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A Myriad of Magic Items
Publisher: James Mishler Games
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/16/2021 17:46:28

"A Myriad of Magic Items is a collection of new and unusual magic items designed for use with Labyrinth Lord, but readily useable with any Old School RPG.

A Myriad of Magic Items contains a total of 80 new magic items."

The latest book to come our way has been James Mishler Games A Myriad of Magic Items the latest in a string of very solidly done quality OSR supplements. A Myriad of Magic Items is by the husband & wife team of James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler for the Labyrinth Lord retroclone.

The OSR twist up is the fact that in 'A Myriad of Magic Items' each magic item is for a specific D&D style class. This is that we've seen in other old school game supplements before & goes all of the way back to David A. Hargrave's Arduin rpg supplements for original Dungeons & Dragons. Here the Mishler's take A Myriad of Magic Items to its logical conclusion. Each magic item hooks into the character class & its done very well. This idea is also done in many of Castles & Crusades rpg supplements especially Troll Lord Games Castles & Crusades Mystical Companions for C&C. Where the occult familiar matches the capacity of its master's class's hand & specialty.

'A Myriad of Magic Items' takes this idea to its logical conclusion with the lost & elusive treasures lost to their original owners. Now these items wait in treasure chests & other monster haunted ruins across your campaign world. Take for example the Shifter's cloak a Barbarian themed item ;"SHIFTER’S CLOAK: A shifter’s cloak is an enchanted cloak that enables a barbarian, berserker, or ranger, along with all their equipment, to transform into animal form. While in the animal form the wearer retains their intelligence and personality and possesses their normal Hit Dice and Hit Points, but have the animals’ Armor Class, attacks as a Monster of their Hit Dice (if better than their normal attacks), and attacks using the animal’s natural attack forms. The wearer can change back and forth as often as desired, remaining in the animal form as long as desired. 1 in 6 of these items allows the wearer to speak while in animal form. The types of animals vary widely, depending on the type of animals valued by a barbarian culture, and might include bears, boars, crows, eagles, falcons, foxes, horses, hyenas, lions, otters, panthers, salmon, seals, sharks, snakes, swans, tigers, wolverines, and/or wolves, among others (though a cloak only allows shifting into one type). 1 in 12 of these items is cursed, such that the third time transforming into the animal form, the wearer remains stuck in that form, losing their own personality as per a polymorph other spell, until the application of a remove curse spell. Anyone other than a barbarian, berserker, or ranger who dons a shifter’s cloak is cursed as above." The Shifter's Cloak offers all kinds of possible adventures hooks for the enterprising DM especially for one whose got a Sword & Sorcery themed campaign setting in play. This is a sample of the quality that the Mishler's continue to bring to the table. A Myriad of Magic Items brings this & many other treasures to the table in thirty two pages of OSR goodness. They cover many of the major classes in Labyrinth Lord including: Assassins Barbarians (and Berserkers) Bards Clerics Druids Dwarves Elves Fighters Gnomes Halflings Illusionists Magic-users Monks Necromancers Paladins Rangers Runemasters Sorcerers Thieves Many of these treasures found in 'A Myriad of Magic Items' could be in point fact be used as the central adventure focus & added as a campaign goal. This would work as the treasure being a familial focus for an old school campaign for royalty or as the deciding force behind a crown or adventure goal. Is 'A Myriad of Magic Items' worth the download?! Oh most certainly given the following the flexibility of the treasures presented, the originality of the Mishler's vision, & their application within old school & OSR games. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want more OSR action? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Myriad of Magic Items
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Monster, Monster: Vampires
Publisher: NUELOW Games
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/04/2021 16:11:47

" Few monsters are as popular or versatile as the vampire. It’s popularity and presence in the public mind has grown ever larger in every artistic genre from fiction and poetry, to movies and comics, and to roleplaying games."

"They can be physically hideous, or they can be as beautiful as angels. They can be soulless monsters, or they can victims of a curse they wish to be liberated from. When it comes to vampires, only your imagination limits you, because the genre standards for them are fluid and many. Some might even say there are no standards for how to properly portray a vampire in fiction"

Monster, Monster: Vampires By Ed Fedory, Andrew Pavlides, Steve Miller From NUELOW Games clocks in at forty pages for Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. But actually Monster, Monster: Vampires has the usual NUELOW Games Skywald publishing monster comic book story. This is followed by several different types of vampires in monster camps such as this lovely; "Feral Vampire Medium undead, Chaotic Evil Armor Class 17 (natural armor, shield) Hit Points 97 (13d8 +39) Speed 30 ft. Str 20 (+5) Dex 16 (+3) Con 16 (+3) Int 12 (+1) Wis 16 (+3) Cha 12 (+1) Saving Throws Strength+8, Wis+6 Skills Intimidation +6, perception+6, stealth+6, survival+6 Damage Resistances necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from non-magical weapons Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned, stunned Senses Darkvision 120’, passive Perception 16 Languages Common Challenge 8 (3900 xp)" There are some really well written individual species of undead here that are just waiting to suck the life out of even a modern group of adventurers. This makes this exceptionally perfect for Amazing Adventures fifth edition.

And while there's vampires actually in AA, these variants allow the DM to present quite a bit of variety & a bit of mystery for example this lovely ripe for creation or conversion into an NPC; "Demonic Vampire Medium undead, Chaotic Evil Armor Class 17 (natural armor, shield) Hit Points 97 (13d8 +39) Speed 30 ft. Str 20 (+5) Dex 16 (+3) Con 16 (+3) Int 12 (+1) Wis 16 (+3) Cha 12 (+1) Saving Throws Strength+8, Wis+6 Skills Intimidation +6, Perception +6, Stealth +6, Survival +6 Damage Resistances necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from non magical weapons Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned, stunned Senses Darkvision 120’, passive Perception 16 Languages Common Challenge 8 (3900 xp)"

And thus we get even more vampire varieties but its the set up, proper monster ecology, & we even get some NPC's to throw into your fifth edition games. But these are perfectly complicated enough to add into a modernish Pulp game. Take for example Black Anne please! She's perfectly suited for a modern game; "For decades, Black Anne and her cult of witches terrorized remote northern islands. While coven members came and went—claimed by old age, sacrifice to the dark powers they drew power from, or the weapons of righteous adventurers, Anne avoided death’s icy grip. She was a favored servant of a god of ultimate evil, and she maintained her your through evil rites that involved bathing in the blood of children." And we get more loveliness as time goes on. Is this new or wholly innovative?! No but that's not the point here. Monster, Monster: Vampires is perfect for the DM with no time that wants to inject a good dose of vampire blood into their own home campaigns. Thanks for reading our review Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want More Pulpy Goodness Please Subscribe To https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster, Monster: Vampires
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World at Weird War II
Publisher: Cartridge Games
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/27/2021 18:37:16

" …We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…"

Winston Churchill

"Take the role of brave soldier, mysterious occultist, internally focused psionics or ingenious gadgeteer and fight dark menace of Axis with its dark secrets and experiments."

