Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New OSR Products at RPGNow/DTRPG — April 18th, 2018

Looks like a number of GaryCon modules have hit the store, though they now seem to be unpurchaseable.

Adventures


Kill Marquessa -  I was going to buy this one before it got disable  A GaryCon adventure inspired by the evil elf chick from A2, who is a recurring villainess in my game. Or her clones/duplicates are. TBD

Narvon's Sinister Stair -  16 page adventure for 2nd-4th level characters about an evil temple or something. Isometric maps  $2

In Gnomeine Septem - A GaryCon adventure where everyone is a gnome? TBD

The Midnight Duke - Adventure from the RPGPundit, 15 pages, $2.99

Zavod - Adventure from GaryCon about rescuing rust monsters.  TBD

Rules


Castle Oldskull - 333 Realms of Entropy -  More oldskull random tables. $2.99 and 153 pages

Misc


Friday Enhanced Map 4-13-18 -  Ruins of an abbey or something in a swamp. $1

Monday, April 16, 2018

Big sale on old AD&D CRPGs at Good Old Games

While not exactly pricey to start with, they are even cheaper for the next week.

FR Collection One with the Eye of Beholder Games for $1.99

FR Collection Two with the FR Gold Box games for $1.99: Pools of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Secret of the Silver Blades, Pools of Darkness, Unlimited Adventures (FRUA, the one that let you make your own games), and the two Savage Frontier games which was like the start of a second series but I guess never got anywhere since by that time people have moved on from them (I know I did)

It includes the manual and hint books so even if you don't plan on playing them, they are still kinda worthwhile to read.

There's a 3rd collection of FR games (only Menzowhatzerit and Dungeon Hack)

Icewind Dale Enhanced Edtion, while for 2e is an okay hack and slash game and is $3.99

Also 2e, Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 are also $4.99 each

The Krynn/Dragonlance games aren't on sale.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

New OSR Products at RPGNow/DTRPG — April 11th, 2018

A handful of adventures this week.

Adventures


12 Days of Dadi'Van -  Dwarves Need Women appears to the premise for this S&W module. 29 pages and $2.50

A2 The Tomb of Azar Mor"Journey to the Tomb of Azar Mor and recover the Eye of the Griffon before the village of Wardstone is destroyed."  Low level generic OSR adventure, 9 pages, $2.99

DP2 The Bishop's Secret -  Besides an obvious joke, it's seemingly a White Box adventure for characters 4th to 6th. 11 pages, $2.99

Rules


Dungeon Delving Undying Light Edition PWYW version -  PWYW of the recomplicated version of the simplified White Box game. 36 pages, PWYW

Misc


Friday Enhanced Map 4-6-18 -  Has a room shaped like Lisa Simpson. Must be a torture chamber.  $1

Medieval Female Art 1 -  Including this because it's a fantastic deal for 10 hand drawn, B&W fantasy female portraits for $1.99. It's a great alternative to the free 100 Terrible Character portraits or the Elmore clip art for portraits

RPGPundt Presents #27: Domain Management and Mass Combat - Over on his site, he says this was taken mostly from Dark Albion, but the rules there seem sketchy at best. 23 pages, $2.99

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

New OSR Products at RPGNow/DTRPG — April 4th, 2018

Had to work in the freezing rain (isn't it Spring?) over the weekend and I seem to have come down with something.

Adventures


The Argentine Connection -  3rd party adventure for Operation WhiteBox and apparently includes rules for weird war. 24 pages plus VTT map, $1.95

Rules


Dungeon Delving Undying Light Edition -  Based on the (even more) dumbed down version of S&W, S&W Continual Light, but then apparently with stuff added on to it so it's less dumbed down?

It's like the all the White Box supplements added the stuff to White Box that White Box took away from S&W Complete.   96 pages, $3.99

Misc

Black Dogs #3 - LotFP 'zine.  50 pages, $3

Friday Enhanced Map 3-30-18 -  $1

Przygoda - Cienie Duskpass - I don't know what this is as it seems to be in a non-German or Latin language and thus it's incomprehensible. But it's for the OSR. PWYW, 5 pages.

RPGPundit Presents: Mutant Hordes of the Something or other - $2.99 and 16 pages of mutants

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Fallen Abbey Review






Creation's Edge has put out a very large number of modules (something like 35) for Swords & Wizardry (and White Star), mostly small unconnected series that start at level 1-3 in the first module, then work all the way up to levels 9-11. They are nice if you need a mini-dungeon for a session. As I run a 1st edition based game and have a party around 5th to 7th level, I tend to only buy the ones that are at the high end, as is the case here with G9: The Fallen Abbey.

