Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wizards of the Coast kicks Star Wars to the curb

WotC is done with Star Wars. As in, the miniatures and role playing games aren't being suspended--the license is not being renewed. Not sure what this says about D&D--whether this is good or bad for their main tabletop RPG by allowing them to concentrate on keeping it viable. This is all perplexing to me as the license for the action figures and toys is of course held by Hasbro, of which Wizards is a subsidiary.

I posted a more in-depth response over on Exonauts.

If Zelda was zany....

Yes, this is RPG-related, but it's of the the video game variety. If I HAD to make it relevant to the OSR it would be if Link had wandered into letters W and Z of the Dungeon Alphabet.

Or maybe it's just some dude who happens to really love Zelda.

Either way, it's full of WIN.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

An OSR overload!

The last of my recent holiday acquisitions arrived today (Stonehell Dungeon). The whole pile of loot includes:
Don't get me wrong I'm elated that I got it all for a song compared to what most game material goes for in stores, but I'm ready (and so's my wallet) to stop spending and get reading! What are you all reading--or looking forward to reading these days?

*Print versions purchased using discount codes on LuLu; PDFs purchased using discounts on RPGNow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Free Stuff: Kobold Quaterly

Let me be honest--after the holidays and the tons of OSR products that went on sale in the last few weeks I'd be smart to not spend any more cash for a while. The problem is more awesome stuff keeps going on sale! Luckily there's some FREE stuff out there: a free PDF of Kobold Quarterly magazine, issue #10 available through the end of January.

To get it, you'll need to log in/register and then put the item in your cart. Enter KQ10Free in the promo code field to get the item at no cost. (It works, I tried it.)

For those who may not have heard about KQ, it's Wolfgang Baur's ENnie-Award-winning, indpendent RPG magazine. It's usually got a good interview along with both professional and amateur submissions. Material covered is always fantasy and crosses several editions of D&D--including system neutral or OSR. I want to say that there's nearly always an monster ecology article. This one features Gelatinous Cubes (!) and includes an article by Monte Cook on the old school, which should make for an interesting read. ;)

Also in this issue:
  • Jason Bulmahn on the Pathfinder RPG
  • Ed Greenwood’s Dwarven Goddess
  • Ecology of the Hill Giant
  • Wicked Fantasy: the Haffun
  • Secrets of the Halberd
  • Monte Cook’s Game Theories
  • Rampant Elf Lust
I have several issues of KQ, though it's typically a little pricey. This is a good opportunity to check it out for free if you've not had the chance before.


Inmate banned from playing D&D

Wow, so this is weird. A federal court of appeals has held up a ruling that a convicted felon cannot play D&D because other inmates were afraid he'd started a "gang". Oh, and there's this from Boing Boing:
Singer was told by prison officials that he could not keep the materials because Dungeons & Dragons "promotes fantasy role playing, competitive hostility, violence, addictive escape behaviors, and possible gambling," according to the ruling. The prison later developed a more comprehensive policy against all types of fantasy games, the court said.
Just wow. And in Wisconsin no less, where the hobby was invented! This will set gamers/nerds back decades!

Granted, the guy's a fellon, but seriously that legalese is about as psycho-babble fascist as it gets. I wonder what evidence they have to back that up. Here's the full story....

Monday, January 25, 2010

Exonauts! has launched!

My new sci-fi adventuring blog, Exonauts!, is up and running. It focuses on ideas for sci-fi RPGs and writing, etc. Exonauts are explorers and adventurers cavorting to/from/around/on exoplanets--it's as simple as that. Instead of creating a campaign based on a single world, I thought it might be cool to do one from a an adventuring perspective where any world could be one of many destinations. So how would these exonauts be equipped, what would they find, where would they go? That's what the new blog is all about....

Have a look for yourself.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Something on the launch pad....

New project in the works. I'll point you to it when it's go for liftoff....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Learning My Dungeon Alphabet!

I'd pre-ordered Michael Curtis' wild and woolly Dungeon Alphabet from Goodman Games back in December and it arrived this morning. I can't tell you how un-be-liev-ably cool it is--so I'll just show you! I don't want to get into any trouble with images, so I'll keep these small, but rest assured it's worth MORE than the measly $9.99 I paid for it (plus shipping).

Inside cover spread...

It's filled with all kinds of old-school goodness (it's system neutral) and even has a few pages on injecting weird elements into your games. Here's the alpha-letter rundown:
A is for Altars
B is for Books
C is for Caves
D is for Doors
E is for Echos
F is for Fungi
G is for Gold
H is for Hallways
I is for Inscriptions
J  is for Jewels
K is for Kobolds
L is for Levers
M is for Magic
N is for No Stone is Left Unturned
O is for Oozes
P is for Pools
Q is for Questions
R is for Rooms
S is for Statues
T is for Traps
U is for Undead
V is for Vermin
W is for Weird
X is for Xenophobia
Y is for Yellow
Z is for Zowie!

All of the letters are chocked full of great ideas in the form of random tables. Just about every page has an illustration in the OSR spirit, as well it should--it boasts an incredible line-up of OE D&D artists, including Erol Otus, Jeff Easley, Jim Holloway, Jim Roslof (among others).

