Skyraiders of Abarax is the new setting for 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, conceived by Tracy e Laura Hickman, well known names. In fact, anyone who frequents the environment of the RPG and D&D knows inside out the environments created by Tracy Hickman, among which Dragonlance and the world of Krynn and Stradh Von Zarovich stand out and his dominion over Ravenloft, Barovia.
But what makes this new product so interesting, at least in my eyes, that it is likely to find the light soon? Let's take a closer look at it!
Skyraiders of Abarax and its innovations
I do not deny that at the beginning, when I first looked at the project, I was somewhat skeptical. It felt like yet another High-Fantasy setting with a sprinkle of technology that makes ships fly. In short, nothing that we hadn't already got to see with Eberron.
And instead, continuing to read more carefully, a real novelty appears: the Living Tome System. It is a digital integration to the project born from the idea of a startup based in Utah where Tracy Hickman had worked in the past with one of the developers Joe Bourrie.
What will you ever do with this app that certainly will you download to your mobile devices? It's easy to say! Inside the manuals, the map, the dice there will be QR codes and images that can trigger events during the game, increase the history and knowledge of the setting, as the exploration continues, or mini- games during patrols.
How do you see the possibility of actually picking a lock through the application itself? I'm not saying I find it exciting, but in the end they would use the cell phones for something useful during the session!
Rumors report that thanks to this system the possibility of guiding ships is also guaranteed.
I remember that in the past some board games had tried to insert cross-media between the game board and mobile phones, such as XCOM and the new edition of Descent, but having not had the opportunity to deepen these two games, I ask you readers if you know something more about it.
But let's go a little deeper into the history and setting of this new setting.
Setting and history
The manual of Skyraiders of Abarax presents the continent, where adventures take place, as a jumble of peoples and peoples. An eclectic and multicultural society born from the descendants of criminals, exiles and dissidents abandoned by some airships on the island of Abarax.
No one is from the island, all have been relocated here and then, from one day to another, the airships stopped arriving. First the population began to speculate on the reasons for this then, with the passage of time, fear began to spread. As basic necessities no longer arrived on the island, the population began to fight to grab the resources necessary to survive the harsh climate of the island. As a final act, the jailers released the prisoners and sought a way to collaborate with them. The differences were quickly put aside, crops began, the population reinvented itself and finally began to thrive.
The descendants of the first prisoners and jailers still speak of fabulous lands beyond the sea and hope that the airships will once again be able to sail the skies.
The stormy and treacherous sea that divides Abarax from the continent currently does not allow the local population to move. The airships that stand out on the cover of the manual, however, herald the possibility of exploring this new world!
But when we go to fund this product, what could we actually take home?
Skryraiders of Abarax and its Almanac, which will contain all the rules for the creation of the characters, their ancestry, the information of the setting, the culture and the professions. The latter are not exactly the classes we have been used to playing, but rather guidelines for creating characters in line with what we really want to interpret without the stakes that a class imposes.
The game also features a new alignment system, here called “Ethos”, a word borrowed from the Greek, to indicate the character or mental or ethical disposition of the characters.
In addition to the already mentioned Living Tome, you can choose to take home there Living Scroll, cards and dice. In short, potentially a nice booty! Of course, we are not used to certain prices in our country, but the material seems to live up to expectations, compared to certain other projects that turned out to be very disappointing in the final act. Yup, Talislanta, I'm talking about you!
Conclusions on Skyraides of Abarax
Was I impressed with this project? Yes, without a doubt!
Did the presence of Tracy and Laura Hickman awaken memories in me? Of course!
I've played and read too much Dragonlance to not be a real fan. Will I have time to play it? Maybe not, but by now I don't play almost anything anymore ...
The presence of Joe Manganiello he also manages to make me digest that designer, Larry Elmore, who has always collaborated with Margareth Weiss and Tracy Hickman. And if you want to know the reason for so much hatred towards a designer who marked the "golden age" of D&D, all you have to do is contact me in private!
I invite you to take a leap into the Kickstarter page of the project to test the proposal with your own eyes. Rest assured, it's not the usual Eberron. Personally I think it is more a cross between Gothic and Arcanum and for that alone it deserves attention!