Coverage and Reviews

This page gathers together articles about Monsters & Magic in the gaming press and blogosphere, including reviews.

Travis Casey posts a very positive and extremely thorough review of Monsters & Magic, pretty much covering everything we wanted to do with the game. A 5 out of 5 for substance and a 4 out of 5 for style – thanks Travis!

“I really, really like M&M. The classes, races, and levels should make old-school gamers feel right at home. The effect engine is extremely flexible, and the addition of mental/social hit points and scale allows using the mechanics to handle a wide variety of things that classic old-school games really didn’t handle well, and it can easily support mass combat, with high-level characters still being able to be significant in it.

After playing Fate the last few years, I feel right at home with the Traits. […] Honestly, this looks set to become one of my new favorite games.”

Hard Luck Ink

Christopher Cortwright shares his first impressions of Monsters & Magic.

“Imagine my surprise when I came upon the Monsters and Magic G+ group. From everything I read it would be the game to renew my love of fantasy. Eventually (read yesterday) I broke down and purchased the PDF… All in all I give this game a 5 out of 5 stars and can’t wait to see what they come up with next!”

Tenkar’s Tavern (Part Three)

In the third part of his review of Monsters & Magic, Erik Tenkar at Tenkar’s Tavern discusses the freeform nature of the Effect Engine’s action system, and really gets under the hood of how Monsters & Magic interacts with the Old School.

“I’m not sure I’d still refer to it as ‘New Wave OSR’ as I dig deeper, as the Old School is in the translation and not the play. I’m impressed with what I see so far, and as a tool to bring some classic adventuring to players on the modern “storytelling” type of RPG it seems to be on the money. The play will be different, but those coming from outside the OSR probably will never notice the difference ;)”

Social Pressure: The Influence of Patrons, Employers, Factions, and Lovers

Adam Minnie takes an in-depth look at the Monsters & Magic alignment system, discussing how it can be used for some great drama – internal character conflicts, battles of wills with ego weapons, and great tragedy worthy of the Arthurian romances! This is part two of Adam’s review at his Explorin Infinity blog.

“This approach puts ambiguous character motivation front and center and rewards exploration of the delicious tension between conflicting motivations and the character transformation that we crave from stories.”

Exploring Infinity

Adam Minnie looks at Monsters & Magic’s “old school fantasy, new school play” style and its use of constructs (ships, guilds, castles, kingdoms, worlds…) in higher-level play in part one of his review at the Exploring Infinity blog here.

“I have two local groups, one that loves 3.x and one preferring 4e. Although neither of these versions are technically ‘classic,’ I believe M&M finally allows both groups to play together, retaining and enhancing what they love about each edition, while retaining what I love about more modern ‘new wave’ games.”

SF Signal

There’s a great article on Monsters & Magic and the Old School Renaissance over at the SF Signal website in Paul Weimer’s excellent “Roll Perception Plus Awareness” column.

“Monsters and Magic … is more than just nostalgia, an urge to turn the clock back and go back to earlier times, earlier ideas. It’s a deliberate look at the past, to find what had been lost or forgotten, and to bring it forward again. Meld those old ideas, philosophy and fun with the best of new ideas, more inclusive and player-friendly. Keep the rules light for GM and players. Go play. Have fun. That’s what it’s all about.”

Geek Native

Monsters & Magic author Sarah Newton does a Q&A interview with Andrew Girdwood of the wonderful Geek Native, discussing Monsters & Magic and its relationship with the OSR – includes some hints about what’s to come for the game!
Check out the Geek Native interview here.

Drive Thru RPG

A five-star review for Monsters & Magic at the DriveThruRPG site!

“Old School meets New School. This is a game that allows you to dust off those old school modules you have laying around and run them with a “narrative informs mechanics” style of new school gaming. The book contains a lot of info crammed into the page count. […] Knock down the Orc leader you are fighting and then use your knowledge of his past to humiliate him in front of his clan, attack a demon’s tower with fireballs from the deck of your new sailing ship, gain experience for betraying the local townsfolk to the dragon. Play all your classic adventures with new possibilities.
[…] Converting old modules is a breeze. Best of all, I get to play the old settings I have laying around with simple yet more modern mechanics.
Take your father’s ancestral sword into the local haunted crypt, and give M&M a try.”


Tenkar’s Tavern

“Familiar Yet Strange (OSR “New Wave” Ruleset)”

Erik Tenkar at Tenkar’s Tavern has the first part of his review of Monsters & Magic up today.

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