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The Illuminated Edda
by Sean M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2017 14:41:22

Pros:

This is a delightful collection of stories from Norse myth, woven together into a continuous narrative along with the added bonus of myths from other cultures (such as Celtic, Finnish, and Baltic). The illustrations are beautiful, as well, and were certainly one of the main selling points. Andrew has done a great job with this translation, bringing to life many stories of which I am fond, while, at the same time, taking liberties to make it his own without detracting from the source material.

Cons:

My only real complaints come from the amount of typographical errors in the book (but I am rather critical of such issues). The binding of the book also caused some minor annoyance, as I feel that the text extends too far toward where the pages curve and come together with the spine; this causes difficulty in reading the words near that area and with the size of the book, it is difficult to flatten it out to remedy the situation. Overall, the cons never took away from my enjoyment of this book. There is also a long scratch on the back of the cover; I enjoy smooth textures and feeling this blemish against my hand while holding the book is a bit irritating



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Illuminated Edda
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Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok- Denizens of the North
by Søren H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/17/2015 07:40:33

The viking roleplaying game, Fate of the Norns, was published in 2013 and was pretty a novel approach in regards to RPGs, being a system without dice, replacing those with runes. The Runic Gaming System has plenty of possibilities for modification and re-configuring, and this book is a stellar example of this. For any prospective FOTN-player, this is a must-buy, as the book expands on both setting and player option to such a degree that the corebook almost seems a bit lacking in comparison.

Contentwise, the book brings forth several chapters:

  • A NPC Chapter, detailing the movers and shakers of the setting, and what they are doing as Ragnarok approaches. The artwork in this section is simply marvelous, and bears resemblance to woodcarvings of the dark ages. However, the biggest issue I have with this otherwise brilliant chapter would be the lack of stats on the heroes and villains. It notes the archetype and level of each of the dwellers, but not the arrays of powers, which is a bit of a bother as it is more prep for a GM.
  • Locations in Midgard. These are further details of the world of Midgard, as previously mentioned in the previous chapter and in the corebook. Personally favorites are the fortress of Danevirke and the isle of Gotland, haunted by the evils of their previous kings.
  • A small chapter on Secret Societies, detailing organizations that work behind the scenes, giving many exciting options to the GM.
  • Magic Items. These are invaluable for an GM wanting to run a long campaign. Plenty of new tricks and mythical artifacts to go around. Among those you can find the swords of Wayland and the infamous Naglfar, the ship of Ragnarok.
  • The chapter after this is a collection of monsters, all of them new and exciting options to the table. They are needed, as the Corebook brought both human opponents but also had to give us monsters to fight. This chapter expands the perils you can unleash on you players. Again, the artwork is beautifully done, but is clearly made by different artists with little cohesion. But, as with the first chapter, the lack of pre-crafted examples can make it a bit difficult for a new GM to work with these monsters.
  • Following this is a treatise on the life of a viking during Ragnarok. And it might not be so bad after all. Even if 60% of your village have died, life can go on. There is also a small section on the Skraelings, the natives from across the Atlantic. The culture in question seems to be the natives of Greenland and northern Canada, and not the southern coastal Natives of East Coast US.

  • Archetypes. 6 new archetypes are presented for play, as was promised in the corebook. Among those, you'll find the Stalo (Fighter), the Berserkir, the Blacksmith, the Fardrengir (Ranger), the Druid and the the Sceadugengan (Rogue). All of these bring new abilities, spells and powers with them, detailed in the following chapters. These are as complex as the Archetypes of the corebook, and will often require a very through read-through to fully grasp the potential in them. Along with the Archetypes, new game concepts are introduced, such as the option to Curse a enemy when you seem to falter in your steps, new Meta keywords, new Effects and two new Conditions.
  • New Powers & Skills As it says on the tin, these are the nuts and bolts of the new Archetypes. Within, you find both new powers for your supernatural viking, and simple things such as crafting rules, riding and shape-shifting.
  • Norn Rules This chapter details new rules for the game and the explanations of several core-book concepts. This also brings rules for sailing, naval combat and mass battles. Also included are the rules for building a community or business. A strange idea in the face of the end of days, but they might be more needed for game set before Ragnarok.
  • Expanded Lifepaths Do you like the random generated lifepaths of the core-book? Great, here's even more tables to flesh out your character.

