Monday, May 2, 2016

The Keep on the Other Side of the Borderlands

So, there's this keep. Long lost, by the forces of Law.

For decades, heroes, lords and other assorted riff-raff have tried to retake the stronghold and its surroundings, for the glory of King and Country.
keep on the borderlands
Ok, mostly for themselves.

Recently, Sir/Lady NPC has managed to claim the keep, clear the area immediately surrounding it and establish a very tenuous hold on his/her new demesne.

There's no thriving little community, here. Just a few surviving men-at-arms, a Castellan, a minor Cleric, a few acolytes, some engineer/builder types, some camp-followers and non-combatant hirelings. They're surrounded. Out-numbered. Running out of time and resources.

All day long, they labor to shore up the gates, patch the walls, fortifying the keep, as best they may.

All night long, they're hard pressed, keeping the forces of Chaos from breaking into the keep.

And the Lord/Lady? Mysteriously incapacitated. Hidden away, deep within the stronghold. Only the Cleric has seen the ruler, recently. The defense of the keep is in the hands of the Castellan. He's like, 3rd level.

Worse, the baleful abominations of the wilderness, seem far too organized.

And not far away...

Not far away, the soldiers have discovered something. They think it's a complex of caves, harboring creatures of Chaos.

They're wrong. It's a fucking megadungeon.

In the face of all this, the forces of the keep must arrange for supplies, reinforcements and, gods help them, maybe some adventurers, to delve into those caves and root out the enemies of the keep.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

OSR News from Dreams of Mythic Fantasy April 26, 2016

Let's get this party started!

Advanced Adventures #33: The Halls of Lidless Shabbath: New releases

Advanced Adventures #33: The Halls of Lidless Shabbath by Stuart Marshall & Joseph Browning. Expeditious Retreat Press. Available in PDF for $8.00. 24 pages.
The Halls of Lidless Shabbath is an OSRIC(tm) module designed for 6-10 adventurers of levels 12-15.
Rolled into a yard-tall, ivory scroll tube, the worn charcoal rubbing of a giant map etched into an ancient monolith hints that travel between worlds was once easy. More enticingly, the map pinpoints the entrance to the eldritch pathway. The crude rubbing shows nothing but the location of the ancient and legendary dungeon known as the Halls of Lidless Shabbath!
The Halls are the home of the evil sorceress Shabbath. She was famed for having researched many new spells and created many unique magic items, as well as possessing fantastic treasures of gold and jewels, and the caves are also suspected to be a nexus of the planes. Little about the contents of the Halls themselves is known, save that Shabbath is rumored still to be alive, the Halls are reputedly haunted by demons, and a large warband or small army of trolls has been seen thereabouts.
Tome of Tomes - Volume Three by Joseph Browning. Expeditious Retreat Press. Available in PDF for $3.00. 20 pages.
Books in fantasy games have always been sources of mystery. We're all familiar with the sight of the magic user's eyes lighting up like a 5-year-old at Christmas when one is found. This work provides 100 more tomes for your gaming pleasure, ranging from the magical to the mundane, from the common to the unique. Never again will you be at a loss to describe that recently found libram.
Tome of Tomes Volume Three is a compilation of books that could be found on a sage's shelf or on the shelves of a city library. Each tome is described and classified according to field of study and special knowledge category (if applicable).
Crawling Under a Broken Moon: Crawling Under a Broken Moon #13 by Reid San Filippo. Print/PDF Combo $5.00, $6.50 for International buyers. PDF $1.99. 28 pages.
Welcome to the 13th issue of Crawling Under A Broken Moon, a fanzine dedicated to bringing gonzo post apocalyptic content for the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG from Goodman Games.
This issue contains:
  • the Fantastic Post-Apocalyptic Adventure Idea Generator
  • An Interesting Place to Die: The Rail Tunnels of the Delphia Beast
  • Racial Recast: An alternative Elf class
  • A Death Bots creation guide
  • And much, much more!

Dungeon Crawl Classics #87.5: Grimtooth’s Museum of Death by Jobe Bittman with Steve Crompton. Cover Art by Doug Kovacs. Goodman Games. Available in Print for $9.99 and in PDF for $6.99. 28 pages.
Dungeon Crawl Classics: It’s the crossover you’ve always wanted: the legendary Grimtooth the Troll meets Dungeon Crawl Classics! This adventure module is written under DCC RPG rules and is officially licensed by Flying Buffalo, Inc. to include the Grimtooth character.

