Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Fool and His Money...

...are soon parted.  Amazing the ways airlines can squeeze the extra buck or hundred out of you.

Case in point:  My son is currently vacationing with relatives.  All good so far.  Trip down by plane... no problem.  Coming back,  he found out a cousin (or cousin’s cousin) was also coming back to New York, same flight a day earlier.  The kid is younger, and my son decided he’s move up his return trip by a day.  So far, so good.  A hundred bucks to change the flight, all done online.

Of course, the cousin’s cousin’s grandmother gave him the wrong flight number and departure time.  We found this out literally 10 minutes after changing the flight.  Now we can’t change online again.  Have to call Customer Service (I’m sure there is a stat block for that  hideous creature online somewhere).  New flight is more expensive then new old flight (or is that old new flight?) by 80 bucks.  Oh, and another hundred buck flight change fee.  Sigh.

I’m sure I can find a way to use a similar method to screw my party out of funds in the next campaign I run.  Not sure how yet, but anything this simple and evil has to have a game application somewhere...

Mini Review - Old School Magic

A day late and a dollar short it seems.  This was released on RPGNow a week ago.



Old-School Magic (for OSRIC, although with most of the Old School stuff, a little tweaking should help it work with LL, S&W and the like) offers alternative magic using classes, new spells, changes in the way magic works - the tools you can use to make your campaign unique.

Even if you don’t allow your players to access there rules, the new classes, specialists and spells for use by the DM are worth the price of admission - the changes can keep your players are their toes and can keep from just assuming they know the capabilities of the spell casters they encounter.

I may yoke some of this for a few NPC encounters in my upcoming C&C campaign.

The blurb itself:


     Old School Magic is the definitive resource for adding a personal touch to the magic of your old-school fantasy games!

Old School Magic features alternate rules of magic and advice for adapting your game into a low, medium or high magic setting.


It also includes 9 new classes, many of which are specifically tailored for low-magic settings, including the Alchemist, Artificer, Holy Man and Naturalist.


Other new classes include new specialist magic-users suitable for traditional old-school games, each with their own spell list, including the Conjurer, Elementalist and Seer.


Finally Old School Magic contains over 30 new spells, created for its specialist classes but available to traditional Clerics, Druids and Magic-Users as well.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Distracted by a Harp

Yes, 4 pints of Harp and a much too generous serving of Fish and Chips has taken away my Tunnels & Trolling ability.. and certainly impaired my typing ability.

Will kill thing and take their stuff is Troll Land sometime tomorrow.  Sleepy time now.  ZZZZZZZZzzzzzz

Another Week Comes to an End

Damn Blogger software is a bit flakey after the update. Let's try again, shall we?

It looks like we have survived yet another week of OSR drama. Thank god. I'm beginning to feel like I'm in High School again.

Thankfully the work week has come to an end. I shall be playing a Tunnels and Trolls solo adventure until I can reach the end alive. I might be up all nite tonight attempting that. Seems like good stress relief to me? Wish me luck ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Swords & Wizardry - The Frog God Explains

Froggie - AKA The Frog God - AKA Bill Webb (formerly of Necromancer Games) explains why the words that got a vocal part of the OSR’s underwear tied up in a knot WEREN”T aimed at the OSR, Old School Publishers or even (oh my) Hobbyists that publish OSR materials right here (you may need to scroll down a bit).

Or, for the lazy, I’ll grab some of the quotes in question:

Create more--more product is more good is more OSR gamers is more likely to keep the game alive after we die off over the next 25 years...The indie publishers made it possible to raise the dead on OSR. People have returned. Make more books and let me know when you do and I'll tell people about them. This merger was designed to bring people back to the table, not to stop folks from making products.

I want to encourage folks to produce books. My comments sounded bad--but were not aimed at amatuers producing books--they were aimed at professionals producing amatuer work. Oh, and its not a OSR publisher. (shuts up now before I insult anyone specifically--almost certain they don't frequent the boards, but you never know)
Interesting that the original quote got all the attention, but the actual words explaining the context - not much from what I see.  We might as well be in a political election.

I understand why people got upset with the knock on amateur work that got the pissing match started, but I really think there are some folks that WANT a controversy just so they can show how witty they are.  And then they’ll huff and puff and take their ball home so other’s can’t play with it.  Because they were insulted by something that was never aimed at them.  Paranoia can be fun, but generally speaking only with troubleshooters and the Computer’s permission.

It’s like pissing in the wind.  In the end, all that pissing in the wind does is get your shoes wet with piss.  (never claimed to be witty myself, I just like the imagery of certain bloggers pissing on themselves)

snippet of the original offensive piece:

We are not the guys who are going to offer bargain basement junk for a quick buck. We won't sell you hand drawn maps and clip art laid out by amateurs and posted up on Lulu.com as a cheap book that you look at and discard.

Gloranthan Classics Volumes I - IV Available at RPGNow

As I stated earlier, some of the best RPG products I EVER bought for ANY game were Pavis and Big Rubble.  I ran them using both the Runequest 2e rules from Chaosium and the Runequest 3e rules from Avalon Hill (converting on the fly).  Best sandbox settings I ever ran (not that we called them sandboxes back in the day).