The premise is a bit at odds with D&D game rules. Basically a famed paladin was given a powerful warhammer by his god to help him slay demons, but was cut short in his career by a dragon. Instead of that god's followers simply casting raise dead (which is even more common in OD&D than AD&D), a sect of druids decided to enshrine him and his belongings in an abbey. But then that abbey was attacked by demons (thus the title) and presumably it's up to the PCs to clean it out.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

New OSR Products at RPGNow/DTRPG — March 27th, 2018

DTRPG is still acting screwing for me. No pop up with system information when I hover over a title, previews take me back to the main page.  I dunno if it's me or what, they've never liked my internet.

Looks like the new version of Top Secret is out. I was more a James Bond fan myself


Official

Dragonlance Classics Volume 1 - I think this was always up, just now available in print.

Adventures
A1 The Oracle of Basylthor -  Low level adventure about the owner of Fjordy Towers, 8 pages, $2.95

Off the Beaten Path - Forest Excursions -  Short encounters, hopefully with at least one involving F Troop. 32 pages, $5

Rules


Castle Oldskull - Sword & Sorcery Volume 1 -  Looks like he's decided to make his own rules. $4.99 and 345 pages (though probably 150 normal sized pages)

Magic Madness 4: Spells for OSR Games - 30 spells, 37 pages, $2.50

Monsters of Mayhem #1 - Presumably this collects the monsters (and art) from the first few Maximum Mayhem Dungeon modules. 36 pages< $10.

Misc


Black Pudding #4 -  JV West's neat 'zine for LL Probably one of the funnest OSR product lines around. PWYW, 24 pages.

Free 1st Edition Style Character Sheets -  Maximum Mayhem style.

Friday Enhanced Map 3-23-18 - Ties in to last week's $1

RPGPundit Presents: The Door of Many Gates -  $2.99, 20 pages


Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Last Candle Review — A French flavored Keep on the Borderlands

 The Last Candle from Chubby Funster is part mini-setting, part dungeon. Unlike most such things that have something of a generic but vaguely English medieval/fantasy theme, this one has a French flavor, reminding me of Clark Ashton Smith's Averoigne (which of course was used for X2 Castle Amber) and C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry.

Essentially though, you get a brief sketch of the region and a somewhat more detailed look at a priory (basically an abbey or monastery), the "last candle" of the module's title, as it's the last bastion of a psuedo-Christian like faith. This place is apparently meant to be the home base for the characters while they explore/loot the local dungeon (described in the last part of the module), the Eagle's Eye. Then there are several pages of adventure hooks and wilderness encounters

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

New OSR Titles at RPGNow/DTRPG — March 20th, 2018

Either a slow week or DTRPG is acting nutso. Not much stuff period

Adventures


The Gardens of Ynn -  A "point crawl" involving a weird garden. Basically LofFP style artsy gibberish - random table and such, not a keyed adventure or anything. Still, at $3 and 79 pages, it's not particularly expensive gibberish.

Misc


Friday Enhanced Map 3-16-18 -  Half castle, half cave. $1

RPGPundit Presents 24: History and Rule of the Clerica Order - Speaking of gibberish. 19 pages, $2.99

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

New OSR Titles at RPGNow/DTRPG — March 13th, 2018

Looks like the new version of TORG is out. I remember buying the original boxed set back in the day, but the game seemed designed to sell splatbooks, one for each cosm or whatever its called.

Official


The World of Greyhawk (Folio) -  To me, the best part of this was and is the map.  I think it's always been up as PDF, but now has a POD option. Dunno if that's just for the folio or the map.

Adventures


Frostbitten and Mutilated -  More a sourcebook than adventure, for LotFP (kinda obvious from the title) and by Zak S.  144 pages and $12.99

One Page Dungeon Compendium: 2011 - $3, 70 pages

Quests of Doom 4: War of Shadows - This seems to be a sequel to some of the 412 Quest of Dooms 4 adventures, but I'm not sure which ones since they aren't numbered. $7.99 and 36 pages

Saving Sujeira's Soul -  This is a historical adventure set in 1400s Portugal which interests me because my grandmother was Portuguese. 20 pages, $2.98, written for 3e but with conversion notes for OSR

Misc


Friday Enhanced Map 3-9-2018 -  New named for his enhanced version of his friday freebie map. $1

RPGPundit Presents #23: Uncanny Creatures and Objects -  17 pages, $2.99

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Print Edition of the 1st Issue of Echoes from Fomalhaut

If you've read Fight On! or other OSR zines, you have probably come across some Fomalhaut adventures by Melan. As Fomalhaut is a star system 25 light years away, that tells you it's a mix of fantasy and Sci-Fi, more the former, a lot like Tekumel.  He does a good job of making it strange, but not stupid or silly

Anyway, he's started a 'zine dedicated to it and the first issue is now available  for $8 + shipping

