Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Heroes and Other Worlds: Magi Carta -- a mini-review

One of the books I bought this summer was Magi Carta: The Compendium of Magic and Spells for Heroes and Other Worlds. Written by Christopher Brandon, Heroes was inspired by The Fantasy Trip, one of my favorite systems, as well as B/X D&D. Magi Carta is 192 pages long in the 5x7 digest format and costs $21 for the softbound version and $10.99 for the PDF from Lulu.com.

The book starts with ten pages of magical options, including ideas for limiting starting spells by social status or by requiring lower IQ spells before getting higher IQ spells, two interesting forms of spellcasting, spell gems (a form of temporary magic device), wizard's staff, spell books and familiars. Then a full 176 pages of spells, nearly 600 spells in all. The spells are a range of effects, many of them adaptations of standard D&D spells, such as Prismatic Spray.

This is a pretty thick tome. The cover art is very nice, and Lulu's production values are good. The interior layout is simple but very readable. Some spell adaptations are better than others, but overall, this is a great resource for the game, especially if you are using D&D modules in your HOW game..

Chris Brandon has done a very nice job of supporting his game. Heroes and Other Worlds now has an expansive set of spells, a sandbox (Rob Conley's Blackmarch converted for HOW), and a fanzine, The Cauldron. I hear rumors of a future Redwald book for HOW, as well.

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