Saturday, November 1, 2014

Durian - Fruit or Sci-Fi Alien Seed?

So, our new neighbors gave us the above fruit. It's about the size on a medium pumpkin or a large squash. Did I mention our neighbor's don't speak much English? Yep, tonight was an adventure.

So, I cut into the fucker and this is what I saw. I think they used this shit in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Apparently what they gave us was "over ripe."

A little Google-Fu revealed the nature of the beast. It's a Thai fruit called Durian. I think I just found the name of my half-elven bard for tonight's AD&D game.

I wish I had had this last night, as it would have made an excellent prop for Halloween.

All this got me thinking - since bizarre looking fruits exist in real life, just how bizarre could we make fruits in our fantasy and sci-fi RPGs? Have you ever added some bizarre yet beneficial fruit in your campaigns. Heck, have you introduced real life fruits like Durian into your games?

Free RPG - OpenQuest 2 Basic Edition

Back in my early days of gaming, aside from AD&D, I had three basic "go to" RPG systems:


Warhammer Fantasy


All had their own things going for them. What I liked about RuneQuest, besides the awesome setting and supplements, was the comforting familiarity it had in many ways to D&D - and then ran off in a totally different direction.

OpenQuest is, in my eyes, a direct descendent of that old Chaosium edition of RuneQuest. Even better, OpenQuest Basic is free. It's derived from the Mongoose RQ OGL.

And yes, Legend (the latest version of the Mongoose RQ OGL) and RuneQuest 6 Essentials are also available, at a buck and PWYW respectively.)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Riddle Me This! Submit a Riddle and You May Walk Away with Some RPGNow Store Credit

As we talked about on the latest episode of the Brainstorm Podcast (Episode 14, wherein we talk about Riddles) I'm throwing a contest out to my readers.

It's real simple:

- submit an original riddle as a comment to this blog post

Easy, right?

One riddle, as judged by the 3 hosts of the Brainstorm Podcast+Vincent Florio , +Glen Hallstrom and myself) will win it's submitter a $10 RPGNow Gift Certificate. A second riddle, chosen randomly, will win it's submitter a $5 RPGNow gift certificate.

Enter as many riddles as you want. One riddle per comment please.

Riddles must be submitted by 9 PM eastern time on Sunday, November 2, 2014.

Alright folks, get cracking!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dungeon Crawl Classics #24: Legend of the Ripper - Free Until Halloween

I would have missed this if not for OSRToday.

Dungeon Crawl Classics #24: Legend of the Ripper is free until tomorrow, Halloween.

So, grab it!
An Adventure for Character Levels 1-3 . 
The city is gripped in fear! The Ripper has returned after a 125-year absence and is once again carving a trail of blood through the slums of Millers Court. Also returned is the ghost of Mari Kell, his last victim from more than a century ago, and she haunts the streets where she was killed. The city watch is at a loss to solve this supernatural mystery, much less apprehend the Ripper himself. All the clues point back to the hovel where Mari Kell was slain long ago. If the heroes are brave enough to enter, will they find the Ripper himself there?

Fantasy Grounds 2 to Support 5e?

Saw this pointed out in the D&D Next G+ Community:

Are they supporting it in much the same way as 3rd party adventures are supporting 5e, using the OGL as a work around? There currently is no license, not even a GSL, for 5e.

There really is a way for WotC to monetize this...

Deja Vu All Over Again - Just Like 4e, 5e's Digital App is a Bust

Dungeonscape, formerly Codename: Morningstar, is no longer going to be 5e's Virtual Companion. Sound familiar? (read about it at OSRToday and ENWorld for more details)

WotC just can't seem to get this right, can they?

With 4e, they tried twice with Virtual Table Tops, and never were able to integrate it into their DDI. One failed due to personal tragedy, and the second version just failed. Although the first version did steal the graphics from Fantasy Grounds for the 3d dice "visualization" if I recall correctly. The 2nd version never made it out of beta and was killed without much fanfare in July of 2012.

