Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lone Wolf Multiplayer #3 - Heroes of Magnamund Review

Heroes of Magnamund is the third book released for the Lone Wolf Multiplayer RPG.
This might sound odd, but I would say that of all of the LWM books published to date, including the core rulebook, this one is the most essential to game play. This is the book that takes this from being a Lone Wolf solo adventure book played with multiple Kai Lords to an actual RPG with a diverse world filled with heroes.

I like the way every class maintains the same structure of 10 disciplines (except for the Knight of the White Mountain which has 11 and the Kloon Sage which has 4 but may take them multiple times for various effects). Every class is given a fairly complete history along with roleplaying notes that detail why your hero would adventure. I really like the fact that almost every class is truly heroic, no shades of gray (the only one that comes close to being "neutral" are the Buccaneers). That's refreshing in an RPG!

The classes themselves are very different from one another. I thought the designers did an excellent job in making each class unique - even the two classes of knights are very different from one another. As a player, you have many options to select from.

Not everything is sunny, though. I do not like how only certain characters have the "Willpower" stat. I think every character should have the same basic stats - Combat Skill, Endurance, and Willpower - even if they don't use the "Willpower" to cast spells they can use it defensively against mind control, etc. This is especially odd since the Knight of the White Mountain doesn't start with a Willpower score but gains one once he takes a specific skill. Once again, the translation from the solo adventure books was too literal. Also, with the willpower stat I wonder how well the game was playtested. Some of the spells are incredible expensive in terms of willpower! I could routinely see spellcasters running out of willpower in the middle of an adventure, especially since they (primarily) can't replenish their willpower until the end of the adventure!

It's also odd that in the front of the book they claim that this book introduces the "Heroes and Legends" style of play, which is over level 10. This is actually not true! That is done in another book - the Book of the Magnakai.

The worst, however, are the character sheets. Every class is given its own character sheet. That would be okay except THEY'RE NEARLY IDENTICAL TO EACH OTHER! Worse, they're incredibly blurry... horrible printing! Lastly, each character sheet is given a "combat record" that is identical so out of 144 pages or so 12 pages are worthless, fuzzy, identical "combat records."

All in all, even though this book isn't perfect, it is very well done - perhaps better done than any other Lone Wolf Multiplayer book. I would consider it absolutely essential for gameplay! If you're at all interested in playing LWM - buy this book!

1LR Review - 16 out of 20 - It's a Hit!


  1. I've owned this book for a while now, but I am just now getting around to using it as I was in Afghanistan for a year!

    The Willpower thing originates (as far as I know) from the old Grey Star (World of Lone Wolf) books and has shown up before in other Lone Wolf media.

    Going back to the Grey Star books you had a starting amount of Willpower - sort of like a "base stat" but there was no cap on it. You could keep storing up reserves of Willpower. When acting as GM/DM I intend to let my players do that - and as far as opportunities to charge up your willpower, well, you have as many opportunities as the GM/DM will give! If the character is below their original base stat for WP at the end of and adventure, I will let them charge up to their base for the next outing - if they have extra, then I'll let them keep it! I think they should have to manage their reserve of WP, but having them run out and be stuck that way for the remainder of an adventure is kind of bogus. Maybe later books offer more clarification?

    It is an annoying bit of editing for on the part of Mongoose that they left in the part about Heroes and Legends game play. Not the first time they've made this sort of editorial mistake.

    All in all, though, this is a great addition to the LW canon!

  2. Thanks for the comment.

    In the LWM RPG Willpower cannot go above your original score so it constantly goes down over the course of the adventure. There is only one ability that one class has that can raise a character's willpower temporarily over the original total.

    I would say that, beyond that, Willpower rests to the original score at the end of each adventure.

    The unbalanced part about willpower is that it hinders some classes. For example, a Kai Lord can heal all day long every day for free, without worrying about willpower, but classes that DO have willpower can only heal a very limited amount.