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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Basic Fantasy RPG

I really like this game, as I've noted in previous posts. Unfortunately, the main publisher has not been able to publish anything other than the rulebook and Morgansfort (both of which are excellent). I kinda wish some of the supplements that are currently on the website could get finalized and put into print. I do believe that it was a mistake selling the books at cost.

There's no reason that a publisher should not make money from his books. There is a lot of work involved in getting a book finalized and into print, and doing it for free, while really cool, is not something that an author is going to do for too long. It's just not worth the effort, especially considering the majority of publishers do this as a side gig. I'd hate to come home from a long day of work to spend 3 or 4 hours working on a supplement to a game, if I knew I wasn't going to make any money on it. And I think it shows when you compare publishers and how they charge. Guys who charge more and make a profit publish more books. Guys who publish at cost put out a couple books and stop. Good intentions only last so long, unfortunately.

(Of course, when I win the Powerball, I'll be funding several publishers so they can work full time on games :)).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Is Blogger broken for anyone else?

I can't see the word verification thingies for replying to comments while using Firefox on Win7-64. I can while using Ubuntu. This just started a week or so ago, and it's a bit frustrating. In addition, Blogger won't remember my sign in. So every time I change pages, I have to log back in.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pathfinder Gamemaster's Guide

Some of you may not believe this, but the Gamemaster's Guide for Pathfinder is an excellent resource for OSR DM's. The majority of the book is either descriptions or self-contained systems for things like city creation. I bet only 20 pages or so are stats for PF characters, and even the ideas included with those NPC writeups would be useful to many DM's. Anyways, I recommend it for those of you looking for a big book of advice on improving your game.

It would be nice to see an OSR DMG similar to this. Or that combined the best of this book and the 1e DMG.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I've noticed that a number of my gaming products that I bought in regards to S&W have started doing the bend. I stack those books and magazines, and the side that's stapled is thicker than the open side, so they tend to bend up. Last night I was going through them, and they all have a permanent bend now, thanks to sitting on top of each other. Blah.

I know many of the products can't be perfect-bound due to length or publisher circumstances, but I have to say that I really prefer perfect-bound books, after looking through my staple-bound books. They tend to be flat, and so stand the rigors of shelf life a little better. And I won't have to worry about staples rusting in 10 years.

Just an observation that I thought I'd share. I'm sure some people feel the opposite way, possibly for very good reasons.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Creature Crucibles

I haven't been able to get a hold of these, but I know they contained rules for playing faerie, werewolves, undersea people, etc. They're also hard to find and expensive. I'd love it if someone would publish a retro version with the classes from each of these books. Just saying. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why some publishers don't want to be part of the OSR

The reason some people don't want to be labeled as part of the OSR is because the OSR is a reactionary mindset. Many of it's members get pissed off if you change something from 1975, or say ascending AC is an improvement over the old way. This is not true for many people, but enough bloggers and message board members push this view that I suspect it colors everyone outside the inner circles perception.

I know I'd be frustrated if I was making a game where I started with an OSR product, and then consciously added in the good stuff from 3e and had people saying that I was "betraying" the OSR. Heck, even suggesting that 3e added in good things to D&D is not even allowed on Dragonsfoot. 3e itself is referred to as "the edition that shall not be named". Talk about pompous bullshit. I'm glad that some publishers are moving away from straight clones of old games, and I hope more continue to do so. Hopefully, they will gain enough followers that the old grognards get shouted down when they start whining.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Backswords and Bucklers

Just found this today. Looks really cool. I've always thought it would be neat to play in an Elizabethan game. I like how each class has different xp requirements, instead of everyone just getting xp for killing stuff. It's a nice change of pace from the standard D&D clones, using rules based off of S&W Whitebox. The only thing it is missing is an Antagonists/Monster section, though you should be able to just use the aforementioned WhiteBox for monsters.

Artwork, layout, and editing

Artwork has been getting bandied about on the blogs, so I figured I'd put my two cents in. I really prefer books with good artwork and layout. Unfortunately, most old-school publishers can't afford a lot of great art. And then some like to ape the art from the 70's, which I think is a big mistake. This is one area that I think The Haunted Chateau was right about, as it used more modern art, even though the adventure was very old school. I think more publishers should do this.  While a Mullen cover is amazing, much of what is used in the interiors is not so amazing. I am aware that great art costs money, though, and the OSR has a limited customer base, so I am willing to accept this. Maybe if I ever hit the lottery, I'll get something published chock-full of great art.

The other issue I have is editing and layout. Most OSR books have decent layouts, so I am pretty happy about that. Editing is up and down though. Some products are extremely well edited, others have one or more typos or missing words on almost every page. This is an area that is extremely important, and many OSR publishers are well aware of it. Some still need help. I hope things continue to improve on both fronts, as has been happening over the last year.