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Old 06-15-2018, 02:39 AM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Some thoughts about the Fantasy Master's Codex.

Hi all,
The codex flopped, I think, mainly because of its price point. In my FLGS, it cost $17.00 in 1981. I flipped thru it, saw that it was 95% old stuff repackaged, and treated it with contempt.

If I was going to spend that much money, I wanted new crunchy bits by darn.

Several year later, Metagaming was gone, TFT was vanishing, and I saw a couple Fantasy Master Codexes in the bargain bin for $1 each. I picked them up. Who else would buy them?

After getting them super cheap, I found them not very good. If you are producing something with ~100 pages, why not give a full write up of the talents and spells? That would be useful, a player could be looking at talents in ItL, while another was looking up a talent in the Codex. How many different ways do you need to index the spell list? WHY would you want to index Death Test???

There was a listing of monsters, but it just game the stat blocks, not the descriptions (which would have made them much more useful.)

In a post somewhere in this forum, I thought the Codex had a listing of all the magical ingredients. (Quick, what does a Gargoyle Gall Bladder cost?). That would have been useful, but no, not in it. I must have written up my own list, because I had photocopies of a dot matrix listing of that stuff back then.

However, some stuff was actually useful. (It included some new talents and a new spell for example.) The experience table in the rules contradicted the GM's Shield. The codex had a fixed one. The FAQ answered a lot of questions. The list of auto success and auto failures table was very useful. (I didn't get my GM shield until after these Codexes.) I certainly didn't mind having it considering it cost a buck.

I tried to use them, found them too bulky, copied the information I needed into my books or notes and then forgot about them. (My ItL, AM and AW had lots of penciled notes from the various errata for TFT.)

Even in my tender youth, I was bemused at some poor layout. The FAQ was organized into sections. That's fine. But there is a general questions section near the front, and then after HTH, Falling down, talents, there is another general questions area again.

Generally the Codex was a F product. (Or an F-- product if you count the ridiculous price point.)

But if the codex was 1/10 the price, 1/4 the page count and gave rule updates, some new monsters, spells, talents, etc. it could have been actually useful. People would buy them for the new monsters, etc., and get the changes to the living rules of TFT as part of the package. If something like that came out every year or two, I certainly would have bought it.

But I wonder at whomever thought that the package that actually came out, would be a popular item.

Warm regards, Rick.

Last edited by Rick_Smith; 06-19-2018 at 11:55 AM.
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