About Newt

Games Designer, Publisher, Web Developer, Dad.

Swords Against the Shroud now Available

If you liked the idea of Crypts and Things, but yearn for the simpler days fo 1st edition when the book only had the four basic character classes (Barbarian/Fighter/Thief and Sorcerer) and Zarth was just an example setting?  Or perhaps you are after a nice concise Swords and Sorcery game that use the Black Hack as rules base?

Then Swords Against the Shroud is now available for you in pdf and preorder in print from the D101 Games Web store.

It comes in two versions.

The Standard softcover with a black and white cover by John Ossoway

Swords Against the Shroud standard cover by John Ossoway

Swords Against the Shroud standard cover by John Ossoway

and a limited edition colour cover hardback with the 1st Edition cover by Jon Hodgson.

Swords Against the Shroud limited edition cover by Jon Hodgson

Swords Against the Shroud limited edition cover by Jon Hodgson

 

Nearly done Swords Against the Shroud

Just putting the final touches on Swords Against the Shroud (a Black Hack version of Crypts and Things) – that will go out to From the Shroud #2 Kickstarter backers (either today or tomorrow), & then be available to order pdf/preorder print via D101 Games website shortly after 🙂

This is Crypts and Things rebuilt using The Black Hack 2nd Edition as a base, instead of Swords and Wizardry.  It’s similar in scope to C&T 1st Edition. It only has the four core classes: Barbarian, Fighter, Theif and Sorcerer, the introductory guide to Zarth, a small selection of the creatures in the full bestiary (but all the Swords and Sorcery essentials) + the adventure The Halls of Nizar-Thun. Systems for Corruption and Sanity are based on The Black Hack. All in all, it comes in at 86 A5 pages versus 145 pages of C&T 1st ed which was US Trade (8″ x 11″).

It was mainly an experiment on my part, funded by From the Shroud #2 Kickstarter. If you’ve not picked it up as a stretch goal as part of that campaign, it’s worth your time if you want a short and concise version of the game and you are a fan of The Black Hack.

The upcoming Lost Lands of Grungamesh, will have stats for both C&T and Swords Against the Shroud.

Grogzilla is here!!!

Now rampaging on general release, is the thirty-foot tall three-headed monster lizard called Grogzilla. Originally put together to honour Grogmeet 2019 ( a meet up of old school gamers run by the Grogsquad of Grogpod fame) it was enhanced during Kickstarter’s ZineQuest 2 which brought it to a wider audience.

This being a review of a bit of everything that D101 does, both present and upcoming, there’s a fair bit of fantasy in it. The beast of the zine in OpenQuest and C&T stats, five more fiends for Crypts and Things, a preview of what I’m going to be doing for Mythras, a follow up the scenario to the OSR Road to Hell.

Its available as cheap as chips pdf only (£3) and I’ve a limited number of print copies from the print run for the backers (£5).

OpenQuest 3 Current Status

I’ve blogged about where I’m up to with OpenQuest 3 over at the new site for the game openquestrpg.com.

Its a somewhat rambling post, but basically I got stuck on the last draft, went back to OQ2, decided to do a tidied up version of that with bits of the last draft incorporated into it.  The post itself also breaks down chapter by chapter what the changes are from OQ2.

Looking to have it done by end of June, and out to Kickstarter by Aug/Sept to coincide with 1st Anniversary of its release

Under Dark Spires coming soon

It’s Fiendish Friday, so here’s some news on what’s coming on for Crypts and Things very soon…
The long-overdue adventure pack for Crypts and Things, Under Dark Spires,  after a series of writers blocks, and various production failures (both straightforward and arcane) is back on track for being completed.
Under Dark Spires is a collection of five adventures. Blood of the Dragon (C&T’s long out of print adventure), The Dark Path, Terror At Black Oak, Fort Boneguard and The City of the God-Emperor. There’s also setting information for the Dark Spires region that the adventures take place in. Its a low level, 1st – 3rd, sandpit of nasty wriggly things that rises up to the pcs exploring one of the big secrets of the Serpent Kings.
I’m not going to give a firm date, but I’m looking within the next couple of months.
To help fire me up and inspire me, I’ve commissioned Dan Barker who did the art for Tournaments of Madness and Death, to do the art for Under Dark Spires. Dan brings his own take to the Weird Fantasy Swords and Sorcery world of Crypts and Things.
Here’s his take on a Barbarian being taken by surprise by a carnivorous plant in the fetid swamps of Stink River.

Stay tuned for regular updates.

