Saturday, August 17, 2013

And the ENnie Winner For "Best Free Game" is... (Hint - It's an OSR Game)

The Mazes & Perils RPG - Vince and team took home the gold for best free game.

+Jon Marr from Purple Sorcerer took home the silver for Best Software for his Crawler Companion app / software for the DCC RPG (Roll20 got the gold, so you know it was a damn tight race).

Gnome Stew won gold as best website (and best blog - which seems strange but cool too) and Dungeon World grabbed gold for best rules. Lot's of other winners that I don't care much about, but you can read the list over at ENWorld.

edit: Can't find this on the ENWorld site right now, but apparently Goodman Games won the fan choice silver award for Best Publisher.

GenCon 1993 - Looking Back 20 Years to My One and Only - I'm Spell Jammin! I Hope You Like Jammin' Too!

There are certain memories of my one and only GenCon that majorly stick out in my mind.

Meeting the guys at Palladium Games, buying Rifts and getting the core book by Kevin Siembeida and Kevin Llong signed is certainly one of them. They were very approachable guys (even if Kevin S has turned into the C&D Nazi in later years). GenCon lead to the infestation of Rifts in my group for a long time, even if I was never the one to run it.

It's also where I bought Dangerous Journeys, EGG's first major RPG after getting the boot from TSR (Cyborg Commando is far from a "major" RPG).

Then there was the SpellJammer set up that was being run by Slade Henson when I found it. It was a large, space asteroid thing with dozens of miniatures and terrain elements. You chose a miniature and wandered around until you got killed - or something like that. It was impressive.

I observed for a few minutes before jumping in as another player died. I wasn't sure exactly what was going on, but Slade was really hamming it up, so whatever it was, it was fun.

Suddenly, Slade turned to me and said (I'm paraphrasing after 20 years): "You think you can handle running this for 5 minutes? I gotta take a leak!".

That shit-ton of panic hit. How the fuck am I going to run this? I don't even know what the rules are.

"It's simple - high roll on a D20 wins - one hit kills. Play it up, be descriptive. I really gotta hit the can. Just 5 minutes."

So I did it. I actually have no memories of how well I did. I think I was too damn nervous to be able to remember. I do recall Slade was gone for over 20 minutes. It apparently was a bit more than a piss break ;)

In any case, he thanked me and I moved on to the next shiny in the room. But I can say, for about 20 minutes, I ran a TSR event at a GenCon. I just wish I could remember the details ;)

Friday, August 16, 2013

"Dungeon Robber" is Picking My Pocket - It's Stealing Time!

Damn +Tim Shorts for linking Dungeon Robber on G+ earlier tonight.

I've wasted over an hour, Tim! And I'll be wasting more!

Damn youuuuu!

Kickstarter - Myth & Magic Player's Guide Update - Bonus Material Round 1 - New Races and New Class - or - WGAF!?!

Really, WGAF about new material when we haven't gotten the material we were promised? We were promised updates with every 10% of the M&M Player's Guides shipped - and haven't gotten an update since the first mention nearly a month ago.

I sense some Nystulian magic at work...

The update is "Backers Only" but fuck that - leaving the link to the PDF out tho:

Hello Everyone,
As part of the bonus material earned in the Kickstarter, we promised a few races and two new classes, the Runecaster and the Witch. 
For your patience, and for the general reason that we love to create cool stuff, we fleshed out ALL the popular races from the poll and we rocked the Runecaster and Witch!!! 
This first PDF contains a bunch of new stuff. Five of the six new "core" races, some monstrous races, including Thri-Kreen, and the Runecaster class. 
Next week, we'll post the Eladrin core race and the Witch core class. 
After a short time to digest your comments and playtesting, art will be laid out and the whole thing will be delivered as one big shiny PDF of Goodness.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

GenCon 1993 - Looking Back 20 Years to My One and Only - Arrival and Breakfast and Badges, Oh My!

I remember arriving in Milwaukee the night before GenCon of 93. Paul (miss ya lad), Tony and myself apparently got robbed by the car service we used to get from the airport to the hotel (as we were told by a later driver who refused to take out cash).

Our hotel was no where near the venue, but that mattered little. The room was relatively cheap, although we had to remind the staff we had asked for a roll out bed. We were good friends, but not "that" good.

It was a restless sleep, knowing we wanted to get there early so we could get our badges and get inside to the Con goodness.

The next morning we learned something important - apparently New Yorkers are the rarity in ignoring "Don't Walk" traffic signals. The looks we got were interesting if nothing else. The homeless guy picking thru the trash can wished us "good morning" and didnt try to shake us down for pocket change. Truly we were in the midst of culture shock.

