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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Valley of Eternity: A Game About Heroes, Outcasts and Penguins

    You guys asked for it to get translated, waited for it with the enduring patience of mountains and may have already forgotten about it. But now it's finally here!

    You can get a copy at DriveThruRPG, either in PDF or printed form.

    Valley of Eternity is a game about outcast heroes and anti-heroes, the likes seen in many westerns, told in the context of penguin society with elements of fantasy mixed into a very real and well-researched setting. If that sounds cool to you, read on:

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    Valley of Eternity is a game about Antarctica and the penguins that call it home. It's a tough, unforgiving life where every waking moment must be spent ensuring the survival of yourself and the next generation. Most penguins do just that, with little thought or agency. They simply do what their insticts tell them, survive.

    When the glacier throws its worst at the penguins, though, simple survival is not enough. Someone needs to stand up for something other than themselves, someone needs to become a hero to ensure the community at large lives on to see another spring.

    Heroic penguins do not raise younglings, nor do they bond with those around them. They live on the outskirts of society, training their physical and mental endurance in preparation for the next horror that would aim to destroy all they hold dear. With crude weapons and mystical powers granted through philosophical reflection at their disposal, these heroes do what regular penguins cannot. They are admired for their strength, yet shunned for their independence. They become outcasts and martyrs, but still they fight on.

    Others gain their independence through different means. They abandon their former homes, wander out into the coldness of the deepest glacier and surrender themselves to the frost and the wind. Most die, but some survive. Those who awaken after being purified in snow become anti-penguins, hunters as white as the snow whose hearts beat as one with the glacier itself. To regular penguins they are alien abominations. In their own eyes they have achieved the most crucial step in mastering the environment that would want nothing more than to kill everything that lives within it.

    And so the stage is set. Heroic penguins and anti-penguins clash against each other at the outskirts of "civilized" penguin society, butting heads over morals, philosophy, love and every now and again simple survival. Both sides also have to struggle against the glacier itself and the beasts it sends to destroy them. Alliances between heroes and anti-penguins are not unheard of, yet even with their combined forces the fight seems to be without end. The glacier always wins.


    The game system itself is really simple, some could even say minimal. As such the majority of the book is reserved for description of the setting, which is brilliantly put together in part due to the author's background in studying the Antarctic, and the kinds of stories one could explore in said setting.

    It took way too long to get the tranlsated edition out there but now it's finally here. And I think it looks really great, even better than the original version. And, best of all, this translation would not have happened without you guys. I'm sure the author is just as pleased as I am to get this little game out into the world and I hope you guys are still keen to give it a go!

    I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about the game.
    Last edited by Comet; 2012-08-18 at 02:21 PM.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Valley of Eternity: A Game About Heroes, Outcasts and Penguins

    I'm quite happy to see that it's finally out, after waiting for so long!

    Now I just need to justify spending money I don't have on it...
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    Default Re: Valley of Eternity: A Game About Heroes, Outcasts and Penguins

    Yeah, the price point is maybe a wee bit higher than it would have been if this game had been self-published on smaller channels. But hey, the guys at Vagrant seem to think it's the right price and I feel they're right. I haven't read the original book for a long, long time so I've had a really good time reading the translated, polished edition.

    All in all, I'd say this was well worth the hassle. More and more games from Finland are hitting the market in international languages and I'm sure it's only going to get even more exciting from here on out.
    Last edited by Comet; 2012-08-21 at 04:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Valley of Eternity: A Game About Heroes, Outcasts and Penguins

    I had never heard of it before this thread, but I am now waiting on my copy to arrive.

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    Default Re: Valley of Eternity: A Game About Heroes, Outcasts and Penguins

    Normally, I'm not a fan of niche RPGs that can only be used for one specific setting. But frankly, this sounds... amazing. I'll be picking it up in a few weeks when I get some spare cash.
    "I get my kicks above the the waistline, sunshine."

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    Default Re: Valley of Eternity: A Game About Heroes, Outcasts and Penguins

    At last. At last! Now all I need to do is convince my group to try it.

    Really psyched about this!

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Valley of Eternity: A Game About Heroes, Outcasts and Penguins

    Quote Originally Posted by JustIgnoreMe View Post
    At last. At last! Now all I need to do is convince my group to try it.

    Really psyched about this!
    Convincing your group to give penguins a go will be either really easy or infuriatingly hard, depending on what kind of people they are

    I know quite a lot of people that would get stuck on the surface level and think that this is just a shallow game for kids. The simple mechanics don't really help there, either. On the other hand, since the system is really simple it's pretty easy to make stuff up to expand it, as has already been done just for kicks.

    I say that the game is not strictly for kids, but to be fair the author reports that the game has achieved great success among the youth of Finland. Apparently kids around here really dig moral dilemmas and bittersweet victories. Or they just bought the game for the penguins, which I wouldn't exactly blame them for, either.
    Last edited by Comet; 2012-08-26 at 06:57 AM.
    "What can change the nature of a man?"

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Valley of Eternity: A Game About Heroes, Outcasts and Penguins

    Oh man, I made an account just for this and was just about to post about this until I checked if someone had already made a thread about it. Well, at least the 1dchans wiki is now fixed with latest information link

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Valley of Eternity: A Game About Heroes, Outcasts and Penguins

    So, I sold a Magic card or two and picked the game up. The hardcopy hasn't arrived yet, but I read over the PDF today. Some initial thoughts follow:

    The system is nice and simple, and it does its intended job well. One thing I will note is the lack of any sort of advancement system, but to be fair there's only so strong a penguin can get, and any honing of skills (such as learning new Philosophies/Gifts) could be done through RP.

