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Monday, September 30, 2013

Another "Bundle of Holding" - Feng Shui (Hong Kong Action Movie RPG)


I think I've turned into a Bundle of Holding addict. Seriously. I know I don't have time for all of these cool games, but at some point I will, and when I do, I'll have some amazing shit to read (and possibly play).

At the moment, 11 bucks gets you: Feng Shui rulebook, Golden Comeback, Blowing Up Hong Kong, Friends of the Dragon, and In Your Face Again.

11 Bucks exceeds the average. You could give a buck and still get the first two I listed.

I'm beginning to understand the crackheads I used to arrest in the South Bronx back in the late 90's ;)

This bundle has a short run - less than 3 days left. So if your going to do it, just do it. 'Cause to do it, you must do it. Or something. Fucking Apocalypse World "too cool to write intelligently" is bouncing around my head. Make it stop!

Heh! I should ask Nystul how he copes. Wait, that's right, he doesn't write anymore - he teaches!

Learn RPG Writing and Publishing From Our Very Own Snake Oil Salesman - Mike Nystul!

I will let Mike speak for himself and leave the comments to my readers ;)
As a professional game designer and avid hobbyist with over 25 years of experience I feel that I have a lot to share with others in the gaming community. I have also worked as a teacher and instructor so have the background to develop a curriculum of classes that have something to offer gamers of all levels of experience. 
Here is my initial offering:  
Game Design 101 
Eventually many gamers get the itch to try their hand at creating their very own game. In this class I will cover how to choose your theme, how to choose the mechanics that will best serve that theme, design basics and an introduction on advanced topics such as layout, art direction and publication. All participants will receive a copy of a concise but complete original rpg that illustrates the topics we will discuss.   
Class Length: 3hrs 
Class Fee: $20
Just think of all the wisdom...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Free OSR Adventure - The Vile Worm (S&W Version)


Arcana Creations has released the S&W adventure, The Vile Worm, for free. It's a conversion of the DCC adventure of the same name published by Brave Halfling, which itself was a conversion of The Vile Worm of the Eldritch Oak, which was included in the Swords & Wizardry White Box boxed set by none other then Brave Halfling.

So yes, The Vile Worm conversion for Swords and Wizardry is a conversion of a DCC RPG conversion of a Swords and Wizardry White Box adventure. Talk about returning to one's roots.

It's free, it's low level and should occupy a few hours of gameplay on a Saturday night.

From the blurb:

Deep within the forest, an ancient oak has grown huge, twisted, and evil. Ages ago, a savage cult haunted these woods and this tree became the focus of their unspeakable rites. Below it, they carved out a chamber of sacrificial horror where innocent victims were offered to a hideous worm-like god. As the centuries passed, the cult faded into the mists of time, but the twisted old oak stood fast, awaiting the day when the creeping evil in the dark below would be summoned once more.

Has "Appendix N" Gone Retail Before Shipping to the Majority of it's Kickstarter Supporters?

Hardly a week goes by without getting an email from someone asking me if I know the current status of the Appendix N Kickstarter - everyone wants to know when they are going to get their goods, and since I got mine three months ago, I must have some inside knowledge.

Here's the simple answer - I have no inside knowledge. But I do listen and I do read.

The last update on the Appendix N Kickstarter indicated the hope to get everything to everyone before the end of the year. Which would mean some folks would be getting theirs six months after I got mine.

Nowhere did it mention that Appendix N releases were being released to the general public before getting into the hands of those that supported the Kickstarter. It's been brought to my attention that the Appendix N releases are hitting retail distribution, like NOW. Is it possible that someone miscoded an entry? Sure - but at multiple locations?





Here's the direct links:

http://paizo.com/products/btpy8twu?Appendix-N-Adventures-The-Ruins-of-Ramat-and-the-Vile-Worm

http://www.frpgames.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=87453#.Ukhq64akoz4

http://www.gamekastle.com/index.php?m=product_detail&k=2&p=87453

http://www.gtsdistribution.com/pc_product_detail.asp?key=5211CE4AF79642BF87A231A8AE01DFD6

Now, as a community, we've bitched and complained when Kickstarters have shipped to retail before landing in the hands of those that supported the project. This might be a distributor screw up - but if folks can make a purchase and receive product before those that supported the Appendix N Kickstarter (especially those that kicked in extra for shipping after the fact) then there is a real problem here.

The Paizo link actually cost $11.01. I just ordered a set (shipping hurt but what the heck). When I get my Paizo copies, I'll post a pic. Hopefully folks will have pics of their Kickstarter copies to post before then.

Another "Pay What You Want" RPG - Westwater (OSR B/X Fantasy Western)


Looking to have a dwarven gunslinger? Look no further. Westwater is a Fantasy Western wuth roots in the OSR. So, you can play it with spells, magic and fantasy races OR you can play it as a straight up western RPG.

I'm thinking the first option might be a way to get some mileage out of the various Deadlands sourcebooks for those of us that don't play Savage Worlds.

As always, with Pay What You Want, the price is always right.

Westwater is going to my iPad later today.

From the blurb:

Back in the early 80s, B/X was one of my groups favorite RPGs.  While there were Wild West RPGs that existed, we really wanted to play in that genre using Tom Moldvay's system.  Thanks to the OGL, we can now share that with you!

Westwater uses the OGL to be completely compatible with any other B/X rules system.  While the core of the game mixes traditional 19th Century history with fantasy, there are guidelines that allow you to play the game modeled after realistic 19th century themes, or with a fully magical and fantastical theme.

So choose your gunslinger, holy man, monster hunter, mountain man, outlaw, and more classes, and earn your name in the Wild West!

This version is the no art version, and is designed to be a free/pay what you want model.

Another "Pay What You Want" RPG - The Void (Lovecraftian Sci-Fi Horror)


The Void released back in early August, but I missed it back then. I've always been interested in a sci-fi horror RPG - kinda looking for a CoC meets Star Trek. Not sure if this one even comes close to fitting that bill, but the price couldn't be better.

From the blurb:

The Stars Were Never Meant For Us

2159 AD. It is a good time to be alive. The nations of Earth still exist, but they have become more civilized, and humanity has expanded into the rest of our solar system. But, alas, it is not to be our time. Something approaches, a thing on an orbit from far away. Seemingly a mysterious shard of dark matter, this object is known in obscure prophecy as the Chthonian Star. It is awakening things long thought lost or dead, things that have slumbered awaiting its return. The Unified World Council sends out special teams of sanctioned Wardens, whose job it is to ascertain the new threats to human life, to learn everything they can about them, and fight them wherever they are found.

The Void is an original Lovecraftian hard sci-fi horror setting.

