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Armor and Weapons of Legend $2.00
Publisher: Cian 's Basement Books
by Adam D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2017 15:57:03

This little product is 10 pages of magic weapons and armor that have a real, human (or elven, or dwarven, or halfling...) history behind them. Each one exudes humanity and frailty, and the stories are full of love, heartbreak, loss, and pain.

Many of the legends follow a common theme: that weapons are for violence and not glory, but are often necessary to right the wrongs of the world. There's also a fairly unique idea implicit in the legends, that magic weapons and armor are magical because their owners did amazing things with them, not because some wizard enchanted them. That is, they weren't magic before they were used, over and over, in the commission of great deeds. Legend makes magic; magic does not make legend.

The people in the stories are believable, but also forgettable, because a lot of them are just normal people. This is not a criticism, but praise of the product. The idea that normal people held these weapons before the PCs saw them reminds the PC that they can be heroes through their deeds alone. I think, in some cases, the moral of the stories is that heroes often wind up dead--a warning to PCs...

The text is clear and straight-forward. Legends are told in a homey, informal "first person" tone, as if a beloved NPC were telling the PCs about the item in their hands. In fact, if you as game master wanted to read it straight out of the book, you could. The implicit setting in the legends is simultaneously evocative to give you ideas yet generic enough that you can slot it into your own setting, whatever that may be.

The game mechanics are not the main draw here. A typical entry is a +1 item, with one or two optional qualities that kick in wielded or worn by the right kind of person. However, the mechanics fit the item's legend perfectly. If you wanted to bump up the power on the items for higher level characters, it would be no big deal to make it a +2 weapon or something.

The art is simple, but sufficient to get the point across. Each item has some clip art that gives you a decent idea what the item could look like. The layout is bare-bones.

I love this product (and the author's other product at the time of this review: The Abbey of the Crusading Goddess). Five stars!



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