So over the course of the last two weeks there's been one or two Quantum Engine products that have been teased. One of these hit all of the high notes for me & that's World at Weird War II By Nicolas Kaczmarczyk. This is a high end beer & pretzels World War II game with an occult & weird war bent. The World at Weird War II game that works on the Quantum Engine convention; "The Quantum Engine uses common six-sided dice. We note each die you need to roll as a “D”. For example, “2D” means “roll two six-sided dice and add the results together”. In this game, “DM” means Dice Modifier, a number you add or subtract from a dice roll. For example, “2D, DM-2” means “roll two dice, add the results together, and then subtract 2 from the total”. This is often written as “2D-2”. The amount by which your total throw exceeds or misses the target number is called the Effect. If you roll a total of 11 on 8+ throw, your Effect is 11 – 8 = 3; alternately, if you throw a 4, your Effect is 4 – 8 = -4. D66 is a special die roll, in which you throw two dice, and count one as the “ones” and one as the “tens”." So that's it. From there the engine is hung with a bunch of the high end WWII conventions & the author knows how to bring in the weirdness. This is a solid system to hang the weirdness & war driven occult themes of the game. And it does it well. Highlights for World at Weird War II include: The mass combat rules & how the game handles the mass battle scenes. The cinematic feel of the rpg & the war film aesthetic World at Weird War II makes its occult, super science, & even its paranormal skills unique & not repetitive.
There's just enough to get the players & the DM started! And there's tanks & mecha thrown into the mix as well! World at Weird War II does in fifty two pages what most games of this type take hours of slogging through. This is a weird war primer rpg game & its easily combined with the other Quantum Engine rpg systems on the Cepheus Engine rpg market. There's various cinematic nods & easier eggs scattered throughout World at Weird War II for the veteran cinephiles out there. Is this a good game?! Hell yes & is it perfectly suited for the Cepheus Engine rpg fanatics out there?! Yes it is! And the price at four dollars hits the sweet spot! You can play as the Allies or the Germans and have an alternative historical outcome all in one go! All in all highly recommended! Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want More OSR Action?! Please Subscribe to swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com Thanks for Reading Our Review



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
World at Weird War II
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43AD - Roleplaying in Roman Britain
Publisher: Zozer Games
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/26/2021 00:44:30

"43AD is a gritty military-style game with a slice of dark horror running through it. Life is grim and the world of the native Britons is painted in dark and horrific colours. Britain is a place of fear and death, terrors and torments, and the Iron-Age tribes live with these horrors. Celtic priests, the druids, contain them in lakes and pits and forests. When the legions step onto British soil, they step onto a land of ancient horrors of which they (as yet) know nothing. Life, honour and warfare amongst the tribes is explained for players and GMs alike.

Characters are Roman soldiers, fighting for the emperor in a hostile land against the battle-hardened warriors of the tribes. This is the visible enemy, but beyond, should the Game Master wish to go there, lay the dark secrets of Britain, the night terrors, the death-bringing spirits of the wild, the night crawlers, the face eaters, the skinchangers and the rest of the monsters and wild things that infest Britain. "

Let me tell you a little story, ages ago when I was little and sitting taking in the sights of a history book on Roman Britian bigger then I was. There was a picture of Hydrian's Wall. And I vowed that someday I would not only visit it but understand it as well as the reasons behind it. In 2006 we did just that & connected with several family members. The thing that struck me on the English side of the wall was the weight of how much history there is there. Reading through Zozer Games 43 A.D. is full on like coming home for me. The familiar history mixed with the wyrd in 152 pages & this is a passion project for the author/designer. The amount of detail here is incredible from skill set ups for Cepheus Engine style ancient PC's to the details in weapons, civilization, to monsters the details are bold. Highlights for me include: Spells Monsters Cultural information on Romans and Britons Character write-ups that fit on a single index card 10 minute character creation So without heistation I approached Zozer Games & we promptly sent a copy of 43 A.D. & this book is on another level. Sure there are copies of other horror themed historical rpg's sitting on my shelf. But is on another level without a doubt. This isn't to say that 43 A.D. is completely overwhelming on its hisory or game details. Far from it, the game reads like a combination of deadly campaign, detailed rpg, & action movie waiting to happen. The combat is bloody, the system sings along in a bloody way, & this game screams to be played. The game feels like Zenobia another Paul Elliot creation where the legions of Roman meet the forces of the desert.

But 43 A.D. has the look & feel of Roman occupied Britian with a horror film twist or two thrown in. And this is a deadly little affair of a game. The PC's are strangers in a strange land & they are far from home. And this is a cold, dangerous, lonely little world to have a PC die in. And no its not depressing but its incredibly dangerous.

But is 43 A.D. worth getting?! In a word yes! This is a complete unto it's game & while other books are going smaller & smaller with Cepheus Engine rpg rules. 43 A.D. takes this notion & kicks its teeth in to give the DM & his players a complete package for ten dollars! And its up to Zozer Games quality unto itself. So in a word yes 43 A.D. is very much worth getting for three reasons, one this is a game about Roman occupied Britian done by a historian who writes history & techinical books for a living. Two the maps & cartography are gorgeous! And three the setting is not one that I'd ever want to actually live in & I say this with all due respect! The idea of being in the middle of no place squared surrounded with no modern medicine, no real way home, & surrounded by people who will take your head off? No thanks but to role play in this world from the safety of your table with 2d6 system done by Zozer games absolutely! When it comes to the supernatural 43AD - Roleplaying in Roman Occupied Britain doesn't skimp. But instead presents a very different world to our own. This is a world where history & magick collide on three fronts. The Celtic, the Roman Empire, & the day to day lives of the Britanians who lived with both both of these powers. And also lived with the power of magick. And die by it! We have a full array of the dark forces on both the Roman & the Celtic sides Black Druids, Skinchangers, the Flayed Man, the Headless Killer, Fomorians, the undead Cauldron-Born, Face Feeders, and individuals such as Longinus (the Undead Centurion, the one who was present at Jesus' crucifixion), Scathach the Witch, and the Old Crone of Aberros all make their presence known. These entities filter through a 2d6 system that on the surface resembles the traditional Cepheus Engine & its deriatives is unique because of its legacy through the Zenobia rpg..

This is because the occult & supernatural existed side by side with the gods for both the Romans & Celtic. But these powers didn't play favorites! The Black Druids, Skinchangers, the Flayed Man, the Headless Killer, Fomorians, & many others will take any PC they can for sacifice or worse. History reflects the source & times, the history is bloody & high handed with PC's getting the worst of it. Glorious! If you want to check out what we're talking about here?! Go to Zozer games & download Zenobia's free materials today!

Note that A.D. 43 takes a vastly different take on the Cepheus Engine & does so with its own brand of style. Yes the systems are similar. But their different in two areas, application & principal. A.D. We're talking about the way armour work in this game, plus the the system for advancement, the easy way that the game handles the importance of advantages, & how magic is powered within it. All in All I think 43AD - Roleplaying in Roman Occupied Britain is a solid game in the Zozer Games line & a fine addition to any DM used to both the Cepheus Engine rpg & its lines. Paul Elliot does an incredible job with this game! Highly recommended! Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want More OSR action?! Please subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/ Thanks for Reading our Review!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
43AD - Roleplaying in Roman Britain
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Death Stalkers of Antediluvia (Quantum)
Publisher: Magic Pig Media
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/20/2021 13:36:33

"Death Stalkers of Antediluvia is a set of supplemental rules for Barbaric! and an introduction to the forth coming setting of Antediluvia.

