Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Realm

It's a bold move to give a book such a bland title. "Trust us, everyone who needs to know what this is, already knows what this is." You've got to have a lot of confidence to try and sell a book called The Realm.

And you know what, that confidence really does show up on the page. It's not the Peoples' History of the Dragon-Blooded Empire that I was hoping for in my most unrealistic dreams, but it is a bit of mature Exalted world-building, fleshing out an area of Creation that has mostly been off-limits in your typical game (because only the Dragon-Blooded could walk there openly, and they would but rarely have need to leave their palaces and estates).

I really liked this book. I've made a private (and utterly inconsequential) decision that Exalted is my Final Fandom (a new thing I invented, where I imagine a hypothetical situation I'm systematically locked out of all the things I enjoy until I have but one possible hobby or interest left, and though such a thing would break my heart, Exalted is the one that would hurt the least) and so I'm ever-hungry for new material for this game.

Which you would think would lead me to having a ton to say about it, but . . . I already said most of it on my thread. Sorry. That's just how it is. The fandom comes first. It's invigorating to be a part of it again, though I have to confess, my appetite for arguments is a little less endless than it's been in the past (maybe I'm too used to declaiming on high, from my unquestionable position as a blogger).

The Realm is actually pretty good in that regard, in that its potential for generating arguments is no greater than any other new bit of canon for a property that's existed for nearly 20 years and has a devoted fan-base. It was mostly consistent with the shape of old arguments and its new material is not yet developed enough to inspire contentious schisms.

It does continue 3rd Edition's pattern of adding new life and new possibility to the setting, and it will probably enter my personal list of top-tier exalted books for its comprehensiveness and timeless approach.

UKSS Contribution: This is easy. In Exalted, there are magical buildings called manses. Manses are often headquarters for major characters, storehouses for valuable items, and general dungeons and adventure areas. Manses in general are cool, but I've got a specific one in mind. It's called "The House of Not Yet Midnight" and I just love that name. The book doesn't do more than name-drop the manse and mention it has time-bending powers, but I was sold on the name alone. I want to read a book with that title. I imagine it would be a weird fairy-tale-esque YA fantasy where some sensitive teenager learns to question the nature of their reality.

I don't know what Ukss' House of Not Yet Midnight is going to look like, but I don't need to know to promote it on a name alone.

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