After three decades of preparation, the evil troll Grimtooth has finally thrown wide the gates of his abode to all comers. The troll has sent ravens far and wide inviting delvers to share in the vast wealth of his treasure room. Of course, there is a catch. The adventurers must wend their way through a maze of traps in Grimtooth’s Museum of Death, a curated collection of the deadliest and most devious traps ever assembled in one place. Along the way, they might even cross paths with a few of Grimtooth’s allies: Grimtina, Spike the Grimdog, and Sludgeworth. Tread lightly, delver. There are no refunds for this tour.
Dungeon Crawl Classics #84.3: Sky Masters of the Purple Planet by Jim Wampler. Cover Art by Doug Kovacs. Goodman Games. Available in Print for $9.99 and in PDF for $6.99. 24 pages.
Dungeon Crawl Classics: When a legendary race of demonic beings pour out of the double-mooned sky and raid the party’s camp, events are set into motion that will lead them far southward to the equatorial region of the Purple Planet. Between them and their destination lay air-ships and aerial combat, pirates and plunder, and the silver-spined Sky-Spire of the Sky Masters of the Purple Planet.
Dark Tower: Gary Con 2016 Exclusive by Jennell Jaquays. Goodman Games Reprint. Available in Print for $24.99.

The original Dark Tower, scanned from an original printing, authorized by the Judges Guild, with new material!

Mystery Men! Second Edition
By John Stater. Available in PDF for $6.99. (the first link is to RPGNow and the second, to Lulu.) 117 pages.
Mystery Men! Second Edition: The Mystery Men are back - and they're better than ever!

First published in 2011, Mystery Men! is a rules lite game about crime fighting super heroes. It includes simple rules for generating super characters and guiding them through adventures, with rules for heroic feats and combat. The game also includes a guide to creating settings and a full sample setting called Shore City, a sample scenario and 24 heroes and villains. Best of all, it is broadly compatible with many old school games.
RuneQuest - 2nd Edition by Steve Perrin & Ray Turney. Chaosium. Available in PDF for $14.95 (print should be available, soonish.) 144 pages.
RuneQuest - 2nd Edition:
In July of 1978, the Origins Game Fair was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Over 3500 people attended what was the largest gaming convention in the US at that time. In the main hall gamers could pick up the latest games from all the major publishers: Cross of Iron by Avalon Hill, Atlantic Wall by SPI, and The Hall of the Fire Giant King module by TSR. In one small booth near a corner you could also purchase RuneQuest, the first Roleplaying game published by The Chaosium, a quirky 3 person company from the Bay Area. It sold out over the weekend, and every print run continued to do so for the next several years.
This is the second edition of the RuneQuest rules in its final form, with all errata incorporated into the text. Additional material has been added to the appendices at the end.
RuneQuest took the young world of roleplaying games by storm; it cast aside many of the approaches most other games took. It had no character classes, no experience points, no levels, and far fewer restrictions on how weapons, armor, and spells could be used. Instead of a D20 it uses a percentile 01-100 system. It also has the built-in fantasy world of Glorantha.
During what many consider to be the golden age of roleplaying, RuneQuest enjoyed its greatest popularity, second only to AD&D in sales. It won numerous awards, starting in 1978 with the Strategist’s Club Award for “Outstanding Miniatures Rules”, which may sound quirky, but that was because the industry had yet to create award categories specifically for roleplaying games.
This is the second edition of the RuneQuest rules in its final form, with all errata incorporated into the text. Additional material has been added to the appendices at the end.
The Undercroft #9 by Daniel Sell. Available in Print/PDF combo for £4.50. In PDF for 
What Would Conan Do?:
The issue is notable for having an almost full cast of Undercroft regulars, brought together in one gigantic issue alongside the new but equally majestic works of +Benjamin Baugh and +Patrick Stuart.
What's inside
Skinned Moon Daughter                                  A new class for games in the Great North
101 Uses of a Hanged Man
Systems and advice for preparing alchemical concoctions from the criminal dead
The Doctor
A new class separating the divine from the healer
Everyone is an Adventurer
A deconstruction of multi-classes down to its base integers
The Sickness
A sex beast
Dead Inside
Replacement classes for a world of sadness and pain
A sexy beast
Nine Summits and the Matter of Birth
Cosmic disasters and antinatal cults among the island people
With artwork by +Cédric Plante (creator of that fine cover and several internal images), +Sean Poppe, +Matthew Adams, +Anxious P. and +Jeremy Duncan
The Age of Undying [DCC]: The Age of Undying by Tim Callahan. Art by Nick Burchard. Moon Dice Games. Available in PDF for $2.50. 24 pages. 
The Age of Undying has begun!

