This second edition adds an entirely new chapter about magical medieval warfare and expands upon two other chapters. A total of 22 new pages of material are contained in the Second edition.
Regarding the 1st Edition of A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe, Monte Cook (author of the 3E Dungeon Master's Guide) said: "If you're a DM and running a D&D game, you should have this book. Period."
This 192-page supplement is for GMs and players who wish to add a touch of realism to their game. It's for the people who'd like to flesh out the background of their gaming world, but don't have the time to dig through scholarly books. A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe provides you flexibility and advice in creating your own world. It contains a massive amount of game-usable information about the medieval period and focuses on how D20 magic could change a traditional medieval setting. Generation systems for kingdoms, cities, manors, aristocratic wealth and landholding; a thorough construction system; and an economic simulator allow GMs to recreate the high middle ages feel with ease.
A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe solves age-old dilemmas like: How much does it cost for my PCs to repair the formerly orc-infested abandoned keep they want to use as a home base? What would happen, politically, were the PCs to set up their keep? How big is my city of 15,000 people? How many buildings are in my city? What do all the NPCs do? How do I start my PCs on the road to becoming kings? Just how much does a king earn a year anyway? What about just a regular noble? How big is a kingdom of 5,000,000 people? How many cultivated acres does it take to feed them? How should I map towns, cities, and smaller communities within my kingdom? What type of government should I use for my kingdom? How does magical religion really work? Just what do those NPCs do with all their time?
The questions plaguing DMs and world-builders for the past twenty-five years have now been answered!
Here's what other reviewers have been saying about the 1st Edition:
"It's not a setting in and of itself, but a meta-setting you utilize for depth and richness on your own setting."
—Joe G Kushner at EN World
"This is one product I'd recommend that every GM who is serious about world creation have on his or her bookshelf." —Glenn Dean at D20 Magazine Rack
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Magical Medieval Soceity Western Europe is the best way to make a city, a county, a countryside, and a kingdom that I have ever seen. If you want your background city to be realistically and fully explorable, use this.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
How does it compare with the kingdom-building approach in JBE's Kingdom Builder book?
I have the first edition of this, and only the bits of the JBE book that were in kingmaker.
This goes into the subjects in a lot more detail, with a detailed analysis of medieval society, and the amount of difference magic would make to that equation. The JBE stuff is a simple system for running it in game.
If I were getting my players to run a kingdom, I'd use Jon's stuff. If I were developing a world or even just a community within this I'd use this book.