Monday, February 22, 2010

Just got my OSRIC Economy Version.

Just got my OSRIC Economy Version. IT is in my hands. IT only was around $15 with shipping. IT is perfect bound. Everything you need is here! Totally worth the price. Nice high gloss cover. All B&W inside. The binding seems very good. Lulu I love you!

Got my LL and AEC in as well.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

OSRIC 2.0 Review


What a game!

Nothing new here under the sun but the organization and presentation of the entire project is just amazing. It allows OGL publishing of the first edition rules of some certain game we all know. After trying and trying to write my own retro clone mixed with new stuff and giving up for the millionth time yet again I stand looking at OSRIC in amazement.

Overall I love it!

Character Creation is what we all know. Simple and fast compared to "modern" rule systems. Still full of Class and Race restrictions that make no sense but to some it is a tradition. However I will play it like the rulebook says to and make up the rest.

The Initiative system is going to be really interesting. My group says they will try it soon. They play 4th edition mostly. They were not impressed with S&W even though it was some of my best GMing I have ever done.

Some of the artwork is as good as mine which is not saying much but other bits of artwork are fantastic. The OSR need to embrace the professional and the amature artist and this book reflects this.

The Spell List is detailed and I have yet to find any problems.

The equipment list is lacking transports and there is an absence of Ship Combat. There also seems to be no construction and siege rules as well. There is no Mass Combat. I am sure that the writers are working on it as we speak as another book is coming out. With the talent here it will be good.

The Monster list is HUGE. The writers put the treasure roll WITH the monster description. Genius and LOTS of work. It will make running monsters very easy for the GM. I just wish there was a monster chart with the basics of all the monsters just like on the old DMG.

The non OGL text on how to play and such are done so very well and does it's job in stirring up the old school feeling of the dungeon crawl.

Tables and more tables. Just fantastic! I wish the writes would make a book of more tables and these were done so very well!

My question is how did just a handful of people rewrite and organize this OGL project so very well? OSRIC is an obvious labor of love, done by people who love the hobby and are keeping Old School Gaming alive.

I still don't understand Old School dissenters of the OSR. Their hobby will die as they know is because the old games are sold no more except used. This piece of art will keep it alive.

This rulebook is perfect as it is and needs to stay unchanged.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Messy Recap of my Old School games.

Here is a recap of all the adventures that have been played in my Raven's Keep Sandbox Setting.

After this point I will be using OSRIC as opposed to S&W. Hopefully more to come.

Listen to Dead Can Dance while you read! You can thank me later!

Wow I played Swords and Wizardry last night with my two girls. They were both elves. My 11 year old rolled a fighter elf and my oldest 13 year old rolled a fighter magic user elf. I had them hire four Men at arms and then sent them into the dungeon. They were there to rescue the Baron's Daughter who had been kidnapped by the Kobolds. Bloodrock Keep was the ruins they haunt and had never been a problem until now. The heroines went in swords swinging and lost the initiative and two of the four retainers died right away. The girls managed to fight off and kill the rest of the kobolds. They then went back to town and hired a set of twing chin and shield fighters, a thief, and a second level wizard. They kicked in the door of the next room for a surprise attack and did they ever miss! My two girls quickly dispatched two of the surprised guards and the Mage and rogue killed two as well. The next round one of the fighters were dead as well as the mage. The rest of the combat ended messily with all the guards being killed. Only one of the fighters and the thief was left. In the corner of the room was a cell that contained a 2nd level elf. While they were talking goblins busted in from the north room and killed the fighter and the thief NPC. The more experienced elf NPC showed the players the use of a bow and the goblins were killed. They will play again soon.

A Human Fighter and two Female Elves.

The Fighter had been traveling for the last 14 days from the Capital to Raven's Keep. A few hours before the city he met up with two female elves. Two Adarian Elves who told a story of the baron of Raven's Keep ravishing an elvish princess of their tribe and now they were at war with the baron. The Fighter groaned as he knew these elves would be trouble.

As they approached the city there was a great crowd of people and screams of pain! There was a man burning at the stake! A few rotting bodies hung by the neck from the wall, people in brass pots with only their heads sticking out who would be left to die slowly in their own filth. Stocks of ten with four unfortunates in them, to be left for days outside the city walls and anything could happen to them.

Then there was this raven haired girl with bright blue eyes and pale white skin. She wore strange black and red leather armor. She and two guards were at the top of the great stone wall some 20 ft high. She was abut to be hung by the neck until dead. The elves began to complain and the fighter told them this is the law and this is crime and punishment. As they were discussing the girl who was proclaiming her innocence and said she had spurned the baron, was throw off the wall and the noose caught on (1d6 damage) but it did not snap her neck but she would die (1 pt of damage a round) soon. One of the elves pulled out her bow and shot through the rope allowing the girl fall. The rather large crowd went wild and began to run into the town as someone screamed goblins attacking! The elf maidens quickly escorted the girl back into the city where she disappeared into the crowds. The fighter suggested that they do the same.

