Friday, January 1, 2021
Friday, December 18, 2020
As this idea percolates around a number of elements - Xcrawl style dungeon-courts as practical exams is always a winner - one area that's always come up short is the actual sitting in class part of going to school. Happily, Skerples over at Coins and Scrolls has recently been thinking along similar lines, and recently posted some thoughts about a similar conceit using his Magical Industrial Revolution* setting. Of course, his version is a little more collegiate, but the system of a pass/fail roll that varies in difficulty based on the difficulty of the course is really quite intriguing. My only modification would be to encourage players to take the more difficult courses by offering small perks upon successful completion - perhaps a +1 or advantage on checks against getting lost for those who've passed "Unusual Cartography", for example. It's very tempting to rebuild the whole course list with requirements for various classes - can you really be an Assassin if you fail to pass "History of Poisons"?
On the other hand, the whole 1d100 course list is such a fine example of the kind of style this concepts requires it would be a shame to mess with it. "Nonessential Salts" indeed.
Friday, September 11, 2020
Being the sort of person who usually prefers fighters and thieves to spellcasters in D&D-type games, I had initially not paid much attention to the latest Adventurer, Conqueror, King System* supplement to be crowdfunded by Autarch. I'm glad I finally did, though, because the magic of the Almanac of Unusual Magic is very unusual indeed.
The 56-page book covers four new ACKS classes, three of which - gnomish alchemists, dwarven geomancers, and warlords - slot in well to a fantasy milieu. The fourth, however, is the Terran Engineer - apparently riffing on a character option in Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu* for lost spacemen who, if the illustrations are any guide, basically hail from Starfleet. The Engineer class, then, reflavors magic to be the "jury-rigging" ability of an engineer like Scotty to create fantastic devices, albeit not necessarily temporary ones. Of course, being an ACKS product, this new class (as well as the others) is broken down into its component parts for further customization, in a very Engineer-like manner now that I think of it.
Still needing about $450 to fund at the time of this writing, the GameOnTabletop campaign for the Almanac also offers an opportunity to add on ACKS rulebooks at a discounted price. I've backed an Autarch project on this platform before, and for not being Kickstarter or IndieGoGo it worked very smoothly. I highly recommend giving the pitch a look if it tweaks your interest at all.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Set in the early 22nd century, Termination Shock is the story of the recovery of Earth's space infrastructure after a passing particle wave put all the ships and stations on the fritz. It's a constrained setting in some ways - mankind has yet to leave the solar system - and yet there's enough planets, moons, asteroids, and stranded ships to keep a group of space adventurers busy, and that's before they inevitably land on Orcus.
Although he hasn't yet written a lot for the setting - just the initial pitch and a description of a typical outpost - was is there is very evocative. It helps when the premise can be illustrated with such cool maps as this one, and there are several like it on the original post. Not to mention the occasional spaceship:
It'll definitely be worth keeping an eye on the Paths Peculiar blog to see how this setting develops. I'm especially keen to see what's on Orcus . . .This is the Swedish ”Cricket” modular starship. Presented with ”Puncher” rocket module, ”Hauler” cargo module and ”Viggen” gunship module. For my Termination Shock #scifi setting (https://t.co/K5AiesjKmL) #ttrpg #dnd #osr pic.twitter.com/jVUi2DhH39— Paths Peculiar (@PathsPeculiar) June 18, 2020
Monday, April 13, 2020
Most, like Oriental Adventures, focus on a particular ancient-to-medieval culture such as the Norse, the Aztecs, the Celts, or the Egyptians, although a few go further afield, including a couple posted a few days later that take their inspiration from the Wilderness Survival Guide*:
Thus inspired, Eric wrote up a few alt-history posts speculating about the series of events that might have led to TSR actually writing and publishing some of these. I, on the other hand, look at some of these and wonder why the themes they represent haven't been picked up by the OSR crowd. Some have, I know - there's a couple of powerhouse sci-fi rulesets, a smattering of pirate-themed content - but most of the most well-known OSR stuff seems to me to be some combination of Howardian sword-and-sorcery, Tolkienesque high fantasy, or Vancian dying-earth gonzo. Which is too bad - some of these covers are far too good to not have a book inside them.
Sunday, February 23, 2020
To be named The Glatisant (top marks for consistent branding), the first issue has yet to be released, but can be signed up for here.
Thursday, January 16, 2020
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 . . .