I bought a copy of Pits and Perils from RPG DriveThru recently and have had the chance to finally give it a read. I picked it up as I heard it was a good OSR (Old School Renaissance) game. I have been uncertain about a lot of the OSR material and have been doing some research into it recently so I was interested just to see what the appeal was and if it would appeal to me.
Pits and Perils is written by James and Robyn George. The game is a fantasy based RPG where the players play humans of varying classes, elves or dwarves. The rules come in under 80 pages of information which contain all the rules, advice for building a campaign, creatures, spells, traps and a sample mini adventure that allows for GM customisation. That is a fairly impressive effort, especially seeing I really felt that it covered what I needed.
The system is a d6 based system. Largely the tasks undertaken succeed if you roll a 7 (9 for combat) or more on 2d6. Modifiers can be applied for varying difficulty tasks or if your character has an ability or tag. In this regard things are very, very simple to understand and easy to remember which is always important. This game is not one that will produce super hero like adventurers. They are functional and ready for action. On a whole, the adventurers are a tough mob and each increase in level makes them a little bit tougher rather than the meteoric rises in power per level that some systems offer up.
There are the standard classes of cleric, fighter, magician and thief with elf and dwarf also counting as a class. This style game puts it solidly in the 1980’s style of RPG and in a lot of ways this class structure actually makes sense. They describe the fact that the Elves and Dwarves being so long lived do not look at occupations the same as humans do and hence they do not (the adventuring ones anyway) prescribe to those ideals.
The system is functional and smart. It has no waste in what is written and is very smoothly implemented. I can see that the focus of this game would really be on the role playing as the rules are nice and simple. The magical items are great and the way that some of them work is really very cool.
I really think that this game has a lot going for it. It is simple and clean with some nice easy rules. I can picture using this for some games with my kids. The rules are very simple and won’t get in the way of the role-playing. You can buy the game here and if you are on Google+ the community for the game is here. Take a look at it and try out some OSR, you will not be disappointed. Keep on rolling!