Lets start with the basics.
R.E.B Tongue at Antediluvian Press sent me a review copy of the PDF and I am glad he did. Its very much a worthy addition to my OSR library.
Physically I have a a plain 91 page PDF with clean efficient art that remind me of realistic art with a smidgen of Elmore, I quite like it.
The game has a nice index, a clean font and a good layout. Its easy on the eyes, easy to read and play ready.
Most importantly it has real value as game,
The author describes it this way
This game began as a joke. No, I'm quite serious. My original idea with this book was to produce a set of 'house
rules' for Swords & Wizardry, White Box, that my group could use as the basis for a campaign I was about to run
– with the conceit that it was an early edition of the 'Hackmaster' game. I got about half-way through it when I
realised that I was doing something on a rather grander scale than that; I had made a lot of changes to the rules
as I went, to the point that it was almost becoming a separate game in its own right. A friend of mine pointed
out that given that I was doing all this work...I might as well go a bit further and publish it as an actual game.
Well it may be based on Swords and Wizardry but in my book with one little tweak (a much needed intro to Role-playing paragraph) its the rightful successor to Holmes Blue Book.
Yes you heard me, Holmes Blue Book.
3d6 in order is easy to understand, comprehensive enough for long games but with plenty left open for creativity with the right kind of vagueness that is the signature of Old School.
Now it has its flaws and eccentricities, the Thief and Assassin are weak, the hit point progression includes single digits in the middle of the progression instead of at the end as is customary and there are a limited number of spells.
It also has its excellences the Fighter class is really good (having rapid attack , great HP progression and leadership) and the alternative custom caster classes (Pyrocaster and Healer) include things people really want to do or just need in a party without religious or other baggage. Healing and Blasting are always welcome. As an added bonus the spell lists are designed for random roll which is just plain smart.
All in all nothing is missing. Grab the book, some dice a few freebie dungeons and play.
Now this game is meant to appeal to existing gamers and it does a great job there but if the market demanded it could easily be the basis for a new starter box. All it needs is an intro paragraph, an intro dungeon ,a buffed Thief and Assassin class and a nice boxed set with dice and a module and its the son of the clone of the Avenger of Holmes ready for the 21st century
So if you are looking for a starter game for the kids or just something cool for the shelf, grab a copy. You won't be disappointed.
You can get the book here at Lulu in PRINT for the crazy low price of $12.