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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/28/2018 01:04:37

"This is the much-anticipated sequel to best seller Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss. Part II has even more advice for the amateur and professional author - secrets which only a select few are even aware. Or maybe it just seems that way because I keep seeing the same mistakes over and over and over again. " this book to go on an actual adventure not a book about adventure publishing! Sorry, I had to get that off my chest folks. The cover art by Lucas Graciano is very well done but has little to do with the contents of Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II. The interior art by Bojan Sucevic & David Miller range from decent to sheer Lovecraftian but mostly seem to match the cover in a Sword & Sorcery motif. The artwork is good & solid reflecting the author's vision. This book focuses on many of the author's own experiences in the rpg publishing industry from behind the keyboard. Venger has written it in a no nonsense style that hits the high notes & some of the low notes of the behind the industry stuff. The author takes his experiences in stereo style instruction to rpg & adventure design that takes a step by step process approach. On the whole its a very straight forward book that has Venger's usual wit & weirdness throw in without a constant running bit of sleaze. Sure there's some T&A after all this is Venger but this is one of his more down to Earth books and that doesn't mean boring. The artwork & layout here is solid and well done by Glynn Seal of MonkeyBlood Design. The advise here is well rounded and I have to mention Venger's stance on rail roading in adventures; "If you can apply any of the following to something you've written, take it behind the woodshed and shoot it between the eyes. A The PCs have to do… A The PCs can't rescue… A The PCs always fail at… A The PCs never… A There's no way the PCs can… A The PCs will… Sure, there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, "the PCs have to offer the bounty hunters a substantial reward if they want to hire them for this job." That's fine because "hire" is specific, but not the only way to get things done. Maybe a PC tries to seduce one of the bounty hunters or blackmails him into tracking down their prey. However, if you write "the PCs have to get into a fight with the bounty hunters in order for them to get captured by Ambassador Kehaan," that's just wrong."

All too often I've seen this exact sort of theme that runs through many old school & even modern OSR products. Don't rail road because its only going to harm the product & Venger continues with this approach. The book is simple & directly down to Earth without being preachy that was one of the short falls I found in many White Wolf products. This one avoids the preachy & pretentious voice. In other words the book does a good job of laying out its voices for writing, publishing, & advise without talking down to its audience. For years I've been telling Venger that he's a good writer & he doesn't need the sleaze gimmick to engage his reading audience. Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II proves that fact in spades & lays the gauntlet on the table for writing more books of this quality. But is Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II a good book? Well, yes for the person whose looking to get into the garage band end of table top rpg's such as the OSR scene.

Are there problems with Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II? Well yes & no, because their small but the book in some ways states the obvious but then if your experienced with small time rpg table top publishing why are you reading Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II?

This book takes the beginning author & walks him or her through the entire behind the scenes aspects of rpg publishing from inception to completion in only twenty four pages with the author's insights, commentary, & humor take on the rpg business. Its actually a pretty solid read for a book with more then slightly ridiculous title. Here everyone needs a hook to grab the buyer's attention and its held. The book's title assures that die hard Venger Satanis fans will be grabbing this book. I'd give this one a four out of five. Grab Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II if you want a no holds bar tour of the rpg publishing world with out breaking the bank!

Eric Fabiaschi Sword & Stitchery blog Want More Original OSR Content? Then subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II
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Battle Star: Trek Wars
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2018 12:20:31

So this might be Venger Satanis's last run down the old space brothel ways of the Alpha Blue rpg according to the intro into Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars.

I'm really sorry to see this development. The OSR needs more independent designers. But what is Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars? "Three sleazy scenarios for the Alpha Blue RPG. Plus, a huge, color map of the Ta'andor Galaxy with die-drop event/encounter tables." This book clocks in at seventy six pages of rules, four sleazy scenarios, a fantastic color map of the Ta'andor Galaxy by Glynn Seal of Monkey Blood Design. All of the sleazy adventures center around the space brothel Alpha Blue with lots & lots of random tables from cosmic orgasms to full blown encounters. This is not a game supplement to take seriously at all, the level of humor is that of perv R rated space sex comedies from back in the Eighties. The sort of Up All Night space romp movies that used to be on late night cable & this book plugs right into that. The text, layout, etc is all up to the usual Kort'thalis Publishing standards. The artwork is good for the product & portrays the sleazy vibe that Venger is going for. If your not into the type of space opera comedy that Venger does then this book isn't for you. Could Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars be used for other OSR space opera style games? In a word yes if the players don't take their role playing seriously. The scenarios are clever & sophomoric in their content but the adventure ideas have some great potential for a space based campaign. There's some great rules & ideas if your an Alpha Blue dungeon master. Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars plays out as it should a sleazy & well written groupings of rules & adventures for the Alpha Blue rpg system. The Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars

book is solidly done for the Alpha Blue rpg system & it would take quite a bit of shoe horning to get it to work with other OSR systems. Is Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars well done? Yes but is it for everyone? No unless their looking for the sort of space sleaze that Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars is offering.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want more OSR original content then subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Star: Trek Wars
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Heroic Fantasy Handbook
Publisher: Autarch
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/17/2018 19:40:39

Sometimes its not the genre but the way that a book presents the material. In this case The Heroic Fantasy Handbook From Autarch tries its best to heal a nagging ulcer that has existed in the table top role playing game fantasy book fandom since the early days. That is the divide between the fans of High fantasy vs Low fantasy. There's also a similar divide between modern Dark Fantasy fans & pure pulp magazine fans. The sub divisions of hobbies & fandom also spills over in to Sword & Planet vs Heroic Fantasy books & so forth. All of this B.S. spilled over into the Appendix N of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the first edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide back in '79. Basically its a way for others to turn their nose up at other people who are using the themes, ideas,etc. of any of the above to play adventures, campaigns, & games where the themes & elements of High Fantasy, Low Fantasy, Sword & Planet, Dark Fantasy, Pulp are used & mixed with gusto! Others haven't been playing their own campaigns 'the right way'. Personally I think all of these definitions & divisions are manure! The Heroic Fantasy Handbook From Autarch takes the ideals of all of the above & boils them into a stew that focuses the lens of Heroic Fantasy in a set of actually playable & usable guidelines for the Adventurers, Conqueror, King retroclone system.

How does "The Heroic Fantasy Handbook" do this? Well, let's look at the actual definition of Heroic Fantasy from L. Sprague de Camp's introduction to the 1967 Ace edition of Conan (Robert E. Howard), p. 13.

