I’d been thinking how I could feature the new Sword of Cepheus print book, building it into a more substantial article and I realised I hadn’t covered one of the SoC supplements. So here we are; a Sword of Cepheus double review:-
The original SoC rules are aimed at a human-centric world, for the purposes of player-character generation and magic use. However, most fantasy role-playing games include the opportunity to role-play non-human characters such as the ‘traditional’ humanoid characters such as elves or dwarves, or more unusual creatures depending on the setting. To address this Stellagama Publishing have released their ‘Non-Humans’ supplement, which is available from DriveThru RPG for $1.99 in PDF format; there is no print option available. The book, authored by Omer Golan-Joel contains 30 pages and starts off with a short introduction and notes compatibility with Cepheus Light; so if you want demihumans in your sci-fi adventures, then this could be of use to you!
The book is structured with two pages per demihuman, plus a text description describing them physically and a bit of background history. In addition, specific abilities and appropriate game stats are listed on the first page. The second page of each demihuman lists the necessary charts to generate a player character as per standard Cepheus Light rules, including mishaps and events.
You get a dozen non-humans included in the book, including:-
A particular favourite is the ‘Revenant’; an undead creature that is free-willed to persue whatever monstrous aim they have; I can see some interesting player characters or NPCs being developed from this creature. For each demihuman, there is an illustration of what they look like, with exception of the Troll which is shown only as a blank silhouette, which I found a bit puzzling; shame there isn’t a full image for the last creature in the book. I should point out there are some very nice illustrations (including the very striking cover), all in monochrome contributed from a number of artists and the public domain.
The book is short, sweet and to the point; it doesn’t attempt to create massive backgrounds for the demihumans featured, but simply show what the differences are in the game stats and give you the tools to develop your own background for the creatures featured (thats unintentional, honest). Criticisms are minor, it would have been nice to have some consistency across the heights and weights statistics to get an idea of the physical aspects, as only some have this information mentioned. I also noticed the odd typo which I’m sure will be corrected in future update. At the price, this is an essential purchase to expand your Sword of Cepheus world and would even prove useful for a non-fantasy setting in Cepheus Light. I would like to thank Omer Golan-Joel for kindly sending me a copy to review.
Sword of Cepheus Print Book
Onto the second part of my review; after a very long (and understandable wait, due to COVID-19) I was able to order a copy of the softcover book as soon as it was released on the weekend of the 12-13th of September. It is available from Drivethru RPG for $14.99 and contains 140 pages. I’m not going to repeat myself by going over the rules again, as I’ve already covered these in my two-part review of SoC:
The book contents are in monochrome but the cover features a rather attractive and atmospheric colour illustration of a dragon attacking a warrior, protecting themselves with some sort of magical force shield. The book arrived by the end of the working week, which is a very good turnaround considering it is print-on-demand. Taking a random snapshot of the page numbers and layout comparing the PDF and the print book, it appears there has been no change to the layout at all. All the page numbers in the PDF correspond to the print book exactly. The book size is A4 (210x297mm) and measures just under 8mm in thickness.
Plenty of content to read…
The paper quality and print reproduction is excellent and as it is based on the ‘Revision 6’ PDF release, you can be sure this has had plenty of editing and typos ironed out.
Only minor quibble is the right edge of the book appears to have been ‘chopped off’ a bit too much as the ‘Cepheus Engine – Compatible’ logo is incomplete.
However I’m very pleased with the print release of Sword of Cepheus, its met my expectations and has been worth the wait. I would consider this a definite purchase if you’re looking for a new set of 2D6 fantasy gaming rules!