Tag Archives: OSR


I admit that I didn’t back the Kickstarter on this one. I wish I had. I’ve heard good things about it so I grabbed up a copy. I’m going to do this little in parts, the Rules and then setting.

First up, let’s talk about the rules. It’s got a nice little set of lite 2d6 rules based on a roll under your attribute mechanic. There are “skills” but they really aren’t skills. They are more like classes. From what I can gather from the brief rules, characters ability scores get better but when it comes to skills, it’s either you have it or don’t. Not really a scale. Damage is determined by margin of success modified by the weapon or hazard. All of this outlined in only a few pages in the book.

Since it’s a 2d6 based system, my first thought was to think about Barbaric! While Barbaric! is a rules light game, it is crunchier than the Warpland rules. But there’s some mechanics that be lifted from the Warpland rules and added to a Barbaric! game. Similar to my post on Barbaric! for Lemuria, the classes as skills concept could be modified and act as a replacement for the standard Barbaric! skills. Warpland also has a simpler but just about as deadly crit system based on the damage type. Easy to port over. There aren’t a lot of spells but once again with a little tweaking (adding a TN) then those to are easily converted. But because of the difference in mechanics, especially the way damage works and how much characters can take, it’d be more challenging to try to convert any monsters.

Yes, I know what some of you are thinking. Why not just play Warpland the way it is? Well, you can and you can have a good time doing it. But this leads me into the second part of this rant. The setting.

This is where Warpland really shines for me. The setting is a dark weird fantasy/post apocalyptic grim place. You’ve standard fantasy type stuff like magic and you’ve got forbidden technology that could get you burned at the stake.

What I really like about it is that it’s inspirational. There’s a simple map plus a few pages for each location. Most of those pages are used for random tables. It doesn’t lead you around and tell you what’s what but instead inspires both the players and the GM to make that specific game interesting. This takes up the bulk of the book and is pretty much system neutral. So like I was ranting about previously you could easily use it for Barbaric! or even whatever d20 based retroclone that you like such as OSE, Swords & Wizardry, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Hyperborea, or even with a polish Dungeon Crawl Classics. Personally, I’m looking at Hypreborea but more on that later.

Did I mention inspirational? Yeah, I did. I rarely comment on a game’s artwork but Warpland is really inspirational with a variety of really cool art.

That’s just a sample of the great stuff in there.

You can grab up Warpland over at DrivethruRPG. It worth the price.

What’s cool? The Lizard Man Diaries

It’s been long time since I did a “What’s Cool Wednesday” Part of that is that I’ve been so busy. Another part is just finding something new (to me at least) that’s really cool. But I got one this week.

Sure, The Lizard Man Diaries has been around for a while but I just stumbled across the blog via just shopping around DrivethruRPG. So what’s over there? Lots of cool ideas and random generators for lots and lots stuff. Rooms, gangs/guilds, tools for city adventures and all sorts of goodies.

So I recommend checking out the blog. That link is right above there. Oh, and there’s some pretty cool pdf’s available on DrivethruRPG. But I’ll talk more about a couple of those later.

And with that. Be cool out there. Look for and share cool gaming stuff. And talk about other people’s stuff that you thing is near.

Swords & super Science of Xuhlan

I’m on a bit of weird fantasy/gonzo/sword & planet kick. So eventually I got around to grabbing a copy of Swords & Super Science of Xuhlan for some extra inspiration.

Swords & Super Science of Xuhlan is a setting supplement for Warriors of the Red Planet which is a damned fine old-school game for Sword & Planet style adventures. Xuhlan adds some more races (like robots, mutants and insectiod femorians), equipment, and a system for mental combat. Of course, it’s got the setting material which is inspirational on its own to help you create what ever weird world you want. Monsters and alien godlings!

I’d say the most inspiring bits were the write ups of the alien godlings. This is nice and interesting. Yes, I remember the good old days when they add god stats to D&D and every bozo out there had killed Thor and taken his hammer. In this case, it does make more sense and is more interesting. I’d say they do have a definite Clark Ashton Smith vibe.

Then there’s the Wyrd Stones. These are powerful artifacts that characters alter reality. You know sort of like spells but possibly even more power in the right (or wrong) hands. Of course, like any thing really powerful, Each Wyrd Stone has it’s own motivations so it might want to do something besides what a character wants. And if player blows their roll, well, there’s disintegration.

Overall, I’m happy with Swords & Super Science of Xuhlan. It’s handy and inspirations to add some weirdness to a game. I doubt that I’d run on its own but I am putting it into my bag of DM tricks when I want to throw something out of the ordinary at the player characters.

You can grab Swords & Super Science of Xuhlan over at DrivethruRPG.

Phylactery No. 3

Don’t you wish that you had backed this? If you did then you’d have the PDF in your hot little hands. I gots mine. Planet X Games/Levi Combs puts out some great stuff. It hits just the right spot for me when it comes to weird and humor.

Just as the title says, this is issue number three of the Phylactery zines. This issue keeps the streak of good old-school gaming material. This issue adds more to assassins with The Grandfather of Assassins, and cool little article to spice up Monks a little bit. It’s a lot more colorful than the normal Quivering Palm. To throw more into the mix, there’s a group of lost and forgotten gods, cults, more magic items, NPC write ups including Saint Kurnus the Fallen who (according to the art work) is the iconic bad guy from Issue No. 1.

And rounding out the zine is a nice little adventure, Cursed Barrow of Whispering Skulls.

It’s a great mixture of humor, B Movies, and old school gaming content. All this stuff can easily be put in your own campaign world or used with whatever old-school rules strike your fancy. It’s great well spring of material and inspiration.

So if you didn’t back it then you’ll just have to wait. But you can pick up Planet X’s products on DrivethruRPG or Exalted Funeral.

Hyperborean thoughts

If you’ve been living under rock then you haven’t heard about the 3rd Edition Kickstarter for Hyperborea (Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea). I really like this game and especially the tone and setting. The variety of classes that are available are awesome and the monsters are just down right cool. I did do a quick little recap of my thoughts on this post.

This is a great game. I’m in no way saying you shouldn’t go out and support this one. Heck, I know that I will. I’m just thinking about how much money I want to throw at the Kickstarter. I already have PDF’s of the 1st and 2nd Editions. Note: I do have a fondness for the original cover. So I still really want this for all the updates. But I still have fresh in my mind a more recent post, What games are you playing? What’s gathering dust? I do have to admit to myself that this might end up in the reference/inspiration section. Please, don’t take this as that’s there’s anything wrong with it. I really like the game. I know already said that.

I’m always kitbashing and making house rules. I don’t think that there’s a single game that I run that isn’t modified in some way. Some more than others. I suppose that if I were ever to run my own fantasy heartbreak campaign, it would take about half dozen rule books with little bits and bobs taken from here and there.

So yes. I know that I’m going to back this one. I just haven’t decided on what level yet. I really want to grab up hard copies. I’m just trying to justify it to myself. And that’s really why I’m rambling here. Hmm. How much do I want to spend?