Tuesday, March 31, 2015

All issues of the AFS Fanzine back in print

Probably the highest quality OSR publication available in print, the AFS 'zine is once again available, see its blog for ordering details

Neat Appendix D (Random Denizen of the Evil Outer Planes) Generator

From RFlowers of Dragonsfoot comes this neat online generator for random evil critters from the outer planes.

Mercifully, no psionics, but name and descriptions. Example:

NAME : Karvarus

FREQUENCY : Rare
NO. APPEARING : 1
ARMOR CLASS : -1
MOVE : 6"
HIT DICE : 10 + 3
TREASURE TYPE : Nil
NO. OF ATTACKS : 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK : 4
SPECIAL ATTACKS : Gas discharge, Missile discharge
SPECIAL DEFENSES : None
MAGIC RESISTANCE : 75%
INTELLIGENCE : Low
ALIGNMENT : NE
SIZE : L
PSlONlC ABILITY :
   Attack/Defense Modes :
LEVEL/X.P. VALUE :
This creature has a bipedal torso, roughly rat-like. Its long, narrow body is covered with orangy scaled skin. It has a lion-like tail. The thing has a sweaty odor. Atop the body is a crocodilian head, adorned with spines. Two stalked orange-red eyes bespeckle a wrinkled, seamed visage. It has tiny human-like ears. A trunk-like nose completes the portrait. It attacks with its huge, sucker-like mouth.

I think I used to date her...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Go ape with the new Advanced Ape Class from Great Khan Games

Sure to get the phrase "Get your damned dirty paws off of me!" said at the gaming table over and over is the Advanced Ape class from Great Khan Games. Pay What You Want.

I know these things aren't everyone's cup of tea, but one of the things I loved about getting Dragon back in the day was the new classes. Even though they were usually "NPC" only, I usually could talk my DM into letting me play one.

I don't think I will be using this one though...I've never been a fan of apes. Or monkeys. Or dolphins, for that matter. Squeaky little bastards.

Silent Legions art pack released

As with his past two kickstarters, Kevin Crawford has made the art used in Silent Legions freely available for people to use in their own projects for free. Pretty good deal, since honestly, art is probably the hardest thing to get.

Stock art isn't overly expensive per piece ($3-4 generally), but it adds up after a while. As Silent Legions is a Call of Cthulhu style game set in the real world as opposed to fantasy, some of the art isn't appropriate, but much of it would still work.

Artists include Earl Geier (sadly only that piece above), Joyce Maureira (who is really, really good), David Lewis Johnson (of Cromdar fame), Luigi Castellani (who has trouble with hands, but here is pretty decent), Miguel Santos, and Nikola Avramovic who is also quite good.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Gutenberg—British and Foreign Arms and Armor

Another old book (1909) on historical arms and armor, this one is quite lengthy, and has a whole section on "banded" mail.
No. 1 is perhaps the commonest of all, and will be referred to as “banded mail.” Its construction is fully dealt with in Chapter VII. Occasionally the lines between the alternate crescents are shown double, but probably that is only a modification of this style of defence. During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries it was in constant use, and did not altogether die out for some considerable time afterwards. It is interesting to compare the variations in this style either of the actual defence or of the modes of delineation by the artists; the brasses of Bacon, Creke, d’Aubernoun, Northwode, Raven, Cheyne, &c., may be cited as examples worthy of interest in this respect, though many more may be found upon careful inspection

Anyway, it's got a ton of pictures of weapons and armor. Most are yellow tinted, as with a lot of old scanned books, but easily corrected.

Edit: Apparently this book was mentioned in Unearthed Arcana

Thursday, March 26, 2015

New OSR Products at RPGNow—March 26th, 2015

A major release, Silent Legions from Sine Nomine and a bunch of smaller products, including not one but two fanzines!


Adventures


FN12 - Shrine of Ileani - This week's Adventures in Filbar product. 26 pages, $3 and for higher level parties

MA - Where are the Prisoners of Rec Loc-119? This is a Metamorphosis Alpha adventure from Goodman games. $5.99

White Box Adventures - The Dragon's Horde - For Swords & Wizardry, this 22 page adventure is $1.99 and is for levels 7th-9th. Also available in the White Box Omnibus.

