The Witcher RPG: Diary of a Witcher, the review

The Witcher RPG: Diary of a Witcher, the review
Diary of a Witcher, published by R. Talsorian Games and published in Italy by Need Games! , is an expansion manual for the pen and paper role-playing game of The Witcher that is proposed as a real bestiary written by the witcher Erland of Larvik, founder and Grandmaster of the Griffin School, one of the Witcher schools, made famous from the videogame saga of CD Project RED.

In a Witcher's Diary, in addition to a more than satisfying compendium of monsters and creatures, players will also find a whole series of new and useful information on the setting, as well as to new items for crafting items, new mutagens and a set of rules to bring investigations and investigations to the table.

A Witcher's Diary

A Witcher's Diary is exactly what the title promises: the memoirs written on paper by an exponent of this "guild" of monster hunters, Erland of Larvik, founder and teacher of the Griffin School. Where the basic manual of The Witcher: the role-playing game was deficient in presenting the setting of the game world, Diary of a Witcher puts a small piece of it, going to tell interesting background on the creation of the first Witchers, of the disagreements born within to the organization and the subsequent fracture that divided its members, resulting in the birth of the various Witcher Schools.

In addition to this, immersing yourself in this interesting reading, you will also be able to discover important information on the era of gold of the Witchers, the period in which they were still seen as protectors of humanity. Finally, to conclude, there will be an important reflection by the Grand Master of the Gryphon School on how the Witchers have been too efficient in their work, involuntarily causing the decrease of their usefulness and, consequently, the birth of slanders and fears in the their comparisons.

What is presented in this first part of the volume Diary of a Witcher is of great use, since although it tells stories and presents information already known by fans of the Strigo saga Geralt of Rivia who have read the novels of the Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski and have faced the video games of the series, deepens them as it had not yet been done, adding interesting pieces to the setting of the game world. It goes without saying that these are very fundamental contents for those who are not so familiar with the events of The Witcher saga and are approaching them for the first time, through role playing.

Diary of a Witcher , the bestiary

Diary of a Witcher, rather than on the setting, focuses more on presenting a whole series of new monsters and animals, not yet described in the role-playing game, thus covering almost entirely the creatures presented in the novels and in the video games of the series. The thirty-three monsters presented here are divided into eleven categories, three per category, and cover the majority of types of creatures, from animals to necrophages, passing through cursed and ancestral creatures, just to name a few.

Each category of monsters is introduced by a brief description written by the academic Brandon of Oxenfurt, a character of the setting, thus resulting directly in the game world. In addition to this, the sidebills present in each category provide excellent ideas for the Masters, to create encounters with these creatures. In addition, each monster is presented in a simpler and more comfortable way than seen in the basic manual, greatly simplifying the work of the Master, a truly appreciated innovation.

Each creature presented in a Witcher's Diary turns out to be well crafted and dripping personality. It is evident that the authors wanted each monster to be unique in its kind and that this emerge during the fights with these creatures. As a result, each monster was endowed with some unique abilities, sometimes quite numerous. Finally, each category of creatures closes with very short one-page stories featuring Larvik's Witcher Erland facing one of the monsters just presented. They turn out to be nice and funny and, if nothing else, offer another idea of ​​meeting from which to draw inspiration.

Diary of a Witcher, the exceptional monsters

In addition to the thirty-three creatures mentioned We just talked about, Diary of a Witcher also features two categories of absolutely exceptional creatures: the True Dragons and the Greater Vampires. As those who have read the novels and, to a lesser extent, those who have played the videogames of the saga know well, they are sentient creatures with immense power and an iron will to which the definition of "monster" is very narrow.

These types of beings are therefore described in a much more detailed way than common monsters, complete with tables to generate their background and personality. All this makes these creatures real non-player characters who can become key figures in an adventure, if not an entire campaign.

Components and mutagens

The Diary section of a Witcher relating to the components and mutagens that players can use to create objects and increase their abilities does not offer anything new under the sun, but it still broadens the spectrum of raw materials and mutagens present in the basic manual. Obviously we are faced with components and substances deriving from the monsters and creatures presented in the volume. In our opinion, useful but not essential, since we consider the handicraft section to be the least successful of the whole game.

Investigations and contracts

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, in Diary of a Witcher there is a chapter that introduces a whole series of rules and tables to manage investigations and clues during the game, in our opinion the only negative note throughout the manual. A new derivative feature is introduced, Focus, which represents the character's ability to focus on solving the mystery. The whole investigation management system, which are broken up into several clues to "beat" in order to "inflict damage" on the investigation itself, is rather cumbersome, not very intuitive and much, if not too much, linked to the roll of the dice than to narration and interpretation.

Finally, the last part of the manual presents a whole series of job advertisements aimed at Witchers, of the type that in the video games of the saga are posted on bulletin boards around villages and cities. They are quite nice, some even funny, as they are written in an ungrammatical way by the vulgar, and they give a certain color to the game, as well as offer many ideas for adventures.

From an editorial point of view

Editorially speaking, Diary of a Witcher is a valid product, our review of the volume is based on reading the PDF digital version and therefore we will not enter into the evaluation of the physical product and its characteristics. We can certainly say that from an artistic point of view a Witcher's Diary does not look bad at all, thanks to a series of illustrations with an excellent visual impact, although there are some that overall are less brilliant. The cover image is particularly evocative. Nothing negative to report even from the aspect of editing, we did not detect typos or errors worthy of mention.

Conclusions

Diary of a Witcher, in the light of what emerged during the our examination, it turned out to be a very respectable product, with a high content value, for fans of The Witcher RPG. Although they are not very many, we believe the additional information brought to the game world setting is excellent, while all the information and statistics of the creatures presented are truly comprehensive and noteworthy. Of course, two or three more monsters would certainly not have done harm, but we believe the maxim of "few but good" is always valid compared to other fantasy modes in which there are hundreds of creatures that in the end are completely useless or make the game setting a "harlequin world".

The section dedicated to investigations is not of particular appeal, in our opinion, which is too tied to the mechanics, to the detriment of the narrative, the one on exceptional creatures, really appreciated. well characterized, which is full of ideas for the Master. All this, supported by good artistic and editorial care, make Diary of a Witcher a truly fundamental product for those who are playing or want to try their hand at The Witcher: the role-playing game. Recommended.

A product aimed at…

Diary of a Witcher, being an expansion manual for the role-playing game of The Witcher, is aimed exclusively at players of the aforementioned RPG and whoever wants approach it. The information contained in its pages, in fact, is in fact essential and plugs some holes left open with the basic manual, of which it is a real extension. It is a product that you cannot not have.



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