""Heroic fantasy" is the name I have given to a subgenre of fiction, otherwise called the "sword-and-sorcery" story. It is a story of action and adventure laid in a more or less imaginary world, where magic works and where modern science and technology have not yet been discovered. The setting may (as in the Conan stories) be this Earth as it is conceived to have been long ago, or as it will be in the remote future, or it may be another planet or another dimension. Such a story conbines [sic] the color and dash of the historical costume romance with the atavistic supernatural thrills of the weird, occult, or ghost story. When well done, it provides the purest fun of fiction of any kind. It is escape fiction wherein one escapes clear out of the real world into one where all men are strong, all women beautiful, all life adventurous, and all problems simple, and nobody even mentions the income tax or the dropout problem or socialized medicine."

"The Heroic Fantasy Handbook" does this by giving the players options that are patterned after the stories, novels, etc. of the subgenre itself while keeping the basics patterns & ideas that are found in the ACK's handbook in tact whist adding a set of 16 new character classes inspired by the archetypes of material. This isn't a quick coat of paint & bunch of OGL revamps but a loving & well thought out inspiration of material. "The Heroic Fantasy Handbook" is well laid out & easy on the eye with a professional care toward its magick systems & PC options. This is a two hundred & twenty four page monster of a book with magics that reflect & heighten the ideals of the material presented in the the Adventurers, Conqueror, King retroclone system. The eldritch magic system is a marriage of the magicks of Conan's Mythos with the temptations of hinted at in C.S. Lewis's Lion, The Witch, & the Wardrobe along side the weirdness of Tolkien. And all of this echos back to the world of ACK's.

The ceremonial magicks of "The Heroic Fantasy Handbook" give the magician a far more reaching & subtle mechanism for game play enabling players to give a heavy hand during play on monsters, rulers, and other enemies. This magick turns the wizard in question into a power to be reckoned with not only in life but in economics & during adventures. There's more weirdness here with the implementation of spellsinging which is directly related to ACK's elves & it works to give the Elven enchanters more arcane muscle which they sorely need. There are over a hundred & fifty five spells here & this doesn't mean that "The Heroic Fantasy Handbook" is another padded 'splat book'. "The Heroic Fantasy Handbook" is designed as an add on book for characters looking to be flesh out for play in a more complete campaign setting. There's lots of options here and all of them are actually usable. This isn't a bull crap book trying to take your money. This is a book for adding more dimension to your ACK's characters & NPC's. This book is as much for the dungeon master as its for the players. Was the "The Heroic Fantasy Handbook" worth the wait? Yes it was! This is a five out of five book and no I'm not kidding. This is the book that I wish I had when I started my ACK's & OSR campaigns. Why because it works at what it does and that's kick ass & take names! Why do I say this? Because if you want to run a down & dirty campaign with all of the elements of ACK's Sword & Sorcery mixed with a healthy dose of Tolkein then this is the book for you! If you want to run a straight up balls to the walls Sword & Planet campaign then your going to want the ACK's rule book & Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu. But you'll want "The Heroic Fantasy Handbook"to bring the thunder & lightning to the whole campaign affair. While not necessary the ACKS Player's Companionhas several kick ass NPC options that can still kick the crap out the player's PC's such as the Anti paladin, dwarven fury, & a few others to put those Heroic types down! Sorry but I'm going to give the "The Heroic Fantasy Handbook" a five out of five because its just that good!

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Want more OSR original content & more for this and other OSR games? Subscribe now to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroic Fantasy Handbook
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Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu
Publisher: Autarch
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/11/2018 17:53:35

Over the course of a couple of days I've been doing a lot of hard thinking about old school systems & Pulp Era campaigns. I've also been doing revamps & rewrites on much of the current Pulp Era campaign. To that end I began to look into Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu . This book is right in my wheel house leaning close to the edge of both Sword & Planet with a huge foot hold in the Sword & Sorcery end of the prehistoric ocean. Alexander Macris & Omer Joel,are no strangers to the science fantasy genre & this book proves it. So what is the book & setting like? Well imagine if the creators of Buck Rogers & Flash Gordon got together with H.P. Lovecraft & Robert Howard to create an episode of Seventies Battle Star Galactica set on a lost planet. This planet would be Kanahu. Forget Eternia, Kanahu is a place where He Man or Thundarr would feel right at home. The world of Kanahu used to be a Grey outpost work & there is a lot of their artifacts still hanging around because human slaves were toiling away & mining the planet for valuable materials. The Greys are on the wane but the alien slave races including humans are on their way back! You've seen this plot & what not a thousand times but this is Bak baby! Swords & barbarians are everywhere. Whole setting is geared for gonzo Eighties action! And the Greys are still taking slaves for the mines so your old school characters better watch out. The world of Kanahu has lots of racial classes suited for the setting that deal the players into the vibe & science fantasy groove of Kanahu setting. "A set of 15 new character classes from the world of Kanahu, including the scurrying roach-like bugman, the dreaded cultist, the inhuman deep one hybrid, the mighty dragon incarnate, the stealthy geckoman stalker, the savagely sorcerous lizardman witch-doctor, and the mysterious alien Nephil. " There are these & more with lizard men & insect bugmen taking center stage as the former servants of the Serpent men & Greys respectively. Kanahu is a world in deep trouble with the forces of Chaos having raged across it in ages past and now the science fantasy races are having to deal with centuries of fallout. Robots, cybernetic horrors, and worse lay in wait for players whilst worse Lovecraftian horrors from across the Outer Darkness crawls up from the depths of the planet once held in check by the Greys. This is a world where dungeon dwellers & ruin seekers are going to feel right at home & the consequences can be devastating to the players. The world of Kanahu has plasma weaponry in its artifact tables and their rather nasty. The writing is excellent as well as the layout & formatting which is easy on the eyes. There is a lot going on in Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu meaning that much of the science fantasy setting material adapts itself to both Sword & Sorcery as well as Science Fantasy role playing. The theme running through Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu is one of both tool kit & planetary sandbox. There are lots of options presented & placed on the table here. These themes are packed & paced into the book which complements & expands upon what's been presented in the Heroic Fantasy Handbook. While its not necessary to have the ACK's the Heroic Fantasy Handbook on hand I can see why the dungeon master & players would want it on hand. The ideas present in the book are highlighted with skill packages,proficiencies ,and other PC kits geared around through out the whole affair of Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu. This adds into the sandbox nature of Kanahu as a setting for PC's to explore & get lost in on their way to getting killed in one of the planet's innumerable dungeons.
So let's talk about the expansions of ACK's with new takes on existing monsters such as the nasty versions of shambling mounds, terror birds, even the humble toadmen get a Lovecraft make over and its not a pretty one. These monsters all have ties to a variation of Lovecraftian Chaos & its something that PC's should avoid at all costs. This ties back into the revamp of the spells of Kanahu whose magick had a hand in the downfall of the planet. Seriously, there are some nasty business in these spells that you don't want PC's using. All together I'm rather pleased on the whole with the magic section because it really captures the flavor of what the writers & designers were going for. But how does one use Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu? This is the exact sort of setting book/science fantasy tool kit that I wish I had some months ago. For OSR science fantasy OSR games this is a God sent, no really. Take out the science fantasy planetary sandbox setting with lots of detail and your left with a tool kit perfectly suited for creating all kinds of extra solar system goodness. There are numerous hooks, tags & adventure fodder for doing exactly that built right into the back bone of Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu. There's already enough maps, ruins, etc. in the book to keep a group of players going for at least a year or more. But with a bit of clever slight of hand a DM could keep a group of players in his or her own setting going for years! I give Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu a five out of five for a really well thought out system and ACK's base for creating & maintaining a Sword & Planet, Sword & Sorcery or Dark Fantasy campaign. In my opinion grab this one! Eric Fabiaschi Sword & Stitchery blog Want more OSR content & original old school gaming stuff? Subscribe to http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu
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RPGPundit Presents #26: Mutant Hordes of the Last Sun
Publisher: Precis Intermedia
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2018 20:31:59

