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Runkles Review: Winter Eternal for Savage Worlds

Winter Eternal 

Winter Eternal by Morné Schaap

Cover:

Lord Zsezse Works, Morné Schaap & Anton Vermeulen

Layout:

Morné Schaap & Anton Vermeulen

Interior art:

Doug Anderson, Jeff Brown, Jason Heeley, Jeremy Jack, Bob Kehl, Riaz khan Eusouff,

Christopher Onciu, Morné Schaap, Adam Schmidt, Colin Tan, Anton Vermeulen

download (9)

Overview:

Winter Eternal comes out of the gates on page one and grabs its audience. You will know in the first few pages of the product that you will either enjoy playing a game in the setting or if it is not for you. The layout is done very well and the art is nice.

 

I think most striking thing that grabbed me in this book was the artwork and introduction on page 6. For me it set the tone of the game I was about to read. A lone figure walking off into the distance flanked on either side by frozen mountains, The darkened skyline and the title. Honestly it grabbed me like a movie poster. I wanted to begin playing in this world from that moment.

 

So what kind of game is  Winter Eternal ? Winter Eternal is a fantasy game set in a post apocalypse setting. The world of Azagar is dying, a slow freezing death. The planets sun went super-nova. Half of the planet that day was engulfed in flame.The world begin to grow cold as sun dimmed and burnt out. Leaving the survivors with nothing more than a pale flickering star barely able to keep their world from completely freezing over.

 

But the survivors of Azagar have refused to go quietly into the night. Thanks to powerful magic of the Nature Wardens the races of the world have survived. Mankind huddles in cites protected by magical spells for heat light and food.  And for a long time wondered if they were all that was left in their ruined world. Now a century later they are beginning to venture forth the dangerous wastes in search of ancient treasure and precious sunshards. Magical crystals are believed to have fallen to the earth from the sun. These crystals produce heat in the presence of light and give promise to amazing new things.

PRO’s:

The setting is sound and exciting. The idea of this world in tatters come across well in the writing of this book. You very much get the feel that everyone that remains in this world are well aware that any moment of every day could be their last. Life even for the well off in Winter Eternal is a struggle to survive. Yet even in this grim backdrop there is hope. The people of the 8 cities are reaching out to one and other. Building roads with magical protections. Trading and exploring the wastes that were once their home. This is the time for adventure.
The system is a sound one as well. Savage Worlds is a proven game setting with great storytelling rules already in place and the rule set will lend itself well to the game. Players that want to add a more harsh tone to their games can easily add to Gritty rules to their game and make the world a much harsher place for the players.

This is not just your standard fantasy game, Nor is it a standard Post Apocalypse game. Winter Eternal gives you a blend of Fantasy and early steampunk elements that really blends well with the pulpy feel that its rule set does such a good job handling.
I was extremely happy to see each of the cities written up and given a little detail. Hopefully down the road we will see them in much more detail.

Con’s

As much as I loved the art in the book. And I would point out that some of this art just completely conveys the image of this world to me so well. There are a few pieces that stand out and jar your senses back to the fantasy world that this setting is actually not. The game is grounded in fantasy yes. But Warriors in metal armor strike me as the last type of gear you would wear into battle on a planet that averages a balmy -58 outside. The only place these armors would be worn might be in the summer zones that are largely considered the safest places to be anymore. But again this is an artwork complaint.
Lastly With only 8 Major Cities in the world I had hoped for a page or two more detail of each. But I will hold out hope that we will see a world guide down the road. That said I would also have liked to see a larger selection of world specific gear to help me further outfit my players in equipment suited for this new harsh world.

What’s My Rating ?

Well after much thought I was able to decide on a rating for this book.This book is a stand out in many ways. The theme grabs you and excites you. I see a hard world with hard people and it reminds me of a cold version of Dark Sun. This May be why I like it so much. Honestly part of the reason why it took me so long to write this blog was due to this. I was unable to pry myself from the contents and I just wanted to read more.

Dice-d20-Opaque2So my rating for Winter Eternal is a 16. This is a solid RPG. It stands out over other RPG’s of its kind. It takes advantage of a solid RPG rules system. This makes it more approachable for the average gamer because of the savage worlds rules. It is unique in many ways and bold in it concept.  You can see my rating scale Here.

