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Realms of Twilight Sample
by Benjamin M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/15/2013 08:34:00
******* Disclaimer***** I know the Publisher/ Author personally. This is for my honesty and integrity ******* Disclaimer*****
I am basing my review on both this sample and my reading of the hard cover book that I had bought. I find the sample well scanned. The sample is just a taste of the full book, and should wet your appetite for the book. I found that the setting was very well done and internally consistent, this is very important as you can get a well done setting that fails to be internally consistent. I read the full book before I got this sample so my look at the sample is colored by that, and I see the sample as lacking a few things but it tries to convey the feel and high points of the world. The parts that it shows are very much showing the color and flavor of the setting and world.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Realms of Twilight Sample
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Realms of Twilight Character Sheets
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/30/2012 11:29:47
This selection of char-sheets is 56 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page back cover and 54 pages of char-sheets, so lets check them out!

If you happen to own the Realms of Twilight campaign setting, you know the basic layout of the char-sheets, if not, I'll try to sum them up to the best of my ability: At the top, we have boxes for name, class, age, height, weight, hair and eye-colors etc. as well as a box for deity and alignment. On the right at the top, we have an already filled out box that contains the name of your class, a box for the level in it and below that, 3 boxes for archetypes.

Below these pieces of information, the physical attributes Strength, Constitution and Dexterity are lined up in roughly three not clearly separated columns. Below them are the skills corresponding to the attributes with a black box for class-skills and a white box for cross-class skills. The skill-sections feature the total value closest to the skill's name and, separated by a grey margin, the rank and misc modifiers. Below Strength, we get the loads the character can carry as well as the general melee-attack. Below Constitution, we have the fortitude-save (in the same format as the skills, but separated from them by a margin), a heart-shaped box for the HP and a box for wounds. Below the Dexterity-score, we get the reflex-save-boxes, initiative and ranged attacks-boxes, which follow the format of the other saves/attacks in presentation. Below constitution, the Realms of Twilight-logo makes for the center of the sheet. To the left of the logo, below Str is the information for the BAB and the speed of the character. Below the logo, from left to right, Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma follow the same format as their physical counterparts.

Below the Will-save, below the Wisdom-skills and score, the information on CMB and CMD is covered. Below that, we get a box with 5 rows for weapon proficiencies (including boxes for "all simple" and "all martial" above) and to the right of that, Armor Class, boxes of proficiency for armor categories as well as shields and boxes for spell failure chance, touch AC and flatfooted AC.
The lowest section of the sheet is devoted to 4 rows with 9 columns each for weapons, including a column for threat ranges, range, type, weight, ammo, etc. This is the first page of the sheets and it is mostly identical for all of the characters. I do have some gripes with it, but more on that later.

The second page contains the more class-specific pieces of information for the respective classes, but each sheet starts with 3-column: To the left, we have the gear-column. In the middle, there's the magic items-column and to the right, we get either spells, formulae, special abilities or feats, which is somewhat of a strange decision - some classes feature the feat-table below the gear-column, some below the special ability column. On the back-side of the char-sheets, we, when applicable, can find the place to fill out our eidolon/familiar/etc. stats below the gear-section. Coins by type get their own box, as does jewelry/misc treasure and spellcasting/manifesting gets columns for the DC, which is odd when compared between the psionic and the magic classes - the psionic sheets all read "DC = 10 + Box + level", whereas the sheets for casting characters read "DC = Box + level" - an inconsistency that can be confusing to new players.

The pdf does provide sheets for all the core-classes, the APG-classes, the Magus, the Ultimate Combat classes, the Combat Alchemist from the Realms of Twilight campaign setting and the psionic core classes from Psioncis Unleashed (Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife and WIlder), which makes for quite a lot of sheets.

Conclusion:
This pdf is fully bookmarked and the sheets come with a grayish background. I would have enjoyed a printer-friendly version without the gray. Additionally, the sheets are not form-fillable on your computer, which is a major bummer. The ability to edit the sheets prior to printing them out would have been nice. I can see the reasoning behind putting the skills below the corresponding attributes, but I consider it a bad idea - what if you can use another attribute modifier for a skill due to some ability/feat? The sheets don't cover that.

My very first impression of them was: Wow, these are cluttered and this impression never really left me. There is a reason why usually attributes are presented in the sequence Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha. - We're used to it and while putting skills and everything attribute-related together sounds like a great idea, it's really not: It just splits information you need across the sheet. DM calls for a skill-check? To quickly find the skill, you have to know which attribute it corresponds to and then look there, instead of just going to an unified skill-section. That is not an improvement in my book, nor is the fact that the traditional sequence of attributes has been broken up to cram them in the first page.
If one of your fellow players is ill and you have to manage his character as well, the non-unified second pages of the sheets make finding feats harder than it ought to be. Advanced Talents, major and grand hexes and similar higher-level abilities don't get their own sections. And then there's the internal inconsistency between the DC-information of psionic and magic classes. Finally, the sheets completely break down once you multiclass/enter a PrC - since the skills are aligned not in their own section, but below the attributes, confusion regarding class-skills is sure to ensue and the extra and class-specific abilities just don't fit on the already cluttered sheets.

