Review: Martial Cultures: Arytis

A little while back, I reviewed the book Martial Flavor by Chaotic Shiny Productions. I noted that Chaotic Shiny would be coming out with a book on each individual culture eventually. I wasn’t let down. Hannah Lipsky has already released two of the culture books, Arytis and Sijara, with the rest on the way soon.

Today, we’ll be reviewing the book Martial Cultures: Arytis. Note that I received a review copy of this book from RPGNow.com.

Arytis clocks in at only 24 pages, but that’s more than enough to give an overview of the culture, as well as a map of the city, and some utility powers for the Rogue and Fighter.

Now, if you’ve picked up Martial Flavor, you will notice a bit of overlap. The utility powers in Martial Cultures: Arytis are the same as those in the chapter on Arytis in Martial Flavor, as well as some feats and flavor text. The real reason to pick up Martial Cultures: Arytis is for the additional flavor text, not the mechanics, and the number of feats in Martial Cultures is beefed up a bit from the few you’ll find in Martial Flavor.

Now, I only briefly ran over the Arytis in my last review, so here’s a little more about them.

The Arytis are from a city of the same name. They love their city, worshiping the spirit who they believe inhabits it. They have a proud martial heritage, known for their fighters and rogues. The book features ranking of the Legions, both the names of ranks, as well as the actual symbology of each rank, which is a nice addition. Also, various ribbons and medals awarded to legionnaires is pretty cool, and I can see a lot of use in the game (rolling a History check and being able to identify that a certain soldier was involved in a certain war).

As in the Martial Flavor book, Lipsky doesn’t tell you what race the Arytis are, instead giving you a few options for who they can be in your world. Primarily, the Dragonborn, Eladrin, and Human.

Also featured, are ideas for making the Arytis either benevolent or malevolent, a very cool idea to show how making a slight tweak to your civilization can change it dramatically.

New class options are given for fighters, rangers, rogues and warlords, as well as non-martial classes such as avengers, paladins, and bards. These change the class features to fit more in with the city.

Some of the feats are the same as in Martial Flavor, but there are quite a few more, including ones for the non-martial classes, which is nice. The feats are for both Heroic and Paragon tier.

A simple but effective map of the city, as well as information about important NPCs wraps up the book, featuring an actress, smith, city hero, really bad legionaire, cheif justice, a few council members, as well as the leader of the city. All very well thought out and intriguing.

If you have been looking at picking up this book, and still aren’t sure, I highly recommend it. Right now, for the next couple of days, you can even get this book in the Gamers Help Haiti bundle! Definitely pick this up.

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