A few days after the release of the Carnival Row TV series, you can find reviews of these two links (Discount) (Bad), the homonymous RPG setting for Cypher System was promptly released. This raised more than one perplexity because of the unusual commercial maneuver, which can only be explained as a willingness to advertise the series.

carnival row

A TV series that doesn't delve into the setting

It all stems from the TV series "Carnival Row", which made its debut on Amazon Prime dividing viewers and critics. One of the biggest criticisms of the series was due to the fact that a world behind the events was clearly perceived but, due to plot needs or a limited number of episodes, it had not been possible to explore it. Many expressed themselves negatively regarding this aspect, but remained fascinated by what they had seen. We too Seekers of Atlantis were thrilled at the idea of ​​having, perhaps one day, a setting on Carnival Row. The Victorian atmospheres and the strong themes could have given rise to wonderful roles.

Release and partnership

To the surprise of the audience of the series, a few days after the Amazon Prime release, the setting of Carnival Row, of about thirty pages, was released for free for the Monte Cook Cypher System. The setting hovers over the rules, limiting itself to what is strictly necessary to be used with the reference system (not included in the pdf), and focuses all its attention on the history of the world of Carnival Row. It will be surprising to discover that there are religions, political alliances, laws that, unfortunately, have not been included in the series.

Is it worth reading the setting?

Reading the free pdf is recommended for anyone who chews English and loves the series, regardless of his willingness to use it for role-playing. The reasons behind this advice are very simple: the information contained inside is very important to understand the TV series, with interesting background and long historical treatises. To give an example, in the setting the origin of the unbeatable enemy known as The Pact is explained and the difference between the various races of the world is illustrated. We also find the map of the two main continents and the stories of major conflicts.

Carnival Row

Concerns about a free but complementary release

Reading that the author of the setting is the same as the series, one has to wonder what the purpose behind such an unusual release is. If it were a move similar to that of Disney with Star Wars, which aims to create a multimedia franchise in order to maximize earnings, the setting would have been paid. Instead in this case we are faced with a release of comics and RPG material completely free, a clear sign that the intent cannot be cheap. The only logical explanation that remains on the table is the promotion of the TV series, in support of which a special multimedia plan has been created.