Review: Guild Companion Publications – Eidolon (Shadow World)

Eidolon, City in the Sky
Eidolon, City in the Sky is an epic fantasy sourcebook for Rolemaster Shadow World, written by Terry Kevin Amthor and published by Guild Companion Publications.
By Aaron T. Huss

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Eidolon, City in the Sky is another sourcebook for the Shadow World setting for Rolemaster. Continuing on with books like Emer Atlas III, it’s a detailed write-up of this epic fantasy setting, covering an array of source material digging down into aspects you often overlook when creating and running a setting. Eidolon and Sel-Kai (the city on the ground), are part of the Emer continent and effectively continue the extensive write-up contained in other Emer books. However, this content is solely focused on that much smaller portion of the continent as opposed to a much larger regional write-up.

I’m going to be honest; I’m not really a fan of epic fantasy. However, the Shadow World books are amazing to me in that they contained such an abundance of detail that you quickly forget they’re designed for use in an epic fantasy setting. There is so much meat throughout the book (regardless of the stat blocks) that you can use it virtually anywhere. You can take the entire setting and port it into a dark fantasy or fantasy horror setting. You can even take probably 90% of the content and place it into a different game system. Eidolon, City in the Sky is an excellent resource for breathing life into your Shadow World games, and it does it without getting bogged down in crunch. There’s a lot of fluff here and the descriptions of what you find throughout the cities are vivid and believable.

When I read these Shadow World books, I always get the sense that the writer knows an awful lot about earth sciences and civilizations. The people are believable, the cities are believable, the surroundings are believable, and the environment is believable. Regardless of the fantasy aspects, you can really picture yourself (or rather your PC) standing in the midst of this city with the hustle and bustle going on around you. It’s this picture that makes these books come alive. Adding to that is a great collection of maps to allow easy navigation throughout and aid the GM in connecting the fluff to the city’s design.

As for the book itself, being a second edition, it appears to offer a lot of value to those who have the first edition. You can clearly see the differences between first edition artwork being reused and new artwork added in (I found the first edition artwork to be rather meh), but otherwise the content flows quite nicely from beginning to end.

If you are a fan of epic fantasy settings, and regardless if you play Rolemaster or even Shadow World, I highly recommend these Shadow World books, including Eidolon, City in the Sky. There is so much here that a GM can extract for her own adventures and campaigns, even if she only wants to create a new city for her PCs to stumble upon (although it would be hard to stumble upon a floating city).

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