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Save Yourself From Hell
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/26/2017 21:40:32

"This is a scenario for my sleazy space opera RPG Alpha Blue. It's funny, weird, gonzo scifi that references a number of familiar movies like Event Horizon, Hellraiser, Space Balls, Airplane II, various kung-fu films, and anything with Cthulhu in it. " Right so I was handed 'Save Yourself From Hell' before Venger Satanis went on his familial vacation with the Satanis clan. The adventure clocks in a about twenty pages & like many of Venger's other 'balls to the walls' adventure this one is for Venger's Alpha Blue sleazy space opera rpg system. The adventure set up has a lot in common with his 'How to Game Master Like A Fucking Boss' style. "This is a one-shot Alpha Blue scenario for PCs who like to blaze through encounters. For those who prefer to take their time immersing themselves in this wacky scifi universe, it might take two or even three sessions before reaching the cataclysmic end. This adventure attempts to blend sleazy space opera with horror while maintaining a sense of humor. Accentuate those parts that the players respond to. If they like something, give them more. If they seem bored, quickly shoo away whatever's currently on stage and bring out the next act." The opening takes place with a douche of an NPC and no I'm kidding read that as you will folks. This is not an adventure for the KIDS OR The EASILY OFFENDED. Lots of blue & dirty humor throughout, 'Save Yourself From Hell'. The real set up goes more along this line;"The X-III starship is an abyssal-class deep space exploration vessel that has successfully completed numerous missions on the outer edges of the known universe. The X-III entered Hell's Cluster, a treacherous region just beyond the Asmodeus sector of Galaxy 5, in order to answer a distress signal coming from a lunar base on the 7th moon."So we basically have Venger Satanis's breazy sleazy style of writing with a pretty good adventure set up that sort of whizzes around its plot and there's a cat. A ship's cat that resembles Jones from Alien but there might be more to him. There's a random table to determine this. Before you can blink the PC's are zipping across the adventure's plot erm universe. There's a truck stop 'Space Trucker's movie references abound here with unwanted passengers and stowaways.
One of my favorite bits is the 'Kung Fu Marauders in Hell's Cluster'. Who are the marauders? 'One part treasure-hunters, one part salvage team, one part nefarious martial arts school, and one part murder-hobos in space… the Black Dragon Fighting Society prey upon the weak, the rich, and those without honor. That means the PCs should be ripe for the picking.' Venger it seems like me was a watcher of those endless and endlessly cool 1960s & 70's Kung Fu movies. There's an escape pod because of course there is and Lovecraftian cultists. An 'Event Horizon' adventure plot moment and some really nasty bits when Cthulhu shows up!? There's a good bit of humor here but the over all adventure plot points are really directed toward its own internal Alpha Blue style setting. This is really where my problem is. Alpha Blue with each book that's come out for the gaming system has gone on to become its own thing in my estimation. I have no problems with its content but if I as an OSR dungeon master was to use this adventure I'd be gutting half of it. That's a shame because its a good solid adventure for Alpha Blue but I can't see running this adventure for anything else. Maybe a wacky DCC adventure campaign or one shot. I'm not savaging this adventure but I'm saying that its an animal that belongs to the Alpha Blue setting. Its short and well done but its not something that I would want to be running except as a one shot adventure and that's what Save Yourself From Hell is billed as. But is it good?! Yes if your looking for a humorously sleazy take on a one shot original Traveller game or as a one shot OSR space based adventure with lots of cracked up and sleazy humor. For Alpha Blue though? This is a whole other adventure really. For Alpha Blue this is a mid tier adventure that works as a bridge gap to get the PC's into some real danger and distress. Their going to have to think and keep the blasters on tap when their needed. Players are going to keep on their space scum toes. I'd give 'Save Yourself From Hell' a 3 1/2 for other OSR games and a solid four for the Alpha Blue rpg systems.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Want to see more support for this and other OSR products? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Save Yourself From Hell
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Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (Second Edition)
Publisher: North Wind Adventures
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/17/2017 14:09:34

So many months ago it seems that the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Second Edition's kickstarter seemed to take the OSR community by storm! Well the long await is over! Last night whist I was at my weekly AS&SH game the pdf broke! It was billed as the premiere Sword & Sorcery OSR rpg during the kickstarter. So let's see if that's true and I'll be the judge of that claim! Clocking in at over six hundred & twenty two pages this is one hell of a hefty tome. But let's get the big question out of the way first for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hypborea first edition fans this second edition is fully and wholly compatible with first edition. For myself and other fans of AS&SH this is an OSR retroclone that we've been waiting for with both baited breath & some trepidation. Trepidation because its a game that hearkens back to Dungeons & Dragons whist wearing its sword & sorcery linage on its sleeves for all to see. All of the usual AS&SH humancentric racial choices are here with Hyperborean & Atlantean intact inside the PC game swell. Lets start at the top all of the usual PC core classes are there: -Fighter: a swordsman, bowman, or other warrior type

  • Magician: a sorcerer who memorizes arcane formulæ and casts spells
  • Cleric: an armed and armoured mystic sorcerer
  • Thief: a nimble swordsman possessed of numerous specialized skills Then instead of multi classing like AD&D or certain B/X Dungeons & Dragons editions you get subclasses of the main four and there are twenty two of them enabling players to get the pick of the Hyperborean litter: From the fighter you get:
  • Barbarian: an outland warrior possessed of feral instincts
  • Berserker: a rampaging shock trooper renowned for unbridled battle rage
  • Cataphract (Knight): an armoured horseman and warrior elite
  • Huntsman: a wilderness warrior who glories in the hunt
  • Paladin: a champion who crusades for justice and Law
  • Ranger: a borderland fighter, frontiersman, and defender
  • Warlock: a spell-weaving fighter who wields steel and sorcery interchangeably From the Magician you get:
  • Cryomancer: a sorcerer who commands the elemental power of ice
  • Illusionist: a sorcerer who evokes phantasms and manipulates shadows and light
  • Necromancer: a sorcerer who practices black magic and communicates with the dead
  • Pyromancer: a sorcerer who commands the elemental power of fire
  • Witch (Wizard): a sorcerer who brews potions, divines portents, and lays curses The Cleric has some interesting choices:
  • Druid: a mystic sorcerer empowered by ancestral, elemental, and animistic spirits
  • Monk: a warrior-priest who strives for physical and mental mastery
  • Priest: a chaplain mystic of prodigious spell-casting capacity
  • Runegraver: a mystic warrior who carves runic spells on bone, metal, stone, and wood
  • Shaman (Witch Doctor): a primal sorcerer who confers with ancestral and totem spirits And the Thief adds their own flair to the mix:
  • Assassin: a thief who specializes in murder and intrigue
  • Bard (Skald): a warrior, scholar, and weaver of enchanted lyrics and/or music
  • Legerdemainist: an adept thief who also commands the power of sorcery
  • Purloiner: a religious thief who also practices the esoteric mysticism of a cleric
  • Scout: a lightly armed explorer, intelligence gatherer, and stealth master

Now many of these character classes are making their debut in the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea in the second edition of the game. Before this they appeared in AFS OSR gaming magazine which has always worn its pulp, Weird Tales, & old school roots proudly. For AS&SH fans all of these classes has been collected, edited, and combined in one package that works with the second edition system. This means that DM's don't have to fart around with system issues straight out of the gate. So why was a second edition necessary? The layout, artwork, organization, and internalization of the games contents is where this game really shines. Divisions of sorcery,campaign & world building material even the advice is all laid out with care. So one of my friends have scoffed at the claims that the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg cleaves close to the twisted visions of HP Lovecraft & Clark Ashton Smith. Well I'm happy to report that its so much hog wash. This edition injects even more Smithian goodness into the rpg setting material. The author and his vision are well intact in AS&SH with the roots of Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperborean cycle center stage. HP Lovecraft is here sure but its really Smith's game center stage now. The monster section has borne the fruits of all kinds of metal style monsters in its blood soaked pages. I've got to say something about the demon section.

