Saturday, February 16, 2013

Some Points About Chain Mail (and lots of other D&D relevant videos)

A hat tip to +Claytonian JP for bringing this series of videos to my attention. My wife is now absorbing through audio osmosis interesting facts about torches, bows, cloaks (she wants one now), bullets and chain mail armor. Me? I'm getting some ideas to add to my games.

This series of videos is many layers of awesome!

I'm now a subscriber ;)

Jeff Dee to do the Cover Art for the Army Ants RPG Kickstarter!

Awesome news! Jeff Dee is doing the new Army Ants RPG cover (you can find the Army Ants Kickstarter here).

Mike Desing has more info on his blog The Splintered Realm, but I'm going to quote a piece of it here:

"All-time great RPG artist Jeff Dee has agreed to create a new full-color cover for the Michael T. Desing’s Army Ants Legacy Edition RPG. Old School Fans (including me) rejoice! Jeff’s art created a sense for me of what RPGs should look like, and to have his art gracing the cover of my ultimate RPG rulebook is simply beyond awesome. However, the coolness doesn’t stop there. I’ve also adjusted the stretch goals to accommodate this great news."

Traveling Without "True" Roads - How Do You Handle Traveling in Your Fantasy Campaigns?

Probably the biggest thing I "handwave" in my fantasy campaigns is travelling, because even the rules that seem to handle it, don't generally handle it so well. They seem to assume there will be "paved" and maintained roads, kinda like the Romans built. That, or there will be forced marches like an army, with the front clearing a pathway for that which follows - the genre is built on wargaming after all.

The problem is, without roads like that, you get muddy tracks that suck in cart wheels and risk breaking the legs of galloping horses.

Heck, I've driven on poorly maintained, partially washed out dirt roads in the Poconos and I can't imagine making any kind of actual time with a horse and cart.

Many paths are actually animal trails, and these obviously wont work for carts and may not work with a riden horse.

Of course, any well travelled paths / roads will have those that prey on those that travel them.

Which of course brings me back to the beginning - how do you handle overland travel?

Masters of Fantasy - TSR: The Fantasy Factory - A Docu-Promo For TSR (1997)

I'm willing to give credit where credit is due - I found this link thanks to ENworld.

It's a nice little piece put together by the Sci-Fi network.

I find it interesting that Lorraine Williams is dressed in black with a mostly black background, so you can't clearly see how "Jabba the Hut" like she is.

There is nothing hard hitting here, but it an interesting view of the hobby from 16 years ago and quite entertaining. 23 minutes, so just long enough.

Damn, I own the bad CGI DVD they keep showing pieces off...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Quick First Impressions of Empire of the Petal Throne

1 - It reminds me of DragonQuest (SPI) and other RPGs that were put out by primarily Wargaming companies, as it has numbered sections and subsections.

Example: Hit Dice, Combat and Damage Dice is #700, Hit dice Follows at #710, Combat follows at #720 and Use of Weapons ans Weapon Types follows at 721 (as it falls under Combat)

2 - Boobies. The art has boobies with nipples and such, but comes off looking like "artsy" art, not "fantasy" art. So, this isn't you Succubus from the MM type art ;)

3 - More on the art- It's vert "atmospheric" in a non-fantasy way. I'd compare it loosely to the art in Spears of the Dawn, which is African in type and not standard fantasy.

4 - The maps are individually priced at 5 bucks a pop - more than half the $27.50 asking price of the game box itself. Heck, the rule book alone was $12, which was more than the OD&D Boxed set.

5 - I'm going to need to find a way to ignore all this fancy language shit - if I had trouble learning a real second language in college, it certainly isnt happening in an RPG.

6 - At first glance it looks to be better organized and edited than the OD&D Boxed Set, but I'll see if that holds up with closer reading.

New Revised OSRIC SRD - and it's Free (of course)

I think I've mentioned that I've been running an AD&D 1e / OSRIC campaign set it Rappan Athuk at least a handful of times. Why OSRIC? Because I can find my AD&D 1e rules in half the time. It really is a well laid out resource. I have the full sized softcover, the pocket sized softcover for reference at the table and the Player's Guide (in case I actually get to be a player at some point).

Now there is a revised OSRIC PDF. Updated 2nd Edition. How dare they put it out for free ;)

I love the OSR :)

(Big thank you to The Crazy GM for bringing this to my attention)

Friday Afternoon Double feature at The Tavern - Dredd and Prometheus

So, when you are on vacation AND sick as a dog, what is one to do?

Watch DVD's of course!

So, I settled into bed with the dog and the cat and watched some movies this afternoon.