In here you will find optional and alternate rules for Character Generation, Combat, and Magic. There are also new Races, Traits, Combat Moves, Spells, and Monsters. We attempted to write the optional rules in a modular fashion so you can use some, none, or all of them."

C. Thorin of Magic Pig Media came out with Death Stalkers of Antediluvia (Quantum) which essentially is a Swords & Sorcery campaign starter package for Cepheus Quantum. And the other day my thoughts on Cepheus Quantum leaked out. Which is that some of the products for Cepheus Quantum were a bit thin on page count. There are times when as a DM I want to feel campaign setting & become emergence in it. And fortunately Death Stalkers of Antediluvia (Quantum) this isn't one of those titles. This is a solid title for Barbaric! which is a much rules lighter version of the basic engine from Sword of Cepheus. Sword of Cepheus seems to be far easier for the D&D players to grasp in my experience. Death Stalkers of Antediluvia wears its Sword & Sorcery pedigree on its sleeve quite well. The artwork & layout is well done for an add on book & it provides the DM with everything they will need for a solid Sword & Sorcery campaign romp. It could be used with Cepheus Atom

Death Stalkers of Antediluvia provides the basic Swords & Sorcery elements needed to kick off a campaign from races, monsters, combat moves, non human races, wounds, alterations to existing spells, and new monsters like hags, Gugs, etc. Death Stalkers of Antediluvia is a nice little primer for a Sword & Sorcery campaign that can jump start a campaign from the ground up. And it does it well with the materials given. And there's enough to really kick off a campaign here that will last for years.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want more OSR content Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Death Stalkers of Antediluvia (Quantum)
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Warband
Publisher: Zozer Games
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/19/2021 20:19:39

" At that insult Leir gave the command. The carnyxes blew, and the two armies fell upon each other. Then there was hacking and smiting; heads were broken and limbs hewn off, there was neighing and trampling of horses, and the bitter cries of men meeting violent death."

The High Kings, Joy Chant

And so begins the seventy three pages of Warband rpg an add on book for Zozer Game's Paul Elliot whose work on Roman Britain's 43 AD rpg speaks for itself. This book covers everything about Britain's Celtics & its not pretty. This is a brutal warrior & druid affair of a game with systems covering the other side of the story;" The Roman invasion of Britain as described in 43AD is of course only one-half of the story. It is quite possible to play the game from the perspective of the tribes using all of the resources found in the main rulebook. What is needed is a revised character creation system enabling players to build tribal heroes. This book provides that." And this isn't history its something a bit more weird & wooly but its still history from a different perspective. The occupied perspective but it does it in terrifying & mature tones with all of the gore intact. And there's plenty of Roman & Britain blood splatter to go along in its 2d6 world of the Roman Empire. There is plenty of development & while the Cepheus Quantum & other engines go smaller. This book revels in its history explaining clan, family status, honor, & much more. This is an exotic world on the edge that we living in 2021 can scarily imagine;" Information of tribal life is not duplicated from 43AD, instead other resources are included here. You will find a detailed history of the Roman invasion, allowing the Game Master to select a particular campaign or era in which to set the struggle of the tribal resistance. Also included is a mass battle system. With a few rolls of the dice the great battles of history, or of your own games, battles involving tens of thousands of warriors and legionaries, can be resolved easily. If the heroes are involved then the rules tell us what happened to them, too." Skills, life events, etc are all here to flesh out the lives of your PC's and Warband does it in such an easy to understand & well laid out fashion that we find the world not as we want it. But it finds us asking the hard questions of our characters in quick & easy to follow succession. Paul Elliot has been designing games since the 90's and no where is this fact clearer then in Warband. Names, tribes, culture, is all here in lavish detail. Warband reads part game & part action film waiting to be sprung on players with sprawling wars with casts of hundreds. All of this comes in 2d6 action with the flick of a wrist to create your warrior or champion of your tribe. These are the warriors who challenged the legions of the Vallum Hadriani. You can also decide what era you wish to play in & what type of guerilla warfare you want to spring on your players. The information is all here for campaign play. Do you want a druid capable of shape shifting, magickal mayhem, or subject to the whims of the Fey or the Wryd then that's here as well. Magick is as real as the blood around these men & women. The old gods should be respected & no where is this more evident then in Warband. The world shapes the druid to be a tool of powers beyond the ken of men. These are druids that you actually want to play that have meaning beyond their magicks. The world of 43 AD is described, clans are defined, the honor of these clans is outlined. This is a wild world, a warrior's world, & the world of Warband in detail. The author defines, shapes, and highlights his works easily in terms, conditions, & common sense rules. This is the same approach that we see in the Zenobia rpg that we here in Warband. Casual writing that makes the history work & the fantasy elements however horrifying ( believe me they are) easy to deal with. 43 AD is a world that we want to game in.

Warband takes place in a very alien world of the Roman empire where you are the resistance & from the ground up we are presented a game that is at odds with both itself & its surroundings. Warband is an rpg supplement is as much a love letter to it's subject as it as a game that you want to play. The details here are top notch. The works very well done. The layout is solid & well done. The cartography is well done & maintained. The subsystem for creating war with both the Roman forces & the clans is well done plus it hits the high notes in spades. This is a system that can handle itself & come back for more. The history is well thought out with the system providing the DM with the tools to handle everything from one end to the bloody other. This is a book for both players & DM's who want PC's that are 'just so' for raiding cattle, taking heads, & gaining honor for the clan! Top notch & highly recommended. Eric Fabiaschi Sword & Stitchery Blog Want More OSR action?! Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warband
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The Thing in the Ice
Publisher: Old School Role Playing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/13/2021 20:12:38

"It is well known across the Sonora sector that the planet Saresere is a frozen planet with no atmosphere. Despite these harsh conditions the Kon Lo Corporation has a small station on the world mining precious minerals. Of course....this is the story planted by the corporation to keep preying eyes from taking too close a look. Instead of miners there are scientists on this world excavating for alien artifacts and relics. They maintain a small complex of buildings on the surface of the planet. Recently all contact with these scientists has been lost."

There's something about the 2d6 science fictional goodness of Cepheus Engine rpg that draws me in like a moth to the flame. Not really nostolgia although there's a far degree of that, no there's something deeper here. And no more is this more primal then in other adaptations of the material. This is more of a 'locked room crime investigation'. And that's great for an old school Traveller or Cepheus Engine adventure.

