Christmas in July UK OSR picks

Here’s my personal list of picks from the UK publishers participating in DriveThruRPG.com’s Christmas in July sale.

Return of the Woodland Warriors by Beyond Belief Games
I loved the first edition of this simplified and tweaked version of Swords & Wizardry that only uses D6s and is suitable for children. The new edition has full-colour art which adds to the magic. Lovely cover by longtime D101 collaborator Peter Frian.

The Cthulhu Hack by Just Crunch Games
Rules light, courtesy of its use of the Black Hack engine, rules for Cthulhu investigative horror. It’s just been upgraded to version 1.5, which refines this already sharp ruleset. Oh and its supplements are also in the sale.

Mythras by Design Mechanism
If you’ve not got this behemoth of D100 goodness by now here’s your chance. As well as the core system, which is a complete thing and good to go running a wide variety of fantasy settings of various genres, all the formidable selection of adventures and setting books are in the sale.

My recommendations: Mythic Rome & Mythic Britain (including Mythic Britain: Logres, the supplement by D101 collaborator Paul Mitchener about the Anglo Saxons), and I’m going to use the sale to catch up with the Monthly Mythras adventures that I’ve woefully fallen behind on.

Crypts of Indormancy by Melsonian Arts Council
A nice self-contained, creepy as fuck adventure for Lamentations of the Flame Princess.

Clockwork and Chivalry by Cakebread and Walton
The English Civil War as fought by Alchemical Cavaliers and Clockwork device using Roundheads.  One of my favourite settings of all time, and the D100 Renaissance system (an offspring of OpenQuest) makes me grin even more. Also check out the epic Pirates & Dragons, if you fancy a bit of fantasy Pirates in the vein of Pirates of the Carribean.

The Christmas in July sale is on until the end of the month over at DriveThruRPG.com, and all of D101 Games Books are participating with 25% off all pdfs.

Posted in Dungeons And Dragons, Mythras, OpenQuest, The Black Hack | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

D101 Games pdfs in DriveThruRPG’s Christmas in July!

All of D101 Games pdfs are in DriveThruRpg.com Christmas in July sale.

So that means 25% off Crypts and Things, OpenQuest, River of Heaven and The Company, and all the adventures/supplements for those games, until the end of July.

Posted in Crypts & Things, OpenQuest | Leave a comment

Crypts and Things Conversion pdf for The Midderlands

I’m currently a big fan of Glyn Seal’s The Midderlands, which I previewed in an earlier post., which is currently on Kickstarter.

Ok if it reaches its funding goal of £12 k (and it’s already over halfway there at the time of writing), I will produce a 5-10 page conversion document.  This pdf will allow you to pick up and play the Midderlands (which already uses Swords and Wizardry) with Crypts and Things, that all Midderlands backers will receive. The Midderlands is a vile and dangerous Weird Land that fits in with the whole vibe of Clark Ashton Smith’s Averoigne Stories, whose tales of weird fantasy set in a fictional province of medieval France, which was a significant influence on Crypts and Things nastier side.

The document will contain sections on:

1. Characters. How to take C&T’s core character classes and drop them in the Midderlands. New Lifepath tables to reflect both characters from the Midderlands and the Savage North and Tame South from outside its borders. New Life path tables for classes to take into account the career opportunities in the Midderlands.

2. The Midderlands is a feast of creatures, but I will also give notes on Fiends from Crypts and Things that you can drop straight in with ease.

3.  Rules modifications for C&T, for example, the corrupting effects of Gloomium and the threats to characters’ sanity the land presents.

Just to be clear, I’m not getting paid for this. I’m doing this because it’s an excellent setting/creature/adventure book that’s got me all excited to do a conversion doc that lets me run it when the book comes out.

So if you are a Crypts & Things fan I hope I’ve given you a little bit of an incentive to go check it out and if you like what you see back it.

Posted in Crypts & Things | 1 Comment

Grab some D101 Old School goodness in our 25% Summer Sale

25% off Summer Sale at D101 Games Web store, for two weeks, closes Sunday 16th July 12 am GMT.
Amongst the items on Sale!

  • Crypts and Things (Softcover £15/$23 Hardcover £23/$30)
  • River of Heaven (Softcover £15/$23 Hardcover £23/$30)
  • The Savage North for OpenQuest (£7.5/$10)

P&P is free to UK residents.

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Into the Midderlands

A quick recommendation/preview here from me.

OSR Map maker supremo and all round nice guy Glynn Seal of Monkey Blood Design is Kickstarting his Midderlands Book.  This is a setting/creature book with a short adventure, which comes bundled with a gorgeous large map of the setting. The Midderlands is a fictional medieval fantasy version of the lands around were Glynn lives in English Midlands region.

Here’s the preview vid in all its green glory.

