The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

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The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby RangerDan » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:13 pm

I've had the PDF of Legend's Spider God's Bride for a while now (thanks to Matt's generous offer!), and I've had the opportunity to take a good long look at it, and I'd like to share some of my thoughts on this long awaited book. This may seem a little late, but I've been using the book a lot lately and I have noticed some things.

It's important to mention that I already own the D20 version of the SGB (of which I am a big fan) so this is as much a comparison to the original as a review.

I will say now that some of my comments below may seem negative, but they are intended as constructive criticism. I do not wish to disparage anyone's hard work nor offend anyone.

For the sake of clarity, my expectations for SGB for Legend were:
1) Improvement in the presentation compared to the D20 version (especially maps). The original product uses hand drawn maps and I knew Mongoose was going to use professional artists.
2) Conversion of all mechanical 'system' aspects from D20 to Legend rules so I would not have to do so myself.
3) General tips for running a world of Xoth game with Legend (especially regarding magic). The D20 version has a great section on giving bog-standard D20 a sword-and-sorcery feel and I was looking forward to the Legend version.

So how does the Legend version do?

1) Maps and Art. Great!
The new maps are really good, and add a lot of character. There are also some new art pieces that replace the public domain art in the D20 version. I find the book looks great.


2) Conversion of Mechanics. Mixed.
All NPCs and other mechanical aspects of the adventures have been converted as far as I can tell. That must have been a huge project, and goes a very long way towards making SGB playable in Legend out of the book.

Having said that, there are some issues. For magic-user NPCs especially, some of the conversions are odd, and lead me to wonder if the person who did the conversions was fully familiar with the Legend system.

For example, take a potential villain NPC - High Priestess Erishti (on p. 144).
In the D20 version, she is a lvl 9 sorceress, who knows 2 dozen spells up to 5th level. For those unfamiliar with D20, this is a powerful opponent who can ruin any PCs day.
In the Legend version, she appears to know 3 spells, at a casting skill level of between 30% - 44%. Her Manipulation skill does not exceed 30%.
These are novice levels of magical power, and even a starting PC sorcerer (if allowed) is likely significantly more powerful than High Priestess Irishti.
What's more, her Manipulation skill has been divided into "Manipulation (Magnitude) 21%, Manipulation (Range) 28%, Manipulation (Targets) 23%" This is not actually how the Sorcery skill Manipulation works in Legend.

Dar-Tiglat, Priest of Yammosh (p. 157) has a similar problem, with novice skill levels and only 3 spells, whereas he's a lvl 11 sorcerer (read: powerful) in the D20 version.
I would recommend anyone planning to use the adventures with sorcerer NPCs to re-do their magical skills and abilities before the game.

One random nitpick is that all poisons seem to ignore the normal Legend rules for poisons (Potency, Onset Times, Conditions, etc.) and instead rely on a flat Resilience check (with or without penalties).
Again, I wonder if familiary with Legend rules is an issue.

One final unfortunate annoyance is that when deleting the D20 stat-blocks and replacing them with Legend stat-blocks, the 'Description' entries for NPCs (physical appearance, typical clothing, etc.) were also deleted and not replaced elsewhere.


3) Using Legend for Xoth and/or Sword and Sorcery. Mixed.
The notes for playing Xoth with Legend are generally good. The first chapter on themes and notes on player races are mostly copied from the D20 version or sensibly converted, and are good advice for any GM of a Sword & Sorcery adventure.

It's the sections on magic and the gods however where I was a little disappointed.
The various different types of magic have always been one of RQ/Legend's strongest selling points, and I was most looking forward to Legend versions of S&S Divine Magic, S&S Sorcery, S&S Spirit Magic, and so on.
In my mind's eye I expected POW pacts with demons, restoring MPs through sacrifice, savage shamanistic traditions, spirit magic voodoo zombies. Especially considering the original's colorful list of gods/demons as a guideline.
This was an opportunity to flex some creative muscles and deviate from the core D20 mechanics that chained the original product while staying true to the spirit of the original.
Instead this section is largely the same advice as in the original D20 version, even referring obliquely to certain d&d spells, and I feel that it is a missed opportunity.