Where Can I get it ? 
Just click the image below and it will take you straight there.
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NOTE:
I had the chance to chat with the author for a bit and after expressing to how much I enjoyed this book. I am proud to  announce my first Free PDF give away !
Any post on one of my  social media channels will count as one entry into the contest, so a single individual can have up to four entries in the contest (WordPress comment, Facebook page comment, Google+ page comment, or retweet on Twitter)

I will run this contest until 4/24. A winner will be selected from everyone who entered and a winner will be selected at random to get a free copy of the PDF from DTRPG !

 

****Congratulations to Chris he was the winner of this contest. ******

31 Comments »

  1. Thanks for taking the time to provide this detailed review. Sounds like a really interesting setting that I’ll need to check out.

    Like

    • Good question Gil. Ill touch base with an answer for you. As far as edges and hindrances the list is relatively small.
      There are only two setting specific hindrances that the book provides. And both are minor hindrance. Frostbite could be easily expanded to make a major version of it as well.
      As to Edges, There are only 6 new edges in this book. Snow Walker was one that jumped out at me. Your hero can move his normal speed in snow and ice and its not treated as difficult terrain.
      Magic is big in the world since without it the world would have died off long ago.
      There are several groups of casters in the world and each groups followers can learn spells from that field of spell casting.
      Magic users exist and run from the core book powers with the exception of healing spells this is reserved for holy characters.
      there are also followers of frost, Nature Wardens and Artificers . Artificers can take the weird science background and if they can come up with an idea for a device and the GM approves they can make it..

      Like

    • There are two new races to the system. A humanoid canine species and a lizard race. The canine race are feared warriors. And the lizard men are a stealthy race that is not at home in the new world.
      As th the city’s yes they are significant differences to each. I just wish they were more deeply detailed

      Like

  2. The setting sounds very interesting and the fact that it is Savage Worlds is a bonus. With Savage Worlds, it has a wealth of extra content to use so it can be tied into the World.

    Thanks for reviewing it for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for reviewing this!

    I was intrigued by the Dark Sun analogy, so I was wondering if the setting hints at some “big force” that is trying to keep the cities together or keep them apart a la Dragon Kings.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I appreciate the review. I am interested in the overall construction of the game and how well it plays towards the fantasy aspects. How much magic is in the game? Can you run a thieves style similar to another setting that Pinnacle just launched? Are there new or restricted edges or hindrances in the game? Overall your review has raised my interest in a setting I probably should have kickstarted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now even though the game has been dubbed Post Apoc, it might have been better dubbed Dark Age Post Apocalyptic. It is very much rooted in fantasy for a setting. There are elements of Stempunk touched on but more then anything weapons and gear from a far more Fantasy setting are the tools of the day.
      The System embraces the magic system and adds a few spells with few restrictions.
      I would imagine you could run it thieves style as you could other SW just launched as I did not see any game style restrictions other then the Brutal cold of the setting to keep you from playing the system in such a way. Although I have not looked at that setting yet so I am not 100% on that answer.
      Lastly There are a few hinderances and edges. I wish we would have been given a few more.
      Thank you for looking at the review and hope some of these answers were helpful!

      Like

  5. I wish I would have heard about this when it was still a kickstart. Your review really sold me on this book, specially with the comparison to Dark Sun. Thanks for adding to my list of must haves.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review. At first I was skeptical because it shows resemblance to Heelfrost, but because of your review now I really want to get my hands on, since I have nothing fantastic genre for Savage Worlds

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t played Savage Worlds in years, it’s settings like this one that may bring me back. Good review and it’s on my wish list, just have to convince my new group to play it….

    Like

  8. Your review has truly intrigued me. I am a big fan of building things “out of the ashes” of a previous worlds and this seems to evoke more than just your standard hunt for food, stave off the elements themes.
    In addition, reading previous comments, I am also intrigued by the role of the Nature Wardens and it has sparked concepts of corruption and dictator-like behaviour.
    Thank you for the great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The blend of fantasy and post a apocalyptic has my attention and being a new convert to Savage Worlds has me looking at new settings and now I wish I had gotten to pledge for this game. 🙂

    I’ll look for this in hardback for sure.

    Like

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