The Forbidden Lands will never be the same - a Mephisto review
With the disappearance of the deadly Bloodmist, the Forbidden Lands' situation has changed greatly, as now traveling in the region is no longer a deadly danger. Accordingly, the time has come for the power structures in the region to change. Various factions are striving to defeat their enemies once and for all or to take over the region. From the ancient, monstrous ruler Zyterra, to demons and a dwarven princess, to the emerging orc empire, various power groups pursue their goals and pursue ancient legends - including the legend of the elven crown Stanengist, which promises dominion over the Raven Lands...
Raven's Purge is an extensive campaign module for Forbidden Lands. Still, it stays true to the game's basic principle of providing a sandbox for the players and letting the player characters drive the stories. The book first explains the legend of Stanengist and introduces the various power groups and their interests. This is followed by twelve locations that are comprehensively introduced. Each of these places offers different introductions, different characters, maps and descriptions, and events. What exactly happens in these places, however, is up to the players. Few of these locations offer the players a clearly defined goal. Rather, they provide a stage for the adventures and goals of the player characters.
Thus, even the various non-player characters cannot usually be divided into allies and enemies. Rather, the encounters in these places and the characters' goals over the course of the campaign define the relationships so that there are allies alongside enemies in the end. Even though the locations provide parts of the larger story, they are mostly independent of each other. Only one location is set aside for the finale, taking a bit of the freedom away from the players, although the outcome of events can vary even here. Even if some of the individual locations only tell small stories and legends, the campaign itself turns out to be epic and will forever change the Forbidden Lands.
I enjoyed Raven's Purge concept and realization immensely. Of course, the book is more of a construction kit with locations that offer glimpses of the larger game world. This kit means work for the game master and the players: Here, the players have to drive the plot, and the game master has to bring together an epic campaign from the ideas and the players' plans. Although many of the locations can enrich the game beyond the epic campaign, this book is perfect for harnessing the open game approach's potential and the background for an epic campaign. For Forbidden Lands players that want to experience the canonical setting, this volume is thus mandatory.