Joseph Mohr is the little rpg engine that does, he not unlike Michael Brown & many Cepheus Engine rpg designers quietly churns out adventure after adventure. And 'The Thing in the Ice' is Mr. Mohr's latest adventure effort & 'The Thing in the Ice' nails it. Yeah its a 'pay what you want' & yes the scenario seems very familiar. And yes its only nineteen pages. But by God this is a neatly little way of handling a John Carpenter style adventure with a few twists of its own. This is a very well done short adventure but I'd run this with experienced players. There more then enough that can go wrong to wipe out an entire Cepheus Engine rpg party. This is quite like John Carpenter's The Thing from Another World but there are some shaded differences. And its with those differences where the party could potentially exploit the situation to actually move this beyond the tradition horror/dungeon adventure that takes place with paranoia aplenty. Or the 'The Thing in the Ice' could simply be used as a homage to classic novella 'Who Goes There' or the classic John Carpenter film. And that's fine.. The cartography & layout are solid,especially liked the maps in 'The Thing in the Ice'

What if 'The Thing in the Ice' happened to take place in Stella Publishing's setting 'These Stars Are Ours!? Imagine a new freed humanity PC's are called into an ice covered world & things get down right paranoid as the PC's are dealing with both investigation of the alien life form & the dire circumstances. Is the alien life form a left over Reticulan bio weapon or something else?!

And what about the other Cephues Engine rpg campaign settings such as John Watts 'Clement sector'?! Three things spring to mind here. One the sector isn't fully explored so there's more then enough room for this alien life form. The stars are still isolated, & finally the paranoia is already baked into 'The Clement Sector'. This alien life form is going to be one more alien among the stars to contend with.

Now let's talk about the fact that the Hostile rpg setting by Zozer Games comes with a similar 'John Carpenter's Thing From Anothr World' scenario baked already in the setting book. This isn't really a problem. Because 'The Thing in the Ice' is different enough to be run right along this homage & the PC's are still going to be wondering what do with the alien life form. Zozer games system is a perfect rpg contrast to what has come before.And in point of fact Zozer Games 1970s 2D6 RETRO RULES. But are going to be some or more adventure elements in 'The Thing in the Ice'

I really like 'The Thing in the Ice' the advenure tone is one that really expands in an original way to an idea that we've seen time & again over the years since the appearance of the alien life form in John W. Campbell Jr.'s short novella 'Who Goes there' Note that 'The Thing in the Ice' is a short adventure but there's room for expansion. And that promise is there within this adventure. However 'The Thing in the Ice' does what it sets out to do with a one shot adventure that can be added or subtracted from a campaign. The adventure provides the DM with the tools for running a one shot & does it well with plenty of opportunity for investigation as well as a real danger for even an experienced group of PC's their players. 'The Thing in the Ice' is a nice & dangerous mid tier Cepheus Engine rpg adventure! Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want more OSR action? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Thing in the Ice
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Saving Cha'alt
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/02/2021 22:10:02

So let's dive right in on this from the beginning, DM Ricky had grabbed my copy of Saving Cha'alt a day or so ago. I had bought the pdf two days ago & had it printed out. DM Steve & Ricky brought another player over Charlie to meet up. And the rest of gang filled in after six or so tonight. I have no idea who but someone started saying we ought to be riding the high Cha'alterral. An obvious take on the 60's classic Western the High Chapperal, why the Hell not run with it! A quick meeting with my fellow DM's provided me with DM Ricky saying something about using the Sanz Egra’as adventure from Saving Cha'alt. And I just ran with it, the PC's were whipped up using David Baymiller's OSR library rules for Westerns & Victorian rules. And sure I could have used Victorious or Amazing Adventures by Troll Lord games for this. But being familiar with Swords & Wizardry it was a matter of timing. Here's the classes for the players: Cowboy - Steve is a retired bounty hunter turned cowboy Colonial William Driskel Detective - Allen is playing a Pinkerton on the move chasing down a bounty Gambler - Allen's wife susie Jake Diamond gambler looking for the next score Gunslinger - Ricky playing the Colorado Kid Lawman - Rickie's brother Joe is playing Sheriff Sal Winston a man too old for this sh well you get the idea. Pugilist - Joe's wife Sarah is playing Qin Lee female kung fu fighter looking her brother whose been working on the rail road. Scout - Charlie is Decoda half American Native scout whose between jobs at the moment Soldier - Robert is playing Jessie Monroe Buffalo soldier

The Cha'alt time lord Droz kidnaps the entire gang for a very important mission on Cha'alt. That's it that's entire set up for tonight's game session. Zapped picked up & off they go. Droz keeps everyone nice & friendly with a huge plasma blaster in their faces! There's a few things that DM Ricky pointed out to me right away. The artwork in Saving Cha'alt has improved & so has the cartography of the pdf. The book is essentially the how to run, play, & DM Cha'alt right out of the gate with a series of unconnected adventures that can be run straight of the gate. Because that's exactly what we did tonight.

The player's PC's met with Leena with the following set up after Droz brings them to Cha'alt;"“Listen up, crud-munchers. If you’re with B.J. Security, you’re the best of the best. This mission is high-priority, indigo-clearance, so I’m only going to say this once. President Zob is making his way across the galaxy to the Sluurs who are currently at war with the Vaxxilons. President Zob has detailed files of an ultimate weapon implanted in his memory core. All you have to do is safely escort President Zob on Starship-One to the neutral zone. You’ve already been paid via access crystal, so prepare for teleportation in 5, 4, 3, 2…”

Wait a second we're Old West gunfighters & what not we're not equipped to deal with this?! What the f-- did Droz get us into!?! And off Droz went leaving behind some scant jelly babies in his wake. 'Droz you total #$% ' , was the response from the scout. Well president Zob found the PC's totally charming with Steve's cowboy pulling out a banjo & giving the president the most filth laden Western ballard ever. The rest of the party is trying to convince Leena that Droz double crossed her. After two failed rolls she didn't believe one word coming out of the party's lips.

A few words about Saving Cha'alt & that is that the book is well organized along the same lines of other books in the Cha'alt line. Venger doesn't get diaherra of the pen in Saving Cha'alt. The PC's guns didn't work aboard the president's space craft & the party only had two PC's freak out & try to shoot up the ship which didn't work. They met Arthur Fra’ayn is the most relaxed and sociable of the president's party. After introductions have been made, he’ll ask the PCs to say a little about themselves. While listening, Fra’ayn pours a tumbler of Purple Prizm for everyone. And he nodded & looked amused at the party not understanding a single Wild West reference of which there were many. The lay out is in Saving Cha'alt is solid & the page count at 110 is healthy. And he didn't believe the party that they didn't work for BJ Security! And that's when the main thruster on the president's star ship went out entirely! And the entire star ship is gonna crash! And that's where we ended for tonight's game of 'Riding on the High Cha'alterral'. We got right into the action but how does Saving Cha'alt measure up to the rest of the Cha'alt books?! That's a solid question & here's some highlights: Saving Cha'alt is a nice solid foundation to build a campaign from the ground up. The adventures are not complex but there enough twist & turns to keep things moving. The maps & cartography are solidly done & easy to use. The artwork is far more in keeping with the themes of the other Cha'alt books. The gonzo is there but its not beyond stupid this time & its managable for running a session from zero to go. The independant adventures means that I don't have to struggle with an author/designer's campaign hanging to cause me as a DM to modify the whole affair together to fit an existing campaign. All in all I think that Saving Cha'alt is really well done & everyone had fun. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want More reviews & OSR content like this one?! Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Saving Cha'alt
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Species V
Publisher: Michael Brown
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/14/2021 01:22:31

"One June morning, huge flying craft suddenly appeared in the skies above several major cities. Three days later, a voice translated into many different tongues requested peaceful contact with the people of Earth. A week after the arrival of the strange craft, the Secretary-General of the United Nations was the first human to directly contact an alien race. The V’siilir, as they called themselves, were tall reptiloids that resembled in some ways an evolved species of dinosaur. They asked nothing more than Earth’s help in restoring their dying planet.

