Saturday, November 26, 2011

Springtime in November

It hit the low 60's here in the Poconos earlier today (yes, I'm away for the long weekend).  I went flea market shopping in a short sleeve shirt - on November 26th - in the north east - less then a month before Christmas.  If you want to put more discretionary dollars in my pocket, keep my heating bills low ;)

I picked up a set of 8 sided dice at the flea market - alright, they are actually naturally forming fluorite, but they make pretty neat dice.  I might number these and use them.  Hmmm... design a game that uses only 8 sided pieces of fluorite to determine probability.  Now THAT would be an obscure system... heh

Buy in is cheap tho', as they only cost me a buck a piece.

On the Fifth Day of Free Holiday Swag, My Bartender Gave to Meeeeee! Every Issue of Signs & Portents

How many issues?  Too many issues!

How do you want them?  I want them for free!

Signs & Portents is Mongoose's free house-zine for it's RPG lines.  Back in the day, it used to be split between RPGs and a Wargame edition, but it's all under one cover now.

I used to enjoy it for it's Babylon 5 coverage, but there really is a plethora of goodness for you to use in any of you OSR inspired games.

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Black Friday Weekend at RPGNow!

And do they have a crapload of sales going on.  Time to do some virtual window shopping.

Here's just a few:

Adamant Entertainment:  If you get just one RPG PDF this weekend, it should be ICONs.  If you already have it, get some of supplements for it.  In either case, it's a $1.99 a book.  Oh, and all purchases enter you in a contest to win an Amazon Kindle Fire.  Saweet!

Mongoose has put it's Runequest and Runequest II lines on sale as it wraps up it's license for the name, but not the system.  If you wanted to get your hands on some RQ Glorantha, Lankmaror Elric stuff, here's your change for some bargains.

Goodman Games is running a Half Off sale.  Perfect time to fill in the holes in your DCC collection as we wait for the DCC game and a whole new line of DCC adventures.

There's a lot more on sale, but these are the ones that struck my eye in particular.

Edit:  Knowledge Illuminates, a starting adventure for the usual OSR clones, written by fellow blogger  Time Shorts, is on sale for a buck!  You only have yourself to blame if you pass this one up. (thanks Ivy for pointing this out)

On the Fourth Day of Free Holiday Sawg, My Bartender Gave to Me... a Free Setting for 3e D&D (Codex Arcanis)

Codex Arcanis is the core book of the Arcanis setting for 3e.  It's also fairly easy to convert to any of the clones.  For me, I'll be using it as a source book to farm ideas from, and it's over 250 pages of free ideas ;)

From the blurb:

The Shattered Empires Await!
Turmoil grips the lands of Onara. It is the end of an era and the dawn of a new age. It is an age of struggle against the end of existence; and age, which shall witness the rise of history’s greatest champions. Will the world of Arcanis pass into Oblivion or will her heroes raise her up to new heights?
The Codex Arcanis is the essential tome for the critically acclaimed Arcanis: the World of the Shattered Empires campaign setting. Within one will find:
The history and geography of Onara’s greatest nations.
Races, feats and prestige classes – all approved for use with Living Arcanis.
A complete pantheon, unlike any fantasy religion in that it is left to mortals to interpret the commandments of faith.
Thousands of people world-wide play in the World of the Shattered Empires and now’s your chance to join them.
Mortals stumble in the darkness; Heroes light the way.
Be that Hero and Leave Your Mark Upon the Shattered Empires.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks on This Fine Day!

Thanksgiving is a day to reflect on things you are thankful for.  I don't have to dig all that far back this year, this month alone has been one I've been extremely thankful:

Got married on the 5th :)

Got a new, more responsible position at work on the 10th

Professional renovations (shit I can't or won't do) started on the 14th

Officially cancer free on the 16th (just took 5 1/2 years after being diagnosed ;)

It's been a damn good month!

Bonus! On the Third Day of Free Holiday Swag, My Bartender Gave to meeeee... Even More D6 Goodies

When you lose the license to Star Wars, but your system was built with star Wars in mind, you need a new Space Opera setting.  Septimus is that Space Opera setting (including the D6 rules).

