Monday, February 20, 2012

Mazes & Minotaurs

Messenger Boy: The Thesselonian you're fighting... he's the biggest man i've ever seen. I wouldn't want to fight him. 
Achilles: That's why no-one will remember your name. 

That exchange occurs early in the movie Troy. It very accurately sums up a hero's desire for glory. Mazes & Minotaurs gives role players a chance to reach for the laurel leaves, along with a jug of ambrosia.

This isn't intended as a review. It is more like an introduction. In a movement where a lot of clones and simulacrum are touting their (sometimes dubious) pedigrees, some claiming a direct line of descent, Mazes & Minotaurs creates its own pedigree. Yes, that's correct. The author rolls the clock back to 1972 and imagines a world where the very first RPG was rooted firmly in Greek mythology rather than western European.

It's a cool idea, and the author never strays from it. He even imagines an "advanced" edition coming out in 1985! Some reviews and comments I've seen speak of the pseudo-history that underpins the game as being too pervasive. I disagree because immersion is just that, immersion. It is not immersion up to a point. That is wading, not immersing. The fabricated history isn't strictly necessary for enjoyment of the game, so maybe that's where those comments come from. 

Like I said, this is an introduction to something you may have overlooked, so I won't be discussing the various systems in the game. I'll just say it looks really good. It is very well-supported, with an active mailing list, forum, and sporadic, but definitely available e-zine, Minotaur. Issue #10 dropped just the other day. There are free adventures on the website, as well.

One last thing: I've printed the Player's, GM's, and Companion pdfs in booklet, for that old school vibe, and they look great. Haven't gotten around to the monster book, but I'm sure it will be lovely, too. All this goodness is free for the taking, link is in my Free Swag area to the lower right. Grab your bronze sword and crested helm, your destiny beckons.


  1. Yeah, found it back around 2009 when the OSR was growing. Dying to play it, but people seem to think free = no good. Not so, and M&M proves it!

  2. I couldn't agree more. There are a lot of OSR things that go the rules-lite route and think that means they can put out a few pages and call it a day. The degree of support for M&M is impressive, not to mention the participation and accessibility of the designer. That's a major selling point for me.

  3. This is a great RPG, it is free by choice of the author, he explains his reasons on the game's website. It is better than many games I have paid considerable sums for.

    Not only is ancient Greece covered, but the Near East and now Africa. There is also a companion game for Viking myth. The depth and breadth of the support material are amazing. The latest issue of the Minotaur clocks in at a hundred pages.