Beasts, Men and Gods
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:27 am 
 

Hi, I was posting here as AvernusDis, can't remeber what password or email address I used sooo...
Can't send out copies of the pdf becuase I don't have the authority to do it so don't ask.
The game has allot fo interesting ways of handeling things, for a nearly 30 year old system. Whether or not it's dead is kind of a moot point lol, never had that many copies floating around.
It's main differnces from D&D are...
Most of the stats are paired, so that they share a common dice, so if you roll a 6 for the first common die you get that 6 to apply to both your STR and CON wich then get 2 dice each in addition to that.
There is a dual hit point/stamina system where hits mostly apply to stamina first, with some (crits and missile weapons) got straight to hit points.
The combat is on a percentile system with armor peices adding up to your total % to not be hit. Certain results on the "ones" die give you crits and fumbles and "combat events".
Weapons mostly do a single d6 with a bonus in damage, armor absorbs some damage.
Magic is based on a mana point system, magic items are imbued with thier creator's magic points. Spells can be fumbled.

The classes are like in D&D where race is a class, you multiclass magic classes to gain access to differnt spells.

As far as old D&D type games go I think it's the best, allthough it's unsupported. The combat and magic systems are really good, the character classes and character generation systems are so-so (but better than old D&D). In my opinon of course.

I was talking to Bill Underwood a bit but haven't heard from him in a long time, the PDF I sent him has allot of OCR errors in it and it'd be a pain to get it up to publishing snuff, but it'd be interesting to see.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:00 am 
 

i sent a mail to Bill Underwood 20 days ago and he hasn't still replied to me.

my mail was as follows (more or less):

First of all, thank for your reply.  I own a blog dedicated to "old-school gaming", (ad&d in particular)

followed by enthusiasts of previous editions of D&D and the like.

I would like to ask you a few questions about the rpg you wrote in the eighties.
Firstly, i would like to know (briefly, if you can summarize) its mechanics. Which kind of game it is?

Is it just a "clone" of original dungeons & dragons (or an improved version, based on your personal point of view)or is it a completely different game?
Did you just modify some existing rules and provided a more realistic version of d&d or is it something entirely different?

Don't you think is it possible to spread your game to the world again? I mean, nowadays it seems that many persons are disappointed by 4th edition d&d and they crave to come back to the glorious old-school days and feeling. (see for example the phenomenon of "dungeon crawl classics" by goodman games, or "sword & wizardry", "labyrinth lord", etc...)

I would very much like to have the chance of writing something about your game on my blog, and maybe to spread the knowledge of it.

I was wondering if you might be interested in this. Maybe just a scan of a few pages to put on my blog, if you don't mind, so that people can have a glimpse of it.
I don't know if you have ever considered that your game might be asked for again and printed again?
Or maybe selling it again in electronic format (pdf) through paypal...i would be the first to buy it.

I don't know if you think you can still earn money from your creation or if you just would like to keep it for posterity.

Personally, i think it would be  a pity to lose old-games forever.
Even if it will not be printed again, it would be fantastic if an electronic version existed.

I never played your game, but the cover inspires me and i'm sure it can still be payed today.

waiting for your reply,

cheers


Last edited by vault keeper on Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:44 am 
 

i'm seriously thinking to buy this game from Amazon in the next few days.

Now, since i'm going to spend A LOT OF MONEY, (more than 100 US$) do you guys think it deserves to be bought?

Apart from its obscurity and rarity.

I mean, i would like to play it with my group of players. And not just once.
If it is worth, i'd switch to it as my rpg of choice.

Any advice? Do you think it is clumsy as for its rules, or still playable after 30 years?

thanks :D

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:22 am 
 

Vault keeper wrote:Any advice? Do you think it is clumsy as for its rules, or still playable after 30 years?


I haven't given this a thorough read but it seemed okay.  I don't think I would call the rules polished so if you are going to use them on a regular basis there is probably a number of alterations you would make along the way.

