Role Aids: Blood & Steel (AD&D 1e)

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Let slip the dogs of war...

To slay the dragon, to defeat the evil ursurper, to vanquish the cyclops, to turn away the army of the undead. These endeavors and many more like them form the basis for most fantasy games. In every case, the core of the adventures is combat. Such an important part of the game should hardly be glossed over!

Blood and Steel expands the options available to Gamemasters and players alike in combat situations. These additional options will enrich a campaign and make each game session more exciting.

Blood and Steel includes:

The Combat Card deck, which illustrates more than 80 unique combat maneuvers on 180 cards. No longer do you just "roll to hit" every round; you can now choose your specific combat maneuvers! Will your character execute a quick thrust to your enemy's belly or attack with a savage overhead smash? The choice is yours! The Guidebook, in which you will find a wealth of optional rules, magic items, and spells designed to enhance combat and particularly the role of Fighters in combat. Also included are complete rules for the use of the Combat Cards and five new character classes: the unstoppable Barbarian, the versatile Duelist, the deadly Archer, the mystical Martial Artist, and the spell-wielding Warlock! The Combat Reference Screen, rounding out Blood and Steel by making the special rules in this sourcepack more accessible. The Gamemaster's side of the screen is packed with charts and tables from throughout the Guidebook, while the players' side features handy references to aid in the use of the Combat Cards.

Always remember: That which does not kill you makes you stronger.

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Part of This is Very Nice

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Always remember: That which does not kill you makes you stronger. Except for oxygen deprivation.

The box comes with a book. I don't know who would be interested in a set of five new classes for AD&D 1st Edition (Generally, people who play 1st Ed. these days aren't interested in 3rd party products.) So, don't worry about the classes.

But the combat cards are very slick. They move fantasy RPG combat (from AD&D to Gurps to Pathfinder) farther from being a combat abstraction and more towards being a combat simulation. Essentially, your character selects a particular defense each round, and a particular style for attacks. If your defense matches the attack (blocking high against a high thrust) then the attacker suffers a penalty to her roll. If your defense doesn't particularly help against the attack (blocking high against a leg sweep) the attacker enjoys a bonus.

So?

Well, there are two advantages to this system: it keeps combat from being a lot of toe-to-toe dice-rolling, and the styles of an opponent ("Hey; he's using double-riposte maneuvers, which we were lead to understand were specific elven techniques. Where did this guy learn them?") can advance the story-telling of the game.

However, there aren't enough cards in the box for everyone to use. Each player needs his own set of cards.


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