Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Quick Start Equipment List for AS&SH

Over at the resources section for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea, they added a PDF containing pre-selected gear for new characters.

For example, a series of sets each costing roughly 110 gp

Spell book, quarterstaff, silver dagger in leather sheath, sling, 20 sling bullets,
backpack, flask of incendiary oil, bandages, winter blanket, piece of chalk, ink and quill,
3 sheets of parchment, 50-ft. silk rope, small sack, 3 torches, full wineskin, writing stick, iron rations (1 week).

Studded armour, small shield, bastard sword in leather scabbard,
dagger in leather sheath, short bow, quiver of 12 arrows, hunting horn, backpack, bandages,
winter blanket, large sack, tinderbox, 3 torches, full wineskin, iron rations (1 week).

And so on for each class.

Hex Map of Arthurian Britain

This is pretty cool, a hex map (6 miles per hex) of Britain circa A.D. 400.

New Issue of Nod available!

John (or is it Matt?) Stater puts out a lot of gaming material, but one of his more overlooked stuff is his Nod magazine which features varied material for his (and OSR in general) games - new classes, monsters, and adventures.

Anyway, issue #23 is out at Lulu

NOD 23 features the beginning of the India-inspired Ende hex crawl, the end of the Dungeon of the Apes adventure, a random list of weird things to do with wizard brains, Thor vs. the Monster Maids - a new hero and villain for Mystery Men! and four new mythic races inspired by Indian mythology. 64 pages, $3.99

Monday, April 28, 2014

Labyrinth Lord Version of Dwimmermount Written!

While a basic draft has been around quite a while, they've been working on it at Autarch (well, one person whose name escapes me at the moment), polishing it and trying to make it fit better together.

Well, it's now apparently finished as a manuscript. On to proofreading (and presumably layout).

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Couple of Recent Interesting Books at Gutenberg

Sir Gawain and the Lady of Lys, a small collection of Arthurian tales

And a newer version (with illustrations) of the classic Flatland, which deals with other dimensions (literally)

Possible origin of combat for Druidic advancement

Yeah, this is not news. But when there are slow periods, I thought I'd post other things I find interesting.

In this case, it's about one of the things that many people find odd about AD&D, how Druids would have to fight other Druids at higher levels. Where did this idea come from? Apparently not reality, though I'm not an expert on Druidic folklore.

But that combat happens in an old Shadow novel, #190, the Circle of Doom, about a group of modern day Druids (kinda).

 Reaching to a tree that fringed the nearest monolith, the hooded leader plucked away a small bough. He advanced to the fire, dipped the branch of evergreen into a cauldron that bubbled on the flames. When he raised the bough, it was dripping, and its color was that of gold!
     "Who holds the golden bough," declared the Hood in his deep, harsh voice, "shall be master. Let anyone who challenges such authority step forward and wrest the bough from the hand that bears it!"
     There were no takers from the crowd of Hoods. Either they feared their
chief, or were satisfied with his leadership.

Later the Shadow does fight with the head druid for leadership of the circle. Was the idea invented just for that scene? Or did the author pick it up somehwere?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New OSR Products at RPGNow—April 24th, 2014

Looks like a fairly busy week, with 3 adventures and one supplement

SW1 - The Monastery of Inexorable Truth - A 3rd-4th level Swords & Wizardry adventure from Purple Duck games. 18 pages, 4 bucks.

FS4 - Xavier's Wand - Another Adventures in Filbar module (for AD&D/OSRIC) meant for starting characters. 15 pages, 3 bucks.

PSE3: Skull Cave -  A Swords & Wizardry mini-adventure (albeit a lot of pages) for 4th to 6th level characters.  19 pages, 2 bucks

And lastly, a Goblin class for Labyrinth Lord, part of Barrel Games line of classes. 5 pages, $1

North Wind Adventures plans a Kickstarter for new AS&SH Adventure

Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes
An adventure in HYPERBOREA designed for 4–6 characters of 2nd through 4th level
Text: Jeff Talanian
Cover Art: Charles Lang
Interior Illustrations: Johnathan Bingham
Editing: David Prata
Cartography: Andreas Claren
Somewhere in the depths of the Diamond Desert lie the skeletal remains of Ymir's Serpent, a legendary Viking longship. In days of yore, Sigtrygg Forkbeard led his company upriver, piercing the desert's hostile heart. There the Vikings unearthed a lost mine brimming with green diamonds, but as the Serpent prepared for departure, the river went dry and the ship was swallowed by the dunes. Forkbeard and company were never to be seen again, but tales of a shimmering Viking ghost ship gliding over the dunes persist to this day.