When all's said and done, I'm not impressed by these sheets - to me, they are unpractical due to not being usable on the computer, eat more ink than necessary due to being gray, are cluttered and feature a layout that makes it hard to distinguish between different boxes/sections of the sheet - were there more space and perhaps a third page, a different layout - these might work. For me, though, they failed, are counter-intuitive and constitute the worst char-sheet I have seen for any derivative of d20 so far. One of my players has created better sheets in his spare time and they don't cost 9 bucks. If you totally love the idea of the attributes in non-sequential order with corresponding skills and don't want to multiclass, you can try them. The only other positive thing I can say about these is that they feature nice front and back-cover artworks. My final verdict will be 1 star.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Realms of Twilight Character Sheets
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Realms of Twilight Character Sheets
by Matt R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/02/2012 00:55:54
Great product. I really like how it contains character sheets for each class from all the various Pathfinder products as well as the Psionics Unleashed book. My only complaint is the font. The “i”s and “t”s look too much alike.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Claws of Pelazin
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/07/2011 21:16:36
Claws of Pelazin is an adventure module for the dark, epic fantasy setting Realms of Twilight and designed for characters of 1st – 3rd Level. While not necessarily an entry-level adventure, although it could be used that way if the adventuring party is big enough, it makes a great starting point for players who are new to the setting or even this style of setting. It features some of the dark themes within Realms of Twilight along with highlighting the dangers of living within its lands. Even though it’s only the second adventure module published for Realms of Twilight, Claws of Pelazin continues taking the setting in the right direction, giving GMs and players a true feel for what the world is about.

OVERALL

Claws of Pelazin carries a lot of value considering its published adventure material along with the source material. While GMs will get the most out of the product, there is information for players as well considering the worship of Pelazin and the location of the village and Trackless Jungle.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
Silver Crescent Publishing continues to produce quality products with a pleasing format and layout that are not only highly effective but very easy to read. The stat blocks look fantastic and the illustrations are beautiful. Add to this a map of the end scene makes for a wonderful publication. They stop there though, because within the source material section there is a map of the applicable village including descriptions for all the important locations.

Storyline: 8 out of 10
Claws of Pelazin has a good, solid storyline that develops well throughout the adventure module. This story is very direct, almost too direct, and distinctly leads the PCs from the beginning of the adventure to the end. There is little room for wandering and there may be too many ends that are properly tied. This is a big reason why it would make a good starting point for further campaigns.

Desire to Play: 10 out of 10
For those already playing Realms of Twilight or looking to start, Claws of Pelazin is a good starting place. Not simply because of the interesting storyline or assortment of investigation and combat, but also because it gives a deep look at the setting and its dark appeal. It’s as close to dark fantasy you can get using an epic fantasy setting. The details of the village are enough to use just the setting of the adventure for other adventures or campaigns.

Overall: 9 out of 10
Claws of Pelazin is definitely a recommended adventure module for Realms of Twilight. If you don’t like running published modules, then there’s enough source material and NPCs here to create a number of possibilities. It is a good, solid adventure in a wonderfully detailed village surrounded by land filled with adventuring potential.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Claws of Pelazin
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Lycan's Bane
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2011 21:31:14
Lycan’s Bane is an adventure module for 4 – 6 characters of 5th – 7th Level set in the Realms of Twilight setting for Pathfinder. It is a simple questing adventure with a lot of setting flavor. In addition, a section of the publication is dedicated to providing source material for the wastelands of Illuria. The setting flavor is not only written into the adventure but is a key part of the storyline. Lycan’s Bane is an excellent representation of the Realms of Twilight setting.

OVERALL

Lycan’s Bane is not an introduction to Realms of Twilight considering it’s designed for characters of 5th – 7th Level. Without this consideration, the storyline is directly connected to the setting and introduces the Illurian wastelands, Illuria, and Valinite to those who have never experienced them. Oddly enough, it could make a perfect starting point for a long campaign but also fits in well with those who travel the world trying to bring back the sun.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 7 out of 10
The overall layout for Lycan’s Bane has some high-points and low-points. The bulk of the adventure’s layout could benefit from changes to font size and use of white space. There are no illustrations other than maps within the adventure, although plenty of beautiful illustrations in the source pages. Additionally, the layout of the source material near the back looks much cleaner with a smoother presentation and a much better use of white space. The font issue is a result of changes for what appears to be the purpose of fitting a certain block of text on a single page. While it’s extremely minor, the result is an odd appearance to the pages with the smaller font. Other than that the quality is generally clean.

Storyline: 9 out of 10
The storyline in Lycan’s Bane is a definite strong point. Not only does it progress at a good pace following the adventure, but it ties in directly to different aspects of the Realms of Twilight setting and does an excellent job of representing what this forever-twilight epic fantasy setting is about. It’s not dark fantasy but is definitely a darker side of epic fantasy. Another key element to the storyline is how it builds upon the content already presented in the setting descriptions within the core rulebook. GMs and players get a deeper look at the Illurian wastelands along with Illuria and Valinite nations.

Desire to Play: 10 out of 10
Lycan’s Bane is a well constructed adventure module with interesting combat encounters that tie directly into the storyline and setting. Not the Realms of Twilight setting as a whole but the Illurian wastelands setting described further in the back pages. There are few role-playing opportunities, but the encounters give the players a taste of what the setting is all about.

