Search This Blog

Monday, June 25, 2012

Maybe a little too much Cthulhu in the OSR?

Don't get me wrong, I like Cthulhu stuff. I've run and played numerous Call of Cthulhu games. It just seems lately that many of the OSR fantasy games are defaulting to tentacle monsters, starspawn, etc. Of course, Cthulhu is now public domain and at least initially, new to the fantasy genre.

It's still really cool, in moderation. However, it's getting to the point that many "standard" monsters are getting ignored. On one hand, tentacle monsters are inherently creepy. On the other, if every other adventure a group plays has them, they become kind of lame.

Monsters I'd like to see used more: demons, angels, plant-based stuff like assassin vines and treants, werewolves, and the various types of fae. A good OSR adventure based in a faerie wood would be fantastic, actually.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DCC modules are worth getting

The newest DCC modules are worth buying if you play OSR games or older D&D. They really have a lot of character (and I love the art). The two I've read so far should be extremely easy to convert to any OSR game.

I've read Doom of the Savage Kings and Sailors of the Starless Sea, and both are outstanding. Also, both are written by Harley Stroh. I have to say, if he can keep writing this kind of stuff, he's going to become very popular with old school gamers.

Just reading them really makes me want to play them. Great ideas are included in each, and they are kind of sandboxed. You will have to do certain things to finish each adventure, but the modules are set up more as location pieces than many other adventures.

Once I have more time, I'll likely give them real reviews. For now, just know that I recommend them both very much.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Free RPG Day haul

I ended up getting both the Harn map and the DCC adventure: It was very cool to actually find both items I was looking for. Usually, one or more of the items I'm interested in is already gone.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tomorrow is Free RPG Day

Saturday is Free RPG Day! Hopefully, you have a participating store near you. I am hoping to pick up the DCC or Harn stuff.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dungeon Crawl Classics - more thoughts

I've done some more reading. There are some pretty neat ideas hidden in this game.

Deity Disapproval. Every time a cleric rolls a 1 on his spell check to cast a spell, he has to roll on a table. He can lose spells, lose the ability to gain XP for a day, have to immediately atone by praying, etc. I think it makes a cleric's relationship to his god much more potent.

Mercurial Magic. When a mage first learns a new spell, he rolls on a table to see how the spell reacts. It can be beneficial or really bad. The mage could cast a spell at maximum power every time, or one of his friends could die every time he casts the spell. I think it could get a bit overboard if the player rolls badly, but it shows that magic is not cookie cutter safe. It can be very dangerous to use.

Patrons. They're awesome additions to the game. I can easily see small publishers writing a book of patrons and doing fairly well with sales if the book is well done. I definitely think more patrons are needed, right off the bat. There are only a few in the main rulebook.

Make Potion. It's a level 3 wizard spell. Some interesting ingredients are included for each type of potion. It's kind of weird that the potion list is here in the Spell description instead of in the magic items section, though.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

RIP Ray Bradbury

Ray passed away yesterday. I should have posted about it then. In any case, he was a huge influence on me and I am very happy that he got to live to such an old age. I really hope he knew how many people he influenced so positively.

Neil Gaiman has a reading up of a short story that I think everyone should listen to. Neil was a friend of Ray's, and I think this is an amazing tribute to an amazing man.  The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sword & Board v 0.7 available

Remember that game I was making a couple years ago, half D&D and half Traveller? I've made some updates. The only thing I really need to do now is make some sample spells. Even that is pretty much optional, but I can see people wanting it. Feel free to check it out. Any comments or criticisms are welcomed!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I bought the Dungeon Crawl Classics rpg

I really had no intention of purchasing this, but I was at the comic store today and they actually had a copy. It's not very expensive for the big hardback and the module, so I ended up buying it. I probably won't actually play the game, as I have no intention of buying even more goofy dice.

Stuff I noticed:

Androids are in the monster section.
Cthulhu is a Neutral God (he should be Chaotic, dammit!).
The War God is Lawful (I'll be changing this to Neutral).
I didn't really need the Troll Lords in the game, but it is a kind-of-fun inside joke (and the pic kinda sucks, since it's obviously based on modern real people who wear glasses).
Overall, I liked the art, though some pieces were a little poor.
I don't know that I'd want to use the funnel system of four 0-level characters. I suspect I'd just create a 1st level character, if I ever do run this (keeping in mind the hit point gain from Level 0).
Magic seems cool, though I think mutations will be an issue for a long campaign.
I am not sure I like all of the critical tables. Very similar to Rolemaster. It is interesting that higher level fighters have better crit tables than anyone else.

This strikes me as a perfect Fantasy Heartbreaker. However, I am positive that Goodman will be releasing a fair ton of modules for it, so it will be supported, unlike many other heartbreakers.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mythosa - a free fantasy setting

I just wanted to point out the Mythosa setting for those of you who might not be aware of it. It is freely available, and has just tons of information already. I've been using bits and pieces of it for years. I highly recommend that you at least look it over if you like D&D and other similar fantasy games.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Travelling in the woods sucks

Something I suspect many GM's and players never consider is the fact that traveling in the wilderness really sucks. Sure, it's nice if you are on well-marked trails in areas with no brush that are relatively flat. But most wilderness is nothing like that.

Stuff that happens in the woods:
Ticks. Nasty bugs that can carry diseases (such as West Nile Virus).
Mosquitoes. Everywhere there is water.
Poison Ivy/Poison Oak/Poison Sumac. Often covers every available surface.
Spiders (fucking everywhere!). Usually not poisonous, just irritating. Especially after you've walked through your tenth spider web in your face in the first hour.
Animals (bears, rabid foxes, etc). Often they run, but they might attack.
Very steep hills. Good luck climbing that hill that's almost straight up while you're wearing a pack or riding horses.
Bogs. Not really dangerous, they just leave you really muddy and tired from carrying several pounds of mud on each boot.
Bees, especially hornet nests in the ground that you can step into. Good luck surviving if you have no medical help.
Heat. You'll sweat like crazy, and will NEED to drink a lot of water, if it's in the summer.
Cold. If it's winter, you'll just get sweaty and then freeze to death.
Broken branches and deadfalls that are guaranteed to jab you if you aren't watching where you walk.
In the morning, EVERYTHING is damp.
Briars. Everywhere the sun reaches the ground. They cut you, get in your clothes, and can cause infections.