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Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/07/2020 19:03:33

My first experience with D&D was the Eric Holmes version of D&D Basic. While I soon moved on to Moldvay and to AD&D 1st Ed, the Holmes edition holds a warm and fuzzy place in my gaming recollections. I know I am not the only one that feels this way. So anything that is done as an homage to Holmes I pay attention too. First things first, obviously the name of the game is a nod to John Eric Holmes' book "The Maze of Peril" and I can respect that. If you are going to do a Holmes' homage or pastiche then that is a perfect name really.

Secondly, some others have complained about the art. I rather like it to be honest. The cover is very cool and the interior is no worse than what you would have seen in Holmes. Taken as a retro-clone by itself it is not much different than Labyrinth Lord or Basic Fantasy RPG. The rules are simple, as befits the times it is emulating. There is some missing information in some areas (or not easy to find, which is just as bad really). There are tables for STR, INT, CON and DEX but not for WIS or CHA. This is an artifact of Holmes, but M&P expands STR into the AD&D1 numbers, but still does not include these other tables.Some other oddities are the XP levels for Cleric and Magic User. Some of the monster text is awkward to read. There are various grammar errors that even I noticed, and I am terrible at that. Taken as a "Holmes clone" it certainly does that, even to the point that they are little too similar in some respects. There are some spots of the text that are nearly identical, including some text that is more similar to Holmes than OGC text that is essentially the same in LL and BFRPG.

This is certainly a labor of love on the part of the author. And as a Holmes fan myself I can respect that. But I am left feeling that this is too close to the source material. It even shares some of the shortcomings of the Holmes book. I understand the desire, but to mimic the style, even to the point where some sections are not very clear, is not a good idea. This is one of the reasons the Moldvay book was made, Holmes was a transitional project.

Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition also introduces two new magic-using classes, the Enchanter and the Shaman. They join the classic Cleric and Magic-User. There is a design choice here to keep the Magic-User over the more widely accepted wizard and I am 100% cool with that. If you know any version of Basic D&D (Holmes in particular) you know what the MU is all about. The XP progression tables are lesser for this MU compared to their Holmes, B/X, AD&D counterparts. The max spell level in 5th, but that is not a big deal since the max character level in most cases is 12th.

The first new class is the Enchanter. The enchanter follows a similar level progression and the same spell progression as does the Magic-User.
They also learn their spells differently from a MU with a chance of a non-enchanter going insane after reading their spell books. I like the idea of the enchanter and I would certainly play one. I think though I would do something to make them a bit more different than the Magic-User. Given the mental nature of their spells I might make their prime stat Charisma or even Wisdom. They have some really interesting spells here and I think a lot can be done with this class. Just give it a little more to separate it from the MU.

Next up is the Shaman. Now the Shaman is a real treat. First it is a "primitive" type of spell caster, so their spells reflect that. They also have Atonement and Spirit Guardian abilities. Atonement gives them the ability to spiritually link to a weapon. I have to admit the first thought I had was of Rafiki the baboon shaman from The Lion King. Trust me, this is a good thing. My only "house rule" I would add to this is that the Shaman's weapon acts as a magical weapon for purposes of hiting undead creatures. Not a +1 but more like a "+0". The spirit guardian is a very interesting ability. I don't think it would be game breaking if the spirit animal could attack as a 1HD monster, but it is a guardian afterall. As a DM I would love to do a lot of cool things with this animal. Hell, it would make for a great "patronus" like spell. Also I would have the shaman need to go on a "vision quest" to find their spirit animal. Get all new-agey with it. The shaman fills the same niche as does the druid in other OSR/D&D games, but is not really 100% the same thing. This is good, a game could be run that has both druids and shamen in it and still be plenty for them both to do.

Which class to play will often be determined I think by their spell lists. If I were to play the Enchanter I might want to supplement some of his spells. Maybe grab a few illusionist spells some more Enchantment spells from the 3.x SRD. The Shaman works great out of the box. I would play both to be honest.

If you want to get a simple "Basic" system for a grittier style play then M&P is a good choice.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition
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Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition
by Corey L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2019 08:56:48

Excellent game, worth getting, playable and fun. easily worth picking up!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Baron's Ring - a Mazes & Perils Adventure!
by Corey L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2019 08:50:00

Great game, well thought out and fun. Experienced players like the rules and new players pick it up fast.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Baron's Ring - a Mazes & Perils Adventure!
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Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition
by Thomas J B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/30/2019 12:56:24

This is pure, uncut nostalgia from cover to cover. From the old-school illustrations to the revised but still classic mechanics, this product shows a great love of the classics and a deeper understanding of WHY these rules were so classic and beloved. I'm VERY excited to see more materials going forward. Highest possible recommendation!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition
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Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition
by Colin H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2019 14:29:08

Everything you need for glorious, old-school fatasy RPG adventures. While the game is very similar to "blue box" D&D from back-in-the-day, the rules allow progression to 12th level, and the game is better organized. The list of common rolls on page 18 is very useful and practical, and there is a quick reference table at the end of the book. The author also includes variable hit-dice for PCs and weapon class damage, thus expanding the blue book rules.

The artwork is fun and more authentic that the overly stylized "anime" style art we see in some of the newer games. There is a random dungeon adventure included, in order to help new GMs populate an adventure with monsters and treasure, and to get a feel for the rules. Recommended



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition
by Salvatore V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2019 13:44:04

Lucky enough to get my hands on this. This is Old Scool good times! The artwork the rules, all conducive of the “good ole days” without feeling stale or stagnant. Loved the artwork and layout. Definitely worth the price of admission. Price point is decent considering what you’re getting and well worth it to support the creator to keep making content. People need to quit trying to live up to the “gamers are cheap” stereotype :) Great job on this one



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/20/2017 00:00:30

There's definitely potential here but the presentation and layout doesn't match the price tag. it looks like it's been knocked together in MS Word; the tables don't present well and about half of the stock art seems to be really out of place. One more lick of paint and it'll be ready to go.

One final point, this game lives in the shadow of the mighty Blue Book but lacks any kind of a beginning adventure (that blank map just doesn't count). When I first learned that a revised edition of M&P was on the cards I mentioned to the author that an adventure was an essential inclusion; he agreed and promised the same. Sadly, it didn't happen.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Perils: The Vile Witch
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/06/2016 12:58:48

The Vile Witch is the newest class for Mazes & Perils. Before I talk about the class I want to give a shout out to cover artist Jacob Blackmon. Another great witchy creation from him.

The Vile Witch is a 14 page book (cover, 2 pages of OGL, 1 page of ads, 1 title page for 9 pages of content) dedicated to the new vile witch spell caster. This is a character that revels in what others throw away. It immediately reminded me of the Junk Lady in the movie Labyrinth AND Maja the witch from Adventure Time; she is the witch that buys Marceline's teddy bear Hambo for its memories. The idea is that there is power in memories and power in items that have been associated with others. It's a powerful archetype really and one with a LOT of potential. But because the witch is so often mired in the refuse of others her appearance and form suffers.

The class has a lot of interesting features and powers in addition to some new spells and familiars. Vile Witches are limited to 9th level. I think I see why, but I would try them to 10th or 12th like the other spell casting classes. Though she does have more powers (familiars and "vile blood") as well as a quicker spell advancement. The book has both "vile familiars" and "common familiars". Common familiars can be used by any spell casting class, the vile ones are for the vile witch. The rules are simple, as befitting the M&P game, and easy to use. If you want familiar rules then this is a good choice to be honest even if you never use the class itself. The book also contains 19 new vile witch spells. While these spells could be used with any other magic using class, they are very specific to the vile witch and really give her a lot of flavor and color.

For just under $2 there is a lot of material here. It is a very different sort of witch and I like that. I am certain that this class will make for some great NPCs and hopefully some really great PCs as well.

What I kept thinking while reading it was that a Vile Witch dedicated to the Goddess, Tlazolteotl would be a good idea. She could even be "good" or Lawfully aligned. Something like a "Sin Eater". Her job is to make good things happen by "eating" the bad things. Only a thought, but it would be how I'd play the class.

In any case this is a really original twist on the witch and one I really like.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Perils: The Vile Witch
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Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2016 08:55:28

Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition, published by Moebius Adventures, the follow-up to the original ENnie Award-winning Mazes & Perils roleplaying game. Written by Vincent Florio and Brian Fitzpatrick, M&PDE is a modified retro-clone of the Holmes version of Dungeons & Dragons. It clocks in at a mere 75 pages, but packs a helluva a lot of content into such a tiny book. While loyal to the eccentricities of Holmes-era D&D, Mazes & Perils isn't afraid to add its own tweaks and modifications to what many regard as the greatest pre-AD&D version of the game.

Absent from the original M&P are two new classes: The Enchanter and the Shaman. While I was initially drawn to paralell them to the AD&D Illusionist and Druid simply based on their names, these classes (while similar) do bring their own unique flavor to the game and because they are included as core classes, show that Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition isn't afraid to go beyond its Holmes roots. Nor is M&P afraid to draw more directly from AD&D for inspiration, while still holding true to its roots. The Fighting-Man (a class wonderfully reminding me of the long past gaming days of yore) who has a Strength attribute of 18 may roll on a special d100 percentile chart, giving them exceptional modifiers in that attribute. This is a direct paralell to AD&D (1st and 2nd editions), without drawing the reader out of the game's simpler-time-simpler-rules feel. In addition, its demihuman races (dwarf, elf, and halfling) are given a broader selection of classes than most old school incranations, but still retain level limits to keep humans important and balanced in the greater context of the game.

But M&P never strays so far from its roots as to feel like a mishmash of various D&D editions slapped together to create a Frankenstein game. It holds fast to the Holmes-era level limit of 12 and the games visual style is both simple and light-hearted. Art is sprinkled liberally throughout the core rules and alternates between an almost comedic style all the way up to grandiose high adventure. All of it is done in black and white line art and the book is cleanly laid out in two column format that's easy to read and reference.

The game also remains true to old school DIY values, by including a complete map which can be easily stocked using the monsters provided. The GM simply needs to decide the thematic elements of the dungeon and stock it in a manner that suits their campaign. While a general sense of how to do so is provided, the reader is not spoon-fed their options and is given ample liberty to make it something all their own.

In short, Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition does exactly what it claims to do - it is a faithful recreation of Holmes-style D&D that provides a well described rules set, is easy to read, and adds a few bells and whistles without becoming bogged down. At a slick 75 pages it provides a full gamiang experience and anyone looking to re-create the 1977 gaming experience is sure to have a heck of a good time with this rules set.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the kind words James!
Mazes & Perils RPG
by Zen C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2016 12:44:51

I downloaded this because of the Save or Die Podcast but have to say I'm very disappointed in it. The podcast raves about the wonderful layout and charts but all I saw was a poorly written, badly laid out mess of a document. There are much better retro clones out there to read and get all nostalgic about. They must have some good incriminating pictures of the Ennie Awards panel. Avoid.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Perils RPG
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Mazes & Perils RPG
by Jose F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2016 00:41:26

I cannot fathom why someone would play this over D&D when they've done nothing to differentiate themselves.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Perils RPG
by Francois B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2014 13:50:04

Looks like a standard 0e/1e port, fast reading gave no indication of much change. Rather bland presentation.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Perils RPG
by Tomas S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/16/2014 09:43:32

Too many things are left to DM's discretion. It might speed up the whole "story making" process but it creates room for pointless arguing.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Perils RPG
by Dennis Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/07/2013 07:44:43

It looks and reads like someone's drunk version of a late 1970's fantasy RPG. With Labyrinth Lord, Swords and Wizardry, OSRIC, etc. on the market is there any reason for this? No, there is not.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Perils RPG
by James C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2013 17:34:04

Mazes & Perils is a nice homage to the Holmes Basic D&D set of years past. The game compliments the original Holmes set as great additional material for those who wish to take their game beyond the low level cap of the original game. Art work is a bit sparse and a bit too cartoonish for my tastes, but with a free price point I can easily over-look this. There are a lot of retro-clones on the market, but none that integrate with the Holmes set so well. I would encourage in any future revisions to possibly make the game a bit more newb friendly... I think with its simplistic mechanical approach this game could be a great gateway drug for someone trying to introduce another gamer to the OSR style of play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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