The Void Core:

Designed with accessibility in mind. A short overview and introductory adventure can have you playing within an hour.
Uses simple but satisfying d6 dice pool mechanics.
Introduces exciting new rules to ratchet up the survival horror.
Gives Characters many options for diversity and customization.
Provides an exploration of our fully colonized solar system in the near future – and the things that threaten it.
Created by the award-winning team that brought you CthulhuTech.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Each Adventurer is an Adventurer, But Not Every Adventurer is an Adventurer - First Impressions of Torchbearer

I'm really enjoying the layout and the presentation of Torchbearer. It really encourages you to read it as one long piece - I haven't found myself skipping blindly ahead as I do with most RPG products. I do have some quibbles.

Well, one large quibble.

All PCs are Adventurers. Which is fine. We're not breaking any new ground with this label, but it's comfortable for a game that is drawing upon "old school" gaming as it's inspiration.

Why then, is there a character class called "adventurer"?

Right on page 10, we have the same word being given essential two different definitions. Couldn't they have done a google search for synonyms?

Here, I did it for them:

Don't like the alternatives? The "adventurer" as a class is the sole Dwarven class. Maybe "clan warrior" or "tunnel guardian" or even "delver" (used liberally in T&T).

There really is no excuse for this. Sloppy editing in IMHO.

That being said, this is the only thing that has stuck in my craw so far.

More reading tomorrow...

Another Completed Kickstarter - Torchbearer


Torchbearer arrived earlier today, and let me say I am surprised. For some reason I wasn't expecting a full sized hardcover, let alone one with a Peter Mullen cover. Damn pretty!

No game tonight, which works well as I'm being brought low by a cold from hell. That does leave me some free time to flip through Torchbearer. At first glance, I like the layout and the font used -old school in feel and very readable.

Not sure I'll ever run this, but I'll be more than happy to play in a session or two.

Coming to Your Town - Nystul's Castle Traveling Road Show


Maybe you are like me, holding out hope that at some point, Axes & Anvils will not just see a completed manuscript, but may also see print. I mean, the cover is pretty, but ain't worth squat without the words that go behind it.

Don't hold your breath on the print version, as Mike is not going to have a traditional place to call his home -

You know the Kickstarter success stories that go bad? The ones that succeed beyond initial dreams and that very success leads to unfulfilled Kickstarters and folks have lost their homes over such (or so it's been said). Mike went one better and lost (well, i think "left" is more accurate) his employment with the successful Kickstarters, and is now going nomadic, leaving his residence behind.

Without a place to live, there is no place to store physical rewards from the Kickstarter - not that I expected to see any at this point, as Mike no longer has steady employment and the Kickstarter funds have all been spent on non-Kickstarter expenses.

The upside is - Mike may very well be looking for a couch to crash on in your town (at least if you are in the Texas area I guess).

It looks like Mike is going through a soul searching stage in his life - hopefully he finds everyone's Kickstarter rewards during the search.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Looking for an OSR Chassis With some Fate-Like Trappings...

From what I've read (both in response to yesterday's blogpost and the corresponding thread on G+), Fate is too far from my comfort zone to ever run for more than a one shot. Without character development like a more traditional RPG, I don't see how you could hope to run an extended campaign of any sorts. Without the real risk of death of your character, there really isn't any risk at all.

This does not preclude me from playing in a game of Fate, I just don't see myself ever running it. As I GM 95+% of the time, I doubt I'll get much Fate in.

Now, I remember FUDGE, which Fate is built upon, but that's like saying Monsters & Magic was built upon OD&D - it's not, even if some of the superficial trappings are there. It is very much it's own game.

Is there a game / hack that combines "Old School" sensibilities (levels, expo, live or die combat) with some of the elements of Fate? Dungeon World doesn't seem to be it and I haven't read Torchbearer enough to see if it fits the mold. Monsters & Magic is a great game to convert old school to new school, but the play is most certainly new school.

Fate intrigues me and I love the settings - but the mechanics or lack there of leave me cold.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review - City-State of the Sea Kings - Part the Second - Late (me), Layout and the Look

Yeah, this part of the review is late. Really late. I've been fending off a cold for the past 2 weeks, and if the 3 weeks my wife has been fighting her's for is any indication, it aint nearly over yet. Sitting down with a book is an easy way to summon the Sandman, and I can't seem to get enough sleep.

I am finding the boxed grey highlighting for GM related material to be distractingly annoying. even the abbreviation of the City-State of the Overlord is boxed and highlighted - why? What purpose does it serve but putting a horrible break in the middle of the text I'm reading.

Here's two quick examples:

 I'm finding this to be at least as annoying as the artwork used as the page background / watermark in Numenura. In this case, I'm fine with it for the really large sections of boxed text, but it's a huge distraction in the middle of a paragraph. It breaks up the reading rhythm needlessly. Oh, and it's just way to dark. Less is more.

I've also run across examples of the final line of a paragraph having three words, and auto-justification has those three words filling up the line. That's just sloppy editing.

The artwork, however, is certainly top notch. Much of it is fairly simple in nature, but it's clean, sharp and abundant.

Oh yeah, I was supposed to talk about the population centers - towns, cities and the like. If any one thing sticks out to me, its the number of locations that are pretty close to be "racially specific": Ring-Tail (Gnomes), D'alfang (98% Human), Entenwold (99% Shadow Elf), Foundation (94% Half-Elf) and Paetor (Mixed Eleven). These are great. These places are excellent tools to make the average PC feel like an outsider (admittedly, there are locations they would never willingly walk around in the open anyway).

Each of the towns included have enough info to make the visit real and different for the PCs then the previous town they've visited. There really isnt a generic town at all.

Thus far, the strength of the City-State of the Sea Kings is in it's content (although I will readily admit the content given for the City of Rallu is a bit overwhelming - more on that with the next post. I'll take content over presentation any day - at least presentation can always be fixed in a later printing.

Sell Me on the FATE System (Which I Already Own, But Don't Grok)



I supported the FATE Kickstarter, and I know there is lots of good stuff in the system - I just can't seem to grok it.

It not like my problem with Savage Worlds - I think I have that covered for the most part, less magic and powers and the like. That shit is confusing as all hell.

No, with FATE my problem is more - central. Maybe that's not the correct term. My problem is the Core, and I mean that whether we are talking FATE Core or FAE. I almost feel it's within my grasp, and then it all goes all to shit.

I'm at the point that I'm thinking of getting one of those new fangled Kindle Paperwhites, so I can read FATE Core every night before bed and then sleep with it under my pillow, in the hopes that I will absorb this shit through osmosis.

Not that I think my gaming group is all that geared towards FATE, but one never knows I'll never know until I have a firm grasp of the system myself, and right now I'm grasping at straws.

Are you a FATEr? Pros? Cons?

Better then sliced bread or worse than a loaf hugged by a 3 year old for 35 minutes while sitting in a shopping cart and you still feel obliged to buy it?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Are You Fluent With Multiple Systems or Just One?

