Thursday, February 23, 2023

Spotlight on Gargoyle 74 by Stellagama Publishing

Gargoyle 74 is a retroclone of the 1974 White Box of Dungeons and Dragons by Tammiro Levi and Omer Golan-Joel and published by Stellagama Publishing. I'm a big fan of Stellagama and Omer and have purchased many of their products such as Sword of Cepheus and the Quantum Engine games such as Barbaric! and I received this PDF for free as a review copy.

Ability Scores grant a -1 with a 6 or less, +0 with a 7-14, and +1 with a 15-18. I'm a fan of this spread. It allows customization but it's not overly fiddly. Only Fighters add their Strength mod to their attack rolls.

Wisdom has been replaced by Intuition and I like that decision. I think Wisdom might have a different meaning than it did in the '70s so I'm cool with it.

You have the big 4 classes in the Cleric, Fighter, Mage, and Rogue. Fighters get a 2nd attack at 5t level and Rogues have a Subterfuge skill that is an X chance on a d6 roll. All classes use the same XP table and there is one Saving Throw stat but classes gain specific +2 bonuses for certain types.

Ascending AC is used.

There are roles for 1 GM and 1 Player included, as well.

We get full rules for magic items and monsters all in just this single book of 114 pages.

There are 3 Appendices and the first features the Non-Human Race-as-Classes.

Antediluvans are inspired by Elric's Melniboeans and are your Fighter-Mage class. I love this choice and it's a testament to both authors that a clone of this version of DnD can still surprise me.

Dwarves are next but their skin is copper, their beards bronze, and "If one listens closely, it is possible to hear a faint ticking sound coming from each dwarf. This is the sound of the gears turning and grinding inside each dwarf." Another neat surprise that is just cherry on top. Their metal bodies given them a bonus to AC, they have an innate bonus to Hit Points, healing spells don't work on them, and there is a very specific way to bring them back from the dead.

The third and final Non-Human are Lizard-Kin who can hold their breath for long periods of time, their AC improves as they level, and they have natural attacks with their claws.

Appendix B features Treasure and Appendix C features numerous random tables including building a dungeon.

I'm really happy with this product and I think it jumps to the head of the class as my favorite White Box clone. The rules have a nice Sword and Sorcery feel that I've also enjoyed with Barbaric!.

I'll probably start running this with my 9 year old to induct her into our OSR fellowship in the next few months.

I cannot recommend this product enough. In fact, I cannot recommend any Stellagama product enough. All of my purchases have been extremely satisfactory and you should check out what they have to offer.



Narmer said...

Thanks for the review. I've bought this but haven't had a chance to read it yet.

Cross Planes said...

Thank you for posting. I hope you enjoy it.

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