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The Stygian Library
by Malthe G. U. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2018 09:35:08

Can be run straight away, with no or little prep. Very atmospheric. Weirdly both creepy and kind of cute in places (it certainly allows that kind of gameplay). Strange and wonderful environment, but imediably relatable. Like Gardens of Ynn there are elements clearly inspired by Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. It also has a bit of Jorge Luis Borges and Umberto Eco, a hint of Lovecraft's Dreamlands and a good dash of old school science-fantasy; all in all it might be the most wonderfully horrible fun you can have for $4!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Stygian Library
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The Stygian Library
by Tamas K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2018 04:19:59

The Stygian Library follows the same structure as The Gardens of Ynn: it is a procedurally generated environment, with plenty randomness, but also with a strong thematic coherency at the same time.

The Library is made up of randomly generated locations (mostly rooms). The player group begins on Depth level 0, then move deeper and deeper. For each step, the DM rolls a Location and a Detail, combines them. The Depth rating is always factored into the generation of the next room, so the Stygian Library gradually opens up, and the players are able to reach the more obscure and weird places.

There are also randomized Events and Encounters with the inhabitants of the Library. The Bestiary is quite extensive, full of library-themed creatures: animated books, origami golems, dust elementals, and, of course, the Librarians: they are divided into five color-coded orders, each with its own set of duties, spells, abilities.

I really dig the atmosphere and the tone of this setting. This is how Emmy describes it in the introduction: Whilst some of the contents in this book can be portrayed in a rather dark light (it is, fundamentally, about necromancy), it’s not intended as a particularly grim setting. One thing that often strikes me about the fiction I enjoyed in my youth is how the dark and the whimsical so often go hand in hand. Not as a subversive contrast, but rather how the imagination (when allowed to wander) will flit between ideas that fill us with wonder and with dread. Like exploring an empty house, all it takes is a slight change in context (nightfall, say) to make the experience creepy. So, The Gardens and the Library are built using the same principles, There is one major difference between the Gardens and the Library. Ynn is all about exploration, wonder and adventure. The Stygian Library offers the same "sense of discovery", but it is also vast (potentially infinite) repository of knowledge, so it is very likely the player characters visit it with a specific goal in mind.

Emmy presents a simple, but elegant subsystem for tracking the players' progress towards their goal. There is a Progress score, its initial rating is tied to the highest Intelligence rating in the group. The score increases if the group talks with somebody knowledgeable, or finds a book about the topic they are researching, etc., and decreases if the party is lost or misinformed. The DM sets the difficulty of finding the information (e.g. 20 for basic knowledge, 35 for dangerous obscurities). If the Progress reaches this value AND the group is deep enough into the Library, the precious information is found.

Furthermore, the presence of the Librarians, their active and engaged factions, also gives the Stygian Library a different, more "narrative" style, than the slightly more passive, dreamy, utterly lost inhabitants of the landscapes of Ynn.

So, overall, I think The Stygian Library is not only a great follow-up to The Gardens of Ynn, but also presents its own developments.

The only minus is that the .pdf is still just a simple text, without any hyperlinks or bookmarks... This book would benefit ENORMOUSLY from a well-marked structure. For example, it'd be great to be able to click a header on the Location Table, and be taken to the description. Maybe something for a future edition?

Review originally posted at https://eldritchfields.blogspot.com/2018/10/reviewoverview-stygian-library-by-emmy.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gardens Of Ynn
by Luke C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2018 07:03:43

Value for money from this is amazing! Even if you were to just lift the tables and monsters you'd be getting a great deal; the whole product is creative and evocotive.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gardens Of Ynn
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The Gardens Of Ynn
by Dylan A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/15/2018 20:53:21

Gardens of Ynn isn't so much an adventure as a bizarrely semi-infinite dungeon. Locations and features that are rearranged and recombined every time, a small horde of monsters and some great treasure and tricks all come together to create a lot more playable content than it seems at first glance.

Everything is done with tables, which I thoroughly love. It goes like this: when the PCs enter the gardens, you roll for the starting location on a table of rooms. As they explore, rolling on the table generates new rooms on the fly. You don't know what will come up next, and every visit to the gardens is different. There are 35 rooms, plus another table of 35 details, which includes things like 'rumbling,' 'hypnotic,' 'smouldering,' or 'predatory'. This changes the lay of the land on every delve, and adds to the replayability of the gardens.