Do Cats Dream of Polyhedron Dice?
Back in my high school and college days, I could pick up a new system and run with it later that day. Sure, I cut my teeth on AD&D, but I'd run just about anything: Paranoia, RuneQuest, MERP, RoleMaster, SpaceMaster, WFRP, Chill, GURPS, CoC, Traveller, WEG Star Wars, Champions, Top Secret, Star Frontiers, Gamma World, Boot Hill, Palladium Fantasy Roleplay, Star Trek, Sandman, Torg - I'm sure I'm missing a few. And these are just the ones I's run, there were others I'd play in others.

One of the few games that tripped me up was Swordbearer. By far, it was the exception to the rule.

These days, as a grumpy grognard of 46, I find that the further a ruleset strays from the OSR / D&D, the harder it gets for me to grok it.

I've owned Savage Worlds over many editions, and I still don't feel comfortable enough to run a session. Not even sure I'd be okay as a player in a session.

Loved Spirit of the Century when I first found it for the setting and the feel, but I still don't understand the FATE system. Heck, I supported the FATE Kickstarter, have my dice and my hardcover book - I may need some hand holding at some point. (Also have Dresden - gave up on that as reading the book caused eye strain - ah well).

I CAN run Tunnels & Trolls tho'. I proved that last Saturday Night when I ran it for the few regulars we had. But that game has old school sensibilities, and I've been running solos for years.

So, how well do you pick up new systems and rules? Easy? Hard? Not at all? Certain types easier than others?

Mini Review - Cess-Pit of the Bog Monster (Generic OSR Adventure by Jeff Dee)


Wow. I've never seen so much easily carted off loot in a low level dungeon. Over 60,000 GP, mostly in gems and jewelry. Hell, 1/10 of this would be an excellent find for a low level party.

Shit, yeah, I got distracted. Cess-Pit of the Bog Monster is an OSR / Old School adventure by none other than Jeff Dee himself.

Cool looking cover. Decent, one level map with multiple ways to gain access to the dungeon (this in and of itself is awesome). New monsters that can easily be ported into other situations / adventures.

It's a pretty cool offering - except for the Monte Haul amount of treasure for the rookie adventurers. All that bling is distracting me from the actual adventure. Damn it!

From the blurb:

What strange being has taken up residence in the long-ruined swamp-circled castle, and what is its connection to the increase of Orc raids in the region?

JD1: Cess-Pit of the Bog Mother is a dungeon on a swamp & muck theme for characters of level 1-3 for all advanced fantasy role-playing games by classic TSR artist Jeff Dee!

The adventure includes a full-page color map and a black & white cover painting by the author. Also included are three alternate scenario introductions and five unique creatures specially designed for this adventure.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pay What You Want - The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying (OSR Adventure)



Yep, a new PWYW release for the OSR - The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying (for levels 4-6). Actually, the publisher, Mischief Inc say they want you to grab it for free, but they will gladly take a donation.

It's interesting to note that PWYW releases hit the New Release Page on RPGNow while free releases don't. Kind of makes sense to release as PWYW in that case.

From the blurb:

Rakoss was a great wizard of ages past who served the Emperor of Maere. Tales tell of his prowess as a military strategist, but they also tell of his fall. It is said that although he won campaign after campaign for his emperor, just one failure earned the wrath of his master. The Emperor had Rakoss, his generals, strategists and personal guard sealed in a tomb somewhere in the Ganlaw Mountains, and cursed them.

Who knows what treasure was buried with Rakoss and his retinue, or what horrors remain to test any who might enter the tomb. Certainly only a brave few would dare seek out the final resting place of Rakoss, and even fewer can survive the terrors of The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying!

"The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying" is a challenging adventure for 3-6 characters of level 4 to 6.

Note: This product is intended to be FREE!  Please do not pay for it if you do not want to.

That said, if you wish to "donate" to our future development, you can pay any amount you want when you "purchase" this adventure. Those who pay for this adventure will be granted a "Founder" rank on our Mischief, Inc. member forums.

Best / Worst Use of a Spell You've Seen in Game

Seriously, if you've seen the use of a spell in real life, that's something for a whole 'nother topic.

The best use - or worst, if you were the DM running the adventure, was by a 14th level druid in an AD&D adventure run at some con at Columbia University back in 85 or 86.

The adventure was some sort of death trap. I don't remember much of it, except that at the moment in question, the party was taking a beating with more harm incoming.

The player of the druid: "This is a tightly packed dungeon. What ate the walls and floors and stuff made out of?"

DM: "Er, stone I guess"

Druid: "I cast Transmute Rock to Mud"

DM: "K, so what are you taking out? A wall?"

Druid: "Uhm, its a 2" cube per level, which gives me 14 x 2" cubes - 2" is 20' in real life, so that's 14 20x20 cubes of rock to mud - I'll take the room out in front of us, to the sides and behind that room. Oh, and i center it mid height in the room, to me sure to take out the ceiling and floor. Next round I'll dispel magic on the mud."

DM: "Fucckk!" Throws notes and maps onto the table. "Well, we're done now."

Yes, I was that druid ;)

Thanks to Sa Roe for the topic :)

So, what the best, most creative, disruptive but BTB use of a spell you've seen in your years of gaming?

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Kickstarter Priced Beyond My Good Sense - Beyonder RPG


Yep, I'm still on the Kickstarter kick, which is good. I'm fighting off one hell of a cold (thanks Rach for sharing) so it's a bit hard to maintain any sort of coherent concentration for proper review reading the past week or so. Kickstarters however, just require my reaction ;)

The Beyonder RPG is an interesting project. It's written by a gamer that got his start in the hobby back in 75 or 76 and quickly decided he wanted to write and play his own RPG. So Beyonder is the genesis of the game played with his wife, kids and friends in one form or another for over 35 years. At least, that's what I take from the video. Pretty cool. It also looks like they were smart enough to hire a number cruncher to make sure the system works.

Also cool is the artwork. I really like what I see with the art. Evocative without going over the deep end, if you will. What I don't like is the pricing.

I want to stat this creature out for DCC, S&W and T&T ;)
Lets see, a PDF of the rulebook OR the bestiary will set you back $25. $40 if you want both, or $50 for both if the limited slots for the discounted price are gone. How many pages are the books? 300 or so for the rulebook, 200 or so for the bestiary.

You want a printed version? $125 gets you EITHER the rulebook or the bestiary (and PDFs of both - a $50 value - not). Hardbound versions of both? $140. So, $15 extra scores 2 books instead of one. I don't get the pricing at all. Maybe this is that "new math" shit they've been talking about.

