Game: The CrossRoads of Eternity RPG – Core Rule Book
Publisher: Arcadiam Games
Series: The CrossRoads of Eternity RPG
Review Dated: 7th, August 2005
Reviewer’s Rating: 7/10 [ Good ]
Total Score: 16
Average Score: 8.00
So I picked this new game up at Origins this year and overall I’m pretty impressed. For a new company just hot off the press they represent themselves very well and are simply fanatical about their product which is simply contagious. The system itself as a unique mechanic but has a lot of familiar elements from paladium, white wolf, west end games, gurps, D&D classic and D20 systems, but they put it together in a new and interesting way. The character generation is nice as you get tons of options for your starting character and you end up with characters which can actually do something as opposed to some systems where you really can only do two or three things with that character. It is an experience based level up system which lets you build your character in relation to the tasks performed rather than following a level up tree which is refreshing. There are so many skills, weapon proficiencies and spells that it’s hard to imagine coming up with the same exact character as another person.
The storyline and setting is a bit vague however, as this core book only has a few pages of background and setting information, a concern which I later put to rest after visiting their website. They have massive amounts of material for free on their site which really fills out the game, and they seem to be adding a bunch of cool stuff every week. Generally I like having all the background material right there on hand, but I suppose the rulebook is really just a mechanical guide and the site gives the living breathing elements of the storyline.
The book comes with this great 18″ x 24″ fold out color map of the world they call Rivium, which is a bit hard to read in a couple places but overall is very cool as they make allot of references to factions and locations from this map on their web site. The time line and setting seems a bit vague as well but when I e-mailed and asked about that they were very prompt to tell me that a free supplement which has a working timeline and world setting expansion will be released very soon. the story which is there is very interesting at least and does make me want to hear more about it and see what develops.
The system itself, to get back to that, is very smooth when it comes to skills, they use a dot based system to boost attributes which pertain to specific skills and most things are opposed roll based on who you are performing the action against. They have left out a definitive list on what specifically to roll against what skill, but the attributes are so common sense that it should be obvious that you roll WILL against an interrogation roll.
The weapon skills for the combat system are a little complex and confusing at first but overall I love the fact that the effectiveness of a weapon is based on your skill with it and not the quality of the weapon itself. There are also many ways you can build up your combatant with several supporting skills and boosting of your speed and what not.
Magic has an excellent experience curve built into it as it’s easy to gain power early on but increasingly hard as you become more powerful.
They have a few mechanical problems and minor issues with a few missing elements which are refereed to in the book, but most of those they have already address with errata on their website and they say they are taking care of the other minor issues which is nice. As far as mechanics go with a few months of customer suggestions I think they’ll have a great system on their hands. It seems that they are more than willing to support their product and listen to what their customers have to say which is awesome! So overall I gave them a 7. I think this game is certainly worth the $24.99 and they even have a PDF version for less than $10 if you wanna try it out before buying it. They even refund you that price if you buy the printed copy later which is also very convenient. Check them out, you won;t be sorry.