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Saturday, April 27, 2013

What Class Do You Usually Play in a D&D Type Game?

We all have our "go to" character type. Well, almost all of us ;)

For me it seems to usually be a Cleric or a Fighter / Cleric type multiclass. A Dwarven Fighter / Cleric to be precise.

I like to mix it up in combat AND I like the chance to cast the occasional spell. I tend to find the lower lever Magic-Users to be difficult to stay engage with as a player, especially after you throw your spell or two. M-U / Thief or a Bard type class work for me too.

So, what class / class combo is your default? Maybe you don't have a default...                

Do Dead Rats Leave Copper Droppings?

Artwork by Gary Dupuis
Dead Rats tell no tales. Or is it that they tell tales, but their tails may fall off?

I'm working out the details of a Swords & Wizardry flavored ezine to be published under the Dead Rat Banner. Tentative name is "Copper Droppings". Hey, sounded good to me as I was falling asleep last night ;)

With the return of Knockspell we don't need another full pledge magazine but a fairly regular ezine for Swords & Wizardry just might work. This is where I'll work on some alterative class ideas, spells, encounters, monsters, Tenkar's Landing setting stuff and whatever else strikes my fancy. Or your fancy. I'm thinking of "buying a beer" for those that contribute to the ezine - 5 bucks for those that contribute an article or artwork. Pretty much like Knockspell - you own it but Dead Rat / Copper Droppings has the right to publish it in the ezine or print on demand compilations (if those ever happen). Heck, maybe Copper Droppings has the beta version and Knockspell has the perfected one ;)

In either case, I see Copper Droppings more as a supplement to Knockspell than a replacement. I plan on submitting an article or two to Knockspell myself, as I see it's return as something that will only add to the already strong Swords & Wizardry Community. That and I'm just excited as all hell to see it's return :)

How soon can you expect the the first issue of Copper Droppings? No date yet. I still need to finish Volumes II & III of Minor Magiks & Miscellaneous Arcana. Hopefully I can finish Volume II early this week. Sooner rather than later is my guess, and fairly regular after the first issue drops, or at least that's the plan.

In any case, that's my current plate. I'm almost done reading the 140 some odd posts from the Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day, so hopefully we can get some prizes out to folks during the upcoming week.

Razor Coast Releases for Swords & Wizardry!



Have you followed the history of the Razor Coast getting published? No? Google it ;)

In all seriousness, if Frog God hadn't picked up the ball and run with it, this probably never would have happened and folks that had preordered years ago would still be SOL.

Now, the Razor Coast was written for Pathfinder and we certainly wouldn't have a Swords & Wizardry version if it wasn't for the Frogs. Their habit of producing a Pathfinder and Swords & Wizardry version of pretty much all that they do is pretty damn awesome.

I didn't support the Kickstarter, as the added third party goodies were almost universally for Pathfinder, so the S&W version wasn't as good a deal. Sad but true. The PDFs, however, just released over at RPGNow last night.

Razor Coast is a 400+ page swashbuckling campaign for Swords and Wizardry.

Heart of the Razor adds four more adventures and the Freebooter's Guide adds races, spells, a gazetteer and more.

I just downloaded Heart of the Razor and the Freebooter's Guide. I'll try to say more about them after I give them a closer look but a quick glance at the Freebooter's Guide gives me the impression of a lot of campaign goodness for 10 bucks.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Kickstarter That is Flying Under the Radar: The Way of Tree, Shadow & Flame for The Secret Fire RPG


Do you remember The Secret Fire RPG? I do, and while I'd be hard pressed to find my print copy at the moment, I was looking at the PDF the other week wonder why it never got more attention than it did.

Same may be said for the Kickstarter of The Way of Tree, Shadow & Flame for The Secret Fire RPG. Two days into the Kickstarter and not a dollar pledged.

I think a major part of the issue is that there isn't a pledge level that doesn't include a a copy of the  Secret Fire Rules, in print or PDF. I already have it in print and PDF - why do I need to pledge for a level that includes something I already own? I would suspect that this Kickstarter would attract those that already have an interest in The Secret Fire, so why not allow them to pledge for what they actually need?

Has anyone else seen this Kickstarter mentioned anywhere?

The goal is reasonable - 3k. At 6k The Secret Fire Companion for Swords & Wizardry is added. I'd jump in for that alone if I was being forced to rebuy a game I already own.

The listing of involved authors has some major writers of classic D&D and OSR fame:

Authors include Ed Greenwood, Logan Bonner, Michael Curtis, Thomas Reid, Bill Heron, Ronald Corn, George Strayton, and Bill Smith, with a foreword by Jim Ward.
I'm surprised none of them are mentioning their involvement on their blogs or social circles.


Here's the rest of the blurb:

This first supplement for The Secret Fire roleplaying game augments the material presented in the main rulebook, expanding upon existing elements as well as adding new dimensions of play. At the same time, The Way Of Tree, Shadow & Flame seeks to maintain the dark sense of mystery, uncertainty, and danger of the original system, while providing players and Master Creators with options and advice for creating and fleshing out three-dimensional characters to set forth on perilous quests in search of fortune, glory, or perhaps some greater cause, all within a realistic fantasy milieu. As The Secret Fire was always meant to be a free-wheeling game of adventure loosely bound by its rules and empowered by the varied imaginations of its various participants, so this book is the result of contributions from many veteran game designers responsible for some of the most popular game systems and campaign worlds in the history of the hobby. 
The Way Of Tree, Shadow & Flame contains new Callings (Assassin, Druid, Huntsman, Knight-Errant, Skald), new prayers, spells, and rituals, new Traits and Trademarks, expanded Energy Point options, backstory and relationship generation tables, new equipment, rules for building and running your own domain, new monsters and talismans, new ways to use the Elder Gods and the Character Wheel, optional rules to customize your campaign and increase immersion, random encounter tables for sandbox play, advice for MCs, and more!

Sounds interesting but unlikely at this time. George may be better served by rebooting this Kickstarter with a little more support up front and some friendlier support levels for those that supported the game with their gaming dollars when it released.

edit: from the comments on this post


Michael CurtisApril 26, 2013 at 10:35 PM
Check out the Updates on this Kickstarter. Apparently there's a problem between Kickstarter and Amazon which is not allowing contributions to be processed, hence the $0.00 funding. It looks like George is going to pull down the campaign and reboot it. Maybe he'll take your advice and reconfigure the pledge rewards as well.

I don't think he made a formal announcement regarding the Kickstarter due to the problems with the contribution process. He told me he'd let me know when it was underway, but I hadn't heard anything until reading this post.

Mini Review - Trouble Brewing (Barebones Fantasy)


Barebones Fantasy is one of those games I really need to play. It's simple and flexible, and has the rare ability of being one of the few non-OSR games that I actually can grok.

Trouble Brewing is a BBF adventure that takes place in the Town of Tenkar. Let that settle in for a minute. Yep, same town that was detailed in the Keranak setting supplement. Any world with a Town of Tenkar that is full of taverns and dwarves has to be good ;)

So, Trouble Brewing also has the party being deputized to investigate the source of the acts of violence in town. Man, this adventure really was made for me.

This isn't a huge adventure - most likely it will wrap up in a session or so.

It does look like it should play pretty well, but if I have any complaint it seems a bit linear. Still, that's fairly common with shorter adventures. A good GM can easily work around that but I figured it was worth mentioning.

I'm personally having second thoughts about having a beer tonight after reading this ;P

From the blurb:

Relaxing at a tavern in Tenkar, shedding the dust of the trail from your boots and clothes, you stumble upon a danger that threatens the peace of this town. The local constable and his deputies are too busy dealing with its symptoms to address the cause. Are you and your friends ready to deal with the sinister secret beneath Tenkar?  
This is a rank 1 adventure for the BareBones Fantasy™ role-playing game. It is set in the Keranak Kingdoms™, but could be placed anywhere in any setting. Written by Michael Wall, this is the first in a multiple part story arc which is continued in Slimy Trail of the God-Snail.

Tenkar's Minor Magical Tidbits - Backbiter (Revisited)

Sometimes stuff changes from concept to play test, and such is the case with Backbiter, which I wrote up back in August. Initially I saw it as a blade that helped a thief strike better when he backstabbed and it was limited in use to once per day for it's special ability.

That changed before it entered my game.

See, we don't use minis or tokens, so facing is often unknown, and the backstab ability on it's own rarely comes up.

The revised Backbiter gives the thief an opportunity to attempt to backstab an opponent if he surprises an opponent or wins initiative in the first round of combat in an encounter. It gives the thief some bite without being overpowering. It's + 1 bonus make sit little more effective in normal combat than the average blade.

If you use battlemaps, this weapon might be a bit overpowering with the additional backstabbing opportunities. For Theatre of the Mind style play I find it works out fine.

Joe Dever and Cubicle 7 Announce Major Lone Wolf Deal

It seems like it's news day here at The Tavern...


Joe Dever and Cubicle 7 Entertainment are delighted to announce that several agreements have been put in place to develop Lone Wolf Roleplaying Games, and detailed colour maps of Magnamund - Lone Wolf’s iconic homeworld.
Joe Dever said, “I’m really very happy to be working with Cubicle 7, an excellent RPG company which I hold in the highest regard. I’m proud that Lone Wolf is now a part of their prestigious portfolio of games.” 
Dominic McDowall, Cubicle 7 CEO said, “I grew up with Lone Wolf, and so it’s a dream come true to be working with Joe on this classic series. We’ve got some very exciting plans for the Kai and Magnamund, which we’ll be sharing over the coming weeks.”

I one of those rare gamers that never played any of the Lone Wolf books and have no experience with it as a more standard RPG, but Cubicle 7 does produce quality games. I'm interested in seeing the results of this deal.

Center Stage to Produce Miniatures Based on the "Tome of Horrors Complete" by Frog God Games

It's too early for me to say whether I'll be backing this or not. Much depends on whether or not I actually start painting my Reaper Bones when they finally arrive...

(snagged from the S&W Community Page on G+)


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2012
Contacts: Rachel Ventura (Frog God Games)/Matthew Solarz (Center Stage Miniatures)

CENTER STAGE TO PRODUCE MINIATURES BASED ON "TOME OF HORRORS COMPLETE" BY FROG GOD GAMES

Center Stage Miniatures signed a 5-year contract today with Frog God Games to produce 28mm Heroic Scale fantasy miniatures based on the award-winning "Tome of Horrors Complete." The line will launch with a new Kickstarter from Center Stage Miniatures on May 1st.

"There are over 800 monsters possible in the Tome of Horrors Complete," said Matthew Solarz, owner of Center Stage Miniatures, "including many iconic creatures from old-school fantasy and some newer monsters as well. This Kickstarter will help get as many of these miniatures as possible into gamers hands as quickly as we can."

Bill Webb, CEO of Frog God Games, said that partnering with Center Stage for the Tome of Horrors Complete range was the next logical step after discussing Razor Coast. Frog God Games announced earlier this week that Center Stage would be producing a line for the Razor Coast mega campaign based on the works by Nicholas Logue.

"Center Stage Miniatures is a leader in the production of old-school fantasy miniatures," said Rachel Ventura, VP of Sales & Marketing, "Their commitment to quality and to the old-school feel of fantasy RPGs made them a natural for this project."

Tome of Horrors Complete miniatures will be sculpted in 28mm Heroic scale so that they are compatible with the largest possible selection of miniatures on the market today, Solarz added
.
About Center Stage Miniatures

Manufacturer of high quality 25 and 28mm metal and resin miniatures for use with the world's most popular role-playing game.

Since 2009, Center Stage Miniatures has taken pride in producing old-school fantasy miniatures for use with tabletop RPGs. We started with only a few releases our first year, but have built up momentum and now have over 250+ products ready to be integrated into our online store this Spring and Summer. With the acquisition of some major miniature ranges, most notably the Julie Guthrie Fantasy Personalities (from Grenadier Models/Mega Miniatues) and Dungeon Crawl Classics Miniatures (from Goodman Games), we're poised to support your need for high-quality fantasy miniatures for years to come!

We will begin setting up our own in-house metal casting operations in 2014 thanks to our continuing growth.
http://www.centerstageminis.com/

About Frog God Games

Founded in April 2010, Frog God Games publishes resources for the tabletop roleplaying games Pathfinder Roleplaying Games and Swords & Wizardry. Its products are known for their grand adventure settings and high quality production values. “If our hardcovers won’t last you a lifetime of use, we have not made a high enough quality product”, said Webb. Frog God Games currently serves over 3000 customers in USA, Canada, Brazil, Europe, South America, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and has produced over 70 books for Pathfinder Roleplaying Games and Swords & Wizardry in the past two years. The writers of Frog God Games have won numerous ENnie Awards. For more information about Frog God Games visit its website at www.talesofthefroggod.com


For More information please contact
Rachel Ventura,
VP of Sales & Marketing
Frog God Games
815-954-1981
Rachel@talesofthefroggod.com



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Minor Magiks & Miscellaneous Arcana Volume I - Hey! I Wrote That!


Some history:

I started work on Minor Magiks & Miscellaneous Arcana in the summer of 2012. It wasn't called that back then. It wasn't called anything. I was running my ACKS game and had a desire to put some magic items in the hands of my players that they had never encountered before.

Some of these items appeared as blog posts in the summer and fall in various incarnations, but stuff didn't start becoming "real" until I started to see the artwork that Teo submitted. Teo is an under appreciated artist with amazing talents, and I think his work is what truly makes this project work.