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

New OSR Products at DTRPG/RPGNow — March 6th, 2018


DTRPG/RPGNow is having their GM's Sale, lots of stuff 33% off.  Most notably Northwind AdventuresBeyond the Wall, Bruce Heard , and Expeditious Retreat Press (Advanced Adventures for Osric), Gallant Knight (Mazes & Perils Deluxe)

Adventures


Quests of Doom 4: A Midnight Council of Quail -  I really don't understand this Quest of Doom numbering scheme. Why are they all 4? Why not 4.1, 4.2, 4.3? Or why not put them in one book/PDF instead of charging ridiculous amounts of money for them? 21 pages and $7.99

Quests of Doom 4: God of Ore -  I think his name is Ee. 33 pages, $7.99

Quests of Doom 4: In the Time of Shardfall - This might actually be good since it's by Michael Curtis. Still, $7.99 for 28 pages is out of my price range and it sounds sorta video-gamey (find 5 shards and destroy them, then kill the boss).

Quests of Doom 4: Pictures at an Exhibition -  I will be very disappointed if there's no Tarkus in this. Actually seems to be a real world adventure. $7.99 and 32 pages.

Quests of Doom 4: The Covered Bridge -  4th to 6th level adventure about a specter. 28 pages, $7.99

Rules


Dark Places & Demogorgons: Player Options and GM's Guide -  Add on book for the Strange Things inspired OSR-ish game. 125 pages, PWYW

Misc


RPGPundit Presents #22: 13 Cursed Artifacts - $1.99, 12 pages

Friday, March 2, 2018

GoFundMe for Kellri

If you've visited various OSR/old school D&D/AD&D forums you've probably come across or crossed paths with Kellri. He also put together several netbooks of tables and other random stuff on his blog

Well, apparently he's had a stroke and has started a GoFundMe to help pay for his medical bills and living expenses

He's an odd person, but he's one of us, so if you can spare anything, it would be helpful.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

New OSR Products at RPGNow/DTRPG — February 27th, 2018

Lots of adventures this week, including one by Shane Ward

Adventures

 

Dark Places & Demogorgons Jeffersontown Survival Guide - Apparently it's for a game called Dark Places & Demogorgons which apparently came out in January and is an 80s horror RPG (I guess inspired by Stranger Things). Oops.   140 pages, $9.99

Dungeon of the Selenian Conclave -  Weird, I bought (and reviewed this) last year. But apparently it's being released by a new company and at twice the price. $4.00, 24 pages and a middling adventure.

Dusty Door - A Blueholme adventure from Shane Ward of the 3 Toadstools blog  12 Pages and PWYW

Quests of Doom 4: Between a Rock and a Hard Place -   7th level adventure about dwarves and hobgoblins. $7.99, 29 pages.

Quests of Doom 4: Desperation of Ivy -  Sounds like a soap opera episode, but seems to be a house crawl. By a pretty good author, though, Lance Hawersomething. For 3rd to 5th level characters, 24 pages, $7.99

RPGPundit Presents: Hecate's Tomb -  Sounds more like a mystery than a tomb crawl. 18 pages, $2.99

The Cracked Lantern - The 34th module from Creation's Edge games, this one is for 7th to 9th level characters. $1.50 and 11 pages.

Misc


Friday Freebie 2-23-18 -  A smaller dungeon this time. $1 for enhanced version

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Dark Fantasy Basic Review — New School Meets Old School. Or Vice-versa.

One of the things I dislike about the OSR movement is the repetition of OD&D and B/X clones, simply republished with minimal house rules (sometimes not even that). Another thing I dislike is the tendency toward simpler characters with no special powers in the assertion that is more "old school" and how the game should be played. Yet the rapid proliferation of character classes in both official magazines and fanzines in the early days argues to the contrary.

Dark Fantasy Basic from Eric Diaz isn't just a rehash of OD&D or B/X, but takes an old school framework and uses concepts from more modern incarnations of the game, particularly 5th edition, but beyond that, new ideas. The basics are the same, character classes, traditional abilities scores (using the B/X scale for bonuses) but most of the details are quite different, and it allows a good deal of character customization without the bloat or paperwork of 3e.


Firstly, character generation uses a curious method where you only roll 3d6 three times, called the yin-yang method. Each ability score is coupled with another (Strength and Intelligence, Wisdom and Dexterity, Constitution and Charisma). The roll is the ability score for the first one, but the second is that score subtracted from 21. So if a character has an 18 strength, he has a 3 intelligence. And so on.

Secondly, although it features the four standard classes (fighter, cleric, magic-user, thief, plus a special one) class abilities are largely built around a single skill system, with a d20 rolled and the skill added to the related ability bonus and compared to a target number based on difficulty (15 being "average" difficulty). The skill level is tied to the class level, with there being primary, secondary, and tertiary skills. Primary skills are at the same level as the class level (so 5th level is +5), while secondary is two-thirds, and tertiary at one third.  Each character has 1 primary skill, two secondary, and three tertiary. Some are mandatory for a class (combat is always) but many are up to the player to pick.

