Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Monsters and Magic Review

In this post I am going to give a quick review of the new OSR game called Monsters and Magic.  Now I know what you're thinking... "But Chris, this has nothing to do with supers!"  Well, keep in mind I like more than one genre and have always been a fan of fantasy games as well.

To begin with, although I am a fan of the Old School games, I haven't really jumped on the bandwagon so-to-speak.  The first fantasy game I ever ran used the Rolemaster system and while its indeed 'old' it doesn't fit the same mold as OD&D and AD&D.  So imagine my surprise when I came upon the Monsters and Magic G+ group.  From everything I read it would be the game to renew my love of fantasy.  Eventually (read yesterday) I broke down and purchased the PDF.

The games tagline is 'Old School Fantasy, New School Play'.  The game does a great job of following that idea and more.  While it goes a long way in the tradition of the original games with things like multiple Player Races, Classes, and Levels it adds its own spin on things by tweaking the old standards.

Gone are the days of set-in-stone abilities that allow the character to do XX, instead the character has Traits which allow for greater possibilities.  Simply put a Trait is a few words that describe something the character can do such as Feats of Strength or knowing a grand variety of religious ceremonies.  I understand that the Trait idea isn't brand-spanking-new, but its pretty new to me.

The area where the game shines is in its use of Effects and Consequences.  This means that the better you roll (or worse as the case may be) the more outstanding your results.  This could mean extra damage, knocking back a foe out of range, or stunning an opponent through a witty rejoinder.  These ideas are expanded to include all sorts of personal interactions in addition to the more typical combat oriented ones.  the neatest part is that while the player gets to describe their lucky breaks and their opponets problems, the GM does the same for the NPC's.  This can cause all sorts of fun and interesting events in the game.

I am hoping to begin play with this system tomorrow of Skype with a friend.  Yes, it will be just he and I, but if it can work for a duo there is no reason it can't work for a full group!

All in all I give this game a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to see what they come up with next!

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