Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review (mini): Blood & Treasure is in the Manor

Look at those two beautiful books side-by-side.  I got the Treasure Keepers Tome today and I've been reading through the Players Tome for the past few weeks.  For the more frugal you can get the Complete Game for a hell of a good price. 

Blood & Treasure is brought to you by none other than John Stater.  Famous for his Land of Nod magazine, developing lairs for the S&W Complete Tome of Horrors and the Hex Crawl Chronicles for Frog God Games.  What?  Not enough?  Okay, he also wrote Tales of the Space Princess RPG.  On top of all this he writes his blog Land of Nod.  

For a long time he was identified as Matt.  Confused me to no end for a while.  Is it Matt?  Is it John?  It's both.  Matt is his middle name.  I digress.  Back to B&T.

Blood & Treasure is a new retro clone that has elements of original, and what he calls the advanced period and expanded period.  To me is has an AD&D feel with elements sprinkled in from UA.  Which I dig.  While I cannot go into too much details because  I have much to read, I really like what I see.  I plan on developing a few adventures using John's new game. 

If you've read any of John's many things then you know he is very good at what he does.  I've only got good things to say about his stuff.  I bought it and very glad I did. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Random Reports from The Manor

I've been getting some invitations from Google+ to join some games or go to conventions. I've never had so much access to so many different games. It's very cool with all the things people are doing and/or planning. And I think with fall coming, more games will be offered. *A side note: don't let the cord from your webcam hang down where your pup can chew it.*

 I join yet another Kickstarter. In the previous post I mentioned I got into the Swords & Wizardry reboot whatever you want to call it KS. I think I am more in it for The Monster Book more than anything. I remains one of my favorite monster manuals.

I recently purchased both Blood & Treasure Tomes from Matt Stater.  I've been reading through the Players Tome lately and waiting on the Treasure Keeper's Tome to arrive.  If you are interested I've linked them all to the hardback versions, but he also has ebook, PDF and softcover available.  And also offers them in one book, The Complete Game.  Once I get both books together I plan on developing an adventure or two for the system and throw them into an issue of The Manor...speaking of which

The Manor
While the next issue is coming around slow, fricking work has been a mind killer lately, I am planning on sort of having a double issue.  While it won't be double thick, I'll have two issue coming out at the same time that are connected.  I've got the outline kinda figured out and now I'm filling in the details.  I'm hoping with the long weekend I can make a dent into it and have some progress to report. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Okay, I'm In Again

I'm a White Dragon Slayer. So I'll get the books and the dice and the DM screen and the...a lot of stuff. Really looking forward to seeing what they do with the Monster Book. It's one on my favorite monster manuals.

While there are rumors and rumblings that the OSR failed its saving throw vs. complacency there are a lot of Kickstaters and Indiegogos and conventions that would disagree. We're just tired that's all. After a little nap we'll be back causing trouble.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Hardcore Map Porn

You know its hardcore when you do it by hand...

Here's a sample of the goods cued for the next issue of The Manor.  I've got some ideas I've been tweaking on paper and hoping to get them organized so I can get out the next couple of issue soon.  I'll write about it more once I get things more completed and some of the artwork completed.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Clubb'n Lunitics : Boris Finds a Hobby

Storm outside.  Rich people inside.  Homicidal maniac somewhere.  Boris in the hallway on chair waiting for screaming to begin.  Rich lady say she want to go to library.  Can't sleep.  Boris go with despite rich lady protest.  Once Boris explain homicidal maniac on loose, rich lady more agreeable.

Lawyer man comes into library and asks to speak with rich lady.  Lawyer man paying bills so Boris step outside, but knows only bad things happen when Boris not around.  Rich lady scream.  Boris rush in, find rich lady looking at bookshelf, "He was just right there."  Boris look, but can't find shit.  Don and Erskin in house somewhere.  Boris put two bullets into a book too big for its own good.

Don find latch.  Weird secret passage.  Erskin finds body of lawyer man.  Boris should never leave room, only bad happens.  Weird wiggly tunnel is closed at other end.  Boris goes in.  Lawyer man was strangled.  Has open envelope in his pocket.  Hmm.  Push on other end of tunnel and opens to master bedroom where rich lady stay.  Take lawyer man downstairs.  Other rich people see Boris.  They want to call police.  Ha.  Like police do anything.  One man think Boris kill lawyer man.  No holes in him.  Boris innocent.