Overall: 9 out of 10
If you play within Realms of Twilight, Lycan’s Bane is a definite publication to get. Not only does it have a good quality adventure, but it also contains excellent source material for the Illurian wastelands focusing on the Nightlings of the wastelands. The storyline is solid and represents the Realms of Twilight setting wonderfully.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lycan's Bane
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Realms of Twilight Campaign Setting
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2011 20:44:50
Realms of Twilight is a unique and complete setting for Pathfinder featuring a world lost in an everlasting twilight. This twilight is a result of two seemingly apocalyptic events that threw the entire world into a state of disarray. The aftermath of these events has created a world filled with darkness, dangerous areas of wilderness, a quickly changed landscape, and multitudes of societies whose people have never seen the sun (only the eldest remember it).

Silver Crescent Publishing has taken the concept of epic fantasy and spun it in a very new direction. While many epic fantasy settings are designed to prevent the worlds destruction, Realms of Twilight places players in the middle of a world where the destruction occurred hundreds of years before. Now the people are left with surviving and finding a way to bring the sunlight back to a seemingly dismal world. It is not only truly unique, but an excellent twist of the genre. One should keep in mind that while the world is lost in the never ending twilight, the setting is not dark fantasy. There are dark creatures and difficulties abroad, but horror is not a factor and the PCs should have no problem facing down those who lurk in the shadows.

OVERALL

I’m a big fan of unique settings, especially ones that take traditional ideas or genres and twists them about. The reverse ideals of Realms of Twilight make for a new and interesting way of approaching adventures and campaigns. The only thing left now is to see what direction Silver Crescent Publishing takes the setting and how they put it all together in published adventure modules. I recommend Realms of Twilight for those looking for a new epic fantasy experience.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 6 out of 10
Indy publishers often surprise me with how well they pay attention to the quality of their publication. While I don’t find the presentation order of the book to be ideal, everything is grouped together to prevent having to spend a lot of time flipping through the book (character creation for example). The opening half of the book has a great layout filled with fantastic maps, easy to read content, and a minute detail like the page frames containing different pattern designs in each chapter. However, somewhere in the middle of the book this layout begins to change and pieces fall apart. The book changes from fully justified to right justified and back to fully justified. In addition, some of the character creation pages could use some layout tweaks here and there to make them more visually appealing and keep with that ease of reading. Upon reaching the bestiary, the layout quality improves and the stat blocks look great.

Mechanics: 9 out of 10
The setting itself is extremely well developed and filled with new mechanics. This not only covers the twilight cursed world but also a handful of prestige classes that correspond to the setting, a new Combat Alchemist class, a complete new set of deities, new equipment material, new magical weapons, and new races. There are other mechanics associated with these as well including spells and abilities. Not only is everything properly described and detailed, but they are very interesting and can make for great new PCs. My favorite of all these are the new prestige classes and races because they fit very well within the fluff and feel of the setting.

Desire to Play: 8 out of 10
One major factor driving a GMs desire to use Realms of Twilight or a player’s desire to immerse themselves in it, is its unique design. It primarily takes epic fantasy and turns it on its head placing the PCs in the midst of adventure after the world has fallen on perilous times. There are new races to choose from and new prestige classes as well. However, the one thing Realms of Twilight neglects is to address how other races and archetypes are directly involved in the setting or by providing even minute mechanics to make them distinct PCs. While this shouldn’t deter ones desire to play within Realms of Twilight, it may require the players to spend more time developing their character’s through standard game-play (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

Overall: 8 out of 10
Realms of Twilight is an excellent setting filled with a great amount of fluff and dimension and a completely different take on the epic fantasy genre. The direction the setting takes is unique and fresh and filled with loads of potential. While great adventures can easily be created, a grand campaign to restore the sun to the sky is not only epic in nature but filled with role-playing potential and devastating combat. An absolutely grandiose feat!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Realms of Twilight Campaign Setting
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Realms of Twilight Campaign Setting
by Paco G. J. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/18/2011 23:19:01
This review was first published in gmsmagazine.com and was written by Thilo Graf

By Thilo Graf

I actually own only the dead tree copy of this campaign setting, so I’ll break my usual format for this review. The Realms of Twilight Campaign Setting comes as a massive hardcover book, including two pages of character sheets and 1 page map. After a page of editorial and a page ToC, we get 2 pages introduction and overview of the contents. After that, we get introduced into the world of Relistan.

One of the things you immediately notice, is that the b/w-artwork is stunning and ranks among the best you can find in any 3pp-books.

Chapter 1 details the fundamentals of the world (8 pages): Relistan is a world ravaged by two grand cataclysms: The first, a rite by the shadow fey, has permanently blotted out the sun, casting the world in a permanent twilight. Relistan also once was a planar hub and there have been massive invasions of outsiders in the so-called gate-wars, further crushing civilizations. Due to the gods seeking to annihilate dragon-kind, the last survivor of the original Relistan-dragon-race (there seem to be more from other places), in rage and desperation, managed to use an artifact to become a deity and close the gates. Driven insane by the sudden ascension, his rage further ravaged the already beaten world. Sounds cataclysmic? Surprisingly, it isn’t all that bad on the world. The 3 moons seem to provide enough light for economies to work and plants to grow (Hey, it’s magic and the leaking planar gateways actually serves as an explanation that satisfies me!) and there are ample civilizations out there on the 5 continents of Relistan.

