Different countries, different vaesen - a Mephisto reviewEdit
Mythic Britain & Ireland
With Mythic Britain & Ireland, a sourcebook for Vaesen has been published, which is about moving the game's setting from Scandinavia to England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Of course, this region is very suitable for Vaesen since, on the one hand, the heart of the industrialization of Europe beats here, and on the other hand, the region is probably more familiar to players than Scandinavia due to its presentation in movies, books, etc. Players should be better acquainted with this region than with Scandinavia at that time.
First, the book introduces the four countries and covers aspects such as industrialization and social development. In addition, there are details on how the somewhat complicated monetary system works or how to incorporate social classes into the game regarding rules. Of course, the book looks at the various cities, which are briefly described but usually come with a local legend that can inspire the game. A large part of the description is, of course, devoted to London, which is introduced more comprehensively and again offers various points of connection and reference for the game. Some fictional and real celebrities, as well as a larger list of mysterious places, round out the ideas presented here. In addition, a more extended section is dedicated to the aspect of fairies from Celtic mythology, which introduces legends like the Wild Hunt, the Shidhe, and other fairy creatures in more detail once again.
The second chapter revolves around the organization to which the player characters belong, which for this region is the Apollonian Society, founded by John Dee, which pursues supernatural entities similar to the Order of Artemis. In fact, the Apollonian Society is also in contact with the Order of Artemis, so theoretically, it is also possible to have a game in which the characters are active as guest agents in another region. Besides the description of the society and its historical development, its base, Rose House, is also introduced, which has some secrets to offer. Three new archetypes - the Athlete, the Entertainer, and the Socialite - round out the chapter and provide more character options that fit perfectly into the setting.
The third chapter offers very specific game material, in this case, more vaesen for player characters to face. Here, you will find an arsenal of mythical creatures from Celtic and British legends, such as the Banshee, the Knocker, the Pixie, the Selkie, and many others. The book also provides notes on how vaesen, already published in the basic rule book, can be adapted accordingly for the setting.
So that gaming groups can get started right away, there are three adventures for the setting, but these could generally be moved to Scandinavia with a few minor changes. In the first adventure, Old Meg, a girl, has been found dead. Her fiancé is suspected of being involved. Thus, conflicts arise between the two families and between the population and the police, who are not pulling in the same direction in the investigation.
The Llantywyll Incident, the second adventure, moves the action to Wales, where an accident has occurred in a slate mine after a priest has held mass there. The mine is closed for the moment, threatening the economic existence of the village. Here, ancient superstition and Christian religion collide.
In The Hampstead Group, the player characters are hired by a young woman looking for her brother, who has disappeared from a hedonistic artist colony. Here, the player characters must find out where the young man has gone.
All three adventures have in common that, as is usual for Vaesen, they focus heavily on investigative work and drive the players to find a solution that is not simply to find and fight vaesen. Combative confrontation is usually not a valid solution. All three adventures capture the local atmosphere well and offer exciting stories that fit the setting perfectly but could theoretically be set in Scandinavia.
Thus, Mythic Britain & Ireland offers an excellent sourcebook for Vaesen. Gaming groups that have so far found it difficult to use the somewhat unfamiliar Scandinavian setting will get a background here that will make it much easier to get started. The small rule additions are not essential but enhance the game. With the chapter about other vaesen, the game gets even more challenging. There are three adventures for actual play, which are very varied and offer exciting challenges. In addition, they can be integrated into an existing campaign if the player characters act as local guests or because the game master can simply move them to Scandinavia with a few adjustments.
This makes the book an excellent addition that enriches the game in many ways. For those who have previously put Vaesen on the back burner because of its background, here is an opportunity to play in probably more familiar regions. For Vaesen fans, the book is a definitive recommendation anyway.