OpenQuest 3 Online Campaign: The Long Way Home

The Brave of Gatan is the Empire’s 5th Legion. Despite its barbarian traditions, it is one of the most loyal and was dispatched to subdue the peoples of the Theocracy of Kus. A savage realm Kus is a joint partnership between the humans and the lizardfolk that live there. Imperial Command misunderstood the nature of this relationship. They saw the humans as oppressed unwilling sacrifices to their lizardfolk overlords and thus easily brought into the Empire. In fact, the reverse was true. The humans of Kus happily and willingly took part in the country’s religious system which empowered the lizardfolk ruling classes, who in turn ensured Kus flourished. Therefore after five years of being under the Imperial yoke as they see it, Kus is in open revolt in what the natives call the “Great Eating”. The Legion has been defeated on the open field and in the streets of the cities and, most of its leaders have been eaten by the Lizard Warriors. You’ve been summoned by the surviving commanders.  They acknowledge the 5ht is doomed, but want you to take the Legions regalia back home, resurrect it and descend upon Kus in a campaign of sacred revenge sanctioned by the Emperor himself! 

This is an episodic campaign, which should run for about ten sessions. The first session will be four hours long, and subsequent sessions will be two hours each. Its a playtest of the new OpenQuest 3 system, where the players will get to see the entire system in action. It is set in the Old Empire setting, that pre-dates the Empire of Gatan setting in OQ2 by a good 500-1000 years. The player’s actions will define the new setting (an updated Empire of Gatan) as they travel around the Empire’s provinces seeking to get home.

The player character’s start as members of 5th Leigon, and will be soldiers of various flavours. As the campaign progresses they will move on from these humble beginnings as the players desire.

I’m looking to get a dedicated pool of players who can meet up online once per week. You don’t have to be at every session, although you’ll get the most fun out of it if you are.

If you are interested please comment below, with the days you are available. Apart from the first session, which will be four hours long, sessions will be two hours and held between 8-10 pm GMT.

Fantastic Online Games with D101 Games

I was going to set up online gaming to playtest various upcoming games from D101 Games, but the Corona Virus and the fact that many gamers are confined to their homes has accelerated this process.

I’m going to run two games weekly, for at least five sessions. Each session will last a comfortable two hours and run during the day 12-14 GMT (I’m in the UK, and for reasons of childcare/spouse care these times are inflexible).

Sky Raiders of the Sky Realms. (Tuesday 12-14 GMT) The zero edition of this D100 based fantasy adventure game of sky island-hopping recently funded. It uses the latest iteration of our D100 rule system, inspired by OpenQuest, but written from the ground up – which I’m casually calling the D101-System.

Lost Lands of Grungamesh using Swords against the Shroud (Thursday 12-14 GMT), which is a Black Hack version of the Crypts and Things. Lost Lands is a Swords and Sorcery game, with the tone set towards the more horrific end of things.

How to Join
I’m looking for four players in each game which.  I’ll be running over Google Hangouts because both are reasonably rules-light systems. I may upgrade to Roll 20 or another virtual tabletop if either game needs it.

In the comments below, let me know which of the games you’d like to play, and make sure you fill in your email address so I can get back to you.

An Example Skyraider

The second of today’s preview posts about Skyraiders of the Floating Realms, this time a starting character from the game.

Note the Zero edition of the game is still on Kickstarter but we are in the last 34 hours at time of writing.

Janic the Songbird                                                                                                          

DEX CON STR CHA INT POW
13 14 11 15 12 11

[Commentary: Characteristics rolled on 3d6, rerolling 1s and 2s, and swooping around two values]

Bonus Damage: 0             Hit Points: 14      Armour Value:1d4 (Leather armour)

[Commentary: Characters with Strength over 15 get a Bonus Damage, Hit Points = CON]

Career: Bard       Age: 29

[Commentary: Career provides 110 of the Additional points below, with an extra 30 coming from a pool so the player can personalise the character. Janic suffers slightly skill-wise for having slightly average characteristics, but this is pretty typical spread for a starting character  ]

Base Calculation Base Additional points Total
Melee (STR+DEX) 24 20 44
Missile (DEX+INT) 25 20 45
Thrown (STR+DEX) 24 24
Unarmed (STR+INT) 23 23
Awareness (CON+INT) 26 26
Magic (POW + INT) 23 23
Deception (DEX+INT) 25 20 45
Healing (INT+CHA) 27 27
Mechanisms (DEX+INT) 25 25
Movement (CON+DEX) 27 27
Lore (INTx2) 24 24
Linguist (INT+CHA) 27 27
Culture (INT+CHA) 27 20 47
Oratory (POW+CHA) 26 10 26
Fast talk (INT+CHA) 27 20 27
Performance (CHA+DEX) 28 30 58
Trade (CHA+INT) 27 27

Equipment: Dagger (1d4 damage), Rapier (1d6 damage), Leather armour (1d4 armour value), A lyre. flamboyant clothes, hooded travelling cloak.

[Commentary: The choice of career dictates this starting loadout, but most adventures start with an opportunity to buy extra equipment]

Spells: Balance, Confuse, Enthral, Bless

[Commentary: The first three spells come from the Bard career while the last spell is a free choice made by the player]