Dungeon Crawl Classics: I Blame All Of You

I blame all of you for this. I caved into peer pressure and snatched up a copy and it was money well spent. So in case, you’ve been living in a freaking cave or dungeon, Dungeon Crawl Classics is the spiffy and deadly old school game from Goodman Games.

Way back when I looked at the beta rules and let things go by the wayside. I fully admit I wasn’t that crazy about the Zocchi dice or the plethora of charts. I’m still not all that happy about it but it’s something that I could learn to enjoy. But damn there is just some awesome bits for this game. This game captures both old school feel and that desperate and strange feeling that you get from the Weird Fantasy of Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Did I say it was cool? Yeah, it’s cool. It really takes to heart the simple ideas that magic is strange, mysterious and dangerous. Magic items aren’t just things that you can grab at the local shop. Monsters should be cool. Especially, “named” ones. You know what I mean. It’s a tough game. There will be blood and much of it will come from the player character’s. I’ll let Bill Cavalier explain it to you.

When I picked up the book, I thought, “Damn, this thing is huge. It’s bigger than the Pathfinder book, Hell, you could kill a dragon with this.” But then I also realized that it contained not only the player stuff but all the stuff for GM and a few monsters.
Putting a bunch of 0 Level characters through a meat grinder, err, I mean “funnel” just sounds like it’s be blast to play. Yes, there is a high mortality rate for player characters. Leveling means something. And the death rules are pretty damned good. Crap, a character might “die” during combat but you really don’t know if he is dead until the fight is over. And bonus this rule is simple. The way the Luck attribute works is an idea that I’ll probably transfer over to other games. Like I said, I’m still not sold on all the charts especially when it boils to a chart for each spell. But the actual spell casting checks for clerics and wizards is great. You don’t know how many times you can cast that spell during a day. You might even blow it really badly. Cool and fun.
Despite the few things that I have reservations about, it was a good investment for the good old gaming library. Chances I won’t play it RAW but I’ll throw in all sorts of stuff for my home game. So get it while you can. From what I heard the first printing was sold out but more on the way.

Remembering Talislanta. It Ain’t Nostalgia.

The thing some folks say about the OSR is that it’s just a bunch of neck beards reliving their glory days or at best some pitiful attempt at nostalgia. But I started thinking about a href=”http://talislanta.com/”Talislanta/a the other day and it wasn’t about nostalgia.
The thing is that this was a game that I totally ignored back in the day. I was happy playing the games I had and didn’t bother to look that far for anything beyond that. I remember seeing ads for it in Dragon and liked their tag line of “No elves.” I thought it was cool but never looked further.
In case you didn’t know there were a few really neat things about Talislanta. It was one of the first games to take the Tolkien mold and throw it out the window. It had its own crazy mythology and cultures. There was absolutely no attempt to “balance” the race. It had a fun and easy game system. Why the hell didn’t I play this game back then?
Recently, I’ve been thinking more about games and settings that just ditch the common elf, dwarf, halfling, blah, blah, type stuff and try to strike out in a different direction. So the other I day I decided that I wanted to hit the net and see what I could find about Talislanta.
Lo and behold. It’s all there. Sweet. I’m still reading and gather inspiration from the setting and that’s the main thing. Something that isn’t so normal. It’s amazing how you can look at something when you’re younger and just say, “meh” and move on. But then you go back with a more mature eye and say, “Damn, I was an idiot.”
So if you’re curious just a href=”http://talislanta.com/?page_id=5″head on over there and check it out/a.

Got My Blood of The Dragon for Crypts & Things

Just got the PDF of this last night. Hey, cool. My name is in it. Yeah, I backed this one on Indiegogo. No problem.
So to catch you up. Crypts & Things in a Sword & Sorcery variant for Swords & Wizardry available from D101 Games. And here’s my little review of the core book. Yeah, I wrote that before I started this blog. Any way, I like it. Just think that there needs to be sword & sorcery out there (but that’s another rant for later).
Blood of the Dragon is an introductory adventure and one of the rewards for the project meeting its goals. I’d say that it’s good starting fodder. There’s a little bit of a hex crawl that can be easily expanded or GM’s can add more details to their liking. And there’s a little dungeon crawl. And few adventure seeds here and there.
One of the things I hate trying to review or even comment on an adventure is avoiding spoilers. So I’ll try to avoid that but give you a hint that the new monsters for the module are Battle Apes! Take it from there, kids.
Overall, I’d say that it’s a decent intro module. Not quite as good as Keep on the Borderlands or Death Frost Doom, but I think that those two are classics. The adventure is pretty straight forward. Remember, it’s an introductory module so it’s better for beginning players. I feel that much of the hex crawl is kind a blank canvas for GM’s to throw in their special kind of insanity. There’s some encounters but wish there were a few more. Personally, I’d probably take it, tweak it and make it even more twisted. But hell that’s the kind of guy I am.
I don’t know when, if or for how much this retail. But I’m happy with it.