  • Finally, we have the second to last chapter, The Saga of the Cornerstone of the World. An short adventure, set in the same locale as the adventure Fafnir's Treasure. It deals with a mine and the secrets contained therein. Suffice to say, the players may be in for a bit of a surprise. It may be a bit of a dungeon crawl, but the payoff is worth it for the story seeds involved therein.
  • The last chapter is a collections of concepts, meant to provide the starting plots of several FOTN campaigns. Starting from before Ragnarok and to the beginning of the Wind Age, these provides excellent material for any aspiring GM (sorry, Norns...) wanting to ply the seas of Midgard, but is unsure of what story to tell.

VERDICT: All in all, if your want to run Ragnarok, you need this book. Preferably two of them. The setting is expanded to thrice it's original size and the rules addendums alone are worth the price of admission. If only it provided more pre-generated Dwellers (NPC's) it would be worthy of a fifth star. The only other critique on a 400 pages book would be the variation of the artwork, as it didn't have the same sense of uniformity as the corebook had, and as such feels a bit more disorganized.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok- Denizens of the North
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Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok- Denizens of the North
by Mike M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2015 19:37:06

This is, unfortunately, simply a capsule review. I haven't yet played with the new mechanics introduced in this supplement, although I'm very much looking forward to it. This review is also based on the Premium Hardcover hardcopy, which I purchased during the recent Christmas in July. This has become a fairly long review, but don't worry, there's a TL:DR at the end, so you can skip to that if you want.

The book opens with a bunch of character writeups - the Denizens in the title. They're by and large well-written, giving a good look on the people of this world. For my personal taste, there's a little too much focus on the British Isles and the followers of the White God, but that does make a certain amount of sense, given Haakon the Good being one of the main claimants to the throne of Norveig... but that's getting slightly ahead of myself.

This book is, in general, a very wide-reaching supplement to the Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok game. In that world, Skoll and Hati, the wolves fated to eat the sun and moon, did just that. Three years ago. The night that Harald Fairhair, uniter of the kingdom of Norveig, died. Midgard - the world - has since been in the grips of Fimbulwinter. The world is caught in the second of four Ages of Ragnarok - the Axe Age. So, now that there's some context, I can go back to the main conflict of the world.

So, the book opens with a bunch of character writeups. NPCs, with suggested FotN levels and archetypes, but primarily a 1-2 page description of the NPC, their context in the world, and their personality. These are exceptionally well-written, and each of them I can see importing into my game. One of the hardest parts about this book is not figuring out what to include, but rather, what do you want to exclude, since all the setting material is gold. A favourite NPC of mine included is Baba Yaga, with some twists on her normal presentation (although, to be fair, it's hard to tell sometimes what is "normal"). Many of these NPCs are rooted in history, such as the aforementioned Haakon the Good, son of Harald Fairhair, being hostaged to one of the kings of the British Isles, now ready to return to Norveig to take on his brother Erik Bloodaxe. A couple higher-end NPCs are also included, such as Nidhogg the serpent that eats away at Yggdrasil the world-ash. By and large, though, these are mortal characters who could show up easily in a game, especially one set around the crisis of succession in Norveig.

There's a following chapter looking at various areas of Midgard, including Islandia, the Baltics, Scandinavia itself, the British Isles, and ... elsewhere. Once again, these are very good descriptions, aimed at being both evocative and useful in a game. If you were missing setting information from the corebook, here's where a bunch of it can be found, although Fafnir's Treasure can end up being a better introduction to the setting of the game, looking directly into a village and its area of Iceland. Continuing onto its purpose of being useful in games, some societies are also described, again with a few pages each, focusing on being useful for gaming purposes.

Then we get into a few areas that I find a little oddly ordered: magic items, Denizens (i.e. NPCs and monsters), which have a lot of game-mechanical information follows these discussions, before moving onto Viking Life and Skraelings - two primarily fluffy chapters. The Viking Life and Skraelings are still in that same kind of short form view on things, focused once again on being both evocative and useful. Skraelings are, effectively, the Native American tribes viewed through the lens of the epic post-apocalyptic Norse viewpoint. For me, personally, they're once again a little out of theme, but they do fit in with the pseudo-history of the world presented by the game. The Viking Life chapter shows small focuses on a bunch of areas of what makes the Viking culture unique.

