I recently finished reading Capital of the Borderlands (CotB), and first I’d like to congratulate the authors, Newton Grant and Alex Macris, and artists for a wonderful product!
I made a variety of notes I thought I’d share here. Thus, “Let’s read (lite) …” I won’t be discussing a 200+ page book in depth, but instead plan to hop through the book based on my notes. I have too many notes to post at one time, but I’ll try to add on as my time allows. You, of course, are welcome to add on any CotB discussion as you like.
First, two caveats. Obviously, S P O I L E R S A H E A D. Also, some of my notes regard things I may change when I use CotB in play. I do not intend this as criticism. I’m just both particular and an incorrigible tinkerer. Let’s begin.
I don’t remember when or why I started every campaign by giving each player one or more rumors, but in my experience doing so really adds to play. The many rumors in CotB are a welcome addition. Also, I like the reference to Loremastery for rumors as well as Knowledge (history) or Loremastery for knowledge of the “Adventurer’s Timeline of the Borderlands.”
Adventurer’s/Secret Timeline of the Borderlands
“Warlord Thrax menaces the civilized lands of Aurëpos until his defeat by Exarch Cincanus of Aura.”
I don’t remember mention of Thrax before, but this sounds like an interesting hook for more adventure. My immediate thought is of possibly placing in the Borderlands a 3.x adventure I remember being intriguing about a tomb of a hobgoblin warlord. After a search, it is The Lost Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali. I shudder to think how many years it’s been since I read that. I’ll have a looksee to determine if it still holds up, and let y’all know.
Also, on the tangentially related beastman settlements in the Waste, there may be some other sources for inspiration. My first thought is Midnight: Forge of Shadow. I’ve always liked a more serious take of The Orcs of Thar. Finally, Eberron has some references to humanoid and monster cities – I’d have to refresh my memories on these (although I remember Eberron orcs are not suitable for CotB).
“Satisfied that it has placed events on course for the Awakening, the Great Teacher enters cryostasis …”
The Great Teacher patiently corrupted a civilization over a M I L L E N I A. This is not a being that engages in combat unless victory is assured or it’s completely surprised.