Saturday, January 5, 2019

The OSR News: January 5, 2019

Jason Vey returns with another OD&D supplement, Science Fantasy makes more than one appearance in early 2019 and Gregorius21778 gets an entry in right before post time. All this and more this week in The OSR News.

New Releases

Supplement IX Star Wars by Jason Vey. Available from the Author's blog in PDF for Free. 41 pages.
(Ed. note: quoted from the author's blog post.) a discussion arose on the ODD74 message forums awhile back, about how difficult it would be to run a Star Wars game using the OD&D rules. The general consensus was that it shouldn't be difficult to do, but there was some disagreement on how to handle the Force--most people assumed Clerical magic would be the best approach. My own thought was that psionics, as presented in Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry are a better, and near-perfect, approach to modeling the Force in a Star 
Wars game.
This of course led to some disagreement, as psionics in Dungeons & Dragons, at least prior to third edition, have a reputation for being confusing, arcane, and complex. The truth is, however, that like much of the older editions of D&D, psionics aren't all that difficult--they're just poorly organized. After one goes through the rules and gets a handle on them, they are actually quite straightforward.

I, thus, took it as something of a challenge to do up a full sourcebook in the OD&D style (which I have dubbed "Supplement IX," though of course numbering of fan supplements has no official ordering).
The Things Lost to Time by James Andrews. Published by Stormforge Productions. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for Free. 22 pages.
The Things Lost to Time is an OSR adventure that can easily be modified for any fantasy roleplaying game. It is an adventure for characters level one to three.

Deep in a mine is an ancient vessel. Something so ancient, it sunk under the stone like mud. A vessel alien to this world, yet here longer than most of human history. Can the players harvest its strange technological bits before being disintegrated by deadly lasers? Or will they be enslaved by the odd pink aliens which have been unleashed on the world?

This adventure requires a mouse-like mindset. Hide from the protectors of the vessel, or die. Monsters and hazards are quite dangerous, so a degree of stealth and cunning is necessary for the players to find their fortune.
NPC Ideas by Larry Hamilton. Published by Follow Me, and Die! Entertainment LLC. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for PWYW. 21 pages.
NPC Ideas has some tips for making NPCs more interesting, and includes a few tables. It ends with all the players characters and their retainers for which I still have character sheets. You can use them as NPCs in your campaign.
Hazardous Habitats - Desertlands by Tom Knauss. Published by Frog God Games. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for $9.99. 36 pages. 
Death & Adventure Under a Scorching Sun

Welcome to the desert. You may already be aware of the scorching heat, aridity, and the 
sand, but there is much more to see and experience here. Within these pages, you will discover the tools needed to bring any desert and its people to life. The tables presented here allow you to determine the likelihood of running across a settlement during the heroes’ travels as well as generating their population, demographics, political systems, lifestyles and prevailing attitudes towards visitors. Dig deeper and you will find wilderness dressing, innovative adventure ideas focused on the biome’s unique character, and exciting locations to explore in the desert
What is the Hazardous Habitat Series?

Hazardous Habitats is a series of system-neutral supplements for any roleplaying game that offer deep exploration of specific environement. Temperature, terrain, adventure seeds, natural hazards, methods of travel and survival, and weather patterns are all detailed in an instantly insertable way for use at your table!
Perilous Realms: Starter Set by J. Published by New Realms Publishing. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for $9.95. 24 pages. (Monster Pack PDF available for Free. 3 pages.)
Open sandbox campaigning for solo and group play!

Take your Labyrinth Lord, or favorite OSR, characters campaigning as you never have
 before with Perilous Realms! Explore the Barony of Mordova, visit villages, shrines, towers and castles, explore ruins, delve into dank dungeons, trek through the dangerous wilderness and more, all in an open campaign setting you can play again and again. Perilous Realms: Starter Set gives you everything you need to play an open campaign, for solo or group play, with or without a GM, including map tiles, encounter tables, quest cards, treasure cards and more!
The starter set includes:

12 Realms Tiles, which are used to create the world for your characters to explore, including encounter tables, sites and settlements;
9 Quest cards;
9 Treasure cards and
instructions and options for play.