This is admittedly a rather subjective point, but it is here where I felt that the ambitions for this book should have been higher.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I know I sound negative, but I do believe that at its core, The Spider God's Bride for Legend is a really good product, with 10 great adventures in a strong S&S style.
I expect it will bring many sessions of fun to Legend players, and I would recommend it to anyone. I do not regret my purchase for a second.
I am grateful to Mongoose for putting in the effort on converting the book from D20 and to the various authors who worked on this "cursed" product.
I am especially grateful to Morten Braten the author of the original and I hope that if Mongoose ever decides to pick up his other products for conversion they will consider some of the above issues.

What do others think?

All the best,

Dan
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Bilharzia » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:04 am

It's a shocking publication. I think those of us who have bought it and read it might try and see its best points, simply to talk ourselves into thinking we haven't just thrown our money away but really there is only one good point - the new maps. At least I bought the PDF and not the printed book which is £22, I do feel Mongoose has let down its customers especially since it has been available on pre-order for over a year.

Anyone who has a copy of the original and compares it with the Legend version must be aware that something went very wrong with this. The NPC conversions are a disaster - they simply do not make sense. If you remove all the spells from a D20 spellcaster and convert the rest of the character into Legend - you are left with a crazy guy holding a stick, and that doesn't conjure up much dread in the face of eldritch sorcery, it's absurd.

There are many other problems with this conversion and you have touched on a few. It's a shame that what was I am sure a heap of work for Morten on the original (which for a self published 'amateur' production was very high quality) has been converted into something so anaemic and essentially broken.

What can Mongoose do about this? I think it's beyond errata, and I assume too late to stop the printing. Something they could do would be to commission a proper conversion of the characters, monsters and magic and release it as a free digital publication.
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby RangerDan » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:18 am

Hmmm I don't think I would go so far as to call it 'broken.' Or at least, not for everyone.

Like I said, if judged as a standalone product (ie for someone who does not own the original), it's a nice product, due mostly to the strength of the D20 version.

Imagine if you will a purchaser new to SGB:
For the £22 he gets 10 adventures steeped in Sword and Sorcery flavour, some great tips for running this kind of game, and hints of the very interesting Xoth setting. He would find the mechanics admittedly a little wonky, look (in vain) for errata, and have to wing the problem areas. Overall not a bad purchase, especially if he's looking more for inspiration rather than hard crunch.

The problem is that many people like me (and I guess you Bilharzia) own the original.
I effectively paid £22 for a conversion to Legend of the adventures I already own.
And on this front the book really falls short of what it should be, and is indeed 'broken'

Maybe you're right and I'm looking at the book with too rose-coloured glasses (I tend to suffer from fatal levels of optimism), but I find it difficult to dismiss the book as a complete failure, especially for someone who does not own the original and is not that keen on crunch. I think I could recommend it to such a person.

Having said that, I do not want to understate the failures from a Legend mechanics point of view - there are many problems - and I hope Mongoose adress them at some point like you say, and keep these issues in mind when tackling future Legend products.

Best,

Dan
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Prime_Evil » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:30 am

I also have both versions and have mixed feelings about the product. On the one hand, I enthusiastically endorse it as a solid introduction both to the Legend system and to the world of Xoth - I think it is an excellent fit for the system. But on the other hand, I think that the conversion of the game mechanics from d20 to Legend are a bit wonky in some places. The use of the Legend game system throughout the text of the adventures is pretty good, but as the reviewer notes many of the statblocks are weak - hopefully Mongoose can update the PDF version with revised statblocks. Also, I expected a bit more than a straightforward conversion of the adventures - maybe it was a bit unrealistic, but I wanted more detail on how to adapt the game system to the unique atmosphere of the swords and sorcery subgenre.
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Prime_Evil » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:33 pm

My own quick and dirty way to convert d20 characters to Legend is to multiply the character's level by 5 and add the result to their base score with each "major" skill that the NPC possesses.

