[EDITORS NOTE: If this is your first experience with the Endless Realms Roleplaying Game, you may want to consider starting with my previous review of the Core Rulebook. -dc]
Depending on where you are, what you believe, and what calender your traditions come from, from around the end of November until about February is the “holiday season” somewhere. In the Skidi city of Mideka, that means the Years End Fortune Festival. Visitors from around the continent will journey to the city for three days of celebration. For the few humans that make the journey, they will find elements of many of the winter festivals of their home realm, while still being a completely unique experience.
During the Festival, the city denizens joyfully enjoy the company of their friends, family and Fortune Spirits. As the Adventurers soon discover, this year’s Festival may not happen as smoothly as it should.
The adventure is written for Level 4-5 characters, but would likely still be enjoyable for characters a little above or below that. The Adventurers are intended to be visitors, which makes it easy to run as a one-off or as part of a larger campaign. A sneaky Storyteller could easily make sure they keep a copy of their player’s character sheet at level 4-5, and run it later as a ‘flashback’ story, handing out those previous character sheets to play with again for that night.
The adventure draws heavily on the lore surrounding Spirits of Fortune and Misfortune, and their respective connections to the City. The story doesn’t delve so deeply into that lore that casual players will get lost. That’s important since much of the information around specific spirits is going to come in the Tome of Spirits sourcebook, which is in the final stages of production. The Core Rulebook discusses Spirits, Spirit Energy, and the Spirit Realm at length; but only in a general way. The Creature Compendium sourcebook has a whole section on Corrupt Spirits, but those aren’t relevant here. So as fun as this adventure is now, I’m excited to learn more when Tome of Spirits comes out in the new year.
Without spoiling things, the 37-page adventure is split into four acts. There is a good mix of exploration, mystery, and escalating action, with a ton of opportunities to play in the Skidi’s sandbox (so to speak).
The story begins two days before the beginning of the Fortune Festival, as the Adventurers arrive in Mideka to find excited Skidi rushing about decorating the city for the coming celebrations. From there the possibility for spoilers starts, and I said no spoilers.
Years End Fortune Festival is a fun romp that opens so many doors, and even more windows, into lives one of Endless Realms’ most expressive of the Adventurer Races. It is also a good reminder to us all that Happy Holidays is a greeting of inclusion for all, not an exclusionary one. So whatever you celebrate in your home, happy holidays and may Fortune smile on you this Years End.
You can pay-what-you-want for Years End Fortune Festival at www.drivethrurpg.com/product/296961/Years-End-Fortune-Festival
I like to end my holiday reviews with a bit of extra cheer. From a real-world standpoint, the Skidi’s Years End Fortune Festival draws a great deal from Chinese celebrations. Interestingly this video crossed my feed as I was writing. Enjoy Altai’s “The Mongolian Santa and Jingle Bells”.