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Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Latest Lulus

I was feeling very anti Lulu for a while.  Back in November I ordered 5 copies of Chgowiz's Swords & Wizardry Quick Start.  Either Lulu screwed up or the postal service lost it, but I never got my shipment.  Truth to tell, it was probably the USPS... my local postal office sucks.

 Anyhow, with the coupon code floating around last month for Lulu, I figured I'd give it a shot with a more expensive (and trackable) shipping option.  Boy, I'm glad I did.

Got my 5 copies of Swords & Wizardry Quick Start, a copy of the new Revised Labyrinth Lords Rules, Swords and Wizardry White Box Edition, and Supplement VI The Majestic Wilderlands for S&W (but I'll probably borrow stuff for LL instead.  Still waiting on the Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Characters to Arrive.

I own all the above in PDF, so to purchase again in dead tree version means I plan to get much use AND bathroom reading out of them ;)  All are top notch on their own.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

When did the OSR Assimilate Me?

I'm really trying to figure out when the OSR became my style of gaming.  I cut my teeth on AD&D back in 80 or so... never really played the boxed D&D sets even though I owned most of them.  AD&D 2e was awesome... except the books fell apart way too quickly, splat books multiplied like rabbits on fertility drugs, game balance went further and further out the window...

Next thing I knew we were playing Rifts, Battlelords and other such unbalanced games... because AD&D 2e showed us that balance didn't matter.  Power mattered.  Munckin mattered.

3/3.5 was supposed to clean up 2e, but the explosion of splats and the power inflation was even worse.  I bought books and more books, but played little.  It was overwhelming and unsatisfying at the same time.

At some point I found Castles & Crusades.  It seemed damn close to AD&D of old, close enough that I didn't have to relearn all of my gaming instincts from years of AD&D gaming.  The editing was horrid tho'.  Sorry Trolls, it wasn't and (to a large extent) still isn't your strong point.

Then I heard word of something called OSRIC.  AD&D re-imagined.   Labyrinth Lord was fairly close behind.  Basic fantasy Roleplaying appeared.  Swords & Wizardry.  Holy crap, but there or some amazingly great reincarnations of the original D&D and AD&D rules out there.  Most of the rules in question were available free, or real cheap in PDF format.  And I was hooked.

4e had interested me before release, but couldn't compare to Old School gaming for me.  Pathfinder is a nice evolution of the 3.5 OGL, and Paizo's Adventure Paths are simply incredible, and I find myself reading and converting in my head to LL, and I never really was drawn to Basic D&D back in the day.

Ah well, I'm a convert.  I've been assimilated... and happy at that.

OD&DITIES - Relaunch Forthcoming

Bat in the Attic earlier today announced that OD&DITIES, a classic fanzine of OD&D, is about to relaunch at the end of this month using the Labyrinth Lords rules and the OGL.  More OSR goodness is quite simply awesome.

The plan appears to be a monthly magazine in PDF format for $2 an issue via RPGNow and quarterly compilations via LuLu. First issue should arrive around the end of February.

You can find the first 12 issues of the OD&DITIES fanzine for free here. (published and reproduced there by permission from R.E.B. Tongue)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion

Greyhawk Grognard: Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion Now Available!


Thanks for the scoop GG. I just ordered it in print from LuLuand a digital copy with art from RPGNow. You can downloaded it for free without the art too.

I had the advance copy that Labyrinth Lord Society members were given access to and I'm really psyched. Great stuff for a great game.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The OSR - Niche within a Nich

Sometimes we forget that the Old School Renaissance (OSR) is a small movement withing a relatively small hobby we call Roleplaying.  Its easy to lose sight when one forgets to look beyond their immediate surroundings.  My guess is that those interested in the OSR are involved, either actively or passively, in forums, blogs, and other online knowledge sources.  Most of out hobby isn't.  They know little beyond what they see in their game store or Amazon.

The OSR has many options for play (in no particular order):
Labyrinth Lord
OSRIC
Swords and Wizardry (and all of its different flavors)
Microlite74
Monsters and Mazes
Basic Fantasy Role Playing Game
Raven Crowking's Fantasy Game
Mutant Future
Gore

I'm sure I missed more then a few (and them as a response and I'll edit to fix) , and this isnt counting the games that are currently in the works.

Yet for all this, WotC's forthcoming Gamma World with it's noxious collectible power cards aspect will not only outsell (and I'll count free downloads as sales) Mutant Future by many powers of 10, it will also outsell our little niche IN TOTAL by a huge factor.

There is one thing WotC doesn't have tho, which our niche has in abundance:  love of the game before the bottom line.  Most of the OSR is available in PDF for free, or damn close to it.  Most of the print books are damn near close to cost.  This hobby of ours could crash and burn around us, and yet the OSR will remain.

The OSR.  It's small, but resilient.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Review - The Hideout for FG2

Short and Quick review, as the module itself is short. 

The Hideout is a Savage Worlds mini-adventure for use with the Savage Worlds Ruleset and the Fantasy Grounds 2 Virtual Table Top (VTT).

The Hideout details an encounter with Poachers (think evil Ranger types and you get close to the type) that the party might stumble between adventures.  Its a combat encounter at its heart, which will require tactical play on the part of the PCs.  A head on assault will probably be... less then successful.

It is set in White Haired Man's Kith’takharos setting, which is available in a rule agnostic format for free at White Haired Man's website.  It is very much set in the setting and is not really a stand alone encounter.  It's purpose is to fill the gap between two adventures, and it fill that gap well.

PCs can earn themselves a new enemy and might even find themselves a fairly unique magic item if they survive the encounter ;)

It might be a bit light ( the PDF, which is very well done, runs  2 pages) compared to the amount of material you get with other White Haired Man products but it packs a lot into the smaller package.

So, after all that, how does it rate?   I'd say the encounter itself is a strong 4, FG2 programing a solid 5, value is a 3.  It's a short but complete adventure that accomplishes its goal, which is to serve as a viable drop in (or intermission)  between larger adventures or story arcs .  Which averages out to a strong 4 for The Hideout, Savage Worlds Edition (just noticed they released it in OGL/3.5 too).


Thanks again to White Haired Man for giving me the opportunity to dig thru their stuff ;)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Book of Eli - Fallout 4?

I just got back from watching the Book of Eli.  Without going into to great a detail, it is a post nuclear apocalypse adventure with lots of violence and a story that would make for a very nice arc in RPG setting that would support it.  Probably not any of the many iterations of Gamma World, nor do I think Mutant Future would work (it is free tho', so maybe it could be tweaked to fit).  Atomic Highway might be the proper ruleset and setting. 

Still have the One Page Dungeon Contest whispering in my ears too.  Shhssssss!