Journey To Ragnarok is an adventure and setting module for the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, with enough material to accompany the characters from level 1 to 15. We are talking about an Italian product of all respect, capable of involving the parties of players in countless adventures before the journey to Ragnarok even begins!
Structure of the Manual
Journey to Ragnarok is made up of 336 pages, the result of over fifteen years of research and documentation. In addition to the preface, written by none other than Francesco Nepitello and Zoltar of Sage Advice, the manual can be divided into five macro areas that we will briefly discuss.
Introduction to the Nine Worlds
This first part of the manual serves to familiarize players with the concept of Ragnarok, with the Norse "morality", very different and far from ours, and to introduce the nine worlds to non-experts in the mythology of Thor, Odin, Tyr and Loki . In addition to the quality with which it was written, its reading is recommended for experts and beginners of the Norse pantheon. Entering the view that death in battle is something desirable for the characters is not easy for our Hellenic-Latin culture.
The peoples of Midgard
This section deals with the six main clans of the game, all very well characterized and different from each other, together with the classes and the eight new backgrounds presented in the setting manual. The classes have been expertly rewritten in Norse sauce, giving each of them the opportunity to have a flavor different from the classic medieval one. The Master of the Runes is also introduced, linked to the mechanics of the same name that distinguishes this title.
Journey to Ragnarok
This part of the manual will accompany the masters and players on the path to Valhalla's eternal glory and, perhaps, much further. Starting as a common adventurer, the characters will have to build their fame before being called on to embark on a journey that they will not understand at the beginning but that will shape the world of Journey to Ragnarok.
This is undoubtedly the most massive part of the manual, which combines a detailed analysis and explanation of the nine worlds with maps, meetings and cards. In addition to the general characteristics and the map of the individual world, each section deals with the mood that the master should try to evoke at the table, so as to make the cold winds of Niflheimr and the burning heat of Musphellheimr feel on the players' skin.
Magic Objects and Runic Divination
This section of the manual deals with all the magical objects that characters could encounter on their way, including some legendary weapons such as Mjolnir and Gungnir, with a detailed card and ways to handle them. In many cases, a simple mortal hand will not be enough to get the full power of legendary artifacts of this type. The chapter on Runic Divination follows, which obviously recalls the class of the same name and constitutes a unique mechanism introduced in this manual. Also behind this choice of game design there are behind studies and meticulous attention to the mood that should enter the game. The result is surprising and absolutely worth trying.
Character sheet, Creator Token and Pronunciation of names
This last part obviously sees the character sheet, with some small graphic tricks that recall the setting, the references to the backers who have chosen to support the project with a Creator Token and, absolutely interesting, a guide to the pronunciation of the names. Unless you are a linguist with specific studies on the subject, you will like to learn to read correctly the names you will read throughout the manual. In addition to knowing how to pronounce them properly, you will also learn the meaning of some words.
The world of Midgard is immersed in Fimbulvetr, the great winter that precedes Ragnarok. The characters, belonging to one or more clans, each with their own agenda to carry out, move in an icy land. Resources are few and the winds of war can ignite at any moment. Only hostile conditions and the knowledge that Ragnarok is approaching invite clan leaders to be cautious and wise.
But Journey to Ragnarok involves all nine worlds, so the characters are invited to Odin's house, to the halls of Hel, to the icy lands of Niflheimr and to the lava lands of Musphellheimr.
What does Journey to Ragnarok offer again?
Rarely has we seen such a complete and inspirational adventure and setting manual. The party could live entire campaigns without ever leaving Midgard or traveling, exploring and learning from the god of deception himself. The reader's imagination is continually stimulated and stimulated with inputs for quests, adventures and campaigns. To this obviously adds the charm of the setting that gave birth to the fantasy genre itself. Runes mechanics are quick to learn and easy to put into practice by simply following the instructions. It follows the concepts of the myth and of various rune reading manuals, showing the attention paid to game design.
The faces behind Journey to Ragnarok
When it is said that Journey to Ragnarok is an Italian product, we cannot only mention the author Michele Paroli, who has done an admirable job, the artist Andrea Guardino, whose cover has recently been "cited" for its beauty , and the work of Need Games as an Italian publishing house. Talking about Journey to Ragnarok means opening the Credits page and reading about the great faces of role-playing games in Italy. Impossible not to notice the names of Andrew Lucca ed Henry Romeo, by Alex Melluso and Andrea Bergamelli, by Matteo Pedroni and Nicola De Gobbis.
To date, Journey to Ragnarok has two introductory adventures and an episode campaign currently being published. For anyone wishing to try their hand at playing them all, there will be over ten products available that can more than fully cover the entire part on Midgard of the Journey. Added to this are the master screen and a Journey to Ragnarok artbook. You can find everything on the site Need Games or the base game Thu.
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