Now everyone in the library.  Boris babysit all the rich folk in one room while Don and Erskin search mansion.  Rich people don't like Boris.  Boris is indifferent.  When a shotgun blast tears open chest they bleed just as much as whiskey breathed bum in alley.  Boris like shotgun.  Indifferent.  Result same.

After sometime Don and Erskin return.  Boris might have napped because the constant whine from rich people make sleepy.  They think they know who bad guy is.  Boris suggest play good man, club you in the head man.  Don play good, Boris play club.

Don tries to talk to man, but does no good.  He too smooth.  Liquid words roll off tongue and fall on floor.  Boris turn.  Considers crowbar.  Instead tell the man he too good for such thing.  Punch him the stomach.  He take punch okay.  Boris little happy he no cry.  Help man up by hair.  Ask him other question.  Don't like answer.  Hmm, bang his head of counter to see if words just stuck in head. 

Don come in with hands on head.  "What did you do?"  I say I play club man.  Clubbed him.  You bad at this if you no know how to play.  Noise from upstairs or in basement.  No of us there.  Lunatic is on loose.

Rejoin everyone in library.  Boris feel something bad happen.  After some slippery talk from Don and Erskin, we find man possessed.  Then maniac appears in the door.  Boris been waiting for him.  Introduce him to Ivanka.  Only shred his side.  Take crowbar and go after.  Little maniac man very tough.  Attack Boris despite Ivanka's hello.  Respect much for this crazy little man.  Boris step aside attack, club him in the other side then pin him to the floor with boot.

Erskin and Don have possessed man pinned to ground.  Take him downstairs to basement.  Some scary room with magic equipment.  Boris know this bad.  Very bad.  Erskin and Don find wiggly passage and connect with spirit world.  Convince spirits to take the spirit possessing man to where it belongs.  Ugly spirit.  Like a hundred legged spider.  Boris would have liked to have shot it.  Never shot big spider before.  Man okay.

Layer man only dead, but Boris still get paid.  Team Victory have won.  Boris have idea.  Take lunatic man and call paper.  Get publicity, like Heyward, for Team Victory.  Tell people we good team to hire.  Get job done.  Boris may even smile for camera.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weird Adventures Contest!

Trey Causey, the man behind Weird Adventures is running a contest.  Here is what he's looking for.

Title: this should ideally be something pulpy and possibly hyperbolic.  The titles of the adventure seed boxed pieces in the book are good examples--and check out this old post on “weird menace” titles.
Tagline: a one sentence teaser like found on the contents page of some old pulp mags.
Set-up: a brief rundown of how the setting and situation of the adventure.
Highlights: a montage of the interesting/critical things in the adventure--important encounters, possible set-pieces, some evocative sensory fluff.

Ok, here’s a quick example:

“Burial On the Far Side of Hell”
An ancient plea brings the promise of riches and unimagined danger.
The Set-up: In a oddities museum, the PCs happen upon a Native mummy who puts out a psychic plea: “return me to my ancestral grounds for burial, and I'll show you the hidden riches of my people."  What the mummy does not know--and neither does anyone else--is that the road back now cuts through a dangerous stretch of badlands swallowed by a black dust elemental and crawling with black dust zombies.
Highlights: the fury of a malevolent storm; shambling,moaning zombies, all but invisible in the swirling, choking dust; an isolated town with desperate survivors are wholed up; a mad preacher fallen to worship of the demonic storm.

I love that example. I know I'm peculating a couple of ideas. I think its a great idea and a lot of fun. 
All entries should be submitted by Monday September 17 at noon Eastern Time.  Email them to Trey at theinscrutabledr3 on gmail.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sleestak Punk Sunday

by Daniel R. Dangerdan Jr.

Sleestak just found the pleasure of leather and spikes.  Dog collars and tongue piercings.  Earrings and cut off t-shirts.  Evolution baby. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Question

It's only fitting with The Con raging as I write this that is dictates the question.  When you go to cons what do you do you mostly go for?

