|Gomo Guide to Thoneport|
Copyright 2010, Oak & Lotus Publications.
The realm of Thantier lies to the south and west of Burdoth (where most campaigns are focused). Adventurers and wanderers might steer clear of this area, as the Thantierians are known to be prideful, touchy, and extremely xenophobic, especially towards nonhumans, who are given the derogatory title of "thone." But Thantier is one of the original Earth colony settlement sites, and it holds ancient knowledge as well as desireable trade goods.
This book tells us a great deal about Thantieri culture, emphasizing the trading city of Thoneport, where even nonhumans may negotiate with Thantieri if they take great care. The Gomo Guide is written as an in-character guidebook, following the example laid out by the tauther guide of the 2nd and 3rd edition rules. As described by Adams, Thoneport is a tricky city to negotiate safely, where travellers must take care not to violate the laws or cultural mores of the Thantieri (one of which is the permissibility of cheating outsiders), but a seeker after knowledge might find much of value. Thantier is ruled by seven great houses, their privileges encrusted by centuries of practice. Copiously illustrated by lightly modified old photos of non-Western peoples, the city of Thoneport is certainly an alien place, but one with understandable rules and practices. It would make a fascinating stop for characters to visit.
As may be expected after sixteen-year hiatus, the book doesn't quite retain the same voice and feel of earlier Jorune materials, but it still contains the mystery and wonder of the world. Like other Jorune books, this one takes time to adapt to and understand, but this is almost entirely due to the cultural differences from the rest of the Jorune material. We found the art sometimes served as a barrier to entering the world, as the varied costumes didn't feel like they came from a unified culture (a problem not shared by the pictures of architecture). Even with this flaw, the pictures provide ideas as to how different human cultures choose to dress and show their status.
We wish the book were larger, a gomo guide to all of Thantier. Alternately, we felt there could have been more detail about Thoneport itself, but this is not Jorune's (or Adam's) way: none of the earlier source materials do more than give maps with a number of key locations and a broad overview of a city. In this, the book matches the feel of its older predecessors.
It may be a while before we game in Jorune again, but this book is a welcome addition to the line. Jorune fans can rejoice that this fine old setting is showing signs of renewed activity.