Stealing the Soul Review

Welcome to Pen & Die’s Stealing the Soul Review! Mr. Kent David Kelly generally writes OSR game supplements, many of which tie together huge stores of lore as well as world-building techniques to be hugely useful and inspirational. When he put out the call for reviewers on a new, unique project that he was working on for Pocket Quest, I leapt at the chance. I’m a great fan of the Castle Oldskull material, but nothing prepared me for Stealing the Soul.

I always enjoy the art that Mr. Kelly uses, but the art for Stealing the Soul is simply gorgeous. Everything about the game places you into a world of Norse fairy tale that is beautiful and intriguing. You are on a mystical journey to save the soul of your uncle and bring peace between your realm and that of the Troll King. Random tables generate compose the majority of the game. A simple rule set allows your Princess character to explore the procedurally generated Endless Forest. Six attributes and an inventory of trade goods and useful items will be your tools to overcome challenges on your quest.

Exploration drives the first and main portion of the game. Your princess meets interesting characters and encounters hazards as she seeks out the Troll Elders to find the keys to enter the Troll King’s domain. Implings challenge you, prompting you to push your luck as you seek out needed resources. The various areas of the Forest that you find provide a thematic backdrop as well as allies to help you on your way.

The game is not terribly long, coming in at the 25 page limit for Pocket Quest. A wonderful adventure awaits nonetheless. Depending on your play style, you may get a couple of playthroughs but there is necessarily a limited amount of content to explore. I sought to explore it all on my first journey, so there was not much that I did not see. That said, I loved all of it.

The second portion of the game involves a reflective set of questions asked of the Princess as well as you as the player. These questions give pause for reflection on the sources of your strength and determination. I thought it was a beautiful addition to the adventure.

Finally, you will confront the Troll King in an epic last effort to free the soul of your uncle. The task looms large and it’s necessary to properly prepare for it. The results of your encounter determine the outcome of your play through and how your uncle, yourself, and the kingdom will fare.

Altogether, Stealing the Soul wraps you in the fairy tale adventure with each new section of the forest giving evocative locations and people to meet. I suggest that the game be played in a journaling style. Imagine the conversations, encounters, challenges, and hazards to their fullest while recording your adventure. It’s a magical experience.

If you would like to check out Steal the Soul, it can be found here on DriveThruRPG.

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