Category Archives: News, Rants & Reviews

An Often Forgotten Tome of GM Wisdom

You hit the internet and you’ll see all sorts of posts about “This is a great for GM’s.” And there are some really good ones out there. The Tome of Adventure Design, The Lazy Dungeon Master, and ICRPG’s GM section just to name a few. But here’s that doesn’t get talked about much. Listen Up You Primitive Screwheads!

There’s a couple of reasons that folks don’t talk about it much. Mainly, IMHO, is that it’s designed for Cyberpunk. So if you aren’t playing that game why would you look? The other is that it’s kind of “old” as far as RPG supplements go.

So only play fantasy RPG’s? No problem. There’s plenty of advice that is generic to running an RPG campaign. From getting the party together to dealing with back stories and running combat. There’s plenty of advice for setting the tone of a Cyberpunk game too. This is still good advice that can be easily molded into a darker style fantasy game. Even quite a few of the cyberpunk inspired articles are easily carried over to other genre’s.

And remember when I said running a campaign? Yeah, it’s more than just game mechanics. What if somebody quits? Or if all the players or some players want new characters? And so on. This is a really good book to sharpen up some game mastering skills that often don’t get covered in other books.

I said it was old but it’s not so old that you can’t get it on DrivethruRPG.

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Phylactery No 4 & Vulgar Display of Magic

Yes, I know I ranted about this when I got the PDF’s from the Kickstarter. Now have the physical copies in my grubby little hands. Yeah, I’m a big fan of Planet X Games.

This is issue number of the Phylactery zine. And I’ve got all the others. Overall get some wonderfully weird grindhouse/B-Movie type content for your games. It hits that sweet spot even more with just the right amount of dark humor to make even more appealing to someone like me. Yeah, I’m a weirdo. So what do you get? Some cool random tables to add some flair to a dungeon, wild and crazy rumors, and fun stuff. But wait there’s more! A mini-dungeon. New gods. Monsters. Magic Items. An NPC! Spells! And some very tongue in cheek bits. Like I said, it all hits that sweet spot for me.

Then there’s Vulgar Display of Magic. This one is all wild and crazy spells inspired by a misspent youth of Heavy Metal. Yeah, I’m a punk rock guy but don’t mean I don’t like this stuff too. I really feel Vulgar Display of Magic is a sequel to Planet X Games’ Magic & Shit. It’s a pretty good mix of spells. Most are around 5th level or so with a few at the lower range (1st) and the upper (9th). And there’s a good mix Cleric, Druid, and Magic-User spells. Like Phylactery, it’s a good addition of crazy material for your game.

With these little goodies in hand, I have the real urge to start planning a crazy D&D style campaign. I got no idea which of the multitude of rules I’d use. But there’s that craziness swirling around in the back of my head.

It’s well worth to check out Planet X Games stuff. You can find it mainly over at Exalted Funeral.

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Is it time for OSR 2.0?

The last couple of weeks have been interesting to say the least. And it looks fans and creators have won for now. But the whole OGL drama and folks jumping to licenses and rewriting products got me thinking. Is it time for OSR 2.0?

I remember back in the hey day of the OSR. There wasn’t a week that went by that I didn’t see something that just made stop and say, “Wow! That’s so cool.” Sure. You couldn’t swing a stick without hitting yet another BX clone with some minor changes. But as time passed things got a little stale. It just seemed that really interesting and odd ball adventures and supplements didn’t have the same spark as they did earlier.

Let’s face it. This whole OGL mess, despite the current outcome, has thrown the hobby into chaos. Folks are looking for other games outside their corporate comfort zone. Publishers are looking at the products that they’ve already produced and ones that are in the works. Heck, even some Youtubers and bloggers started to reevaluate things. With all this going on, it’s the perfect to time to color outside the lines. Just go a little crazy. Make some cool stuff. Let’s rekindle that excitement from just a few years ago.

And yes. I’m following my own advice. You can follow my progress over on the Parteon and Locals on the top two projects that I’m working plus other updates.

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Dungeons & Lasers: Fantasy Bits

I picked up the Dungeons & Lasers: Fantasy Custom Bits on Amazon for cheap and figured that I’d share some thoughts on it since I haven’t that many reviews.

My primary reason for picking this up is some scatter terrain as well some random bits to accent other pieces. I know some one will ask how do these compare to Terrain Crate? To be honest. I don’t know. I haven’t picked up any Terrain Crate mini’s yet. From what I can gather from other reviews, the Terrain Crate plastic is more pliable than the Dungeon & Lasers.

So all the pieces are on sprues. I haven’t done the whole thing set so we’ll see how that goes. The plastic is good. I used some really cheap, crappy stuff from Dollar Tree and it isn’t like that. There are some gaps when assembling the multiple piece bits and there are some engineering problems. The good news is that many of the pieces are single solid pieces like the chests and barrels. Do you need to prime them? I couldn’t find a good answer online some of the below are primed and some aren’t and I didn’t really see any difference. And I used el cheapo craft paint. I used good old Super Glue to join the pieces.

Here’s the two pillars with some mini’s for scale. So they do seem a little small and you can see where the two pieces for each pillar join. What’s really odd on scale, is that there piles of books and compared to the miniatures those stacks are huge. So it seems that scaling is a bit off between the pieces.

The spiraling staircase is three pieces as you can see and miniatures only fit on the top. You can also see the base I added since that’s the only way I could have the thing stay standing. Looking at other pieces in the set, I’m expecting the same thing with the weapons rack and the mirror.

And here’s the candelabra. I think it’s a great piece. Scaled nicely and it’s a single piece of plastic. So overall, I’m happy with the set for some additional bits to add to other terrain or just use as additional scatter terrain. But don’t get too excited when you 70 pieces on the box. A bunch of those are tiny things sconces to add to a wall sections. Now some of the bits also are designed to attach to Dungeon & Lasers terrain but that shouldn’t be a problem when kit bashing.

I know that there’s lots of different types crafters out there. Me personally, I make the stuff to throw it on the table and play! So what may be only something minor to me, may be a deal breaker for others.

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1,000 Posts & OGL Drama

Yes, I’ve been blogging a long time. This isn’t my original blog. That one died along time ago and migrated to this one. And with this I’m hitting 1,000 posts. I was planning on doing something fun and cool but no. Instead, I’m going on an OGL rant.

Yep, still using that same old picture for the WOTC crew. You have to have been living under a rock to have not heard about the insanity around the new OGL. There’s already plenty of places around the Internet to get analysis and implications of the whole mess so I won’t go into all that. But what I will do is say what I’m doing. If you want to do the same then go ahead.

  • It’s been a long time since I bought any of the 5E books. The last thing I bought was the Ebberon book. Well, not another red cent to them.
  • I’m not spending money with any of the major licensees like Wizkids and not another dime to cool licensed merch.
  • Just say no to the D&D Movie.
  • Every time I see a Facebook ad or social media post from WOTC or D&D Beyond. I drop the hashtag of the day in the comments. Letting them know that these issues are not forgotten.

A lot of folks are putting out the reminder to be polite. OK, really don’t be a jerk. But you can be professional and terse in your responses.

Also, many people are fleeing to other games. Take this opportunity to be a sort of Ambassador for you favorite games. Post about them. A lot. Spread the word on cool games that don’t carry the corporate D&D label.

This is going to take a long time to resolve. Heck, it might even end up in court. Will WOTC win? I don’t know. But if they do win then let’s make it a Pyrrhic Victory.

Like this post or others? Want to see more behind the scenes rants and stuff. Want to support the blog? Check out the RPG Pig Pen on Locals or the Patreon.