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The Hero's Journey Fantasy Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry] $4.99
Publisher: Barrel Rider Games
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/16/2016 19:25:25

The layout is clean and readable. Although, It is not hyperlinked. The art is good. Fans of Larry Elmore will enjoy his pieces throughout the beginning of the book. The rest of the art is as good or better. Larry's seeming unwillingness to illustrate feet and his preference for all women being voluminous haired 60's/70's pin-up is not a draw for me, personally. It is however very reminiscent of the re-issued Red Box and effective in garnering a sense of nostalgia.

I've looked over the book only briefly. I noticed that the thief skill subsystem (sneakery and such) use a d6 mechanic where starting characters succeed at tasks with a 1 in 6 chance. This chance improved with experience, but the granularity does not leave room for personal attributes or situational modifiers. All classes with non-combat skills use this same mechanic.

There are some nice bits regarding background professions and legendary weapons.

All the classes are present. My biggest gripe is that Clerics and Druids share the same spell list which contains only 6 spells per level. In fact, there is only the Wizard and Cleric spell list. These two lists are shared by the Bard, Cleric, Druid, Jester, Paladin, Ranger and Wizard.

The equipment, monsters and magic item chapters seem to be well fleshed out and unrushed.

In short, first impressions would have been worth 5 stars if there was a nature spell list for Druids and Rangers (0E be damned!), Jesters were replaced with some type of mountebank or illusionist class - again with their own spell list and again ignoring their history in the annals of The Dragon. Acrobats also need something to make them a conceivable player choice. With the Duelist an existing character option, the Acrobat class is less of a Swashbuckler and more of a cartoon gymnast. Overall, my complaints are typical of many white-box emulators in that enforcing maximum word count for each class sometimes backfires and you end up with options that seem either incomplete or trap choices for inexperienced players.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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The Hero's Journey Fantasy Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
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