So today it wad great anticipation that I grabbed a copy of Rpg Pundit Presents 26 Mutant Hordes of the Last Sun.

I asked for this copy of what looks like Rpg Pundit's dip into the OSR post apocalyptic rpg scene with the Last Sun setting. Sort of a Dying Earth meets gonzo OSR rpg style game setting, Dungeon Crawl Classic or Mutant Crawl Classic players are going to feel right at home here as will Mutant Future rpg fans. There's also a good shot of Tolkein's Middle Earth playing to the strains of some weird Eighties sound track here. None of this is a bad thing for the OSR zine presentation of this setting;

" In the gonzo world of the Last Sun, human beings are an endangered species. After the Great Disaster, human numbers have steadily declined throughout the world. Although a few areas still contain a human majority (like the city of Arkhome, detailed in RPGPunditPresents #16 and #20), true humans are a very rare breed throughoutmost of the world. While humans have been hunted to near-extinction in some areas (like the Middle-Northern Wildlands, detailed in RPGPundit Presents #15), it was mostly mutation rather than depredation that has apparently doomed humanity. The time of the Great Disaster, when the Dark Ones entered the world of the Last Sun and waged war against all life, caused an enormous amount of ecological damage to the world. The disappearance of the Ancients, crash of G.O.D. into Emergency Mode, and rebellion of the AI Daemons meant that there was no central control. The loss of the Dwarven Machineholds to the servants of the Dark One also meant that all the machinery that kept strict control over the climate of the world was no longer accessible. The war of the Pythian Elves and their allies against the Dark Ones on the surface of the world created devastation, both technological (radiation and other toxic effects) and magical. As a result of all this, not only did many humans die, but many more were mutated into horrific monsters and monster-races, like the humanoids usually described as goblin-kin. A majority were changed into what are now simply referred to as mutants—they are human-like, but no longer human creatures" So basically Rpg Pundit is steadily working on an OSR post apocalyptic rpg and testing the waters of the marketplace with a slick mutant race generator with a strong eye towards the gonzo end of the spectrum. This product clocks in at eighteen pages & is full of random generators for everything from your mutant's tribal factional background, powers, type, color, & potential additional physical qualities. In addition there's a psychic powers system built into the product that can work in a wide variety of OSR products. Finally there's a random mutant quirky qualities & weirdness table. And there's actually a couple of pieces of pretty decent artwork along with the usual quality layout to the product line.
Mutant generators walk a very fine line when it comes to execution they have to have enough useful information & lots of great random tables without taking away from the tool box nature of the product. Rpg Pundit Presents 26 Mutant Hordes of the Last Sun succeeds in that regard. The three dollar price tag means that the dungeon master can roll up a wide variety of NPC mutants without breaking the bank. It also means that the players have addition customization tools right at their finger tips. There's enough meet on the Mutant Hordes of the Last Sun eighteen pages to give a good idea of the direction of the product without boxing the players completely and utterly into the setting. There's just enough guidance to randomly determine if your PC is a mutant, and what kind of classes he can play without strong arming the player into a corner of dead ends & penalties that many other OSR & old school post apocalyptic products have done in the past. Yes I'm looking at you Ares section of Dragon magazines of ages past. There's a lot here that can be done with Rpg Pundit Presents 26 Mutant Hordes of the Last Sun

from factional NPC mutant characters to full fledged psychic mutant PC's whose presence won't destroy your wastelands. The inclusion of a working psychic powers system is a nice addition for only three dollars & I can see using this generator for creating humanoid mutant alien species as well. This generator would work well for creating mutant tribes & NPC's on failed colony worlds for science fiction or science fantasy worlds. There's enough here to add mutant PC's to a wide variety of OSR games. The three dollar price tag makes this a nice & solid product for use with OSR games. I don't know if the Last Sun setting is for me but the Rpg Pundit Presents 26 Mutant Hordes of the Last Sun is a welcome addition to the post apocalyptic Dungeon master's arsenal. So this one is a five out of five in my book! Want to get more original OSR & original post apocalytic content? Then subscribe to https://darkcornersofrpging.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
RPGPundit Presents #26: Mutant Hordes of the Last Sun
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Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/24/2017 11:16:31

Christmas confession time I've been reluctant to do a commentary review Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss By Venger Santanis .Why pray tell? Well, because I'll be honest I'm not a Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons dungeon master or player. I've tried the system , looked it over, wrapped my head around it, & sorry folks its not for me. Basically I did all of this at the behest of a player of mine & to convert or use some of the Fifth edition stuff if necessary. If you love it then fantastic! Go for it but for me & my players Fifth edition hasn't made an impact. I'm an OSR & retroclone system dungeon master. Fortunately Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss By Venger Santanis is actually almost entirely system neutral. So what the heck is it?! Well according to the Drivethru add; " This is a grab-bag of fantasy goodies for use with O5R roleplaying games. That means everything from Basic D&D, AD&D, all the various retro-clones, systems similar but not identical (like Crimson Dragon Slayer), and 5th edition." This is more or less what Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss By Venger Santanis is. This a bunch of PC options that can more or less add punch & power to your player characters. " But it done in a slim style & with the razor style of Venger. But first let me say that Glynn Seal of Monkeyblood Design must be a God damn genius. The layout is clear crisp but easy on the eyes. The artwork is good and there's a fold out piece battle scene artwork piece that is killer. The philosphy of the book touches on something that I've been finding with folks in the OSR over the last couple of years; "Though I grew up on Basic D&D in the mid-eighties, my old school tastes have straddled the dark, mistladen past, as well as, the contemporary conventions of today. My own fantasy heartbreaker, Crimson Dragon Slayer, had done away with the more cumbersome elements of the game. To me, the old school renaissance is about taking the essence and philosophy of the past and then making innovation after innovation until everything that seemed inordinate, clunky, and weird is made smooth - sanded by decades of theory, practice, common sense, and talking to other gamers with a shared passion for RPGs. But sometimes we can go too far, innovating ourselves right off the map." This past summer, I decided to re-read the many fantastic posts at Grognardia. That inspired me to go back to basics, or Basic D&D. I kept all the funky stuff that I usually threw out - rolling for initiative, racial access to certain classes and level limits, different tables for saving throws and experience points… pretty much everything except descending Armor Class, one spell per day magic-users, and worrying about circumstantial modifiers (just used Advantage/Disadvantage).To my surprise, I really got into it. The minutia which, for many years, I assumed to be awkward relics that stood in the way of progress actually turned out to be absorbing and a whole lot of fun. When every point of experience is counted (fighting monsters, looting treasure, exploring, making the game world your own, etc.), then every experience (point) counts. It matters if the PCs wait in ambush for the ogre to walk by or if they charge into the next room. A couple dozen XP might be the difference between going up to level 2 and staying level 1. It's amazing what simple pleasures you forget about after the game's been streamlined. In my desire to maximize our enjoyment of the macro-game - the story, overall battles, interacting with NPCs, and exploration - I had neglected the micro-game that takes into account precious resources and their management. Not only arrows, torches, and rations but also gold and kills before having to rest. Even silver pieces are cherished when they can be spent on training!" So, even though I'll continue to run and primarily write for Crimson Dragon Slayer, that recent minicampaign reminded me just how awesome old school retro-clones can be. For all of our renaissance, innovation and renovation, there's something about the original iterations of the game that can't be beat… even with a ten-foot pole."

So it seems to be really well written, nicely thought out, from the heart, & then we get chart after chart of system neutral character options for your old school games. From 'fantasy sounding names' to 'dishonor & infamy tables'. I admit the random 'CRIMSON PHASIC DETH WYZARD VORPAL' table is very METAL & well done. Its basically a metal table for battle wizards to get an extra edge & it would fit quite nicely into Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea second edition or Dungeon Crawl Classics game. Behold the sort of effect I'm speaking of; "Invisible fire strikes 2d6 opponents for 3d6 exploding damage, as well as, affixing them to the floor and walls as if they were caught in a spider's web." Cue guitar or keytar syth riff here! Then he goes into short essays on bards, clerics, reflecting in battle as an optional rule, cut down swarm rules for play, a fun list of possible character actions, words,and accomplishments in order to gauge your raw quotient of awesome in a given adventure, awesome point rules & that's it!?!

What the hell did I just read?! At thirty two pages this was way too short of a book. Venger is a solid writer & designer who needs to settle down & do more writing & designing. This is a three & a half or four star book because of the fact that I was expecting more from a book with the title Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss. This book seems to be a catch all of random tables & PC options for players with a few solid random tables and it seriously needs a lot more expansion before it hits the four or five star territory. Alright Venger so you've been playing since the mid Eighties then I'd love to see more essays & actual options of yours on the subject. Players actually value your wisdom & by the fallen Gods I'd love to see more of it from you as a writer! This book should be about hundred pages with all kinds of bits & bobs about your gaming over the years that pepper your blog & books. Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss feels like a bit of catch all and in that regard I was a bit on the disappointed. But as a player optional reference well that's a bit of a different story. As a book of player options Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss

if your DM agrees to using it at the table its a book that works as a quick fill in & fill out for players. There are tons of optional pieces that the player & DM can easily & quickly work into an adventure on as a part of the on fly & seat of your pants style that Venger loves. So in this regard its a four out of five. Understand exactly what your getting into when you purchase Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want To See More original OSR Content For This & OSR Systems? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
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The Midderlands - OSR Bestiary and Setting
Publisher: MonkeyBlood Design
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/13/2017 11:47:26

So I've been looking over The Midderlands - OSR Bestiary and Setting pdf last night during a wicked ice storm. This morning I'm looking over the Midderlands setting last night & can't seem to shake the feeling I've seen this style of setting before. But first what is the Midderlands, "A green-hued, dark-fantasy, old-school mini-setting and bestiary set in a twisted middle-England." So what do I possibly mean I've seen this style of OSR setting before? The Drivethrurpg blurb goes into far more detail;"

"Situated in the middle of Havenland is an area known by the ancestors as the Middle Havenlands. They don’t use that name much any more, preferring to talk lazily, and skip letters.

In strange accents, often misheard and little understood by those outside of the central region - they call it “The Midderlands”, and themselves “Midfolk” or “Midderlanders”.

There are many peculiar folk that call these Midderlands home. Generally mistrusting of outsiders, they suspiciously eye strangers, close doors, bar windows and scurry in opposite directions. Maybe the area has had a troubled history and that is why the folk behave the way they do.

All that aside, there are good folk too. These folk just want to subsist peacefully and not have interference or “goings on” in their lives. Nothing is ever that simple.

As well as the people of the area, there are the places. The towns and hamlets, the woods and hills, the lakes and the rivers. Amongst all these places are stranger locales too; circles of stones, strange towers, castles and burial grounds.

Everywhere, the Midderlands is tainted by a green-hued menace that rises from the deep and affects nature and order, sometimes subtly and sometimes catastrophically. It rises from the mysterious subterranean realm known as Middergloom. Often described as hell bathed in green fire and flames. Green-tinged slime, noxious vapours, and miasmas creep upwards, amongst them viridian-coloured demons, lime-green tentacles and other malachite horrors claw their way to the surface to wreak havoc. The Lords of the land are always working to keep things at bay. The realm of Middergloom is deliberately nebulous and mysterious, and left for you to develop as needed to suit your campaign.

The vileness that lurks below taints the skies above the land too, known as The Drab. The atmosphere is a hint of green rather than blue. The colour can shift between turquoise and sickly yellow-green in a short space of time. When night comes and the Drab clears, the midfolk can see the constellations surrounded by wispy green nebulae, strange wandering stars and comets, and a single many-cratered moon.

There are many things to keep the inquisitive minds of treasure seekers amused. There are also many things to keep the treasures where they are.

Things stir in this viridian-hued landscape. Evil eyes blink and watch. Teeth and claws scratch and sharpen. Gaping maws slobber and drool.

