Saturday, February 10, 2024

Kickstarter - The Lair of the Bog Lich (OSR/ZineQuest)

A boggy OSR micro-adventure Zine for 1st-level characters.

Tis the most abundant time of year for OSR - ZineQuest is here! For about 9 bucks shipped, you can snag a physical copy of The Lair of the Bog Lich Zine.

The Lair of the Bog Lich is a micro-adventure zine made for all manner of OSR and OSR-adjacent systems. It is set deep within a bubbling swamp in the hinterlands of the realm where an unseen menace is stealing villagers away in their sleep.

What's Inside?

  • The Lair, an underground heap where the bog lich goes about its sinister machinations.
  • Adventure hooks to allow for easy integration into any campaign.
  • Random encounters to spice up the journey to the Lair.
  • Hand-illustrated map of the Lair.
  • 8+ random tables to provide some suitably swampy flavour.
  • 3 mud-encrusted foes to fight, including the titular bog lich.
  • Sinister Illustrations by Simone Tammetta.


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Friday, February 9, 2024

New Release - City Encounters for Swords & Wizardry

In my experience, city adventures are some of the hardest to run. It's like a mini sandbox, with something potentially happening around every corner and in every storefront. There is so much that COULD happen, you seem to either over-prepare for the session or are woefully underprepared for it.

City Encounters is just what I need. I just ordered the Print plus PDF for 25 bucks. The PDF only is 10 bucks.

I'll add a review after I get my print copy.

Running a freewheeling city adventure can be hard work, but this book gives you a powerful resource for handling interactions with non-player characters — their names, objectives, abilities, and quirky activities! City Encounters provides 200 daytime encounters and 200 night-time encounters for your characters to run into while exploring the city. Plus, each of the encounters has several alternative possibilities involved, so you can adapt the encounter to your players or use the same encounter more than once with a different alternative. Encounters that can lead to adventures are cross-referenced to let you find the other NPCs who might be involved in an ongoing situation, and there are several possible “recurring” villains, heroes, and weirdos to battle, assist, and befriend.

Enter a city filled with anarchists, arsonists, sorcery, skullduggery, factional conflict, and necromancy!

This is the OSR version of City Encounters, written for Swords & Wizardry but easily usable with systems including OD&D, AD&D (1E), B/X, OSE and others!


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Thursday, February 8, 2024

Kickstarter - Gary's Appendix: Issue 5 (OSE/Zine Quest)

Jeff Jones is the main man behind Gary's Appendix Zine. Jeff is a friend of mine, and he laid out the first two issues of Torchlight (and the only issues thus far) as well as the as-yet-unpublished Continual Light RPG - Digest Edition. Simply put, Jeff does good work.

Gary's Appendix: Issue 5 is the fifth entry in the series. It's 3 bucks in PDF, and 16 bucks - plus shipping - for print plus PDF. If you need to catch up, all five issues can be snagged for 5 bucks in PDF.

Investigation Themed Adventures, by Travis Miller

The old school play method that encourages players to engage with the diegetic elements of the game world makes games like OSE perfectly suited to investigations even though it isn’t obvious looking at the rules. This is my method of creating investigative adventures.

A Case for Using Wandering Monsters, by John Kaniecki

In the good old days, the DM rolled the die six every three turns, and when a one came up, he smiled as it indicated wandering monsters. The Dungeon Master's Guide had a collection of monsters that were potential candidates for running into. The selection of these monsters and the number appearing were all determined by random. Over time the game improved. It is more fun-oriented as well as complex. In light of this, let us turn our thoughts to wandering monsters. What is the purpose of wandering monsters?

Legends of the Supernatural Pt. 2, by Dave Semark

We return to the supernatural history of Britain and Ireland, with another look at myths and legends that have fascinated me and have often been the source of role-playing hooks and scenario ideas. As with the first installment, these legends are all based on an established history, myth, or legend—or combination of all three—and I have taken a big pinch of artistic license to add to the role- playing game feel.

Hiring a Spy, by John Kaniecki

Spying is a murky world of shadows, or so we are led to believe. In a fantasy role-playing game, it opens the door to intrigue and adventure. How are we to handle spies? 

Governments: Part 1, by Hannah Wolfram

Since the dawn of time, humans have created social structures in order to survive. While these small societies likely started as family groups, they continually evolved and expanded as humanity’s needs changed, eventually developing laws and moral codes under which members were expected to live. To enforce these standards, humans created governments.