Clocking in at 364 pages, it is a beast of a book.  It is a beauty.  It is free.

From the blurb:

As one galactic empire dies, billion of people from thousands of worlds flood to their last great hope -- Septimus.

Bill Coffin's Septimus sets the players inside a Dyson Sphere made from an unknown and unknowable alien technology. Faction pitted against faction to control the sphere and the amazing technology therein -- a technology so great that no weakness cannot be eliminated and even death is not final. But, even as the obsessed techno-cult, the Sindivar Extant seeks to build a Utopia around Septimus' many nanofoundries, a dark secret spreads. The same technology that is a boon to so many billions of people contains a flaw, a flaw that may have spelled doom to the great originators, a flaw that threatens to crush Septimus and its inhabitants, even before the greatest of secrets yet remains undiscovered.

Whether you fight alongside the Extant and the Cadre, or whether you join one of the many factions seeking to wrestle power and wealth from the Cult, you are sure to find a game that is right for you. This 360+ page RPG comes packed with everything you need for many hundreds of hours of gaming. This books needs no additional material to play. It comes with the OpenD6 core rules, huge amounts of setting information, complete with area maps, plus the most exhaustive character generation and character option information ever in a single D6 System book.

Inspired by, and meant to capture all the fun of the Classic Star Wars roleplaying game by West End Games, this free-wheeling Space Opera also takes you science fiction fun to the next level. More mature and multi-tiered that Star Wars D6, Septimus includes elements of Cyberpunk, Transhumanism, Light Mecha, all the way to fantasy elements. Septimus' vast territory only about 1 or 2% of which has been mapped, means an almost unlimited field to play in.

This is the biggest campaign setting published by West End Games in years, with more support content to follow, which means you'll continue to have the support you want and need, for a long time to come.

On the Third Day of free Holiday Swag, my Bartender Gave to Meeee...Some D6 RPG Gaming!

Yep, I've mentioned this stuff in the past, but as it is Thanksgiving here in the states, I'm giving thanks that the entire line was released for free.  This is the same core D6 system that powered West End Games' Star Wars, Xena, Men in Black and others.  It's only gotten better and the system has gotten tighter.  You literally can't go wrong with it.

Let's see some what they offer for free:

The new D6 System roleplaying game series offers fans of one of the most popular cinematic systems a new way to get their favorite game. Combining the best of over 15 years of D6 System design ? including systems appearing in Men in Black, DC Universe, Hercules & Xena, and the awarding-winning Star Wars roleplaying game ? each D6 System rulebook provides an attribute and skill set tailored specifically to the genre while using a game engine that's cross-genre compatible. The covers, when placed together with D6 Adventure in the middle, form a stunning panoramic image.

D6 Fantasy Rulebook- Suitable for any non-modern fantasy setting, including high fantasy, low fantasy, and swashbuckling.

Combining the best of over 15 years of D6 System design, D6 Adventure Rulebook provides you with the basics for playing in a wide range of modern settings, from the Wild West to the Near Future, such as pulp action, espionage, and low-powered super heroes. You'll get everything you need to add the popular D6 System to your favorite setting.

D6 Space Rulebook- Suitable for any far future setting, including cybernetics and space travel.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On The Second Day of Free Holiday Swag, My Bartender Gave to Meeeeee... The Medieval Mysteries Role Playing Game

Apparently there is a whole genre of fiction that has passed me bye.  I need to rectify that.

The Medieval Mysteries RPG, subtitled Sleuthing in the Middle Ages, is an RPG that covers the notch of, sure enough, medieval mysteries.  It uses the same stripped down OGL engine as yesterday's Go For Yer Gun! that I posted yesterday with one major change - Hit Dice progression stops at 4th level.

If you have a background of reading medieval mysteries, you have enough here to run a game.  If you don'y (I don't) you'll probably need to read from the suggested reading list for inspiration.  I plan to track down a book or two from the Brother Cadfael series after (virtually) thumbing through this.

