Post Kickstarter thoughts

Slowly recovering from the awesome that was The Road To Hell Kickstarter, and getting back to the more mundane housework and day-to-day stuff I have to catch up with.

One of the things that was Awesome about the KS is that I’ve wanted to play Lamentations of the Flame Princess for a good couple of years (5 or so?) and the playtesting of this scenario (which has had a couple of outings now and has an ongoing playtest at the moment to test last-minute encounter additions) gave that one a good going over on that front. I’ll post more about that later, I’m overdue an appreciation post about LoTFP.

Another thing that was awesome about the KS was the fact that it funded and then some, so I’ll be able to take my original idea, pay the artists, pay myself and deliver it in a short time scale.

And it’s a model I can use for adventure releases in the future as well. I’ve got another two adventures that follow up Road to Hell (which I’m calling the Jacobean Trilogy for reference) but I’m also thinking about doing something for Mythras, which I’ve also wanted to run for like forever.  As I develop the ideas I have for it (in what I call the Fun Phase), I’ll blog about it here. Look out for the tag #makemineMythras.

In the next couple of days, I’ll be finishing off some writing/publishing stuff for Road to Hell to keep it on track for a December/January fulfilment. But I’ll also be getting back into Crypts and Things with the last writing for Under Dark Spires and issue 2 of The Shroud. I’m going to be running The Lost City of the God-Emperor at Grogmeet next Saturday, so nailing that one down is high on the list of priorities 🙂

From the Shroud issue 2

Its been a while since issue 1, but issue 2 of the Crypts and Things fanzine, is nearly manifested in the world of flesh.

The contents are as follows:

  • My Dirty Little Secret – a quick table of dark secrets that player characters can have, and probably wish they hadn’t, at character generation.
  • The Pie Makers of Peoplolis – an adventure location in the Zarth’s City of Beggars (although they may have a franchise near you).
  • A Strange Thing Happened on the Way to the Ruins – an encounter table of weird and wonderful non-player characters to liven up otherwise dull and humdrum journeys.
  • The Place of Dark Hooks – a full Crypts and Things mini-module.
  • All Hail the Death Riders – they are death from above with these flying undead warriors, a new monster for the game.
  • Prince of Rona – a demonic Prince of an Otherworld, fit to become the character’s latest Nemesis.
  • Varna’s Travelling Caravan – Neil Shaw is back again with this group of travelling merchants who deal with the mysterious and harbour a dark secret.

Clocking in at about 48 pages in A5 format (which is ten pages longer than issue 1) I’m looking to get it out by by early November, when I’ll be at Grogmeet in Manchester running The Lost City of the God-Emperor, which is part of the Under Dark Spires mega-module I’m currently finishing off for release early next year.

If you want to get a print copy, there will be a pre-order that runs for a couple of weeks while it is passing muster with the printer, via D101 Games’ Web store, during which time you’ll have instant access to the pdf. PDF only will go on sale via DriveThruRPG.com after the print pre-order.

Here’s the cover for issue 2 by the talented Jonny Gray.

Tournaments of Madness and Death now available to pre-order

This the lastest Crypts and Things module, two convention/one-shot adventures and an article explaining how to run this type of adventure.

Crypts and Things is an OSR Swords and Sorcery game, with influences from the 80s British Fantasy RPGs (early White Dwarf, Fighting Fantasy etc). The module is easily usable with other OSR systems and modern D&D style games.

Get the PDF immediately upon purchase and the print version in a couple of weeks when it clears proof with the printers.

Please note: While the pre-order is running you can pick up the main rulebook in either soft or hardcover with £5/$6 knocked off the normal price. Free postage for UK residents on orders over £10.

Tournaments of Madness and Death cover by David M. Wright

 

Tournaments of Madness and Death is done!

Finally, Tournaments of Madness and Death is done!

PDF versions to backers who got it as part of the C&T Kickstarter many moons ago, then I’ll be opening pre-orders via the D101 Games web store, later today.

What started off as a pair of scrappy convention scenarios, have been polished up by the editorial of Paul Mitchener some playtesting via Julian Hayley , the inspirational art of Daniel Barker inside, the brilliant illustrative maps of Golden Ennie award winner  Glynn Seal (MonkeyBlood Design) and topped up by the insanely brilliant cover art of David M Wright. I lost the faith with this one, but these folks work has dragged me out of the creative rut and brought me to a place of immense satisfaction 🙂

Onwards to the next C&T adventure book…Under Dark Spires 🙂

Tournaments of Madness and Death cover by David M. Wright

Introduction to The Furnace adventure, art by Daniel Barker

Tournaments of Madness and Death cover

I’m so close to getting this one finished. Waiting for the last illustration and a quick layout check then it will be available for pre-order.

In the meantime, I’ve redone the cover – so its less TSR tribute and shows more of David M. Wright’s awesome art 🙂

Tournaments of Madness and Death cover by David M. Wright

Tournaments of Madness and Death in Layout

The next Crypts and Things release, Tournaments of Madness and Death, is currently in layout.

