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Monsters & Magic RPG: Example of Play

May 29, 2013

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Click to download

Last week I talked a bit about the Effect Engine, the rules mechanic which underlies Monsters & Magic, my upcoming Old School Renaissance fantasy RPG from Mindjammer Press, due for launch now in only a week or two! This week, as one of the final previews of the game, we’d like to showcase some more of the Effect Engine, including an Example of Play, to show you how the whole system hangs together round the table – and just how it works with your classic fantasy scenarios and stat blocks pretty much out of the box.

You’ll see one of the key aspects of the Effect Engine at work in this preview – the concept of spending the effect points you generate on your action check (usually a dice roll) to create effects and consequences, which allow you to do cool things and drastically affect the tactical balance of play. This is where Monsters & Magic really takes off in play, and its premise is simple: when you describe what your character is trying to do, whatever it is, and you succeed or even fail in your attempt, the consequences of your action have both a descriptive impact and a direct game mechanical impact on play. You’ve got a massive amount of leeway in how you describe your actions – as long as the GM and your fellow players agree what you’re describing is feasible, you can do it. During one of our early playtest sessions, Mormyga the Witch, our resident magic user, cast a Magic Missile at a werewolf and made an incredibly good roll, generating effect points way in excess of the missile’s damage and in fact causing a “major consequence”. “Can I say that the missile struck the werewolf in the head, burning its eyes and half-blinding it?” Sure, I said – that description makes sense. And so the werewolf then had a burned and half-blinded major consequence for the rest of the combat which got in its way when it tried to do most anything – and set it on a spiral which lead to its grisly demise.

2101-21_Winged_Ape_Mummy_thumbIt’s a simple example, and combat-focussed, but hopefully you get the picture. You can create effects and consequences with any action check at all – not just combat and magic, but when intimidating or charming somebody, building a siege engine, commanding an army to attack a castle, or casing a heavily trapped temple before stealing a golden idol. Effects and consequences can provide bonuses and penalties to your checks, and even to other people’s; but they can do lots of other things, too – and you can even create “special effects” which go beyond the framework of what your regular consequences can do. Want to somehow absorb that medusa’s “turn to stone” ability and make it into one of your own special effects? Now’s your chance… your imagination is the only limit.

We hope you like the preview – if you’ve any questions, please stop by our Google+ community and say hi! We’re now probably about 2 weeks or so from launch – possibly even less, as long as there are no gotchas on the way – so next week’s blog post may be the last before we go live. I’ve a few ideas what I might talk about – but how about you? What would you like to know? Let me know here, or over at the Google+ community.

Happy gaming – and may your effects be ever spectacular!

Normandy, May 2013

ps: today’s featured artwork – depicting an episode from the Silvermoon scenario in Monsters & Magic, and which stars in the Example of Play in today’s preview, is by the awesome Jennell Jaquays, whose artwork has inspired us all from the very earliest old school days right up until now. We’re proud to have her work in Monsters & Magic – we hope you’ll like it too!

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