Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lesserton and Mor by Joel Sparks and Jeff Sparks

I picked this and a few other OSR books up at Gen Con last year but haven't really had a lot of time to dig into it.

While waiting for some glazes to dry on some Khador models I'm working on, I figured I'd hit the Referee's Guide a bit.

One of the things I thought interesting, is that while there are 'half orcs', they don't call them that here. Instead, it's orckin. A simple enough change, but one that makes a lot of sense. There are so many half-X races in D&D and other fantasy games, that it seems lazy to just call a half orc or half elf by those names. One of the neat things about the Dhampyr is a unique sounding name that's still pretty recognizable if you know where its coming from. When using such races in your own setting, try to give them their own name.

Another neat little aspect, is the trade game. A lot of the humanoids here are known for their mastery of one particular type of large vermin; bees, crickets, frogs and spiders. Each one has its own economy of sorts but its all based on the barter system. Each tribe having its own specialty. A clever group can make some 'real' money on the small level if you will, but it can work.

One of the reasons it can work, is because like many older editions, the game focus isn't necessarily on money as a means of purchasing magic items so that you retain game balance or can overcome damage resistance.

This allows the authors to do some fun things that normally they might not be able to do without stressing the simple system to see if its going to break the economy of the game and push the players in one direction or another in terms of their relative power level.

In addition to playing various editions of Dungeons and Dragons, I hope that 5e design crew is scrutinizing what the current publishers and supporters of the OSR are doing and can take those best bits and learn from them.