The demon section has been expanded with some brand new types with Russ Nicholson artwork thrown in. But that's the whole issue, many of the monsters from ants to zombies have been expanded upon & amped up for the Hyperborean setting. This closely ties in with the setting material being knotted back into the world setting of Hyperborea. This is a far more lived in world not defined like you get with Middle Earth or even the HP Lovecraft Dreamlands but lived in. This means that the Dungeon master has clear license to create lots of their own twists & turns in Hyperborean adventure for themselves.

The Lovecraftian little touches that get brought the fore mean that you as the reader get snatches of the world within and actually will want to play in Hyperborea. Take for example that Brown Jenkins from HP Lovecraft fame is now an option for only the wickest of sorcerers;"A brown jenkin is sent by Thaumagorga (or one of his six dæmon princes) to serve only the wickedest sorcerers. Its mandate is to encourage its master to greater deeds of depravity and Evil." Its the little touches that make this a solid addition to the AS&SH line. But there are heaping slime laden gobs of Hyperborean campaign & world building goodness. There's a ton of expanded setting material, campaign stuff, DM advice & guidance. Plus a starting adventure and campaign location. All of this I will get into sometime next week!

Whole sections of the Hyperborea world itself have been built, expanded upon, and been blown open. This also includes the incredible map included by Glynn Seal of Monkey Blood Design . Let's be honest here. This is an excellent example of a map waiting for adventurers to put their mark of violence and depravity on it. There's also a fillable pdf character sheet as well that comes with the pdf

Now how would I rake this second edition of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea? Well, kids lets be honest here for a moment, I've done incredibly rude things to my own home game of Hyperborea. I've twisted the world, distorted the setting, added and subtracted huge chunks of the setting, modified the system and much more. I can totally & honestly see me doing the same thing with this edition of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. I give the second edition of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea a solid five out of five. I only got the pdf at ten o'clock this morning and cranked this review out at three! This is 'the' game system that I personally use at my table and my players love!

Eric Fabiaschi Sword & Stitchery Blog Like this review & want to see more original content supporting AS&SH plus other OSR titles and game systems? Subscribe to http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (Second Edition)
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Battle For The Purple Islands
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/17/2017 20:22:40

I have a very strong connections with The Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescence, its a very flexible & dangerous adventure location/setting from the warped mind of Venger Satanis. A gonzo science fantasy setting with liberal doses of 'R' rated sex, gore, & lots of mayhem. All of which collide with the concepts from H.P. Lovecraft's circle of Cthulhu mythos writers. But what are the islands themselves & the brand new factions, horrors, & the adventure kit? Wait what?! Didn't you know that the new Heavy Metal style magazine aesthetic adventure & expansion book The Battle For The Purple Islands has hit the shelves of Drivethrurpg "What are they? A forbidden sanctuary of weirdness in the middle of the ocean. Three large islands next to

each other with dark purple sand, unbelievable creatures, and treasures untold. It’s a gonzo science fantasy paradise!

You see, much of the dark forces reigning supreme over the purple islands were vanquished by adventuring heroes. They came, they saw, and they slaughtered. A few years went by without incident.

Everyone started coming to the islands after things quieted down—colonists, anthropologists, big game hunters, sightseeing tourists, etc. But then obscene purple blasphemies deep within the islands began to resurface"

The islands have a bit of an overhaul & get back into the multi dimensional madness that them great as an adventure location in the first place. There's lots of reasons for your PC's to be on the islands and the book actually provides a number of random tables to give your characters a reason to be there. The whole affair clocks in at about twenty three or so pages. There's Venger's usual OSR & O5R vibe through out but in this case that's not a bad thing. Basically this book is a number of interconnected adventure plot points with factional information scattered throughout as much adventure as tool kit. Battle for The Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescence is Venger's Seventies & Early Eighties wet dream love letter with blood slime from 'Cannibal Holocaust' mixed with Stop Motion dinosaurs from 'Land of The Lost'. There are expansions of existing Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescence factions & new ones like 'Cannibal' tribes that will eat your PC's in heart beat, yes you do meet HP Lovecraft & yes there is an Alpha Blue adventure in for you Satanis veteran players. This is an extremely dangerous little book with lots of new pit falls & weirdness waiting for PC's. I'm talking new factions such as the Sorcerers of the Crescent Moon who are serpent men from another time just waiting for PC's. "When at least one of the purple moons is crescent, a snake-man sorcerer named H'ssan comes down from the mountain to steal warm-blooded humans. Under cover of darkness, H’ssan procures sacrifices for Xivirinthi, the ancient wyrm who lives inside the third moon." Then you've got Talking Apes an in for Apes Victorious if you ever needed one! Why? Why not because everything is better with apes! "The purple islands allow for travel through time, space, and other dimensions. So, it’s no wonder that certain areas of the jungle have been altered by the quantum upheaval. Such changes bring civilizations from parallel worlds and alternate universes. Talking apes that walk upright like men is just one example. The apes are part of a community called New Ape City. They carry machine guns, attempting to conquer the purple islands whenever they meet a force that threatens them—both physically and intellectually… radical ideas that go against their religious-scientific belief system." The ones you really don't want to meet are the brotherhood of the Unquiet Void, "A religious order calling themselves Brotherhood of the Unquiet Void devote themselves to those outer abominations whose slime drips down from another universe, a universe of throbbing, twitching, screaming flesh, gory and insane and spilling out into the unreachable darkness. The brotherhood worships entities that hail from such places, and they have a leader named Kaion Vasus" Sort of a combination of the underdwellers from Battle For The Planet of the Apes & what happens to the world population in the film In The Mouth of Madness. These are not folks you want to invite over for supper. Then there's encounters with Lovecraft younger & older(don't ask). Lots of encounter tables for hex crawling across the islands. This is where the book shines of OSR style games especially if your into own a couple of OSR retroclone systems and want to expand your players adventuring! This also takes place in a timeless setting meaning that this is the book your going to want to pick up to introduce new players to the gonzo Lovecraftian sleazy jungle dripping action of The Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescence. Is Battle For The Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescence worth the five dollar price tag? In a word yes, even if you don't own the original then Battle is your entry level drug for the weird science fantasy setting. This book brings home the setting and there are several tables that should have been in the original book. Your not paying twice for same setting folks this book has lots and lots of new material that isn't the 'special features' that ended up on the cutting room floor. Instead this is an add on book for the setting. Which leads into the next question should there be another book in the Purple Haunted Putrescence setting series of books? In a word yes. If your into the All Night Long USA style gonzo cheese and weirdness of Venger Satanis's science fantasy setting then this is book for you. Will I be using it in future and upcoming games? In a word yes! But this isn't a perfect book, I wanted more awesomeness and cult crazy gonzo adventure but this is a gateway & continuation book. In this alone the book sustains and in some points exceeds its goals. I'd say an even five out of five for purple haunted weirdness! Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Want More OSR action & support for this as well as other OSR titles? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle For The Purple Islands
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The S'rulyan Vault II
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/20/2017 19:08:58

