Monday, October 28, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — October 27th, 2019

Is it me, or are some of the stock art pieces getting a bit obnoxious? Like 4 variations of the same piece, each sold as a separate product. At least the crappy CGI stuff is a distant memory.

Somewhat light this week. Hopefully we'll see some Halloween adventures.


City of Solstice Quickstart -  Introductory book for an upcoming setting for OSRIC/1e from Charles Rice. Seems to be gritty and urban and features several new classes. PWYW and 42 pages.

Combat Medic Class -  While meant for Operation White Box, the WW2 game, it might be okay in gritty settings. PWYW

Dearly Departed - A handful of magic items. Well, two handfuls (13). 12 pages, $2 

Deathly Ills Monster Supplement -  18 Halloween themed monsters for OD&D. 17 pages, $2


Friday Enhanced Map 10-25-19 - Looks like an X-ray of Batman's skull. $2

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Nalfeshnee-Kin Racial Class — I Want My Flying Monkey-Boar Demon Class

Racial Class Nalfeshnee-Kin is the third demonic racial class from James Mishler Games, meant for Labyrinth Lord but should work with any B/X based game. Nalfeeshnee demons, better known at Type IV demons are perhaps a strange choice for a racial class, as they are giant winged boar-apes, but this works surprisingly well.

Nalfeshnees are normally 11 hit dice monsters (at least in 1e and Advanced Edition LL), which are more than other demons and to reflect that, they start off with 2 hit dice. Amusingly, they off start off as very small, only a foot and a half tall, growing half a foot or so per level. Their appearance is also randomized, with each body part potentially being from a different type of ape or pig, as well as random assortment of wings.

Monday, October 21, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — October 20th, 2019

Fairly slow week, it looks like


The Temple of the Bear -  Adventure from Sharp Mountain Games, so presumably somewhat short and for mid level, but with tokens and maps and all that. $2.50, 30 pages (half of which is probably pre-generated characters)


Old School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Cleric & Magic-User Spells - Plain Text - Free

Old School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Genre Rules - Plain Text - Free

Nalfeshness-Kin Racial Class -  That would be the ape demons. $1 and 5 pages

RPPP: Pocket Planes - Not the flying kind, nor medieval authentic, but rules for randomly coming up with smaller demi-planes. $1.99 and 11 pages.

The Nocturnal Table -  Random city encounters from Gabor Lux. $6.50 and 60 pages.


Dungeons in Blue: Just Geomorphs #13 -  Sounds like an adult video series, but just maps, suitable for use with a virtual tabletop. $3.49

Friday Enhanced Map 10-18-19 - sort of looks futuristic. $2

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Balor-kin Racial Class and Marilith-kin Racial Class Review — AD&D Demons in Racial Class Form

Perhaps the biggest thing that sets Basic D&D apart from AD&D (or later editions) is the idea of race as class. While the original ones in the basic game were simply combinations of class (the Elf being a fighter/magic-user) or just a fighter (the dwarf and halfling), as the basic game grew, the idea of more monstrous races as classes was realized, primarily in the Creature Crucible series.

James Mishler Games introduces two new racial classes (nominally for Labyrinth Lord, but should work with any B/X game), this time for demons, the Balor and Marilith in two separate products,  Balor-kin Racial Class and Marilith-kin Racial Class (with more on the way, apparently). It's not entirely clear what a "kin" is, presumably it's the offspring of a human and demon, or possibly just a lesser or younger form of the demon.

Monday, October 14, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — October 14th, 2019

While I have no use for DCC as it deliberately tries to not be old school D&D (which annoyed me back in the day when ever FRPG took the same philosophy), they just put up a bunch of Lankhmar stuff


A Magical Society Aggressive Ecology - The Slaver Fungus -  I'm not sure what this is exactly, but it's not just a monster, so... 14 pages, $6.00

A Magical Society Aggressive Ecology - The Undead Leviathan -  This one is apparently about a dead whale. 11 pages, $6

Plague, Famine, & War II: Electric Pestilence -  Seemingly a somewhat dark adventure for OSRIC. 18 pages, $2.99

The Mapmaker's Mistake Inn - The mapmaker's name? Howard Johnson. Actually more a small town setting with adventure hooks. 75 cents and 18 pages


Balor-Kin Racial Class -  For race as class game (B/X, LL, and Old School Essentials) comes this from James Mishler Games.  $1 and 4 pages

Marilith-Kin Racial Class - As above, but for the classic Type V demon. Although I wonder how you would get one of those pregnant, since the lower half of their anatomy is a snake. $1 and 4 pages.

Dungeon Wanderers -  Apparently a quick way of coming up with them. 1 page, free.

Hex Crawl Basics -  Did this come out earlier? Or was there something similar? Anyway, this is a free rules thing for hex crawling.

Old School Essentials Core Rules - Plain Text Edition -  Free. While I think OSE is superfluous at best, at least it's open content

RPPP Medieval Authentic Magic Rocks -  "Look at this! It falls to the ground when I let it go from my hand. Magic!" 16 pages, $2.99


Friday Enhanced Map 10-11-19- Not sure what to make of this one, except it has a lot of stairs. $2

Monday, October 7, 2019

New OSR Products at DTRPG — October 6th, 2019

On a semi-related note, I also came across the existence of DMR Books, who publish sword & sorcery fiction, both actual old school stuff and modern stuff that feels old school. I just read Heroes of Atlantis & Lemuria which collected several stories by Manly Wade Wellman about Kardios, a swordsmen and bard from Atlantis, and some not so great stories by Frederick Kummer Jr. Actually the first one was great, but in the later stories, the character was somehow changed from a Cretan to an American that uses slang of the time.


