Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Doesn't Quite Reach the Clouds

"Highthrone" by Alejandro Melchor, published and distributed by Mongoose Publishing.
ISBN = 1-903980-43-7.  MGP # 5003.

Quick Look-see:

01) Introduction
02) Highthrone - Overview
03) Lay of the City
04) Valley of Crowns
05) The Terraces
06) The Mines and the Floating Islands
07) Factions and Players
08) Running Highthrone Adventures
09) Creatures of the Peaks
10) Magic and Secrets
11) OGL

Part 01 - Introduction.  The intro includes a one page short story, and a short intro to the book.

Part 02 - Highthrone - Overview.  Looks at the history of Highthrone.  There's a look at The Long Walk, the Voice of the Wind, the First Invasion, Unearthing Windsteel, the Second Invasion, the Coming of the Assembly, the Stormbreaker, Commercial Dominance, the Giant's War, the Growing City, the Mountainside, the Valley of Crowns, Flora and Fauna, Natural Resources, Weather, and Trade and Relations.

Part 03 - Lay of the City.  Government, the Armed Forces, Life Above the Clouds, Law and Order, and Religion.

Part 04 - Valley of Crowns.  Market Square, Forest of Sun and Wind, Ossuary, Shipyards, Warehouses, Longhaven, Arms Plaza, Condor Trail, and the Plazas.

Part 05 - The Terraces.  Terrace Features and Neighbourhoods.

Part 06 - The Mines and the Floating Islands.  The Mines and Clan Thorbrindas Holdings, a small map of Thorbrindas Holdings, and details on the various floating islands.

Part 07 - Factions and Players.  Six organisations, five well-wrote-up NPC's, and some generic city defenders.

Part 08 - Running Highthrone Adventures.  Details on using Highthrone in a campaign, including plots and story hooks, Altitude Sickness, Terraces, the Flying Ships, Skyships, and other flying devices.

Part 09 - Creatures of the Peaks.  Three new critters.

Part 10 - Magic and Secrets.  Three new feats, two new divine forces, and a description of Windsteel.

Part 11 - OGL.  THe usual Open Gaming License.

This is the third in a short series from Mongoose called "Cities of Fantasy".  Mongoose has used almost every open space in this book for info on Highthrone.  The map of Highthrone is on the inside front cover, but on the inside back cover are advertisements from Mongoose.

Highthrone suffers from the same 64 page limitations as its earlier predecessors, "Skraag", and "Stormhaven".  I thought all of it could use a little bit more fleshing out - maybe even enough for a 128 page book.  There just doesn't seem to be enough info to "just drop" this city into your campaign. 

Having said that, though, I still think enterprising GM's could supply this city with enough detail to last a hundred adventures.  Only three stars from me, although I =might= have given it four if it had been even 80 pages.  Not for Players.

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