Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lazy Sunday

Hey folks, I was planning on doing a review today, but I was to lazy to get any work done on this blog (see sleeping dwarf above).  Instead I spent the day watching Chelsea destroy QPR, going grocery shopping with my wife, working on my final project for my Methods and Materials class and just generally being a lazy bum.  

More stuff coming this week including several reviews and at least one Artist post.  I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kickstarter Updates

I just received an email from Kickstarter requesting shipping and other information for Dwimmermount Mega Dungeon, so if you supported the project check your email inbox!

Also the OGRE Designers Edition recently hit $321,000 with additional funding levels at $325,000 and $350,000.  Its already the highest revenue producing board game project ever on Kickstarter and it seems to keep on rolling.  Head on over and throw a few dollars in the pot, its going to be an amazing product, the entire game weighs fifteen pounds so far.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My other Blog

For those of you that do not know me personally, I am a very enthusiastic Chelsea F.C. fan.  They recently booked their place in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.  If your interested in soccer (or football if you live any place other than the United States) stop on by in my other blog An American Blue and say hi!  

Manchester United fans are not welcome! (kidding)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Favorite Artists - Stephen Fabian

I am a long time fan of today's feature artist, Stephen Fabian.  I was first introduced to his work in the Manual of the Planes, as I'm sure many of you were.  His pieces for the Fire and Earth Planes were personal favorites. He's also created much of the art in the Ravenloft line, with his gothic pieces beautifully illustrating the dark, somber setting.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Finding my muse

Once upon a time, many years ago in a galaxy far far.....OK, let me start again.  A long time ago I used to create art.  I say I USED to create art because I have not done anything artistic since I left college in the late 1990's.  Even during my college years I really was much more interested in friends, drinking, parties and pretty much anything besides my major, which was Graphic Design.  Needless to say my first attempt at college was not super successful.  I am currently back at school part time and am enrolled in an Architecture Drafting program and am enjoying it greatly.

Being back at school in a drafting program has pulled me back into the creative/artistic world that I left behind so many years ago and I have to say that I am completely loving it.  Over the years I have felt the lack of art in my life but have never really done anything about it, I was always busy with work or other projects.  Since starting this blog I have been involved with interviewing some great artists (with more on the way) and I have become inspired to start creating again.  I dabbled in pen and ink, watercolors, acrylic and oil painting when I was younger and am going to start back with pencil and pen and ink.  At the top of this post is a small piece I did back in early high school, my parents dropped it off at my house a few weeks back when they came to visit.

I just wanted to say thanks to all of the great artists that I have interviewed so far for the inspiration.  I'm on the lookout for other RPG artists to interview, so if anyone has suggestions please feel free to contact me via email or just post in the comments section!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sword +1 Tournament

Sword+1 is running another joust starting on 04/30/2012.  There is still time to enter your knight in the Spring Faire of Xemes tournament.  Head on over an sign up, don't miss out on the fun!  

I just entered my knight:

Ahd ar-Rahman ibn Nassr, fighting man of eastern decent.  His shield design:

Clicky HERE for a direct link to the post.

Questions about OGL

I am planning on writing a short adventure called Valley of the Umber Hulks but I have a question about the open gaming license. I believe that Umber Hulks are one of the monsters that do not fall under the OGL as they are considered to be an icon of the D&D system. Does this mean that I am not allowed to use them in an adventure created for another system, let's say Labyrinth Lord? If I only plan to distribute the adventure free of charge does this change anything?

I'm a little confused on how this would work, any help figuring this out would be much appreciated!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Origins of Labyrinth Lord

The Black Gate has a nice interview with Labyrinth Lord creator Daniel Proctor up HERE.  Head on over there to find out how my favorite retro-clone was created and the inspiration behind it!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Barrowmaze II funding is up!!!!

Hey folks, the Barrowmaze II funding project just went up on Indiegogo.  Head on over and check it out and help get this project completed!

Linky is HERE.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Dungeon Alphabet - A Review

The Dungeon Alphabet by Michael Curtis (designer of Stonehell Mega-dungeon) is a fun and informative book that would be worth twice the listed price.  Its forty-eight pages long, comes in hardcover only and is published by Goodman Games ( There is wonderful art though out the entire book, almost every page is illustrated with beautiful black and white images created by the likes of Jeff Easley, Erol Otus, Stefan Poag, Jim Roslof and a number of others.  

Every letter of the alphabet is given a meaning, always relating to dungeons.  A is alters, B is for books, C is for caves, etc.  Flip to the according page and you will find a short paragraph on each subject followed by a table of random versions of that item.  For example, H is for hallways so when you flip to the hallways page there is a list of twenty random hallway descriptions, each different and varied.

What I love about this book is not just that you get all kinds of fun tables and charts to roll on, it really ignites your imagination and gives you so many ideas and suggestions that can make your dungeon unique and varied.  

For $9.99 this book is a steal, I had a very enjoyable time reading through it, I found it both fun and useful.  The book is written so that it's system free, it can easily be plugged into any retro system of your choosing.  Unfortunately it seems to be out of print, the copy I purchased from Amazon was at the list price, but all the copies left seem to be way above that.  If you can find it cheap, pick up a copy, its a great read and great addition to any DM's toolbox.