According to this method, High Priestess Erishti should have a Sorcery (Grimoire) and Manipulation skill of 75% using the stats given in the Legend version.

However, I usually assume that d20 INT converts directly to INT in Legend and POW is equal to the average of WIS and CHA (rounded down). According to this method, Erishti should have an INT of 16 and a POW of 15. This would give her a Sorcery (Grimoire) of 77% and a Manipulation of 76% in turn. I allow converted NPCs to trade points between magic skills on a one-to-one basis, so I'd be tempted to give her a Sorcery (Grimoire) skill of 82% and a Manipulation of 71%. This feels a bit more reasonable than the stats listed in the adventure to me...

I assume that the grimoire of spellcasting characters will contain at least one spell, plus one additional spell for every two levels that the d20 version possesses (rounded up). According to this logic, the grimoire studied by High Priestess Erishti should contain at least six spells. Given that the d20 version possesses the Grisly Sacrifice feat, I'd be tempted to pull a couple of these spells from Blood Magic. Personally, I'd give her Exanguinate (Blood Magic p.54), Spell Resistance (Rulebook p.207), Tap (Sexual Energy) (Rulebook p.207), and Torment (Blood Magic p58), and Vomit Blood (Blood Magic p60).

The Tap (Sexual Energy) spell is a kinky variant of Tap (Constitution) that enables the High Priestess to steal Magic Points from a sexual partner during the orgiatic rites of the cult, leaving her victim as a withered husk ready for sacrifice to Rahma....
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby jux » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:45 pm

I'd like to hear what Mongoose has to say about it. It is unacceptable. They should fix all the problems before the printing.
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Prime_Evil » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:58 pm

jux wrote:I'd like to hear what Mongoose has to say about it. It is unacceptable. They should fix all the problems before the printing.
Given the way that the Manipulation skill has been broken up into a number of individual sub-skills, I suspect that there may have been some additional magic rules that were cut from the final version for one reason or another. But we may need to wait for an official explanation...
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby PeteN » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:08 pm

Prime_Evil wrote:Given the way that the Manipulation skill has been broken up into a number of individual sub-skills, I suspect that there may have been some additional magic rules that were cut from the final version for one reason or another. But we may need to wait for an official explanation...
It looks like to me, that whoever did that part of the conversion used an earlier version of the rules. What is written for the NPCs is unadulterated MRQ1 Socrcery and MRQ1 weapon skills, which is a bit worrying since the supplement is supposed to be for the Legend rules.

I could be wrong though...
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Prime_Evil » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:27 pm

PeteN wrote:
Prime_Evil wrote:Given the way that the Manipulation skill has been broken up into a number of individual sub-skills, I suspect that there may have been some additional magic rules that were cut from the final version for one reason or another. But we may need to wait for an official explanation...
It looks like to me, that whoever did that part of the conversion used an earlier version of the rules. What is written for the NPCs is unadulterated MRQ1 Socrcery and MRQ1 weapon skills, which is a bit worrying since the supplement is supposed to be for the Legend rules.

I could be wrong though...
That's a worry considering how long MRQ II / Legend has been out now - and the fact that the adventure is supposed to be a conversion to these systems rather than MRQ I. I must admit that I didn't notice that the rules use MRQ I weapon skills rather than Legend combat styles....
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Deleriad » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:44 pm

This is surprising and unsurprising in equal measure. Surprising because the author who finished it is writing Monsters of Legend II and is, I thought, pretty clued up on Legend. Unsurprising because it's not as if Mongoose doesn't have form for doing this. I had deliberately held off buying it for that reason.

