Medieval Players Manual
Historical gaming is always an interesting subject. It can be too accurate or too fantastic. It can get bogged down in the details of the time period or it can be just a basic shell of a time period with lots of things rewritten. Medieval is always a good place for historical gaming since many fantasy games are kind of based on this type of time period. I have always been a fan of the historical gaming genre so this is right up my alley.
Medieval Players Manual is a book in the Mystic Vistas line of books by Green Ronin. Green Ronin is of course the great publishers who have brought us such hits as Blue Rose, Mutants and Masterminds, and the highly praised and much beloved Thieves World. This book is written by David Chart and is only one hundred and twenty six pages long. It could have really been longer to go into the medieval times a little bit more. The softbound book is done in black and white and has the usual good lay out Green Ronin is known for. The art is very fitting for the feel and subject matter in the book. The book could have used a few more maps though.
The book starts on a good note discussion what the book does, how to deal with historical accuracy and other topics that may cause problems in this type of game. This is great to see since it tell me the writer is not just writing a book but also thinking of how the book will be used and how it can be handled. It also has a nice list of further reading for people that really want to do more with this type of setting and game.
The book then gets into magic. It starts with some good alchemy rules and making the ability really more powerful and useful. It covers a bit on astrology presenting some good feats that allow characters to handle different types of astrology. It covers folk charms which really has a good amount of feats allowing for different types of charms to actually be used and made. There are good summoning and commanding rules under Theurgy and this is the most complex section with lots of good information on it. These types of magic are done a bit differently then the standard d20 fair which gives it a nice feel and look to make the magic?s different.
The book does have new classes in it. The first is the Cunning Man, a wise person who lives with the peasants. It is a base class that gets free folk charms, interesting abilities like predicting weather and lots of immunities. It is not the strongest class but has a lot of unique abilities and can make a very interesting NPC or PC for role players. There is the Natural Magician who looks a bit more like the usual wizard though different use of charms as they get astral charms. There are a few other classes and prestige classes. But the real fun comes with the talk of what spells should not be used and classes that just do not fit into the setting.
A nice section of magical monsters follows. It does not list monsters or have monsters in it but makes mention oif what type of things and the feel of the creatures should be. It is a nice section if a little on the short side. The same is done for magical items and the nature of them and magical places like the giants ring and Isle of Avalon.
Possible the best chapter in the book deals with the Power of God. Religion is very important in this type setting and the book gives it adequate due. There is great information on the church, its beliefs, and then of course a priest base class. Priests have magic and powers. There are also Crusaders and Templars and a whole nice section on the divine magic. It also has the saint core class, hermit prestige class, mystic prestige class, and great information on relics. This chapter alone makes the book worth picking up.
There is a lot of information in this book. I made the comment that the book could have been longer and that holds true, but the book does read like a bigger book. The amount of information that is fitted in this book is surprising. The book alone I do not think is quite enough to run a game in this time period, but serves as a good starting place. A good DM and creative players should be able to sup[ply the extra missing elements and have a great campaign based on this book.
<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>
[4 of 5 Stars!]