The delight of opening my mailbox and finding something other than bills and junk mail is, frankly, worth the price of a fanzine. Tearing open the envelope (after snapping the obligatory photograph of course) confirmed my suspicion that this reward had set the bar far to low. The Manor #1, quite simply, is pure joy.
Nostalgia aside, as it’s perhaps the lowest form of flattery, the Manor #1 is worthwhile for it’s capacity to bring depth, that little extra to your game. In an OSR community that often worships at the altar of minimalism, the Manor #1 refreshingly adds colour rather than build or (re)interpret. Containing no new rules or even elucidations, there is no canon to be found, only vignettes, textures and illustrations. Sure, it’s a quick read but the effect is exponential, ideas that create ideas. Specifically, the issue includes a short (appropriately titles) “Micro Adventure”, one short random table, one longer table with twenty ‘fleshed-out’ descriptions, an adventure site with a plot hook, NPC seed and hooks and, thankfully, a “Poetry Slam” entitled ‘Umber Hulk’.
The Manor #1 is indeed useful. But more importantly it’s fun. And in a niche pastime all too rife with bitterness, bitching and back-biting, goodness knows we need that!