Monday, 28 February 2011

Your Games Now - March 4th is GMs Day - Price Reductions

Hot from the press from Your Games Now:
March Fo(u)rth for GMs Day!

GM’s Day is coming Friday, March 4th! The Game Master is a critical part of a roleplaying game, and every so often it's important to acknowledge that fact. One way to do that is by observing GM's Day, a once-a-year event to honor Game Masters.
Expeditious Retreat Press is celebrating GMs Day by offering 50% off their old-school 1E Advanced Adventures line, 50% off their 1E monster book Malevolent & Benign, as well as 50% off the entire line of the post-apocalyptic Sorcery & Super Science! role-playing game.
Tabletop Adventures is celebrating GM's Day by offering a 25% discount on all their electronic products from now through March 8th. They invite you to check out their various lines of useful products, and pick out a few to make life easier for your Game Master.

Thanks for shopping at Your Games Now and happy GM's Day!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Dave Graffam Model $2 Specials

Stop Press!
Dave Graffam of is selling a lot of stock for under $2!

Dave Graffam is something of a paper modelling design genius.  Until the invention of 3D printers, these sets are just about about as good as it gets in terms of downloadable scenery for RPG and tabletop war-gaming.

Coincidentally, I was planning to post some pictures of Dave's buildings and scenery later this week, but just follow the link above and then click on the product icons for more detailed views.  Also check out the gallery on his home site.

Dave has also recently released two new ranges: Solid State War and Story Dice.

Inked Adventures 3D Furniture for Dungeons

Shameless self promotion (of Inked Adventures) now follows:

Link to 3D furniture on DriveThruRPG
Hand drawn 3D props for dungeon rooms now available at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

Includes: bookcases, chests, feast table with benches, filthy beds, tables and chairs.
:) Bb

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Space Hulk on a budget? Printable sci-fi plans

I keep meaning to post some pictures of the exquisite printable fantasy buildings being produced by Fat Dragon Games and Dave Graffam Models (perhaps in the next post), but I am being distracted by these lubbly smexxy sci-fi plans (wipes drool off screen and keyboard).  The only question is ... can I afford more printer ink? ;)

Again, I find myself wondering, with jealousy, whether or not my own Inked Adventures line will ever produce such science fiction yumminess?

Both of the following sci-fi sets are modular -but are not square "tiles".  They can be used with foam card or whatever you like to mount your printable plans onto, I usually use card or thick photo paper.

Space Base (1inch Grid)
From Paper Make iT
This set is really well made and good value for money. Beautiful crisp effects. Easy to cut up with many different possible layouts. Perfect for a sci-fi crawl shoot-em-up (Aliens colony base?), possibly adaptable to other genres - spy/superhero, zombie infested hi tech refinery, even an alien fantasy dungeon. Many linking features. I like the completeness of this set - all-in-one fun, rapid assembly.

Click for large view of a possible layout
Also check out the bundle deal:  Space Base + Expansion for $5.40
Other products by Paper Make iT on DriveThruRPG

Star Station Zero Basic Set
for 15mm play on DriveThru $5.00
Preview on description page
Publisher Art Gun has debuted with this gorgeous set, Star Station Zero, which can be assembled in many different ways.  The art is stylised photo-metallic along the lines of industrial heavy-tech sci-fi sets.  One plus to this set is the 3D block wall dividers and obstacles which transform open room sections.  Also included are some very cool doors which demand that players make pneumatic swishing noises!

A very fine and adaptable set.  I'm looking forward to see what Art Gun come up with next.

Note: this set has a 20mm grid which favours 15mm figure gaming.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Dungeon Brawl (Rusty Axe) - opening doors with axes!

This flash game is a real must for fans of Gauntlet or any single player top-down 2D dungeon games. It's fast and brutal – just like the games of yore, where death makes you a fast learner!

Arrow keys or WASD movement plus Mouse for aim.

Get keys, open gates -which allow access to stairs and lower levels; get gold to buy temporary aids like arrows, potions and shields, with which you can survive and destroy monsters. Gold is mostly acquired from chests. So far in my game (a handful of levels in) I've found that the best pay-out comes from the destruction of spawn points which satisfying explode with coins.

There's some proper 'Argonaut skeletons in the second level onwards, along with some nasty spell throwing demons (think “Imps” from Doom I).

For a flash game the graphics are rewarding, with lush atmospheric dungeon floor backgrounds, whilst still playing like a traditional 2D game. Map graphics are employed by the Rusty Axe's Dungeon Demon map editor (I shall resist plugging my own printer friendly art-pack for the Dungeon Demon editor -click-)

Click for screenshotProgress is recorded through a log-in account – with a “Resume” play which will take you to the dungeon level you have reached. Resurrection can cost coins.

The only problem I have with this game in the high price of the health potions, because I suck at play!  But this won't be a problem for most gamers. There's an auto-buy setting for health potions which can really suck down your gold total. The voice-over booms “POTION GOOD”, as he guzzles them back whilst fighting off the hordes. It's beer really, the more drunk he gets, the better a fighter he feels, perhaps?

Click for screenshotIf you fancy a gold coins top-up, perhaps when taking turns with friends during an evening in, purchasing 500 coins might not seem so much – just like shovelling in a handful of quarters (do games in the US still accept “quarters”?)

All in all, a very pleasant distraction exploring different dungeon levels with a friendly barbarian fellow who opens doors with his axe.

Friday, 18 February 2011

A Wealth of Fantasy Fonts

Every once in a while you need a really interesting font for a players' hand-out.  My personal choice for sci-fi and fantasy fonts is the Dafont website - especially good if you want a look of a specific film title.  Many of the fonts are free, but be sure to read any license details before using in a publication.  Generally most of the designers are happy being credited or just notified.  Naturally, reselling the fonts is verbotten.

