As the OSR Christmas Giveaway slows down (there is more to come) I'm in the process of opening up my Swords & Wizardry campaign to more of a sandbox style campaign, which was the goal from the get go. With the main party now averaging 3rd level, they can spread their wings a bit without the constant fear of a TPK in the wilderness.
The timing of the release of the D30 Sandbox Companioncouldn't be better. The amount of inspiration squeezed into 50 some odd pages of charts and tables has left me in awe. I'm going to come right out and say that at $4.95, it is a steal.
It's made for you to print out the pages as they are needed, as some are laid out in standard portrait orientation and others are laid out in landscape.
Need hexes to map with? Got you covered?
Sample map icons? Yep
Hex Crawl Worksheet? It's there (and will be put to good use, shortly)
NPC record sheet? Aye
Tables for sandbox style location, inspiration, NPC details (and details and details), recruitment, sages, Taverns (need to add a Tenkar's Tavern to the table ;), shops, settlements, heraldry (worth 5 bucks on its own, weather, encounters, places cults and more and more and...
Holy shit! In the right hands, this and some of +Dyson Logos or +matt jackson 's maps and you can have a damn near spontaneous campaign at your finger tips!
Best $4.95 an Old School DM could spend in 2014 on gaming. To prove it, I'm going to buy 1 copy of the D30 Sandbox Companion for a random commenter on this post. Open for comments for 24 hrs after this post goes up. Must have an OBS / RPGNow account to receive the gift. Or just buy yourself a copy. It is THAT good.
EDIT - New Big Dragon says:
Hey Erik, how about in appreciation for the coverage, you don't buy the PDF out of your own pocket, and I'll kick in some PDF copies: 1 copy if you have 49 or fewer unique commenters, 2 copies if you have 50-99 unique commenters, and 3 PDFs total if you hit 100 or more unique commenters (not including me).
From the blurb:
d30-based Mechanics, Charts, and Tables to Support and Simplify the Role of the DM
The d30 Sandbox Companion is the ideal right-hand man for the DM who wants to avoid his sandbox campaign running him. Whether starting an adventure from scratch, filling in the details of a campaign world, or just struggling to keep up with players, this compilation of d30-based mechanics, charts, and tables will support and simplify the role of the DM/GM at the tabletop. Inside these 30-something pages you’ll find a host of d30-based sandbox resources.
While the majority of the charts and tables in the book are generic to wilderness and settlement settings, NPC tables include details for 1e and BX comparable games, including Oe D&D, 1e AD&D, BX D&D, Swords & Wizardry, OSRIC, and Labyrinth Lord.
Inside these 30-something pages you’ll find
a host of d30-based sandbox resources, including:
• a robust adventure generator that allows the DM flexibility to interpret its results, and to support existing campaigns
• wilderness tables for weather, off-course navigation, and foraging & hunting
• wilderness encounter tables for pilgrims, road travel, and castle/keep/stronghold patrols
• location generators for ruins, temples, magical places, castles/keeps/strongholds, and settlements of all sizes
• settlement background generators, including: government, economy, settlement issues, city guards & watches, availability of shops & suppliers, shop stock and shopkeeper information, and robust tavern information generators
• super-quick classed character generation, including: class, level, race, sex, attributes, and inventory
• an extensive set of NPC tools for both classed and non-classed characters, including: occupations, physical traits, persona & behavior, background, eccentricities, talents, and languages
• fast generation of complete sage information
• a system for quick-and-easy recruitment of henchmen & hirelings, including their reactions, and loyalty
+ a wilderness mapping key, a Hex Crawl Worksheet, a Settlement Worksheet, and an NPC Record Sheet to assist DMs in fleshing out their campaign worlds
Back in the 80's and 90's, when RPG's ruled the world, it seemed like every publisher and their mother was putting out an RPG magazine.
TSR had Dragon and Dungeon. Games Workshop had White Dwarf. SJG had The Space Gamer and the Fantasy Gamer. Avalon Hill had Heroes (or some such). Different Worlds changed hands a few times if I recall. Shadis was a breath of fresh air that spawned KotDT. Journal of the Traveler Aids Society was there for the Traveller players. I'm sure I'm missing one or two.
All of the above are gone (White Dwarf hasn't supported RPG's in decades and Dragon and Dungeon haven't been in a print format in years).
So, the gaming magazine is effectively dead, replaces in current days by gaming 'zine - self published magazines with little corporate influence behind them. Published less for profit then for love of the game, or at least, that's how I see it.
What gaming magazines did you read back in the day and what gaming 'zines do you read these days?
I have a steady Saturday Night group and a once a month Friday Night group and occasional extra game sessions during the month - heck, I'm gaming more than I have had a chance to at any point in the past 20 years.
Wait, I do have a New Year's resolution - 2014 will be the year I make it to NTRPG Con. +Harley Stroh should be happy with that ;)
So, any New Year's gaming resolutions from the patrons of this fine Tavern? ;)
My wife and I kicked off the New Year with some home brewing - pictured is 23 liters of what will soon be Cooper's Lager.
