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$10.00 $6.00
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
2 4
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Publisher: Arion Games
by Phil B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/14/2013 15:07:03
Like some other reviewers, I remember this game from its first publication. My copy is now rather tatty, and this PDF version fills the gap nicely.
The game is relatively light-weight compared to games such as Pathfinder, but fits nicely with an OSR theme. In weight terms, I find it heavier than M20 but less so than B/X D&D. Stats are percentile based as is task (saving throws) and combat resolution. The wound system is often noted: it records individual injuries, and a serious wound will take longer to heal. PCs are well advised to not wade into fights simply because they can. Critical success and failure is included, but not varied much as in BRP and similar games.
The setting doesn't really accomodate magic (for those who like it in their games); the "maelstrom" and the use of magic are very lightly covered with too little detail. But that's fair given the overall feel and setting of the game.
I found the PDF clear and easy to read. As far as I can tell, it retains the structure and layout of the original book.
The game is a gem and a piece of RPG history.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher: Arion Games
by yak s. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/01/2012 10:09:34
I loved this book as a teenager when it came out. I still have the original paperback but it's in a box in a garage back in the old country. It's great that Drivethrurpg have this available but I wish they'd taken a bit more time to clean up the optical character recognition scans. THere's too many glitches in the typography for me to recommend anyone spending ten bucks on it.

The book itself is excellent. DT-RPG, please do it justice and fix up your scan job.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher: Arion Games
by Christopher T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/10/2012 19:59:19
First off let me say that this game has soul. I role playing game set in Tudor England written by a 15 year old. The thing is this little works wonderfully in it's intended purpose. There could be some more information on some subjects but for the sheer amount of data you are really getting something special. I know many have written about the herbal section, which in my opinion is reason enough to own this game. The fact that you can challenge yourself to play something like a fishmonger or a mercer (cloth salesman) amazes me. When written in 1984 you could only challenge yourself by choosing to be one of 5 classes and one of 7 races. This is groundbreaking stuff, and it is well worth the price of admission.

Why shoudl you buy it?

1. If you want to play a decently realistic facsimile of Tudor life (or later Renaissance life) this is the book for you.
2. A staggering amount of career choices and background options.
3. A very neat and low key magic system. It jibes with the historical setting very well.

Things that are a bit clunky (but charming)
1. The combat system. The Maelstrom Companion does a lot to remedy some of the "crunchiness".
2. A very gritty and debilitating wound system. You are going to want to make house rules for this.
3. A more detailed explanation of the workings of the Church (or churches) of the time. That's a sticky subject, but there was a Reformation going on.

I love this game. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy and see for yourself. It is well worth the money and ideas inside are top notch.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher: Arion Games
by Kevin M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/15/2010 07:43:12
Some small OCR issues don't detract from a welcome return for the Maelstrom game.

As a proud owner of an dog-eared original, this book was almost mythical for many years, loads of people had seen it, heard of it, but not many had a copy, now everybody can own a copy!

Maelstrom is a curio, the Magick rules in particular, are a real diversion from the Vancian magic of D&D, the onus is on the Referee to rule on what is, and isn't allowed, and how hard it is.

The other two things Maelstrom is famous for is the herbal guide at the back, and the advanced injury rules, in which each wound is treated separately, and heals separately from other wounds, this is unique in my experience...

Thanks Arion Games for making this available again, it's a fascinating game!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher: Arion Games
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/31/2009 08:48:58
I used to have this book as a teenager, and I've been looking for it for literally 15 years. Best 10 bucks I ever spent.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher: Arion Games
by Shane G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/09/2009 06:38:44
Ah, Maelstrom. As a youngster I loved this game. At the time I was into the Fighting Fantasy books and, as this looked similar, and also included a solo adventure, I picked it up. Now, Arion Games have bought it back in electronic format. Kudos!

Maelstrom is a percentile based system set in 16th century England. It is a historical game rather than a fantastical one, though some elements of fantasy (such as magic) do creep in. The first section explains how to create a character using nine attributes: Attack Skill, Defence Skill, Endurance, Speed, Agility, Will, Persuasion, Knowledge and Perception. These stats begin at 30. Then its on to choosing a living for your character. All sorts of livings are listed, from nobles, mercenaries and mages all the way down to beggars, labourers and even fruiterers. The game mechanics come next, explaining combat and other areas.

Next up is a section describing what life is like in 16th century England, a handy reference for those of us not alive during that time! It then goes on to explain a little bit about how magic works and is viewed during this period.

A solo adventure in the style of the old Fighting Fantasy books follows. In this you play as an assassin.

Advanced rules is next. The level of detail here is amazing, and is in someways detrimental to the game. Although very realistic, it certainly gets bogged down in minutiae. The Wound system is a good example, where you track every wound you take, and each one heals separately

We then have a section for referees (Maelstrom's Games Master equivalent). Advice on how to run the game and the other normal stuff is included here.

We then come to a group adventure set on the road from St. Albans to London. Quite a nice little introductory adventure.

Finally we have an appendix on herbs. This appendix is probably the most famous thing about Maelstrom, and has often been used as a reference in many other RPGs. The author went to a lot of pains in his research on the herbs listed and it shows.

All in all, as good as I remember it, even if some of the rules are clunky (though realistic) in design. I absolutely love the magic system in Maelstrom, and am glad Arion Games has bought it back.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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