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Renaissance Deluxe $4.99
Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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Renaissance Deluxe
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Renaissance Deluxe
Publisher: Cakebread & Walton
by Ade J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/16/2013 07:24:29
The Hardback copy of Renaissance Deluxe arrived today and this review is based on this version of it.

This is the first Print on Demand from CAKEBREAD & WALTON since they decided to leave the Cubicle 7 stable and make their own way in the world.

First things first : It was well packed in a cardboard sleeve which ensured no damage in transit. A big plus to start with

Second thing that stuck out was the quality of the product : The binding is excellent as is the quality of the paper used and the clarity of the print itself. It actually feels good to hold it in my hands. I am confident that the book will survive many gaming hours at the table as well as being carried and transported around. Much kudos to the printers - Lightning Source based in Milton Keynes UK.

I also need to comment on the speed of printing and delivery. I collected the book from the Post Office today (Saturday) but the card for it advising of attempted delivery had arrived on the previous Tuesday. That means that the order would have arrived on the 6th day rather that the expected 14 days. Now, that is FAST !

Now a list of the contents but before I start on this section I do need to state that I do actually write Adventures and Supplements for this system and regard it as one of the most flexible and easy to use D100 systems on the market. So far I have used it as a base to write Cthulhu Mythos, Heroic Fantasy and Historical Adventures set in the French Indian War.

The book consists of an introduction, 12 Chapters plus a very comprehensive Index.

Introduction : This is what it says. It provides background as to what a RPG is but does give some thoughts on how to use the rules in a variety of settings and historical periods which means that, unlike many such commentaries in other games, it is useful and worth reading even by experienced gamers. It also includes a handy glossary of terms used.

Chapter One : Character Generation. What it says - How to create your Adventurer set out in a logical and ordered step by step way which refers you to other parts of the book as required. It also includes a great way of connecting the Characters together and giving them a base reason as to how they know each other via a useful Connections & Events table.

Chapter Two : Professions. A list of 26 (yes ! 26 !) different careers to choose from covering the Dark Ages through to the Victorian era.

Chapter Three : Factions. Now, I really like Factions. These are social, political and religious ideals that the Character may belong to. These really help with fleshing out the Character but also provides extra options and some great hooks for the games master. A variety of generic, customisable, factions are presented along with four fully fleshed out examples.

Chapter Four : Skills. Skills are split into Common which everyone has to some degree and Advanced which require some level of training or expertise. The lists are comprehensive, without being overly specialised and allow the creation of well balanced characters that can positively contribute to a game session.

Chapter Five : Combat. Comprehensive rules for ranged and melee combat. The chapter is written in such a way that you can include or leave out what you want resulting in either a quite complex system including hit locations etc. , a fast and furious ruleset or something in between. It works and works well but just be warned - Like most D100 combat systems, it can be very deadly. Just make sure the odds are in your favour before launching into a fight ! The Combat Reference Sheet on page 61 is well worth copying and keeping close to hand.

Chapter Six : Rules and Systems. This covers all non-combat activity and has a stack of optional rules covering aging, vehicles and encumbrance. Like all the other sections it is easy to read, logically set out and comprehensive.

Chapter Seven : Equipment. The currency used is the old English pounds, shillings and pence which some may find confusing at first but when equated to the D&D copper, silver, electrum, etc method you soon get used to it. The lists and descriptions are well researched and pretty much complete covering clothing, services, melee , firearms, armour, etc.

Chapter Eight : Alchemy. This is an example of a magic system for the game including spells, potions and familiars which is easily adaptable and expanded upon.

Chapter Nine : Witchcraft. Another magic system with its own distinct flavour and further options complete with spells.

Chapter Ten : Bestiary. 14 pages of natural, un-natural, fantasy creatures and races. Using this as a base you can create Elf, Dwarf, Orc, etc. characters rather than the standard human ones. The artwork provides some interesting images of goblins and orcs in historical dress which fires the imagination as to pseudo-historical fantasy worlds (French Orcs, German Elves, Dutch Goblins anyone ?)

Chapter Eleven : Sanity. A set of optional rules for the inclusion of sanity in the Renaissance game. This opens up the way for dark fantasy and horror themes, including Lovecraft's Cthulhu lore, to be effectively added into a more traditional setting.

Chapter Twelve : Games Matering. A superbly written chapter on game worlds and adventures as well as thoughts on how to run a Renaissance game. My only complaint about the whole book really is I would have liked to have seen more covered here as Ken and Peter obviously have a wealth of experience on the subject. I am hoping that a Gamesmasters Guide is released at sometime in the future as a standalone product.

Overall : A great product and very recommended in the hardback format. I still have the paperback version of the rules from their Cubicle 7 days and that will certainly continue to see use as well but this hardback will be reserved at the table for me and will provide many hours of reference and reading. My best RPG acquisition of the year for the writing and quality (As a pointer this list includes: Traveller 5th, Achtung Cthulhu !, Rocket Age, Swords And Wizardry, DCC Core Rules and The Dark Eye RPG amongst others).

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Renaissance Deluxe
Publisher: Cakebread & Walton
by Roger N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/23/2013 00:43:22
Firstly let me start by saying i've recently done some freelance work for the guys at Cakebread & Walton using this rule system, however, this should not detract from my view of the game itself.

