Ringbote reviewed the Tsa-Vademecum
Ansgar Imme from the online game magazine The Ringbote reviews the Tsa Vademecum by Melanie E. C. Meier, which was published in 2014 and is written from the perspective of the devotee Thorben Grimmwulf. The non-binding nature of the Tsa church is clearly reflected, but this image of derischer conditions probably at the expense of usability at the gaming table.
The goddess Tsa is also called the young goddess, for she is considered the youngest of the twelve gods and thus the end and the beginning of the cycle of life. Accordingly, it stands for birth, renewal, eternal change, life itself and rebirth, but also for children, curiosity or freedom. Through this very desire for freedom and lack of commitment, a magician describes in the “Vademecum” how the goddess shows herself in her uniqueness, how the community of believers gathers together, which retinue the goddess possesses or which prayers one speaks and how the temple service is provided.
© Ansgar Imme
Also the “Tsa-Vademecum” is published on 160 pages in a DIN-A5 large booklet. While the volumes to the other gods were held in an appropriate color of the god, the cover of the “Tsa vademecum” explodes in innumerable colors and shows various elements.
In addition to a brief, earthly foreword, a magician explains in the Aventurian preface that he has taken over the summary, since Tsa followers would not be patient with such a structured thing. At the beginning he reports from various aventuric sources on the nature of the young goddess, for which characteristics, aspects and characteristics she stands, but also how to recognize her work. The second chapter then reports on the history of the community Tsas. Their first chosen one is introduced and the Tsa faith from the tulamidic primeval times over the Bosparanic age to the priestly emperors accompanied.
In the third section, the retinue of the changeable are introduced: their only alveraniarin, their sons Simia and Kardan (created with Ingerimm or the thieving Phex), but also the peace larks or peculiar beings or states like spring, the dawn, Tsa’s laughter and the Kobolds as Tsa’s most famous heralds. As unique as this retinue are the prayers to the goddess, as the fourth part shows. It is emphasized that all are different and none are alike, so only examples can be mentioned. And even with these it is not always clear what the praying one wishes or hopes for, because the prayers are freely and openly formulated. Titles are then, for example, “spring bloom”, “hear me” or “new wind”.
The fifth chapter tells of miraculous places and artefacts of the church. This is very structured for Tsas circumstances. The lizard eye to revival and Tsas chalk to gender determination at birth are presented. The places are often places of rest, life or creativity, but also places of destruction that have been reborn. The temple ministry and the faith communities in the sixth section also follow the quiet pattern, emphasizing the diversity of the temple houses, the worship services, the devotion of the devotees as well as the followers.
It is no different with the streams of faith in the seventh part, which, for example, introduces the friends of peace, the radical sect of the Tsaisha, the born-again, iconoclasts, freedom fighters, goblins and many more. In probably no twelve divine church, there are as many streams of faith as in Tsa, which embody all aspects of the goddess, but often stand for the protection of life, freedom or change. Fitting to this diversity is also the eighth chapter, which is titled with hodgepodge. There are many different source texts that illuminate and describe the goddess, her church or her devotees. These are written from the point of view of followers of the young goddess, but also describe the view on exactly these, as well as experiences that have to do with the changeable.
The last section of the book then contains the earthly part for the design of a devotee from the Church of the Goddess. Here it is emphasized that, while peace love is a central point of faith, it strives for it as well as other virtues and is not always achieved. The interaction with the other churches is also explained, as well as the motivation and concept for a Tsa devotee. Examples may be fairy friend, freedom fighter, pacifist, or seeker, all embodying very different aspects. Likewise, the church hierarchy and the manifestation of the liturgies depending on the region will be discussed and two new liturgies will be presented. The band then closes with more than 10 free Vakatseiten for their own design.
In the design of the band you have kept to the previous volumes except the cover. Few, rather simple and ancient pictures should give the impression that the book was actually written by someone.
Just as the cover clearly differs from the volumes of the other gods, the content is clearly different. Although there are sometimes similarities, such as texts on prayers, holy places or the church itself, on the one hand it works exceptionally often with aventuric sources and on the other hand with unstructured chapters. Of course, this fits well into the goddess of change and freedom, but often complicates reading and comprehensibility. In addition, the aventuric sources or the very creative prayers sometimes leave the reader thoughtful, since the contents are not revealed at first glance. Here you have to speak more of introductions than reading.
The missing structure or liability runs through almost all text components. Besides the examples, it is always emphasized that the goddess, the devotees and the church have no rules or specifications and are so individualistic that there are no classical prayers, no hierarchies, no special liturgies or gestures. This provides a degree of arbitrariness, which can quickly cause trouble at the gaming table, if the appropriate player refers to it exactly, or the players may perceive the Tsa Church and its devotees as more of a ridiculous network. Aventurisch may be quite appropriate, but for a game help it would have been good in some places to make some binding statements. From an Aventurian point of view, the Vademecum certainly serves its purpose, but the benefits of the game table remain too much on the track, as the practical hints are too rare. As a more far-reaching consideration of the Goddess and her church, perhaps even in the design of a background, this volume may work better than supporting a player.
Very critical are the many free pages to see. After many chapters follows a free page for “own notes” (how many players may really use that?), And then at the end again more than ten pages for own design (“for new and unusual ideas”) to the reader “. Together with the many aventuric sources, one is not sure whether the authors just did not have enough ideas for the band.
Conclusion: Even more than any other “Vadmecums” to the gods, the band is intended for the young goddess for a very special readership. Otherwise one could often extract content for himself as a player or game master, but this is a bit more difficult because of the arbitrariness and emphasis on the individualism of the church. Players and those interested in Tsa beliefs will certainly find many suggestions or ideas and will be motivated by themselves to contribute something new to the game. For all the others, on the other hand, reading for example Phex, Travia or Boron may contribute more to the Christmas relaxation.
Ulisses Spiele 2014
160 S., Hardcover, German
Price: EUR 14,95
Purchase from Amazone