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Chivalry & Sorcery, 5th Edition
by Todd M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/17/2021 11:28:02

Major revision: fact rekt and reduced to minimum stars for bologna. The author doesn't know what they're typing about, or worse. Examples follow:

"Jews were considered the property of their overlord (Bishop,... "

Source, please. I call B.S.

"... owning nothing themselves,..." not according to the Church. No? Source, please.

"... and if they converted to Christianity, forfeited all their property as recompense to their 'owner.'"

Again, source, please. Not according to the Church, at least. Private property is a human right, according to the Church. Didn't you also type that they don't have any property? How can they forfeit what they don't have?

"Jews were, however, tolerated under Canon Law..."

Now you're clearly in my area. There's no such thing as a Jew under, as in being subject to, Canon law. Only Catholics are under Canon Law. What's next, we going to type about the Inquisition burning millions of Zoroastrians?

"... only being prosecuted for heresy if, once having accepted Christianity, they rejected it."

Heresy is a rejection of a portion of the Catholic Faith. Apostasy is the rejection of all of it. None of it has anything to do with being a Jew. ANY Catholic is subject to excommunicatoin for all sorts of heresies, which still isn't apostasy, but, again, it's got nothing to do with Jews. By definition, only Catholics have the Catholic faith. Genetics has nothing to do with it.

In crayon, religiously speaking, you're a Jew, or you're Catholic. That's one of the few things on which both sides agree.

The system still looks good once you decipher the terrible writing. The rest gets a vote of no-confidence in light of things like the above.

BLUF:* This would be an incredible, five-star product that fills an ironically perishing niche, save that the writing is from Hell.

Caveat: I still haven't overcome the initial ordeal of completely grinding through the rulebook. I've yet to play or run it; that's where the rubber meets the road.

  • The Good:
    • It is a Medfan completionist's dream.
    • The system is:
      • Logical
      • Complete
      • Consistent
      • Coherent
      • Complex, only in the sense that, say, Legos can be complex. At base, it is very Lego-like. Essentially, it's simple; so is Goh, or Chess. Feel me?
      • Seemingly well-balanced, at least if you ditch the random bits; for example, gambling with character points is janky.
    • It is balanced, gamer-type-wise. It's got something for everyone. It covers the entire spectrum from your von Clausewitz types to your Munchkins, to your power-gamers, to your Noel Coward swooners.
      • No, they aren't all going to get what they want to the degree that they wish to, but one may sufficiently scratch one's gaming itches here, including wargaming.
  • The "Meh:" navigation, organization, and structure. It's tabbed, with internal linking, and has ~all the other bells and whistles, nav, org, and structure-wise. Sadly, the negative impacts from "The Ugly" downgrade what would be stellar to "Meh."
  • The Ugly: The writing. "Bad" is putting it mildly. C&S, per se, all-summed, is horrifically complex, but it's not because of the system or the content; it's because of expression/presentation, i.e., the writing. Specs:
    • Parentheses aren't commas, colons, or semicolons. Learn this.
    • Did you edit this? I can't tell. If you did, then, "Dannnng...." Bloated, disjointed paragraphs, run-on sentences, needless, grammatically ugly and, thus, ambiguous, confusing redundancies, punctuation errors that make aspirin producers sing; it's painful.
    • Did you proofread this? I can't tell...
  • The fixes:
    • Give it to at least one C&S noob to proof and critique, not a neckbeard, especially not a fanboy, then make it as simple as possible for them to understand it.
      • I'm not saying to make it pre-k. Some people aren't wired for RPGs, simple or not, so it's okay if the noob has to work at it, but "K.I.S.S." as reasonably possible. Believe your hype: the system is not complicated. Your presentation sucks.
    • Within your means, get a proper, ~professional:
      • writer
      • editor
      • Proofreader
    • At a minimum, make at least one honest, complete pass with Word or an equivalent; there's little excuse for doing any less.

P.S.,

Twenty-nine ratings, averaging to practically five? What is this, Amazon?