I’ve gotten a chance to look at Gloranthean Classics Volume I - Pavis and Big Rubble, and I have to say the quality of the PDF is excellent.  This isnt an OCR of a copy someone had hanging around from 30 years a ago, but a lovingly produced PDF.  At 20 bucks, it better be.

Issaries has all four volumes  of the series in PDF on RPGNow.  I'm going to have to steal time from my Tunnels & Trolls obsession, because I never was able to get my hands of Griffin Mountain, and all the great things I've heard about it over the years means I NEED this now;)

Anyhow, the releases are as follows (20 bucks each, or all four for 60):

I'll post more as I spend time with these lovelies :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Swords & Wizardry - Its All the Talk These Days

All publicity is good publicity.  While Matt Finch is getting some angry feedback from Frog God’s “anti-DIY” marketing statement, it’s certainly getting everyone’s attention today.

Lets see who’s talking:

RetroRoleplaying: The Blog

RPG Blog 2

Bite The Bulette


Frog God - The place that started the bruha

Swords & Wizardry Forum - This thread HERE and Mythmere’s thread HERE are where to find the most accurate current info on the dustup - or at least they should be - time will tell

(i’m sure I missed some places - I’ll add when I find them, or folks can add to the comments)

My opinion on the whole thing?  Just like when we had the earlier OSR “Implossion” with ruffled feathers and folks taking their toys and going home, this too will blow over.

There is really no downside to this merger of Mythmere Games and Frog God, unless one fears the commercialization of the OSR.  Then again, for the OSR to be successful and thrive, doesn’t it have to make a profit and act - professional?  At least on some levels?

I’d love to walk into B & N, or Borders Books, and see Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord and LotFP Weird Fantasy on the shelves.  The only way to grow ANY hobby is to let people know about it, get  it seen, get it talked about.

Ah well, enough about The Sky is Falling! and Look! Wolf!

I’m going to read some Tunnels & Trolls, maybe play a solo adventure, then curl up in bed tonight reading some classic Runequest Gloranthean stuff on my iPad.

Well, that and post my opinion on forums and blog comments, cause it’s not even 6 pm and and its too damn early to think about bed ;)

Classic Glorantha in PDF

I was notified last night that some of the classic Runequest Glorantha products were hitting the virtual shelves at RPGNow. Pavis and Big Rubble are one set and I grabbed this right away. I have the old Chaosium boxed sets for these packed away, and they are a big reason that Runequest was my other fantasy RPG when I was in college (AD&D was number 1). These were some of the best sandbox styled products of all time. And now I have them in PDF... From quick look these are either amazing scans or re typeset from the originals.

I never had Griffin Mountain, just Avalon Hill's Griffin Island for RQ3. They have GM and a few others in PDF now too. Sorry, it's like gaming gold to me. I'm very excited. More when I get a closer look.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mini Review - Resolute: Knights of the Falling Stars

Resolute:  Knights of the Falling Stars is a short supplement for the Resolute 2e Superheroes game.

Really, what can you say about a gaming supplement that is 9 pages long and cost a buck?



Knights of the Falling Stars is an update for Resolute: the Superhero RPG 2E, expanding the rules into the realms of interstellar adventure and space opera. Within, you will find rules for starship design and combat, new abilities called the Source and the Void, a campaign backdrop set in the Five Systems, and a roster of heroes and villains of the Five Systems. You also get an introductory scenario to get you started right away.

Swords & Wizardry Gets a New Publisher

James over at Grognardia caught the scoop early, but to sum it up - Frog God Games (Necromancer Games successor) and Mythmere Publishing (Swords & Wizardry) are joining forces to get S&W into more mainstream markets, and have a crapload of books (including a Complete Edition - see below) and other stuff in the hopper for 2010 & 2011.
Cool beans!  The Old School is hopping this summer!
You can read more from the original thread here, but my personal favorite highlight is:

by Mythmere » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:44 pm
The Red Priest wrote:Cool beans.

What *exactly* is the "Complete" edition though? Is it a lot of extra material? A marketing differentiation? A really, really cool boxed set of WB & Core rules, dice, pencils, character sheets and promotional flyers? Oh, don't forget the DM Assistant CD!! :)

It includes the ranger from SR, the paladin, thief, druid, assassin - character classes from the supplements. Still no illusionist, though, which was disappointing, but the SR illusionist just couldn't legally be duplicated. The game still runs on the 0e rules, not 1e. It includes two optional alternative order of combat systems in addition to the standard one from the WhiteBox era: the one from the Holmes Blue Book and one that's based on the EW system. Those are the main differences, although there are little things like adding strength modifiers to the amount of weight that can be carried, ala Supplement 1, etc. Virtually all of the additions are in the player section, not the referee section. It's compatible with the Core Rules, and the Core Rules will stay in place as the archetypal "three class" system.

There is a huge number of modules being written for this. Huge. :shock:

Tuesday Tavern Tidbits

RetCon was a success, despite my Saturday ranting, which is a good thing, as the NYC area needs gaming cons badly. I see that a lot of Long Islanders read my saturday's rant last nite... I wish you had found a more rewarding reason to visit the Tavern, but I do hope some of you decide to come back and visit.