Last time you explored the well-maintained orchid houses, but this time it's the INVERTED orchid houses?!

After these two rolls, you roll for 'events,' which includes random encounters, weather, strange sounds, treasure, and brand-new paths that can take you much deeper into the gardens or provide quick ways backwards.

Downside: I fear it could be too much dice-rolling in the middle of a dungeon for each new area, and flipping back and forth, and thinking about how to describe what the characters see, since you don't actually know what it'll be until the PCs get there. I can picture this slowing down play unless you pre-roll a few or are quick on your feet. More to come on this when I run it for my players (probably in, like, 2028).

The monsters are all good and span the range from 'somewhat normal animals' like moss-rats, to wild stuff like the puddings (which are actually puddings and cakes!), and again there are some awesome tables to roll on for some of the monsters, giving them TONS of variety: you could EASILY keep your players on their toes with "what the hell is this monster?" for multiple adventures.

The best part of the book, which sent me scrambling to open up a blog entry and write this review as soon as I was done reading the pdf, is at the end in Section 5: Useful Tables!

Horticultural Styles, Unusual Flora, Ynnian Alterations (mutations that make you more like the residents of the gardens), treasure tables which include a whole table of special abilities for the magic weapon you just found, I search the body, I search the flowerbed, Stored Food, and tons more...

I feel like you could learn a lot about a campaign world by reading its Stored Food table. This one certainly gave me the flavour of the place. All these tables are great and 100% worth the price of the book all by themselves. Every one is jam-packed with just plain COOL ideas.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gardens Of Ynn
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2018 11:59:21

The Gardens of Ynn is not a pre-written adventure. It has no plot, no detailed villains, no series of encounters strung together. What it does have is a system for generating an adventurous location, a bestiary of unusual creatures and enough randon charts to create a number of variant experiences.

The Gardens of Ynn are an otherworldly Alice-in-Wonderland-with-teeth, an area that defies earthly physics and logic in place for a system all its own. And don't think this is some cartoony adventure for kids. There are plenty of things in the gardens that want to kill, eat or dissect you.

For practical use, I would recommend pre-generating a half dozen or so locations before your players enter. Things are not complicated, but there are enough details to keep track of that you may not want to stop and generate an encounter location during the game.

A would also recommend coming up with a few plot hooks to move the PCs through the Garden. After a while, wandering while looking for an exit may become a bit frustrating for some, even if monsters and treasures are encountered along the way.

I could easily see entire campaigns spawned from this book, and I recommend it very highly.

Steve W Baltimore, Maryland



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Esoteric Enterprises - Player Book
by Brian C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2018 00:19:47

This is a well-written product and excellent value for $5. Although this is 'just' the Player's Guide and the GM's handbook is yet to come, the Player's Guide is chock full of weird goodness and is all you need to play the game using other OSR modules and monster books. The rules as written are concise, clear, and explicit. They're also some of the best-indexed rules I've encountered in many years of reading and using game books. This game oozes weird flavor, and is a tough-as-nails OSR engine for playing in a modern-day 'secret world' of monsters and dark magic. If you like modern day occult exploration but also like the idea of your player-characters being more capable than the average Lovecraftian protagonist, this might be your game. I highly recommend this game. For the price, you're getting one heck of a game book. I've paid a lot more dollars for a lot less value over the years. This one delivers.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Esoteric Enterprises - Player Book
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The Gardens Of Ynn
by William P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/30/2018 19:54:02

This is a no-brainer at this price. I can't imagine a GM (for nearly any game system) that can take something from this. The random charts are much more evocative than the standard fare I normally see offered. Location result "#32 Vivisection theatre"....wowzers. Events and descriptors for these locales follow and since everything is so tightly bundled in a garden theme-- combining bits Chinese menu style-- actually WORKS here as opposed to the nonsense such things often generate. What's in the ornamental pond? How about tiny parasites, how about a mystic version of champagne, or simply fouled....I can't say enough good things about the number of usable material here.

Hegde mazes, topiaries, buildings, any and all features you would expect or want are all here.

And the monsters? This is where I always want to be wowed by originality....how about a turtle with a bonsai tree growing from its back, rusted mechanical bumblebees, or a chart for creating hundreds of chimera-type beasts.

