There is some good news this year. Zines are making a big comeback. It’s a good thing and IHMO one of the best ways to keep old-school gaming alive and well. It’s the best way things fresh and let creativity flow without breaking the budget of the creator and the customer. There’s a quote I pulled from a writers’ forum and I have posted on the wall next to my desk, “These are not people who are trying to “connect” with some imagined audience. They’re fucking weirdos who are foisting their weird creations on the world without apology.” And that’s a good thing.
There are so many good zines out there, all you have to do is search them out but let me talk about a couple that I find really cool.
Planet X Games The Phylactery: Well if you missed out on the Kickstarter for Issue 1, you’re going to have to do deep digging to find this one. It looks like Exalted Funeral is sold out and I can’t find a source for a PDF. And Issue 2’s Kickstarter has ended so if you didn’t back that keep your eyes open early next year and you maybe able to grab a copy after the fact. So what do I like about The Phylactery? Well, it’s got some really great production values which is cool but that doesn’t help you at the table. It does give you is some cool magic items and monsters, and a mini-adventure all while not taking itself too seriously. It’s a fun little romp and worth the time and money.
Hunters In Death: This is by Gothridge Manor of The Manor fame. It’s a great little hexcrawl put out in a zine format. You don’t need to weigh your bag down with huge books nor flip throw hundreds of pages. In just 32 pages, you can have the players occupied for weeks on this little baby. Oh and there’s plenty of undead in the mix and those are always fun. While Hunters in Death was created as part of Kickstarter’s Zine Quest, it’s done and been sent out to backers and the rest of you can get the PDF this and old issues of The Manor on DrivethruRPG.
Dice Roll Zine: Another zine that’s not afraid to color outside the lines. I just got Issue 3 thanks to the Zine Quest Kickstarter and already had the earlier issues. These are just down right fun and weird in all the right ways. Each has something you can use. It’s a great blend of new monsters and magic items, mini adventures, random tables and house rules. Issue 3 isn’t on DrivethruRPG yet but the older issues are.
Oubliette: This is one of the grand daddies of the old-school zine scene and it’s good. I’ve grabbed up most of the issues. Like the others, this is gives a great selection of things to make liven up your campaign without breaking the bank. More rules options, monsters and all that good stuff. It’s an old school zine and keeps the old school vibe through out. If you’re running an old-school game then grab this one up. There will something in there that you will use. Like the others, you can grab this up on DrivethruRPG.
There you go. Four zines that keep your campaign fresh and just a wee bit crazy and without having to sell any organs to pay for it.