Enter the Perilous Realms and enter new realms of adventure!
Obscure Adventures - Fold 'n Play OSR by Ricardo Esteves. Published by Stranger Foundry. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for PWYW. 2 pages.
Obscure Adventures, 
is a quickstart lite OSR game, made to introduce people to the hobby. It contains all the needed rules for combat, creating characters and dealing with threats in a single foldable sheet of paper.

The main goals were:
  1. Easy to learn mechanics
  2. Random tables to quickstart the game
  3. Classless for no optimization and analysis paralysis
  4. Character development and progression, easy to pick
  5. Easy to be referenced in a single-sheet
  6. OSR compatible 

Frontiers of Space: Aliens of the Sonora Sector by Joseph Mohr. Published by Old School Role Playing. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for PWYW. 35 pages (reviewer reported 26 pages.)
The Sonora Sector has many different human and non human worlds. Several alien races live among the humans. Some are peaceful. Some are not. But all have personalities of their own. Meet them in this installment of the Frontiers of Space.
The Undead Cometh #ZweihanderRPG by Cody Beatty. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for $4.99. 10 pages.
Seasonal Supplement Winter 2019: The Undead Cometh

The Undead Cometh is a drag-and-drop adventure that can be replayed multiple times 
with a different feel each time. This different feel is accomplished by randomly generating the environment in which the players must survive in and by the "Meta Mechanic" which adjusts the difficulty based on various factors such as the size and condition of the environ as well as the number of players in the campaign.

Included are sheets for tracking resources and hourly events, as such this PDF is printable.
Hexed Places - Dead Rock Spires by Mark A. Thomas. Published by PBE Games. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for $2.69. 14 pages.
Dead Rock Spires takes its name from the natural pillars and buttes that rise above the barren wastes. Ancient stone piles atop many of these prominences mark the neolithic barrows of an unknown race. Sour Creek, the only water source in this rocky desert, carries a poisonous stew of chemicals that coats the rocks along its banks with black and orange crystalline deposits. The poorly maintained cart track that runs along the northwest edge of Dead Rock Spires crosses Sour Creek at Kager's Bridge, a narrow span of dried-out wood and crumbling stone. The only other point of interest in this desolate region, aside from the barrows, is Yellow Cave. Bubbling mud pots and steam vents fill its narrow, twisting tunnels, and strange mineral deposits cover the cave walls.

Hexed Places are outdoor locations and encounters based on the classic six-mile hex format and OSR sensibilities. Use these locales as a quick side adventure, to fill out your campaign sandbox, or expand upon them to create a multi-session campaign. Each includes an overview of the region, expanded one-mile per hex maps for players and GMs (PDF and VTT format), encounter and rumor tables, and descriptions of individual locations, encounters, and features within the hex. Files are available for individual download and as a single zip file.
Note: The product preview shows a selection of pages; it's not sequential. Eventually, all Hexed Places end up in a discount bundle. 
B/X Essentials: Demihumans of Dolmenwood by Gavin Norman, Brian Richmond. Published by Necrotic Gnome. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for Free. 9 pages.
In these moss-encrusted pages ye shall find two brand new, quirky, fairy-tale character classes straight from the hoary glades of Dolmenwood. Slot them into your B/X Essentials games!
  • The elf: Natives of Fairy, who may venture into the mortal world out of curiosity or a sense of adventure. The fairy elves of Dolmenwood are very different from the standard B/X elf class, both in terms of character and class abilities.
  • The woodgrue: Bat-faced goblins who once dwelt in Fairy, but are now denizens of the mortal world. They love music, feasting, and arson. 
(An expanded version of this booklet -- containing updated versions of the grimalkin and moss dwarf classes -- is available to purchasers of Wormskin issue 1.)
Mythic Fantasy: A Supplement of New Races, Classes, and Objects for OSR Adventures by Thredith Undomiel. Published by Eryssel's Journeys. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for $2.99. 31 pages. 
Mythic Fantasy: A Supplement of New Races, Classes, and Objects for OSR Adventures offers 3 new mythical races, 5 new classes (with their corresponding subclass tag for easier character creation), 9 new weapons, and 10 new items for Labyrinth Lord™ and Advanced Labyrinth Lord ™.
Now your adventures can include:
  • Centaurs
  • Nymphs of 5 different types (Alseids, Hamadryads, Naiads, Nereids, and Oreads)
  • Satyrs
  • Amazons
  • Bounty hunters
  • Chroniclers
  • Hoplites
  • Gladiators of 9 different types (Retiarius, Secutor, Murmillo, Hoplomachus, Thraex, Provocator, Dimachaerus, Laquearius, and Sagittarius)
  • Bolos, chakrams, chobos, nets... AND MORE! 
Plus, you will also find new rules for: 
  • Having your own Amazon tribe and becoming queen
  • Your own adventurer's guild with an automatic low-level quest solver
  • Specialized tome writing
  • Sigil magic
  • Gladiator fights
  • Localized damage (i.e. where on the body does the attack hit) 
All entries and charts have been carefully formatted to resemble entries from the original LL books and to be read in the same manner as the official supplements.
Sanctum Secorum - Episode #42 Companion by Bob Brinkman, Jim DelVasto, Ari-Matti Piippo, Ian Shears. Published by Sanctum Media. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for Free. 24 pages.
A new year and the Sanctum Secorum's first companion issue to contain MCC materials!

