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Shadowrun: The Land of Promise $5.95
Average Rating:3.4 / 5
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Shadowrun: The Land of Promise
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Shadowrun: The Land of Promise
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/09/2013 16:05:48
Land of Promise, updating information on the elven nation of Tir Tairngire to the current era of Shadowrun. Most of the product is in setting discussion of the Tir and its current situation, heavy on politics and attitudes light on actual data, the original Tir Tairngire book would almost seem needed to be able to use this to present the Tir as part of a campaign. The adventure seeds are uninspired but the character trove (write ups of generic NPCs) which include a variety of gang members as well as Tir police could be quite useful.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: The Land of Promise
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Jens B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/24/2013 23:57:09
Big disappointment, just a bunch of runners who are arguing about the princes, not even a single map. Best of all was the beginning story to get a feeling of the tir, but nonetheless, didn't take anything out of it. I was to tired to go on reading at page 13.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: The Land of Promise
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Roger L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/22/2012 03:53:00
Die Elfenstaaten in Shadowrun, Tir Tairngire und Tir Na Nog, begeistern viele Spieler durch ihren Mystizismus, aber auch die dreckigen Machenschaften der Herrscher. Das Quellenbuch The Lands of Promise wendet sich Tir Tairngire zu und gibt ein Update zum gleichnamigen Quellenbuch der 2nd Edition.

Erscheinungsbild

Auch wenn es mit 24 Seiten ziemlich kurz ist, kommt das Erscheinungsbild wirklich hübsch daher. Vollcolorierte Seiten mit witzigen Gimmicks präsentieren sich dem Leser und so macht die Spielhilfe Spaß dabei, aufgesogen zu werden. Leider aber ist die Coverillustration, die wohl einen Teil von Portland oder Cara’Sir zeigt die mehr oder minder einzige Zeichnung.
Das eben genannte witzige Gimmick ist Grimmy, das kleine Grimoire. Es erinnert mich an die Hilfeassistenten aus früheren Microsoft Word Versionen, die immer Hinweise und Anregungen gaben.
Das Quellebuch, wenn man es so nennen kann, ist an sich ein Reiseführer durch Tir Tairngire, beschränkt sich aber auf Marketingparolen, die zwar nett zu lesen sind, aber keine echten Informationen liefern. Viel wichtiger ist hier der Shadowtalk, also die Äußerungen einiger mehr oder weniger bekannten Persönlichkeiten aus den Schatten zu dem Gesagten. Diese nehmen gefühlte 80% der Spielhilfe ein.
Ein Index und ein Inhaltsverzeichnis fehlen. Das Dokument, das uns als pdf vorliegt, teilt sich auf in eine Kurzgeschichte, benannte Halbfakten über das Land und einen Teil mit spielmechanischen Informationen, die einen Zauberspruch beinhalten.

Inhalt

Tir Tairngire hat sich verändert. Es regiert nicht mehr der High Prince in seiner alten Funktion. Lugh Surehand, Ehran der Schreiber und Aithne Oakenforest sind nicht mehr an der Macht. 2064 kam es zu einem großen Umsturz, seitdem wird der Prinzenrat demokratisch gewählt und Larry Zincan, ein gealteter Ork, trägt den Titel des High Prince. Die Großdrachin Hestaby ist in den Hintergrund getreten und wird, seit den Querelen mit Lowfyr, zusehends politisch attackiert. Tir hat sich auch nach außen geöffnet, Metamenschen, die keine Elfen sind, gelten neuerdings als willkommen und werden nicht mehr auf Sicht erschossen. Die Grenzen sind zwar nach wie vor patruilliert, aber die elitären Kämpferkasten, wie auch die Paladine, sind nicht mehr dominant. Tir ist das Land der Wunder, das alle dazu einlädt, die Myriaden der Magie zu erleben und eins zu sein mit den uralten Wäldern.
Liest sich zu gut, um wahr zu sein, nicht?

Und in der Tat brodelt es hinter der neuen Fassade der Weltoffenheit gewaltig. Die zehn Prinzen des Prinzenrates bilden die Se’ranshae Elenva, die Kammer der Sterne, die offiziell Repräsentanz des Staates. Unter ihnen sind Elfen, Orks, Zwerge, ja, sogar ein Sasquatch und gar ein normaler Mensch. Und jeder hat eine eigene politische Agenda, sind beschäftigt mit ihren Aufgabenbereichen und auch damit, die anderen des Rates auszustechen. 2075 werden Neuwahlen sein und es ist zu bezweifeln, dass Larry Zincan wieder an die Macht kommt.