Hide in Plain Sight, Mystery at Morfurt, A Trick on the Tain, etc - Old C&C adventures pretending to be new OSR ones. $5 each.

Plague, Famine, & War 1 - Beginner OSRIC module about evil insect invaders. $2.99, 14 pages.

Shipwreck at Har's Point -  1st to 3rd level module for OSRIC. 12 pages.

The Haunted Mansion of Baron Astrophel -  1e/OSRIC adventure from Joseph Mohr that seems like it might be a murder mystery.

The Misty Halls of Kalavorka - The third "Dungeon Delve" title for OSRIC, levels 5 to 7, about a clan of mysterious giants who have disappeared. $9.99 and 44 pages with a lot of original art, looks like.

The Mud King of Stoney Creek -  5th to 7th level S&W adventure about a blues musician. Or trolls. $1.99, 19 pages.

The Psionic Crucible of the Fat Cannibal - Not to be confused with the similar titled Orson Wells biography. PWYW, 28 pages


AA03 Purging Woth Nrld Oekwn's Muddy Hole -  Not entirely sure if this is in English or not.  40 pages, $3.99


Class Ideas 1e (Art Sketch Version) -  No, no Bob Ross class added, but instead an illustrated version of a past product. PWYW, though money will go towards future illustrated products

RPPP: Alternate Material Planes -  Random tables for same. $2,99 and 19 pages.

Sword & Spell Core Guidelines - Compilation of yet another White Box clone PDFs. $15.95.


Friday Enhanced Map 10-4-19 -  If you squint hard enough, it could be a truck stop, but looks more like an underground temple. $2

Olde Skill Back2basics Monster Counters #1 - With a name like that you'd expect parachute pants and giant clocks around their necks.  $2.50. 

Paratime Design Presents...Multi-Dungeon -  Now that is an old school dungeon map. Only thing missing is an interior lake and island. $5

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Hide in Plain Sight Review — Bait & Switch? Old C&C module advertised as New OSR

Hide in Plain Sight by Bill De Franza is one of the new modules in the new "Ballista" line of OSR modules from Arcana Creations, meant for 1st to 3rd level cahracters. At least that's what the line purports to be. In reality, it's a 10 year old Castles & Crusades module repackaged and re-released. I don't normally cover Castles & Crusades here because I don't think it's particularly OSR-ish, even though you could argue it started things off, it still does a lot of things differently, like the "SIEGE" system and the ability scores as saving throws.

However, since I just spent $5 on the 36 page, single column PDF of it (not knowing its history), I will break that rule. It's got a fairly complex plot. Basically a doppleganger wants to free his imprisoned master, an evil wizard, whose prison is guarded by a couple of former adventurers who have become rulers of a small domain.

The doppleganger somehow managed to murder one of them, taking his place, and then rather than murdering the other and just freeing his master directly, comes up with a complicated scheme for the adventurers to do it for him. He's kidnapped the living ruler's daughter and asks the PCs to rescue her, then pretends to be the kidnapped daughter and as her, tells the party that her uncle (the one the doppleganger killed) killed her father (who is still living) and is pretending to be her father. However, her father is being hidden in an ancient enchanted sarcophagus and they need to open it to rescue him.

I suppose it makes some sense, if the doppleganger can't touch the sarcophagus. But I'm not sure why he couldn't hire people to directly. Or why the two brothers didn't just bury the bad guy under tons of concrete. So presumably the PCs go rescue the doppleganger pretending to be the daughter, then come back and storm the castle (well, manor) and free the doppleganger's boss. Who then murders the surviving brother (the father) and then runs off, instead of killing everyone, even though he's unkillable.

Then they have to go back to the doppleganger lair, look deeper this time, and rescue the real daughter. Which somehow redeems them for their mistake in the eyes of the manor butler. In any event, there's really not much of a reward, with the base pay being 150 gp each and maybe a horse if they bargain hard.  There's virtually no loot, either.

The dungeon designs are fairly straight forward, with one exception of sorts. The secret lair where the real daughter is hidden is guarded by a gelatinous cube (named Gladys). However, its movements can be controlled by a number of potions and concoctions they can find. So they can avoid it, if they realize it's there.

As mentioned, it's 36 pages, but single column. Easy enough to read, but the maps are in the interior, which I find cumbersome to use while running the module. There's a smattering of art.

Hide In Plain sight is not a bad adventure, but it aside from the system, it doesn't feel very OSR-ish. It feels like something you'd find in the 2e era in Dungeon magazine, when the adventures eschewed dungeon crawls and focused more on plot based adventures. And even then, it doesn't seem like it plays very fair.  If this evil guy is so important, why is he guarded in a place where low level adventurers can stroll in and release him? And while experienced players might catch on to the scheme, if someone is actually new to the game, they'll be completely baffled. And the doppleganger villain basically has plot armor.

While I don't think there is anything wrong with taking older modules and republishing them, I do think if they are advertised as OSR or in this case, specifically name dropping Swords & Wizardry, then they should at least be modified for those game systems.  It would have taken, what, maybe 2-3 hours at most to change the stats, references to game mechanics (like saving throws or opening locks), and add loot, something key to character advancement in virtually all OSR games.