"Like the first S'rulyan Vault, this is two extremely high-resolution dungeon maps in both old school blue/white and bloody parchment hue. The dungeon is huge and contains a variety of cavern and traditional room/corridor areas... along with special icons." Well, the S'rulyan Vault II is a bit more then that & a bit more. So what is the The S'rulyan Vault II? Well according to its Kickstarter; "The S'rulyan Vault II is more of the same... but different. Obviously, there will be a totally new dungeon layout with lots of interesting things going on. The files can be printed off so you've got one massive map or four quadrants in order to easily mix and match them with each other and the previous S'rulyan Vault." Its giant mix & match dungeon map & DYI kit with Venger Satanis's guile & attitude which is clearly outline about The S'rulyan Vault II introduction; "Delving into dungeons can be the most rewarding roleplaying experience there is. It's the perfect environment for adventuring since that's where the monsters and treasure are. Of course, with monsters and treasure you also get traps, wizards, subterranean civilizations, exotic flora and fauna, natural hazards, and unexplained wonders. There are three things GMs occasionally forget when running a dungeoncrawl... ● Gygaxian Naturalism or Fantastic Verisimilitude, if you prefer. Basically, this provides a "realistic" background for the adventuring. Such as, where does the food and water supply come from? ● There should be a compelling reason why the PCs are down there, besides a desire to slay evil creatures and take their loot. Even if that's the primary motivation, we want to know precisely why the adventurers want to kill these monsters and steal their treasure. And each session, the PCs' emotional investment in clearing the dungeon should pay off. ● This is a great opportunity to show off your own GMing style, aesthetic, and creativity! Use your imagination - come up with at least a couple rooms that defy expectation. Go nuts! Keeping those three things in mind, I invite you to make The S'rulyan Vault (volumes I and II) truly yours."

Can we talk about the Drow babes in implied 'Legend of the Overfiend' style tentacle porn dungeon god cover artwork here for moment? The only reason its there is to attract attention because while the thing might be in the The S'rulyan Vault II but I found it more distracting then tantalizing. Why? Because the contents of the The S'rulyan Vault II book are good solid boiled down DYI dungeon map and kit in seventeen pages of old school goodness. Venger Satanis is a good enough writer/designer who doesn't need to rely on cheap and blatantly pornographic themes and artwork to sell his products. His work is solid enough on its own to stand on its own merits. This is a good tool kit for a really well thought out dungeon. You get factions, reasons for the dungeon crawls, and lots of random tables for generating a grand night's adventure for your players.

This product sinks up with its earlier incarnation, The S'rulyan Vault I adventure plot completely and easily. There's no tears to this and because this product has the quality of Monkey Blood Designs cartography & design work. The S'rulyan Vault II is both OSR cross compatible & rpg system agnostic. The art and cartography by Glynn Seal,Monstark, & Fizzbig, work. The layout is well done and up to the usual Venger Satanis standards. Dungeon masters will get a ton old school gaming utility out of the wandering monster tables, dungeon restocking table, & rival adventuring party disturbance tables. Along with a ton of new & great take on old school adventuring for a continuing dungeon adventure tool with years of life to come at the gaming table. Do I think its worth buy? In a word yes I do and think it will provide a great tool at the gaming table.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want to see more OSR commentary & support? Then Subscribe to the Swords & Stitchery blog https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The S'rulyan Vault II
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/06/2017 00:32:14

I'm doing this review as a favor to Venger Satanis, because I got sent a copy of 'How To Write An Adventure Like A F@#@ing Boss'. This is a part of an O5R product line by Venger which is really a set of guidelines where Venger lays out his philosophy of old school gaming & advise, guidelines for game preparation, dungeon mastering the Satanis way, & now how to write an adventure. So we get 'How To Write An Adventure Like A Fucking Boss' which is an on the ground practical guide contained within fourteen pages. This book doesn't fool around it gets right into the heart of the process and walks you the prospective DM step by step from inception to practical completion. This is a system neutral book & there's not a lot of B.S. in this book its straight up advise and practical hands on process & operation. The tone is easy, the layout straight forward, & the end result isn't half bad for three dollars. The ideas here are workable, consistent, & have been done by someone whose actually run an old school campaign or two. This isn't necessarily going to be for the great & powerful DM's out in the wild but there's some very practical and time saving ideas here. Is it worth the three dollar price tag? I think so actually here's why:

This book takes the DM by the hand and leads them step by step through the adventure writing process. Real advise for at the table and on the ground adventure writing right from the ground up. In depth take down from resources to practical table top prep work.

If I have any real complains its that there's not enough background material on the part of the writer. Venger is a more is less kinda of guy which is fine but this is a system neutral book & I'm an OSR guy who wants a bit more explanation in certain areas especially in the departments that newbies to the hobby are going to need such as fleshing out background, working in more adventure exposition during play, & following through with dovetailing in the adventure into fully fleshed old school campaigns. But this is probably going to be the next book 'How to Run A Campaign like A F$#ing Boss'. In my humble opinion this should have been what we've seen in another section of this book. Fourteen pages isn't enough when your taking about writing adventures from start to finish.

Is this a bad book? No its quite good at what it does and does it well with common sense advise and at the table commentary. The book is selling for three dollars and its well worth the price tag but this needs to be a fully fleshed out book on its own so its going to get four out of five stars from me tonight. Get this book if you want a no nonsense common sense at the table approach to writing good adventures with a practical process for creating adventures that are going to get you players at the table. Eric Fabiaschi Sword & Stitchery Blog Want to See More OSR Original Content For this and other OSR titles? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
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HS3 Incursion of the Chain Devils
Publisher: Jeremy Reaban
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/19/2017 00:25:32

Three nights ago, strange lights and screams were heard from the local temple of Ishtar. Grotesque humanoids, wearing tattered clothes and wrapped with chains, emerged from the very walls, causing murder and mayhem within Can the PCs save the temple of Ishtar from the incursion of the chain devils? I'm always on the look out for another Sword & Sorcery old school style title, so I began to look around Drivethrurpg. Generally this is a dangerous thing to do but there are few 'pay what you' want titles that caught my eye. Incursion of the Chained Devils is one of those weird titles that you don't usually come across but this time I listened to the little voice that said, 'Grab it'. This is a weird & interesting little beast of an adventure that hearkens back to something I would have snatched up as a twenty year old dungeon master. "H3 Incursion of the Chain Devils is a module for 4-8 characters levels 5th to 7th using the first edition advanced rules" This is an expansive & sprawling module with a sword & sorcery horror adventure aspect to it. To be honest about it, I was quite happy to come across this one on a Sunday night. This adventure only clocks in at about eighteen pages but its a really nice change up from the investigative adventures I've been running into lately. Its a really nicely put together module that has more in common with a Conan novella like Red Nails & Eighties horror classic Hellraiser by Clive Barker. This is a module that you can drag & drop right into your existing campaign world such as Hyperborea. It won't make a ripple in the local campaign world & its been designed & written that way; "Much of this depends on where you locate the Temple. If you locate it in the wilderness, you could have the PCs stumble upon it and decide to simply loot it. You might simply drop it into an existing city in your world. If you do this before you plan on running the adventure, the PCs might go and visit the temple, either for healing or to enjoy themselves. Then when the temple gets invaded, they might wish to go to the rescue simply because they know the people there and wish to help. The PCs might also be hired by a fleeing priestess. They might get a vision from the goddess herself. They might also be in the need of clerical henchmen and decided that rescuing some would be a great way to recruit." What I love about Jeremy Reaban's stuff is that he doesn't screw around with his adventures right in the description there's a focus on his OSR sources & where he's gotten material for his adventures;"As with previous entries in the HS line, the focus is firmly on combat. There are 20 rooms and likely 8-10 encounters. Most of the monsters are backward converted from third edition and full write ups are provided." The material here in HS3 is balanced, deadly, & will kill more then a few PC's before they navigate & solve its mysteries. Its made to do exactly what it says on the tin. There are new monsters, some interesting encounters, and everything is geared to be DYI D&D friendly. So in case you haven't noticed this is right up in my wheel house, you've got a lost temple out in the middle of the desert wastelands which could be placed in the Diamond Desert in AS&SH. There is a ton of pulpy monsters in this one & a fully fleshed out adventure location which makes this really nice adventure to add into the back end of B4 The Lost City. In fact the temple in HS3 Incusion of the Chain Devils could be another above ground section of the ruin's environs from B4. There's no reason why another cut off section of the city from that classic module. What I'm saying here is that HS3 Incusion of the Chain Devils is modular enough and packed into its own niche so that it can be used with other old school products with little effort.