This offically-licensed Dungeon Crawl Classics supplement by the creator of the Crawljammer zine includes rules variants, class features, original monsters and more! Basically, whay you get in this 24-page volume is a way to play Dungeon Crawl Classics when the veil between the living and the dead has been rent asunder. This is not is a state of UNDYING where stitchermen weave together strange beings and souls float across the battlefield, looking for bodies to inhabit so they may fight again.

Everything in The Age of Undying can be easily adapted for your OSR game of choice -- but be warned: if you run your game using the rule variants in here, your PCs will become less likely to survive combat. But it will make them rethink the way they approach encounters. Every decision has a price!

Inspired by renegade priests of Cthulhu, the Catastrophe Island games of Doug Kovacs, Adam Muszkiewicz, and Wayne Snyder, the fiction of Gabriel Squalia, the animation of Henry Selick, Homer's Odyssey, and Clark Ashton Smith's colossus of corpses, The Age of Undying will add a new, viciously-strange turn to your Dungeon Crawl Classics games. Or your other games involving flying lizards and labyrinths. Or your games about mutants on alien planets. Or all of that stuff, at the same time! (Heck, the creator ran it as a Crawljammer game for months!)

Originally available ONLY as a Mythoard exclusive for March 2016, The Age of Undying is now available here on RPGNow! That's a double NOW!
Frontier Explorer - Issue 16. Ed. by Tom Stephens & Tom Verreault. Cover art by Tom Stephens. Available in PDF or Online version, for Free.
Hello Explorers!
Issue 16 Cover - medium: Issue 16 of the Frontier Explorer is now available. This issue is a big reminder that this really is a community magazine and that we couldn’t do it without you. A special thanks to Joseph Cabadas and Chris Donovan who stepped up and provided a huge number of articles for this issue.
In this issue you’ll find a variety of new equipment, weapons, and vehicles, as well as a complete system brief for the S’sessu home worlds, equipment, flora, and fauna related to the S’sessu, and hooks to help bring the S’sessu into your campaign. In addition, we have some great weapon stat cards that you can print out and use at your table to keep track of the various weapons in the party and owned by the NPCs.
The complete contents of this issue include:
  • Weyland-Yutani: Incorporating the Company into the Frontier
  • New Weapons
  • D.U.C.T. Tape
  • Want a New Ride?
  • Weapon Cards
  • Nugkta Cultivation
  • Titan Rising: 2299 Episode 9
  • The Ecology of a Sathar Agent
  • Phri’sk Anyone? Detailing the S’sessu Homeworlds
  • Things Wormy - Looking at S’sessu Biology, Items, Flora, and Fauna
  • Fitting the S’sessu Into Your Campaign
  • S.O.S.
  • Book Review: Her Brother’s Keeper
  • Grimz Guide Comic
I hope you enjoy this issue as much as I did. So grab your copy and remember to always keep exploring.
Back issues of this Zine are available at RPGNOW in Print!

meatgrinder.pdf - Google DriveGoodman Games forums member Eldrad Wolfsbane has posted a free 70s zine style funnel he's calling The Meat Grinder. It's crude and unedited and awesome.  "A FREE Zine Module for DCC!   In the 1970s ZINE Style!   Completely unprofessional!   A Level "0" Funnel that brings one to 1st level!   Make many stacks of "0" Level characters!   Various spots where prisoners are found to replace the dead!: The Meatgrinder by Lord Eldrad Wolfsbane. Back to the Dungeon blog. Available in PDF for Free. 12 pages.
A NEW FREE "0" Level Funnel to 1st Level Module for DCC: THE MEAT GRINDER
THE MEAT GRINDER is a Zine Module for Dungeon Crawl Classics!
Make many many many pages of "0" level characters for they will die in droves!
I didn't know the Back to the Dungeon blogger was back in action! Cool!
Oh, shit! He's been busy! He's written a clone, and all sorts of modules. Just go to the blog , look at the posts and check out all the Google docs, & stuff!
Mysterion's Madhouse Mayhem

Mysterion's Madhouse Mayhem by R. C. Pinnell. Available in PDF for Free. 10 pages. 

