Saturday, April 23, 2022

Free OSR - Castles & Crusades Players Handbook & Fiction [BUNDLE]

My doorway back to old-school gaming was Castles & Crusades, and you were able to get the C&C Player's Handbook for less than 10 bucks a copy from Buy.com back in the day. That was back with the first printing of Castles &Crusades.

Today, you can get the 7th printing of the Castles & Crusades Players Handbook in a bundle, along with a short selection of C&C-themed fiction in PDF for the price of FREE. As in the price of air.

You could, alternatively, pay 20 bucks for the C&C Players Handbook PDF and forgo the fiction, but I think free is an even fairer price ;)

We’ve moved to the 7th printing of the Castles & Crusades Players Handbook. A pillar of the table top RPG industry, Castles & Crusades embodies the spirit of the old-school gamer with the easy to use modern mechanics. The Players Handbook has all you need to get started in a wild ride of adventure! It’s easy to learn attribute-based rules system allows players to choose among 13 archetypal character classes and 7 races to create their characters. Spells, equipment, fast-paced combat rules, and all essential information needed to play a game of Castles & Crusades is in this book. Dice and Monsters & Treasure sold separately.

A Houseless God and Other Tales   The landless knight, Eurich Gunshoff, had no master, but served those in need, sometimes for money, but mostly for the honor of it. He went hungry often, slept in the wilds, endured the rain and snow, the heat and wind. He fought creatures, great and small. It was a hard life. Or so he thought, until he passed beneath the eaves of the Darkenfold Forest. A collection of short stories woven together by one of the creators of Castles & Crusades, follow the adventures of Eurich Gunshoff, Count of Kleaves.


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Friday, April 22, 2022

Deal of the Day - RuneQuest Companion (Glorantian Fiction)

I'm really getting psyched about running a Glorantha Campaign in the next few months. Understanding the world and its lore is something I've been working on via the setting books. The opportunity to read some classic Glorantha fiction is exciting.

Until tomorrow at 11 am Eastern, the RuneQuest Companion is the DriveThruFiction Deal of the Day. Normally 10 bucks in PDF, it's on sale for        4 bucks.

THE COMPANION is a sourcebook of articles, stories, and pictures useful to or entertaining to RuneQuest referees and players alike; its wide variety of subjects and forms will stimulate new adventures in any campaign or fill up quiet evenings at home.

The Companion fills a void left by the demise of Wyrms Footnotes, a magazine dedicated at the last solely to RQ articles; it was then the best source for RQ rules variants and steadily published new Gloranthan arcana.

Frustratingly to many, the earliest issues of the Footnotes were never reprinted, so that only savvy collectors had access to important material for RuneQuest® and White Bear & Red Moon (since retitled Dragon Pass). The most RQ-pertinent of those essays and illustrations appear here.

But the majority of the Companion is new material* – a lot of research and writing has occurred since the first issues of WF in 1976!

Note: *This is a fully-remastered PDF true to the original printing (1983).

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Open D6 System Books on Priced at 1.79

I don't think I truly appreciated the potential for the D6 system back when I ran WEG Star Wars in the late 80s. After WEG lost the Star Wars license, they used the core D6 system for other genres. 

You can get the self-standing genre books for the Open d6 System for 1.79 each in PDF.

D6 Fantasy

D6 Space

D6 Adventure

I really need to run an Open D6 Game in the future. The system is simple and natural.

I'll be highlighting free and cheap RPG options over the next week or so...

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Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Magic World (Basic Roleplaying/Complete Game/Setting) on Sale for 2.99 in PDF

I actually happened to notice that Magic World was on sale yesterday when Basic Roleplaying from Chaosium was the Deal of the Day.

Magic World is powered by the Basic Roleplaying System, Chaosium's d100 house ruleset, but it is self-contained and complete unto itself. No need to buy Basic Roleplaying to enjoy this high magic/fantasy take on the d100 system. Magic World is on sale for 2.99 in PDF (marked down from 24.42(?)) 

Enter a world of fantastic adventure, where your destiny is limited only by your imagination. Where powerful sorcerers manipulate the very essence of reality, and where warriors decide the fate of kingdoms with blade and spear. A world of magic, myth, and menace... a MAGIC WORLD!

