Saturday, December 21, 2013

Xerography Debt Reviews The Manor


In issue #34 of Xerography Debt Joel Biel reviewed the first three issues of The Manor. I thought it was an interesting review being it was from someone that I don't believe is associated with the OSR or even know what it is.  Here's the review.

This is a zine of homemade role-playing game adventures and rules supplements.  Very cool.  These have been pouring into my life lately.  The feeling of the adventures here is very small town and reminds me of the sort of made-for-TV horror movies of the 1980s or HP Lovecraft in the fact that a single creature like a Ghoul or Troglodyte is the ringleader terrorizing people unfamiliar with encountering monsters, rather than dozens of goblins or a dragon or a Lich.  It's encouraging, like it elevates the characters and role-playing rather than building to one campaign-defining combat sequence where the characters expect to win.  He writes elaborate personalities for the people who work at the potion shop and defines the economy around it and the public's various reactions, creating interactions around what, in my experience, is normally treated as the most mundane part of role-playing: shopping.  Smuggler's Inn is given a similar treatment along with an adventure that may result from your stay.  #3 include "Mine of Rot & Disease," another adventure whose title should likely not be revealed to your players!  Again, it's conceptually creative, redeeming a few cliched themes to catch your players off guard.  Lastly, we are treated to Pog Nog, a goblin street vender who specializes in things you just can't seem to find anywhere else...and numerous role-playing possibilities how things could go wrong with dealing with him!
There is probably close to a hundred reviews in Xerography Debt.  As first I couldn't find the review.  Luckily it has an index in the back.  I'm going to dig around in it and see what other zines look interesting.

5 comments:

  1. Yep, pretty much what I thought as well. I like simple places that you can drop into an existing game with little change, or tend to be very inspirational for the GM. I typically run all my own stuff which is heavily inspired by/stolen from the writings of other works such as this.

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    1. Thanks Matt. My writing reflects my game style. I tend to like the small urban/rural slice of life adventures over the epic battles. But you really can't go wrong with either.

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  2. So far The Manor and AFS are my favorite zines. The Manor is consistently better (quality of gaming material, format, original cover art,etc...) but AFS has a few shining contributions like Benoist's map and adventure.

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    1. That's great to hear Jason. Glad The Manor has been to your liking. I also agree with you about AFS.

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  3. I thought that was a nice review and am happy for you, Tim. Good for you!

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