From the Shroud #1 Contents

So here we go, hot on the heels of the main rule book comes this short, fun A5 zine, which is currently in layout.

This is the content’s list:

Achievements. A short system that sits alongside the experience system to reward characters for things they have done in their adventures, making them memorable events and useful benefits.

The Secret of Skull Hill. A short adventure of mystery and otherworldly delights featuring the schemes of an alien parasitic race and their attempts to reunite the body and soul of their host god.

By their Master’s Dark Command. The sad and short lives of Sorcerer’s apprentices revealed, and the useful things they become after death detailed.

Exotic Liquid Relief by Neil Shaw. Is your character bored with quaffing bog standard Blackmire’s Best whenever they need to regenerate 1d6 Hit Points? Well Neil Shaw provides details of a variety of brews to make your character’s life more varied and interesting.

Generic Life Events. This table is if you are overwhelmed by the sheer number of Life Event tables in the main rule book or simply after a OGL version you can base your own efforts off.

Useful Items of the Kindly Ones. Minor magical items left behind by the gods who used to care about Zarth.

Things to Find in Great Pots. A short random table for the harried Crypt Keeper for that inevitable moment when the players ask “so that pot you mentioned just now, what’s in it?”

Tea Party of Doom. A short encounter somewhere in the dark dismal woods with a crazy immortal Alchemist who has been playing with the psychoactive toads and their potential to provide tea.

Here’s the cover by David M. Wright

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The Forest Dragon

Jon Hodgson is a long time collaborator of D101 Games (he did all the covers for OpenQuest for example) and his nine year old son Rory has created this fun Card Game, which has plenty of fantasy elements…

Last seven days and its already funded and well into its stretch goals of additional cards and add on packs.

I’m backing it not just out of loyalty to Jon but because its a nicely packaged card game that my pair of Newtlets (Henry 8 and Evie 9 1/2) will enjoy and we can quickly play to get them away from the ‘screens’ (TV, Ipad, Laptop….you name it if it bleeps and has a controller our pair will grab it), especially before bedtime.

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Crypts and Things goes to the Movies

Most of Crypts and Things literary, comic and gaming influences are listed in the bibliography in the book but here’s some of the films that  inspired me during the writing of the book.

Anything by Ray Harryhausen, especially Jason and The Argonauts. Don’t know about you but my skeletons are like this.

And The Golden Vogage of Sinbad for this ultimate ‘boss’ fight 🙂

Warlords of Atlantis, for all those lost cities under the ocean ruled by strange Sorcerer’s and their hybrid monsters.

Hammers’ ‘She’ for the ultimate of Sorceress ruling a lost city in the jungle vibe.

and while we are drifting off down the horror side, Clive Barker’s Hellraiser and Nightbreed provided me with lots of inspiration for the demonic Others of the game, and hey the Puzzle Box (along with Elric’s Stormbringer) is the epitome of a C&T magic item.

finally the inspiration for the ghostly netherworld of the Shroud comes from the film Nightwatch (which I saw before I read the excellent novels upon which it is based upon).

If you are wondering if there is a the connection between the leaders of Serpent Men, The Mara, and the Dr Who episodes Kinda/Snakedance this trailer for the DVD release should confirm it.

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Fiendish Friday: The Dead God Ugsharak

Once upon a time in alien Other World there was a God called Ugsharak. As a deity that lived outside of time and space, he could be called upon to provide magical knowledge and power. Ugsharak was served by a race known as the Gizoni, who in return for blood sacrifice received potent black magic from the god.  When he took form in the world it was as a monstrous 30 foot tall giant skeleton whom the Gizoni called the “God Who Walks in Bone”.

Over a span of a thousand years the Gizoni home world weakened and became a desolation because of the constant need for blood for Ugsharak.  In response Ugsharak decided to leave, gathering his priesthood into his mouth and traveling to a new world to start the cycle of pain and suffering again.

