Runequest+Call of Cthulhu

Yes, these are my old, original books.

In a lot ways, I got extremes when it comes to gaming. Sometimes I want high fantasy but I lean towards Sword & Sorcery type games. And sometimes I want them cinematic and fun but then other times, I want bloody and darn right dangerous and just a bit nasty.

This gets filed under “Another campaign that I really want to run”. The concept mechanics-wise is pretty simple. For general character skills, stats, and equipment, pull that from Runequest. Hey, you want monsters and magic, that’s from Call of Cthulhu. Yeah, this is borderline Carcosa.

Truth be told, I might lean more towards using the very old (and simple) Basic Roleplaying+Magic World with a little influence from Delta Green. I just find the overall character generation to be easier and quicker. And with a campaign idea like this, you are going to need it.

Now, I bet you thought that I forgot Stormbringer. Nope. Another source for monsters and just maybe a little magic. But things are still going to be deadly and insane. And maybe just a little fun.

Any way, this is another bout of dreaming about what I want to when things get back to some sense of normal.

OSR Bunkers

A couple of weeks ago the subject gatekeeping reared its ugly head, again. But this got me thinking and thinking and thinking. So here’s a post.

I’m one of those folks who remember the crazy days of G+. It did a lot for the OSR. Sure there was drama, flame wars, and trolling but since there was easy integration with Blogger and Blogger was the OSR go-to blogging platform then it was natural that folks congregated there.

At the end, things had really started to turn into utter crap and Google pulled the plug on G+. The great scattering of people began. Many went to MeWe. Some focused on Facebook. Discord became a favorite. Reddit gathered folks. And I’m sure there are some other social platforms that I don’t know about.

While it’s good that many use a spectrum of social media platforms, it is a bit difficult to have some ideas make the transition between platforms. Some folks refuse to use a particular platform for a variety of reason. I’ll be honest. I like MeWe. I tolerate Facebook. I deactivated my Twitter account because it was totally worthless. IMHO, Reddit becomes a popularity contest with up and down voting. And I just haven’t gotten into Discord. I’m trying. But when I have time, there just doesn’t seem to be anything happening on the servers that I’m a member.

If anything all these various groups across platforms are their own little things. Each one of these communities or groups or whatever you want to call it have their tone, written and unwritten rules. So when I hear someone talking about “gatekeeping” in the OSR because somebody somewhere on the Internet was a jerk, my usual first reaction is “Who? Where’s that?” Sure some groups are more popular and have more members than others. But there is no magic gatekeeper. No one wields that power. A few have tried and failed. A few are accused of it but from what I’ve seen it turns into much ado about nothing.

Here’s the thing. The way things are across the Internet in general, I don’t any one wants to the gatekeeper or the face of the OSR. Even being too popular is a recipe for disaster. There’s always somebody with too much time on their hands who will dig through years of blog and social media posts looking for something that just maybe construed by some one as just might, may be offensive to someone, somewhere, somehow. It’s just putting a target on your forehead.

It’s a good thing that there’s nobody like that. You are beholden to the design philosophies or sensibilities of any body. Sure, there are assholes out there. Just don’t deal, interact, or give them a place in your head. Like I say, “Roll dice, kill monsters, take their stuff, and have fun.”

Barbaric!, Quantum Sorcery & Thoughts

Ahh, Barbaric! This little gem just keeps on bouncing around inside my head and more neat stuff keeps showing up. But first let me talk about Quantum Sorcery first.

Barbaric! is already really rules lite but is you want to go even lighter then there’s Quantum Sorcery. This distills the already short rules down to two pages (or one if you print front and back). Sure it doesn’t have all the monsters, spells, and magic items. Nor does it have the extra stuff about overland land travel. But the core for a quick pick-up games is there. The game mechanics are all basically the same. So it’s good if you want to test drive the rules. I’ve already done a review on Barbaric! so if you want more details then check that out. Oh and did I mention that it’s free. So check it out.

Now on to what’s in my head. Much like that dog who chased cars all his life and finally catches one. I don’t know what to do with it. Sure, I’ve got a couple of ideas. One that I’m still batting around inside my head that is going to a while before I say anything about it. I’ve learned that an idea my sound good in my head but when I actually put pen to paper, well, that idea ain’t so hot. So we’ll wait on that one. But I am putting together some notes that I think are pretty cool. Once this comes together more and some dice hit the table to play test a bit then I’ll let you know. Yeah, I know I’m teasing but in that sort of mood.

The Quest for the Perfect Game

Let’s face it. Don’t we all do this. We just want that perfect that does everything that we want it to. What exactly that is different for each person. Heck, if ask ten people, you just might get fifteen answers.

I was thinking about this again the other day. I know I’ve posted about this before but it’s something pops into the old brain pan now and then. The old-school scene, or OSR, or whatever you want to call it is great for these little mental exercises. There’s so many darned retro-clones, recreations and other stuff that any GM could use for source material. Like a rule in one game but it’s not in the game you are running then add it. You want skills. You don’t want skills. Want a different way to handle character death? Don’t like a spell. Well, there’s an alternative.

The old-style games are good for this because so many of them are very similar with only some minor differences or additional rules tacked on. That’s OK. Pull all that stuff you like from here and there. And if you can’t find some thing you like then make it yourself.

But I don’t want to haul around a dozen core books. And all that stuff might confuse the players. If you’re reading this then there’s a good chance that you have gaming PDF’s and a word processor plus some other technological options. Cut paste, edit and basically make your own book. Print it. Use it. Heck, if it’s for you own use you can covert whatever rules want from any system.

With all that said, it doesn’t mean that your first idea will always be right. So don’t be afraid to go back and change something. Listen to the players. It’s OK to change or evolve your house rules.

And finally, I get this vibe in some gaming circles that there’s something that some folks need to hear. You don’t owe it to any publisher or game designer to run your game the way they wrote it or intended to write it. You bought it. You prepped for the session. You brought your friends together. It’s your group’s game. Play the way you want. If anything some of them need to shut up and let people play.

Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery: Future Plans

Thanks everyone for all their support. I ain’t done yet. So I figured I would give a little update and some future plans.

First, the PDF has been updated on DrivethruRPG. There a couple typos and some format errors. Those were taken care of. Of course, as luck would have it, I had already ordered a proof from Lulu. So some of those mistakes are going to be there when it hits the old mail box. But then I’ve never had a proof come out right the first time. So it will be a couple more weeks before there’s a POD version.

Now, what’s in store for the future? Well, I’ve got notes together for the first supplement and a couple of adventures. Go me! The supplement will be mainly more classes. Trust me. And well, who doesn’t love adventures. Those will follow. I don’t have any time line yet but as things get closer to completion, I’ll post more information. Same thing on the adventures, as they get close to completion, I’ll post more info about them.

Another thing that I’ve been playing around with is an “official” setting. Yes, I do have some notes but I’m not yet that excited about it. I don’t want it to be a “here’s where everything is, and who’s around” type setting. I want to be inspirational and a bit more of tool box than just a really long stream of fluff text that I’ve seen too often in many settings.

And there’s one more idea bouncing around inside my head. I don’t want to say too much yet. (Yes, I’m teasing here.) It’s just an idea and I need to kick it around a bit more and see. Trust me. If it comes together, you’ll hear about it here.

And that’s enough self promo for one post.

Roll Dice. Kill Monsters. Take Their Stuff. And Have Fun!

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