Adventures in Oz - Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

Review: Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

Subjects: arithmetic, categorization, mental organization, probability, problem solving, reading, simulation, social skills, spatial thinking, storytelling, strategy, vocabulary, and writing

Age Range: 8 and up

Time: 30 minutes or more

Adventures in Oz is a lovely roleplaying game for creating stories in the fantasy realms invented by L. Frank Baum and later authors. There are character templates and examples that allow for quick play, or players and narrators can invent their own imaginary creations. Characters have a few basic traits – Athletics, Awareness, Brains, Presence, Sneaking, and Wits – that govern much of game play. Two six-sided dice are rolled. If one or both is equal to or less than a trait, then the character succeeds. Characters can have specialties within these traits like the Tin Woodman’s ax, and some also have Special Abilities like Scarecrow’s vulnerability to fire. In addition, the narrator can modify the target number based on the scene’s circumstances. The rules emphasize narrative and playability. The rules are there simply to help or provide dramatic uncertainty.

The game’s magic system, background material, and other elements nicely capture the tone of this classic book series, but the most striking feature is its use of Oz Points. Each character has friends, and Oz Points allow them to call friends directly or indirectly into play. Gaining and helping friends generates more Oz Points for a character. This mechanic nicely encourages a tone of play without demanding cooperation or “nice” behavior. In play, it really creates the feel of the books.

The rulebook also includes detailed information on several dozen locales in all parts of Oz and several scenarios of various length and complexity. This game is a wonderful short activity in inventive literature, and it can also provide for extended play, alternating with recording and developing stories based on play.

I look forward to future supplements!

You can find out more about the game at (external link)

Created by: WJWalton4831 points . Last Modification: Friday 01 of October, 2010 15:07:37 PDT by WJWalton4831 points .
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