Saturday 22 June 2024

Mail call Roundup

So I do like work by this writer but I think I followed them about an hour before changing my mind. In many ways this is a great mashup of BX and AD&D streamlines, sometimes simplified with some other tweaks, It has lots of spells, character classes and monsters and treasure and many of these are tweaked in new ways. A few descriptions I struggled with. It is certainly a large book and has great artwork. Some interesting tweaks to character spell casters in that you cant normally memorise the same spell twice which could be interesting and make you think harder but as a wizard you might struggle to get enough spell slots to match the number of spells you get. The classes are interesting especially the Monk one of several new "old style" retroclone monk varients trying to make them more western recently. Monsters are good and I love BX golems and AD&D types together but only 2 out of 5 sphynxes. Lammasu seems to be not Iraqui and no Shedu. Some creatures bundled together like lizards and beetles but birds could have been. War dogs seem basically as bad as wolves. Some grouping monsters to save space but a bit inconsistently applied. A few things changed for IP reasons like spells and monster names. I have many reasons to like this product and like most of the content.

The advice and various justifications I disliked. The idea the DM is your enemy trying to kill you is over the top as are many advice items which seem to be making some non-gaming points. It has a bit of Gygax worship I find a bit cringy and quoting him on the game is not storytelling. It is also very focused on dungeon crawl with mentions of creating a dungeon and managing wilderness between some village and the dungeon. I basically run all games like horror and players always believe they are suffering, having close calls and afraid of failing even if they barely get to half HP. You just need to make players fear death you don't have to kill them to be OSR. Also for modern and old-school players - raising dead is easy. Even if you can't afford to raise dead your party will have to do a quest to pay the fee. That's a great outcome for players and DM.

This extra adventure by the Creator of Gunderholfen and has 10 small adventures using pre-existing maps. There is map to locate them all in Gunderholfen setting/ A good variety or dungeons for various levels and sizes. Its a good value entertaining product that fits in with others or could be dropped anywhere.

I really enjoy the setting of this and might use the game one day. I think it is like the feel of early 80s  Brit fantasy like Fighting Fantasy, Dragon Warriors and like Warhammer light. It is a large print digest and I can read them without glasses. Some of the line of Warlock are a bit committed to the mechanics but the Kingdom book and Rebeck are all setting and lore. Its a fantastic setting light enough to do your own thing without too much density. The system is light too and I may try one day. Illustrations are of the period. The feel of the setting has a fantastic set-up. After a terrible civil war vs a traitor, the kingdom is a mess, in decline, breaking up and worse. Since the traitor's army failed and he vanished the king has been rarely seen. Gloomy with some sense of humour. The city's details and style fit with Dolemnwood and Midderlands.

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