From the blurb:

The Brother Cadfael novels of Ellis Peters, created a massive following of readers and spawned a whole new genre that was to become the biggest growing genre in new fiction. The Medieval Murder Mysteries RPG is designed to emulate the medieval detectives like Crowner John, Hugh Corbett and Owen Archer, found in the works of Bernard Knight, Paul Doherty and Candace Robb. It uses the same simplified version of the WoTC OGL system found in the popular Go Fer Yer Gun! rpg. It features nine character classes, including the Apothecary, Crowner and Scholar, a new simplified skill system, a grittier combat system where hit die stop at 4th level as well as rules for wound infection, details about crime and punishment and a sample adventure. The Medieval Murder Mysteries rpg contains all you need to go sleuthing in England in the Middle Ages. Includes a huge reading list of medieval mystery writers and their novels.

Thinking Critical - Some Thoughts on Rolemaster

I was thinking earlier about the rulesets I have installed for Fantasy Grounds 2 (VTT) and Rolemaster kinda stuck out in my mind.

I always had big ideas about running a Rolemaster campaign back in the 90s, but I never got around to it. I did run some MERP, and we had a short but intense Spacemaster campaign that I ran when we were short players, but we never stuck with it.

It always seemed like it was too complicated. We loved reading the charts, but we hated referring to the charts. Heck, I think I winged at least half the modifiers.

Fantasy Grounds 2 automates the modifiers and the charts. It ALMOST makes it a viable choice for me to run a game of Rolemaster. It still may be too complicated for me. Swords & Wizardry Complete, ACKS and the other clones are more my taste these days.

It would be nice to have some of those criticals pop up on the screen. I might just have to play around with it tonight and see how it plays out.

Yes, I'm getting much closer to getting my game on. Or games. Fun Fun!

Bits N' Pieces of Holiday Gaming

Actually, it should be better then fruitcake, but it is traditional.

I got an email from the Trolls that Troll Lord Games will be having it annual 12 Days of Christmas Sale again this year. If the prices are anything like last years, I'll be buying more C&C stuff that I don't need at prices I can't pass up.

There is a new version of a C&S initialed game being released next month (at least in PDF) - a more approachable version of Chivalry & Sorcery. At least it's billed as more approachable. I'm interested in finding out for myself, as the classic version I picked up on ebay earlier this year is damn near incomprehensible ;)

Short work week this week. Maybe I can get some Battlefield 3 gametime in tonight.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bonus! On the First Day of Holiday Swag, My Bartender Gave to Me - Echoes of Olympus: A Novella

OneBookShelf now has a fiction site, named, aptly enough: DriveThruFiction.

And yes, they offer some free stuff - or at least one free book so far.

Echoes of Olympus: A Novella - I haven't read it yet, but it's free, so it will be going on my Kindle.

Enjoy the bonus Free Swag!

From the blurb:

Ebook Description

Heliodas, the Athenian born son of Zeus, rides to war in the armies of Alexander The Great of Macedonia in a bid to topple the Persian Empire, which has 
threatened Greece for hundreds of years.

Thermiandra, the adopted princess of Cyme, struggles with a hidden secret too terrible to imagine. After receiving a vision from the Athena, she leaves her family and life of luxury behind to follow the goddesses call.

Demosthenes, the great orator and general of Athens, face must face treachery from his rival Lysiemon.

Echoes of Olympus: A Novella is the first seventy pages of a novel of the same name. It is historical fantasy set in an ancient Greece in which the Peloponnesian War did not take place.

About the Author
Darrin Drader currently works as a staff writer for 38 Studios, the video game company founded by famed Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. Before entering into the electronic gaming field, he worked as a tabletop roleplaying game designer, and has written books for Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, D20 Modern, Oathbound, Reign of Discordia, and others. He lives with his wife, four kids, two cats, and one temperamental chihuahua.

This book come in PDF, .mobi, and EPUB formats, which will enable it to be viewed on most readers, tablets, and computers.

On The First Day of Free Holiday Swag, My Bartender Gave to Me: Go ForYer Gun!

Alright, I'm starting a new tradition today.  Free RPG stuff that can be found on the internet for your Holiday enjoyment.  I do the searching, you get the free staff to enjoy, read, play or whatever else your heart desires.

Today's stocking stuffer is Go For Yer Gun!  It's an OGL based game with an Old School Feel.  Did I mention the 80 page PDF is fully bookmarked.  How come every publisher can't do the same?  Especially when they want me to dig deep into my pockets to buy their stuff?  I'm not going to mention names, but they know who they are.

