That this issue was originally slated for a February release (it was released in January) is clear in the Introduction. Given that this is a monumental, chock-full issue that is pretty amazing. There were a few minor issues that another editing pass would have resolved (ex. "slayed him" instead of "slew him"), but nothing that takes away from the work. A less pedantic reader may not even notice.
Let's take a look inside.
An Interesting Place to Die: The Necromancers of the Space Needle and the Land of the Reanimatronic Dead: Reid San Filippo, Talon Waite, and Tim Bruns give us what is, arguably, the most interesting place in Umerica that has been revealed so far...the ruins of Old Seattle. They are so interesting because, although they are overrun with necromancers and un-dead, they also are a thriving hub of trade. Indeed, everything else in this issue is support material for the Interesting Place to Die, which might also happen to be an Interesting Place to Live.
Provided is an overview History of the Region, information on jobs the PCs might gain from the resident necromancers, and Notable Locations. These locations include the Space Needle, which can communicate with the Grand Synod of the Astroliches, the Skullbucks coffee shop (operated by Gary the Skeletal Warrior and his ward, Krissie), the Undergrunge (with its Grunge Mummies and Neclectro DJs competing music scene that sometimes erupts into throbbing musical warfare), and Queequeg's Quoffee (if you are familiar with Moby Dick, this will make sense to you). Also included are the Cathedral of Style, the Fuel Farm, and the Dead Woods.
All of these are interesting places, with hooks that will make your players want their characters to visit them. In all likelihood, more than once.
Wikinomicon: Two spells. Blood blade weaving is a 2nd level spell that allows the caster to use his (or his foe's) spilled blood as a weapon. Fleshcraft (by Talon Waite) allows a necromancer to alter the flesh, bones, and organs of his targets.
NecroTech-R-Us: This article, by Reid San Filippo and Talon Waite, describes some items that PCs might be able to buy (or might encounter) in Old Seattle. Nexoskeletons (based on a dream by Benjamin Baugh) are powered armor suits made with un-dead parts. Undead grafts are new body parts to replace the old. Flesh engines are exactly what they sound like - slower than petrol, but longer-lasting. Necro-batteries store the negative energy of un-life. JawBolters are rifles that use the lower jaw (with teeth) as a "clip" of sorts, and then fire the teeth.
Each item has one or more appropriate drawbacks to using it, giving the players not only real options, but also real choices.
ManaJava: Whether you are getting it at Skullbucks or Queequeg's Quoffee, this brew is made from necromatically ensorcelled coffee beans, and served up hot. Don't forget to tip your Baristamancer. One day, it might save your life.
Twisted Menagerie: A few of the un-dead monsters you might encounter in Old Seattle:
- Rave Zombies: The gift of Technos Discos keeps on giving.
- Caffeinated Corpse: One of the things enchanted coffee can create...zombie-like servants who need another hit of Joe to survive.
- Power Wight: Necromantic golems with arcs of energy playing over several exposed mechanical bits. Each one is a little different from the last.
- Corpsenado: Because sharks in a tornado aren't enough.
- Parts Pile: Exactly what it sounds like. A swarm of those bits and bobs that your Friendly Neighborhood Necromancer dumped in the Dead Woods.
- R.A.T.S.: Rodents of Abnormal Talent and Size (by Talon Waite). They are un-dead. And they breathe fire.
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