, but hurry. There are limited numbers left.
For more details on Adventure Games Publishing and their new Castles & Crusades supplement, XXXI Limited Edition Gen Con Special: Imperial Town of Tell Qa, check them out at their website http://www.adventuregamespubs.com and at local game stores.
XXXI Limited Edition Gen Con Special: Imperial Town of Tell Qa
From: Adventure Games Publishing
Type of Game: Castles & Crusades Supplement
Written by: James Mishler
Cartography, Interior Design, and Layout by: Peter Bradley
Number of Pages: 48
Game Components Included: Soft Cover Book
Retail Price: $10.00 (US) (Shipping extra)
Item Number: AGP00102
Reviewed by: Wayne Tonjes
Added: May 17th 2008
Reviewer: Wayne Tonjes
Related Link: XXXI Product Page at Adventure Games