Friday, August 10, 2018

Echoes From Fomalhaut #2

I've been a big fan of Gabor Lux since I first read his stuff (maybe in Knock Spell, maybe from some OSR blog). At this year's NTRPGCon I picked up the first issue of Echoes From Fomalhaut and promptly ordered the 2nd issue. Which arrived today!

Produced by E. M. D. T. "First Hungarian D20 Society". Don't be scared away by d20ness. The style and feel is very much Appendix N inspired. It's not just another imitation of old-school sensibilities. It's its own product. And has a sprinkling of unique "spices" that derive in part from it's Hungarian roots, I assume.  Besides, Gabor Lux's and other contributor's work is great due to their ideas, structure, and writing.  Not statblocks.

What do you get? I haven't read it yet and this is not a review.  But I'm the happy owner of a digest sized 44 page, nice layout (a fair mix of modern / readable and callbacks / homages to zines of yore), varied and evocative / inspiring art (which for me as an RPG user is the most useful and valuable trait art can have). Plus a really nice looking on thicker paper, two sided, 4x digest size map. For $8 + $4 shipping to USA.

You can order the first two issues of Echos From Fomalhault and The Barbarian King from EMDT's online store.

Beyond Echos From Fomalhaut, there has been a significant amount blogged about and published (self-published, in OSR magazines, and other products). Much of it in Hungarian (to the loss of non-speakers, like me, I am sure) There are online English Fomalhaut Resources.  And I definitely suggest acquiring back Knockspell issues for the "Isles on an Emerald Sea" series.

Reading the first issue made me want to get on my DM cape and play! In fact I've since started organizing a Wilderlands sandbox starting with the Beekeeper adventure in that issue. Flipping through, it appears Echos From Fomalhaut #02 will be just as inspiring. I can't really say anything better than that [it makes me want to play] about an RPG product.

Monday, June 11, 2018


After couple years hiatus I went back to North Texas RPG Con in Dallas/FtWorth last weekend.  As usual I forgot to take many photos. But here are a couple.

Having two attacks per round does not always help (look closely at the rolls)

Random table using legos quite awesomely.

NTRPG Con is kind of place you can join RuneQuest game run by the
original game author, Steve Perrin

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The sounds of dungeon exploration

Wear headphones to appreciate the Left / Right ear locational awareness.  Close your eyes and imagine you're holding a torch and shield or clutching a holy symbol. Exploring a long forgotten tomb for plunder.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Computer RPG Book Project is Released

Holy RPG History Batman!  528 pages, over 400 RPGs! Many early TSR employees and other PnP RPG pioneers transitioned to computer RPGs. Love'em or Hate'em, they are intertwined with the tabletop side of the industry.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

You awaken on the tween deck of a prison ship, reddit/DnD repost

D&D can be introduced to anyone. It will not be everyone's cup of tea. But, don't make the mistake of prejudging who will or will not. Give everyone the opportunity to be enchanted.

Monday, November 6, 2017

My D&D Philosophy

[But first a little aside as to what's going on since it's been a little over a year since last post. Gotta admit I got more interested in playing games than in writing about them. When I blog, I kind of feel oblogated to post regular like. And while I didn't run out of things to say. I did run out of enough things I felt were **worth** saying.  Esp. things that every other blogger wasn't already saying. But I haven't read any other blogs in a while so, ...]

Potential player recently asked me "What my philosophy of D&D was?"

My grumpy old grognard immediate thought as to a response was "To play! Not twaddle on about philosophy." But, I de-curmudgeoned, remembering there are many play styles (more than one of which I enjoy) and this poor soul was trying to get a sense if our presumptions were congruent before spending a Saturday evening playing make believe with our gang.

Wanting to still be vague and open to later DM interpretation while providing some sort of guidance I well reasoned (i.e. first thing that came to mind that didn't suck) was

"Roll the dice, the rest will sort it self out."

Friday, September 23, 2016

Barrowmaze For 5th Edition

I've bought the original Barrowmaze, Barrowmaze II, Barrowmaze Complete and loved every single one.  The concept is original and executed brilliantly. Maps are huge, beautiful and interestingly complex in the non-linear, fun to explore way. The art is great and complements the story, descriptions, encounters and details of the dungeon which is dripping with evocative detail.