This skill system encompasses pretty much everything, from combat to spellcasting and of course, thief skills. There are about 10 skills in all. It uses the advantage/disadvantage system from 5e (rolling 2 d20s), and for that matter, saving throws also use the 5e method of ability checks (with a bonus of +1 per level).


Additionally, classes have feats to customize their character. These are not the minor ticky-tac things as found in 3rd edition, but essentially character class powers. For instance, fighters can take abilities that are normally associated with a paladin or ranger. There's also a small list of general feats any class can take, though they can also take feats from other classes with GM approval.

Hit points are fixed at 4 per level, plus constitution bonus. There is a feat to improve this by one per level (which the fighter gets). Armor class starts at 10 and goes up. Armor and weapons are handled generically. Light, medium and heavy for armor (improving AC by 2,4, and 6 respectively). Shields also come in sizes, but larger ones improve the armor class by 2. Weapons range from tiny (d4) through small (d6), medium (d8), large (d10), and great (d12), though specific types (sword, spear, axe, etc) get special abilities.

Magic is also tied into the skill and feat system. Each spell is a feat, which means characters don't have many. But it can be cast over and over without limit and encompasses more than a single spell as in classic D&D. Instead, it can be several different ones, depending on the power level being used. For instance, "Healing" is a spell, but it's not just healing wounds, if cast at a higher level it might instead cure disease instead of just hit points.

But casting at a higher level is not restricted by level, but simply a function of making a successful spellcasting skill roll. So a low level character could try to cast a higher level aspect of his spell, he'd just have a difficult time in succeeding (the difficulty is 10 plus twice the spell level). So an average ability 3rd level caster could theoretically cast a 6th level spell, but it would be tricky. And there is a price for failure, damage in hit points equal to the spell level being attempted. And if the roll is really blown (with a 1), the spell is lost until memorized (or prayed for) again.


As it's essentially just a player's book, there's no monsters or magic items or such. The rest of the book does have rules for advancement, encumbrance, languages, and the usual stuff. Advancement is pretty standard, except characters may or may not get a feat when they gain a level, it depends on if a character's abilities bonuses and current number of feats add up to the new level or not. If not, they gain a feat. They probably won't, since at start, all characters have a net ability bonus of 0 due to the yin-yang method.

The PDF is nicely laid out with a lot of illustrations. All old public domain (except the nice cover), but they do not clash with each other, as sometimes is the case, they all look quite nice. On the other hand, at least my copy (which the author actually sent me, not from DTRPG) did not have bookmarks, which made it hard to find what you are looking for, and character creation required a lot of flipping back and forth (to the skills section and the spells section). It would have been nice to have helpful tables at the end of the book.

While the author apparently intended it to be as concise as possible (or so says the introduction), examples would have been really helpful: a character creation example, a spellcasting example, examples of skill uses, etc. In the electronic era, there is no real reason to be concise at the expense of being clear. 




When it seems like every week has a new Swords & Wizardry hack with a smattering of house rules, it's nice to see something completely different, something more radical, but still clearly old school. Dark Fantasy Basic works really well for the most part and is cleverly designed. It's not without its flaws, though they are pretty minor and perhaps somewhat caused by my misreading of the rules.

For instance, some of the classes seem a bit less than optimal. The cleric is probably overpowered in OD&D and definitely AD&D, but here it's not terribly useful with its primary skill (turning undead) only being useful if you have a lot of undead. A third level cleric with one spell can basically only do that one spell (probably healing). Oh sure, it's neat that a low-ish level cleric can heal and cure disease and poison and maybe even petrification, but it's one dimensional.

Similarly one-dimensional, the thief can either be good at thievery or finding traps (perception) since the two abilities those skills uses are tied to each other yin-yang style.

I would probably fix this by letting characters pick feats for 2nd and 3rd levels. Then again, maybe that's supposed to be how it works.

Secondly, there's not enough skill variety and too many skills per character. There are ten skills. There are six skills per character. So there's going to be a lot of overlap among what characters can do. Maybe make some of the skills less broad.

Thirdly, the combat attack progressions mostly follows AD&D, but the hit points (and armor class) for characters follow D&D. This might seem somewhat minor, but basically it has the effect of D&D monsters being too easy (as DFB will hit them easier than same level D&D characters) and AD&D monsters being too tough (as they hit too hard for DFB characters to survive). This is especially exacerbated when you hae DFB characters fighting each other. They have very good "to hits", somewhat poor armor classes, low hit points, and possibly high weapon damages (if they use two-handed weapons)

I would just increase the hit points per level from 4 to 5 (or maybe even 6) to bring them more in line with AD&D.

