Tag Archives: OSR Retrospective

OSR Retrospective: Chill & Friends

I said that I talk about the other Pacesetter last week. And here you go. Yeah, I know I should have done this back in October when it was Halloween but hey I’m that kind of weirdo.  Now on with the show. Every time you see a discussion online about horror games Call of Cthulhu comes up first but somewhere along the line some mentions Chill.

We played a lot of Chill back in the day. Of course, many sessions were taken up by playing trying to finish up an adventure after a TPK. Yes, it can be that deadly.  Chill is your basic monster hunter game. Sure there’s psychic abilities and fear mechanics but the monsters are really, really tough if the characters didn’t do their homework. For a horror game, it was fun and different than fighting mind warping cosmic horrors just rip your face off “standard” monsters.  So yes.  I’m among those who do recommend it if you’re looking for a more traditional type of horror.

The characters do work for a secret organization but it doesn’t mean that get really cool gadgets.  Sometimes it felt more like Fright Night or Lost Boys. One of the highlights that I still remember is the players thinking that vampires can’t cross running water (some can, some can’t) so they surrounded a house with a garden hose and turned it on. Running water! Viola!

The basic game system is a percentile one-chart-to-run-the-game type systems.  Roll your dice, get your margin of success and consult the chart the outcome. That’s for everything even damage.  It’s fun and pretty easy unless you have someone in your group who is bad at math.

Chill wasn’t all by itself. Pacesetter put out a whole bunch of adventures and supplements for it.  Might I suggest one of the most fun. Creature Feature. That where you get to play the monster. And you’re not some brooding emo vampire.  You are a freaking movie monsters.  Heck, you even got XP for “playing with your food”.

Pacesetter put out more games that used the same basic rule system; most notably were TimeMaster and StarAce.  I admit that I bought TimeMaster and never played it.  It’s your basic time travel adventure game but I did play and run a bunch of StarAce.  So I’m going to talk about StarAce.

StarAce was a fun space opera style game.  Sure bits of it were Star Wars with serial numbers filed off but it did have some of it’s own wild weirdness.

Yes, polar bear aliens in Hawaiian shirts, crazy little green men, and lizardmen who forgot that most races can’t regenerate their limbs. While Chill was deadly (mainly due to the insane combat abilities of monsters versus mortals), StarAce was fun and cinematic.

So where can you get these games? Well, that’s where things get interesting. Pacesetter didn’t have a long life and their IP has gone all over the place.

If you’re looking for the original editions of Chill (renamed as Cryptworld), TimeMaster, or Sandman then Goblinoid Games is the place to go on DrivethruRPG.

But if you want the 3rd Edition of Chill then you have to join up the Salt Circle Games Patreon.

And the StarAce IP ended up with Ronin Arts. From what I can tell the only remain place to get PDF of those in on the Paizo store.

Of course, you can also hunt down copies of the originals some where.

OSR Retrospective: BX RPG

Do we really need another BX retroclone?  Hell, yes.  Like I said before each one brings something unique to the table and you don’t have to be tied to single one.  Practically everything is compatible or very easy to convert.  This week I bring you the BX RPG from Pacesetter Games & Simulations. (No not that one. I’ll talk about them later.)

As I said before this a BX clone and it does bring some new stuff to the table. It’s got the normal cadre of races and does race as class. There’s the normal classes plus Druid, Monk, Ranger, Paladin, and Necromancer. That’s right Necromancer as “core” class. It does the cool stuff that you would expect but what’s also cool is that standard classes aren’t exact recreations but have some unique twists to them like the Fighter getting a “Burst of Speed” or the Cleric’s Divine Favor.

BX RPG isn’t a duplicate of the original rules. I like that. The originals are available and some of us still have our original copies. It’s the different takes on the same basics that make old school games so damned interesting. BX RPG is prime material to mash up with Mazes & Perils, Labyrinth Lord, or Old School Essentials. Sure you could play any one of those on its own but mixing all the bits that you find the coolest makes the game more fun. Take the bits you like and roll some dice.

BX RPG is worth playing or at least checking out and adding to your RPG inspiration library. It comes as two PDF’s; the Player’s Guide and the Dungeon Guide available on DrivethruRPG or you can head on over to Pacesetter’s website and visit their web store. Oh yes and they make some pretty cool adventures too. Check those out.

OSR Retrospective: Why I’m doing this

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.

OSR Retrospective: Blood & Treasure

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.

It’s worth taking a look. You can get the PDf’s of the 1st Edition Blood & Treasure Complete Rules and Monster Tome for free. You can also pick the 2nd Edition of Blood & Treasure in a handy little bundle.

OSR Retrospective: Adventures Dark & Deep

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.

You can pick this up on Drivethrurpg or get more info over at the BRW Games Blog.