Devin's Reviews > The Theran Empire

The Theran Empire by Robin D. Laws
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's review
Jan 11, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: rpgs

A very disappointing addition to the otherwise engaging world of Earthdawn. Despite Robin Laws' stellar reputation in the roleplaying game industry, in The Theran Empire he falls flat. This book was supposed to give Earthdawn players and GMs a look at the larger world around the fantastic province of Barsaive. Unfortunately, what we got was a collection of nations obviously based on real-world cultures: the Egyptian culture, the Indian culture, the Germanic culture, etc. Even the names are unimaginative: the Moroccan nation is just called Marac, for example. Your players will be groaning.

One of Earthdawn's strengths was its sense of otherness; longtime fans of Shadowrun knew that the Fourth World of Earthdawn was set in Earth's prehistoric past, but even granting this fact, Laws stole cultures wholesale from disparate points in history: ancient Egypt exists side-by-side with Renaissance Italy, thus denying it even a sense of internal consistency.
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