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Monsters & Magic – a sample character

May 8, 2013

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

Here’s a sneak peak at “Gramfive the Grim”, one of the sample characters from the upcoming Monsters & Magic RPG, available June 2013 from Mindjammer Press and Chronicle City. As I mentioned in my last blog post, Monsters & Magic is an old-school renaissance fantasy roleplaying game which uses an original set of rules drawing on modern innovations in roleplaying games, yet which allows you to use all your classic fantasy and OSR game materials (supplements, bestiaries, spellbooks, adventures) with little or no conversion for games in that old-school style. My last post touched on some of the rules aspects – we’ll discuss those on the blog in the next few weeks – but today I wanted to post a character sheet to highlight how Monsters & Magic characters look like classic fantasy characters. Even though the rules mechanics may be different, the nuts and bolts of statistics, spells, classes, and so on remain very familiar if you’re a classic fantasy gamer.

Let’s look at some of the differences. First, you’ll see there are two types of hit points – physical and mental. Monsters & Magic lets you engage in not just physical, sword-and-board combat, but also fear attacks, intimidation, battles of will, debates, social browbeating, madness attacks, and much more. Also, hit points in general are quite a lot higher – conflict of any kind is dangerous in Monsters & Magic, but at the same time PCs are generally more than one-hit-and-you’re-dead mooks, even at 1st level.

Next, check out hero points: that’s a resource that you’ll use for many purposes in the game. Hero points are scarce, but you can gain them during play, and use them to do cool stuff, including determining how you react to a successful attack against you. Effects and consequences are the flipside of hit points – they’re things like temporary advantages, good positioning, tactical perks, wounds, “conditions”, etc, which have a game-related effect. Hit points may measure how far you are from death or defeat, but effects and consequences measure just how your current state affects what you do.

Traits are key in Monsters & Magic – they’re a way of defining your character’s boundaries, what he or she can do. More traits aren’t necessarily better than fewer in any numerical sense – if anything, having more traits broadens what your character can do. A character with fewer traits will be just as competent in those areas as one with more traits. Whether you want more traits is a decision about the nature of your character, not necessarily about how powerful he or she is. You get traits from your character class and race, but also from your personal background choices and also from the decisions you make as you level up.

There’s lots more to say here – check out your alignment focus and drift, for example, for an idea of how your character’s decisions may affect play. But, hopefully, you should feel pretty much at home on this character sheet. We’ve spent the past months writing out some of our favourite old school characters on this character sheet, and running them through our favourite old school modules. Which character would you write up, and which module would you play?

That’s it for now! Come over to our Google+ community if you fancy a chat about Monsters & Magic, or post questions here or at the Mindjammer Press site. See you at the next post!

Sarah
Normandy, May 2013

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2 Comments leave one →
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  1. Monsters & Magic RPG: Creating Characters | Sarah Newton - Writer

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