Thursday, January 16, 2020

Adventure Lookup - Intriguing DM Tool

I'm a big sucker for lists and databases, and my recent discovery of Adventure Lookup is squarely in that wheelhouse. It is, in essence, a big list of adventures for the various versions of Dungeons & Dragons - from the Basic set to 5th Edition, with options for Pathfinder, Dungeon Crawl Classics, and various OSR rulesets. But not only is it possible to filter the list by system, but by player level, setting, publisher - even by what treasure is included or what kinds of monsters there are to fight.

Once an adventure is located, most entries will have some kind of indication of where it can currently be obtained - often a direct link to DriveThru or some other host (However, many that were originally from Dungeon magazine just have the issue number, and only a couple include a link to the Internet Archive Dungeon collection). After that, well, it's all up the the DM . . .

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A New Game for the New Year

A link on the Twitter #OSR hashtag recently led me to the Spanish-language RPG publisher grapas&mapas, and more particularly to their thus-far only English-translated work, Vieja Escuela Pulp! Translating roughly to "Old School Pulp", it is indeed a lightweight (48 pages, including the adventure) OSR take on early 20th-century adventure fiction, which is what is usually meant by "pulp". Now that the '20s are here again, it's the perfect time to check out some of the examples of this genre.

Like most other games that fall under the OSR banner, Vieja Escuela Pulp! uses the basic six-attribute, class-and-level, d20+ modifier system we're all familiar with, with some tweaks to fit the author's taste and to emulate the genre. Some of the changes that I especially noticed include:

  • A six-item skill list that largely replaces attribute bonuses as modifiers for rolls.
  • A simple mental health/sanity mechanic based on the Wisdom stat.
  • A Pulp! points mechanic to activate class talents as well as mystical and super-science devices alike.
  • A streamlined advancement system that automatically incorporates a degree of multi-classing.
All in all, my impression is that the rules take more than a few cues from more modern designs, but they are so well streamlined that they would be easy to integrate into other games, even ones from more traditional OSR genres.

The adventure, "The Swamp of the Snake God", is a nice, if a little sparse, search for a crashed WWII bomber that turns into a lost-civilization adventure. The final dungeon, in particular, could be easily borrowed from the South Pacific and re-used anywhere a small pyramid might be found.

And the best part of all? Vieja Escuela Pulp! can be found for free at the publisher's website, linked above. Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

They Saved Hitler's Fangs

There's an epic GUMSHOE campaign in here somewhere:

Allegedly the V-E Day edition of the Vancouver Sun, one is tempted to assume that Comrade Leonov was being facetious about the possibility of a vampiric Adolf Hitler. However, this could be a neat hook into a number of different campaigns, from the last mission for a Weird War II commando squad to a clue for modern occult investigators into just who's behind the conspiracy they're facing.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Hey, Wait A Minute . . .

From Reaper Miniatures' 2017 Bones IV Kickstarter Campaign:

From Reaper Miniatures' current Bones V Kickstarter campaign:

Nine for the Mortal Men, doomed to die . . . 

Anyway, said current Reaper Bones Kickstarter ends in about 21 hours, and there's way more cool stuff than just finally bringing their number of not-Ringwraiths up to code. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

And Now For A Word From Our Sponsor

So, I'm sure if you're at all interested in RPGs in the 21st century, you've heard of DriveThruRPG*. It's basically the Amazon of digital gaming, both in its retail dominance, self-publishing empowerment, and affiliate program, in which participants can get a small percentage of the price of any purchase made through a particular link, for example the one above. This percentage does not increase the price of a purchase, rather it comes out of DTRPG's take.

I've been using DTRPG affiliate links for some time now, usually marking them with an asterisk that leads to a footnote summarizing the above for transparency purposes. Instead of that, I've decided to make a page with that information.

And now for a demonstration: earlier this week, Lamentations of the Flame Princess* announced a sale reducing all their PDFs sold through DTRPG for just $2.00 each, or $1.50 each for their LotFP Everything Bundle* (this works out to about $82.50). This includes the full (NSFW) art version of the core rules*, Ken Hite's excellent Vietnam-War-inspired setting Qelong*, award winners like A Red and Pleasant Land* and Broodmother Skyfortress*, basically every weird, fantastic, and downright horrific book the company has ever produced - right up to their most recent Gen-Con releases*. Believe me, $2.00 is practically a steal for some of these, but the sale only lasts until the end of the month. Once it's October in Finland, it's back to full price.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

D&D Ability Scores Explained With Tomatoes

Based on a much-shared Reddit thread and brought to life by artist Max Marcil:

Also available as a PDF. And remember, if your first instinct is note that a tomato-based fruit salad is a salsa - you're the bard.