I have at least 2 adventures for use with Fantasy Grounds 2 that I need to review. One is for Basic Roleplaying and I'm excited to see how it came out -I think it is called Trollslayer, but of course until OS4 hits the iPad switching between apps is nigh impossible, so I can't confirm that.

There are 53 regular patrons of the Tavern (google friends connect on the left side of the page). At 60 I give out a prize or two to a randomly chosen regular patron curtesy of RPGNow. Can't make giving away free stuff easier then that ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fantasy Grounds 2 Now Has a IRC Channel

Thanks to drahkar over on the Fantasy Grounds Community Forums, Fantasy Grounds now has a IRC Channel.  It just went live today.

Might be a good way to organize pick-up games and possibly reach out for advice and help on using the Fantasy Grounds software.  Or just shoot the shit with other Fantasy Grounds users.

You can check it out here: http://fg2.rpg-vault.net/

Monday Morning Musings

My new found obsession with Tunnels and Trolls is damn fun. I need to dig my old copy of the rulebook out of storage just to see how much the game has changed over 35 years. I suspect it isn't by much. At quick glance it appears the old solo adventures should work fine with the 7.5 edition of the rules.

How far has Mongoose Runequest gone from the old Chaosium RQ? (i'm disregarding the Avalon Hill edition, even tho it was my intro) Curious, as except for one or two PDFs I haven't taken a close look at Mongoose Runequest, and I did enjoy it back in the day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tunnels and Trolls - I Think it Bit Me

Alright, so i highlighted Trollzine 3 a few days back.  Started reading it.  Looked over the solo adventures in the magazine, thought fondly of the days of my Coleco Adam POS... alright, not so fondly of the Coleco Adam.  But back in those days, if I wanted to do some killing of beasties and taking their stuff, and I didn’t have my gaming group with me, I always had Tunnels and Trolls.


Dave (winner via last man standing of the Swords & Wizardry Whitebox Collector’s Edition a few weeks back) had a huge collection on Tunnels & Trolls solo adventures when I was in High School, and was always nice enough to loan them out to me.  God, those books were killers.  Literally, they killed far more of my characters then actually survived.  Some days it was like having a save point in a computer game, i’d pick up from a major junction prior to my characters death, just so I wouldn’t have to start again from the beginning.

I even kept with them in my early Commodore 64 days, but eventually, computers tore me away from solo gaming via T&T.  Until this weekend.  I downloaded the free, shortened rules for T&T, but couldn’t find the 7.5 edition in PDF.  I’ve gotten hooked on instant gratification with my gaming desires with the purchase of my iPad, and this was frustrating the crap outa me.  Until I noticed Fiery Dragon published the Tunnels & Trolls 7.5 edition rules. Snatched that sucker right up, uploaded to my Dropbox account and moved from there to my iPad.   I’m gonna be on a Tunnels & Trolls kick for the next few days I think.

Tunnels & Trolls solos are about as dangerous as anything James Raggi publishes.  I expect a high body count before I’m done ;)


Mini Review - Resolute: Towers of Arvandoria RPG

This is, surprisingly enough, a mini review of a mini RPG.  Literally.  Maybe not as small as Microlite 74 or such, but the Resolute Superhero RPG from Teddy Bear Press that this draws its mechanics from clocks in at a minuscule 17 pages - including the obligatory introductory adventure.  Me, I'm not hugely into superhero RPGs, and trying to get my group to play one is like the Hatfields and the Macoys - opposite sides of a fence that will never agree with each other.  17 pages is probably all I can invest in a supers game these days.
Fantasy RPGs are something they are much more flexible with.  Which is great, because sometimes you want to step away from the D&D legacy, without stepping away from the fantasy it is grounded in.  At the same time, I don't generally cherish learning a whole new game system - there is a comfort of familiarity with the OSR and the assorted clones.   So I want simple, but complete.  Oh, and chea- inexpensive.  I'm not looking to spend much on a game that is there for a change of pace.

In steps Resolute: Towers of Arvandoia - A whopping 16 pages of fantasy RPG goodness.
For players, RToA offers flexible character creation, with a point-based system that allows for total customization. You have 7 races and nearly 50 different abilities or spells to choose from, many of which you can tailor specifically to your character concept.
For the game master, RToA offers:
- A textured and balanced combat system that makes resolution simple to run but that provides a wide range of options to players.
- Clear, quick and easy-to-adjudicate rules that cover nearly any situation.
- A single mechanic that applies everywhere; creating foes takes only minutes, and you can build entire adventures quickly, with virtually no prep work.
- 12 sample monsters that give you models to work from.
- A dynamic and textured game setting that inspires further adventure.
- Rules to quickly generate hundreds of magical treasures.
- An introductory adventure to get you started right away.
As I said, pretty loaded for your 2 bucks.  For 95 cents more you can add the Hero’s Handbook (more spells, classes, races) and the Book of Monsters 1.

Could you run this as your main campaign and system? Sure.  But for me it’s going to be the change of pace for when we need a break.  At 2 buck for a buy in my players can’t complain too much ;)

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