And finally there's also the danger of the system being too streamlined. You basically just roll the same thing over and over, which gets monotonous. Especially for thieves. Thievery encompasses basically everything but climbing walls and finding traps. Maybe there doesn't need to be an separate skill for every aspect of thievery, but one skill is probably too broad.

As I re-read this, it seems like my complaints are longer than the praise, but that's just stuff that came up while playing in a one-shot. But it's a game you'd actually want to play (or run) and that's really the best praise a game can get.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

New OSR Products at RPGNow/DTRPG — February 20th, 2018

Slowish week, though many of the products are rather pricey. 

Adventures

Quests of Doom 4: Awakenings -  1st to 3rd level S&W adventure from Frog God, presumably converted from 5e. 19 pages, $7.99

Quests of Doom 4: A Little Knowledge -5h level adventure. $7.99 and 29 pages.  By Tom Knauss, so presumably originally for 3rd edition.

SO7 Shrine of the Titans -  Apparently a giant (er, the tall humanoid) adventure, actually, not titan, but still probably for higher levels. 14 pages, $2.50

The Folio 16.6 Pirate Lords of the Dark Sargasso -  Side adventure for the Folio #16. $1.99 and 6 pages (yikes).

The Folio 16.6 The Ogre Magi of Jade Rock -  Side adventure for the Folio #16. $1.99 and 12 pages.

Rules

Keeps & Towers -  Very short (6 page) guide for costs and such. Probably covered in may old editions anyway. 99 cents.

Most Monsters  - I have to admit, this is a subject that hasn't really been covered. 10 pages, $1.99

Misc

Friday Freebie Enhanced Map 2-16-18 -  Looks like an underground shopping mall or something. $1 for enhanced version.

RPGPundit Presents #20; The City of Arkhome 2 -  21 pages, $2.99

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

New OSR Products @ RPGNow/DTRPG — February 13th, 2018

Somewhat interestingly someone has created a retroclone of the WEG Ghostbusters game and released an SRD for it.

Adventures

Advanced Adventures #39: The Dark Tower of Arcma -  Looks like it's time for another AA compilation! This module is for 6th to 10th level characters and involves them exploring a mysterious and odorous (oh wait, not aroma) dark tower. 14 pages, $7 which is a little pricey, but usually these have tiny print and are a good bang for the buck, even at a low page count.

Kidnap the Archpriest - He'd just cast Word of Recall, though.  $4.99 and 54 pages with a lot of background material

SO6: The Bloody Barrow - For levels 6 to 8. 28 pages, $7.50

Two OSR Dungeon Crawls -  This is much more imaginative than the name. While basically the author (John Battle) as just filled out keys to some of Dyson Logos's maps, he's done so rather creatively with a dungeon in a snow globe and a witch's dream. Worth a look, especially as it's PWYW. 29 pages.

Rules


Classes of Fantasy: Assassin -  Because playing 1e or 0e with Greyhawk is just too hard, I guess. PWYW

Classes of Fantasy: Gnome -  This might be interesting, though gnomes can be anything from tinkers to lawn protectors to tricksters. PWYW.

Classes of Fantasy: Treant - Seems like a treant character would be even more of a stick in the mud than a paladin. PWYW

Gregorious Notes on Weird Fantasy - More like a grab bag of stuff for LotFP.  9 pages, 50 cents

Misc


Friday Freebie Enhanced Map 2-9-18 - Looks like an alchemists lab. $1 for enhanced version

RPGPundit Presents #19:  Frabulous Gonzo Robot Generator -  14 pages of silly robots $2.99

Wormskin Issue 8 - B/Xish zine from Gavin Norman, $4.99 and 44 pages.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sleeping Griffon Productions goes Pay What You Want

I recently reviewed one of their adventures, The Witches of Hagswallow and was intrigued by the rules it used, Battleaxes and Beasties so put it on my wishlist. And so looking to buy something else, I noticed it and the rest of his products are now all Pay What You Want

The above adventure is definitely worth a look. B&B isn't as interesting as I hoped it would be, it's basically another White Box rehash, but try it and make up your own mind.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

One of the Merciless Merchants is making modules on Patreon

I don't follow Patreon much, much like I don't follow G+, Instagram, ham radio, the Kardashians, etc. I vaguely know they exist and are popular for reasons I don't grok, but I normally just let it filter in and out of my consciousness without it registering.

One on a while though something makes me notice and in this case, it's that Malrex, aka Aaron Fairbrook of the Merciless Merchants is now making modules on Patreon.

If you aren't familiar with them, they have released a small number of modules for the 2e retroclone For Gold and Glory. I reviewed one of them, Nevermore Mines, but have the rest. They are really quick good adventures (if a bit heavy on the stock art), not just interesting adventures to read, but ones you might actually run (which is kinda rare among OSR modules, IMHO).

