Thursday, May 23, 2019

Spire of the Kobolds Review — Spire or Molehill?

Spire of the Kobolds is a short (very short) adventure by Megan Irving for Odysseys and Overlords, a new OSR game by Travis Legge and Aegis Studios based on the Basic Fantasy RPG. Did I mention it's very short? The premise is also simple, there are kobolds, the PCs want to go there to kill them and take their stuff. However, like the trope involving kobolds, they aren't mean sword fodder for 1st (or even 0) level characters, they have the place trapped.

Not terribly elaborate, nothing like you'd find in say, the Grimtooth's Traps books. Tripwires and caltrops mostly, but there is one section that is oiled that the kobolds will then try to set on fire when the party enters. If not for the traps, they would really be a cakewalk, as there are only about a dozen kobolds in total, across the 7 keyed locations.

OSRIC now available in Wiki form

While I am dubious this is legal due to the convoluted and extremely restrictive use of the OGL in OSRIC (which is why I've never used it in any of my stuff, which are all 1e), that didn't stop Pres-Gas of the KKA from making a wiki for OSRIC, the 1e retro clone

It doesn't seem to be actually all that broken up as a wiki, each chapter is its own page, so all the monsters are on one big giant page.

But better than nothing, I guess.

Friday, May 17, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — May 16th, 2019

I bought Advanced Adventure #41: The Forgotten Grottoes of the Sea Lords, so should have a review of that soon, as well as Spire of the Kobolds for Odysseys & Overlords.

They are an interesting contrast in value vs page count. AAs tend to be expensive and only about 16 pages, yet pack a huge amount of adventure into them (for instance, AA#41 has 112 areas).  On the other hand, Spire of the Kobolds was $1 and 7 pages, yet somehow only manages 7 encounter areas.

Official


Polyhedron 51, 52, and 53 - 51 has an adventure, 52 seems to be devoted to non TSR games like Paranoia, and 53 seems to have a 0 level adventure. 99 cents each

Adventures


Creeping Cold -  The players are trapped in a remote inn in this module for S&W for levels 3-5. $10, 36 pages.

From the Mouths of Babes - Odysseys & Overlords adventure about wolves gone mad. For 2nd-3rd level. $1.95 and 16 pages.

Ruins & Adventures 3: The Sanctuary -  Tiny site based adventure in the ruins of a small village for B/X. $1.50, 12 pages.

SSolo1 The Endless Lair -  From Starry Knight comes this solo adventure for 1e, for characters 3 to 5. 16 pages, $2.50.

The Crypt of Rokar -  Small tomb crawl for B/X-ish systems, 1st or 2nd level. 10 pages and PWYW

Misc


RPPP Medieval Authentic (tm) Ipswich -  Man, I miss chipwichs. $2.99, 26 pages.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Odysseys & Overlords Player's Guide Review — Very Slightly Tweaked Basic Fantasy RPG

When I first saw Odysseys & Overlords I was somewhat excited, because it was that rare thing — a new OSR rules system that isn't simply house rules based on or a hack of Swords & Wizardry. Firstly because there are so many of those, and secondly because I just really, really hate Swords & Wizardry. Mostly because of the single saving throw, but also because I don't think OD&D was all that well designed, and that 1e, for all of its own problems EGG introduced, fixed most of OD&D's problems.

But then I realized it was based on Chris Gonnerman's Basic Fantasy RPG. While that is a solid, if flawed, OSR styled game, the question then becomes, what does Odysseys & Overlords do different than BFRPG? And the answer is, not a whole heck of a lot. At least in the Player's Guide.



Essentially, in Odysseys & Overlords, there's only four races & five classes. You've got humans, "Abyss-kissed" who are basically tieflings from 2e, "Spellscorched" who seem to basically be elves (only they live as long as humans), and "Wild Folk" who basically are beastmen, essentially half-orcs but with claws.

Friday, May 10, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — May 9th, 2019

Looks like a very busy week, especially with some new Advanced Adventures out, a new game system, Odysseys and Overlords that's not just a S&W hack or umpteenth version of B/X and has a free preview. Though we've got a S&W hack, too, at least this one seems to be for the modern military milieu 

edit: Looks like Odysseys and Overlords is not as original as I thought; After buying the player's guide, it turns out it's a Basic Fantasy RPG hack. Still, that's one of the best games around to base things on.

