Mhâr Fantasy Game Master’s Book, for the Mhâr Fantasy RPG by Greg Older and published by Fools’ Moon Entertainment. It is an one hundred fifty four-page product with a simple and easy enough to read layout. The cover is in color with a full color map on the back “cover” while the interior art is all black and white.
Mhâr Fantasy is set in a world very much like medieval Europe, right down to using versions of real world religions of the period (Christianity and Islam) as part of the background. The author notes that they have no wish to offend anyone but seek a setting grounded in reality. This book supplements the Mhâr Fantasy Player Handbook, which contains the core rules and mechanics for play, and both are needed to play the game.
The product begins with a brief fictional slice of the world, followed by an introduction to games mastering roleplaying games. The advice is solid and designed to support the style of play that the creator of Mhâr envisions for the world. This section gives an overview of information on the world, the people within it and the various powers that be. This section ends with a useful lexicon of world specific terms.
The next chapter deals with the mechanics of the system from skill use, combat and magic. This chapter is filled with examples to clarify the use of the mechanics. This section is useful for understanding the system.
The next sections deal with time and movement, movement includes land and ship travel as well as tactical movement and goes into considerably detail in the technology of medieval travel, which is quite interesting. Then the supporting cast is addressed, non-player characters and animals.
Chapter six, covers combat in greater detail. This chapter in nicely organized with charts for reference and some examples. Chapter seven cover the supernatural from spell-casting and alchemy to miracles along with rules for fear.
Chapter eight covers immaterial rewards such as experience and reputation. While chapter nine deals with material rewards and traps, several examples are included, as well as rule for magic items and their creation.
Chapter Ten comprises an extensive bestiary ranging from useful NPC types to animals to fantastic beasts and monsters -fae, demons, elementals and the undying-. Quite enough to keep any group busy for some time while providing enough information to develop your own creatures as needed.
The next chapter is advice for building stories and sagas, which is solid advice for a game’s master on how to structure games. The final chapter details Calshire as a place to start one’s saga, providing a strong setting overview to work with and places to find adventure in. The product ends with a useful index, an even more useful glossary and two pages of weapons and armor charts.
A very solid product but also very strongly tied to the Mhâr setting. If you are interested in a more traditional medieval fantasy setting, Mhâr may very well be what you are looking for. The setting and game are both well done and worth looking at.