The first movie up was the new Dredd. Now, I remember the pretty campy movie with Stallone from back in the day (and the "You can do eet!" guy), which was fun if horribly stupid. The new one (in which I have absolutely no idea who the actors were) was surprisingly good for what it was - a slow motion bloody gorefest. I tried to reconcile it with the on 2000ADs I used to buy on newsprint back in the day, but I'm so far removed from that I couldn't tell you how well it kept to the Dread mythos. Still, a damn fine thrill ride.

Next up was Prometheus. It was - not bad, but not all that great either. Plot spoiler, but I still don't understand why the android infected the Ben Afleck (Charlie Halloway) look alike. Yeah, it's like Aliens with the serial numbers scratched off, until the last scene where they put the serial numbers back on. Which makes sense, as it's the same universe, but I found stuff to be both confusing (again, why the  infection? to bring back a bio agent to earth? if so, why the acceptance of the doc after she aborts her ill conceived aberration?) and predicable at times (I know I've watched too many movies when I can say the lines of a new movies before the character does

I mean, Judge Dread left me all hyped at the end, and I'm sick as a dog. Prometheus left me still feeling ill.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Does Anyone Use Real Life Illnesses / Viruses in Their Campaign?

As I sit here, waiting for my next "call to nature", it occurs to me that the only times I've seen illness / viruses / flus and the like in an RPG campaign, it been as part of a plot hook.

I don't ever recall an adventuring party getting sidelined by dysentery, a flu, the norovirus (love ya dude, but you are more than welcome to take your leave now) or any such run of the mill illness.

All of which leaves me to believe that there must be a series of unpublished spells that take care of such issues. Maybe the magic-user has a "Sterile Cleaning" spell for his workshop or clothes. Perhaps clerics have the "Cure Minor Aliment" spell to get rid of the the of the mill flu or viral infection, and a "Cure Major Aliment" spell for pneumonia and the like. Because really, you need something a bit more flexible than Purify Food and Water.

If there were magical cures and / or preventions, it would all make sense. Maybe I need to put my party up against a group of norovirus infected adversaries and watch the fun that follows...

Things that cross your mind while on a "liquid diet". I can't see myself fighting orcs or slaying dragons in this state ;)

Empire of the Petal Throne - New in Wrap Unboxing (TSR 1975)

So, over the weekend I snagged a new, still in wrap (torn wrap) copy of Empire of the Petal Throne on eBay. It was supposed to arrive tomorrow or Saturday, but it came a day early. I'm not complaining, as it helps me feel better about the fact that I've been fighting the Norovirus since just after last night's post. Yep, its been one hell of a night / day.

Anyhow, enough about me. You want the pics. I don't blame you. Onward to the show...

(hopefully a bit better than Geraldo and Al Capone's Vault ;)

Well packed in it's shipping box.
It's like unwrapping a Christmas Present

The wrap is certainly torn, but it's all there. $30 price tag.

The wrap has been removed. The box has a slight crush on
the top side, but the colors are still remarkably vibrant.
And the Box is now opened.  The map actually makes
slight cracking sounds as I unfolded it.

Lookie! A second map!

And a third map!
There are actually 2 sets of this 4 page spread of Reference Sheets.
The cover of the rules book. The lower right hand corner
of the book isn't crushed - that's part of the cover
paper not sticking to the inside of the box.
Spiral bound. Nice! I wondered about the discoloration
on the right side of the page, so I turned the page...

It was a glob of misplaced ink during the printing process.
And there you have it. Haven't looked at it all that closely. Nausea and frequent trips to the bathroom are known to disrupt the best laid plans of mice and men. Figures I'd get sick on my vacations :(

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

There Are Some Current Sales on "Horror" Type RPG Stuff at RPGNow (LotFP and Goblinoid Games)

Real quick, as my intestinal fortitude is less it's usual state. The family is fighting off one hell of a stomach bug this week - I guess I picked the right week for vacation - sigh...

+James Raggi is running a sale Death Love Doom to help celebrate Valentine's Day. Yep, only James would put this particular piece on sale this week ;) You can read my original review here. James has it on sale for 99 cents in PDF through Sunday. Not too shabby.

Goblinoid Games is running a $2 sale on Rotworld through the end of February. This ties in to the latest season of the Walking Dead premiering this month. At 2 bucks I may need to snag a copy and review it. Be warned - Rotworld is a built in coupon link, so it drops it in your cart at the $2 price.

Comparing OD&D to it's Nearest Clones - S&W Whitebox and Delving Deeper - Part III: The Classes (Demihumans)

Now we peek at the demihumans:

(as I have all of these in PDF, I'll be copying the relevant parts and making comments from there)

Original Dungeons & Dragons

Dwarves:  Dwarves may opt only for the fighting class, and they may never progress beyond the 6th level (Myrmidon). Their advantages are: 1) they have a high level of magic resistance, and they thus add four levels when rolling saving throws (a 6th level dwarf equals a 10th level human);2) they are the only characters able to fully employ the +3 Magic War Hammer (explained in Volume II); 3) they note slanting passages, traps, shifting walls and new construction in underground settings; and 4) they are able to speak the languages of Gnomes, Kobolds and Goblins in addition to the usual tongues

Elves (these folks get tricky): Elves can begin as either Fighting-Men or Magic-Users and freely switch class whenever they choose, from adventure to adventure, but not during the course of a single game. Thus, they gain the benefits of both classes and may use both weaponry and spells. They may use magic armor and still act as Magic-Users. However, they may not progress beyond 4th level Fighting-Man (Hero) nor 8th level Magic-User (Warlock). Elves are more able to note secret and hidden doors. They also gain the advantages noted in the CHAINMAIL rules (I guess if you don't have the Chainmail rules you're crap outa luck for those advantages)when fighting certain fantastic creatures. Finally, Elves are able to speak the languages of Orcs, Hobgoblins, and Gnolls in addition to their own (Elvish) and the other usual tongues.

Halflings: Should any player wish to be one (I guess Raggi wasn't far off in making them a "throw away" class - heck, ACKS leaves the race out altogether), he will be limited to the Fighting-Men class as a halfling. Halflings cannot progress beyond the 4th level (Hero), but they will have magic-resistance equal to dwarves (add four levels for saving throws), and they will have deadly accuracy with missiles as detailed in CHAINMAIL.

Other Character Types: There is no reason that players cannot be allowed to play as virtually anything, provided they begin relatively weak and work up to the top, i.e., a player wishing to be a Dragon would have to begin as let us say, a "young" one and progress upwards in the usual manner, steps being predetermined by the campaign referee. (this goes far in showing just how "open" OD&D was meant to be)

Delving Deeper

Dwarves: Dwarfs are as fighters excepting that they are the only characters able to employ the +3 war hammer to its full potential. They are adept at evading large, clumsy enemies and suffer only half damage from such foes as giants and ogres (i'm guessing this comes from a later supplement or Chainmail?). Moreover, a dwarf makes all saving throws at four levels higher than his actual level (I would have read the original as applying only to magic attacks and spells, but I can see the justification for this way of reading it). He is, however, limited to the 6th level of advancement.

Dwarfs are expert miners and able to note any new construction, shifting walls, slopes, falling slabs, false floors and the like in dungeon stonework. They are also able to discern noises on a roll of 5-6 (on a six-sided die) when listening at doors.

Additionally, dwarfs are able to speak the language of gnomes, goblins and kobolds, in addition to the Common tongue and their own language.

Elves: Elves begin as either fighters or magic-users, but can change class between adventures as often as desired. An elf becomes dual-classed when he changes class for the first time, and may thereafter use both the weaponry of a fighter and the spells of a magic-user simultaneously.

The dual-classed character must maintain separate experience point totals for each of his classes, with all earned experience going toward his currently active class. He uses the more favorable game statistics of both classes during play, but cannot act as a magic-user while wearing non-magical armor.

Elves deal +1 hit point of damage when employing magic weapons and are able to move and fire a bow without penalty when on foot. They are nearly invisible in their gray-green cloaks, and can move almost silently. Additionally, they are able to locate secrets doors on a roll of 3-6 on a six-sided die when actively searching, or on a roll of 5-6 when merely passing by. They also discern noises on a roll of 5-6 when listening at doors and are immune to the paralyzing touch of ghouls.

They are, however, limited to 4th level as fighters and to 8th level as magic-users.

Elves are able to speak the languages of gnolls, hobgoblins, and orcs, as well as their own language, their alignment tongue, and Common.

Halflings: Halflings can choose to be fighters, but are limited to the 4th level. They have deadly accuracy with missiles, adding +1 to attack rolls, and discern noises on a roll of 5-6 on a six-sided die when listening at doors. Despite his diminutive stature, a halfling is highly resilient and makes all saving throws at four levels higher than his actual level. (at least there isn't a comment saying "should a player wish to be one")

Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox

The Dwarf: Dwarves tend to grow up in underground cities. As such, Dwarves easily take note of certain features of stonework: sloping corridors, moving walls, and traps made of stone (in particular: falling blocks, rigged ceilings, and tiny slits designed to release arrows, darts, or poison gas). There are no established rules or die roll for making use of these abilities; exactly what the Dwarf does or does not perceive is for the Referee to decide.

Dwarven Race Abilities

Character Advancement: The only character class available to Dwarves is that of the Fighter, and they are typically allowed to advance only as high as 6th level.

Weapon and Armor Restrictions: Like human Fighters, Dwarves have been trained in warfare and have no restrictions on the weapons or armor they may use.

Fighting Giants: Giants, ogres, and similar giant-type creatures such as trolls are not good at fighting dwarves, and only inflict half the normal damage against them. (i'm guessing this comes from a later supplement or Chainmail?)

Keen Detection: Dwarves are good at spotting traps, slanting passages, and construction while underground.

Saving Throw: Dwarves do not use magic and, as such, are somewhat immune to its effects; they receive a +4 bonus on saving throws vs. magic (whether or not the alternate “Saving Throw Matrix” is used). (see, I would interpret the save bonus this way too)

Languages: For campaigns that give each race its own dialect, Dwarves should be able to speak with gnomes, goblins, orcs, and kobolds.

The Elf: The Referee can interpret Elves in many different ways. Are they faerie-folk of Irish legend, the Vanir of Norse mythology, or perhaps something more akin to the Elves of Tolkien’s imagination?

As a baseline, most Elves are associated with magic as well as being skilled with the sword and bow. The Elven adventurer may choose, on any given day—perhaps when the moon rises—whether to use the capabilities of the Fighter or Magic-user. As a result, the Elf has two alternate advancement paths (experience points, hit dice, saving throws, “to-hit” bonuses, etc.) depending upon whether he donned steel that day or summoned up the power to cast spells.

Elves must use a spell book to prepare spells, just as a Magic-user. Spells disappear from his casting capability once they are cast, until prepared again.

Elven Race Abilities

Character Advancement: Elves may use either the Fighter or Magic-user class advancement charts, to be announced at the start of an adventure. They are typically allowed to progress only to 4th level as Fighters and 8th as Magicusers.

Weapon and Armor Restrictions: When an Elf adventures as a Magic-user, the character has the same weapon and armor limitations as a Magic-user. The exception to this would be magic armor, which may still be worn even when the Elf is acting as a Magic-user.

Hereditary Foes: Elves gain an extra +1 (“to-hit” or to damage) when fighting goblins, orcs, intelligent undead, and lycanthropes. Elves are also immune to paralysis caused by undead such as ghouls.

Keen Detection: Elves are good at spotting hidden and concealed doors (1-4 on a d6 when searching, 1-2 on a d6 if just passing by).

Languages: For campaigns that give each race its own dialect, Elves should be able to speak with gnolls, goblins, orcs, and hobgoblins.

The Halfling:  Halflings are short, often stout, and live in shires, rustic communities that are usually remote from those of larger folk. A few of them have a mildly adventurous spirit, enough to venture forth for a while at least, exploring the world beyond the farms and fields of the local shire.

Halfling Race Abilities

Character Advancement: The only character class available to Halflings is that of the Fighter, and they are typically allowed to advance only as high as 4th level.

Weapon and Armor Restrictions: Like human Fighters, the Halfling has no weapon or armor restrictions.

Fighting Giants: Giants, ogres, and similar giant-type creatures such as trolls are not good at fighting small creatures such as halflings and dwarves, and only inflict half the normal damage against them.

Deadly Accuracy with Missiles: Halflings receive a +2 “to-hit” when firing missile weapons in combat.

Near Invisibility: When not engaged in combat, Halflings can be quite stealthy, making themselves hard to spot and moving in almost total silence.

Saving Throw: Halflings are somewhat immune to magic, and receive +4 on saving throws vs. magic (even if the “Saving Throw Matrix” is used).

Languages: For campaigns that give each race its own dialect, Halflings should be able to speak with creatures that fit the style of the Referee’s campaign.

Both Delving Deeper and Swords & Wizardry Whitebox flesh out the races with combat abilities "kinda" detailed in Chainmail. I know the Elves Secret Door Detection is iconic, I just dont see it in book 1 of OD&D (it could be there and I just dont see it). Interesting how DD goes for the low roll and S&W WB goes for the low roll.

I'd have to say that S&W WhiteBox is the better organized of the three so far, although DD does a decent job of explaining things and keeping it short.

Tell Me About "Empire of the Petal Throne" (TSR)

About the only glaring hole I've had from the early days of TSR / D&D (at least rules wise, not talk modules / adventures) is the original Empire of the Petal Throne.

Over the weekend I snagged a copy on eBay - still sealed, even if the wrapping is a bit torn. I will be doing the unthinkable and opening this sucker up when it arrives. Games are meant to be read and played when possible. (maybe I'll do an "Unboxing" post with photos)

That being said, what little I know about EotPT is what I've read on the internet. I've never known anyone personally who has played it or owned it.

I know there is an active EotPT / Tekumel community out there.

What should I zero in on when I read this? What should I be looking for first to add to the collection? How complete are the rules? A crapton of other questions will probably arise when it arrives ;)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Comparing OD&D to it's Nearest Clones - S&W Whitebox and Delving Deeper - Part II: The Classes (Core Three / Four)

Now we move on to the meat of the matter: the classes. This post will deal with the "Core Three / Four".

Original Dungeons & Dragons:

Here we have three classes (although many see the Thief as "core" it wasn't initially. That being said, we will use Supplement I to cover the Thief class). Fighting-Men, Magic-Users and Clerics. Then we have Dwarves (Fighting Men), Elves (Fighting Men and Magic-users) and Halflings (piss poor Fighting Men). Organization of the presentation of the classes is piss poor, but that is part and parcel of the OD&D presentation of classes. Some call it charm. I call it something that the clones definitely got right.

Fighting-Men - Can use all magical weaponry. More hit dice.

Magic-Users - Can use "a whole plethora of enchanted items". Wizards (11th level) and above may create magic items. Spells obviously

Clerics - Can use magic armor and all non-edged magic weapons and can cast Cleric Spells as well as Turn Undead. At 7th level must declare for either Law or Chaos

Thieves (Greyhawk Supplement) - Thief skills increase per level as a percentage, except for Hear Noise, which is bases on a d6. I can't find backstab info for thieves in Greyhawk. Maybe I missed it.  Bottom of page 4 - found it thanks to Eldric IV :)

Delving Deeper:

The Fighter - Can use the majority of magic weaponry, withstands more damage, against enemies 1+1 HD or less gains 1 attack per level.

The Magic-user - Greatest selection of enchanted items. At 9th level can enchant items of his own. and of course spells

The Cleric - Must choose law or chaos. Can use armor and shields, but edged and piercing weapons are prohibited. At 2nd level gains a spell book of first level spells. (WTF?). Turn undead.

The Thief (optional class) - thief skills succeed on a 3-6 on a D6 - no matter the level. Can read magic-user spells scrolls at 9th level. Backstab is +4 hit, with 2 dice of damage for every 4 levels or fraction thereof.

Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox:

The Fighter - Can use all weapons and armor.  Against foes 1 HD or lower, 1 attack per level.

The Magic-user - No mention of creating magic items.

The Cleric - Blunt weapons and any armor. Spells. Turn Undead

The Thief - ain't got none ;)

So, my observations:

Delving Deeper makes a claim that it keeps closer to the original, but I don't see it just yet. Since when did Clerics have Spell Books? (since page 34 apparently)

I've heard it mentioned that the DD Thief class is based on so "proto" version before the published version in Greyhawk. Whatever, it's not based on a published version - the one that EGG presented. It doesn't feel "right". If you are going to make the argument that you are closer to the original than other clones, why stray so far?

Both DD and S&W WB have fighters getting multiple attacks against 1HD creatures. I remember that from AD&D, I haven't found it yet in the OD&D set, but God himself knows where it might be buried ;)

The Tenkar's Tavern Overdue Kickstarter List - Updated 2/12/13

The below is a list of RPG Related Kickstarters that were estimated to ship (I am using the ship date for the physical item, not the PDF if there is one) February 2013 or earlier.  I was going to add Indiegogo projects to the list, but they are so few (and this list got so long) I'll summarize as follows: LotFP stuff that I supported over the summer has not shipped, but Indiegogo doesn't force an estimated shipping date . Barrowmaze II shipped on time!

Updated 2/12/13
Small side note - I find that the longer a Kickstarter goes past it's due date, the less I care about the product. Running long leads to apathy and kills good will.

I'll be moving the shipped items to the bottom, and the long overdues to the top. Yes, it's spring cleaning in January ;)

Colors for Actual Ship Date are as follows:

Red: Hasn't shipped and is (or will be based on new estimates) significantly overdue. This includes projects that have been shipping in dribs and drabs for months. If all backers dont have what they pledged for, it's in red.

Orange: Late but shipped, or recently missed a shipping date and hasn't shipped

Green: Shipped on time. Holy Shit!

