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Brancalonia - Manuale di Ambientazione ITA
by Jacopo R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2021 06:22:10

A tutt'oggi non ho potuto creare ancora una campagna, ma non vedo l'ora di scatenare una mitica rissa da taverna in stile Bambino & Trinità



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brancalonia - Manuale di Ambientazione ITA
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Brancalonia - Spaghetti Fantasy Setting Book ENG
by Andrew H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/09/2021 10:15:42

Brancalonia: Spaghetti Fantasy

Billing itself as a spaghetti fantasy, Brancalonia is based on Italian tradition, folklore, history, landscape, fiction and pop culture. It’s a setting unlike any we’ve seen in the English-speaking gaming world. But its appeal does not lie in being a novelty. Rather, Brancalonia is noteworthy because it’s a superlative game setting. Full stop.

You know how there are shining knights riding majestically through the lands? In Brancalonia, player characters aren’t them. Instead, PCs are ‘knaves’, members of a company (known as a ‘band’) of mercenaries, rogues, and rascals engaged in often questionable jobs across the remains of an ancient kingdom, now in ruins. Knaves are hired to do all sorts of jobs, generally illicit or dangerous, that no one else wants to do.

Unlike in high fantasy, we don’t find demi-humans for players to choose from in Brancalonia. Instead, there are a range of unique races specific to the setting: Humans; Gifted, humans born with a magical blessing and who usually bear a visible mark of their exceptionality; Morgants, 7 foot tall giants famed for brawling and drinking; Sylvans, the remnants of a race of hominids with traits more feral than humans; Marionettes, artificial beings crafted from wood (think Pinocchio); and Malebranche, devils that turned away from Lucifuge to once again walk under the sun.

We also find 12 subclasses, one per core class: Pagan (barbarian); Harlequin, masked comedian (bard); Miraculist, destined one day to be a saint (cleric), Benandante, follower of the Old Way charged with protecting people from devils and hags (druid); Swordfighter (fighter), Friar, who believes a good shepherd must kick the wolf to defend the flock (monk); Knight Errand, the offspring of a fallen noble family (paladin); Matador, who captures and trains beasts for circuses and pit fighting (ranger); Brigand (thief), Superstitionist, a witch (sorcerer), and Jinx, a mystic who casts curses (warlock). Each has their own distinct appeal, and all evoke the unique atmosphere of Brancalonia.

Rounding out character generation is a list of new personalities and backgrounds, ranging from ambulant – those who travel from town to town peddling their wares or abilities – to fugitives and toughs, as well as new feats, 15 in all.

Brancalonia is low magic game; level cap is set at 6th, after that progression slows to a crawl in keeping with the tropes of the genres it is based upon. It’s a game where barroom brawling, dive games, partying and drinking are as important as fighting monsters and devilish villains. This is built directly into the mechanics of the game, with new situational rules and an emphasis on the recuperation period between adventures – here called the Revelry phase – where Knaves carouse in their Company Den. Dens can be improved with the addition of such things as a distillery, forge, black market, cantina, or stable.

The book also includes a small but excellent bestiary with a dozen creatures which, when one considers most foes that knaves will confront will be human or unique monsters created by circumstance, seems about right to get the game started. Among those featured in the bestiary are befana (hags from Italian lore), the beautiful but predator half-snake anguana, and the powerful Malacada, devils that can leave Inferno for short periods of time to wreak destruction. There’s also a range of human opponents, like cutthroats, duellists, slickers (‘street magicians), and Royal Bounty Hunters.

We are treated to an extensive 43-page gazetteer of Brancalonia (essentially the Italian peninsula) and its varied regions. We learn that the territories of Brancalonia and neighboring islands “are but minor possessions of the Empire of Altomagna, ceded to Queen Menalda of Catozza as a vassalic benefit a hundred years ago and never recovered, even after the dynastic line of the Catozzi was broken by intrigues, plots, and a dozen suitors.” With no one to claim the crown of Brancalonia, the Kingdom split into over a dozen independent regions which, in turn, are fragmented further into independent counties, duchies, baronies, municipalities and commercial leagues – a situation not dissimilar to medieval-renaissance Italy. And like Italy of that time, the people of Brancalonia can look back to a time in the distant past when the peninsula was the heart of a brilliant civilization, the ruins of which scatter the landscape as reminders of past glories. It’s a setting rich with intrigue, lore, and adventure potential.

