IFReviewed by Victor Gijsbers
on 2007-09-21 01:44
The Reliques of Tolti-Aph has been much and unfairly maligned. I would hesitate to call it a good game, but it is certainly a charming and fun game, which you can enjoy a lot if you are in the right mindset.
What mindset is that? The same you need to appreciate the first edition Dungeon & Dragons scenario's. These scenario's are often insanely difficult and grossly unfair, so your character is almost certain to die. But, hey, rolling up a new character is a matter of 60 seconds, and with your new knowledge that behind the second door on the left is a monster that deals 8d10 damage as soon as you enter its domain you might actually have a chance of finding the fabled gem! And who knows, perhaps you'll find out what that magical staff actually does?
Know that you will not survive your first play-through of The Reliques of Tolti-Aph. And not the second or the third or even the tenth either. But getting further each time is fun; the puzzles actually have solutions (and you can always peek behind the GMs screen, that is, consult a walkthrough); the locations are well-thought out and well-described; and the maze is very, very cool.
The only places where I feel the GM (that is, Graham Nelson) went beyond the bounds of fair play is with the stone you absentmindedly picked up and the two spells you learn from the gods. You don't write on someone's character sheet when he's not looking!