Chapter 2 details Kesuril, the civilized lands (33 pages) and kicks off, as every chapter, with an IC-legend on the history of the continent: This continent is the one most reminiscent of temperate climate standard fantasy realms, but each city/nation gets some serious twist: There for example is a rather druidic nation led by lycanthropes who learn to control their urges. We also get e.g. a city famous for its college, a lizardfolk kingdom and the biggest metropolis of the world that can be seen on the cover, secluded in a crystal pyramid complete with a drow emperor and a false sun inside. Each nation/town is presented with some paragraphs on one or 2 authority figures and while there is information on the classes of said characters, no stats or levels are provided. Each nation/city also comes with information on diplomatic relations with neighbors. These pieces of information are also given in the other chapters, so don’t be alarmed by me not mentioning them again.

Chapter 3 (26 pages) introduces us to Slarinca, the second continent, has its nation of elves, a nation of gnomes known for their sorcerous aptitude as well as human kingdoms aligned with the traditional elements (and a utopia aligned with light). These kingdoms adhere to an eastern, Chinese-influenced Nomenclature and structure.

Chapter 4 (18 pages)details the desert continent Shirán that consists of the almost impregnable resting place of the slumbering dragon-turned-deity and nations that are led by members of a rather evil (or at least neutral) planar group of adventurers. The chapter also provides one page of rules-recap for heat-dangers.

Chapter 5 (13 pages) provides us with information on Ezalyth, the frozen continent of Relistan, complete with monasteries, a nation of snow elves, giants and a settlement on the verge of a glacier. There is also information on dangers of the cold and ice.

Chapter 6 offers information on Cylthia (18 pages), a continent of trackless jungles (Mostly consisting of “The trackless Jungle”) and a savannah with warring nations as well as a dwarven nation.

Chapter 7 (8 pages) details the seas and oceans of Relistan, e.g. providing rules for the random bursts of fire that erupt from the aptly-named Shadefire-sea. This is something I would have loved to see more often – little bits of rules for these locations that serve to enhance their uniqueness not only in description, but also in rules-terms.

Chapter 8 is the beginning of the rules-section of the book and focuses on classes. (27 pages)

The chapter contains an alchemist base-class, the combat alchemist. It is here that I want to address something – this book was released prior to the APG and some of the rules and content will reflect that. The combat alchemist base-class gets d8 HP, 4+Int skills per level, a bad BAB-progression and good ref- and will-saves. The basic idea is somewhat similar to the model used for psionics: The combat alchemist gets a certain number of mixture points and can use them to create effects of the formulae he has already learned. All of these so-called mixtures can be individually enhanced by what is called “experimentation” and is essentially a way to boost the effects of the alchemical mixture in question. To ensure balanced play, the mixtures have been divided in the classical 9 levels, restricting access to the more powerful mixtures at lower levels. The class is expertly designed and crafted and I really do like it. Unfortunately, the alchemist-class by Paizo is one of my 2 favorites from the APG, so I personally settle for him. However, if you want to check out a cool alchemical base-class and want something different, this one might actually interest you.

Next up are the prestige Classes. Each comes with a sample NPC. However, not all adhere to PFRPG-design-standards, some of them having levels that have no spell progression, bonus feat or other gain apart from saves and bab-progression:

Acolyte of Twilight (d8, 2+Int skills per level, medium BAB, good will save, 5 of 10 levels spell progression): This class is a divine caster that is similar to the dragon acolyte, but representing the duality of the twilight dragon deity. Didn’t strike me as too exciting apart from the cool associated deity.
Disciple of Shadows (d8, medium BAB, almost good progression for fort- and will saves [+6 Fort and Will save at 10th level], 2+Int skills, 5 levels spell progression): Two-bladed sword wielding holy warrior of the church of Steelight Shadowborn. He becomes better at wielding his signature weapon and some shadow-blade abilities, transforming to native outsiders in the end. Okay class.
Elemental Fist (d8, good BAB-progression, medium fort, ref and will-saves, 4+Int skills, continues improving monk abilities): Monk-like class that gains the abilities to use elemental shrouds that damage attackers. Nice class, but has 2 “dead” levels.
Fire Dancer (d8, almost good BAB-progression (+9 at 10th level), medium ref save, 4+Int skills, 5 levels of spell progression): Bard-Prc that gets nice, albeit a bit weak abilities to use fire-like abilities with their dance.
Hunter of the Wastes (d8, good BAB-progression, almost good progression for fort- and ref saves [+6 Fort and Will save at 10th level], 4+Int skills: Hunter of undead creatures from negative-energy-infused wasteland. Can detect undead and resist incorporeal undead and their attacks. Rather bland specialty hunter with 3 “dead” levels.
Shadow Speaker (d8, +5 over 10 levels BAB-progression, almost good progression for ref- and will saves [+6 Fort and Will save at 10th level], 6+Int skills: Rogue-like class that improves sneak attack and abilities to communicate and summon shadows and see in the darkness as well as a greater shadow form. Ok supernatural rogue class.
Chapter 9 (18 pages) contains 4 new races, 2 new uses for skills, an easy in-game dice-game and 28 new feats. The new races are:

Nightlings: A savage sub-species of halflings that get +2 to Dex and Con, -2 to Wis and-4 to Cha as well as normal speed, +2 to stealth & survival and the ability to smell incorporeal creatures. However, they also get a +1 level adjustment, i.e. a mechanic that has been discontinued in PFRPG.
Twilight Gnomes: Elementally-infused gnomes, they get +2 Con and Wis, -2 Str, are slow, get training against giants, racial hatred against goblinoids and reptilian humanoids, Cold resistance 5, +2 to Perception and some elemental minor spell-like abilities.
Umbral: Once their progenitors shadows made alive again in the cataclysmic sundering of an artifact, these people get +2 Dex, -2 Cha, +2 to stealth, Cold resistance 5, darkvision and the ability to cast chill touch once per day.
Valshari: An evolved subrace of the drow that has returned to the surface, these elves get +2 to Dex and Int, -2 to Con, elven immunities, darkvision, can cast darkness once per day, +2 to Perception and racial weapon proficiency.
In the section on linguistics, we get short paragraphs on 4 languages, in the section on stealth information about hiding in crowds.

The dice-game of Relistan, Jok-Rin, is also explained.

The feats can be divided in 4 categories:

Craft-feats (7 feats): These feats let you add semi-magical masterwork qualities to your work (which I consider to be great ideas) and forge a special material.
Alchemy-feats (7 feats): Improve abilities of the combat alchemist.
Background feats (5 feats): Weak feats a sidebox suggests to offer for free. Rather like traits, really.
General Feats (8 feats): All of these are a waste of space in my opinion. They confer +2 bonuses to e.g. poison-saves or two skills. Boring.
There is also one rather cool metamagic feat, which lets you expand the casting time of a spell for an increase in DC up to +4.

Chapter 10 offers us new equipment and magic (34 pages). We get two new materials, Umbristine and Waterwood, with the former being a shadow-related metal mined via both alchemy and conventional techniques by the umbral and the latter being wood that is infused with the power of elemental water. On the conventional side of weapons, a new monk weapon is introduced that actually doubles as a music instrument, while alchemists get their own pouch and everyone who loves throwing daggers gets a cool harness that works as a substitute for the quick draw-feat for the 6 throwing daggers it can hold. Nice idea.

Next up are 4 new magic items and 2 artifacts:

Armor of Alhara: Leather armor that should help with changing shapes. Unfortunately, this armor mentions the Control Shape skill, which has to my knowledge been discontinued in Pathfinder. I think the bonus should be conferred to the constitution checks of the afflicted, as per the PF-bestiary.
Mask of Twilight: Mask that has abilities similar to the Twilight Dragon’s Acolytes and complements them nicely. The abilities of course are just as dual as the divine dragon.
Necklace of Sirens: Amulet with Confusion-abilities that auto-recharges each day and can also be recharged by bards.
Sunstar: Medaillon can be used to summon true sun light to kill vampires and the like.
The Blade of Shadows: Legendary, deadly two-bladed sword to drive back the chaos in the name of Stellight Shadowborn.
The Shard of the Abyss: Deadly and intelligent fragment of the abyss. Rather strange, though, that the shard is CN instead of CE.
After that, we get a plethora of alchemical mixtures for the new combat alchemist class – dusts, grenades, oils, potions, salves and vapors. At least one of a kind for each level is provided.

Clerics also get some love in the form of 7 new domains: Endurance, Ice, Pain, Pestilence, Shadowborn, Spirit and Undead. I especially liked the shadowborn domain – individual domains for deities rock.

We of course also get new spells, 23 to be precise – the spells are quite nice and I didn’t consider any to be problematic.

Chapter 11 (25 pages) features al lot of different new gods for the pantheons of Relistan – The deity-write-ups contain information on relationships with other deities – great idea that should be standard. On the downside, this chapter features unfortunately the only formatting errors in the books, with some of the artworks for the deities’ symbols concealing parts of the text.

No campaign-setting would be complete without at least some monsters and we get some in Chapter 12 (12 pages).

Anu-Zarati (CR 7): 4-armed undead guardian creature.
Celesti (CR 1): Winged humanoid that includes information to make characters. I would have loved them to be included in the race-section of the book for PCs, though.
Claw Leapers (CR 6): Somehow alien-like looking, deadly predator. Extremely cool creature!
Nightwhisper (CR 6): Incorporeal undead with possession abilities.
Sai-heth (CR 2): Race of Fey that eclipsed the true sun. Unfortunately only a sample fighter/rogue is provided sans their racial abilities, somehow making it harder to design new ones yourself.
Shadowborn Warrior (CR 6): Holy warriors of Steelight Shadowborn.
Shadowborn Magi (CR 7): Transcended mages of Steelight Shadowborn.
Shadowborn Law Priest (CR 15): Highest servants of Steelight Shadowborn.
Tunneler (CR 9): Huge subterranean worm.
The final chapter, chapter 13 contains 5 pages of additional legends.

Conclusion:

The book is a huge hardcover with glossy paper of the highest quality, beautiful layout and (mostly) stunning artwork -while there are some pieces that don’t live up to the superior quality of the rest of the artwork – these only constitute about 5% of the total artwork though, so expect to see a beautiful book indeed. I didn’t really anticipate that this first publication of Silver Crescent Publishing would have such a high quality for the rather moderate price. What do I expect from a campaign setting? I expect an interesting, detailed world, potential conflicts and hooks for the PCs to participate in and craft adventures around and captivating writing. Does Realms of Twilight deliver? Well, at least for me personally, I’ll say yes…and no.

