Monday, December 26, 2011

The OSR News - Monday, December 26, 2011

So, What's James Raggi Been Up To?

Carcosa by Geoffrey McKinney. Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Available in a Print/PDF combo for 32.11€. PDF only for 13.00€. 288 pages.

Avail. from RPGNOW for $21.25. Given Mr. Raggi's stote note:
"All PDF-only products are charged the 23% VAT, no matter where the order originates from. The Finnish tax office was quite clear about that."
I think PDF only customers will save a few pennies by ordering from the LotFP store. At current exchange rates, at least.
Warning: For Adults Only! Contains explicit descriptions and illustrations of vile black magic and violence
WEIRD SCIENCE-FANTASY HORROR SETTING
Carcosa is a science-fantasy role-playing game setting with a sandbox approach: whether heroic or opportune, adventurers of all stripes will find freedom and consequence worth their mettle in a horrifying milieu mixing adventure fantasy, the Mythos, and comic book sci-fi with no punches pulled.
Carcosa is compatible with Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird FantasyRole-Playing game and other old school fantasy adventure games. This expanded edition details 800 encounters on the 400-hex map and includes the starter adventure Fungoid Gardens of the Bone Sorcerer.
The included PDF version of Carcosa is fully and extensively layered, bookmarked, and linked - truly a state of the art piece of PDF technology.
Isle of the Unknown by Geoffrey McKinney. Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Available in a Print/PDF combo for 22.94€. The PDF alone is 9.35€ ($15.30 at RPGNOW.) 128 pages.
A Setting Designed to be Placed in Any Fantasy Campaign!
Formatted as a hex-based adventure location, the Isle contains 330 unique challenges and locations, including over 100 new monsters and dozens of spellcasters with unique abilities.
The book contains over 120 full-color illustrations, including every single monster found on the Isle.
Compatible with Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Role-Playing and other traditional fantasy role-playing games.
The included PDF version of Isle of the Unknown is fully layered and bookmarked.
It looks like the Poster and Map Extras are still available on both of these, for 5.00€ each. Also:
Through December 31: If ordering at least 50€ worth of stuff (pre-shipping, pre-VAT amounts), say the new Carcosa and Isle of the Unknown books, you can get 12,50€ off the price of the Grindhouse Edition in the same order with coupon code ULFIRE.
And there's still time to get in on this Contest! 

One of the Coolest Settings to Grace the OSR Blogoverse, Sees Publication!

Weird Adventures by Trey Causey. Armchair Planet. Available in PDF for $10.99. 165 pages.
Welcome to the City...
The streets are mean--and what lurks beneath them is even meaner. Only the most hard-boiled adventurers make it in this town. You think you got what it takes? Grab your gun or grimoire and find out.
Weird Adventures is a setting where traditional rpg fantasy meets the Pulp era. It's a world where hobogoblins hop trains, gargoyles nest on art deco skyscrapers, and celebrity sorcerers hawk cigarettes on the radio.
Weird Adventures includes:
  • A guide to the City, greatest metropolis in the world, including its five baronies, numerous neighborhoods, and points of interest to adventurers.
  • An overview of the Strange New World beyond the City, including the mysterious jungles of Asciana, the zombie-haunted streets of Cujiatepec, and the hidden moonshine stills of the hill-billy giants in the Smaragdines.
  • Thirty new monsters from the Black Blizzard to the Skunk-Ape.
A Print edition is forthcoming. If you're unfamiliar with Trey's work, head over to From the Sorcerer's Skull!

Finally! A Module featuring a Quest that's Actually Important!

