Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Blood & Bone Draft Supplement

Here's the promised Blood & Bone Houserule PDF. Needs play testing, proofreading, formatting, some pics, etc.  Lacking equipment other than weapons. Feedback very welcome. Probably start campaign using it in a month or two.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

OwlCon 33 Old Skool Revolution

Only a couple more weeks and I'll be heading to Houston. Specifically to Rice University for OwlCon from Fri to Sun, Feb 21-23.  OwlCon is one of Texas' great game conventions and my third time attending  (OwlCon29 / game recap, and again for OwlCon30). Owlcon 33's theme is "Old School" which was enough to bring me back once more.

I signed up to run a couple games...

Caves of Chaos Sat 8:00pm

A reprise of my Labyrinth Lord debut at OwlCon 30.
Kill'm and take their stuff like they did in 1980, old school style. Can you survive the classic module "B2 Keep on the Borderland"? Quick, simple, fun, familiar rules. Gets us to the action, and of course loot faster. Join us and roll some dice! New and experienced players welcome. Latecomers welcome.

The Mutant Future! Sun 10:00

Centuries ago, the Ancient World ended in a swirling storm of nuclear fire, toxic bio-weaponry, and global upheaval. But life survived, albeit changed and warped. Mutants and humans live side-by-side in the ruins of Ancient civilizations. Twisted creatures roam the radioactive wastes, and poisonous storms scorch the lands. This is the Mutant Future! Old school Gamma World Retro-clone. Fast, fun, easy rules. New and experienced players welcome.

Other interesting (i.e. old school rules) rpgs at OwlCon

A Parliament of Owls (Andrew Solberg) Labyrinth Lord

Assassination at Grenton (Robert Chadwick) Cyclopedia D&D

The Breeking Pits of D'Nall Kalthurion (Doyle Tavener) DCC

Death on Signal Island (David Dnonhoo), The Haunted Halls of Eveningstar (Roy Williams), Old School AD&D (Steven Bryant) AD&D

The Dread Crypt of Skogenby (Roland Cooke) Torchbearer

Where's Harlod the Hedge Mage? (Mark Chance) Swords & Wizardry

Along with many miniature, board games and other events.

pre-reg ends Feb 14

See you there!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Glove and Boots do Monomyth

The Monomyth or Hero's Journey is bullshit. It's so vague and malleable. Of course you can interpret it to apply to most stories. This is how fortune tellers and psychics cons work as well.

Despite that, this was still damn funny.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Fight On! #14 Arrived

Booyah! The OSR magazine returns. This issue is dedicated to Rob Kuntz.

With 86 pages of goodness including the Dark Troll Citadel level of the Darkness Beneath mega-dungeon, cool art, pipe weed, Mutant Future, mini-game, tables, hooks, items, monsters, encounters, and adventures.

Authors and artists include Lee Barber, Patrick Farley, Jeff Rients, Gabor Lux, Peitsa Veteli, Kevin Mayle, Douglas Cox, Chris Kutalik, Jennifer Weigel, Kelvin Green, Tom Gordon, Michael Curtis, Sniderman, Calithena, Richard Rittenhouse, Hudson Bell, Michael Mornard, Baz Blatt, Jonathan Linneman, Simon Forster, and many more!

Get your copy of Fight On! #14 from Lulu, now!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How Barrowmaze is Awesome

Barrowmaze Complete Indiegogo Project deserves your support. I have run Barrowmaze I and II (the basis of Barrowmaze Complete) in my home campaign. It was some of the most DM fun I've had. Here are some of the reasons Barrowmaze is great fun, great inspiration and a great purchase.

WARNING: Although, I tried to be vague there are still slight spoilers below. Nothing more than hitting locals up for a rumor or two would provide.

Barrowmaze Complete includes custom minis!

Unique Creatures

I guess pretty much every module / product has it's own selection of unique monsters. I really liked several. The Barrow Harpies, The Flagstone, Gemstone and esp Runic Golem (who leave behind runic tablets which may bestow boon or bane on those brave enough to read them), and the special servants / creations of the two human factions of Orcus and Set. All well suited for and reinforcing the flavor of Barrowmaze.

Great Stories

Some of Barrowmaze's numerous tombs are unmarked and semi-generic. But, most have a backstory and many are whole interelated tomb complexes. From the simple, mummy stuck guarding treasure he doesn't really care about, or husband and wife being buried together. To the primeval hunter / hero where PC's are pitted against his famous "hunts" or the epic elemental tomb complex or chosen special resting place.

Some "stories" are fleshed out. Others are just hinted at. Allowing a creative DM to work his ideas into Barrowmaze. Also simplifying or even inspiring links to the greater campaign world. This is the type of flavor that immerses players and makes the dungeon seem like an ancient, living, "real" place.

Get Rich or Die Tryin!
Little Rule Systems

Barrowmaze has several of what I call little rule systems. A few paragraphs, probably a table, that detail some aspect of exploring the dungeon. From excavating barrow mounds and bashing up bricked up walls. To converting canopitic jars into healing salves or searching for grave goods. And the several page "create a barrowmound" appendix.

All add flavor and provide guidance to a DM on how to run Barrowmaze. Individually, they are fun chrome. Taken together they develop the atmosphere of the mounds through play. (rather than the pages and pages of exposition by "your guide" that got common with modern, i.e. 2ed and on, products. I bought an adventure not a freaking novella!)  Gotta dig up the entrance? Mounds are old! Knock down wall? Mounds are large, with separate areas and did whoever lay these bricks want to keep something out or something in? These little touches have inspired me to create similar systems for other dungeons and my campaign locations such as the "Big City".

Dynamic Factions

The differences between potentially boring hack & slash dungeon crawl and a proper mega-dungeon are two. 1) history and depth, covered above. 2) Factions. And not just orcs here and things that fight orcs over there. Factions with needs, goals, allies, enemies, story hooks, and most important; potential for player and referee exploitation. Based on the shenanigans that during actual play I can attest that Barrowmaze's factions are done right.

They are fleshed out just enough to be dynamic and inspirations. Not weighed down with complicated, easy to forget during play, structure or histories. Or worse, written up with a pre-determined plot that your players will never follow. To be sure Barrowmaze factions are meant to be taken and wielded by the DM. The fit this purpose well.

Compelling End Bosses

The "sub-bosses", leaders of factions, from what I remember have unique personalities. Although, I can't say much without spoilers about the big bad(s)? And my players haven't gotten there yet. They are a unique. Seem that they would be challenging for the players as well as for the DM (in a good way). 

Bring More Clerics!

In the end,

what makes Barrowmaze a great product is that it oozes with flavor and fun. Reading it you want to run it. You might think, "Oh, just another undead infested dungeon crawl". Until I psychically slap you upside the head, "You mean the best undead themed mega-dungeon of awesome". Really. 

I retconned a place to put Barrowmaze into my campaign and shamelessly encouraged players to go explore it. Because after reading through it I was that excited. It seems old, done concept; "undead and dungeons", oh my! But, somehow everything in it fresh and exciting.

Go get your copy now

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