Quick Thoughts: Ambition & Avarice

Sep 17, 2012
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Ambition & Avarice
Pages: 60
Cost: Free (Beta Version)
System: OSR Fantasy Style

After only an hour browsing a beta document, here are my quick takeaways. Overall, Avarice & Ambition is a clearly presented, well written document. I rarely paused to consider the text. In fact, I usually I only had to toss my preconceptions and reread what was written the few times I was confused.. The diversity of choices are wide ranging and allow for many unique styles of play.


1) Flexibility. The rules encourage characters to take interesting actions without forcing them through a tedious generation system.

2) Variety: Both the racial and class choices have numerous options. The options have both limitations and bonuses that are well designed.

3) Maximum HP at 1st Level: Adventuring is a tough business. Only the hearty (and foolish) should undertake it.

4) Ixnay on the Cookie Cutter: Far from a clone, the system is a new take on a classic approach. Everyone can perform actions via the Dungeon Throws as well as Attribute Tests.

5) Different Spells: Again, treading new ground by rewriting the baseline of what magical types can cast. The classic stand-by choices are gone in favor of engaging the player characters to make interesting decisions.

6) Throttling Hero Types: 2nd Paragraph of the Overview, it clearly states that not all adventurers are out to make the world a better place. That’s right, you don’t have to go save the world, the community, or the damsel in distress. You might not even consider it.

7) Charisma actually is useful.

8) Dark Ages. Need I say more?

9) Form Fillable, Useful Character Sheets: No need to print and fill, just enter details and move along.

10) Toxins and Intoxicants are interesting.


1) Ascending Armor Class: Everyone loves it. However, I can still add and subtract. The choice works well for the system.

2) Silver Based Economy: Initially a positive but not reinforced in all aspects of the book. Costs, when present, should reflect the core choice but several costs are present in GP rather than SP. Not a major ding.

3) Lack of Examples: Generally, I expect some level of example mechanics, there are a few in the main text but no explicit sections. Is it useful for a Beta? Perhaps not.


1) Non-Existent Creatures: Not a single creature is detailed in the free beta. There is mention of how to convert (somewhat) other system depictions (subtract AC from 19). To have a fully-playable beta, some creatures should have been included.

2) Lack of Magical Items: Another item on the Is It Needed? list. Perhaps not, I can easily merge in common stuff but after the care taken to separate spells from the well-known, I was hoping for at least a token amount of information. Scrolls are detailed in the intermediary text; potions are mentioned; still I was left longing for more information.

3) No Play Test Adventure: Closer to a Meh than a negative. I shifted it downwards because if the game is truly a beta, having a common metric for measurement/discussion should probably exist. Without a baseline, it is hard to compare gaming experiences. Still, this is a system that expects prior experience so the inclusion is not mandatory.

Wrapping Up

Grab a copy. You cannot beat the cost. Also, I loved the art. Art doesn’t make a game for me but the included bits are well done. I recognize shades of other systems in some of the mechanics. Not a knock but rather a tip of the hat to reuse and repacking of ideas that work well. I enjoyed my quick browse through the game.


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