Also within these pages are seven adventures, designed to take Knaves to 6th level – essentially a full campaign. Each one offers different opportunities. All are whimsical, adventurous, and rollicking fun with tons of opportunity to roleplay and dive into action. There isn’t really a weak link among them.

The writing is topnotch, full of charm and inspiration. Editing is flawless – you’d never know English was not the authors’ primary language. And visually, Brancalonia one of the most appealing rpg products I’ve seen in a long time, with stunning maps and artworks. it’s a pleasure both to read and look at.

There are a lot of adjectives I can use to describe Brancalonia: endearing, fun-loving, exciting, innovative, colorful. All are accurate. But I’ll sum the setting up with one word: Spectacular.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brancalonia - Spaghetti Fantasy Setting Book ENG
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Brancalonia - Spaghetti Fantasy Setting Book ENG
by Ross Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2021 09:25:14

I like Brancalonia a lot, but I think it is more useful as a collection Optional Rules than as an actual campaign setting. The Rulebook is split up into three major sections which I will go over and then I'll also speak brieflly on the presentation.

New Rules This section presents some new races and a new subclass for every class (sort-of, more on this later) all with the intention of creating a certain play-style. It is a gritty, low-powered fantasy, but it isn't dark. It's bright and cheerful and a little bit comical. I think Robin-Hood is a great idea of the tone here even though it isn't mentioned as is the Princess Bride (which is mentioned.) I love all the rules. You have a hideout called a Den which gives you bonuses when you rest there, which gives the players a sense of ownership and something to spend their money on. It utilizes the optional rules in the DMG for longer rests. All players have a notoriety, which can cause problems on adventures with bounty hunters and other outlaws. I love it. It also makes use of the "Epic Six" house-rule that's been on the internet for awhile. In short, characters don't gain any levels after 6th level. However, there are rules for continued advancement after Level 6 where you can gain feats and other abilities. The new races are. . . fine. I feel like some are a little boring because of the Low Fantasy feel. The subclasses are the problem, while I love them they don't go beyond Level 6 making them entirely useless in a normal D&D campaign. Given that all the rules are presented as optional, this really stinks.

Campaign Setting The most lackluster part, this section goes over the "Bounty Kingdom." A quirky medieval pastiche of the Italian Peninsula. While I enjoy the flavor and description of the world, I don't find it very useful as a dungeon master. Each region gets a two page spread which briefly outlines the thematic quality of each area and one major city or town and that's about it. There is very little description given for those towns and there are no numbers such as population demographics. There's also only one town in each section, without any smaller towns, ruins or other points of interest. It means to run adventures in this setting you will probably need to do a lot of world-building yourself, which is not why I buy a campaign setting.

New Adventures Another good section, the game presents about 6 adventures, 2 for first level and one for every level after that. One of the first level adventures is described as being kid-friendly, which is ncie, but not a big sell. The adventures are decent and have a medieval folk-tale feel which is fun. Most of them are just loose frameworks, a list of scenes with monster statblocks listed. As such they require a lot of improv, being more like fleshed out hooks or outlines than underdeveloped adventures. Useful but it might be a challenge for new GMs

Presentation Gorgeous, it is a beautiful book and the artwork inside really sells the feel of the setting. Text is a little small but they added lines to make it easier to read. I spotted a few typos and even a line or two that wasn't translated from Italian but that doesn't affect it much and I'm sure it will be edited.

Verdict I like the book a lot, but as I mentioned I think the most useful part are the optional rules. I think using them would create a very fun game-experience. The adventures are barebones but I'll probably use some or most of them to run a Brancalonia campaign. The setting itself, the Bounty Kingdom, is neat but not detailed enough. I'm very excited to run a Brancalonia game, but I think I'll use Kobold Press' Midgard, which has a similar Italian-themed region with much more detail.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hello Ross, Thank you for buying our game and spending your time for this detailed review. We trust you will still find it fun. Regards!
Brancalonia - Spaghetti Fantasy Setting Book ENG
by Jonathon C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2021 01:35:04

I took a look at Brancalonia mostly out of curiosity; I don't particularly enjoy the "Low Fantasy" genre nor am I a big fan of comedy, but the term "Spaghetti Fantasy" was something I had never experiencede before and I was curious. The end result leaves me with some very mixed feelings.

