Awaken: Role-playing Game Dark Fantasy | Review
Island Illyon Editions, the publishing house, which edited the Italian edition of Awaken, role-playing game for the setting dark fantasy created by Marko successful matijević shops Sekul and whose texts have been edited by Zoltan Lečei of The Games Collective. The wonderful illustrations which add to the manual of the game are curated by the talented Kristina Toxicpanda and his team.
The Italian edition of the game has been curated by the team of the Island Illyon Editions, led by editorial director Luke Choice.
As specified in the manual, Awaken is a game based on the interpretation than on the mere roll of the dice, to which is given a very great importance to the story and to the settings: in fact, 85 pages are devoted to the description of the game world.
Some points, however, are not performed, for which the Narrator, or the one who will control the world in which you move the players, it will have a certain freedom of interpretation and creation of the elements of the adventure.
To Salvora, shackled in the grip of the attacks of the Vargan, monstrous creatures from the unknown origin, human beings live in towns and villages, which were united to form the Alliance. Anyone living in a city brings on his skin, a brand identification, and who does not is, unfortunately for him, forced to live outside them, in the territories, therefore, it is very dangerous for the survival.
Bulwark of defense against the Vargan are Awakened, a category of human beings with extraordinary powers, but that's because of the Gifts they risk becoming Demons.
Marko successful matijević shops Sekul was inspired by, mainly, for the creation of the religion and the background of the world to Awaken to the stories that are part of the folklore of the Balkans, together with elements taken from real stories and reinterpreted in a fantasy.
Azimoth and Zimitra fought among themselves in their own world of origin, known as the War of the Dawn. Zimitra not see of good eye the human race. At the end of this war, Azimoth managed to wound Zimitra, and banished, together with his followers, in the bowels of the Earth, in which resides a fiery furnace, this event reminds us of the banishment into Hell of Lucifer.
In this world, there are 5 Official Orders with different characteristics and predispositions:
The so-called Nomads are completely outside of these patterns, traveling from village to village, and unwanted by anyone. Outside of these Official Orders, there are other associations.
According to the Holy Scriptures, Azimoth and Zimitra decided to create a new race by mixing the blood of Zimistra with that of humans: thus were born the Seconds, beings from the force and superhuman capabilities. Unfortunately, these are now extinct.
A long time after, in the world of Salvora have appeared in human beings with characteristics similar to those of the Seconds, which are therefore seen as a demigod is Awakened. Once aware of their Gifts, Awakened are often introduced in one of the Orders.
Physically, the Awakened are very similar to ordinary human beings, even if the color of their eyes changes into different shades of yellow up to amber, and often carry on the body of the strange scars: when an Awakened usa recklessly Gifts, the blood boils in his veins, causing of the burn scars, the so-called Blood Marks.
Some of the Awakened are dining in an illegal substance that improves temporarily, some of the parameters. Quesdta substance has, however, the huge drawback to create a strong addiction, and his consumption is constant over time its effects can be very inauspicious for those who use it: we speak of the blood of Vargan.
The I know the blood of Vargan, together with an inappropriate use of their Gifts, and lead the Awakened straight into the arms of Corruption, that it changed not only the physical appearance, but also personality traits, and that disturbs their mental balance.
In its final stage, Corruption becomes Awakened in Demons, beings who are completely crazy and banished from society.
The Corruption is reminiscent of what happens to the person who carries the heavy burden of the One Ring, and also a special mechanism of the game of saga, stories and video game The Witcher, which causes the excessive use of the potions on the part of Geralt is reflected in the appearance of dark veins on her skin, and poisoning, which if poorly managed can lead to death.
The Circle and the Church of Azimoth discovered from the Holy Scriptures that it was possible to increase the power of the Awakened, but since the steps were more or less unintelligible, began to perform experiments, because of which the victims began to change, and to cannibalizzarsi, turning into piles of flesh and bone tell, before to re-capture the appearance of the body proportions are gigantic.
The Giants are used as weapons, but the Colossi Wild rebelled against this exploitation, and when they approach their end, they head towards the Garden of the Giants, a cemetery where you can admire a vast stretched of Giants petrified, because this is what happens to their body once you have died.
The game mechanics are really simple and intuitive, which makes it Awaken it's also perfect for those who have never had experience with role-playing games. As mentioned earlier, is the same manual to push the players to enjoy the sessions, making its mark mostly on the interpretation.
When you want to fight, to use the Gifts or perform other types of actions, the Narrator will ask you to roll a number of dice corresponding to the sum of the values that you should use to implement a given action. The game mechanism is really very simple and intuitive: use only 6-sided dice, the D6, if the result will be a 5 or a 6 you will get a Success. Will be the Storyteller to decide the number of successes required to pass a test, but if the player will get 5 or more you will have an Extraordinary Success, which will have additional positive effects.
When you fail a roll you may try again, but the frustration for the failure just occurred results in a penalty for the same test. During the combat phases, players roll together with the dice for defense and for attack, making it so much easier this time.
Interesting mechanically introduced in Awaken is the Bonus that is Creative, that allows the Narrator to reward actions and interpretations that are particularly original, providing players with from 1 to 3 bonus dice for the execution of that particular test.
On the contrary, if you have no Success, and one of the dice has scored a total of 1 times will result in a Total Failure, which has adverse effects on the character and may also have on the story.
Inside the manual, it contained a copy of the Card to the players, that you can photocopy, and on which return all the information related to your character:
The manual is full of instructions and advice for the Naratore that to the players, but in case of doubt of any kind you can always contact the team of the Island Illyon on the special Group on Facebook, where you can expose doubts, questions, suggestions and even corrections of any typographical errors in the manual. Also, the boys of the Island Illyon often organise game sessions live, to involve the players and show them how the game is played.
The description of the world of the game gives aspiring Writers a good basis on which to imprint your adventures one-shot, and campaigns, but as an aid to identification in this new fantasy world in the manual is also included a first adventure started.
In addition to a description of Salvora rich, yet concise, the handbook to Awaken contains everything you need to the Storyteller and players to be able to start a new adventure: in the manual you will find all the instructions and advice for the Narrator and for the creation of the characters, the rules, examples of the various stages of the game, a glossary of terms, “technical”, the interesting Vargan Codex, structured as if to gamble on texts taken from authentic manuscripts, with illustrations, a bestiary, and an index.
It is striking how in just 212 pages the authors of Awaken to be able to enclose an entire world and the full rules of the game, giving the overall impression of the work done to try to provide as much information as possible in a format that is very compact.
The illustrations that adorn the manual they are really beautiful, evocative, and made with great care, and constitute a significant added value to the work as a whole: