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.

Friday, April 26, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — April 25th, 2019

While as far as I know, he's not dead or anything, for some reason Troll Lords has a special Jim Ward bundle.

Also, Fat Goblin seems to be having a $1 sale for their stuff, including a lot of stock art. The trick is, in most cases, I'd rather have the $1. Their main artist is good technically, but his characters look too real. Ugly real. If I want realistic looking people, let them be models, not Wal-mart customers. They also have a Lovecraftian selection, but their take on most of them doesn't really resemble the conventional take, or HPL's writing.

Official


GW8 Gamma Base -  Rather lazily named GW module. $4.99 plus more for print.

GW10 Epsilon Cyborgs -  Cyborg adventure and book for Gamma World. $4.99 plus more for print

Polyhedron 44 and 45 - 45 has a Dawn Patrol scenario. I remember playing a WW1 fighter game back in the day, but I don't remember if it's Dawn Patrol or not. 99 cents each.

Adventures


100 Clones of Timothy the Wise -  This silly sounding name belies a fairly epic, if gonzo adventure. $9.99 and 126 pages

Rules


Into the Jungle -  Seems to be a Viet Nam inspired game. Free 16 pages.

Space Dungeon Book II - Aka Monsters and Treasure for this sci-fi version of OD&D (first book was like a month ago). $1.49, 52 pages.

Misc


Alarms & Journeys - Fanzine. Vague content listing. $1, 14 pages

Friday Enhanced Map 4-19-19 - Another section of what I think is a large dungeon. There's sort of a highway that connects each of the maps for the last couple months. $1.

Wizard Funk Issue 1 - Fanzine. No content listing. $1, 10 pages.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Eyrie of the Dread Eye Review — Creative Homage to Dwellers of the Forbidden City

New adventures from Autarch have slowly been trickling out in the last year or so, with the latest being AX5 Eyrie of the Dread Eye by Courtney Campbell. It's purely a site based adventure for levels 6-8 (ACKs or B/X), with no plot, but it does have a fairly detailed and interesting back story. The Dread Eye of the title is not a euphemism for the classic D&D beholder, but a strange demonic entity called the Occulus, who was summoned and imprisoned in a city long, long ago. The Occulus reminds me more than a bit of Yog-Sothoth from the Cthulhu mythos, as it's both a gateway and an entity. There also a few other Lovecraftian flavored encounters, such as proto-oozes and intelligent apes.
 

Monday, April 22, 2019

New Maximum Mayhem Dungeon Kickstarter



I can never get the embed things right, but the series of 1e/OSRIC modules is getting its 6th entry, Moving Maze of the Mad Master.

Honestly, most of them aren't very good. They are gimmicky/joke dungeons, but the last, #5, was pretty good. This seems to beheading back into gimmick territory with a maze that moves on a wheel.

Still, he's one of the few people actually making 1e modules and the artwork is original and usually well done. Even if you'd never actually want to run or worse, play in them.  $15 for PDF, $30 for softcover + PDF, and more expensive options as well.

Friday, April 19, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — April 18th, 2019

Fairly slow week.

Adventures


DIRE: Tome of the Fallen -  System neutral (but somehow for levels 3-5) module. 30 pages, PWYW

The Haunted Theatre -  Low level dungeon for a system I'm not familiar with, "knave", but also says other old school RPGs. 4 pages, $1

The Tomb of Xenophon - 7 room "microadventure". 2 pages, $1.99. At least it has original art.

Rules


Old School Essentials - Basic Rules -  Only covers 1st level, though. Free.

Misc


GVSZ1: The Mutant Insurrectionist - A seemingly gonzo zine from David Lewis Johnson, whose treasure chest appears in approximately 22.55% of all OSR products.  $5, 20 pages.

Tales of the Splintered Realm: Trove of Treasure - 100 new magic items. PWYW

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Sunken Temple of Chloren-Var Review — Would Work Better As a Text Adventure


The Sunken Temple of Chloren-Var from Wolfhill Entertainment first caught my eye because of the odd phrase in the description, "area variations based on light sources". I can't honestly think of another module that mentioned light sources. I kept my eye on it because it seems to be a product from a new company/person, and after seeing his promotional posts over on ENWorld, I pulled the trigger. At $5.99 it's right on the cusp of my price range for maybe products, but it is quite lengthy at 100 pages (100 real pages, not the padded sort that some people use that only have a few lines of text per page).

It's something of a weird beast in that it's supposedly system neutral, but that system neutral is obviously an older school D&D. There are levels (this is for levels 1st to 4th), but instead of hit points, there are life points. Armor class is given as an equivalent to armor, ranging from leather to field plate, but with some oddities, like bronze platemail (which is just the same as banded or splint, which it uses elsewhere). With that said, there's very, very, very little treasure, and for that matter, not much motivation for the adventure in the first place.

Monday, April 15, 2019

B/x Essentials is apparently now Old-School Essentials and has a Kickstarter

As someone who started with AD&D and a mix of OD&D (since the DMG hadn't come out yet), I always think of Basic as being somewhat newfangled, not old school. As to why it's supposedly so hard it needs new easier versions, I don't get, but as of this writing, 858 people and nearly $60,000 of their money do get it

Still, Mr Norman is a talented man so his success is well deserved. I just wish it had been for his more original products (like the Complete Vivimancer) than a re-hash.