Zudem ist da noch die Rinelle ke’Tesrae, eine rassistische, terroristische und kriminelle Vereinigung von Elfen, die den Staat in Atem hält. Vergessen darf man natürlich die alten Elitetruppen nicht, wie die Ghosts und die Great Hunt. Ach ja, und unter der glitzernden Fassade der Städte sieht es nicht immer gut aus, wie man an einer hohen Anzahl von Gangs sieht, die Ancients allen voran, aber auch extreme Gruppen wie sie Sons of Gimli und die Souldrinker.

Die Peace Force, das ist die Polizeivereinigung, ist also bis über alle Kapazitäten beschäftigt, den Staat seines Erbes zu bereinigen. Aber welchem Prinzen gehorcht sie? Und dann gibt es noch diverse magische Verbindungen…
So aufregend und interessant sich alles lesen lässt, man darf eines nicht vergessen – es ist Shadowtalk und damit irgendwo in der Mitte zwischen Spielfakt und Gerücht. Der geneigte Leser muss also entscheiden, was davon in seiner Version von Tir welche Rolle einnimmt. Echte belastbare SL-Informationen findet man nur am Ende, wenn die NSC-Profile vorgestellt werden, wie auch die magische Vereinigung Moonlight Thorns. Solang Catalyst Game Labs kein weiteres Quellenbuch herausbringt, wird es so bleiben müssen. An sich finde ich das gar nicht schlecht, denn an sich erschafft fast jede SL ihre eigene Interpretation der Spielwelt. Solange nicht Regeln so schwammig formuliert werden, ist es für ich in Ordnung.

Die Vorgeschichte übrigens bringt einen Straßencop mit einem Vertreter des Prinzenrates in Kontakt und ist recht spannend zu lesen, wie auch mit vier Seiten, also ein Sechstel des Dokumentes, ungewohnt lange.

Preis-/Leistungsverhältnis

Der Preis von knapp unter 6 USD ist wahrlich nicht hoch. Aber was bekommt man dafür hauptsächlich? Trivia und Gerüchte. Belastbares gibt es erst im minimalen Charakterteil. Hier ist es stark davon abhängig, wie man leitet oder spielt. Für meinen Leitstil, mit viel eigener Interpretation der Spielwelt, ist der Preis nicht zu hoch und mehr als fair, denn die vielen Ideen, die ich durch den Shadowtalk und die wenigen Plothooks am Ende, sind zahlreich und regen zu vielen Geschichten im Elfenstaat an. Für Spieler/Spielleiter, die mehr by the book spielen wollen und echte feste Informationen wollen, ist die pdf mehr ein „unter ferner liefen“.

Fazit

Interessant – das trifft es am besten, wenn ich mich bemühe, die Inhalte des Quellenbuches mit einem Wort zu umschreiben. Vor allem die jetzige Situation in Tir hat mich interessiert, es fehlt jedoch eine zumindest kurze Zusammenfassung der Vorgänge, die zur Umstrukturierung geführt haben. Ideen für Runs im Elfenland habe ich nun genug und auch meine Neugier ist befriedigt. Wer also ein Update ohne echtes belastbares Hintergrundwissen kriegen möchte, ist hier wunderbar bedient.

Unsere Bewertung

Erscheinungsbild 3.5v5 Gehobenes Shadowrun-Layout, aber fast nur Text
Inhalt 4v5 Ein Update über Tir Tairngire mit allen aktuellen Verwicklungen
Preis-/Leistungsverhältnis 4v5 Gerechtfertigter Preis für eine große Fülle an Informationen
Gesamt 3.83v5

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: The Land of Promise
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Stephen M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/18/2012 19:22:07
I loved the old Tir Taingire sourcebook and because of comparing this product with the old book is why I was disappointed here. It's not really a fair comparison, because this is one of the virtual mini-books that Catalyst is releasing but regardless, this merely wet my appetite for more on the Tir, especially given the drastic changes with removing the Immortals from the Council of Princes.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: The Land of Promise
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/02/2012 00:27:43
‘Land of Promise’ is a mixed bag of goodies which essentially updates the 2e Tir Tairngire sourcebook. In fact, I’d highly recommend a purchase of that book to go with this one in order to get the best value. This book is a succinct 24 pages, broken up as intro fiction (4pages), travelogue (15 pages) and game information (5 pages).

The travelogue section is written as a Corp-speak advertisement for the Tir which is soon hijacked by the regular Jackpointers. To be honest, part of this is wasted opportunity, as the ‘pointers debate the merits and authenticity of the information and then eventually provide their own overview of the country. Whilst the information is useful, the point that the Tir is glossing over their problems and putting Corp-spin on everything is belaboured. Once the information from the Jackpointers starts rolling in, so does the usable game-worthy data. That said, attention has been paid to giving each of the posters their own evolving personality, and the faux-BBS style is delivered in usual believable style as small arguments occur and general pettiness is revealed.