Is there money to be made from a VTT for WotC? Sure. Even with the options already out there, Dungeons & Dragons brings a HUGE player base to whatever VTT they aim for.

I'm going to make a suggestion to WotC - don't reinvent the wheel. Put your marketing might behind a VTT that is already out there.

I'm going to suggest one I no longer use, but could and a few silvers to WotC's coin pouch.

Fantasy Grounds 2

There, I said it.

Give them enough funds to simplify creation of adventures within the software, make a free ruleset for 5e for use with FG2 and get them to integrate an audio Teamspeak / Skype feature into it.

Proven software improved for all with some investment by WotC and they make their money back by selling adventures for use with FG2.


I'll be sticking with Swords & Wizardry, DCC RPG and AD&D using Hangouts and Roll20 ;)

(and yes, Dungeonscape was going to be a VTT as such, but if WotC is looking to make money digitally from 5e - and they aren't selling the books in PDF at this point either - investing in a VTT is the way to go. In any case, another misstep by the fine folks at WotC. Get ready for the Christmas Purge of 2014...)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Night of the Sprits (Castles & Crusades) - 99 Cent Sale

I love sales, especially when you can get some real bargains. Night of the Spirits for C&C is one of those real bargains.

It's newly released and currently priced at 99 cents. At quick glance it looks great for Halloween play or anytime you want to disturb your players. No, i haven't read enough to give a review of it, but in general C&C adventures are good quality and easy to use with anything from the OSR to 3x and probably even Pathfinder, although admittedly the later the ruleset the more work needed to convert

No idea how long the price is good for.

From the blurb:
At the end of each year comes the month and holiday of Samonios, Samhain or Nos Galan Gaeaf, or Halloween. This is the time when the worlds are drawn together and monsters, gods and the spirits of ancestors wander between them. It is a dangerous and dark time in which the most holy and sacred of ideas mean more than they ever have before in the previous year. It is a time for the Dead and to honor them. 
Events in the last year were steeped in bloody battles, the death of kings and encroaching evil from the Otherworld. The seers and madmen foretell that the omens are in place to bring a wrathful invasion from the Land of Magic. Most nobles and lords scoff at these superstitious words and ridicule them, but the common-folk know that there is truth in those portents and omens. 
Families stay close, hold their festivities in honor of their ancestors and the gods, but stay wary of the dangers that might find their way into their darkened homes and lives. But for the young or unwary . . . . 
Little Addolgar ap Maelon Gof has wandered into the thick foliage of the Coed Celyddon, lured by the many colored playful lights that he saw dancing and laughing. Now the young dark haired child of ten winters is deep in the mist-shrouded forest soaked in Otherworld energies. A storm is brewing in the dark woods, stirring the trees and causing the limbs and boughs to crack and knock against each other. Owls hoot in their haunting voice and somewhere distant, wolves howl. Addolgar climbs over fallen trees and makes his way in bramble patches trying to get closer to the mysterious lights in the boughs of the trees. 

Night of Spirits plunges you into the heart of Nos Galan Gaeaf, bringing your characters face to face with the Otherworld and the true horrors of the holiday!  
Night of Spirits is an adventure for 3-5 characters of around 4th-6th level.

Highlighting Some Old School Picks from the RPGNow Halloween 33% off Sale - Part 3

As I type this there is just over 2 days left in the OBS Halloween Sale.

Today I'm going to try and highlight some "Old School" picks from the current RPGNow Sale (part 1 of this list went up two nights ago, part 2 went up last night.) With over 500 items on sale, it's a bit of a slog to go through, but I think I've found some things that do stand out from the rest. The following are at 33% off for PDFs.

Taken from Dunwich - An adventure for +Jeff Talanian 's AstonishingSwordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. Mid level (4th-7th)

Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent - another adventure for AS&SH, also for levels 4-7.

Rats in the Walls - an adventure for AS&SH, this time for levels 1 and 2.

