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Ready Ref Sheets (1978) $4.99
Publisher: Judges Guild
by Kirt D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/25/2015 21:04:23

If you want to hear the good about this supplement, skip the next five paragaphs, as I need to get something off my chest.

Just because something comes from the dawn of the hobby, doesn't automatically make it awesome. However, while a more modern supplement might be more subtle about it unless they're deliberately trying to be shocking, a newer supplement is just as likely to have to have the biggest problem of this one: Crazy sexism.

Pages 5-6 of this supplement, with the simple heading "WOMEN," is possibly the most sexist thing I've read in a gaming supplement lately, particularly one as mainstream as this one was back in the day.

Here's a small example: "...[T]he player may obtain a relationship [with a given woman] by paying the Gift Cost. This relationship will last the number of weeks under the Duration column; to extend the relationship requires another Gift..."

Yup, keeping a woman happy is a matter of a bribing her on a regular basis!

Someone is going to want to mansplain this under the heading of "realism," and I'll just say if get a chance, look at pages 5-6 for yourself and decide.

There is a lot of awesome here. Like any supplement of this era, it's terribly disorganized and mixed with a lot of "meh," but there are some real gems here.

My favorites, in no particular order:

  • Rules for putting up advertising in the City State of the Invincible Overlord

  • A city encounter chart that includes results like "expectorated upon"

  • An adorable single-page treasure table

  • Rules for using beggars as an information network

  • An overly harsh but interesting attribute check system

  • A surprisingly effective "Buffoon" sub-class of fighter

  • Construction costs for castles and elven treehouses

  • A crazy-mad and highly creative table for generating magical statues

  • A "so bad it's good" alignment system

  • An excellent and HUGE set of sandbox generation tables

The sandbox tables alone are worth the price of entry. I'd say they compete well with the d30 Sandbox Companion tables, and let you have a few or as many details as you like, including a table of trees based on climate and altitude.

I'd say you get two pages of awful material, 33 pages of decent material, and 17 pages of top drawer material I plan to use in future campaigns. Totally worth the price, even with that initial burst of crazy, which is why I still give this four out of five stars.



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Ready Ref Sheets (1978)
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