I'm intrigued by the setting and really digging the art and totally turned off by the pricing. Looks like I get to save some money this time.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Kickstarter That Rolled a "Natural 1" - The D20 Dice Bowl


I can think of many ways to blow my money - bills, booze, broads (oops - I'm married now), electronics, games, RPGs, dice - the list is nearly endless. Somehow, a D20 Bowl (It doesn't roll, it holds stuff) never would have made that list.

Or is it 2 bowls, because bowls aren't usually covered by a matching half. So maybe it's 2 1/2 d20 bowls.

Maybe it's just shit. One of those ideas that seem really cool when you are flying really high.

There is no way my non-gamer wife would ever use the bowl(s) in question. I don't see me ever using it, and for the price I could buy some actual gaming material that would possible get read, maybe even used.

This seems like something for the gaming geek that has everything, and if he already has everything, he probably doesn't want this either.

I must say, the guy behind the project really believes in it. He looks damn excited and earnest in his video.

This closes in less than 3 hrs of this posting. $3,192 pledged of a $15,000 goal.

The D20 Dice Bowl appears to be a critical failure. At least Kickstarter lets the idea die as one of the unfunded unborn projects, with little investment lost.

Goodbye, D20 Dice Bowl...

As If I Didn't Have Enough to Read - The Bundle of Holding "Gumshoe System" Collection


I'm not sure if following the "Bundles of Holding" is a good thing or a bad thing for me. I love getting really cool RPGs at an amazing price. It's just that I have so much to read before I can get time to properly dig into this latest bundle.

The "Ken Writes About Stuff" looks to be a series of articles - I think I can squeeze that in as time allows.

You can currently get this bundle with the bonus games for less than 12 bucks in PDF (and some ePub versions).

There's about 5 days left on this bundle...

Kick Yourself in the Head - A Kickstarter to Make a Miniature of YOU (or just your head) - Mimic Miniatures

I'm back to scoping out Kickstarters, as you can see. This time, I'm looking at Mimic Miniatures. These folks have found a way to use 3d printing to make miniatures of their supporters (and future customers).

This is fucking cool. Even cooler then finally getting your portrait into the Kickstarter edition of Far West (BTW, shouldn't we at least have a PDF of this at this point?).

Regretfully, 100% of my gaming is done via VTTs and the interwebs - and while a miniature with my head on it looking bad ass would look cool, it would probably be just me that would appreciate it.

Oh, and I sill have the Reaper Bones Kickstarter to paint.

Still, minis depicting gamers as their characters? It's a win.

A Kickstarter I Very Nearly Missed - Tabletop Connect: 3D Virtual Tabletop for Windows and Mac


I've been playing around with Virtual Table Tops since I found Klooge back in the day. I've played with many, and the first one that has come close to what I want in ease of use and features is Roll20.

Tabletop Connect: 3D Virtual Tabletop for Windows and Mac is damn close to what I've been looking for all of these years. It seems to be what WotC was promising a few years back that never came to pass.

3-D dungeons. 3-D minis. The promise of voice and even video chat.

I literally found this in my G+ feed 2 hrs before the Kickstarter ended and kicked in at the lowest GM level from my phone. I've never supported a Kickstarter from my phone before.

I'll be downloading the Alpha software later today. It's compatible with Windows, OSX and Linux. Three cheers for cross platform compatibility.

Apparently I've spent too long away from Kickstarter - I'll need to dig in deeper. Today, however, is reserved for football and beer ;)


Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Do It Yourself Kickstarter - Build Your Own "RPG Gaming Table"


I remember seeing at least one prior RPG Table Kickstarter which had some major drawbacks -

Price, which was significant and delivery, which was within a certain driving distance from the project creator's home. Yep, personalized delivery as you were getting a piece of furniture.

With this project, you are getting PLANS to build your own RPG Gaming Table, which keeps the price down and makes delivery a breeze. You just need some skills, tools and a place to build it. Well, or hire someone to build it.

Still will be a pain to store when not in use, but the concept is pretty cool.

An Interesting Yet Confusing Kickstarter - Raiders of R’lyeh: Horror Adventure RPG and Mythos Sandbox!


From what I can understand, Raiders of R’lyeh: Horror Adventure RPG and Mythos Sandbox is built off of the Mongoose RuneQuest Rules, which are OGL. Which means, this project shares a gaming lineage and probably high compatibility with Call of Cthulhu. Not that they claim compatibility, as that would probably require a license

That much I can follow. Here's where it gets confusing -

There is a "Black and White" version of the rules that comes in a single PDF (and at certain pledge levels as a Print version, not just PDF) and a color version that splits the PDF into GM and Players books.
The PRINT EDITION (RAIDERS OF R’LYEH IN GOTHIC BLACK & WHITE) is designed for players who want ALL of the rules in one convenient & beautiful tome. NEW: NOW UPGRADED TO A HARDCOVER WITH SMYTH SEWN BINDING.
But it's NOT all of the rules. They say so themselves:


Coming in at about 256 pages, it's a good size, but has a significantly smaller page count than the combined player's guide (140 pages) and GM guide (240 pages). I doubt they added 100+ pages of art to the color version. Admittedly, there could be some overlap, but it isn't explained if that is so. The color version is only in PDF, no print option.

Now, they offer the color version as a split of the core rules so players and GMs can have access to what is applicable to them, but without a print option for the color PDFs, the reality is, at the game table, 90% of folks will opt for the printed version. A split of the rules in B&W would have been a nice option.

Also, it appears they've hit stretch goals while still waiting to hit their funding goal (they will fund before it ends in 3 days).

In any case, I have three days to decide wether or not to pull the trigger on this one. I'm on the fence on this, as there seems to be some confusion as to the print version being a complete set of the rules or not.



Friday, September 20, 2013

The Secret Fire - The Way of the Tree, Shadow & Flame (A Delivered Kickstarter)

The book is NOT that blurry in real life ;)
Look what I found waiting for me when I got home from work today - The Secret Fire - The Way of the Tree, Shadow & Flame.

Estimated to ship in August, it arrived today - not even a month past estimate. Hell, that's practically early in the Kickstarter world ;)

The layout is clean and very readable, although it may take a while before I find the free timne to read it.

Fun times :)

No Longer a Wayward Kickstarter - Reaper Bones are Coming "Dungeon Crusade"!

I've got to hand it to Rodger. I slammed his Kickstarter page pretty hard. Dungeon Crusade is a cool concept, but the initial presentation was severely lacking.

Rodger plans to relaunch the Kickstarter, and this time it will include Reaper Bones Miniatures. That's fricking cool as all hell.