Rules


Demi-God Race from James Mishler. Want to play a demi-god character in Labyrinth Lord? Then check this out. PWYW. It's interesting because you have to qualify for it with high ability scores rolling the 3d6 in order method. I once ran a Demi-God campaign, but everyone rolled 5d6 drop one for their ability scores.

PC3 - The OSR Witch Hunter. My attempt to make a Solomon Kane type class. PWYW or get it here for free.

Silent Legions from Sine Nomine is a Cthulhu mythos style OSR game. It doesn't use the traditional mythos, but takes a more toolbox do it yourself approach like most Sine Nomine games do. $19.99 and 186 paes. A little pricey for me, but already a silver seller, so the price is not stopping many

Misc


Metal Gods of Ur-Hada #3 - This is fanzine for DCC. PWYW.

The White Box Omnibus - This is a collection of several recent releases from Barrel Rider Games for Swords & Wizardry White box, I think 7 in all, including 3 adventures as well as additional material. $10 and 131 pages all total (and if you bought a product from them before, he sent you a code to buy it for $8)

Vacant Ritual Assembly #2 - This is fanzine for Lamentations of the Flame Princess with a lot of misc stuff. 24 pages, $2

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Androids, Aliens, and Aberrations Review

Although I never played Gamma World as much as D&D as a kid, some of my favorite gaming memories were of a game of it set in a theme park. While it seems like every incarnation of old school D&D has been retro-cloned over and over, there's really only one Gamma World retro-clone, Mutant Future. Fortunately, it's very well done, if not terribly well supported by material (third or first party). Still, a few products for it come out, and this one, Androids, Aliens, and Aberrations is essentially a bunch of new player races. There is also some support for Labyrinth Lord, but it's mostly a Mutant Future product.

The new races are mostly things from pop culture. The Ender and the E9000 are basically the Terminator and the T-1000 from the Terminator movies and the Evolved human which is the big headed sort often found in science fiction (that one Planet of the Apes movie where they blew up the world). There is the Grey alien from UFO lore, a Reptoid, and a Serpent Noble from the weird conspiracies of David Icke (where the world is ruled by lizard people). Lastly there are three races inspired by the Fallout series, the most interesting of which is the "Rotter", essentially a ghoul, a person who looks like they are dead but are not. Not goths, but walking, semi-rotten corpses.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

New 1e version of Rob Kuntz's Dark Druids available...

I have them on my blog-roll, so you might have seen it, but in case you didn't, a new version (for AD&D 1e) of Rob Kuntz's module, Dark Druids is available to purchase. At $24+shipping, it's perhaps mostly for collector's, but pretty neat to have.

I've got the d20 version from Troll Lord.  It's a module alright...I'll be damned if I can remember anything about it, though.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New OSR Products at RPGNow—March 19th, 2015

Last week was really, really busy. Not so much this week.

Also New Big Dragon Games is having a sale on his module, VA1 - Valley of the Five Fires, only $2 (normally $6). It's quite good, but only if you really want a module set in a mongol type setting

Adventures


F12 - Bastion of the Giants - This week's Adventures in Filbar adventure, for higher level characters, since I guess a low level adventure involving Giants would be very, very short. 19 pages, $3

MA: The Captains Table - This is a Metamorphosis Alpha adventure from Goodman games. 24 pages, $5.99

Rules


PC2 - The OSR Exorcist -  New anti-magic class for 1e, 0e, and B/X from me. PWYW or grab it from here for free.

Ruins & Ronins - This is an asian themed sourcebook for Swords & Wizadry. Used to be on Lulu, now it's on RPGNow. 32 pages, $2, definitely a steal (er, bargain).

The Noerglein - Half-hobgoblin, half-ogre is this new race/monster for Swords & Wizardry. Free. 


Misc


Dungeons in Blue - Mega Tile 5 Pack - Dungeon geomorphs. $4.19

New download for Fantastic Heroes and Witchery

Fantastic Heroes & Witchery is about as close to the perfect OSR game as I've found, and it just got another free download for it (scroll down to the bottom of the page), two new classes for sword & planet style play

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Folio 1: Beneath Roslof Keep Review

As a 1st edition fan, it seems pretty rare when a module comes out for it (or OSRIC), as opposed to B/X (Labyrinth Lord) or 0e (Swords & Wizardry). So I take notice when one does, in this case, The Folio 1: Beneath Roslof Keep from Art of the Genre. I had actually covered this back when it was on Kickstarter (where it was funded, albeit barely) but hadn't realized it was due out so soon. It's meant to be the first in a series of six modules, with the second on Kickstarter right now (just about funded).