An Old School adventure for 4 to 8 characters of levels 3rd to 6th.
Really? That's it? You're not giving me a lot of copy to work with, Mr. Pinnell!

Threshold: The Mystara Magazine # 11 - Thyatis & Alphatia. Editor in Chief Francesco Defferrari (Sturm.) Available in PDF for Free. 240 pages.

This Issues Contributors.........................................................4
Call for Contributors................................................................6
Once Upon a Time in Ar—Part Six...........................................7
From Alphatia to Calidar........................................................11
Atlas of Mystara - Thyatis........................................................17
Thorfinn Tait Interview..........................................................22
The Elemental Evil in Mystara...............................................33
The Thyatian Language...........................................................53
The Judicates of Carytion.......................................................63
The Forester Class..................................................................81
The Foresters of Thyatis.........................................................86
Imperial Explorers!...............................................................106
Lost Civilizations of Thyatis and Alphatia............................112
Alphatian Alphabet...............................................................136
A Gazetteer of Limn..............................................................141
Warbirds Add-Ons.................................................................159
20 Years of History in the Sea of Dawn................................163
An Atlas of the Isle of Dawn.................................................174
Koskatep level 9: Krystallac, crystal heart...........................205
Time’s Travels.......................................................................225
Artwork Sources and Credits................................................227
Next Issue.............................................................................236
I've downloaded all 11 Issues of Threshold and have yet to read any. So, I don't really

know how good they are. But, damn! That's a whole lot of Known World Goodness!

ML#12 Poisoning Chaos by Tim Shorts. Available in PDF for Free. For Print/PDF combo's, see the author's Patreon page. 
With a title like that you would think this was an epic adventure or something. But this is just a tiny cabin, barn, underground room and a god-like being whose experiment could change everything. Epic things come in small packages.
John Carpenter has his Apocalypse Trilogy (The Thing, Prince of Darkness and In the Mouth of Madness) where the movies foreshadow the death of the world as we know it. All fantastic movies, go see them if you can. This adventure is in the same vein. Powerful forces are planning on reshaping the world. In Carpenter's case those forces are evil. In mine, one could argue that my catalyst for change is a good guy (Zazriel), but lacks the imagination and forethought to understand what he is doing might destroy the very think he hopes to save.

Maybe I am getting too philosophical, but I like the idea of an antagonist that has good intentions, but doesn't realize that what he is planning could have disastrous results. And maybe the party can convince Zazriel otherwise, maybe not. Brute force won't work. If they can't convince the Zazriel they will have to learn how to survive what he has done.

This adventure could be a catalyst for a campaign world changer. If you need a reason to nuke your campaign and start fresh without having going back to nothing, Poisoning Chaos can give you that reason why things are familiar, but everything is different. And it also gives the players a role in exactly how it ends.

I hope you enjoy it folks. I want to thank my new patrons. I've had a recent up tick in patrons which I very much appreciate. And headlocks to all my old crusty patrons who keep me going. This adventure will be a half sheet laminated version that will go out to all my $2.50 and above patrons at the end of the month.
So, Tim creates all of these mini-adventures. His supporters get print copies. Everyone else gets a free PDF! Win, win, win!

Axioms Issue 1 by Alexander Macris, Mark Bober, Charles Myers, Eric Maloof. Art by William McAusland. Published by Autarch. Available in PDF for $3.99. 25 pages. 
Axioms Issue 1: Axioms is Autarch's quarterly supplement for the Adventurer Conqueror King System. Each issue of Axioms offers a mix of short content updates for ACKS, such as new classes, new sub-mechanical systems, explorations of specific themes within the game, short adventure scenarios, and more.

In this, our premier issue, eldritch secrets are revealed…
  • Beyond Arcane and Divine: rules for designing custom magic types for your campaigns
  • The Shades of Magic: because power corrupts, and powerful magic corrupts magically
  • Introducing the Wizard: mankind’s mightiest practitioners of arcane magic
  • The Art of Arcanogenesis: creating new life-forms with magic
  • Overcasting: going beyond the limits has a price
While designed for use with ACKS, content in Axioms is compatible with any d20-based fantasy RPG built on the OGL.
 Axioms is made possible through the support of our patrons, who receive early access to the articles on a month-by-month basis. If you're already a patron, thanks for your support! To learn more, visit
White Box 1-page Ref Sheet:

White Box 1-Page Ref Sheet from Steve C at The Borderlands blog. Available in PDF for Free.  

