Chronicles of the Shattered Empires

Paradigm Concepts produces a great fantasy campaign world called “Arcanis.” Originally an OGL-based world, a new version released at Origins 2010 with Paradigm own rules set.   Officially the book is  “Shattered Empires” and the organized play (living) campaign is the “Chronicles of the Shattered Empires.”  I cannot even begin to explain the world in any depth, because it is deep!  There are layers of complexity rivaling anything I have ever seen in a fantasy campaign. More importantly, to me anyway, is the grim and bleak take on a fantasy world.

Great human empires still exist, but are often mere remnants of greater ancient empires and often teeter on the brink of oblivion. Elves and dwarves live apart from humans and every nation  distrusts each other. Hope is in short supply, while weapons are plentiful.

The new release is just a set of  “quick launch” rules to introduce people to the world and get the organized play rolling. A full campaign book comes out next year. Here is a shot of the cover.

This shot lists the various gods and a cleric doing what clerics do best; turning undead.

Take note of the section labeled “Elorii Deity.” “Elorii” is the Arcanis term for elves. They only have one god listed because the human gods betrayed, killed and devoured all the other elven gods! For some reason, elves now distrust humans…

Finally, a shot of a dwarf slinging some magic.

I am very anxious to check out the book and play a couple of sessions at Gen Con 2010 next week. I will let you know how it goes.

Trask, The Last Tyromancer



Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.

3 thoughts on “Chronicles of the Shattered Empires

  • July 26, 2010 at 6:46 am

    The new custom system does a marvelous job of providing the 4 Base Classes – Arcane Caster, Divine Caster, Expert, and Martial – as the BASIS for a character, without forcing the Base Class choice to completely define your character. ‘Cenzo is a Cafelan (Italian, kinda) Duelist with not insignificant skill in theft and stealth, but his Base Class is Divine Caster (of Larissa the Temptress), neither Martial nor Expert!

    The system supports characters as well-rounded people who learn things beyond their recognized specialization, and encourages players to think outside the base class boxes.

    Team Paradigm has provided me with the material and opportunity for a great deal of entertainment previously, and it looks like this new product is not going to disappoint, either.

  • July 26, 2010 at 9:46 am

    The new system is excellent, as are the first modules in the new living-style campaign. I strongly recommend any gamer play several games and see how they like it.

  • August 10, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Having played and run the new system extensively, I can say what an awesome game this is.

    Shattered Empires is the game that I have been desperately wishing for since joining the world of gaming. It’s a smart system, designed to facilitate ROLE playing and storytelling over ROLL playing and endless combat.

    The combat system is smooth, and moves very nicely. It’s a clock-based system, but don’t let that scare you. I’ve played systems before that used a clock, and they’ve always been very clunky. The guys over at PCI have perfected the clock, and it allows players to be more involved in combat. Gone are the days where you could leave the table for 10 minutes, and it’s still not your turn. Combat is quick, fluid, and a heck of a lot of fun.

    As for the “living” campaign side of things, the guys over at PCI always have fabulous modules. Many times, decisions are not black and white- even though our instinct is to say one choice is wrong, there is a good reason to choose not do the morally correct thing.

    They’ve done away with alignment for the system, allowing more for moral grey areas.

    I am really excited to see what PCI comes up with next.

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