SW5 5

Tales of the Loremasters, Book II (1989)

This is Tales of the Loremasters Book II (1989) and man, I gotta start by saying: how on earth did they get all this stuff (and more beside) all out in one year? This is a sequel?! How?!? There is a metric ton of 1989 Shadow World stuff and it boggles my mind. Did Iron Crown employees just not sleep?

Like the previous volume, this is a collection of adventure sites, all illustrated by Jennell Jaquays (I really like how she approaches landscapes in her Shadow World material). This one feels more varied in its locales. No nucklelavee, so you can’t have everything, but this one is a handy one to have around — you can drop this stuff into any campaign and make it work without a lot of conversion work. The one with the mysterious meteor is my favorite. The details are fine, but honestly, I mostly appreciate the prompt of “mysterious meteor” — there should be more of those in RPGs, generally, I think.

Wanted to post about this primarily for the cover art by David Martin. Granted, I would call this a cockatrice, not a basilisk (those, for me, are snakes who wear adorable crowns) but I love the idea of whatever it is turning everything to stone, gorgon-like (basilisks traditionally kill via venom and pollution, while cockatrices usually cause people to just drop dead by looking at them). I’ve talked before about the quality of smoothness in David Martin’s work. I often find it off-putting, but here it works so good. Maybe that is the influence of Ellisa Martin, who is also credited on the painting (though not inside in the actual credits)

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