The Race Hack by Mark Craddock. Cross Plains Game Studio. Available in PDF for $1.00. 19 pages.
The Race Hack: Do you enjoy THE BLACK HACK but wish you had races?
THE RACE HACK presents two overall approaches for THE BLACK HACK OSR Compatible Clone.

In Part One, each race is presented with two options: bonuses and penalties to attributes or features to represent racial abilities. In both cases you simply choose your class, modify it with your choice of race, and start playing as you did with the First Edition of the Advanced Version of the Original 1970's Fantasy Roleplaying Game. The races detailed are drakes, dwarves, elves, gnomes, half-elves, halfling, half-orcs, humans, and tieflings.
Dolmenwood MapIn Part Two, racial classes are introduced and are simply additional classes for you to select, like Conjuror or Monk, as you did with the Basic Version of the the Orginal 1970's Fantasy Roleplaying Game. The classes detailed are Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling.
Dolmenwood Map by Greg Gorgonmilk & Gavin Norman. Necrotic Gnome Productions. Available in PDF for PWYW.
A high-resolution reference map for the Dolmenwood campaign setting explored in the Wormskin zine (issue one, issue two).
Essential for any budding Dolmenwood referee!
Dreams of Mythic Fantasy: Volume 1 - Characters & Combat by James A. Smith. Milieu Master Games. Available in PDF for FREE. 93 pages.
Dreams of Mythic Fantasy: Characters & Combat is the player's handbook, which I'm currently using in most of my fantasy role-playing campaigns. In compiling this document, I've drawn upon several OGL sources.
I've used and slightly tweaked Akrasia's class based weapon damage rules, which can be found at the author's blog, as well as in the pages of Knockspell #1.
The Sequence of Combat is an elaboration on Philotomy Jurament's adaption of the initiative rules from the TSR supplement Swords & Spells. The main thing I wanted to accomplish here, was to bring an element of strategy to spellcasting choices during combat, while using group Initiative. It's rather fiddly, but I like how it works in play.
This document is very much a product of my involvement with the Old School Renaissance and reflects the impact and influence my fellow OSR bloggers have had on my approach to running old school games. I'm a more skilled and knowledgeable GM, thanks to their work!
In the main, it's meant to serve as a reference for my own campaigns. In releasing it to the public, I hope to keep this conversation we're all having, going and inspire others to do the same.
LG1: Terror in the Forest of Gizzick by Claude M. LeBrun. Artwork by Claude M. LeBrun & Grady M. LeBrun. Dragonsfoot pub. Available in PDF for Free. 15 pages.
Something has been terrorizing farms and houses that lie in or near the Forest of Gizzick. People are being killed, livestock is being killed or stolen, and buildings are burning down. Even though no one has seen the cause of this terror, rumors abound. Some believe goblins or other creatures are to blame. Others think a demon is involved, yet other people worry this is the beginning of an invasion from some unknown evil. Does your party have what it takes to find and stop the terror? 

Minotaur Quarterly #12: Kandaria, Urban Adventuring & More - March 2016. Final Issue! Ed. by Olivier Legrand. Available in PDF for FREE. 73 pages.
 This final issue includes a detailed gazetteer of Kandaria, the City of Dreams (and thieves), the Assassin class, fascinating background material on the history and cosmology of Mythika, new creatures, new mythic items, plenty of optional rules (including Beastmen character classes!) and two complete adventures!

Palace of the Silver Princess - An Adventure by the DIY D&D Community. Available in PDF for FREE.

The cover blurb isn't highlightable. So, you'll just have to go there, download it, run it, and let us all know how it turned out.

Maptime - 'Cause!

Carcosa Maps. From Burning Torso. They're very cool!

What I'm Pimping This Week

Maze of the Blue Medusa by Zak S. and Patrick Stuart. Satyr Press. Available in a Print/PDF combo for $50 and in a basic PDF for $5.00. A more advanced PDF is forthcoming.