To buy a bunch of stuff?
To play in some games?
To meet other gamers?  (getting stinky drunk is optional)
To meet girls dressed up in interesting costumes?  (looking at Trey)
Or to dive into Chessex's giant dice bin?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gaming Bucket List

With GenCon coming up this week, actually kicking off tomorrow, I got to thinking of my gaming bucket list.  It seems a bit daft to have a bucket list for gaming since we are talking about death and there are many more important things to list, but we are gamers after all. 

Go to more conventions.  At least one a year.  Especially GenCon.  Never been there yet.  Last year I got to check off Origins.  Some of the other smaller cons I'd like to go to are the recently concluded OSRCon and North Texas RPG Con.

A game I've always wanted to play has been The Great Pendragon Campaign.  I've had the books for decades, I think I own three of the editions and I really would like to see how the game plays.  I thought about running the game myself, but I've found very little interest.

Get a hardback book in distribution.  I'm hoping to check this one off my list this year.  I've been dabbling with smaller products and enjoy doing them, but would like to get something a bit more substantial out there. 

This one goes along with the one above.  I'd like to co-write/publish something with my Rob and Dwayne.  The two guys I've been gaming with since before microwaves and VCRs.  I wouldn't care what it was, I'd just like to get together with these guys and write something.

Most of the things I've wanted to do in gaming I've done.  But, there are a few more things I want to complete.  One of the ones I've recently got to check off my list is playing with a bigger group of gamers.  Usually our games consist of a two, maybe three players and a GM.  Right now we have six players and the GM.  The mix of characters has been a blast.  So that one is checked off the list.

Now off to work so I can get back home and work on my own gaming stuff.  I have a third manor giving me the stink eye and a starter adventures looking like a lost child. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Knights of the Black Banner Gets a Banana Split

Brendan over at Knights of the Black Banner has done review for the second issue of The Manor.  I'd tell you he said, but then that would spoil all the fun.  So far Brendan has reviewed my vast catalog of three things.  Thanks Brendan.  For that he gets a breakfast banana split!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sleestak Sunday

Sometimes is just good to take the day off and hang with friends.  The boys are excited football season has started.  Sulley and Mike get a kick out of Sammy pretending to be Mark Sanchez as he hears the news Tebow is coming to town. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My Mailbox Was Well Fed This Week

I recieved the 3rd issue of Crawl!, The Magic Issue.  Then came the 2nd issue of Wizard, Mutants, Lazer Pistols.  And lastly and a surprise was Christian's A Letter from LA #1.  Now if getting these were not cool enough they stepped up their game by decorating the envelopes. 

I got tentacles on my envelope.  Love it!

And Christian added a Spider-Man comic on the back of his.  Even Ivy got excited when she saw it. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Question

A Abraham Neddermann Die
Rifting off of Sean Robson's blog, Is the OSR Running Out of Steam?  And a comment Richard left about being more selective of which posts you read.  The question is, what three subject on OSR blogs are done to death?  When you see them you just groan and think not another one.  And I'm sure more than a few of you smart guys are going to say posts that ask a question.  :P

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back in Action

The Wednesday night Weird Tales group is back in action.  There is a slight line up change.  Kreskin took off with a woman.  But Team Victory does not stand still.  It evolves and adapts.  Enter the mentalist Erskine.  To Boris's dismay the replacement wore nice clothes and no gun...

Heyward sent Team Victory on another job after he tried to undercut our pay.  Our job, to attend the reading of the will for Cyrus Westerly.  Cyrus was planted ten years ago.  Something fishy about it.  Rich folk, who understands them?

We doive over to the mansion by the sea and spoke to the lawyerman.  While he speaks I'm paying attention to the servant lady.  She mentions something about spirits in the house.  I don't like spirits.  Five folks will arrive to listen to the reading of the will.  I'm here to make sure no one gets all fussy.  Flashlight is already duct taped to the barrel of Ivanka so I'm ready.

Our preliminary inspection of the room, the will is kept in a safe, Don found signs of someone who replaced a false frame around the safe.  He took it down and we found a crawl space.  Old mansions have crawlspaces.  Nothing new, but I still wanted to look.

The I-hope-to-be-rich folks come in.  All very fragile.  The men were more like women and the women were wisps.  Humanity is very disappointing.  Servent lady mentioned spirits again. 

