|So racist! A dude in a hoodie, a black guy, and an Irish woman! What no Eskimos?|
Then the reading turned into pleasure. From 11.Feb until 14.Feb, I was amazed at how much fun I having in seeing the kingdoms of the Perilous Lands come to life. I was happy seeing that the author didn't go all Pendragon with it. It kind of reads like a good T&T campaign set-up but with a lot of D20 set-up. The kingdoms outlined are usually from places mentioned in the Arthurian legends maybe the Mabinogion, it's been a while since I waded into that one, but kept interesting by being fanciful. The locations and the creatures are given enough color and detail to work into campaigns outside of this rule system's setting, with enough crunchy rules for even the hardest hardcore OSR fan. It is also interesting enough for the non-D&D fantasist like me to enjoy. There is beef in this stew though. As mentioned there is the whole Arthurian thing going on. A Christ-like king is so broken up over his wife having a fling with a Frenchman that the world is falling apart. PCs can be either helping things fall apart or trying to put things back together. While this isn't authentically Dark Age Europe, it's not corn-chips Monty Python's D&D.
I'd rate this book a King Kong on the Smurf-to-Godzilla scale. It's one detraction is the separation of stats for the fantastic creatures inhabiting a locale when planting plot-seeds for the reading GM. With production this awesome, needing to go from the write-up to the bestiary just strikes me as unnecessary. I can't wait to see what Malthouse does when he writes up his studies on his native Frissia. As we all know, Frissia was where all the black Anglo-Saxons that populate Robin Hood movies come from.