It was several months before people noticed a spate of disappearances, and it was several months later still that people realized the ones who had disappeared had all been critical of or hostile to the V’siilir. The aliens denied any involvement and even assigned details from among their own militias to assist in the searches.

Then a private investigator managed to sneak aboard one of the giant V’siilir vessels and learned the truth: the aliens weren’t from another planet: they were from a parallel Earth where the dinosaurs never died out and evolved sapience. They planned to use their new discovery of inter­dimensional travel to plunder resources and soldiers.

Once the plot was revealed, battle was joined in earnest. The human race has now taken up arms and taken sides in a war to determine the future fate of Earth." There's a ton of stuff to recommend Cepheus Engine rpg vs regular garden variety high end OSR titles. There's no kickstarters, the authors have their heart & soul in the deep end of the rpg system. One such creator is Michael Brown. Sometimes as a dungeon master your not looking for high concept BS series of monsters or alien species. This isn't the case with Mr. Brown's hobby work because you tell he's put some thought into his creations for many of his rpg titles. This brings us to Species V. If you want a mini campaign or a quick pick up campaign for Cepheus Engine or Cepheus Light?! This is the campaign for a one night stand or a full access campaign. Does this sound like the famous NBC mini series 'V' from the Eighties?! Hell yes it does! Could Michael get sued?! Nope because Michael is far smarter then that. The Devil is in the details or in this case within the advanced reptile alien's details. The author provides a bite size campaign within two pages for a cinematic campaign. V’siilir are saurian sophonts & we get the full treatment from set up to playing options in two pages. That's right two whole pages of cinematic reptilian goodness. Where can I see using this alien species who may or may not come from another dimensional Earth nearby?! One that springs to mind is using Species V. with Cepheus Engine Lite. Build a campaign from the ground up in Eighties style nostolgia! Crack a couple of beers call your players & away you go with Species V. But if you think that's the end of this review then your sadly mistaken. With the Eighties nosoligia there's the option of running this campaign with Shadowfall by Baggage Books. Perhaps the V’siilir are not so unknown to the puny humans of this planet after all?! Because Lovecraft was right all along! He wasn't racist he was complete Xenophobic of the things outside! The things that crawl in the dark place want to rule us all! Can I see using Species V with another 2d6 sci fi setting such as the Hostile Rpg setting?! Awesomeness abounds with this combination with the players fighting a protracted war in a near future world ruled by our reptile like overlords! The cross over potential would make Dark Horse comics jealous! Want to port over to a smaller venue?! Grab Zozer Games Out World Authority & bring a free quick start one night war! So say you wanna take the fight to Species V?! Well grab a copy of Empire of Time by Baggage Games & beat the reptile bastards back to the stone age across space & time! Heck you can do it across multiple time periods! Oh but I want something more complicated & more like the X Files involving Species V? Fine then go all of the way back to the Game Designers Workshop days & grab Dark Conspiracy rpg first edition. Then use the material in Species V to fill in the background for one of the reptilian aliens in the game & go forward with a kick ass game of X Files like action! But,but, I want a far more hard core post apocalytic game with the aliens from that classic TV mini series from the Eighties?! Well then take Species V & add in classic Twilight 2000 let it boil & then really bring home a 'Walking Dead' style campaign using classic original hard core post apocalyptic rpg. Want really blow the players minds add Species V as the source behind the adventure events of Twilight Nightmares adventure 'The Rumors of Our Extinction…" But run Twilight Nightmares with Twilight 2000 first edition. You'll thank me later.

Is Species V perfect?! Hell no! Its a bite sized mini campaign homage to a classic Eighties NBC television mini series with its own twist & turns but for what I as a DM need it too do. Species V fits the bill in spades. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want more OSR & Cepheus Engine Action? Subscribe To https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Species V
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Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan
Publisher: Svartkonst
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/15/2021 21:29:23

"Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan is a campaign setting for use with the Warriors of the Red Planet Roleplaying Game.

New character races: Mutant, Robot, Rogue Formian, Rogue Formiankin, Lizard Folk.

Rules for Psychic Combat and Super-Science Research.

Wyrd Stones, mysterious artefacts that let you manipulate the matrix of Matter, Energy, Time and Space.


18 new creatures including Spectral Walkers and Winged Squid.

Seven strange Alien Godlings.

Campaign map with 100 detailed hexes.

The city state of Yankara.

The Vaults of Illumination, a 22 room starting dungeon."

Its been over a week since Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan crossed the gaming table & now the piper is coming due. This Sword & planet campaign setting crams in forty eight pages what has been seen in other game systems drawn out over two hundred or more pages. The fact that works with the Warriors of the Red Planet rpg & gives that rpg system an alternative setting to play in. There are so many good things about Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan where to begin?!

Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan evolved straight out of a home campaign morphed into a full on Sword & Planet adventure setting. And it brings the planetary heat straight out by giving us a straight in your face planetary setting out of the gate Xuhlan was the seat of a instellar empire. But the Fall came hard; "Then came the Cataclysm. There are few facts but many myths and legends regarding the fall of the Primordials. Most accounts are vague and they seldom agree with one another, but many speak of apocalyptic wars, entire star systems being destroyed and a plague of madness forever eclipsing the minds of those few Primordials who survived. Zeenu (or Xanu or Zano depending on which source one consults), Devourer of Stars, glorious Conqueror of the Galaxies, Eternal Hegemon of the Primordials was deposed by his subjects and imprisoned in a black hole (or went into self-imposed exile outside the common space-time continuum, again depending on the source). Mankind, brought to Xuhlan by the Primordials to satisfy some playful whim or other, fought with many other sapients from across the universe for survival in the ruins left behind by their fallen masters. Millennia passed, empires rose, only to degenerate and crumble and come crashing down into barbarism again. Nearly a thousand years ago the surface of Xuhlan was under the hegemony of the Celestial Domain, the greatest human civilisation the planet has ever seen. But as the dynasty of the Aether Lords declined the domain was torn between the competing factions of the Guild of Noetic Engineers and the Ascended Masters of Unspace until the conflict escalated out of control. The human scientists had but learned fragments of the esoteric secrets mastered by the Primordials, but the destructive capacity of their technology was enough to extinguish the majority of human lives on the planet and lay their empire in ruin." The players start with several major races right out of the gate Mutant, Robot, Rogue Formian insect antmen, Rogue Formiankin former thralls of the insect men, Lizard Folk. Then mutations & psychic combat which is cleaned up a bit as well as being a real boon to Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan . There's superscience research as an add on system to Warriors of the Red Planet & its needed folks. There's really an orginal Dungeons & Dragons feel to Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan . Then we've got Wyrd Stones which are essentially 'infinity stones' of Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan . But these stones are more in keeping with the Pulp magazine Sword & Planet stories that inspired this setting. The Beastery is one of the best parts of Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan because you get a real nice smattering of additional monsters. And if you're into the Warriors of the Red Planet rpg's weird monsters these are some fantastic creatures.

