Glimpse of the Abyss

Naah, that would be Robert Jordan. The writer that would take a whole page to describe a woman crossing arms... again, and again, and again, and again, the same damned arm-crossing through a thousand page book of a twelve-book series. :open_mouth: :angry: :imp:

  1. :smiley:

So... the book should be out on shelves now.

Any thoughts/impressions/comments?

(I'd be particularly interested in feedback from anyone that ran the scenario.)

It's a little disconcerting to see that my groups make up a little over half of the playtesters.

Nicely laid out book, though. Different from previous ones, but it just seems slightly easier on the eye somehow. I kind of miss the full-page pictures, and I think some of the monsters (the Industrial Demon and Ti Kan) would have made better raw material for truly kick-ass pictures than some of the ones chosen.

There's enough material to prevent me from running out of ideas for Lotus summons for quite a while.

My copy of Glimpse arrived a week ago. So there hasn't been an opportunity to run the set scenario.

The layout is really quite good, I have to agree. I think there could have been a couple more player archetypes, but there's enough info to jimmy together a good mid-point.

I think what I'm enjoying the best right now is that there are plenty of creature schticks in the book. It was a bit of an expectation that I had, and am glad I wasn't let down.

I'm about halfway through and it is really a top flight book. Creative, flexable and playable. With one exception. :angry: I was extremely disappointed by the transformed dog. 'Hump' is simply insulting. None of the other animials in the other books are played for crude laughs like this, why pick on the dog? I can not see how this schtick could be used without totally destroying the suspension of disbelief. At best you would get a flurry of dirty jokes around the table .

I am working on an alternate schitck based on the dog player choosing a master. Something like 'Johnney no!' mixed with the bodyguards unique.

So what did you think of the dog?

In case you missed it, Atlas has posted a missing section from my scenario in Glimpse, "Chains of Bone".

This is a list of Cool Things That Could Happen in the Hall of Judement. I was actually hoping that the PCs would open up more doors as part of combat stunts, but in playtesting it became obvious that the PCs equated "opening doors = bad".

I wish I'd been able to work in more about the Mirror of Retribution and some of the other courts, but I wasn't able to work it in under the word count. The Mirror of Retribution is mentioned a couple times, but it's never really explained what it does.

The beliefs about the Chinese underworld differ quite a bit depending on if you're looking at Buddhist (often non-Chinese in origin) or Taoist (based on more traditional Chinese mysticism) texts.

This would have been my take on the Mirror of Retribution:

When someone dies, they are brought before Qin Guan Wang and their soul is judged by looking into the mirror. For most souls, their transgressions are weighed, and the Mirror reveals which chamber is best suited for punishment. The soul is then taken to that chamber, and their sentence is carried out. Once it is complete, they may return to the mirror, get a new punishment, and go to another chamber.

Eventually, a soul will work off all his punishments, and goes to the Eighth Court of Hell, where Du Shi Wang takes you to the top of the Tower of Homesickness. This tower is tall enough to see any location on the earth, so you get to watch how your family is doing without you. This is your last glimpse of your former life before you sent to the Ninth Court of Hell, where you fall into the Hell of the Iron Web, trapped by a mesh of metal wires while Ping Deng Wang examines your case and issues a final judgement. If you have commited one of the Ten Unpardonable Sins, you'll be stuck in Di Yu forever. Otherwise, Ping Deng Wang may send you to the Tenth Court so that Zhuang Lun Wang can determine what form your next reincarnation will take. Once decided, Meng Po gives you the Five-Flavored Tea of Forgetfulness, which causes you to forget everything from your previous life, including your time in Hell. You are then strapped to the Wheel of Life, spun around and flung into your new life.

If a soul looks into the Mirror of Retribution and is deemed particularly good, heroic, or worthy, then two things can happen. If they're just ordinarily a good person, kind heart, and so forth, then a Silver Bridge appears and they get to walk across to the Silver Heaven. This is a village where good-hearted folks live out the rest of their lives in quiet contentment.

If a soul is extraordinarily heroic or supremely pure of heart, then the Golden Bridge appears and they get to walk up into the Golden Heaven. This is where the Jade Emperor holds his court and the rest of the Chinese gods reside.

It's a hoot - a credit to the writers and the game. As usual there are a few Schticks that are completely broken, but that's traditional for Feng Shui. There are several that are just grand, and the shear volume of potential adversaries for the PCs, and novel Schticks, is going to to completely invaluable. Really top quality stuff - thank you!

Cheers for your work on this! Not run the scenario yet, but it looks interesting (and, even if I don't run, has some good idea seeds).

Overall, I'm liking it - especially as I'm drafting up a campaign where monster/demon-hunting is a major thing, so the additional Creature Powers are really handy. However, two things crossed my mind ...

  1. From the description of the Zombify schtick, under the Corpse Factory, it looks like the Zombie Drone should also have this schtick - except it's not listed. Anyone else feel that this was probably just a typo?

  2. The Shapeshift schtick (listed with Twilk & Casbit) seems to make Transformation pretty irrelevant. One pick of Transformation, and you have one specific alternative form. One pick of Shapeshift, and you can appear to be anything you want - you don't gain their abilities, but wouldn't you keep your own? (Admittedly, you don't sound like them, but ...) Also, this seems to make Mask of Humanity (from Golden Comeback) really unnecessary/overpriced.