The game information features eleven one-paragraph story starters to inspire your own ‘runs involving Tir Tairngire, but there is a note that purchasing the new supplement ‘Elven Blood’ would be useful. One questions why Catalyst didn’t just publish this as a larger sourcebook, rather than as two supplements. The information in ‘Land of Promise’ is predominantly for the GM, so adding in five modules wouldn’t have altered the audience. The game information also includes stat blocks for some of the unique denizens of land, a new spell and a new Magical Society.

The main question for me is: what niche does this fill in my SR collection? I’m viewing this as an update to the Tir Tairngire sourcebook I already own, so $5.95 is a decent price for what is involved. I wouldn’t recommend trying to use this book without that sourcebook. Bottom line is that if you wanted to invest in a Tir campaign, you could pick up the original sourcebook ($8.00), this book ($5.95) and Elven Blood ($6.99) and be set for quite a while. I’d consider a five-module story arc plus setting books for around twenty dollars to be good value (given that SR Missions modules are $3.95 each; and that’s dirt cheap), and with this in mind, I have no hesitation in recommending ‘Land of Promise’.

I think that whilst the writing could have been tightened up, and perhaps a little more substance to the information presented, it is still worth the price tag. This is also a region of the SR setting worth keeping an eye on, as there were plenty of hints about future shake-ups in this country. We might see more supplements emerge next year about the Tir.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: The Land of Promise
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Benjamin B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2012 10:54:21
Originally posted at http://secondleft.blogspot.ca/2012/09/review-shadowrun-land--
of-promise.html

So recently Shadowrun: The Land of Promise was released by Catalyst in PDF format. I picked up a copy from DriveThruRPG and had a read.

For those who don't know, The Land of Promise is the translation of Tir Tairngire the predominately Elvish country that was established to the south of Shadowrun's default Seattle setting. It's a country that has seen its fair share of turmoil over the last 50 years of the setting (currently in 2074 as of this supplement.)

So what do you get. Well for $5.95 you get a 24 page PDF. The production quality is of the current usual Catalyst standard, that is pretty good and as you'd expect from a RPG product these days. It's colourful, with a good density of text and a reasonable text to graphics/whitespace ratio.

The 24 pages break down as:
1 page for the cover painting, which while nice enough kind of evokes a sensation of Rivendell if it where on Minbar
1 page is the obligatory Jackpoint login screen informing you of what is coming next, and some news
4 pages are taken up with a vaguely interesting piece of short fiction that sets the scene for some of the action going on in the Tir these days
13 pages of information on the Tir (well most of it is your favourite Jackpointers talking about the Tir)
1 page of adventure hooks
3 pages of NPCs for people the average shadowrunner may encounter during their stay
1 page (well half a page really) detailing briefly a magical society, The Moonlight Thorns
What it isn't. This isn't a guide to the Tir, for information on the history of Tir Tairngire, culture etc you'll need to look at The Sixth World Almanac, or the older first edition Tir Tairngire sourcebooks.

What it is. It is presented as an edited down copy of a delightfully cheesy Tir Tairngire travel brochure for prospective tourists (complete with Grimmy the Grimoire icon telling you all about the Tir. Think that annoying paperclip from older versions of Microsoft Office and you'll have the exact right idea.) When I say heavily edited it means the majority of the would be text in that brochure has been deleted and replaced by commentary by the usual suspect posters on Jackpoint commenting on the realities of what goes on. While this may sound annoying, long time Shadowrun readers know that the real meat and details are often in these posters comments giving the realities (and sometimes completely incorrect information) on the topic at hand, and The Land of Promise is no exception to this rule. In fact the Jackpoint comments make up perhaps 80% of the text of the book outside the opening fiction and NPC section. It should be noted that the single largest topic of conversation here is the princes of the Tir, what they stand for and what they're currently up to in the run up to the next election.

What little art is in the book (other than Grimmy the Grimoire) consist of some character drawings that seem to be representative of princes of the Tir, but its not obvious. The art is adequate, but doesn't seem to be trying to fill a particular purpose as the style doesn't always seem to fit with the descriptions of the princes it's presumably trying to illustrate. It's almost as if they just had a load of spare character art lying around and decided to use it in this book.

One thing I don't particularly like about the book, and Catalyst please take note, is the attempt at illustrating the different sections of the travel guide and which section is currently being read. Imagine images like below
Subject 1
Subject 2
Subject 3
- Subject 4
where the Subject 4 item is the section of the guide currently being read. I can see what they're trying to get at and it does give some framework to hanging the sections of conversation off of, but it just serves to illustrate what could have been in the book but isn't, and this could be confusing to someone who doesn't get what they're trying to do.