I now have three published RPG "works" and all are for Swords & Wizardry. Who woulda thunk it? ;)

In truth tho, they should work well in any OSR styled game that needs some more unique magic items. I believe the second volume will have some weapons and armor type stuff.

Video Flashback - Feltothraxis Looks at Carcosa as the Cat Looks at Dungeonmorph Dice

I have found the Isle of the Unknown is much more usable than Carcosa, as I can strip it piece by piece for use elsewhere if I want.

Carcosa isn't bad so much as not usable, if that makes sense. At least not usable by me.

Still, I love the fact that the cat is playing with the dice, and I really appreciate all the love my cat has for me, my family, and those damn Dungeonmorph Dice ;)

(yep, need to work on a new video or two)


Pending Announcement Perhaps?

I may have something to announce later today... or tomorrow. Hopefully more on the soonish side than the not so soonish side.

Don't you hate stuff like that? I'd like to announce it, but until it is ready, there isn't much to announce. Or there is, but then I wouldn't be able to tell you where to find it ;)

Eh, forget I said anything or I'll beat you with a stick. Or a pony. Or a pony on a stick...


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mini Review - Stars in the Darkness (DCC RPG)


I've been doing reviews of gaming releases pretty much since I started this blog. Generally speaking, if I take the time to review it, its because I like the product. Still, after a while, much of it gets to seem familiar. Stars in the Darkness is NOT familiar. There is no deja vu. There is only awesome. Fresh, new, and lethal as all hell. I want to be a player in Stars in the Darkness, and if I survive to the end there will be epic stories to tell. If my character falls, it will be an epic death.

Let me give you the blurb, just to set the stage:

In millennia past, the ancestors of the elves protected the stars as they followed their courses, for there are wolves in the outer dark.  Yet what manner of creature would dare to consume stars as though they were sheep in the field?  And what has become of the ancient starherds who once stopped such monsters?  For such a monster is back - Urstah, the Star-Drinker.  Stars are disappearing from the night sky, and with the loss of those stars, luck is being drained from the world.  Your luck.  Dare you enter the caverns, face the star-drinker, and release the stars in darkness? 
Stars in the Darkness is a DCC adventure designed for four to eight, third level characters, that can easily be dropped into your campaign.  In it, characters seek to stop an ancient evil from arising, with possibly devastating effects should they fail.  This is our largest, and most epic, adventure for DCC to date.
This most certainly is epic. It is one of those rare adventures that you need to read through three times, write in the margins and use a highlighter, not because it's confusing, but because there is a lot of cool shit going on and you'd want to make sure your players get the full experience.

I want to be a player in Stars in the Darkeness. I want to cross the Bridge Over Infinity, Fight a Mormung and flee from... no, that would give too much away. This is too good to spoil, and I feel like it may be spoiled for me, as I so want to play in this adventure.

Seriously, I can give no greater compliment than I would love to be a player in a campaign where  Stars in the Darkness would be there for us. Waiting for us.

+Daniel Bishop you done did good. Fucking good. I owe you a beer :)

Margret Weis Productions Pulls the Plug on the Marvel Heroic RPG



I know the Marvel Heroic RPG was well received. I own it but have barely read it, as supers games are generally not my cup of tea. Still, I found this post from MWP to be surprising:
And in Marvel news… the economics of licensing a tie-in product is always something we have to weigh carefully. We brokered an admittedly ambitious license with Marvel. Our first event, CIVIL WAR, was successful and well received, but it didn’t garner the level of sales necessary to sustain the rest of the line. We’ve learned from this and are taking a very different approach with the other licensed properties we’re bringing out to you in the next three years. We believe we created a great game. Those of you that have supported us have been terrific, and we appreciate you. But, unfortunately, we will not be bringing any new product out under the Marvel line. We know this affects our customers. Those that have pre-ordered Annihilation will receive a full refund or a credit worth 150% of their Annihilation order to use on existing or future product. 
At least we have Firefly coming down the line...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Working on My First Interview...

...of a gaming Industry Professional. Heck, my first interview of somebody who wasn't the victim of or witness to a crime. Go figure.

Very cool beans.

If the final result goes as well as the interview process itself is going, I may need to do more of these ;)

Feltothraxis - Should He Return to Doing Video Reviews?


                                (Feltothraxis looked at Vornheim in this now classic review ;)

It's been about a year since Feltothraxis graced us with a video review.

Should he return?

If so, what should he review?

How many pints should I have in me while doing the next Feltothraxis video review (assuming there is one)?

Even more important - does he need a sidekick?

A Jack Chick Kickstarter? RPGs are Evil - Dark Dungeons: The Movie!