Here's from the latest update:
Hello all, 
BREAKING NEWS!!! I just got a call from Ed Puhg, President of Reaper Miniatures. There WILL be Reaper Miniatures BONES in Dungeon Crusade! Upon news of this, Dungeon Crusade may be coming down for a relaunch with a much BETTER presentation, reward levels, and a better overall look to this kickstarter.  Ed from Reaper Miniatures was INCREDIBLY nice, and wants to help make Dungeon Crusade the best it can be. We discussed what miniatures would be in the base game. 
       So here's what I'm thinking: take down this kickstarter, re-launch with a MUCH BETTER presentation, no Blair Witch camera effect, reward levels in the form of Reaper Miniatures exclusive to the kickstarter crowd. I've learned a lot in the past week. I'm going to offer 2 versions of Dungeon Crusade. There will be 1000 copies of the Deluxe edition, packed with Reaper miniatures BONES, as you saw in the one video in the updates. Then a second "retro" edition that would have the cardboard miniatures, and a retro art work for the box. I will keep that $99 price tag for the retro edition, nothing should change with that. As for the deluxe edition with the reaper bones, that's what we have to figure out, price point.  The goal will also change to reflect that Reaper's Bones will be included now. I'll post more details, a list and pix of what miniatures will be in Dungeon Crusade as I speak with Reaper. Panda games are handing the printing and boxing of Dungeon Crusade.  I feel VERY confident when Dungeon Crusade relaunches, it will be a night and day difference, and all for the better. Have a great day guys, talk to you soon...Rodger :) 
Who says you can't fix what was broken?

I wish Rodger lots of success with the relaunch of Dungeon Crusade. Now, it would be really cool if there were some "print and play" expansions that use minis from the Reaper Bones Kickstarter ;)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tip Toe Through the Tunnels and Avoid the Trolls...

I really have no idea if I'll be running DCC (and finally wrapping up Doom of the Savage Kings) or some Tunnels & Trolls - all depends on the turnout we get for Saturday Night's Hangout Session.

In the meantime I'm thinking of some house rules...

I'm figuring classic fantasy races only. Well, classic for T&T, including fairies and leprechauns. I see hobbits are actually called "hobbits". Guess FBI didnt fear the Tolkien Estate as much as TSR did.

Humans get to roll 2 extra d6 at the end of generating their stats, and can swap them with any other dice rolled. As I'll be using Triples Are Rolled Over, it may allow the humans to overcome some of the stat advantages the demihumans have.

I've going to allow creative use of the Saving Rolls, especially for the rogues. I was thinking of using the optional skills from the back of 5.5 rules but they seem to add move numbers tracking then they are worth, at least for now.

Full "death spiral" for the monsters (both in combat dice and adds) and Spite Damage. I'll be using the special attacks based on Spite from 7e for some of the more special monsters. I've done enough of them on the blog to have some decently new things to throw at the party.

Definitely using the 5x expo and leveling rules as a base and not the 7x rules. Both the 7e and 7.5e expo and level rules seem broken to me. I understand why they are as they are, but they just dont feel right (I'm interested in seeing the dT&T leveling rules).

That's probably the extent of the house rules, which as house rules go aren't all that much ;)


The Classic "Temple of Elemental Evil" for FREE at D&D Classics (AD&D)


Yep, Temple of Elemental Evil is FREE at the D&D Classics web store until September 28th.

How good are the scans? Damn if I know, as I can't get the fucker to download ;)  Still, the price is right, and once it's in my online collection I can always download it later - assuming WotC doesn't pull all of it's products like it did in the past...


Some Thoughts on Hit Points and Why the Resource Differs for PCs and Their Adversaries

I've been thinking a bit about Tunnels & Trolls recently. Specifically the "death spiral" that applies to monsters in 5e (I believe it no longer applies in 7e, but as this is being written on my lunch hour, I'll have to verify that later).

Simply put, monsters in T&T do damage based upon their Monster Rating. MR determines the number of d6 they roll for damage, and half of the CURRENT MR is added to the roll as Combat Adds. When a monster takes damage in 5e, it becomes less effective. As damage in T&T is applied to one side or the other (high total minus lower total equals damage to the losing side), as the MR of the monster decreases, it's opportunity to do damage drops quickly. Therefore, "Death Spiral".

Initially, I didn't like the rule, as D&D doesn't have a similar one. It just seemed foreign to my sensibilities.

Now I realize it's damn near genius. Monsters are, for the most part, just there for a single encounter. Rinse and repeat. PCs get whittled down - monsters get beat down.

You see, hit points or health or whatever you want to call it is different for PCs than it is for monsters. PCs need to survive multiple encounters - a monster, one or done.

Minions in 4e come to mind - it's probably the one think introduced with 4e that I like.

Ah well, back to the grindstone...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Razor Coast - FINALLY in Hand!


This would have been in the list of things to review that was voted on if only it had shipped on time.

It is a beauty to behold. Sure, the pages have the annoying artwork behind the text, but at least it looks readable.

I had gotten about a 1/4 of the way through the PDF earlier this summer before deciding to wait on my dead tree copy to arrive. Looks like I'll be waiting a bit longer with the review pile I have in hand already ;)

When is "Talk Like a Pirate Day"?

Thinking of Using Tunnels & Trolls to Convert The Wife to "The Dark Side" :)

I mentioned earlier this week that I plan to use Tunnels & Trolls as my back up game to run when our weekly game night runs a bit short on players. It's a handy system to balance on the fly, and so long as you keep the "death spiral" for monsters as a rule, combats shouldn't drag out overly long.

I'm also thinking of running a short "one on one" session with my wife. Again, not as overwhelming as D&D and it's immediate siblings, just uses d6s and again, easier to balance on the fly.

I did run a "one on one" session for her a few years back using the 7.5e rules, but I think I'll have her roll a 5.5e rogue this time around.

Not sure when I'll get around to running it for my wife, but the thought of it makes me smile :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Wayward Kickstarter - How NOT to Present Your Kickstarter - Dungeon Crusade (Solo Board Game)

First things first - a big thanks to +James Aulds for pointing out Dungeon Crusade - it is destined to be a classic. Maybe not in the manner the creator had hoped, but a classic Kickstarter none the less.

Where shall I start?

Maybe the 22 minute long motion sickness inducing video that tops of the project's Kickstarter page. Simple rule of thumb - any video longer than 3 minutes is going to drop viewers faster than a 9th level fighter slicing through a pack of kobolds. 22 minutes means you just don't give a shit about your potential customers. If you can't say what you need in 2 minutes, you'll never be able to say it in 22. Well, that and cut down on the camera motion. If I want motion sickness, I'll get on a boat.

Looking to raise 80 grand? How about using proper grammar in the very first image we see of your prospective product:


Remember, when it comes to crowd-funding, you are selling yourself as much as you are your product. If you come off as sloppy on your Kickstarter page, what can we expect from what you are trying to sell?

Hey, but wait! There's more sloppiness in the first paragraph:


Alright, you can have a full paragraph, but let me warn you ahead of time, it will trip you up. Hell, maybe it's a solo adventure of it's very own.


So yeah. Decent concept, horrible presentation.

Over / under? About 6 feet.


