In the City of Sevenscore Thousand Smokes, danger lurks down every dark alley. Sinister sorcerers summon terrible forces in their crumbling towers. And hunched figures skitter beneath the streets, waiting for their chance to rise. But there is action, adventure, and wealth here too—if your rogues have the skill and bravado to claim it. These PDF files are digitally watermarked to signify that you are the owner. A small message is added to the bottom of each page of the PDF containing your name and the order number of your purchase.
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If you just write out the backstory for a book, list the characters involved with their in-game stats and sketch out some episodic adventures, that just skims the surface.
Instead, the supplement works as a toolkit, presenting a layered set of adjustments, tweaks and outright replacements to Lankhmar-fy Savage Worlds good and proper. Reid takes Savage Worlds and gives it a solid working over, unpicking and then respinning the system to channel the world of Lankhmar.
Read the book, skim the Internet, then run a game with the Savage Worlds engine. Reid offers up an alternative approach. Life is hard in Lankhmar, but heroes are harder still. They can take a knock, but they bounce back even harder. Characters survive and prosper through wile and guile. A lot of the initial content in the book will only appeal to someone who actually plans to use the supplement for Savage Worlds. I realise that this is exactly the purpose of the book — but, a setting book can have considerable value for someone keen on someone else doing the legwork of encapsulating a world without needing to actually use any of the crunchy bits.
So, the initial chapter, on Characters, assumes you already use the Savage World system and sets out the changes or additions needed to make the game more Lankhmar-like. For someone who plans to play straight from the book, the material here covers what to not include and what to add. Some material, like the inclusion of ghouls or ratlings as playable races, contains enough information for you to transfer the concept to whatever ruleset you prefer. Knowing the strengths, weaknesses and special qualities of a new race means you have viable material to work with whatever your intent.
Chapter Two offers up a list of gear, marked up in local currency — because the core Savage Worlds system has only generic gear from a whole bunch of settings. The chapter explains the currency used then digs into the finer details of adventuring equipment, travel, accommodation, weapons, armour, vehicles and sundries.
Chapter Three has the setting rules and Chapter Four covers the particulars of magic. I really liked the way the author spent time explaining the difference between a straightforward fantasy setting and Lankhmar.
Less magic, more heroics, plenty of shadows and more than a hint of the alien and exotic. Having established those principles, Reid works the mechanics to mirror the flavour — and the background material explains what it can, in the space available, to bring you into the world. I have no qualms in warning that if you really want to run a campaign in Lankhmar, read a book.
A page supplement can only do so much — you need to steep yourself in some of the original stories to really get the full on feel of things. Indeed, to push the flavour, it casts aside much of the crunch associated with core Savage World spell casting.
If you want to do something quick, you tend to end up failing miserably or doing yourself an injury. Like The Force, quick rewards threaten corruption and an all too rapid drift to the dark side. Much of the rest of the book presents a gazetteer of the quarters of Lankhmar, key buildings and an overview of the regions surroundings it. Some of the basics appear in the player section, with more detail, non-player characters and other background reserved for the gamemaster.
Printed out on 3 x 3 sheets, you can easily scrawl additional features as exploration progresses. The book itself contains a map with a legend associated with the main streets — but the poster map has the scale to include the names directly. The setting background outlines the increasing risk characters take going off the beaten track into the side streets and alleys; with this map you can chart the individual particulars of key buildings and locations.
Adventures While I was pleased with the background and character information, I found myself somewhat wanting when it came down to adventures. Short and relatively straightforward, I found the actual adventures fine; but disliked the way they hooked the player characters into the action. As part of the initial setting book, I felt these needed to be introductions to the city and the people, offering a route to immediate adventure. In both cases, the adventures need greater immediacy and engagement, leaving the players in no doubt whether to get their characters involved.
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Lankhmar: City of Thieves for Savage Worlds. RPG review
If you just write out the backstory for a book, list the characters involved with their in-game stats and sketch out some episodic adventures, that just skims the surface. Instead, the supplement works as a toolkit, presenting a layered set of adjustments, tweaks and outright replacements to Lankhmar-fy Savage Worlds good and proper. Reid takes Savage Worlds and gives it a solid working over, unpicking and then respinning the system to channel the world of Lankhmar. Read the book, skim the Internet, then run a game with the Savage Worlds engine.
Lankhmar: City of Thieves
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