I've only be able to run a dozen or so sessions of players through the Barrowmaze.  Mostly because the pool of face-to-face old school gamers is fairly limited. I'm stoked about a version for the hoards of 5ed players that crowd several FLGS couple nights a week in my area. And while I could convert it myself, or on the fly, I'd rather spend that energy in running the thing, consternating and delighting my players. Plus Stan Shin was one of if not the first to post 5ed conversion notes/system (which I've used and approve of). I have confidence Barrowmaze 5th ed conversion will be done well.

The Megadungeon 

The core of Barrow is a vast megadungeon. The content is broken up into sections so you can dive into the adventure without having to read the entire book first. The megadungeon content includes:

Over 600+ dungeon rooms
  • 36 lavishly illustrated player handouts (each referenced in the text of the megadungeon itself) 
  • A dedicated monster section each with individual illustrations 
  • New magic items and spells 
  • Random Encounters 
  • Patron Generator 
  • Random tables for Dungeon Dressing, Graffiti, Runic Tablet Results, Dungeon Restocking, Sarcophagus Contents and more! 
  • Random Crypt Generator to create your own Barrows 
  • Enough old-school content for literally years of gaming!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Role Play Rally, Austin TX July 16-17, 2016


South Austin Two day RPG Convention.  Role Play Rally is 100% Adventurer's League. Which fits into my recent interest in AL. I mostly DM and was really jonesing to play (as a player).  I knew I couldn't commit to a campaign or regular schedule.  Adventurer's League to the rescue. It has downsides, because it's rarely the same group or DM, there less campaign/character/story building.  But you can take and play your character anywhere. Back to Role Play Rally ...

The highlight is the "Reclamation of Phlan" Epic. Multiple groups will be playing the same adventure at the same time.  One table's actions can impact the others. It's neat concept and I'm excited to be participating as a DM.

See you at Role Play Rally!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Rolemaster Post Apocolyptic

Awhile back friend, who had just seen Mad Max (a great disappointment btw), was bugging me to run a post apocalyptic campaign every time he saw me.

For the last month I've been semi-obsessed with the excellent rougelike Neo Scavenger which you should check out here

Which got me wanting to run a pocolypse game. Now in the past that meant Gamma World or Metamorphosis Alpha. With crazy mutants and towards the silly fun side of dystopias. But, Neo Scavenger and what my friend was imagining was "realistic" and gritty. And what's the grittiest of gritty games? None other than...

Aw yeah! I have four versions (plus two more sci-fi versions and various genre supplements) of Rolemaster. But haven't actually played it in 24? years...  Had to use RMSS/RMFRP cause I have most books for that (including 3 copies of core), RMSS Blackops gave modern professions and RMSS Arms Law, Firearms along with Privateers:Blaster Law provided the needed Bam Bam and Pew Pew to go with the hack and slash.

Keeping in line with Neo Scavenger and stealing from the Morrow Project characters
are part of The Project. A quasi-military, non-governmental organization created by a trillionaire to rebuild society after it collapses. They are members of a seven person recon team. Which in turn is part of a larger recon unit. The whole unit with equipment and supplies was put into "stasis" to be woken a few weeks/months after "the collapse". Along with other Project units all over the country / world.

The first session is team coming out of stasis and discovering things did not quite go to plan. Everyone has a varying amount of "movie" style amnesia. So, they may create as much or as little background / depth / history as they want. And may add/change that history during the game via "I just got some memories back." Amnesia also allows players unfamiliar with system hold off on some of character development until after they've played and learned how things work. It's really a great meta-game device I'm gonna reuse it.

Last Friday was first session and, cause Rolemaster, the entire session was spent creating characters. I like parts of RMSS but it's just too much. I would definitely use Rolemaster Classic or HARP in future.

First phase of campaign will be players just trying to survive. Get water, food, shelter. Then they will move onto scavenging and trying to get some actual gear and weapons while avoid being scavenged themselves. By this time, they are, hopefully pissed off and wanting revenge against the "Raiders". Motivating them to build/steal a vehicle and we move on to the Mad Max Punk Rock Road Battles portion of the campaign After that, well don't want to reveal too much.

The campaign map. Click to embiggen. I'm disinclined to discuss it much cause I'm sure my sneaky players are reading this post. I'm sure it helps that I understand what the map represents. But, creating and then looking at this has got me really excited to play. There's just so much potential action and fun represented.

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