This is the first of what will be a regular feature in which I will cast a critical eye over an interesting RPG supplement. Oddly enough, I’m going to begin with an air of finality as Goblin Markets, the final title in the Changeling: The Lost line, is today’s topic. Here is the cover of the book and of the core book for the line:
As an admirer of the poem that this book seems to be based on, Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, I thought I would try to do this review entirely in verse. Really, really terrible verse…
The final book of Changeling
A sad old thing, indeed;
Do I need to own this one?
Oh, yes, I do, indeed!
Released seven years ago,
in the year two thousand, nine.
This book gives the game a fitting end
and I had to make it mine.
Inspired by the titular poem,
Christina Rossetti’s rhyme,
The books starts with a bonny tale:
A supernatural crime!
It sets a certain tone, I think:
Violence, mystery, sex and joy.
It stands up there with White Wolf’s best,
The poor, misguided boy…
Anachronistic, and creepy too,
Is how it comes across.
A tale of desperate bargaining;
A tale of bitter loss.
Chapter one is where we see
The content and the meat,
The goblins running around their marketplace,
On their shrivelled little feet.
We learn the rules of marketplace,
Consequences, risk and the fate
Of those who would break said rules
And find their head upon a plate.
“How do they act with the freeholds?”,
Is the question you should ask.
Answering this very question
Becomes this chapter’s task.
Of the markets, several types:
Both hedge and mundane.
Some are fixed and some are mobile,
Some are fancy, others plain.
Chapter two looks closer
At the goods that are for sale,
And expands on the Goblin Contracts,
With terms you dare not fail.
Much like in Rossetti’s poem,
The goblins here sell fruit
Such as the cocorange and dactyl
and the strange coralscalp root.
It also explores more vices –
These are your character’s flaws.
Pride, envy, wrath and lust,
(greed and gluttony are my cause).
Transformations and destinies too,
are explored to some extent.
But after all that greed and lust,
You may be feeling spent.
This chapter bursts with cool ideas
Of all types, great and small.
But in no one single campaign
Could you use them all.
The final chapter seems a little
Less useful than the rest.
Oh yes it has some good ideas,
But chapter two had the very best.
There are a number of characters,
Listed in the pages here –
All of whom are interesting
Inspiring laughter, thought and fear.
They do seem a little bit detached,
Almost abstracted away:
As when it comes to the scenario hooks,
They’ve melted clean away.
Surely using them would have been
The sensible thing to do?
After all, the work was done!
I don’t think the had a clue.
That’s not to say the scenarios,
were in any way not good.
I just think they missed a trick
and didn’t rock out, like they should.
Needless to say, the book looks great,
An object to admire.
The graphic designers of White Wolf,
Any company should desire.
Production quality is up there
With the very, very best.
It really does still put to shame
The majority of the rest.
There’s not a lot of artwork,
Though what is there, I adore.
That said, I think it could benefit
From just a little bit more.
As for it being the last title
In the wonderful Changeling line,
I hope that the second edition
Will see more books that I can make mine.
In case you are in any doubt,
Or have second thoughts at all,
Yes, you should buy this supplement,
And answer the market’s call.
The goblin markets of the fine tome
Would be at home in many games
That go beyond just Changeling,
If playing Mage and Werewolf are your aims.
This was the first of the posts
In our Supplementary series.
Future posts won’t be in verse
And will posit different theories.