Monday, 31 October 2011

Classic old school RPG Spellcraft & Swordplay re-released on DriveThru (Print & PDF)

Core Rulebook
PDF $6.50*
(HB print $30)
Monstrous Mayhem
PDF $5*
(HB Print $15)
Basic Game
(Print $7)

*Reduced price at time of posting.

In a bold move, striking from a hidden secret base, Elf Lair Games, publishers of Spellcraft & Swordplay make an announcement:
Elf Lair Games is proud to announce that the Spellcraft & Swordplay Core Rulebook and the Spellcraft & Swordplay Basic Game are both now available in print from DriveThruRPG. And as a bonus, if you buy the hard copy, the PDF is FREE.

I'm not completely knowledge-hot on every system and edition release, but even I know that Spellcraft and Swordplay has been kicking around the net for a while.  In fact I now realise that my fascination and praise for Epees & Sorcellaire adopting the 2d6 core mechanic of Chainmail/OD&D seemed somewhat naive when many Old School Renaissance fans are well aware that 2d6-to-hit is also a hallmark of Spellcraft & Swordplay.  

Yes, that's right kids, how "old-school" do you really want to go?  Still clinging to that d20?  Oh dear, I'm afraid, your needs are far to random!  Embrace the gambler's two true friends, return to those cubes of fate!
(I still heartily recommend EetS for it's beautific conciseness).   Rapid, fun and perhaps a little deadly, let's hope those averages are on your side.
Store on DriveThruRPG

In way of explanation the August Press Release says this:

The Lulu store will remain active, but changes are coming--soon Lulu will house only the "old school" versions of S&S, and moving forward DTRPG and RPGNow will carry all of our new product, including some exciting releases that have been long-promised and hopefully will soon be moving ahead full steam. Products like The Vampire Queen's Revenge and The Hand of Nergal, our first S&S modules which we plan to tie together as the first two installments of an epic trilogy, as well as Eldritch Witchery, the second sourcebook for S&S, written by Timothy Brannan.
In addition, work has re-commenced on the long awaited Twelve Parsecs science fantasy / space opera RPG, as well as a few new surprises.

As always, I find Lulu a little clumsy in finding me exactly what I want, but this seemed to work:
Current Lulu list of books by Spellcraft & Swordplay author, Jason Vey

I've acquired a copy of the Core rulebook (PDF) through DriveThru.  I'm still perusing and absorbing its contents.  So for now I can't give you my full opinion on the complete works.  However, I must insist that you download the free "Basic" game which should give you a pretty good feel for how the system plays (for the first few levels).  Also, it makes a spiffing introductory RPG game - perhaps essential for gaming emergencies when no polyhedral dice can be found (think: rainy caravan holiday, iPad/ebook reader plus Snakes and Ladders dice...).

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Pathfinder Beginner Box

According to Paizo's site feeds their current top best seller is the brand new Pathfinder Beginner Box, which suggests to me that it's not just the beginners who are buying it. :)

It's a box.  A Pathfinder Beginner Box.
I likes boxes.  Maybe it's a Christmas thing. Maybe it's TSR boxed set thing (nostalgia flashback to the early 80's).  Naturally, longevity is an issue, hardbacks live longer, but the Tyrell Corporation put in a fail-safe, a 4 year life span ... but I digress. If you look after your boxes they will last as long, I swear!

Mmm, a shiny box, lots of bits: fold-out maps, press-out stand-up figures (not counters), digestible rules pamphlets, no wait - books, proper books (soft cover) ...

Yummy, yummy, yummy.
(Although this picture makes it look like Blood Bowl)

It's a beefy hamper of RPG goodness:

  • 64-page Hero’s Handbook
  • 96-page Game Master’s Guide
  • 7  polyhedral dice
  • More than 80 full-color pawns (heroes and monsters)
  • 4 Pre-gen character sheets
  • 4 Blank character sheets
  • Double-sided Flip-Mat - with a map on one side and a general purpose grid on the other.

Apologies if you've seen the following official clip a few times but I'm posting it here because it no only provides a fairly succinct demonstration of the contents, it also provides some insights and details behind the design.  Such as... gameplay is for the first five levels only - (which in old D&D might have been enough for some players).  A particular comment which stood out for me is that the Pathfinder rules have been streamlined for beginner play.  One adjustment being that there are no Attacks of Opportunity rules.  I often think about DMing for new players, but one of the things that turns me away from D&D3to4 and Pathfinder is the Attacks of Opportunity rules (which befuddle my noggin), especially when getting anything in the right order can be a really pain.  So in a Beginner set no AoO has to be a good thing (except it's those rules, as a returning novice, that I need the most help with!)