They found a rowdy inn and found rumors of all sorts of things going on. The baron was a womanizer, slavery was very popular here, two dungeons Bloodrock Castle and the Black Stairs beckoned adventurers to explore them and a few adventurer parties had went but never returned. Much adventure was to be found here.

A sage of great wisdom invited the party for a drink and told of Bloodrock Castle and a Tome that he wanted for a hefty price. He would tell them of the location and they would return him the Tome.

SO they went....

Drunk and stupid the Fighter and the two elf maidens were. The entire group of five hirelings had died in the first three rooms of Bloodrock Castle. The first room was a portrait room with pictures of great art that fell apart when touched. Filthy kobolds ambushed us and killed two of our nameless hirelings. The next room a former bedroom of a rich maiden, has human bandits that wiped out the rest of our retainers when goblins from the third room came in and ambushed from behind. It seems that old school has more deadly consequences than new school gaming. Lucky the players let their retainers die and they had to flee back to the inn to wait for another adventure. They sit there now drinking and regretting the senseless deaths of their retainers. Maybe they will be more careful next time

Expedition to the Black Stairs Part 1

Eachern M The Cleric
Dalkon M The Dwarven Warrior
Aowen F The Elf Thief
Eva F The Thief

Marts MF With Plate and 2H Sword
Melenad FF With Ring Spear and Bow plus Dagger
Belenad FF With Ring Spear and Bow plus Hand Ax
Melenad and Belenad are two attractive foreigner twins.

NPCs not hired
Raph MF With Chain, Shield, and Sword plus Crossbow
Tran MF With Plate, Battle Ax, and Spear

The Black Stairs Servant's quarters.
Dalkon get's let down on rope and he gets shot at by 2 goblins. Aowen goes down below to help. As well as Eva, Belenard, and Marts. Eachern and Melenard tie rope to bush and go down. Belenard proves to be a great shot! Killing one of the goblins and the Dwarf kills the other but not until Melenard is horribly injured! Two goblins are dispatched. Three more goblins come out. The party quickly dispatches them all but poor Marts is killed. The adventurer's explore the rest of the servant's quarters and find much gold and an amulet of protection.

They find door on the western end on the main hallway with a warning written in goblin”No go in here” The Cleric feels unholiness in the area and decides to go to the door to the south instead that opens up into a three way hallway.

The western hallway has a smell (Now as a house rule Dwarves will be able to tell the different kinds of humanoids by their smell!) of some kind of humanoid but the dwarf can't tell what it was.
The southern hallway opens up into a greenhouse.
The eastern hallway goes down to a room with a lit fire.
The players go south into the greenhouse and find two knotted ropes coming down. The cleric decides to cut the ropes ten foot up as the Elf decides to climb up the rope. She finds a mulemaster and a pack mule. The mulemaster is heavily question by the elf as the dwarf climbs up. The dwarf finds out that two of the NPCs that were not hired Raph and Tran have decided to come to the Black Stairs themselves. The Dwarf pays the mulemaster 3 gold and tells him to cut the rope when they get back down. The elf and dwarf climb back down and the rope begins to get pulled back up with the mulemaster explaining that he did not have a knife to cut the rope so he would just pull it up. The Dwarf runs and leaps grabbing the rope. The mulemaster surprised by this does not let go of the rope and accidentally gets pulled down headfirst to his death 20 feet below. The party rolls in laughter with this strange turn of events.
The party then decides to go down the eastern hallway and the elf scouts down the hall and sees three goblins completely distracted by something farther down the hallway. The elf decides to sneak up and gives a battle cry too early allowing the goblins a chance to attack but somehow they all miss. The party quickly dispatches the goblins and find an old mine, 6 slaves and a freshly dug gold mine with many nuggets of gold.

The party decides to get the heck back to Raven's Keep and right in the servant's quarters they are ambushed by Raph and Tran. Raph and Tran attack with crossbow and Spear and miss! They close in and the Dwarf is killed (CRIT!) by Tran as well as Melenad and Beledad. The cleric is taken out as well as the elf but she does manage to kill Raph. Only Eva the thief is left standing as she fires her arrows at Tran hitting him but he still is up. She drops her bow and draws her sword as the battle axe barely misses. They both make a last strike his axe cutting her nearly to death and her blade hitting the mark killing Tran. She tires to heal the cleric and fails and succeeds on the elf who quickly pours a potion of healing that they found earlier in the cleric's mouth. They limp back to town.

I use the Dave Arneson method of spend the gold in order to get the Experience Points for it.

The cleric is a worshiper of Bobber the god of fishing. He find the temple of Bobber in great disrepair and their acolytes lax. The local priest of Bobber is an old man who claims to be 115 years old. Much gold is spent getting the temple in repair.

The Thief spends her money on much partying.

The Elf Thief spends her money of a fully armored warhorse. A new set of armor, some caltrops, a couple of tattoos, new fancy sets of clothing, and the rest is wasted on partying.

The brother of the Dwarf comes to the city looking for his brother. He is saddened to find that he is dead and is gladdened to find he died in battle with honor.

The party hires the following NPCs
Mark the Fighter M Chain and Shield with Sword.
The Band of Dwarves M, Dully, Martrus, Dontar, Dunkin, and Brannoc. All had Ring and Shield with Battle Axes!
There was Stryder the Elf Warrior and Mage with Longbow ready to fire.

They all headed back to the Black Stairs ready for Part 1.5!

The party went back in and found the slaughter house. An animal pen, a blood pit that scraps and blood was drained to the unused 3rd level and the actual kitchen.

The party and their retainers bumbled around until they attracted the attention of some zombies. The cleric turned all of one of the dead but the party foolishly pursued the zombies and lost two dwarfs. The zombies were dispatched though.

The fighter Mark kept talking smack about the superiority of humans as the party explored the slaughterhouse area of the dungeon. The Player Dwarf pushed him down the bloodhole. He survived the fall but the party discovered he met a gang of ghouls who quickly dispatched foolish Mark but not before he beheaded one of them. A quick application of oil dispatched another ghoul but the party knows going deeper they will have to face them.

They explored a bit more and found a horde of dishes and silverware. The best find was a huge set of gold candle holders. The headed back to Raven's Fort where they cashed in the items for gold.

A party of legend has happened for the last three weeks as the Adventurers have unleashed a time of drunken debauchery right during The Summer Festival of the Lottery. With the huge amount of gold the party has shut down much of the city for the last three weeks. Crops have not been tended, cows not milked, jobs not done, the city has put in a virtual standstill. Drunken citizens lay all about the street for the last three weeks! The party is out of money and the Baron is now displeased. Time to leave town!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My post on Back Screen Pass - A DM's Secrets

The 4th edition has it's great parts.

There are some really cool things about 4th edition such as my sorcerer, rouges, and the whole at will, per encounter, and per day powers setup.

Where it goes wrong is too many modifiers, too many hit points, not enough damage done to monsters, too long of combats as you go up in levels.

In fact last night it took 9 hours to do 3 encounters.

It's a completely different play style from any other version of D&D.
There is no fear of death as your character can mow through most encounters.
You have no need for NPCs and if like in the old days one would hire NPCs the DM would have lot's of trouble running the monsters and NPCs.

In S&W, Basic and OSRIC I can run HUGE combats with a party of five, plus ten NPCs against 20 orcs with no slow down of the story.

I am trying to convince my group to try OSRIC in an old school dungeon crawl as they did not dig S&W or BFRPG. I got dungeons ready to roll just need a few more overly long sessions of 4th to convince them.

Don't get me wrong there are some things I like about 4th edition just liking the system less and less every game.

The original post

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My review of Labyrinth Lord: Advanced Edition Companion

Well well Mr. Proctor has outdone himself this time.

That little raised eyebrow that I first had when I saw Labyrinth Lord for the first time with all it's "Basic" rules and restrictions that just never felt right after playing more advanced versions of our favorite game. But still there was that yearning for that simple game I played at 11 years old. So simple yet so full of possibilities. A character made is minutes with weapons and armor and equipment ready to adventure. Yes almost perfection.


The "advanced" version had overcomplicated stats and rules that made me wish and wash for my many years of gaming. Alas it solved the "issues" I had with the "basic" version of the game but it came with more rules and restrictions.

But ALAS! There is the Labyrinth Lord: Advanced Edition Companion! It is a merge of the Basic and the Advanced! Still keeping those magic set of rules I love only slightly altering them with a few advanced options.

Is this the system that I shall choose for my Old School Renaissance setting? Save for a few minor house rules this may be it.

The classes capture the "advanced" without clogging one down with many modifiers that did scare away some recent makers of characters. They became bored and one even fell asleep before finishing an OSRIC character. This will not happen here! A mere five minutes and one is adventuring!

No goblin horde is safe and no dragon sleeps soundly! Might add that the monster list for Labyrinth Lord now grows quite LARGE with a great many monsters added.

This is a good thing for the magic spark that ignited my passion so long ago exist here.

Still it is the days of the mega dungeon! The feeling of being deep underground exploring the ancient carved out dungeons that lead deep into the depths of the ground opening into the mythic underworld!

Monday, February 1, 2010

My perfect Classic Fantasy RPG Again!

Take the simplicity of 0E and S&W.

Add attribute modifiers of B/X.

Attribute checks like D20 and C&C per the class.
No skills or feats!

Add many of the classes of D20 3.5. At least 15 classes.
Cleric, Thief, Wizard, Fighter, Barbarian, Druid, Bard, Sorcerer, Assassin, Paladin, Knight, Ranger, Monk, Psionic, and Warlock.

At least 10 races.

Simple spell list at first as I have killed myself in past efforts with a "big ol spell list".

Monsters as simple as 0E and S&W. As many monsters as possible.

Old school art. Self published.