Saturday, September 18, 2021

News - Halls of the Blood King (OSE) Wins Two Gold Ennies

I'm not much of an Ennies watcher these days, but I was happy to see that Halls of the Blood King (OSE) win Gold Ennies for Best Adventure and Best Cartography. I know Diogo Nogueira wrote the adventure but I'm not sure who the cartographer is and Glynn Seal is the cartographer.

In any case, you can snag Halls of the Blood King in print (plus PDF) for 15 bucks plus shipping at the Exalted Funeral Press website. The PDF of Halls of the Blood King is 7.50 at DTRPG.

A fantasy-horror adventure for characters of 3rd to 5th level.

  • 37 keyed areas, rumour table, loot summary, dungeon background info.
  • Keyed in a quick-reference, bullet point format.
  • Statted for Old-School Essentials (B/X), usable with any vintage adventure game.
  • Unlabelled map included for VTT use.

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Friday, September 17, 2021

Humble Bundle - Voices of Warhammer 2021 by Black Library (Audiobooks)

I'm a HUGE fan of audiobooks these days. One of the side effects of chemo some 15 years ago was a rewiring of my brain, such that I no longer have the attention span to read the written word as I used to. I've gone from reading some 50 odd books a year to one or two. I can, however, stay focused on audiobooks and audiodramas, and I literally jump on the Black Library audio bundles on Humble Bundle when they drop. I'm a huge fan of the Warhammer and Warhammer 40k universes, and getting the fiction in an audio format at a buck a book is a win-win for me :)

You can snag the Voices of Warhammer 2021 Bundle for as little as a buck for 5 books, but since you can sample them all, I advise you listen to a sample or three for free and see if the format works for you. If it does, 18 bucks get you all 19 books (although admittedly, one is a sampler). At a buck an audiobook, if you enjoy the format you simply can't go wrong.


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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Deal of the Day -Robotech: A Macross Saga RPG (SWAdE, Revised)

When I think of Robotech as an RPG, I tend to think of the Palladium RPG. I never played it, but I remember our GM brought aspects of the setting and system into Rifts back in the early and mid-90s.

I guess I really need to rewatch the originals, having only watched them in bits and pieces back in the day via pirated videotapes that were loaned to me. The quality was poor and I'm pretty sure I never watched any episodes in order.

So, Robotech was never my schtick. It was a love of many in my gaming group, and one even got the license plate Verotech. Good times.

Somehow I missed Robotech getting the Savage Worlds treatment. Shouldn't be a huge surprise after Rifts got the treatment a few years back.

Today's Deal of the Day is Robotech: A Macross Saga RPG (SWAdE, Revised). Sure, it's a mouthful, but it is marked down for $20 to $12 until tomorrow morning. 

Join us as we enter the exciting world of Robotech! Strap into your Veritech fighter and battle giant Zentraedi warriors for the fate of mankind. Defend the earth from invasion in your Destroid. Help maintain the fragile peace after the war that left most of the Earth devastated. Inside this book you will find a complete Savage Worlds setting for the Macross era of Robotech. Play as your favorite characters, Rick Hunter, Max Sterling, Linn Minmai, Breetai, Exedore and more. You can even make your own character to fight in the first Robotech War.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Kickstarter -Journey Into The Madlands: A Post–Apocalyptic RPG Zine

Let me start by saying I am certainly NOT impartial when it comes to the Journey Into the Madlands Kickstarter. Jeff Jones is one of the creators behind Journey into the Madlands, and he is also the layout artist behind the Torchlight Zine and the upcoming Swords & Wizardry Continual Light Digest Sized Edition. Jeff has done some great work on the layouts I mentioned above, and we wouldn't have such projects without his participation.

As I've said in the past, when I have a connection to a project creator, I put my cards on the table. That being said, Jeff isn't just a highly skilled layout artist, but he's also a skilled content creator.

Journey Into the Madlands is Jeff's latest Kickstarter. He is joined on this journey by Buck Crutchfield (cartographer), Mark Finn (writer), and Jose Manuel Gonzalez (artist). If you frequent the RPG Zine Community on Facebook, you may recognize a name or two.

You can snag a PDF copy of Journey Into the Madlands for 12 bucks, Print plus PDF 19 plus shipping (4 bucks in the US). Personally, I'm in for Print plus PDF.

So, what is Journey Into the Madlands?

This zine started out small, but as contributions of art and writing rolled in, we realized that the traditional digest–sized format could not contain all the apocalyptic goodness. Almost overnight, the humble, little zine mutated into a “mega-zine.” We jam–packed these pages with intriguing locations, dangerous ruins, insidious enclaves, mutated monsters, and nefarious NPCs.

The locations, NPCs and creatures, while written into a mini-setting, are modular, making it easy for you to pick only the elements to fuel your game.