If you can't tell by now, I really really enjoy all of the setting / "fluffy" chapters in the book, and that's most of what I've focused on so far in my reading and campaign prep. Mechanics are for when they happen. I'll address them at this point of the overview, keeping a little bullet-pointy:

  • Magic Items are a very Norse thing to have. Much of the powers of the Aesir do, in fact, derive from items (often crafted by the dvergar) in the stories, and so they actually make a lot of sense to have here. I'm disappointed, slightly, though, that the items that appear in the Ring of the Nibelung (Wagner's operatic dramas do actually stem from Norse stories, and the Ring, the Sword - Gram, and the headpiece do exist in the stories) and some of the items of the Gods don't exist in the book. Despite that, though, there's a lot of good items in here, and very much not in the vein of a +1 Sword - each of these has a kind of story around it, as it should be.

  • The Denizens included are very good. I like the mix included here, even though - like the Banshee - some are again a little off-theme for me, personally. They all, as this is Fate of the Norns, come with their own boards. Once again, though, there are no real prebuilt examples of any of the Denizens. I'm looking forward to a possible Bestiary, which includes a bunch of options. No two Trolls are the same, true, but there's something to be said for minimizing the amount of prep the GM needs to do, so fights can be thrown together at the last moment. Personally, I'm a minimalist GM when it comes to prep, and so I'm hunting for ways to keep the options available, while allowing me to do heavy improv at the table. What's likely is I'll prebuild a bunch of examples of Denizens that I can toss into the fray when it happens.

  • I admit I haven't gone through the Powers (Active, Passive, or Skills) in depth, but the ones I've looked at are generally on par with the core book. This is a game where the principle of "if everything is overpowered, then everything is balanced" really does apply.

  • The game mechanics chapter is excellent. It takes the Runic Game System of the core book and expands and clarifies it. Some of what was written down in this book I got from a game session at a con I played in, with the author as GM. This game also very much applies the principle of "what makes sense is what should be". There's new defensive effects (causing a rebalance of some of the items in the core book), rules for naval combat and boats, and some pretty good rules for mass combat (effectively: each unit becomes bound to a rune, and play out a few rounds of combat until one side breaks).

  • The Archetypes presented are: Berserkir (of course, although what you might not expect is that some of them can turn into bears!), Blacksmith (more of a combat-smith, if you can picture that. They go out into the world and hit things really hard, so they can go back to a forge, and hit things really hard), Druids (nature-wizards and shapeshifters), Fardrengir ("rangers" of the Aragorn tradition, if you will), Sceadugengan (rogues, thieves, assassins, scoundrels, ...), and Stalo (fighters). These archetypes don't really enthuse me, honestly, as several of them feel kind of like a Fate of the Norns view of D&D classes - notably, the Stalo, Sceadugengan, Fardrengir, and Druids. The druid subclasses are exactly what you would expect coming from D&D, and likewise the Rogue (which uses the "Thief", "Assassin", and "Scoundrel" as words representing the subclasses, unlike many of the others). These archetypes all have their place in the Norse stories, yes, but they feel a little ... safe, perhaps, compared to the Maiden of Ratatosk, Seithkona, and so on, from the core book. I was looking forward to seeing how the Godi and the Cleric differ, being the priests of the Norse Gods and the priests of the White God respectively, but I guess that's for another supplement.

  • There's new lifepath tables! I love these lifepath tables, even moreso than the ones from the corebook. I love the idea of drawing runes and consulting the tables - and what I like the idea of best is drawing new runes without replacement, so you see each row in only one column.

  • Finally, there's a complete Epic - good for a few sessions - and vignettes. The epic is a full story that can be played out - a prewritten adventure, if you will - and the vignettes are much more like adventure seeds - springboards for new ideas. If you want to know what's in them ... buy the book!

Ah, done. Here's where I'll summarize everything:

TL:DR section:

  • What I liked: The art is amazing. Every single page of the "fluff" / setting material is fully illustrated, with the text tastefully placed on translucent text boxes. The text is very evocative. I'm never bored reading Fate of the Norns books. You can easily flip through and read at your leasure. Each little piece of setting-material covers a page or two and is largely independent of anything else, so you can read however you want, although cover-to-cover really works well. There's context given to the NPCs in the book. This is a good thing, as you can apply this context to the rest of the world, and to your game. ** The game mechanics are also excellent, and fill in a few places where the core book wasn't so clear.