No word on when the Kickstarter is going live.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Myth & Magic still a thing?

Myth and Magic was a 2e inspired "neo-clone" (that is, a game meant to be an improvement over what it is cloning) that had two very successful Kickstarters, but had problems.

Most people apparently didn't get hard copies of the Player's Guide, and the GM's Guide just never happened, even in PDF.

But now reports are that the guy that ran the KS has re-appeared, promising to try to square things somewhat.

Let's hope so, it was a very promising set of rules.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bloody Basic Announced

John Stater who produced one of my favorite retro clones, Blood & Treasure, has now announced Bloody Basic. It seems to be a simpler, streamlined version that will come in different flavors or themes, such as one based on Fairy Tales and one for the modern day.

(Okay, you probably could have read this on my blog feed to the right, but I think it's still newsworthy)

Arrows of Indra Review—Familiar Rules, Unfamiliar Setting

Arrows of Indra is an old school renaissance (OSR) game set in Mythic India. If you know old school D&D, Arrows of Indra is probably closest to Original D&D (the little brown books, aka OD&D) with the 1st supplement (Greyhawk) in how it plays. So like more like Swords & Wizardry than anything else, especially as it only uses a single saving throw. But with some 1e conventions, like fighters having d10. There are also some things taken from 3e, such as ascending armor class (though that was originally in the 1990 version of Gamma World) and the skill system. Also quite different is the magic system, it's not "Vancian" where characters must memorize spells beforehand.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Issue #5 of Back to the Dungeon Available

Eldrad's free Labyrinth Lord (Advanced Edition Character) fanzine, Back to the Dungeon, just had its 5th issue released.

Past Issues can be had here (Dragonsfoot post)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Revised version of The Mines of Valdhum available

Mithgarthr Entertainment just released a revised version of The Mines of Valdhum, which was their original product, converting it fully to Labyrinth Lord. $6 something, 30 something pages.

New OSR 'Zine: Secrets

There's a new OSR 'zine called Secrets. Issue #1: Omens & Artifacts is now available. It's for Swords & Wizardry, but that's mostly compatible with other OSR games. 20 pages, $2.

(Thanks to Nellisir @ Reddit for this)

Friday, April 18, 2014

New OSR Products at RPGNow—April 17th, 2014

Not a lot this week. Besides the AS&SH adventure already covered, only a few products

Another module in the Adventures in Filbar line, this one FC3 - Golem of the Adurites. $3 and 29 pages.

And two more classes for Labyrinth Lord from Barrel Rider Games.  The Sword Master and the Beserker. $1 each.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New (ish) AS&SH Adventure Available—The Rats in the Walls

Apparently this appeared in an issues of a magazine, but now it's available to buy on its own. A little pricey for $10 (discounted to $4.29) for 14 pages.

Liberation of the Demon Slayer Review—'70s Style Fantasy

One of the more amusing things about OSR gaming is that seemingly there are more new rules sets than adventure modules. Thankfully, a few people are making adventure modules, some for specific gaming systems, but others, like Liberation of the Demon Slayer from Venger As’Nas Satanis (I'm guessing that's not his real name) are simply written with vague old school stats.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dwimmermount Done?

Perhaps that is overstating things a bit, but in the most recent update Alexander Macris has announced that he has completed the revision of James's draft and it's now going into proofreading stage, then layout.

As a backer, I honestly though I'd have it a couple years ago (I think Summer 2012 was the target date?) so it's nice to see some light finally at the end of the tunnel. It hasn't really been that bad, a draft version was available fairly early on, and I got free PDFs of ACKS and ACKS Player Companion....

Thursday, April 10, 2014

New OSR Products at RPGNow—April 10th, 2014

Already covered is The Complete Vivimancer and The Caverns of Ugard.

But also several new modules.

ZH-01 An Overwhelming Sense of Loss

It's free and apparently released under a free license, so you can do what you want with it.

The Caves of Ortok from Infinibadger Press

This is a Pay What You Want module that comes in 3 flavors - S&W, LL, and OSRIC

FA2: Springwood Forest another module in the Adventures in Filbar series. Usually low priced, this one is free.