The world of Xuhlan is straight up Pulp goodness right from the get go as you get into the hex crawl of the world setting with over a hundred encounters. The cartography is very well done. And this blends right into the city state of Yankara. And there's even a starting adventure right in Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan called The Vaults of Illumination. Theres 22 rooms & its all set ready to go play! Is there any downsides to Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan ?! Honestly no in my humble opinion. You've got everything you need to really blow the doors in for an original B/X or original Dungeons & Dragons Sword & Planet campaign. Gotta say that in addition to Warriors of the Red Planet Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan would also work as an excellent setting to BX Mars. All of the material in Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan can easily bolt on to BX Mars so that the players & DM have an additional world setting to play with.

And this is really one of the strengths of Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan. The fact that it can easily be adapted to any number of OSR systems. For example using Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan with Adventurer,Conqueror, King's Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu allows the DM to bring another instellar planetary setting into their ACK's campaigns.

Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan does takes its ques from planetary romance, Pulps, & Sword & Planet Science Fantasy. The sum here is far greater then the parts as Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan stands on its own assumptions. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Thanks for reading our review Want More OSR goodness Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan
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Patrons of the Frontiers of Space
Publisher: Old School Role Playing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/14/2021 09:50:20

"This is a supplement for use with Cepheus Engine.

Patrons of the Frontiers of Space is a list of 100 potential patrons for use with my "Frontiers of Space" published previously. These are patrons specific to the Sonora sector of space but they could easily be modified for use elsewhere."

Joseph Mohr is one of those writers & designers whom sleep is another whole cloth luxury. Every couple of weeks he comes up with a new supplement, adventure, campaign or adventure add on for either Cepheus Engine or OSRIC. Such is the case with his Patrons of the Frontiers of Space a 'pay what you want' forty three page NPC patron book for the Cepheus Engine rpg.

Basically Patrons of the Frontiers of Space is a perfectly served up patrons book in the spirit of the classic original Travellers rpg book. It gives a bunch of patrons for your adventurers & hooks to get your Cepheus Engine rpg campaign & adventures rolling. And there are lots of room for NPC double dealing & weirdness to be added into the Cepheus Engine rpg campaign setting of your choice. Patrons are one of the back bones of classic Traveller & Cepheus Engine. Mohr brings some solid choices for adventurers here.

For the Cepheus Engine rpg Patrons of the Frontiers of Space is core & key a way of turning the adventure starter of the campaign engine for the game. NPC patrons allow adventurers to have access to everything from equipment out of their range. To key NPC's as well as hiring the adventurers for situations that the partons don't want to find themselves in. Patrons of the Frontiers of Space gives a solid take & selection of just these while giving the DM excuses for getting the adventurers into situations way over their pay grades. If your looking for incredibly high standards in layout & artwork look else where Patrons of the Frontiers of Space is pure useful tool box NPC's from right out of the gate for the Cepheus Engine rpg. The layout is no frills, the material here is bare bones, & its very much exactly what it says on the tin. And that's fine. For my purposes Patrons of the Frontiers of Space is key turn tool box fun for my campaigns for the Cepheus Engine. Can Patrons of the Frontiers of Space be used in other Cepheus Engine rpg supplement settings besides the author's original space opera Cepheus Engine campaign?! In a word, very much so, Patrons of the Frontiers of Space is designed with other use built into its DNA.

For example Stellagama Publishing's These Stars Are Ours could have all kinds of loose mid range corps working with any number of front men patrons. These can be fronts for many of the Gray's interests with the humans who are the new up & coming powers after the interstellar wars. For Independence Games's Clement Sector books & setting are being invaded by outside forces. Patrons of the Frontiers of Space represents a threat to the established order of regular patrons. These can be NPC folks with clout in the affairs of the intergalatic world stage who are offering the adventurers opportunities for adventure or missions of all kinds.

Patrons of the Frontiers of Space for Zozer Games Hostile represents the 'outside's influence' growing because of the importation of forces far outside the circle of the current crop & influences of the corporations. Humanity in the board room & the streets are vulnerable to the mere presence of royals or some other corporate entities within the universe. Is Patrons of the Frontiers of Space perfect?! Far from it but its lot better then it has any right to. As a 'pay what you want' adventure it lives up to its own shadow that it sets down for your campaign to use. I'm glad I downloaded Patrons of the Frontiers of Space Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Thanks for reading our review. Want more OSR action subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Patrons of the Frontiers of Space
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Gunboats and Shuttles
Publisher: Zozer Games
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/11/2021 14:28:39

"Escape pods, lifeboats, shuttles, gunboats and dropships – vital smallcraft that play an important part in the gritty American Sector setting of HOSTILE. Nearly all of the smallcraft featured in the setting are covered here, with write-ups, external views and comprehensive deckplans. Included also are two pieces of shuttle-related fiction and a bonus: 11 pages scanned in from the ICO’s Flight Handbook published in 2178!"

Gunboats & Shuttles by Paul Elliott has been sitting on the gaming table for a couple of months now. It stares at our gaming group like an angry marine waiting for its due. So after a couple monthes reading through the book. Using it & really diving into it helps to not take Gunboats & Shuttles for granted. You get a full spectrum of mid to small level ships in this book. These are not incidental & their very well done. These are working marines, roughnecks, spacers, & even cargo haulers ships. And in Gunboats & Shuttles you get a full spectrum of ships across the board: Neumayer Escape Pod Orchid Lifeboat Nomad Ship’s Boat Sabre Gunboat Starlifter Modular Shuttle (and 10 module variations) Halo Heavy Shuttle (all three versions) Thunderchief Heavy Shuttle Mustang Dropship

The layout is really well done & stats are right at the DM's or player's fingers you get a whole lotta bang for the dollar amount for Cepheus Engine and the HOSTILE setting. And these craft could potentially be applied for other Cepheus Engine settings as well with the same tech axioms. Everything in Gunboats & Shuttles is oriented towards actual use & play.

We really liked where the author took the craft giving us a very nice overview, application, & even possible game use in each entry. And this ties well into the Hostile setting as a whole. The ships here are very useful with artwork by Ian Stead, Algol, & Maxim Zhuravlevthat really makes it easy to show players yes this is what the PC is flying.

The Heavy lift shuttle is extremely useful for Roughneck or Explorer with a really nice entry. Gunboats & Shuttles brings the heat for adventurers looking for solid mission profiles. And it really feels like a Janes Weapons or vehicle books.

Gunboats & Shuttles is a great book for the DM looking to really add in a cinematic feel to their Hostile games. We get some great fake advertising & entries for Gunboats & Shuttles within the Hostile universe. And these could be used as in game player hand outs. Within this book are some excellent diagrams & maps for use with Cepheus Engine rpg games.