As for price, $100 is not crazy for this book but there are probably only 2 or 3 people here that would pay that much for it (and probably most of those individuals already have it).  So it may not be easy if you want to try and get that $100+ back if you decide to sell the book later.

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:40 pm 
 

thanks for your input Mars.

i think i'll buy  it in the end.

I was wondering how many persons in the world are still playing this game nowadays (i'm not joking, i would really love to know the "exact" number).

Besides, i wonder how many copies were published of this.


Last edited by vault keeper on Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:46 pm 
 

underdog wrote:We sold out of the first 500 copies and printed 1000 more but that was about it.


Tough to say how many still exist but they do show up periodically.  As far as number of people actively playing, I'll guess at under 10 worldwide.

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:45 pm 
 

Mars wrote:number of people actively playing, I'll guess at under 10 worldwide.


You are optimistic :)

Considering the number of people having the game, and who know that they still have it, I am not sure that at least 3 persons are playing to this game...


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:29 pm 
 

3 is under 10 :lol:

Brette:)


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:37 pm 
 

If "active" means ongoing, then I'm not sure, but my game group gave it a shot for about 5 sessions, before all the characters got killed. That was 6 of us.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:45 am 
 

And did your group enjoy the game mechanics, Serleran?

You found it attractive, exciting? Or slow and uninteresting?

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:56 pm 
 

We never find a game slow and unattractive, as we can always find a way to make it fun. It is not a system I would use every campaign, but there are some things I would gladly steal, err, implement.


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Post Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:56 am 
 

I know that the book is long, like 224 pages or so.

Is it because it contains some long monsters description/listings?
Or some long spells list description?

I can't believe it's just 224 pages of rules  :D

  

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Post Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:43 am 
 

Sounds similar to the Warwick Supplements or Nimolee.


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Post Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:42 pm 
 

have a look here:

http://orion.math.iastate.edu/danwell/Hgaming.html

this guy says his game "Realm of the powers" has been inspired by "Beasts men & gods" but after five revisions only a very small amount of those rules remained in the game he created.

To whoever has played "BM&G" i'd like to ask if the rules of "Realm of the powers" are similar or not to those of BM&G

They are online and visible on that site.

thanks

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:54 am 
 

On Afterglow site

http://www.afterglow2.com/Product/Imagination.htm

it says (maybe are they Lawrence Schick's words?) that:

"this seminal variation on the D&D game system sits on the shelves of..."

Considering this phrase, and adding the fact that the first printing of this game dates back to 1980, i assume that this "seminal variation" is definitely a variation  on the D&D game system rather than a variation on the AD&D game system.

I don't know, it could have borrowed ideas from AD&D as well, because the AD&D player's handbook came out in 1978- two years earlier than "Beasts men & gods".

Any opinions?

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:18 am 
 

bm&g is not listed in heroic worlds, so i would doubt that that is a quote from lawrence schick.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:14 pm 
 

I found this thread looking up old games I used to play.  To understand my perspective I'm 40ish and last played regularly 20+ years ago.  AD&D was current when I quit, and I didn't realize TSR wasn't still around and hadn't heard of WOTC until a year or so ago.  :)  So when I say D&D I'm talking basic, expert, and advanced D&D.   

My buddies and I played BMG in high school in Topeka.  Even played a few times with Bill Underwood DMing, and had the opportunity to discuss aspects of the game with him on several occasions.  We preferred it to D&D, because it dealt with many inconsistencies that drove us nuts.  once we started playing BMG we never went back to D&D (at least when i was playing).  I would call it very D&D like/inspired, but it's not a d20 system.  

For instance I remember talking with Bill, and him saying there must be +1 sword factories somewhere in D&D land as they were all over the place, yet it took a fairly powerful magic user to make one.  In BMG a beginning mage could enchant a weapon to be +1 temporarily, and by 4th level make permanent +1 weapons.  

We also liked the mana point system for spells better than the memorize and forget method.  

