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Review: Why I Like Scarrport, City of Secrets

Review: Why I Like Scarrport, City of Secrets

Scarrport: City of Secrets is a supplement from Reality Deviant Publications that offers a “campaign cutout”, a single city that can easily be dropped into any campaign setting. For me, Scarrport was love at first sight.

In addition to a city full of plot hooks, inventive monsters, and and even new equipment, it also had elements I could pick and choose from. Here are five things in Scarrport that really stuck out for me.

1. FlexibilityScarrport: City of Secrets takes place in a generic setting, at the intersection of two rivers, so finding a place for it in your campaign world should be really easy. Plus, a handy two-page guide at the front of the book [More…]provides hints on how to remove or replace any elements that you don’t like (such as the steampunk themes, for instance).

2. New Character Races — The three races that come with Scarrport are incredible. The ghodon, descendents of the giants with elemental backgrounds, allow for some variety by having three distinct tribes, each with their own ability scores and racial powers. The otterkin (or ottarai) are a race of anthropomorphic otters that, though silly at first glance, really are a pretty cool concept. Scarrport is also home to gremlins, who are inventive and clever, and who come up with most of the steampunk inventions in the world. The gremlins are my least favorite, but it’s really no fault of their own; they just have nothing that makes them stand out against the other races.

3. New Character Class — Scarrport had me at “anthropomorphic otters”, but what really won me over was an entire new class to go with the setting. The elementalist enables you to create a character that (as expected) harnesses the powers of the four classical elements, in addition to forming a bond with one of them in particular.

The elementalist class is not perfect; I’m not a huge fan of some of the prerequisites for bonus damage. An Earth Turner (who forms a bond with the earth) can gain extra damage to their attack simply by not moving on their turn, but a Flame Mage has to be within 5 squares of lava, something that they can’t necessarily control. Still, that is something that can easily be fixed, and the fact that Reality Deviant wrote three races and one class for a single city (as opposed to Wizards of the Coast, who made two races and one class for the entire Forgotten Realms setting) really enhances the product.

4. Starting Adventure — The adventure that comes with the setting, “The Iron Lumberjack”, not only really helps you and your players get a feel for the setting, but also sets up a ton of plot threads that could easily be carried over an entire campaign. Although I can’t actually attest to how well it works in play, it is a well-written adventure that even incorporates a skill challenge and coolest of all, a mech that your characters can control.

5. Games of Chance — While not necessarily something that I need to see in all campaign settings, the appendix contained the rules for three games common in the gambling houses of Scarrport, and I thought they were great. It really made the setting more immersive, and it gave me a few plot hooks to use in Scarrport.

Has anyone else purchased Scarrport? What did you like about it, and are you looking forward to any more products like it? Let me know in the comments.

To learn more about Scarrport, read on…

Drop by RPG Now to pick up your copy today!

1 thought on “Review: Why I Like Scarrport, City of Secrets”

  1. Hi Aaron, thanks for the great review!

    I really liked working on the games of chance. My gaming group had a lot of fun playtesting them, to the point where I had to tell them to stop playing so we could get on with the adventuring session we had planned!

    One note, you said, “a Flame Mage has to be within 5 squares of lava, something that they can’t necessarily control.” The flame mage needs to be within 5 squares of any square which contains fire including lava, torches or a campfire. Also, many elementalist powers including an implement encounter power and an at-will also create fire on the battlefield. It is definitely something that a flame mage can control.

    On top of that, the elemental connection damage can be applied every turn for 1d4 damage. When the condition is met, this bonus goes up to 1d4 + 2. That way the elemtantalist is not terribly penalized for not meeting the condition, but is just more effective when he does. I tried to come up with a fun interesting way to encourage the elementalist to be connected to his element.

    Anywho, thanks for the great review. I’m glad you liked the book, I think Scarrport has got tons of great elements (pun intended!) that can be dropped into any campaign. It’s a smorgasbord for DMs looking to spice up their game. Have fun with it!

    Greg Tito

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