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The Sword of Cepheus $9.99 $5.99
Publisher: Stellagama Publishing
by Roberto B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/17/2020 02:23:10

I've been waiting for a ruleset like Sword of Cepheus for a long time, an RPG capable of adapting the mechanics of Cepheus Engine to the fantasy genre. I have been waiting for the release of the POD version to purchase the bundle with the digital version. Something similar had already been tried with Worlds Apart (adapting space travel mechanics to sea travel), but SoC takes a completely different path. First of all it is openly Sword & [Sorcery / Planet / Sandal] and is designed for (I quote) gritty heroism, dark magic and open world. Character generation is life path based (as in Traveler) and you can die during your career. As an optional rule, you can roll on mishap tables (accidents), but death is not necessarily less preferable. There are 12 careers available, ranging from barbarian to vagabond passing through nobles, soldiers, sorcerers and shamans. Regarding the latter, the magical system is quite interesting. You are not limited by various "slots", but by spell execution time: casting takes a 10 minute turn, the combat round is 6 seconds. This means preparing the spells in advance, encapsulating them in "magical ammunition" called "foci". Learning a new spell requires a magical skill roll, with the associated risks. Additionally, high-level black and gray magic is dangerous and can lead to corruption and mutations on the performer. Another interesting feature: anyone can cast spells, but the PC without skill in magic is severely disadvantaged and risks bigger. The bestiary has been adapted from the classic OSR monsters to the Cepheus Engine animal traits system. The only flaw is perhaps not having included clear instructions on how to generate your own creatures, forcing you to consult Cepheus Engine itself. Everything remains compatible with Cepheus Engine and derivatives (Cepheus Light above all), so it is completely possible to imagine your fantasy campaign taking place on a lost planet of a larger sci-fi universe. As an old fan of both genres this is a plus for me. Until now there were few options for playing a "fantasy Traveller": Worlds Apart, which as I wrote above, insists a lot on interpreting the "sub-sector" mechanics in a marine setting. Or use some excellent supplements from Paul Elliott (Fast Magic, Low Tech Weapons, Archaic Firearms), Michael Brown (2d6 Magic) and "Flynn" Kemp (Flynn's Guide to Magic in Traveler). However, all of these supplements required a lot of effort on the referee's part to generate a homebrew ruleset. Sword of Cepheus offers a complete system, even without the Non-Humans supplement (which I highly recommend) and allows you to perfectly reproduce the atmosphere of R.E. Howard, Fritz Leiber and Edgar Rice Burroghs. I'm enjoying it so much and I'm organizing a mini Sword & Sandal campaign for my group.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you for your very kind review!
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The Sword of Cepheus
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