Secrets of Shenzhou

Secrets of Shenzhou is a sub-setting for the Realms of Terrinoth and is based on a fan-created expansion for the Runebound game set in Mennara (and used with the kind permission of its creator, Thomas King). Far to the east of Terrinoth, this empire has existed for centuries. While it is rumored there was ancient contact between the two nations in the past, only recently has it become more commonplace. Trade now exists between them, though many in the baronies are still unaware of its existence.

Many real-world cultures are already echoed in Mennara. Lorimor is clearly patterned after ancient Rome; Isheim reflects the Vikings; Al-Kalim reflects the Middle East, and so on. This is not meant to stereotype such cultures or lump them together. Indeed, the Far East cultures of Japan, China, and other regional nations have rich, unique, and varied histories and cultural contributions. Like the other cultures reflected in Mennaran nations, Shenzhou draws from these real-world examples only to offer familiar examples for players to identify with the setting. These cultures are drawn from with the utmost respect and appreciation for their real-world inspirations. As in many fantasy settings, some players may choose to be stealthy Ninjas, honorable Samurai warriors, or other heroes from works inspired by these remarkable cultures (regardless of how inaccurate the depiction may or may not be in literature, film, and other media).

The sub-setting of Shenzhou brings many new options for players and GMs in the world of Mennara. Whether running a campaign completely within the Empire, or as a place for the PCs to visit, the nation has much to offer.

This sub-setting features the history and geography of this new realm, as well as new opportunities. Two new Playable Races (the Tengu and the Monkey-Man) are available to players, as well as 7 new Careers (complete with talent pyramids and optional special abilities as featured in “Trades of Terrinoth”), new Skills and 19 new Talents (including some martial arts talents)!

New weapons (some also featured in “Grizelda’s Gear”) and Ninja equipment are available in this tome (including the deck plans for a Junk ship in the same style as “Tariannor’s Transports”, and 15 new Adversaries are given (and illustrated, along with adversary cards). Over 20 new NPCs are detailed within both the Imperial Court and those who oppose them, and many are pictured; people PCs may encounter in their travels in Shenzhou. Factions for different organizations within Shenzhou are presented with faction abilities to those in “Fantastic Factions”. Finally, ways to bring characters to the Empire are presented as Adventure Seeds.

Developed by veteran GM Chris Markham (as Gazrok Games), this is one of many supplements already released for the Foundry and for the Terrinoth setting. Though this supplement is set in the world of Mennara, it can be converted for use in your own fantasy world. The Genesys Core Rulebook, Realms of Terrinoth sourcebook, and either Genesys Dice or the Genesys Dice App are required to use this product.

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