We don’t stop with mere write-ups of people, places and thing. We provide an abundance of plot hooks to give your game solid guidance.

Did I mention I'm a sucker for settings? 

Next Wednesday on the Talking Crit LiveStream, Jeff Jones will be our special guest. Ask him anything. Not that he'll answer everything, but you might just get lucky :)

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Deal of the Day - Krevborna: A Gothic Blood Opera (System Neutral Gothic Campaign Setting)

I've said it before and I'll say it now - I love campaign settings, even if I rarely use them as is. They are simply a huge source of inspiration. I prefer my campaign settings to be system light or system neutral, as I rarely wish to use them for the system they are written for.

I have a soft spot for Ravenloft, at least the original boxed set (less so the original module, but YMMV). I've always felt it was a setting that TSR/WotC simply couldn't get a handle on. It covered too much, and therefore it covered way too little.

Krevborna: A Gothic Blood Opera looks to hit many of my sweet points. System neutral, gothic horror, and a very solid 4.8 rating on DTRPG with 28 ratings. 

The following review is one of the reason I'm snagging my copy:

I wish there were more setting books like this on the market. Krevborna picks a theme (Gothic horror) and maintains that focus throughout. The broad outlines of cities and regions are here as well as seeds from which GM's can create all the details they want. While some people use it for 5e, Krevborna could just as easily serve as an imaginary region of a slightly-fantastical 18th-century Eastern Europe. It would work extremely well with Lamentations of the Flame Princess or For Coin & Blood. Any period from medieval to Victorian is possible because of what the author is careful not to emphasize. Of course, the other side of that coin is that GM's will need to do some work to fill-in the blanks. For my part, I'm delighted to have found a setting with big blanks exactly where I want them - Patrick Y

Normally 10 bucks in PDF, Krevborna: A Gothic Blood Opera is on sale for only 4 bucks until late tomorrow morning.

The blood moon rises above the haunted lands of Krevborna! Once a country of picturesque villages, deep forests, and sublime mountain ranges, Krevborna is now a land of Gothic ruins preyed upon by fiends, ravening beasts, and the unquiet dead. Shadows triumphantly lengthen across Krevborna; the great powers of darkness work to usher in the dread dominion of an everlasting empire of night.

Krevborna: A Gothic Blood Opera is a system-neutral campaign setting for Gothic Fantasy adventures inspired by Bloodborne, Castlevania, and Penny Dreadful. The book includes:

  1. Art by Becky Munich and Michael Gibbons. Setting map by Michael Gibbons.
  2. Details on nine locations in the setting: the corrupt city of Chancel, the Lovecraftian town of Creedhall, the witch-town of Hemlock, vampire haunted Lamashtu, the seaside horrors of Piskaro, the underworld of the Grail Tombs, the foreboding Nachtmahr Mountains, the eerie Silent Forest, and the forbidden town of Veil.
  3. Information on the people of Krevborna and their folklore.
  4. Ideas for genre-appropriate characters and the dark secrets that damn them.
  5. Thirty-four otherworldly entities to use as patrons for the faithful and the pact-bound.
  6. Eight factions and twelve NPCs to involve your players in intrigue.
  7. Advice and tools for running a fantasy RPG influenced by Gothic literature.
  8. Tools for use in game, such as copious adventure seeds, a bestiary of foes, random tables, and a comprehensive adventure generator that gives you the basis of a scenario with little prep.
  9. A full index and a separate index of the book's random tables.
  10. A design that prioritizes ease of use and speed of play. All "lore" entries are easy to scan, and make use of bullet points to draw your attention to the important bits so you can get on with your game.

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Monday, September 13, 2021

News - Michael Curtis Joins Goodman Games as Director of Product Development, DCC

I'm a few days late at sharing this, but Michael Curtis has joined Goodman Games in the capacity of Director of Product Development, Dungeon Crawl Classics. I still remember the excitement I felt when I read through Stonehell Dungeon for the first time :)

The following announcement is from the Goodman Games website, linked here:

We are very pleased to announce that Michael Curtis has joined Goodman Games on a full-time basis as Director of Product Development for the Dungeon Crawl Classics line!

Michael’s name is well known to fans of Goodman Games, especially for his work on DCC Lankhmar, and many other DCC products. He has been involved with tabletop role-playing games since he was ten years old and has been working freelance in the RPG industry for almost 15 years. During that time, Michael created the renowned megadungeon of Stonehell, wrote the award-winning gaming supplement The Dungeon Alphabet, served as lead designer on the DCC Lankhmar product line for Goodman Games (during which he located an unpublished manuscript by legendary sword-and-sorcery author Fritz Leiber), and has penned or contributed to more than 60 Goodman Games releases, including fan-favorite DCC RPG adventures Frozen in Time, The Chained Coffin, Intrigue at the Court of Chaos, and The Queen of Elfand’s Son. 