The Blasphemous Brewery of Pilz by Dylan Hartwell. Available in PDF for $2.99. 17 pages.
Something has happened to the delicious beer in Shattenberg! None of the residents have seen the brewing monks for weeks and the tavern masters are oddly silent. Where once it was a delicious and creamy blend of mountain mushroom-based stout, it now offers an odd coppery taste and costs twice as much. For a small mining and farming town on the edge of the wilderness, this is a tragedy. Now rumors have begun circulating that hideous creatures gathered to the north are somehow the cause. The players are hired to investigate and, if possible, remedy the problem.
The Blasphemous Brewery of Pilz is written as both a stand-alone old-school fantasy adventure and, if you take a liking to the town of Shattenberg and its locale, a rich source for subsequent adventures. Contained within are maps of the Pilz Monastery and region, background information, multiple adventure plots, a new spell, and new monsters.
You can check out the author's work at his blog, Digital Orc!

Congratulations, Mr. Maliszewski!

Thousand Suns: Rulebook by James Maliszewski. Grognardia Games. Available in a Hardcover Print/PDF combo for $30. A Softcover/PDF combo for $25. And in PDF alone for $15.00. 275 pages.
It is a time of wonder.
Humanity has reached the stars and created a society of glittering sophistication and diversity on hundreds of planets. Poets declaim, lovers rendezvous, and rakes duel with wits and monoblades. Colonists settle virgin worlds, merchant princes vie for emerging markets, and free traders hawk their exotic wares. The Navy rules the jumplines, putting down pirates and charting new star systems. Scientists uncover startling new truths on long-dead worlds and posit revolutionary theories dizzying in their implications. Technology advances at a rapid pace, each year improving the lot of all who accept its boons. None dare deny the bright destiny Man has seized for himself.
It is a time of upheaval.
The inhabited galaxy-the Thousand Suns-teeters on the brink of chaos. Half a millennium since the Concord, and a generation since the bloody Civil War, the dynamism that ended the Age of Warring States is sorely tested. Diplomats try new gambits, shifting their ground for an unknown future. On dozens of worlds across known space, the lights are going out again and the process of decivilization begins anew. Despots and tyrants who would rather lord it over benighted backwaters than bend their knee to even a distant authority, arise once more. At the edges of explored space, rivals-both human and alien-watch and wait.
It is a time of glory.
Victorious fleets smash enemy armadas in distant star systems. Soldiers parade through liberated planets to alien cheers. Sector governors draw up breathtaking visions of terraforming and orbital cities. New jumplines open to the heart of unex- plored space, daring the bold to venture into the unknown for profit and peril. Surveyors stumble upon lost colonies and puzzle out the mysteries of inscrutable clades. Captains with blazing eyes save worlds from barbarism-and rule them as gods. Daring thieves turn new technologies to unexpected ends or sell them to shadowy cartels on the fringes of known space.
Meanwhile, bold operatives seek out these criminal plans for reprisal. Everything is possible with enough beauty, brains, or blasters, and it's all within reach of a single jump.
It is a time of adventure.
Loviatar!

Loviatar #6 by Christian Walker. Available in Print for $3.00.
The first issue of 2012 is ready for your stocking! The old style D&D hex crawl continues with the aptly named "Hex 002." This hex features a mystic who has channeled a powerful spirit that embodies the most aggressive aspects of a wolf. He will attempt to recruit anyone he meets into his cult. Indoctrination results in a complete transformation into a lycanthrope, while refusal will be met with tooth and claw. Also present in the hex is a wicked murderer. The PCs might very well encounter the ghost of one of his victims, which happens to be his very own daughter. Maps, stat blocks and random encounters are included.
"Thursday Night Fight Club" is next. It's an article for Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying. You'll meet Reg Cramer, the founder of a fledgling (and largely inept) group of supernatural investigators. This is the first article in a series that will explore colorful characters and creatures living in Los Angeles.

Finally, the "Lonely Dance on a Cold, Northern Shore" series for Vampire: The Requiem continues. This time you will meet a Daeva succubus and her childe. Their biographies, which include detailed stat blocks, will provide a deeper look into Kindred politics in the city of Santa Fina. The pair adds to the growing number of vampires that can be recruited for your own chronicle.

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Kickstarter!

Cover for the upcoming Astonishing
Swordsmen & Sorcerers
of Hyperborea RPG
Astonishing Swordmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea by Jeffrey Talanian. See the Kickstarter page for more info. A $50 pledge gets you a physical copy of the boxed set, plus the PDF. Shipping Included. $10 gets you the PDF alone. More Goodies comes with higher levels of support.