One amusing thing, though

Compatibility: Old-School Essentials is a 100% accurate restatement of the original Basic/Expert rules (B/X), with nothing added, changed, or removed. All material written for the B/X rules over the last 38 years can be used with Old-School Essentials, without any conversion effort whatsoever!

B/X as a rules system literally lasted for 2 years, replaced in 1983. It is literally the least successful version of D&D ever produced (even Holmes lasted 4 years)


As near as I can tell, it only had 5 modules written for it - B3, B4, X1,X2, and X3. (B1 and B2 being for Holmes)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Ah shoot

When you start your day off by chasing off someone who is trying to steal your car, you think "Hey, at least nothing else today will be worse than that."

Unfortunately, that was not the case, I am very saddened to learn of the passing of James Smith of the Dreams of Mythic Fantasy blog

While I only knew him from that, he was one of the my inspirations to start OSR blogging myself. He'll be missed

Friday, April 12, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — April 11th, 2019

No review this week. Was working on one, but then I got robbed on Wednesday. Nothing major, really, 2 guys in a white truck comes in. I thought they were someone else, a guy who cuts my hay (he's got a white truck and I live on an old 100 acre farm) so I ignore it as he goes and goes at least once a week. Then about 15 minutes later, it comes flying out and I notice it's full of my furniture that I kept in an old shed (no room inside).  I yell at them, get out of the way of the truck, then chase them futilely.

As they were mostly family old heirlooms (most notably being an old 5' globe from the 1800s and an old sea chest of my grandfather's), I wasn't ever going to sell them and so I have nothing to replace. But it's left me shaken up.  The whole brazenness of it, driving up and taking stuff while the owner is at home. And then I wonder if I should have been more suspicious.

And then I get angry because they had a newer truck than I do. And the local police didn't even call back, who knows if I will ever hear or get a visit from them.


Official


Polyhedron 40, 41, 42, and 43 -  These are from when the Living City dominated the magazine. 99 cents each.

Rules


Dungeons Nights -  Sadly, not a soap opera about the torrid romances that monsters have, but another "modern" take on the OSR. 59 pages, PWYW

RPPP Medieval Authentic (TM) Aristocracy - I think this really depends on what country. But whatever. 20 pages, $2.99

SCA1 The Best of Cavalier Attitude - Haven't been impressed by his adventures, but his zine is pretty good. This includes his take on the scout class (which was actually a very late 1e class from Dragon). 56 pages, $7.50

Misc


Psionic Platypus Vol 1 -  Apparently a one page zine. PWYW

Wilderlands of the Magic Relams, Revised Guidebook -  Doesn't this come out (again) every 6 months? Update of the old Judges Guild setting $4.99, 38 pages, also available in print.

Color Maps for above -

Friday, April 5, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — April 4th, 2019

The best time of year, baseball season is once again upon us. Also, a lot of adventures this week.


Official


Polyhderon 36, 37, 38, and 39 -  These seem to be from the late 80s. 99 cents each.

Adventures


House of Illthrix -  Apparently the first of three for the Avremier setting for OD&D. $2.99 and 29 pages.

No Sun for a Wicked Moon -  Haven't heard much from Unbalanced Dice Games and apparently this is why, a 250 page mid level adventure for Labyrinth Lord where apparently the PCs go to the Moon.  Even considering the rather spacious page format used, that's a big adventure (probably 70 regular pages). $6

Shrine of Ptallo - Possibly a comedy adventure (the description starts off with a half-naked man) for S&W for levels 3 to 5.  20 pages, $2.50

The Labyrinth of Cull the Chaotic -  I got excited from the description, then saw it's 2 pages. 2 pages. The one page dungeon has to be the most obnoxious fad of the last 10 years. That and wearing pajamas as regular clothing. PWYW

The Sunken Temple of Chloren-Var - This seems to be system neutral, but with an old school style, strangely emphasizing lighting as a resource. 100 pages, $5.99

Rules


Men & Magic Compilation -  Basically a reorganized OD&D, including the ranger, illusionist, and bard.  Free!

Misc


Back to BasiX Issue 8 -  B/X fanzine. $2, 29 pages.  Highlights seem to be two comics and a Jaquays interview.

Echoes from Fomalhaut #04: Revenge of the Frogs -  Latest PDF of Gabor Lux's excellent fanzine, including an adventure (from the title) and more. 44 pages, $6

Friday Enhanced Map 3-29-19 -  The latest in what I think is a multi-part dungeon.

Mazith Random Cave Maker 2.5 - Program to generate maps of caves. PWYW.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Class Catalog for B/X Essentials Review — 5e and old favorite classes for B/X


Perhaps the most notable thing about Basic/Expert D&D (and its later Companion, Master, Immortal successor) is race as class. In some ways it's both a strength and weakness, as it provides all sorts of different game play experiences by allowing monster characters, but it can also be restrictive when playing more human like creatures. What if you want to play an elf that isn't basically a fighter/magic-user?

