Saturday, February 18, 2023

Review & Commentary on The Gargoyle 74 Rpg By Tamir Levi, & Omer Golan-Joel From Stellagama Publishing

 "Devotees of the ancient elder gods speak of treasures untold, hidden away, guarded by foul creatures… a group of miners once delved too deep and were transformed into kobolds… do not venture into the swamps, lest you be caught by the Lizard-Kin… and the undead cannot be defeated by violence alone; you’ll need to bring a cleric along."

All these stories and more await daring adventurers willing to brave the unknown and seize power and glory! 

"Gargoyle 74 is a classic fantasy rule set, inspired by the wondrous customizability of the 1974 White Box of the Original Fantasy Role-Playing Game, and by the riveting pulp tales of Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, and Michael Moorcock, to name a few. These rules are designed to disappear during play. They provide the necessary framework for the game, but at the same time, encourage a fast, enjoyable, and lightweight tempo of play so that the Referee and players can focus on what’s important to them."
So Gargoyle 74 is a set of OSR Sword & Sorcery rpg rules that emulate Original Dungeons & Dragons  and they do it in about 114 pages. This is a solid set of rules and what's the difference from Originl Dungeons & Dragons verus Gargoyle 74? Well according to one of the authors on Facebook; "
There’s magic in that white box. That attempt to throw rules at what at its core is a mixture of “make believe “ and war . The kind of magic art can produce. Not exclusively in the realm of games.

So…finally done with my (co-authored with Omer G. Joel) version of the 1974 white box …slot based inventory , the undead can’t die, the mage can build a lab rule set , bunch of the obligatory cool generate a dungeon/plot tables, some guide lines for 1vs1 and much more
(Mechanical dwarves)
It was and still is a fun project "
This isn't quite original Dungeons & Dragons because there are a lot of marked differences. Gargoyle74 is built to allow one to emulate Pulp Sword & Sorcery & it does it well. You've got clerics, fighters, mages, & rogues. The Pulp elements are stronger here with characters topping out at tenth level. And there's optional rules for old age, equipment, leveling, adventuring, etc. While it looks like standard OD&D stuff it's not quite the same. There's something a bit odd and that's not a bad thing. We'll get to why in a moment. For example mages at fifth level can create magic items! Neat. And clerics can create scrolls at fifth level and man is that handy! The spells are all spells that any old school or OSR play will recognize. And they really needed because there's some really wild variations on the original standards. Undead in Gargoyle74 are dangerous and deadly; "Undead: The undead cannot truly die. The only way to fully and finally slay an undead creature is to have a Cleric bless their bodies after their HP are reduced to zero. Alternatively, anyone can pour holy water on their remains. What happens when an undead creature reaches 0 or less HP but no Clerics or holy water are available? Well, what happens is a short break (1d3 rounds), and then it’s back to business! With full HP! The Party, of course, could use these 1d3 rounds to find creative ways to destroy the undead being. As usual, the Referee has final say as to the efficacy of any ersatz measures the party might use. A classic example: grinding a skeleton to dust by having the entire party smash it repeatedly for these 1d3 rounds. This baseline undead ability turns them into powerful opponents and emphasizes the Cleric’s importance. Certain undead creatures, like vampires, have their own special abilities, as listed in their entry, below. Use undead wisely and remember that even other monsters living in their vicinity are repulsed by undead." Monsters are familar yet slightly different take for example Green Slime; "
AC 9 HD 2 Attack Strike Special Turn to slime, immunities XP 300 Morale 12"
"Green slime coats walls and ceilings. When adventurers pass nearby, it drops and coats a victim. The slime then begins consuming its victim, converting its living tissue into more green slime. • Green slimes are immune to all attacks other than fire. • A creature hit by a green slime is infected, and will turn into green slime within 1d6 rounds, unless the slime is burned. Using a torch causes 1d6 damage per hit to the slime, but half of that (round down) to the victim the slime is attached to." Yes all of the familar dungeon denizens are here but the difference is that there's optional 'Race as class' PC classes as well. We've got the Antediluvians,The Lizard Kin, & even mechanical Dwarves!
Then we get treasures including unique ones that are actually useful for a game. Gargoyle 74 is an interesting hot take to the OSR. And its a worthy one in my book and it's needed.

The Gargoyle 74 Rpg  By Tamir Levi, Omer Golan-Joel From Stellagama Publishing Is Available Here 

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