I’m waiting on the last couple of pieces of art from Daniel Barker, who is doing a marvellous job of catching the Swords & Sorcery feel of the game, without being tedious and predictable.

Here’s the introduction to The Furnace, the first of the two adventures in the book, which feature’s Dan’s illustration of the sorcerer Arksal.

Introduction to The Furnace adventure, art by Daniel Barker

ETA Pre-order should open within the next week or so. with a general release mid-late August.

Tournaments of Madness and Death – Coming Soon

If this adventure book was an old school metal release from the 80s, on some creaky little independent label it would be one of those quirky split singles, were two bands would each have a side of the vinyl record.

On Side A is The Furnace. The first convention adventure that I ran when I decided to run an Old School D&D adventure, initially using Labyrinth Lord, and was named after the convention it was run at, namely, Furnace which is held every October in Sheffield UK. I ran it on Saturday night, which is now my annual slot for running OSR games, and despite the naysayers at the bar beforehand, who seemed threatened by my decision to run a game using a system they had left behind years ago, and the my own almost paralysing bout stage fright we had a fantastic time. It was at this point I decided that it was well worth my time returning to the games of my formative years in the hobby. The precise details of the scenario have changed with time, and it’s a more compact and polished-up Crypts and Things write up that is presented here.

Tearing up side B is The Tomb of the Evil Emperor. This was one of my final outings with Crypts and Things as a convention game in my first phase of running the game at conventions, just after the release of the game in 2012. A slightly boozy game at Continuum, a summer affair held bi-annually at Leicester University, which saw the bold adventurers race across the ruins of the Grand Debris, through the buried Imperial Complex, to a final confrontation with the shocking surprise of the true form of the Evil Emperor.

Two sides of the Crypts & Things convention experience. Madness both in the sense that the locations that make up the adventures aren’t your typical garden dungeon. The Furnace takes place on an artificial iron moon held up in the sky by magic, while Tomb is in a city crushed by a vengeful god using a meteor. Death because it was what faced the doomed world of Zarth if the adventurers failed in their mission to stop the Ultimate Evil that threatened the world, and because it was a genuine possibility given the cast of horrors they faced. All “good friendly violent fun in store for all” as the thrash metal band Exodus once sang on their song Toxic Waltz.

Finally Dark, Delicious and Deadly is an insert, cunningly placed between the two adventures, that explains the method behind the madness about how I run convention games of Crypts and Things.

For 3-6 characters levels 4th-5th, explicitly written for Crypts and Things but usable with a host of retro-clones based on the early editions of the Worlds Favourite Fantasy Game, and heck even the modern 3rd to 5th Editions if you can be bothered to put the work in adapting the monster blocks.

ETA Sometime in July, pre-order soon.

Tournaments of Madness and Death cover by David M.Wright

May is D&D Sale month

DriveThruRpg.com are having a 33% off sale for D&D products of all editions, and Crypts and Things and all its releases are available in pdf until the end of May.

Since its pdf only, I’m matching that 33% discount on the print with free pdf bundles I sell on the D101 Games web store on items I currently have in stock until the end of May.

So at the moment, that is

  • Crypts and Things Softcover £13/$17.5 (normally £20/$27).
  • Tombs of the Necromancer £4/$5 (normally £6/$8).
  • Life and Death £9/$12 (normally £14/$19).

Shipping is free to UK addresses on orders over £10.

Dark, Deadly and Delicious part 5: Pre-made characters

In this the last of a series of excerpts from an article about running and creating Crypts and Things convention games, I exhort you, nay implore you to use pre-made characters.

Use Pre-made Characters

Pre-made characters are a must for convention games. Two reasons why:

  1. They save time. No matter how quick you think, Crypts and Things character generation are, at the start of a convention game it will eat up valuable game time, while impatient players twiddle their thumbs and unexpected roadblocks in the process get thrown up.
  2. The adventure can be tailor-made to make the most of their abilities. You want happy, engaged players who are having fun. The primary way that you can pre-destine this is by having characters who have the potential to be fun in play. While Crypts and Things use Class/Level based characters, so every character is going to have its own niche, make sure that the composition of your adventuring party is made up of characters who will all have a role to play in the adventure. Fighters always have a place, and Barbarians are good all-rounders. Magicians need to thrive in environments rich in magic and mystery, where their magic detecting abilities make them useful for explaining what is going on and detecting magical threats. Thieves are good sneaking through the shadows, taking out enemies using stealth, but are much more useful in combat than their Swords and Wizardry counterparts. For a four-player game merely make one of the core character classes, and you’ll have enough variation amongst the characters. If you have six players, add another fighter and sorcerer, with different fighter specialities and spells in their books than the others.

It’s often joked that part of the style of old-school play is having a pile or replacement characters and it is worth having at least two additional characters in case of impending character death.

An Excerpt from the upcoming Crypts and Things book “Tournament of Madness and Death.”

Tournaments of Madness and Death cover by David M.Wright