Review: Bedrock Games – Arrows of Indra

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Arrows of Indra
Arrows of Indra is an classic fantasy RPG written by RPGPundit and published by Bedrock Games via Avalon Games.
By Cape Rust
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Learn more about Arrows of Indra here
Purchase Arrows of Indra here
Find other Bedrock Games products here

Bollywood beware. Arrows of Indra takes the often heard of but not well known (to westerners) legends of the subcontinent and breathes life into them with a quick and slick system that, like the cheese, can stand alone.

CONTENT

This 192 page setting has everything you need to run years and years of campaigns in the exotic setting of Indra. This is a stand-alone system book that includes a detailed introduction, information on character creation including caste systems, family backgrounds and the usual character creation information found in most RPGs. The currency and starting wealth section deals with some interesting aspects like loans and credit, slaves and hirelings. The Game Master procedures section is extensive as it includes a great deal of the information that a GM will need to make this setting feel alive. In addition to these section there is an extensive gazetteer that details the major regions in the lands of Bharata, Random encounters and a monster guide.

OVERALL

This game touts itself as an old school RPG and normally the games that do this, tend to be the exact opposite. RPGPundit and the folks at Bedrock Games make good on their old school claims and they do it in a rough, but effective way. The rules set for this game are familiar enough to people who have been exposed to the D20 setting and will require very little new system shock that causes some gamers to stick with a game they know rather than trying a game they might love.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 7 out of 10
I understand trying to capture that old school RPG feel, but Bedrock Games has gone a bit far on this product. The cover art for Arrows of Indra is great; it is evocative and tells the story. The page borders do follow suit with the cover, but minus a few of the interior art pieces, visually this book is a letdown. I applaud Bedrock Games for sticking to black and white art for the interior and for not trying to push a bad angle by forcing color, but this excellent lack of color choice doesn’t save the middle school quality “old school” art. The art did evoke that feeling that the pictures came from some student who was drawing game ideas in a notebook in the middle of class in the late 70s or early 80s. If that was the idea, achievement met. Even with old school feel, the art is still subpar. I think by sticking to black and white, but using quality art, Bedrock could have achieved that old school feel. The bottom line is that the art makes this product look unprofessional and the information that Arrows of Indra contains is far from unprofessional. However, I sincerely hope people will not write this product off as jip-joint because of the artwork.

Mechanics:  10 out of 10
There is much more chance for randomness in this system during character creation, and I like it. So often people get in ruts where they play the same character every time. This system has some really interesting random generation results that will quickly push people out of those character ruts. There are options to take away some of the randomness, but I say play the dice where they lay, damn the consequences. The rules are based on the d20 system, so mechanically this game isn’t trying to blaze new trails. I appreciate that the creators stuck with the spirit of d20, but were not afraid to introduce some house rules/concepts that streamline the whole d20 processes.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
As a game system, everything you need to play this game is included in this well priced book. If you decide to use Arrows of Indra as a sourcebook for some other system, the value is still there. A good deal of research has gone into this book and the information contained therein is presented in a way that is interesting and enjoyable to read. Arrows of Indra gives this rich setting the love it deserves.

Overall: 9 out of 10
Even with inexcusable interior art, this is a top-shelf product. The information combined with a really exciting and versatile setting is a winner. The cost of admission for this svelte system is well worth it. This is one of those games where you need to buy it based on what you feel, not what you see. I get what they were trying to do with the art, but it was so bad it fell short, really short. Bedrock Games is a company that is doing great things and as soon as their visuals catch up with their content, they will be a force to be reckoned with.

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