Posted 04 August 2011 - 12:32 PM
From TM on the CSR:
Two words: Neutered Areni.
Well, okay. It re-organizes combat completely, but it does so with a learning curve that is both as geometrically onerous and more insipid than its predecessor. To wit, the potion system is most difficult at the beginning and becomes easier at the end, and it's also much more simple. In fact, for a scenario that spends so little of its best times in combat, it's a definite let-down.
Mood? The key ingredients are there, but it felt too paleophilic for my tastes. The Roman elements were, moreso than anything else, a distraction. In fact, the setting did nothing, except for maybe justify the Pila that Kel equipped the party with. (Another problem with LP is that its Pila are rare in the beginning and commonplace at the end.) At the end of the day, being "Romanesque" merely meant hearing Greco-Roman pagan clichs that made you go, "oh, neat!" for a second and then forget afterwards.
So Lucretia commits suicide in a new and interesting way! Problem is, she's the only active character in the scenario, and she's only active shortly before she does the inevitable. (By the way, it seems like the facts that the most cogent response to Lucretia is responding to her about her child and that her primary motive is feminine weakness are both drawn from the same source of inspiration that brought us Pheadra. Hmm.) Putidus is a good villain for a while, but finds a way to become divorced with his uniquely realistic personality by spewing out Latin cliches- why he has to explain everything to the party is beyond me.
(Now I know what you're probably thinking- "But TM, you made Licgan!" Well, yes and no. Yes because Licgan didn't have to do it, but the scenario did. No, because I didn't actively incorporate the voice of god into my scenario.)
And Collatinus did nothing for me.
And let me not forget my incredible HATE for the town design. My interior design tendencies were twitching so painfully in this scenario that I thought I was gay. Putidus' manor's basement was one thing- nonsensical, but since the scenario exists in the setting of a Greco-Roman drama, okay. (Again, I'm left wondering "why", but nevertheless. The walls were dark, and the doors were invisible- some were demarkified by demon statues, whereas others weren't. It was very frustrating at times. The two friendly towns were ugly unto themselves as well, featuring uncurved walkways, bland wallsets on bland cave floor, outdoor roads indoors, improper use of hills everywhere, etc. In fact, terrain use in general was so ugly that Kel would have made a more realistic setting if his RPG took place in the 70s.
So yeah- it's not that bad, but it's not NEARLY as profoundly awesome as some of the people here are making it out to be. Am I motivated partially by spite in this review? No, I'm motivated mostly by spite- the separation from reality in a narrative that Kel gets away with in this scenario would get me eviscerated if I were to get close, the combat is less revolutionary than Areni's, and it's ug-ly to boot. I can't convince myself that it's as good as Areni, so my score reflects this.