Into the Haunted Lands

I ran a fun game of Crypts and Things Remastered with my home group yesterday. Play tested the Haunted Lands, a mini-sandbox weirdland that will be in the main rulebook which along with the Halls of Nizurn Thun, which should be familiar to owners of 1st edition, and the new city adventure setting Port Blackmire is part of a trio of introductory adventures.

c&t-print1

Print off of the finished game

There was much fun outwitting Robotic Mummies, a Time Traveling Space Pharaoh, a Khaos Sorceress and her Khaos Mutant brood, not getting involved in local politics (yet still using them to their advantage), not entertaining the despair of an angst filled black robed Sorcerer complete with  skull of his victim. All this even though the players had decided to fly over the undead infested village which was a major encounter area in the sandbox. But hey that’s the joy of sandboxes seeing players have the freedom to do what ever they want. Especially fun when you are the player of a winged Lizard Person and you get to exploit that power 🙂

I had the strange one of running the end of scenario combat more or less between the npcs present, since the pcs had manipulated everyone into a fight while they watched (and negotiated) from a safe location. One of the players afterwards told me that recently he had decided to talk his way out of situations more 🙂 All in all this was all the weird strange swords and sorcery action that I hoped it would be when I wrote the adventure 🙂

The characters

The characters

Oh if you missed the last Kickstarter update, I’ve finished the layout phase of production and I’m currently topping and tailing the pdf (oh the joys of page cross refences and indexing!) before passing it over for a final check and then release to backers within the next couple of weeks 🙂

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UK OSR update July 2016

More stuff coming from the UK OSR out despite distractions of the footy and Wimbledon on the TV…

Out of the Pit the seminal Advanced Fighting Fantasy creature book now available as a pdf via DrivethruRpg.com. The rather sparse description on the product page doesn’t do the book justice. It was originally published in the 1980s during the Fighting Fantasy boom and contains over 250 monsters from the classic FF books.

outofthepit

Stellar Adventures, the Sci-Fi Advanced Fighting Fantasy variant by Arion Games has now funded, with 8 days to go at time of writing.

In Darkest Warrens – a pay what you want rules light game by Trollish Delver Games is now available, from the blurb it’s ” a minimalist fantasy roleplaying game whose rules cover two pages, including a bestiary and introductory adventure. All you need is some six-sided dice, paper, pencils and, of course, a bunch of buddies to play with. ”

indarkestwarrens

The Hex Hack by Dog Eared Games is available for use with the Black Hack and other OSR games. Also they’ve added a supplement for their Jack Hack Black Hack supplement ( keeping up with me at the back there? ) called The Penny Black which adds in elements from a certain dreadful TV show.

Also those cunning chaps over at The Design Mechanism have just given an update about the end of the RuneQuest license and the transition to Mythras…

Missed anything? Just let me know in the comments and I’ll add it here or in the next update 🙂

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UK OSR Update June 2016

Well I go away on a family holiday, followed by UK Games Expo and all sorts of nonsense gets released or pops up on G+ in the UK OSR scene. So here’s a quick catch up of recent stuff I’m aware of. If I’ve missed anything mention it in the comments below and I’ll stick it in my next update.

At UK Games Expo my mate Paul Baldowski (Just Crunch Games) was peddling printed and boxset copies of his The Cthulhu Hack  which is still going strong and has spawned a supplement From Unformed Realms.  Based off the Black Hack this standalone game takes the same stripped down OSR/D20 approach as the Black Hack itself but adds quick rules based for Investigation.

the-cthulhu-hack

Also John Davis has released The Jack Hack which brings alternate rules, encounter tables and five new classes for the Black Hack so you can play adventures in the grim and gritty Victorian London at the time of Jack the Ripper.

the-jack-hack

Stellar Adventures Kickstarter – I was thinking that Graham Bottley of Arion Games had gone all quiet on the Advanced Fighting Fantasy front then this Kickstarter for a standalone Science Fiction version of the game pops up from nowhere. Suffice to say I’m going to be backing this one 🙂

stellar-adventures

Also the Advanced Fighting Fantasy and the Advanced Fighting Fantasy Companion are now available as pdf from Drivethrurpg.com.

Romance of the Perilous Land by Scott Malthouse is a game based on British Folklore in-development and play-testing. From a comment made by Scott on G+ its a “it’s OGL, inspired by Swords & Wizardry, Black Hack, T&T, and 5e. But also its own system “. Here’s the current cover.  This is one I’m following with great interest.

ROMANCE OF PERILOUS LAND COVER

England Upturn’d by UK Author Barry Blatt has been released by Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Set in the English Civil War in the Lincolnshire fens, its a fantastic adventure blending the weird history of the time and Barry’s psychedelic sensibilities into one awesome package. I picked a copy up at UK Games Expo and I can’t recommend this one highly enough.

Ian Sturlock Interview Over at UK Roleplayers Ian Sturlock, who runs Serpent King Games and is custodian of the Dragon Warriors RPG is being being Interviewed.