P.P.S.,

Yes, it does suffer somewhat from Wokeism, but I've seen far worse. It's relatively easy to overlook, making it more insinuating. However, it doesn't seem baked in, so ignore it, or have a laugh and drive on. To be fair to the publishers, they're a business, and P.R. and marketing are things. It's a fine line. C&S doesn't walk it masterfully, but it does seem to try to walk it, at least. Everyone has a worldview. It shouldn't be shocking if an author doesn't share ours and, thus necessarily, vice-versa. I doubt this review will resonate perfectly with anyone, so there. Bottom line: it's the cost and climate of business these days, like it or not.

*Bottom Line, Up Front.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Chivalry & Sorcery, 5th Edition
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Quickstart Rules, 5e C&S
by Todd M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/12/2021 19:25:33

I'll be brief:

  • The quickstart rules are about as clear as mud, poorly written, (redundant, wordy) and, frankly, misrepresented or evaluated by old hats. It's claimed that C&S isn't complicated. My response? Walking isn't complicated either, unless you're learning to walk. An example quote of the sketchy grammar follows (emph. mine) "Each time Armour suffers a penetrating hit where the excess damage exceeds its armour absorption,..." p. 15
  • At the very least, it's in dire need of a flowchart or the like, esp. for the application of critical rules, like exactly IF and WHEN damage applies, esp. when block/shields are involved.
  • Example: EXACTLY, step-by-step, how does penetrating armor AND penetration apply? Does the crit damage go directly to each location, just as it does with body, or is that all wrong? Does the crit damage ONLY go to each location IF it penetrates? It. Is. Not. Clear. At. All.
  • The only reason I'm sticking to this particular ruleset, and hoping that plowing through the core book will answer some questions/be more clear, if after flirting with an aspirin OD, is that there's nothing else that quite fills this particular niche. It's like the Microsoft of medfan simulation.
  • TL;DR-it's a disordered, brain-grinding exercise in quasi-logic and frustration. I can tell there's a well thought out system here, somewhere, but somewhere between the notion and its expression, something broke down.
  • In short, if these are the "quickstart rules," then... sheesh. C&S: it's a gas.

Recommended fix? Grammar refresher course for the writer/s.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Quickstart Rules, 5e C&S
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Character Sheet - C&S Essence (Portrait)
by Simon R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/21/2020 06:06:12

Fairly straight forward download process, unclear as to how payment is to be made. I orderd items that in total constitute more than the ' bundle ', in bulk.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Character Sheet - C&S Essence (Portrait)
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Creator Reply:
Payment will have been taken before you could download, even free items.
Chivalry & Sorcery, 5th Edition
by Philip H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/17/2020 05:47:35

First of all, I know two of the authors personally; secondly, I didn’t pay for my copy of this RPG: the three of us were talking on-line about an idea of mine regarding either skirmish wargaming or roleplaying (or both) in medieval England (or Palestine, or both) during the reign of Richard Coeur de Lion or his brother John, and I was wondering what system to use. I was considering Hârnmaster, as it’s gritty, and the magic system is easily ignored if you wish. And they said ‘Why not look at C&S?’

So, here I am, looking.

This review refers only to the PDF version, which I am viewing mainly on a 12.9” iPad Pro, and it is very much a ‘first impression’.

First of all, the file loads very quickly into GoodReader. Secondly, it looks beautiful: this is a well-designed, well typeset and laid out publication. Navigation around the huge (602 page) tome is quick and easy thanks to excellent hyperlinking. It’s easy to get to the table of contents or index too - alternate pages have links to one or the other (as well as to every chapter); I might have preferred hyperlinks to both on every page, but it’s still very quick and easy to use. It’s a good example of how rules presented in PDF ought to be: the added functionality outweighs the ‘it isn’t a book’ feeling you get from rules on a tablet: it would be great for use at the table because looking something up in the index gets you a hyperlink straight to the relevant text - no scrolling required!

The artwork is good but ‘minimal’ and unobtrusive - the book is big enough without loading it with pages and pages of gratuitous pictures. What art there is, is evocative and suits the ‘feel’ of the subject well. The text is clear and easy to read, though the extensive use of ligatures reduces the readability a bit and their appearance ‘jars’ a little - at least for me. The tables are well laid-out and easy to refer to.

