Ivania Region Overview

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<-- Ivinia Region

Ivinia-kingdoms-map.jpg

The Ivinia region box set comes with an excellent high quality colour map, a section of which is shown above.

The following is a review from RPGNet

IVINIA REGIONAL EXPANSION MODULE.

The North-West area of the map is occupied by a number of Kingdoms and States that are directly from the Harn range of role playing products. Harn itself is not used. The regions in use with DQ are Ivinia and Shorkyne. If you wish to borrow the 'Regional Expansion Modules' please contact Jono.



The 'Ivinia Regional Expansion Module' (Henceforth referred to as 'Ivinia') is the second regional module for Columbia Games 'Harn' generic role-playing setting.

Coming out in 1985, 'Ivinia' dealt with the homeland of the rulers of the Harnic kingdom of Orbaal. The region is loosely based on Post-Viking era Scandinavia, and lies to the north of the area covered in the Shorkyne Regional Module.

The set contained two books, the 'Ivinia Overview' and 'Ivinia Index' and a map of the Ivinia region on the same scale as the original map of Harn.

The 'Ivinia Overview' is a 32-page book that was divided into two sections; the first was the overview and covered the history, culture, economics and religion of Ivinia. The second section of the book contains both advice for GMs wishing to use 'Ivinia' and the necessary tables to do so.

The 'Ivinia Index' is a 64 page alphabetical listing of the locations, organizations and creatures that exist in the Ivinia setting.

The setting revealed in the two books is of a cold, rugged group of islands, whose independent people mix trading with piracy, often on the same voyage. The islands themselves are divided into a number of states.


"HARNWORLD: IVINIA REGIONAL EXPANSION MODULE", COMMENTS.

The first thing that has to be said about 'Ivinia' is that it does succeed in its primary purpose; it provides the GM with a basic background upon which to create a variety of adventures. The Overview and Index books work together to give the GM the, who, what where, when, why and how of the setting. The overview also has some useful cultural tidbits such as the fact that Ivinian merchants always carry scales, because they judge the value of a payment by the weight of the coins, not their face value.

The GMs advice provided in the second half of the is useful, pertinent and includes one of the most important pieces of advice that can be given to a GM, namely that, "...if the world is to seem real it cannot appear to revolve around a few player characters."

One other feature of this advice stands out; this is the concept of the 'pregame'. The pregame is a one-on-one quasi role-playing session in which the GM and a player create the background of the player's character. While somewhat time consuming it is a very powerful way of creating not only the characters background, but also that characters connection with other players in the game. As an example, when I joined a long running Call of Cthulu campaign, the GM took me through such a session. After the session was complete I knew not only where the character had come from, but also why he had come to the place where he met the rest of the characters and most importantly his enmity with one of the characters. All of which helped me to shape the character and his actions in the role-playing session that followed.

'Ivinia' does have a number of flaws however, several items in the 'Ivinia Index' relate not to the Ivinian setting but to the world of Kethira where Ivinia is located, while I can understand the reason Columbia Games gave for including this material I cannot help but feel that the space should have been used to provide additional background for Ivinia itself. For example, one of the items in the index is a map showing the location of various Ivinian colony states (Orbaal, Harbaal, Alagon, Palithane, Korlua & Menema) as well as a number of cities that are either ruled by Ivinians or have an Ivinian population living there. However, only two of the colony states, (Orbaal & Harbaal) are actually listed in the index itself, whereas in my opinion all of the colony states should have been mentioned.

Similarly the information on the various deities that exist in the setting have been taken directly from both the original Harn Regional Module and a supplement entitled "Gods of Harn", with minimal or no alteration. Here, Columbia Games missed an opportunity to either make the material more specific or expand upon the material already presented. As an example, the regional god of Ivinia is an entity called Sarajin, he is served by a number of Valkyrie like beings called Elkyrie. In "Gods of Harn" the Elkyrie are listed by name and each Elkyrie has a short paragraph of information provided. In 'Ivinia' this list is simply repeated verbatim. This was a missed opportunity to expand upon the original material and provide additional background upon these characters.

The final problem with 'Ivinia' is directly related to Columbia's erratic release schedule since 1987, as written 'Ivinia' was to be followed by a series of modules that would look at the various kingdoms in more detail. Only one such module, "Menglana", has appeared to date. More importantly 'Ivinia' has not been updated as the 'Harn' Regional Module was in 1990, nor has it ever been reprinted. This final situation may be changing as there are reports that Columbia is considering adding an 'Ivinia 2nd Edition' module to its current preorder list. Other reports state that an Ibanvaal kingdom module is in the final stages of completion and may see print in the near future.

"HARNWORLD: IVINIA REGIONAL EXPANSION MODULE", VERDICT.

A solid role-playing supplement that provides the GM with a very interesting setting for a wide range of adventures.

Games in this area:

Summer 820 WK Okla is missing
Spring 819 WK Half a crisp spring
Summer 819 WK Northern Summers
Autumn 817 WK Northern Lords
Spring 816 WK Ivinia Darkness
Spring 816 WK Ivinia Darkness - Wed Medium/High - Jono Bean
Winter 816 WK Chelemby Northern Darkness - Mon High/Medium - Jono Bean
Winter 814 WK Copper Sands and Broken Dice - Low - Wednesdays - Jono Bean
Summer 816 WK Chateau Haut-Brion - Mon High/Medium - Jono Bean
Winter 810WK Twice as Cold. Also Politics in Ivinia may be of assistance - Jono Bean


<-- Ivinia Region