Brand : The RPGPundit

Lords of Olympus: The Diceless Roleplaying Game of Olympian Fantasy

Hercules invictus |

Thank you for expanding my mythic multiverse!

Lords of olympus, a diceless rpg by the rpgpundit, allows players to assume the roles of powerful demigods with divine abilities. they are able to travel to diverse mythic realms, strange new worlds and even other dimensions. the playing field is mind-bogglingly vast and the adventure possibilities almost endless. the olympians are third-generation powers who emerged from khaos, preceded by the titans and primordials. and what we call greek mythology is our distorted remembrance of their presence and deeds on our world. after a comprehensive overview, three chapters are devoted to constructing characters, learning the basics of play, and defining game terms. numerous examples are provided, as well as many game enhancing elaborations. you progress through mortal, hero and olympian stages then ascend to a superior level which culminates in first class. the rules, which are an enhanced clone of the original diceless system developed by erick wujcik in the 1980s, are fairly straightforward, interesting, and refreshingly different from what i'm used to. i'm looking forward to trying them out in a home game with my family in the very near future. the chapter on game mastering is helpful and covers many contingencies, including handling the death of an immortal character and what to do if a player reaches first class. the role of fate and magical artefacts are introduced, and then... the multiverse itself! there are enough realms inspired by greek mythology in this book to keep you busy for a very long time, plus you can add any game you've ever played, or plan on playing, in any genre you can imagine to the list. then there is a brief catalogue (with descriptions) of mythic creatures and monsters, plus some really good tips on keeping your campaign truly olympian in feel and flavor. my favorite chapter is titled 'the divine family', which is remarkably thorough, impressively researched, and very well thought out. the family dynamics and culture of the olympians is explained, and details for numerous members from each generation of the pantheon are provided. included are their name, titles and epithets, description, history, abilities and powers, personality, location, closest relations and allies, plus notes on having them as a parent. you may not agree with some of the categorizations (such as classing eris as a primordial or aphrodite as a titan), but such details are easily adjusted. most also come with ability classes and some with information on their children, minions or attendant beings, the chapter (and the book) concludes with tips on using the gods, deity locations and symbols, beyond first class abilities, a deity index, character sheet and an ad for other cool games by precis intermedia. i have run countless adventures in mythic greece since the dawn of the hobby in the mid-1970s. each of the systems i experimented with contributed a new perspective or approach to our excursions into greek mythology and parts of them still survive in the tone of our game or in the fabric of our ever-evolving house rules. since 2005 mythic adventure has been unfolding in various classrooms and cultural institutions in new jersey and pennsylvania. we started with the voyage of the argo and are now adventuring in the time of hercules' final labor. lords of olympus is a superior gaming product and i am looking forward to experimenting with it. for those who are happy with their rule-set and reluctant to stray, this is an unparalleled reference work for anyone wishing to introduce greek mythology to their campaign. i have the black & white edition, which is a beautiful 234 page paperback. the colorful cover and internal art by scott hashbarger are evocative of the multidimensional (but still very greco-roman) setting and help maintain the mythic mood throughout the book. the editing and graphic design by brett m. bernstein further add to the artistry of lords of olympus. thanks again rpgpundit! i enjoyed lords of olympus so much that i'm contemplating sending the argonauts on a side-trip to india to check out your game arrows of indra, and i'll be busy exploring the precis intermedia catalogue for the next hour or so. onwards! review by hercules invictus

Siggy |

Very nice book...

I have just received this book and thought i would share initial impressions to provide a more accurate and hopefully more useful review than what i read in the only other review at the time of this writing. i purchased the black and white version of the book, and i have to say that it's a beautiful product. the art is decent to very good, and very fitting for the genre. the pages are extremely well laid-out compared with many rpg books i've seen, and the paper seems very durable and of high quality. the pages have beautiful artistic borders along the top and bottom. the text is clear and very easy to read. i have not delved into the meat of the text yet, and have never played a diceless rpg before, but this game actually has me intrigued. i can also say that what i've read of the setting info having to do with the greek gods looks to be detailed enough to be of use as a reference for any rpg dealing with greek myth. the gods are described with info on their personalities, what their "spheres of influence/focus" are, and even some info on their relationships with other gods. there is info on where each god normally resides, and of course what their offspring might be like, since the player characters are meant to be among that group. there also is interesting info on various locations/planes related to greek myth, including atlantis. also, some info on various "earths" which would be interesting and useful even for other plane-hopping games. there's info on various creatures of myth and legend. there's some very good game-mastering advice and suggestions. there's also the sections on the actual diceless rpging mechanics. i have not read these yet, so cannot directly comment on their quality. considering they are based on, although apparently not copied from, the generally well-regarded amber diceless game i have confidence that they are of as high quality as the rest of the book. in a way i'm sorry i did not get the more expensive color version because i can only imagine how beautiful that book is given the black and white one is just a very nicely done book. between the subject matter and the quality of the writing and construction of this book, i am actually looking forward to giving the game a try. for anyone interested in greek mythology and/or diceless rpging, i would recommend this book without hesitation or reservation. given that it comes in the top-shelf color edition, b&w mid-range edition, and the less expensive pdf edition from the publisher, i'd say there is a version for most budgets. i find the prices to be well worth the quality and content of the book. edit: i received the color version of this book for christmas, and it truly is even more beautiful than the b&w version. the pages have really nice looking trim along the top and bottom, and a very subtle texture, much like resume paper, yet the text is very clear, uncluttered, and very easy to read. even the biggest rpg publishers could learn a lesson on what to do to make a book flavorful and attractive, yet completely usable and readable from this book. honestly, i might never play this game, but i am very glad i have the books all the same, for all the reasons i listed above. still, if i could find a few folks willing to take the plunge, this game will get played. i and a few others have been trying to convince the author to write a supplement based on norse myth :) hopefully he'll go for it.