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Maze Rats Pay What You Want
Average Rating:4.9 / 5
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Maze Rats
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Maze Rats
Publisher: Glatisant Games
by Giorgio V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/11/2017 07:58:08

one of the best ways to make a pick up game for a dungeon crawl. i love the randomness



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Maze Rats
Publisher: Glatisant Games
by Travis P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/18/2017 11:45:47

I am incredibly jealous of what Ben Milton has managed to do. I've been searching for my ideal RPG rules for decades, and never found anything that hit the right balance. I've tried every retroclone and microclone you know, and while they all did some things fantastic and most everything else great, they are generally too restrictive and bogged down in minutea for my tastes. I've been searching so desperately for a good "0e" style system, trying and failing to write three of my own, that I was just plain frustrated with the whole industry. But upon finding Maze Rats, I immediately knew it was something special that just does everything so well.

Don't let the short length deceive you. The first time you read through a short paragraph explaining a concept, you might think it's nothing special. But the more I use these rules the more brilliant I discover their simplicity to be. This is not just a stripped-down set of rules; each sentence is very carefully crafted and each rule and even each random word is there for a deliberate, play-tested purpose.

My first reaction to the random lists was to roll my eyes, thinking "oh, I'm creative enough to not use those; what a waste of space". But upon actually using them, I see the brilliance of it. As Mr. Milton says in the text, random, external ideas are a huge gushing fountain of fun. It will all be filtered and refined through your own mind anyway, of course.

My only nit-pic is that, while in general the magic system is brilliant, it seems a little too chaotic to have every spell slot get filled in with some new random spell every time the caster replenishes used slots. I'll probably home-brew something that allows the caster either more options beyond the single spell formula and name per spell slot, or gives them a few more slots (in either case, probably adjusting the general power of spells down to compensate).

But overall, this is easily the best old-school style RPG product I've ever seen. Others are more extensive, and indeed others are quite clever and interesting in many ways. But Maze Rats is head and shoulders above the rest, as it focuses entirely on producting a great game experience. If a physical deluxe version ever came out, perhaps with some optional rules, artwork, and a sample adventure or two, I'd buy it for, say $10 in an instant, even if it were only double the pagecount it is now. :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Maze Rats
Publisher: Glatisant Games
by TeamRocket G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/09/2017 13:25:19

A absolute must have for any GM kit.The game itself is fantastic but really like how useful it is for its tables to be used in any rpg.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Maze Rats
Publisher: Glatisant Games
by A. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/31/2017 00:13:21

The best simple OSR game out there under 25 pages.

The positives:

  • Fantasically detailed and simple character/npc creation system.
  • Great for one-shots or short campaigns.
  • A fantasic magic system for spell generation. Very open ended. Probably the best "Random Magic" system I've ever seen. Note this is not a Wild Magic system, but a way to generate spells before casting.
  • Lots of great tables for use in Maze Rats and other games.

The negatives:

  • Probably too random for a long campaign.
  • Spell casters could use some more "spell slots" at level 1.
  • I'd like to see a way for a caster to permantly learn a spell.
  • Its impossible to directly create specific spell casting archtypes in the existing system. Its all random.
  • Characters die way too easily. Consider doubling, perhaps trippling starting health when running a game that isn't a one shot.
  • Needs more variety in starting equipment.

Great for:

  • New players to roleplaying games.
  • Running Old School Adventures.
  • One shots.
  • Running when people are missing from the main game.
  • Conventions.
  • West Marches style games.
  • "Realistic" or Horror.
  • When your tired of Vancian magic.
  • Want to run something gritty.

Overall I can't wait to play or run Maze Rats. Really an amazing first product from the Author.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the review! Some possible solutions for your negatives: 1.) You're probably right about not working well for a long campaign. Even the XP system is designed to level you up fairly quickly, so I would mostly recommend it for shorter campaigns or one-shots. 2.) You can definitely add more spell slots if you want. Keep in mind that it will make spellcasters quite powerful compared to the other PCs, but if that sort of balance isn't an issue, go for it. 3.) If you want more stability with spellcasting, you could have a spell stick from day to day, and only be forgotten when the caster wants to free up the slot for something else. I would still limit spells to being cast once per day, though. 4.) I've heard from other players that they want "schools" of spellcasting. One way to do this is to create your own random tables with effects, elements, and forms that are thematic to the school. If that sounds like too much work, you could always import schools of spells from other old-school games and randomly select from those. 5.) Character health is very low in order to discourage combat where the PC's don't have an advantage. The idea is to prevent the "kill everything that moves" mentality, but the game certainly won't break if you prefer more robust characters. Keep in mind that because of a 2d6 bell curve, a typical hit will do 1-3 damage. 6.) The item list is geared towards items that can be used to Macguyver solutions to problems, but you could certainly add more, or even allow players to start with whatever items they want, within reason. Thanks again for the kind words, and enjoy the game!
Maze Rats
Publisher: Glatisant Games
by Matthew P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/09/2016 16:43:57

Super. First tabletop game I've ever played and I'm hooked. My kids love it too. Also this dudes YouTube channel is brilliant.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Maze Rats
Publisher: Glatisant Games
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/25/2016 11:33:05

This was an interesting product. Being someone who reads a lot of the game books, i thought that I had a better understanding of what the books meant and how i should us ethose rules, but after this; I need to study and prepare a lot more if i want to be a good DM and player. Thank you, sincerly Tyler.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Maze Rats
Publisher: Glatisant Games
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/12/2016 10:58:39

Maze Rats is a very simple RPG system, but it is obviously a labour of love. The author's stated goal is to make it easy to run fantasy games in the Old School Renaissance (OSR) style. The document is 13 pages long, with tiny print and no wasted space. The writing is clear and concise.

The rules are simple and deadly, to encourage cautious and intelligent play. Characters are defined by three ability scores (used for saving throws), an attack bonus, and a simple special ability. The numbers and bonuses are not very large but the game uses a 2d6 system for attacks and saves, so even a +1 bonus makes a difference.

Despite the simplicity of the rules, the game manages to include virtually all the major features of an old-school RPG system: reaction rolls, morale checks, encumbrance, hirelings, thief skills, and so on. The mechanic used for each feature is simple and logical, so the need to refer to the rules while playing should be minimal. Only six-sided dice are used.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the game itself is the spellcasting system. Rather than choosing spells to memorize, magic users roll on tables when they prepare their spells in the morning. The tables combine keywords to create open-ended spells such as "bewildering dream" or "serpent throne".

The bulk of the Maze Rats document is taken up by random tables for use by the GM. Like the rules, the tables are concise but full of interesting and whimsical possibilities. For example, the random dungeon tables might give you a dungeon in a city sewer, but is just as likely to give you a dungeon in a beaver dam or a giant book. The city might be run by a thieves guild, or it might be run by up-and-coming art collectors. The tables are open-ended enough that they could easily be used with many other RPG systems.

The game follows the philosophy that every monster should be unique and mysterious. Thus there are random tables for monster generation, but there is no bestiary or standard monster list. That said, the rules are simple enough that statting out classic or invented monsters should not be a great hardship.

The book is rounded out with some advice to the GM. The advice is short and to the point -- mainly a compilation of the best ideas you might find browsing OSR blogs.

Overall, Maze Rats is an inspiring work, and one of the finer systems to come out of the OSR movement. I would love to run a game with this system, either as a one-shot or an extended campaign. It would also be a great system to use for introducing tabletop roleplaying to children; the author is a schoolteacher and has been playtesting the game with fifth graders at his school.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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