Four classes?  How basic... ;)
Love the descriptions!
Since I've yet to actually inside see a Beginner Set myself I have decided to assemble some cropped screen grabs from the downloadable PDFs on the Paizo site.  ;)

Preetty pictuurs make me want to bie it.

Links to free documents which relate to the Beginner Box:

Hero's handbook 4-page preview
Game Master's Guide Bestiary preview
Cleric Pregenerated Character Sheet preview

Also available to download:
Beginner Box Character Sheet
Beginner Box Pregenerated Characters

Free downloadable expansions from the Paizo site.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box Player Pack
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box GM Kit

If you're new to the Pathfinder RPG and are unaware of the close relationship it has with the d20 SRD and the Wizards of the Coast's Open Game License you can check out the rules fundamentals here: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document - The big not-very-secret gaming secret is that Pathfinder is actually D&D 3-3.5.  So playing Pathfinder can be our way of going back in time before the dark veil of 4th edition descended (okay, not I'm serious, just a nod and wink towards the editions warriors).

Wait a second! 
So why do we have to read the rest of the rules?
Also I love the idea that somehow the d20 could be
a bit like Frank's portal-opening  box in Hellraiser 
"We have so much to show you...
...starting with  your character sheet!"

From the GM's Guide Bestiary.
A lizard dude and a skellington.
Nice art, familiar stats, but strangely blocky,
somehow similar to that other game.

Hi Kyra!  Both sides of the cleric character sheet.  It's nice to read that as well as the pre-generated characters there's also  rules for rolling up characters from scratch, which sometimes get dropped from starter sets and game primers.

Italics are Magic :)


Pathfinder RPG Beginner Box on Paizo (currently $35)

<--- Release Date: November 15th 2011

Thanks for reading.  - Billiam B. :)

P.S.  Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

STOP PRESS: Halloween Treats on DriveThruRPG & DriveThruComics

This week go to either DriveThruRPG or DriveThruComics, click on a pumpkin and you may get a little something for free!

The Drunken Goblin on DriveThruRPG also has links to sale items.

No costume required.

Kobold Quarterly 19 - Autumn Fall Issue

Kobold Quartley 19
Fall Issue (PDF)
Yay for Kobold Quarterly! 

Highlights of KQ19 (or what I liked) :
  • A complete character class for Pathfinder, moral knife-edge White Necromancer - an "enlightened" breed of necromancers as opposed to the "foul, twisted individuals obsessed with corruption and death."  Which made me grin. Bad necromancers, bad!  (Must also resist Goth jokes)

  • An article by Monte Cook on making races more "flavourful" derserves a mention because he suggests that "Elves never get dirty." could be an actual class feature. 
    Cue: blood and mud splashed heroes looking over at the sparkling-clean elf, picking something from under a nail. 
    I liked that.  Class features which don't include actual combat bonuses (can you imagine? - I'm looking at you 4th Edition - yes, you!)

  • A pick up and play d20 style solo text entitled "Aneela, Human Cleric - Party of One" - Wait a sec - didn't she die in mid-80s D&D Basic? No matter what you did she died, the first lesson of D&D: no emotional attachments to PCs or NPCs, because they will all die!  No, wait, that was Aleena, not Aneela, poor Aleena.  Aneela has the option to explore a cave with goblins in - DON'T DO IT!  "Aneela (human, cleric) HP: 12"  -Don't get attached! She's so dead, dude! ;)
There's also articles with cool ideas about traps and playing characters werewolves (I've noticed on my travels that people like werewolves, when they're not going on about zombies or vampires, pirates or combinations of...).

Although Kobold Quartely mainly caters for Pathfinder and 4E, I'm often suprised at how transferable many of the ideas are, for example, the article about Magic Items Shops would be relevant to almost any fantasy RPG running mid to high level campaign - also the Midgard settings article could customise most locales.

My PDF copy was a free review copy, but I think if you're shopping for inspiration it's worth the $5.99 it's selling at on DriveThru.