Gunboats & Shuttles is an excellent support book for craft that you need for both Cepheus Engine rpg as well the Hostile setting itself. The craft here are great support ships for both marine & even explorer or roughneck PC's. Gunboats & Shuttles is an excellent quality book to add to your own Cepheus Engine rpg collection.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want more OSR action? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gunboats and Shuttles
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Explorers
Publisher: Zozer Games
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/11/2021 08:38:51

"Explorers is a supplement for Cepheus Engine and for the gritty HOSTILE science fiction setting. It provides all of the tools the explorer needs to tackle dangers and exotic encounters on remote worlds. Included within the book is a fully detailed survey ship, the USCS Castle Bravo; an in-depth look at both the Tharsis Armadillo All-Terrain Vehicle as well as the explorer’s habitat of choice: the Leyland-Okuda modular base series. The space suits of the HOSTILE universe are also featured, with a set of customisable options. Finally, survey and exploration procedures are explained with advice and rules provided which will allow the referee to create a tense, unpredictable and (hopefully!) dangerous survey mission. These come with 36 uninhabited world descriptions for use in your game. "

Players & friends alerted me to the release of Zozer Games Explorers was shoved int erm came exploding into my email box by my players. The cover alone is what really grabs your attention with a creepy classic Science Fiction & 70's Alien style poster artwork feel to it. The supplemenrt dives into the 'Upstream' space mining & exploration faux industry magazine cover. But this is actually the first section of rules & organization over view. Shades of West End Star Wars rpg with the fake adds which were often used as player hand outs. This is gives a solid feel of the field of space exploration in the universe of Hostile. You get a quick arm shot of a common survey vessel & overview of the Armadillo ATV. And its very well done giving the DM a perspective on the ATV and it almost feels like you could actually drive one. And that's one of the things about Explorers as a supplement it feels very grounded in its own universe.

The module base section is very well done & we get down, dirty, & very scientific within Explorers take on living the pioneer life on the edge of galatic discovery. This section has a very much updated feel of those Eighties faux NASA books such as the Mars Mission Manual. This is life on the bleed edge of surival & space exploration. This section of Explorers gives an excellent overview of the shelters, colony pop up dwellings, and bases that are going to be used by PC's.

Next we get into some hard core space suit design & mission specific stuff with regards to the day to day workable skin of the explorer. This section is very well done & hits the high notes that Hostile does with added benefits of actually being another customizable PC section of Explorers. This is one of the best sections of the book because it allows the DM & players to work together to tie together the gear for the PC's missions.

'How To Explore' is one of the best sections of Explorers which involves planets, systems, missions parameters, planetary characteristics, & much more. This section ties in nicely with Explorers especially for instellar exploration campaign. This section goes right into The Castle Bravo survey vessel which was introduced around a decade ago to compensate for the inadequacies of its predecessor, the North Star long range scout. And this is a perfect star ship for the players PC's and its a slamming ship!

The Castle Bravo survey vessel reminds me of many of the classic original Traveller rpg ships. An actual star ship that the PC's can use for missions across the board. Its a real neat design incorporating elements of the classic 70's art Science Fiction ships with the Two Thousands bleeding edge space exploration. In many respects I really love the Castle Bravo survey ship class its really well done. Explorers within seventy one pages feels like an update of Paul Elliott, & Ben Lecrone's Orbital 2100 campaign setting with huge expansion of many of the ideas, adventure elements, space suits, ships, etc..

Explorers takes the Hostile rpg setting into the outer bleeding edges of instellar space exploration. This means that its a solid drag & drop supplement right into the back end of the Hostile rpg setting. Explorers is a must add on for Roughnecks because the explorers are often the trail blazers or runners for the Rougneck's mining operations.

Because of Explorers the way that the book is set up its perfectly tuned for adding in sci fi horror elements to make the lives of the PC's wretched. All in all Explorers is a solid add on book for the DM of Cepheus Engine campaigns & yes I'm really glad that I grabbed it!

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want More OSR Content? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Explorers
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Sorcerer Class
Publisher: James Mishler Games
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/08/2021 11:57:50

James & Jodi Mishler from Mishler Games have created an OSR sorcerer class that dips deeply into the mythology of classic Dungeons & Dragon style games with their latest Sorcerer Class for Labyrinth Lord

"The new Sorcerer Class for Labyrinth Lord includes the following:

Class Details, including Spellcasting, Sorcerous Origin, and Evoke Magic;

The following Sorcerous Origins, each with their own special abilities: Angel-Blood Demon-Blood Djinn-Blood Dragon-Blood Efreet-Blood Fairy-Blood Vampire-Blood

New spells for the Dragon-Blood and Vampire-Blood sorcerers, adapted from spells included in the Dragonborn Race and Necromancer Class booklets." The Sorcerer PC Class is one of those classes you don't think your gonna need as a player or DM but then it hits you. This is a perfect class for an OSR horror game or even a science fantasy campaign.

Here the Mishler's do an excellent job of boiling down the PC sorcerer into its OSR roots & this is both its charm. And its dangers; "Sorcerers are humans who possess innate magical spell-casting powers due to ancient, inhuman family bloodlines, such as through having an angel, demon, dragon, fairy, genie, vampire, or other magically-powerful creature in their family line." Why do I say dangers?! Because sorcerers have powerful supernatural or occult parents. Parent can be very protective of their children.

Mishler's sorcerers go to twentieth level & leave lots of room for the players & DM's to have fun with the class in OSR games. The class has plenty of opportunities to take full advantage of the magic infused nature of the class; "SPELLCASTING: Sorcerers possess the ability to cast magic-user spells, but in a very different way than magic-users gain and cast spells. A sorcerer does not learn spells, scribe them in spell books, and then memorize the spells desired. Instead, a sorcerer innately knows a number of spells equal to her level plus her Charisma bonus. She then use her spell slots to cast the spells she knows in any combination desired, within her combination of known spells and available spell casting slots. For example, at 1st level Tiana the Sorceress (CHA 16, +2) knows three 1st level spells (plus one from her Sorcerous Origin), which she can cast in any combination of two spells per day using her two 1st-level spell-casting slots. At each level, when a sorcerer gains a new spell, she may choose a spell of a spell level that she can cast (including any newly-gained spell level from that character level) from the magic-user spell list. For example, Tiana the Sorceress advances from 3rd to 4th level; she may choose one new spell of 1st or 2 nd level, as she can now cast 2nd level spells."

The very nature of the sorcerer's magic makes it even more dangerous; "EVOKE MAGIC: Sorcerers do not have any proper training in the use of magic items that are normally limited to use by magic-users, however, their natural affinity with magic allows them to try to use such items that require activation. In order to do so, they must make a saving throw versus Wands (if using a wand) or Spells or Spell-Like Devices (if using any other item other than scrolls) each time they wish to use an item that requires active use. No roll is needed to use passive items that work without activation. To cast a scroll, the sorcerer must make a Charisma-based Spell Learning Probability Check (Intelligence Table II), with a penalty of 5% per level of the spell; even sorcerers who cannot read can try to use scrolls, as they can feel the magic in the scroll and simply evoke it out of the magical writing. However, there is danger in trying to evoke magic out of a magic item or scroll. If the saving throw fails with a Natural 1, or if the sorcerer rolls 96-00 when trying to use a scroll, Something Bad happens, the nature of which is at the whim of the Labyrinth Lord." I can think of at least ten or so uses for this class as the basis for an NPC villain or mid level hench villain with an occult parent whose a complete & utter bastard.