Class Catalog from Crossplanes Game Studio brings a variety of racial classes to B/X Essentials, a grab bag of AD&D 2e races (aasimar and tiefling), 5e races (dragonborn and pixie), as well as variants of existing ones (dwarven thief, dwarven priest, elven rogue, halfling burglar), plus the gnome and half-orc.

Jim Ward posts on ENWorld about Meeting Gary Gygax....

Jim Ward is not exactly a stranger to the online world, but recently he's started posting some stuff over at ENWorld, a site not really known for old school D&D (as it was started for 3rd edition), but nevertheless, in a recent post he goes about how he met Gary Gygax and his first game of D&D


On that Tuesday the store had quite a few new books from different series I liked to read. There was an L. Sprague DeCamp Conan novel; a Michael Moorcock Elric book; I think there was a Robert Heinlein in the batch. Anyway, as I picked up the seventh novel, a rough looking dude was grabbing books as well. As I selected the last book of the seven he took a copy of the same book.

We looked at each other and smiled. He had sort of a biker air about him. He was wearing an old pair of jeans and a ratty blue-jean jacket. As we looked at each other's stack of books we realized we had picked the exact same novels. We got quite a laugh out of that.

Then we got into a discussion on the merits of Robert E. Howard or L. Sprague DeCamp's version of Conan. During that discussion he hit me with the fact that he had a game where I could play Conan fighting against the priests of Set. Gary had set the hook and I was being pulled in like a ten pound trout. He gave me his phone number and told me the game was every Saturday.

Much more at the link...

Friday, March 29, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — March 28th, 2019

Somewhat slow week, but a lot of adventures.

There's also a handful of zines dedicated to Empire of the Petal Throne, but it's from Grognardia Games who I consider something of a scammer over the Dwimmermount KS

Adventures


No, Really, It's Me - 4 pages outline for an adventure. $1

RPPP: The Cyrmi Davey - Medieval Authentic (TM) adventure about a Welsh guy running off with a non-Welsh guy's wife.  I think I saw an episode of Mannix about that. $2.49, 16 pages.

Sision Tower -  35 room dungeon crawl in a tower for levels 3-5. $3.99 and 39 pages.

The Devil of Murder Cliffs - S&W adventure from Casey Christofferson and Frog God Games. For levels 3 to 5. $9.99 for 39 pages which makes me wonder if they left a digit or two off by accident, as it's much less than their usual sky high prices

Misc


Friday Enhanced Map 3-22-19 -  Not sure how to describe it, looks like an underground truck stop. $1

Gamma Zine #1 - 3 short adventures and some other stuff for old school (presumably) Gamma World. $3, 29 pages.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Wyrd Ways of Walstock Review — Rush to Save an Absurd Town



Wyrd Ways of Walstock is the first (and maybe last, since it came out in 2017) adventure from Dan Osarchuk and OSRDan games, who has produced a number of supplements called  Divinities & Cult(which I do not own). While it's an adventure (and meant for 1st to 3rd level characters), it's largely a small town that happens to have a dastardly plot going on that the PCs will presumably get caught up in and presumably try to foil. The tone of the module veers between satirical and light hearted. The villain of the module is a cult that worships the arch devil of health insurance, and there's a long (and depressingly adequate) description of the town hospital.

Friday, March 22, 2019

New OSR Titles at DTPRG — March 21st, 2019

Still sorta sick, but mostly I never got around to doing a review this week because I was busy playing Endless Space 2. Didn't like the first one. Didn't really like Endless Legend. But after seeing it on sale I gave it a try and I have to say, I do like Endless Space 2. But lord, it's a slow paced game, even by 4x standards.

Official


Polyhedron 34 and 35 -  Looks like the highlight here are adventures based on Finnish myths. 99 cents each.

Adventures


RPPP The Reivers -  Medieval Authentic (TM) adventure about the Bruces of Scotland, apparently. $2.49 and 15 pages.

Straffshire: Village of Planar Fugitives -  More a setting book than adventure, about weird people from other planes and their wacky antics. 60 pages, $8.99

Misc


Friday Enhanced Map 3-15-19 - Looks like an underground temple. $1.

Friday, March 15, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — March 14th, 2018

Ugh, I am still sick. It's been over a week. The peak seems to have been last Saturday where I slept until 5 pm.

Official


GWA2: The Overlord of Bonparr -  Gamma World adventure $9.99 for PDF, $15 for print.

Polyhedron 30, 3132, 33 - 99 cents each.

Adventures


The Dog that Would Not Bark -  Little Timmy in in the well. 6 pages, 50 cents.

Q1 Quest for the Dungeon Terrier -  Not entirely sure this is OSR, but eh. 10 pages, PWYW.

Suddenly, Goblins! -  Goblins get into a castle. 7 pages, 50 cents.

Rules


Axes & Orcs Compendium: Volume One Non Human and Monster Classes -  Including the Halfing Druid, Transforming Robot, and the dreaded Sky Gnome. I guess more for B/X games. $4.49 and 20 pages.

