||What can say about this gem ? As soon as I started reading it I was hooked with ideas galore springing up as to what I could do with it. Georgian London combined with the cosmic horror of the Cthulhu Mythos is a a very potent setting which, like Cthulhu by Gaslight, lends itself to occult mysteries very well.
First Impressions : Good and evocative artwork sets the scene for what is inside the covers. Pages are well laid out and I found that the page background art complimented the writing/font choice well rather than being a distraction.
Introduction : Well written and gives a solid idea of what type of stories can be told with this setting.
Chapter One - London : Informative and entertaining. It gives a good overview of London including fashion, culture, politics, morality and The Bow Street Runners. Do be warned though : It does cover some more Adult subjects than other games in the Renaissance line but it all fits in with the setting. The maps are superb and the locations are well researched. It reminded me of the Victoriana supplement : The Smoke in many ways which is certainly not a bad thing. As a sideline here I would love to see a seperate supplement going into yet more details of the sights & sounds of 1750 London (or other cities) if it was done in the same manner as found here.
Chapter Two - Character Creation : Good additions and options to the core Renaissance rules. This includes Runners & Consultants (the main type of characters that players will be generally using) as well as new skills
Chapter Three - Factions : A large number of new and retakes on existing Factions including my favourite: The Association which made an appearance in the Clockwork & Cthulhu Setting book. These are well written and thought through lending another dimension to the rules.
Chapter Four - The Mythos : The Cthulhu Mythos as it is in the 1700's. It is good to see The Dreamlands here and the way the Magic system works within the Renaissance rules framework. It is written in such a way that someone with no real knowledge about HPL will easily be able to portray the horror aspects within the game.
Chapter Five - Bestiary : A good mix of Mythos and Non-Mythos creatures are listed here including another favourite the Moon Beast. The "core" deities are covered in this section too. Each entry in this chapter contains good information rather than a couple of lines which I am really pleased about.
Chapter Six - Adventures : So as not to spoil things I will simply say Very impressed. Lots of seeds and NPC's followed by a full length scenario called "Gin & St Giles" which looks like a cracker !
Finally we have some ready-to-play Characters so you can jump straight in to play.
Summary : As much a fan as I am of the Renaissance line I think this is the best so far. It combines historical setting with horror and investigation. It also will fit smoothly in with the Core Rules to provide further Character options and it could then be the basis for so many differing styles and genres of play from swashbuckling to political to espionage and more. I would love to see this supported with additional material.
Another superb release from Messers Cakebread and Walton. THE Purveyors of Fine Imaginings.
[5 of 5 Stars!]