We hit a diner for a quick and cheap breakfast (especially compared to NYC pricing) and got on line for our badges. I had signed up for way too many events, including workshops and tournaments and lord knows what, but the biggest thrill was just to be there. We had never seen so many gamers together at one time, and that was just the line for the badges.

I have pictures of that line with us on it packed away somewhere, but the images are burned into my mind, especially the goofy smiles we all had.

The smiles just got bigger as the days went on.

Next - of Rifts and Dangerous Journeys...

Surprises From the Dusty Sky...

In the midst of all of the Kickstarter and other pre-orders that are shipping now to arrive in time for GenCon madness, I received this piece of awesomeness from the mind behind ...and the sky full of dust blog.

I just had to post the magic before I post the more mundane reviews to follow;)

We need more parts to solve the puzzle. Who has the other pieces...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Besides Frog God and Goodman Games, Are Any Other "OSR Companies" At GenCon 2013?

I know the OSR likes to punch above it's weight when it can, but off hand I can't think of anyone other than Frog God and Goodman Games seriously representing the OSR at GenCon this year.

Truth be told, I haven't been paying that close attention. It's been 20 years since my one and only GenCon (there is a post there for later) and I think it's even less about the game playing and more about the game selling these days then it was back then.

Still, I'd love to hear about the other companies / small press that are making their mark at this year's GenCon...

Any Gen Con Plans for Those That Aren't Going?

Are you doing anything to celebrate NOT attending GEN Con 2013? ;)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Thoughts on a "Friday Fanciful Encounters" Series of Postings For the DCC RPG

In case you haven't noticed, I find the DCC RPG art both evocative and inspiring. I've started using pieces of art from the DCC RPG rulebook for the new series of Magic Mayhem Monday posts, two of which have already been posted.

I'm thinking of doing something similar with some of the larger pieces of art. This time, I want to use them to inspire some encounter or room write ups. I've got some ideas for the above piece, but it may not get done by this Friday (the regular job has been running long the last few weeks and will be for the foreseeable future).

Any ideas on how to make this work even better than my basic idea? Anyone want to join in on the fun? ;)

Raggi Posts the Plans for the LotFP WF Referee Book Crowdfunding Project

I'm not sure about this one myself. I really like the LotFP's WF Referee Book and think it would make a fine, stand alone product, but I dont need another copy.

Unlike the WF Rules & Magic Book, this is a read once and done. You dont need it at the table and only the DM really needs a copy.

Also, unlike most other crowdfunded projects, you arent getting the actual book but store credit at the LotFP store (and you still need to pay shipping) to buy the book and perks.

Eh, I'll let Raggi explain (its a lot to read - here's the direct link):

Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Role-Playing Referee Core Book: Procedures and Inspirations

Perk Levels

$1 Ref Book Haters
You don't want the Ref book, but you do want some of those sweet, sweet extras, so you can use this perk level to get those and to hell with the Ref book!

$10 PDF
Ref book PDF + PDFs of all stretch goal adventures.

$35 Referee Book Standard Edition
Voucher for the cost of the Ref book + all stretch goal adventures for the LotFP store. You will pay shipping for these items through the LotFP store when the book is released. You also get the PDF. The Ref book will have two bookmark ribbons, exclusive for backers.

$50 Referee Book Exclusive Cover Edition
Voucher for the cost of the Ref book + all stretch goal adventures for the LotFP store. You will pay shipping for these items through the LotFP store when the book is released. You also get the PDF. This Ref book will have cover art by x which will be exclusive to this version of the Ref book and will not be used by LotFP ever again. This version of the book will be numbered! The Ref book will have two bookmark ribbons, exclusive for backers.

$75 Both Referee Book Combo
Voucher for the cost of two Ref book + all stretch goal adventures for the LotFP store. You will pay shipping for these items through the LotFP store when the book is released. You also get the PDF. You'll get both versions of the Ref book, and both will have two bookmark ribbons, exclusive for backers.

$350 Retail Package
20 copies of the normal Ref edition of the Ref book (with the two bookmark ribbons) with free shipping. Notes on additional copies and substitutions below.


These extras are available as add-ons for all backer levels. All prices include shipping and will not increase the shipping cost of your Ref book order. However, due to the weird nature of crowdfunding and how stretch goals and bonus stuff intersects, I am announcing that only 50% of all money put into extras count towards stretch goals.

At the end of every day I will update on what the "Effective Funding Level" is.

$20 T-Shirt

Simple LotFP logo on a color that YOU choose! Sizes Ladies' S-XL, Mens' S-XXXXL. Printed on preshrunk 100% cotton Gildan Heavy Cotton shirts. (add $4 for sizes XXL and above).

$15 12-Dice Set
Opaque red dice with white numbering:
1x d4
1x d6 (numbers)
3x d6 (pips with a Dead Sign in the 1 spot)
1x d8
1x d10 (0-9)
1x d10 (00-90)
1x d10 (000-900)
1x d12
1x d20
1x d30

$50 Slipcase
A nice thick 1.8mm full color slipcase designed to hold this Referee hardcover and the Rules & Magic hardcover (which is not included in this campaign!).

$5 Thulian Echoes PDF
Zzarchov Kowolski (Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess, The Gnomes of Levnec, A Thousand Dead Babies) is helping out by letting LotFP release his new adventure. Zzarchov of course gets a cut of every purchase of Thulian Echoes.

$15 Thulian Echoes Print + PDF
Zzarchov Kowolski (Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess, The Gnomes of Levnec, A Thousand Dead Babies) is helping out by letting LotFP release his new adventure. The print version will be exclusive to this campaign. Zzarchov of course gets a cut of every purchase of Thulian Echoes.

$10 LotFP Note Pad
48 page, A5-sized note pad (with cover artwork by Satine Phoenix!). The first half of the book has graph paper on one side of the spread and lined paper on the other, and the second half has hexes instead of graph paper - perfect for your mini One Page Dungeons and Wilderness needs.
Stretch Goals


This will get the Ref book printed. I'll do the layout myself, it will be proofread by the wife. Very basic stuff that will get the book out the door.
Once this goal is reached, existing backers will get an email with a list of possible stretch goals, and backers will have 24 hours to vote on which should be the next goal. The goals as they stand now:

+$700 Pro Copyediting
The book will go to an outside copyeditor.

+$1200 Pro Layout
Layout for the book will be done by Tigerbyte, who did the layout on the Rules & Magic hardcover, The God that Crawls, The Monolith from beyond Space and Time, and Isle of the Unknown.

+$2300 Full Color Layout
The layout will be in full color.

+$2300 Indexes
A comprehensive index covering both this new Ref book and the Rules & Magic hardcover will be in this book.

+$2800 Developmental Editing
The Ref book is going to be one part advice and procedures, one part game tools, one part inspiration, plus intro material for new Refs. To help everything flow more smoothly and to help create a more impactful book, a developmental editor will be brought on board with this stretch goal.

+$2800 Color Section
A 4 page insert with full color art, like the one that appears in the Rules & Magic book, will be part of the Referee book. This goal may be reached multiple times.

+$3000 Custom Slipcase Art
You want brand new, exclusive artwork for that slipcase? Better reach this goal.

+$3700 Module Reprint
Older, out of print need to be reprinted. Reaching this goal will get one of the following adventures reprinted: Tower of the Stargazer, Death Frost Doom, The Grinding Gear, Hammers of the God. The value of the adventure will be added to the LotFP store voucher backers received so you get it just the cost of added shipping if the goal is reached. This goal may be reached 4 times, once for each adventure.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Magic Mayhem Monday - Holly Hobb's Pipe of Perfect Peace (DCC RPG Magic Item - OSR Conversion Notes in Comments)

Holly Hobb is one of the earliest adventuring halflings of historical record. Holly, who preferred to be called by his last name Hobb, as Holly was unsuitable for an adventuring halfling, enjoyed peace and quite whenever it could be found and even when it couldn't. He would often stop to smoke his pipe in the darkest and deepest dungeons and crypts, in the firm believe that a calm mind led to calm success. Not every creature agreed with him.

Thus it was that he searched out The Blue Wizard, and convinced him to craft a pipe of wonder. The price Holly paid is not recorded in history, but it is believed that a piece of his soul was used to enchant the pipe that bears his name.

In the hands of a non-halfling, Holly Hobb's Pipe of Perfect Peace appears to be an ever ready magical pipe. The tobacco is always fresh and properly packed. Smoking the pipe relaxes the mind. After 5 minutes of smoking the pipe, the PC heals 1d4 Hit Points or 1 point of Spellburn. He must also make a Stamina Save of 12 or better or fall into a magical slumber for 2d10 rounds from which he will not awake until the duration is up. The pipe can be used for healing once per day.

In the hands of a halfling, Holly Hobb's Pipe of Perfect Peace shows it's true powers. In addition to the above healing properties (a halfling only needs to roll a Stamina Save of 5 or better to avoid falling asleep) the halfling can use the pipe to cast Choking Cloud and Sleep each once per day as if he were a Wizard of the same level. Int does not effect the spell check but Luck does. On a failure, the spell is lost for the day as usual. On a roll of a natural 1, the halfling mistakenly inhales too much smoke and takes 1d4 damage and is unable to act for 1d3 rounds as he recovers from the smoke inhalation.

Are There Any Gen Con Releases You Are Anxiously Awaiting?

Amazingly enough, I can't think of anything off hand.

So, what are you expectantly expecting to be released at Gen Con?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Trying to Decide My Magic Mayhem Monday Entry For Tomorrow

I'm having fun designing magic items based on the art in the DCC RPG rulebook.