I don't like spirits.  You can't shoot them.  Ask servent lady what's good against spirits.  Rock salt.  I go to the kitchen.  No rock salt so load up with two pockets of table salt.  I'll make it up as I go.  While all this is happening I formulate in my mind what is about to happen.  The old man was a bad magic person, there are spirits all over the mansion, its ten years later, reading the will at the time and place of the old man's death.  The will is a spell and the spirits are going to possess us! 

They read the will.  I stand as far away as possible with my hand in my pocket ready to throw salt.  Hmm, no spirits.  Sorta boring actually.  No one screams.  No one fights.  But, then we get the news there is a homocidial maniac on the loose.  This is more my style. 

We search the basement.  The room full of toys creeped me out.  Spirits like to play with toys.  Rock in chairs.  And slam doors.  No homocidal maniac. Damn, can't catch a break.

People going to bed.  Storming outside.  No rest for Team Victory.  I grab a chair and put it outside the frail woman's bedroom that got rich tonight and wait for the screaming to begin.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review: The Veiled Invocation

I've been meaning to do a review of The Veiled Invocation since Dylan Hartwell came out with a while ago.  I picked it up in PDF and print format.  This review will be a bit bias because I had the privilege to have Boris included and take a look at the manuscript for you all did.  If you want to get a very cool in-depth look inside Dylan has a great video on his blog, Digital Orc, that goes through the adventure.

This is a adventure frame/setting.  It is an adventure arc that a GM can use to take his players from 1st level to sixth.  I see a lot of room to add your own flare to the adventures and have a adventure arc to tie adventures together gives the players direction and a place where GMs can build.

The gist of the adventure arc is to find the lost pages to a spellbook.  Once the pages are found they can be read and a powerful spell can be used.  The pages are spread about challenging the players to search forclues, beat up some bad guys and solve the mysteries.  Like any good book...hmm had to delete that part.  I don't want to give anything away.

Dylan is a one man show with The Veiled Invocation.  As he was with his previous two adventures.  He wrote it.  He arted it. He laid it out. 

Overall I like Veiled Invocation because I can see myself developing small adventures around his main adventure.  It is perfect for a short term campaign.  I think the purpose of the quest can fuel several game sessions and all the GM has to determine is how fast he would like to see the party advance.

So my advice is check out Dylan Hartwell's Veiled Invocation.  Get it print.  Or PDF.  But go for  the print version.  It's a great addition to the OSR library.

One suggestion to Mr. Hartwell.  When you get enough of your adventures done get it out on Lulu and RPGNow for a soft and hard cover print run.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Question

I still owe Dylan a review, but more work has shortened up my time so I can only ask a question.

There are a lot of stuff coming out of the OSR these days, but even with all this activity what type(s) of products would you like to see more of?  What area do you see lacking?

I'm so very glad its Friday.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Manor Sells its 200th Issue

The Manor has sold 200 issues.  Thanks to everyone who helped and especially those who took a chance and bought a copy.

Review: DELVE!

Johnathan Bingham comes out swinging with his premiere issue of DELVE!  It weights in at 42 pages plus a cover so it can beat up any other zine out there.  It double the size of its closest competitor.  Let me state the obvious.  The art is fricking awesome.  I've always been one of Johnathan biggest fans, but I think this is his best work yet.  I love the cover, a sorta collage of what you'll find inside.  I would love to see a version of this picture colorized by Daisy.

DELVE! is an intense adventure that takes the players into a cross genre situation with your typical critters like undead, mages and big bugs, but there is a technological slant that really makes it different from the usual adventure.  While Johnathan is not known for his writing he will be after this.  This adventure well set up, laid out and written.  This adventure can probably be finished with one session, two on the outside.  But its packed.  He has a lot of cool details insert for you to make use of in your own campaign.  Along with the adventure is a substantial amount of new monsters, magic items and spells.

Why am I being vague?  Because I don't want to give anything away.  I want you to buy it.  You can buy it from Johnathan for five bucks (look for the drop down box on the right side) or get it on RPGNow on PDF.  I say go for the print. He'll only have a limited amount and isn't fun to have something some one else doesn't.