Subscriptions and printed copies:

Generally I  prefer my magazines in glossy printed form so recently I bought some Kobold back-issues thanks to Dusty at Mythplaced Treasures  which proves that no matter how far away a friendly local gaming store is -I'm in the UK-, that they are genuinely friendly and willing to help.  Mythplaced Treasures on Facebook.

Interestingly enough, there's a plea from Mr W. Bauer  in the Editorial for readers to avoid bit-torrenting KQ where possible.  It's worth remembering that the publishers of magazines like these are not faceless pan-continental music corporations and that companies (or at least the sub-let office) can fold on a sudden drops in sales, so resist the feed!
(Says the man with the free review copy ...hmm, I can see how this looks ... oh well.  Don't do it, kids.  Just say "No!"  Occupy Jupiter!) 

Kobold Quartley 19
Fall Issue (PDF)
KQ19 - Slick, professional, inspirational, good teeth, class act all around. :)

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Third level cleric with a crossbow on Facebook?

I meant to post this a few days back when the Hasbro vs. Atari news seemed just a little newer.
Hasbro and Atari resolve D&D dispute (News WotC site)  I really hadn't realised that most of the D&D PC game titles I own have the Atari logo on the spine, and apparently they're bringing out the new game Daggerdale (official release news).

Like many players (I guess), I'm not too bothered about which parent company holds copyright or franchises as long as console and PC games are published regularly and are of a decent quality.  In the case of D&D, it's always preferable that computer games include something resembling the actual dice mechanics in the tabletop game.  So one naturally hopes that the brand won't be just used to sell first-person fantasy shooters.  I don't need graphics of actual d20s being rolled on the screen but I like seeing a character sheet and a get a strange satisfaction with acquiring a ring of "+1 protection" - I'm in a familiar zone.   There's always something a bit clunky about those game mechanics being represented in such a dynamic way, like in combat, but I was more than relieved to see that Neverwinter Nights 2 was working out fiddly 3rd edition Attacks of Opportunity for itself.

The closest I've come to playing AD&D 2nd Edition was through Baldur's Gate (which I have yet to finish and get on with BG2 - shameful admissions time!).  I'm not a MMORPG player - I have gaming commitment issues, so a re-creation of a group experience is not why I play RPG-style games on a PC - it's definitely more to do with structured questing, plausible narrative and the acquisition of stuff.

Even with the stunning graphics of Oblivion part of the fun of playing that game was in the stat building.  It's amazing to think that on-screen numbers and primitive health bars are still part of the strategy. Turn-based fights seem like an anachronism in games and yet it's still a big part of the genre.  Familiar attributes, turn based fights, spell durations - this is all the stuff of tabletop gaming, so sometimes this is the closest a solo gamer can get to exploiting all of their games system knowledge borne from dusty rulebooks.

D&D on Facebook Heroes of Neverwinter
with seasonal additions
- God know what Christmas
will bring. ;)  Link to Fb App
The (Atari) D&D Heroes of Neverwinter (Beta) on Facebook surprised me after playing a previous D&D app (which I've forgotten the name of) which lamely took a reader from one paragraph to the next, with perhaps a combat dice roll.  I mean, would a bit of multiple choice been too difficult?  At least Heroes' actually has graphics - actual dungeons!  They're retro-isometric, too. :)  It's a fun distraction, logging in to collect gold and climbing the levels is addictive in a not-quite Diablo way.

For a very naive and optimistic moment I thought it might be like a morpy-multi-thingy, but the play-with-your-friends side is all to do with borrowing other people's characters, hence the social pressure to maintain a half decent character.  The option to watch your character in someone else's game is interesting in terms of seeing other people's playing style, and the fact that when your character is wounded they my choose not to heal it - the cheek! 

The sinister financial aspects of the game are a less exploitative than in some Fb games, but who knows, one day, in the middle of the night, at an adventure's zenith, a character revival by cost of diamonds, purchased by Paypal might actually tempt me.

It's been a bit stop-start playing the beta - the window can go blank - possibly a problem with server communication (?) and sometimes I've had Flash crashing, which reminded me a lot of the memory leak problems I had with CafeWorld which had nothing to do with the different computers I was using (hmm, Zynga, stop promising the world and telling me to "publish to profile"...).