  • What I didn't like so much: The art, while very pretty, is a different style to the core book. I find that a little jarring, honestly, although I'm not sure which I prefer. Both styles fit the world, though, so there's a place for both. Some of the Archetypes felt like they were only here because we expect them, because of D&D, and not because they're truly highlighting Fate of the Norns. Mitigating this, though, is that the core book has some very unique archetypes. ** After the largely boring fonts of the core book, and a small discussion (I think on RPGnet), I expected more on the typeface front in this book. What we got was an overly florid heading font, and a once-again boring body text font, although this time serifed (which I approve of, personally).

  • Overall: This book is one of the best in my collection. I won't equate it with Nobilis 2e - it doesn't quite hit those rarified heights - but it's certainly more than a match in my eyes to the One Ring in terms of aesthetics and writing and content that matches its setting. I highly recommend the entire game line, but if you're interested in a more art-book-with-vignettes style book, get this one instead of the core book. (Do get the whole line, including Fafnir's Treasure, though. Fafnir makes an excellent introduction into the world and the game system!)


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok- Denizens of the North
by Kay S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2015 16:12:24

Denizens of the North (DotN) is the first major sourcebook for the unusual and atmospheric Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok role-playing game bvy Andrew Valkauskas. Designed to be both rules expansion and necessary world background, the book excels at one and does a good job with the other - but more on that shortly.

The first thing one must admire about DotN is how pretty the book has turned out. Full-color illustrations illuminate nearly every page, and the word "illuminate" isn't far from the truth here since the artwork is designed to allude to medieval scrolls and books before the advent of the printing press. The pictures are often highly stylized, but this only serves to improve the mood. DotN even beats the core Ragnarok rulebook in that respect, both in quantity and quality of artwork.

On the technical side, printing quality is good, and unlike the original core rulebook, DotN is relatively typo-free. The book also feels more "solid" than the core rulebook, though this may come from its massive 400+ page size. The retail price is absolutely appropriate to a book of this quality.

Content-wise, the book's entire first quarter is all lore. Starting with famous personalities of the Viking world and going from locales to secret societies and higher powers, DotN describes the setting in much greater details than the core rulebook, taking a few liberties in regard to historical personalities and events if they improve the overall doomed atmosphere.

The next section of DotN is filled with information that is both world lore and game information - famous magical items and their relevant stats and effects, new denizens (essentially, monsters the heroes may encounter) and their role in the world, information on Viking life and ships, and eventually the Skraelings, the native people of Greenland. This section is very much DotN's greatest asset - nearly everything in here is invaluable to both the game-master and the players and really helps with making the world of Ragnarok a feasible place to set an RPG.

The final part of the book is all game information - new character archetypes for the players, the description of all new skills and powers, some additional rules and rules clarifications, and another stand-alone saga (adventure) plus a few more saga ideas for the game-master. This section is where DotN becomes a bit of a mixed package: On the bright side, players can finally play a "normal" warrior class - the Stalo - without mythological ties to wolf spirits or the divine squirrel inhabiting the world tree (it makes sense in context). The introduction of the Blacksmith and the item crafting system also fills an important void in the game world while at the same time making all player abilities a good deal more awesome.

Unfortunately, at the same time, it creates a few opportunities for players to upset the game balancing as some character archetypes clearly outshine others, especially in comparison to the archetypes presented in the core rulebook. While a good game-master can probably deal with that by denying his players the balance-upsetting elements, it still feels like not everything was playtested as thoroughly as it should have been. At the very least, it will require a bit of work to adapt the new material for an existing group of players.

Still, DotN, as a whole is definitely a book I'd recommend for everybody playing Fate of the Norns. The sheer production values of the volume, both physical and content-wise, are nothing short of outstanding, and while I would recommend game-master discretion when it comes to introducing the new character archetypes and other player options, the background material is absolutely engrossing and way, way above anything one would expect from an indie niche publication. If the next few sourcebooks come out even remotely as good as this one, I'll be more than satisfied.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok- Denizens of the North
by mason a. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/09/2015 14:39:48

The books information, and artwork are very high quality. Something Pendelhaven has been very consistent on. Their interest and devotion to this system and setting really shows in their products.