It's a very straight-forward site with downloadable fonts for Windows and Mac.   You can search by theme or name.   Two useful categories for gamers are Sci-Fi and Medieval.   Many of the more dramatic fonts are superb for use in titles, but not to be recommended in main document text - but experimentation may be the key here. The only problem is having to choose which fonts you prefer. ;)

Click Thumbnail for "Sci Fi" Fonts
Click Thumbnails for "Medieval" Fonts

Random book recommendation (I got mine from Tesco's before Christmas, but these are on Amazon) 
For a fun light read on fonts with photos and illustrations: 
Just My Type: A Book about Fonts on Amazon
- Just My Type: A Book About Fonts on Amazon UK

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Original Dungeons and Dragons - et simulacra

PDFs of the Original Dungeons and Dragons (symbiotically bound up with the Chainmail Rules) can be found skulking around the internet if you look hard enough. There's currently a few of these mysterious PDFs lurking on a nearby forum. Click here to go there.  I am unaware of any profit being made from these scans which are mainly of interest to game-system archivists and very dedicated players.  Actual boxed originals seem to be very rare, especially outside of the US, so for many of us, this is the only of glimpse we'll have of the genesis of the role-playing hobby.  The Greyhawk and Blackmoor supplements make fascinating reading, especially for fans of 1st ed. AD&D which clearly has a closer relationship with OD&D than it did to Basic/Expert (and "Holmes" rules).  One shock to me was the inclusion of body hit locations.  For the length of my own playing life I asserted that a fundamental difference between Runequest and D&D was hit-location-damage and assumed that the authors of RQ had developed them from scratch.  I was clearly wrong!

For myself (who started playing in the middle history of D&D products) reading OD&D and Chainmail feels like the unearthing of a Rossetta Stone.  It's doesn't seem whole, and maybe seems a little broken to modern eyes - a chaotic set of rules allowing for interpretation and certain amount of freedom in play.  Many strange assumptions in role-playing games are explained by the presence of these early rules, such as Character Alignment being born out of the grouping of fantasy armies (see Chainmail).  What's clear from the very start is that the D&D fantasy genre, although heavily influenced by Tolkien was a very open mish-mash of monsters and settings.  The open settings of D&D are beautifully parodied in the "The Gygax - Arneson Tapes" a parallel gaming history suggested in this article - which spawns the Greek-myths-only Mazes and Minotaurs game (free PDF rules).  "It could have all been so different". :)  But enough of this introspective retro-cloning post-modern explorations in genre and game mechanics...! 

If you're any OD&D player and you use messageboards, or just curious, you'll be no stranger to  Dragons Foot Forums where older editions of D&D are king.

A retro-clone "simulacrum"  alternative to OD&D is the Swords and Wizardry WhiteBox rules.  Basically these are the S&W rules (a D&D retro-clone) reverse engineered to resemble the rules of OD&D.  Nice reading it makes too.  Here is a very concise D&D-style system open to "house" rulings.  Unlike OD&D, it's very "pick-up and play".  A fine, but controversial in this context, touch is the S&W one-save-throw feature - which may appeal more to modern players - than the confusing 5 D&D categories (Death Rays and Dragon Breath, spells etc.)

By the way "WhiteBox" is a winking reference to the early packaging on D&D, in case you were wondering. ;)  The Aceum provides a comprehensive guide to the early packaging and flavours of OD&D.

The free S&W WhiteBox PDF is available to download at the S&W home site.  With it's greyscale pictures it is extremely printer ink friendly.    

I was hoping to link to paperback and hardback publications WhiteBox on Lulu, but the Lulu copies have been removed, since the actual boxed versions of the game were produced last year.  They were available from Brave Halfling Publishing- but is possibly sold out at the moment.  So clues on a postcard please to where we can be hardcopies of these rules, please!   However, Grognardia provides a drool-inducing review of the actual box set (with a photo).

If link is broken go here

Get back to 1974, when the first dungeon masters were young, before bellies and the beards grew wide and long!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Bean! The D2 RPG

Bean! on DriveThruRPG as a PDF download
(and BW book)

Where have you bean all of my life?

A-hem, sorry...

This was an absolute bargain for such a complete and yet open ended system (A mere $2 at the time of purchase, that's like about two spanners and a bit in cockney - £1.20ish).
BEAN! is an easy-to-master, rules-lite, d2 RPG system, [...] from the Fabled Worlds RPG game system! Perfect for introducing new players or children to the hobby, BEAN! is also great for veteran gamers who enjoy flexibility in their rules.
Using beans, pennies, or perhaps bits of card, its suitable for secret play at the office (the clearly work-shy author claims) - because the boss doesn't see you throwing dice around. 

Worth it for the adventuring bean illustrations alone!
Wonderfully compact and well written.

Bean! D2 RPG Paperback on Lulu

Check out the adventures and other light hearted products from Fabled Worlds on DriveThruRPG and on

TrollsZine - Free Issues (Flying Buffalo)

TrollsZine #1
TrollsZine #2
TrollsZine #3

For Tunnels & Trolls players and fans:
Presenting Flying Buffalo's official TrollsZine magazine - available for free on DriveThru RPG (and the other Onebookshelf sites) Click on the thumbnails to go directly to each issue, or visit the Flying Buffalo store on DriveThruRPG.

Each issue contains adventures by familiar authors, professional and amateur - illustrated throughout.  There's solo games, scenarios, articles and supplementary material for the T&T game.

Looking for Trollish friends?
A T&T forum of which I am fond:
Vin Ahrr Vin's

Wednesday, 2 February 2011