By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Silver Crescent Publishing is 16 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, leaving 14 pages of content, so let’s take a closer look at the book!
Legends & Histories Volume I considers itself to be a guideline to crafting legends with a specific focus on how to turn them into campaign arcs, adventures, etc. and begins by explaining how to implement them in your roleplaying campaign. After a brief introduction of the subject matter, we are presented with an aptly-written legend focusing on the downfall of the once great city Jalgrimm and an artifact. An interesting sample breakdown for research is provided, diving information into subcategories and classifying the respective bits of information into 5 difficulty levels. After some sample ideas for a research stage of dealing with a legend, we get to the traveling part to reach the place in question and also get some sample ideas for the journey and then, after exploring the sample city, some advice on pulling off the final battle. Now that a general idea has been provided, a sample incarnation of how the legend of Jalgrimm as a campaign might run its course.
Layout adheres to the two-column standard, is full color and beautiful, as are the pieces of artwork. Formatting is ok, but editing could have been better, I noticed some typos.
This book is hard to rate and easy to rate at the same time – there are no rules to check out and to rate on the power-scale, this being a system-neutral book. I noticed some editing errors that could have easily been avoided, though. The quality of the writing starts off as top-notch and the legend, while not too entertaining, had me reading on and delivered some nice ideas. However, unfortunately this quality is inconsistent and can be considered lacking in the department of concise writing, i.e. there are some paragraphs featuring painfully redundant information and wording. A good example for editing glitches would be from the Military knowledge table:
|“The defenses of the city made use of the lava flows from the nearby volcanoes. Traps and such would most likely still be effective unless the lava has since cooled. THe other defenses of the city were less documented but equally ingenious uses of the environment and engineering.” [sic!]|
On the other hand, I think that truly novice DMs might benefit from the methods presented herein. However, at the steep price of 7 bucks, you don’t get solid rules, more typos than in other books ( some of which at this price are 80+ pages, full color AND have rules-sections) and not necessarily what you’ve been looking for.
As much as I loathe to say it: This book had nothing to truly offer to me and while the legend is nice, it’s not great. There simply is no reason to truly buy this and, quite frankly, it feels like a campaign summary that has been blown up. For 1 buck, I’d consider it an ok buy, but on the other hand, there are some excellent files by Spes Magna Games that cost around a buck, have concise rules and no editing errors. In the end, system-neutral books will be judged by the quality of their writing & overall production values and after careful consideration, I just can’t bring myself to recommend this book to anyone but the most novice of DMs (who should not be a s nit-picky as I am when it comes to their purchases). For novices, this book might be 2.5 stars. For anyone else, this is a 1-star-file.
Legends & Histories – Volumen 1 is available from