The rules added to those found in the core book Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok(FotN:R) really round out the system. So much so, Denizens of the North(DotN) feels less like an expansion on the rules and more of the second half. Just for the rules alone I highly recommend buying it when you buy FotN:R. If you already own that then definitely get this. If you're currently considering purchasing FotN:R, I want to clarify one thing. FotN:R is a complete book and contains everything needed to play. In and of itself, it is an outstanding book that provides some fantastic gaming. DotN just adds things that make it even better in a very natural way.

On the lore front, it really fleshes out many important characters, places, and events. It gives excellent detail and provides tons of inspiration. The starter vignettes section is one of the better ones I've seen. In my opinion, it gives the right amount of information, while allowing for plenty of flexibility.

To top it all off, it's only $30 and contains over 400 pages. Or it was when I bought it. Don't pass this up.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok- Denizens of the North
by Jackson C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/22/2014 08:14:40

I can't fully express how magnificent this new FotN book is! I haven't even played anything from this with my group yet, but already, I've spent hours, literal HOURS, drooling over the artwork in the book and full-on laughing in joy and appreciation of the information within it. Truly, the Pendlehaven team has hit another creative home run with this work, Denizens of the North, and the wait for this book was well worth it! The depth and breadth of play this new information will add to the game is monstrous in its scope, and I, for one, cannot wait to see how the players react to the world that has been opened up for them in the new material.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok- Denizens of the North
by Douglas N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2014 20:32:37

Denizens, like Fate of the Norn:Ragnarok itself, is an amazing book.

Lets start with the art. If you think the art in FOTN is excellent, DOTN will blow you away. From the mock-wood print style in the history section to the dark brooding style of the Pre-generated characters to the border work on all the character and monster boards, it is good end to end. The book itself would be worth it on the art alone.

But then you get a truly fascinating system out of it as well. No dice, totally different mechanics than many things that you may have played, and a fascinating world story straight out of the sagas. It sort of feels like vikings meet anime, complete with ghostly shield maidens protecting you from fiery blasts, giants of truly preposterous sizes swinging clubs the size of ships, berserkirs that shapechange into giant bears and leap 50' and druids that summon up portals to the nine worlds connected by Yggdrasil.

DOTN does much to complete what was started in FOTN. It introduces 6 new archetypes

  • the Berserkir - blessed by Thor with his rage, they are killing machines - fire and steel cannot stop them, and ice cold water turns to steam trying to cool their rage.
  • the Blacksmith - not a sit at home kind of guy, he can summon a forge beast to help him with crafting wherever he goes, and knows best how to use his own creations. With cultural proscriptions against stealing from the dead, he can be your best friend.
  • the Druid - masters of world-bridging magics and nature, many can change shape into various birds and beasts.
  • the Fardrengir - travellers and hunters, most of us would think of them as rangers. Many have a silver stag or a golden boar to ride into battle upon.
  • Sceadugengan - darkwalkers, those who have been to Svartalfheim and returned - they learned the dark arts of thievery, assassination, and chicanery and practice them in Midgard.
  • Stalo - while Berserkirs may be masters of uncontrolled combat, the Stalo are warriors of form and control. They methodically maneuvers himself, and sometimes his allies, to decisive victory.

With these archetypes, it makes it much easier for someone looking to bridge from a more traditional fantasy game - the fardrengir is similar to a ranger, the druid can change shape, the sceadugengan has a strong thief element, the berserkir is a viking staple.

Then you add in almost 150 pages of background, historical figures, location information, and secret societies. I feel like this was a features that was missing from the core book, which focused strongly on the larger picture of Ragnarok and the other worlds. How does Miklagard (Constantinople) figure in? How about Athelstan? The slave-trade in ancient Dublin? The first Althing? All of these and much more are in here.

Then add in 50 magic items - not simply +1 swords, but real living magic items with histories and curses and backstories. Everything from Egil Skallagrimsson's sword Dragvendil to the big daddy ship of them all, Naglar. Lets not forget five of Wayland's swords, including the legendary swords Durandal and Caliburn. Lucky for your inspired Blacksmith, the crafting rules are included, so he can harvest Rime Ice or Shadow Steel from alkas bleeding over the other realms and construct truly unique and custom items.