Renaissance is one of those games that, if you are like me, makes your imagination runs wild with possibilities. The rules are based around the standard d100 methodology that is familair to anybody that has played Call of Cthulhu, Legend and some of the iterations of Runequest. Simple and elegant the game is very much what you make it.

Ive run games of James Bondesque espionage set in the English Civil War, Cthulhu type mysteries in Tudor England and even used the rules for my own freelance work in the French & Indian Wars campaign im running.

A warning to those who intend to play the game though. It can be very lethal but this does ensure the players really start to think about consequences before firing that musket or drawing that sword !

I would strongly recommend this game system to anybody and everybody who wants to break away from the more traditional fantasy and sci-fi games. It use of the real world setting enables GM's to pilalge history for story ideas and the simplicity of the rules enables the story to come to life.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Renaissance Deluxe
Publisher: Cakebread & Walton
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/18/2012 16:19:29
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=27914.

Renaissance Deluxe is the extended version of the Renaissance SRD and is the latest addition to the d100 family that includes RuneQuest, Legend, OpenQuest, and Basic Roleplaying. In regards to those systems, it was built off the OpenQuest system and resembles a mash-up of OpenQuest and RuneQuest or Legend. To me, it seems like a simpler version of Legend or a more intuitive version of OpenQuest (essentially it lies somewhere in the middle). Renaissance is designed for black powder (fantasy) settings and nominally set in the early modern period of Earth’s history (which includes the Renaissance era).

Renaissance is a roll-under d100 system where the majority of dice rolls are made against a list of common and advanced skills formed by either adding two base characteristics or by doubling a single characteristic. Each character then receives a number of skill points to improve those skills and thus create their own character archetype. Each character is defined by a social class, profession, and faction. Social classes are a character’s background that defines what professions are available. Professions define what a character did BEFORE they became an adventurer. Factions define what the character’s believe in the most. All of this defines a character’s background and beliefs but does not hamper their ability to advance and become whatever they want. Obviously they don’t get the inherent bonuses for social class and profession, but characters are never limited by a given character class or archetype. This is the same method as the aforementioned d100 systems.

According to Cakebread & Walton, Renaissance Deluxe has expanded content in Factions, Equipment, Alchemy, Witchcraft, and Bestiary. The Sanity and GM chapters are new plus quick rules are included for combat and naval combat.

OVERALL

I hate to say this because it sounds biased, but this is by far my favorite implementation of the d100 systems that include OpenQuest and Legend. For as much as I like both of those systems, Renaissance removes the things I don’t like about those systems. It removes some of the combat complications of Legend while adding more options compared to OpenQuest. The only drawback I see is that it’s tied too heavily to Clockwork & Chivalry in terms of only offering Alchemy and Witchcraft along with equipment that is tied heavily to to early modern Earth. While this is a slight drawback, it does mean that other settings will require new mechanics/options in those areas (although remember that Renaissance is designed to recreate the early modern era with a fantasy twist). However, due to its inherent compatibility with OpenQuest, RuneQuest, and Legend, you can easily pull from any number of already available sourcebooks and core setting guides for that information.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
I applaud Cakebread & Walton with their continued improvements to their publication quality from their beginnings with the 1st edition of Clockwork & Chivalry up to Renaissance Deluxe and beyond. There are some very little things in regards to cleaning up the formatting, but they’re completely minor and by no means interfere with the content. However, this is just a sidebar to what is truly awesome about Renaissance Deluxe. Early Modern and Black Powder Fantasy artwork is something you do not come across very often. Following with the style of artwork found in Clockwork & Chivalry, Renaissance Deluxe has an excellent collection of rustic feeling artwork depicting Early Modern times and the technology within the core mechanics. While you may not think that means much, Black Powder Fantasy and the Early Modern period is somewhat rare in role-playing games and you don’t see a lot of period-appropriate artwork.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
This may sound a little biased, but the Renaissance system removes all the mechanics I find to be bulky in Legend (RuneQuest II) while avoiding the overly simple implementations from OpenQuest. It is an excellent implementation of the d100 mechanics that harken back almost 35 years. Yes it is tied directly to the era it’s meant to represent, but it can easily be modified for similar eras or other interesting settings due to the strength of the core mechanics.

Desire to Play: 8 out of 10
If you are looking for black powder or historical fantasy set in the early modern period, then Renaissance is the perfect fit. However, it does have a slight drawback in that those themes are integral to the system and are difficult to avoid. If you want to change the flavor to match a slightly different theme, there are lots of bits and pieces that need to be adjusted. In addition, I hate to say it, but I find the d100 mechanics in Renaissance, compared to its counterparts, to be much more favorable for quicker game play and more flexibility (depending on which one you’re comparing it to). Renaissance’s familiarity due to its core mechanics predecessors can make for some quick starting games as you don’t really need to learn a lot of new mechanics.

Overall: 9 out of 10
I definitely recommend the Renaissance d100 system as an excellent comparison to its predecessors. I also definitely recommend it for those wanting a game set in a black powder setting. These are two things that Renaissance Deluxe does very, very well and it’s worth taking a look at if you’re shopping for a new game system.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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