Sometimes I Forget I Own the Wilderlands Boxed Set



As I begin my delving into the City-State of the Sea Kings, it reminds me that I own the Wilderlands of High Fantasy boxed set. Which is cool, but I wish I owned the Judges Guild originals.

Ah, for a time machine. I remember my trips to the Complete Strategist in the late 80s and early 90s, where pretty much every Judges Guild product was on sale for original cover price - it lined the floor on the left side of the left isle. To my teenage eyes, it looked cheap and poorly put together compared to the TSR (and Role Aids) releases. To know then what I know now.

Sure, I've picked up some of the releases in PDF over the years, but original Wilderlands releases? I'm sadly lacking. I'll need to fix that at some point in the future.

The maps in the boxed set surely do rock :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

I Think the Backup Game for the "Low Turn-Out" Game Nights Will Be...


Tunnels & Trolls.

The answer was kinda staring me in the face. It's an extremely easy system to adjust on the fly based on part numbers / power.

The 5e rules have a free PDF that covers a decent spread of levels, including spells. And it kinda makes sense to use T&T, as I have 10 copies for the deluxe Tunnels & Trolls arriving whenever the Kickstarter finally ships - enough for the group and then some (yes, there will be a blog giveaway at some point).

Non-solo T&T adventures are rarer then for most system, but I do have access to a few, and there are more online I can grab in PDF.

I still want to run my SWN / Starships & Spacemen mashup at some point too. Too many games, so little time...

Dice - Often Imitated, Never Replicated


The one thing I miss about gaming at a real, as aside from a virtual table, is the dice.

Don't get me wrong, virtual dice can be fun too, and the ability to game in your underwear is hard to beat - it's just that the physical act of rolling dice with all of the sights and sounds can't be replicated. Imitated maybe, but not replicated.

Well, that and the cat can't dream about how she's gonna knock your virtual dice around.

I admit to having a dice fetish of sorts. At least once a year I buy a pound of dice, or a 100 die grab bag and see what I get.

Do you too have a dice fetish? ;)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review - City-State of the Sea Kings - Part the First - Looks Good, Easy to Read (Judges Guild Wilderlands)


You know how I bitch and moan about some gaming books having layout that simply distracts from the words on the page, thereby making it difficult to read (Numenera, I'm talking to you)? City-State of the Sea Kings (henceforth referred to as CSotSK) does not suffer from that distraction. Simple layout, easy to read with black and white art, CSotSK has the proper "old school" feel for a work that is the first in a line to bring the Wilderlands back into print.

That doesn't mean it's all perfect. I'm glad the grey highlighting was explained by the author as a comment to a previous blogpost (it's there to highlight GM information) it would probably have been better served using a lighter gray for the highlighting. If you, like me, tend to read in poor lighting so as to not keep the significant other awake, the darkness of the highlighting can make things a tad difficult at times. Sure, I could read in better lighting - but that would cause other, non-gaming, issues ;)

The map (which is two sided) is excellent. I comes attached to the inner cover with a small bit of a rubber cement like glue. No stains to the map or the books itself.

I expected CSotSK to start out with detailed hex listed by numbers, but I was pleasantly surprised that it starts with the important settlements on the Isle of the Blest (which is the Isle this book covers). It lists them by hex number, but it isn't ordered by hex number. Having the population centers grouped together works well, especially when one is trying to read the material. I guess I'm used to sandbox styled products that list everything by order of hex number, which isn't easiest way to read material (although it does make for easy look up).

Currently, I'm at the beginning of the book, just reading about the settlements. I really want to skip ahead - I always do it seems, but if I'm going to do this right I need to go in order.


Something Was Left Off of the Review Pile List Voting... Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle for D&D Next... I Suspect It's NOT a Loss



As I've said on earlier posts, my review pile is much larger than my free time will ever allow me to dig through it.

That being said, Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle probably should have been included on the list of games to be voted on. That was an oversight, but probably not a loss.

My experience with D&D Next is mixed - it brought the core members of our gaming group together, and then nearly destroyed the same when the first Friends & Family update to the Beta (or at least, the first update AFTER we were accepted) made the game far more "wonky" and less playable then any of us desired to play. Yes, most of us moved on to ACKS, AD&D/OSRIC and now DCC as a group, but the final taste that D&D Next left with us was not a good one.

Now, after pretty much ignoring the Beta updates (both regular and Friends & Family) as my interest was no longer there, I thought the first "print" version of the Beta rules would be a good place to take a new look with fresh eyes.

It appears to me to be some hybrid of AD&D 2e / D&D 3.5 and the kitchen sink thrown into fill in the gaps. Alright, maybe not so bad as to deserve the kitchen sink line, but it doesn't seem to really do anything that hasn't already been done by a previous D&D rules system.

As for Dragonspear Castle the adventure? It's a campaign railroad, but so is every adventure path. It's not poorly written, but doesn't excite me - at least what I've read thus far. Probably won't read further either.

I'm kinda glad I forgot to include it in the voting - I might have actually have had to read this in full ;)

How Often Does Your Group Game?

My RPG group of friends generally plays every Saturday Night via G+ / Roll20, but recently we've had some cancelled nights - the most recent being last night, when I canceled the session due to events on my end.

Still, attempting to get 30 to 50 y/o somethings together on a weekly basis, in face or virtually, is set up for failure. We are no longer college students with responsibilities we can blow off - we now have "adult" responsibilities - it sucks ;)

So, I'm thinking to change things around a bit. I'll run 2 DCC sessions a month, and we'll leave the other Saturday nights open for open gaming - I could run a side game, one of the others could try running something, maybe a game or two of Drinking Quest.

Open game nights would be just that - no harm, no foul if you can't make it (which is why I was asking about RPGs suitable for small groups and easily picked up). It might relieve some of the coordination stress (although admittedly, emergencies come up, as I well know) of folks blocking out every Saturday Night on their calendar.

So, how often does your group get together? Do you use something like "open game nights" to break things up?

And the Random Winners of the "Pick the Top of the Review Pile Are...

I'm awarding 3 $5 RPGNow Gift Certs to random readers of the blog that voted for items for the top of the review pile. The lucky folks are:

Peter V

Dell'Orta

DerrikB

I'm also awarding 1 $5 RPGNow Gift Cert to a random voter on the G+:

+Joshua Ramsey

I need the above to email me at tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom so i can send the prizes.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Moving to the Top of the Review Pile is... City-State of the Sea Kings


The readers have voted, and City-State of the Sea-Kings has made it to the top of the review pile here at the Tavern. I'll start digging into it heavy tomorrow.

Close behind it will be the Adventures Dark and Deep Player's Manual.

Rounding out the top 5 are Five Ancient Kingdoms, Whitehack and Arrows an Indra.

