Review of OUBLIETTE Issue 7 – “a magazine for old school fantasy roleplayers”
The publisher of the OUBLIETTE magazine decided that they enable they current Issue 7 to be freely available for a limited time only. Seeing the oppurtunity, we decided to give it a look, and make a short review about the magazine.
OUBLIETTE is an RPG magazine, directed toward old school fantasy roleplayers. While it’s itended for Labirynth Lord, it’s content is compatible with multiple systems, from the same vein, like Ad&d 1st edition, OSRIC and Castles & Crusader.
With a complete 40 pages to start with, the magazine seems packed with a lost of material. But is it really useful material? Don’t worry we are here to check that for you. So we will going from article to article, and give you an insight in every single information we see there.
After the list of contents we receive a page with an editorial, and with a very brief article about the Pareto Principle‘s (also known as the 80-20 rule) application to fantasy RPG’s. The magazine is interrupted in several places with full-page advertisements, but even then a place left for more useful material.
The layout and the pictures on the pages are definitely giving an old-school feel to the magazine, which is a great plus considering it’s topic. It gives me memories, when I first seen an RPG rulebook a long, long time ago.
But back on the articles. They are a mixed bunch, with several articles of Monster Club (which are basically Gm material about monsters and traps), comics, an interview and even a short adventure, so most player interested in old school game should find something interesting.
I guess the magazine is mostly for Game Masters. Above the 3 Monster Club articles – from which 1 shows us a nice trap, a second some level 4-6 random encounter tables, and the third … – we also receive several articles. One of them contains typical raider groups for the Newland campaign setting, but since they are mostly generic orcs, ogres and so on, so they are usable for any generic settings. However than to their “genericness” and nt really intuative tactics, I don’t think that many veteran GM’s could glimpse much new ideas from this.
The adventure on the other hand could be much more appealing. It’s a very classic dungeon crawling adventure, with random encounters in the forest, and with traps and monsters in a dungeon (actually an abandoned temple of the snake people). Well, most of the abilities of the monsters are really standard (they don’t have any), but Gm’s wanting a much more intriguing adventure could easily twist or replace them. At the end the players receive a good deal of treasure, as you may guess, but at least the hoard hold something interesting.
Did I mentioned already that there is a one page article about the uses and history of the legendary 10 foot pole ? I really like it. But I can’t say the same for the comics, which strange humor could not really get me. But it’s a matter of personal taste I guess.
The magazine ends with the 7th part of the Song of Sithakk, a dwarwen serial. Apart from the fact that the heroes face some murderous killer clouds from the sun, the story seems interesting. I guess if somebody read the whole story it makes much more sense.
All in all, OUBLIETTE is not for everyone, and I feel it’s not really for me either.
If you are interested, you may check the current issue here, on RPGNow.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros