Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Adventures in the East Mark PDF on DTRPG $10 usd

Adventures in the East Mark for nine dollars ninety-nine cents.
I was about to write something shockingly jaded about seasonal sales when it comes to RPG PDFs: a world in which there is no piles of virtual stock in a warehouse that need to be shifted; and that since Halloween last year every publisher and his dice wielding dog have been blathering non-stop about percentage reductions for their online files; and perhaps cynically I'd sneak in my affiliate and associate links, making me something of a hypocrite by supporting the pre-Apocalyptic Happy-Holidays-New-Year-Brown-Thursday sale of rulebook and adventure data direct to your paypal-machine or tablet before it all goes pop in the Valentines-Easter-Spring-Is-Coming Sale... ;) but then I got distracted by ... THIS!

(Foolish, yet ambitious, low level hero takes on Dragon in high quality homage to D&D red box)
Aventuras en La Marca del Este

It's like BECMI/BX D&D and you love it.  You know you do.
Perhaps this is how we finally get the kids hooked...
The DM's Screen.

Nine classes ... and in colour!
Wait a sec,
I was expecting four classes plus demi-humans.
(reads ...)
.... Cleric, Dwarf, Elf, Explorer, Halfling,
Mage, Paladin, Thief and Warrior... 

Paladin - you may enter. 
"Explorer"? Who-He?
(reads on ...)
"These adventurers become specialized in wilderness survival
and are expert trackers."

A type of ranger, naturally...
The 1eAD&DsqueezedintoBasic cosmic order is restored!

Half of a very cool map.
Don't panic - you can see this in full in the
PayWhatYouWant Quick Start Rules
I paid $2 btw. I know, I know...
but if they wanted to give it away for free,
surely they would have listed it as
"Free to download"?

Beautiful on the screen,
and okay, even in black and white it may be a little tough on a home printer,
but I am seriously considering trying to get a boxed set, because... just look at it!

You had me at "candle skull"...
(from the b/w pdf)
And that must be the "homebrew" depicted (see below)

Away with your typewriter fonts and black and white historical stock art - here's an OSR D&D retro-clone (with tweaks) with high production values !  Naturally, I haven't read all of the rules yet because my mind is still being melted/blown/singed by the visuals!  (Insert list of talented artists here...)

The Spanish game “Aventuras en La Marca del Este” began from the mind of Pedro Gil as a homebrew campaign for some friends in Spain playing the world’s most famous game as devised in Frank Mentzer’s (BECMI) Red Box with 9 starter classes and new rules on mounted combat, aerial combat, seafaring and ship battles. Now, many years later, it is one of the most popular role-playing games in Spain. By enlisting incredible artists that are now rising stars in the RPG industry such as A.J. Manzanedo, Jorge Carrero and Víctor Guerra, the “La Marca” team produced an incredibly captivating “retroclone” role-playing game that is an old school experience wrapped in old world flare. The game is published in Spain by Holocubierta Ediciones.

  Supported by Kickstarter, this is the first ever English edition of the game, now called “Adventures in the East Mark”. This Basic Rule Set has everything that you need to play a game with the deep traditions of the original fantasy roleplaying game and imbibe it with an authentic European flavor.

To summarise, adapted from 1980s D&D, but with super high production values, Adventures in the East Mark Basic Rule Set (Red Box) is available as a bargain price PDF (currently) on DriveThruRPG
Physical hard copies in real boxes (in a real warehouse) available from: 

Extra-Dimensional Publishing

Monday, 17 November 2014

Bargains for grown-ups

Until 20th November the Teach Your Kids to Game Week sale is on at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.
This is a good chance pick up Numenera, Dragon Warriors and Mouse Guard at half price. I can never scroll past Bean D2 without a grin.

Cheap and trending is the Hero Kids range covering many genres and tropes.

Although they are not in the sale itself, as the price is already reduced, I think my own Inked Adventures Blocks would be fun to assemble with children - it's cube-based paper-crafting, simple enough for parents and uncles with large thumbs.  (Inked Adventures main site)

It's certainly worth trawling the free product lists if you're looking for one-off pieces for gaming session with children, especially when it comes to free samples of tiles, character sheets, introductory rules.  Cutting out simpler tiles and drawing plans or maps is great way to explore art, imagination and maybe a little maths with the young 'uns (or so I am told, because it's been a while since I've kidnapped friends' children...) 

The OBS sites seem to be doing a lot of themed sales these days as well as the seasonal ones. I'm fighting a personal sense of jadedness, much like that which I associate with the push-push-push last-chance-to-pledge Kickstarters. So as a shopper and affiliate I am trying to see beyond my own banner fatigue and just root out the types of PDFs I would normally buy.

