Friday, March 30, 2012
Wizards of the Coast will be releasing new versions of the original 1st edition core rule books some time in the future. When I first heard the announcement I was very pleased that 1E AD&D would be available to a whole new audience. I like the cover art that they designed, they are a nice nod to the original covers with an updated look, I think they look sharp. The books are going to cost $34.95 for the Players Handbook and Monster Manual and $44.95 for the Dungeon Masters Guide. I was initially going to pick up a set but at those prices I cannot justify spending close to a hundred dollars on books I already own, especially if they are not going to be updated in any way.
Hopefully with their release a whole new generation of players will be able to enjoy the version of the game that I started with so many years ago. Personally I am going to stick with my favorite new retro clone, Labyrinth Lord. The days of spending my hard earned money at Wizards of the Coast are a thing of the past.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Lulu.com, there are also a number of other suppliments available for it which I will discuss a little bit later on. The first eleven pages start off with some general information on Stonehell which give the GM a bit of back story and get him caught up to the current situation, there are also sections on customizing the dungeon and dungeon rumors, then the a dungeon proper starts. Each area or level is shown as a whole and then divided up and dealt with separately. For instance, there is a Surface Level master map and on the following page is the Surface Level overview which provides basic information regarding the maps and then a Surface Level monster list. The next few pages take that master map and break it into separate sections, now instead of the Surface Level Master Map we have levels 0A-Canyon East and 0B-Canyon West, each a smaller section of the master map reproduced and shown with more detail and additional notes, new monsters and new magic item stats. The levels are divided into four quadrants, so you get one overall map that shows how everything fits together and then four small maps that include all of the details you need to run the dungeon. Quadrent example: Michael Curtis Lulu Store. They include a free Stonehell Dungeon Preview, a free Brigands Cave adventure with new monsters and the $2.99 Buried Secrets supplement, which includes adventures for low level characters. This is honestly one of the best OSR products that is available right now, its packed with information and lots of usable material. Even if you do not intend to run the entire adventure, the individual quadrants can be broken off and used separately in any campaign of your own design. If you do not own this product go out and get it now!
Monday, March 26, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Our Favorite Artists is going to be a recurring interview with some of the best and brightest RPG artists out there. To start things off we are speaking to artist Stefan Poag, you may have seen some of his recent work in the fantastic Labyrinth Lord mega-dungeon, Barrowmaze. Stefan has also done work for a number of other projects including books and magazines published by Kenzer & Company, Goodman Games and Expeditious Retreat Press. His artwork has a great retro style that brings me back to my younger years. I'm glad he was able to take some time to speak with us! Without further ado, here is the man himself!
- First of all, thanks for taking some time out of your day to speak with me, please introduce yourself and give us a brief bio:
Saturday, March 24, 2012
As a role player I have dabbled in many systems and games over the years. There was always a few games that stood out for me, ones that I usually stuck with for extended periods of time due to theme or system. I'm going to spend some time over the next few weeks taking a look back at the games that ignited my imagination in one way or another.
First up is Cyberpunk 2020. This game was by R. Talsorian Games and was first released as a box set in 1988, the name at the time was Cyberpunk 2013, but was changed to Cyberpunk 2020 in its second release in 1990. The world has gone to hell and mega-corporations have taken over for much of the U.S. Government. These corps have no oversight and do pretty much whatever they please. Characters play mercs called Edgerunners, people living on the edge of society looking to score the next big deal. Cybernetics, gear, netrunning, artificial intelligence and cloning are all part of the landscape.
I think what I found so appealing about the game was its darkness. Drugs and addiction were were a regular part of our game play, after coming from D&D and always playing the heroes it was fun to play someone with questionable morals. The combat system was brutal and very lethal, If you pulled a gun you had better shoot first and straight or you were on a one way trip to the county morgue. If I remember correctly the system included rules for blowing off body parts, gruesome stuff. I believe the combat system went by the name Friday Night Firefight.
Despite being based heavily on William Gibsons Neuromancer, we never really spent much time netrunning, the system felt tacked on to me, we were much more focused on playing shady scumbags living in the shadows. One of my favorite parts of the game was the cybernetics; want to swap out your arm for a stronger one, sure! Want to scoop out your eyes and get nightvision add to your new cybernetic eyes, you can! There were pages and pages of all kinds of hardware that you could add to your body. The only problem was the more you added the less human you became, eventually succumbing to cyberpsychosis. It helped to balance the gameplay and make sure everyone did not become a hulking machine that could dish out and absorb tons of damage.
If you've never had a chance to play this game, check it out. Its still avalble out there, just stay away from the newest version CP 203X, its a steaming pile of junk.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Barrowmaze They have lots of added content on the site, including hex maps of the Barrow mound, session reports, character sheets and my favorite; Meatshields! The Classic Fantasy Hireling & Hernchmen Generator. All good stuff that is quite useful. Overall I'd give Barrowmaze a solid 9 out of 10, its a great product any Labyrinth Lord will love!
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
So I finally decided to start a gaming blog. The reasons are many but I'll stick to a few. I love gaming, in all its many forms. I've been playing board games, role playing games and computer and console games for many years now. I intend for this blog to be a cornucopia of gaming related stuff, I will cover whatever my current interest is. This is a way for me to reach out and connect with other gamers as well explore different types and styles of gaming. My current obsession is OSR, or Old School Renaissance. I have been playing versions of D&D for many years now, I started with the 1st edition set and played through second and third edition. I never quite made it into fourth edition as I was so tired of purchasing the same core books over and over. I have enjoyed every edition that I have played, but lately something has changed. The rules heavy third edition has started to seem clunky and over complicated. I longed for the earlier days of simple gaming, a stripped down system in which the story is more important than the rules. I discovered that there are many other gamers out there that also pined for the good ole days of gaming and that there are a number of systems that support the old school rules. OSRIC, Swords & Wizardry and Labyrinth Lords are the three I looked into. Ultimately I fell in love with LL. it's such a beautiful and simple system, but the addition of the Advanced Edition Companion really sold me. I love that the AEC is completely optional but adds most of the stuff I loved from 1st edition AD&D. Paladin, check. Rangers, check. More spells and equipment, check and check. Crazy weapon speed factor rules and rules for specific weapons vs different levels of armor class, nope. Its a simple system that includes just enough but not to much. I'll be posting more on this later though! I hope you all enjoy this blog as much as I am going to enjoy writing it. It is probably going to be a bit eclectic, covering old school gaming, board games and the newest video games. Take care and roll high!