Artifacts of the Ancients
Disruption Ray – Ian Shears (see Monsters: Gringolek)
Energy Pistol – Bob Brinkman (see NPCs: Shala Al Farûl)
Exosuit – Ian Shears (see Monsters: Gringolek)

Space Dwarves – Ari-Matti Piippo

Encounter in a Punjar Tavern – Bob Brinkman

Gringolek – Ian Shears

Rocco Hawser – Bob Brinkman w/Jim DelVasto
Shala al Farûl – Ian Shears

Ghost Smoker – Bob Brinkman (concept by Saint Karloff)

All Heed the Dark God (Saint Karoloff) – Bob Brinkman
Secrets of the World Harvesters (Purple Pirate Games) – Bob Brinkman
Gregorius´Notes: On the Weird OSR Fantasy #Year 2018 by Kai Pütz a.k.a Gregorius21778. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for $3.00. 27 pages.
Gregorius´Notes: On the Weird OSR Fantasy #Year 2018 is a collection of selected articles I wrote for my blog in 2018. Inside you will find a mix of encounters, monsters, modified summon spells, magic weapons, a little sidequest, an otherworldy adventure location and a short adventure to put the latter to use. All written for OSR Fantasy RPG and compatible with Lamentations of the Flame Princess(tm).

22 pages of content (the other are cover, front matter, etc.).

If my creativity does not fail me in 2019, I plan to turn Gregorius´Notes: On the Weird OSR Fantasy into an fan zine. So, stay tuned for cradles full of the children of my mind.
The Marriage of Count Roderick by Greg Stafford, Veli-Matti Pelkonen. Published by Chaosium. Available from the Publisher in PDF for Free. Also available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for Free. 10 pages.
Count Roderick seeks a bride. At the request of one of Roderick’s leading diplomats, the Player-knights join a delegation that travels on the Count’s behalf to interview eligible heiresses of Logres. What can the Player-knights learn on these errands? When Count Roderick seeks their impressions, what will they report? Over the course of these years Player-knights may witness the birth of the feud between Count Roderick of Salisbury and Sir Blains, the Steward of Levcomagus, a rival suitor to the hand of Lady Ellen of Wynchbank.