Initially, when I saw the Dark Dungeons: The Movie! Kickstarter, I was more than a little apprehensive. It appeared to me that Jack Chick was getting paid for the project in some way, shape or form and there was no way I was going to reward that ignorant fucktard.  The creator of the project has now made it abundantly clear that Jack Chick isn't getting paid. Heck, Jack Chick thinks this is a legit project:

JR Rails: I wrote Chick Publications Inc. explaining that I won $1000 in the lottery and that I wished to film Dark Dungeons. The tone and style of that letter was _very similar_ to that of my Kickstarter video. No where in that letter did I tell a lie just as no where in my video do I tell a lie. Every sentence was true. The only promise I made in that letter was that I would do my best to fully bring "Dark Dungeons" to life on the silver screen and that is a promise I intend to fulfill. 
Chick Publications, Inc responded to my correspondence by giving me the rights to do a video of Dark Dungeons. They waved any fee to do this so that I could spend the entire $1000 on making my video. (I have already spent the entire $1000 in pre-poduction costs for the video.) They also turned down my request to obtain the merchandise rights to Dark Dungeons so I only have the right to film Dark Dungeons and can not make "Dark Dungeons the Flame Thrower" … as I had wished. 
They said that I would have the copyright to my video and the only stipulation they gave me was somewhere in the video I should include the following message, "Story based on "Dark Dungeons" by Jack T. Chick, LLC Copyright 1984" and I intend to do so.
So, this movie is going to be made with a straight face in a way that can only lead to some amazing humor. I'm very happy that Jack Chick is still the ignorant fucktard he was in the 80's.

Alright, I'm in for $15. Watch the Kickstarter video. That and the above quoted comment convinced me to "Kick In" ;)

Thanks to +Harley Stroh for bringing this gem to my attention.

Micro-Nations - A Perfect Fit for a Swords & Sorcery Campaign?

I was wandering around Wikipedia and somehow found myself looking at an article about Micro-Nations.

It got me thinking - a sorcerer's tower would effectively be a Micro-Nation, and if he gave himself a title, so much the better.

Maybe the village has an experienced warrior settle in it, and he declares himself king of all 40 inhabitats.

Damn, I really like the idea of self declared micro-nations in a campaign ;)


Monday, April 22, 2013

A Kickstarter to Take Amber Diceless "Amberless" - Lords of Gossamer and Shadow: Diceless Role-Playing


When I was in my Dark Ages of Roleplaying - roughly 96-08 - my opportunities to find a game were limited. There wasn't much in the way of tabletop RPGs being played online, and the few that were were forum or email based.

I played a short AD&D game via an AOL forum and then later stumbled into an Amber Diceless play by email game. I tracked down the rules so I could play and it was a blast while it lasted, which wasn't long. Seems to be the curse of email RPG games that I've encountered. Still, I enjoyed what game time we had immensely.

Rite Publishing got the rights to use the Amber Diceless system and are releasing Lords of Gossamer and Shadow: Diceless Role-Playing via Kickstarter.

A few thing to note:

Rite Publishing understands Patronage Projects. They've been doing such for years. I have faith in their ability to run a successful Kickstarter Project.

They are offering PDFs and the opportunity to get the books s print on demand "at cost". First time I've seen this done, in theory it could really decrease shipping costs to certain countries, and it allows for the stretch goals to be in PDF and Print on Demand, keeping the Kickstarter funds for actual content creation and not printing costs.

I love the art of seen thus far.

I have some serious nostalgia for the Amber Diceless system and Amber itself, even though I thought the setting was a bit restrictive on the system. Which, of course, makes this new setting a win win for me.

F' me! I'm in for $75.

If I'm going to stray far from the OSR, I may as well do it with a system I enjoyed ;)

An Interesting Swords & Sorcery Kickstarter - Atlantis: The Second Age RPG




Atlantis: The Second Age RPG is based on the classic Atlantean Trilogy by Bard Games. I remember these fondly, although I don't recall ever running it. The setting was nice, and that is what've being reused in this version.

It's not like I NEED another RPG, let along another game system. I'm very happy with the OSR, and Crypts & Things is doing me fine for Swords & Sorcery.

I expect I'll be hopping in on this one anyhow - It looks pretty cool :)

and it's already hit it's funding goal, and it's not promising any stretch goals, which is probably wise.

Dwimmermount Was Originally Scheduled For a 1st Qtr 2011 Release? I'll Be Damned!

The latest Dwimmermount Kickstarter Update is up and can be read here. It talks about drafts and using one of your coupons towards the Domains at War Kickstarter. Which is all interesting, but I never realized James Mal had intended for Dwimmermount to be released early in 2011.

