Amazing Book for Troika probably my favourite so far!
As soon as I saw the front cover of this expansion I knew I would love it. I probably would have paid the asking price of this book just for the extended list of spells, I love magic in TTRPGS so this book was very magnetic to me. But it also includes another 36 characters, Items, NPC and adventure prompts.
Having the extended list of spells is fantastic. There is a wide variety of spells, from very benign spells all the way up to portal making spells, phylactery making spells, and planet wide curse spells. Reading the extended spell list got me very excited to continue running games and see what my players get up to when using them. Whilst most of the list is fantastic, I think there is something to be said about the viability or use or purpose of some of the spells. Troikas rules are often very loose yet descriptive and visceral, which is fantastic but i think sometimes the actual use of the spell or what it does can get lost in translation. Some spells I read I have virtually no understanding of what they do, and others seem virtually useless due to either their niche-ness or what they do. So i think you need to have some generous leniency for players when they use certain spells. For instance the spell "worm cast" which turns any tiny organisms on someone into large banana sized worms with human faces, doesnt have any other effect associated with it. So a Dm would need to liberal in making the worms do some other effect to the target i think like make them drown slip about or run in fear to make it worthwhile. Other then the few spells which seem like that to me having the extended list of spells is amazing.
The 36 additional characters are great as well, never ceases to amaze me how many interesting characters are in these books and they all have a different feel to them. Given the book is about magic schools i wasn't too excited about who the characters were going to be (as i thought they would all be variations on a poindexter harry potter kid) but i was very pleasantly surprised at the variety of different characters in the book. Most of them are quite strange and esoteric and magical in some capacity. Most seem quite monstrous and strange.
Personally I am not to interesting in creating a magic school however the random tables they provided for creating NPC teachers and assignments, troubles with the schools and rumors are fantastic prompts for creating NPCS and adventures for your party. You can easily use use these tables and just replace any mention of school or class or whatever with kingdom or sphere or town and they will work just as-well. Just glancing through the tables will get your dm brain ticking for possible adventures for your party.
One other thing the book is much larger in terms of height which may trigger your OCD brain as it wont line up with the rest but it really helps with the readability, especially of the tables in the book so overall i think it is a huge plus.
Oh yeah and the art in this book is amazing wowee i feel like that is not even worth mentioning the art and design of the books from these guys are always top notch.
So overall I think this is my favorite Troika book so far. I strongly recommend this book especially if you like magic.
Austin | Australia | June 2022
Academies of the Arcane
I absolutely LOVE the spells. It gives so much diversity to the powers available to my players! In addition, the new spells give my villains and arcane teachers more of a Gandalf vibe. This book has changed the magic institutions in my Troika games. Now my Wizards are weird travelers of distant planes that come in contact with creatures beyond the minds or mortals.
Iain Mayers | Richmond | May 2022