Far West
Goal: $5,000     Total: $49,324     Funded: August 25, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: December, 2011     Actual Ship Date: Not Shipped (and has missed interim ship dates)

Far West - last update 2/8 -   updates are becoming weekly  -  First the main / lead artist flaked out in the middle of the job (and claimed to have finished work he hadn't completed), then Gareth got sick, "Far West" as a title will now be cropping up in unrelated media, making marketing a pain I suspect , then Gareth and everyone got sick again for flu season - Either they are breeding new strains of the plague at Adamant or the company is cursed -  Cubiclde 7 has gotten involved in the process, so the new guarantee of Dec 2012 for the PDF is hopeful, I've lost fucking hope - NEVER FUCKING HAPPENED -  5 out of 12 Chapters are not complete yet - Note - this project will be OVER one year late.

"Oh, and as an FYI -- I have to go to Los Angeles in mid-week (to work a convention), so I'm not expecting that I'll get a lot done, and will probably have to skip next Friday's update." At this point, does it even make a difference?

Know what the sad thing is? I've gotten to the point I no longer care. This will be going directly to a shelf. Nice concept but unable to produce a finished product  

Quantum Roleplaying Game
Goal: $13,000     Total: $47,747     Funded: December 30, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: April, 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped

Quantum RPG - last update 2/11  beta is now over - a month between updates, but now promises to do them weekly - To be honest, this is another project I'm no longer excited about.   I suspect when it ships it's going straight to the bookshelf if not traded away. I'm beginning to see a trend here. I seem to no longer care about shit I already paid for, because publishers can't get their shit together.  Still no new estimated completion date. But hey, we're already being told the list of products to follow, if the core book ever gets published.

Josh, just so you know, the reason why the city book never got funded on Kickstarter has nothing to do with it being a city book, and everything to do with trying to fund another product for a line that was funded with Kickstarter and STILL has yet to release.

Appendix N
Goal: $1,000     Total: $18,893     Funded: July2, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped (New Estimate Late September November December ? 2012  Pick a card, any card...)

Appendix N - Last Update 1/17 - A month between updates - Brave Halfling is like your cousin who is always late to appointments - whether it's a Kickstarter or a pre-order, the quality has so far been excellent, the timeliness has been poor. PDF versions of the releases look to be on time or close to it going forward - physical products are going to be a wait n see in my opinion.

The first batch of adventures should be shipping in early March. I'm willing to let John surprise me.

Goal: $10,000     Total: $48,756     Funded: April 14, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: August 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped (No longer giving an estimate)

Dwimmermount - Last Update 2/9 Updates Weekly. You know what? It feels more late that Far West even though it isnt - I suspect that is due to all of the initial hype. And recent drama.

Read the latest update for what little actual news there is. Each week that goes on like this brings us closer to the project never bring finished.

Myth & Magic Player's Guide
Goal: $5,000     Total: $24,076     Funded: May 7, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: August 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped

Myth & Magic Player's Guide - Last Update 1/26. 1/14 was the first update since 9/29 (probably due to this post at 2000 Coppers) , and that was in relation to it's sister project. PDF released to the wild, no hard copies yet. Last update related to this project was 9/21, about 3 months ago. Not the way to remain in contact with your customers. NO SHIP DATE  The forum folks are getting angry, especially at the lack of communication. - I'm gonna break that shelf if any of this shit actually ships ;)

CHAMPIONS OF ZED: Zero Edition Dungeoneering
Goal: $4,600     Total: $8,077     Funded: June 16, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: August, 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Shipped

Layout MAY be completed by the middle of February as per the latest update 1/31 (1 month after the previous update) - so sad I no longer care, but might get good value in trade for this.

Nystul's Infinite Dungeon
Goal: $2,000     Total: $16,017     Funded: June 3, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: September 2012 (New Estimate October November  2012? February 14th (?) for the PDF

Nystul's Infinite Dungeon - infrequent updates - Last update 2 / 1 Estimate for physical delivery is November 2012.  pre-layout version in PDF for backers - no idea when it will release - just realized, theres been no talk i can remember about the resin reward levels

King For a Day
Goal: $800     Total: $4,844     Funded: May 1, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: September 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped (new estimate -December 2012)  No F'n idea, but Jim now says January 15th for completion. I don't believe it.

King For a Day - Last update 2/1 Updates frequently now. Jim has learned that being joking about your project's lateness while announcing your new Kickstarter isn't the way to keep your supporters happy. Late is late. But now since he's so late, he's offering a free gift if you support his other project. PDF apparently shipped. I guess i need to look for the email.

Axes & Anvils
Goal: $1,000     Total: $35,000     Funded: August 11, 2012
Estimated Release Date: November, 2012     Actual Release Date: ?

