Monday, March 30, 2015

Princes of the Apocalypse

I am immortal. I have inside me blood of kings.

I picked up the new 5e campaign book this weekend. My awesome local gets it early on account of being awesome. If you're ever passing through Portland, pay them a visit. 

I ended up with a much busier weekend than expected, so I've only read the introductory chapters. I'm planning to review it via this very blog this week, but here are my first impressions:

-It looks like a site-based adventure with enemy factions (the four elemental cults), and it looks like you could tackle it in any order, play one cult against another, etc. So far so good.

-The four cults have four elemental themed weapons, so there will be swag once they are dead. The cults also seem like they'll be fun to flesh out.

-There are some good, if cursory flavor bits for each cult. For instance, followers of the water cult obsess over water breathing magic and consume potions in order to spend time meditating underwater. Such meditation rarely provides enlightenment though, bringing to mind the rather bogus nature of real world fringe religious cults.

-It's really funny to think of Evil Water as a concept until you really consider how each element is inimical to human existence. Lightless, crushing depths of anything scare me.

-I like the idea of elemental worship because it evokes vague connections to real world mysticism.

-The art direction of 5e is largely preferable to me than the last two editions, however the maps seem to maintain the WotC standard of Pretty > Useful.

-Like every published adventure it's too wordy and the backstory is overwrought. However, the background really does boil down to "fight evil cults for fun and profit", so it's not as terrible as some adventures I've read.

-It includes the free players companion. Since anyone can get that for free I didn't see a need to include it in the book (24 pages is a lot of real estate). 

That's it. Not much useful information in this post since these are just the vibes I got from a casual look-see. 

Blog tax:

Aegis of Tourmaline:

This fist-sized chunk of black tourmaline is a ward against elemental Earth magic. It will automatically absorb d10 bludgeoning damage cause by an attack from any earth elemental or earth-based based spell. It doesn't have to be brandished to function, simply having it in your bag is enough. Once it absorbs 10 points of damage, it crumbles to a fine black powder and ceases to function.