The above will all have multi part (or continue) reviews. Those not in the top five, as well as other items that crop up (like some DCC RPG adventures - hint, hint) will get the usual mini-reviews inter-spread amongst the longer reviews.

Tomorrow I'll award the random RPGNow Gift Certs. One will be awarded on the G+ side and three on the blog side.

Fun stuff.


On a personal note - the family dog has been in the local animal hospital since last night - she had two seizures late last night and one overnight at the hospital. She seems stable now, and we hope to take her home tomorrow night. She's already on three meds twice a day for her heart condition and it looks like we'll be adding a new medication to the mix. She's soon to be 12, and we treat every day we have with her as a blessing. We'll gladly take kind thoughts and prayers for her well being. She doesn't get into many photos, as she can't jump up on my desk like my cat can ;)

Pay What You Want - Westward Basic (Open D6 Steampunk Western)


There. I said it. Westward is a "steampunk western". Wasn't there a TV series a little while back that hit on both themes?

Personally, I really like the D6 ruleset, even in it's various flavors. I have fond memories of WEG Star Wars, and it's a simple enough system to learn with a decent amount of options. Well, that and the core D6 books are free. As in, well, free. Oh, and OGL. So have a blast.

Westward, the "steampunk western" comes in 2 flavors. "Pay what you want" (slightly crippled - no printing, no copy / paste, etc) and a full usable (printable) version for 10 bucks. The contents are the same in each, and neither requires other rules - they are self contained.

So, here's my advice. Pay NOTHING for the PWYW version of Westward. Set some time asides, as it's over 350 pages long with some decent color art. If you like what you see, and want to actually use it, as a GM or player, plop down the $10 for the full, printable version. Why pay twice?

I do suggest grabbing a copy of Westward, even it it's just for ideas in other games. The price is right.

From the blurb:

Westward Premium is the HighResolution version of Westward.  Buy the Premium Edition to remove the watermark, enable copy and paste, and printing!

In the distant future, a massive crew of brilliant explorers and their families set out to start a new world in a massive starship, the Chrysalis, but instead, they find Westward, a desolate and barren landscape ripe with adventure and danger! Far from Earth, their starship crash lands on this massive planet. This is where they form their colony, the Capital City. With scarce resources and a need for more, Humans begin expanding away from the city. With the need to survive, people turn to the ever-evolving Steamtech to stay alive. The places between the city and its prefects and forts are the Badlands. These regions are wild and known for outcast Humans, called Ferals, and bandit raiders. Amidst the treachery and betrayal of the steamtech-laden Capital City, or the danger and adventure of the desolate wild badlands, there are tall tales to tell. What is yours?

Westward is a fast paced, cinematic role playing game that uses OpenD6, made popular by West End Games. Whether by air or land, players can travel to every corner of the Westward world, exploring their imaginations and finding the new frontier!

For 3 or more players, playable in 30 minutes. (is this 30 minutes from opening the book to running the first adventure, or 30 minutes sessions? Either is intriguing.)

Friday, September 13, 2013

"Review Pile" Voting So Far Has "City-State of the Sea Kings" on Top

As of this posting, City-State of the Sea Kings has 21 votes between the blogside and G+ (G+ has been fairly quite).

The other front runners are Adventures Dark and Deep Players Handbook, Arrows of Indra, Five Ancient Kingdoms and Whitehack (all with 10+ votes).

There's a complete listing of the slush pile (and vote placing) going on on this post.

Voting is open until tomorrow (Saturday night). I'll close the voting whenever tomorrow's game session wraps up.

For every 20 vote posts (unique, you can only vote once but may vote for up to 3 items to be reviewed) or fraction of 20 posts, I'm putting a $5 RPGNow Gift Certificate into the random prize pool. The blogside currently has 2 GCs in the pool (to be awarded Sunday) and the G+ side currently has 1 GC in it's pool.

Help decided what gets moved to the top of the review pile!

(max of 5 gift certificates will be awarded on the blogside and a max of 5 gift certificates will be awarded on the G+ side - other reviews may crop up of shorter products / immediate gratification / just because - but for the major reviews, the readers will be selecting the order)

How Encumbering is Encumbrance in Your Campaigns?

Do you strictly track encumbrance? Hand wave it? Ignore it? Give everyone in the party Bags of Holding and hope it all goes away?

I find myself somewhere between ignoring and hand waving. Trying to jump over a pit trap? What are your carrying. Otherwise, I dont give it much thought, as the play is the game, not the number crunching.

Still, LotFP has a decent semi-abstract encumbrance system that doesn't seem to be overtaxing.

How do you handle encumbrance in your games?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Bundle of Holding - Pay What You Want for a Bundle of FATE


Lets see, for as little as $4, you get FATE Core, FATE Accelerated, Spirit of the Century (my personal introduction to FATE), Full Moon and Ehdrigohr.

Beat the average price folks are paying (as I type this, its a hair over 12 bucks) you also get Starblazer Adventures, Legends of Anglerre, the Kerebos Club and any future additions to the bundle.

If you are "FATE Curious", this is you opportunity to get a ton of FATE for a really cheap price.

Did I mention it's all DRM free?

It's one hell of a Bundle of Holding

I'm in at $14 myself ;)

Vote on What Gets Moved to the Top of the Tavern's Review Pile - Because it's a Damn Big Pile!

I have a shitload of stuff to review, and I'm failing badly at doing so. Work is taking up more time then it had (which means overtime and more money to spend on goodies, so I'm not really complaining) but it does mean free time is at a premium.

So, I'm letting you vote on what gets moved to the top of the review pile (one random voter gets a $5 RPGNow credit, so there is an added bonus in voting).

In no particular order:

Adventures Dark & Deep Players Manual - a AD&D 2e "what if".

City State of the Sea Kings - a new Wilderlands sourcebook / campaign.

Five Ancient Kingdoms - a new arabic twist to a classic ruleset - and no D20's either

Whitehack - a nice, compact OSR style game that steps away from the OSR

Arrows of Indra - OSR gaming inspired by the subcontinent of India

The Dungeon Alphabet, Expanded Third Printing - do I need to explain what this is? ;)

Stoneheart Valley - just noticed the S&W version says "Pathfinder" on the cover - that's going to make for some confusing retail sales.

Tome of Horrors 4 - the latest monster book from Frog God

The Free City of Eskadia - a city book for C&C

Call of Cthulhu 6th Edition - cause Halloween is right around the corner

Army Ants RPG - 'cause I almost forgot ;)


I'll leave the voting up through Saturday evening.

Vote on the blog or G+. Vote for up to 3 choices. All picks get equal weight.


Do You Use Alignment in Your Campaigns?

I use it, but there are times I wonder why I bother.

Alignment is rarely a driving force in any of the games I've run, and my interpretation of the different alignments and the interpretations of my players rarely meet. Yes, even after reading the exact same section in the rules. Needless conflict ;)

I'm beginning to wonder if more general good / indifferent / evil type of axis would be more effective in future campaigns for my usual group. More latitude and less "various interpretations".