Anyway, it's only a $1 a module and seems to put out one every month or two (hard to see how many he's made so far, 3 or 4 it seems) so worth a look if you like adventures. He's got a very good track record.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Issue 14 of & Magazine is out



Lots of zines, but this is about the only one that supports AD&D (or even OSRIC), and best of all, it's free



Tuesday, February 6, 2018

New OSR Products at DTRPG/RPGNow — February 6th, 2018

A number of adventures from The Folio.  I am not a real fan of the Folio stuff because they are often railroady, but they are at least written with 1e/OSR in mind and then converted to 5e (usually with the author complaining about 5e being dumbed down) which is more than most multi-system adventures, even by supposed old school companies where they are written for Pathfinder/3.5 or 5e and back converted.

Adventures


The Folio #15: WS2 The Forgotten Plateau - Second module in the "White Ship" campaign, which is somewhat inspired by the Isle of Dread. Levels 3 to 5, 32 pages, $5.99

The Folio #15.5 The Ruins of Alaxar -  Adventure for 3-5 level characters involving a ruined pirate fortress. $1.99 and 8 pages

The Folio #15.6 Lost Among the Crystals - Follow up to above, only it seems the party's pet triceratops is having some sort of problem (as I said, a bit raidroady). 8 pages, $1.99

The Folio #16 WS3 Distant Turtle City - Continuing the White Ship adventures is a trip for 5th to 7th level character into the Orient, where the PCs must save a city. 32 pages, $5.99

The Folio #17 WS4 Samurai's Fall - While the 4th part of the WS series, it's pretty much standalone, a dungeon crawl set in an Asian castle. Inspired by B3. For levels 6 to 8. 36 pages, $5.99

Rules

B/X Advanced (no art) -  Want AD&D mashed with B/X? Well, here ya go. PWYW

B/X Essentials Cleric/Mu Spells No Art - Descriptions of the spells for B/X, in case LL wasn't good enough for you. Free

RPGPundit Presents #18: Advanced Authentic Medieval Astrology - I am skeptical that any astrology actually believed in astrology, but eh. $2.99

Misc


Dungeon Room Generator -  4 pages of tables. PWYW

Hydra #1 - This seems to be a Swedish OSR zine. Maybe. The text is sparse and not very helpful but it mentions OSR. 32 pages, $2.49


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Monsterarium Review — Two Handfuls of Monsters, One Handful That Is Useful


Monsterarium is a short monster book from Knight Owl Games, written by Ahimsa Kerp and illustrated (and written) by Nahid Taheri. Although usable in pretty much any OSR game, it's really meant for Lamentations of the Flame Princess and so the creatures tend to be low powered, with most hit dice being 5 or less.

The eighteen monsters are a mix of real work monsters from Persian folklore as well as some made up stuff and some re-imaging of existing monsters (the faun and night hag).  They are separated into two different sections, "Monsters" and "Creatures of the Wood", the first being likely encountered anywhere while the latter are in an enchanted forest type deal. Though there is some overlap, a "Peri" from Persian folklore is in the "Monsters" section, but its rules is in the "Creatures of the Wood" section.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New OSR Products at RPGNow/DTRPG — January 30th, 2018

Some new systems this week. Although a couple are just B/X re-done.

Adventures


Beneath the Fallen Tower -  S&W Light introductory adventurer $2.99 and 26 pages.
 

RPGPundit Presents #17: The Hunters -  adventure for Dark Albion. 13 pages, $2.99

Rules


BX Advanced -  1e, without the hard stuff. How this is different than AEC for Labyrinth Lord, I dunno.  $9.95 and 228 pages

B/X Essentials: Cleric and Magic-User Spells -  Another case of LL apparently not being good enough, so let's reinvent the wheel to cash in. $4.99 and 34 pages.

O,S,& R: Oubliettes, Sorcery, and Reavers -  The description is somewhat patronizing and the price tag is high so I'm not touching it with the proverbial 10' pole, but apparently it's a hybrid old and modern game. $13, 134 pages

Non Human Player Codes for Swords & Wizardry Light -  Because every time a rules lighter than thou game comes out, there has to be rush of add-on products to cash in on the stuff removed from the game that people actually use.  PWYW

Misc


Friday Freebie Enhanced Map 1-26-18 -  Neat dungeon level. Enhanced $1 version now includes zip of the raw maps

Hobbs & Friends of the OSR Issue 1 - "zine featuring an adventure. $4.95 and 32 pages.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

New Ethshar Novel from Lawrence Watt-Evans — Stone Unturned now out!

As part of getting old, I find a lot of modern versions of things really suck.  Rock music most notably (save for Greta Van Fleet). But also fantasy fiction, it's basically long boring epics or urban/romantic stuff.