Here's a few excerpts from the Kick-Starter page:
About the Game:

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (AS&SH) is a forthcoming role-playing game by North Wind Adventures. It is played with paper, pencil, dice, and imagination. Participants include one referee and one or more players. The referee prepares and presents the adventure material, and the players create player characters, such as the principal classes of fighter, magician, cleric, and thief; or a subclass, such as barbarian, berserker, cataphract, illusionist, necromancer, pyromancer, druid, shaman, assassin, legerdemainist, scout, and more!
About the AS&SH Boxed Set:
The AS&SH boxed set includes a full color cover by fantasy and horror artist, Charles Lang.

Contents to include:

Manuals* fully illustrated by fine artist Ian Baggley.
Vol. I. Swordsmen & Sorcerers (features 4 classes, 18 subclasses)
Vol. II. Sorcery (features over 400 spells)
Vol. III. Adventure & Combat
Vol. IV. Bestiary (features of 200 monsters)
Vol. V. Treasure
Vol. VI. Hyperborea Gazetteer

Dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20)
Poster Map of Hyperborea by cartographer, Andreas Claren
Character Sheets
The projected retail price of the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea = $50.00
* The final format of these manuals is yet to be determined; i.e. the individual volumes may be bound as two manuals: Vol. 1-3 and Vol. 4-6. Regardless of format, the total page count will number approximately 400+ pages, depending on final layout.
I've got Jeffrey's KS widget over on one of my left-hand columns. As you can see, he's almost there! Many folks, myself included, have been looking forward to this game. Good luck Jeffrey, on meeting your goal!


A Freebie from Al!

Beyond the Black Gate Compendium 2011 by Al. Available in PDF for Free. 28 pages.
This year's compendium features new magic items, monsters, abilities, class, adventure locales, random charts, and an all-new, never-before-seen adventure set in the Wilderlands of High Fantasy.
Another Old School Game is Making a Comeback!

Chivalry & Sorcery Essence by Colin D. Speirs. Brittania Game Designs Ltd. Available in PDF for $6.00, in Print for $9.99 and in a combo for $13.99. 44 pages.
In this first product in the "Essence" Line we introduce the spirit and "essence" of what the Chivalry & Sorcery game is all about.
Chivalry & Sorcery Essence is the first in a series of independent stand alone rules combining a specific background with a set of fast play rules.
These rules are easy to learn and versatile,designed to give players and referees a feel of the "Essence" of the atmosphere and spirit of a magical, Medieval world.
Inside this 44 page booklet is everything you need; Character Generation, Character Sheets, Rules (of course) and even a campaign setting and introductory adventure.
Let Chivalry & Sorcery Essence be a map to a world you only thought you knew.
A couple of freebies are also available from the publisher's page, above. A full version of C&S is forthcoming. A review of the new game may be found at Mark Rolls Dice.

Oubliette #7 is now in Print!

Oublieditor fills us in, here.

A SWN Collection

Mandate Archive Collection 2011 by Kevin Crawford. Sine Nomine Publishing. Available in a Print/PDF combo for $9.99. PDF only for $2.99. 50 pages.