Things in HS3 Incursion of the Chain Devils are keyed to bring PC's right into the middle of the action. The cenobite like ' kytons' are original enough to make a lasting impression on a group of AD&D players and weird enough to actually be usable in a one shot adventure that will last several sessions. There are several factors to keep in mind when running HS3 Incursion of the Chain Devils:

This is a straight up adventure with a few twists & turns that challenges, maimes, & the monsters will aim to destroy PC's. The loot is well laid out in the adventure & PC's greed could get a party killed. There are bunch of band new monsters that have the potential to be used outside of HS3 for cults, NPC's or to create your own Lovecraftian cult of lust & depravity.

Infact this adventure could serve as a bridge gap adventure location for say AS&SH Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes & B4 The Lost City. The temple location has enough going on to allow a DM to place it when & where they want it in the creeping sands of their old school wastelands. So what does HS3 Incursion of the Chain Devils mean in terms of a sword & sorcery adventure? It puts the infernal right into the PC's laps & turns up the old school heat. This adventure doesn't dance around encounters with devils. Those are front & center right in the middle of the whole affair. This means that not only is there the lost temple but the focus is right on the black sorcery aspect right away. But does this mean I like HS3 Incursion of the Chain Devils? No because I love it. This is an adventure that puts the combat front & center, magic weapons are a must not the except. There's no hidden agenda here, no mid adventure switch around or anything special to complicate matters. This is straight up monster fight and a deadly sword & sorcery romp.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want To See More OSR support for this & Other OSR titles & Retroclone systems? Subscribe to http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
HS3 Incursion of the Chain Devils
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His Flesh Becomes My Key
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/14/2017 21:19:29

One of the harder tricks to pull off is telling a modern & engaging Neo noir/horror adventure with OSR overtones. Well, 'His Flesh Becomes My Key' is one part John Carpenter/Stephen King / mixed in with a simmering helping of Cliver Barkerish weirdness strained through the lens of Venger Satanis. Alright this is the usual Outer Presence rpg included in the adventure package bit we've seen before & I'm going to go out on a limb here & throw that right into the waste basket. " This is an eldritch pulp / investigative horror scenario especially suited for The Outer Presence roleplaying game. A serial killer case opens up before the investigators and leads to something beyond the usual detective story." So after reading through this adventure which puts the PC's front & center of a murder investigation/slash horror story I'm going to say that this would make a killer horror story adventure for the Silent Legions From Sine Nomine Publishing. Why? Because quite frankly this adventure has a bit of it all;

Viable underworld/sleaze encounters, a trail of madness & dead bodies everywhere. Sex & weird reality warping world sex magick occult themes pepper throughout the adveture. Darkness & dangerous cultists waiting. Independent Venger Mythos action, if you know the Venger's other adventures then you know the drill here. He's big on working his own brand of horror that fits the same DYI horror ideal that Silent Legions adheres to. There are not enough Silent Legion adventures & this one actually fits the bill very well. He's sort of toned down the T&A to actually tell a coherent adventure & it shows. "The Outer Presence RPG is about curtailing obscenity and darkness. Horror = fear + revulsion. Does that mean spectators, rather than participants, are just as subject to "mature content"? Should reading or listening to the description of unwholesome things also be restricted to "adults only"?" Because he's toned down the sex Venger has upped the weirdness which makes this far more accessible as a dungeon master.

So the PC's are on the trail of Richard Black a horror novelist & run smack into the back burner of a whole lot of unraveling pulp horror business. Sure there's plenty of bloods, guts, gore & more here. But this is a thinking man's adventure that can be played over several nights sessions. Sure it includes everything you need to get started and play through but I want more. I want solid pacing, plot/setting, and a set of rules that's going to give me extended modern OSR neo horror play. That's where Silent Legions comes in and frankly there aren't enough adventure modules to support at system but 'His Flesh Becomes My Key' fills the slimy gap quite nicely. This really isn't Lamentations of the Flame Presence turf although there is this sort of thing, ‘When his gaze meets that of the investigators, the chartreuse-hued dweller of the cavern begins to melt into a pool of liquid flesh.’ Instead this is one part X Files twisted around an unraveling 'In The Mouth of Madness' with a good helping of Cthulhu & Venger's tendrils of horror. So yes its a good solid fit for a Silent Legions game. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want more OSR action & support for this and other adventure titles? Subscribe to http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
His Flesh Becomes My Key
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Stairway of V'dreen
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/31/2017 10:09:00

"Find a place to hide! Luckily, such a place happens to be nearby. Approximately 50' away from where the adventurers currently stand is a half-buried hunk of metal the size of a small village. Various metallic parts of the thing are halfway sunk into the ground. The large metal structure is tilted slightly downward." The PC's find a mad scientist Dr. Ebzub in the middle of an experiment will open a gateway to "a place the gods have forgotten." the forbidden Stairway of V'dreen e Stairway of V'dreen From Kort'thalis Publishing. You can think of the Stairway of V'dreen as a mid level adventure/setting for Crimson Dragon Slayer rpg & its easily adaptable to any OSR retroclone rpg system. This adventure is a throw back to those Eighties setting books that we got for many old school system games. The overview from the adventure's Trinity of Awesome Returns Kickstarer best describes the other dimensional setting;"

Each PC will have his own reason for visiting V'dreen - a random table will personalize every character's desire/need. Reaching the stairway, V'dreen's greatest treasure, will not be easy - alien, mutant dreamland hazards bar the way!

This location will be the most bizarre thing I've come up with yet. The main Kickstarter picture above gives you an idea of what's in store. But I've got some additional details and a b/w illustration directly below...

Fruiting bodies. The scent of V'dreen is that of a corpse blooming with strawberry and apricot preserves. A fragrance that one cannot easily forget. Pungent jam and jelly intermingling with the sweat of human fornication.

