Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mini-review: Points of Light II

Last week my copy of Points of Light II: The Sunrise Sea arrived at my friendly local game store. The first volume of Points of Light stands out as one of the great game books to come out in '08. Which really says something given that '08 was a banner year for neat-o gaming stuff. Rob Conley improves on the basic sandbox formula so excellently employed in the first volume.

Once again, the game mechanics are treated with a light touch. For benefit of 4e players the monsters are described as things like "4d12 giant crayfish (level 4 skirmisher)". I don't know what mechanically distinguishes a skirmisher from a controller or a brute, but it's no harder to ignore than similar oddness in old crap I use all the time, like the Arduin Grimoires. If you can't figure out on your own that Level 4 Skirmisher probably 4 Hit Dice then you should probably steer clear of third party materials in general.

In addition to PoL II have just plain more material (64 pages worth, up from 48 in the original), I'm really digging on the diifferent settings. The first one works as a fantasy version of the colonization of the New World, while another has a great potential for chopping through lost jungles with machetes, and a third is a bunch of islands begging for maritime adventure in the vein of Sinbad or Odysseus. And holy crap! The final setting is a giant ass volcano full of evil. It's almost like Conley wrote that one just for me.

So I give Points of Light II a heart recommendation. Not only is the material excellent but it looks just as easy to drop into a campaign as the original volume. I plan on using at least two of the PoL II sandboxes in my own home campaign.

You can get your copy of Points of Light II: The Sunrise Sea from your local game retailer or at the Goodman Games online store.