Sunday, November 25, 2012

Blood & Treasure Rocks!

Back in late September, I picked up the Blood & Treasure Complete RPG.

Unfortunately I spent most of October and November working out of town with limited free time.
Over the Thanksgiving Holidays I pulled out my copy from under my pile of "Need to Read" stuff and I read it from cover to cover, rather than just the casual perusing of it I'd been doing. I gotta tell ya this is a great game!   
Currently Lulu is doing a 30% sale as well (code is DELIRITAS), and Mr. Stater is taking an additional 10% off , that's 40% off for those of you that are mathematically challenged.  I like the game so much that even though I already have the complete game in hard copy, I ordered an additional Player's Handbook for my players to use at the gaming table.
Ok, you ask so why do you need to pick this up? Out of all the various Retro Clones and releases out there why do you need this one? (word of caution: I get a bit "Ranty")
For me it really hits that sweet spot that I've been looking for, for quite a long time now.  I shifted from 3.5 to Castles & Crusades many years ago, 3.X just got too rules heavy, especially at higher levels. 
I played C&C for many years and had a lot of fun with it, but eventually I found the system growing stale for me.  The CKG took years to come out, the multi-classing rules left me cold, the editing was horrible, the company consistently got my orders wrong with EVERY order I placed etc...sorry I didn't mean to turn this into a C&C bashing rant, C&C is fun, its just no longer feels right for me.   Anyways, I then got into the OSR; Labyrinth Lord (including AEC), Swords & Wizardry, Crypts & Things etc. had fun with many of these but I don't like descending AC, don't like race as class, and there were some other old schoolisms that cropped up that for me and my players didn't enhance the game.  3.x had a few good ideas and I didn't want to just throw the baby out with the bathwater.  So then I went completely the other way and got into Pathfinder.  Let me say Pathfinder is a fun game, the options are cool, the production values are top notch, a great company and a great product! But after running a Pathfinder Campaign for awhile, especially as the players started to pick up levels I started to feel just like I did with 3.5.  It was just too much to keep up with as a DM.  Paizo has done an awesome job of making their stuff available online and my players took full advantage of all those resources (this did help at the game table), but when I sat down to stat up the bad guys, I found myself spending more and more time on stat blocks and less time on developing the campaign.  I still enjoy playing Pathfinder as a player, but with my hectic work schedule, I just find myself no long wanting to run it for an extended campaign.
I shifted to non-fantasy stuff off and on during this time also; Mutant Future, Mutant Epoch, Stars Without Number; all great games, but I always come back to Fantasy as my base and I wanted a Fantasy "Home"... as in home system. I honestly think Blood & Treasure fills that need.  It has ascending AC.  Three saving throws, allows different races to be different classes.  Feats are optional, and even if used don't take up multiple pages, many of the monster races can be PC's. Combat is straightforward with some enhancements but not so much as to require frequent rules consultation. It has a comprehensive spell list, but not over complicated spell descriptions.  Oh and like C&C it is directly compatible with everything in my gaming library. Is Blood & Treasure perfect? Of course not, there are some layout issues in the rulebook I found the character class section in particular to be an issue layout-wise, alot of the art is public domain so  not too exciting, but none of that for me takes away from my enjoyment of the game overall.
So if any of this sounds of interest to you check it out, the price is great, Matt over on The Land of Nod is regularly posting material for it, and even has a Forum so you can chime in with comments and ideas.
Thanks for reading, hope I didn't "carry on" too much. I know everyone's gaming tastes differ and if we all were the same with the same tastes the world would be a boring place.
Good Gaming - Bill


  1. I think B&T and excellent. He's got a free adventure that goes with it also. I've been working on my next release using B&T as the system. Can't go wrong with it.

  2. Hey Tim!
    I picked up the Tumbled Towers adventure he did. I'm excited to hear your putting out something for B&T! I'm definately interested in seeing what you work up!

  3. I have only two quibbles with B&T. I don't like particularly like the threefold saving throw set-up, and I never want to go back to giving rangers 2 hit dice at first level again. On the other hand, I like the simple d20 task resolution system (I'd streamline it even further by going with a single saving throw a la S&W) and the multi-classing rules are simply the best ever. Overall, I think it's one of the best D&D variants out there. If I weren't so busy, I'd love to try running Against The Giants or Night Below with B&T.

  4. Personally, I think the 3 saving throws is the best thing to happen to D&D. 5 is overkill, and 1 is too simple, but 3 is the sweet spot, especially as they make logical sense - one for reflexes, one for willpower, one for fortitude - they cover basically every situation.

    What I did though was flip the saves back, to an ascending system (simple, just subtract the B&T numbers from 20 so they start at +7 or +5), which then basically makes all skill checks compatible with d20 ones. When a module or something tells you a DC, you can just use that, not convert.

  5. Thanks for the heads up, will check it out.