Rumored tales of V'dreen: a magical timepiece is buried in the ground, preventing this place from aging, neither evolving nor decaying. However, some believe the timepiece to be broken in some way - or perhaps it had always been corrupted - because slavering demons roam free, wizards scry and watch and influence life on V'dreen with their little knobs and levers and buttons... my God, even the tentacles have tentacles!

The stairway leads to an even more distant realm. It is a personal voyage... the discovery of self-annihilation, where travelers lick savage dreams and ride bareback upon the sparkling-scaled magenta snake-thing with golden eyes coiled at the heart of eternity."

So basically this is a part setting, part adventure location that echoes with the Eighties horror/sci fi Lovecraftian horror that Venger loves to mix with his rpg systems. The Stairway of V'dreen is a type of adventure that rarely comes along a mix of dark fantasy, comedy, & lovecraftian weirdness all around the usual Venger quality. It clocks in at nineteen pages & reminds me a bit of the Eighties film 'From Beyond' with a bit of body horror mixed in with an old school style adventure. Because of the very nature of the dark fantasy of the The Stairway of V'dreen its really useful for other OSR systems such as Lamentations of the Flame Princess or other OSR systems. This is partially because of the random monster generators & the random magic items that can be created from similar generators. The vary fact of this unpredictable factor is going to keep those jaded & long time players reaching for their Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guides. I can easily see adding in the The Stairway of V'dreen to a game of Lamentations of the Flame Princes as adventure location or a game of Labyrinth Lord. The setting technically could be used as a twisted Lovecraftian domain for Adventurer,Conqueror, King. But I would using this as an adventure location for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. The pulpy flavor is very strong in the the The Stairway of V'dreen . The Stairway of V'dreen is the type of setting that you could potentially drop in a bunch of Mutant Future PC's or any old school adventurers into & not break it at all. There's the usual Venger Satanis sleaze but much of the setting is far more geared toward the dark fantasy/Lovecraftian vibe. Its well written and balanced for a far more experienced group of PC's to come into in my opinion. I really enjoyed thumbing through this one. Can't wait to subject my players to this adventure/setting. Five out of five.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stairway of V'dreen
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Guarding Galaxy XXX
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/07/2017 09:24:21

Venger has been working hard to make the Alpha Blue his brand of sleazy mature(ie Adult) science fantasy and fiction rpg visible in the wilds of the rpg market. You've got numerous resources & source books, etc. including a set of free rules under the dubious title Alpha Blue Quickie. I've used Alpha Blue numerous times to help fill in the gap in science fiction or fantasy campaign or when I needed a location for a 70's style science fiction adventure or even a rest stop. Yeah its good & original for just that sort of thing as well as fully functional system. Now Venger Satanis is a guy to ride the trends & with Guardians of the Galaxy Volume II riding high on the coat tails of the first Marvel block Venger would be putting out his own version for Alpha Blue. Except its not!?! Nope its a free adventure for Alpha Blue that takes some elements from a Guardians style school of sci fi comedy but puts a whole different spin on it. "You wake up out of cyro sleep to find your party up to its ears in trouble and adventure;"The soldier tells the leading man type that the galaxy is in grave danger - Thargons have pissed off the Romulyns who had a truce with the foul Myrmidons who never really saw the point in befriending the Zandarians and had just recently pinky-swore to uphold the freedom of the Azhanti Cresh. In a nutshell, this small corner of the universe is about to blink out of existence unless someone takes out the team who's supposed to defend it - the guardians of the galaxy! Rory blinks a few times at the impatient sergeant waiting for an answer to the question - will you help us

  • and proceeds to lay back down in the cryo-pod. The sleep shield slowly lowers over his body and back he goes to snooze town. At that point, sergeant Kaufman realizes the PCs are also awake and that they've been at least sort of listening to his spiel. "Well, what about you ..... want to come with me and save the galaxy or go back to bed?" If the PCs need any more convincing, the sergeant informs them they've racked up quite a debt in back taxes and freezer fees since entering hibernation. 1,843 credits… each, and that's in addition to what the PCs owed before entering their cryo-pods (1d6 x 1,000 credits in the red). Saving everyone's bacon would go a long way towards erasing those debts. Before leaving the cryogenic facilities, there's a ringing sound. The ringing is coming from inside one of the opened pods. One of the PCs is getting a phone call. Lifting the red phone from the receiver is enough to answer the call. Yes that's right the Guardians of the Alpha Blue universe weren't available so your going to have to do! Things go sideways for the PC's from there. The ride is weird and quite wild, all of this in only about ten pages. Venger's writing is up to its usual standards and the adventure plot moves along for a free adventure its well done and easy to incorporate into your favorite science fantasy system. Make no mistake this is a Venger Satanis production so the adult and mature themes are front & center in that Eighty One 'Ice Pirates' sort of way! But its very well done for what it does and what it does is serve as a beginning grab by the scrotum introduction to the Alpha Blues system. Its not pretending to be another gaming system or parodying or copying Marvel, this straight to the vein Alpha Blue. Its quick, its dirty, funny, and a straight up beginning adventure. Its not dancing around its adventure plot or anything. It takes the players straight into the sleazy weirdness that is the Alpha Blue rpg system. So in that it succeeds in spades. Guarding Galaxy XXX could be & should be used with other gaming systems especially West End's Star Wars or even gasp Traveler or one of its retroclones. Why because they're several adventure hooks that are scattered throughout the adventure that can really bring home the sleazy of 'Guarding Galaxy XXX' vibe. So for a free introductory adventure you could do worse then grab a copy of 'Guarding Galaxy XXX' some friends with a warped sense of humor and bring the sleazy mature party of Alpha Blue's seedy galaxy to them! Adults only Eric F. Swords & Stitchery Blog Want to see more original content for this & other OSR or O5R products? Subscribe to http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Guarding Galaxy XXX
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Monkey Business (Digital Edition)
Publisher: Disoriented Ranger Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/05/2017 16:55:36

"Something steers deep in the jungle. Rumors of a strange drug start making the rounds … and then things start getting really hairy. Even the cannibals are upset. Monkey Business is a wild ride for Labryth Lord or other OSR retroclone compatible games." So in the last twenty four hours I've had the patience of Job dealing with a few things at work and the very nice author/designer Jens Durke. This is a viciously fun old school adventure with lots of added on extras including random generators, a whole boat load of bananas dungeon location setting material, and some apetastic drug dealers, smugglers, and more. Monkey Business is available through Drivethrurpg as a pay what you want OSR title for Labyrinth Lord. This module is packed with lots of neo OSR weirdness and right off bat your lead down the ape hole;"an OS compatible mostly setting agnostic sandbox module about ape organized drug traffic and flying feces. It got way bigger than I thought it would and I hope it’ll bring you some joy. I’ll use Labyrinth Lord TM as the goto system here and it’s more like an adventure location instead of an adventure. There will be some hooks to get the players involved, too. I’d like to thank Mark van Vlack for giving me the inspiration, an ear or two and his pen (plus his Random Monkey Table, check out his monkey table in Appendix 5!). This is not a work of science but a work of pulp. Don’t expect biological accuracy or anything. Indian, Amazon or African jungle? I don’t care, it’s all one hot mess. Easy enough changed if you know better (and care), easy enough ignored by the rest. But, you know, this also has drug dealing apes and mushroom pygmies that want to get eaten and some magic. There is even a dinosaur somewhere in there, so going with “pulp fantasy” on this one is a safe bet anyway." " And that's exactly what it is part adventure location setting book/part adventure with a wild ride of strangeness that has far more in common with "The Juggle Book" on acid then it does with Planet Of The Apes even though it does remind me of that classic film in some respects. This is balls to the walls gonzo done with an even old school lethality & a dangerous balance. The material here is Labyrinth Lord or B/X Dungeons & Dragons style oriented towards a mature audience as the author sometimes uses the 'f' word with some regularity and lots of drug culture references. The adventure design is tight and centers around the effects of one drug as it filters its way (sort of) through out the adventure, its locations, its environs, and its NPC's. The artwork is public domain throughout most of Monkey Business but not all. There are a few pieces that really bring home the gonzo over the top nature of the adventure but not in a bad way. This makes Monkey Business a perfect add on for both Mutant Future and Apes Victorious but there will be a bit of adjustment needed for some of the encounters because of the possible inclusion of modern weapons and technologies from those Goblinoid retroclones systems. Because Monkey Business has been created for Labyrinth Lord its easy to adapt and twist in many ways for your favorite old school or retroclone systems. The plot is part adventure tool kit & part setting book with a healthy dose of adventure thrown in. There is lots of uses for this one. For value this is one of the best 'pay what you want' titles to come down the pike in a while. I'd give this one a healthy five out of five. Its that good and that nice.

