Supplement Review: LaCroix: A Torn World Character Pack by Jack Cull and Torn World Publishing

Elves live what seems like forever in most RPGs. Yet unless we have elven PCs, we rarely encounter an individual elf more than a few times in a campaign, and never see the effects of age over decades and centuries. We may encounter a young elf, an elf in middle-age, or an elderly elf, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the same elf at all three ages.

It’s that aspect I find intriguing in the LaCroix: A Torn World Character Pack from designer Jack Cull and the Torn World Publishing crew. This pack almost acts as a short biography, checking in on a long-lived character at multiple times in their lifetime. LaCroix is an elf from the Irkhurst Forest and we get snapshots at three different times: youth (elven: 96, human: 16), early middle-age (elven: 132, human: 22), and advanced middle-age (elven: 232, human: 38). At each point we get full stats for PFRPG/3.5e, plus a description, a portrait (some great art from Jeff Hill and Serena Verde), and some biographical detail.

In addition to the three character studies, you also get a new Prestige Class – the Molaes Saedi (Silver Brother). Though I’ve not used Prestige Classes myself, the idea of gaining additional abilities and renown as part of a unique group offers some interesting possibilities. In this case, a Silver Brother is a member of a group of warriors formed to defeat a race of evil wolfmen and protect elven territory. But things aren’t all rosy for these fighters. They have some history and it’s not all positive news. That said, even if you don’t play in the Torn World universe, the Molaes Saedi could easily be repurposed for any PFRPG campaign.

Long story short, though I appreciate what Cull is doing with LaCroix, I find this book lacking a bit in crunch. There’s not much of a difference between age 96 and age 132, so I’m wondering why the former was included. Perhaps other age snapshots would help flesh out the changes from 132 to 232, which are pretty significant.

The history described for the 232 year old LaCroix offers some tantalizing tidbits about significant changes in Khaborosk elven leadership. Maybe with more details of the history involved to provide additional context or some of LaCroix’s family as NPCs or other members of the Molaes Saedi this supplement would stand alone more effectively.

If you’re looking for NPCs (or PCs), there are other resources I think that offer more choices (Masks from Engine Publishing comes to mind). The LaCroix: A Torn World Character Pack had potential to address an aspect of elvish longevity I’ve not seen explored anywhere else, but falls short of the mark. Hopefully other Torn World supplements can expand on the ideas here.

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