Monday, 10 May 2021

Impressions: Neoclassical Greek Revival

Sometimes when reading some OSR related something I'm more interested in skimming it or reading it fairly quickly to get a sense of what it's about, what I can use it for, and possibly most of all, what ideas I can steal from it. Then as something I intend to use wholesale. Instead of writing up a full objective review I type up my impressionistic, often opinionated thoughts on it. This entry is one such rambling.

Neoclassical Greek Revival 

Overall it's a roll high + add modifiers d20 type OSR game with your basic stats, although named slightly different. 

It feels like a home-brew rule set in both a good and bad way. Good in that there are some ideas in it that I've never seen anywhere else before. Bad in that it has the sense that it was developed over years, choices and crunch piling higher and higher in a bloat that is a bit more crunchy than I prefer in my OSR game. It also seems a bit more combat rule orientated than I prefer. Still I will give it kudos for:

  • Very flavorful traditional fantasy racial classes that actually make them interesting beyond the 5edition type stereotypes

  • Uses a funnel to generate characters (it's not unique to NGR but any system which uses a funnel gains +1 respect).

  • The easiest and most sensible multi-classing system that I have ever seen.

  • Trademark item that can become signature magic item as the character levels and adventures

  • Bard character who is actually socially focused

  • A system that encompasses things like stealth and trying to influence someone in a robust manner

  • Weapons have tags that define how they act

  • Robust inventory system where you have containers like sacks and 'slot' based inventory.

  • Cool use of grimoires

  • Several different ways of gaining XP that go beyond gold for XP. Things like milestones and exploration/travelling.

For the amount of ideas in it, the rule book is surprisingly short at about 100 pages, which is good in my books. I'd rather read a short 100 page rule book than a 500 page overwritten behemoth. The rules do feel a bit terse in the sense that I had to read things a few times before understanding them and you'd definitely have to have played RPGs a bit to probably not get lost. 

Still, I'd probably recommend it. It's something I'm probably going to loot the ideas from more than actually run as is, but oh boy is there a lot to loot and a lot to think about. Overall it does seems like a well thought out system, if a bit different from most of what is out there, and slightly overburdened. I feel like another edition of this book with better explanations and examples of some things would go a long way.

You can tell it began as a home brew rule set developed over years of play. You get a sense of what playing at that table would be like and what has really worked for the GM.  I wish more people would publish their home brew sets like this. It makes the hobby stronger and kind of gives insight into what actually works at the table, even if it's not exactly the type of table you'd run. 

1 comment:

  1. Glad I'm not the only one that saw Greek and not Geek, ha. Cool write-up!