Glen Cook and Lawrence Watt-Evans are basically the only two fantasy authors I still like who aren't dead. Sadly, both publish less and less, but the latter has just put out a new Ethshar novel, Stone Unturned, also available in hardback

Ethshar was originally based on his PBM game back in the early 1980s, but turned into a novel when a player asked him a question "What can a character do with a single spell?" which led to the novel "With a Single Spell"

Unlike a lot of other fantasy, the focus was typically on a normal person (even if they sometime happen to be wizards, they aren't major wizards but average ones), who is not really caught up in a major epic event, but something of a strange situation or problem.  In this case (have bought but not read it yet), a wizard who stumbles upon a bunch of petrified people and decided to unpetrify them.





The Ethshar novels were originally published as a paperback by a Del Rey (with covers by Darrell K. Sweet (though in once instance, the wrong cover was used), the type of quirky, personal, somewhat low key fantasy declined in popularity in favor of more epic or romantic stuff and he's had to write them basically just for fans and published by Wildside Press (which at this point seems little more than a vanity press)

Paratime Design updating its Enhanced Maps

Tim Hartin of Paratime Design is easily my favorite cartographer and has long offered enhanced version of his weekly free maps for  $1. The $1 version consisted of a pdf where you could toggle stuff on and off. While nice, they was perhaps less useful than it could be for people who want to use the maps for virtual table tops and such.

So he's going back and including zip files of the raw graphic files for all the maps. Starting with the most recent and going backwards.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

New OSR Products at DTRPG/RPGNow — January 23rd, 2018

Sort of a slow week. One interesting thing, the Talislanta books have popped up on there. Still free.
I had written a review this past week, then realized I was being a jerk in it, so tried writing it again, but it's much easier to write a review when you feel like ranting...


Adventures


Quests of Doom 4: Nightstone Keep -  I think we are slowly running out of ominous names for keeps. This one is a Swords & Wizardry adventure for 4th to 6th level characters from Ed Greenwood.  24 pages, $7.99

Temple of Domi - I'm hoping there is a Mr. Roboto in there, but probably not.  For higher level characters (10-12). 40 pags, $3.50

Rules


Low Fantasy Gaming RPG -  Have no idea how compatible it is with actual OSR stuff, but here you go. Free

Misc


Friday Freebie Enhanced Map 1-19-18 -  A more complex dungeon than recent entries. $1 for enhanced version.

RPGPundit Presents #16: The Great City of Arkhome - I gott admit, I was skeptical he could keep this up for very long. But another issue of his weekly thing, this time about a city in his campaign. 18 pages, $2.99

Secret Societies aka All About Secret Societies in a Fantasy Setting - Not really OSR, but free and sort of interesting. More a teaser product.

Tales of Gothic Earth - More like tables, I think, it's the Tales of Grotesque stuff remixed. PWYW

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New OSR Products at RPGNow/DTRPG — January 16th, 2018

Hmmm, busy week, though some of the stuff is retread just newly posted on OBS


Adventures


OWB012: Secrets of Stalingrad -  I think the secret is it's now called Volgograd, which most people have never heard of. But also an adventure for Operation White Box.  $3.99, 30 pages. If wonder if he will ever do a White Star crossover, like Zone Troopers (the movie)

Spores of the Sad Shrooms -  I guess they heard Jerry Garcia was dead.  Small dungeon adventure with original artwork and new monsters. Still, kinda pricey at $6.66 and 16 pages. If it were $1.11 I'd buy it, maybe $2.22.

Rules


Hinterland: A Guide to the Wild -  A setting where people apparently ride moose.  $2.99 and 78 antler filled pages.


The Bard - Joe Bloch's take on the Bard. Presumably taken from his retro-clone.  $1

The Jester - See above. I played one from Dragon magazine once, back in the day.

The Mounteback - See above, Sort of an Illusionist/Thief

The Mystic - See above. More a new age deal, if I remember correctly. Shirley McClane in D&D!

The Savant - sorta of like a magical sage. See above.

The Midderlands Additions II -  Stuff for the Midderlands setting.  32 pages, $4.83

World War Weird Classes - Fantastic classes for Operation White Box. As a big fan of Weird War Tales as a kid, I remember the Creature Commandos which had a vampire, a medusa, a werewolf, a Frankenstein's monster and a bigot. There was also a separate story, GI Robot.  $1, 18 pages

Misc


BlaszczecArt Stock Art: Humans Pack 3 -  5 pictures of human (I guess) females (I guess). Kind of a bit abstract.  PWYW though, so if you need art, worth a look.

Castle Oldskull - Monsters & Treasures Volume 1 -  106 pages of monsters and treasures, I guess. $1.99

Castle Oldskull - Oldskull Dungeon Bestiary - 360 pages of random monsters, I guess. It's not clear if this is descriptions or just random tables like his previous products. Apparently system neutral so perhaps not particularly useful, since ideas for monsters are the easy part, it's the stats that are the work, even old school stats. $4.99

Friday Freebie Enhanced Map -1-12-18 -  Neat dungeon level. $1 for enhanced version.