Castle Oldskull - Oldskull Anti-Paladins -  $2.99 and 54 pages

Creature Feature Quarterly Vol 1 - From excellent illustrator Jeremy Hart comes this book of stats for 16 of his illustrations. Also apparently includes paper minis and VTT tokens and such. $4.50 and 36 pages.

Rubik's Cube Character Stat Generator -  When you've misplaced your dice but not your Rubix Cube. PWYW

Ruins & Adventures 2: Aldair's Arboretum - It's apparently what a storm giant named Aldair class his pants. $1.50 and 10 pages.

Survive This: Vigilante City Core Rules -  Low powered superhero game from the Dark Place & Demogorgons company.  292 pages, $9.99

Survive This: Vigilante City Villains Guide - Not too clear, but this is apparently the GM's guide for the game. 300 pages, $9.99

White Box: Eastern Adventures - 126 pages and free.

Misc


Elegant Fantasy Dungeon Generator - Apparently random tables can be pretentious. 21 pages, $2.50

Enhanced Map 3-1-19 -  Creepy looking dungeon perhaps for cultists. $1.

Enhanced Map 3-8-19 - Part dungeon, part crevasse. $1

SCAIII.1 Cavalier Attitude -  I have no idea what number this issue is of the zine. $2 and 19 pages.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Pacesetter Games & Simulations has a Kickstarter for yet another B/X Rules Set

I am suffering from the flu (actually fell asleep driving home from work, though thankfully I woke thanks to the rumble strip on the side of the road) so perhaps this is all a delusion of my fever ridden mind. But Pacesetter Games &  Simulations, the one by the Barshes, is apparently going to produce books of their version of B/X.

By my count, this is at least the 4th version. You had Labyrinth Lord, then Adventures in the East Mark, then B/X Essentials, now this.  I guess maybe Adventures in the East Mark is more of a BECMI clone and it never got past the first set. At least in English.

Anyway, I'm not sure the elder Barsh ever finished the kickstarter for the Acaeum (sp?), but this is being done by his son, who apparently did finish his 5e kickstarter.

OTOH, apparently it's not written yet and somehow promises to be done by June 30th. 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Compleat Illusionist at Playing at the World

It's in my blog roll, but as a big fan of illusionists, I thought it worth a mention. Basically Mr. Peterson has a scan of Peter Aronson's complete version of the Illusionist (in 6 jpgs). Simply different than what appeared in TSR back in the day

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

No Review This Week, I have a Cold

Very weird. Hit me Monday night, all of a sudden I had a sore throat and stuffed nose. The next day, still had both. Today I got up and have no sore throat, but the stuffiness is still there and I feel achy. So hopefully it will run its course by tomorrow or the next day.

Friday, March 1, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — February 28th, 2019

Now there's a GM's sale, presumably with some OSR stuff.


Official


Polyhedron #28 and #29 - 99 cents each. 28 apparently has module R5 and 29 has some Gamma world stuff

Adventures


1988 Dungeon -  A blast from the past, an actual circa 1988 dungeon. PWYW, 20 pages.

Falls Keep -  From Fail Squad Games comes this mini-adventure about a ruined keep by some falls. After 1e and LL stuff, he's apparently now trying S&W. $4 and 12 pages

Praise the Fallen - Dungeon crawl for 3-4 level characters against a cult of a fallen angel. 16 pages and PWYW

The Angel's Burial Ground - This is more of an artsy setting, a weird "fantasypunk" plane than an actual adventure. $1.99 and 31 pages.

The Merchant's Heart -  Seems like a comedy module, 6 pages, PWYW

Whisper in the Crags - Another Fail Squad adventure, this also for S&W (no level range for either). $4 and 15 pages.

Rules


Bastard Sword -  10 pages of house rules for OD&D. $1

Dark Places & Demogorgons: The Cryptid Manual -  Monster book for the Stranger Things inspired OSR game. Usually their products are reasonably priced, but this is $15.99 for 90 pages.

Eldritch Tales GM's Screen -  I would think you'd really want the print version of this ($9.99) and not the pdf version ($3.19), as it's cheaper than gluing 6 tablets together to form a screen.

Fighting Foolishness 3: Fighting Ideas for OSR Games -  From Unbalanced Dice game comes this rule jumble for fighters. $2.50, 43 pages.

Walking the Way - More Jedi style stuff for White Star, 64 pages and currently $6.39, but probably that's because it's on sale.

Misc


Friday Enhanced Map 2-22-19 - Looks like a laboratory dungeon. $1

Thursday, February 28, 2019

He Who Watches Review — Ptolemaic Egypt Meets Lovecraft Meets Xena



He Who Watches is an Egyptian themed adventure from Karel M of Coiled Sheet of Lead Games. By Egyptian themed, I mean apparently literally set in Egypt, though a relatively modern one (Roman era), not just an Egyptian like country.  I had a very strong sense of deja vu while reading it, because I had read a very similar short story in a book of historical mysteries (Chosen of the Nile by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer in The Mammoth Book of Egyptian Whodunnits).