Frozen Fortress of the Winter Warlord - This is a Labyrinth Lord adventure, 53 pages and $4.95. Looks like it's a big file, almost 40 megs, so presumably has a lot of art and maps.

And a couple new classes.

Friar - New LL class. 6 pages, $1

Pirate - New LL Class. 6 pages, $1

Free Labyrinth Lord Adventure—The Caverns of Ugard

Written by Shane Ward of the 3 Toadstools blog, this is a one page dungeon with 12 keyed entries.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Updated version of Fantastic Heroes & Witchery available!

One of the best (IMHO) retro-clones just got an update. This version of Fantastic Heroes & Witchery has gone through further spell checking and had potential OGL problems removed.

More importantly, it's also screen friendly! Rather than the zoomed out view of the original.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Complete Vivimancer PDF on sale

The Vivimancer was first introduced as a class in Gavin Norman's excellent (and free) supplement, Theorums & Thaumaturgy.

Essentially it was a magic-user that focused on somewhat icky spells involving life.  Now it's been expanded into a standalone book, The Complete Vivimancer. $10 for an 80 page PDF.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Free Retro Clone Spotlight: Seven Voyages of Zylarthen

This is the first in hopefully a long series of posts examining free retro clones. If they are free, why not just download them for yourself? Good question, but what I really want to do is call attention to them in the first place,

First up is Seven Voyages of Zylarthen by Oakes Spalding. It's a take on OD&D, but an OD&D without clerics. Why no clerics? I don't know, a lot of people don't like clerics. But anyone can turn undead.

It's also OD&D in the strictest sense, more akin to the original 3 booklets sans the later supplements (most notably Greyhawk), and only slightly less confusing in how to play.

Probably not for most people, but it's very well done, with some interesting options and details for combat.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

New OSR Products at RPGNow —Week of April 3rd 2014

FT Silvantri - A wood elf adventure setting in the Adventures in Filbar series. $2, 11 pages

The Adventurer's Catalog - A list of gear for Labyrinth Lord. $2, 23 pages.

Contract for Adventure - Optional class rules for Labyrinth Lord.  50 cents, 5 pages.

Brimstone Playtest - A retro clone aiming to combine old and new schools. Free.

Advanced Adventures #22 Stonepick Crossing Review — Slim Pickings

Ever since the release of B2 Keep on the Borderlands, many low level modules have taken the basic premise of describing a small fort or town and then a nearby adventuring locale.

Stonepick Crossing, an OSRIC module from Expeditious Retreat Press, condenses this, by essentially combining the adventuring location with the home base. Stonepick Crossing itself is a small town set atop of a dam built by dwarves long ago in order to flood a cavern of goblins. That last bit of detail is mostly irrelevent, but the town itself is basically itself a small dungeon. That is, the top part of Stonepick Crossing is a town, the middle part is part town, part dungeon, and then the lowest level is a dungeon.

So none of that pesky overland travel to get in the way. That could be a plus or a minus, actually, depending on if you like that or not. Instead, it's more something of a mystery. Local inhabitants have gone missing. Presumably the PCs will investigate. It's not a particularly deep mystery, with the PCs getting a direct clue to the culprit. But then unrelated to that, there is a small dungeon. Well, rather, two small dungeons.

All in all, there are 70 keyed locations, about 45 for the town and the rest for the dungeons and villain. Considering the module is only 12 pages, that's comparatively packed, and the level of detail is actually decent.

At the same time, given the price for the module ($12 print, $6 pdf), it's a little skimpy, at least the adventure portion. It will do for a session at most, and not a long one at that.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

City of Barakus Kickstarter has begun!

A lot of Kickstarters seem to simply rehash old material, usually for Pathfinder. The City of Barakus from Frog God Games is no different, originally coming out in 2004 for 3e.

Like most of Frog God's products, this comes in two versions, one for Pathfinder and one for Swords & Wizardry. Unlike most Frog God products, this is reasonably priced, $40 for a hardcover. It's also probably the best sandbox adventure Necromancer Games put out.

So definitely worth a look.

Metamorphasis Alpha Kickstarter Underway

Wasn't there one of these a year or two ago? I think so. But this is essentially a deluxe reprint of the original game, along with some new adventures and material taken from Dragon magazine.

The catch? Besides being a Kickstarter, it's $80 for a 128 page book.

And I thought $40 for Starships and Spacemen 2nd Edition (a 90 page hardcover) was bad.