So, do you use alignment as is? Do you tweak it? Drop it all together?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Name Me Some Good Games For "Pick Up and Play" Roleplaying

The last few months for my gaming group have been hit or miss - at times, of the 8 in the group, only 3 or 4 can make a session. Not an easy way to move on with a campaign of DCC that usually has 6 or 7 players / PCs when we game.

And yeah, that is a sign of the summer months, but I'd like to be prepared in any case.

This means the sessions we wind up short either become yap sessions (not bad in and of itself) or get canceled outright.

So, looking for ideas of RPGs that can be run with little set up, short rules, easy to throw and adventure together, doesn't rely on niche protection and can handle small parties.

Throw your ideas and me and lets see what sticks ;)

First Look - City State of the Sea Kings (Judges Guild Wilderlands)


This book is more massive than I expected. City-State of the Sea Kings clocks in at 380 pages and a map. The map itself is two-sided. One side has the numbered hex map of the Isle, the other side has the map of the city. Both are very well done.

I didn't realize that this is one of the last projects that Bob Bledsaw senior had an active hand in (but I found out that and more reading the foreword - good thing I didn't skip that like usual).

It uses the "Judges Guild Universal System" for stats, which is easier to understand and convert (for me at least) then the system used in Lich Dungeon and the like. Still would have preferred OSR generic, but the system used has history behind it and is familiar to many.

Layout is easy on the eyes (I do wonder about all of the highlighting throughout the text, but maybe that will sort itself out with a solid read).

You probably could run a full campaign from beginning to end on this isle.

I want to move this to the top of my review pile - but that pile is getting friggin huge! Still, City-State of the Sea Kings is calling to me - loudly.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What is Your Favorite OSR "Clone" Ruleset?


I have a fairly decent list of OSR ruleset to the right of this post, but I'm sure it's incomplete.

Anyhow, my favorite OSR "Clone" (and a clone is in no way needs to be a prefect copy of the source material in this definition I'm using - it's more flavor and spirit than rule and letter) would be Swords & Wizardry Whitebox Edition if you are going by the actual boxed set. There is something about the box itself that just makes it special. The Deeper Delving Boxed set fails to recapture the same magic.

If I want an AD&D feel without the clutter, I'd go S&W Complete. Labyrinth Lord AEC comes damn close, but the need of two rulebooks compare to the one of S&W Complete is the tie breaker for me, if you will.

So, what are your preferred "clones"?


Monday, September 9, 2013

Quick "Overdue Kickstarters" Updates for September 2013


I know my mostly regular update is long overdue, so here are some quick pieces to hold you over ;)

Appendix N - I got mine, but most folks ain't got their. Folks are getting antsy.

Far West - there's talk about the PDF of the rules being released this month. Normally I'd laugh dismissively, but I just had my backer portrait emailed to me, so I can actually say "there's been some progress".Still hopelessly late.

The Perfect Beer Drinking Vessel and Private Keg! - not a gaming product, but I'd really like this by the end of the year. Updates fairly frequently.

OpenQuest 2 - just got the PDF today. Reminds me a bit of RQ2. I need to sit down and read this. I also need more time to do all of the things I want to do. Almost off the list.

Tunnels & Trolls Deluxe - didn't hit a GenCon release. Foolish me, I though it actually would ;)

Kingdom Death: Monster - delayed. Not a surprise. Yes, I bought into the miniature boardgame porn. Fuck you all, I'll make my wife play it with me...

Dungeon Deck: Quests - last update 9/7, stating that the overdue project still hadn't shipped from India - promised and update when there was something to update, so I guess a month later it still hasn't found its way onto a boat.

Tavern Cards - last update 8/4. Estimated to ship back in April. It's not the lateness so much as the lack of communication that irks me.

The Skies Over Danbury - Dungeon World Adventures - Barely late, but the last update was back in June, and it was awaiting layout by an overworked, over committed, layout artist. Ah well.

Tales From the Fallen Empire: Sword and Sorcery Setting - was it really due back in January?

Myth & Magic Player's Guide - 2E Revived and Updated!!! - he says it's shipping. Supposedly 98 shipments went out, apparently to folks that don't do social media, as I've failed to spot a copy "in the wild". Who knows, maybe one of my readers has a copy and can show us - for real yo!

Quantum Roleplaying Game: An ALL NEW Science Fantasy RPG - it's been a month since the last update, which wasn't much of anything. Can we just put a fork in this one? I've lost all interest. April 2012 was so long ago...

Dwimmermount - I really wish Tavis and company all of the best, but this project is cursed. It's given me lots of blogging material, so maybe I've already gotten my monies worth... or not. I'm one of the asses that went in for the vinyl maps.

Nystul's Fiascos - one for all, and all for naught. Thank God I didn't put in at the "Dwarven Stein" level to round out my drinking vessels collection. Shift responsibility away from "Mad Mike" and on to others - Mike is slick, I'll give him that.

Ogre - maybe in time for this Christmas?

Risus - this was due back in August of 2012 - I'm kinda glad I missed that boat



Games from the Basement - The Primal Order



So, I'm currently digging through what is now the living room closet (formerly my bedroom before renovations) as I'm looking to add some soundproofing to the back of it (my son's room is on the other side). In the course of moving stuff out of the top (nearly all gaming material) I came across this gem - The Primal Order from Wizards of the Coast from back in 1994.

Yep, that's before they bought out TSR and grabbed D&D and all of the rest.

Now, look at the back cover (or at least, the part of the back cover I took a picture of.

Notice and game missing from that list?


I guess TSR - They Sue for Real was the sleeping giant they didnt want to stir up.

I never used this. Heck, i barely remembered I owned it. Interesting to look at after 20 years...











Sunday, September 8, 2013

What is Your Favorite Classic "Old School" Gaming Module / Adventure?



I was thinking about all of the great (and not so great) modules I picked up in my teens and early 20's - mid 80's to early 90's - and I find myself surprised that my favorite modules of the era are not from TSR. Heck, they aren't for (A)D&D at all.

Instead, they are for RuneQuest 2 - the Chaosium edition.

Pavis and Big Rubble, because in truth, they are just two parts that make up one exciting sandbox.

I ran this in both RQ3 and RQ2, using the Chaosium boxed sets that I picked up at a con held at Columbia University back in 86 or 87. The boxes had some shelf wear and crushing going on, but their contents were intact. It didn't hurt that I picked up a HC of the RQ2 rules from the same vendor.

I suspect if I had found Judges Guild's Wilderlands back in my early gaming days, my answer to the question would have been made a bit harder to come to - probably the same conclusion, just not so clear cut.

So, what's your favorite classic "old school" gaming module / adventure?
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