The world is chock-full of iconic locations and nations and leaves nothing to be desired location and environment-wise and some of the deities are very unique and beyond most of what I’ve read before. The new combat alchemist class for example is awesome and some parts of the crunch rock – however, due to the APG coming out, some parts of the book have aged, including the combat alchemist. While I e.g. loved the new craft feats, the general and background feats felt like uninspired +2/+2 to checks-filler-material, resulting in a stark contrast to the great crafting feats. The PrCs also didn’t impress me, but e.g. the deities and most of the monsters are consistent in standard. On the other hand, one of the races still has a level adjustment and here and there you can find remnants of 3.5-design philosophy (no dead levels) or minor remains like the level-adjustments. What do we get genre-wise, then? We get a world that is deeply-steeped in high fantasy and is quite dark, although more in the literal sense instead of genre-wise. You shouldn’t expect a Midnightish or Ravenlotesque dark setting or even a post-apocalyptic one. It’s also not a savage world in the Howardesk style, but rather points of light style. What you should expect is an ancient world steeped in lore and magic and while Relistan is definitely not a perfect utopia, it is rife with potential for adventures and especially iconic locations. Relistan has its very own feeling that sets the world very distinctly apart from other campaign settings and absolutely worth a try if you’re looking for a world that is different. However, there are some minor problems plaguing this book that show it is a first publication, especially one of this size: The minor layout problems in the deities-section could have been noticed and unfortunately there are editing several problems – I noticed a lot of typos and homophone-errors (i.e. there/their-mistakes that didn’t get caught) that deterred from my enjoyment of the book. I should absolutely love this book and will probably mine some ideas from it, but somehow it didn’t capture my interest as much as I thought it was supposed to – I should absolutely love this book by all accounts, after all: Its production values are top-notch and the locations are iconic. It took me some time to realize what has kept me from fully enjoying myself when reading this – a) I expected a rather low-magic setting on the brink of another cataclysm and b), which is the main reason, I somehow didn’t feel that the writing was consistent. While there are some sentences of sufficient length, including prepositions and conjunctions, but here also are some paragraphs that feature a lot of short sentences that start with nouns and are not as elaborately worded. While this usually would not impede my enjoyment of a book, in combination with the editing glitches, it hampered my ability to completely dive into the world and lose myself in it.

Another problem is that the same holds true for the crunchy bits of the book – There are some mechanics that just ROCK and others that rather felt like filler. Thus, my final verdict will try to take the problems, the size of the book and the fact that this is a first publication into account and while I personally won’t DM in Relistan, there is a plethora of nice ideas herein and e.g. the combat alchemist shows a solid understanding of the rules.

What’s my final verdict, then? Due to the glitches and the minor problems, I’ll settle for a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Realms of Twilight Campaign Setting
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/31/2011 09:23:02
Silver Crescent Publishing has created an engrossing dark fantasy world with their Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Realms of Twilight.

The 256 page book is a polished gem, allowing readers to easily navigate the dark fantasy world the writers have brought forth. My first fear was that it sounded too similar to LPJ Design’s Obsidian Twilight. However, I was quite glad that this was not the case. Realms of Twilight takes place in a world is perpetual twilight.

This world is settled in its predicament. Races have moved on and understand that True Sun may never returned. This since of normalcy makes Realms feel like a traditional fantasy setting with enough previous baggage to provide a new experience. The entire world is covered, not just a continent. Each of the 5 continents of the world are detailed with history, geography and gods. Player Options, New Equipment and Spells, creatures and a chapter on the legends of the world are then introduced.

For the Player
I could have done with a few more player options. There are a handful of feats and a single new base class. However, the combat alchemist almost makes me forget about the lack of options. Players will take the combat alchemist, match it up against Paizo’s alchemist and witness a knockout as the Combat Alchemist in Realms knocks out its official predecessor. Its one of my favorite Pathfinder alternative spellcasters and really gets into the flavor of alchemy.

For the Dungeon Master
The little details are what makes the world stand out. Knowing the elves relationship with the monks in Ezalyth is the kind of things that help DMs build epic campaigns.

The Iron World
Realms of Twilight is a non-traditional fantasy setting given the traditional fantasy setting treatment. It has the classics like elves and evil empires, but the darkness that plagues the land gives it the separation twist it needs. The layout of the book is magnificent, and screams of good editors. DMs will have a field day with the things they can develop from the content. PCs on the other hand are a little short changed in the options department. Readers will probably have been more than welcome to have a little less prose and a few more classes, feats and spells. However, its hard to fault a book too much when it provides beautiful world maps, a creative visual take on character sheets and so much rich lore and history.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Realms of Twilight Sample
by Larry G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/07/2011 02:39:18
I had been following the Realms of Twilight campaign setting since I first heard about it from a fellow gamer. I was very excited when the sample came out. however I am writing this review for the book itself. I bought a hardcopy shortly after it was released.

I'll start with the overall feel of the book. The printing maintains a dark tone through out the book which tends to make some of the art work seem less impressive. I would have liked to see it in a color printing. I find the text to be just right and easily readable. However I have had a few instances where a bright glare gave me some trouble. I thought the page borders were a great touch and would also benefit greatly in a color printing.

