In my previous post regarding Dark Albion: The Rose War, I strongly suggested that folks who are into OSR style gaming consider picking it up. In this second part, I’ll endeavour to explain why I think you should.
First off, as regards to the physical book, it is par for the course, quality wise, for a Lulu or Lightning Source PoD hardcover. Although most of the art used is public domain, it was exceedingly well chosen and in many cases likely fits better than a modern bespoke piece would. Dominique Crouzet of DOM Publishing did an excellent job on the layout, insuring the book is easy to read while still strongly evoking Gygax era TSR products.
Dark Albion is densely packed with background information, important NPCs, and adventure hooks. The material is clearly well thought out, well presented, and makes for an entertaining read for an armchair historian reasonably well versed in the actual events of the era from which the setting draws it’s inspiration.
Whilst Dark Albion is billed as a supplement for Fantastic Heroes & Witchery also usable with other “OSR” style games, the extensive chapter of “house rules” (my favorite part of this book) is actually a completely playable, gritty version of the UR-GAME appropriate for quasi-historical play.
All things considered, I think this book is likely worth your time. Almost anyone running any sort of fantasy game will likely find enough content they can use to be worth the price of admission. In point of fact, the only issue I had with Dark Albion at all was one of personal taste in campaign settings, there was just too much content for me to want to try to incorporate all of it and so much that I’d likely become distracted… a bug which is very likely a feature in many people’s books.