This book is going to be a 300+ hardcover, comparable in content and form to such OSR classics like Lamentations of the Flame Princess’s Carcosa and Red and Pleasant Land. But that a lazy comparison once you start delving into the content itself.

And what content it is. First, of its all clearly and logically presented, despite the spiky green theme that runs through the book. It would have been very tempting to present this as a ‘messy’ thing, especially with the huge dollops of Monty Python/Black Adder (tending towards the black humour of the later) that pepper the text. No Glynn has resisted that urge and has kept everything tidy and neat. It’s both highly enjoyable read, from what little I’ve have had the pleasure to read of the ‘nearly done’ draft he was so kind to provide me with for this preview. It’s also, and this matters at my gaming/scenario creation table, an easy to use reference book.

I’ll refer you to the Kickstart itself for a breakdown of the book itself. Since Glynn does a much better job than I could myself (with full page spreads), but my highlights from my skim so far are the numerous race as character classes, that cover the various species of goblins and other slimy/spiky things covered in the creatures chapter.  I can easily see myself running a short campaign or convention game based upon an adventuring group of these monsters.

As a Kickstarter project, I can firmly recommend this. It’s logically consistent, the price is right for what you are getting, and the stretch goals are focused on the book itself rather than endless additional supplements, which delay delivery. This book is ready to go, and the funds go straight funding production of a print run.

 

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OpenQuest Refreshed is here!

The new updated version of OpenQuest is now available. Its a slight tidy of up and revision of the OpenQuest 2 Deluxe version that I released over five years ago, with a new cover by Jon Hodgson and all new full colour art by Jeshields inside.

Its now available via the D101 Web Store

If you are looking for more information about what this new edition involves, and the plans for supplements going forward, check out this blog post over my Sorcerer Under Mountain blog.

Here’s the new cover by Jon Hodgson.

OpenQuest cover by Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest cover by Jon Hodgson

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Return to the Furnace

Just finished a very raw, very rough draft of The Furnace, one of the scenarios that is going to be the scenario book The Tournaments of Madness and Death, for my mate and esteemed Crypt Keeper Julian Hayley who will be running it on Sunday afternoon at UK Games Expo.

Its been a hard process, taking a scenario I ran as my return to D&D a good seven years ago. Pulling out of my brain, looking at the scraps of notes and scans of maps (which I dumped entirely as too fiddly), and trying to make something that to be honest ran much better in reality due to some cracking players (Tony Murray-Clay and the Leicester Lads) than the mess that was on the paper.

I’ve no doubt Jules will makes it his own and rock it hard, and I’ve learnt a lot from writing it up, with lots of ideas about what makes a Crypts and Things scenario tick and different from all the other dungeon crawl games out there. Ideas that will make it into The Tournaments of Madness and Death which is meant to have an article about writing/running C&T adventures for one shot conventions.

Glad to get it done, but man does it need a very hard edit before I let it loose on you uncivilized savages 🙂

If you too are feeling nostligic here’s the series of posts I wrote about the Furnace when I ran it at Furnace Convention (hence the name) in 2010.

Posted in Conventions, Crypts & Things, Dungeons And Dragons, Nostalgia | Leave a comment

New edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay from Cubicle 7

Just announced by Cubicle 7, they shall be releasing a new edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying later this year. Scant details so far, here’s the very brief announcement:

A new edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay will be launched by Cubicle 7 Entertainment later this year. The new edition will return players to Warhammer’s grim world of perilous adventure, and takes its direction from the first and second editions of the game.

Cubicle 7 CEO Dominic McDowall said, “Like so many gamers I grew up on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. It’s an iconic setting and I’m thrilled to be working on this new edition of the game. Our team have a huge breadth of experience with Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and I’m excited to be able to bring the Cubicle 7 approach to the Old World. We’ll be revealing more of our plans in the coming months, so subscribe to our newsletter and keep an eye on our website!

I’m chuffed to bits with this. I know that the game is in safe hands, because they have a strong track record of putting out great games with high production values and doing right by very popular licenses (Lord of the Rings, Dr Who etc).

You don’t get more British Old School than Warhammer Fantasy Rolplay.

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Life and Death – Sorcerors

The presence of a villainous sorcerer is fundamental to a good  Swords and Sorcery tale.

While the setting of Life and Death, the post-magical apocalypse setting of The Shattered Lands, is very low magic in keeping with genre expectations, the bad, mad and downright dangerous to know are out in force as antagonists in the books collection of adventures.

Bilgen,  is very much your young unpleasant black magician in training. He’s very much modelled after obnoxious wanna be sorcerers I met in my real life student days. Petty smelly types who call other people “norms” or “mundanes” taking great pride in their knowledge of Magick without ever really doing much. Bilgen has a handful of spells that make him useful to the bandit chief, who also is deluded and thinks he’s a powerful Merchant Lord, and allows him to terrorise the local peasants.