There's been a couple of extra dungeons set up along a Halloween theme - one is so buggy that it crashed three times and when I log back in I'm asked to return to the adventure which then doesn't load.  Abandoning an adventure can lead to a loss of hired characters and energy points.  Perhaps I've been unlucky, but it can put you off a bit.  Seasonal themes are the disease of Facebook games.  I assume that designers feel that players easily become bored, so they spice up the games with new backgrounds and special seasonal bonus items.  I'm not sure that this is a good idea in the fantasy setting of Heroes, especially if they plan is to slow the game down with multiple welcome notices - perhaps like "Only 2 days left to complete Santas Grotto and defeat the Christmas Trees of Evil" - which is what made Farmville utterly unbearable for me (Gaga-ville was the final straw), that and an emotional attachment to wilting rice crops.

I like my fantasy settings to be played fairly straight and have a consistent reality.  Neverwinter is a well documented campaign world with it's own seasons and celebrations.  I'd be surprised if it's citizens observe pagan or Mexican pre-All Saints Day traditions.  I don't mind the spiders, but please, less masks and pumpkins, if you know what I mean.  Out of all of the Facebook games I've played so far, I'm enjoying it the most, but I shudder at what extra themes and splash pages they are planning.

Does D&D4 PH
make more sense
after playing on
However, what I really wanted to say is that despite the locations and encounters feeling mechanical and a little limited, I'm enjoying learning some of the very basics of the D&D4 system.  Suddenly the new Player's Handbook seems less alien with specific reference to daily- and encounter powers.  I'm still not sure why Clerics or Wizards should be allowed hand-crossbows, but for a very small moment I'm having to put my old-edition prejudices aside and embrace the new laws.

For anyone still baffled by a "Fey Step" or a  "Sly Flourish" maybe Heroes' is a good teaching aid.   For now, my preferences are still with older editions of the game, but at least D&D4 combat makes a little more sense now.

In way of healing the differences between Atari and Wizards, this game may do a lot for introducing novices to the tabletop game (firmly WotC's jurisdiction), possibly more than a dedicated console or PC game.  Facebook app exposure can be massive and egalitarian.  I haven't seen that many good adventure games of Facebook (especially ones where the fights don't look like a card game), so in some ways Heroes of Neverwinter shines.  The bad news is that this is a how many people will discover D&D.  Apart from the odd scene-setter paragragh there's very little here that resembles the creative magic and wonder of a conversation based role-playing game.  But hey, it's amazing that fantasy table-top games still exist at all, even if most of it is just about shunting figures across squares (...says a fan of Warhammer Quest).  Perhaps it's a tactile thing, perhaps World of Warcraft isn't the ultimate be all and end all of co-operative games.

... Yadda, yadda.   ...

Given the choice between this and Farmville, I'd opt for heroes of Neverwinter, but then I was a rubbish farmer.

Almost related ....  (skip this if you're bored of D&D edition wars) ;)

Let's see ... rumours around the return of Monte Cook to Wizards'...

I actually heard about this from Dungeon Bastard on Facebook who was telling us to be "very worried", presumably because those 4th edition power attacks met get pruned back to D&D3.5 / Pathfinder levels - man, I love Dungeon Bastard. :D   He also seems to be on relatively good terms with Mr Cook.

I'm pretty convinced the renewed rumour grenade of a possible 5th Edition, generated by a forum post and taken as verboten "from the horses mouth" is actually a joke or a wind up (?).   Also, it would be very strange if WotC were to suddenly embark upon act of mass wish-fulfillment and return D&D to the 3rd edition style.   But, alack, alas, I'm out of my depth with regards to the soap operas of personalities, joining and leaving games companies.  Upon reflection, the whole Arneson-Gygax-TSR history seems to change subtly wherever I read it on different web pages - naturally revised and recontextualised, which is to be expected.  I am not up to date with the entire bibliographies and work history of Tweet, Cook, Costikyan, Slavicsek, to name a few of the authors and designers names that I actually recognise of the old guard of the 80s (hmm, maybe I should go and check Wikipedia, meh, me lazy), and I know that MC is a significant player in today's gaming products, but he's probably just co-authoring some decent campaign books.   I say all this because even WotC wouldn't be dumb enough to kill the 4th Edition product line so soon...
I mean dropping Dragon and Dungeon as printed magazines was a good move, right?  Damn, I miss printed those monthlies.

