Monday, May 12, 2014

Review of Mad Monks of Kwantoom From Kabuki Kaiser For Your Old School Campaigns

Grab It Right Over 

I received this product in email about two days ago and I've been toying with it ever since. This is an old school product steeped in the mystery and downright weirdness of Oreintalism. Right off the bat this product is packed! Seriously it clocks in at two hundred and twenty pages of useful material. 
The Drive thru rpg description : 
Some say the gods expelled the grotesque and the weak from their ranks at the beginning of time, denying them entrance to the lofty heavens. Demons all of them, they fled to remote places where they had palaces built in which they could dwell and prosper in the glittering shadows, and that among these places, the 1001 Pagodas of Doom of the Yellow Springs Island are supreme, sheltering countless horrors and ghosts.
Are you looking for an Oriental Adventures Companion? A Chinese-style monster manual with a twist? A tome collecting a hundred brand new mundane magic items? An Asian-themed urban setting? A game aid to help you fill in the gaps when improvising? An endless campaign that you can play solo or with your family and friends without a DM? Good, because you'll find all this gathered together in one nifty package right here.
In a nutshell, Mad Monks of Kwantoom features a wondrous Asian setting with new character races and classes, crazy unique creatures inspired by matchbox pictures coming straight from ancient China, alternative petty magic items, tables for random dungeon generation and simple house rules for all of this to run smoothly. In addition, you'll find campaign rules to help you flesh your characters out and embed them in the setting, which they can change and mold according to their whims as they proceed to glory, prosperity and — who knows? — immortality.
Ninjas, tengu player characters, the revised monk character class, the City of Innocent Deaths, the Lucky Charm of Many Ghastly Friends, the Style of the Righteous and Harmonious Fists, Pa'kua kobolds, the Monkey King himself, a game that your partner can play and enjoy with you — and you alone, the 1001 pagodas of doom and actual rules for becoming the Noble Jade Empress or the head of the Shrine of the Purple Lady of the Latrines if that's your thing.
This book is officially compatible with Labyrinth Lord and the Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion. Since these systems emulate the Basic and Advanced editions of the original Old School rules, you can play it with them or with any Old School Renaissance gaming system instead.
Cracking open Mad Monks of Kwantoom was like finding some weird used old school book or game box in a book store. This pdf is a throwback to a time that never was. I say this because this is the sort of book or box set that I wish I had when I was DMing Oriental style adventures. Reading through this material I kept wishing that this wasn't a pdf but a box set.
 The book's sections are divided into some very nice chapters each outlining a different and very detailed take on the . This is a real shopping list of material for the Orientalism DM. The authors did a fantastic job fleshing this material out  The material has a real pulp feel to it and it could be in point of fact be put into a pulp old school campaign.  

Breaking Down Mad Monks of Kwantoom
Mad Monks of Kwantoom is oriented for both the players and dungeon masters with a highlight on the following : classes, revised NPC stats, 
Ninjas, Tengu player characters, the revised monk character class, all work with about ninety percent of the retroclones on the market.
  •  A MONSTER MANUAL-  The monsters and creatures though drawn from the mythologies of China,Japan, and all of Asia. But these monsters are twisted and turned into original creations that will simulate your adventures.
  • A TOME OF WONDROUS MAGIC- The magic actually fits the book and isn't simply a bunch of old school spells. 
  • AN ASIAN-THEMED CITY - The City of Innocent Deaths is great setting that DM will want to return an adventurers to again and again 
  • A SOLO CAMPAIGN AND A DM'S AID - This book could be used by a DM for solo play while getting to know the monsters, items, magic, and the rest of the book. The solo play is perfect for randomly generating old school adventures.
Mad Monks of Kwantoom For
 Your  Old School Swords and Sorcery

Mad Monks of Kwantoom has a very Nineteen Seventies sword and sorcery comic book as well as Marvel martial arts feel to it. It's as if you had a time machine and went back in time to your favorite hobby shop and this book was sitting on a shelf.
 Most of this book can easily transported into your existing campaign.
A game system like Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea is tailor made for a game supplement like this. The only issue here is dove tailing what you want into a retroclone of your choice.
Labyrinth Lord and OSRIC have many optional products on the market already but this one is a really nice addition. If your going use this book do yourself a favor and reread some of the original pulp Oriental sword and sorcery stories that this book draws from.
All in all this is one of the best books to come out for a retroclone in quite a while.
Four out of five stars for this book 

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