Mythic Britain: Logres
It is no secret that I was greatly impressed with Mythic Britain by The Design Mechanism, a setting book for Mythras (formerly known as RuneQuest 6th Edition). For those like me whose imaginations were lit by the tone and style of that book, an expansion has just been released that adds even more depth and perspective. That expansion, written by Paul Mitchener, featuring art by David Benzal, Alan Gallo, and Eric Lofgren, and with maps by Colin Driver, is Logres – a sourcebook for the Saxons of the period.
Despite being incredibly busy, the release notice had me stop everything, pick up the print pre-order and PDF package, and pore over what Mitchener and Friends have produced.
The book features 140 pages of content, outlining character creation for ‘Saxons’ living in or raiding and trading in Britain. Covering the Angles, the Frisians, the Jutes, and the Saxons, the book describes the people, their culture, and their kingdoms of Ceint, Wiht, Anglia and Mierce – known collectively as Logres to the Britains at war with them.
Following the same pattern established in Mythic Britain, the intent of the work is made clear, and then aspects of the subject matter are presented in chapters with a few key examples provided for context and inspiration. For example, the entry on Mierce gives us a page of description as an overview of the region, its people, and its history, before delving into five specific descriptions of notable locations. It then moves into specific customs and dress, allies and enemies, before finishing off with notable people of that kingdom. The text is long enough to paint an evocative picture, but not so long as to prove burdensome in play and research. The layout and design mirror that of Mythic Britain, but with font choices that ensure the book is easily distinguished from its predecessor at a glance with pages open.
Immediately after the introduction we get the character creation process which runs from page 9 through to page 18. It references both Mythras and Mythic Britain for some parts of its content so, unless a group has earned some familiarity by running campaigns in Mythic Britain, it is likely that conducting a group character creation session with all three books at the table will be the fastest and easiest way to get going. Logres should be viewed as an Expansion of Mythic Britain rather than a full setting of its own. Together, the two volumes avoid repetition of material and conspire to weave together a more complete tapestry of the land, and perhaps of the red and white dragons of Britain.
The rest of the book is devoted to giving the GM, and by extension the players, a clearer sense of who the ‘Saxons’ were, how to bring their culture, religion, and society out in play, and how to transpose the Mythic Britain view of them as enemies with the Logres view of them as ‘us.’
These sections of the book run from page 19 to page 76. This support and setting material covers:
- Culture, including law, tool and weapon making, funerals, clothing, and the like
- Gods, Spirits, and Magic
- Logres itself, the lands of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes
- Mythic Saxons, a who’s who of the famous and powerful
Finally, the book closes with GM advice for campaign building in this setting with these characters. It also provides a 5-scenario campaign which can be run after the events of the campaign in Mythic Britain. The campaign material runs from page 77 to page 138.
A bibliography and a comprehensive index round out the end of the book.
For those looking for ways to deepen an existing Mythic Britain campaign or to delve into that imagining of that world again but from a different point of view, this book is both promising and tantalizing. The PDF is available now, with a hardcover volume to follow in March of 2017.