What is in a Cube?, by Zac Goins

As go-to dungeon and sewer sweepers, gelatinous cubes spend their days, nights, and weekends picking the bones of an area clean. Since dungeons and sewers are also the favorite haunts of the worst ne'er do wells and the adventurers who stalk them, there’s bound to be a bevy of bodies and gear in near constant supply. Fortunately for adventurers, ne’er do wells and other adventuring parties just so happen to often carry the best sorts of loot. 

The Bestiary, by Jeff Jones

Each issue, Jeff works his way through another section of the OSE bestiary and expands the information and GM toolkit for each entry. For this issue, the following creatures are covered:

* Centipede, Giant  *  Dryad  *  Crocodile  *  Driver Ant  *  Gelatinous Cube  *  Gnoll  *  Harpy  *  Hydra

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Wednesday, February 7, 2024

New Release - DragonSlayer (OSR RPG)

DragonSlayer is Greg Gillespie's new OSR ruleset. It's a bit of Basic D&D, mixed with some AD&D, flavored with pure Gillespie. Greg had been kind enough to give me a pre-release copy of the rules to review in December, and I was floored. 

Dragonslayer is the OSR ruleset that I want to run OVER my own Swords & Wizardry Light. I want to run it AND I want to play it :)

Now to await my hardcover from the DragonSlayer Kickstarter.

Hearken back to the Golden Age of Role-playing Games!

Journey into a realm of myth and magic, where ancient legends and terrifying monsters come to life, and adventure awaits...

Inspired by the timeless role-playing tradition of the 1980s, this ruleset seamlessly integrates the simplicity of B/X with the chrome of First Edition. The book includes every you need: races, classes spell, monsters, and treasure, combined in a single volume. 

The book includes cover art by Jeff Easley and interior art by Darlene, Diesel, Kennon James, Peter Pagano, and many others.

Welcome to Dragonslayer!

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Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Kickstarter - Wizard Van (James Spahn)

I've known James Spahn for over a decade. He is one of the most prolific, talented, imaginative creators in the RPG industry. He's worked on IPs including Star Wars, Star Trek, The One Ring, Swords & Wizardry (and variations thereof), Labyrinth Lord, Pathfinder, 5e... the list goes on. James co-wrote Swords and Wizardry Continual Light with me and I am forever in his debt. Just so you know where I stand with James ;)

Wizard Van is James' first Kickstarter. Seriously, unheard of these days for someone that self-publishes NOT but it's true. Wizard Van is a psychedelic rockin' RPG. Print plus PDF is 10 plus shipping, PDF only is 5 bucks.

Wizard Van is a 22 page 'zine and a complete roleplaying game. Character creation can be done in seconds, whether you scrawl it down on a bar napkin or use the Liner Notes in the back of the book.

You will choose your Band, the music group or solo artist that is your guiding star. Their music will be your inspiration as you play the game and when the right song is playing, your dice rolls will get bonuses. 

Your love of Rock n' Roll impacts how the game is played. If you, the player, are wearing a shirt featuring your Band, have a ticket stub from an old show, or even a tattoo, you get bonuses in play!

Got a t-shirt with The Band on it? Wear it for bonuses in game! Got some rad ink etched on your flesh to commemorate your love of The Band? Well, that counts for a helluva lot in the world of Wizard Van. Got some ticket stubs or a guitar pick you got at one of their concerts? That talisman of rock will be your guiding star as you play!

Designed for one-on-one play and traditional group play. 

Sound Both Inspired and Original

In addition to the zine, whether you back for a PDF or a physical copy of Wizard Van you will get a digital download of the latest single from prolific rockers and gaming devotees Loot the Body. This original song (aptly titled "Wizard Van") was specially commissioned for the game and will get you rocking whether you're at the table or simply headbanging to your favorite mix tape.

Wizard Van also includes a list of bands that inspired the game. You can choose one as The Band that inspires your Rock n' Roll Hero, or simply expand your musical horizons with some amazing tunes that you've unearthed like an alien aural treasure.

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Monday, February 5, 2024

Bundle of Holding - Early Champions

The first Supers RPG I picked up back in the 80s was Champions. Sure my friends owned V&V and Marvel Super Heroes. In truth, we could never settle on a Supers ruleset, not even once I picked up Mayfair's DC Heroes. So many rulesets and we never played more than a session of any single ruleset.

