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Grimace

Another Westward review

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“Westward” Ho!

 

The crew at Wicked North Games has put out another piece of work, and I must say, this one is a beauty of a piece! This book is a monster, with 342 pages of gaming material! Everything from the game system to character creation (with lots of extras), details of the known world, including a history Westward, the people of Westward, a tassel of notable characters that can be encountered, a bestiary of both domesticated and wild animals (some you’re familiar with and some completely alien) that comes in at an impressive 48 pages…more than enough for adventuring on the world of Westward, an entire chapter on technology, which includes normal equipment, weapons, and a nice collection of good steampunk items. There’s even a decent section of automatons and vehicles that lend a very thematic feel to the setting. Airships and steam power are the rulers of the sky and land!

 

There is also a Steamech construction section in the book, offering a good variety of potential mechs that can be constructed by rich characters. This has a great selection of chassis, arms, legs, augmentations and weapons that can all be melded together to form your own interesting steampunk styled mech. They even included a selection of fully completed Steamechs for those that just wanted to get into the action right away.

 

Next they have a good section on adventuring, and include a number of quick adventure ideas, put together by such talented people as Wayne Humfleet and Peter Schweighofer!

 

Finally, they provide a much more detailed adventure called “The Incident at Fort Southridge”. This adventure can be used as a good introduction adventure, or a tie-in to a current game. It’s got NPCs, locations, and three episodes to make a good, complete adventure.

 

The book is laid out quite well and is quite legible. This is an improvement from previous offerings from the company. The only thing I found a bit odd, though it wasn't so much as to ruin the mood, was the inclusion of little snippets of text written in an abstract sort of font in various locations. While the text was sometimes pertinent, the font for those outtakes was a bit garish compared to the polish the rest of the book had.

 

The artwork is rich and plentiful, lending great theme to the overall setting. The various pieces of art PUT you into the world of Westward and give you enough to let your mind run wild with “what if’s” and “what a fantastic idea!” sorts of thoughts.

 

Overall, this is a fine piece of work put out by the Wicked North crew. It’s rich with theme, the setting offers plenty of open areas for a gamemaster’s mind to run wild, and there’s enough detail and characters included to help out people completely new to the realm of role playing games. I rate this piece a healthy 4 out of 5 stars. So if you’re looking for a very interesting looking setting with a decent steampunk feel, and a robust yet simple system (hooray for OpenD6!), this is worth picking up!

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