The Relics setting is a really interesting set of ideas that I find challenging and unique.
Things I like about the RotC setting:
--the Paths. We started with 2 warbands following the One, 1 warband following Sigmar and 2 Merchants.
--the Exploration chart. Even though its just the Empire in Flames modified, the work is well done.
--the Relics. Very nice list of artifacts, they make you want to start finding them.
--the Locations. I like the idea sets of locations for battles within the campaign setting. I have tried similar things with my own campaigns but I really like the variety of 6 possible tables to roll on. The special rules and encounters for each makes our games very interesting.
--Time of day. Basically just Night and Day, but we have a lot of fun with the opportunity.
Things I changed before I began the campaign.
--the scenario tables. I did not like the mix of multi-player and Empire in Flames scenarios. I really did not like the Stagecoach Ambush scenario in an Arabian desert setting. Yes in the Legends of the Old West, no here. So I imported some Khemri scenarios, some Nemesis Crown, some Mordheim Town Cryer scenarios and since the Animosity 3 campaign was having a scenario writing contest, I wrote some.
--the sand spider. Just didn't get it. Went with the Giant Scorpion.
Things I came to really dislike quickly.
How could a warband grow in an environment that a) demands a high
output of money for goals that have limited impact on the games being played. And--
b) restricts income by denying it for approximately half of the games
played, i.e. you generate no income for games played in town
locations. (Did we interpret this wrongly?) This restriction can be lessened by gaining possessions through buying expensive and rare real estate, but the setting also--
c) restricts spending for approximately half of the games played, i.e.
you may not hire warriors or buy or replace equipment when you fight
in the desert (the only place where you can earn money). This
restriction can be lessened by buying expensive rare equipment and by
--obstructive special rules limit a warband's ability to survive long enough to take advantage of equipment or events.
Hot & Sandstorm come to mind.
I like rules which limit player options or change normal options like night rules, fog, boats or mounted warriors. But even I like to be able to compete for all the games I play. If half of my warband misses a game because of heat and the other half only move half of the time let alone shoot, hide or search for things I can not compete. Even if my opponent is similarly hobbled, this is not fun when it happens every game.
I have written scenarios that feature rules like this. I think they
are fun as a one off or rare change of pace, because I genuinely do
like a bit of chaos now and then. I do not like the direction the
rules as written take the Relics campaign. I played 4 games and
in 3 of them I lost 25 to 50% of my warband to the setting. I lost my leader to weather twice (he wandered off the table due to heat mirages.)
I usually like to give rules a fair play test. I think four
reasonalbly crappy games is a fair test. I do not like the authors'
plan for simulating the environment. The weather rules gut warbands
and the setting offers no way to allieviate the damage except by hanging
on for every game.
I don't understand the logic of requireing high income to succeed in
the setting and then limiting opportunities for aquiring income by one
half through scenario selection and then reducing opportunity further through the
environment. Too realistic for me.
So what did we do?
--For weather we roll on the Khemri chart. We still have games that are affected by adverse environmental conditions but they are balanced by games that aren't.
--For income we used the trading chart from the Khemri campaign as well, with the following changes: If the game took place in a city, you do not roll on the chart to find out where you can trade. You trade in the city, but you only roll half of the dice you would be allowed for heroes.
If the game takes place in a desert location you roll for income as normal but you also roll to see where you can trade.
With these changes we have had a great 10 weeks of mayhem.
If I (and the other members of my group) missed the explanations of the rules that would have lessened our difficulties, I would be glad to be enlightened.
Overall I really like the setting, but I found specifics frustrating.