Infinite broken night. Milky alien moons. Wavering demons of gold. Held in this jail of immortal threats are three perfect sisters...
Maze of the Blue Medusa is a dungeon. Maze of the Blue Medusa is art. Maze of the Blue Medusa works with your favorite fantasy tabletop RPGs. And Maze of the Blue Medusa is the madly innovative game book from the award-winning Zak Sabbath of A Red & Pleasant Land and Patrick Stuart of Deep Carbon Observatory. Lethal gardens, soul-rending art galleries, infernal machines—Maze of the Blue Medusa reads like the poetic nightmare of civilizations rotted to time, and plays like a puzzle-box built from risk and weird spectacle. Art by Zak Sabbath; text by Patrick Stuart and Zak Sabbath.

Maze of the Blue Medusa is a 7.5" wide and 9" tall Smyth sewn hardcover book that features: 288 full-cover pages; full-color endpapers featuring tables, maps, and art; foil stamping on the front cover and spine; hand-tipped debossed images on the front and back covers; a jet black cloth cover; FSC-certified interior paper stock; and a bookmark ribbon. And it's being printed in Canada by Friesens. For more information, click here.
I could tell you how amazing this book is. But, I'm going to let Bryce do it. Cause, I'm tired. Been writing all day. Whew!
Unless otherwise noted, all links to products and files are to the individual authors sites, pertinent posts, or sales pages. I don’t link directly to files, unless that is the only link available. 
I have received no remuneration from any publisher, for reporting on their releases, nor is such a requirement for a product to be included in these posts. At times, an author or publisher may send me a complimentary copy of an item, for purposes of review. This is not a requirement for a product's inclusion in these posts. 
As always, the What I’m Pimping This Week section of the OSR News and its accompanying blog widget, feature products which I have purchased (or items which are available for free download) and wish to support. At times, the item I'm pimping may be one which I received a complimentary review copy of, from the author or publisher. No one has asked me to spotlight their material in this section and I have received no payment of any kind for doing so.
Please feel free to send me information on any new releases, events, or other items of interest, which you would like to see mentioned.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Some Swords & Wizardry Specific Free Resources

So, it's that time of year. Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day has arrived!

I've started gathering my thoughts and materials for a new campaign. Running Swords & Wizardry Core. Houseruled and bashed, hither and yon, naturally.

So, in furtherance of that goal, in celebration of today's day, and harkening back to the
sort of post my blogs were a little well known for, I've decided to gather a link list to some free S&W resources.

Also, because I haven't yet actually began writing anything new, for the upcoming campaign.

1. ze bullete's Swords & Wizardry Hireling Generator and Record Sheet.
This thing is just so perfect! The post also contains a link to his LL version.

2. Akrasia's Swords & Wizardry Houserules Index. These also appeared in an early issue of Knockspell and are featured in Newt Newport's Crypts & Things S&W variant. Good stuff! I've been using a tweaked version of his class-based weapon damage, for years.

3. Al Krombach's Swords & Wizardry Thief. Back in the day (like, just a few years ago,) there was no official Thief for Swords & Wizardry. So, naturally, the DIY community started making the backstabbing little bastards! This is my favorite.

4. James Maliszewski's Paladin, Monk, Ranger and Thief. Most of those can also be found within the pages of Knockspell.

5. Fitz's Swords & Wizardry Houserules page.

6. bliss_infinte's Swords & Wizardry resources. Buncha good stuff, here.

7. Salvatore Macri's Swords & Wizardry Companion page and WhiteBox Heroes.

8. Al Krombach's Beyond the Black Gate Compendium 2009, 2010, 2011.

9. The Mythmere Games download page.

10. Another from Al. The Monsterless Manual.  Hey, Al! Were did you go? I want some more groovy gaming stuff!

11. Roger G-S from Roles, Rules and Rolls put out Varlets & Vermin way back in 2010!

12. Mike Davison has produced a lot of material, at his Sword +1 blog. Including this Viking Saga for Whitebox.

13. Jed McClure's Swords & Wizardry wheel-chart

14. Rob Conley's Blackmarsh. 

15. A new Swords & Wizardry Forum.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A few points & observations regarding the "history" & meaning of the OSR

In response to some of the recent bullshit:

1. It was gamers who were hostile to old school play, that first started referring to the OSR as a "Movement." Personally, I've always considered it an Event.

2. Just like it was people hostile to the nascent OSR, who started calling James Malisewski the "pope of the osr," then pretended he claimed that title for himself. Just so they could have a figure-head, with which to attack the "movement."