At any rate, it's something of a mega-dungeon, with this module covering one level, the first (and presumably each later module covering additional levels). It's set below Roslof Keep, named after old TSR art Jim Roslof, who was quite a good artist (especially his color stuff, IMHO), but never got the adoration that other artists like Erol Otus or Dave Trampier got, or even Jeff Dee.

Sounds good, right? Well, alas, it's a bit weird. Firstly, Roslof Keep isn't really described (a smithy, inn, "trade house", and provision store get a paragraph each), with the exception of the political factions of the place. It seems that dungeon delving is almost like a team sport. There are several different houses that support dungeoneering teams, and they all compete with each other, sometimes violently.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Chasm of the Faceless King available at Gary Con

This OSRIC adventure from North Wind Adventures will be available to buy at this year's Gary Con, and maybe in limited quantities afterwards.

The Folio #2: The Lair of the Yellow Teeth on Kickstarter

The first in the series, Beneath Roslof Keep showed up on RPGNow the other week. I had thought the first Kickstarter covered the second module as well, but apparently not, as they are running another Kickstarter for that one.

I should have a review of the first one shortly. Basically it's not terrible, but it's got some weird conditions (the PCs need a special banner to explore the dungeon) and it's rather constrained (have to clear every room on the first level to visit the second) and is rather short (basically only 20 rooms).

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Beast That Waits Review—Overlooked Gem

Somehow I missed this product, The Beast That Waits from Three Sages Games, using the Sword & Wizardy (Complete) Rules. It apparently came out in the summer of last year (2014) and I just didn't notice it. I'm kicking myself, because it's essentially my favorite sort of gaming product, and it's extremely well done. It is a mini-sized sandbox setting. While a sandbox, it's not simply a collection of random tables (though it has those), but a well described location that the PCs can explore and interact with more or less at their leisure.

It's centered around a small village named Graven. The place has a lot of problems, and has been increasingly cut off from the outside world. Presumably the PCs will want to reverse that by exploring the country side, dealing with the various dangers. There are four wilderness areas to explore (well, one is really farms), two dungeons, and the village itself.

Much of the wilderness is table driven, rather than a hex crawl. There are separate tables for day and night in each area, and eventually the PCs can "clear" the area by killing off (or making friends with) everything. The dungeons though are fully described and keyed. One is the keep of the ruler of the area and is relatively small, clearable in a session, while the other is a combination of mines and ruins below the mines. This is large and could very well take two or three sessions to go through.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Adventures in Self-Publishing

Last summer I decided to start writing up a dungeon I had used in my game. The first level was 80 rooms. Took me about 3 months to get that first dungeon level into form from the notes I had written, but when I was done, I realized I wanted art for it.  I spend about $15 on art, but realized I needed more.

So I thought, why not try publishing some smaller modules (based on dungeons I had run) and make it Pay What You Want to be able to buy stock art?

The first one was HS1 The Lost Shrine of Sirona, which I released in December. It took about 4 days to write up and lay out. I used a couple pieces of free art in it. It was short (about 4 pages) and so I put a suggested price of 50 cents.

 Month                                                                Downloads  Gross      Net

 12-2014            HS1 The Lost Shrine of Sirona     128       $3.90       $2.54
 1-2015              HS1 The Lost Shrine of Sirona       50       $8.82       $5.73
 2-2015              HS1 The Lost Shrine of Sirona       35       $2.75       $1.79
 3-2015              HS1 The Lost Shrine of Sirona       27       $1.00       $0.65
                                                                                   240                      $10.71

Strangely, most the downloads came in the first month, but most of the money came in the second. And exactly 25 people donated money.  The average payment was more than the suggested price, but not by much.

Undaunted, in January I released a second module. As at the time, my first had pulled in $2.50, I had to use art I scrounged up from Gutenberg. It was much longer, about 15 pages and I put a suggested price of $1.00

 1-2015              HS2 The Forsaken Burial Vaults       141     $21.37   $13.89
 3-2015              HS2 The Forsaken Burial Vaults       30       $2.90       $1.89
 2-2015              HS2 The Forsaken Burial Vaults       39       $3.00       $1.95
                                                                                      210                    $17.73

Curiously, again exactly 25 people still paid for it, only this time they paid a little more because of the higher suggested price. The average donation also beat the suggested price by about 10%.