Paratime Design Presents...Forest Ruins -  Basically a ruined forest town or something. Looks like the maps you'd get in the old Gold Box games. $3

RPGPundit Presents #15 - Gazetteer of the Northern Middenlands - Apparently a setting  from one of his campaigns. $1.99 and 9 pages

Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque   - Volumes One, Two, and Three  - These are basically collections of random stuff for a Gothic fantasy campaign. No, not wearing black and listening to Depeche Mode, the more literary kind of Gothic. PWYW

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Castle in the Clouds Review — More like Small Townhouse in the Clouds

 Castle in the Clouds is a 1st edition adventure from the "Old School Role Playing" company aka Joseph A. Mohr, who has produced a surprisingly large number of adventures (17 by my count) as well as a book of magic items, Malcon's Tome of Magic. I've got the latter but this is the first of his adventures I've bought. It goes for $3.50 and 25 or so pages, but it seems a bit pricey for what you get in terms of the adventure itself, it's more a mini-adventure with only about a dozen locations. The rest is mostly filler.

It's a case of where the title does describe the modules, it's set in a cloud giant's cloud castle. That has always been of of my favorite adventure ideas and it's largely been underutilized, I think. There was that goofy JG module with the balloon people, a couple decent Dungeon magazine adventures, but for something so much a part of folklore (Jack and the Beanstalk) and even music, it seems largely ignored. Compare it to Baba Yaga, who is much more obscure, yet her hut shows up all the time.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New OSR Products at DTRPG/RPGNow — January 9th, 2018

Almost over the flu. Hope I got the right year.


Adventures


Light City: One Shot - The Angel -  2 pages adventure for S&W. PWYW

RPGP Presents #14: The Secret Order of the Red Lady -   12 page adventure. $2.99

The Chasm of Crasmere -  One page adventure for S&W Light. PWYW.

World of Ark Starter Set -  More a set of sourcebooks for a 1e setting than adventures. $6.95

Rules


Grimoire I - Svartkonst -  "Grimoire är ett magasin för Svärd & Svartkonst och andra spel av den gamla skolan. I varje nummer finner du nytt spelmaterial och minst ett äventyr. I detta premiärnummer finner du:".  That's a Germanic language, but I dunno which. Yet the price is seemingly in US Dollar, $2.50 (when it's in a native currency, it's always something odd).

Non-Human Codex for Sword & Wizardry - I guess for people who want race as class but still want to say they are playing White Box/0e/S&W.  I don't get why you can't just play B/X, but eh. Free.

Misc

Friday Freebie Enhanced map 1-5-18 -  Pretty neat dungeon level. $1 for enhanced version, free version also available.

Old School Blue DUngeons: Cultists vs Goblins - Pretty sure it's just a map. PWYW.

OSR Character Sheets Demonic Edition -  If you aren't playing 1e (or 1e-ish) then you really shouldn't be laying claim to the PHB cover. But it's like "White Box" that adds everything from 1e to the game (and more) yet is somehow still purer than 1e. Whatever.



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New OSR Products at DTRPG/RPGNow — January 2nd, 2018

2018 is off with a great start with me coming down with the flu. On NYE I was fine, but then after midnight I started coughing and literally could not sleep because I would cough every 2-3 minutes. Then I gave up and got up, then collapsed about 8 pm and slept for 20 hours and now feel a little better, but still awful, though the coughing has subsided.  Mostly.

I wonder why there aren't ever any positive viruses. You'd think they'd be more successful, evolution wise, since people would try to stay sick. There's helpful bacteria, after all.


Official


The City of Greyhawk - For 2e there was this boxed set about Greyhawk. No idea how closely it resembled the actual Greyhawk or if it's good. $9.99 and

Adventures


Grudge Immortal -  Japanese horror adventure for LotFP. May or may not include tentacles. $7 and 40 pages.

Hexed Places - Bitterblack Forest - I probably shouldn't make a joke about this. Hex-crawl, 12 pages, $2.69

Rules


Stars Without Number Revised Edition -  Presumably still a mash-up of D&D and Classic Traveller. $19.99 and there is a free version as well (minus some stuff)

Unstable Potions for LL -  PWYW

White Box Arcana - 32 pages, $1.99

Misc


Dyson Logos Commercial Map Pack 1 - TBH, his dungeon drawling style is not my favorite, but $19.99 for 170 maps that can be used for commercial purposes is a steal.  Also seemingly includes cities and other stuff

NPC Creator and Emulator - Not really OSR related, but I am a sucker for these sort of things to help flesh out NPCs. $1 and 16 pages.

RPG Pundit Presents #13: Dragon Corpses - What to do with a dragon corpse. I remember once playing an Alchemist character (from Dragon, I guess) and driving everyone crazy by taking all the blood and such from monsters we'd kill.