The book starts off taking you through a brief history of the world and sets the mood for what is to come. The next bit of the book covers the continents, nations, and cities contained within Relistan. It also goes further to describe governments, politics, and important NPC's. The detail is just enough to give you the information you need without overloading you.

The book then moves on to character information. Now I'm kinda partial to this next part. The Combat Alchemist. My play group started a RoT campaign and one of our characters is a combat alchemist. He has saved us more than a few times. It's pretty interesting to get one of the potions he makes and discover the "joy" hidden inside. The prestige classes seem very interesting and I am hoping I get the chance to play one. The Elemental Fist for example if played by the right person, I think could cause a DM to get a headache. The new races are all very interesting and I enjoyed learning about them.
I still haven't read through all the religions and deities, but I have made my way through enough of them to realize a lot of thought was put into their creation.

The stories, histories, and legends contained within the book were well written and kept my attention. I was interested to keep reading on and I feel they gave me pertinent information. They helped to further immerse me in this world of Relistan.

I particularly like the character sheet at the back of the book, but it does seem a bit busy.

Overall, I think the book did it's job. It relayed the information I need to have an interest in playing the campaign. when that interest grew it gave me the information to dig deeper, make a character, and start playing. Are there some negatives, yes, but I do not believe they out weigh the positives. In the future I hope to see some supplementals and a color version of the original material. I'm always asked would you recommend this product to someone else. Yes I would, and have in fact done so several times already.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Realms of Twilight Sample
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Realms of Twilight Sample
by chris h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/06/2011 09:25:31
I first heard of Realms of Twilight from a role-playing message board website both the author and I frequent. Almost as soon as the physical book became available I ordered it and have been quite pleased with Mr. Marshall’s work. So, in the interests of being more precise, I feel the need to point out my review is of the physical book rather than the PDF version. The game world, Relistan, exists in a perpetual dusk-like state of illumination. Ages ago an epic ritual blotted the True Sun from the sky and now the world is lit by reflected light from Relistan’s three moons. Over time both flora and fauna evolved to compensate for the darkness. In other message forums the author has given sound reasoning for his world’s idiosyncrasies and this makes Relistan seem much more unique than gimmicky. This is not, as some have suggested elsewhere, a Pathfinder/3.5 OGL rehash of Ravenloft. Realms of Twilight is as separate and self-contained as any campaign setting in print or otherwise.

The book spends many chapters on the history of its people and continents. All the major fantasy races have a place in RoT, plus the indigenous races of Nightlings and Umbrals. Nightlings, a semi-barbaric people distantly related to Halflings, remind me of the Talenta Halflings in Eberron. The Umbral people’s history surprised me since their ancestors were Undead. With the shattering of a mystic gem within their god’s chest the Umbral rose from undeath to true life. As such, other races aren’t very trusting of them and the Umbral return that mistrust. Players who prefer playing outcast types like Tieflings should look into this race. I don’t recall a similar story anywhere. There are demi-human variant races available for those who don’t wish to play a “vanilla” race. The world of Relistan contains five major continents with a chapter devoted to outlining the legends, geography, politics and peoples of each. The chapters provide enough detail for both players and GM’s to feel comfortable gaming in this world without railroading them with too much detail. I look forward to the first supplement to the Campaign Setting, which I hope is devoted to Kesuril, the first continent mentioned in the book. I also think a Player’s Guide to Relistan would be useful while not critical to have.

Beginning with Chapter 8, the Campaign Setting provides rules for Prestige Classes. The Acolyte of Twilight provides both Pathfinder and 3.5 adherents a more accessible version of the Dragon Disciple found in 3.5’s DMG, balanced by the deity prerequisite. Disciples of the Shadow remind me in a limited way of the Grey Guard of Heironeous, a secretive band of warrior-clergy within the larger church. Elemental Fists are Monks who gain benefits from harnessing the power of the elements. It sure is a flashy and attractive class with the abilities and resistances gained at higher levels. In the hands of even a mediocre player, this prestige class can put the screws to Game Masters. Speaking as a GM, I don’t like it--at all. The Fire Dancer, a Bard-centric prestige class, is interesting to me in that her command of fire gets so powerful that the flames at a certain character level can become a medium-sized fire elemental under her control. If I had anything bad to say about the class, the combat bonus progression seems too good for a class not intended for a front-line melee combatant. Hunter of the Wastes brings a touch of the Clerical to what is at first blush a Ranger-specific prestige class. Given that in Relistan’s lack of direct sunlight Undead have less to fear, this class will see a lot of gameplay. Lastly, the Shadow Speaker class will appeal to the sneaky players in groups, so long as they play Umbral characters. The combat bonuses for this class are more in line with what I would have expected for the Fire Dancer, but they work for the Shadow Speaker too.

Further chapters provide new deities (complete with regional prevalence and interfaith relationships) spells, feats, equipment and monsters specifically tailored to the unique setting of Relistan. Also, a list of alchemical mixtures tiered and organized much like spells supports the new base class Combat Alchemist.