I have a few possibilities to use for tomorrow's item.

Hmm, 3 out of 4 are staffs or wands this time around. Go figure.

If you have a favorite, let me know. One of these will get stated out for the DCC RPG sometime tomorrow.

Review - Lich Dungeon Level II - A Dungeon Out of Time

When I say that Lich Dungeon Level II is "a dungeon out of time" what I mean is that it doesn't fit into modern gaming sensibilities, even those built around the OSR. It is a product of the late 70's / early 80's, even if it was written in modern times.

What are some examples?

Boxed or highlighted text for the DM to use as a memory refresher / quick description for the
party? not present. You better have a full working knowledge of every nook and
cranny of this level before running it, or your players are going to go back to texting / surfing / talking amongst themselves as you read a single room's complete description to yourself to refresh your memory. Actually, back in "the day" I don't recall many dungeon rooms having paragraphs of lengthy description, which is probably why we didn't need boxed and / or highlighted text for the most part.

A pole-arm random table with 16 possible pole arms? Present. This is more like a small gem and makes me want to break out my AD&D 1e books to see what each one looks like.

No blank spots on the map - every hex is used. Sure, that's how I drew dungeons when I was 15 - but then again, I was 15.

Doors. WTF is it with all of the doors? Level II is the level of doors it seems.

Fun. I can tell Frank had fun writing this. There are many parts that I had fun reading. The thing is, this is one of those "silly" dungeons, and unless your players are in the mood for such, it will get old - fast. If they are in the mood for such, there's lots to like.

Gygaxian ecology explained? Yep

So far for me, it's a mixed bag. The problem I have with mixed bags when it comes to gaming is sorting it out to the point I can comfortably use it. Time to dig deeper for that.

Lich Dungeon links at The Tavern

Free OSR Adventure - Cave of Seiljua (One Sheet Dungeon)

 +Tim Shorts released Cave of Selijua on OBS last September and I missed it that time around. Heck, I only found it because Tim posted a link on his blog about another blogger converting it for use in Stars Without Number.

If you are like me and somehow have been deprived of this hand drawn dungeon now's you chance to grab it for free.

BTW, it's got trolls ;)

From the blurb:

Ragnar has slandered a fellow clansman, but fled before he was brought before the Thing.  The jarl orders the players to return Ragnar...alive.  The jarl believes Ragnar is hiding in an old cave within the wildlands.  A place once hunted often to thin out the horrible creatures that lived there.

This is a mid-level, one page, viking themed adventure.  No stats have been included since I've used the one-page dungeon theme.  Enjoy.

Mini Review - Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent - (AS&SH Adventure)

Strictly speaking, The Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent is not new, having previously appeared in an issue of Knockspell. That version apparently has been tightened up by +Jeff Talanian with new maps, new art and has been updated to the released version of the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rules.

So, how does it stand up?

Pretty well.

I'm not comparing it to the original Knockspell version, as that would require me to dig out my original Knockspells ;)

Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent is a nice S&S flavored adventure. Sure, it's written with AS&SH in mind, but all that really means is that it can be used with just about any OSR ruleset you can think of with little effort. The hook alone screams Dungeon Crawl Classics to me:

All of which reinforces my thoughts on stealing liberally from AS&SH for my DCC RPG campaign.

There are two included maps - the outdoor map for the immediate vicinity of the crypt, and the dungeon map of the crypt itself.

The first map is little more than a tool for the GM and it lacks bell, whistles and details. The second map, the crypt itself, is well done and has more then one way for the party to enter. It's undead heavy, but it is a crypt ;)

I'm really enjoying the art (sample above) as it does a great job of evoking the flavor of the adventure. Were I to run this in Roll20 (for DCC of course - for a party of 2-3 level characters) I'd have the art ready to as player handouts.

Damn, I really want to run this as there is even the possibility (using DCC) of a spell duel, but my DCC party is just 1st level...

Oh, and it should work damn fine as an adventure with the OSR ruleset of your choice.

From the blurb:

An adventure in HYPERBOREA designed for 4–6 characters of 4th to 7th levels. For use with Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea™ and other traditional fantasy role-playing games.

A millennium has passed since the Green Death swept across Hyperborea. In that bygone age of pestilence, a noble family fled the City-State of Khromarium. Far beyond the walls of the city, they entombed themselves in order to elude the inescapable plague. Their necromancer placed them in a deep slumber from which they never wakened. Also he summoned a mythical serpent to guard the vault, a beast reputed to shed gems for tears from eyeless sockets. Tales speak of this beast as the Sightless Serpent. Now, a knave of Khromarium claims to have witnessed the legendary beast. For a pittance he will lead your party to its trail . . .
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