Upon reaching the world of Zarth he materialised there in his physical form. However disaster awaited him. His body materialised in the earth, an element abhorrent to him, and he became trapped in rock up to his neck. His soul escaped to a place in the Shroud helped by a the Gizoni. In time the Gizoni priests, made a bridge via an ancient crystal Black Monolith not far from his body, which had now fossilised and with only the skull above the earth. Thus the legend of Skull Hill was born.

In time humans settled nearby, refugees from one of Zarth’s devastating wars. They were simple farmers and a superstitious lot. When they found the Black Monolith at the edge of their lands, they started leaving some of their crops as an offering at Harvest time. One day the Gizoni came out from behind it, as they had gated over from the Shroud to make sure the Zarth end of the portal was still intact as was their wont from time to time.  The locals prostrated themselves before these new gods and soon they were providing human sacrifices to the Gizoni at ‘Harvest Time’ who would take them to the slumbering Ugsharak in the Shroud.  Tragically though within a couple of generations the nearby human settlements were deserted due the strain put on their populations due to the annual sacrifices demanded by the Gizoni to reunite their god’s soul with its body. Not only was it tragic for the local humans, whose lands became the deserted Lonely Place, but for the Gizoni who were only a few sacrifices away from having enough stored magic reuniting their god’s soul with its body and freeing it from the hill.

To be continued in the “The Secret of Skull Hill”. An adventure in From the Shroud #1 eta December 2016.

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Incoming C&T Fanzine

Hoping to have this one done by Dragonmeet in early Dec. It will include an adventure “The Secret of Skull Hill” and some other articles by me and possibly some articles from other contributors (email me at newt@d101games.com if you are interested).

Here’s the work in progress cover by David M.Wright…

from-the-shroud-1-wip-web

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UK OSR Round Up for November 2016

Dragonmeet, the annual games day held in London this year on Saturday Dec 3rd, is nearly upon us. It’s being co-sponsored by Lamentations of the Flame Princess as well as Chaosium and there are many UK OSR publishers attending as well as us:

Among the guests are old school heroes Ian Livingstone & Steve Jackson of Fighting Fantasy/early Games Workshop fame and Joe Dever author/creator of Lone Wolf.

D101 Games is in attendance and I’ll have a big pile of Crypts and Things with me, as well as OpenQuest and River of Heaven among the pile of D101 goodness

The Design Mechanism  continues to surge ahead on the Mythras release front.

First off is the return of Mythic Rome by Pete Nash, originally released as an BRP version which won a Silver Ennies, in a time when the Ennies were dominated by D&D product, updated for Mythras with brand new art as a lovely hardback.  It covers Rome from its foundation to the end of the Republic. If you want to run games inspired by Steven Saylor’s Sub Rosa series or HBO Rome this is the book to get.

mythic-rome

And because Pete and Loz love you and want you to try out Mythras for the next couple of months they are going to putting out standalone adventures compatible with both Mythras and the free Mythras Imperative. The first one is a Sci-Fi (they’ve already taken Mythras in that direction with their Luther Arkwright book and check out M-Space by Frostbyte Books) called A Gift From Shamash ( in pdf via drivethrurpg.com and in print from Lulu ).

gift-from-shamash

Crypts of Indormancy for Lamentations of the Flame Princess and other OSR games funded recently and everything is on track for November release  according the latest backers report.  Keep an eye out for its release, it will be a good ‘un 😉

Grogmeet happened in my home city of Manchester….and I completely missed it. My excuse being a I was already signed heavy weekend of family fun, but hoping that this becomes a regular thing 🙂  Here’s a quick highlights movie they made.

Finally not strictly OSR (because its for 5Th Ed) but Cubicle 7’s Adventures in Middle Earth hit the shops this week, and I bagsied a copy. I must confess I usually by C7’s Tolkien stuff for the gorgeous art, and this book keeps up that tradition using the same smooth colourful layout with lashings of fantastic colour illustrations, but from a quick skim its a seamless version of 5ed blended with Tolkien flavour and the unique rules that made the One Ring so special ported over.  Looking forward to picking up the companion Loremaster’s Guide when it comes out. This one has a special place in many UK Grognards heart’s because Tolkien was very much part of growing up in the UK, for example many people read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as part of their English education at school, and even though there wasn’t an official D&D adaptation many people played the game with a strong Tolkien flavour. So 30 years on its very heartwarming to finally see an licensed adaptation for D&D and see it get so right.

