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Friday, January 3, 2014

Mini Review - D30 Sandbox Companion



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 Companion couldn'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

And much more!

111 comments:

  1. Would love a copy of this -- I'm getting ready to start an OSRIC/1e sandbox campaign in the next couple of months.

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  2. Richard's stuff is always great.

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  3. I want me some sandbox! I've been working on a similar thing for Tekumel.

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  4. This and my maps? Instant campaign baby!

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  5. I've been meaning to check out the New Big Dragon stuff.

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  6. I've been looking at getting this, hopefully it has some stuff for city-based sanbox games as well.

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  7. I've not seen this before. Sounds fantastic.

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  8. Sounds very interesting. Definitely curious about it.

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  9. That sounds great, One concern, do I need to use my non-random dice rolling app to poorly simulate a D30 or are the charts based on more common dice?

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    Replies
    1. you can use a d3 and a d10 to simulate a d30

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  10. Ill take a shot at it, I love random tables.

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  11. 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).

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  12. Sounds amazing. I'm off to google-stalk it.

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  13. I like Hex crawls I'll have to look into this.

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  14. This is fantastic! I wish this would've been posted earlier as I would've totally thrown the Lulu version into my end of year order.

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  15. Just added it to my RPG wish list. Great endorsement!

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  16. Need more comments! Just think, if those of us who didn't win all went and bought a copy, that would be a pretty good day's work.

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  17. I am always in need of more sandbox inspiration!

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  18. Sounds like a nice supplement. I'm a sucker for random tables.

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  19. I was wondering if I should get it. Now I know.

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  20. Free is good.. We like free. Will buy if not a winner.

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  21. Don't forget that your d30 is also useful for Jeff Rient's Big Purple d30 Rule: once per session, everyone at the table (including the GM) can roll a d30 in place of any other die roll.

    If you're a poopyhead you can disallow things like "hit points when I gained a level".

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  22. Will there be a printed version at some point?

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    1. Print version is available now from Lulu,com.

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  23. Nice look forward to seeing it used in future posts

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  24. More reviews! So much cool stuff flies under my limited radar all the time. I have to check if I even have a d30.

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  25. Sounds really cool. Does it need a D30 to be useful?

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  26. I'm a sucker for randomly-generated content. I actualy hadn't heard about this till this review. It sounds like it's worth picking up.

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  27. This is perfect for stuff I'm working on now.

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  28. Well that does sound neat. Guess I'll try to win it now...

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  29. This sounds fantastic. I run a home brew using the Basic Fantasy rules. Our last game introduced three new players.

    I usually jump from location to location, but I'm hoping to start a day to day journey with lots of exploration in it. This would be a fantastic aid. Besides a reason to use my d30's.

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  30. I am really interested to see the work sheet.

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  31. Already have this. An absolutely fantastic product!

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  32. I think the worksheet is in the preview on RPGNow is it not?

    I bought it two days ago, and echo the sentiment about it being a must buy! I'm not commenting to get one, I'm commenting to "unlock" another freebie for someone else!

    Although as expressed above, if you comment and don't get a freebie, go buy it!

    Also, seriously who doesn't like a d30?

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  33. Wow! Another great contest! I'm game.

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  34. If it's as good as the d30 DM Companion, it's very good.

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  35. I can always use a new toy in the sandbox!

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  36. Very nearly bought this yesterday. It's still on my wishlist and your review may push me to buy it after I pay some bills.

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  37. I already have and think its fantastic, but I want to jack up the comments so more people have a chance to get it.

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  38. Looks like another great product.

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  39. Looks like a great addition for any harried DM

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  40. Maybe this would give me a reason to purchase a d30!

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  41. I am planning to buy this, but free would be better!

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  42. Sounds like a fantastic resource. I'd love a copy.

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  43. Got this in my wishlist. If I don't win a copy I'll definitely be buying it.

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  44. This will be included with my next lulu order.

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  45. Why not just make the tables d100 based? I hate products that use cutesy dice for no real reason

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  46. I've enjoyed New Big Dragon's previous output and am intrigued by this new product.

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  47. Looks good. I've never run a hex crawl but hopefully my S&W campaign becomes one.

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  48. the d30 is a good range for tables -- more than a d20 but not as excessive as a %. New Big Dragon has always done pretty high quality stuff so this sounds interesting.

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  49. Big Dragon's stuff is excellent. I have already ordered my hard copy via LULU, but if I win this I will give it as a prize to one of my current Barrowmaze game players. Huzzah!

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  50. If I win, I'll have to wrestle my D30 back from my cat but it will be worth it. She still has my Zocchiedron so she can't complain too much.

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  51. I'll buy it myself after that recommendation but just adding a comment in the hope that someone else gets lucky for 2014.

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  52. I'm a fan of Big Dragon's stuff. I was already planning to buy a print copy, and I think i'll get it even if I should win the pdf!!

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  53. sounds interesting and free is much better :)

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  54. I've been tempted to run a fantasy sandbox. Definitely going to check this out.

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  55. Sounds interesting - and like so many others if I win one I can use the five bucks to buy my first D30!! lol!

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  56. I had to go and buy a print copy of this as soon as I saw this article. Excited to get it in the mail and use it with my group!

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  57. I'm unique! And probably late... :P

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  58. Looks very interesting. Will throw my name into the hat.

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  59. Well, if it helps add another copy to the pot . . . .

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  60. I love stuff like this. I need to check this out.

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  61. Well, let's see if we can bump this one up to 11... Err, 100 comments...

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  62. It certainly sounds awesome, but how does it compare to all the other random table generators out there?

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  63. I love the d30 stuff. Lots of great ideas and charts.

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  64. This sounds very cool, and I'm definitely in the market for sandbox aids.

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  65. Looks good. Would definitely like to get this.

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  66. Sounds like a fantastic product!

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  67. Grabbed the DM companion and the sandbox companion.

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  68. I am certainly getting this on Lulu!

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  69. This seems to get a lot of praise. I will have to check it out.

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  70. My paper copy is on the way but let's see if we can get 100.

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  71. This is a great book! Don't worry if you don't have a d30, you can use a d6 for the 10s place (1-2 is 0, 3-4 is 1, 5-6 is 2) and 1d10 for the 1s place.

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  72. I didn't understand the bit about unique comments. Where? At the lulu site?

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    1. By "unique commenters," I meant that if someone posts 2 comments, that still counts as "1 commenter" (so the numbers go by the number of individual commenters, and not the total number of comments). But at the rate it's going, the 100+ unique commenters should be broken any time now.

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    2. And those commenters are here on this post.

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  73. I hope it's not too late. Leery as I am of any non-platonic dice other than the good old d10, I want this bad boy.

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  74. Thanks for posting this review; I will be picking this one up!

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  75. This one looks very cool! Thanks for pointing it out.

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  76. D30 sandbox - maps and hex's and things to go exploring?

    yes please

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  77. If I don't win one I'm totally buying one of these guys myself!

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  78. I am a huge fan of NBD's work in general. No surprise that Richard has turned out another must-have!

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  79. What is the style of the entries? Fantasy, sword and planet, some thing else?

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  80. and CLOSED to further comments...

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  81. This looks fantastic. Would love a free copy as my bank account is screaming in agony right now after the Christmas season.

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