Mythras Imperative. This is UK Exiles Lawrence Whitaker & Pete Nash’s 32 page free taster of their rebranded RQ6 system. They may have lost the name, but damn this feels like RQ of old, since some of the complexity of the full system has been lost in this cut down system. The only downside is there’s no magic system, but seeing as they want this to be a base for third party publishers to use to base products off they’ve chucked in rules for firearms. Anyway that aside, check it out its free!

mythras-imperative-cover

It seems like everyone is hacking these days and Simon Washbourne has just released his OSR version of Barbarians of Lemuria, the BOL Hack. A stripped down version of Barbarians of Lemuria with all the fluff removed and just a simple OD&D inspired ruleset left behind.

D101 OSR News

Work continues on Crypts and Things and were on for a July release of the pdf to backers, and opening of pre-orders then if you missed the kickstarter. The latest Kickstarter update has news of this and preview page layouts.

I’ve had a bit of a review of the prices of OpenQuest and River of Heaven and their respective supplements, and I’ve lowered the prices of the print versions on Drivethru and Lulu. For example a hardcover of OpenQuest Deluxe used to be $40 its now $30. So if you were considering getting a print version now is the time to do it 🙂

Also Lulu are doing a 35% off code at the moment LULU35

 

 

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Crypts & Things the End is Nigh!

If you are following the progress of Crypts and Things, I’ve just made what I hope will be my penultimate update before releasing the pdf to backers next month.

Page layout previews and the announcement of a pre-order for all you folks who missed the Kickstarter.

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Fiendish Friday: The Rise of the Serpent Men

From the upcoming Crypts & Things, I present the Serpentstory of the early rise and origin of Zarth’s Serpent Men.

The Rise of the Mara
The Serpent Men have their beginnings in a group of Lizard People known as the Mara. In Ancient times this small enclave of magicians was tasked with experimenting with powerful magics that dealt with the enhancement of the natural world around them, in a place far away from the main Lizard People nests for safety’s sake. Already remote and cut off they were further isolated when a magical disaster raised the waters around their nest-complex and broke the land into rough mountainous terrain. Once the survivors dusted themselves down and collectively rejected the idea that they were in any way shape or form responsible for the disaster, they found they had the ideal environment to carry on their questionable magical experiments. Without any moral restraint or condescending ethical disapproval from the rest of their race they quickly discovered Black Magic and became tainted by the use. Because they were few in number – developed Vivimancy to enhance their own genetics, taking a serpentine form and completing their separation from the Lizard People. Later they would further developed this blasphemous form of magic to twist and hybridise other creatures, leading to the creation of other servitor races. The Mara also found that the disaster, which they now saw as a blessing from the Dark Powers, had also opened many portals to hellish Other Worlds in theirbroken land. Contact with the Others, both Minor and Great, gave them access to more Black Magic.

When they started gradual expansion into the lands around their immediate sphere of influence employing the corruption of the Dark Arts this soon led them into conflict with the Lizard People.

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Mythas Imperiative released

Amythras-imperative-covers previously reported Mythras is the new re-branded name of RuneQuest 6 (seeing the trademarked name reverts back to owners Chaosium in July).  Its publishers The Design Mechanism aren’t hanging about and have released a concise/compact 32 version named Mythras Imperative, as a free pdf.

An introduction to the full Mythras rules system, and d100 gaming in general, Mythras Imperative gives you everything you need, in one slim-line volume, for worlds of  adventure!Mythras Imperative is a generic roleplaying game system covering ancient, modern and futuristic eras. It includes rules for character creation, skills, spot rules, combat and sample creatures to get you started.

I’m printing it off for a quick read tonight, but you can go grab it for free and check it out here:

 

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Things going on in the UK OSR recently

A quick round-up of some of the things that have caught my eye recently going on in the UK OSR. Apologies in advance if I’ve missed stuff off , point it out in the comments below and I’ll give it a shout out later.

D101 Specific

I went to 7 Hills Gaming convention in Sheffield last weekend. Failed to run any OpenQuest (boo hiss!) but ran my tribute to the Fighting Fantasy books of my youth The Sorcerer Under the Mountain, using the recently released Black Hack.At some point I’ll write this adventure up and get it on the release schedule. I also got to play Village of Homlett using 13th Age.

New mini-supplement for OpenQuest, The Clockwork Palace by Paul Mitchener, was released.

OpenQuest Basics is now available with full colour art. If you have the previous art free B&W edition please redownload it. Since it was paid for by the OpenQuest 2 crowdfunding campaign (many moons ago now in 2012) its available for free.  I’m working on getting it available in print (mainly so I can sell it at cons and through the soon to be unravelled D101 Webstore).

Other publishers/people

The Black Hack, a lovely little 20 page OSR rule set optimised for quick convention and online play has been released.  I’ve run it a couple of times now, at home and at 7 Hills and it works a treat.

Kristen Richards (Age of Shadows) is back with the second issue of his ‘Neath the Shadow Zine for Age of Shadows but usable for OpenQuest.