Toss in nearly 20 additional monsters, including Banshee and Draugr, nearly 200 new powers, 9 new metas - including much needed defensive metas - you have a book filled with flavor and crunch! But, as they say, that's not even all! New norn rules for naval battles and building longships really round out a viking campaign. A new lifepath background generation method helps a Norn flesh out those NPCs. A full saga in the back, full of suspense and horror one might find facing Cthulhu, and then another 9 saga starts pulling from the history and background presented in the book - who wouldn't like to go on a quest to make a new sun.

Denizens is quite the dense book, and a worthy companion to Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok. If you you have FOTN and don't have Denizens, it will complete it in ways you didn't even realize were missing. If you don't have FOTN and are looking at Denizens, you should definitely pick up both - the game really sings with both. The both of them together clock in at just shy of 800 pages - as much as a DMG, PHB, and MM - and feel like they really belong together.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of the Norns- Gulveig
by Tomas R. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2014 15:49:02

I recieved the deck quickly and the artwork looks amazing!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of the Norns- Gulveig
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Fate of the Norns - Card Bundle
by Stephen K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/05/2014 13:01:51

I backed this set of cards on Kickstarter and am very pleased with the result. The game itself is very easy to learn, plays quickly and has a lot of hidden depth I was not expecting, until I actually played a few rounds of it.

This is a game designed for three players with the option of a fourth. Gameplay is based off of wagering for a treasure trove of three cards which are kept hidden from all players until a winning bid is placed. Players then use the cards from their hand in an attempt to take as many cards as possible from others to add to their own treasure pile. Combinations of cards can be played resulting in a supremacy (or trump) for a particular suit. Winning the bid doesn't necessarily guarantee you victory, as sometimes more points can be acquired by those who passed, through smart play and the use of supremacy. All of this can lead to some tense moments during play.

The deck of rune cards, while not required to play Gulveig, give a little more variety by adding different player specific effects depending on whether they won or lost the bid for the treasure trove. They are also handy to have for playing the Fate of Norns RPG.

The quality of the cards is fairly good with some fantastic art. They feel sturdy and are a nice standard poker size. However, after a few games the corners and sides on the back of my Gulveig deck started to show signs of wear, fortunately the fronts were unaffected. If you're particular about keeping your cards pristine, mare sure to SLEEVE THEM. My rune deck also has some minor pixelation, but these are small complaints and not worth lowering it to four stars, in my opinion.

Overall, this is a great game I would highly recommend.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of the Norns - Card Bundle
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Fate of the Norns - Card Bundle
by Douglas N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2014 14:07:16

I ordered this set of cards through the kickstarter and delivery was very fast. Turn around time from start to product at my door was just over a month.

The cards themselves are quite excellent, and feel like standard playing cards in the hand. The art is quite excellent and unique. After playing a few games, no noticeable wear or color bleed on the hands.

The rune cards are a little more plain, but are used only for adding extra complexity to the game. They would also be handy for playing Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok by the same publisher.

The game is a variant of a eastern European game that goes by the name 1000 in various languages. It is a trick-taking game for three players, with variants for 2 and (sort of) 4 players. It strikes me as close enough to Pinochle that if one had two decks one could just play Pinochle with a Norse themed deck and have a great game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok
by Luis O. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/20/2013 12:43:09

Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok (not to be confused with the previous product of the same author, just plain "Fate of the Norms", a much earlier release) is obviously a work of love. The author is clearly proficient and interested in the matter and it shows.

The mechanics are clear, interesting and innovative, the setting well-written. I strongly recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok
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Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok -- Fafnir's Treasure
by David C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/03/2013 12:09:29

This is the adventure that I played for 16 hours straight! We ran hero ugh it three times at Carnage convention and each time it felt like a different adventure.

This is an excellent introduction to Fate of the Norns:Ragnarok.

Players will soon get a handle on the Runic Gaming System which is a large part of what makes FotN:R both unique and so rich in Biking character.

Somewhat unusually for starting quests this adventure allows the players the chance to grab some famous artifacts and to run shoulders with the more-than-human representatives of the gods and giants, possibly even choosing to work for one, the other, or both.

