Sunday, October 4, 2020

Thundarr The Barbarian Anniversary

I love, love this cartoon. I wish there was more. It was my first introduction to "weird science", fantasy and sci-fi. Many of my D&D campaign worlds have been strongly inspired by the opening narration. It has stuck with me. 

"The year, 1994. From out of space, comes a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the moon, unleashing cosmic destruction. Man's civilization is cast in ruin. Two thousand years later, Earth is reborn. A strange new world rises from the old. A world of savagery, super-science, and sorcery. But one man bursts his bonds to fight for justice. With his companions, Ookla the Mok and Princess Ariel, he pits his strength, his courage, and his fabulous Sunsword, against the forces of evil. He is ..."

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

3D Virtual Ramesses VI Tomb / Tomb of Horrors

This Tomb of Ramesses is amazing in it's own right. So much surviving hieroglyphics and decoration. It gave me waves of nostalgia and anxiety from going down the Tomb of Horrors great hallway.

Poor mummy, murder hobos broke into his tomb and hacked up his sarcaphogus, and looted his grave goods. Looks like he made them fight for it; "showed severe damage to his body, the head and torso being broken into several pieces by an axe used by the tomb robbers", cool.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Adventure Lookup

2456 ADVENTURES indexed and searchable by rules system, environments, notable items, publisher, setting, monsters, level and page length.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Central Texas Game Cons 2020


Houston, TX. You missed it. Feb 28 - March 1st

Great small RPG con on Rice University campus.  It was great. Go next year!


Abilene, TX. April 23-25th

At the Abilene public library!  Never been, little far for me to drive. But looks awesome Check out this LibCon 2020 video.


Round Rock, TX. May 1-3rd

Been couple times. A broader game con still with plenty of RPG.  A friend and I are both running "con dungeons" all weekend long. Similar to Mythrus Tower at NTRPG.  A single persistent dungeon across all sessions (and other cons).

North Texas RPG Con

Dallas TX. June 4-7th

The Old-School RPG convention. Been several times, but not this year.

Lone Star Game Expo

Grapevine, TX. October 9-11th

Never been. Looks like good RPG convention. Hope to go this year.

Aggie Con

College Station, TX. late 2020

Oldest, largest student-run fan convention in the world. Missed 50th one, going this year to number 51.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The Infernax of Spells, Necromancy and Black Magic

Man! Wish I had a copy of this. But like the Centurion says "it's extremely rare".

This is video review done by Centurion's Review Youtube Channel. Who often reviews old wargames esp micro games. But occasionally has an RPG item like this.

Approved by Dave Arneson

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Owl Con 2020 Recap

Got back to Owl Con this year.  A great con at Rice Univ in Houston Texas. I ran a B/X session of Caves of Chaos. I had a blast, the full table of eight players had a blast. My friend ran Tegal Manor using OD&D and my other friend (I do have more than two) had an exhibitor booth hawking Scribes of Sparn wares. Mostly Planet Eris Gazetteer, map and modules. Being the shared campaign world several Austin OSR games run in.

He also did a much better job at taking photos and blogging about con than I ever will. So, I'll just direct you to his coverage on The Contemptible Cube of Quazar starting with this post OwlCon Live Blog Day One.  Half dozen or more posts after than one.  Be sure to look for "Professor" Norm and the serendipitous behind the screen photo of the DM's map!

Sadly I got sick and went home late Sat night. Looking fwd to Chupacabracon in May.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Old-School Essentials Online Tools and SRD

My 2nd favorite incarnation, OSE, of my favorite D&D rule set, B/X.  [My 1st favorite is Necrotic Gnome's previous, B/X Essentials, cause it was soft backed, handier and cheaper.]  Have released the Old-School Essentials SRD (System Reference Document)  And a slew of cross-linked  Treasure, Encounter, Spell, Magic Item, Retainer OSE generators.

The /r/osr announcement.

Generators include:
These generators are cross-linked with the Old-School Essentials SRD.  Optimised for desktop, mobile, and tablet. Formated for Cut and Paste.

My initial review, Necrotic Gnome have rolled a nat 20!

Monday, February 10, 2020

VR Digital Table Top

Been lot of OSR / Nostalgia posts here recently. Just to show I'm also hip to new fangled things too.

Virtual Reality isn't as smooth and effortless as other digital tools / aides.  But my neither was my IBM 286 clone nor was my high school's Apple ][ I used to program a robot arm.

Friday, February 7, 2020

[Guest Post by my friend and game buddy, Steven Clark]

I've spent the past two weeks exploring an old PLATO mainframe that is publicly run, called "cyber1". Not sure if any of you are familiar with these, but these system were created in 1960, and widespread through Universities throughout the 70's. They finally went away sometime in the late 80's.

Why you might be interested in getting a log-in and trying out this system is that some of the earliest D&D games were written for them starting in 1974, up until about 1984. The graphical simplicity hides some pretty complex and deep simulations going on as well; and the way these games approach their subjects is novel in many of the same ways as OD&D is novel compared modern RPG's; the most successful elements have been rehashed and reimagined to death in modern games, but there is some true creativity in this old stuff.