Heck, there's even a mock cover:


I had no idea how long the development time actually was on this project. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Awarding Some "Loot" From the Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day



If you commented on the S&W Appreciation Day "Loot" Post, you might be a winner ;)

(other awards are still be ing finalized - damn awesomely prolific bloggers :)

Without any further ado, here's the folks that got their hands on some random loot from the Loot Post:

Faoladh
Fabio Milito Pagilara

The above have found themselves in the possession of $5 credit to RPGNow ($10 if they are members of the 2,000 Coppers G+ Community - they'd have to tell me who they are over there)

Thanks to +Jon Marr , the following will be getting free PDF copies of an adventure from Purple Sorcerer:

The following will be receiving PDF copies of The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk:

Elfshadow
+James Smith 
Aaron Nuttall
+Dyson Logos 
Spikeyoulike

The following will be receiving PDF copies of Perils of the Sunken City

+Rob Barrett 
Rob Griffin
Elrics
James Stanton
mbeacon

The above need to email me at tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom with their email addy used at RPGNow and we'll get their prizes to them.

Mini Review - Dungeon Crawl #2 (OSR Fanzine)


Finally getting a chance to play catch up this weekend. Dungeon Crawl #2 has been sitting on my compter desktop for a bit too long, and this look is certainly over due.

+Wayne Rossi put together a very complete package with the 25 pages he worked with, including a submission from +David Przybyla  - Dave gets a mention in two reviews back to back. Go Dave!

We start out with a very flexible adventure / dungeon - Caverns of Temeluc. Flexible in that room descriptions are set, but their occupants and possible treasures aren't - they each have their own list. It's kinda like the old Chinese restaurant menus - choose one from Column A and one from Column B - enjoy. I haven't had a chance to try it with a live group, but in theory it should work fine.

Next is an article on Traps. The first trap discussed - The "Lilies" , is pretty much what one of the party members stepped in last night in Rappan Athuk. Nicely done.

The Steel Wheel is a magic shield by none other than +David Przybyla . Dave and I share a similar interest - history and flavor for unique magic items. I really enjoyed this.

Ready Reference: Random Crypt Contents and Ready Reference: Stranger Statues are excellent random tables to flesh out crypts and statues respectively. I love well done random charts, and these are well done. The Crypts Contents tables could easily be used in Barrowmaze 1 or 2.

Ready Reference: Save vs. Death Ray! introduces some colored death rays and ray guns. Not as immediately useful but still interesting.

Daily OSR: Charts gives us charts for character motivations, morale failure and magic malfunctions. Certainly stuff to pick through and reuse, even if not used as it.

Dark Age Dungeons: Gaming in Late Antiquity is pretty much a primer for setting your next campaign in a historical setting around the time of the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD. As a former History Major, I enjoyed the article. That being said, it's purpose is to give you a taste for the period - if you were to take the ball and run with it, you'd obviously need to do further research. It accomplishes it's aim.

Next, we are presented with the Obscure God: Oceses, Lord of the Blackened Hand. I really enjoyed this, a god for torchbearers and henchmen. Fun stuff.

Lastly we are presented with 11 new monsters for use in your OSR game. In general, I find new monsters to be hit or miss (the miss is because some monsters are very situational) but always inspirational. Well done. One or two may find their ways into Rappan Athuk, just to keep my players on their toes.


Mini Review - The Way Station (DCC RPG Adventure for 3rd Level Characters)


Let me get this out of the way first - the author of AL 4, The Way Station, is a regular player in my Saturday Night AD&D / OSRIC campaign. Which means I know +David Przybyla as a gamer and consider him a friend. I doubt anything in the following review is going to change that, but I figured the readers have a right to know.

It's been a while since I sat down with a DCC RPG adventure. What draws me to them is the uniqueness of each one - they try to avoid repeating the common dungeon environment.

The Way Station is the first ancient dwarven subway station I can recall reading about, but it makes plausible sense as presented. Alright, its the first dwarven subway station I can recall of any kind. Oh, and it's not subway cars but rail cars. This, you get the visuals ;)

The new monsters presented are dangerous as all hell. It's a damn good thing that a 3rd level DCC RPG character is much more powerful than the average OSR character of the same level. If I were to port this over to say OSRIC or S&W, I'd say this would challenge characters of 5-6 fairly well.

What I find even more exciting than the adventure, which is well done and should play out in a single evening - assuming the party survives, is the implied setting of the ancient dwarves  their descendants  their patron and their conquerors and their descendants. There are campaign seeds here just yearning to be expanded upon, which is what a good adventure should offer it's readers and players. The Way Station offers that and then some. I really do want to play in the world The Way Station takes place in.