I know that some DMs shrug and say "I have a set of rules my players like, and we'll continue playing with that ruleset.  Wizards can do what they like."  The community fear generated by edition change feels similar to fear of new operating systems.  It's about support, and being able to buy compatible products - or even cover design.  If you've spent £200 ($300) on matching shiny hardcovers, interlinking core volumes and campaign settings, there's a considerable emotional as well as a financial investment, and that might be before you've actually played the game.  I know I do this, although I drew the line at PH2 with 4ed, no PH3 for me until I actually play with a group of human beings. (Does that make my opinions about D&D4 redundant?)  There's a celebration of being up-to-date, of being on the cutting edge of the gaming zeitgeist.  My relief at discovering the OSR was immense, that talking about, playing and writing for older versions of D&D is acceptable, because D&D4 had left me baffled, alienated even.  I'd never played any "storytelling" RPGs but suddenly you find yourself hunting about for just an essense of speech, of the "radio-drama", of quirky NPCs, which I'm sure can be shoe-horned into D&D4, but it's certainly not the focus of the game.

Okay, getting side tracked.  My point is that I wanted to see what new D&D was like, bought (and had bought for me) a lot of the rulebooks.    As a dabbler in designing accessories I think I was fantasising about writing OGL products for 4th edition.  Initially I wanted to write solo-text-games.  I had just about felt comfortable with 3.5, but 4th edition was just too bound up with group management and physical space on the battle-mat. Oh well.  However, as a collector, I'm still strangely proud that I own these pretty tomes.

So let's see:  I like older systems or new systems which look like older systems, but no matter what ill guided decisions WotC eventually make, I'll probably end up begrudgingly buying at least the core rulebooks of any new edition because they'll be shinier and more colourful, and I hate not knowing what everyone at the RPG party is talking about (or grumbling about).

4th Edition D&D is right up there with the Star Wars prequels, which I'm glad I've seen and owned, but ... but ...
Oh God, Lucas/WotC (delete as applicable), what have you done to my childhood?!

*Goes off to hug the original red box and browse the net for all-in-one clones*

It's okay.  I'll be fine.

No, really.

Hey, if you're a Facebooker, check out Heroes of Neverwinter, it's harmless fun (if you can repress thoughts about how D&D is not what it used to be).

Thanks for reading. :)

Friday, 21 October 2011

Knights of Doom and Heroica Waldurk

Fighting Fantasy treats from Daddy Ebay.

I just wanted to share some totally random shopping news. For phenomenally cheaper prices than they seem to be worth, I have two recent ebay acquisitions: Fighting Fantasy Books "Knights of Doom" (1994, 1st print, Puffin, Book 56) and "Tower of Destruction" (1991, 3rd print). These are for my personal collection which is still surprising light when it comes to the 40s and 50+ numbers. I bought them at fairly average prices, well under a fiver each and yet I've battled for Knights of Doom in the past which has been known to get well above 20GBP in bid wars. So I'm very happy. What's interesting is that neither book had a photo and one was listed as buy-it-now only.  So there was a little faith required here.  And you know the really good news? ... There's not a single mark on either Adventure Sheet. If times get really hard you'll probably see these books again. ;) 

Those pesky Danes - Lego with Dice!

I've just this from a local shop.  It lies unopened, teasing me. :)  They didn't have Castle Fortaan - the larger of the Heroica game sets, so that may just have to be an Amazon buy, closer to Christmas.  But I also really want the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar.  Curse those Danes!  They come over here, steal all our gold!

Click on the Castle Fortaan box (the larger one) - it'll take you to a page with a little movie - reminiscent of Hero Quest and other fantasy board games.

Heroica Lego on Amazon UK:

Wait a second - the heroes have no arms! :o

Watch this space for adventure-Lego related discoveries ....

I'm hoping Heroica is going to be a bit more sophisticated than Lego "Shave a Sheep".

Shave A Sheep!
(The Welsh version was
banned from shops)

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Inked Adventures EL3 Forest Ambush

There's a few things I want to post about at the moment but tonight we'll just have to settle for some cross-posting as I celebrate a new product in my Inked Adventures range. ;)

Inked Adventures Encounter Lairs 3 Forest Ambush (cover)
Encounter Lairs 3 Forest Ambush on DriveThru

Sneak Peak Graphics:
Mock up of figures and forest clearing section -bases not depictedMultiple prints can create a modular forest plan

>>Encounter Lairs 3 Forest Ambush on DriveThru<<

The forest clearing is drawn by moi whilst the figures are by Sammo of Mossman Games.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Escape Velocity Gaming

Malicious Moths
Inventively scary encounters
along a flappy theme.