It's meant for lower level PCs (no system is expressly given, but seems 1e-ish) and set in the city of Crocodilopolis (the Greek name, original name Shedet), essentially the plot is that pilgrims to a temple of Sobek (a crocodile god that is a good protector god of the dead) are going missing, and the PCs are hired to investigate. A subplot is that one of the holy crocodiles has just died.

Friday, February 22, 2019

New OSR Products at DTPRG — February 21st, 2019

There's another, different OSR sale at DTRPG right now. I picked up a bunch of random stuff


Official


GW3 Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand -  Gamma World module about his fight vs the cult of Mr. Clean. $4.99 and 38 pages, also available in print.

Polyhedron 26 and 27 - 99 cents each. Actually has something interesting, what's happening in Gamma World on Mars (both issues).

Adventures


City of Brass -  Re-release of the Necromancer Games box set, only for Swords & Wizardry. 442 pages, $49.99

Also, considering the City of Brass is a 1e location, this is editional appropriation (on top of a cash grab for a reprint).

In Vino Gigantus -  I think this describes the cost of this adventure from Frog God. $8 for 16 pages.

Palace of the Dragon's Princess - The latest Maximum Mayhem module for OSRIC/1e.  For levels 8 to 12, this might be a bit more serious than previous ones. Same price though, 40 pages, $10

The Ruins of Woebrook -  Mutant Future adventure set in an ancient shopping mall. 16 pagers, $1.99

Rules


Beasties 2:  Monster book from Night Owl Studios, 90 pages, $4

Mini-Bestiary - 7 pages of monsters from some guy who had a blog. PWYW

RPP The Cult of the Saints - Rules for invoking saints for medieval authentic (tm) games. $2.99, 24 pages

Misc


Enhanced Map 2-15-19 - This weeks map looks like a manor house. $1

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Tomb of the Lovelorn Review — Undeath Will Tear Us Apart


Tomb of the Lovelorn is a short dungeon from M. Greis for lowish (3rd to 4th) level Labyrinth Lord characters, though there is some fuzziness in both the system and level range. Apparently it was originally written for a Danish RPG convention and translated into English, and although it's quire readable, it does have some odd phrasings and many minor errors.

While it's a tomb crawl, it's definitely an unusual one, with no standard undead. Instead its basically a prison created by an evil magic-user to keep his romantic rival in a state of undeath, to prevent him from being reunited in death with his lover (that the evil magic-user also fancied). This is done by two undead crypt keepers, who apparently abduct nearby residents and "feed" them to the imprisoned lover, who has become a giant blog of flesh.

Friday, February 15, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — February 14th, 2019

Just writing the date, 2019, makes me think "Hey, we're in the future".

But something not from the future, but the past, is the 30th Edition of the Arcanum, which was like the 2nd edition of Bard Games Atlantean Trilogy (and in term a successor of the Compleat ____ products).

Official


GW4: The Mind Masters -  Old Gamma World module. Not sure which edition.  $4.99 and 36 pages, also print version.

Polyhedron 24, 25 -  TSR's old house zine. 99 cents each.

Adventures


Sunday's Hand-Drawn Pyramid Adventure -  From Sharp Mountain Games comes something a bit different, a pyramid themed adventure, though it still had battle maps and what not. $2.50, 25 pages.

The Beast of Briar's Creek -  Hopefully it's not Tor Johnson. Low level adventure for LL. 7 pages, $2

Rules


A Ghastly Companion to Castles, Mansions, & Estates - Rough Hewn Edition -  Perhaps one of the most neglected games of the OSR is A Ghastly Affair, a game of mid-late 18th century gothic horror. This helps you create locations for that and has tons of tables and other stuff. 276 pages, $4.99

Misc


Back to the Dungeon Zine -  Seems to be the old original zine from Eldrad Wolfsbane, not something new. PWYW

Castle Oldskull: Chaotic Descriptor Table -  Random tables of chaos! 126 pages (of giant text), $2.99

Friday Enhanced Map 2-8-19 - Looks like a manor house.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Cantrips: Supplemental Magic Rules Review — Might Hurt Low Level MUs More Than It Helps


Cantrips! Zero-level spells. I remember when they first came out in Dragon magazine and found them fascinating, they were something of a more practical use of magic, with spells to clean and dust and pull pranks. But to actually use them in your AD&D game, your MU would have to give up a 1st level spell, and frankly, there's just too many useful 1st level spells for a MU to do that, even at mid to high levels. So it was basically a neat idea that was quickly forgotten, except in special cases (like 0-Level characters).

Cantrips did make a reappearance in the 3rd edition of the game (and in 5th), where they became spells cast in addition to 1st level spells, and some of the crappier 1st level spells were shifted downward (such as light and mending). It actually went a long way to making 1st level (or even 2nd) MUs be more useful, but they largely escaped a re-emergence in the OSR. At least until now, with Cantrips: Supplemental Magic Rules for OSR Roleplaying Games by Jeff George, which is $1.99 for 32 single column pages and usable for all major flavors of OSR.

