Monday, January 10, 2022

Review & Commentary On Michael Brown's Realms of Unbound Fantasy For 2d6 Old School Fantasy Adventures & Cepheus Engine rpg

 "An armor-clad warrior unsheathes her sword, preparing to lay an abomination low. A robed recluse dares forbidden tomes in a quest for deeper magics. A cloaked skulker carefully studies his next burglary target. A representative of the gods prepares to make more converts one way or the other. Meanwhile, non-human eyes watch and wait for weakness…

Authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, and others crafted worlds of blade, sorcery, and the fantastic that not only enthralled readers and spawned a literary genre but inspired the first roleplaying games. These games have always been for players using other systems, but now 2D6 players can visit their favorite fantasy worlds. Of Realms Unbounded is an RPG supplement based on the Mongoose 1st Edition 2D6 OGL system (which is itself based on The Original Science-Fiction Roleplaying Game first published in the 1970s) and adapted to create heroes and adventures suitable for a fantasy campaign. The system stays well out of the way of the Referee’s and the players’ imagination, allowing them to craft the world they desire. The rules include several adventuring careers (using a familiar lifepath and skill-acquisition mechanic), customizable to emulate the character classes of The Original Fantasy Roleplaying Game; familiar fantasy races and monsters translated into 2D6; rules for improvised weapons; a streamlined Aging mechanic; a lean armor system; and even includes the rules for Magic use in the 2D6 system.

Of Realms Unbounded. Fantastic adventure awaits! Are you prepared?"

 Michael Brown's Realms of Unbound Fantasy is a fantasy addition to the Sword of Cepheus Engine rpg that emulates the worlds most popular fantasy role playing game. In thirty pages Realms of Unbound Fantasy brings life paths, careers, and more that seek to emulate a certain rpg that will not be named for copyright & trademark reasons.  At its heart & soul Realms of Unbound Fantasy seeks to create doughy adventurers. The game's life, career, & skill path will be familiar to old school Traveller black box players & Cepheus Engine players. The game really does provide a neat little series of life path events to create your old school fantasy PC's. And it does set up a very basic to expert style of fantasy rpg situation. While Stellagema's Sword of Cepheus does all of this Realms of Unbound Fantasy came out two years before Sword. 
One might actually see Realms of Unbound Fantasy as a sorta of alternative Sword of Cepheus PC system but this isn't doing the rpg supplement justice. Instead Realms of Unbound Fantasy should be looked at as another add on to Michael Brown's extensive catalog of Cepheus Engine rpg books. 
From a design perspective Michael Brown has created Realms as a sort of bridge gap or add on book for his Cepheus Engine books to emulate the world's most popular fantasy rpg. 

The game has all of the basic & advanced optional monsters & creatures to run a very well defined game. The fact is right on the face of it a DM with players potentially could run their own Realms game quite easily. One potential problem that players have voiced to me is the lack of  a Realms of Unbound Fantasy PC sheet. Role players want definiation within their games and this is especially true of fantasy rpg's. 
Realms of Unbound Fantasy does a nice job of filling a very specific niche role that everyone seems to miss. That is when you want to run a fantasy rpg adventure without having to go as extensive as say Sword of Cepheus. But you want an evening's entertainment of a several sessions fantasy adventure. 
 Michael Brown's Realms of Unbound Fantasy fufills that role quite nicely. Four out of five stars for  Michael Brown's Realms of Unbound Fantasy

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