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    Odysseys & Overlords Player's Guide $3.25
    Average Rating:4.5 / 5
    Ratings Reviews Total
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    Odysseys & Overlords Player\'s Guide
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    Odysseys & Overlords Player's Guide
    Publisher: Aegis Studios
    by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 06/18/2019 13:40:28

    PDF. 56 pages, color cover, b&w interior.

    The Player's guide has what you should expect a Player's Guide to have. Here you get a bit of background on the campaign world of the O&O game. It's fine, as far as these things go, but I have no emotional investment in it. It does help situate some of the game-design choices and that is nice. Still, I see a campaign guide or gazetteer sometime in the future. Since this is a Basic-era OSR game based on Basic Fantasy races and classes are separate. With this, we get some new races, called genus in this book (a more apt name really). We get Abyss-kissed, which are like other games' Tieflings though more in-line with this game's mythos. Spellscorched, which cover the same niche as elves only here children of the gods. Wild folk, humanoids with animal traits and blood. And garden variety humans. No elves, dwarves or halflings here and that is great by me! (Note: they also do not appear in the Monsters section of the Game Master's book)

    Classes include the favorites of Clerics, Fighters, Magic-users and Thieves and also adds another take on the Bard class. Might need to give that one a try sometime. Bards do not have spells but do have songs they can learn for different in-game effects.

    Additionally, there is a section on equipment. I'll be honest, I don't pay much attention to equipment lists anymore. I have so many games with so much equipment that if I need to find something I am sure I have it OR I can just make it up on the spot.

    Spells follow next. Spells for both clerics and magic-users only go to 6th level. Personally, I still like my magic-users to have more spellcasting power than clerics and would have liked to see magic-user spells go to at least 7th level. All the expected suspects are here.

    We get some adventuring rules and finally some combat rules.

    The layout and art is really good and has a solid old-school feel. The book just looks nice and fills you with all sorts of old-school nostalgia. I do wish the book though offered some more new unique classes to go along with the new unique races. A little more on the world background as it applies to the characters would also have been nice.

    There is a character sheet at the end of the book. You can also get the character sheet for free.

    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Odysseys & Overlords Player's Guide
    Publisher: Aegis Studios
    by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 05/20/2019 10:21:23

    The book opens with a broad sweep of the history of the land. A long time - a thousand years or more - ago, the gods lived in peace and prosperity amongst mortals, with magic and learning flowing freely and animals also living in peace. Unfortunately that didn't last, due rather predictably to the gods squabbling and spoiling it all for everyone. When the brawling stopped, most of the gods were either dead or had departed, leaving mortals to fend for themselves. A few hung around hoping to be worshipped but in the main mortals relied on military might to decide matters of rulership and even righteousness. The land is now fragmented, with islands of civilisation separated by wild lands where bandits and monsters hold sway. People rely on Adventuring Companies (guess who?) to bridge these gaps and protect those who would travel. There are also plenty of ruins filled with relics of happier times to loot. What more could one want for an adventure setting?

    A character, that's what, so the next part of the book explains how to go about making one. It's recommended that you use The Basic Fantasy Role-playing Game ruleset, which is available as a free download, written with 'old style rules' play in mind, and also suitable for introducing younger players to role-playing. The instructions for rolling up a character are beautifully clear. To start with, get a piece of paper and a pencil. Roll 4d6 dropping the lowest die and adding the rest up to generate your ability scores. Next you choose a genus and class, making sure you meet any prerequisites for them in terms of ability scores. Of course, there is a bit more detail than that, but not much, and everything is made clear, although you do need to read through the final steps of character creation before you find out what a 'genus' is let alone what you can choose!

    The genus (pl. genera) is the equivalent of race in most games. These ones draw on the history outlined earlier, and are groups who took different paths during the squabble of the gods but all are based on normal mortals, except Wildfolk who are descendants of mating between humans and animals, which was considered normal in ancient times. They are Abyss-Kissed, Human, Spellscorched and Wildfolk.

    Next, the classes: Bard, Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User and Thief. In general, once chosen you have to stick to your class, only Spellscorched are permitted to be combination classed, and then only Fighter/Magic-User or Magic-User/Thief are allowed. Genus also affects class choices, some genera are limited in the choices they can make. Money and equipment lists round out this section, so by now the character is just about fully equipped and ready to go...

    ... unless, of course, they wish to wield magic. There's a comprehensive section for both Clerics and Magic-Users, with spell lists for both and a massive alphabetical list of spells with full details of how that spell is cast and what happens when it is. Both game mechanical and flavour aspects are handled clearly.

    This magic section consumes much of the rest of the book, but there's space to explain what dungeon and wilderness adventuring is all about; along with a section on hirelings and services, as well as that all-important matter of combat. This section explains how combat is conducted, what your character can do, and includes things like turning undead as well as actual brawling. And that's it. Short and sweet, and notable for the clarity of explanation. Off you go and enjoy adventuring!

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Creator Reply:
    Thank you so much for this excellent, thorough review!
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