DIY Dungeon Terrain

So I’ve had this idea for quite a while and finally the folks over at Gnome Stew threw up this little post and I finally got off my butt and made some simple and inexpensive Dungeon Terrain.

Here’s the materials list:

3/4 inch x 3/4 inch (That’s about 2 CM x 2 CM) square doweling (I got three 3 foot pieces, so that’s 9 feet of wall and it cost only about $7.50).

Spray Primer (Already had in the garage but should only cost a couple of bucks.)

Gray and Black paint (Once again, I already this laying around but only a couple of bucks more.)

Clear Acrylic Spray Coat (Yes, I have a lot stuff around the garage but only a couple of bucks more.)

Depending on good your selection of local home improvement stores is, you’ll probably spend between $15 and $20.

1. Cut the dowels into conveint lengths.  (I did 1 inch for doors, then 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 inch lengths.)

2. Sand down any rough spots.

3. Prime it.

4. Paint it.

5. Seal it.  And you are done.

I decided to go with 3/4 inch for a couple of reasons. One there was a huge price difference between 3/4 and 1 inch.  Also, I wanted the walls to be shorter than the miniatures.  There’s always one person who won’t lean forward or stand up to see that “hidden” orc behind the wall in front of them.

You can paint as much detail as you want.  I just went with a simple gray and then painted black lines every inch or so.  I’m not that exact when it comes to laying out dungeons.  It’s just one of those things that I think “close enough” is good enough.

Yes, I just realized that the door is upside down.

Another cool thing you can do is make stairs with the various lengths.

Dwarves always want to smack the elf upside the head.

So there you go. Some inexpensive, durable, easy to make and light weight dungeon terrain.

I Love World Building

Really, I do. For me it’s a neat little creative exercise. Creating a setting that’s just rife with adventure seeds. That has its own feel and all sorts of ways the players can go out and adventure.
Hell, it’s almost like playing the game. As each little bit is created, it’s just like when the characters learn something new. There’s that odd bit excitement and the feeling of anticipation to go and see what the next city, dungeon or whatever is like. As I’m creating this I’m discovering. Damn, it’s fun.
You know what else is fun? Twisting the tropes and putting the completely unexpected out there. Let’s be honest. We’re at point that if you don’t start putting a little spin on all those tropes things are going to get pretty boring. And nobody likes boring.

My Home Brew Hack Has A Name

You know there just so many retroclones out there. Some folks say too many. Meh. Every one of them adds just a little bit more to my little tool box of ideas. A new way to this or that. An interesting take on a monster, class or spell. So as long there is something at least a little bit new, I can find a use for it.
But any way I got tired of just calling my own little kitbash “Home Brew Hack”. I wasn’t really trying to come up with a name but one popped into my little brain and stayed there.
YARC. That’s right YARC. “Yet Another Retro Clone”.

Occult Moon’s Toys for the Sandbox

I’ve been meaning to pick up a few of these for a long time and like a fool I didn’t put it down on the good old shopping list. Yeah, I just juggle too many things. But good old Erik from Tenkar’s Tavern had a little contest to create some fun 0 level Dungeon Crawl Classics characters and I was one of the winners. My bit of loot Toys for the Sandbox 6 to 10.
Damn. What the hell was I thinking when I didn’t scrawl these down in big red letters. Buy them! One thing I look for in RPG products these is bang for the buck. The Toys fit right into. What these give you is a location and myriad of possibilities and inspiration complete with plot twists, encounters and rumors. And it’s pretty darned easy to find ways to use one of the locations in multiple ways.
Even more bonus. They are system and setting neutral.
Even more bonus. They are inexpensive.
So go check out Occult Moon’s site or check out their stuff on Drivethrurpg. You won’t be sorry.

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