Wednesday, 23 April 2014

UK Games Expo RPG Awards - Second Offering - Maelstrom Domesday

The Second offering to the Awards is an alternate timeline for the Maelstrom game.  For those who weren't around all those years ago (and if I sound old, it's because I am old), Maelstrom was a game made back in the mid 80's, around the time of fighting fantasy and all the other good things that came about in that period.  Set in the sixteenth century, it was filled with all manner of good things, magic that was dangerous, wounds that didn't heal with potions, complete lists of herbs and their effects, swords that came in versions other than short, long and two handed, and all the realism that had been missing from D&D and it's counterparts.

Fast forwards thirty years and ironically, Maelstrom has gone back six hundred years to the 1000's.  The character generation has been streamlined, the things that didn't work in 1984 have been changed so that they do work, the world has been expanded on and there's a whole wealth of other things to do out there. What started out as an A5 book at 300 pages including a choose your own adventure and a game scenario is now 220 pages at A4 size, all of which is in game material.  The images have been sharpened up, the content increased, and everything rigorously tested to make sure it works without having to modify the rules.

For a number of the judges, this was a walk down memory lane, most of us have the original Maelstrom book by Alexander Scott (Several copies in some cases, obeying our Roleplayer DNA to have multiples of everything...), and most of us tried to play it at the time with varying degrees of success,

And that brings us to the judges comments.

Not romanticised or toned down for an audience that might not enjoy the grittiness of the times, there's a lot of background material in the book, enough to keep a campaign running for some time.

It's not the book we grew up with, but it's a worthy successor, well written by people who clearly cared about the original and saw the potential for it to be something more than it was.

An excellent resource for the times as well as a complete RPG in its own right.

Maelstrom Domesday is available from their own website at

or through Drivethrurpg on