Then I saw this:



It's all open content. Anyone can grab the ball and run with it. I'd really like to see more of what David has up his sleeves, but it's nice to know it's there for anyone to expand upon.

All that and Purple Duck gives us both a keyed and unkeyed version of the map - prefect for using in online play. I with I had unkeyed maps for Rappan Athuk.

From the blurb:

The Dwarves of Upanesh were prosperous and widespread; their transport/mining system was efficient and admirable.  Their ancient downfall was tragic, but not without its heroes. Minoc Manshield and his mystical hammer Stone Fist, tools of the great god Upan saved many of his people and took many invaders with him, in the humble battleground of a Waystation… can you pierce the subterranean depths and recover Stone Fist?  Who or what still remains in that desolate domain of death?

The Waystation is a DCC adventure designed for four to eight third level characters, that can easily be dropped into your campaign for a short ‘detour’, or be part of further adventures in the realms of the Upanesh. Stone Fist awaits! 

A Tale of Two Tactics - Robotech RPG Tactics



I didn't realize there was some history behind Palladium's first Kickstarter. I'm sure I still don't have the complete picture of the events, but what I have found thanks to +Moe Tousignant 's gentle prodding is interesting none the less.

March 15, 2012 - Paulson Games posted the above pics of a miniature line being worked on:

I've been working on a fan version for a Robotech game and some models, it's been a part time project over the last 8 months, now that it's picked up a bit of steam I decided I'd try and see if I can go through official channels to see if they could be made as a liscensed product. Palladium was very interested in the idea and was impressed with the sculpts I sent them. 
To be extra clear on this, these are stictly for a personal project and none of the models are for sale. They were created to provide examples of what can be done miniature wise and help everyone visualize what a potential product would look like. 
In order for a game line to happen there are a lot of things things that will need to line up just right. At this point it has been presented to both Harmony Gold and Palladium for review. There is a lot to discuss and it will be quite some time before we get any sort of answer.
 July 17, 2012 on his personal blog, Paulson explained that he was no longer working on Robotech minis:

I know that most of your guys probably aren't sifting through my older posts so it's not something that jumps out but I've removed almost all pictures of the 1/285th scale Robotech models.  
The main reason is that I don't want them being used to promote any potential Robotech game. The minis grabbed a lot of attention with potential players, which was fine at the time but now that I won't be involved with the project I want to avoid generating any confusion with new readers.  
I've been getting a lot of emails about the minis asking if they'll still be used, or about what plans might be in place etc. All I can say is that my versions will not be used at all. I have no clue who they might be getting to do sculpts or what quality they might be or even "if" they are going to actually be produced...  
They seemed to be looking for the lower end of industry pay standard so IMO that doesn't bode well for sculpt quality. If they decide to fund it properly maybe they'll get some top notch sculptors, but if they are looking for average or lower pay then the miniatures will reflect that. 
(which is also why I don't want people thinking my sculpts are the ones be developed by Palladium)  
They want a product made as cheaply possible with maximum profit, which is a standard business practice. However my personal feelings are that if you have a well sculpted professional product you will see far greater sales than a run of the mill sculpt that you could get from Reaper or Iron Wind for example.  
I was willing to scrape my teeth in order to get the mini made as it's something I was passionate about. It's a tremendous amount of work to sculpt a 30-40 model range especially if you are trying to juggle a team of freelancers. They may find artists willing to work in that price range but I don't think the quality will be there and the time lag will be massive. I'll be interested to see what type of product (if any) they manage... 
Parting with Palladium at this point is a very good thing, I've gotten some serious notice from other companies and it's generated several sculpting commissions for custom mecha. It's also freed up time to work on my own personal sculpts again. It's going to allow me to focus on my own designs which grants me a lot more creative freedom and personal satisfaction. 
 and then this update over at the Robotech Battles Blog on October 31, 2012:

Back in August of 2011, the initial "group that got the ball rolling" consisted of me, just me and my Robotech Battles Blog.. I found John Paulson of Paulson Games, when viewing some Robotech message boards and we discussed our separate current projects involving Robotech. His consisted of Miniatures and a game based of another game system and mine consisted of a Tabletop game created from scratch based entirely for the Robotech Universe. I had decided to call around to Harmony Gold and then Palladium check interest and to see what happened. Upon my initial discussion with Harmony Gold, I was instructed to approach Palladium. There was NOWHERE else that I could go to pitch the ideas that I had. The Robotech License is very limited. Paulson Games had called Palladium as well at around the same time which really piqued their interest. I had several discussions with Palladium and they soon approached Harmony Gold with the prospective projects consisting of Miniatures and games... There was a positive response but nothing definite... 
The original (now shut down) Robotech Miniatures Facebook page was created and run by John Paulson of Paulson Games to showcase some early prototype miniatures to get people talking. Early in the project we were going to work together to get a mutually beneficial project running and take it to Palladium for approval. We did. 
When this information made the Tabletop Gaming news there was a HUGE positive response. As I had stated above, Palladium Books, the current Robotech RPG licence holder decided to look into expanding their license as a result. As the project progressed Palladium made a business decision to not use Paulson Games (John Paulson) for the miniatures. At that time (June 2011) (typo - 2012), Paulson Games and his amazing prototype miniatures was no longer associated with the Palladium Game Miniatures and/or Game project. This was a business decision by Palladium and it was for business reasons that I cannot discuss.. Myself and Robotech Battles was and still is associated with the original Robotech Project which is now known as the Robotech® Tactical RPG project. 
When this all happened back in June, there was a lot of misguided negativity shot at Palladium for their decision. I feel that these responses were a bit premature and there was alot of big picture to look at. Well there are many positive things happening with the project and you can follow snippets from Kevin Sembieda on the Robotech® Tactical RPG project. (as it's now being called). The big picture will hopefully be revealed as things progress. 
Robotech Battles, was created to get a tabletop game started, plain and simple.. Miniatures were a second place item which Paulson Games agreed to try to fill.. The decisions that were made in June cut the miniatures side of things out of that agreement. Based upon my discussions with him, John decided that he would still pursue Miniatures for Robotech/Macross. The Second Facebook page, Macross Minis was created at that time to see if there was interest by the Foreign Macross licencees to start a miniatures line. All of this is no longer associated with Palladium, Robotech Battles or the US project that is currently being worked on. I have no knowledge of the status of the Macross Minis project or if it is still a viable project. I wish John well with it if he is still pursuing it. He has some great alternative miniatures and items available. 
Paulson Games had a very big hand in getting as many people talking about creating Robotech miniatures and a tabletop game. I couldn't be more thankful for the Help he gave to get the word out. 
Currently, there is alot of negativity concerning a Macross only era game or minis. I wouldn't like a limited scope like that either. Whether people know it or not. I have been listening and voicing the concerns of the readers such as yourselves. I can bend an ear or two, so I have stated to the powers that are making the decisions some of these concerns. There are plans to do all eras of the Robotech Universe. Whether they see the light of day is still being discussed. Have some faith that this is a worthwhile project and the fans will be impressed. But ultimately it comes down to the fans. The fans want all the mecha and all the wars represented and they want everything to happen yesterday. SOOOO... Step up give support and tell palladium and Harmony Gold what you want to see. I'm only one person and I want to see all the mecha and wars fleshed out. 
Palladium is not the bad guy everyone thinks. Upon looking behind the curtain and hearing about some of the inner working of the business. They are trying to do things the right way and are doing things to the best of their ability to bring out new Robotech material and books in a timely manner. Nobody else could do any better in my opinion. 
Currently, I hope that I can be involved with the next stage of the project. My fate with the project is still yet to be determined. Stay Tuned.
Tom Roache
Anyone know if Tom was retained? The way he went out of the way to explain that Palladium was not the bad guy leads me to believe Palladium very much was the bad guy.

It appears to me the guys that put the whole Tactical Minis Robotech game on Palladium's radar got the shaft.

Yet another reason not to support this one. At least Paulson games seems to be readying it's own mini line of Mechs for a Kickstarter - if it happens, I'll support the underdog...


Palladium Books Does a Kickstarter - Robotech® RPG Tactics™


I don't know if many of you recall, but on April 1st I posted about a fictitious Palladium Books Kickstarter. Three weeks later, I find an actual Palladium Books Kickstarter - go figure.

Robotech® RPG Tactics™- as an aside, is Kevin claiming a trademark on the word "Tactics"?

I was never a huge Robotech fan. I had a friend who got a vanity plate that said Veritech, so the shit was popular in my gaming group back in the day, I just never was into it.


The miniatures look cool, but I still don't see the appeal. Every Palladium Books RPG I have ever owned has had great setting material wrapping a broken system that even Kevin himself houserules into something that barely resembles the original. I don't have high hopes as to how the system will play, but the minis sure do look pretty.

It's doing amazingly well as a Kickstarter - the goal of $70k has been surpassed and currently stands at over $240k - and it just started on April 18th.

I guess Robotech still has a strong following.

Me, I won't be backing this one. I don't have the nostalgic love the the property and minis wargames do little for me these days.