Pulp Weird Encounters #1: The Tomb of Squonk and the Silent Army - Two DCC RPG encounters for one low price.

The Rising Dark: An Introduction to Agraphar [Swords & Wizardry] - a complete adventure setting for Swords & Wizardry or the OSR rule set of your choice.

The Mines of Valdhum - you say you want an adventure for 5e? Here you
go, for levels 5-7

Arrows Of Indra - say what you want about The RPG Pundit (and many do) but Arrows on Indra is an excellent example of taking the OSR framework and restating it for a very unique setting (Mythical India). At $3.34, it really is a bargain not to miss.

The Undercroft #1 & #2 - a quarterly zine for Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy (and other OSR RPGs)

Bearing a Grudge - VS2 - an adventure for levels 1st thru 3rd by InfiniBadger Press, it comes in three flavors - Swords & Wizardry, OSRIC and Castles & Crusades.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Realms of Crawling Chaos Goes Free (I assume limited time only)!

Realms of Crawling Chaos went from a buck, to 67 cents, and as I type this is is FREE.


Grab it and be happy... or scared...

Rotworld RPG Goes FREE (I assume limited time only)!

Rotworld went from a buck, to 67 cents, and as I type this is is FREE.


Grab it and be happy...

Highlighting Some Old School Picks from the RPGNow Halloween 33% off Sale - Part 2

Today I'm going to try and highlight some "Old School" picks from the current RPGNow Sale (part 1 of this list went up last night.) With over 500 items on sale, it's a bit of a slog to go through, but I think I've found some things that do stand out from the rest. The following are at 33% off for PDFs.

Rotworld - Currently on sale for a measly buck, you really can't pass up on this bargain. It's a zombie survival game using the rules system from Timemaster and the original Chill. 

Realms of Crawlinbg Chaos - also on sale for a measly buck. If ya already own this, stop what you are doing right now and grab your copy. We'll wait for ya. Realms of Crawling Chaos is a Lovecraftian Dark Fantasy campaign supplement for Labyrinth Lord and the Advanced Edition Companion.

Shotguns & Saddles Old School, Old West RPG - "Shotguns & Saddles (S-n-S) is a cinematic role playing game set in the American wild west.  The player characters take the role of cowboys, drifters, the town sheriff, or other desperados." If you want Old School Old West, here ya go ;)

Weird Adventures - Old school fantasy pulp - "It's a world where hobogoblins hop trains, gargoyles nest on art deco skyscrapers, and celebrity sorcerers hawk cigarettes on the radio."

The Stars are Falling - AL 1-5 (DCC RPG) - "Purple Duck Games' Adventure Locales One through Five for Dungeon Crawl Classics are here packaged with an intriguing framework story to take you on a story arc of wonder and fun for characters levels 1 to 3." I have all of these and they are excellent.

Sunken City Omnibus (DCC RPG) - "The Sunken City Adventure Omnibus & Guide contains four complete beginning adventures and a host of new material to enhance your DCC campaign."

Grimtooth's Traps (assorted volumes) - practical traps? Not at all. Amusing traps? Without exception.

Liberation of the Demon Slayer -  "Liberation of the Demon Slayer is an old school, multi-level dungeon complimented by optional rules and campaign guide, usable with practically every paper and pencil, tabletop fantasy roleplaying game!" I'm not much on the optional rules, but the adventure is worth the price of admission.

Crap, this isn't going to be done in two posts, is it? More tomorrow...

And "The Sandbox" Wins by a Mile

So, the "What would you like covered on The Brainstorm Podcast" poll closed over the weekend and I personally find the results very interesting.

Nearly 2 out of 3 respondents want to know how to kick of a Sandbox Style campaign, by far the most picked choice of the bunch.

Removing the rails from an adventure path and talking about improvising your game sessions were distant 2nd and 3rd choices.

Alright, you given us (Vince, Glen and myself) much to think about - and hopefully talk about.

