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Reviews: Palladium Fantasy - Eastern Territory
 
by Joe G. Kushner


Eastern Territory coverEastern Territory Written by Steve Edwards
Published by Palladium Books
224 b&w pages
$20.95

Many Palladium books are bursting with new character classes, magic items, monsters and rules to add to your campaign. While Eastern Territory does have some candy to add to your Palladium Fantasy game, the majority of the book is concerned with detailing the lands, people, and potential of the region.

The Eastern Territory is a large part of the Palladium Fantasy world. It is not run by a single ruler or king, but rather, an alliance of small communities, city-states, and petty nobles who together call themselves the Domain of Man. Still, not all cities or families within the Eastern Territory swear allegiance to the Domain of Man, and these independent holds must battle off the Wolfen, powerful wolf humanoids, from the North, the greedy Western Empire from the West, and of course, the orcs, goblins, and ogres who've made their home in the Eastern Territory long before man came to it.

The book details the general history of the region, then goes into more specifics. There are details on islands, details on very lawful places, details on havens of scum and villainy, details on hidden cities, details on almost every type of city or realm that a GM could ever want to use in his campaign. Take the City of Kaash, "the most vile and corrupt city in all the Eastern Territory", or the City of Peningshir, "a traditional looking, medieval city of stone and wood, of history and decline." These cities have listings of the important places and people, along with numerous adventure hooks.

For those more interested in things that they can insert into their Rifts campaign, there is little here. A new race, the Danzi, are isolationists, survivors of the Age of Chaos when races united against the Old Ones. The Danzi were decimated in the war and feel neglected. They have new magic, including the creation of tattoos magic, similar to Rifts: Atlantis. In addition, there are several new monsters like the Moord-Sith, dark and deadly warriors, and the dangerous Shadow Wolves. Looking for tons of new classes? Sorry. While the Danzi get three (warrior, clan shaman, and wandering shaman), there are only two new classes (the master collector and the holy paladin of Rurga). The Danzi, their magic items, even the inclusion of a Millennium Tree, are all add ons that, while fun, could probably be taken out of the book with little effect on the overall mood.

The book follows the traditional two-column spread common to most RPG books. The art by Kent Burles and Scott Johnson is top notch, and fits into the fantasy genre well. Wayne Breaux Jr., Tyler Walpole, Freddie Williams II, and Mike Wilson also have pieces within the book. The weak point of the book graphically is the maps. Most of them don't meet the standards that Palladium sets in its interior or cover art.

One of the problems with the book is that this is a huge region to cover; another two or three books probably couldn't do it justice. Despite having over twenty pages of maps, not all cities are mapped out. This isn't a bad thing, but say you were more interested in Dain-Rurga, headquarters for the Sect of Rurga, one of the native religions of the Palladium setting. There is enough information to see what type of town this is, but not really enough to set up an adventure without some serious work. With a book this big, the focus can't include everything or it wouldn't have a focus.

Another problem with the book is there are no adventures. Not even Hook, Line & Sinker mini adventurers.

Still, at 224 pages, the book is full of useful tidbits that most GMs will be able to spin out into months and months of games. Put simply, if you enjoy the Palladium Fantasy setting, this book is an incredible value at $20.95, even if you're just mining it for ideas.


 

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