It’s a short week and I know that everyone is really busy so I figured I’d take a little aside and explain a little more why I’m doing these posts.
If you’ve been around the old-school any length of time then you know there are more games than you can shake a stick at. It can be kind of pain to keep what all is going on and what games are available. The popularity of games ebb and flow. A game can be the darling of the day and then fade off into obscurity. Plus if you happen to be new then the choices are almost overwhelming.
The OSR Retrospective posts aren’t meant to be reviews. A single Internet search can give you a whole bunch of reviews for just about any game you happen to be looking at. What I want to do here is basically get folks to at least look at these games that may or may not a hot commodity right now or just may have fallen by the wayside.
And if you want the opinion of someone smarter and prettier than me then check out this video from Questing Beast.
Thanks for stopping by the blog and go out there and have a happy and safe holiday.
This week I’m looking at Blood & Treasure. This is a really interesting game. What make Blood & Treasure so interesting? Well, let me tell you.
Blood & Treasure is a real Franken-game. It doesn’t try to emulate or recreate a specific older edition. It takes the better parts of many editions including 3.x. It includes Feats and Skills similar but still simpler than 3rd Edition. It includes the full range of races and classes including things like the Sorcerer.
These are all good things and makes things easier to introduce more of the old-school vibe to players who aren’t accustomed to it. Also, if you’ve already got your old-school game of choice and want to add some of those things to your game then this is a good source of inspiration.
I do admit that I haven’t played Blood & Treasure that much but this is a game that I wouldn’t mind playing more. Like I said, this game is a good bridge between those simpler old-school games and the 3rd Edition style game without all the excessive crunch.
This week it’s Adventures Dark & Deep. It’s not exactly a retroclone but more of a what -if.
Adventures Dark & Deep plays the what if game in the sense that what if Gary hadn’t been forced out of TSR and he designed Second Edition D&D which in my mind puts it as a kissing cousin to Advanced D&D.
It does go well beyond the four basic classes and races. We’ve got gnomes, half-orcs, half-elves, and the various sub-races. And for classes, it runs the full range bards, barbarians, jesters, and many more. You’ve got all the tools and options you need to run a great campaign and using other old school supplements and adventures is a breeze.
As some of the games that I’ve talked about, I use Adventures Dark and Deep as more a reference. Due to the many similarities it’s a breeze to convert stuff into Advanced Labyrinth Lord. It can be done but you could also convert into Old School Essentials or Swords & Wizardry with a little more work.
Adventures Dark and Deep is a solid game and a good addition to your collection/reference library. It can be easily played its own and have the feel of AD&D and Second Edition. There’s plenty of bits and pieces you can add to your own home game.
I’ve been saying that I’ve been working on a big project (well, big for me anyway) and I’m at a point where I think I announce it publicly. So here you go.
The current working title is Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery. It’s built around the White Box set of rules and leans towards a Savage Sword of Conan style campaign with a little bit of Lovecraftian influence. I’m not trying emulate the literary works of Robert E Howard nor am I making it a game about cosmic horror. And it’s not a grim dark art haus type game.
The bigest influences in my youth were things like the Savage Tales of Conan, Frank Frazzetta and other genre artists, and all those B Sword & Sorcery movies from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. The goal is to make a game filled with a lot pulp style action .
I’ve made some major tweaks to the Combat and Magic systems and few other things here and there without losing the feel of the original rules. And if you like later old school rules, I’m adding some notes to help folks convert it.
Right now, it’s just over 90 pages and there’s a few more sections that I still need to finish writing but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. More previews, design notes and other goodies are coming soon.
If you want to see those updates early, I’ll be posting the previews and design notes on Patreon and Locals first.
As I’ve said before old-school games aren’t just about derivatives of D&D. One of those tried and try classics is the D6 system.
Like so many others, my first taste of the D6 system was West End Games original Star Wars RPG. I’ve played each of later iterations of Star Wars RPG’s and I still think that the the original D6 version is the best. A close second comes in as the many home-brewed Savage Worlds versions found all over the Internet.
The D6 system all sorts of later licensed games including Ghostbusters, Men In Black, Indiana Jones, and Hercules & Xena. There were some financial and other problems in the past but in 2008 the system and most of the original d6 genre books were released under the OGL.
The D6 system is damned good system for cinematic games and it’s pretty easy. In a nut shell, roll a bunch of d6’s and total them up. You’re rolling either against a Target Number or an opposed roll (greater total succeeds). Your die pool is determined by your stats, skills, or any other genre quirk that may apply. This simple system also makes it very flexible and adaptable to variety of genres. It’s one of the old systems that you have to play at least once for the experience.
I do have to admit that my favorite version of the rules after the flood gates were opened is Mini-6 by Anti-Paladin Games. It takes the core of the d6 system and makes it quicker and simpler to play. And that’s a good thing. Cinematic games need to easy and fast to keep the focus on the action and not rules minutiae.