Don't forget to listen to the podcast!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Highlighting Some Old School Picks from the RPGNow Halloween 33% off Sale- Part 1

Today and tomorrow I'm going to try and highlight some "Old School" picks from the current RPGNow Sale. With over 500 items on sale, it's a bit of a slog to go through, but I think I've found some things that do stand out from the rest. The following are at 33% off for PDFs

- Call of Cthulhu mixed with ample Nazis and World War II. How can you go wrong with Achtung!Cthulhu?

I really want to run some C0C these days. It's been over 20 years.

- Classified - Expeditious Retreat Press updates the James Bond RPG system, files off the serial numbers and makes all fresh, kinda like the latest Bond movies themselves ;)

Crawl! Fanzine - what can I say about the Crawl! zine that hasn't already been said? If you play the DCC RPG and you aren't reading Crawl!, you are out of your fucking mind. Run, don't crawl!

Crawling Under a Broken Moon fanzine - what do you get when you cross the DCC RPG with Thundar the Barbarian? You get an amazing zine for the DCC RPG that can also be mined for other post apoc OSR games, especially if you enjoy "the gonzo."

Darker Paths 1: The Necromancer and 2: The Witch - looking to add the master of death or the witch of medieval lore to your OSR campaign? Here's your chance to do so.

Dyson's Delves I & 2 - like dungeon crawls? want more maps than you could ever squeeze into your campaign by one of the premiere mappers in the hobby? some detailed dungeons and some left open for you do do so? It's all here.

In the Prison of the Squid Sorcerer - Need a dozen short encounters for your
DCC RPG campaign, or really any OSR game with a little work? It's the prefect resource when you aren't really prepared for the night's game session.

The God-Seed Awakens! - Sure seems like DCC RPG night over here ;) The God-Seed Awakens is a disturbing DCC RPG adventure for 3rd level characters. I shared beers with Paul and his wife at NTRPGCon. I did not expect such disturbance to come from such a likable guy :)

Alright, enough for tonight. More tomorrow...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Night of the Walking Dead - Ravenloft AD&D 2e Adventure - Free in PDF Through October 31st!

Now through October 31st, you can grab a PDF copy of Night of the Walking Dead, an introductory adventure for Ravenloft (AD&D 2e) for free.
In a rain-soaked graveyard, a small group of men stands round a coffin bound with heavy chains. "We are here to mourn the passing of Jean de Cardeau," intones the village priest. " Let us pray that his rest is eternal, and that he never returns."  
As the pallbearers lift the coffin, something scrapes on the wood from inside. Quickly and without emotion, the attendants slide the casket into a crypt. Then they seal the door and flee. Behind them, unheard, a dull thudding begins, growing louder with the onset of twilight. There can be no peace for those who linger in the earthly realm after death. And there can be no sanctuary on the Night of the Walking Dead!  
Set in a zombie-infested swampland, "Night of the Walking Dead" is an ideal first-time Ravenloft adventure. Players must unravel the mystery behind a string of murders and disappearances in a village plagued by ambulant undead—and all is not as simple as it seems!  
The hour of fear is upon us. Are you ready to face the Demiplane of Dread?
For 4 to 6 players, levels 1st-3rd.

Kickstarter - 50 sHAdes of VORpal - It's What You Expect it to Be

I've gotten about a dozen emails, Hangout messages and G+ heads up on the 50 sHAdes of VORpal Kickstarter.

Why so many? Because folks see it as an awesome parody of all the "Heartbreaker RPGs" that without exception claim to be better than D&D.

Heck, 50SoV says so in it's first sentence:
d&D sucks and this is the GREATEst game of ALL TIME. I know, because I made it.
What makes 50SoV amazing isn't that it's an obvious parody. It's the fact that 163 backers have supported it with over $1,300 in pledges. With 2 1/2 weeks to go.

I just hope the project gets cancelled before it finally runs it's course. Because if it truly funds, we very well may be subject to 50 sHAdes of VORpal.
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