Monday, December 31, 2018

Gobs o' Trouble Review — Odd Hobs

I really liked The Beast that Waits from Three Sages Game, it was an excellent sandbox-ish title. However, I'm guessing I was one of the few that even noticed it, since they have moved on to other game systems, with their only other OSR module being this, Gobs of Trouble. It's a very short mini-module (priced at $1).

As the name implies, it involves trouble with goblins. A small band of them has displaced a family from their farm. The party presumably stumbles across the evicted farmers and decides to help them by retaking the homestead. If they do that and succeed, they then discover that the goblins have been in turn kicked out of their lair by an advance party of hobgoblins.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

New OSR Products at DTRPG — December 27th, 2018

A couple of post apocalyptic books from Lone Wolf creator Joe Devers are out, Highway Holocaust and Slaughter Mountain Run, revised from their original editions. At $9.99 they are too much for my blood, but at least are very length books (200+ pages)


How Orcus Stole Christmas -  Presumably by charging $7.99 for 23 page adventures like this. Might not suck though, unlike most FGG stuff, since it's by James Spahn of Barrel Rider Games. Gotta have that 400% Frog God markup, though.

The City that Dripped Blood - Perhaps because they kept getting squeezed with prices like this? Another 23 pages, $7.99 adventure from Cash Grab Games.

The Sepulcher of the Burning King -  The Northlands setting from Rosethorne Publishing continues to be fleshed out with adventures, this one for 7th to 9th level S&W characters. $1.99 and 20 pages.


Examples of the Dark Arts Vol 4 -  LotFP supplement for summoned she-demons. $1.75, 16 pages.

North Pole -  New classes and such for a Santa Clausean adventure. $3, 23 pages

In the Light of the Ghost Star -  This is one of the things I hate about modern gaming. Take a neat idea (in this case, exploring Earth in the far future after the Sun has expanded to a Red Giant and shrunk down to a White Dwarf) and just write a sketch of rules and setting. 14 pages, PWYW.

RPPP#60 - Medieval Authentic Enchantment Magic -  10 pages, $2.99

The Almost Thief Review — Almost a Dungeon

S1 The Almost Thief is the first in hopefully another series of mini-modules from Mathew Kline and Creation's Edge Games. I'm not sure what the letter code means, he's gone through D,E,G, and L (with A being used for his sole full length module, Aginst the Goblins), as the subject is generally somewhat random, seemingly inspired by the piece of stock art he used for the cover.

In this module, that cover is a ghostly and somewhat sad looking young man. Which sets up the background here as well, it seems a young, would be thief (or grave robber) decided to rob a local tomb and got himself not just killed, but turned into a ghost, who is now haunting his girlfriend. She is something of a focal point for him because he broke into the tomb to recover a family heirloom, a ring to use as a wedding (or engagement) ring.

In a touch of pathos, his girlfriend hires the characters to break into the tomb and find the piece of jewelry, hopefully putting his spirit to rest. Adding a bit more and possibly some comedy, the ghost accompanies the characters.

Friday, December 21, 2018

New OSR Product at DTRPG — December 20th, 2018

Ho Ho Ho! Almost Christmas, which in retail means time to put out the Valentine's Day stuff and put the Christmas stuff on clearance (and people will be banging on the doors on the 26th wanting to buy the discounted stuff..).



Claws of the Yule - Very short (2 pages) holiday themed adventure. 75 cents.


Advanced Labyrinth Lord -  The PDF of the combined edition, which if $9.99. If you want the hardback, you can pick the Orcus Cover or the  the Gorgo Cover (apparently actually a dragon) which go for $50 each.

Oldskull Half-Ogres -  Half Ogres are so passe. Half-Giants, now that's the choice of the true power gamer*. But if you feel different, here you go. $1.99 and 38 pages.

The Winter Witch for Swords & Wizardry -  New variant of the witch from the witch guy. 74 pages, $2.99


Back to BasiX Issue 7 -  Did this come out last week? Or am I losing my mind. At any rate, it's a nice B/X zine and has an interview (and some previously unpublished artwork) by Erol Otus.  $2, 22 pages.