Eric F. Swords & Stitchery Blog Want to see more OSR material for this & other OSR systems then subscribe to http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monkey Business (Digital Edition)
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Wreckside District: A Post Apocalypse Setting
Publisher: Fishwife Games
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/31/2017 11:11:58

Good morning I've had a lot of time to think about one of the biggest problems with post apocalyptic gaming regardless of old school & retroclone system. I've been playing a lot of Gamma World 1st & 2nd edition lately. But I've used a mutated ton of systems from Mutant Future to Mutant Epoch as well as several of my own creations in addition to enhancing them with Boot Hill & AD&D 1st edition style system. So I know a bit about post apocalptyic gaming and it always seems to come down to location. Sure the players have crawled through the ruins of Pitzburke in Gamma World, done with the ruins of California in Mutant Epoch, etc. It really becomes a pain in the ass to keep doing research to some location that they've never heard of for scavenging & ruin creation. The internet has made it that much harder. So the other night I asked my friend Dave Woodrum for Wreckside District: A Post Apocalypse Setting From Fishwife Games So unlike other Fishwife Games in the past this one has a lot of artwork & some really well done professional layout so its easy on the eyes. The gaming potential here for all kinds of havoc at the the table. This is a an urban, post apocalyptic setting that can be used as part loot zone & part city state whole hog & dropped into a campaign. Its system genric & neutral so its a simple matter to drag & drop this right into a campaign even an on going one with a blank spot on the map like I did with my recent Gamma World/Carcosa game.

A City Of Wasted Potential… Aria stood at the edge of the wasted city and peered off towards its most functioning, but violent, part... Wreckside. The crumbling district was given its name years ago for the salvage yard and multiple garages and towing services that sprung up in the area. Now its name is more fitting for the condition of the district and its desperate inhabitants. "So why are we are going back to that place again?" Aria questioned her companion, Darius, as she stared at the dimly glowing lights of the distant buildings, proof that at least some of Wreckside's inhabitants enjoyed the rare treat of functioning electricity. Darius took a swig from a metal flask as he walked away from the acrid smolder of the dying barrel fire. "Supplies. Some special stuff. Electronics and some old notes on building things. I'll know it when I see it." Aria hated it when Darius wouldn't tell her exactly what they were looking for. Still, though, Darius was renowned by the outskirt settlers as a master scavenger and for keeping his mouth shut about what his employers wanted him to recover. The young woman has learned a lot since Darius took her under his wing a year ago, and the scavenger has always managed to keep her alive in the process. "So its another one of those jobs, eh? Typical orders from Garrett, don't let the new kid in on the details...", Aria remarked with an obvious bit of disgust in her voice. "Hey, don't be knocking on Garrett," Darius replied as he checked the contents of his backpack and finished loading rounds into his pistol clip. "The old man is a bit of a creeper, yeah, but he pays well. Plus, we're going to get a pretty big bonus this time if we get back with exactly what he's hoping we'll find." "Big bonus? What he hopes we'll find?" "You'll see. Now follow me... quietly. I've been told there's a safer route into the district."

There are a couple of minor gripes with Wreckside District, the price measures out to about seven dollars and fifty cents for the pdf & I'd love to have seen a print option for these old eyes of mine. But trying to get a print pdf option for Drivethrrpg & Rpgnow is a huge pain in the arse. Artists also cost money & I was surprised at the amount of artwork in this title. Artists cost. Believe me I totally understand why. You've got a ton of NPC's, gangers, adventure locations, and more built into this. This means that this is a drag & drop product for a campaign. The other thing about Fish Wife Games is the fact that they're a company that seems to fade into the background of the OSR & table top hobby. This means that players are not aware of them as a potential resource for some really nasty post apocalyptic material.

Its a good resource for any of the PA games I mentioned & more. This could even be used for as Cyberpunk 2020 adventure location out in the badlands & no go zones. The price is right up there with other pdfs so I would wait for a Drivethrurpg sale and possibly a code. But is it worth your time & efforts? Hmm with the district's map that contains over two hundred numbered locations which are each provided individual descriptions and details. This can be a resource to base an entire campaign around. Now in lots of other reviews I mentioned Domain level play. What the hell is that? Well, when a PC gets to certain level in OD&D such as ninth or higher it was assumed that if they were a fighter they'd build a stronghold, a wizard a tower, a cleric establish a temple or church, etc. This is basically the PC's carving out their own pound of flesh or land in a campaign setting. For some players this is a huge pain in the arse but for old schoolers this was part & parcel of old school campaign settings. This started with OD&D & carried on in B/X with the Companion & Master rules sets. But what does this have to old school DYI Retro Future campaigns such as Gamma World & the Wreckside District? Actually everything. Many old school post apocalyptic games such as Gamma World all the way to Mutant Epoch have factions or Cryptic Alliances or whatever name such groups are under. In a nut shell this is an extension of kill the mutants, take their stuff and then rule their kingdoms! You & your party are looking for food, shelter, safety for you as well as your community by this blaster you rule! So essentially the Wreckside District provides one more filled in space to explore, exploit, & take over or does it? Not so fast kids this is a large area of a loot, and scavenging zone. Here's where the horror just might start. If your forces are spread too thin then you just might crash and burn at the end of a laser shot. So here's ten reasons why Wreckside Disttrict is a perfect product of opportunity for your old school post apocalyptic games:

This is a system neutral product so drag & drop it into your favorite old school or retroclone rpg systems. Exploit and expand the NPC's, adventure hooks, etc. as you the DM see fit. Situate & expand on some of the adventure locations for later post apocalyptic adventures. Deal with the gangs that are in Wreckside in your own adventures to dove tail them back into bringing the PC's into the adventure location. Cut, spin, and multilate the Wreckside District as you need to. You are not going to break this one. Place artifacts and relics from your home campaign where you want them to hook the PC's into the campaign within Wreckside Kill off a few major NPC's to provide adventure opportunities and for expansion of the PC's as possible rulers Use Wreckside as a potential take over point for one of the campaign's major big bads Port over your D&D style adventurers or cowboys for even more weirdness Have your favorite Drive in film classic Atomic age monster threaten The Wreckside District.