Official


Polyhedron 46, 47, 48, and 49 -  46 has the Bureaucrat class, 47 a greek themed adventure, while 48 and 49 mostly seem to be ads for AD&D 2e. 99 cents each.

Adventures


Advanced Adventures #41: Forgotten Grottoes of the Sea Lords -  From Keith Sloan, one of the better module writers out there, comes this adventure for levels 6 to 8 about an old pirate's lair. 18 pages, $7

Advanced Adventures #42: Dead in the Water - From someone I've never heard of comes this adventure for 3-5 levels. Doesn't sound like a great premise - you've been shipwrecked.  16 pages, $7

Advanced Adventures #43: The Warrens of Zagash - Another one from Keith Sloan, also for levels 6 to 8, this time set in a dwarven cave comlex. $7, 16 pages.

Cult of the Blue Crab -  Something about smugglers (which I don't think makes much sense in a fantasy setting) and a cult. PWYW and 20 pages.

Spire of the Kobolds -  Lowish level adventure for new OSR setting, Odysseys & Overlords (see below). $1, 9 pages

Rules


Fighting Foolishness 4: Fighting Ideas for OSR Games -  This seems to be ways of making the fighter better, special abilities for them. 43 pages, $2.50

Ghost Ops OSR -  Seems to be a games of modern special forces using OSR rules. 61 pages, $4.99

Odysseys and Overlords: Player's Guide - Looks like a new OSR game with a somewhat gritty setting. The rules seem to be 1e-ish, but with only 5 classes and 4 races (strange races at that). 56 pages, $3.99

Odysseys and Overlords: GM's Guide - Companion book to above, with monsters, treasure and such. 61 pages, $4.99

Misc


Friday Enhanced Map 5-3-19 -  This is pretty fancy looking, looks like it could be a Lovecraftian critter lair or something belonging to a mad wizard. $1

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Sorceress of Mekaloare Review — More like Meh-loare


You never really know what you'll get in an adventure from John Fredericks and Sharp Mountain Games. Well, you do to a degree, you kno you'll get hand drawn art, battle maps, and pregenerated characters (using his own classes) that take up about half the product. But they can range from the short and boring to wildly imaginative and decent length.  The Sorceress of Mekaloare leans toward the latter, at least creatively (as it's a bit short, despite its 32 pages), with the PCs visiting another plane to rescue townsfolk from the titular villainess, including the mayor of the town the PCs happen to be in.

Friday, May 3, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — May 2nd, 2019

Apparently they are having a May D&D sale, which includes a lot of OSR stuff, though very little on my Wishlist.

Adventures


Crypt of the Science Wizard -  Read this as Science Lizard at first, which would be more interesting. But S&W conversion of a 5e adventure, apparently. $9.99 and 44 pages.

EG1 The Hidden Tomb of Nephabti -  After sitting on my hard drive since August last year 90% finished, I finally kicked it out. I dunno how people churn out an adventure a week.  Egyptian/Lovecraft themed. 17 pages, PWYW

RPPP Fire Demons of Croyland - A mystery about a swamp. 15 pages, $2.49

Rules


Botanicals -  From Sharp Mountain Games comes this new class, mostly for B/X and LL. Looks more like something like Ficus from Quark! than the Jolly Green Giant. $1 and 12 pages

Daughters of Darkness: The Mara Witch for Basic Era Games - Yes, it's from the witch guy. 80 pages, $2.99

Misc


Friday Enhanced Map 4-26-19 - Looks like he's back to stand alone maps. This looks like it could be some sort of clockwork dungeon. $1

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Sision Tower Review — Goth Girls and Spiders, Oh My!

Sision Tower is the second module from "Graphite Prime", who is also a blogger. As you might guess from the nom de plume, it's one of those artsy modules I usually am not fond of, but despite the pretensions, it's a fairly inventive dungeon (or tower crawl) that you might actually want to run, not just read. Though with that said, it seems written with Lamentations of the Flame Princess in mind (which armor classes given as armor type), so you need to adapt it to more conventional OSR systems (most notably, there is a lack of loot for systems with treasure for xp).

The premise is pretty simple. A tower appears out of nowhere. Turns out the tower belongs to an angel of time, who collects stuff. One of her collections was a spider, a spider who grew in power to the point where it turned the tables and became the captor, not the captive, and so the tower gets sent back into time where the PCs are, where presumably they decide to enter and loot it.