Friday Enhanced Map 12-21-18 - Tim Hartin jumped the gun on Friday by a few hours with this nice outdoor map of what looks like a very small keep. $1

Friday Enhanced Map 12-14-18 -  Very neat little dungeon that includes a small chasm. $1

Mutant Wasteland Holiday Adventures Bundle - Bundle of all 3 Spes Magna Mutant Future products. $2.25, half off normal price.

* I had a Half-Frost Giant Cleric of Freya in my last game, so trust me on this.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Crypt of the Shadow Lord Review — Simple But Deadly Solitaire Module

Crypt of the Shadow Lord is a short solitaire adventure for Labyrinth Lord and the first product from DPC-RPG Games (which I'm guessing are the initials of the author, David Cronin). D&D actually works fairly well as a solo RPG. But what it doesn't really do is work well as a single character game. Perhaps because of this, solitaire adventures have always been rare, especially so among the OSR. (Note that Kevin Crawford created rules to address this problem).

The premise of the adventure is pretty much stated in the title. You play a 1st level cleric sent on a mission to investigate a crypt and rescue a missing farmer. It follows the basic Choose Your Own Adventure structure, you start at entry 1 and then are directed to read other numbered entries, based on your choices and your die rolls.

Friday, December 14, 2018

New OSR Products at DTRPG — December 13th, 2018

Strange week of releases. Many, many, many 'zines and assorted other stuff, and no actual adventures, more like mini-settings.


GW1 Legion of Gold -  Gamma World adventure by Gary Gygax with Luke Gygax and Paul Reiche III (of Archon fame). $4.99 pdf, 38 pages, with print version now available for $11.99

GW2 Famine in Far-Go - Written by someone I've heard of, Michael Price, but also for GW. $4.99 pdf, 38 pages, with print version now available for $11.99

The Polyhedron Volume 3 #1 Issue 10 -  The old house zine. 99 cents, 32 pages.

The Polyhedron Volume 3 #2 Issue 11 - Ditto.


Boarswood -  Mini-adventure setting for LotFP, a fictional 15th century Barony. 23 pages, $3.50

Hexplore: Borderlands -   Hex crawl it seems, but without any stats (aka system neutral. $4.99 for a whopping 16 pages, so I will be passing.


Foe Folio for B/X Essentials - 29 critters over 22 pages for B/X. $2.99 

RPPP #58: Expanded Prior History Tables -  Medieval Authentic birth tables or something. Presumably you roll a d10000 and if it's 1 to 9999 you're a peasant. 22 pages, $2.99


Castle Oldskull - Oldskull Dragons -  Like a  Rogues Gallery of dragons, I guess. $2.99 and 115 pages (though likely only 30 pages of content)

Conspiracy Theories Issue 2: Frostbitten -  From the publisher of Dark Places & Demogorgons comes this zine for their games. $2.99 and 26 pages.

Echoes from Fomalhaut #3 -  3rd issue of Gabor Lux's excellent 'zine. 48 pages, $6

Fast Locations: Old School Temples and etc Geomorphs -  What it says. PWYW

Friday Enhanced Map 12-7-18 - Oooh, this is a creepy looking cultist lair or something similarly sinister and spooky. Tim Hartin's ability to produce original and varied maps never ceases to amaze me. $1

Hydra #7 -  I forget if this was Norwegian, Swedish, or Finnish. Or maybe Danish? It's a OSR zine in one of those languages.  $2.49, 103 pages.

Old School Holiday Adventures Bundle - Basically everything OSR done by Spes Magna Games, which includes a few adventures, a couple of monster books, maps, rules supplements, and a mariachi class. $11 for a lot of stuff, basically half off

Random Encounters Map Collection Volume One - Issues One, Two, Three, and Four - Seems to be a collection of maps and descriptions for dungeons. PWYW.

SCA Cavalier Attitude 4.2:   Confusingly, this is the sixth issue of the zine from Starry Knight. $1.50, 14 pages and includes a story and adventure.

Tome of Tomes Volume Seven - List of books that could be found on a shelf. 19 pages, $3

Thursday, December 13, 2018

DNH5 Carcosa — Disappointing Dungeon Crawl

Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink beneath the lake,
The shadows lengthen
    In Carcosa.

Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies
But stranger still is
    Lost Carcosa.

Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
    Dim Carcosa.

Song of my soul, my voice is dead;
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
    Lost Carcosa.

Cassilda's Song in "The King in Yellow," Act i, Scene 2.

DNH5 Carcosa is presumably the last module in the Hastur series from Dark Naga Games, written by L. Kevin Watson. It's a modestly priced (at least when I bought it) at $4 for a 30 page module plus illustration book, chocked with new original art. It takes up directly after DNH4 Confronting Hastur, which leaves the characters transported to Carcosa, the place from Robert Chamber's The King in Yellow.

I first came across Robert Chamber's The King in Yellow a few years before I got into Lovecraft and Call of Cthulhu, in a book on UFOs by Jacques Vallee (the inspiration for the French guy in Close Encounters), who used the quotes from it to start chapters to convey the sense of other-worldliness, of eeriness, that he believed applied to UFOs and their inhabitants. If you aren't familiar with it, The King in Yellow is a series of short stories loosely based on Chambers' time in Paris, including a handful of weird stories involving a strange play and the effects it had on its readers. The play is set in Carcosa, which seems to be a city on an alien planet by a lake (the Lake of Hali), across from a neighboring city, Alar.

Friday, December 7, 2018

New OSR Products at DTRPG — December 6th, 2018

Hero Games released a ton of old stuff this week, including one of my favorites, Justice Inc


The Polyhedron Volume 2 #6 Issue 9 -  99 cents for this old housezine


BR2 Brindlemarsh -  Something involving dwarves, kobolds, and a black dragon baby. 37 pages, $5

Castle Oldskull Dungeon Encounters One -  25 encounters (not sure if a dungeon map is given) for the authors Oldskull dungeon.  34 pages, $1.99

DNH5 Carcosa - Presumably the final adventure in the "Hastur" series, this came out quicker than I expected. Basically the PCs are stuck in Carcosa and must escape. $4 and 64 pages.

SM1 Krampus for OSR -  The worst thing about Christmas is that Billy Squier song. The second worst thing is the Krampus. But if you feel different, here's an 8 page adventure involving the latter. $1

SO11 Mad Madrigan's Maze -  Something about gnomes in a maze. $5 and 20 pages.

Worldsend - Series of one page dungeons. $1 and 24 pages.


Animals Companions -  From PBE Games comes this set of rules for animal companions - acquiring them, training them, and giving them treats, plus a Beastmaster class. $4.99 and 16 pages

Dark Places & Demogorgons - Holiday Special - 30 pages of misc stuff for the Stranger Things inspired OSR game. Free.


Castle Oldskull: Order of the Scarlet Tabard -  100 henchmen. 35 pages, $1.99

Friday Enhanced Map 11-30-2018 -  Looks like a fancy temple. $1

Manual of Unknown Monsters - Would include this in rules, but it has no stats. Just art. 108 pages, $9.95

O Povo do Buraco #2 -  Brazilian fanzine for LotFP, so presumably in Portuguese. PWYW (suggested $5), 48 pages

The Iron Realm Random Fantasy RPG Solitaire Dungeon and Maze Master Guide - Whew, that's a long name for what appears to be a dungeon design guide. $11 and 76 pages.

Woodfall - Dark fantasy swamp setting that is system neutral, but also lists itself as OSR. 92 digest sized pages, $12

Thursday, December 6, 2018

DNH4 Confronting Hastur Review - 30 Pages of Filler, 1 Page of Confronting Hastur's Statue

I was a fan of DNH1 The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil (so much so I apparently reviewed it twice), which was a fairly lengthy scenario involving tracking down and eliminating an evil cult that worshiped Hastur, a Great Old One from the Cthulhu Mythos. It wasn't very Hastur-ish (he's my favorite Great Old One), but it was good if you consider it a more generic evil god. Strangely though, the next two modules in the series had little to do with Hastur, or even adventuring, instead they describe sort of an alternate version of underground elves and the trading network they used.

With DNH4 Confronting Hastur, the action against the cult resumes. The PCs are once again tasked with finidng and eliminating the cult's stronghold. But in this case finding the hideout consists of simply talking to about half a dozen suspicious people. Not that the PCs determine they are suspicious, but some NPC does, simply giving them a list.