A Jam of OSR Goodness

At Last….. Vegas, Adventures in Jam. It started off as pisstake of the most fabulous excuse that came out of the very very late James Wallis’ Alas Vegas Kickstarter , an almost non-update where James made excuses and then stream of consciousness rambled on about Jam making while on holiday in the South of France, but has grown into a OSR UK scenario/mini-rpg pack.

Here’s the link to the Kickstarter.

I’ll let creator Mick Reddick explain:

So my spoof kickstarter has funded and is pushing it’s way towards the third and fourth stretch goals! For a measly £2 [about $3] get scenarios for Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Swords and Wizardry, WHFRP, Into the Odd and a new standalone game/scenario…. With random tables, jam based recipes and more in fact there are still two limited edition dice bag pledges left!!!….. its a deal, it’s a steal, it’s the sale of the f*****g century 😊

Fiendish Friday: Dangerous Cities

Recently I wrote the City Adventure chapter of Crypts and Things Remastered, which centres on the Demonic Pirate city of Port Blackmire. I wrote it pretty much in a couple of intense sittings, and after completing it I reflected on where it had come from.

From the introduction to the chapter:

Magnificently vast ancient crumbling cities are such a staple of the Swords and Sorcery Genre that they become characters in their own right. They are the back drop to many a caper, such as magical heists, murder stories, clashes with dark robed cultists who have set up murderous shop just down the road from the character’s local tavern. With this in mind I present Port Blackmire, a city straight out of the British Grimdark tradition of the 1980s, of dangerous city states where all residences within the city walls are trapped to keep out not only the thieves but the dark things that prowl the streets, either openly or in human disguise, and the city’s ruler is the most evil thing in the city. A place where even the good pay tribute to the city’s vile old temples to keep misfortune from their door.

This is the playground for the characters, whether they are blowing their misbegotten gains in the taverns on grog or on some high stakes game of chance or earning some extra coin by locating missing persons or burgling some fool with more money than sense. Sometimes it’s the place where adventure comes straight at them, dragging them out of their comfy beds when they most need to rest up and heal from their last venture.
Welcome to Port Blackmire.

Much of the inspiration came from the Fighting Fantasy books of the 80s and their spritual descendants, the pages of White Dwarf Magazine and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay First Edition.

Port Blacksand (City of Thieves) – was a principle inspiration, heck the name is a clue here 😉 Black Sand is the star of the Fighting Fantasy book City of Thieves, a character in its own right, a dangerous port controlled by a mysterious Pirate Captain Lord Azzur. The place is filled with traps and monsters, and is an active risk to the heros life.

Khare (Sorcery book 2:Cityport of Traps) – My memories of Khare are slightly less well defined, but it carried on the theme of the Dangerous City as a character in its own right. Here the traps of the title are set by the Lawful members of the city to stop their Chaotic neighbours from helping thierselves to their treasures.

Irilian (White Dwarf 42-47, Best of White Dwarf Scenarios III). This high medieval city state in decline is the star of a 3 issue mega scenario from the early days of White Dwarf. So much detail was crammed into it that they used a slightly smaller font to keep to the alloted page count. The city, orginally rich from the jem trade, is well past its best. Yet it has all the Guilds, Temples and monestries from its hayday. It’s state of social torpor makes it the target of attack from ancient evil, that is more an impersonal force in the tradition of Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising Trilogy. In fact its the city and its institutions, possesed by this force, that is the opponent in the scenario.

Middenheim (Warhammer 1st Ed, City of Chaos). On the surface of it Middenheim is a massively bigger rerun of Irilian set in the Warhammer Fantasy Old World. Its a high medieval city undersiege by the forces of Chaos and the players must interact with the city’s instituions and power players to win the day. What makes Middenheim interesting is that it focuses on Politics as well as the nitty gritty of the city encounters.  That and the scale of the city, which magificiently sits atop a mountain with a flat top rising up from the forest floor.

RuneQuest 6 to be renamed before July

Regular readers of this blog will know I’m a fan of the Design Mechanism’s RuneQuest 6. While a bit more crunchy than my own D100 tastes, which is why I publish OpenQuest, it is in my opinion the true inheritor of the RuneQuest name and spirit and a damn fine Fantasy Roleplaying Game. With Moon Design taking over management of Chaosium, it was also going to the be the basis of their new RuneQuest.  A great move thought I, since it meant a smooth transistion for the fans. Perhaps a tweak here and there, and reduction of the page count so it wasn’t so inclusive to make a nice short core book, but I could see that working very happily.

So imagine my gentle dismay when Jeff Richard, Chaosium/Moon Design Creative Director tells the folk at the What’s Up With Chaosium seminar at Dragonmeet yesterday that their new version of RuneQuest is going to be based on RuneQuest 2 with other bits and bobs added in.  You can go read a FAQ about it on Chaosium’s website, but it really strikes me it’s a RQ with everything from the kitchen sink thrown in.  I reserve judgement about the new Chaosium RuneQuest being any good until I see it in the flesh.

Good news straight from Lawrence Whitaker part of the Design Mechanism Duo is that they are going to merely rename and rebrand RQ6 (which I’m calling DMQ until they relveal the name) and keep it available along with all their stunning supplements, which is great news if you are heavily invested in the game. For example this means that come June next year when they do the rebrand, because that’s when they loose the RQ trademark there is no reason for me to sell my Premium Hardcover (which I got as a reward for backing their Hardcover Indiegogo campaign) since all they are doing is changing the name on the cover and where its mentioned within. I can save my money for buying new outstanding supplement’s from the Design Mechanism 🙂


Hunters of Alexandria

huntersofalexandria-webHunters of Alexandria is our latest release. Its a Historical Fantasy setting by Paul Mitchener (Crucible of Dragons, Age of Arthur). Its a small A5 book only 110 pages but it packs a punch. Its designed as a pick up and play game of monster hunting in Ancient Alexandria in 1AD during the Roman occupation, were the city is the 2nd biggest metropolis in the Empire and is a melting pot of Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Jewish peoples. The Roman invasion thirty years previously has weakened the city’s magical protection and now monster’s from the collective myths of the cultures living in the city are slipping in unchecked. Its up to the Ventatores (or Hunters in Latin) a secret group of auxiliaries to the Roman Town Guard, which the player characters are members of, to stop them.

In this 110 page A5 book we present complete rules for character generation and play, and details of this mythic and monstrous version of ancient Alexandria, including different factions at play in the city, the geography of Alexandria, supernatural beasts, scenario seeds and a complete introductory scenario.

The book is designed to be lightweight and easy to absorb. It is suitable for immediate sandbox play (with a full cast of supporting non-player characters detailed as well as the city itself) and also includes a full introductory scenario (Saviour Gods). It comes with four example characters so you can start running the game after reading.

It uses a lightweight but powerful version of Fate written by Paul called Fortune. If your gaming tastes are much more Old School the system is less than half the book, so you still get a detailed setting, cast of non player characters, and a scenario you can easily run with your rule set of choice.

Note:  Hunters of Alexandria is in the Bundle of Holding Fate +3 is ending in under 12 hours. 17 titles heavily discounted in pdf format.

If you miss that , or want the printed version, the game is available via DriveThruRPG.com and Lulu.com