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Maze Rats Pay What You Want
Publisher: Questing Beast 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!
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Maze Rats
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