Monday, February 11, 2019

New Module from the Merciless Merchants



While I could wait until my weekly update, this is notable because a) they make really good modules and b) it's also available at Lulu.   Price is $5 PDF at DTPRG or $10 for print (at Lulu or DTRPG)

Also, amusingly it uses that piece of art I mentioned from my recent review of the Ruined City Cywhatzit, which I thought must be stock art since it didn't depect anything from the module. Does it depict anything here? I don't know, but I will find out...

Friday, February 8, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — February 7th, 2019

This is more like 2 weeks, since I missed one due to DTRPG's problems.

Also, they're apparently having an OSR Sale, but I don't see anything particularly OSR-ish, it's mostly DCC and C&C

Official


Polyhedron 21, 22, and 23 - Old house zine of TSR. 99 cents each

Adventures


Rats in the Walls and Other Perils -  Revising the old AS&SH adventure with a couple more old adventures. $10, 44 pages.

SO13 Shrine of Sacrifice - Apparently about a ruined elven shrine to the great elven god, Corky. No, I am not making that up.  For 1e and 4th to 6th level characters. 24 pages, and $7.50

Tournaments of Madness and Death

The Crypt of Baron Vraszek -  Low-ish level adventure presumably not about the resting pace of the ancestor of the pickle magnet. 17 pages, $4

The Defilers - Medieval Authentic adventure from the RPGPundit that seems to be more about a hidden mystery than anything else. 20 pages, $2.99

The Rusted Tomb - Adventure site from Rosethrone games. 12 pages, $1.99

Rules


AS&SH 2e Player's Manual -  I don't know if they fixed the rules problems in from 1e AS&SH, but they certainly did break the art. Don't need this if you have the full book. $12, 300 pages.

Cantrips: OSR Magic Supplement -  EGG added these to 1st edition in place of a 1st level spell, but I think it would have made more sense for them to be in addition to. Presumably the author of this supplement agrees. $1.99 and 32 pages.

The Folio of Fiendish Monsters - 128 pages of new monsters, though presumably some taken from The Folio line of modules. $24.99 so I won't be buying soon...

PC17 - The Enchantress -  What if each school of magic had its own class like the Illusionist? Well, this is my take one the Enchantment/Charm school. PWYW

Misc


AS&SH Referee's Screen -  For 2e, I guess. Do not like the comic book of the AS&SH line, so much lamer than the pulp art style of the original.  $10 and 8 pages.

Friday Enhanced Map 2-1-19 - Looks...like I dunno. Temple? Sci-Fi complex? $1

RPPP More Occult Killer Antagonists - Medieval Authentic Psychopaths. 19 pages, $2.99

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Ruined City of Cyfandir Review — Low Level Adventure with High Level Boss

Although I am not a fan of the Adventurer Conqueror King System, from Autarch, I was deeply impressed by their first module (besides Dwimmermount that is) that supported their system, The Sinister Stone of Sakkara, which was a nice take on the Keep on the Borderlands type scenario. So I quickly picked up this, Ruined City of Cyfandir as soon as I noticed it was out. It's meant for levels 5 to 7 and for ACKs (so probably a little higher level for Basic/Original games) and is 30 pages for $4 in PDF.

The premise is simple enough, an elven city was overrun by a dragon and her lizardman followers. 200 years later, they are still there. The PCs either stumble upon the city or are sent there. Presumably they explore and loot. There's only about 25 or so special locations in the city itself, most of which deal with lizardmen or the newly arrived goblin tribe.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Looks like DTRPG is still having problems...

So I will postpone the new releases to next week.

Supposedly they were migrating to new servers and it would take only 12 hours, but it's been a few days. It worked for a bit  a couple days ago, but then seems down again.

Friday, January 25, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — January 24th, 2019

January is easily the worst month in the year, and unfortunately, it's also the longest (well, tied with it). One more week, though, one more week.


Official


GW9 Delta Fragment -  Old Gamma World adventure. $7.99, 121 pages.

Polyhedron 15, 16, 17 - Old newsletter. 99 cents each.

Treasures of the Ancients -  Equipment book for Gamma World.  $7.99, 105 pages

Adventures


Black Maw 2 - The Chambers of the Wrath King -  The megadungeon continues to its 2nd level. 6 pages, $2

Ruins of Quinstead - Apparently originally from 1994 and is a 3 level dungeon for character levels 1 to 12. $9.99 and 46

Rules


Abomination Appendix Vol 1: Underground Monsters - Replacements for Product Identity monsters. PWYW

Abomination Appendix Vol 2: False Undead - Do we really need stats for these? They are exactly like undead but no magic powers and not undead. PWYW

Magic Madness 7: Spells for OSR Games -  30 new spells from Unbalanced Die games. $2.50, 51 pages.

Misc


Friday Enhanced Map 1-18-19 - Underwater temple? $1

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Mythic Fantasy Review — Xena for Labyrinth Lord (Advanced)?


Even before I started playing D&D in '78, I was very interested in mythology thanks to the D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths. While D&D had some Greek monsters and such, it was primarily more based on Tolkien and more Northern European fantasy. Mythic Fantasy is a short rules supplement ($2.99 and 30 pages) for Labyrinth Lord (mostly the Advanced Edition) that provides Greco-Roman rules for characters and such. Somewhat ironically, written by someone with a Tolkien-esque nom de plume, Thredith Undomiel.