I suppose it might be the case that somehow an earlier draft got uploaded. Perhaps it's worth Mongoose looking into this just in case. Really, this should be a jewel in Legend's crown. At the moment it's looking a lot like the opposite.
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Deathdealer » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:17 pm

I expect they just wanted to get the thing out after so many trials and tribulations and put out a shoddy, half finished book knowing that it was highly anticipated and that many would buy it immediately. Unfortunately I was one of these.

It is, indeed, a mess.
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Prime_Evil » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:04 am

Deathdealer wrote:I expect they just wanted to get the thing out after so many trials and tribulations and put out a shoddy, half finished book knowing that it was highly anticipated and that many would buy it immediately. Unfortunately I was one of these.

It is, indeed, a mess.
It's still a great set of adventures...if you aren't familiar with the d20 version. But if you want to use it with Legend, you need to put in some work to fix the statblocks. Keep in mind that it also passed through multiple authors and shows the weaknesses of a work that has been 'designed by committee'.
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Bilharzia » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:56 am

With high expectations, or at least, expectations, there might be a tendency to talk up something which turns out to be disappointing. Prime_Evil, you have given a good example of the kind of conversion which would have made sense - you understand the rules, the setting, you are aware of a fairly recent Mongoose publication which could be used here (Blood Magic) and you have applied that to a specific NPC in a way that makes sense. It's the kind of thing you would do as an immediate first pass, ok, you might want to work in a bit of flavour, character and tactics into this but what you wrote sounds pretty good.

Now compare your version with the one that has just been released. There's quite a gulf between them isn't there? It's not really that the Mongoose version is a little flaky, a little off, instead it's way off - not only in the decisions made about the conversion but does it not even seem to be using Legend rules, possibly its even been written using the Mongoose RQ 1 rules, published in 2006.

Looking at the major NPCs, especially those who are magic dependent, there is almost no relationship to the original characters. It's worth reflecting how crazy this is, since, if Spider God's Bride is usable after each of us has done our own conversion, from scratch, then what have we just paid for? We are even talking about doing some work to convert it from MRQ to Legend...at what point do we stop and look at this as completely nuts?

It's even worse for someone who doesn't have the original since there's actually less character information in the Mongoose version - there is no information at all about what abilities that NPC originally had.

There's a few things I was looking for in the Legend version of SGB, I have done bits of my own conversion of the original XP1 from xoth.net and the shorter XP2 to RQ but not at all a comprehensive treatment one and I was curious to see what someone else would do, at the very least it would give a different take on the same setting.

What I expected:
1) Player Characters Generation - cultural backgrounds are important in Legend and there are plenty in Xoth.
2) An approach to the setting - how is magic handled, how do the gods & cults work?
3) NPCs & Monsters - there are a lot of powerful and distinct magic users and monsters in SGB, Legend seems tailor made to realise them.

What the Legend conversion delivered:
1) Character Generation.
The 'races' are described but there's no guidance given in the style of Legend backgrounds - simply +1 (or similar) to a statistic and a brief description. No references to combat styles, cultural weapons, typical occupation backgrounds. The world map of Xoth was also missed out of the publication so you can't see where the different cultures are without downloading the map and cross referencing it from the description.

2) Magic, Gods, cults.
The few pages on magic seem confused, there is mention of ignoring distinctions between magic systems
"The distinction in the Legend core rules between types of magic should therefore be dropped; simply consider all magic to be of the non-divine variety."
But that doesn't leave any impression of what exactly the approach to magic is. There is a list of new common magic spells (but all the NPCs seem to use sorcery skills). For some reason an illustration from 'Cults of Glorantha' is used here.

Cults include "Worshipper Duties" - a holdover from MRQ Version 1? These duties aren't taken from the original descriptions. There's no association between gods/cults and magic - worshippers usually benefit from some special ability or augment an existing ability. The original version lists spells associated with the god.