Each part of this free multi-part scenario is designed to be an incidental episode that ought not take more than fifteen minutes to play — that is, it’s not the main scenario of the year but rather a short event that occurs before or after the main activity of the year. These scenarios illustrate how marriages are typically arranged amongst the nobility in King Arthur Pendragon and provide an example of how to play a visit to a court other than the Player-knights’ own. They also offer insights into the infamous rivalry between Salisbury and Levcomagus.
BLADES     Blades & Black Magic Book 1BLADES Blades & Black Magic Book 1 by C. R. Brandon. Available from Lulu in Print for $9.99. 190 pages. 
Blades is the first book of the Blades & Black Magic adventure game. Unlike many high fantasy games populated with Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings, Blades & Blacks Magic focuses on humans as the characters and animals as frequent foes you will fight in a low magic setting. Blades & Black Magic is inspired by Heroic Fantasy. For a new Player or Referee to this game system, relax! It is a simple and sensible rule system; easy to learn and easy to play using only six sided dice! 
With this book, you will quickly start your adventures in ancient and mysterious lands. The other book to come, Black Magic, will cover sorcerers, spells and alchemy.
Ruins & Adventures 1: The Welcome Repose Inn (B/X Essentials) from Mesozoic Press. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for $1.50. 8 pages.
This version uses the B/X Essentials rules from Necrotic Gnome 
Driven to seek shelter from a storm the adventurers find a derelict inn with a dark secret.
Encounter Location: Road, Forest 
The Ruins & Adventures series is intended to be dropped into an existing campaign as encounters and events that occur during their travels. While each one is self contained, they contain advice on how to further expand upon the events. 
  • 1 new monster
  • 150 DPI jpeg map (16” x 22”) for use with VTT’s
Wherefore the Heroes? by Michael Brown. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for $0.75. 2 pages.
Viria stayed out of sight while her father spoke with the four travelers. Father had made it clear that when it was time to talk business, she was to stay well out of the way.

“Thank you for coming. Blessed travels,” she heard Father say, concluding the meeting. 
He spied her peeking around the door frame as he settled back behind the ornate desk. “I knew you were there, ilijja. Did you like what Bel brought you this time?”

Viria nodded as she sidled up to Father’s desk. But she must have had The Look again, for he suddenly studied her expression as he would one of his ledger sheets.

“Father,” she ventured at his silence. “Why don’t you just call the Inspectors to do what you want?”

A sad smile crossed Father’s face as he contemplated the innocent question. How to explain his distrust of the Inspectors to an eight-year-old who had always heard from him about obeying the Law?

When creating RPG adventures, the author should ask one question before writing: “Why don’t the authorities just handle this?” It’s assumed that the majority of adventures will take place in civilized areas; areas often civilized because of the rule of law. And the law oftentimes has its own agents responsible for enforcing it and keeping the public order. In real life, we don’t hire mercenaries or adventurers to redress wrongs – we call the authorities: the ones we turn to as a (supposedly) civilized society to put right what has gone wrong.

This supplement is a list of reasons why such wouldn’t necessarily be the case. They’re not only for a science-fiction milieu; with a little tweaking, they can be used for any system or genre.
d240 Dungeon Search Results from Black Earth Press. Available from DriveThruRPG in PDF for PWYW. 4 pages.
Your players insist on searching the empty room... Skill check... Success! ...but your  Master notes describe the room as 'empty' ...what to do?

Have no fear! With d240 Dungeon Search Results, even seemingly 'empty' dungeon rooms and corridoors can reveal overlooked or discarded objects; from the mundane to the marvellous, to the downright deadly!

A d20 and a d12 is all you require to generate one of 240 unique search results.

Add some creative and fun moments to your games of old-school fantasy with d240 Dungeon Search Results.

This product is highly compatible with OSR and was designed for use with games of first edition, Basic, or Expert rules. Feel free to adapt these rules for use with your own games. Enjoy!

Note: PDF downloads are available in both A4 and US letter sizes for ease of printing. Select your preferred file format at Checkout.

Black Earth Press is an independent design studio dedicated to producing innovative game rules and supplements, with that old-school feel.
Elfmaids & Octopi by Chris Tamm. Available from the Elfmaids & Octopi blog in PDF for Free. 32 pages.

This is a compilation my homebrew rules based on BX DnD with some elements from late 1st ed
and other editions. After running it for 6 years I've revised it and simplified it further. Will bring out more stuff for it in the future.

Re-Releases, New Editions, Now in Print, etc.

Back to BasiX - Issue #7 by Thom Wilson. Published by ThrowiGames. Available from Goodman Games in Print for $6.00. Still available in PDF from DriveThruRPG for $2.00. 22 pages.
The seventh Issue (December 2018) of the Back to BasiX fanzine, from Thom Wilson at LLC. 
This fanzine celebrates, highlights and supports one of the original roleplaying game systems of the 1980's, the Basic and Expert editions of Dungeons & Dragons. Each issue will provide or highlight content within the Holmes, Moldvay, Cook and Mentzer edited rules from TSR's Gary Gygax. 
Issue contains: Product Spotlight, Spell Review, New Magic Items, New Monsters, Two Short Encounters ("Giant Oak Retreat", "The High Crypt"), a Full page comic "Dungeon Delvers" (artist, Travis Hanson), and interview with Erol Otus (artist and author). Includes three pieces of previously unpublished Erol Otus artwork.
Cover artwork by: Matthew Ray
Next Issue due out in March 2019 (print and PDF)
Original Edition Delta: Fantasy Rules v. 1.05 by Delta. Published by OED Games. Available from the Publisher for Free. 2 PDF files, 24 pages.