A Year of Interstellar Enigmas for Stars Without Number Now in Print!
For the benefit of those world-hopping freebooters who prefer their adventures in unpowered formats, Sine Nomine Publishing offers you this convenient 50-page printout of all the Mandate Archive entries published in the year 2011. Within these pages, you'll find...
  • Bannerjee Construction Solutions- Frontier space stations for those worlds with nothing but gumption, resolve, and a cheerful carelessness with human life!
  • The Bruxelles-class Battlecruiser- Stats and plot seeds for these ancient emissaries of the Terran Mandate's will. Will you find one before your world's enemies do?
  • The Cabals of Hydra Sector- A list of sinister conspiracies and dark cabals in Hydra Sector, along with detailed writeups of two organizations compatible with Darkness Visible!
  • The Dust- Nanite clouds from the Mandate's latter days lie in wait in long-lost installations, along with details for randomly-generated pretech super-science!
  • Martial Arts- Want a campaign where lighting-handed unarmed warriors are a match for gunslinging space marines? Try out these ten martial arts styles and tips for creating your own!
  • The Qotah- For six centuries, these avian aliens have kept an honor-bound peace with humanity. Learn about their warlike culture and brooding integrity; is their word strong enough to bind the tempests of war?
  • The Red Sangha Mercenary Corps- Cursed from birth with bloodless calm, these Buddhist warrior-monks sell their implacable courage to support their world. What ends can drive an army without passions?
As a special bonus for those patient souls who have awaited a print format, this book also includes details on The Judicators- heirs to the ancient Bureau of Rectification and its ruthless policing of Mandate officaldom, these psychics wield a unique and subtle psionic discipline. Their arts allow them to use a victim's own sense of guilt and duty to mold their choices, goading them on with the fires of their own burning shames.
You never know when the blind exertions of cosmic law might annihilate all traces of our advanced technology, so buy now and mock uncaring destiny with your foresight!
A Christmas Gift from Brave Halfling Publishing

Go see John at his blog for a cool Brave Halfling Bundle O' Gaming Goodness!

Free Stuff from Chris

Chris at Hill Cantons has a freebie: By This Axe. He's asking you to email him for it, which I haven't had a chance to do, so you'll have to visit him for more info.

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Secret Santicore 2011. Various Authors. Edited by Jez of Giblet Blizzard. Available for Free. 104 pages.
Here it is... in all it's warty, unwashed, typo-riddled glory: Secret Santicore 2011!

104 pages of generous creativity for your game, and it's all totally free. Not a cent.
BUT... if you do end up using some of the material herein, take the one minute out of your day to shoot an email over to the guy who wrote the article and let him know how it played out. He'll get a kick out of it, guaranteed.

I know I will. And that's worth something.
Jez put out one hell of a PDF! Do yourself a favor and check it out! :)

Love the Cover!

Fight On! #13 ed. by Ignatius Umlaut. Available in Print for $9.99 and in PDF for $5.00. 122 pages.
Amidst the gathering darkness, Fight On! returns to give battle once more! Packed tighter than a Bag of Holding on the way out of Acererak’s tomb, this issue has everything you need to make your next saving roll vs. lame gaming! Dedicated to Ken St. Andre, Fight On! #13 features new rules, new settings, TEN new adventures, and the slew of tables, classes, races, NPCs, magic items, humor, and so much more you’ve come to look out for in every issue. With art and articles by Ken St. Andre, Liz Danforth, David A. Ullery, Makofan, Patrick Wetmore, John Larrey, Ndege Diamond, Toren Atkinson, Calithena, Alex Schroeder, Erin Bisson, Richard Rittenhouse, Baz Blatt, Daniel Boggs, Michael Curtis, Ravi Shankar, Mark Mena, Gabor Lux, John Laviolette, Jason Vasché, Jeff Rients, John Linneman, Kelvin Green, Kevin Vito, Patrick Farley, F.C. Brandt, Jason Sholtis, Katje Romanov, and many more. What are you waiting for – pick issue #13 up today and keep fighting on!
 Two New Print Releases for Basic Fantasy

Fortress, Tomb and Tower: The Glain Campaign by Chris Gonnerman. Available in Perfectbound or Saddle-Stitched softcover for $7.03. 61 pages.
Fortress, Tomb, and Tower: The Glain Campaign is a multi-module for use with the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game. This module includes adventures for low to mid level player characters. The book includes: Fortress of the Iron Duke, an adventure in a castle which has been taken over by an evil force; Tomb of Karsma Megalos, an expedition to the last resting place of a great barbarian chieftain; and Crooked Rock Tower, an adventure which sees unlikely allies raiding an old wizard's tower.
The Chaotic Caves by J. D. Neal. Available in softcover for $6.60. 44 pages.
Fell monsters inhabit a network of caves on the borderland between savage wilderness and frontier civilization. Can the heroic adventurers root them out and save nearby towns and villages from attack? The Chaotic Caves is an adventure module for the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game. It includes a town setting, a small wilderness area with a number of keyed encounters, a set of underground lairs for various monstrous creatures, and an abandoned manor house. The Chaotic Caves is suitable for a group of first to third level characters, and a number of pregenerated characters are provided for those who wish to get underway quickly.
Free PDF versions of the two adventures above, now in their final version, may be downloaded for Free at the Basic Fantasy website.

