Tag Archives: OSR

White Box Wednesday: Gary Vs The Monsters

Yep. Halloween is getting closer and there’s a big sale happening on DrivethruRPG. So this week, I decided to something different. Self Promotion. I suppose I should do it a little more.

What’s Gary VS The Monsters? It’s cheesy White Box horror. That’s it. Monsters are monsters and they want to eat your face. And you’re just some chump trying to survive. Let’s put it this way. What Tolkien is to D&D. Evil Dead is to Gary Vs The Monsters.

So run over there to DrivethruRPG and check it out.

Thanks for stopping by and have some fun out there.

Lamentations of the Flame Princess is a Horror RPG

Let me get a couple of things out the way first. I know others have this before and probably better than me. I also know there’s some folks who have beef with LOTFP and anyone who dares talk about it. Sure, I’m still awaiting the mysterious Ref Book. And there’s a thing or two that have annoyed me but I’m not ready to break out the torches and pitchforks.

Time to beat the dead horse. Yes, it’s basically Basic D&D with a few rules tweaks here and there. Only fighters get better at combat. Turning Undead is spell not something that can be spammed all day long. No being brought back from the dead. No wizard artillery corps. But also there’s no fear or insanity mechanic for the characters. And here’s the core of LOTFP. Attitude and tone. I admit that there’s some really icky art but then there’s a tone of evocative art. Plus, just say that you’re running Lamentations of the Flame Princess and folks in the know will already have an idea of what to expect.

It took me years to connect these two pics. I know others made the connection sooner.

I’ll also admit that the official LOTPF adventures are all of the place. I personally like the earlier ones. But since it’s an old school game, you’ve got a bunch of options out there. And as far the rules go, well, you could just tweak another clone to your liking. Hell, I do that all the time. Throwing together various rules from various games into some weird Frankenstein monstrosity. But here’s the thing. Every time I do that I start with a specific game as the framework and then add or subtract various bits and let that core game carry most of the load.

So Lamentations can work as the core to build around and tailor a dark fantasy/horror game or it can act as source of inspiration to tack onto whatever rules that please use. It’s a good tool to throw in that game hacker toolbox.

And yes you can get the art-free version gratis.

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White Box Wednesday: Eldritch Tales+White Lies=Delta Green?

Yes, I know I’ve ranted about about Eldritch Tales before. But for this spooky time of year, I want to take it one step further. I wanted to throw it in and make things like one of the most popular Cthulhu style campaigns. And that’s Delta Green.

Now I know that White Lies is more like James Bond than Fox Mulder. I get that. That’s what While Lies is. It’s a White Box take on the Espionage genre. And it’s a pretty good one. (I’ll do a more detailed review later.) Even though both games are “White Box” compatible, they handle skills in different ways (x ind 6 or Save as Skill). The easy way to pick the one you like and then do that little bit of conversion.

The other big difference is classes. White Lies is focused on the characters being secret agents not experts in Things Man Was Not Meant to Know. So in this case, I’d say combine bring in the Antiquarian from Eldritch Tales as a sort “Expert” class. Throw the in Sanity Mechanics and weird Lovecraftian bits. And boom, ready to save the world. And since you homebrewed, you did it your way.

If you’ve been following along the you’ve probably already picked up Eldritch Tales on DrivethruRPG. Guess what? You can get White Lies plus its supplements for free on DrivethruRPG too.

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White Box Wednesday: Magic, Mayhem & Murder

This one has bouncing around my brain for a while. So why not throw it out there with a little bit plan. I’ve had an idea to do some ultra-hack opus. Something fun, simple but still having enough crunch to make it have some personality. Yeah, I know. I already have plenty of projects. Heck, there’s some that I haven’t blogged about.

I know I just used that pic but it came out cool. Anyway, the working title is Magic, Mayhem, & Murder. What is it? Well, I’m going to build on the White Box chassis for rules. After that I’m going crazy. Turn off that internal censor and go nuts. I’m talking delving in dungeons, murder hoboes, chain mail bikinis, corrupted sorcerers, and crazy ass stuff. Characters life fast, and die fast. It’s all about the over the top action.

The goal is also to make this pretty much compatible with most old school adventures and supplements. Of course, what folks choose to use will determine how much of job that will be for them.

Do I have a time table? Heck no. But I do have a bit of plan. Sure over here there blog there will be the rare update. But as far design diaries and sneak peaks. Well, I’m going to put those up in the RPG Pig Pen. If you’re interested head on over there and join up for free. And, of course, you can tip and subscribe if you wish. Thanks.

White Box Wednesday: What the hell is White Box?

I’m seeing this question start to pop up. I figured I’d do a post specifically on it then. So if someone asks, you can just point to here.

Basically, it’s a style of play that uses rules based on Original D&D: Three Little Brown Books that came in a White Box. Like anything, there’s debate about it. Should the first supplements be included? (Greyhawk; Blackmoor; Eldritch Wizardry; Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes; and Swords & Spells.) These introduced additional classes, races, monsters, and treasure that later would become iconic. They also introduced variable weapon damage and HD by die types. Remember folks. This is even before Basic came out.

There are many little rules oddities And here’s the low down:

  • To play the game, you only use d20’s and d6’s. The GM may use the other dice (d4, d8, d10, d12) for a random chart or table. But to actually play, you only need two dice. Your character’s Hit Dice: d6. Weapon Damage: d6. Modifiers are used generally to give them variations.
  • A character’s attribute modifier range is only -1 to +1. You’re below average, average, or above average.
  • Skills are usually handled with x in d6 chance

That’s it. If you’ve played any other edition of D&D then all of the familiar things are there; Armor Class, Hit Dice, Hit Points etc. You won’t see lots of attacks by characters or monsters. You won’t find overly detailed rules as much of the minutia is left to the GM. You won’t see a long list of skills, feats and so on.

Of course, like many of the old rules, they are nearly impossible to decipher. That means lots of folks may own copies of these but hardly use them. Yes, some still do. But thanks to the Open Gaming License, we’ve got retroclones. And there’s two main one’s that most people to go to.

First, there’s Swords & Wizardry White Box by Matt Finch. This is pretty much considered the original clone. Available on Lulu and Mythmere Games. Simple rules and everything you need in one small book. It does stick to the original three classe (Fighter, Magic-User, Cleric). Yes, there were originally only three classes plus the racial classes. While technically not supported it still has a decent fan following.

But it was eventually replaced as fan favorite by White Box Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game. These are basically the same game. WBFMAG does add the Thief and a few other rules additions. It’s available on DrivethruRPG, Amazon, and Lulu. Yes there are different covers, and no knows why there’s weird pricing across the platforms.

Yes, there are other core books out there but these two IMHO are the most common. And yes there are supplements out there. And takes for different genres. It’s whole new world of old style gaming.

If this is your first time here then just hit the White Box Tag and see other posts and rants.