Jonny Gray whose done some work for me in the past, and in the future when I get Chronicles of Erun out, has a new Patreon campaign to produce art for RPGs. Not only is he a wildly enusatic member of UK OSR Google Hangouts, his work tends to be on the grim and gritty side of things which a perfect fit for UK OSR Grimdark. Go check it out.

 

 

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Crypts and Things Remastered Update for April

Monthly Update on the progress of Crypts and Things:

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Last day of OpenQuest Bundle of Holding

Under a day for the OpenQuest Bundle of Holding, last chance to get all the OpenQuest, River of Heaven and The Company in pdf at crazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzeeee never to be repeated prices.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/OpenQuest

Look some local Hobbits think its all Crazy 🙂

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The Company

In support of the OpenQuest Bundle of Holding that is currently running until Tuesday 4th April, here’s the fifth of a series of posts this time about how the OpenQuest powered game The Company was written, with some suggestions on how to use it outside of the setting presented in the book.

Shortly after I got OpenQuest into the wild, a friend of mine proposed doing a “OpenQuest Modern”. The pitch I got was an unholy mash up of OQ and the info in the D20 Modern SRD, something I feel is the equivalent of welding two different cars together, and mixing it with an Government Agency vs Supernatural Horror, i.e. OQ Horror not OQ Modern. I turned the idea down, which I’m glad I did since six months later Cubicle 7 announced the most excellent Laundry (which is a D100 Modern Horror game of guess what… Government Agency vs the Supernatural).

Instead I wanted “OQ Modern” to be something your could easily use for various Modern Settings, not just contemporary horror, as well as its own baked in setting. Apart from OQ itself I decided early on that any spin off game that OQ spawned would not be generic, but would have a setting that was distinct and flavoursome, but could easily be stripped out and dumped in favour of the the GM’s own.

So that was the pitch I gave author Rik Kershaw-Moore, who picked up the task of writing “OQ Modern”. Rik quickly worked up the background of the game, which involved a group of ex-British Military officers setting up a state sanctioned Mercenary Group. This world of “Private Military Service Provider”  gives the imident structure and reason for upon which the player characters, all members of this group, to go on exciting and thrilling missions.  Extensive research on Modern day military equipment (we knew that this would be a big draw of the game), so there’s plenty on Guns, vehicles, armour and other equipment in the book. The book also has background on five of the world’s trouble spots and has ‘Threat Sheets’ for each country covered.  Finally the book rounds out with not one but two scenarios.

The book was written very much as self contained book which doesn’t need endless supplements to fill in the gaps.  But if you need ideas on things to do with outside of the mission based scenarios that feature in the book, here’s some quick campaign ideas.

Conspiracy Theory. The characters could very easily become involved in some sort of Illuminati/Secret Society that wants to rule the world type of plot, as they could be hired by one of the off-shots of some sort of nefarious conspiracy, that is willing to use them as patsies on their schemes to achieve world domination.  You could effortlessly blend this with the Dan Brown sort of Conspiracy thriller, since it doesn’t need supernatural horror to make it work.  Off course you could run scenarios that include the sort of Ancient Aliens/Time Traveling shenanigans that Ufology includes and see how long the character’s military procedures stay in play in light of an unknown and unexplained enemy. I ran a convention game called “Operation Mudbrick” where the Company was hired by the  British Museum for protection of a group of their archeologists digging in the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur, in modern day Iraq. The enemy in the scenario turned out not to be Iraqi insurgents (although I kept them on their toes with the belligerent Iraqi Armed Forces presence literally across the road at the Airbase that exists there), but time traveling Soldiers in full NanoSuits (from River of Heaven) who belonged to the Totalitrian society of the Future, whose mission was to close and destroy the open Time Gate that existed under the city in unexplored tunnels.

Post Apocalypse. Both the “200 years after the Bomb” type scenario and a more British , after the plague and/or killer plants and everything went away type. Just use the equipment detailed in the book and throw in some new organisations for the characters to interact/fight. If I was to run it I’d keep the characters as members of The Company, but have them awaking to the chaos and having to follow their orders of what to do in the case of a break down of society.

World War III. What happens if an all out World War III explodes in the world of the Company? Are the player characters abroad and caught in crossfire. Does the UK government, which stays out of the conflict, use their independent status to send them into the war and achieve their aims without being officially involved.  Or is World War III a more subtle and low-intensity war?  A war fought by proxies, such as terrorist cells, so called ‘rogue nations’ and mercenary companies such as The Company, one which can be fought for economic gain, never has a planned end and can be done so without causing the voting public’s outrage at home.

Modern Thriller/Espionage. By focusing on the individual characters and the player character’s immediate group, the game can be easily tailored to this sort of game. Whether its 007 or Task Force 141 (from the Call of Duty Modern Warfare games), The Company can handle this style of game easily.

So if you want to check out The Company in pdf form at a crazy low price remember its availble in the OpenQuest Bundle of Holding for the next couple of days.

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