April 23, 2024

#UnboxingDay ~ Fateforge Encyclopedia

Brant Guillory, 20 January 2022 ~ #UnboxingDay

I had to go look.  This Kickstarter campaign closed in April of 2021, with expected delivery in June of 2021.  It arrived yesterday.

A victim of the global shipping crisis, this project has been literally stuck on a dock for months.  What didn’t happen though?  The campaign never left anyone in doubt what was happening, or what they were doing to get the books to people.  Whether it was releasing PDFs or providing tracking updates for their containers, the folks running this Kickstarter were very communicative.

So what were we all waiting for?

click images to enlarge


The entire Kickstarter at the “average mortal” level (no foil embossing or other gee-whiz stuff) got you the Encyclopedia book, a folio of maps, a couple of nice art cards showing the standard and alternate book covers, a thank-you card from the creators, a solid metal bronze-color die, and a couple of minis.



This is the 5e-compatible Encyclopedia that covers the Fateforge “house world” of Eana.  This one covers 4 large ‘areas’ of the world, but makes no effort of be overly-comprehensive of the entire planet, or even contiguous areas within the world.  They were just picking and choosing what to include and while it’s not the most coherent approach, it does give players (and readers) a wide scope of coverage to read.


Yep, there’s a lot here.  Just the table of contents runs 3 pages.



What’s nice are the information icons that are used throughout the tome to help guide you through the information.


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The first part of the book covers The Free City, with a nice map, and deep dives into various facets of life in the city.  Note that these are only 4 spreads out of 60-odd pages just on The Free City.


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The rest of the book is equally-attractive, with an abundance of info that hopscotches around the world, but never leaves you lacking for details.


One slight quirk: some of the background details that are printed into the pages to make them look weathered end up leaving you with the visual impression that there’s some damage in the middle of your book along the spine.  There’s not, but it sure looks like it.



The map folio looks like another book.



But the slip-sheet on the back tells you that’s not what’s inside.



There’s a lot of maps in here.  And those maps are niiiiiiice.



The four ‘regional’ maps correspond to the four main sections of the book.



Although not fully linked, or even compatibly-scaled, some areas of the book are actually closely-located in the world.



The city maps for various outlying locations are all very attractive, but there’s not always a ton of descriptive detail behind them.


There’s a nice thank-you card with a die-cut front ‘cover’ and the two art cards are very attractive, but let’s face it, they’re functionally useless.



Ah yes, the little stuff.  Everyone loves a cast-metal die.  I’ve got a few, and now I’ve got another.  But those little figures?  Pretty sure that’s just someone’s 3d-printer project.  How do I know?  Because one of those “sorry-we’re-running-late” things they sent were the .stl files to print them yourself.



Whatever little fox-with-wings thing this was supposed to be is a pretty solid little figure, even it’s a pretty small scale for almost any other minis you’ve got.



Just in case you want to role-play Charlotte’s Web, you’ve got Wilbur.



And yeah, there’s a squirrel.  Why?  To distract you, of course.


All in all, I’m not unhappy with the overall package, even if it’s 8-9 months late.  There are perfectly understandable reasons why they’re running behind, and I even pitched in the extra $10 to help cover increased shipping when they gave backers that option.  I’m looking forward to spending some time reading through this one, as it’s clearly a masterpiece of graphic design and I’m hoping the text lives up to the look of it.

Thanks for joining this month’s #UnboxingDay with the Armchair Dragoons and we hope you enjoyed our recon of our recent acquisitions.  You can always leave us your feedback in our #UnboxingDay thread, or in the comment area on this article, below.
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Brant G

Editor-in-chief at Armchair Dragoons

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