Publishers have embraced the Pay-What-You-Want category with gusto, but upon closer inspection on DriveThru, I'm finding that on the descriptions many of those titles are intended as "free".  I suspect some publishers who would normally be submitting a product to the Free category are submitting products to this new category as a way of maximising time on the front page. A while back publishers, including myself were asked by the owners of the OBS sites to refrain from one-dollar-app style marketing, because of the transaction costs incurred by the sites. Does donation culture really work in this context?

Eep.  I must go. My partner's cat needs some attention.  Why is there not a "Teach Cats to Game Week"?   ;)

Friday, 31 October 2014

All Hallows E'en DTRPG Sale, Free Ravenloft, Fighting Fantasy, Big Jars

Happy Halloween  (roll on All Saints Day when we can get back to burning the pagans or at least putting them on trial before on Bonfire Night, or have I got that wrong?)

One day left to pick a possible freebie and heavily reduced PDF products (and maybe some print) in the DriveThru Sale.  There was a rather juicy Ravenloft title going for free last time I looked. You owe it to Strahd, you know you do.

UK gamebook fans still have a chance to buy tickets for the a talk given by Jonathon Green on the 2nd November in the wake of his successful kickstarter funded book on the History of Fighting Fantasy "You are the Hero".  Location: London (a big city on an island in North West Europe). Tickets:
I'll be honest, I get really confused between actual real events, Google hang-outs, Like Pages and kickstarters, that sometimes I find it difficult to find the product amidst the publicity. But I'm very easily confused in the five seconds I give to reading almost anything these days that doesn't flatter me in some way. ;)

My world: I've been keeping myself out of trouble by trying to bash out more Inked Adventures products.  The 'Blocks (see previous post) was in top ranking in the "hottest" 3D accessories on DTRPG the other day.  So I'm guessing business is slow in the papercraft terrain industry! I've also had some fun in creating more "oversized" dungeon furniture counters. Casting proportion aside, these counters are more akin to something you'd expect to see in MB HeroQuest or Gameboy 'Zelda.  In fact it's impossible to add jars to a dungeon room now, without thinking of Link smashing a lot of crockery.

Heroically Sized Furniture Counters 2
Product on DTRPG:

Inked Adventures Blocks
Product on DTRPG:

Anyhow. I hope you are well and that season's a changing bring positive perspectives and not "Oh God, Winter's Coming" which is the feeling here. And no, I don't have Sky, so I really do need to catch up with Game of Thrones, somehow, some day...

And oh, I nearly forgot, I can't comment on any of the D&D hardbacks because my partner has bought them for me and I'm not allowed to have them until Christmas because Santa has them.

5th Edition D&D on Amazon (UK).

Apparently I have to be a good boy before I can rifle through those shiny stat filled pages.

Santa might also let me have the Star Wars Rebels DVD as well. Roll on Christmas!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Inked Adventures Blocks

This is a shameless self-promotory cross-post (from Inked Adventures) regarding my new Inked Adventures Blocks.  Especially, since trying to go full time with Inked Adventures, I'll be lucky to meet the rent this month. ;)

These printable blocks are designed for the more casual builder of dungeons - for those us who can barely glue a tab without needing a proper grown-up to be present.  They also may appeal to players who prefer dry-erase mats to tiles.  The L-corner pieces are especially useful for delineating the area of larger rooms.  This idea was borrowed from the Indy Jones RPG (TSR), the cardboard models in which had design similarities scenery included in one of the D&D BECMI modules (the title escapes me).  The pieces are reusable, but there's nothing to stop a DM gluing them down or together to create pre-made set pieces.  The blocks can also be flipped to create an "upper level" in rooms, walkways and some extent bridges across chasms and so forth.  The figures here are scavenged from the D&D 3.5 Basic box.  The brick details on the blocks were originally hand drawn in fineliner pen. PDFs are available in both A4 and US Letter size formats.

iso_maps_and_reverse_Inked_Adventures_BlocksPage_Preview_Inked_Adventures_BlocksRoom Encounter - Inked Adventures Blocks
Drawn mock-up layout - Inked Adventures BlocksGrey tops for striking and uncluttered overhead view - Inked Adventures BlocksWall and door detail - Inked Adventures Blocks
Double doors small room - Inked Adventures BlocksX-Junction - Inked Adventures BlocksL blocks as corners for large rooms - Inked Adventures Blocks
Drawn mock-up layout demonstrating reverse sides being used as second level - Inked Adventures BlocksSecond level and steps encounter - Inked Adventures BlocksSteps Second Level - Inked Adventures Blocks
Walkway or Bridge - Inked Adventures BlocksInked_Adventures_Blocks_cover

The Inked Adventures Blocks printable PDF:
$2.90 USD
(Product description on DriveThruRPG)

Thanks for reading.  May your dungeons be beautiful!