Shadows of Esteren is a medieval role-playing game with horrific and Gothic overtones. Drawing inspiration from Celtic myths, this universe has a discreetly fantastic side under a bleak, realistic surface. This world is populated by humans who have to cope with a harsh daily life and supernatural threats lurking in the dark. Focused on investigation and survival scenarios, Shadows of Esteren is a game in which the atmosphere and the interactions among the players are paramount.

Picture a peninsula with steep hills, thick forests that barely let the sunlight through, misty valleys, and fortresses clinging to the mountainside... and beyond the oceans, the vast and mysterious Continent. In such awe-inspiring landscapes, the Shadows of Esteren role-playing game will introduce you to a gritty, realistic world, where supernatural elements are never trivial or meaningless, and where men have to face fierce threats lurking in the dark.

Last year at UK Games Expo, I was lucky enough to get a press pass, so I could wander the halls prior to opening and talk to the RPG publishers. One of the stalls that caught my eye was Shadows of Esteren. I made my way over, introduced myself and proceeded to have a very enlightening and fascinating discussion about RPGs and their new system that had just completed a successful kickstarter. I ended up buying the prologue and first book, along with some other bits (maps etc) and they graciously did a fantastic drawing in the cover of my book.

Shadows of Esteren is a low fantasy setting. With no fantasy races to play and a simple magic system (no powerful spells); It is a gritty, bleak place where untold horrors lurk on the edges of civilisation. The game system has been designed to be intuitive and quickly understandable, focusing on aspects like sanity and the creation of characters, rather than action or combat.

Pronunciation guide and character creator here

 

Book 0 - Prologue

 

Shadows of Esteren is a medieval role-playing game with horrific and Gothic overtones. Drawing inspiration from Celtic myths, this universe has a discreetly fantastic side under a bleak, realistic surface. This world is populated by humans who have to cope with a harsh daily life and supernatural threats lurking in the dark. Focused on investigation and survival scenarios, Shadows of Esteren is a game in which the atmosphere and the interactions among the players are paramount.

Get Shadows of Esteren - Book 0 Prologue in PDF Free here

 

Read my review on Shadows of Esteren - Book 0 Prologue here

Book 1 - Universe

 

Intended for Game Leaders as well as for Players, this book is the first of the Shadows of Esteren series. Within, you will find:

A Gaming Universe

Discover the world of Esteren through the eyes of its inhabitants, especially those of Tri-Kazel's peninsula. Divided into three kingdoms, its political, geographical, and historical aspects are described. The lifestyle, the antagonisms among the factions, and the problems its inhabitants have to cope with on a daily basis are extensively portrayed.

A Complete System

Giving priority to the atmosphere and interactions among the Players, the game system of Shadows of Esteren will notably allow you to create your Characters, manage the evolution of their sanity, use Magience, uncover the secrets of the Oghamic arts, call upon the power of the Creator, etc.

Player Aids

This book includes six archetypes illustrating a few of the possible roles you can play, technical texts about assembling a group of Characters, a complete glossary and index, the character sheet, etc. These player aids will allow you to set up your first game sessions while fully introducing you to the Shadows of Esteren series.

 

Read my review on Shadows of Esteren - Book 1 Universe here

Book 2 - Travels

 

“Travels” is a 196 pages supplement for the Shadows of Esteren series intended for Game Leaders. Contents include:

Cartography.

More than a hundred noteworthy places in Tri-Kazel described through the notes of Bard Aeldred Firdh, any of which can become the setting for a scenario. Gaming aids with 1 to 4 pages each describe ten particular locations in detail, including the Ashen Yard, Frendian, Farl, the Carmine Chasm, the city of Expiation, and more.

Scenarios.

Five canvases (short adventures) depicting Morcail, Tarish, Magientists, and Feondas. In addition, a large scenario that will plunge the PCs into the heart of a fanatically traditionalist community.

Personalities.

Eighteen colorful personalities that the PCs may encounter and become allies with... or fight against until the bitter end!

Bestiary.

The statistics of some of Esteren's most common animals, and the complete descriptions of ten horrific creatures, including the Sirens of the Tealderoth, vampire bats, the Beast of Frendian, and Lady Fir Patience.

Gaming aids.

Several technical guides to using the canvases and the bestiary, as well as creating and playing NPCs. Detailed information is also provided about some very peculiar powers and about traveling and sailing in Tri-Kazel.

 

Read my review on Shadows of Esteren - Book 2 Travels here

 

Book 3 - Monastery of Tuath

 

 

Yet another successful kickstarter. I have read the PDF and can report the art and design is of the usual quality. I will review as soon as i am allowed!!

 

 

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