Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Review Of Black Box Books -- Tome Two: Buffoons And Blasters For Your Old School Campaigns

Another offering from Black Box Books that takes the science fantasy PC's in an adventuring group in another direction and offers up a few science fantasy artifacts that can be added into the DM's toybox for adventure design or for use as 'treasure' but like all things there is an element of adventure design. 
So as they they say on with the show! 

There are times in a science fantasy campaign when you need a buffoon or a jester style character especially in  Swords and Wizardry or OD&D style game. A bit of buffoonery goes a long way towards keeping a party of adventurers and cut throats alive. Well it looks like Black Box Book has released another in its like of  old school science fantasy weirdness with Black Box Books -- Tome Two: Buffoons And Blasters


This is a weird little download which features a pretty interesting mix of PC classes and artifacts for Swords and Wizardry or any old school campaign focusing on an OD&D style campaign. This pdf features many of the same old fashion conventions that Kirt A. Dankmyer visited in Astronauts and Ancients namely the idea of a pdf that can be folded into a pocket sized booklet for easy of use at the gaming table. 
The real draw here are the character classes and there are three rather unusual takes on the classic OD&D style Jester classes.  Kirt gets into the meat and potatoes of a 'funny' man class with the these three. 
  • The CLOWN-MONK, this is an interesting take on the traditional monk that takes on the idea of one who uses comedy as some to allow his audience to move further along on the path of enlightenment 
  • The FOOLE, a combination of funnyman & jester with a scattering of magical abilities who uses random magic and dumb luck to befuddle his opponents 
  • The HECKLER, could Don Rickles be a space adventurer who uses insults to disorient and deal distractions to his opponents? This class answers this question in spades.  But fortunately they have plenty of hit points and some very interesting abilities to compensate as well. 

The classes are well balanced and concise in their execution while hitting the high notes of the the material. Are these classes useful? Yes but they are specialized in what they can do in a science fantasy or space opera setting. They could be used in a post apocalyptic wasteland with little problem but in point of fact this might actually be one of the proper places to really explore the potential of such classes. All in all this is a solid set of well done classes. There are smattering of toys and artifacts that would fit the bill in a number of science fiction or fantasy venues. These are well done and highly detailed but there is a complain its just that I wish that there were stats for OSRIC or AD&D 1st edition. All in all this is very well done and very nicely executed addition to a science fantasy DM's arsenal and a must have for a DM wanting to add a bit of that baggy pants of comedy to help with the survive of a party survive in space, in the wasteland, and other venues of adventure weirdness.  

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