Adventures in Middle Earth by Cubicle 7, I has it my precious!!!!

Adventures in Middle Earth by Cubicle 7, I has it my precious!!!!

What D101 is up to?
I’m currently busy getting the adventures for the Crypts and Things Kickstarter together. Tombs of the Necromancer is getting some clean up work done, some extra bits by author Paul Mitchener, and Life and Death Zarth Edition is getting new art and layout. Its neck and neck which one will get released first. Blood of the Dragon/The Dark Path (new) and Fort Boneguard (new) are all getting put together along with a new scenario, The Lost City of the God Emperor, into one book called Under Dark Spires. Tournaments of Madness and Death is quietly trundling along.

I've got me nose in a good book :)

I’ve got me nose in a good book 🙂

David M.Wright who did the art for the main rule book is signed up to do the art for the adventures. David recently got his rulebook and was dead chuffed with it 🙂

“C&T encapsulates pretty much everything I love about classic 80’s RPG fantasy (which was all around when I was growing up as a lad), but with all the naff stuff removed!  It’s a 100% pure Sword & Sorcery game.  There are Barbarians, Warriors, Sorcerers and Thieves, all pitted against an ever expanding assortment of monsters, amorphous Hell-Spawed demonic crypt dwelling conglomerations, and the like (none of your wishy-washy elves, gnomes, and sappy fairies here!). There is Blood, there is Fire, there is Magic, Muscle, Mist, and Steel!  : )”

Oh and to keep us going until the adventures land I’m putting a C&T fanzine together called “From the Shroud”, a little A5 affair that currently has a couple of articles by me and a small introductory scenario called “The Secret of Skull Hill”, that I’m hoping will be on sale at Dragonmeet. If you are interested in contributing get in touch via newt@d101games.com. The deadline for submissions is tight however, this coming Sunday 20th November.

I’m also starting the playtest of Beyond Dread Portals (the new name of Paul Mitchener’s Empire of Ys ) this week, which will run into early next year with an aim of getting out in the first half of next year.

In non-fantasy-land I’m putting wrapping up the last bits of writing on the River of Heaven Companion, so that should be out early 2017 🙂

Remember my reporting on this UK OSR Update is only as good as my attention span on G+, so if I’ve missed anything just point it out in the comments below.

 

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Crypts and Things Review

Behold another Crypts & Things Remastered review by Edgewise of the Artifacts and Relics blog 🙂

“There’s a lot of game here, and it provides a GM with very a distinctive set of rules and setting that are familiar enough to fit into the OSR tradition. Crypts and Things Remastered is a standout work, and I hope it gets the attention that it rightly deserves.”

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Swords & Wizardry Light – D&D in two pages!

Erik Tenkar of Tenkar’s Tavern fame has put together a slimmed down version of Swords & Wizardry, the OD&D retroclone, that covers levels 1-3. The game is basically a 4 pager, that is laid out (very colorfully and professionally in this release) as a player’s side and a DMs (Playing the Game) side.

Swords & Wizardry Light Logo

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Crypts and Things Remastered Reviewed

Another review of Crypts and Things Remastered, this time by backer Chuck Thorin who doesn’t seem to have been disappointed by the final book.

“My opinion overall is that it offers some good variations on a stock elves-and-dwarves style game. Don’t expect it to be a Conan RPG either. It hits a a sweet spot of a weird fantasy, alien dying world. It’s not totally in your face like Carcosa. It’s uses a well tested and supported rules system in Swords & Wizardry which also makes it easily hackable with other OSR games. For me, it goes on the “I really want to run this some time” list.”

Read the rest on Chuck’s blog

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The Zarth Tourist Bureau is open for business!

Jeff Sparks (aka Bighara) has open the doors of his Crypts & Things fan blog “Zarth Tourist Bureau” and his done a very reasonable four part review of Crypts and Things Remastered:

BEER!

The Zarth Tourist Bureau recommends you drink responsibly 😀

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