I can drone on and on but I feel like I'd just be giving away more brilliance for free. Buy this product, support this level of creativity with your dollar, you won't regret it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gardens Of Ynn
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The Gardens Of Ynn
by Ron R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/25/2018 19:48:06

Fresh, original take on the point crawl. As the author says in the introduction, this tries to avoid the OSR penchant for grimdark gonzo and goes for cruel whimsy and country-garden gonzo instead. A steal at the price...rare is the GM who will find no value in this green-covered gem of a supplement.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gardens Of Ynn
by Rob L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2018 04:06:51

A delightfully dark, whimsical setting to explore with your friends. It's like 'Alice in Wonderland' met 'The Last of Us', with a good dash of classic Doctor Who as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wolf-packs and Winter Snow
by Patrick S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/31/2016 10:00:10

(I haven't played this at all, let alone played it to the mid-range where we would expect most of the game to take place, so all of this is based on having read through the rules.)

(I ripped this off my blog. TLDR: You should get it.)

...........

I forget which generation of clones we are on now or how exactly we are classifying these things, presumably Brendan has a spreadsheet or something. Anyway this is the latest gen.

Its Weird Pleistocene or Lamentations of the Cave Princess. A D&D-alike torn from LotFP and BX but with a host of additions and alterations, designed to simulate adventure in the Prehistoric era, specifically, what I think is the late Pleistocene or early whatever we are in now, when the ice packs retreat from Europe, opening up new lands to explore.

(Although I think you could run this as anywhere in the world from proto-china to the very-early fertile crescent and even as the first Americans beginning to explore that continent.)

I'll get one thing out of the way straight away, I'm pretty sure that early man generally didn't like living in caves most of the time, though we did hang out there for rituals and things.

Apart than mentioning it here I'm not going to go on about the caves and how realistic or unrealistic they are, I will talk about them only as a game artifact.

Other than that, setting and play is broadly naturalistic and the imagined world is essentially materialistic. Magic and the supernatural follows the LotFP path of shards of corrupting and alienating otherness jamming into the world from other dimensions, often to ill effect. Other than that, there is no magic and no religion, which is interesting.

There are rules for non-naturalistic monsters and rules at the back for some extra-weird classes. Some of the random tables used in world-generation have suggestive weird elements included but you could easily run the whole game without magic, without non-naturalistic monsters and without anything materially supernatural at all.

As-written, weird shit will creep in during play and, as Magic-users level up and larger, stranger monsters are encountered, along with potential-enemy cultures who may draw their power from close connection to the weird, then the end-game may be dominated by it.

WHAT INDIVIDUAL BITS AND PIECES ARE THERE

COSMOS

The standard world given is essentially the LotFP cosmos, just further back in time. Magic is still extra-planar and not sub-conscious or dreamlike, ghosts are extra-dimensional, there are assumed to be alien minds orbiting ancient stars that you could maybe get in contact with. This is magic and otherness pretty much as drawn from the post-lovecraftian world view of LotFP, rather than a primitivist, animist or 'divine-magic' kind of way. There is still no god and and 'gods' you do meet are going to be Twilight Zone fucktards.

HIT POINTS

WPaWS dual-tracks hit-points into 'grit' and 'flesh'. Grit is all the stuff hit points do that isn't chunks of flesh being taken out of you, Flesh is all the stuff that is chunks being taken out of you.

PC's start with a basic die in each of these. From that point on Grit grows by one die per level and Flesh grows by one point per level, this goes on up until the higher levels when only small amounts of grit continue to be gained and Flesh is not gained at all.

This is something you find in 'Into the odd' (effectively) and I think I remember reading about it in Paolo's old interview about Italian RPG's. It creates some interesting effects, essentially, a new class of danger which can affect high & low level PC's equally. Anything that bypasses grit and goes straight to flesh is very dangerous, and an automatic equalizer between the strong and weak. Many successful stealth attacks do this, as does some magic.

Nice for PC's at the beginning of the game, when everything is stronger than them sucks when they have a bunch of hit points and then get backstabbed by some dork.

This also allows 'grit' to pop back up relatively quickly after a fight without it being too annoying.

(EDIT - Just realized/was informed that Logan did this on Last Gasp Grimore. He does get a shout out in the introduction.)

CLASSES

Expert, Hunter, Magician and Neanderthal. Skills, Fighting, Magic and 'being tough'. Presumably you are the cool liberal Homo-Sapiens who will let a Neanderthal hang with you. The basic ideas behind these will be familiar to anyone who has played LotFP. Specialist, Fighter, Magic-User & Dwarf.