Mishler shifts from the various Angel-Blood, Demon-Blood, Djinn-Blood, Dragon-Blood, Efreet-Blood Fairy-Blood, & Vampire-Blood. There ar new spells, advantages, explainations, class advances, & all of this fits into about twenty pages. Not bad for a compact little class with tons of D&D potential to say the least. The two stand outs for my money are the Dragon Blood & the Vampire Blood who have some real potential as possible NPC royals or henchmen for thier parents. Taking the material has been ported over into these sorcerers with spells like this; "Dragon Claw & Fang Level: 1 st level Dragon-Blood Sorcerer Duration: 1 turn per level Range: Self The sorcerer transforms her hands into dragon claws sharp as daggers, and her head into that of a dragon, complete with sharp fangs. The sorcerer may attack each round with a claw/claw/bite routine, dealing the following damage: 1st to 3 rd level 1d4/1d4/2d4, 4th to 6th level 1d4+1/1d4+1/2d6, 7th to 9th level 1d6/1d6/2d8, 10th to 12th level 1d6+1/1d6+1/2d10, 13th to 15th level 1d8/1d8/3d8, and 16th level and above 2d4/2d4/3d10. Attacks made with the claw and bite attacks are rolled on the Monster Attack Table rather than on the Magic-user Attack Table. The sorcerer can cast spells normally while her hands are claws, but other more detailed work might be troublesome." All in all you get the essence of the sorcerer with all of the backwash of the classes origin. In no way are the Mishler's work being desparaged here. This is a great PC class with some solid bones to it!

So where can the Sorcerer class be used in old school or OSR games or settings?! The obvious answer is within Adventurer, Conqueror, King's Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu. Half dragons check & Science Fantasy check along with Sword & Sorcery. This is a perfect class to slide in the ACK's backdoor. Then there's Castles & Crusades which this class fits right into epecially given the number of elemental or potential god like cosmic powers we've got lurking in the background of Castles & Crusades. Yes I'm talking about the Adventurer's Backpack book here as the basis for a sorcerer to work along side the classes introduced within that book.

Could the sorcerer class be used with say Lamentations of the Flame Princess!? Yes but it would require a bit of adjustment or would it?! Say using the basics of the sorcerer with some of the spells from Lamentations might be fun.. The sorcerer could be a very dangerous & unknown quatity as an NPC or as a PC. Sorcerer Class for Labyrinth Lord is well done & serves its niche within old school or even OSR games quite nicely. A very useful class in my humble opinion.

Eric Fabiaschi Dark Corner Blog We've got more OSR action on https://darkcornersofrpging.blogspot.com/



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sorcerer Class
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Barbaric!
Publisher: Stellagama Publishing
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/28/2021 01:08:07

"The fierce, proud, and relentless commander of warriors, standing tall above her enemies and simmering with rage, Jirel bids farewell to the world of treacherous men and walks through a forbidden door into Hell itself in pursuit of freedom, justice, and revenge."

So last night it was a night with an old friend, that friend happened to be C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry in paperback. She was created in '34 by C.L.Moore as a reaction to the Sword & Sorcery tales of the Pulp magazine era. Reading through the stacks of Amazon book reviews is like reading through a laundry list of a comic book or Pulp letters column. The Amazon break down from one of their reviewers hits the high marks; "C. L. Moore created Jirel, ruler of Joiry, in reaction to the beefy total-testosterone blood-and-thunder tales of '30s pulp magazines, but Jirel is no anti-Conan. She's a good Catholic girl, stubbornly purposeful, relentless in pursuit of enemies or vengeance, hard-boiled and a little stupid, and cannot be distracted by mere physical attractiveness. Indeed, in Jirel's world, beauty = decadence = corruption. Were these stories written today, inevitably Jirel would have a lot of hot sex, but as they were first published in Weird Tales between 1934-1939, sexual attraction is mostly only vividly implied. No loss. Jirel's journeys through unnatural landscapes and her battles with supernatural opponents are still wonderful to read, and though newcomers Red Sonja and Xena are more famous now, Jirel rules as the archetypal, indomitable redheaded swordswoman in chain mail and greaves, swinging her "great two-edged sword."" The idea that a Sword & Sorcery character not only rules her own domain but that the supernatural won't leave her alone is something seldom seen. She's a warrior & a more then a bit fallible. This makes her far more relatable to the reader then some of today's characters. She's very much in a similar spirit to some of Clark Ashton Smith's characters in a sense. The ironic play of the setting, the masterful use of the English language, and the sly character development all built around C.L. Moore's weaving of the stories.

And what does any of this have to do with Omer Golan-Joel new Cepheus Engine rpg powered supplement Barbaric! ? Everything really. Barbaric! is the Sword & Sorcery add on book that has the very essence to run a Sword & Sorcery based rpg 2d6 Sword & Sorcery based campaign from the ground up. This means that C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry world & setting could easily be adapted into a Barbaric! campaign. Or Robert E.Howard's works, mixed in Clark Ashton Smith, etc. all of the Appendix N writers are grist for the Barbaric! mill. This book clocks in at fifty seven pages of good solid layout, a readable product, & the quality we've come to expect from Stellagama Publishing.

If you want your own Conan wanna be slithering through the darkness, the barbarian hordes tearing down the sorcerer's tower, etc. within Cepheus Engine then Barbaric! is the supplement for you! Omer Golan-Joel does an excellent job of boiling down every Sword & Sorcery & Pulpy goodness of his take on Cepheus Engine rpg system weirdness in Barbaric!. We've seen this before in Sword of Cepheus.

The difference between Sword of Cepheus & Barbaric! is day & night because of how & where Omar places the life paths, the humancentric elements, the Sword & Sorcery elements vs all of the High Fantasy flavor. This is 2d6 Conan like Sword & Sorcery play vs 2d6 High Fantasy, sure they have elements in common but you know the difference when you see it, read it, & play it. Barbaric! hits the high notes of 2d6 Sword & Sorcery play for the its publishing. Cepheus Atom could be used to plug into a whole new world of post apocalyptical goodness.

For bringing to life C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry into Barbaric! there are several reasons why it would work. Jirel of Joiry has all of the 'journey of a hero' elements in place, but what happens to her world when she's gone?! Surely there were adventurers looking for her?! Even on a quest for vengence nothing happens in a vacuum. This is where Barbaric! could come into play. The PC's are generated to go on a quest to find her & encounters with the supernatural result from there. Simple & easy to do a 2d6 campaign from there. Moore's Jirel stories include the following: "Black God's Kiss" (October 1934) "Black God's Shadow" (December 1934) "Jirel Meets Magic" (July 1935) "The Dark Land" (January 1936) "Quest of the Starstone" (November 1937), with Henry Kuttner "Hellsgarde" (April 1939) For grabbing the Jirel of Joiry stories cheaply the Paizo's Black God's Kiss (Trade Paperback) is the best source in print at the moment.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want more OSR goodness Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
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Barbaric!
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