BRW News

Joseph Bloch of BRW Games has a new blog for his Game Company. From the Designer's Desk. Joe opens the new blog, with an Optional Rule for Human Sacrifice.

Something to Read

The Jovial Priest is publishing his fantasy novel, Mandorla: Gods and Elves on Scribd. Details here.

New Woodland Warriors Stuff!

Woodland Warriors at Sea by Simon Washbourne. Beyond Belief Games. Available in PDF for $4.00. 59 pages.
Where you get to play the bad guys! Yes, the player characters are Vermin this time: They are called Sea Dogs - raiders, pirates, marauders and rogues. New classes, player character Vermin types, and rules for swashbuckling piracy and ship battles.

New Stuff from the Frog God!

The Black Monastery by Mark Shipley and Scott Stabbert. Frog God Games. Available in a Hardcover (stitched) Print/PDF combo for $33.99 (pre-order) and in PDF only for $15.99. Swords & Wizardry and Pathfinder versions.
The Legend of the Black Monastery
Two centuries have passed since the terrible events associated with the hideous cult known as the Black Brotherhood. Only scholars and story-tellers remember now how the kingdom was nearly laid to waste and the Black Monastery rose to grandeur and fell into haunted ruins.
The Brothers first appeared as an order of benevolent priests and humble monks in black robes who followed a creed of kindness to the poor and service to the kingdom. Their rules called for humility and self denial. Other religious orders had no quarrel with their theology or their behavior. Their ranks grew as many commoners and nobles were drawn to the order by its good reputation.

The first headquarters for the order was a campsite, located in a forest near the edge of the realm. The Brothers said that their poverty and dedication to service allowed them no resources for more grand accommodations. Members of the Black Brotherhood built chapels in caves or constructed small temples on common land near villages. They said that these rustic shrines allowed them to be near the people they served. Services held by the Brothers at these locations attracted large numbers of common people, who supported the Black Brotherhood with alms.

Within 50 years of their first appearance, the Black Brotherhood had a number of larger temples and abbeys around the kingdom. Wealthy patrons endowed them with lands and buildings in order to buy favor and further the work of the Brothers. The lands they gained were slowly expanded as the order’s influence grew. Many merchants willed part of their fortunes to the Black Brotherhood, allowing the order to expand their work even further. The Brothers became bankers, loaning money and becoming partners in trade throughout the kingdom. Within 200 years of their founding, the order was wealthy and influential, with chapters throughout the kingdom and spreading into nearby realms.
With their order well-established, the Black Brotherhood received royal permission to build a grand monastery in the hill country north of the kingdom’s center. Their abbot, a cousin of the king, asked for the royal grant of a specific hilltop called the Hill of Mornay. This hill was already crowned by ancient ruins that the monks proposed to clear away. Because it was land not wanted for agriculture, the king was happy to grant the request. He even donated money to build the monastery and encouraged others to contribute. With funds from around the realm, the Brothers completed their new monastery within a decade. It was a grand, sprawling edifice built of black stone and called the Black Monastery.
(More info and blurbage at the product site.)

What I'm Pimping Right Now!

Carcosa. See above.

About the News

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. The OSR News is produced as a service to the community and is entirely a non-commercial endeavor on my part. I have received no remuneration for advertising or reporting on any of the items appearing herein. Occasionally, the News might feature an item, which the author has sent me a complimentary copy of, for purposes of writing a review.
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.

There was an error in this gadget