Eric From The Sword & Stitchery blog Want to see more OSR support for this and other old school products,systems, and more? Subscribe to http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wreckside District: A Post Apocalypse Setting
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you so very much for the very lengthy, kind, and honest review! It is inspiring to see someone take one of our products like Wreckside and not only use it, but tweak it as needed for their specific campaign needs. I have taken note on your suggestion about the price point and have placed it on a more or less semi-permanent sale price of $5.00. I agree about the print option as well and personally would prefer to see this in print form. I am currently working on bringing in the POD option for future larger Fishwife Games products. I will say though that this one might be a bit difficult to convert over- if I did decide to see if I could turn it into a pod available product- for the reason of the map. Where the map has a bunch of tiny numbered areas I'm afraid that trying to get it to meet margin dimensions may not work as well.... but I'm tempted to see if I can give it a try.
Play Your Character Like A Fucking Boss
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/27/2017 21:00:24

Play Your Character like a Fucking Boss is the latest title from Venger Satanis and is his book end to his other work How To Game Master like a Fucking Boss. Clocking in at about fifteen pages this book is really geared towards OSR style players, well mostly. What this book is actually is a primer or manifesto for Venger's wit and wisdom when it comes to his style of gaming for the player. So what your getting is a primer for the player's side of the screen. The cover is pretty awesome with a Venger style wizard taming his three headed dragon and yeah the cover is boss. The advice inside is as well for players up to a point, the break down here is the finer points of this book is the fact that at certain levels its not really a primer for players. But a set of guidelines for smoother play & more cooperation between dungeon masters & the players. It has more between its pages then a simple review of it can kinda of encompass. There are some ideas for PC guidelines, quick idea backgrounds, how to approach both both play at the table, and how to deal with the dungeon master at your table. All of this is done with Venger's usual unique take. It kinda boils down like this. Without the players you don't have a game & its really not about being a complete jerk. Talking & having complete communication across the table is key here. Which basically makes this book something a look into a set of opinions, PC guidelines, & some solid advice. This isn't so much a book of incredibly awesome ideas but simple on the ground common sense. That right there makes this book far more valuable to me as a player. Do I agree with everything in this book, umm no but then I'm not meant to and neither are you as a player. Play Your Character Like A Fucking Boss is a box of chocolates in this regard. Pick and choose the pieces of advise that are in there for you.

The part about the OSR I agree with mostly but then again I don't; "Players, you have a lot more power than you realize.Banding together with common goals is the equivalent of forming a union. If I was part of this player union, my first order of business would be to find an easy, fun, rules-lite system that the majority will enjoy. I'm sure you can think of several off the top of your head, but indulge my blatant pimping… Crimson Dragon Slayer, The Outer Presence, and Alpha Blue are prime examples of simplistic yet awesome roleplaying games. On the flip-side, strong unions - when thoroughly corrupted by power - deserve to be broken. By the way, I feel the same way about strong, corrupt corporations. That's all part of the fascinating pushpull dynamic between the Game Master and players. Neither side has absolute power, and thank the gods for that, as the game would lose its fun. The second old school element I dislike is that player characters were occasionally… what's the opposite of putting something on a pedestal? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for initiation - the risk of a quick, unceremonious death comes with the old school territory. However, when you beat the odds, make the right decisions, and lady luck smiles upon your character, succeeding despite all the nasty shit the GM throws at you… I expect a fucking parade!" Which I mostly agree with but many OSR games find their own level and quite quickly. This is one of the reasons why its been easier to get players to play Dungeons and Dragons rather then Alpha Blue. This product is part manifesto and part advise primer by someone whose been in the hobby a long while. The artwork is very well done and the layout is top notch. The advise is right on target & for what it does 'Play Your Character Like A Fucking Boss' By Venger Satanis gets five out of five.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Play Your Character Like A Fucking Boss
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Beyond the Ice-Fall [Swords & Wizardry]
Publisher: Raven God Games
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2017 01:16:34

Recently I've put a six month hiatus on doing reviews for this blog mostly to concentrate on my own writing, designing,running, & enjoying the OSR games that I own. The reasons for this are myriad but it all comes down to a matter of time & work. There are going to be exceptions from time to time but those are going to be under my purview; I'm getting very picky these days. When Joseph D. Salvador contacts me about an adventure with artwork, writing, & interior pieces done by Del Teigeler. .Well Beyond The Ice Fall is worth checking out. Well now you've got my attention but then when I begin checking out Beyond The Ice Fall. It turns out that this is a Sword & Sorcery style adventure for Swords & Wizardry. We'll let that bit slide for now & come back to that later, for the moment this adventure has been inspired by Algernon Blackwood’s The Glamour of the Snow & Robert E. Howard’s The Frost Giant’s Daughter.

"In the village of Askibakken, the winter has been harsh and an unnatural blizzard has gripped the area. The village chieftain has called upon young warriors to search for a missing supply ship, but this endeavor leads the adventurers into a mysterious adventure. Will the party discover what lies Beyond the Ice-Fall?"

This is basically a good old fashioned crawl and investigation style adventure using a good solid easily adaptable premise for PC's levels 1-3 not 6 to 20,but levels one through three. The adventure clocks in at a reasonable twenty pages is a fully enclosed package that can be used for a wide variety of OSR style games with some adaptation on the part of the dungeon master. The quality is up to Raven God Games standards and the cartography is particularly well done with evocative interior pieces. The writing flows smoothly & the encounters seem well balanced for the Nordic style mythological setting of the adventure. There is a Frazetta & Robert Howard style to Beyond The Ice Fall but its not a coy rip off but a well thought out homage to the classic sword & sorcery pulp material. Let's me state this right off a stupid party of adventurers are going to end up very dead in no time flat. This isn't an instant TPK adventure but a thinking man's sword and sorcery adventure. This adventure is as much OSR adventure resource tool kit as it is adventure with a viking flare. You've got a mini-setting, a dungeon crawl with room for expansion, two maps, new monsters, new magic items, new spells, and a viking name list. Everything here is balanced towards old fashioned play, in other words this is a pick up and go adventure. Can it be played with original Dungeons & Dragons besides Swords & Wizardry White Box? Absolutely & it can also be used as a fill in for an Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea first edition adventure with some adjustments. But be warned this has some tricks, traps, and twists to it. The adventure flow here is wickedly dangerous and the PC's are messing with otherworldly powers from beyond ken of men.

Now for the obvious question, could this adventure be used with Mad Martian Games Ice Kingdoms OSR campaign setting book? Well, with some adjustments using the conversion tables within the Ice Kingdoms book sure. In fact I'd go so far as to say that Beyond the Ice-Fall is the sort of beginning adventure that I was hoping was going to be used for that setting. But I think that the village of Askibakken stands on its own. I'd adapt this adventure for any OSR Viking, Nordic themed, or OSR sword & sorcery campaign in a heart beat. This is a top draw quality adventure simple with nuances of complexity in the right places and plenty of room for OSR DIY D&D customization on the part of the dungeon master.