The art is also worth a mention. The cover gives a taste of the style. I find that it enhances the immersive feel of the game, looking very reminiscent of period artwork.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok -- Fafnir's Treasure
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Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok
by David C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/03/2013 12:02:15

If I could give this game six stars I would. I played it for 16 hours straight at Carnage last year and felt I only barely scratched he surface.

The presentation is first rate with a unique style of art that really evokes the feeling of period artwork.

The Runic play system is full score for evoking the Viking feel. It provides ever changing tactical engagement and allows players to be involved continually, even when in other rules the character would not be active.

The game is set during the End of the World. A bold move, but one that strongly encourages epic play. This is the saga of heroes, not the story of apprentices gone adventuring. Players are free to choose alliance with either the gods or the giants. Neither is entirely siding with the "good guys" or the "bad guys".

If you like epic tale telling, Vikings, and heroic adventure, this is the game for you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok
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Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok
by Beth R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/27/2013 00:05:37

So many good points were made by the other reviewers, so I'll just say I agree. I am a Pathfinder player that discovered FOTN last year. It's really a great change of pace and a step away from generic fantasy and the community is very friendly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok
by Seth R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2013 14:27:00

I have been meaning to post this review for the last 6 months at least HA! Better late than never! The subject of my review is less about the core rulebook, cuz I’m sure lots of people have already reviewed it, and more about the RGS. I have been playing the RGS since 2006 and I think my review will be better if I focus my efforts on the RGS 2.0 that was released in the 2013 edition.

For those who never played before:

The futhark set of runes governs all of the game mechanics. You don’t need dice, and your need for a pencil and paper is relegated to taking quest notes. The runes with the personal playmat handle every aspect of the game that requires non-narrative resolution of bookkeeping. The runes are your hit points, your skills, your powers and your actions. When looking at someone’s playmat you can, at a glimpse, know everything about their state and what their potential options may be. If may be daunting to begin with, but to be honest, it’s super easy to pick up. My trick to all new players: each rune you draw is an action. Ie. You draw 3 runes = you have 3 actions. If you are comfortable with that, you are good to go. If you want to go deeper into the rabbit hole, then you can look at the color of each rune. Red runes are physical, blue and mental and green are spiritual. If you want to perform an action that really stresses any of those traits then you can play those runes to create a greater effect. Want to swing that larger than life troll maul? Play a red rune! Comfortable? Want more? Now each of your runes is bound to skills and powers. You want to fire off that power? Play that rune! Easy? Want more? You can combine runes to change the way powers work! Want to double the damage and strike three targets? Play your power with 2 other runes (1 that gives you multi targets and another than amplifies your power). Easy? You pretty much understand RGS 2.0 now! Obviously I am overlooking some of the nuances of the game, and there are many, that make it a crunchy system for those that want to explore it to the max! Now I said runes were your hit points right? And you know you draw your runes at random from a bag when you need to do a skill check and/or start a new round of combat. OK so when you take some damage, you randomly LOSE runes from your bag. They leave the bag and travel down the playmat. See the consequence? You won’t be able to draw those runes ‘till you get healed! OUCH! Damage hurts and you feel it! Again no need to calculate numbers nor use any pencil/eraser. Wheat else? Damn there is so much more cool stuff that I’d say hit up the community on the official forums. We love to help new players get the ropes.

For those who started to play before the 2013 edition, here are the new improvements:

  • Conditions no longer use tokens, but instead are capped at 4 intensities and represented by a rotated and flipped rune (personal beef of mine now fixed!)
  • There are 2 new damage types: spiritual and mental. They play differently than physical damage
  • There are 3 wounds tracks so you can throttle the lethality of your campaign
  • The Void rune is a customizable rune that cannot be assigned damage and it is always drawn into hand
  • Each archetype has 3 specializations which now means when all the archetypes are written up, there will be over 50 choices! Core rulebook has 5 archetypes (with 3 specs each) Honestly at first I wasn’t sure all of the above were improvements especially the Void rune. But after playing for the last year, I can now say that each and every addition made RGS a better system.

All in all, this game rocks my world. Best RPG by far, it’s replaced all other RPGs at our table for the last 7 years. I can’t go back to dice. Rolling, missing and losing my turn… I don’t want to go back to that. It would be like going from Catan/Dominion/7-Wonders to Monopoly… no thanks!

Peace!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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