Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mailbag: Re-Discovering Palladium Fantasy

Following my post on Palladium the other day, I had a nice email the other day from reader Jeffrey, who was gracious enough to let me re-post it here.

Hi Zach,

I really enjoyed your post this week on Palladium Books. I used to run Palladium Fantasy Revised back in the day ('92-93), but it seems like an awful lot has gone on with the system since then. If I'm looking to get back into it, what should I look at as far as purchasing? What if I wanted to get one of the world books? It's a different edition, correct?

Thanks and keep up the really nice work on the website!

Best Wishes,


First, thanks for the kind words, Jeffrey! I really enjoy hearing from folks when they enjoy something I've written. I think most bloggers will tell you the same.

Now, there's still a contingent out there who enjoys Palladium Fantasy First Edition (Revised). It sounds like you still have yours, but aside from out-of-print pickups, the pdf is now available on DriveThruRPG.

Palladium Fantasy 2e
(now going new for $26.95 from Palladium) in my opinion, is a little more high-powered than Revised. The 2nd Edition came out in 1996, and is a little more in line with the later "Megaversal System" (close to what you see in Rifts). It's a little less gonzo, and I've found that I do tend to streamline some things, but it really comes down to your own preferences. You can work between 1e and 2e fairly easily, if you have old products you're thinking of bringing over. At 300+ pages, it remains an attempt at a "complete" old-style RPG.

Although there's baddies aplenty to fight in the main book, most folks who stick with system eventually pick up Monsters & Animals, which gives you some new and unique races and foes, and Dragons & Gods, which lists out the various dragons and deities of the Palladium world. Both are pretty hefty sourcebooks, so there's a good chance you felt you got at least what you paid for.

If you're looking to pick up a world book, Old Ones is a nice starting point, giving you a completely detailed Kingdom and plenty of trouble areas to start with. Other favorite world books of mine that I can recommend are Adventures on the High Seas, Northern Hinterlands, and Eastern Territory.

I hope that helps--please let me know if there are any additional questions!

And for all the readers, if you guys like hearing a bit more about games like Rifts and Palladium Fantasy that aren't represented all that well on the RPG Bloggers Network, let me know, and I'll be sure to throw some more articles and posts that way.


Jason Richards said...

I'll throw my two cents behind Eastern Territory, as well. If you're looking for a solid setting from which to run your game, Eastern Territory is a great pickup. It's still pretty wild, with lots of built-in conflict, and has a lot of fully-mapped cities. I'm actually getting the office organized and found my notes for an Eastern campaign that I was all set to run a few years back, but fell through, so I'm feeling especially nostalgic.

I'd take it over Western Empire (although it's a good book as well) for my first "world book" just because the Western Empire setting is less varied in the adventuring opportunities it provides.

da Trux said...

i didn't like Eastern Territory at all. i'm not going to get into the whys right now though.

from what i hear, the 1st edition Old Ones has a lot more info on the Timiro Kingdom than the 2nd edition, but the 2nd edition version is still a solid book, and contains the only adventure module i've ever run as a GM (i always design my own adventures/campaigns)

for high level campaigns, the best books for PFRPG are Land of the Damned 1 and 2. not only are there hordes of new monsters, there aren't any (that i recall) reprints, the story is fascinating, and it includes brilliant rules for traversing mountains and surviving in cold weather.
LoD 2 also has a dozen new forms of undead that will make your skin crawl.

Geek Gazette said...

I could not agree with you more. Palladium has this way of making books I love to read with rules that can be a real headache to run. Yet I still keep buying and enjoying the books.
When I met the Palladium gang at Gen Con several years ago, they were some of the most enthusiastic and genuinely nice group of industry pros I have met so far. Everyone was more than happy to sign stuff, have their pictures taken, answer questions and just stand around talking. I spent a great deal of time at their booth and their attitudes are what finally got me to pick up Rifts. From there I was hooked on their stuff, have spent a small fortune on books, and even subscribe to Rifter.
The only ones that I would say came close, in my experience, to having the same type of attitude were the gangs at Kenzer and AEG. I have spent a majority of my Gen Con budget at those booths every year since.

Zachary The First said...

I tend to think there's a lot of similiarites between the guys at Kenzer and Palladium. Those are always two of the most fun convention booths to visit.

Quim said...

I'd really like to read more about Rifts. Thanks.

John Fiala said...

I'm really fond of their 'Library at Bletherad' book - I've probably mispelled it, though.

Matt C said...

I am big fan of Adventures on the High Seas myself. I also liked Old Ones 2nd edition myself. Western Empires is ok. My biggest beef with Eastern Territory was that the classes were a

Definately would like to read more Pallium stuff. The blogosphere could use more non-D&D posts.

Matt C said...

Er, meant Palladium not Pallium.

Zachary The First said...

Thanks for the posts, guys! And we can definitely do a bit more on Palladium!