Yep, I'll say it. Monsters! Monsters! is essentially Tunnels & Trolls with the serial numbers removed from it. If you are a fan of Tunnels & Trolls, Monsters! Monsters! will scratch your itch.
The Lair of the Leopard Empresses is a stand-alone swords & sorcery RPG powered by Monsters! Monsters! It is a thing of beauty. I'm not sure if I'd ever thought of swords & sorcery being a good fit for Tunnels & Trolls, er, I mean Monsters! Monsters!, but damn if it isn't a perfect fit.
Now, to be fair, Sarah Newton, writer/publisher, did send me The Lair of the Leopard Empresses PDF a few days before release, so I had an early and free peek. The first thing I did after it went live for sale on DTRPG was order a print copy. It quite simply is that good.
Clocking in at 400 pages, I haven't finished reading through all of The Lair of the Leopard Empresses, but I'm knee-deep in doing so. I get an Astonishing Sorcerors & Swordsmen of Hyperboria vibe along with the familiarity of a well-worn glove like Tunnels & Trolls (I mean Monsters! Monsters! Old habits die hard). Very much a "you got your peanut butter in my chocolate" moment. Somehow I feel this was written to perfectly emulate Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. Then again, Conan also makes a good fit and so many others.
While I am mind blown by the number of spell lists within these pages, its also been eye-opening to me. While I have been struggling to make a supers game using the M!M! ruleset, Sarah Newton has revealed the path to take is both old and new. To say The Lair of the Leopard Empresses is inspirational doesn't do it justice. I'm looking forward to future releases in the series as well as the opportunity to inflict some d6-based swords & sorcery on my regular gaming group.
Being both a setting and a complete ruleset, The Lair of the Leopard Empresses does a fine job of keeping everything presentable and well-organized. My old eyes aren't getting any younger and this was perfectly readable ;)
You can snag The Lair of the Leopard Empresses for $25 in PDF or $60 in HC print plus PDF.
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