In fact I would say that this adventure with little modification could infact be used with other OSR settings such as Dark Albion where the Vikings of Beyond The Ice Fall could be used to fill in one or more factions from Dark Europe's Norse regions. The material here is loose enough to fit the adventure ideals of the setting and easily adaptable which in my opinion is one of the strengths of it. This is an adventure worth grabbing and getting in on. Five out of five

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want to see more OSR support for this product and many others? Subscribe to http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Beyond the Ice-Fall [Swords & Wizardry]
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Strange Stars OSR Rule Book
Publisher: Hydra Cooperative
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/10/2017 00:02:28

Sometimes you get to see an artifact from another alternative time period, a strange 'what if' book that ports itself into your hands. Unfortunately this sort of thing isn't real but Trey Causey has finally released his Strange Stars OSR Rule Book and its aimed straight at the heart of the Stars Without Numbers rpg system rule book as an alternative setting. "It’s the far future, Old Earth is lost and shrouded in legend, and the children of paleo-humanity have long ago populated the stars, branching into new forms and strange cultures. Adventure is measured in light-years!" This is a zipped down, stripped down, Stars Without Number setting book spun through the blender of Trey Causey's warped imagination. This book reads like a combination of a late 70's classic era Marvel space opera comic book setting with a completely different take down of the Stars Without Number setting on its own terms. So is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well, in many respects its a good thing, this book has actual playable OSR alien races that make you want to play them. There is a an entire boat load of worlds, materials,and adventure hooks sewing through out the setting book. This book is an exercise in compactness and interstellar utility. The layout is smooth, easy to read, & gives not only a gist of the interstellar setting but an entire setting straight out of the box. Here's a sample of the type of quality material that your going to get. Is it a complete setting? Yes and no, yes its perfectly suitable for running adventures in the Strange Stars universe mixed along side the Stars Without Number universe & system. But is it worth it if you already own the Strange Stars setting & resource book? Well that's going to depend if you want to convert the whole setting, plus races, material, etc. into Stars Without Number or into your favorite space OSR clone such as Hulks & Horrors, White Star, etc. This book covers all of the bases but making the buyer go for another purchase all over again is a bit of a pain in the ass for the consumer. So it loses points for that. But I get the reason why multiple versions of Strange Stars have been done. Trey is trying to get his hands into the gaming public's hands for sheer love of his setting & in a word its worth it. Especially for the Stars Without Number game universe because in many ways Strange Stars fulfills the retro gaming promise of SWN without all of that OSR system's setting baggage. I've DMed lots & lots of Stars Without Numbers over the years & in some respects there's way too many books, settings, etc. for SWN. In thirty seven pages you get factions, alien races,NPC's, adventure hooks, etc. ready too go for that group of player's that coming in fifteen minutes. This is a great setting book for Stars without Number because its ideal suited to take the PC's to the stars and beyond for months or years of old school play. Much of the Strange Stars setting echoes both SWN and its own internal 70's space opera groove. Could this work with other OSR gaming systems? Yes, in fact it would be an excellent fit with Venger Satanis's sleazy Alpha Blue rpg system. But without the adult sex & sleaze bits. Instead you get some very fine quality material that can literally generate months of 70's space opera play at the usual author's quality and output. There's some really fine pieces of artwork in here as well. Could Strange Stars OSR be used with other OSR retroclone systems such as White Star or Swords & Wizardry? In a word quite easily, not only the author's other work setting Weird Adventures the crunch is done in such a way to make porting over into your favorite game system quite easy & somewhat painless. This piece by Jason Sholtis, is especially evocative of the Seventies comic space opera. There is idea after idea here with homages to classic 70's films such as Logan's Run, Star Wars, Star Crash, etc. But Trey has free reign to let his imagination run wild. It does indeed lead into some weird & dark corners of his universe but that's half the fun here. What about using Strange Stars OSR with say the White Star rpg? Well after doing a bit of looking I found that Trey pointed me in the right direct it seems that friend already has done exactly this; " Mike aka Wrathofzombie has run some sessions of Strange Stars in White Star with some adaptation of the setting book of his on devising. Here are some races/classes: https://wrathofzombie.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/playable-alien-races-from-strange-stars-for-white-star/

Looking at what he did there, I don't think it would be very hard to convert over, as White Star looks even "rules lighter" than SWN, but with a similar OSR chassis. " This begs the question could Strange Stars be used with OD&D or say Swords & Wizardry? Well judging by the research I've done with it. I'd say definitely & because, "the children of paleo-humanity have long ago populated the stars" it would not be hard to take your favorite campaign setting or old school fantasy world & make it a back water planet in the Strange Stars universe. There are also lots of PC racial options from Atozan librarians to armored thrax warriors which can add new dimensions to character racial development.This is especially true for retroclones such as Swords & Wizardry or for other favorite OSR system. Could Strange Stars be used with Traveler, Star Frontiers ( the loving homage of the cover is a dead giveaway), or even Labyrinth Lord, Mutant Future, or Star Ships & Space Men Second Edition? In a word, yes. But where I think that Strange Stars OSR loses some points is in the fact that if you bought the first Strange Stars book, this is a companion piece & while I totally understand the reasons why. Now the reason why this pdf costs five dollars & fifty five cents is because its full of some really nice artwork, a solid layout,editing, & more all of this costs time, money, & high quality costs. Even though the page count is only thirty seven pages, this pdf is so chalk full of great OSR retro sci fi ideas that its well worth your time & money. The fact that its geared for Stars Without Numbers only adds to the value. My recommendation is to grab this one and start playing among Strange Stars. Five out of five in my book for solid OSR space opera for your old school campaign settings.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want to see more reviews, support for this & other OSR rpg systems plus original content? Subscribe to http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Strange Stars OSR Rule Book
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PC8 - The OSR Amazon Warrior
Publisher: Jeremy Reaban
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/29/2017 10:58:01

There are times when a PC wants to play the pinnicle of Amazon warrior battle hardened steel in human for in a sword & sorcery old school game. This is exactly what PC8 - The OSR Amazon Warrior By Jeremy Reaban brings to the table. This is an old fashioned kick ass lady warrior capable of taking down foes with some real teeth & old school steel. She is exactly what she sounds like an apex Amazon warrior. This is a well balanced PC class that clocks in at six pages of ass kicking warrior fun for the table. The best part is that the class isn't simply for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons or OSRIC style games; "Although primarily intended for first advanced edition, it also contains tables for other popular versions: original edition, basic and expert edition, and the cyclopedia edition." So is she Wonder Woman with the serial numbers filed off? Umm not exactly, a closer analogy might be a Xena style character in her earliest adventures or a feminine tribal 'warrior of history' style character. According to the add, these ladies of sword & mythology are," extremely athletic and a skilled warrior who fights without armor and is stronger and faster than others." And that's exactly what the design & the numbers of the class portray. The PC class is a capable warrior able to dispatch her foes & still have the skills to protect her fellow adventurers. This isn't race as class here but straight up PC Amazon fighter with a few add ons that echo popular culture & classic mythology. Make no mistake these are deadly women & they can mess you in the wilderness or the dungeon. The writing & design are tight, the PC tables are no nonsense & these ladies would be right at home in a mythic sword & sorcery old school setting or even in a sword & planet setting with little issues. Clever DM's could built entire adventures around them with these ladies being used as NPC Amazon lost world temple guardians, generals at higher levels, diplomats, & even the leaders of entire Amazonian mercenary companies. They're kick ass & this is another well done Jeremy Reaban affair five out of five for easy of use, no bull stats, & this class has plenty of fodder for the DM that needs something a wee bit different for their players. Don't forget to toss the writer some coins for his efforts so we can get more great PC classes! Eric Fabiaschi Sword & Stitchery blog Want to see more great original OSR content subscribe to http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
PC8 - The OSR Amazon Warrior
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