Review: Third Eye Games – Land of Seed and Blossom (Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade)


Wu Xing: Land of Seed and Blossom
Land of Seed and Blossom is a supplement for the Asian epic fantasy, martial arts system Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade written by Eloy Lasanta, Brandon K. Aten, and Shammara Blanchard and published by Third Eye Games.
By Aaron T. Huss

Land of Seed and Blossom is the first nation supplement for Wu Xing expanding the setting from the initial Izou Empire of the core rulebook to the Land of Seed and Blossom herein. This new territory brings a wealth of new people and places for any adventure and campaign including seven new ninja clans incorporating four new fighting styles and new, unique mechanics setting these ninja apart from their Izou counterparts. This new territory is also fully detailed to include all provinces and major locations to add depth to the Land of Seed and Blossom. This supplement is the perfect growth to Wu Xing in so many ways.

THE UPRISING

The Land of Seed and Blossom can be thought of as a different country within the Wu Xing continent, seated next to the Izou Empire and infested by Izou soldiers. But this land has a history of its own outside of the Izou Empire and The Uprising contains all the details that bring this land to life.

Each of the seven new ninja clans are tied to a catastrophic event and coming of an Immortal, granting them the special abilities they possess and giving them purpose. Additionally, Blossom ninjas are not formed in the same sense as traditional ninja. They cannot simply be trained to learn their ways, although training is always necessary. If they are deemed to be worthy at birth, then their abilities will be honed and grow throughout their upcoming years. This mechanic introduces the Birthstone implanted in their forehead which displays one’s inherent ability. While this is described in a fluff manner, it does have mechanical ties and adds to the differences of the ninjas in this territory.

Citizens of the land are also divided a bit differently in their castes and level of importance. As such, everyone is treated as necessary regardless of their level and duties.

BLOSSOM CLANS

Blossom Clans is the section detailing the seven new clans found in the Land of Seed and Blossom. I will not go into great detail as you must read this section to understand the clans, but each one is fully detailed and described including history, lifestyle, agendas, character creation mechanics, and how they view the other clans, Izou ninjas, and current events. It should be noted that some of these clans are extremely unique in ways you wouldn’t have imagined.

ROOTS OF THE PEOPLE

Roots of the People is a detailed description about the Land of Seed and Blossom including each clan’s province, major towns, ruins, and any other major location that carries importance to the setting or one of the clans. If you are going to enter this land, you will need to know the right information. If you upset the wrong ninja clan, you may find yourself in a precarious position that is virtually impossible to get out of.

SEEDS TO BE PLANTED

Seeds to be Planted is the bulk of the new mechanics associated with the lands and the new ninja clans. This section details the birthstones and how they are the source of one’s ability (as opposed to one of the elements), new passions, gifts, drawbacks, fighting styles, wushu, and celestial animals. Everything is fully described and detailed in the same fashion as the core rulebook.

ADVENTURE

I will not say much here to avoid spoiling the adventure, but there is an open-ended adventure that brings the characters into the Land of Seed and Blossom regardless of their background. This is a very short adventure and is more of a campaign launching point than a single adventure.

OVERALL

I definitely recommend Land of Seed and Blossom to all Wu Xing players and Game Masters, especially those running long-term campaigns. If you are only running single adventures, you will still find a collection of new options for character creation leading to new and interesting adventures from session to session. In addition, by combining Izou and Blossom ninjas, you open up your adventuring group to a number of role-playing opportunities between the ninja of these two nations. Make sure you read through The Uprising section to grasp the full background of these ninja and why they look and act the way they do.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
Third Eye Games produces beautiful books with excellent illustrations, very easy-to-read layouts, and wonderful formatting. They love to use a header font in the Wu Xing line of products that can be tricky to read at times, although they fit the theme of the product line perfectly. Another small difficulty found throughout are spellings of specific places that don’t always match themselves. The heading says one thing while the content may contain the same spelling along with one or two more. It’s a tricky thing to read through as it causes you to think twice, but is easy enough to get around. Everything else about Land of Seed and Blossom are of the highest quality, especially the awesome looking illustrations.

Mechanics: 9 out of 10
Land of Seed and Blossom grows the Wu Xing setting to the new territory (called the Land of Seed and Blossom) while incorporating seven new ninja clans and tying in their stories to the Izou ninja clans from the core rulebook. There are plenty of new fighting styles and wushu to continue this growth along with detailed descriptions of all the new provinces. Land of Seed and Blossom follows one standard mechanic feature with the core rulebook that I often find confusing in that the different ninja clans have multiple names that are used throughout. In the course of reading through a single content piece, the clan is referred to with two or three different names which sometimes confuses me. In addition, other clans are referred to in different names furthering my confusion. However, this is a very slight mechanical decision and everything else truly increases the value of the supplement.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
There is no reason to limit yourself to the Izou Empire if you are a campaign-player of Wu Xing. Land of Seed and Blossom opens up your adventures and campaigns to the neighboring territory including their ninja clans, wushu methods, bestiary, and key locations. It is truly a valuable supplement for players and Game Masters, especially Game Masters who are looking for where to take their campaign next. It is essentially an entirely new campaign setting for Wu Xing.

Overall: 9 out of 10
Land of Seed and Blossom is a definite step in the right direction for the Wu Xing product line. Players will find a wealth of new character opportunities with the new ninja clans and their applicable fighting styles and wushu. Game Masters will find a new land of opportunity for adventures and campaigns including how it incorporates into the current Izou Empire setting along with a detailed selection of provinces, towns, and important locations.

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