Hunters are pretty straight-forward. Magicians and Experts can change a lot depending on what magic they get (game recommends random-roll for spells) and what skills they specialist in.

(Also presumably at some point during the game you are going to have to bone a Neanderthal in order to get that Neanderthal DNA that most non-Africans still have knocking about in our Genome.)

The equipment list and weapon list are reeeeeaaall short. Not much has been invented yet.

FIGHTING

As per LotFP, only one class gains in attack bonus. There are some shifts to the kinds of attack & defense available but nothing too major. AC is 10 again instead of Raggi's 12. There are rules for called shots and assumed location-specific Armour.

Armour is all-natural. Helmets are described only as 'Beast-Skull' helmets, which is nice. The game doesn't outright tell you that you have to kill a giant creature and wear its skull before you can gain meaningful head protection, but it does encourage that.

This also feeds into the general pattern of play, more on that below.

Successful stealth attacks, as mentioned before, often go straight to Flesh, meaning ambush becomes both a very deadly tactic and also a deadly threat. Yes your Lvl 10 would-be God-King can get taken out by a stone to the back of the head. Or a least a few stones. (Would probably have a Beast-Skull helmet by that point anyway.)

SKILLS

Stat bonuses add to skill rolls and, in some cases, add to results. There are various complex sub-systems included for stuff like Herbalism etc. They are generally not that irritating and can be ignored by those not interested in them and used by those who are without it fucking up the game (I think)

Animalism - Dr Dolittle shit & Crocodile Dundee shit.

Art - There is no writing. Art is essential for magic and even being good at art without being a Magic-User means you gain access to certain kinds of knowledge and utility, if not direct effect.

A Magic-User with poor Art will be almost useless as they use it for recording & understanding spells. Therefore, all Magic-Users in WPaWS are effectively Artists, which is interesting.

Athletics, Charm, Foraging, Stealth, Tracking, you can guess these. You can max out in Tracking and Animalism and be Crocodile Dundee or max out in Foraging and Medicine and be Dr Quinn or whatever Sean Connery was doing in the film where he had a ponytail.

Medicine is actually more useful and less lethal than Medieval-style medicine, but what isn't?

Perception - You are advised to make minimal use of this, its mainly for avoiding ambushes. Some very OSR-style info is given about giving the player as much info as possible.

Crafting looks like its going to be very useful. In this world you either made everything you own, or a friend made it for you, or you killed a guy and took it. There are no other sources of made objects. If you want to you can focus on this and be stone-age MacGyuver. Someone needs to take this as your weapons break and you will need repairs.

Vandalism - This is an interesting one. In a world where almost all technology is made by the people using it, this is a skill used only to destroy made things, which is actually a highly specific one in this setting.

SAVES

Weather, Poison, Hazards, Magic. No others.

Weather & Magic are self-exploratory. There are sub-systems for how the weather can kill you.

Dealing with weather, predicting, avoiding and resisting it, are all meaningful parts of the game. Weather tables are provided and shift a bit depending on season and wilderness type.

Poison is poison but also sickness & disease.

Hazards is everything else.

XP

This is very interesting. XP awards are for:

  • Killing 'dangerous animals' AND for eating them AND for re-using bits of them with additions for the number of meals you get out of them AND also for the individual re-uses.

  • Exploring and clearing cave complexes.

  • Getting magical items.

and that's it

killing people gets you no XP so actively seeking out conflict with other humans is only useful if you think they will ultimately become a threat, or if you just want their stuff.

Most advancement is within the imagined world. You get status, contacts, resources and presumably ambitions, resentments and desires as you level up.

So far as I can see, the XP engine is to nudge you towards being the kind of people who seek out powerful animals to kill them and who clear caves for people to live in.

More on caves later, they play a very specific role in the game.

So you can play this like proto-Herakles/Gilgamesh monster-killing culture-shapers.

But.

If you just play it naturalisticaly, hang out, hunt Mammoth(s?), have a family and try to keep them alive, eventually you are going to level up. Enough things are threatening to you that you can level up from just eating & staying alive.

XP margins are very small but double every level much like LotFP limits, Lvl 2 is 15, then 30 then 60, 120 etc. So killing a Mammoth, feasting and then forming tools from its bones and tusks, might be enough to push a Lvl 1 party to level 2.

Which makes sense, in a world without gold there is no reason for the XP values to be high.

MAGIC

The Magician is interesting.

The Spell-list is a cut-down and re-written version of LotFP's with anything utterly inappropriate taken out or changed. As a whole it works very well. This is all stuff you can imagine some weird Shaman pulling rather than a standard D&D mage.

The underlying cosmic logic of the spells has been re-iterated and re-enforced. As stated above, this is still very much the LotFP cosmos. Your cave-dude can get visions of martian War machines.

Fireball has been left in (I think Raggi maybe even took it out of LotFP?) and the Summon spell has not been included.

There is an interesting tension between the Spell list as a whole, which feels very 'pure', primitive and elemental, and some of the secondary effects and connecting logic, which feels more like cosmic weirdness.

The most interesting and radical change is that the Magic-Users spell book is now a place, or multiple places.

The Magic User can use their art skill, along with knowledge of a spell, to embody it in the environment as art. We would assume cave paintings but probably stone circles, mandalas, totems, wall masks, sculptures, even wind chimes could do it.

While they are in this sanctum they can cast any spell there over the course of a turn, or they can memorize it over the same time period and then walk about with it in their head, about to be triggered, jack Vance style.

So, this means the magic user has to have a base, they can have several bases, with different spells in each one. This strongly suggests that you need caves since rules for crafting buildings do not occur in the game.

This makes the Magic-User Geographically Curious. They want to defend their sanctum from any other magic-Users (if you get a look at someone else's sanctum, you can learn their spells, or maybe they melt your face off), they also want to get a look at other Magicians Sanctums. There is also the possibility that you could leave a spell embodied in a useful place, Water Breathing in a stone circle near the river, for instance, so that when you get there you can use it whenever. If course if someone else finds your sacred spot they can steal your knowledge or destroy it.

Effectively it puts the Magician into a kind of low-level Domain game right from level one.

CAVES

You are going to need a big cave to put your tribe in (see below), and to put your Wizard in (see above).

These are the closest thing in the book to dungeons. They are not much like dungeons though.

There is a partial generator for creating random cave complexes included with the book along with a bunch of potential threats. I think its assumed that you will be going into a cave to either fight another tribe, fight another Magician, fight a large natural predator or fight some weird fucking thing from beneath.

The 'loot' table is brief but charming. There is little meaning to 'treasure' in this setting. Fresh water is 'loot', workable flint is 'loot'.

Once you clear a cave complex, its yours, you get XP and you can move in the family.

YOUR TRIBE

Its also assumed (though not absolutely necessary to play) that as yo level up you will gain followers and essentially form a tribe around you, inspired and protected by your heroic actions.

There are extensive rules for gaining followers, this is something that can happen from Level 2 onward and there are extensive rules for attracting people, who you attract, what they do, where to put them (in a cave) exactly how much cave space they need, things they can do for you, trouble they can get into etc etc. It's pretty much an OSR version of the SIMS but in a cave.

(Rules for taming animals are included.)

Your tribe breeds too, so eventually they are going to outgrow whatever cave they are in and need a new cave.

The Tribe is an aspect of leveling up. You don't need to use it but its pretty clear the game is meant to be played with the PC's as creators and defenders of a proto-culture.

In D&D there is civilization and ancientness and the PC's are on the margins of Civilization, pushing it back into the ancientness. Here there is nothing, just a handful of people, and the PC's are like an ink-blot, exploring, understanding and occupying the environment.

'THEIR' TRIBE(S)

And, of course, there is an extensive tribe-creation system for making the tribes you will run into as you expand, included with a fair bunch of interacting tables producing different kinds of micro-polities ranging from healthy hunters to creepy weirdo's.

The tribes have stuff which you may want, they probably have a cave, which you might want. They may have a crazy belief system which you may want, or want to destroy. They may be allies, they may be enemies. Whatever they are, remember you get no XP for killing them.

WILDERNESS

Since this is a world without walls (unless you both invent, and then build the walls), 'wilderness' plays a large part.

Really the phrase 'wilderness' has no meaning in this imagined world since there is nothing against which to counterpoint it and from which it can gain its identity as a 'wild' space. There is simply what is, and you go out into it. Or at least you are in it already, you don't really have much of a choice about that.

There are rules given for generating an area to be explored, Border Princes style. map creation rules are given, along with area-creation tables for plains, forests, wetland and mountains. These are broken into type, wildlife and 'weirdness'. Again, you don't have to roll on the weirdness part but it does make this Prehistory a particularly LotFPrehisory.