Axes & Anvils - 2/1.  Updates once a month. Doesn't say much. Playtest document available to backers. My guess? Jan / Feb  March? 2013 for release.

Swords & Wizardry
Goal: $10,000     Total: $78,000     Funded: September 4, 2012
Estimated Release Date: November, 2012     Actual Release Date: ?

Swords & Wizardry - Last update 1/23. It recently went past due date. There was a screw up with the module printings and I think we are still waiting on the Monster Book - so if your order is anything but just the rulebook, you'll be waiting.

Monster Book PDF is now finalized and it is huge. Waiting on delivery of the monster book so everything can ship.

Race To Adventure
Goal: $40,000     Total: $52,117     Funded: July 24, 2012
Estimated Release Date: Dec, 2012     Actual Release Date: Early March 2013 (?)

Race To Adventure - Last update 2/4-Updates about once a month - Board Game - 

"The games are printed. They're printed, assembled, shrink wrapped, all that jazz, and are sitting on the pallet ready to go. In fact, we would have shipped them a little earlier, but...

Safety testing. The safety testing results are expected at the end of this week. This is practically a pro forma process, as Ludofact, our manufacturer, has a sterling reputation and a strong drive to produce products that comply with Europe's exacting safety standards. And because of that...

We're starting shipping now. In fact, we're starting shipping as of last week, but because this is an international operation there's some variation to how all that will work out.

International shipments will head out straight from the warehouse. This just makes sense for us: we'd be making poor use of our resources (and your money) if we shipped our international packages to the United States and then back out; the shipping subsidy we took for international customers doesn't really cover more than a third of what it would run us to ship them that way. So straight from Germany it is! Some of the earliest packages have already arrived in the UK and other locations within the European Union. 

The rest of the games for US customers are getting on a big slow cargo boat across the Atlantic. Just this morning we got the lowdown on what that means, from Ludopackt -- the shipping arm of Ludofact. "Ets. 13.02.2013 Eta. 26.02.2013" was the coded transmission... fancy Euro-speak for estimated shipment date of Feb 13th, estimated arrival date of Feb 26th. Granted, that's just the time it'll take to reach the USA. For all we know it'll take a few weeks or more past the 26th to clear customs and make it to our shipping service in Fort Wayne, Indiana. But once the shipment arrives there, we'll spin up that part of the shipping operation and get the games out to all the United States customers within a couple weeks of their warehouse debut."

Maelorum, an epic Gamebook

Goal: $5,000     Total: $8,444     Funded: November 19, 2012
Estimated Release Date: January, 2012     Actual Release Date: Soonish?

"all of which is just a long process that must be done over and over until I am satisfied the bugs are out and the text is error free. I want to place my order for the books by the end of the first week in February"

tremulus: a storytelling game of lovecraftian horror

Goal: $5,000     Total: $62,723     Funded: October 2, 2012
Estimated Release Date: January, 2012     Actual Release Date: ?

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

These words ring true, especially in the game industry, and despite all the preparatory work we had done to ensure everything was on schedule, there was one thing we could not account for, such a tremendously horrible flu season from which there has been little respite for the Blurry Ones, and especially yours truly. I have been terribly ill off and on since mid-November, and have labored under the illusion we'd still be able to achieve our release schedule with no one being the wiser. Suffice to say, this will not be the case. We can only ask for your patience and understanding, and let you know we're working to minimize the delay."

Tales From the Fallen Empire: Sword and Sorcery Setting
Goal: $4,500     Total: $12,435     Funded: July 18, 2012
Estimated Release Date: January, 2012     Actual Release Date: ?

Last updated 2/5 - Updates evet 2 weeks or so. Prject is in proofreading and final art stage

--------------------- DUE THIS MONTH ---------------------------

-------------------------- SHIPPED ----------------------------------

DungeonMorph Dice
Goal: $5,000     Total: $20,620     Funded: May 22, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2011     Actual Ship Date: December, 2011

Adventurer Conqueror King System
Goal: $4,000     Total: $11,648     Funded: August 6, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: November, 2011     Actual Ship Date: April, 2012

Adventurer Conqueror King System Player's Companion
Goal:: $4,000     Total: $20,622     Funded: March 16, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2012     Actual Ship Date: January, 2013

ACKS Player's Companion - I now have the Companion in hand. Shame I'm no longer running an ACKS Campaign.

