Tag Archives: OSR

Barbaric! Resources

Let’s face it. Barbaric! from Stellagamma Publishing is becoming a favorite of my folks including myself. But being a new game, there aren’t many resources for it, yet, and most stuff is written for the d20 based games. Never fear. I did a little thinking and digging and here you go.

On the blog side, Eric over at Swords & Stitchery and Mark over at Cross Planes have done fine job of brewing up some monsters for Barbaric! and Cepheus Atom. There may be more out there but these two just happen to be in my Internet sphere. Yes, I have to get off my butt and do some posts. Trust me. I’m working on it.

The most obvious resource is to pick up Sword of Cepheus. It’s basically the daddy of Barbaric! Sword of Cepheus uses the full blown Cepheus Engine rules so it’s more complex in many fashions. The monster stat blocks are more involved but can be easily converted. There’s a more detailed equipment list plus a bunch of new or expanded random tables to make a Barbaric! game more interesting. All that is ready with little or no conversion. Just recently released is Scandinavian Legends with more monsters and spells! I haven’t had too much of a chance to go over this one yet nor have I had a chance to even look at Of Realms Unbound. And how can we forget Quantum Sorcery if you want an even lighter game than Barbaric!

Now on to a few books that I think every GM should have any way. There’s Tome of Adventure Design. Sure it says Pathfinder and Swords & Wizardry on the cover but the majority of the tables are system neutral. Now, this is a pretty hefty book and it’s not really designed to used at the table but for GM prep and inspiration. Along those same lines is The Dungeon Alphabet. I’ll admit that this I had totally forgotten about. This is another great mostly system neutral resource.

I’m also cheap and there’s a couple of free PDF’s from Northwind Adventures for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. Namely, the Drunken Debauchery random table and the Adventure Generator. These too are system neutral. Oh there’s more stuff on their resources page.

I know there’s more out there but I just wanted to pick out my “top” picks for stuff that I would turn to.

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.”

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.