The process made me think about how home brewing beer and home brewing a RPG campaign have similarities on many levels (which will wait for a later post) but not the least of which is, no matter how much of the work is done for you up front, the end result is always at least slightly different for everyone and has their stamp on it.
Much like gaming in my past, I stepped away from home brewing due to lack of time and space - we've had renovations going on, and finding a safe place for nearly 30 25 oz bottles to carbonate and condition for weeks or months just wasn't available. Now, it is.
Hopefully it's all ready in time for the Super Bowl ;)
I really what to thank everyone that has made my gaming, and by extension, my hobby as an OSR gamer and blogger, as awesome as it has been. I'm sure I'll miss some folks as my list is huge and my memory is often weak, but here it goes:
To my Saturday Night Hangout gaming group - some of us been doing this going on nearly 2 years and it feels like I've known them all damn near 20. Judging from the amount of bullshitting that goes on before, during and after sessions, we've become friends first and and gamers second. A finer group of friends would be hard to find +Greg Christopher , +Joe D , +Keith J Davies , +Craig Brasco , +David Przybyla , +Michael Garcia and all the others that have blessed us with their gaming presence (and who could forget the "B Team"? Once a month Friday Night gaming has arrived ;)
Oh, and of course, my wife Rachel, who was instrumental in getting my ass back into the gaming hobby and will be assisting with the beer brewing tomorrow. I love ya lass :)
I'd buy everyone a beer if I could (based on location, that offer is limited to the NYC Metropolitan Area, immediate suburbs and the Pocono Mountains of N/E PA, depending on scheduling and the like and all other sorts of restrictions may apply ;)
In the meantime, we're still waiting on folks to claim all the wonderful gifts that were gifted on days 12 and 13 of the OSR Christmas. Check to see if you've won. There will be more gifts a gifting shortly, but I'm waiting on something to make it even more special ;)
"It wasn't a pre-order. You were funding a process..."
I've heard this, or a variation if it, numerous times in regards to Kickstarters. I've NEVER seen it on a page requesting funding support when a Kickstarter goes live. No, those pages look like... what's it called? Oh yeah, a pre-order page! Hey, that shit looks cool and it says it will ship in six months!
You see, Kickstarter is a "pre-order system" when project creators want YOUR money, but you were "funding a process" when folks start asking, usually after months or years after a project's due date, for THEIR stuff that they paid THEIR money for.
I've never seen an on-time Kickstarter project announce "We are shipping products from the process you funded that wasn't a pre-order."
It only comes up when there are problems with a Kickstarter, and it reminds me of someone playing a "Get Out of Jail" card in Monopoly. "Phew! Good thing Kickstarter is a process and not a pre-order, or I might be held accountable!"
If you feel a need to play the "Kickstarter is a process and not a pre-order" card, don't bother running another Kickstarter project.
If folks think I'm a pain in the ass now, just wait until the Mythus & Marigolds Monstrous Menagerie get's announced for "2e as it Was Meant to Be!" on Kickstarter in 2014...
The above are the latest comments from the Myth & Magic Player's Guide Kickstarter. I've edited out names of the backers, as Tom has been known to have a vindictive streak against those that call him out on his "mistruths" (Tom is a lawyer, so we have to be careful. Besides, Tom was nice enough to post my full name and shipping info in the comments section when I called him out earlier. Then he shipped my book - but apparently it was just to shut me up).
I'm really beginning to think that the Dark Side of Kickstarter is inhabited by Toms, Gareths and Mikes. The fact that Mike comes out as the lesser of three evils yet again is telling - I'd prefer a fool over a vindictive "mistruther" and a full of shit publisher.
All three seem to have figured out that if all you have are lies and half truths to give to your backers, you're better off hiding. Mikey figured that one out a bit quicker than the other two, and is the only one to come clean with his foolishness and failures. I'd actually have a drink with Mikey, so long as he paid for his own tab up front. I'm not THAT stupid ;)
Haven't been following the Far West Kickstarter Saga? You've missed a lot.
It was due in the hands of backers in December of 2011, so in a few days it will be over 2 years late.
But hey, we still get promises like these:
From November 11th - "Popping in to let you know that we're chugging along -- I'm looking at digital delivery occurring late next week (which is a bit more on the "ish" side of "mid-month-ish" -- several reasons for that, including the upcoming holiday, for example)...We'll go to press two weeks after we deliver the digital version to you fine folks. "
Or the last update from November 21st - "Completing the layout is taking me longer than I'd hoped for, due to some sort of virulent plague hitting the Skarka household. We will be ready to deliver the files to the printer (and the digital copies to you) in the next few days (emphasis totally mine) though -- hopefully this weekend, definitely before the US Thanksgiving holiday next week."
So, five weeks later is just like two years later - we still aint got shit. If I had a nickel from every empty promise during the production of this Kickstarter, I'd have made my money back. As it is, much like the Myth & Magic Player's Guide, at best this will go right to the gaming shelf. I doubt it will get read, let alone get played.
It's rare that I write about any of the various web-series available on Youtube and the like that butt up against our hobby of roleplaying, but Fallout: Nuka Break is an exception. Very well done and certainly evokes the feel of the Fallout computer game series.
I just started season 2 after discovering season 1 last night. Good stuff!
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