Pirate Isles makes it to OZ, congratulations and rant



Hooray! My groups been playing Conan as pirates since July waiting patiently for the Pirate Isles sourcebook to make it's way over the equator.
Now it's here I'm in two minds about it: Mongoose has done great things with Conan, some production values are great, the best I've seen in 25 years of roleplaying, and then there is the proof-reading. They reach so high and get so close. Some are stupid but forgivable, as they do not affect play, eg pg30 "Cargoes fall into one of four categories of rarity: common, uncommon and exotic." There is a "unique" catagory mentioned somewhere completely different in the book.

<edit> I originally wrote this as a rant about clarity and layout, but I cannot, in good faith, put that first. I must say again, I really like Mongoose's Conan. I have yet to try the narrative combat but it looks great, backgound on places, cargo, NPCs, feats, all good. This sourcebook is worthwhile to new and experienced gamers alike.<edit end>

Then there are the ones that affect the rules, like mutiny checks, pg12 "Whenever an event occurs (see Stuff of Legends section below)...."
the Stuff of Legends section lists many random things that could happen, is every one of these things, whether good or ill, an 'event' that triggers a mutiny check? Or is it only the 'Complications and omens' section - 'human originated conflict involved' D4 resut of 3 "Crew may mutiny"? Or is it necessary to cross reference every result in the stuff of legends tables with the Mutiny table on pg 13? Now wait a minute, the 'events' that trigger a mutiny aren't listed in Stuff of legends at all, they are listed on the mutiny table, under the title "Event", but there is no cross-referencing between these two, why not "Violent storms - may cause mutiny" Or is it if you roll "violent storms" and then roll "crew may mutiny" later on in stuff of legends that you refer to the mutiny table?
Why not say that in the section that deals with mutiny? It's endemic throughout the book, it gets halfway through telling you something then refers to another section, it's no wonder there is no index, it would have to refer each entry to multiple pages. But! you say, Stuff of legends is not meant to be a definitive list of things, it's meant for games on-the-fly, or tales to awe landlubbers. Let's go right back to the start of this rant, mutiny checks, pg12 "Whenever an event occurs (see Stuff of Legends section below)...." Why reference Stuff of Legends at all when there is no obvious reference to an 'event' that triggers a mutiny? The Mutiny table lists the events, simple.

Some parts of the book have logical progression and layout, others go completely to pieces.

My 2c

I always like well thought out critism.

RE: four rather than three
Unique cargoes got the boot because they didn't balance properly. Sorry you found a reference to them.

RE: Twisting and Ending
I tried something different with Pirate Isles in a writing sense: delibrately teasing then wrapping back around to outline additional ideas after the reader had a chance to mull. Frankly it didn't work out as well as I hoped.... :oops:

RE: Event
Pretty much all of the above could be an event, though the Mutiny table lists the most common ones. At least, that was indeed the intent. The events on the Mutiny table, if I recall correctly, mostly deals with modifiers...though its been a bit since I looked at the text.

Good luck and good gaming!

Shannon Kalvar
Current Status: Pondering
Thanks for the reply Shannon!
Kudos to you for a great addition to Conan. It is only something that inspires me so much that also may generate such a rant when it does not quite reach the great heights I want it to.

RE: four rather than three - As I said, forgivable and forgetable.

RE: Twisting and Ending - This is a personal view, I like my information to be concise with a logical progression. Other readers may well have other views.
Trying something different is a laudable act - may no-one ever put you off trying.

RE: Event - I think I've said my piece on this one :D

Such dedication to the fans - it's 2am and you're replying to some guy half a world away!