It's got the six stats you know and love, hit points, classes, experience charts - it a D&D Western.  No where near as simple to use as Weird West, it would still be a bargain at twice the price.  Of course, twice the price is still free ;)

From the blurb:

Role-playing adventures in the Wild West. This role-game takes the OGL, shakes it up and lets only the necessary stuff back in again. What this means is that you are left with a straightforward, no nonsense role-playing game without feats and skills. It does feature a simple class-based system (Drifter, Gunslinger, Preacher and Wrangler to name just a few of the 10 character classes), so it has that 'old school' feel with a more modern slant. It is so easy to use, it can just as easily be used as a simple gunfight/skirmish game with as much or as little of the role-playing element as you like. If you like feats and/or skills, these can be taken from the SRD or any other OGL or d20 game you happen to like and slotted straight in seamlessly. Included in the game are several pages devoted to 73 real-life Wild West characters, 3 adventure ideas, a character sheet and rules for multi-classes. The word count is 33,000 words (including the WOTC OGL) and it is fully bookmarked.

Budget Gaming - An OSR Specialty

When you think about it, gaming on a budget is something that the OSR is made for.

Most of the rulesets are available for free (usually artless versions) in PDF, and really, everything else is optional.

This is, however, the week of Thanksgiving, which also means the week of Black Friday. I'm expecting lots of bargains over the next month or so.

Troll Lord Games always runs a nice promotion, as do many of the PDF vendors at the OneBookShelf sites. But I wan't more.

So, my goal is to get a small post up each night until the end of the year, showcasing a free RPG ruleset, products, art pack - whatever strikes my fancy and hopefully yours.

Time to see what my eye spies...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Royalty Free Art - Arcane Freebie - (from V Shane)

Well, one good thing about last weeks FUBAR with the OneBookShelf Freebie Section is that I'm now going back and having a better look at it.

Arcane Freebie (crappy name - great art) is one of those things that I should have discovered before.  Three excellent royalty free pieces of art for you to use, but this one is by far my favorite.  It's dying to be turned into an adventure or story of it's very own.

Might as well grab the rest, eh?

My Posting Has Slowed Down Due to Work...

But I'll find a way to fix that ;)

In any case, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up fast.

I'll be keeping my eyes open for deals on Tablets, RPGs (both print and PDF offers) and anything else I feel my fellow gamers might have an interest in and will post them as I find them.  I'm off for 4 days (Gobble Gobble!) and i'll have my iPad with me on Turkey Day here in the States.

Oh, and for those with Android devices (phones and tablets), Amazon's free app for the day is Documents to Go.  Normally 15 bucks, still free for the next 6 hrs or so.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different - RPGNow Fixed It's Free Page

Yep, OneBookshelf / RPGNow / DriveThruRPG have fixed the glitch that made it all but impossible to find new free releases on it's sites.

All is well in the world now.  That is, if your world consists of Free RPG Products.

Nothing more to see here.  Move along and get your free stuff.  Like, from the column on the left side of this blog ;)

Kindle Fire and My Gaming PDFs - A Working Combination

It took a while for me to figure out the best (and simplest) manner to integrate my gaming PDF collection with my new Amazon Kindle Fire.  With the iPad, it was easy enough to use the relatively inexpensive GoodReader to access my DropBox account and read my PDFs.  As far as I can tell, there is no GoodReader app for the Android OS.

Luckily for me, Amazon was offering QuickOffice Pro for free last Monday.  Normally 15 bucks, this app connects directly to my DropBox account and allows me to read by PDFs.  The fact that it also allows me to work with MS Word and Excel documents is a plus.

I've also used Box.Net to bring my PDFs over and read them using Adobe Reader.  This is kinda the no frills, free method (assuming you have a Box.Net account).

I'm sure there are folks with more experience then I have with Android, just keep in mind, not all Android Apps work on the Fire.

As for how they look?  The Fire screen is pretty damn sharp.  I have no complaints.  The iPad's 10" screen makes for a better reading experience in general, but the Fire's screen and size makes for a better "in bed" reading experience.

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lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

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