Tuesday, February 7, 2012

LOVIATAR! [review]

This is seriously overdue, I have just been terribly busy lately and not gotten a chance to sit down and write a serious review of Christian's little zine. I received issue seven in the mail this week and I just could not let another one go by without giving it a review on the blog. I think with issue seven Christian has really hit it stride. For more information, click here.

Artwork and Layout: Superb. Period. Jay Penn has really got the right vibe going for some serious Old School flavor. His Stone Man piece is simply an iconic image. If it had been included in TSR published product, today we would be talking about Penn like we speak of some of the other famous artists. Yes, the interior art is that good.

Cartography: I may be a little biased here since one of the pieces is my own, but despite that, Christian manages to pull off some great maps. His Hex map is perfect (and yes, I am stealing his style for something I am working on), the village of Combe map is excellent with just enough details to make it interesting yet not too much that it becomes busy and unclear. All of the cartography's style is a perfect match to the Old School feel of the zine.

Content: While the above are excellent showcases of the OSR movement, this is where Christian really shows he is a master. Over the course of the previous six issues there have been excellent locations and NPCs for a variety of rules systems, this one however is solely the Hex Crawl. While some might have issue with this, I prefer it. The Hex Crawl has been amazing, with many locations and wonderful NPCs, this issue is no exception.

In this issue we finally reach Combe, a small village that long time readers of Christian's work will remember (it seems to have grown over time slightly with more homes). Combe is a small village with halfling and human among their numbers and they have a very curious relationship and their witty, and some might say rude, banter is hilarious. In addition, the people in one issue of the Hex Crawl are linked to folks in the other issues, Christian either has great planning or just magically fits it all together. This substantially adds to overall value of a subscription so you do not miss a single piece of what is working out to be a large sandbox area that any DM would do well to have in their library.

Each page is loaded with little bits that add to the overall Hex Crawl and would make this a great place to run players through. Numerous ideas, interesting people, and great little adventures make this a win-win. This is a great, and inexpensive way for an old schoolers to add some great reading and those oh-so-important embers that start the fires of adventure and spur all great DMs to create. I highly recommend this great zine!

If this sounds like something you would like to receive in your mailbox, click here and visit the Loviatar blog for details on getting a subscription.

9 comments:

  1. I am really happy that you are enjoying the series. It is a pleasure to write and I hope that hexes are useful to DMs.

    Rock on,
    Christian

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  2. The Hexes are the best! I really am enjoying the Hex crawl.

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    1. Right on, Matt. I am writing Hex 004 right now for Loviatar no. 8 and am allowing myself to look forward a bit by referring to material in the eventual Hex 005 in Loviatar no. 9. As you mentioned in your review, there are pros and cons about leaning so heavily on a single style of article, but people seem to enjoy it and I am feelin' it, so it's all good. :)

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  3. see? I told Christian the Hex crawl rocked from the first installment ;)

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    1. You were right, man. :) What I like about the hexes is that I can get so much accomplished with each one. I can present NPCs, locales and adventures in a single article. If a DM doesn't need the whole hex, he can basically carve off what he needs and leave the rest. :)

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  4. Christian, if you would make an informational post on how someone can sign up for your Zines, I would totally share it on G+!

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    1. Hey Greg,

      The easiest way is to swing over to the Loviatar site and select the "Shop for Issues" tab. Here's the link: http://loviatarzine.blogspot.com/p/issues.html

      Thanks!
      :)

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  5. Thanks for the kind words, Matt. I don't think I've ever had such a glowing review before! If I ever have an art book out, I'm using that quote (with your permission, of course) for sure!

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