Saturday, April 26, 2014

Review and Commentary On The Free OSR Resource "&" Magazine #4 Classes and Guilds

& Magazine #4 Cover
Grab It Right Over

Contents according the "&" website for issue #4 : 
The theme this issue is Classes and Guilds
Guilds, Colleges, and Cabals
Revisiting the Assassin Class
Melting Pot in the Dungeon
Mercenary Companies of the Lakelands
Five Gnomish Hammers of Power
Mini-Adventure: Gnoll Tower
Don't let the content listing fool you this is a good solid issue of '&' magazine. There's seventy two pages of packed OSR goodness.
The theme of the issue of Guilds,Colleges, and Cabals appeals to me because at the moment I'm in the middle of building a new Ancient and Accursed Terra campaign adventure and this particular issue was of use for Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea.
 The highlight of this issue for me was the series of articles on 
Guilds, Colleges, and Cabals. These articles started with an introduction and dove into the subject pretty solidly. 

Guilds, Colleges, and Cabals Part I & II by Andrew Hamilton which does a solid job of  diving into the whole subject of guilds and their permutations for old school fantasy including the darker side of these types of organizations.
 Scattered throughout the articles are new spells, NPC's, magic items and some really nasty ideas such as 
The Ladies of the Jade Circle. All of these have a dark and sinister sword and sorcery bent to them. They're perfect for use with an AS&SH game.
Scattered throughout the issue are a number of magic items, spells, and other bits of esoterica for AD&D that can be adapted,used, and abused by a AS&SH DM. Good stuff throughout the magazine!
 Revisiting the Assassin Class has some nice wrinkles on an otherwise well known class and again because this class is present in AS&SH there is a very nice counterpoint to the game. Nicole Massey does a lovely job of updating and expanding the class. However some of the ideas here can be incorporated while the class might need a bit of shoe horning to work with AS&SH.
 The Mini adventure the Gnoll Tower is another pretty easy port over to AS&SH with very little effort. The map, goal, etc all work very well in the game.
 All in all this is a pretty solid issue of '&' magazine.
Grab it while you can! 

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