Tag Archives: AD&D

RPGaDay 2016- Day 20 Most challenging but system I have ever learned.


I’m not a huge fan of complex games systems, I’ve played a few and I tend to find that they get in the way of the game. As with a great many in the roleplaying community, I’ve moved towards a preference for rules light systems that favour flexibility over rigid details that cover every minor occurrence in a game.

In terms of games that I considered complex at the time, it’d be AD&D 2nd ed. It was the first rpg that I properly played, the first I ran, the first I learnt and given that I was in my early teens at the time, it was a pretty damn complex game but it was also the game that set me on the path i’m on today, decades later.

For games that at truly complex, maybe Shadowrun, 3rd is probably the most complicated i’ve ever gotten properly to grips with. Shadowrun is one of those systems that has rules that cover everything, including the infamous chunky salsa rule for rebounding shockwaves from explosions. If you ever want an interesting challenge, check out the various rules for building and creating your own cyberdeck and programs in Virtual Realities 2.0.

The most complex i’ve read and tried to get to grips wth is Alpha Omega. That game has something like 12 modifiers that apply to EVERY SINGLE COMBAT ROLL, including, attacker’s stance (lying down, crawling, crouching ducking, standing), defender’s stance, attacker’s movement speed, defender’s movement speed, relative distance between attacker and defender, cover, concealment, lighting, distance between attacker and defender and more. That’s all before you get to monstrosity that is it’s magic system.


Planescape- A Players Primer to the Outlands

Name: Players Guide to the Outlands
Type: Roleplaying aid
Publisher: TSR
System: AD&D 2nd Edition
Setting: Planescape
Format- Boxed set
Size: 28.5cm x 22.5cm x 1.7cm
Pages: 32
Price:  OUT OF PRINT (£11.99 retail)
Rating: 3.0 Stars (3.0 / 5)

Players Primer to the Outlands, front of box

A Players Primer to the Outlands is a boxed accessory for the Planescape AD&D campaign setting published by TSR in 1995. The set comprises of a 32 page guidebook to the various Gate Towns in the Outlands, a poster map of the Outlands and Gate Towns and a 41 track CD that acts as an in game resource for player characters.

Players Primer to the Outlands Guide Cover

The Guidebook comprises the bulk of the information in this set and is written, as almost all of Planescape is, as an in game resource, complete with planer cant. The book has a page devoted to each of the 16 Gate Towns in the Outlands and then a further 24 locations described so as to help flesh the Plane out for DM’s and players alike. Additionally the book provides a brief overview of the Outlands, gives some information on Spell and Power keys and explains how magical effects are diminished as you move closer to the Spire at the center of the Plane.

The book is nice enough and very much in the style of the Planescape line of products. The cover art is a little disappointing as it is just a direct copy of the art from the front of the box, picturing the Mimir (pronounced mih-MEAR) but the art inside is all DiTerlizzi and if you like his work on other Planescape products then you won’t be disappointed.

Players Primer to the Outlands DiTerlizzi art

The CD is the unique part of the box. During this period TSR produced a line of CD based accessories for the various setting, including Ravenloft’s excellent Light in the Belfry, but this is probably the most unique because of it’s use as an in game resource. Every single Planescape party I have ever ran a game for has received the Mimir as an item and utilised it to learn a little more about the planes and it alway goes down well because it’s fun and interactive.

The CD has 41 tracks which cover a range of topics from each of the Gate Towns to interesting locals and even has both a malfunction track and a no information track for when the Mimir does have the information or has become corrupted. The tracks are all recorded as in game accounts from adventurers who have visited these places and is really well portrayed by the actors who capture the correct feel of each of the locations from the order of Automata to the insanity of Xaos. You can see a complete track listing here-

Players Primer to the Outlands Mimir Track List


Players Primer to the Outlands, Poster Map of Outlands

The poster map is A1 size and double sided. On one page is a map of the Outlands, with the Spire at the center, which shows the location of each of the Gate Towns and other locations of interest, such as the Caverns of Thought. The other side of the poster map is split into 4 smaller locations including Torch, the Mausoleum of Chronepsis, Bedlam  and Sheela Perytoyl’s Realm. To my mind this is the best map of the Outlands available in any of the Planescape products and a must for any collector of the setting.

Overall it’s a good box with some interesting and unique contents. The Mimir CD alone makes the set a worthwhile purchase is you can find it because it adds an extra level of depth to your campaigns.