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Review – Dragonslayer Pantheon (updated)

8 December, 2013

The Dragonslayer Pantheon products by Chubby Monster Games are designed by author Andrew Shields to be incorporated into existing game worlds and provide a new take on one of the religions attached to a god.  Each religious order presented includes the common knowledge about the order as well as the secret knowledge of the initiated, non-player characters tied to the order, its practices, suggestions for power levels and adventure hooks using the order and advice for incorporating the group into an existing setting.

Dragonslayer Pantheon: Order of the Sacred Deep is a mystery cult dedicated to keeping the secrets of the caves and under-earth, secret.  They are shadowy but not evil, though their action could easily prove disruptive to adventurers, they are not overly confrontational -in most cases- more an annoyance.  Yet they could also become allies under certain circumstances.  A very flexible group that could be entirely overlooked by player character yet could still impact them in interesting ways.  Also, this volume, the first of the Dragonslayer Pantheon products is free, so you can try it without risk and see if the structure and layout appeal to you.

Dragonslayer Pantheon: The Brass Horseshoe is a branch of a warrior cult which knows that wars are not won by courage alone, training, discipline, and logistics win wars far more often.  The Order of the Brass Horseshoe seeks to provide and perfect those skills to anyone going to war, seeking perfection in their craft and efficiency in war and in clearing up its aftermath.  There is a good question and answer section about how the members of this sect view war and their place in it.  The Brass Horseshoe Order is extremely useful allies but it is a pain if they are aiding your enemies.

Dragonslayer Pantheon: The Stitching Church is more a network of preachers and agents dedicated to the god of pain and suffering who seek to free people of service to the cruel gods, to seek the divinity within. They act to let people find their own path in the world, freed of the dictates of gods who cause naught but suffering and death to get their way. A few radical members of the church actively strive to weaken other religions but most members just try to lead people to a better and more peaceful way. Naturally, the Stitching Church is not usually welcomed by other faiths. It is an unusual faith and one that is suitable for stories and adventures out of the norm.

Dragonslayer Pantheon: The Silent Bite is a secret religious society of hunters and revolutionaries, dedicated to driving the corrupt from power and promoting the will of the goddess.  It is an aristocratic conspiracy that, at its best, seeks to break foreign domination, cull corruption and promote a meritocracy (through the better class of people of course), at its worst, it uses terror to maintain the aristocracy.  It is a group that could recruit the player characters or be in opposition to them or both.  It also includes a nifty random conspiratorial cell generator.

Dragonslayer Pantheon: The Cult of Summation seeks to reduce the knowledge of each individual life to a clear, concise and complete summary, unfortunately they tend to do so through the carefully applied arts of torture.  The Cult maintains prisons, libraries and torture chambers, usually in the same complex.  The Cult is pleased to serve their Goddess through these tasks, though direction is often given through visions that the cultists receive when undergoing near death experiences.  The Cult is unlikely to be friends of adventurers but they may be a place that prisoners can be housed and information gained, if one is willing to bend to the dictates of the Cult.  A map of the Prison Library of Stavrok Falls is also provided.

Dragonslayer Pantheon: The Temple of Celestial Revolution watches the stars, and when the time is right, they topple kings and destroy governments for all things must change, and power structures left to long corrupt and fester.  The Celestial Revolutionaries seem likely to end up in opposition to traditional adventurers as they seek to tear down the country in which the adventurers operate in, but the cult’s goals could align with others and allies are always welcome.  The Celestial Revolutionaries are also playing a long game of divine politics which could conflict with other aims or lead them to hire adventurers to advance that agenda.  Many options in play could arise from this militant cult.  A map of the Way Station of Nurlen, a staging post for the sect, is provided as well.

Overall, I think the Dragonslayer Pantheon product provides a useful set of ideas and options to spark adventure and interest in various religions in a game world.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review with the except of the Stitching Church which I purchased to complete the set.

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