Free, short mechanical house rules for Original D&D. Clarifies and streamlines races, classes, abilities, movement, encumbrance, weapons, combat, and multi-classing. Includes a short description of the "Target 20" system: combat and resolution with the same results as D&D, but no tables or new statistics required.

Borderlands by Greg Stafford, et al. Published by Chaosium. Available from the Publisher in PDF for $14.99 and also from DriveThruRPG in PDF for $14.99. 164 pages.
Borderlands - Front CoverThe Duke Returns to Prax!
A RuneQuest Campaign in Seven Scenarios
This is a completely remastered version of the Borderlands boxed set into a single PDF.

The original boxed Borderlands supplement contained two referee’s booklets, seven separately bound scenarios, a 17”x 22” regional map, play-aids, and inserts.

The Referee’s Handbook contains notes on referee and player functions, regional history, cultural/ecological background for the peoples along the River of Cradles, short studies of Duke Raus of Rone (holder of the Weis Domain) and his family and servitors, geographical information, magical items, and generic statistics for natural animals and unnatural monsters in the area. This book tells the referee how the land lays, giving him, or her, plenty of ammunition with which to answer player questions and elbow room by which to alter scenarios or to create new ones.

The Seven Scenarios are arranged so that they form an extended adventure when played in sequence; any of them can be used individually with slight adjustments.
  • Scenario 1: Scouting the Land
  • Scenario 2: Outlaw Hunt
  • Scenario 3: Jezra’s Rescue
  • Scenario 4: Revenge of Muriah
  • Scenario 5: Five Eyes Temple
  • Scenario 6: Condor Crags
  • Scenario 7: To Giantland!
The Encounters Book contains the individual NPC statistics used in the scenarios as well as various encounter charts. Monsters or NPCs specific to particular scenarios will be found in those scenarios. Statistics for Raus, Daine, and Daryli can be found in the Referee’s Handbook.

More Free Gaming Stuff from the Blogosphere and Environs


Dyson Logos of Dyson's Dodecahedron posted Palace of the Sands and Dungeons of the Prince of Clubs.

Thomas Denmark of Old School DnD posted a Mystery Map - Swamp Village. 

Chaosium has a store on Redbubble and you can download a sweet Map of Balazar from Griffin Mountain, or buy a physical copy in multiple formats. Various other Chaosium stuff here as well, including the usual t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.

MonkeyBlood Design posted Black River Chambers Map 1 and Map 2.

WebwayDrifer posted some of his Hyperborea maps in the AS&SH forum. 

kanecathain of The Plague Keep has A Look At: Mothership – A Sci-Fi Horror RPG.

Bryce Lynch of reviews The Charnel Pits of Reynaldo Lazendry, Hanson's Gap and
Praise the Fallen.

captcorajus posts a YouTube review of Advanced Labyrinth Lord.

Jeremy of OSR News and Reviews takes a look at Gobs O' Trouble!

From The Dungeon Musings YouTube channel, Barrowmaze Complete Megadungeon Overview and Review.

The TableTopTwats podcast has a review of Lamentations of the Flame Princess. 

The Detect Magic podcast has a review of Book of Lairs: People and Places.

Glen Hallstrom posted a YouTube review of B2.5 Caves of The Unknown.

kevinbirge from Multiverse reviews Epsilon City. 

Kickstarters, etc.

Teylen's RPG Corner posted the Crowdfunding Collection #90.

And That's It for This Week...

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About The OSR 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.

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. One Bookshelf site links are affiliate links and may provide some compensation from that retail site.

Please feel free to send me information on any new releases, events, or other items of interest, which you would like to see mentioned.