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Showing posts from 2013

And now for something completely different....

About a month ago, I was in the market for a low budget second laptop and decided to hit up the used market, as I'm currently pretty cash poor. I ended up picking up a Aluminum PowerBook G4 for about $150 on ebay - complete with the original box, all of the manuals, OS restore DVDs, and various adapters for video out and such. As I've seen similar units with just the laptop (and not any of the other materials) selling for $200-ish, I figured that I scored a pretty good deal with a few caveats. Notably, I knew going in that this older laptop (1GHz processor and 1GHz of RAM) wasn't going to stream video very well and being an Apple product, it wasn't going to let me view very much Flash-based content. Which brings me to why I'm writing this post.

What I initially thought of as limitations ended up only being barriers to bad Internet habits and, as a result, I've been more productive with my Internet usage this month. First off, I'm not able to sink huge amoun…

Usherwood Publishing's OSRIC SRD and OSRIC Expansion (Review-ish)

If you're a fan of OSRIC and aren't already aware of Usherwood Publishing's products, you should be. Usherwood is putting out some seriously high quality content that is made to be used, rather than merely fawned over. Herein, I take a brief look at their print on demand paperback OSRIC Pocket SRD and print on demand hardcover (black and white) Usherwood Adventures Expansion for OSRIC (2nd Edition).

Usherwood's OSRIC Pocket SRD is, as one might expect, a re-packaging of Open Game Content from the original OSRIC into a smaller physical format. Due to the smaller format, the price point of the OSRIC Pocket SRD is considerably lower than that of the full-blown OSRIC 2.2 hardcover and a wee bit cheaper than the OSRIC 2.2 softcover. If you have a lot of players that want to get into OSRIC and want a physical book (as opposed to a PDF*), but also want to pinch pennies, then this is the product for them.

The physical construction of Usherwood's OSRIC Pocket SRD is very go…

The next batch of review-ish material is in!

I've just received a small box of POD materials from RPGNow: Usherwood Publishing's pocket-sized OSRIC printing, a hardcover copy of the Usherwood Adventures Expansion for OSRIC, and Dan Buterbaugh's Sword & Board supplement for the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game. I'll need a little bit of time to digest them, but as soon as I do, I'll post my thoughts on each.

Darker Dungeons (Review-ish)

Okay, here's the deal. I purchased some printed hardcovers of Darker Dungeons from Lulu a while back with the intent to run a game and review them. I'm backing out of that arrangement. I don't like writing negative reviews and, at this time, I just can't say too many positive things about Darker Dungeons. I can say that it has fun, tongue-in-cheek, art that I like and that it reads like a lighter, less serious, old school D&D. That's the good. The bad is that it has a lot of errors. Like a whole lot. So many that I decided not to run the game and why, for now, this is about as in depth of a review as I am willing to write. I really regret shelling out for the hardcovers. I should have spent more time with the free PDF before spending my money. I might revisit it in the future. I hope that the author gives it a few more editing passes in the meantime.

Usherwood's Complete Bone Hilt Sword Campaign....

....will soon be mine! If UPS delivers on schedule, I should have my full color softcover copy of Usherwood Publishing's Complete Bone Hilt Sword Campaign by this time tomorrow! I'm pretty jazzed about this. The PDF is gorgeous and the campaign hits what tends to be the "sweet spot" for older editions of D&D, in my experience (low to mid levels). I look forward to running it (and probably reviewing it).

[Edit: Oooooo. It has come to light that shipping is a UPS/USPS collaboration. And, as usual, the USPS has managed to screw me. Hopefully my package will become un-lost and show up tomorrow.]

[Re-Edit: It has, in fact, arrived. I have not had time to peruse it yet, as July was a busy month for me.]

Theorems & Thaumaturgy (Review-ish)

Like the previous review-ish thing, this one has been in the pipe for a while. Again, apologies for the long delay!