C&C Classic Monsters
Goal: $4,000     Total: $9,108     Funded: December 2, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: January, 2012     Actual Ship Date: May, 2012

Artisan Dice
Goal: $300     Total: $91,542     Funded: April 7, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: April, 2012     Actual Ship date: May, 2012 and still ongoing completed now I do believe - this suffered from overwhelming response. If you are going to be late, let it be because you have too many customers ;)

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea
Goal: $6,000     Total: $13,216     Funded: January 15, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: April, 2012     Actual Ship date: July, 2012 and still ongoing completed I believe

Adventures Dark & Deep
Goal: $2,500     Total: $7,459     Funded: April 15, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2012     Actual Ship Date: Shipped September, 2012 - I was only in at the PDF level, but congrats for hitting the ship date ;)

Story Forge
Goal: $12,000    Total: $21,736     Funded: March 20, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2012     Actual Ship Date: July, 2012

Goal: $10,000     Total: $23,580     Funded: August 9, 2012
Estimated Release Date: Oct, 2012      Actual Ship Date: November 2012

I need to find time to play this with my family. Box weighs a ton and a half ;)

Dwarven Adventurers Boxed Set
Goal: $1,250     Total: $136,487     Funded: July 25, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: September 2012 Arrived 12/3

Dwarven Adventurers - Shipped

Tabletop Forge
Goal: $5,000     Total: $44,413     Funded: July 9, 2012
Estimated Release Date: August, 2012      Actual Release Date: Not Yet Released (Beta Released)  Merged into Roll20

TTF recently announced it is merging into Roll20. Goodbye TTY, we hardly new ya.

There's a crapload of RED now.

If I missed any I'll post them, then add here for the next update.

Just as a quick note, Spears of the Dawn is on track to possibly ship MONTHS early.
If this happens, Kevin should get a special award ;)

Not due yet, but funding is complete:

Horror on the Orient Express: Call of Cthulhu by Chaosium


Maelorum, an epic Gamebook

Magicians: A Language Learning RPG

Boss Monster: the Dungeon-Building Card Game

Dungeon Heroes - Your Lunch Break Dungeon Crawl

Agents of Change: The Time Travel RPG

Spears of the Dawn


To Be or Not To Be

Adventures Dark & Deep Player's Manual

The Skies Over Danbury

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Three "White Boxes" of D&D and It's Clones

I find it interesting that the Delving Deeper box is more subdued in coloring. The "white" is less white than the S&W WhiteBox and the black ink has a built in fade to the color - almost like the box was aged.

Something you can't see in this photo is that the S&W WhiteBox and the Delving Deeper have their title on the short end sides and artwork on the long end sides. Pretty nifty.

It's similar with the X-Plorers boxed sets (I have numbers 52 and 60).

Anyhow, I'll continue with the comparison look tomorrow.

Mini Review - The Manor # 3 (OSR Fanzine)

I know for sure I could never do a fanzine where I did all of the writing. It's not that I'd run out of ideas, but I'd find myself jumping back and forth between them to the point that nothing would ever get completed. I tip my hat to +Tim Shorts . It may have taken longer than you might have liked to complete the latest issue of The Manor, but you did it and it is good.

The Manor #3 starts off with an adventure - Mine of Rot & Disease. Tim labels it as a One-Shot, but I feel it could even work as a campaign kick-off. I like it because it has the potential to to truly involve the players emotionally, especially if this is their starting town. It's written for the S&W Complete ruleset, but should work with any OSR rules of your choice.

I miss the Rusty Battle Axe and his postings, but here we get a small snippet of poetry from the man. In truth, I wish we had his postings. Anyway, where was I?

Pog Nog's Cart - I am so fucking stealing this. Seriously, it is many layers of awesome, as is Pog Nog. I may just have to have him wandering The Gut in Rappan Athuk ;)

Aszeer: God of the Monster Hunt - The Monster Hunter gives us a new class for Blood & Treasure. It's an interesting take on the specialize multi-class cleric type. I'd be interested in playing with and / or tinkering with the class for other OSR systems. I may need to tone it down just a tad as it seems to be more powerful than other multi-class options in B&T.

So, is it worth $2.50 for the PDF ($3.50 for the print copy)? Hell's yes! I already ordered my print copy to go along with my PDF version.

From the blurb:

The Manor is back with more old school gaming goodies.  Within these pages you'll find:

The Village of Aberton is suffering from a mysterious sickness.  Undead have been spotted on the dark countryside.  The Baron has not responded.  The monks of Ambrose Abbey seemed to have abandon Aberton.  Only a group a kick ass adventurers can cure this disease.

Pog Nog strolls through the streets with his creaky wheeled cart.  He's got a surprising selection of trinkets.  He's got stuff you don't even know you need, but he'll make sure the right item gets the right person.

And the Monster Hunter class.  This class was created for the Blood & Treasure RPG, but can kill monsters in any edition of any game...ever.
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