In terms of the rules, Brancalonia does very well at creating the kind of game the setting is meant to be run at; low-lethality tragicomic low fantasy with an emphasis on "loveable rogue" type heroes. The new subsystems, the breakdown of alignment (if you actually want to use that system), it all comes together very well.

As for the setting, whilst I'm too ignorant of the wider realities of Italy and Italian pop-culture to truly appreciate the nuances of the lore here, the result is detailed enough that even a complete novice such as myself can easily understand what each region's defining traits and characteristics are, and see how to run adventures there. Very nicely handled indeed.

And then we come to the Races and Subclasses of Brancalonia. Being a relentless homebrewer who largely approaches other peoples' settings for inspiration or outright material to lift, these are the sections of any setting book I am always the most interested in. And here was where I found myself having problems with Brancalonia...

I really like the Gifted both as a concept and mechanically, because they do something really interesting by starting with the "Variant Human" base rules from 5e and then swapping the bonus feat and skill for a free cantrip and 1/day level 1 spell. I do not understand the point behind their Magical Resonance racial trait; spellcasting classes already regain all their spell slots on a long rest, and their racial 1st level spell also resets on completing a long rest. This trait is thus utterly pointless.

Morgants, the setting's replacement for Half-Orcs and Goliaths, are prefectly functional, with nothing that stands out as positive or negative about them to me. I'm not a huge fan of "big bruiser" races, admittedly.

Sylvans were the first race where I found myself outright let down. I didn't have the highest hopes going in because Low Fantasy and I don't get on that well, but Sylvans just confuse me. The mechanics work fine, and maybe it's just because I don't have that background in Italian pop culture, but I really don't get why a bunch of nomadic humans with hairy arms and pronounced facial/scalp hair depending on gender would have been demonized as "troglodytes" or mistake for beastfolk or werebeasts. Mechanically, they're sound enough, but I just don't get where the lore is taking its inspiration from.

The lack of an option to play talking animals, which lalter parts of the book establish are actually relatively common in Brancalonia, is kind of a blow, even though I can understand it was left out due to that pesky Low Fantasy thing.

Marionettes are wonderful; they have great lore, even I can recognize their archetype, and the mechanics, which clearly used the Warforged as a building block, are solid. But I think it's rather cheeky to ask us to pay for this book, give us stats for two marionette subraces and then write up about three more marionette subraces in the setting portion of the book without giving us mechanical support to play as them!

Malebranche are hands down the best race in the splatbook, managing to elegantly recapture a lot of that "build a fiend-touched" feel of AD&D tieflings after the customization table debuted in the Complete Planeswalker's Guide. Nothing but love and respect for these.

Then we get to subclasses, and here's where the ambivalence really kicks in. On the one hand, I love the subclasses presented in this book. They're all solid built on a mechanical and flavor level, they fit into the setting very well, and in particular the Sorcerer (Superstician), Warlock (Jinx) and Wizard (Guisard) subclasses all tap into great archetypes that would very well in almost any setting, especially the relic-hunting-and-tapping Guisard. The problem is that, because Brancalonia is intended to be used for 6th level or lower PCs, none of these subclasses bother including higher level subclass features! I get why the author did this, but as a purchaser, I feel let down; I want to use these subclasses outside of Brancalonia, but unless I patch them up with my own homebrewed material, I can't do that. That's a huge letdown, and my biggest problem with this book... ironically, I wouldn't mind so much if I didn't think that these subclasses weren't all so well designed.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hello Jonathon, Thank you for buying our game and spending your time for this detailed review. Regards!
Jonathon, thanks a lot for your review!! :) :) Just for chatting, the Sylvans derived from the Italian folklore creatures "Homo Selvadego" ("Wild Men"), a kind of Sasquatch / Bigfoot but more human than beast. This is folklore by the North of Italy. Take a look: https://mercatorumpriula.eu/patrimonio/homo-selvadego/
Brancalonia - Spaghetti Fantasy Setting Book ENG
by Todd S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/27/2021 18:51:43

