My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an extremely interesting rpg. Even if you don’t plan to play this, because it has very interesting concepts for every OGL d20 fantasy rpg.
The first difference you’ll will notice, is the level 0 characters. They call this the CHARACTER CREATION FUNNEL. Every player rolls 3D6 for their abilities, and create 3 level 0 pc’s. They have no further classes, nor race bonuses, no modifiers, etc etc. Their hp is only a 1d4+stamina modifier. Their occupation and possessions are randomized with a d20 and a list for the results. The players play the first part of the campaign till they reach level 1. By then most pc’s will have died and the players choose which pc they will play for the rest of the campaign. the rest can become npcs. Since it only takes 10XP to reach level 1, this will probably be the next gaming session.
The way you get XP is also based on successful encounters and not on kills. You don’t have to kill to learn something out of an encounter. This way it’s easier to earn XP from doing other things outside combat, in other RPG’s this also the case but the players are more encouraged to kill every enemy they see to level faster.
The range of dice is also unusual. In this one you could use a d3, d4, d5, d6, d7, d8, d10, d%10, d12, d14, d16, d20, d24 and d30!! it’s looks quite complex, but it isn’t. This is called the DICE-CHAIN. When the rules say to use an improved die, you step up one die. So instead of a d6 you may use a d7. This is also cumulative, so you can step up multiple dice.
The combat system isn’t necessarily based on a grid, but it can be played on a grid, on a table or ‘theater of the mind’ . The MIGHTY DEEDS OF ARMS is something I really missed in other RPG’s. A warrior can declare a special move while attacking, so long it fits the situation. The warrior can try to land an attack specifically on the horns of a demon. Just roll a D3 to see if it would succeed to cut off the horns.
SPELL DUELS! It’s the best magical battle concept I’ve seen so far. Basically when a spellcaster, casts a spell, like for example a magical missile, the other spellcasters who come after him in the initiative order can react immediately by casting a counterspell, for example magic shield! When that happens, they give up their actions in the normal initiative order in that round. The spellcasters who dueled must place a d20 on the table with the 10 facing upwards. The winner of the duel may change the dice one number up. The next time the spellcasters duel the difference between the numbers of their d20 are used as a bonus. The cool thing is that they can get in a sort of flow. Like in Lord of the Rings when Saruman fought against Gandalf in the second movie. (I’ve found a nice help chart for this spell system: click here ) Spells have also cool side effects! When casting the spell, the higher your spell check the better the spell results. (More about spells in the video below)
The layout of the book is a mixed bag. Some pages look gorgeous, others not. There are different illustrators and the quality of their work isn’t always of the same height. That’s the problem, when somebody raises the bar, then the lesser illustrators look bad. The text layout isn’t always on a grid, the kerning is sometimes awful, the word-spacing and text flagging is sometimes just cringy… But the overall feel of the layout is pleasant, because it has a retro feel and it’s easy on the eye. The book is also written really well, everything is very clear. For an Rpg that claims to be for hardcore OGL 3.e players. For them it is a very accessible game.
Alright! If you want to know more about the spell system, and how to integrate it into a 5e game. This video is very helpfull.