Monday Pointers January 20, 2014

D4: Interesting ideas from the first 15 years of roleplaying (1974 to 1989)
It is good to see people looking at the games of the era that are more obscure now (and even then). What is really interesting is I can only think of one game in the past ten years centered on one of those ideas. Necessary Evil is an explicit “play supervillians” game although even then the tone is different from Super Villians. I’m with Lowell (who writes Age of Ravens) that a retro-Reagan era game designed along the lines of Year of the Phoenix would be a near must buy.

D6: Play On Target
Speaking of Lowell Francis, I’ve been listening to this podcast (where he is one of four hosts) lately. It’s perfectly size for my commute and very interesting. The two genre episodes, for Horror and Supers, were especially interesting.

D8: Geoffrey_of_Monmouth, RPG Designer
Despite being familiar with Geoffrey’s idea of Britain being originally founded by Trojan refugees in his History of the Kings of Britain from my SCA days I never once though, “wow, this is a great idea for a campaign”. You know what, it is. I especially like his separation of adventure which reminds me of fantasy does have reality

Monday Pointers January 6, 2014

D4 The Other Side kicks over 40 Years Coverage
For me at some point in the past week I hit 36 years of D&D. I bought my first copy of Holmes along with a Gamma World first edition box to get the dice with Christmas money from 1977 at Toys by Roy. They had sold out of the boxed set of Holmes and separate dice during the Christmas rush (huge wargaming culture there). Given my dad drove me to the Parkdale mall in Beaumont, Tx for them it must have been a Saturday (Texas blues laws kept it closed on Sunday back then) unless he was on vacation. That makes my educated guess for my first book on 1977.12.31 and my first game the first week of 1978.

D6: Alternate Undead for Death Frost Doom
Alternate versions are always good to have in your pocket. I just recently started reading Billy Goes to Mordor and suspect it’s going to be in the pointers a bit the next few weeks.

D8: Guitar: the Shredding
Doug at Blue Boxer Rebellion is getting ready to do an interesting playtest. While the setup reminds me quite a bit of Starchildren (not Star Child as I commented) right down to the playing card interface. However, at least from the description, it seems more arena rock than punk (the cover and title were glam but I remember it as feeling punk) and doesn’t have the strong Reagan/Tipper Gore imagery of Starchildren (which seemed a bit out of place in the early aughts anyway).

D10: Imagine We Skin Giant Beavers
Alexis at The Tao of D&D has some interesting thoughts on the potential of the fantastic in an economic system. Given the extensive system he has build (and which I’ve been trying to wrap my head around and implement a reduced version myself) this will be interesting to watch.

D12: Encyclopedic Knowledge
Speaking of implementing an economic system it lead to find you can get the entirety of the fabled eleventh edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica in multiple forms online. Is it out of date? Yes. Is it problematic in some areas, especially to modern sensibilities? Yes. Do those two faults make it the perfect source for real world info to help create locations, cultures, and individuals for your fantasy games? Yes. I have downloaded the entire thing in PDF and text (the later is great for searching for things like how many times the word gold is used).

Monday Pointers, December 16, 2013

D4:Strange Stones Finds Inspiration
Lots of great stuff is at and Strange Stones has some links.

D6:Off to Venus
Swords & Stitchery and it’s sister blog Dark Corners Of Role Playing also links to inspiration from but as single items with notes in using them in OSR games.

D8:Obsolete Simulations Roundup
Savage After World is hosting a blog hop for obscure RPGs of any era at the end of the month. You could sign up to talk about your favorite lost RPG.

Monday Pointers, June 3 2013

D4: The Implied Setting of the LBB
Around 1980 after starting with Holmes and getting the PHB and MM I got the LBB and the supplements. I even got Outdoor Survival to do wilderness adventures. With the game and the solo dungeons in Best of the Dragon (revised and expanded in the DMG) I played a solo game on weeknights. I lived out in the country with no friends in walking distance. As a hex and chit wargamer I was used to solo play. These articles sound about right.

Monday Pointers, March 18, 2013 Edition

Wow did a lot of people post interesting stuff while I was on vacation:

D4: Vampires of Mexico
While the Rifts:2112 is a very different direction from my RDR ideas they’ve been worth reading. His ideas on using local vampires to replace both the pseudo-European vampires of the Vampire Kingdoms (and the lame alien intelligences) is worth outright stealing. Matriarchal vampire kingdoms in old Mexico whose cast of male ghouls are what most gringos think vampires are is inspired. Read it as a case study in using local color/inspiration instead of bog standard D&D monsters for a better game if nothing else.

D6: Fancy Pants PCs
I especially like his rules for privileged backgrounds at level 1. Requiring a justification, no matter how lame, and the pseudo-patron gifts are exactly the kind of touches that make old school play different from more modern games. Sure, you can point buy the same thing in Hero/GURPS/EABA/Storytellering and so on (and I’ve had fun with 3 of those 4…haven’t had a chance to play EABA yet) but that’s a surface similarity. Underneath is a world of difference in attitude and outcomes in play.

D8: Glorantha 4th Edition
I had thought a little on these lines (although I’m much more in the “Exalted is Glorantha” school) but never this thoroughly. This might go in my “someday/maybe” pile. Oh, and the Shadow power source could map well to Trolls.

D10: But officer I was just eating porridge when the blonde broke in…
Beedo wonders what the wandering monsters are doing and creates some tables for more interesting encounters.

D12: Read all those Marvel comics you can’t afford
Hat tip to Aos at The Metal Earth for pointing me to a $60/year digital archive at Marvel. The only downside is its Marvel. If only DC would get this smart and let me read their back catalog online.