I'd like to take the opportunity to spotlight a PDF gaming publisher that I'm friendly with - who occasionally throw some art commission my way for the odd percentage fee.  Escape Velocity Gaming mainly produce accessories for 4th Edition D&D at pocket-money prices (right the moment the prices are so reduced that products are all under $3 or are even free).  Much of their work can fit into any fantasy campaign.

"Escape Velocity Gaming is a company dedicated to creating fun products for 4E Dungeons & Dragons. The founding members of the group are William C. Pfaff and William H. Moran III. Numerous contributors, playtesters, and artists (including Mr. Pfaff's own mother!) have joined the fold."  -EVG

Their most recent release is Malicious Moths - a bizarre selection of "six fully-detailed, freshly-illustrated heroic level threats" - all of which are a little moth-like, but usually with a twist.  I enjoyed reading a sample copy of City Slices I: Marketplace Fun - especially useful for DM's needing to flesh out a town or city at short notice (my previous observations on this product)
City Slices I: Marketplace Fun

My review here

Baba Yaga might be a useful addition to a campaign for those players who are inclined towards the more sinister side of fairy tales.

Slavic villainy! 
A formidable foe and evil minions
designed for different levels of play.
Baba Yaga: Queen of the Wicked Fens

"Baba Yaga?!" I hear you say.
"But where would I get
a figure of her?" ...

Reaper Minis Baba Yaga on Amazon
Good old Reaper Minis. :)

Vexing Sands
In celebration of my own skills ;) I feel it's my duty to share this slideshow of the Vexing Sands product laid out in play demonstration. As the illustrator on that project I can assert, with confidence, that the set is compatible with the Inked Adventures products (hand illustrated dungeon sections).

If Flash is disabled view photos here.

Canine Companions
for Rangers Vol.1
Incredible Insects Vol.1

Torope: Hard-Shell Hero

Company website:

Store on RPGNow

Store on DriveThruRPG 

In summary, like many smaller publishers, EVG are able to produce digestible, affordable material, whilst having the freedom to explore strange corners and niches found only by whim or necessity.  The result is creative and practical products for one of the most popular systems going.
Thanks for reading. :)

EDIT / STOP PRESS 22.10.11

Free on DriveThru

Tentacled Terrors by William C. Pfaff

This is a free section of the soon to be released WCP Monstrous Garage with pick and choose monster stat blocks for 4ed D&D

It has a dinosaur on the cover

Totems of the Dead:
Game Master's Guide to the Untamed Lands

Is this not one of the best covers, ever?!  
TUROK! Stab, slash, stab! Rah!

This is possibly because it makes me want to play Turok Dinosaur Hunter on the N64.  (Well, the first few levels at least, which can be completed using only the knife!  I love the killing but hate all the jumping...).
Totems of the Dead: Game Master's Guide to the Untamed Lands - Gun Metal Games
PDF, 140 pages, $13 on DriveThru
A campaign setting using the Savage Worlds system.


Whaddayawant?  An actual review?  

It has a dinosaur on the cover, I'd buy it for those reasons alone. ;)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

OSRIC Players Guide, yummy free download

They don't make them like this any more
... no wait ...
they make them exactly like this!
Very quick post.  I've got other longer posts lined up about all sorts of nonsense but I really feel compelled tonight to mention this lovely little gem.

This is partly because I've just seen this post by Mr.Brannan on the Other Side and partly because I try to pollute the Lost and the Damned forum with links to old school style retro RPG clones, and so whilst I had the links in the clipboard I thought I should drop them on here.

Quite a few months back I bought a shiny hardback copy OSRIC (2.2) on Lulu because I really like the idea of games in single volumes.  Legalese aside, for anyone liking the older games and hasn't heard of the "Old School Renaissance"  it's Advanced D&D 1st edition core rules all in a one place -and no psionics (*big grin*  I don't mind the concept now, but back then "psionics" was what magic was called in Traveller, and since D&D already had magic, and so on and so forth ... so it's one of the things which stands out to me, along with non-French standardised weapon names which is a good move for non-European Fantasy-neutral settings - if that makes sense)

I haven't looked at the more recently published version of OSRIC yet (is it by Brave Halfling?) but I still heartily recommend the  OSRIC 2.2 rules on Lulu

As a player or reader, this is as close as you can get to AD&D 1st edition without actually buying all the three main books on Ebay.  It's better organised too (not wishing to deflect modern players from the personality of the old PH and DMG).  Yes, there are a few very minor differences, for practical and perhaps legal reasons, between AD&D and OSRIC which mean that the different rulesets can conflict when used together, but it's new, it's shiny, it's like an ex-girlfriend with a nip-n-tick.

