The Book of Exploration
Legends of Earthdawn: Volume Two

  • Writer: Diane Piron-Gelman, Greg Gorden, David R. Henry, Angel Leigh McCoy, Jim Nelson, Andrew Ragland and Rich Warren
  • Number of Pages: 88
  • Year of Publication: 1996

Rating: ***

The second volume of Legends of Earthdawn, it is in much the same style as the first volume, Legends of Earthdawn. Instead of looking at the heroes of Earthdawn, this book deals with some of the magical and mysterious wonders that lie in and around Barsaive.

As with the previous volume, The Book of Exploration is divided up into two logical parts: Tales of Adventures and Gaming Information. Tales of Adventures covers the strange sites that adventurers in Barsaive have come across, usually told from the point of view of the adventurer. There are twenty-two in all (down by eight) most in the form of a diary entry, letter os story. Each one is a good page and a half to two pages long, usually accompanied by at least half a page to a page of artwork. The tales, once again, cover the full spectrum of races, places, creatures and passions so there is certain to be something to suit every taste.

The second section contains the gaming information that helps translate the tales into a workable adventure by suggesting plots, statics and treasure descriptions. The validity of each tale (some of them are quite fantastical) is up to the Games Master, but each one gets a fair treatment.

Reading through the book I kept getting a feel that FASA needs to put all of its material into a second edition. Its product line has grown and matured, and it would be nice for them to get all the rules and rules expansions and distil them into a single volume. Then they could get all the source material and distil them into a massive guide to Barsaive. A lot of the material is repeated, but I would happily fork out $60 (Australian) for a 400 page guide to Barsaive.

My only complaint about the book, as with the last volume, it is far too short. The layout, however, is much improved.

Summary: Once again, a great book for ideas but a little on the thin side.


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