Vaesen: Mythic Britain and Ireland

Over time, the nordic horror RPG”Vaesen” has won the interest of the public. After the publication of basic manual (now available in Italian) and the first expansion (“A Wicked Secret and Other Mysteries“), Fria Ligan has decided to release a third manual which combines the characteristics of the previous ones, in order to capture greater attention from the public. Is titled “Mythic Britain and Ireland and focuses on broadening the narrative to cover the whole of the UK. This review analyzes the key aspects of this manual and will try to understand if it deserves the interest of the readers.

The manual in question consisting of over 150 pages, presents four main themes: an expansion of the game setting, new playable archetypes, new threats and three pre-generated adventures, inspired by some of the enemies featured in this volume. The purpose of the text is to capture the interest of Storytellers and Playersthrough multiple playable mechanics.

The first element that stands out concerns the management of the expansion of the game. Vaesen has always focused its attention on Ireland, but with “Mythic Britain and Ireland” you want to treat the whole United Kingdom. This happens in the first and second chapter (from page 6 to about page 44), in an attempt to explain all the additional information.

Although the creatures in this manual are mainly related to the Irish world, there is a perception of their expansion throughout Englandwhich sees “monsters” of all kinds. This historical period, in fact, is the same as Jack the Ripperan element that allows us to understand the political and social complexity in which the players must act.

During the two chapters, some usable maps and various contents worthy of interest are proposed, which can be used at the discretion of the game group. Mechanics like Social Classes can be used at will, based on the situation.

“Vaesen: Mythic Britain and Ireland” does not describe the new playable locations in great detail, but focuses on a few areas. Describing them has two purposes: to give players ideas on how to manage large cities and to understand the key locations, which should be the players’ priority. The most interesting element of the description of the United Kingdom, however, lies in the section “Celebrity People”. From page 28 to page 30, players will have brief descriptions of famous and fictional characters who lived through this historical period, who may be involved in the players’ adventures. Propose an adventure with Sherlock Holmes, the inspector Frederick Abberline And Charles Dickens it is extremely intriguing, with incredible potential. Many of the contents dedicated to explaining the game world are extremely interesting, but to give the maximum they may require the integration of studies through external sources.

The second chapter of the manual is always related to the game world, although it focuses on Society. The authors explain the narrative development of this place (which, we recall, is the “base of operations” of the players) and new characters are proposed, which can broaden the players’ reactions. Some of these are well defined, while others are deliberately left in the dark.

The second interesting part concerns the player characters. The manual offers three new archetypes to play: the Athlete, the Entertainer and the Noble. These expand the options of the basic manual and have the same layout, in order to simplify the reading of the proposed contents.

Accompanying the expansion of the Archetypes, are new monsters that can be discovered during the games of Vaesen. The new book features over a dozen new creatures based on Irish and English folklorelike the Leprechaunsthe Selkie and the Banshees. As in the previous manuals, their stats, their special abilities and theirs are indicated Secrets: the key element that players must discover to contain the problems they can cause. Adding such a large number of threats allows for greatly expand their game campaignsintroducing a larger and more diverse amount of supernatural enemies.

Starting on page 84, players can read three preset adventuresbased on some of the dangers of this volume: the Witch (Hag)the Knockers and the Glaistig. The three proposed stories present one slightly larger amount of content than the adventures of “A Wicked Secret and Other Mysteries“, which can be completed between two and three sessions. As you can imagine, they can be easily integrated into a customized Campaign, with the necessary changes.

Vaesen: Mythic Britain & Ireland
The volume in question inserts an additional note to all the creatures that have already appeared in Vaesen’s old manuals. In fact, some of them may have differences between Ireland and England.

The most interesting element of “Vaesen: Mythic Britain and Ireland” it concerns the quantity of contents and materials proposed. By purchasing the text in question you will have access to an excellent amount of content – mainly narrative – which have been designed to expand the events in the game. To give some examples, the presence of a dozen new creatures and the presence of “variants” of the old threats allows the Narrator to create new stories, which adapt to new contexts. In addition, the entire section dedicated to the description of British cities offers a series of mysteries and special places, which can be used freely to get new inspiration on how to introduce the dangers of this game. Added to this are the “Celebrity People”: Famous figures who add extra charisma to Vaesen’s universe.

Another detail to take into consideration is what was said at the beginning of this article: the variety of elements involved. With this volume, in fact, players have access to new settings, new optional rules, ideas for Non-Player Characters (NPCs), narrative expansions of the Society, new Archetypes, new enemies and three pre-generated stories. They are about very varied elementsworthy of interest.

As you can imagine, This volume also has flaws. Leaving aside the fact that – at present – “Vaesen: Mythic Britain and Ireland” is only available in English, I would like to focus attention towards the environment management. As much as I appreciated the decision to offer explanations regarding the most important areas of the UK, I found it difficult to put the places indicated into context. This is probably because some areas have generic descriptions and are not supported by great visual examples, for example maps.

As for content management, the chapter that is least exploited is the second (the one related to the Society and the Archetypes). The first content mainly adds a new area and information about the development of the Company in the universe of Vaesenwhile the three Archetypes can be an expansion of low interest. I would have preferred more interest in thiswith some additional Archetypes and some mechanical expansion of the Society.

Vaesen: Mythic Britain & Ireland

Concluding, “Vaesen: Mythic Britain and Ireland” is a tabletop RPG that manages to convince the audiencedespite some choices. Anyone who purchases this manual will be able to expand the events throughout the UK, as well as have over a dozen potential supernatural creatures to use during games.

Despite the descriptions of new cities and the descriptions of the Society may be poor, are extremely helpful in enhancing the entire gaming experience. To this are added three new Archetypes, three pre-generated stories and various optional rules, to be used in case of need. Recommended purchase.

Vaesen: Mythic Britain & Ireland

Vaesen: Mythic Britain and Ireland – Review

PRO

Varied amount of content

Presence of additional and optional mechanics, to be used at will

Over 10 new creatures, capable of creating excellent narrative ideas.

VERSUS

Interesting setting, but it is generic and underpowered

Small amount of playable Archetypes

Vaesen: Mythic Britain and Ireland – Review – GameScore