And there are wilderness-specific encounter tables for each type of area.

ANIMALS

There are more crazy Pleistocene animals than we get statted out here but all the major types are covered, everything from Jackals to Mammoths. The 'natural' creatures are segregated into one section and then we get a bit of weird fantasy shit, from giant spiders to shoggoths.

AT THE BACK

Rules for the undead, ghosts and golems in their LotFPrehistoric version. Some relatively sharp details on, how do you get rid of a ghost, what does it take to build and maintain a golem made from snow, from ceramic etc.

Then right at the back we get some creepy classes, Abberants, Morlocks, Mystics, Orphans and Wendigo's and yes obviously everyone is going to want to ignore the perfectly well set up game as intended and all play fucking Wendigo's so they can eat people.

(You can eat people as a standard character, it just might make you crazy.)

AND WHAT DOES ALL THIS ADD UP TO OR MEAN

It's an interesting game. The rule-changes and alterations add up to make something much more than the sum of its parts. The LotFp/BX skeleton is very obvious and the cold-and-random combat logic is there but this would be a very different-feeling game to play than LotFP.

There's no fucking money for one thing, and nothing to buy if you had any. The domain-game stuff and generators are necessary because they add, in real tangible terms, some of the things that are abstracted by money in LotFP and D&D.

You can never walk into a town or a fortress and be the famous wealthy adventureres, no society exists for the status bought by money to exist in. Instead you come home with your beast-helmet and a mammoth haunch and, because you got your people fed, your society gets a little bit bigger. Or maybe you walk into the meeting of another tribe with your amber necklace and stone arrowheads (stone weapons are assumed 'rare' at start of play) and the other tribes people will be like 'dang, here comes the Neolithic Revolution'.

The assumed cycle of play is (I think) explore, challenge, settle, then keep doing that, expand your tribe, uncover more and more of the map and find other tribes, ancient stuff and really big monsters.

The cave thing, though it does frustrate my sense of accuracy somewhat, is an elegant game artifact. It links proto-dungeon exploration, settlement, advancement and domain-play together in a relatively smooth flow. Find a cave, fight the thing in there, settle it, magician gets a new spell-hole, tribe grows, needs a new cave, attracts bigger more dangerous predators or rivals so now you need to go and beat those up, and so

The game is really a world as much as it is a game or add-on for LotFP, it needs to be to account for its differences and it does so well.

It's not perfect, but for what it is its very impressive.

BLAH DE BLAH - META DESIGN CRAP BLAH - THE 'OSR' BLAH BLAH

I can see the dual-hit-points becoming a thing. It makes PC's vulnerable in a bunch of interesting ways and creates a lot of opportunities quite simply.

Plus you can hack it a bunch of ways. What happens when a PC has high Flesh but low Grit? What about the other way around?

Into the Odd already did something kinda similar with Hit Points and STR damage.

The advice on perception and its minimal use sounds a lot like Into the Odd, though its also pretty close to OSR orthodoxy at this stage I think.

There is an 'OSR orthodoxy' and saying that doesn't sound crazy.

What does it mean that random weirdos are now creating perfectly interesting games in the OSR style, on their own, and apparently just dropping them on the internet?

I have no idea, its a kaleidoscope community and I've never seen more than a fragment at any one time? Is it getting bigger? I couldn't tell you. The core OSR-type personality is an odd combination of flinty and arty and there are relatively few people who are like that so I doubt it is growing at any speed.

SHOULD I GET THIS

Yeah.

It's free. It's not even pay-what-you-want (EDIT, it is now pay-what-you-want), which puts a kind of moral onus on you to decide exactly how much its fair to pay. The PDF costs nothing and has a bunch of potentially useful stuff in it. If you ever intend to run anything in a Prehistoric world, send your players back in time, 'Assassins Creed' them into their ancestors bodies or play the primal heroes of the culture they are currently in, then you may as well get it. If you have the space in your drive then there's no reason no to having it on your hard disk rather than hanging around on the internet.

There are a LOT of tables and anyone in the OSR could find a LOT of uses for them. If you wanted to you could just create a 'Savage Land' in the middle of you Campaign World.

Get it now if you like.

