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Monsters & Magic RPG: Creating Characters

May 15, 2013

2101-11_Bard_Singing_Over_Injured_Warrior_thumbLast week, I posted a first look at the character sheet for our upcoming OSR RPG Monsters & Magic (out early June), as well as a sample character from the game, Gramfive the Grim. This week I wanted to post a preview of the game’s layout, including some sample pages from Chapter 2: Creating Characters.

As you may have seen last week (check out the post here if not), Monsters & Magic characters look very much like the classic fantasy characters you know and love – they share the same attributes and many of the same statistics. There are some differences, but by and large there’s a lot of crossover. That means, of course, that your classic fantasy characters are very playable using the Monsters & Magic rules. Depending on your tolerances, there’s little or no conversion required, especially at low levels, and even at high levels any conversion you’re doing can probably be handled on the fly, during play.

There are a couple of reasons why. The first is the Effect Engine, the core mechanic of Monsters & Magic. I’m going to go into this a lot more next week, but suffice it to say the Effect Engine takes pretty much all the same “inputs” as your favourite OSR or classic fantasy game – character level, weapon damage, attribute modifiers, other bonuses, etc – but uses them in a unique way to allow you to achieve all manner of cool in-game effects, from damaging your foe, to affecting the local environment, getting yourself into advantageous positions, putting your foe into disadvantageous positions, helping others, and lots more. You can pretty much take your favourite classic fantasy character, look at his character sheet, and roll your action checks using the Effect Engine with what you see written down there.

(c) 2013 Mindjammer Press

Preview PDF

The second thing which supports this style of play is the trait, a key concept in Monsters & Magic. A trait is a very simple thing, but also a profoundly flexible one: it’s a simple word, phrase, or short sentence which describes something crucial about your character. It could be an ability, a personality trait, an element of background, or a physical or mental characteristic, or any one of a thousand things. And, simply put, whenever you describe one of your traits helping you in what you’re doing, you get a bonus to your Effect Engine action. You don’t have to spend any resource to do this – if you like, traits are simply a “bullet point list” of the things your character can do.

In Monsters & Magic, you get traits from three places: your race, your character class, and your individual character (what are called personal traits). So, for example, Infravision is a trait; so is Hide & Sneak. And, of course, you can roll your own, within certain boundaries. The mechanical effect of traits is something I’ll discuss next week, but you get the gist.

Anyway – we hope you like the preview! The layout design is by the awesome Michal Cross, and the featured artwork by the very talented Eric Lofgren, Linda Jones and Gill Pearce. See you at the next post!

Normandy, May 2013

The Monsters & Magic RPG and the 4-page preview presented here are copyright (c) 2013 Mindjammer Press Limited, and will be published under the Open Game License and the Effect Engine Open License. For details please contact

5 Comments leave one →
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  4. May 15, 2013 9:34 pm

    Looks pretty interesting. I’m always impressed by your work Sarah. Keep it up. I’m looking forward to next weeks update. I’m digging the new OSR stuff since there’s always a new take on something, a wonderful tweak combining different aspects from various games.


  1. Monsters & Magic RPG: Introducing the Effect Engine | Sarah Newton - Writer

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