So these two sections I did not find terrible, but not really that useful either. It's a shame a lot of the cultural background material is missing, also a shame the gods have been turned into secular clubs which somehow confer a skill onto their worshippers. This section was cut in half - the original is over 40 pages long, this is under 20. I understand the need to keep page count down but I think the wrong sections have been cut and some fairly redundant parts kept in.

The use of illustrations is also peculiar - they don't relate to the text and they stop from page 36 - so you get illustrations up to p36 then for the next 132 nothing, just the maps. There's nothing especially offensive about this it just seems to be an indication of a rushed production and lack of direction. I would rather there be no illustrations except the maps since they aren't actually illustrating the text.

3) NPCs & Monsters.
It's here where the conversion jumps the shark, there are lots of odd things about the way monsters, general NPCs and major NPCs have been converted and described.

Armour is sparse amongst NPCs with a noticeable lack of helmets even with otherwise fairly heavily armed soldiers/guards.

Skill levels tend to be low. Most magic skills are very low, sometimes to the point of being useless - even for Major NPCs.

NPCs don't seem to get tougher as the scenarios progress. Although the adventures aren't necessarily linear the original has NPCs getting progressively tougher, with sorcerers becoming especially nasty. The Legend conversion has no concept of different ability levels between sorcerers - they are all generally the same - and mostly useless.

No use of combat styles. Not a fatal error, but it does make it look like the MRQ1 ruleset was being used. Combat styles give flavour and cultural cues, it's just missing here.

Lack of character personality sketches or tactics for major NPCs. The original has short descriptive pieces usually outlining the character and giving guidance about their tactics should a fight break out. This is generally missing from the conversion. Partly because the tactical descriptions depend largely on the spells and skills of the NPCs, once those spells are removed the tactics also have to go. Unfortunately there was no attempt in the conversion to invent new tactics for the NPCs, in part I suspect because their abilities are so crude as to be useless.

No attempt to convert D20 spells and abilities into Legend. I think because so little attention was paid to thinking through how magic might operate on Xoth the conversion author has drawn a blank when it comes to sorcerers, so what we get are a set of ridiculously low powered magic users with a *very* limited set of spells which on the whole get repeated from sorcerer to sorcerer. Given that these characters are usually the prime antagonist for the adventure this is a pretty big problem.

The conversions for theses characters are not only bad but useless. Not only that, since the spells, tactics and character information has been removed from the Legend version, there is no way for someone who wants to do the conversion themselves to see what the original was without buying XP1.

This means that I don't think there's any reason to buy the Legend version of The Spider God's Bride. If someone is interested in the adventures they really are much better off buying the original XP1 and doing the conversion themselves.

I don't know if it's too late for Mongoose to hold the stop the print run and revise the digital edition before it goes to print but they really should do so if possible.
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Prime_Evil » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:24 am

Bilharzia wrote:With high expectations, or at least, expectations, there might be a tendency to talk up something which turns out to be disappointing.
The themselves adventures are still excellent, as are the new maps. The supporting text is uneven - some of it is great and some of it is weak.
Bilharzia wrote:Prime_Evil, you have given a good example of the kind of conversion which would have made sense - you understand the rules, the setting, you are aware of a fairly recent Mongoose publication which could be used here (Blood Magic) and you have applied that to a specific NPC in a way that makes sense. It's the kind of thing you would do as an immediate first pass, ok, you might want to work in a bit of flavour, character and tactics into this but what you wrote sounds pretty good.
Thanks! Maybe next time Mongoose will ask me to do the statblock conversions ;)

If you remember that every +1 in the d20 system equals +5% in the Legend system, you can't go too far wrong. Thus, if Erishti has a Diplomacy bonus of +16 in the d20 version, it is reasonable to assume that her Influence should be somewhere around 80% rather than the 64% listed in the official version. If you use the conversion method that I outlined above, her Influence skill would work out at 81%, which is not too far off the mark. (However, giving the nature of the cult of Rahma, it is more likely that she would concentrate on the Seduction advanced skill rather than the Influence skill...)