In the format of the book itself, Realms of Twilight Campaign Setting follows the standard put forth by similar works before it. Almost by instinct the reader can gauge where information he seeks is and open the book close to his mark if he is in a hurry. There are few surprises in this aspect and the presentation is clean and concise. The author uses a writing style even less complicated than what you are reading here in the bulk of the book, and an even more florid and descriptive one than here when providing the world’s backstory. As to the art and illustrations--about 90% of it is simply terrific. Striking and evocative images show many geographic features, battles of renown, and personages of repute. Of that, about a third seem a little TOO dark and could benefit from some lightening up in a second printing, which if all goes well should be in the works in the near future. For examples I submit pages 87, 91, and 118. The other 10% aren’t necessarily bad or of poor quality, but the style is a much more iconic and utilitarian one. Yes, these would be found in the chapter on core classes and prestige classes, most notably the Elemental Fist and the Sai-Heth in the monsters section for examples. Putting my best foot forward, I would say they remind me fondly of first edition D&D artwork. In the instances of cartography, one of my favorite things about any campaign setting, the general darkness of the illustrations seems to intensify in the maps, which may have been altered for the PDF version. The maps themselves are well done and not too detailed to allow breathing room for GM alteration in their game. As this book was printed independently, I don’t take off points for the use of greyscale to save printing costs, but I have to say the dimness of these images needs fixing, as I have been assured they will. The character sheet in the back was a great touch, although I do take issue with the font type in the stat/information block headings.

So in summation, is this worth your almost $20 and the space on your hard drive? It was worth more money to me, sight unseen, to get the hardback book. Daniel Marshall’s work does not disappoint in toto despite my few complaints. Realms of Twilight provides a rich game world for players and Game Masters equally and I eagerly anticipate further works based on the Campaign Setting.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Realms of Twilight Sample
by Anton M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2010 22:13:17
This is a (literally and figuratively) dark campaign setting alternative to the default Pathfinder Golarion campaign setting. The premise of this campaign setting is that direct sunlight has been blocked by a celestial object, leaving the earth in an underdark-like twilight. As a result, virtually all great civilizations have collapsed, ecological niches have disappeared, and creepy violent monsters and races have moved in to pick up the slack.
This volume boasts almost 250 pages of material. Roughly half the book covers the geopolitical regions of this world; and the other half provides the new races, classes, monsters, equipment, and religions that you would expect from an optional campaign setting.
You might expect some kind of grungy, distressed calligraphic typography to help convey the "dark ages" mood of this setting, but instead it seems to be laid out in Times New Roman, with headers also monotonously laid out in Times New Roman. Chapter headers and some image captions are laid out in Brush Script, which is almost the antithesis of spooky. It is very legible, but I hope that the final product uses different type, especially because the pages have "crinkled, distressed parchment" or "richly illuminated manuscript" watermarks which do not fit with Times New Roman.
Except for the cover, the entire work is in black & white. For a PDF, there are no color print costs; it might be nice to see the images, maps, and textured paper in color. This might also help the text "pop out", whereas the dark uncolored paper texture presents a gray background which mires the text. Some PDF publishers provide a "print friendly" watermark-free monochrome version along with the "full" color version. Another option is to use PDF layers, with which one document can contain both lush and spartan views of the same material. I hope the final product will provide one or both of these options.
The preview has 12 pages: color cover, credits, table of contents, 2 pages of intro, 3 pages of fluff about a region, 2 pages about a race, 1 page of fluff about a monster, and a 1-page ad for an unrelated product; by the numbers, there are only 6 pages of actual content in this preview, but it winds up being a little less than 6 pages of usable material, because the race is barely described in the 2 pages provided, and the monster page doesn't cover any of the crunch. Granted, this is just a preview, not a playtest; the publishers just want you to get a taste of the actual book.
The introduction uses the passive voice too much, which mutes any excitement you might feel about it; accordingly its "Inside This Book" section almost makes you NOT want to read it. The other pages use a significant amount of passive voice in an effort to sound poetic or spooky, but it hinders one's retention of the material. Confusingly, there is little distinction between monster and player race in terms of tone or motivation; perhaps this parallels the presumption that in a world of only twilight, there is neither light nor dark, only dim shades of gray. Also, there are noticeable and disappointing typos, many of which would be caught by any automated spell checker.
The art is decent, but the monochrome presentation mutes most images into muddy gray. The map provided has grid lines, but no legend to tie those grid lines to any scale. The most vibrant image is a line drawing of a character race which provides some nice contrast between white and black regions.
You SHOULD get this book if you're tired of your players treating trips to the Underdark like a visit to an amusement park they can simply leave when they are inconvenienced or bored: Realms of Twilight presents a world with no place to hide from the dark--the entire world is effectively Underdark. Also, you would need to like a lot of fluff and texture in a gaming book; and you would need a lot of time to reread the clunky writing.
You SHOULD NOT get this book if you consider endless Underdark to be hopelessly unappealing gaming monotony akin to Seasonal Affective Disorder; if you really like your gaming books to be as rich and beautiful as the Pathfinder RPG books; if you like clear distinctions between good and evil; if you demand a lot of crunch (granted, campaign settings typically contain little crunch); or if you have little tolerance for poor writing.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Realms of Twilight Sample
by Chancey S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/05/2010 17:22:43
Download is working now, you only get a few pages of the book with this though. Only real content is one race.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Realms of Twilight Sample
by Jeff B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/02/2010 22:18:30
The file, she is kaput! There is nothing in it and it wont open.

Unfortunately I had to click a star rating enable to enter text. I suggest that it would be better if one could enter a text without having to rate the product as I fear such mistakes will damage the over all rating of the product. Hope this gets fixed soon and am looking forward to the preview.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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