All is not content in the Midderlands." So needless to say that the Midderlands is very well done, the layout is easy on the eyes, the material fits exactly the itch of a deep, dark, dank fantasy England. Glynn Seal knows his sources & solid background of his world very well. This is not your average OSR world but one that seems to reflect the uniquely weird U.K. brand of fantasy. So where have I seen this style before? In The U.K. series of classic TSR modules. This same home grown U.K. style where the grit is matched by the monsters of the setting twisted into the plot background of the product so that the adventure flows together well as a cohesive setting whole.

I'd compare the Midderlands setting to U.K.1 Beyond the Crystal Cave. "Beyond the Crystal Cave was written by British designers Dave J. Browne, Tom Kirby, and Graeme Morris, and published by TSR in 1983" There are several reasons why I'm saying this. Your going to need to actually role play, think outside the box, and figure your way out of the interiors of several of the nastier bits of the Midderlands. This is the same idea that Beyond the Crystal Cave employed. By hook or crook the PC's have to use their brains time & again. The second reason I'd compare the two is because of the way that the author has shunted the material into a strangely spun English countryside;" U.K.1 is set in an old English milieu on Sybarate Isle in the Hold of the Sea Princes." This is the same style that we'd later on see in later on in the classic Warhammer Fantasy by Games Workshop because authors of TSR U.K. would go on to create classic era Games Workshop! Let me go so far as to say that you could drop the entire TSR U.K. series right into the Midderlands & the setting would let out a burp & a fart then continue on. That's the beauty of this setting its adaptable easily able to be used in a wide variety of OSR setting & milieus easily including Dark Albion, Gavin Norman's Dolmenwood , Greyhawk, & many others.

For Dark Albion, The Midderlands is the going to be a mid point in the Albion empire. Not quite a backwater but the sort of a frontier border countryside that's common in England. These lands are going to be 'settled' but not quite up to the usual Albion strictness of control that one gets deeper in the cities & towns. There are deep & dark monsters in these places. PC's are going to have to tread very carefully between the politics of the area, the residents, and the monsters. For adapting The Midderlands setting for an old school Sword & Sorcery campaign world like Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea second edition, 'The Midderlands' represents the point where civilization ends & the wilderness begins. The technological level is a mid to high point late Roman Empire to Medieval real world historical perspective. As such The Midderlands would be a place where the humans have recovered or retained a good deal of their technological prowess compared to some of the places in Hyperborea. This means that the Midderlands would be the belt way of the capital of Hyperborea. This is the beauty of 'The Midderlands' as a mini setting it can be moved where its needed in an OSR campaign setting. I'd give it five out of five for an outstanding product. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Want to see more OSR support for this & Original Content For OSR games? Please subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Midderlands - OSR Bestiary and Setting
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B/X Essentials: Classes and Equipment
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/06/2017 01:30:18

So Gavin Norman is at it again with the second in the B/X Essentials series, this time he's tackling PC classes & equipment in 'B/X Essentials Classes & Equipment'. The pdf only clocks in at forty four pages but distills down the essence & spirit of B/X Dungeons & Dragons down to its components with style, grace, & some excellent artwork throughout. The layout is up to the standard that we saw in the first installment of the series, 'B/X Essentials: Core Rules. '

If you want to check out the rules for both titles there are no artwork versions of both 'B/X Essentials Classes & Equipment' & 'B/X Essentials: Core Rules ' available. Everything here is boiled down into its full soul of the B/X rules whist retaining all of the good solid system that will please even the hardcore B/X Dungeons & Dragons addict such as myself. All of your favorite PC classes are here along with some nifty editing to round out & rarefy the system kinks. The whole is more then the sum of its parts allowing players to deal with the only the essentials of the Basic D&D system. The layout is well done and everything seems very top draw with efforts on the author's part to keep the whole of its parts running in a smooth & sustained style for easy of play at the table. The author/designer has smoothed away some of the play ambiguities of earlier editions & clarified the whole for a quick & easy style of old school system. Mr.Norman let's the audience know where & when he's chosen his rulings with this book. The layout is well rounded enabling the reader to grasp the system easily and with a full flourish for old school play. There is some solid artwork throughout the product but I really wish that one or two items featured in the artwork were available in the equipment but I have a feeling those will be in the monsters & treasures book. So what can be done with 'B/X Essentials Classes & Equipment'? Well a few things since there are clarifications, edits, etc. throughout the book old school system play is going to be quicker & easier at the table top. Also the B/X Essential line is open game content enabling DM's to publish their own add ons for the system making this a true retroclone in every sense of the word. It also means that if someone doesn't have access to B/X Dungeons & Dragons these titles are going to be the next best thing. This also means that all of the old favorites of old school play such as fighter, magic user, cleric, & thief are available for quick set up & play but with a campaign setting of the dungeon master's creation. The Essentials line is perfect for plug & play with other B/X style retroclone adventures that are already on the market. I can already hear the nay sayers on the fact that the OSR doesn't need another retroclone system & product line on the market. But this is a bit different with it being several cuts above the run of the mill material already on the OSR market. But is 'B/X Essentials Classes & Equipment' necessary? In a word I think its a vital product to bring to the OSR market because its a true retroclone in both spirit & content. The content here is top drawer quality in my opinion and this is one not to pass up. The production quality, editing, and solid presentation is very well done. I'd give this a five stars and there are already others who agree with my assessment.

There's a lulu publishing version of the B/X Essentials core rules out now.

If your a fan of Gavin Norman's Necrotic Gnome productions and creations then you owe it to yourself to grab a copy of 'B/X Essentials Classes & Equipment'.

Solidly done, easy to use, and a pleasure to have at the table, 'B/X Essentials Classes & Equipment' is a five out of five product to dive into & solve that B/X Dungeons & Dragons itch in a low cost, clearly defined, edited, and solidly presented way!