So value for money. Well I recently purchased the hardcopy of The Clutch of Dragons (review coming later), a 152 page softcover for $29.99 (that's just under 20 cents a page.) Compare that to $5.95 for a 24 page PDF leaves you at just under 25 cents per page, and that's only a PDF not a hardcopy, and it seems a bit pricey. I'd really expect to pay perhaps $3.95 for this rather than the six bucks, especially given the higher margins (but perhaps lower sales.)

The product does really rely on you being up to date on the Shadowrun background for the Tir and the civil unrest and political upheaval of the last decade to get the most out of it, so if you're not familiar with that and just want a book to give you some information then you should look elsewhere. If you want an update on the political situation and some more tidbits of information plus filling in more holes in the continuing Shadowrun metaplot, then by all means have a look.

If you're planning on having the players run in the Tir during the upcoming election, then there is plenty of information in here to use as plot hooks for what will bean interesting time.

Overall I'm not convinced this is a must buy at the price and for the content. I'm a Shadowrun completist so I'll buy anything they produce for it but your mileage may vary.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: The Land of Promise
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/14/2012 06:38:45
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/09/14/tabletop-review-shadowr-
un-the-land-of-promise/

Back in the days of Second Edition, before I was old enough to vote (and at one point drive), FASA released a book called Tir Tairngire, a 158 page guide to the elven nation of the same name. Now Catalyst Game Labs has revived the topic with The Land of Promise. Unfortunately this guide is nowhere as long, deep, or informative. It does clock in at only twenty-four pages after all, nineteen of which are all fiction rather than things for a Gamemaster to outright use. The price point of $5.95 isn’t bad considering this is in full colour and it’s fun to read, but for only two dollars more you can get the 2050s book on the same topic with far more content. Sure, it’s outdated, but for those just looking for a more in-depth look at the locale, it might be a better investment.

So what are you getting for your six dollars? Well, as I said, it’s mostly fiction. You get a four page fiction story about a beat cop and his encounter with some of the Tir princes. Then it’s JackPoint regulars talking about the movers and shakers within the Tir. This is done in a pretty amusing fashion through the use of a Tir Tairngire marketing piece complete with “Grimmy the Grimoire” who reminds me a lot of the old paperclip with Microsoft Word that we all knew and despised. This JackPoint section goes on for thirteen pages and it mostly goes into the various princes and the main city of Portland/Cara’Sir. I really enjoyed the bit on the princes, but as always with a purely JackPoint article, it’s impossible to separate the in-game facts from the rumours and outright misinformation. As such, Gamemasters need to pick and choose what they want to take from this section. I like this as it lets you decide what’s “real” for your campaign, at least until CGL comes out with another supplement or adventure that confirms what is the truth in the meta-game. I will say that my one problem with this section is that it doesn’t feel like it was written by anyone who has actually lived (or even visited?) Portland. As an ex-resident of Portland, I found the bits on the actual city to read more like names were pulled from a Google search or Wikipedia which were then inserted haphazardly as opposed to any real research of the city. I had the same problem with the section on DeeCee (where I currently live) in Conspiracy Theories. I guess whenever I read a supplement or sourcebook on a location I want things to live up to the quality of White Wolf’s “By Night” books from Second Edition Vampire: The Masquerade. Still, if you’re a fan of Sixth World fiction, this is a really fun read.

The last five pages of the book are stats and mechanics for your Shadowrun campaign. If you’re not into the meta-game fiction, than that means you’re paying six bucks for four pages of content that you’ll actually use. Which is, suffice to say, not worth the asking price. I, however, really enjoy the fiction CGL puts out (sometimes more so than the actual crunch!), so I’m just happy to have both here! There’s a page of plot hooks, but it’s primarily a plug for Elven Blood, a series of five adventures that isn’t even out yet unless you went to PAX or GenCon. Personally I would have put the fiction in this supplement with the adventures of that con exclusive PDF to make a bigger book, but that’s just me. I do feel the plug for Elven Blood feels a bit odd, but at least they give you eleven plot hooks, even if they aren’t the best ones. From there we get three pages of NPC stats for easy use and then a third of a page on a magical society known as “The Moonlight Thorns.”

So all, in all, you’re not getting a lot for your six dollars. If you’re not a big fan of Shadowrun fiction, you can easily pass on this supplement. Fans of the Tir though may want to pick it up just to read the JackPoint bits and see if there is anything that they can glean out of it for their own campaign or even just a single adventure. It’s well written and you do get hints of things to come like the 2075 election and even a cameo by Harlequin. However, I can’t help being a bit disappointed considering Second Edition’s look at the same region and the fact this probably should have been bundled with Eleven Blood to make a larger, more useful sourcebook. Let’s call it a thumb’s in the middle. The Land of Promise is entertaining and a wonderful read if nothing else.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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