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Castles & Crusades Town of Kalas $12.99 $9.74
Average Rating:5.0 / 5
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Castles & Crusades Town of Kalas
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Castles & Crusades Town of Kalas
Publisher: Troll Lord Games
by Jake P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/26/2013 12:37:48
I was surprised to like this as much as I do. As others have noted, this is a high magic setting, and I generally prefer lower levels of magic. The NPCs presented tend towards high stats and most have several levels of experience in some class or the other. Since I envision even a 1st level fighter (a "Veteran") to be a superior warrior to typical militiaman, having most shopkeepers be able to outfight lower level characters isn't something I care for. Worse, most of those same NPCs have one or (more often) several magic items, and most of them are stock items (lots of swords +1, etc.) without much color or "magic" to them, which I really dislike. Finally, the proofreading on Kalas certainly leaves a bit to be desired, and it gives the impression that it wasn't written for C&C, since the SEIGE engine makes nary an appearance (NPCs don't have prime attributes provided, etc.).

Most of those things are easily fixed. It's very easy to downgrade NPC stats and levels as needed. It's also easy to downgrade those +1 magic items to masterwork items, and it doesn't take too much work to provide additional color to the rest of the magic items, making the more "magical". Finally, assigning primes is dead simple, and the lack of SEIGE engine integration serves as a left handed boon to anyone not using Kalas with C&C.

So what's left is the meat of the book, which are the characterizations and hooks. And that's where Kalas is simply outstanding. There are many, many personalities that are distinct, interesting, and engaging, making the city of Kalas feel very alive. Furthermore, the city is so rife with adventure opportunities - many of them plainly laid out in lists that follow most of the building entries - that it makes the life of the referee nearly as easy as can be. The only problem in this regard is that the book was written more to be enjoyable to read than easily useable at the gaming table. The descriptions are more verbose than strictly utilitarian. Thus, Kalas is much more useful to referees that have time to read the whole book before use than to those winging it. For what it's worth, I found the author's writing to be quite enjoyable, so that problem is mitigated to a degree.

Overall, despite the upfront investment in time that Kalas will require for it to work well for me, the seemingly hundreds of quality adventure hooks, interesting characters, and useful tables have made this a very worthwhile purchase. Highly recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Town of Kalas
Publisher: Troll Lord Games
by Ken F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/14/2013 17:17:13
I am not a Castles and Crusades player, but I am always on the lookout for good material to entertain my players. The town of Kalas is a location that makes me want to use it, regardless of the system. The volume of fun, immediately usable ideas that Mr. Kidd has packed into eighty pages is remarkable. Interesting locations, nifty NPCs, and some unusual setting material all combine into a product that is well worth the investment.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Town of Kalas
Publisher: Troll Lord Games
by Steven C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/23/2012 19:01:23
This city is fun. Full of possibilities and a great sandbox for almost any style of adventure

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Town of Kalas
Publisher: Troll Lord Games
by Mark C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/09/2012 11:35:55
My players have been wandering around the wilderness for ages and complaining about a decent place where they can unload some of the coins and treasure they have been lugging around. I've been dragging my feet about giving them a place to do this as I want to make the location special for them, you know, filled with memorable characters and scenes, and some adventure hooks with perhaps a tad of danger. Unfortunately I do not have a lot of time to design a decent city so when the "Town of Kalas" popped up on my social network I immediately snagged a copy.

First, the town is a little more light hearted than most of the Castles and Crusades supplements are, it is more magical and the otherworldliness is thrown in your face from the get go. This is not a low magic, gritty medieval city; it is a robust town that embraces the things that are in the world and uses them in ways that make sense. Be warned, there are some grammar/spelling issues with this supplement, nothing that set me off and in fact one had me laughing a bit in regards to a master work quarterstaff, something I am certain will be corrected promptly.

Now to the meat of it; the city is dissected into various locations that we have all come to expect with Inns, merchants, ships, nobles, and other nefarious NPCs around every corner and under every street. I like this, it gives the place a great feel and the brief descriptions of each of the major players is not overly done and not too sparse, it is just right. The writer has a sense of humor and isn't afraid to let it show through in the area descriptions, if you like your supplements to read like banks statements you may want to steer clear of Kalas.

In addition to the usual descriptions of areas and NPCs, there is some attention given to what the locals do for fun. The Axe Beak races are brilliant, people love or hate sports and this one little detail around which most of the populace has an opinion is well done. Most of the areas where social interaction occur also have a variety of random tables to generate on the fly encounters that bring the setting to life. I'm particularly fond of the unique menus and drinks (and their possible affects) of each of the inns and the "Celebrating to Excess" table, where you can roll to find out where/what condition the character is in the next morning. ("These are not my pants!", classic!)

There is some mature type content here too, (brothels, prostitution, drinking, drugs), but it is easily left out if you're playing with younger players and the supplement as a whole deserves the highest rating. It seems geared towards 1st to 7th level player characters, but could easily be scaled up if your PCs like to make trouble.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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