Penumbra: Dynasties & Demagogues (OGL) PDF

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Rulers make history; Dynasties & Demagogues helps you make some history of your own with an in-depth look at the hidden rules of political intrigue and power brokering. Players are challenged to unravel the schemes of duplicitous enemies and allies alike as part of their characters' own rise to power. For GMs, Dynasties & Demagogues affords a close look at the nitty-gritty of political campaigns fraught with plots and counter-plots, assassinations, duels, and changing allegiances, all tied together in an intricate web of power relations.

    Dynasties & Demagogues is a 160-page toolkit for running and playing in political adventures in any OGL System campaign setting. Designed for both players and GMs, it provides:
  • New spells like scryjack, which lets you take control of a scrying spell and show its caster only what you wish him to see, and absorb information, which transfers written information directly from a book to your mind
  • Magic items like the tiny surveillance device called the fly on the wall, and the seeking arrow that carries a message up to 6000 miles through the air to land at a named recipients feet
  • Feats like Commanding Voice, Inspire Frenzy, and Information Network
  • Prestige classes that allow characters to become professional bodyguards, conspiracy leaders, information mages, religious leaders, and even rise to a position of power like that of the true demagogue
  • Details on maneuvering within eight distinct political settings, from anarchy to empire, with examples of how fantasy elements like magic and demihuman races impact them
  • Easy-to-use rules for conducting debates and elections
  • Blueprints for political adventure and campaign construction, plus six sample adventures and two campaigns for GMs to customize

After all, ruling the world can be even more rewarding than saving it.

Author: Chris Aylott

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Out of curiosity, does anyone out there own this book? I'm intrigued by it (no pun intended), but I haven't been able to find a copy to browse through. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yes, I do.
You'll love this book if you plan your next campaign to be centred on political intrigue. Don't expect anything different from the book, though. ;-)

It is 160 pages (black & white). Graphics are beautiful and look very much like 19th century "medieval style" prints you find in old fairy tale or saga books.

The content:
Section I gives you a theoretical overview on what to consider when developing a political campaign. It contains a sample adventure lay out, general information on political systems, an overview of fantasy races and their political systems, and the use of magic in politics (i.e. spells usable in political campaigns)

Section II explores character development possibilities in political campaigns: Personality feats (statement about your PC's behaviour, following this concepts gives your PC action points you can spend on improving dice rolls), new uses for old skills (e.g. appraise for evaluating political topics), more feats, and new prestige classes. Tips on using existing base classes in political campaigns are included, too.

One chapter is about debates and political manouvers only. It is closely related to skill use, but you might feel that you move too far from the flavour of "normal D&D" (i.e. action and some role playing in contrast to e.g. exchanging political arguments). Another very special topic are voting systems and methods to deal with them - not everyone might be interested in this.

Section III describes political adventures and campaigns.
This section gives tips on how putting it all together: Plot ideas, tips on DM'ing political adventures, including humour, adding action etc.

All in all I like this book very much.
You might feel, though, that some of the proposed rule expansions are too specific and/ or reach too far.

If you are into politically themed adventures, look for tips on developping and DM'ing such adventures, and some fluff for it, this is the book for you.

Greetings,
Günther

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I own it, and am looking forward to using it in Kingmaker. It's very specific to political encounters and adventures, and tries to offer way for even non-political characters to participate. It has a new trap, the "trap of bureaocracy (sp?)" which is hilarious, and a way to run political debates as if they were fights.

When I saw my DM's copy, I had to buy it myself. When I showed it to another DM, he had to get his own copy too. I just bought a PDF version to have it with me on the go.

If you're looking to have political encounters, this can be a wonderful resource.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'd love to get this, but the shipping costs for non-americans tend to be prohibitive. Does anyone know anywhere this can be bought (legally) as a PDF?

Forget it, I'm an idiot, hadnt noticed the banner said PDF...

Contributor

Check the Steve Jackson Games estore. Atlas sells their pdfs there.


Thanks for the review, Guenarr. I really have to get this book someday...

Note that the debate rules from this got updated/adapted to Pathfinder in Debatable Actions for PFRPG by LPJ Design .


The debate rules are fairly complex for players who aren't used to them. I've found that for PF, I like the social combat cards or the 4E Skill Challenge mechanic.


We had a nice thread on social combat recently here .


Guennarr wrote:

Yes, I do.

You'll love this book if you plan your next campaign to be centred on political intrigue. Don't expect anything different from the book, though. ;-)

It is 160 pages (black & white). Graphics are beautiful and look very much like 19th century "medieval style" prints you find in old fairy tale or saga books.

The content:
Section I gives you a theoretical overview on what to consider when developing a political campaign. It contains a sample adventure lay out, general information on political systems, an overview of fantasy races and their political systems, and the use of magic in politics (i.e. spells usable in political campaigns)

Section II explores character development possibilities in political campaigns: Personality feats (statement about your PC's behaviour, following this concepts gives your PC action points you can spend on improving dice rolls), new uses for old skills (e.g. appraise for evaluating political topics), more feats, and new prestige classes. Tips on using existing base classes in political campaigns are included, too.

One chapter is about debates and political manouvers only. It is closely related to skill use, but you might feel that you move too far from the flavour of "normal D&D" (i.e. action and some role playing in contrast to e.g. exchanging political arguments). Another very special topic are voting systems and methods to deal with them - not everyone might be interested in this.

Section III describes political adventures and campaigns.
This section gives tips on how putting it all together: Plot ideas, tips on DM'ing political adventures, including humour, adding action etc.

All in all I like this book very much.
You might feel, though, that some of the proposed rule expansions are too specific and/ or reach too far.

If you are into politically themed adventures, look for tips on developping and DM'ing such adventures, and some fluff for it, this is the book for you.

Greetings,
Günther

How are the prestige classes? I bought the pdf so I guess I will find out soon, but right now it’s bugged so I can’t download it.

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