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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Eald Scōl # 1: The Creatrix

The Creatrix
Multi-Purpose Role-Playing Game
Written and Created by A.C. Donovan
Creative & Technical Consultant: Yoon S. Chung
Artists: Bob Park, Edward Reynolds, Robert Hayles
Cover art: Edward Reynolds
Copyright 1990 by Alexander C. Donovan

This just might be the rarest RPG in my collection, I've never seen another copy of it, and I've not been able to find reference to it online anywhere. I'd love to hear from anyone who owns, has played, or even heard of The Creatrix.

I think the back cover describes the spirit of the game best, so check it out:

The Creatrix is a classless system, characters are built based upon their Traits (Attributes) and Skills by spending Creation points, as opposed to random dice rolls. The game has only one mechanic, a 5 x 5 matrix based on Action vs. Resistance, decided by the roll of a single d6, and generally based on character's Traits and Skills.

As the game says, this little matrix and a d6 are all you need to play, along with a ton of common sense, creativity, and of course time to build your game setting. There is no setting for the game at all, hence the 'Muti-Purpose' bit of its moniker, The Creatrix is a generic RPG, like GURPS or Risus. The text hints at setting books to come, but, as I mentioned, I cannot find any references to confirm if any further books were produced.

The Creatrix weighs in at a light 16 pages of 'rules', in reality mostly example after example of how to use the matrix in various circumstances. Also included are a reference sheet and character sheet, which, as the booklet says, you can play Creatrix with and never once have to pick up the book.

The combat system is based on the matrix as well, of course, but I think a bit of the simplicity is lost here. For some reason, where the matrix determines outcomes in a single roll in virtually all circumstances, Donovan made combat a series of many rolls on the matrix to determine a single attack outcome. One must roll twice (at least) just to see if armor is penetrated after a hit has been scored. Damage is deteremined by a series of individual d6 rolls, the number of which is determined by various factors such as traits, skills, and weapon strength. These rolls include the armor rolls I mentioned earlier, and rolls left over from penetrating the armor finally score damage.

Overall, I like this little set of rules. So much so, I would love to 'rescue' The Creatrix from RPG obscurity by tracking down A.C. Donovan to talk to him about reprinting it. If anyone knows Mr. Donovan, or any of the others mentioned in the credits above, please ask them to drop me a line.

Paul Ingrassia
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Eald Scōl (Old English for Old School) showcases Old School P&P RPGs, first published 1990 or earlier, ranging from rare and obscure games to well-known favorites.

Copyright © 2010, Paul Ingrassia

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