For my next product, I shifted gears. I decided to release a character class. I had known Barrel Rider had released them for quite some time, and then James Mishler released his version of the Barbarian last year. So I figured, why not release the Warlock class I had been using in my game?

 2-2015              PC1 - The OSR Warlock       79       $7.50       $4.88
 3-2015              PC1 - The OSR Warlock       54       $4.05       $2.63
                                                                         133                       $7.50

This time around 19 people have paid for it. The suggested price was 50 cents and the average donation has been 60 cents, which is 20% more.

Then last week, I published another module, this one somewhat longer (started working on it at the end of January) and with a suggested price of $1.50

Amazingly, this did much, much better than previous ones.

 3-2015              YS1 The Outpost of the Outer Ones  231     $49.37   $32.09

37 people have donated money so far.  I can only surmise it's because the module has a H.P. Lovecraft/Cthulhu mythos theme to it, even if I took a strange tack on the Mi-Go. On the other hand, it's average less than the suggested price, $1.33 per donation, or about 10% less.

This coincided with RPGNow's GM's sale, so I was able to buy a lot of art, though still not enough to commission art.

But all in all I'm pleased with what it's brought in. I do wish I had more free downloads though.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

New OSR Products at RPGNow—March 12th, 2015

Whole bunch of releases this week! Yikes.

Adventures


Casino - This is a short adventure location, a modern day casino with different stats, including OSR. 10 pages, $1.50

FT - Miles Away - Wynn Bay - This week's Adventures in Filbar product. Free

Hard Times in the Kingdom of Glass - A new adventure from the Gagmen. Looks Arabian themed. Pay What You Want.

Phoenix Tavern -  Description of a tavern. 10 pages, $1.50

The Folio #1 (1E Version) - I covered the Kickstarter for this.  It's the first in a six part series, meant for levels 0 to 3rd, set around "Rosloff Keep".

The Snake's Heart - A Lost Age Adventure - From a company new to OSR (I think), this is for 2nd-3rd level characters and Swords and Wizardry. 19 pages, $1.99

White Box Adventures: The Wererat's Well - This adventure for Swords & Wizardry is from Barrel Rider Games and is for 1st to 3rd level characters. 18 pages, $1.99

White Box Adventures: The Wizard's Tower - This adventure is a sequel to the one above, and is for 4th to 6th level characters. 23 pages, $1.99


Rules


Beyond the Wall - Further Afield - Something of a GM's guide for the Beyond the Wall game, with rules for sandbox gaming.  108 pages, $5.99

Hill Cantons Compilation II - Compendium of house rules. 21 pages, Pay What You Want.

Wonder & Wickedness - This seems to be an alternate magical system. 84 pages, $10.

Misc


Dungeons in Blue - More Parts and Pieces - More geomorphs. $10.39

How to Hexcrawl - Primer on just that. Pay What You Want

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Gold Box spiritual successor Kickstarter has gone live

The Kickstarter for Seven Dragon Saga, a sequel in spirit to the old Gold Box games, has gone live.

Not quite like the old games, exploration and such is in real time, but it switches to turn based for combat. Features a 6 character party.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Microlite78 available for download

It's on my blogroll, but it's worth repeating. Microlite 78, which is a rules lite incarnation of the 1st Edtion rules, at least in spirit, is now available to download over at the RetroRoleplaying Blog

Full Metal Plate Mail available in hardcover at Lulu

Full Metal Plate Mail being an OD&D retro-clone (3 LBB only) by Leonaru. The PDF version is free, and the hardback version is $13 or so

Monday, March 9, 2015

Ex-Gold Box developers planning on Kickstarting spiritual successor on March 11th

Remember the Gold Box games from SSI? Pretty much the first licensed AD&D games that played like AD&D? Well, many of the designers and developers behind them recently formed a new company, Tactical Simulations Interactive (TSI) with plans to make a spiritual successor to those games.