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want More OSR original content & reviews? Subscribe To https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
B/X Essentials: Classes and Equipment
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Black Dogs 'zine - issue 1
Publisher: DaimonGames
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/01/2017 14:58:01

So today's been a bit on the crazy side but I did actually notice something new in the OSR G+ stream this morning. A handy little new Lamentations of the Flame Princess / OSR campaign setting fanzine called Black Dogs 'zine - issue 1 From DaimonGames. Its an interesting campaign setting beast masquerading as a LoFP fanzine folks. This is a pay what you want title with a suggestion of three dollars on the check out Que. "Black Dogs is a dark fantasy collection of house-rules, materials, adventures, monsters, and together a toolbox to generate new content for OSR systems, particularly focused on Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Black Dogs shares a common set of rules and aesthetics with Lamentations, but it has its distinct flavor. Whenever a rule is not found (or not presented yet) in the Black Dogs ‘zine, just use the default from Lamentations or whatever OSR system you’re running. " It goes on into the weird fantasy aspect of the spirit of the setting; "There’s less horror in Black Dogs, although the material sticks to clearly dark fantasy tropes. In just a few words, Black Dogs is a dark, late medieval setting, for monster hunters and mercenaries

  • kept together into the loose frame of an informal organization that lends some purpose to your characters. When you play Black Dogs you play for three things mostly: monsters, wilderness and its encounters, and non-playing characters’ communities. Basically, the material from Black Dogs aims to bring together three of the most popular fantasy literature and gaming tropes: fighting monsters, traveling in a foreign and fantastic world, interacting with a fantasy community and its people." So essentially this is a Pike & Shot B/X Dungeons & Dragons fanzine with some dungeon master's house rules, monsters, etc.? Alright got it but then this bit got me in the spirit section on monsters;"There is not too much fighting: fights are a few and are risky and important, with emphasis on tactics. Monsters are many but your characters encounter them with a purpose and a fight is also an encounter, with its complexity." So the fanzine is sounding more War Hammer Fantasy then Lamentations of the Flame Princess from here on out. That's not a bad thing but as I continue to read its like the the campaign setting, house rules, character generation for Black Dogs is trying to keep its feet into both pools, the Lamentations & Warhammer fantasy pools. Here's what I'm speaking about with the summery of the campaign setting's world of Black Dogs; Think of Europe in a very late medieval time: there’s a new expansion and a growing economy; a new sense of wonder and discovery; and the feeling that even if there is not going to be an empire, ever again, the single nations and city-states will provide safety and prosperity. It’s a world divided in two: culture and fashion, print and social changes, prosperity and new emerging classes rule in the major cities but the majority of the land still lingers in a feudal, oppressive and brutal social order. It’s a world where a knight might still wear full plate armor and a winged helm, while another favors a light cuirass, a dagger and a musket. A world divided Religion still dictates what’s right and what’s wrong, and fire burns heretics; but a new authentic desire for freedom also infiltrates the most solid religious orders. Monasteries and abbeys collect sacred books, and also foreign tractates, manuscripts of magic and alchemy, mysterious maps and bestiaries among them. Almost everyone is Christian but many worship, in secret, the local spirits of the ancient times. A few talk about a new faith in reason and science. Even fewer know that whatever you believe in, you must guard yourself and human kind against The Wild and the demons of the night." So you get a history of the Black Dogs adventurer organization, background history, character generation, and so forth. But Black Dogs 'zine - issue 1 is trying to do traditional OSR Dungeons & Dragons Pike & Shot with conventional Dungeons & Dragons. What I mean is in on the introduction campaign setting of Flussberg city for the Black Dogs;"This Black Dogs introductory adventure aims to give you a taste of the world of Flussburg; a small village with local political troubles and a greater menace looming on the horizon. There is also an element of weirdness with monsters and a tree that breathes life into the dead. Flussburg is probably wrong in German. If you speak German and it sounds weird to your ears, you could call it Villa Flumine in Latin. Or just pretend it’s a weird name because it’s medieval." Black Dogs 'zine - issue 1 does an alright job giving some Gygaxian ecology on the trolls, fleshes out the setting, PC generation twists, and the background of the city . But again this felt more like a Warhammer Fantasy back water city then an LoFP. I wanted more from this setting,more flavor, more weirdness, and more of the quality of the weird that I've come to expect in a product that even unofficially bears the LoFP moniker. This product is trying to hard to be everything to everyone & loses its product identity half way through. Well I'm really spoiled when it comes to Lamentations of the Flame Princess. I'm used to the Red Moon Medicine Show's Vacant Ritual quality of material of LoFP fanzine. Now with all that being said, I think that Black Dogs 'zine - issue 1 is a fine Pike & Shot style campaign city & wilderness setting for B/X Dungeons & Dragons. Given its direction, ideas, etc. its a perfectly suitable animal for a campaign jump point into its world setting as a quirky later Medival style game setting if your looking for something that will emulate a Warhammer Fantasy style low level adventure setting.

So four out of five stars for Black Dogs 'zine - issue 1 Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want To See More OSR reviews & support for many OSR games Subscribe to http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Black Dogs 'zine - issue 1
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RPGPundit Presents #9: The Book of the Art of Hours
Publisher: Precis Intermedia
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/29/2017 20:37:08

So I went to Rpg Pundits publisher & asked to get myself a copy of RPGPundit Presents #9: The Book of the Art of Hours. for review. This isn't a regular book of hours, a regular book of hours is, "a Christian devotional book popular in the Middle Ages. ... Like every manuscript, each manuscript book of hours is unique in one way or another, but most contain a similar collection of texts, prayers and psalms, often with appropriate decorations, for Christian devotion." Umm no this isn't remote a book like that, instead this a book of magick & occult knowledge that I happen to know something about. This is a text of occult knowledge that I wished I had when running Lamentations of the Flame Princess & Dark Albion. Why because the Book of the Art of Hours provides rites & rituals that do something different & unique within an occult context that a wizard needs within an old school campaign that makes him or her unique & dangerous. Like many occult & magick texts this one is ascribed to a powerful Christian Saint of some renowned. So what is the Book of the Art of Hours? "The strange and powerful Book of the Art of Hours was said to have been revealed to the great wizard St. Apollonius at Corinth, where he ascended to the Third Sphere of the Seven Heavens. It reveals the method of contacting and summoning discarnate spirits that rule over the twenty-four magical hours of the day, and describes what gifts those spirits can provide." Book of the Art of Hours provides a fast & flexible ritual system that quickly & easily adds more scope to a wizard by providing them with a series of incantations & spells that can aid in old school play. These are rituals that only take fifteen minutes within the game setting & provide some very interesting & dangerous spirits at the caster's beckon & call provided that they have a Table of Operations available to them.

"This text reveals the method of contacting discarnate spirits that rule over the twenty-four magical hours of the day. These hours are not quite the normal hours of a day, because they must be calculated in a certain way. There are twelve hours of day and twelve of night. To know the time each hour takes, you must calculate the moment of sunrise and sunset. Taking the whole time from sunrise to sunset and dividing it by twelve gets you the length of each hour of day; doing the same from sunset to sunrise gives you each hour of night. Thus, the hours of the day are longer than night at certain times of year, or vice-versa at other times. Each of the twenty-four spirits can only be summoned on their particular hour of the day or night. The ritual of summoning itself takes only about fifteen minutes to perform, but it requires that the magician ceremonially wash himself beforehand (this can be done before the hour of the summoning starts). To summon the spirit, the magician requires the use of a Table of Operations, which is a special board that contains symbols of the sun and planets. These are arranged in a certain orientation, depending on the spirit being summoned. The construction of a Table of Operations costs about 30gp (2L in Dark Albion), and requires 1d4 weeks at the hands of a skilled craftsman."

