WONDER & WICKEDNESS?
|The Cover Includes this Cut Beastie|
So Brendan of Necropraxis has released a product into the OSR o’verese, and this makes me very happy. I can’t say this is a completely non-biased review, as I have great fondness for Brendan as a creator of game content, have played in many of his games and plunder his ideas with Mongol like ferocity and persistence. All that said I am not always a fan of every rule change Brendan proposes and his relentless drive to pare everything down to its minimal mechanical elements (I suspect the man may dream in game mechanics) doesn’t always gladden my drunken baroque heart, so I feel I can pass judgment on Wonder & Wickedness as it is deserved in this review. I paid full price for the product (as I tend to do), so it’s not as if my ethics have been suborned by the offer of free game product (could they be? I really doubt it).
WHAT IS IT?
Wonder & Wickedness is effectively a modular "bolt on" spell system for your older style fantasy roleplaying game, composed of unleveled spell lists and an efficient minimalist approach to gaming magic that emphasizes the fictional idea of magic as inherent creepiness, chaos and corruption while trying to use the most elegant and simple rules possible. It’s some spell lists, a magic system, magic items and an ethos. Wonder & Wickedness would likely work best for a game based around OD&D power levels and mechanics, but is not exclusive to any system. The book is also worth reading for other fantasy games, because mechanically it’s simple and evocative, meaning those who prefer more mechanically complex systems may have to adapt it, but they won’t find anything that is tied to another system and will find plenty of good ideas about running magic as a scary, powerful art with a distinct undertone of mystical foulness.