Category Archives: News, Rants & Reviews

White Box Wednesday: Going to have mix up things a bit

Even in normal times, there isn’t that much material made for White Box gaming. Sure there are runs of a specific game but then it seems to fall out of the limelight for the next shiny. But the thing is from what I’ve seen in a totally non-scientific sense is that the game is still going strong.

It is difficult to review or hail any if there isn’t that much coming out or at least it’s difficult to find. So in one part, this my own little plea for those of you reading this. If you see something off the beaten path then spread the word.

Also, it’s time for me really consider doing some rules hacks. That’s what I really love going. So why not? I need another project to eat up my time. Be nice if I got off my butt and actually finished some. But that’s my problem. So if nobody is making stuff. Maybe I should. It’s time to put on my thinking cap. And well do something.

I know this is a short post. The day job has been crazy the last couple of weeks and it’s going to be crazy for a couple more.

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.

Unpopular Opinions

You know with some of the drama going on I was planning on doing this post any way. Buy Wylock put out some of his own so what the heck time to double down with own. So yes. This happened to be a total coincidence.

Let’s start out with the biggie. No rule, set of rules, or game is sacred. You can hack, fold, spindle, mutilate to your heart’s desire. You don’t need the permission from any game designer or publisher. You don’t need to ask their forgiveness. You don’t need the blessing of a bunch of strangers on the Internet. The only people that matter are the folks at your table.

Too many people are whine about how strangers play their games. When your group gathers around the table. It’s your game. Play how you want. How often have you heard, “I would never do that at my table.” or “That’s not fun.” Dear Internet Stranger, you don’t get to define what’s fun at my table.

If it’s not defined in the rules then make something up. Really, how many times have I seen some minor thing like the price of a piece of odd ball equipment cause some body to get all worried because there isn’t a price in the rule book.

If everybody gets the same bonus then it’s not really a bonus.

The time it takes to generate a character should be inversely proportional to character life expectancy. So the deadlier the game, the faster character generation should be.

No game is better than a bad game. If you don’t the game or the people. Just walk away. You’ll feel better in the long run.

You are not your character. Your character is not you.

Your campaign isn’t a novel or movie script.

Understand the genre of the game.

Yeah that just some random thoughts. This’ll probably get me in trouble with somebody.

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.

White Box Wednesday: Order of the Crimson Death

I admit that it’s getting tough to find new stuff that centered around White Box. So if you hear of anything then drop a comment. That also means that just maybe I should get off my butt and write some more stuff on my own. But in the mean time, I just happened stumble upon a pretty cool blog. Well,actually, they found me.

This isn’t a review just a little heads up on someplace cool to go for some White Box fun, a very interesting campaign, and links to more White Box tools than I knew existed. So it’s worth checking out Order of the Crimson Death.

I know this is a short little post. Hey, they can all be long rants by yours truly. Like I said, check out that blog.

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.

White Box Wednesday: White Lies 2nd Edition

There are some good things coming out of the whole OGL mess. White Lies 2nd Edition is one of them.

White Lies is a game of espionage action. I have to honest this is one of my favorite genres and one that I haven’t had a chance to play in a very long time. My longest running campaign ever started with the original Top Secret then the Jame Bond RPG and it finally with Danger International.

The first edition of White Lies as fully compatible and a genre reskin of White Box. Then we had the threat of the revocation of the OGL. So White Lies got a complete make over. It still has strong roots in White Box mechanics but much of the game has been redone to better reflect the genre. Instead of classes, you have Divisions (Confiscation, Elimination, Engineering, Infiltration, Investigation, Recon, and Transportation). Instead of Levels, you have Ranks and nice Random Progression method for characters.

Unlike White Box with -1 to +1 Modifier Range, White Lies 2E uses -2 to +5. You don’t use the die roll after that just the ‘modifier”. While damage and the like deviate from the only d6’s model, it’s still what you would expect from a d20 system. But it still keeps things simple. And you know how I like simple.

So what else do we have in the book? Lot’s of random charts to make up your shadow world. And throwing in what’s in the Enemies section, you can have a campaign that’s like James Bond. Or you could go all crazy and have something like Conspiracy X. You’re the GM. It’s up to you. It might be a more difficult to convert other material into White Lies 2E like it was before but it could be done.

I really like this game and it’s going on my to run stack. But based on what I have learned over the years, it takes a special kind of player and group to buy into the genre. Sort of like super hero RPG’s. If you don’t buy into the genre or dislike it then you might not have that much fun or, as some do, ruin everyone else’s fun.

Go ahead and check out White Lies 2e on DrivethruRPG and it’s PWYW.

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.

The Shadowdark Kickstarter is live!

I don’t often post about Kickstarters. Sure I do post reviews as I get those in my grubby little fingers. But every once in a while one comes along that I just have to rant about.

Back in December, I predicted that Shadowdark would be the one to look out for this year. And the most complete but slightly dated review I did was way back in 2021 of the Beta rules. And yes I do have the Quick Start. If you are link weary then here’s the lowdown. The RPG has solid old school DNA. It’s not a clone of any of the previous editions and it does bill itself as modernized but leans more heavily to the old school side. How much? Well, 3d6 in order. Four basic classes. And the Thief (not Rogue) has a d4 Hit Die. It does use a roll to cast system for Wizards and Priests which is mechanic that I’ve actually grown to like more and more. Most of the modernization comes with streamlining play. Like I said, it’s solidly old school. I could grab any one of the adventures sitting on my shelf and run it on the fly and just any conversion in my head.

Here’s the best way that I can describe Shadowdark. Imagine that Basic D&D, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Index Card RPG, and a couple of random retro-clones got really drunk in a mad scientist’s laboratory. They all wake up hung over the next morning and say, “What have we created?!” That about it.

Some may ask me a couple of things. First, no I have no financial stake in this and wasn’t asked to write it. But there is a very nice Third Party License and I need to get off my butt and get writing. Am I playing it right now? No. But I am using the spells from it in my Deathbringer Campaign. It’s roll to cast too. Oh and Shadowdark uses zoned combat so all you Dungeoncraft fans, it’s time to break out that Ultimate Dungeon Terrain.

I’ve ranted long enough. So just go check out the Kickstarter already. And I have backed it.