Clocking in at only ten pages I surprised & delighted at the layout & easy of reading material. This isn't stodgy & over the top OSR rpg magick book. Instead its simple down to Earth with language that covers the reader in exactly what its trying to do. RPGPundit Presents #9: The Book of the Art of Hours. presents a ritual & rite system for the summoning of the spirits of the Hours in the first book & a very dangerous second section that discusses a death rite that has all kinds of applications for adventure construction.

What the hell I'm I talking about? Well let's take a look at the spirit of the eleventh hour number 11. Athos Spirit of the Eleventh Hour (DC: 16+1d4) This spirit can cause a house of the magician’s choosing to collapse. It can be constructed of wood or bricks, but not solid stone. There is obviously a risk of anyone inside taking damage. The magician can instead request a person be compelled to walk out of a house (this person can make a saving throw if they have strong enough motive to remain inside the house)." Minor shrines, small Roman style miniature temples, etc can all be brought down on the heads of priests or officials. Doesn't seem like a big deal but when your talking about a retroclone game such as Lamentations or Dark Albion it could get a PC burnt at the stake. For Lamentations of the Flame Princess this is a great addition because The Book of the Art of Hours. is exactly the sort of weird occult tome that would be present in a an academic occultist's library or an educated witch's study. Just the sort of tome to get the PC's in way in over their collective heads when their own wizard tries these rites and rituals. For Dark Albion the book's character doesn't have to change & its timing in history is right for the War of the Roses. Copies of this book might be under lock & key especially when some of its content can alter the behavior of Albion royals, temple guards,even minor couriers might be affected by some of the spells. There's also that tricky little matter of possession by spirits. Take for example the spirit of the third hour;"3. Thena Spirit of the Third Hour (DC: 10+1d8) This spirit causes discord, making two individuals of the magician’s choosing enter into conflict. The magician must know the true name of both individuals. If the two individuals have an intense love (platonic, familial, or romantic) for each other, they both get a saving throw to resist." Given the lower tier NPC levels of Dark Albion some of the spells in The Book of the Art of Hours. could change the tide of a campaign's direction. But given some of the forces of the occult from Dark Albion's Cults of Chaos, the PC's are going to need the edge that the spirits of the Book of the Art of Hours bring to the table. Surely there's nothing then that The Book of the Art of Hours could offer a traditional original, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons , or B/X Dungeons & Dragons party?

Well given that some of these spirits have a practical & very down to Earth application there are definitely some solid spirits that a wizard could bring to bare. The spirit of the first hour is perfect for a wide variety of applications especially for party's thieves, bards, and other outlaws;1. Thamore Spirit of the First Hour (DC: 10+1d10) The spirit can free a captive from their bonds or cells—jail doors open, and shackles or ropes slip off, for example. The magician must know the captive’s name and where he is imprisoned."

The second half of the book has a rite of death magick that allows one to know the circumstances surrounding the death of the spell's target. There's an air of destiny about this spell that touches on dealing with the spirit of Death herself. Now I mentioned earlier in this review about the great wizard St. Apollonius at Corinth, where he ascended to the Third Sphere of the Seven Heavens. Well dallying in the affairs of death & having truck with spirits of Death is essentially necromancy. The Seventh Heavens are present in many of the worlds religions & the third Heaven is mentioned in the epistle of the Apostle Paul as very important;

"An epistle of the Apostle Paul, included in the New Testament, contains an explicit reference to the Third Heaven. In a letter to the Corinthian church he writes, "I know a man in Christ" (usually interpreted as: himself) "who fourteen years ago was caught up to the Third Heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell." (2 Corinthians 12:2–4) The Greek says "caught away", not "caught up" possibly reflecting Jewish beliefs that Paradise was somewhere other than the uppermost heaven.[16]

In the Second Book of Enoch, Enoch travels through the seven heavens and gives geographical and visual documentation of them, describing houses, olive oil and flowers. He passes through the Garden of Eden in the Third Heaven on his way to meet the Lord in the 7th Heaven" There are secrets that The Book of the Art of Hours

might reveal that might mean the intersession of an angel of Death or worse if abused. PC's dallying with such occult books must watch their steps. The Book of the Art of Hours

like all good rpg products spins more adventure fodder the more one dives into it. Are there quibbles? My only minor quibble is that there should have been more to it with a bit of the book's back history & perhaps its place within real world history. The The Book of the Art of Hours

appearance during the Hundred Years War at a pivot moment in history & time might have contributed to a some decisive directions that history took in both the real world & Albion. Do I think The Book of the Art of Hours is worth getting? In a word yes because of the ideas,spirits, rituals, and substance that this product brings to the gaming table. The product does all of this in ten pages & at two dollars. So yes its a five out of five product in my book.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want to see more reviews & support for this & other OSR products? Then please subcribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
RPGPundit Presents #9: The Book of the Art of Hours
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Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/28/2017 15:24:06

So many months ago I agreed to do a review & commentary about Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport from Kort'thalis Publishing aka Venger As'Nas Satanis.

Many months ago I supported the kickstarter on this blog & was really excited to see Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport hit the wild. But here's the thing, go into this understanding that this is a parody of Gamma World's Albuquerque Star Port adventure sort of. What Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport really is a post apocalyptic/ sci fi pop culture parody adventure for both Crimson Dragon Slayer & Alpha Blue.