If you really want to run something with a LotFP feel that is also prehistoric, then yeah. The design 'sheen' isn't up to the LotFP standard, becasue its free and so far as I can see everything in there is the result of one person's work, but the amount of content and the level of work put in more than makes it worth the low price. The information packed into the tables alone is worth it, if you were thinking about prehistory that is. And there are a LOT of tables, maybe a third to a half of the book. This is a big thing for one person to produce, apparently on her own. It has enough stuff in it for it to be a proper 'official' LotFP supplement.

The rest of us, the Carrion Crows of game design, will probably be able to strip something out of it, depending on our preference.

I have no idea who she is but Raggi probably you should hire her? If you don't then this might be a situation where in 20 years, she hires you.

(Except we all know you will be either dead or in prison in 20 years time, and no-one would hire you for anything.)



Rating:
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Wolf-packs and Winter Snow
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Wolf-packs and Winter Snow
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2016 10:19:11

An EXCELLENT sandbox concept with all the rules needed to support it. Wolf-packs...is not some lame clone or incomplete revision. This is a complete and truly different type of OSR game, so don't be afraid to buy it up just because you were burned like that before. It's also a bit large for a PDF so get it in POD if you can.

Just a warning though, because this game is SO different, it is not for everyone. You don't have all the heavy crunch of AD&D 3.5 or 4 or 5th BUT you do need to track how large your clan is and whether you have enough food, water, etc. Encumbrance is simple here but also an important rule as weather exposure is an important part of the game. Personallly, I love the idea of combining light crunch D&D with resource management. I'm super excited to play this but it will need the right group. I'm hoping this will allow me to run a campaign with players that each prefer different levels of crunch. :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wolf-packs and Winter Snow
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2016 11:28:36

Wolf-packs and Winter Snow is a D&D OSR game, based mostly on the Lamentations of the Flame Princess rules set.

It is set in a fantasy version of pre-history, with primitive hunters and cavemen battles the environment, savage animals, and the occassional fantastical monster or sprirt.

The classes, equipment and magic system have all been rewritten with the setting in mind, and the magic system especially resonates with the pre-literate setting as magicians use cave paintings to store their magic knowledge.

My favorite part of the system is a procedural process to track the month-to-month success of the band that the PCs belong to, keeping track of food gathered, equipment maintained, births and deaths is a quick and easily trackable way.

My one complaint is about the physical layout of the game. While I tend to be more concerned about the writing of a game book than the appearance, this book frequently skipped any spaces between paragraphs giving some pages a slammed-together wall of text appearance that was sometimes hard to read.

Except for that, I think this game is easily worth $10 in pdf form, maybe more, and a p.o.d. copy would be of interest to me at $20 or less.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wolf-packs and Winter Snow
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2016 21:35:17

I cannot believe no one has written anything about this amazing little gem. Well, since no one else is tripping over themselves to do it, Ill give it a try. Quick version... just get the thing. If you have to have a few good reasons to get into something, then lets proceed to the Long version.

This is yet another of a long line of 'retro-clones' of everyones favorite fantasy classic rpg. That means you probably already know most of the mechanics involved. Now what I think is fun is if one where to get a couple of retro-clones and just kind of... crosspolinated them. Imagine this awesome Ice Age rpg engine (it literally writes itself out... plotting groups and caves and monster-types even 'unnaturalness'.) and Silent Legions (a do-it-yourself Lovecroftian toolkit of a retroclone). Since they use compatible mechanics, it easy to borrow one from another.

Now I kind of peaked my hand in this whimsical 'what you can do with retro-clones' moment, but W&W is very different from the pack. It easily lays out an Ice Age existence from which to rp from. It is easy enough to play this out either straight historic or fantatical with 'serpent people' and an awesome magic system based on the mystic hermic shaman traditions. It just doesnt tell you how to make a character and play out a small scenario and then a sign 'pay money to go from here'. This book is a complete work onto itself. Its art is perhaps sparce, though evocative, sillohettes. Any sourcebook added to it would be full of hopefully as well thought out options.

This is the first book for this company and it is a very strong offering. I will definitely take a strong look at anything they publish. I dont give fives often, but for being 'PWYW' and this spot on with the content there really was no other choice.

So if you picked the Long version, here is what we like to call the conclusion. Pick up this lovely addition to anyones library. Even if you never play an Ice Age retro-clone game (an really, who hasnt thought of such before) the insights could easily mix into a more modern setting as a wonderfully spiritual urban primative sourcebook.

Just download it and leave a tip in the jar so they might give us something else almost as goood as this book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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