Friday, June 5, 2015

In the Manor of Old School Grappling a simple review of the Manor Issue #8

Of course as you might guess, the title of this post was supposed to be  a pun. It refers to The Manor Issue #8 and  its  top notch grappling rules but since the pun sucked I changed it for more clarity.

Let me start out by saying I'm not a huge fanzine guy and to be honest I don't buy that many PDF's and I seldom review them anymore .

Like many people I'll download most anything free and legal but  usually Barnes and Noble gets my book money. However   once in a long while  I  do splurge on a PDF.

This time I am quite I did.

Now to be honest I bought this issue of the Manor for one thing, the article  Old School Grappling by Doug Cole  and Peter Dell'Orto 

The other stuff was fine, an article on hirelings, a preview of Strange  Stars some  and stuff for Torchbearer a game that I don't play but ah the grappling rules . They were worth the price of admission alone.

Simply these are the 1st easy to play, easy to use , universal OSR grappling rules that work fast and efficiently with almost any old school system or retro-clone.

This rules are thought out well enough that they could be used with Searchers of the Unknown without too much trouble and that game is so minimal  basically all you have a stat block!

It would be a bit silly granted since the grappling rules would be 10x longer than the game but it would work pretty much out the box. They use HP for degree of grappling and while I haven't played them yet, no doubt in my mind that they are faster and more thorough and scale better than they current systems.

Heck they probably could be made to work with 5e or Pathfinder just about as well.

That is impressive work.

As such I can recommend highly  the issue as for the price of burrito and soda you can get a great rules set and support the OSR.

The gentlemen did great work if and if you are unhappy with the grappling rules in your favorite game as most of us are, than you'd do well to grab a copy.


  1. Thanks for doing the review. Doug and Peter will be pleased to hear your praise.

  2. Thanks for the praise, but I think it important to note that the article is as much Peter's work as my own. He has so much more practical "what works at the GM table" experience than I do that even if the core idea was from Technical Grappling, his influence is likely what kept the work both playable and short.

    TL;DR: "Old School Grappling by Doug Cole and Peter Dell'Orto." :-)

  3. Oh, and FYI, the reason we didn't do these to purposefully include 5e is that it was in beta at the time. this article sat for a while as we wondered what to do with it. A few other options came and went, etc.

    But yeah, there should be easy extension to any D&D game with the basic version, and my version of Feats for grappling - especially in 5e - would be "here are things you can do with advantage that others can only do normally; here are others that you can only do with Feats."

  4. You are quite welcome guys. I'll edit the post and include include a shout-out to Peter to be sure.