MAGIC WORLD is a self-contained fantasy roleplaying game using the classic Basic Roleplaying system. The game allows you to play characters in a world of fantasy, adventure, and excitement. The rules of MAGIC WORLD are simple to grasp, while having enough options and complexity to suit any gaming style. Characters grow in experience organically, without relying on artificial constructs such as classes, levels, etc. Any sort of fantasy character you can imagine, you can play. MAGIC WORLD contains:

  • Full rules for creating characters in a world of magic and fantasy.
  • A robust magic system with nearly one hundred spells. Any character may become a spell caster with the right combination of raw talent, and training!
  • Detailed, yet streamlined skills and combat rules.
  • Complete rules for nautical adventures.
  • A bestiary of more than sixty creatures to use as foes for the characters, or as the characters themselves! Play as any species imaginable: Human, Elf, Orc, Centaur, Troll, Talking Beast, and more!
  • Gamemaster advice, and resources.
  • A gallery of enchanted items which might be found in your characters adventures.
  • A complete sample campaign setting, "the Southlands", to jump start your adventures.
  • And more!


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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Deal of the Day - Basic Roleplaying (Chaosium D100 System)

I've been a fan of Chaosium's D100 System since I first found RuneQuest 2 and later Call of Chtulhu. I've owned Basic Roleplaying for years in print and I'm a huge fan of the ruleset, but apparently, I never snagged the PDF. I'll rectify that momentarily.

Normally 21.95 in PDF, Basic Roleplaying is today's Deal of the Day and is currently 4.39 (an 80% discount) until tomorrow morning.

This book comprises a roleplaying game system, a framework of rules aimed at allowing players to enact a sort of improvisational radio theater—only without microphones—and with dice determining whe­ther the characters succeed or fail at what they attempt to do. In roleplaying games, one player takes on the role of the gamemaster (GM), while the other player(s) assume the roles of player characters (PCs) in the game. The gamemaster also acts out the roles of characters who aren’t being guided by players: these are called non-player characters (NPCs).

From its origin, Basic Roleplaying was designed to be intuitive and easy to play. Character attributes follow a 3D6 curve, and the other Basic Roleplaying mechanics are even simpler. Virtually all rolls determining success or failure of a task are determined via the roll of percentile dice. This means that there’s less fiddling with dice of different types, and the concept of a percentile chance of success is extremely easy for beginners and experienced players to grasp. There aren’t many easier ways to say a character has a 70% chance of succeeding at an activity.

The core virtues of the system are as evident today as they were when it was first introduced. Primary characteristics of Basic Roleplaying that have emerged from decades of play, across many different varieties of the system are as follows:

  • The system is remarkably friendly to newcomers. It is easy to describe the basics of the game system, and the percentile mechanics, to non-gamers.
  • Players of other game systems often find Basic Roleplaying to be much less mechanistic and less of a barrier to the actual act of roleplaying. Less time spent on game systems usually equals more time available for roleplaying and thinking “in character.”
  • Most of the information players need to know is present on their character sheets.
  • Characters tend to evolve based on practicing the skills they use the most. They do not arbitrarily gain experience in skills and qualities based on ephemeral elements such as levels or experience ranks.
  • Combat can be very quick and deadly, and often the deciding blow in a conflict is the one to land first.
  • Basic Roleplaying is remarkably modular: levels of complexity can be added or removed as needed, and the core system works equally well with considerable detail as it does with a minimal amount of rules.
  • The internal consistency of Basic Roleplaying allows for rules judgments to be made rapidly and with little searching through the rulebook for special cases.

This book represents a first for Basic Roleplaying—a system complete in one book, without a defined setting. Previously, Basic Roleplaying has been an integral part of standalone games, usually with rich and deep world settings. Due to differences in these settings, Basic Roleplaying has had many different incarnations. Variant and sometimes contradictory rules have emerged between versions, to better support one particular setting over another.

Chaosium’s Basic Roleplaying system reconciles these different flavors of the system and brings many variant rules together between the covers of one book, something that has never been done before. Some of these rules are provided as optional extensions, some as alternate systems, and others have been integrated into the core system. By design, this work is not a reinvention of Basic Roleplaying nor a significant evolution of the system. It is instead a collected and complete version of it, without setting, provided as a guide to players and gamemasters everywhere and compatible with most Basic Roleplaying games. It also allows the gamemaster the ability to create his or her own game world (or worlds), to adapt others from fiction, films, or even translate settings from other roleplaying games into Basic Roleplaying.

