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Chivalry & Sorcery, 5th Edition
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Chivalry & Sorcery, 5th Edition
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Chivalry & Sorcery, 5th Edition
Publisher: Brittannia Game Designs Ltd
by Todd M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/17/2021 11:28:02

Major revision: fact rekt and reduced to minimum stars for bologna. The author doesn't know what they're typing about, or worse. Examples follow:

"Jews were considered the property of their overlord (Bishop,... "

Source, please. I call B.S.

"... owning nothing themselves,..." not according to the Church. No? Source, please.

"... and if they converted to Christianity, forfeited all their property as recompense to their 'owner.'"

Again, source, please. Not according to the Church, at least. Private property is a human right, according to the Church. Didn't you also type that they don't have any property? How can they forfeit what they don't have?

"Jews were, however, tolerated under Canon Law..."

Now you're clearly in my area. There's no such thing as a Jew under, as in being subject to, Canon law. Only Catholics are under Canon Law. What's next, we going to type about the Inquisition burning millions of Zoroastrians?

"... only being prosecuted for heresy if, once having accepted Christianity, they rejected it."

Heresy is a rejection of a portion of the Catholic Faith. Apostasy is the rejection of all of it. None of it has anything to do with being a Jew. ANY Catholic is subject to excommunicatoin for all sorts of heresies, which still isn't apostasy, but, again, it's got nothing to do with Jews. By definition, only Catholics have the Catholic faith. Genetics has nothing to do with it.

In crayon, religiously speaking, you're a Jew, or you're Catholic. That's one of the few things on which both sides agree.

The system still looks good once you decipher the terrible writing. The rest gets a vote of no-confidence in light of things like the above.

BLUF:* This would be an incredible, five-star product that fills an ironically perishing niche, save that the writing is from Hell.

Caveat: I still haven't overcome the initial ordeal of completely grinding through the rulebook. I've yet to play or run it; that's where the rubber meets the road.

  • The Good:
    • It is a Medfan completionist's dream.
    • The system is:
      • Logical
      • Complete
      • Consistent
      • Coherent
      • Complex, only in the sense that, say, Legos can be complex. At base, it is very Lego-like. Essentially, it's simple; so is Goh, or Chess. Feel me?
      • Seemingly well-balanced, at least if you ditch the random bits; for example, gambling with character points is janky.
    • It is balanced, gamer-type-wise. It's got something for everyone. It covers the entire spectrum from your von Clausewitz types to your Munchkins, to your power-gamers, to your Noel Coward swooners.
      • No, they aren't all going to get what they want to the degree that they wish to, but one may sufficiently scratch one's gaming itches here, including wargaming.
  • The "Meh:" navigation, organization, and structure. It's tabbed, with internal linking, and has ~all the other bells and whistles, nav, org, and structure-wise. Sadly, the negative impacts from "The Ugly" downgrade what would be stellar to "Meh."
  • The Ugly: The writing. "Bad" is putting it mildly. C&S, per se, all-summed, is horrifically complex, but it's not because of the system or the content; it's because of expression/presentation, i.e., the writing. Specs:
    • Parentheses aren't commas, colons, or semicolons. Learn this.
    • Did you edit this? I can't tell. If you did, then, "Dannnng...." Bloated, disjointed paragraphs, run-on sentences, needless, grammatically ugly and, thus, ambiguous, confusing redundancies, punctuation errors that make aspirin producers sing; it's painful.
    • Did you proofread this? I can't tell...
  • The fixes:
    • Give it to at least one C&S noob to proof and critique, not a neckbeard, especially not a fanboy, then make it as simple as possible for them to understand it.
      • I'm not saying to make it pre-k. Some people aren't wired for RPGs, simple or not, so it's okay if the noob has to work at it, but "K.I.S.S." as reasonably possible. Believe your hype: the system is not complicated. Your presentation sucks.
    • Within your means, get a proper, ~professional:
      • writer
      • editor
      • Proofreader
    • At a minimum, make at least one honest, complete pass with Word or an equivalent; there's little excuse for doing any less.


Twenty-nine ratings, averaging to practically five? What is this, Amazon?


Yes, it does suffer somewhat from Wokeism, but I've seen far worse. It's relatively easy to overlook, making it more insinuating. However, it doesn't seem baked in, so ignore it, or have a laugh and drive on. To be fair to the publishers, they're a business, and P.R. and marketing are things. It's a fine line. C&S doesn't walk it masterfully, but it does seem to try to walk it, at least. Everyone has a worldview. It shouldn't be shocking if an author doesn't share ours and, thus necessarily, vice-versa. I doubt this review will resonate perfectly with anyone, so there. Bottom line: it's the cost and climate of business these days, like it or not.

*Bottom Line, Up Front.

[1 of 5 Stars!]
Chivalry & Sorcery, 5th Edition
Publisher: Brittannia Game Designs Ltd
by Philip H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/17/2020 05:47:35

First of all, I know two of the authors personally; secondly, I didn’t pay for my copy of this RPG: the three of us were talking on-line about an idea of mine regarding either skirmish wargaming or roleplaying (or both) in medieval England (or Palestine, or both) during the reign of Richard Coeur de Lion or his brother John, and I was wondering what system to use. I was considering Hârnmaster, as it’s gritty, and the magic system is easily ignored if you wish. And they said ‘Why not look at C&S?’

So, here I am, looking.

This review refers only to the PDF version, which I am viewing mainly on a 12.9” iPad Pro, and it is very much a ‘first impression’.

First of all, the file loads very quickly into GoodReader. Secondly, it looks beautiful: this is a well-designed, well typeset and laid out publication. Navigation around the huge (602 page) tome is quick and easy thanks to excellent hyperlinking. It’s easy to get to the table of contents or index too - alternate pages have links to one or the other (as well as to every chapter); I might have preferred hyperlinks to both on every page, but it’s still very quick and easy to use. It’s a good example of how rules presented in PDF ought to be: the added functionality outweighs the ‘it isn’t a book’ feeling you get from rules on a tablet: it would be great for use at the table because looking something up in the index gets you a hyperlink straight to the relevant text - no scrolling required!

The artwork is good but ‘minimal’ and unobtrusive - the book is big enough without loading it with pages and pages of gratuitous pictures. What art there is, is evocative and suits the ‘feel’ of the subject well. The text is clear and easy to read, though the extensive use of ligatures reduces the readability a bit and their appearance ‘jars’ a little - at least for me. The tables are well laid-out and easy to refer to.

My first impression of the rules is that the system is quite ‘old school’ - complex and ‘crunchy’ - there are lots of rules, lots of acronyms, lots of tables. And I’m sure it harks back to the previous four editions - using mechanics, acronyms, etc., which are probably very familiar to aficionados of the earlier editions. For a tyro like me though, it’s pretty daunting at first glance! More to follow as and when I ‘get to grips’ with the nitty-gritty of the system.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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