This is a first – the first post-on-demand in GreyWorld.
A while back Paul asked me to cover Calindar, in Strengers Skies – and if it took me a while to get me a copy and read through it, it was well worth it.
And I must thank Paul for helping me discover this intriguing, original world.
Here’s some ideas and opinions.
Bruce Heard‘s Calindar was created through a successful kickstarter and it is not a stand-alone game, but a game setting that runs on the Pathfinder engine.
Conversion/adaptation of the setting to other engines (Savage Worlds? Why not?!) is pretty easy and straightforward.
Heard is best remembered for his work for TSR, and in particular for his Princess Ark series of stories published in Dragon Magazine.
And indeed, reading through Calindar brought back memories of the Princess Ark.
Set in a fully detailed, somewhat late-Renaissance-tinged universe, Calindar offers the players an intriguing setting that is refreshingly different.
There’s magic, sure, and science, and worlds to explore.
We get the standard races and a few not-standard races, and a mosaic of kingdoms and empires spanning whole planets.
There is a varied mystical and philosophical background, that really informs the universe, and makes the game different.
And of course we have sky galleons… or flying ships in general, and all the mystique of the sky-as-ocean, which is one of the central themes of the game.
And we get fiction, exactly like we did with the Princess Ark – the Calindar book features a short novel (or novella) that sets the tone and the pace of the setting, and then we get the game information.
Calindar: In Stranger Skies is intended as the first in a series – exactly like the Princess Ark series – and certainly sets a high standard.
The book looks gorgeous, with beautiful maps and wonderful illustrations – the sort of contents that can really give ideas to both the keeper and the players.
The pdf version is quite fine on my tablet, and it is fully indexed for easy reference.
I think I will get me a hardcopy, sooner or later, because this is a beautiful object and not just a great game.
Well, ok – if this is the first in a series.
This means I want the other books, now.
More seriously, by revealing the universe in chunks through time, the publisher forces the keeper and players to limit their choices: they might find themselves at a loss, coming to the edge of the map, so to speak, and have to improvise. And future supplements might contradict what the gamers made up in the interim.
But that’s really minor – considering how meaty is the first volume, players and keepers have a lot to go through before they come to the edge of the map .
A second pet peeve – but that’s just me – is the presence of the standard D&D races… which I understand is a requirement given the system, but I find sometimes tiring.
But there’s a lot of non-standard races, and the sense of deja-vu is not that bad.
And of course a lot of players might find this a plus, not a minus.
All in all, Calindar is a great addition to my shelf.
I must thank Paul again for helping me discover this game setting.