A is for Altar....

Z is for Zowie...

I especially appreciate the W is for Weird and Z is for Zowie letters, which are direct descendants of modules like Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (these aren't my words, they're straight outta' the book). Anyway, this has to be one of the best OSR products out there and you don't have to be a fan of the OSR to use this book. That said, those who are playing OE or retro-clones will full appreciate what a wonderful product Michael, Goodman, and the illustrators have created.

So the real question here is--why haven't you picked up yours yet?! :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Swords and Wizardry White Box SOLD OUT! Cover Revealed Early

Did you get yours? I hope so brother because it's sold out until April with another chance again in November (just in time for next Christmas!). If you were able to get your order in early, here's a special treat--the cover revealed earlier than expected.

And it's a beauty!

Another Motley Selection of Legendary Encounters Minis

These are a few I've had for a while, but they're pretty nifty nonetheless. I have to apologize for the lighting in my photos. It's been driving me bonkers to get decently lit shots with the macro focus on our craptastic camera. It serves it's purpose when we need it. Except for when I REALLY am counting on it (like for clear, close up shots like these). So today we have...

An ogre, one of my favorites actually in the line...

A nasty green cave troll!

A ghost, who's about as in focus as a ghost can get...

Some very Harryhausen-esqe undead warriors--notice that Reaper updated the shields between purchases. I think they've even updated them again since these came out...

And a few heroes, including an elf archer...

What is it about elves that makes them so hard to determine the gender? I thin this one is technically male, but who knows.

Next we have an "evil" warrior, I'd prefer to think of him as "slightly perturbed"...

And finally, a good one! This is Ranald, you've likely seen him in these posts to help provide scale, bad jokes, etc. I think of him as being more than slightly skittish. It must be the awkward way he holds his sword!

This last one should give you some idea of the size differences between the figures. The macro setting is a bit deceptive here as the skeleton is actually slightly shorter than Ranald.

As always you can click the images to see larger versions (hoping my bandwidth holds out!).

I've got just a few more of these guys to share so stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

HOT Sale at Flames Rising RPGs!!

Normally I don't pimp businesses (unless it's my FLGS) on this blog, but there's a great, big heckova PDF sale on Flames Rising's RPG Now storefront. They're having a "Twenty for 10" sale (that's 20 products for 2010). Word to the wise: the sale ends January 7.

There's some seriously good swag to be found there--many at more than half-off the cover price. Lest you all think me a sellout (I wish!) here's a few choice items that piqued my curiosity:

  • Dragon Warriors RPG (I’ve heard great things about Dragon Warriors lately)
  • Dungeon Crawl Classics #51: Castle Whiterock (This is a compendium of adventures from Goodman that’s usually $60)
  • Hero 6th "2010 Special" [BUNDLE] (Isn’t this the Champions game engine?)
  • MT MegaTraveller Core System [BUNDLE] (Original price is over $70!)
  • Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game (Was JUST talking about this on Narmer’s blog)
  • Cooper’s Compendium of Corrected Creatures: [BUNDLE] (lots of OGL 3.5 monsters)
  • Starblazer Adventures (I think I’ll have to get this one, in print it’s usually $50 in hardcover and 600+ pages of ideas, great illustrations, and even has a comic included!)
This is just a sample, there's lot's more Traveller and Twillight stuff plus Deadlands made the list and how can you not love an old west RPG?  

With all the new OSR products coming out in the last month, and a few more on the horizon I feel like I'm going broke. But then this damn sale cropped up and there's only 3 days left--what's a guy to do?!

Huge props to DeForest over on Narmer's blog Dynasty Zero for the tip!

UPDATE: I purchased the two in green yesterday, lot's of great material, I'm quite pleased!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hey, you've got your SCIENCE in my FANTASY!

No, you've got your fantasy in my sci-fi!

There's a lot of talk lately about the resurgence of the old-school or the old school renaissance in RPGs and a call to return back to the roots of science fantasy. In fact some are calling for an escalation of these efforts (which I whole-heartedly embrace BTW). Apparently some people are squeamish about mixing the two, barring a few one-off exceptions. Which, to be honest, is understandable. Especially if you're trying to create a world where technology can't come in and trump your magic system or where an omnipotent race of aliens can easily annihilate your meticulously crafted medieval analogue world. For some, it was less of an issue, but most seem to be more comfortable keeping sci-fi and fantasy separate.

It occurred to me however that if you started with a sci-fi universe and sprinkled in some magic or low-tech, then people don't seem to mind. Mysticism and lasers seemed like two things too good to pass up.

Case in point:
...or so we thought, before 1999. But isn't it funny how (essentially working backwards in a sense) it's easier to think of a sci-fi world in the broad strokes of fantasy, than to try and upgrade an ancient world into a larger universe.

Food for thought I guess. Thoughts?

The New Frontier!

So this JUST arrived from the mailman not even 5 minutes ago. I saw the post over at Grognardia and had Star Frontiers on the brain for sometime. Yeah, I've already downloaded all the PDFs of the remastered SF books and modules over at and And all of his supplement issues. But what I really wanted was the box I could stare at it. That's not weird is it?