What?  You actually play, using the OSRIC rules?  (Not like me, who just drools on it - the hard back shiny cover is fairly wipe-down)  Perhaps you're a DM and you now have a copy of OSRIC in PDF or a hard bound copy, but you don't want your players to have full access to the monster stats at the gaming table?  Rather than a large compendium with all the rules, what is required is a Player-Character's rulebook, or "handbook", nay a "Player's Guide"?

Presenting ....

It's printer friendly (black and white throughout).  There's quite a few in-jokes in the illustrations for the discerning but goofy player and collector.  The combination of line art and tables makes me nostalgic for the old rules and yet thrilled that OSRIC exists in a new and confusing world.

But stop reading this!  You have the link, now follow it and download this prize!

Ace. :)

(Man, I need to learn to sleep at night)

EDIT (15/10/2011)
In reference to the comments below this post, check out the following:

Click on image to go to the
Kindle copy on Amazon

<-- Kindle edition of "The New Death and others"

For other formats click here.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

20% Off Code for selected products on DriveThruRPG

Strange spirits have been whispering secrets to me, once when the stars are right special magicks can be worked upon the world.  Utter the following arcane phrase to the right fallen priest at the DriveThruRPG before the great conjunction ends on the 10th November 2011 and thou shalt recieve a fifth off the price of certain products:

This coupon code will take a mighty 20% off for all of the following products  (some of which are already reduced).  It's worth a browse, since there may be something which you'd thought about picking up in the past but the deal just wasn't sweet enough ....
... and eventhe coupon has expired there's still some pretty interesting products here to put on your Christmas list. ;)

Horrific Universe: 12 Months of Horror [Bailey Records] (audio)

Be sure to check the code reduces the price in the check-out stage before purchasing! 
Compootas can sumtimez be stoopid.

Oh DriveThru, you are good and wise, we will cherish these near-gifts ... all hail the RPG PDF! is also offering an autumnal reduction

(if you can actually find the RPGs from the front page on there... but hey, searching is fun...)

20% off books - Enter code FALLBOOKS -
Save up to $25 - Offer ends 10/31/11

(31 Sept 2011)

Ta for browsing! -Bb. :)

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Savage Insider 2, Star Explorer (1982)

Savage Insider Issue 2 is now out.  Good quality content for players using the Savage worlds system, and it's free on DriveThruRPG!  And, boy, there's a lot of content!

I personally am drawn to some of the sci-fi guns (but then I like also to make ZAP-frazzle noises when I roll dice and crunch stats.)
"Savage Insider Issue 2:
How the Dice Roll
is all about what the community does with their gaming. The pillar article, Savage Worlds as an Educational Tool, takes a look how to turn role-playing games into a tool for homeschooling.

How the Dice Roll is a cross-genre issue with content covering fantasy, sci-fi, and horror along with supporting general interest articles.
Issue 2 includes the following:
-- 3 fleshed out adversaries -- 9 new weapons -- A Savage Insider exclusive add-on for Beasts & Barbarians -- Part 2 of the Crypt of the Crystal Lich fiction series --The first in the Echoes of Rome fiction series --Part 2 of the Deadlands comics series The Kid --A sci-fi adventure --And much more! -- "

The following product glimpse sort of continues on from my babbling in from this star trekky themed post...

Star Explorer has been re-released by Goblinoid Games, back from the dizzying past of 1982. I was excited when I first saw this because I enjoyed reading Starships & Spacemen (by the same author).   Reading through the description and checking out GG's forum, I'm surprised to see that "STAR EXPLORER is a role-play board game for as many as four players" which might explain why there isn't a print-on-demand copy to be purchased at this time.  Also intriguing is this: "It can even be played solitaire since competition is directed more against the universe as presented in the game than against the other players."  (from forum thread)  There's an old RPGNet review of the original game here
Fascinating ....  It's an RPG, Jim, but not quite as we know it.

If I learn anything more, I'll let you know. ;)