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6/30/2012

Isle of the Unknown (LotFP) Review

Isle of the Unknown [IotU] follows that classic Judges Guild format we saw in Carcosa. Geoffrey McKinney once again keys in a massive numbered hex map that describes a vast and often hostile wilderness dotted with mostly small settlements. Short but evocative text explains just what a roving band of PCs might find in each hex location. As a GM I feel that all RPG setting books should include this map-based reference aspect. While it's something Bob Bledsaw and company developed and explored in the 70s, the hexcrawl reaches a weird and phantasmagorical peak in IotU with hundreds of unique and chimeric monstrosities, otherworldly locales and mythologically fashioned magic-users and clerics. If the book has any limitations they may be the recurring references to real world histories and folklore. While I could easily see IotU sharing the same setting as, say, the Caverns of Thracia -- with its Greek and pseudo-Greek props and monsters -- the creative referee may have to tweak it a bit for use in other milieus. But that's less of a criticism than an observation. Like LotFP's Carcosa and Vornheim the Isle is a first-rate RPG product that makes stuff produced by larger companies seem like weak sauce in comparison. ***

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review. I'm still on the fence about this one.

    For some reason your updates are not showing in my roll.

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    Replies
    1. It's a pretty sweet setting book and I'm kinda dying to know what Geoff McKinney produces for the OSR scene next.

      That's weird about the updates.

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  2. Geoff McKinney produces awesome stuff! Nice review & this is definitely on my "to get" list! Keep up the good works man!

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