First Impressions: Caladon Falls

Caladon Falls Cover Although Caladon Falls and Savage Suzerain have been around for a while now, I was pretty much oblivious of the Savage Suzerain product line. From what I gather, Savage Suzerain starts where normal Savage Worlds campaigns end. In Savage Worlds the highest rank you can attain is Legendary. In Savage Suzerain this is when things really start getting interesting. So Suzerain provides you with rules for epic, high-powered gameplay using Savage Worlds.

But that’s only part of what Suzerain is. It’s also a whole multiverse. Characters can move between worlds, if that’s what you wish. For high ranked characters one world might not be enough. The Suzerain product line contains various sourcebooks that provide players and GMs with details for the different Suzerain realms.

One of these realms is Relic, a high fantasy realm and the world Caladon Falls is set in. In order to play Caladon Falls you need at least the Savage Worlds Explorer Edition, but owning a copy of Savage Suzerain is also highly recommended.

I haven’t really had a chance to have a deeper look into the crunchy parts of the book, but from what I’ve seen so far, you should be fine with the core Savage Worlds rules for the most part. Savage Suzerain makes some minor changes to SW terminologies like Bennies are now called Karma and Power Points are Pulse, but these changes are explained in the “Savage Suzerain Play Now, For Free” booklet, which is – as the name implies – available for free. So If you got interested in Savage Suzerain, you might check this out.

Caladon Falls p.14 What immediately grabbed my attention when I first read about Caladon Falls is the artwork. The production value of the PDF is definitely on par with what you would expect from companies like Paizo or Wizards of the Coast. Of course artwork alone does not make a great product but Caladon Falls is definitely very pleasing just to look at.

But let’s have a look at what’s there content-wise. The book is divided into two parts: a Player and a GM section. The Player section gives a broad overview of the realms of Relic with special emphasis on the lands of Caladon.

Caladon Falls is set into the so called War of the Wild. Caladon has been invaded by Warlocks who wield god-like powers and are followed by their monstrous hordes. The 148-paged book not only describes the lands at the time the invaders landed at the shores of Caladon but also contains a 12 episode Plot Point Campaign and 18 Savage Tales set into the aforementioned war.

Let’s have a look at the High Kingdom of Caladon. As the name implies it is ruled by a High King. The High King is selected by a council made up of the rulers of the seven kingdoms of Caladon. Each of the kingdoms is rules by one of the Noble Houses which are Killian, Laneer, Marron, Sumner, Thrace, Vesper, and Wallend. The state religion of Caladon is the Church of the Trinity which has more than just a fleeting resemblance to the Catholic Chruch.

The third pillar of Caladon (aside from Nobility and the Church) is the Wizards Guild. In Caladon people with the talent for magic have to be registered with the Wizards Guilt. Rogue mages are hunted down, at least in theory.

Caladon Falls p.65 Since Caladon Falls was created with a certain time and place in Relic’s history in mind, the player’s choice of characters is limited to humans with ties to the High Kindom of Caladon. But in my opinion that’s not really a drawback. The Player section contains a plethora of new edges and drawback which should make it easier to create memorable characters fitting into the world of Relic.

Especially interesting are the Arcane Backgrounds which are called Pulse Paths in Savage Suzerain. Caladon Falls has rules for the Druid, the Enchanter, and the Protector. And if I am not mistaken they are meant as additional option not as replacements for the ones provided in Savage Suzerain. Again at least owning the free Savage Suzerain booklet might be helpful here. The Player section concludes with a extensive list of new powers and Caladon-specific gear.

The GM section of the PDF contains the background information on Caladon’s invaders and provides enough information for GMs to run a campaign set into the War of the Wild. Since I just got a copy of the book I haven’t really delved deeper into the GM section yet, but I plan to do so, as soon as I have the time.

But from what I’ve seen so far, Caladon Falls is definitely one of the more interesting Savage Worlds campaign settings out there. And although it’s high fantasy it’s not your standard garden variety setting with elves and dwarves, but more human-centric, which is a good thing in my book. You might need to invest into Savage Suzerain if you want to get the most out of it, but the free booklet might be enough to get you started.

Caladon Falls is currently available at DrivethruRPG for $19.95. The publisher Savage Mojo is currently trying to raise the funds for a hardcover printing of Caladon Falls. You can learn more about this fundraiser at IndieGoGo.

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

7 thoughts on “First Impressions: Caladon Falls”

  1. Re: Savage Suzerain.

    You're half right. While Savage Suzerain does definitely veer off the beaten path (at Heroic rank, and adding a whole other rank beyond Legendary), it is fully capable of very cool stuff in the early ranks. In fact, the Plot Point Campaign in Caladon Falls actually runs from Novice to Heroic, beginning with the heroes as newbie adventurers and thrusting them into the role of conscripted soldiers against Chaos. The campaign actually should end right around the time the PCs hit that magic Heroic rank in which Suzerain tends to diverge from your "regular" SW campaign.

    Races also aren't limited to humans…the way Suzerain works, characters can take Racial Edges that make them a dwarf, elf, whatever, and they just spend one of their starting Edges to be a member of the chosen race…(Banshees and Dragon Kin are given as two of the more unusual racial options in Caladon Falls).

    Anyone interested in the PDF would do well to chip their $20 into the fundraiser, because you also get the Suzerain Adventure Deck for free as part of the donation, in addition to the PDF.
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    1. Thanks for the clarification, Tommy. But I think I was a bit unclear where I was talking about Savage Suzerain and where it was about Caladon Falls. Because I actually meant that Caladon Fall's characters should be human only. Of course you do have more options in Savage Suzerain.

  2. Nope, you and I were talking about the same thing. Check pages 6 and 19 in the Caladon Falls book. As with Savage Suzerain, everyone is human by default, unless they take a Racial Edge. The only prohibition on character creation is that the characters have some kind of tie to the High Kingdom, or be willing to listen to authority figures.

    Indeed, the link Vickie mentioned above notes that Caladon Falls PCs can be humans, auroras, banshees, dryads, dragon kin, dwarves and furies.
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