I found D&D clerics and religion to be hard to ref.  In BMG characters have a Morals score where zero was neutral, a neg score was evil, and a positive score was good.  It was modified by the PC's actions at the DM's discretion.  Do something bad get -1.  Do something self sacrificing get +1.  If the PC relied on powers from a God they had to stay in the right range of Morals to retain their spell powers.  A PC's morals might influence whether or not their god would offer divine assistance.

The combat system was a little more complex than AD&D, with dodging and parrying, and different hit locations.  But it stilled played pretty fast.  

I've still got my copy, 2nd edition I think, although it's in horrible shape:  duct tape binding, pages falling out.  This isn't so much from over use.  It fell apart pretty quickly after purchase.  My friends and I all had Xerox copies in three ring binders as it was pretty much impossible to use the original book with all the pages falling out.  I still have my binder too.  I heard that other printings were more durable, but all the books I saw were falling apart.

As mentioned above it has paired stats.  STR & CON, INT & WIS, DEX & BOW (bowskill), CHA & PA (personal appearance), and WP (willpower) all by itself.  Roll a 1d6 common die for each pair, then add 2d6 to each stat.  This was to make it impossible to have a guy with 18 STR and 3 CON and such.  If a stat was 18 roll 1d6-3, and add it to the stat if positive.

It has Stamina and HP.  Stamina was sort of like dodging.  It only applied to targets who knew they were being attacked, and could dodge out of the way.  Giant lumbering creatures didn't have Stamina.  HP was real blood letting.  When you ran out of Stamina or were surprise attacked you started taking real HP dam.  Stamina healed quickly.  HP much slower.

The classes were:

Warrior:  typical D&D fighter

Thief:  typical D&D thief

Elf:  sort of thief - mages

Dwarf:  typical Dwarf

Forester:  like D&D ranger

Enchanters:  magic user with spells that control beings

Arcane Lorist:  D&D magic user

Nature Lorist:  D&D druid

Illusionist:  D&D illusionist

Elementalist:  pick one of the 4 elements, and the spells reflect it

Necromancer:  necromancer

Shadow Mage:  thief - mage

Priest of Exonerous:  like a paladin warrior - mage, Exonerous was the king of Gods, chivalry, purity in battle, etc...

Priest of Sautarius:  mage of light, Sautarius was the sun goddess daughter of Exonerous

Priest of Rashok:  Rashok was the evil son of Exonerous

There are some other gods mentioned.  Thaug was described as the god of Death and necromancers.  Some shadow mages worshiped Shadur.

There are some other classes mentioned in the stat and charts, such as Barbarians, but my book doesn't have an actual description of such a class.

The rules cover most everything needed to play.  There are some discrepancies and loose ends, but overall a complete system.  Half the book is the magic system and spells.

A quick look at Realm of the Powers and I see some fundamentals that look familiar, but a lot of new stuff.  

BMG is a pretty cool game, but I don't know about $100.  Then again I'm much more into playing than collecting.  Hopefully Bill can figure out a way to distribute a pdf or something.  I'd love to get his ideas on the realm it took place in.  There are some neat ideas in the book, but I remember hearing Bill mention a lot of cool stuff that wasn't in the books when we hung out and talked with him.  If there have been revisions I'd also like to see those.  Bill impressed me as someone who really thought things out.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:24 pm 
 

This is excellent information.  Thank you for taking the time to share so much.  It's a wonderful look into role-playing history.   :)


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:20 am 
 

Really wish I'd taken the time to PDF this when I had the chance. Hope someone will release a PDF at some point.

Presumably this could be republished verbatim, on the grounds that is has been published for years and therefor cannot breach anyone's IP (even if it did, the fact that it remained unchallenged for 30 years proves that no breach of IP was percieved and that Hasbro are trying to impose their IP in retrospect).

Id' like to see this republished verbatim.


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:25 am 
 

Excellent description, indeed.
Did anyone heard from Bill Underwood since his last post?


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