I can understand Mongoose not wanting to use material from Blood Magic with the Spider God's Bride - ideally you should need nothing but the core rules to run a book of introductory adventures.
Bilharzia wrote:Now compare your version with the one that has just been released. There's quite a gulf between them isn't there? It's not really that the Mongoose version is a little flaky, a little off, instead it's way off - not only in the decisions made about the conversion but does it not even seem to be using Legend rules, possibly its even been written using the Mongoose RQ 1 rules, published in 2006.
That is a little strange. It may indicate that one or more of the writers working on the project were familiar with the MRQ 1 rules rather than the Legend rules. Still...this is the sort of thing that should be picked up on the first editorial pass.
Bilharzia wrote:Looking at the major NPCs, especially those who are magic dependent, there is almost no relationship to the original characters. It's worth reflecting how crazy this is, since, if Spider God's Bride is usable after each of us has done our own conversion, from scratch, then what have we just paid for? We are even talking about doing some work to convert it from MRQ to Legend...at what point do we stop and look at this as completely nuts?.
I'm don't resent this as much as you do because I very rarely use adventures as written anyway. I often tinker with statblocks to ensure that the NPCs will work in my own campaign. Also, I feel that Legend is a fairly "rules light game" and you can often do conversions on the fly. However, it's still fairly sloppy work. I don't mind if the authors ignored the d20 stats and developed their own independently - providing their version is makes sense on its own terms and is internally consistent. Unfortunately, in this case neither of these conditions holds true....
Bilharzia wrote:It's even worse for someone who doesn't have the original since there's actually less character information in the Mongoose version - there is no information at all about what abilities that NPC originally had.


I've been wondering what somebody who hasn't seen the d20 version would make of the Legend version. I suspect that they'd probably be impressed with the adventures themselves, but a bit bemused about the fact that the game mechanics don't seem to follow the published rules.
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Simulacrum » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:38 pm

Prime_Evil
Bilharzia wrote:
Looking at the major NPCs, especially those who are magic dependent, there is almost no relationship to the original characters. It's worth reflecting how crazy this is, since, if Spider God's Bride is usable after each of us has done our own conversion, from scratch, then what have we just paid for? We are even talking about doing some work to convert it from MRQ to Legend...at what point do we stop and look at this as completely nuts?.

I'm don't resent this as much as you do because I very rarely use adventures as written anyway. I often tinker with statblocks to ensure that the NPCs will work in my own campaign. Also, I feel that Legend is a fairly "rules light game" and you can often do conversions on the fly. However, it's still fairly sloppy work. I don't mind if the authors ignored the d20 stats and developed their own independently - providing their version is makes sense on its own terms and is internally consistent. Unfortunately, in this case neither of these conditions holds true....
It's execrable. This is a product released for Legend by its publishers. You have to expect and require that the publishers of Legend know and understand the rules of Legend. You have to expect that someone new to Legend can run it out of the box unless the blurb clearly states to the contrary (something like, 'this product reflects a unique sorcerer-made hybrid of MRQ1, MRQ2 and Legend, presenting an exciting challenge to the novice Games Master to work out which rules set applies in each case'). The fact that some people are experienced D100/RQ/Legend GMs and can find a workaround does not excuse anything. If you are one of the hundreds, nay thousands (?) who picked up Legend for a dollar and thought this book would give you a chance to try it out for the first time, then I suggest you would be pretty confused as you flicked through the rulebook trying to work out what this:

"Magic Skills: Manipulation (Magnitude) 30%, Manipulation (Range) 20%, Manipulation (Targets) 25%, Abjure (Fire) 40%, Tap (STR) 35%"

means in play.