Alas, I was merely a "Saint of the OSR," (per Johnathan Bingham) and escaped their hostility.

3. Back in 2009-2012, when I was still quite active on the scene, most of the non-commercial, online OSR related action, by which, I mean DIY D&D works & commentary by people who considered themselves OSR gamers/publishers/enthusiasts, took place in the blogosphere. But, not all.

4. The previous observation is not meant to disparage, or marginalize gamers who considered themselves "old school," but not OSR. Or, those who never got into blogging.

It's certainly not meant to exclude members of the communities of Dragonsfoot, the ODD Forum and Knights & Knaves, all of whom put out a ton of DIY D&D stuff.

It is meant to acknowledge the fact that, at least at the time and almost certainly now, to some extent, many of those worthies eschewed the OSR designation and some were rather vitriolic in their criticisms.

5. While TSR era D&D and it's clones, derivatives, and private mash-ups were far and
away the most popular focus, there were always bloggers talking about Encounter Critical, Mazes & Minotaurs, Star Frontiers, Traveller, Runequest, Barbarians of Lemuria and various & sundry other games. Oh, and DCC, because, DAMN!

6. For the zillionth time, the number of retro, pseudo & neo clones, were and are, dwarfed by the number of modules, accessories, play aids and what-not, which the OSR has produced.

7. Back in the day, OSR meant Old School Renaissance. A few people decided the "R" should stand for "revival." Mostly in response to further criticism from "outsiders." Personally, I don't care what it means to you, or if you use the term at all.

8. But, if you decide you need to define the term for the rest of us, you're really missing the point of that brilliant, spontaneous energy that burst upon the gaming scene and changed it forever!

9. As to when the OSR started, what games are "cannon," etc., Fuck all of that noise!

Your personal opinion on the subject? Great! By all means, tell me what you think. As long as you don't take it too seriously.

Just don't try to tell me what to think. Because, the OSR, whatever the fuck it is, got along fine for years, without "gatekeepers," "authorities," "hierophants" or any sort of pseudo-academic wankery.

(edit: All right. There's been wankery. But it's usually been mis-characterized.)

10. To my mind, the OSR is a beautifully abstract thing. Kind of like TSR era D&D. It works best when you let it be what it is, when you don't concern yourself with other people's "badwrongfun," and when you don't grasp greedily at it, or try to over-define it.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Buying D&D Over, and Over, and.....

That sumbitch Joseph Goodman!

First, he makes this utterly kick-ass game, Dungeon Crawl Classics, which the Gamer has to have because it's so fucking awesome!

Then, he puts out a limited, foil cover edition, which, the Collector just has to have because it's so kick-ass and the complimentary spines will look cool as fuck, on his bookshelf.

But wait, there's more!

So, I've already got two copies of DCC, when while putting out the second printing of the game, Mr. Goodman also decides to start releasing some limited edition covers!

And after buying the first several modules for the game, you know, the ones with the covers reproduced in the rulebook, the Collector really, really, wanted that first alternate cover edition!

Can you blame me? I mean look at this thing!

Hugh's dead, baby! Hugh's dead!

But, I put off buying it for a long time, until yesterday, when I saw there were still some copies floating around. I pulled the trigger and FRP Games just informed me that it's on the way! That groovy alternate spine is going to look real nice, next to the other two.

Of course, it's been often remarked upon, how OSR folks keep buying D&D, over and over, again. There's certainly some truth to that.

For instance, I have two copies of the AD&D PH and DMG, yet I also have two copies of OSRIC. Hell, I did have three, but I sold my Lulu HC, because I didn't need it and Lulu makes shitty HC's, anyway.

I've got B & X and a combo B/X in one. And Labyrinth Lord.

I've got the LotFP Grindhouse, and sooner or later I'll buy Mr. Raggi's latest edition of the game and I'm kicking myself for not buying Noble Knight's last copy of the Original LotFP Box Set.

And Swords & Wizardry! I've got Swords & Wizardry rulebooks out the wazoo!

And Delving Deeper! And...

The Gamer/Collector looks upon his groovy bookshelf and sees that it is Good!

But, goddammit I'm not going to buy the DCC Easley Cover!

Damn! It's kinda awesome, though, ain't it?

And yes, I'm aware of the Slipcase edition.

Fuck! Now I'm just having silly, silly thoughts.

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