I made a video on PLATO Terminal to pique interest.

The mainframe functions much as a BBS would; the "notes" lesson (program) is used as a bulletin board. It can be access through the internet via a PLATO terminal emulator.

Steven Clark

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Gallery of Dungeon Magazine Covers

After posting the Gallery of Dragon Magazine Covers and then a Gallery of White Dwarf Magazine Covers I thought I was done!  But gentle reader Ancalagon_TB inquired about same for Dungeon Magazine. And being the slave of vanity that I am, I could not deny such a request.

This right here, opening a door and seeing this is why I D&D.

I'm missing several covers. Annoyingly issues #1 and #100.  I could maybe fix.  But I don't have the nostalgia for Dungeon like I do for Dragon. And pretty quickly the covers devolve into being splattered with "huge shocking text" and other attention whoring graphic design.  Making it look like those trash celeb rags in the checkout line. Which saps my motivation. But here's most of Dungeon Magazine Covers Issues #2 to #150.

I remember this circus, bunch of assassins or something.

And here is an index, not created by me, to the Adventures in Dungeon Magazine.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

How to Get Started with Old-School D&D

[Links and information to support Austin, TX Birth of D&D Celebration.]

Updated OSR Resource Page

Email me, if you are looking to get into a local game. Or, if you want to run a game and are looking for players. There is a relatively large community of players in central Texas.

How to get started playing old-school for free has already detailed this better than I can. I will reiterate two links that attempt to explain what old-school style of play means.

A Quick Primer for Old School Gaming by Matt Finch - The first of the popular guides to old-school D&D, by someone who has been instrumental in the popularization of the hobby in recent years.

The Principia Apocrypha by Ben Milton, Steven Lumpkin, and David Perry (with Evlyn Moreau) - The most recent guide to the principles of old-school gaming, lovingly illustrated and filled with elements of wisdom collected in the years since Matt Finch wrote his.


Old School Essentials Basic Rules Free PDF. I recommend these for people who do not know where to start. They are reformatted B/X.

Original Rules PDF I do not recommend for typical play. Only for historical interest or for those wishing to recreate the first ever D&D experience.


Look to the right -> "Explore!" lists most recent post from scores of blogs I've Favorited. Most are OSR related.

This blog's OSR labeled Posts.


Questing Beast - Reviews of new products, learn about all the great things you didn't know exist.

Bud's RPG Reviews - Reviews of (mostly) original out-of-print games and products.

and so many more.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy PDF Sale Today

Not affiliated, etc. Just selfishly want the world to play the version of D&D I like so I have more people to play with :)

There is also free Basic OSE Rules if you want to check out before you put cash out.

B/X Essentials (the previous to Old-school Essentials) is by far my favorite B/X rule set. I wish the softbound printed booklets were still available.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Celebrate the Birth of D&D, January 26th

Celebrate the Birth of D&D

On January 26th 1974 (or thereabouts) the first rule books for D&D were published for sale. Come celebrate and rediscover the original edition of the game with experienced referees from the local area.

Several referees will be available to run games, using the original rules, house ruled or not, OD&D, AD&D, B/X, BECMI, or their retro equivalent.

No materials are needed. Pencils, paper and dice are optional. Characters will be rolled at the table or provided.

Currently scheduled referees:
  • Steven Clark (and the event organizer)
  • Jimm Johnson
  • Tres Churchill
  • Lawson Benett
  • Norman Harman (me)
  • Kevin Searle
  • Nathan Jennings
  • Anthony Huso

More information and to register interest (as a player or referee) visit the Austin D&D and Tabletop Meetup page.

[While googling for the above LBB image I found this blog, Why OD&D is my (sometimes) favorite RPG. Which, hey, I wrote! Rereading it, other than cringing at my writing style/voice, I get the same craving for hunk of open fire roasted meat. Although now, B/X is my system of choice to satiate that hunger. It sharpened my understanding of what I enjoy in this style of game. Quoting from the designer notes of my Wilderlands Campaign Book;
I really enjoy how B/X leans more towards “a game” than towards “story time” or towards “tactical battle simulator”. Players move their game piece around a “board”. Rather than being their game piece. A subtle distinction. Backgrounds, goals, character growth are emergent rather than preconceived and related. B/X is play over narration.
B/X is built to be a game of exploration and acquisition of mechanical power (levels, items, gold). Which is what I often want. When I don't I use some other rules. They all have a place.]

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Gallery of White Dwarf Magazine Covers

Unlike Dragon Magazine I was never aware of White Dwarf magazine, nor Games Workshop. Which is too bad as being exposed to early Warhammer RPG would have greatly shortened my journey to grim and perilous, gritty, grim dark RPGs. I had an WH40K dwarf army I never painted. My wallet thanks me for not liking miniature wargames.

Those first six covers, those are rad! I know they couldn't stick with them. Old, dated looking monochrome comes off as cheap, fanzine. And I'm sure very few contemporaries dug them. Such is the nature of nostalgia.

Gallery of White Dwarf Magazine Covers Issues 1-90.


And if you missed it, Gallery of Dragon Magazine Covers #1 to #250

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