The D&D campaign setting nostalgia will return next week; tonight I’m posting my first review for a contemporary RPG product. Faith & Demons Nation Guide: Anglo-Saxon ($1.95) is a 28-page PDF for use with Savage Worlds published by Mystical Throne Entertainment. I happened upon it by chance, and even though I don’t own Faith & Demons: The Rising (the setting that Anglo-Saxon is intended to supplement), I figured at the price point it was worth a shot.
In many ways, Anglo-Saxon reminded me of a more condensed version of the old AD&D Historical Reference series. The first 7 pages provide a quick overview of 7th Century culture in Britain, with a color coded map showing how the island was divided amongst the various Germanic tribes. There’s basic info on Anglo-Saxon paganism and folklore, as well as a brief bit on the spread of Christianity. That’s followed by an 8-page gazetteer of British kingdoms along with some notes on military structure and currency, such as it was. Then we have a few pages on fantastic hooks to be found in historic events along with a timeline.
There are a few Hindrances and Edges presented beginning on page 21, some of which relate back to the Faith & Demons setting, but most of which could be used in a historic campaign without needing the setting guide. Five monsters from Anglo-Saxon lore are presented in the Bestiary, and if you’ve got a loving history with D&D but have moved to mostly running Savage Worlds (as I have), these monsters alone justify the $2 price tag. Dwerger, dwerrow, eoton – do those names sound vaguely familiar?
The creatures as presented here are intended to hew a bit closer to their mythological basis, but given the relatively simplicity of Savage Worlds monster entries, there’s a lot of room to play with. For example, the Eoton is a mountain-dwelling, cannibalistic giant rather than the two-headed Ettin of D&D, and is probably my favorite entry here due to their devastating tendency to stomp their smaller foes.
I would have liked 2-3 more pages of mechanical content, but I was generally satisfied with the purchase. Though much of the historic information could likely be easily found on the internet, it is always nice to have a handy reference document that hits the high points and is written with gaming in mind. If you are running a loosely historical Anglo-Saxon game or just want a little extra inspiration for a traditional western fantasy game, the first Faith & Demons Nation Guide is a solid investment.