This is a product with an adult warning on it and it means it. There's sex based factions, horrid tentacle monsters in the background, erotic low humor jokes that are not really necessary, all of the things that you expect to find in a Venger Satanis product. But despite itself this is a really useful product if your into old school apocalyptic gaming. We'll get into why down below but as Rpg Pundit said a little Venger goes a long way. This isn't anyplace near Gamma World first or second edition levels of quality but this book isn't meant to in any way shape or form do that. Instead this is a third tier OSR product intended for post apocalyptic sci fi & fantasy. It is meant to create a working star port/mini adventure location for any post apocalyptic or sci fi based campaigns. It leans heavily toward those systems but there's enough levy way for a DM to really adapt it to their own needs. The layout is clean, crisp, and up to Monkey Blood Design's standards with lots of well done cartography and weirdness thrown in. Do I think you should get Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport in a word yes. But now I'm going to tell you why! This is a South Western flavored star port with lots of interesting NPC's, mutants, random tables, and more. And I think it would make an excellent post apocalyptic domain for your PC's to control aka I think that your PC's should take their star ship or post apocalyptic army and blow the living crap out of it! Time & again throughout post apocalyptic games you see the PC's struggle to make ends meet, adventure through contaminated ruins, face down mutant horrors that would make H.P. Lovecraft have the dry heaves. All for what another day in the irradiated sun? With Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport everything is laid out for the DM to have the PC's carve out their own pound of irradiated & mutated flesh in the desert. There are a ton of random tables of maps, relics, and more all waiting to snare the PC's. Going all the way back to Gamma World first edition there's been a sub game in science fantasy post apocalyptic games of PC's carving out their own empires. There are tons of factions, sex cults, etc all in the hot sweat hog of a space port. But what if the PC's had their own working space port in the wastelands? Could this be done with Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport ? In a word, yes & yes because going all the way back to Original Dungeons & Dragons when a PC was hit ninth level they were expected to create a domain. For many players this was a giant pain in the ass. But when you start looking at the various adventure locations that the PC's have been too they often looked to start cleaning the monsters out and moving right in themselves. This often gave the DM a perfect excuse to launch another monster or adventure their way from the dungeons below. We can introduce the idea of wasteland domains for a post apocalyptic game. This means that the former ruins or wasteland dungeons become the wizard's tower, fighter's strong hold, etc. By the same token there were various Blackmoor modules that used the trope of 'the city of the gods' concept. Here's where Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport comes in. There are a ton of Lovecraftian encounters and ideas mixed into the backdrop. By taking these and creating a cargo cult situation around the star port it can easily be transported over to a traditional Dungeons & Dragons fantasy style world. It also gives the DM the perfect excuse & opportunity to get the PC's off planet if that's his or their plan.

So why does Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport work? Most of it does but I wanted more of it. More post apocalyptic material, more tools, more background, and deeper NPC's but that's not the point. This is a real rpg tool box that depends on the DM to most of the heavy lifting. Well the book only clocks in at thirty four pages plus maps meant to be printed used for play. It does exactly what it sets out to do. That is create a solid and useful post apoclaytic star port for old school play. A five out of five in my book. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery. Want to see more OSR content, original ideas for this and other science fantasy products? Subscribe to http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport
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Flower Liches of the Dragonboat Festival
Publisher: Kabuki Kaiser
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/01/2017 09:58:59

"When omens portend ill fortune for the city, the priests call upon a Dragonboat Festival: a racing competition gathering swift boatmen from all over the continent. Their ancient chants call forth the powers of the undying, waking the Flower Liches from their distant graves. For a week, the liches roam the city freely, and oversee the race, taking the losing crews as tributes and sacrifices. Once the Dragonboat Festival is finished and the liches disappear, the city's prosperity is magically replenished, and all the monetary wealth the citizenry had before the festival — player characters included — is doubled."

I was recently sent a copy of "Flower Liches of the Dragonboat Festival" From Kabuki Kaiser is both adventure & setting resource book that can be dropped into your home campaign. The adventure channels as much of the Wuxia ghost vibe as it does the Asian pulp Dungeons & Dragons vibe as the author can pack into one of his efforts. This is an adventure that dips liberally from its sources & the warped imaginings of its author. Much like his Mad Monks of Kwantoom OSR campaign & setting book the mythological/pulp Asian world of P. Crespy Flower Liches presents a world & adventure that is both familiar & utterly new. In point of fact both of these products would work extremely well together. The artwork, lay out, & presentation is a bit different then other efforts of the author/designer, in this adventure everything dovetails into a seamless product that presents a world of the weird & very dangerous centeral to its setting. There are things to do, experience, and dangers ever present within '/The Flower Liches of The Dragon Boat Festival'. This adventure centers around the party circling and creating weirdness for the party to get themselves into all kinds of trouble.

If presentation is everything within an adventure then this one has some stunning writing, plots, and OSR artwork. The combination reminds me of a Saturday afternoon Kung Fu theater flick. Slick on its presentation and long on its adventure hooks! Everything is double downed on in this adventure from the Kung Fu action to the supernatural horror. Here's an adventure where the dangers to PC's pale in comparison to the weirdness infecting the adventure throughout. PC's are going to have their hands full and clocking in at ninety five pages there's plenty of dungeon and supernatural action to be had. This is a Labyrinth Lord adventure but it has the look & feel of a Lamentations of the Flame Princess line effort but without the lingering adult nonsense to get in the way of play. 'Flower Liches of the Dragon Boats' is clearly easily adaptable to any OSR game. There is a sense of whimsy but deadliness about this adventure & it stands to reason that it would given the writer's passions for Asian culture & pop culture Kung Fu. The fact is that dungeon master has another full stop world book & source book in this adventure for a full South Asian style setting. This works as a set up for a full campaign starting city point in such a campaign. From hirelings to starting equipment 'Flower Liches of the Dragon Boats' is clearly designed for such a purpose & very well designed to do this at that! 'Flower Liches of the Dragon Boats' works with both Labryth Lord & The Advanced Companion in equal measure. The real strength of 'Flower Liches of the Dragon Boats' lays in the fact that it serves as a fantastic source book for 'Mad Monks of Kwantoom'. In this regard its a great source book & add on for this or really any pulp Asian flavored style campaign setting. But it really fits into the world of 'Mad Monks'. Because of its mini game included the adventure has some solid replay abilities. The hirelings, background, encounters, etc. are all inductive of a popculture far East and it works. I can also see 'Flower Liches of the Dragon Boats' being used for a post apocalyptic world such as Mutant Future in which cultures are looking to the 'Ancients' for their divine inspiration. The liches take full advantage of the gullible human fools & the result is the world spot lighted in this adventure/source book.

Another possibility that 'Flower Liches of the Dragon Boats' could be used for a human centric land in 'Apes Victorious' where these humans have used the power of the liches to resist the onslaught of the advancing ape army. So adjustments will have to be made to use 'Flower Liches of the Dragon Boats' with Apes Victorious. Another possibility for campaign use is to drop the setting of 'Flower Liches of the Dragon Boats' into 'Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea second edition' whole sale again there is a bit of adjustment as a possible South Asia analog. For Sword & Sorcery play this is an excellent book & tool kit to add such a mix. In closing is this isn't a perfect to kit to add to the mix of campaign play for old school style campaign. It clocks in at ninety five pages & to tell the truth I wish there was a bit more fluff connective tissue with this book. There needs to be more here and it I want to know more about 'this' world and not simply use this book as another drag & drop book for campaign play. So in closing a solid four out of five for 'Flower Liches of the Dragon Boats'.

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



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Flower Liches of the Dragonboat Festival
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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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