Saturday, November 19, 2016

Review & Commentary On Theorems & Thaumaturgy Revised Edition From Necrotic Gnome Productions For Labyrinth Lord & Your Old School D&D Systems

There are a few OSR  authors whose work I automatically gravitate towards but Gavin Norman is definitely on the short end of the list. When he comes out with The Theorems & Thaumaturgy Revised Edition book, I knew I had to have a copy of it right away. This is one of those essential OSR books that comes out without a kickstarter or any fanfare yet its definitely a title that your going to want.

So what makes this book different from other OSR player character  guides & character building kits; instead this is a book that offers the tools for a specific set of OSR PC's. We get a complete overview and inside look into the Elementalist including expanded spell lists, special practices, items, and much more. Here the material creates a well rounded look into the weird world and very dangerous practices of these masters of the elemental arts. The layout is easy to read & the material flows together nicely so that we get a good picture of these masters of the elemental arts. This book greatly expands and clarifies the elementalist as a complete PC class and it also gives some amazing new magic items and a dimension of weirdness to the class.
The classic necromancer is back and it means business; this is a nasty version of the traditional necromancer capable of harnassing the black forces of the after world for the creation of undead and much worse. This is a chip off of the undead horror of the traditional necrotic cast of many old school campaigns. "The necromancer spell list is largely unchanged. I moved a couple of spells (detach/graft and organ transference) to the vivimancer, as they felt more fitting there." this means that many old favorites are still there but things have been stripped down and the old school themes have been heightened in some of the spell lists.

There are several pieces of artwork that are scattered throughout the book by Russ Nicholson and many others lending the book an old school to the art. The rest of the book taps into the Vivamancer which is one of the backbone PC classes in the book. "The vivimancer spell list has been updated to correspond with the list in The Complete Vivimancer. For example, the spell vats of creation is now 3rd level, rather than 7th, as it was in the original Theorems & Thaumaturgy. I don't think I added any new spells." Finally rounding out the book a magic item's section. "All three classes now have a dedicated magic items section, containing 8 items each. For the necromancer, this is no change, but for the elementalist and vivimancer, this means... 8 new items (there were no elementalist or vivimancer magic items in the original edition). (A side-effect of this reorganization is that the few magic items which aren't related to one of the three classes are no longer included.)" 
The lay out of  Theorems & Thaumaturgy Revised is easy to read & use at the table; the text is clear & so is the column spacing. Everything works very well for the reader. All of the material focuses and is concentrated on the three main class this includes the magic items, spells, and background material.

The last section goes into sixteen new monsters all centered around the classes and background material as a complement to the material already present within T&T Revised. There's a feeling of pent up menace about these monsters almost as if they might spring into action any moment within your dungeon or ruins.

All in all I was reminded of some of the independent old school third party D&D products working my way through  Theorems & Thaumaturgy Revised tonight. The design work was tight, the ideas well thought out, and the read through a pleasure. But would I actually use the material in  Theorems & Thaumaturgy Revised? In a word yes, because everything in the book has been trimmed and dedicated to their PC classes presented within the book. The replay value is solid & well done making this a book that can be used in the creation of NPC's and worse for parties of adventurers going up against such dangerous weirdos. The Vivimancer, has been reworked into a completely useful PC class that is going to give anyone who comes across it a run for their money. I really love what's been done to the elementalist. All in all I love the direction that Gavin Norman has taken Theorems & Thaumaturgy Revised.

All in all I think that Theorems & Thaumaturgy Revised Edition is well worth your time and your money. There should be a print version of the book coming out very soon. This is a great book to add to your Labryth Lord collection and its one that will add another extra dimension to your old school games. Because of the concentration on the three character classes and the fleshing out of the material there's lots of potential for plenty of old school gaming with this book.

You can grab Theorems & Thaumaturgy Revised Edition From Necrotic Gnome Productions Right Over Here

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