Three new races are introduced, the centaur, the satyr, and the nymph, though the latter has five subraces. These are not presented in race as class for as in regular Labyrinth Lord, but as 1e style races with ability modifiers and limits, special abilities, eligible classes, and level limits. They seem fairly solid as races, with centaurs having the most additional rules to account for their horse body.  Nymphs seem perhaps too good, they don't seem to have any penalties, just bonuses, with high level limits as well.

Friday, January 18, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — January 17th, 2018

PaceSetter Games & Simulations uploaded a ton of their modules this week. So this is long. Very long. It's amazing he could write all those adventures and not finish that Acaeum Kickstarter.


Adventures


B0.5 Secrets of the Unknown -  Unofficial add-on for the classic Basic module B1. PWYW

B1 Legacy of the Unknown - This is an unofficial sequel to the classic Basic module B1 (and seemingly for 1e, though the original B1 was for Holmes...) $5, 72 pages

B2.5 Blizzard on the Borderland - Unofficial add on to the classic Basic module B2. $1 and 16 pages.

C0.5 Ghosts of the Hidden Shrine -  Unofficial add-on for the classic 1e module C1. PWYW

C1 The Circle of Fire -  Fire ants are swarming and the PCs must escape somehow or other, and despite being 4th to 6th level, they can't fly over them. $4, 44 pages.

D5 The Darkest Pit - Some demons are imprisoned in a silver mine and the PCs (7th to 9th) just kill them. Apparently only one level of the dungeon. PWYW

DB1 The Frozen Star - Seems like a cross between The Terminator and Dragonlance. The PCs must travel back in time to get a weapon to use against dragons.  $4, 28 pages.

H1 Six Feet Under -  1e mid level module involving looting a tomb complex. 16 pages, $3

H2 The Witch of Monte Rosa - Module for 1st level characters about a visiting necromancer. 20 pages, $3

I1 Grave of the Green Flame -  Solo 1e module, includes extra rules for solo play. 52 pages, $4

I2 Beyond the Black Wall - Sequel to the above and seems to continue the story.  $4, 48 pages

I3 Ruins of the Red Moon - Apparently not a sequel to the first Is, but still a solo adventure about exploring ruins in a mountain.  $4, 44 pages.

L1 Storm of Tears - Highish level (8th to 11th) module about who will stop the rain. 36 pages, $4.

N0.5 Twisting Trail of the Reptile Cult -  Additional unofficial material for the old 1e module N1 Against the Reptile Cult. PWYW and 20 pages.

SC3 Tales from the Dales - Bundle of 4 adventures from Starry Knight. $20

Q1-4 The Screaming Temple and Other Deaths -  4 short adventures for 1e. 56 pagse, $10

T0.5 Cursed Cairn of the Moathouse -  Unofficial supplement module for T1. 12 pages, $2

TM1 The Lost Caravan -  Originally from a 1e tournament in 1982, this has the PCs (5th to 7th level) looking after a treasure lost 50 years ago. 60 pages, $5

TM2 Storm over Skyreach - This one is from a 1989 con and also for 5th to 7th level characters who must storm missing wizard's keep. $4, 28 pages.

TM3 Raid on the Acaeum -  Two part adventure module run at a con in 2012, for 1E.  20 pages, $3.

TM4 Legacy of the Forbidden City - Unofficial sequel to the classic 1e module, for 5th to 7th level characters. $4, 44 pages.

TM6 Felhorde - Another tournament module that seems to take the plot from an old JG module. Basically the PCs (3rd and 4th level) must recover a dragon's hoard or be eaten. 24 pages, $3

V1 The Vampire's Curse -  1e/OSRIC adventure for 3rd to 5th level characters that apparently does not actually involve a vampire. $4, 32 pages.

V5 Palace of the Vampire Queen: Castle Blood - What it sounds like, but for 1st level characters. $4, 20 pages

V6 Palace of the Vampire Queen: Crypts of the Living - .  $4, 20 pages.

V11 Dwarven Glory: Curse of the Violators - Expansion for the original module by Wee Warriors. $4, 28 pages.

V12 Dwarven Glory: Thunder in the Deep - Like above. $4, 24 pages.

White Box Quests - Moans of Dead -  Strange sounds of moaning are coming from the woods. 1st level adventure. $2, 14 pages.


Rules


Artifacts of the Wastelands -  Gizmos for Mutant Future.  $1.99, 16 pages.

Mutant Future Bundle -  Bunch of books from Skirmisher Publishing, presumably including the above. $14.99

Oldskull Plague Doctors - New class. Curiously, there's a Plague Doctor class in a recent CRPG I've been playing, Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark.  $2.99, 51 pages.