If you want a free peek, the Basic Roleplaying Quickstart can be found here

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Monday, April 18, 2022

Best of Print Sale at DTRPG - 10% Off

I don't recall seeing a platform-wide sale on print titles at DTRPG in the past. I know that 10% isn't a huge discount, but for those that were on the fence about getting certain titles in print, this may just be the thing to put them at the tipping point.

Heck, I already own two of the top five titles on the print list - Worlds Without Number and Ascendant. Not every print title is included, but nearly 150 of the top selling titles.

Here's the link to the sale page. No coupons required :)

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Sunday, April 17, 2022

Noticing Some Small Details That Could Bring an OSR Campaign Some Realism

Noticing Some Small Details That Could Bring an OSR Campaign Some Realism
Initially I thought I'd ask anyone if they had stats for Zombie Jesus because of Easter, but I figured that'd probably piss a few people off. Of course a good part of those that would be pissed off already are because I mentioned it in passing (I know you know....you were there).....

I've had a couple day to think about the content of today's post and over the last few days I've been really thinking about how, for the most part, most OSR/D&D games are set in a general "medieval" period, and how the majority of OSR/D&D players are American. There are plenty of players world-wide, but based on my experiences it's mainly a US & English (language) based hobby. 

I find this odd to an extent because as Americans we don't have a historical medieval period to draw from. We generally don't have this underpinning of history that still ripples into modern society. Well, we do, but it only goes back maybe 250 years or so.

Currently I'm in Germany on a business trip and I'm in Bavaria, which in my opinion is really the location most Americans think of when they think of Germany. Again, I could be way off base here, but that's my experience. When I was stationed here in the 90's I was a couple hours away, which in a country smaller, but roughly the size of Montana (357,588 km² vs 380,832 km²), a couple hours away could be a vastly different region.

As I'm puttering about I'm just bombarded with new notions and old reminders about just how different Germany is from the USA and how some of these differences could easily be used to tweak a OSR game world to bring in some historical flavor....because even some of the modern things I'm seeing have that connection to the medieval period.

I once went on a walk through the woods and came across a stone marker that was hundreds of years old. What I though was a simple trail through the woods was actually a trail between towns that has been in use for over half a century. I was surprised just how narrow the trail actually was, pretty much just single file for a man & a mule, no room for a cart. Evidently the old trail wasn't taxed but if you needed the use of a wagon, then you had to take the main road, which would be taxed.

A town I drove through today was 750ish years old. In this part of Germany nobody lives in the country, not even the farmers. Everybody lives in the town/village/city. It's just that there is a cluster of small villages surrounding every larger town/city and each one is maybe just a couple of kilometers away. Along a good stretch of road you might have a village every 2-3km, but in other areas there might be 25-30km between clusters of villages. Just depends on the region, or more likely industry. Oh and these old-assed villages....odds are every one almost has it's own dialect. It's probably just a couple of words they pronounce differently, but they do. It might take you years to figure out which words they are and a couple more to make the distinction, but the locals? Oh yeah, they know you're an outsider, even if that means you just come from the village 2km down the road.

Lots of small shrines and while every village has a church, they aren't necessarily the same, and there could be the odd second church or, as I found yesterday, a tiny church tucked off to the side of the village. While I know these are all Christian churches (no clue what denomination), I could totally see this working in a OSR game with multiple religions. This village's main patron deity is X, the village 2km down the road celebrates Y, and they tolerate the tiny church and/or shrines to the other gods, as long as they keep small. Whip out a copy of the Petty Gods books to devote the shrines to!

I know I'm just hitting the tip of the iceberg here........most of the stuff I've mentioned so far is old, but even the modern is ripe for ideas. At the Getränkemarkt (drink store) there was this big advertisement for bottled water, but just not any bottled water. No, this advert was pushing one brand of water for infants, another for children, a third for seniors, and even another for the athletic types. Knowing the area is littered with mines, heath spa pools, and artesian wells, I could totally see a whole industry of water merchants lugging "special" waters for people to drink and pilgrims travelling the trails between villages and even regions to get to the healing waters of mineral baths.

If I'm lucky enough to have the time & the inclination on this business trip I'm hoping to see if I can mine these ideas for inspiration for future adventures or adventure seeds. Until then I'll just have to enjoy the beer....and Currywurst...and Schnitzel.....

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