My first impression of the rules is that the system is quite ‘old school’ - complex and ‘crunchy’ - there are lots of rules, lots of acronyms, lots of tables. And I’m sure it harks back to the previous four editions - using mechanics, acronyms, etc., which are probably very familiar to aficionados of the earlier editions. For a tyro like me though, it’s pretty daunting at first glance! More to follow as and when I ‘get to grips’ with the nitty-gritty of the system.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chivalry & Sorcery, 5th Edition
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Chivalry & Sorcery, Essence (d20) Edition
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/22/2017 07:01:57

Chivalry & Sorcery Essence is an elegant, simplified version of the Chivalry & Sorcery game. It has everything you need to run realistic-feeling medieval fantasy at a personal level with a system which is just "crunchy" enough to appeal to me without being overwhelming. I'd love to see this approach expanded to include similarly elegant mass combat and land-holding rules - then it would really feel "complete" as a C&S ruleset.

I bought it in both print and PDF. My only criticism is that some of the art is slightly low resolution in the print version, but given the low price and the quality of the rules themselves, I couldn't bring myself to take a star off for this. Other than in the print version of the character sheet, I don't find it distracting, and I am not going to use the print version of the character sheet anyway (I'll print my own character sheets - who actually photocopies these from rulebooks anymore?).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chivalry & Sorcery, Essence (d20) Edition
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Dragon Reaches Map
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/21/2016 12:39:40

A map for the Chivalry & Sorcery RPG.

Quite a lot of sea. Fairly well detailed. Pretty good also, since it's free.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Reaches Map
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Chivalry & Sorcery 4th Edition "The Rebirth"
by Mark W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2015 12:51:59

My first exposure to Chivalry & Sorcery. Amazing what you get for FREE. I am a fantasy 3.5 DM, got this to explore another type of game. All you need in 3 volumes to start and run a campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chivalry & Sorcery 4th Edition "The Rebirth"
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Chivalry & Sorcery 4th Edition "The Rebirth"
by kevin R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/05/2015 11:43:36

What a fantastic game, it that good i got rid of my old D&D books. once you have played C&S, there is no going back



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chivalry & Sorcery 4th Edition "The Rebirth"
by Boris G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2015 18:51:49

Book 1 + 2 are OCRed and reformatted. They messed up one Illustration on page 48 in Book 1 but everything else is perfect. Sadly Book 3 is only a scanned image with lot's of handwritten comments but everything is readable. Highly recommended for all who are interested in role playing in a strong medieval milieu and do not fear complex rules. And also good for all people who still play this game and want to save their precious originals from wear and tear.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Treachery
by Boris G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/11/2013 16:09:24

This is an interesting adventure set in Marakush for Chivalry & Sorcery. It has also stats for HarnMaster. Also the two missing maps were added recently.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Treachery
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Treachery
by David W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/27/2012 13:37:19

The product is a good edition to the Marakush/Anderia campaign for Chivalry & Sorcery, or for any fantasy RPG. The scan is pretty good, but the pdf is missing two maps from the print book (the map of Ynys Heddwch and the map of Caer Drometh, which were printed on the inside front and rear covers of the book respectively). This really limits the utility of the pdf.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Where Heroes Fear to Tread
by matthew o. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/27/2012 21:03:44

I enjoyed reading it Steve, thanks. The dragon was fun, perhaps a worshiper of the ancient ones with a name like that. Methinks he could be delving into the works of the mad Arab and scrawling circles to protect from his own summoning’s.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Where Heroes Fear to Tread
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Character Sheet - C&S Essence (Portrait)
by matthew o. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/27/2012 20:55:27

Character sheets help very much. Both formats look functional. Some downloadable full game versions would help too. Or those brief skillscape and combat explanations. Thanks again.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Character Sheet - C&S Essence (Portrait)
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Chivalry and Sorcery Essence - Apocrypha 0
by matthew o. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/27/2012 20:42:47

I like all the additions to the first set of rules and think they add much more of the original C&S combat system feel to the essence paradigm. The idea of an on-going journal is something that the game can use also.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chivalry and Sorcery Essence - Apocrypha 0
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Character Sheet - C&S Essence (Landscape)
by matthew o. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/27/2012 20:39:32

Great. Now can you post a character sheet for the full game too? How about all the free downloads from the britannia site they were useful. Good one. Thanks.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Character Sheet - C&S Essence (Landscape)
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