Kickstart my Heart

Hey again everyone, 

I just wanted to plug two additional Kickstarter projects.  The first is Jeff Dee's Melnibonean art recreation project from Deities and Demigods.  Jeff is redrawing all of the art work that was trashed by TSR back in the day.  There are 64 hours left on the project and it's a few hundred dollars short of it's goal, so if you have a few spare dollars head on over HERE and get involved!

The second project I wanted to plug is the very exciting OGRE Designers Edition!  I'm sure many of you are familiar with OGRE, it was a very simple, very fun pocket board game that came out in the the late 1970's.  Steve Jackson has decided to do a huge new super sized edition and its blowing away the funding goals, over $100,000 in two days!  As much of an OGRE fan as I am, the real reason I want to plug this is that Jackson stated he is going to look at bringing Car Wars back from the dead if this OGRE project goes well.  Car Wars is my favorite board game of all time, it holds a very special place in my heart.  So if you like OGRE and have any love for Car Wars, head on over and pledge your hard earned money HERE.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dwimmermount: Kickstarter Project - 60 hours left!

Hey folks, I just wanted to give a shout out to James Maliszewski's Dwimmermount project.  I'm sure many of you are aware of this upcoming product, but for those of you that are not, James has created a huge mega-dungeon that is currently being funded on Kickstarter.  Head on over and check out the project here:  Dwimmermount: An Old School Fantasy RPG Megadungeon.

There are only sixty hours left on the pledge drive, and the project is a little less than three thousand dollars short of the $40,000 bonus goal, so if you have not put your money in, now is the time to do it!  Also check out  Grognardia one of the best Old School Blogs out there and home of James Maliszewski's old school musings.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Favorite Artists - Jeff Dee

Today I have a very special guest for our favorite artist post.  None other than the great Jeff Dee!  Many of you will know Jeff from his early work with TSR, some of his work includes the Norse and Egyptian gods in the Deities and Demigods handbook as well as the cover of the Isle of Dread (one of my favorites)!  Jeff is a busy many with many ongoing projects but he was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.  Take it away Jeff!

  • First of all, thanks for taking some time out of your day to speak with us here at The Drunk Umber Hulk, please introduce yourself and give us a brief bio: 

I'm Jeff Dee; I was an artist at TSR Hobbies in the early AD&D days. Since then, I've done art for several different game publishers, a little comic book work, and artwork on a number of computer games - most notably Richard Garriot's Ultima series from Origin Systems. I'm also a game designer; I co-created the Villains and Vigilantes tabletop superhero RPG with Jack Herman in 1979, and I've published several other games through my own small company 'UNIgames' ( since then. I've also done computer game design work; I was the lead designer of The Sims Castaway Stories in 2009.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

New banner!

Hey folks, sorry for the lack of updates, my parents are visting from out of state and my wife and I are playing host/hostess. I hope everyone is doing well, I will be posting some new updates this coming week. I have a couple of new products I picked up and will be reviewing over the next few days.
Also The Drunk Umber Hulk now has a new logo/banner at the top of the page created by Stefan Poag! Check out the PBR on the stein, classic stuff! Thanks so much Stefan, I could not be more pleased!
Take care everybody, I'll be back in action once I have a bit more free time this week!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Favorite Artists - Steve Zieser

I am pleased to announce that for today's Our Favorite Artists post I had the pleasure of interviewing none other than Steve Zieser.  Steve has created most of the art for the Labyrinth Lord books, including the covers of the main rule-book, the Advanced Edition Companion and my personal favorite the LL Referee Screen.  Steve was nice enough to take a few minutes out of his busy day to answer a few questions for us at The Drunk Umber Hulk.  Without further delay here is the man that illustrated my favorite retro clone, Steve Zieser!

  • 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:  

Thanks, Jason. I grew up on a farm outside Cedar Rapids, Iowa and was the middle of 5 kids. Growing up on a farm, there wasn't a lot to do other than farm work, so I had time to do a lot of reading and doodling. I was an okay student, but would rather have been drawing or reading fiction than doing schoolwork. I loved art classes, and would have rather stayed there all day than work on other subjects. My father fully supported my artistic endeavors, and encouraged me to go to art school. I , however, was young and decided to go to tech school for Radio/TV Broadcasting instead. Afterwards, I worked at a tiny country/western station in southern Iowa for a few years and learned exactly how poorly paid people in the radio business could be. So, I decided to go back to school, and ended up at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and entered the Roman Catholic Seminary program there. (Can you tell I can't do things the easy way??) However, since I kept dating girls the whole time, I had to make a choice and I ended up transferring to Clarke College, where I majored in Studio Arts focused on Printmaking and minored in Religion. I spent a number of years kicking around after college, doing a lot of odd jobs such as working record stores, photo labs, and even selling knives door to door. I eventually settled down building furniture with my Dad for a few years, getting married to my lovely wife in the meantime. Eventually, my Dad decided to retire and I needed a more steady job, and I ended up working for Van Meter Inc, where I have been working happily for the past 7 years.