30 March 2017

[zine] Issue No.1 of Chromatic Soup is Out!

I am happy to announce that issue No.1 of the collective OSR dead-tree zine Chromatic Soup is available on lulu for a mere €4.88.

The zine started as a jocular idea on G+ by artist Cédric Plante (whose fantastic art graces the cover and the interior of the zine) and eventually developed into a 179-page zine that describes a fully-fledged weird and marshy setting known as ‘the Biting Marshes’.

The setting features a lot of crazy but extremely inspirational ideas in a ‘pointcrawl’ kind of presentation, with three beautiful maps. I would like to highlight the following:

Duke Arqueballast's scheming — This chapter alone could very well form the backbone of a complete sandbox campaign. Duke Arqueballast rules from a fortress barge towed by a hundred yoked crocodiles. If this is not OSR at its best, then I don't know what is.

Log-Jaws — The ecology of an Alien-like plant monster that can be tamed by the music of the Log-Jaws Pipers.

Stewpot Witches —This is probably my favourite. This chapter describes a cult of  witches who master a weird and very old form of magic native to the Biting Marshes. Each Stewport Witch has a familiar that looks like a walking iron pot with a huge face in the middle of the pot (like in the illo above). The witches may create magical meals within the iron pots. By the way this iron is called ‘bog iron’ and has peculiar properties.

Bobcatmen — A new race. They live in the northern part of the Biting Marshes as bandits of slavers. Their human thralls wear bobcat-like masks.

The Order of the Merchant-Knights — A quasi-religious order of merchants who ply their trade east of the Biting Marshes. They are actually quite similar to the cult of Issaries, but with a more military bent.

Last but not least, there is a ‘RuneQuest conversions’ appendix at the end of the zine to enable you to use all of the above with the RuneQuest Classic Edition rules.

13 February 2017

The Hanging Garden, Issue No.6

Heil og sæl, dear readers! The sixth issue of my free e-zine, The Hanging Garden, is available for your perusal and enjoyment from the usual page.

Issue No.6 is a special “Norsemen”-themed issue (actually the first of two such issues); it contains a complete deluxe Tunnels & Trolls solo adventure by Thomas Pugh, with 284 (!) paragraphs. This is as good as one of the published solo adventures.

An appendix at the end of the solo adventure (don’t miss it) presents the various kindreds, creatures, etc. from the solo adventure, should a gamemaster want to use them in their GM scenarios set in the Frozen Lands (the Viking-like setting of the solo adventure).

As always, feedback and comments are welcome. Cheers!

01 February 2017

13th Age in Glorantha - Draft Cover and Publication Schedule

The draft cover of the upcoming 13th Age in Glorantha book has been revealed and my is it a beauty.

click to enlarge

It is exceedingly evocative, and it confirms the heavy emphasis on the 'Let's go and fight Chaos' atmosphere at the centre of this new Gloranthan role-playing game, which is set much closer to the Hero Wars [1627] than the previous Gloranthan games (RuneQuest [1620-1625] or HeroQuest [1618-1623]), which emphasised the Lunar-Orlanthi rivalry. As the saying goes, you can't judge a book by its cover but in this particular case it is very tempting to do so :-)

The publication schedule, however, has slipped yet again. The books are still scheduled for a 2017 publication, but after GenCon.

02 January 2017

2017 Eternal Con – Registration is Open!

The registration page for the 2017 Eternal Con that will take place from 2 to 5 June at Schloss Stahleck in Bacharach, Rhineland-Palatinate, has opened today.

Given how rapidly it usually gets fully booked, I strongly advise you to act quickly! (Me, I've already registered.)

28 December 2016

Quick-ish RuneQuest Classic Edition Char Gen

Mike Hill over at G+ has suggested the following:

These are the set-up rules we use to quickly replace a character in play or when we don’t have the energy for the full-blown experience.

Quick Adventurers

Here’s a solution for the creation of new adventurers in a hurry; it’s not scientific but it produces a playable character that’s fairly close to the original training rules without taking half an hour.

1. Roll the dice to create your character and calculate the skill modifiers, strike rank, damage bonus etc.

2. Take 12 skill advances in accordance with the provisos below.

3. Take one weapon, including a shield, for each weapon skill that received one or more advance.

4. Select items of armour totalling no more than 3 encumbrance points.

5. Record one adventurer’s pack (2 ENC points), if they’re in use.

6. Select two 1-point battle magic spells or one 1-point spell and two Detect spells.

7. Accept 3,100 L in training debt, less 5% per point of CHA over 12.

8. If the adventurer has background funds they may be spent on additional gear now.

Skill AdvancesEach skill advance increases the base skill level by 5 points; the base level is the value printed on the character sheet plus (or minus) the skill category modifier (attack, knowledge, stealth etc.).

However skill advances may only bring the net skill level up to 25 points unless the base skill level is already 25 or greater, in which case a single advance is permitted.

For standard weapons, a single advance increases both attack and parry; an advance in a missile weapon or a shield increases only the attack or parry skill respectively. The referee may rule that weapons outside the cultural norm start with a base of 5 plus modifier rather than the value stated in the rules.