Erik Schmidt
Erik Schmidt

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This adventure is – surprise! – not for the faint of heart.

One of the best things about the Roadmap approach is that it gives SMV the ability to vary releases – which means we get a mix of setting books, expansions, and adventures. A few weeks ago the truly amazing Pneumancers supplement dropped. Now the time has come for another adventure, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

That’s right, the free PDF of Lex Talionis has arrived! Actually it’s not a single PDF, it’s four. The 32-page Lex Talionis adventure is accompanied by The Rotten Few – a 14-page description of a band of dangerous and highly-motivated zealots – and maps of the town of Ignatz and its surrounds.

The adventure takes place in The Protectorate, and can be played after Harm’s Way and/or Last Watch but they are not prerequisites.

While Harm’s Way and Last Watch incorporate metaplot elements, they are front and center in Lex Talionis. The events of Lex Talionis are set in motion by powerful politics and hidden agendas. Like rogue tectonic plates, four of the most powerful Cults in Europe are grinding against each other. Even after the tremor subsides, there will be aftershocks. Reading Lex Talionis gave me several ideas for how to eventually incorporate the scenario into my campaign. Because of its framing within the metaplot, it also gave me ideas for use beyond the scenario itself.

This is a dangerous adventure. Anyone who has played Degenesis for any length of time will know to look for danger before it finds them. That goes double for Lex Talionis. Player characters will need to be quite capable, and the players who run them will have to think on their feet and keep their wits about them.

As a GM one of the things I appreciate most about Lex Talionis is that the events are relatively straightforward, but the machinations behind them are more involved. This means I know I’ll be able to keep a handle on the adventure as I’m running it. The books also provide enough information about factional motivations and interactions that after the scenario ends, the scaffolding is in place for me to build plenty of followup action.

It should come as no surprise that the character development in Lex Talionis is deliciously evocative. The primary NPC is fearsome indeed, without being one-dimensional. The supporting cast are given just enough definition to make them pop, without being overly-detailed. And there’s one NPC whose fate is… well, I won’t spoil it.

Lex Talionis again demonstrates SMV’s ability to craft a propulsive adventure while adding meaningful context that further fills in this amazing game world. It’s an exciting read, and it’ll be even more exciting at the table.

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