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[RPG]: Lords of Creation, reviewed by Papyrus (5/4)

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Introductory Adventure

Post originally by Walt C at 2003-03-20 06:20:55
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This game definitely falls into the "fun read" category.

While the Rulebook refers to an introductory adventure (I believe it was called "The Horn of Roland") included in the box, Avalon Hill decided to publish it separately. IIRC, I ran it once, and my players really enjoyed the first portion (which was some type of murder mystery) but we lost interest during the second portion (which took place on an island).

Walt
 
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All I remember...

Post originally by Buzz at 2003-03-20 18:29:14
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...about LoC was the atrocious art. Almost all of it was tracings of various well- and lesser-known photographs and art with fantasy and sci-fi bits penned in. I seem to remember AH's <i>Powers & Perils</i> doing this as well.


Never played it, though. It was too weird. :)
 
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Adventures

Post originally by Blacksteel at 2003-03-20 20:14:42
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The adventures for this game each came in a small box.

First was "The Horn of Roland" which started off with a murder mystery at a game convention. The PC's ended up pursuing the perpetrator on a sailing ship into the bermuda triangle, where they found an island with all kinds of weirdness. Some nice plyer handouts in this one.

The second adventure was "The Yeti Sanction" and started off with a car chase in Washington DC. This led to a monastery in tibet (with Yetis!)and ended up on a large alien spacecraft. It also added vehicle rules and came with a GM's screen

The third was "Omegakron" and was set in poat-nuclear Akron, Ohio, with various factions holding parts of the city. This one also came with a pad of character sheets.

There was supposed to be a 4th and possibly a 5th adventure, but I'm not sure they ever came out. #4 was to be "The Towers of Ilium" (Yep,Troy) and the only title I ever saw for #5 was "Voria", home to some baddies in the game.

These were some pretty wild adventures, covering everything from common everyday locations to dimension hopping and time travel. You might encounter laser-wielding androids fighting undead, talking animal gods, and creatures from 3 or more different sets of myths.

I don't think I've ever seen a game that covered this kind of adventuring, though I don;t think any other game ever tried. TORG was in the same ballpark, as is Rifts, but this game didn't postulate an invasion or a disaster to explain the mix of magic & technology. It just all existed together, with most people unaware of the weirdness.

(Yes, I bought it new. I was 15 and it seemed cool at the time. Only ran it twice, and neither one lasted too long. Still have it though. Might have to inflict it on my current group...)

Very cool old game, thanks for dragging this out into the light again.
 
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An additional adventures was in Heroes Magazine

Post originally by Richard Wells at 2003-03-20 21:22:16
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The only one I can remember was a Metamorphsis Alpha style romp through part of a wrecked spaceship. Memorable more because it was listed as the origin of Lords of Creation than for its merits as an adventure.

Though for the most part, LoC wisely focused on making it easy to drop in any published adventure.
 
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Poers & Perils

Post originally by Wes Johnson at 2003-03-21 08:20:19
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Oof a game that made Rolemaster look like a story telling RPG...
 
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Hmmm...You liked it?

Post originally by grubman at 2003-03-21 10:41:04
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I remember searching this out because of all the great work Tonm Moldvay did with Star Frontiers and Basic D&D. I thought LoC was kinda a mess. One of those games that tries to mash everything together just for the sake of being able to include everything in one game (synibarr comes to mind).
 
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Issue and a question....

Post originally by James D. Hargrove at 2003-03-21 19:26:16
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It should be noted that like Powers & Perils, Lords of Creation suffered from an atrocious layout that served to complicate the rules unnecessarily.

Lots of page flipping complete with "see page X, section Y" references is required to absorb even the basic aspects of the game.

Also, a large portion of the premise for Lords of Creation is spread piecemeal throughout the boxed set - the setting proper is bare-bones at best.

These two things considered, I take issue with a Style rating of five, as Style is supposed to represent (among other things) the quality of layout and presentation.

Finally, as a great many generic systems have emerged in the decade or so that Lords of Creation has been out of print, what is it that Lords of Creation has that these newer (arguably more elegant and less rule-heavy) systems don't have?

That is, what makes Lords of Creation worth the headache of tracking down a copy when I can scoot to the FLGS and pick up any one of dozens of currently supported, generic, and very popular roleplaying systems?

Sincerely,
James D. Hargrove
 
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I love this game

Post originally by Kevin Mowery at 2003-03-21 19:26:38
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It's clunky and awkward, yes, but it was a real change from a lot of what was available when it was published (I'm not digging up my copy right now, but it was the early to mid '80s).

The skills and powers were organized awkwardly, but one of the examples of play changed things for me forever.

In it, the characters are trying to get across a chasm. One player looks at his skills and asks the GM if, based on his skills, he could have worked in a rodeo. The GM says sure, and decides on a chance for the character to use a lasso to snag a rock across the chasm.

For all its flaws, though, I had a blast running it. Between the setting, such as it was, and the extensive multi-genre Book of Monsters, the game really supported an anything goes play style. I think it was the first great "kitchen sink" game.
 
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A forgotten classic

Post originally by Mark 'Kamikaze' Hughes at 2003-03-22 17:46:49
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Lords of Creation is indeed one of the lost treasures of the hobby. You could end up anywhere, doing anything--usually fighting, but you could fight *anyone*...

It scaled up well, from beginning PCs to demigods, and there were always foes on your own power level to deal or fight with.

Even by modern standards, it's a pretty good system; if BRP is still staggering along, this is just fine.

TORG's the only thing even close, and it never gave the PCs godlike power; they stayed fairly close to human ability. Any comparison to Synnibarr is completely off. Synnibarr is about irresponsible munchkinism run amok, and it's vastly less coherent than LoC. LoC makes you *earn* power, and the setting makes sense, once you realize that people just like you have become Lords of Creation and created their own universes.

Though it came out later, it can really help to read Greg Bear's novel _Songs of Earth and Power_ (previously published in somewhat different form as _The Infinity Concerto_ and _The Serpent Mage_), which is all but indistinguishable from a Lords of Creation campaign.

-- <a href="http://kuoi.asui.uidaho.edu/~kamikaze/">Mark Hughes</a>
 
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