RPPP Misc Medieval Authentic Spells -  10 pages, $2.99

Sepentine Oldskull Serpent Folk - Adding serpent people to OSR games, 41 pages, $2.99

Misc


Nod 35 - John Stater's zine continues with lots of stuff for his games, some new monsters, and a dungeon adventure. $3.99 and 123 pages.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Sepulcher of the Burning King Review — Creepy Crypt Crawl



The Sepulcher of the Burning King is a short (20 or so encounter areas) module from Rosethrone Games, a site based adventure (ie dungeon crawl) part of their Highlands hexcrawl setting. One of the things I don't like how hexcrawls is that they tend to just provide short descriptions of an adventure site and expect the DM to do all the work filling out the encounter. One of the nice things about Rosethorne Games is they have been releasing modules like this to actually do the work of filling out the hex crawl.

Perhaps due to the old public domain artwork taken from old 19th century books on knights and such, it's got something of a King Arthurian feel to it, not Camelot itself, but the later, Holy Grail quest days, the idea of wandering a strange wasteland and coming across an old ruined castle with something weird and creepy in it.

Monday, January 14, 2019

First Level of the Black Maw Released



Craig Pike has just released level 1 of what will hopefully become the Black Maw megadungeon.  Megadungeon plans can fizzle out, as I know first hand, with my Reynaldo Lazendry Dungeon only at 2 (out of 5 planned levels) and there's also the promising Dungeon of Crows that fizzled out apparently after 2 entries.

But he's used a sparser key format which will should make writing pace easier to maintain.

Its PWYW, so check it out and donate if you like it. Also features a map by my favorite cartographer, Tim Hartin.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Footprints #24 now available!



The long running free zine from Dragonsfoot had sort of run out of steam, but Malrex (of the Mercilous Merchants) picked up the editing reins and a new issue is out

Contents
 
The Experience Check (article)

Centaur Background (article)

Revisiting the Ghost Tower (article/adventure)

Shards from the Workshop (creatures)

Dwarf Backgrounds (article)

The Western Monk (class)

The Skald (class)

Performance Spells (article)

Ruins of the River Gates (adventure)

Friday, January 11, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — January 10th, 2019

Was trying to do two reviews this week (Sepulcher of the Burning King and Mythic Fantasy), but that meant neither one was finished. Oh well.

Official


GW6 Alpha Factor -  3rd edition Gamma World Adventure (uses seemingly a hybrid of old GW and Marvel SuperHeroes) about a mysterious place named Mindkeep. 60 pages, $4.99

GW7 Beta Principle -  See above. Seems like it involves vampires. 46 pages, $4.99

Polyhedron Issues 12, 13, and 14 - 99 cents each.

Adventures


Lost Puppies in the Ogre Forest -  PWYW short hex crawl for kids.

Ruins & Adventures 1: The Welcome Repose Inn - Like a fantasy version of staying at a Motel 6. 8 pages, $1.50

Tumbleweed Tales Volume 1 -  Three short adventures for the Tall Tales BX RPG (see below). 21 pages, $1.99

Rules


Class Catalog for BX Essentials -  "Aasimar, Dragonborn, Dwarven Priest, Dwarven Thief, Elven Rogue, Gnome, Halfling Burglar, Half-Orc, Pixie, and Tiefling Classes to your B/X esssentials game". 24 pages, $3.99

Dark Places & Demogorons Core Bundle - $14.95 for the main books plus supplements. Actually quite a decent game if you want to do 80s teens investigate the supernatural thing.

Magic Mood Rings - I remember those. Somehow while astrology has come back in a big way, these haven't. PWYW

RPPP Medieval Authentic Glamour Magick - I think that actually involved rolling in dung, but this seems to be more about illusions and such. 10 pages, $2.99

Tall Tales BX Wild West -  This is either the 3rd or 4th Wild West game based on BX (Westwater is the one that comes to mind, there's one other, plus that mutant wild west game plus Engines & Empires). $7.99 and 96 pages.

Tall Tales New Classes - Because when I buy a new RPG that just came out, I immediately want the stuff that wasn't included for some reason. PWYW at least.

Misc


Friday Enhanced Map 1-11-2019 - Looks like an underground temple. $1

Gregorias Notes on the Weird OSR Fantasy Year 2018 - Random stuff for LotFP. $3, 27 pages.

Friday, January 4, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — January 3rd, 2018

Somewhat quiet week, not surprisingly.  One good thing about the modern age, don't have to worry about getting the year right when you write a check (something that would get me for about a month in Januarys past)

Adventures


Book of Lairs: People & Places -  Presumably like the 2e "Lairs" series, but for ACKS for some reason. $3.16 and 48 pages.

Hexed Places - Dead Rock Spires -  I think it's been a while since PBE Games released one of their mini-hex crawls. $2.69 and 14 pages.

Rules


B/X Essentials: Demihumans of Dolmenwood -  Fairy style elves for B/X Essentials. Free.

Mythic Fantasy: A Supplement of New Classes, Races, and Objects for OSR Adventures -  A somewhat dry name for mythic Greek/Rome inspired races, such as centaurs and dryads and amazons, plus gladiators.  31 pages, $2.99

Misc


Friday Enhanced Map 1-4-2019 - Looks like a tower filled cavern. $1

NPC Ideas - Tables and such for coming up with NPCs not based on people you know (like most of mine). PWYW