Sunday, March 25, 2012

Some small changes to the Blogroll

This sis really a filler post but I've removed a coupe of blogs that haven't updated in a few months (Dungeons and Digressions and Asshat Paladins) and am proud to add a couple of new one , the excellent Lands of Ara and Cyclopeatron.

I've also changed my profile picture to a public domain image of the Five Stones at Duddo at least till I can make one I like better


Lands of Ara Compendium Free

Lands of Ara is another great blog I probably should have in my blog roll but don't.

They have a collection of their work from about 2009-2011 for free. Its got a lot of cool old school stuff and a gorgeous layout.

You can get it at the site here

Check it out. Its cool and did I mention it was free?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

No Dice? So How Do You Play ?

In tonights session (Frozen Convict Post-Apoc) we had a little conundrum, no one me included remembered to bring dice or cards or any kind of decent randomizer

I suppose I could have made chits but that was more trouble than it was worth. We tried coin tosses to but the odds were too hard to compute.

What I did is use number guessing. I'd pick some numbers between 1 and 10, one for every ten percent chance of success and if you guessed my number you succeeded. This worked like a virtual D10.

All in all the players got it quickly and found it pretty workable. Its n substitute for actual dice but it was more or less (probably less) random, fair and fun which is all we could ask for,

My Group is Incredibly Versitile

Like most gaming groups we have occasional "real life" intermissions and bumps along the way to campaign land.

What sets my current group apart from many of the others though is how we deal with it.

No one in the group is just afraid of making something up or just going with the flow.

With the Fireflyesque game on hold we and our switch to Modern Fantasy 70's style delayed we were at a loss for something to do..

Last weak, down three of seven we did "S.V.U.-Horror" set in L.A. , this week we did Post Apocalypse Prison Break with frozen convicts, next week who knows...

And you know what despite us not having a system or this time even dice we all had a decent time. I don't think I could ask for anything else.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

3d6 In Order A heckuva game

No not the undead fallen cleric ...

Lets start with the basics.

R.E.B Tongue at Antediluvian Press sent me a review copy of the PDF and I am glad he did. Its very much a worthy addition to my OSR library.

Physically I have a a plain 91 page PDF with clean efficient art that remind me of realistic art with a smidgen of Elmore, I quite like it.

The game has a nice index, a clean font and a good layout. Its easy on the eyes, easy to read and play ready.

Most importantly it has real value as game,

The author describes it this way

This game began as a joke. No, I'm quite serious. My original idea with this book was to produce a set of 'house
rules' for Swords & Wizardry, White Box, that my group could use as the basis for a campaign I was about to run
– with the conceit that it was an early edition of the 'Hackmaster' game. I got about half-way through it when I
realised that I was doing something on a rather grander scale than that; I had made a lot of changes to the rules
as I went, to the point that it was almost becoming a separate game in its own right. A friend of mine pointed
out that given that I was doing all this work...I might as well go a bit further and publish it as an actual game.

Well it may be based on Swords and Wizardry but in my book with one little tweak (a much needed intro to Role-playing paragraph) its the rightful successor to Holmes Blue Book.

Yes you heard me, Holmes Blue Book.

3d6 in order is easy to understand, comprehensive enough for long games but with plenty left open for creativity with the right kind of vagueness that is the signature of Old School.

Now it has its flaws and eccentricities, the Thief and Assassin are weak, the hit point progression includes single digits in the middle of the progression instead of at the end as is customary and there are a limited number of spells.

It also has its excellences the Fighter class is really good (having rapid attack , great HP progression and leadership) and the alternative custom caster classes (Pyrocaster and Healer) include things people really want to do or just need in a party without religious or other baggage. Healing and Blasting are always welcome. As an added bonus the spell lists are designed for random roll which is just plain smart.

All in all nothing is missing. Grab the book, some dice a few freebie dungeons and play.

Now this game is meant to appeal to existing gamers and it does a great job there but if the market demanded it could easily be the basis for a new starter box. All it needs is an intro paragraph, an intro dungeon ,a buffed Thief and Assassin class and a nice boxed set with dice and a module and its the son of the clone of the Avenger of Holmes ready for the 21st century

So if you are looking for a starter game for the kids or just something cool for the shelf, grab a copy. You won't be disappointed.

You can get the book here at Lulu in PRINT for the crazy low price of $12.

M.A.R. Barker has passed

I'll link to Grognardia for this one.

Professor Barker was one of the founding fathers of our hobby, maybe not as well known as Gygax and Arneson but quite important in his own way.

His creation, the fabulous alien science fantasy world Tekumel showed the power of world building and imagination in new lights and that Role Playing is not all "Western"

That world was never my cup of tea, but his novel Man of Gold was excellent and the joy of craft could clearly be seen in his work.

He will be missed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Coming Soon

I've been a little preoccupied with things of late. Work, running GURPS and embarrassingly Fallout 3 Game of the Year edition have kept me away from the blog.

What should be up is a review of 3d6 In Order (a very cool game BTW) , some musings on Midrea vs. Eradim and speculation on a putative 5 Stones Retro-Clone.

Its like the man says

I'll Be Back

Friday, March 2, 2012

So What Kind of Old School will you Run?

I'll probably run a couple of classics by younger players (early 20's) have never tried, B1, X1 that kind of thing using one of the many cool systems.

As for what system I just don't know. The OSR has an such embarrassment of riches its awful hard to choose.

I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it

March Begins

Well its March. I am still running GURPS (tomorrow in fact) . In a few months I suspect they'll be weary of it and I am going to take a break and play.

It'll probably be GURPS though either Dino-Apoc or some kind of Pulp Fantasy. As a few players have started to be interested in Old School after that, well who knows.

Until than I'll just enjoy GURPS. Like the bard said completely out of context to this "The Play's the Thing."