Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Kefitzat Haderech: A Mini Review


I'm going to be doing a series of mini reviews this week.  I've been receiving and buying a bunch of great products and need to spread the word.  My first review is of Paolo Greco's, Kefitzat Haderech, Incunabulum of the Uncanny Gates and Portals.  Everyone will know Paolo from his excellent work with his Adventure Fantasy Game.  And he writes the Lost Papers of Tsojcanth blog. 

First things first, what does Kefitzat Haderech (KH) mean?  Paolo explains it is a Hebrew expression that means contracting the path or shortening the path. KH is about portals.  Getting from one place to another instantaneously.  Just think about that for a moment.  All the ramifications it could have in your campaign world.  How it would effect nearly every sector of life.  The best gaming products, like this one, will make you think about your campaign in a different way.

KH is 32 pages long.  It is packed with tables and advice on how to build your portals, what they look like and how they work.  The last three pages are dedicated to portal inspirations like, well, Portal from Valve, Morrowwind, Dr. Who and Stargate to name a few.

There are times when I get product at the same time I am considering a change in my own construction of a world.  When I received KH I was already in the process of changing or at least offering an alternative way of travel.  KH arrives and wa-la the ideas I had exploded and now I had a concrete reference to make it happen.

When I get these kind of products I like to roll on the table to give an example of how it works.  First table I'll be rolling on is the Portal Form.  Its a three columned d20 table.  The first determines the Portal Frame, the second determines the Portal Opening and the third is for extras.  Let me find a d20.  Be right back.

Back.

Column 1: Bones
Column 2: view from the other side
Column 3: strange sounds

From that I'll be filling in the gaps.

A bone archway is a wobbling mass of bones that looks to be haphazardly stacked upon one another.  It sways in the breeze and gives a little when force is applied yet it is nearly indestructable and can withstand any weather or destructive spells.  The bones peek at 15' and wide enough to allow two riders to enter together.  Within the arch is a dark, and desolate land.  A ground made of ash, stumps long blackened, and as you stand before the portal you hear a distant crowd of scream rolls at you like thunder.

Kefitzat Haderech is a product I'll be putting into my campaign building folder.  I hope I don't have to say anything more than that to convince you this is an excellent addition to your world building arsenal.  You can get a copy of Kefizat Haderech here.  Hey, want to know something else cool?  For $4.99 you get the Print, PDF and Source.  Paolo has created a great 32-page product that does some heavy lifting for your campaign and at a fantastic price.