Tel-Kar-Nath is the real deal.  He is a sorcerer who is fit to be the player character’s nemesis and is a worthy adversary.  He’s been a powerful court magician in a previous life whose machinations brought down reality, been imprisoned in hell for his crimes and is now back a monstrous thing with a psychotic personality.

Tel-Kar-Nath talks in a deep monotone about the joys of death. The finality of it all and the absolute power-mastery it brings. He is more than happy to demonstrate his power upon a hapless captive. However he does not attack the characters directly…

If they attack him, he uses his magic to evade and escape and his zombie followers to hold them off. He is more interested in playing the role of the enigmatic magical master than dealing with the characters, whom he believes are beneath him.

The King in Chains was once a sorcerer of immense reality blasting potential like Tel-Kar-Nath, but is now a husk of his former power. He has been brought back into being as an undead creature, by a ruthless Necromancer who uses him as a magical power source and channel for raising more Zombies. Even in this half-dead state there’s something that realises that this isn’t a good state of affairs and who knows what vengeance it will wreck if the player characters ever loosen those chains.

The Chained King by David M. Wright

The Chained King by David M. Wright

Life and Death is a collection of four adventures that make up a mini-epic tale of a struggle against the forces of Undeath in a world recovering from a magical apocalypse. It is a conversion of an existing OpenQuest adventure, for Crypts and Things and other Class/Level based Fantasy RPGs with all new art by David M.Wright (the artist who illustrated Crypts and Things in its entirety.  Its currently been worked on for a release later this month.

Previous Posts about Life and Death Zarth Edition

Life and Death Zarth Editon - cover by Jon Hodgson

Life and Death Zarth Editon – cover by Jon Hodgson

Posted in Crypts & Things, Fiendish Friday | 2 Comments

Sunday Morning Dungeons, Green Hell

When I was in my teens and running a weekly game, “Sunday Morning Dungeons” was the term I used for the couple of hours in the morning where I would happily throw together a dungeon for my game in the afternoon. Today I’ve got no game in the afternoon, only a series of adult responsibilities, but I’ve cracked open afresh notebook and started writing notes about my next OpenQuest game, Green Hell.

Green Hell cover by Jeshields

Green Hell cover by Jeshields

With Green Hell I’m firmly looking to get back to what makes OQ great for me. Fun. I’m not over thinking what I’m doing and if something looks like it would be fun to do I’m throwing it into the “Toy box” I’m creating. I’ve about 20 character illustrations by the great Jesheilds, many of which appear in the new refreshed OpenQuest rule book I’m about to release and the first port of call as always with any of my D100 games was to draw up a cast list of characters. There’s a surprising lack of humans, in fact only 2 out of the five factions that the characters fall into are human and one of those is hanging onto its humanity by a thread. Those five factions are quite diverse, a Dwarfen Expeditionary Force looking for lost relics, a Pirate Ship making its way along the rivers and coast raiding and trading as it goes, the warped woodland inhabitants of the the Wild Wood, the followers of a Water Nymph who lives in an bay, and finally the rather odd inhabitants of the Emerald Temple, which lies at the heart of the mystery that flows through the setting.

Next up was quickly outlining the Cults of the setting. Cults are one of the essential ingredients of any OpenQuest setting in that its where the player characters and their opponents get their magic and skills training. They act as an anchor in the world, supporting the characters, helping them with an off the peg world view and a set of readymade contacts. But is something that I feel I’ve been a bit muted about in previous OQ releases. Well not this time. Green Hell has about five Hero Cults, of people living or dead that you can draw magic (Battle Magic) from their legends and personal magnetism. This gives the factions some of their coherence. Take the Pirates faction, The Skull Jammers. All the ship’s crew follow the Hero Cult dedicated to the founding captain called the “Skull and Bones” (yes slightly cheesy I know but easy to remember when the players are being bombarded with names of NPCs, Locations and events in game). From him they gain Weapon Enhance since he was handy with his cutlass, Walk on Water after a legendary story where he walked on water to board an enemy ship, and Enhance Athletics so all the pirates can merrily go swinging round the rigging! There’s also a cult that despite appearances is a Sorcery cult and a Divine Cult which centres round rather lost and aimless deity, who instead of guiding and commanding piety from her worshippers just sits there staring into the distance while her followers mill about doing what they think she wants. I’ve decided as well that gone of the days of boring utility deities, such as the War God who only exists to provide Warrior PCs with magic. Firmly in the camp now that Deities are in mad, bad and dangerous to know category, with their followers being powerful and a bit unhinged from everyday life. This attitude probably comes from reading and playing Unknown Armies 2nd Edition.

Then I started contemplating rules for trekking across the Swamp, and all the nasty diseases and fierce some wildlife you can encounter, then I realised it was lunchtime so I put down my pen.

Posted in OpenQuest | Tagged , | 5 Comments