    On that note, the conflict between the penguins and anti-penguins and their related but differing magical powers reminds me a bit of the Jedi-Sith conflict from Star Wars, only as written by someone capable of understanding moral shades of gray and subtlety. I can easily imagine basing a short campaign on a quest to achieve enlightenment/mystical power. I wish there were more powers, but there's a decent selection of them as is, and the system is simple enough so that homebrewing more shouldn't be a problem.

    Fluffwise, this setting is grim. Really grim. When they advertise tragedy, they mean it. I like it, but those of you expecting a happy story about penguins are probably going to be put off by the casual way the Valley of Eternity referred to in the title is described; it's a place where old or outcast penguins go to either die or be reborn, and the valley and surrounding area is littered with perfectly preserved penguin corpses, since they freeze solid in the Antarctic cold when they die and thus don't rot. The writeups of the various playable penguin species all include helpful tips on how their colonies are likely to ostracize the player characters, who have the gall to be different. And everything is trying to eat you. Including a good number of anti-penguins, if you're a penguin. Seriously, you're magically philosophically delicious. It's worth noting that I think the game is actually about as upbeat as the constant struggle to survive in an icy death world could possibly be, but again, if you were expecting something like Happy Feet with magic, you might be a bit put off.

    I also wish there were more nonpenguin adversaries for me to send my penguin heroes up against. All the major real-world threats to penguins are included, no problems there. I also recognize that adding more explicitly supernatural adversaries would entail the creation of a mythology for these creatures, and some players might not want explicit monsters in their game, so this is just a matter of personal preference of my part, rather than a failing of the book. Still, Poe, Lovecraft, and Campbell all have weird/horror stories set in Antarctica, and the game already includes magic, so homebrewing up some more exotic threats to lurk beyond the Valley of Eternity would be thematically appropriate, provided it wasn't overdone. I do like the fact that the most consistent and deadly threats in penguin colonies in the game are the same ones they face in real life, and having Elder Things regularly come out of the wastes would ruin the effect. Shoggoths in moderation wouldn't be bad though.

    Overall, I think this is a great book, well worth the $20, and I'm really looking forward to running a game or five with it. My thanks to the people who translated it and advertised it on this forum.
    Last edited by CN the Logos; 2012-08-28 at 02:03 AM.
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    Default Re: Valley of Eternity: A Game About Heroes, Outcasts and Penguins

    Super excited,
    I don't even remember how many years ago I started telling my friends how much I was looking forward to this.
    Now in less than a month I will hold a real physical copy in my hands.
    Til then the delicious pdf.

    Thanks Comet, this is going to be good.
    EDIT: It is everything I ever dreamed it could be.
    Almost every paragraph makes me smile at is shear grimness.
    "Death is always present in the life of a penguin."
    Last edited by oxinabox; 2012-10-07 at 07:42 AM.
    There is nothing on earth that we share; it is either Valjean or Javert!

    "A wizard can in fact be thought of the custodian to a familiar, a terrifying beast that charges its foes, slashing them to shreds while delivering their master's touch spells and bestowing upon their masters incredible bonuses to their hp or skill checks. A wizard is nearly powerless without one."

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    Default Re: Valley of Eternity: A Game About Heroes, Outcasts and Penguins

    My book finally came!
    Played it last night,
    the fluff works well.
    but I am quiet disappointed by the balance.
    I'm going to make up a set of errata and clarifications

    Survival is OP, strength is UP.
    (Fix: Make Defence = Strength + Agility)

    All ranged philosophical powers shouldn't have Line Of Sight range.
    As this means if the party is chasing someone, on a clear Antarctic day,
    they can see 6 hours ahead of themselves, and so "Mind over Matter",
    and telekinesis them to death.
    (Fix: All ranged Philosophical and Glacial powers are considered "Ranged",
    in the same way as a sling (and with similar distance), this mean they may be used to make 1 attack before combat starts, and that something coming at them for melee will reach them after no more than 1 round of running.)

    Some Soul of the Glacier / Philosophical abilities are OP:
    Crevasse is 5 dot AoE power, with a chance at instantly killing, that can be used every turn - its only 1 fat.
    In my game one of the anti-penguins got angry at a small colony,
    he brutally massacred >20% of them in one shot, and left another 30% clinging to one side (In his words "pop pop, penguins drop"), the heros tried to stop him, and the heros found themselves running along a narrowing "bridge" of rock and ice. (like most games it is bad at PvP, but PvColloney is something that should almost be expected of antipenguins)

    (Clarifications:[some of which i put into play]
    The crevasse extends outwards from the caster, from about 5m away,
    for the distance of a slings throw, it is about 5m wide.
    (Fixes (i'm not sure which would be best)): Make it cost much more fat (Mind over matter costs 5 Fat to use, and it is not insta-kill, has a better save (Chance of someone rolling under your defence is on average twice that of you succeeding on a agility roll),
    Make it take 2 turns to activate,
    make it a 6pt ability only available to NPCs, and make a Chasm power to replace it (as a 4pt ability))






    Things I couldn't work out:
    Does using philosophical powers / soul of the glacier, require free hands?
    I ruled that they did, but next time i think I'll rule the other way, but may be suggest that when using them most penguins scrunch up there faces in concentration.
    Do you have to roll to activate?
    (I rules that you had to roll to activate all powers that were not already on/ did not already have a philosophical attack roll associated - otherwise most philosophical built characters never.

    I assumed that Using the Glacier to obtain combat advantage is a survival vs defense attack. Ie someones defence applies when you are trying to push them into a crevasses.
    There is nothing on earth that we share; it is either Valjean or Javert!

    "A wizard can in fact be thought of the custodian to a familiar, a terrifying beast that charges its foes, slashing them to shreds while delivering their master's touch spells and bestowing upon their masters incredible bonuses to their hp or skill checks. A wizard is nearly powerless without one."

    Need to find a God? or Spell or Feat?

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