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Farm, Forge and Steam
Publisher: Phalanx Games Design
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/29/2017 21:23:45

Crop yield statistics for ancient times (up to the fall of the Roman Empire) and into the early Dark Ages are very low, far lower than that given by period sources. Also, this work assumes the beneficial nature of monastic intitutions, and while there is some evidence they were beneficial there is also evidence that their activities actually set agriculture yields back millinia by destroying beneficial strains through breading worse-yielding strains with superior survival charactertics. Also ignored is the serious regression in technology experienced in Europe during and after the fall of Rome, this includes the loss of many farm technologies and methods. All of these contributed to the low-yield agriculture experienced during the late Dark Ages and Early Medieval.

Also inaccurately represented is the nature and frequency of famine. Famine in some regions was very rare, in others more frequent. Decades might pass between famines, and centuries between very bad famines. Many famines were caused by military conflict and deliberate destruction of crops, rather than natural causes. Technology, such as wells and aqeducts, mitigated natural causes but conflict could, and did, destroy these as well. Without proper mechanics for famine its impossible to represent real cultures with these rules. The stability created by the great empires (Rome specifically, but others as well, such as Egyptian) substantially reduced the rate famine (less military confict in prime ahricultural areas). The fractured political landscape of the late Dark and early Medieval periods was a significant factor in the rate of famine and disease.



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[1 of 5 Stars!]
Farm, Forge and Steam
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Creator Reply:
Yes, it is an old work, based on older material, some of which is now known to be wrong (but wasn't, or wasn't widely, known to be at the time the book was written) ... and some of which is still being picked over by competing schools of historical thought, some of which you provide as an alternative point of view ... given that the book covers all of recorded history (and before!) in such a short space there was, of course, some simplification. If anyone is interested in a more comprehensive treatment of a sub-set of the period covered in FF&S, specifically the Medieval Period (even more specifically the period from roughly AD 1000 to AD 1400), I would suggest looking at 'Orbis Mundi 2' which has been recently Kickstarted and is available from Phalanx Games Design on this site ... 470 odd pages to cover 400 years ... which is to be followed in the first half of 2018 by 'The Marketplace' which will look at the economics and actual prices of items in faux medieval RPGs and will probably run to another 128+ pages. OM2 looks at some of the issues you raise in detail and, while it (and I, obviously) disagree with some of the conclusions you have put forward, it makes note of key areas where there is ongoing debate ... and, for example, TM looks at Famine cycles for the period in much more detail then even OM2 (15-30 year cycles of 'bad' famines and 90-120 year cycles of *really* bad ones for the 11th-14th centuries, where the former were more likely regional or national and the latter multi-national or even Europe-wide) ... however, on my reading of things for the 11th-14th centuries famines, the bad ones, were mostly the result of climatic variation and unusual weather pattern variation. Yes, military action could make them worse, often much much worse, but it was rare for a multi-regional famine to be *just* a result of military action. In any case, I would recommend you have a look at OM2 ... if you email me or PM me through RPGNow I'll happily give you a voucher for $9.99 off the price of the PDF version!
S1-4: Dungeons of Dread (1e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2017 21:56:50

Excellent digital reproduction of classic AD&D modules. All of the complex goodness and creepy character of the old school days.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
S1-4: Dungeons of Dread (1e)
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A0-A4: Against the Slave Lords (1e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2017 21:56:42

Excellent digital reproduction of classic AD&D modules. All of the complex goodness and creepy character of the old school days.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A0-A4: Against the Slave Lords (1e)
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Monster Manual (1e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2017 21:55:14

Excellent digital reproduction of a classic AD&D book. All of the complex goodness of the old school days.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Manual (1e)
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Dungeon Master's Guide (1e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2017 21:55:06

Excellent digital reproduction of a classic AD&D book. All of the complex goodness of the old school days.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Master's Guide (1e)
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Unearthed Arcana (1e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2017 21:53:55

Excellent digital reproduction of a classic AD&D book. All of the complex goodness of the old school days.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Unearthed Arcana (1e)
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Players Handbook (1e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2017 21:53:37

Excellent digital reproduction of a classic AD&D book. All of the complex goodness of the old school days.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Players Handbook (1e)
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Greyhawk Wars (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2017 21:49:52

Excellent digital reproduction of a classic D&D board game. Mechanics help create a feel of strategic actions on the continent and oceans around Greyhawk.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Greyhawk Wars (2e)
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CT- B01-Characters and Combat
Publisher: Game Designers' Workshop (GDW)
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2017 21:46:22

Good digital reproduction of a classic. The first hard SF space opera that became the standard by which all future science fictions games would be judged. Intelligent and efficient description only hampered by formatting that shows its age. Good buy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CT- B01-Characters and Combat
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At Close Quarters
Publisher: BITS
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2017 21:31:57

As advertised. Assembles and refines combat rules from various Traveller sources and creates a single unified combat system.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
At Close Quarters
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Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century
Publisher: SSDC, Inc.
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/24/2017 04:06:25

Typos, uninteresting descriptions, sometimes strange prose that seem out of genre or out of context. I was a fan of FASA Battletech and while this product's look is similar the writing is not. It fails to suspend disbelief and feels like the designers have made no attempt to merge its fictional elements with the real world and so feels like fantasy in space. Artwork is nice but I was disappointed. Initially gave it 1 star, but bumped it to 2 as its is a large product.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century
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Mazes & Minotaurs Companion
Publisher: Legrand Games Studio
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2017 14:37:04

Fantastic use of Greek mythology in an original setting that uses the best aspects of the myth. The rules are useable and support the setting very well. The alternate publishing history and associated comments throughout the text make it a more interesting read. Certainly worth as much as the eBOOK reprints of games from the seventies, and at least a few hours of your time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Minotaurs Companion
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Mazes & Minotaurs Creature Compendium
Publisher: Legrand Games Studio
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2017 14:35:28

Fantastic use of Greek mythology in an original setting that uses the best aspects of the myth. The rules are useable and support the setting very well. The alternate publishing history and associated comments throughout the text make it a more interesting read. Certainly worth as much as the eBOOK reprints of games from the seventies, and at least a few hours of your time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Minotaurs Creature Compendium
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Mazes & Minotaurs Maze Masters Guide
Publisher: Legrand Games Studio
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2017 14:34:57

Fantastic use of Greek mythology in an original setting that uses the best aspects of the myth. The rules are useable and support the setting very well. The alternate publishing history and associated comments throughout the text make it a more interesting read. Certainly worth as much as the eBOOK reprints of games from the seventies, and at least a few hours of your time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Minotaurs Maze Masters Guide
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Mazes & Minotaurs Players Manual
Publisher: Legrand Games Studio
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2017 14:31:19

Fantastic use of Greek mythology in an original setting that uses the best aspects of the myth. The rules are useable and support the setting very well. The alternate publishing history and associated comments throughout the text make it a more interesting read. Certainly worth as much as the eBOOK reprints of games from the seventies, and at least a few hours of your time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Minotaurs Players Manual
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