Review-ish Thing #2: Theorems & Thaumaturgy

Theorems & Thaumaturgy is Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion supplement by Gavin Norman, available for free as a PDF, a softcover book, or hardcover book via Lulu. Theorems & Thaumaturgy is a collection of new magic-using classes, variant classes, new magic tomes, new magic items, new monsters, and optional rules for magic in your Labyrinth Lord game. Despite the book being only 65 pages long, it's crammed with a whole lot of content. Also, it's worth noting that, despite being billed as a Labyrinth Lord supplement, most of the content is usable with pretty much any old school clone system without the need for complex conversion (indeed, depending upon your alternate clone of choice, much of it can be used as-is). So, what exactly does the book contain?

The first section of Theorems & Thaumaturgy i…

Ruins of the Undercity (Review-ish)

This has been a while in the making. I've been really slow about getting these review-ish things posted. Part of this is because I'm a Bi-Polar loon. Well, no, that's all of it, really. So, without further ado....

Review-ish Thing #1: Ruins of the Undercity

Ruins of the Undercity is a small form factor Labyrinth Lord supplement by Kabuki Kaiser available both as a PDF from RPGNow for $5.00 (US) or as a printed softcover book from Lulu for $9.90 (US). Ruins of the Undercity is essentially a love letter to Appendix A of the original AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide (Random Dungeon Generation). It provides all of the tools that you will need to randomly generate the titular ruins of the Undercity, treasure tables (including rules for campaign-specific artifacts), and a healthy series of random encounter tables that heavily reference the Labyrinth Lord monster catalog (listing page numbers therein for reference). Now for my sole (and petty) criticism....

This latter thing ma…

Review-ish things are forthcoming!

I've been holding off on review-ish-ing anything until my copy of Stealing Cthulhu arrived, because I wanted to group everything somewhat close together for the sake of organization. Well, said copy of Stealing Cthulhu arrived today and I have nothing but free time for the rest of the week to read RPG-related products, so look for the first batch of review-ish things to appear this coming weekend.

Edit: I should really learn not set deadlines for myself. Apologies for that. Review-ish things coming.... when they come. Hopefully not too long!

Loot!

My copies of Kabuki Kaiser's Ruins of the Undercity, Blacky the Blackball's Darker Dungeons, and Gavin Norman's Theories & Thaumaturgy have arrived today.

Initial impressions of each are good. And I may be crazy, but it seems that Lulu's print quality has been ratcheted up a few notches since the last time I ordered books from them (or maybe it's just that these publishers took more care when laying out their products). Either way, I'm happy with my purchases.

I'll devote a blog post to more detailed analysis of each product, once I have a chance to devour them.

In the meantime....

While I toil away on new aids for my planned Warlock campaign, I'm digging into other old-school and OSR products, both for inspiration and so I have something ready to play in the event that my Warlock campaign doesn't get off the ground for a while.

Right now I'm awaiting the arrival of Kabuki Kaiser's Ruins of the Undercity(which I can play by myself, if I get really desperate for fun), Blacky the Blackball's Darker Dungeons, and Gavin Norman's Theorems & Thaumaturgy (which I plan to use with Darker Dungeons).

In a more new-school vein, I also have a copy of Graham Walmsley's Stealing Cthulhu on order because, well, it's hard to go wrong with Cthulhu. Also, I'm always looking for good advice on how to punch up a Mythos game, so it isn't just the same old rinse and repeat nonsense.

As these products arrive and I get to digest them, I'll let you know what kind of impression they leave upon me. Not real reviews as it were (I'm out of…

Ain't it dead yet?

Well, it's been a little over a year since I've posted to this blog and I just wanted to let you know that, no, it's not dead. My dream of running Warlock regularly lives on!

Long story made short: I simply had a tumultuous 2012, leaving little time for gaming or other hobby pursuits. It was simply easier for me to post on message forums for most of the year, rather than commit to regularly updating this blog.

Hopefully, 2013 will be more stable for me. I hope to be able to recommit to posting here frequently and get the Front Range Warlock campaign back up and running in earnest. Fingers crossed!

I've kicked things off by scrubbing the dead links to Mike Riley's old Warlock site - if you want to get a look at the rules now, you'll need to join the Yahoo Group.