One of the bundles on Bundle of Holding is Early Champions for $14.95. It includes all first three editions of rulesets, adventures, GM screens, and more. 

Be a Hero! This revived November 2018 Early Champions Bundle once again presents nearly three dozen tabletop roleplaying game .PDF ebooks featuring the groundbreaking early rules, supplements, and adventures for Champions, The Super Roleplaying Game from Hero Games. This giant revival (one of two now in progress) presents every book for the First (1981), Second (1982), and Third (1984) Editions of Champions.

For just US$14.95 you get all thirteen titles in this revived offer's phenomenal Core Collection (retail value $73.50) as DRM-free ebooks, including the Champions core rulebook in its First (1981), Second (1982), and Third (1984) Editions (plus the introductory adventure "Viper's Nest" and the original "Rose's" combat map); the jam-packed rules expansions Champions II First Edition, Champions II Second Edition, and Champions III; no less than five collections in the popular Enemies series (Enemies First Edition, Enemies Revised for Second Edition, Enemies II, Enemies III, Enemies: Villainy Unbound, and Enemies: The International File); the Gadgets! book of weaponry and equipment; and the Gamemaster Screens for First Edition and Third Edition, the latter including the insert booklet with the Third Edition version of the famous Champions scenario "The Island of Doctor Destroyer."

And if you pay more than the threshold price of $28.35, you'll level up and also get this revival's entire Bonus Collection with fourteen more titles worth an additional $110:

  • Three famous genre sourcebooks: Strike Force and Super-Agents by Aaron Allston and The Golden Age of Champions (the version for Champions Third Edition) by Chris Cloutier
  • Five Organization Books: PRIMUS and Demon, The Blood & Dr. McQuark, The Circle and M.E.T.E., CLOWN, and Red Doom
  • Early adventures for First and Second Edition: Deathstroke, Escape From Stronghold, and The Great Super-Villain Contest
  • Adventures for Third Edition: Atlas Unleashed, The Coriolis Effect, Neutral Ground, Scourge From the Deep, Target: Hero To Serve and Protect, VOICE of Doom, and Wrath of the Seven Horsemen
  • Autoduel Champions, the licensed supplement from Steve Jackson Games that combined Champions and Car Wars.


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Sunday, February 4, 2024

I'm on the Lookout for a new PC Sheet

I'm on the Lookout for a new PC Sheet
This last week I started my spring cleanup of files on my computer(s)....which is a HUGE chore because I have a few computers...and by a few I mean I never bothered to count, but I'm sure it's upwards of 40+. Yes, I have a bit of a problem....add it to the list.

Anyway, I noticed I have a lot of PC sheets. While I'd say half are my various PCs from across a wide berth of game systems (mostly OSR or OSRish) and the other half are various pregens I've had to come up with over the years. Thumbing through the various files....I have excel PC sheets, PDF Sheets, Word sheets, "paper" sheets that have been scanned, you name it.

I've tried my hand a few times at making my own sheets, even going so far as to create a "artsy-fartsy" PC sheet for what was more of a one-off character that lasted maybe three sessions before a TPK. While I can do a technical sheet (like an Excel sheet or a PDF form) when I need to, I'm not very good at the "pretty" or "artistic" PC sheet. I'm just not that type of creative (although I have tried, although I cannot find evidence of those efforts.....yet) and I get a bit jealous of those who can. Folks like JV West and ...JV West (I didn't realize he did several of the PC sheets that I thought were from different artists). Every once in a while I search for new, "cool" PC Sheets, but I usually go back to the simpler, more technical sheets I have most of my PCs on.

It took me a long-assed while, but I figured out I prefer to use a physical sheet, but I WANT/NEED to have electronic copies of my PCs. What usually happens is I find an acceptable sheet, and tweak it so that it is a PDF form. I'll either use a blank sheet then transfer to the PDF and save an electronic copy, giving me the best of both worlds. I like being able to look back at the level progression of some of my PCs....I say "some" 'cause I'm only counting the ones that are allegedly still alive somewhere......

I'm currently on the lookout for a new PC sheet, hopefully something a little more....colorful. I'll probably still use my old standby sheets for long-term record keeping, but I'd like to have something...."fun" for use at the table. I'm totally open to suggestions.....

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