The crew over at Hereticwerks have a really cool freebie. Space-Age Sorcery. Freaky Lovecraftian Sorcery from Space. Yeah, it gets my vote.
What in the world would I use it for? Well, there’s the soon to be released Machinations of the Space Princess. Possibly some wild DCC adventures in outer space. And there’s a couple of more devious thoughts that are bouncing around in the back of my head. So you dear readers are just going to have wait for that.
But what you don’t have to wait for is checking the neat little big of eldritch insanity from beyond. Go over there and check it out.
I posted these pictures a while ago on the G+ Gaming on the Cheap Community, but forgot to do so over here.
Yeah, I’m really a cheap bastard and painting skills have really deteriorated with years of non-use. Heck, why paint mini’s when I buy them that way? But here you go more el cheap dungeons with wooden blocks. I should the final batch painted soon and do a really neat photo spread of that.
I have to make a confession. I suck at running science fiction games. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up on them. It means that I’m still on the quest for the game that sets right with me. I have to admit that the top contender for this spot is the soon-to-be-released Machinations of the Space Princess by Postmortem Studios. But then I grabbed a copy of Hulks & Horrors by Bedroom Wall Press.
Hulks & Horrors is based on the old classic rules of the “World’s Most Popular Fantasy Role Playing Game”. You know the one. It’s origins are easily seen. Descending Armor Class. Race as Class. And the over all feel of the game. That’s good thing (expect Descending AC. Personally, I never liked it.) This might seem boring to some but there’s really cool ideas here. The Scientist Class takes the class in a new direction. Instead of being just a skill monkey, the Scientist has a handy multi-tool that he can load up with all sorts of special abilities. The easiest way to explain it is to think of it has a cross between a sonic screwdriver and a Magic-User memorizing spells. Really, that’s how it works. That’s great twist on this character archetype.
There’s also a Psyker class. You kind of need these for an OSR inspired Sci-Fi game. The class doesn’t look overpowered with it’s nifty abilities and inspired by classic psionic tricks. Psychic Strangulation any one?
Now there are a couple of spots where this game just shines. First, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. That’s cool. I want chuckle when I read a rule book rather than sit there with a spread sheet and calculator trying to figure out some crazy rule. The other is random charts. That’s one of the things that’s sort of become a darling of the OSR movement. Fun and interesting charts. This book has got them. From the Subspace Mishap Chart to the Prior Civilization Chart. These are gems and useful no matter which set of rules you are using. Just the charts are worth your time to check out.
So where does that leave me in my own personal quest to find the sci-fi game that’s right for me? In a good place. That’s to the ease of cross pollinating ideas and rules between OSR games, I can grab the stuff I like from Hulks & Horrors and blend it into the stuff I like from Machinations of the Space Princess. That’s another thing that’s cool about all the OSR stuff.
And as an extra special bonus, you can grab the PDF free on DrivethruRPG. It’s well worth checking out.
Here’s another undead horse that’s been beat to death and back again. But I’ve been thinking about things that have never quite set well with me. And guess what one of those things is?
First I understand the origins of the ability. Really, haven’t you seen any Hammer horror flicks? But what the ability became is kind of annoying. For every other ability it requires preparation. Clerics don’t automatically heal (expect in later editions) or have other nifty tricks. But then turn undead. Yeah, they got that. Plus there’s always this Keystone Cops routine when Undead show up. Everybody runs back and pushed the cleric forward.
Personally, I think one of the best takes on this is from Lamentations of the Flame Princess. It’s pretty simple and works with well with your game of choice. Turning Undead is a First Level Cleric spell. Simple. Of course, there will be some whining but oh well.
Fighter: Why the hell didn’t you pray for Turn Undead!
Cleric: Because I need to keep fucking healing you!
Right now, I’m playing around with all sorts of ideas for a crazy little home brew game and this is the way I think I’ll go. Just want to put that little bit of fear and desperation into the hearts of the player characters. It makes thing more interesting and makes simple zombies and skeletons more of threat.
A lot of times I’m happy with the classic four usual suspects for classes but there’s always something that nags at the back of my mind and that’s specialized magic-users. The examples that come to mind are the Illusionist, the Necromancer and the Witch.
Now there’s some really good variations on these in different old school games but none just quite hits my sweet spot. But then part of my problem is that I don’t know where that sweet spot is.
Personally, I’m not crazy about added a new class for every class archetype. But falling to the pathetic fallback of just “play the character that way” and just pick the spells that fit. Just isn’t quite right either. I like things simple but this choice is too simple.
Now, there a couple things that I do like that I think are useful. First, there’s the mercurial magic from Dungeon Crawl Classics. A simple great way to add some variation and color to existing spells. I’ve been toying the idea of sort doing class variants but that’s almost like writing a new class.
To put it bluntly, my aged grognard brain has been running around in circles thinking about this. And basically, I’ve gotten no real inspiration. So what’s a guy to do in a situation like this? Well, blog about it and see what the great Internet has to say. So hit me folks. How do you deal with alternate Magic-Users? And if you’ve got any neat ideas about variations on other classes just speak up.
Had some time amid all the other chaos that happening to pick two really awesome PDF’s that get the really warped side of my muse going.
Roll XX is a handy book of charts and these aren’t just plain old “How much is that worth?” charts. There’s some really weird stuff with equally weird and many times darkly humorous results. Hell, I laughed a couple of times just reading it. And it wasn’t that evil “I’m going to kill all the player characters” DM type laugh. No that was inner psycho-muse laugh. If you’re running a straight laced campaign maybe this isn’t for you. But if you’re the kind of person that likes to throw in a little bit of macabre gonzo stuff. Then yeah. Pick it up. And it’s not just Fantasy. It’s got Super Hero, Modern, Horror and SciFi. That last one has some special interest since one of the games I’m chomping to get my mitts on is Machinations of the Space Princess (coming soon from Postmortem Studios).
The other neat product I picked up was the Teratic Tome.
This is one whacked out crazy book of monsters. I mean that in the best possible way. Not your ordinary list creepy crawlies. There’s a butt load of devils, demons and aberrations. I mean any book that has a Gelatinous Pyramid is a must buy. Plus there’s some really nice twists of some classics like the Goblin Princess, Halflings and the Elven Khatun. There’s some freaky ass dragons too. I know there are tons of monster books out there but this one that plays outside the box and will keep those pesky players guessing. It was designed for OSRIC but is easily translated into the retroclone of your choice.
And both these products are available on Drivethurpg (just follow those links above) and were spawned from the imagination of Rafael Chandler.
Brave Halfling Publishing just put a free version of Dagger: Supplemental Rules for Classic Role-playing with Kids.
True it’s perfect for kids or even newbies. Heck, even an aged old grognard like me would play it.
Quick, easy rules. That’s the sweet. Now, it’s a bit lighter than a lot of clones but dang. A handy 8 page PDF could make a cool lunch time game. Just thinking.
Go ahead and check it out. You got nothing to lose.