I don't know the original, but picked this up as a PDF, and it's true I scanned the stories and location maps (which I liked) and did not dig into the stats in the little time I have given it so far. Now I have...I am shocked. If there's one thing I do hope to see in a useful RPG scenario, it's a set of stats with interesting thoughts on how the character's abilities play to, or even create, the situation. Of course, for that to be the case, someone would have to have actually played this product before releasing it. If this stuff is irrelevant, then all you need to do is buy the original D20 book and convert it yourself.
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Cugel » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:50 pm

Bilharzia wrote:This means that I don't think there's any reason to buy the Legend version of The Spider God's Bride. If someone is interested in the adventures they really are much better off buying the original XP1 and doing the conversion themselves.

I don't know if it's too late for Mongoose to hold the stop the print run and revise the digital edition before it goes to print but they really should do so if possible.
Thanks for the detailed review: I have all of the Xoth products for d20, and was hoping for a Legend conversion for the BRP S&S game I'm currently running. I'll just stick with the originals now, but this is very disappointing, especially at $18 for the PDF. :shock:
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Deleriad » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:54 pm

Simulacrum wrote: If this stuff is irrelevant, then all you need to do is buy the original D20 book and convert it yourself.
Indeed. If I am to buy a conversion the one thing that underlies everything else is a successful conversion. Sure I might tweak it in play to suit my taste - maybe add a spell or adjust some skill percentages - but basically if I'm paying money I expect it to be playable out of the box without needing tweak. Otherwise I'll buy the original and do it myself.
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby RangerDan » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:17 pm

Interesting. Feedback on the Spider God's Bride on earlier threads (when it just came out) was so overwhelmingly positive that I felt a little alone in my disappointment. That's why I posted my review. Now it seems that if anything I had been rather forgiving in my assessment.
It would be great if Matt and/or the final conversion author could chime in to discuss this topic and what can still be done.
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Bilharzia » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:11 am

After I saw how positive feedback was I decided to buy the PDF last week. It's going to become Legend's own "Daughters of Darkness" if Mongoose doesn't take action. All the positive feedback is due to Morten's original D20 publication.

I liked what you said here in your review:
RangerDan wrote:In my mind's eye I expected POW pacts with demons, restoring MPs through sacrifice, savage shamanistic traditions, spirit magic voodoo zombies. Especially considering the original's colorful list of gods/demons as a guideline.
This was an opportunity to flex some creative muscles and deviate from the core D20 mechanics that chained the original product while staying true to the spirit of the original.
Instead this section is largely the same advice as in the original D20 version, even referring obliquely to certain d&d spells, and I feel that it is a missed opportunity.
Very much what I was thinking it could be. Of course everyone was hoping for the best especially after such a long time in 'development' which was really re-development. Given that this is a flagship publication for Legend - it's currently featured on the front page of Mongoose's website - it seems surprising it got this far.
Olaus Petrus
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Re: The Spider God's Bride - A Mini Review

Postby Olaus Petrus » Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:23 am

I'm disappointed to hear that the conversion was haphazard. I knew there was problems during the conversion, because several writers did quit the task, but I had hoped that final product would be quality stuff, especially since first feedback was positive. I had thought of buying this book, because I thought that GMing traditional sword and sorcery campaign after I finish my current Elric campaign could be fun. I'm not familiar with the original D20 version, although what I have read about the setting seems very interesting. First MRQII and MRQI conversions to Legend had some issues with editing (for example Monsters of Legend is missing some vital monster information), but after seeing the high quality of new Elric book I hoped that Mongoose has finally solved their issues.

Legend's magic system (especially with Blood Magic and MRQII's Necromantic Arts) could work better with Sword and Sorcery than D&D's magic, so I'm very disappointed to hear that all of that potential isn't used in conversion and NPC stats use older version rules. I don't have original Xoth book or MRQI and I have very little interest to do the conversion myself without all the necessary material, so I don't know if I want to buy the book in it's current state, but I'm still interested if they manage to fix the issues before the book is printed (or at least publish errata which fixes the stats.)

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