Michael has also contributed to such classic adventures as the Judges Guild reprints of Citadel of Fire, Fortress Badabaskor, and Tegel Manor, and converted and expanded the famous Dungeons & Dragons adventures Castle Amber and Expedition to the Barrier Peaks for fifth edition as part of the Original Adventures Reincarnated line. He is the co-host of the Twitch show “Keep Crawlin’ with Mike and Brendan,” and has written many of the “Adventures in Fiction” essays for the Goodman Games website, detailing the works of classic, yet often overlooked, fantasy authors from the last 100 years. 

Michael joins Chris Doyle, Director of Product Development for our 5E product line, as a leader in our design of high-quality role-playing game products. As our DCC and 5E lines continue to gain momentum, we’re excited to see where their collaboration will take us.

“I look forward to the challenges and rewards this new position with Goodman Games will bring,” said Michael. “I’m excited by the opportunities that guiding Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG into the future allows. I hope to keep true to the game’s past and the works that inspired it, while also making it accessible to new audiences around the world.” Michael is a native New Yorker and splits his time between the mountains and the sea, seeking adventures in both. 

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Sunday, September 12, 2021

The "Most Powerful" Magic Item

 

The "Most Powerful" Magic Item
Ok patrons, quick question for y'all, but I have some framing parameters....first the Q: "What would you say is the most powerful magical item?"

Ok, so that's a real broad question so let's try to narrow it down a little bit to maybe Basic or 1st Edition AD&D, forget about Artifacts, and additionally toss out any magical items directly replicated by a spell.

Got to figure out the proper "sandbox", as it were, and Artifacts are just inherently game-breakingly powerful. Most potions have a similar spell and a Ring of Three Wishes is a no-brainer answer otherwise.....

Do you need a second to think about it?

Yes....no...

...ok, I'm going through my Holmes Edition of Basic and I totally think that the answer is the Bag of Holding.

Bag of Holding — Sack sized magic bag which will hold 10,000 gold pieces or an object up to 10 feet X 5 feet X 3 feet in size. The bag will then weigh 600 gold pieces in weight, or 300 for the gold and no more.

Now I fully expect patrons to have a different opinion on this, probably for a couple of reasons, but one is because encumbrance in D&D has always been a bit of a bother, enough that I don't think many groups really do much to track encumbrance.

Now encumbrance can really be a way-too crunchy game mechanic, but I love the crunchiness......which is one reason I liked HackMaster. I still remember geeking out prepping my PC and his pack horse for the beginning of an Against the Giants campaign. I had to figure out the weight of all the gear carried, in all the packs on the horse, and I had to make sure that not only did I have to make sure each bag/pack wasn't overloaded, but also to spread my shit er gear out across all the different packages 'cause I was sure that the GM would figure out some way for us to lose some of the gear as we trekked across the ice.

Now, that was as a player. As a GM encumbrance is one of those things that is a complete PITA.....BUT there is a good (enough) work-around: dump it off on the players! Make the players keep track of their personal encumbrance & keep track of their combat penalties for being encumbered. Just do a surprise audit once in a blue moon and if the player is caught fudging the numbers, or conveniently "forgetting" the combat penalties (there was an AC bonus is you were overloaded with too much crap!), then you hit them with a massive penalty. It's been years, so I cannot remember the penalty for failing an audit, but loss of like half XP, or immediately being placed into Dishonor sounds about right.....

Now with Basic/1st Edition.....encumbrance is in coins? Wait...what?

US Equivalent to 10 coins or 1#
This is #1 of coins

Yes there is this weird idea that a lot of times things are listed in pounds, but then referenced in gold coins, with a ratio of 10:1 (i.e. 10 coins to a pound). 10 coins to a pound? That means the generic D&D coin is basically the equivalent of 2 Eisenhower Dollars.

Just seems kind of clunky to think (in Basic), "I can put *just* enough gold coins in this here bag to pay for two light crossbows." That's 30 pounds of coinage for two light crossbows that weigh......fuuuuuuck, how much do they weigh? Hell if I know....but in 1st Edition they weigh....nope, they only have the weight of the ammo listed.

Now *this* is really what I consider a PITA.

I think I just need to grab my old KenzerCo Goods & Gear and use that to figure everything out.....the Light Crossbow weighs 7 lbs. (page 25).

Until I bother to pull my Goods & Gear out of storage (I just used my PDF copy for looking up the Light Crossbow) I think I just need to get some Bags of Holding. I'm really thinking the true power of the Bag of Holding isn't *just* that PCs can stuff their crap inside, but that if used judiciously, the whole group can pretty much just ignore the clunky encumbrance system....

......THAT is what makes it the most powerful magic item in the game!

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