And the Kickstarter will go live on March 11th

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Further Afield for Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures released

I really, really like Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures. But it sort of lacked campaign tools, which isn't a big deal for people like me (and probably you) who have dozens, if not hundreds of RPG books and such. But since this game was aimed at beginners, that was a big void. But it's been filled with Further Afield.

Just as Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures provides for an exciting evening of play with zero prep, Further Afield offers guidelines and rules to create and run an extended campaign in the same spirit. Now the players and gamemaster work together to create the myths, legends, and rumors of a unique setting. Included in this book are all the necessary tools to create your world, travel and explore within it, defeat great and terrible adversaries, and reap the rewards of adventures even further beyond the wall.
• Collaborative player-driven campaign creation for making your own shared sandbox.
• Threat Packs for dynamic villains and dangers affecting the world beyond the village.
• Helpful hints and systems for integrating new characters into existing groups.
• Rules for creating magical items through your crafts, deeds, or sorcerous powers.
• Four Threat Packs, including the Blighted Land and the Vengeful Wyrm.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Outpost of the Outer Ones released

This module took longer to make than previous ones. It's basically a dungeon crawl set in a Mi-Go base, suitable for sixth to tenth level characters (sixth for 1e, closer to 10th for 0e or B/X). It ended up being more gonzo than first planned.

Grab it for free from here, or over at RPGNow

Thursday, March 5, 2015

New OSR Products at RPGNow—March 5th, 2015

While it's currently 16 degrees F right now, Spring is finally going to show up tomorrow after a long, long, long Winter.  And a decent amount of products have shown up this week as well, especially adventures.


Adventures


Birds of a Feather - From Lesser Gnome, this seems to be a high production value adventure. 21 pages, $4.99

Bloodnut Pass - The name hints at it, but it has a disclaimer that's it not for children. 17 pages, $1 from Chubby Monster Games

FP6 - Lair of the Arcanous the Black - With a name like that, I'd guess he was a necromancer. For mid level characters, 18 pages and $3.

Junkyard - This seems to be an eerie location, featuring stats for several systems, including OSR. 14 pages, $1.50

Skull Cove - This is a short multi-system adventure (including OSR, it seems). 14 pages, $1.50

Rules


Classes of Fantasy -Assassin, Cleric, Elf, and Jester - These are all from PJS Games and meant for Labyrinth Lord. Each is Pay What You Want.

Misc

 

CRGE - Conjectural Roleplaying GM Emulator - Not really OSR, but rules neutral. Might be help for those playing solo games like Kwantoom

How in the Name of the Trollgod, Did I get Here - Nominally for Tunnels and Trolls, this is character background generator for fantasy games. $2, 50 pages.

Expeditious Retreat Press having a half off sale

While apparently not officially part of the GM's Day sale (and probably a good thing, since that's only 30% off), they have joined in unofficially with 50% off their products, including their newest Advanced Adventure #32 (which I don't have yet, but will probably buy) and #26 The Witch Mounds which is really excellent for $3 each in PDF

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Yoon-Suin now available in print from Lulu

Don't have it yet, but it's on my "to buy" list, but the recently released Yoon-Suin is now available in print form from Lulu. Only $20 or so, pretty good price, too.

Yoon-Suin is a campaign toolbox for fantasy games, giving you the equipment necessary to run a sandbox campaign in your own Yoon-Suin - a region of high adventure shrouded in ancient mysteries, opium smoke, great luxury and opulent cruelty. Contains: A bestiary of unique monsters, including self-mummified monks, liquid golems, tiger-beetle men, figments, and dozens more; a new character class, the Crab-man; a chapter for each of the major regions of Yoon-Suin, filled with random generators to brainstorm map contents, social groups, and more; extended rules for poisons, tea, opium, trade, deities and so on; extended rules for exploring the Old Town of the Yellow City, and the haunted jungles of Lahag; many encounter tables; well over 100 pre-written adventure locales; purple prose; 320+ pages of usefulness

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

RPGNow having a GM's Date Sale—30% off selected titles

So far, it seems like D101 Games, Kabuki Kaiser, Barrel Rider Games, Psychedelic Fantasies, Purple Duck Games (mostly DCC but also a lot of great stock art), Lesser Gnome, Kort'thalis, and I guess that's it for OSR publishers.

But some good stuff there.

Edit: Also the Hydra Cooperative, who produces the Hill Cantons stuff.