It feels a little like WFRP, but more lighthearted. It isn't grimdark, but it is gritty. I love the brawling system in particular, allowing players to get out their aggressions against their rivals or annoying townies without being murder hobos. Then they can go out on jobs and murder monsters instead.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hello Todd, Thank you for buying our game and spending your time for this amazing review. Regards!
Brancalonia - Spaghetti Fantasy Setting Book ENG
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2021 16:58:27

Brancalonia is a spaghetti fantasy game. It's a setting for D&D 5e that turns down the power, with a level limit of 6, long rests being a week, and generally being low powered. But the really cool thing is that it's a low fantasy setting that fits the sensibilities of most games I play/run. You're not trying to save the world, you're just a schlub trying to survive in a world where most things are shoddy or fake.

The default setup is that you're a likable rogue and the party is a band that's part of a larger mercenary company or gang taking jobs of borderline legality. There are rules for having a hideout, blowing your money on binges, and bar games. A key new feature is a brawling system that lets you engage in the sort of nonlethal fights you see in saloons in movies.

It's still fantasy but it's not the typical Tolkien ripoff of vanilla D&D. There's talking animals, fairies, witches, and stuff. No elves or dwarves; new races include marionettes and malebranche - demons who said 'screw this' and became mortal. Every class has a new subclass that fits the setting. The book introduces a fantasy version of Italy with a reversed map to emphasize that this it not historical fantasy. It finishes with 30 pages of adventures and 20 pages of new monsters. It's a complete package to take the game in a new direction.

The art is great and the layout works. This is the most fun I've seen in a game book in quite a while.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hello, Thank you for buying our game and spending your time for this amazing and detailed review. Regards!
Brancalonia - Manuale di Ambientazione ITA
by Francesco B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2020 02:05:29

Scrivo in Italiano la lingua magnifica da cui nasce il manuale. Se volete quella inglese rivolgetevi a Google. Poffare che gioia per gli occhi questo manuale! Qui però signore urge competenza e ore ore passate davanti a libri, Film leggendari e storie epiche. Se volete giocare a questo gioco documentatevi di tutto quello a cui si ispira che è parte integrante della cultura italiana goliardica e non. Dal decameron di Boccaccio alla contessa serbelloni mazzanti vien dal mare passando per Trinità deviando per l'esorciccio rotolando verso il marchese del Grillo o il Conte Tacchia. Godete di questo prodotto e accendete immaginazione, fantasia e cuore. Vi divertirete molto, io lo faccio! eheheheh



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Brancalonia - Manuale di Ambientazione ITA
by Fabio S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/17/2020 06:33:41

Mi associo a quanto detto da Alessandro nella sua recensione: IMPERDIBILE! Meccaniche nuove e interessanti per zuffe alla "Bud Spencer", ambientazione italiana picaresca eccellente e ricca, sapienti rimandi ai prodotti culturali (ma anche sotto-culturali) di epoche più o meno lontane del cinema e della letteratura italiana (non solo Brancaleone, quindi). Ottime e ricche illustrazioni, bella la mappa e il foglio del personaggio, Questo è un prodotto che grida "giocami" ad ogni pagina. Alcune pseudo-citazioni mi hanno fatto sbellicare (non anticipo nulla per non rovinare il divertimento a chi leggerà). 5 stelle meritate, per me. Attenzione però: questo vale soprattutto se amate certi film e ambientazioni e volete giocare in un mondo che li ricorda da vicino. Se l'idea di un D&D picaresco, sporco, brutto e cattivo non vi attira almeno un po', forse questo prodotto non fa per voi.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brancalonia - Manuale di Ambientazione ITA
by Alessandro F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2020 06:18:20

Imperdibile per tutti i giocatori di D&D che vogliono un esperienza diversa non solo a livello di atmosfere ma anche di meccaniche!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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