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The Best In Old School Roleplaying
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Fear of the Dark" Map


This would be the first draft of a map meant for some modules that I am currently working on for the "freelance" submissions that Troll Lord Games are currently accepting.  The first module's working title is "Fear of the Dark" and takes place on the village called "Weyfarthing" and it's surrounding environs.  There will be a couple minor changes  to this map before I send it off with the manuscript.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Grognard the Dragon


Behold the mighty Grognard in all his splendor!  Hear me out here.  I picked up this old Public Domain wooduct image in order to have a logo/mascot for Gamers & Grognards, as well as any product that I might create.  I even gave him the name in the title, simplistic, but it gets the point across.  It's also cute in a scaly "roast you with my breath weapon" sort of way.  Thus was created Grognard the Dragon.  Yes I know, he only has two legs so he is quite likely a wyvern.  Still, I think he was meant to be, and is, a dragon proper.  

Now, while he is my mascot and logo, his image, as stated, is in the Public Domain.  Therefore, not only am I OK with, but I would also encourage, that we add Grognard to along with our home brewed OSR logos as one of our calling cards.  The OSR logos are our logos, but Grognard can be out mascot.  Feel free to post him on your own blogs/products.  I would appreciate links back to this blog, however if you intend to use him.  Though his likeness is in the public domain Grognard was first my brainchild.  In fact we already have Grognard  merchandise.  Just click on the image of Grognard in the margin.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Michicon RPG Events


This is the RPG schedule for Michicon on Friday and Saturday (6/22 - 6/23.)  I do not have an official copy of other events as of now.  These can be found by clicking the Michicon Banner in the right hand margin of this blog.  This link will be removed post-Michicon.


MichiCon 2012 Role Playing Game Events


Friday Gaming Events


2PM

Title of the Game: A0 – The Rising Knight
Gaming System: Castles & Crusades
Max Players: 6
Difficulty: Beginner
GM: Ryan Thompson
A demo/introductory adventure for the Castles & Crusades game.
Imagine taking the old school editions of D & D and streamlining the rules system.
That is what you get when you play C&C. Castles and Crusades is a rules light
fantasy role playing game with one of the fastest growing fan bases in the world.
Castles & Crusades' easy to understand Siege Engine brings loads of fun and
enjoyment to the gaming table.

The Adventure:
Malforten lies in the East March. This frontier region is known to be open to
raiders, bandits and other nefarious creatures who fear no retribution from the
West; so many villainous malcontents and upstarts thus come here to raid and,
with each passing success, act with ever more audacity. A vicious gnoll warrior,
Gritznak the Bold, has come to the Fallow Hills and taken up residence in an
abandoned temple. From here, his band of raiders has encroached ever more often
upon the steads of Malforten, taking cattle, grain stores, and stealing away a few
residents for slaves or worse. Do you have what it takes to challenge Gritznak and
uncover the dark secrets of his temple base?
Pre-gen characters provided

Title of the Game; The Mystery Men Return!
Gaming System; Savage Worlds
Max Players; 6
Difficulty; Beginner; Rules Taught; pre-gen characters provided
GM: Alan Meranda
This is a role playing game using the fast, furious, fun Savage Worlds rule set. This
game is adapted from the movie the Mystery Men and will feature characters from
the Mystery Men, Hancock, My Super ex-Girlfriend and the television classic the
Greatest American Hero.

The Adventure:
The Bowler is incarcerated in Champion City’s Happy Acres Asylum. The Bowler
has been accused of causing excessive damages around the city. The police
eventually apprehend the Bowler using her bowling ball to shatter the wall of a
bank that leads into the bank’s vault. The Spleen is hospitalized and in a coma
during the capture of his beloved, the Bowler.
Strangely since the death of Captain Amazing, the unerring accuracy of the Blue
Raja has failed. A Johnny Wishbone has come forward with messages from
beyond from a man named Lance saying that Champion City is doomed.

6:30PM


Title of the Game: First Steps—Part I: In Service to Lore
Game System: The Pathfinder role playing game.
Max Players: 6 (characters provided)
Difficulty: Knowledge of the Pathfinder role playing game helpful but not
necessary.
GM: Bill Korsak

The Adventure:
In your first mission as a Pathfinder agent, the head of the Grand Lodge sends you
on a number of missions throughout the metropolis of Absalom, pitting you against
traps, thieves, and even an unruly devil, all in the pursuit of knowledge.

Title of the Game: The Next Great Adventure!
Gaming System: Pulp Nocturne 1930/Savage Worlds
Max Players: 6
Difficulty: Beginner: Rules Taught; pre-gen characters provided
GM: Alan Meranda
Pulp Nocturne 1930 is a Cthulhu Horror role playing game set in 1930 New York
City that uses the fast, furious, fun Savage Worlds gaming system.
In the game your characters are investigating mysterious and strange horrific
incidents and crimes during the prohibition era. Gangsters have a bloody hand in
things as does the supernatural.
Add in some Realms of Cthulhu from Reality Blurs and Bureau 13 from Tri-Tac
Games and you have a feast of insanity, horror and mystery. This game is an
ongoing pulp serial horror adventure set in 1930’s New York.

The Adventure:
Supernatural weirdness has been crazed in New York City. Couple this with a
vicious gang war bloodying the streets and it’s only a matter of time before the
investigators from Bureau 13 are called in to help out. Several investigators have
already been murdered. Can you find out why and put an end to it?

Title of the Game: Breathmoss
Game System: The Pathfinder role playing game.
Max Players: 5 (characters provided)
Difficulty: Knowledge of the Pathfinder role playing game helpful but not
necessary.
GM: Michael Galligan of White Haired Man
Breath Moss is an adventure for up to five 4th level Pathfinder role playing game
characters. Each player will choose one member of a rescue team.

The Adventure:
Don your breath moss mask, grab your illumination gem, and head down into the
murky water of an ancient Harlass Orn well. A rescue team is searching for the
missing swamp diver Anselm “Harp” Harpending.

Title of the Game: The Crystal Cat
Game System: The Hollow Earth Expedition
Max Players: 2-7 Players
Difficulty: Very Easy (Characters provided; game system taught)
GM: Mark Rosenberger
Hollow Earth is set in the Pulp Era of the 1930's. Bring your own character
(standard + 5XP max) or use a pre-generated one. Players will get to pick their
characters from a large assortment of pre-generated ones. Be anything from the
Rugged Explorer to the Famous Actress.

The Adventure:
Even the Nazis have been unable to penetrate the defenses, so they brought you in.
They gave you some incentive: succeed and they will reward you; fail and they will
start killing your friends.

Saturday Gaming Events


9AM


Title of the Game: S1: Tomb of Horrors
Gaming System: Castles & Crusades
Max Players: 9 (Pre-gen characters provided)
Difficulty: Beginner

GM: Ryan Thompson
A demo/introductory adventure for the Castles & Crusades game.
Imagine taking the old school editions of D&D and streamlining the rules system.
That is what you get when you play C&C. Castles and Crusades is a rules light
fantasy role playing game with one of the fastest growing fan bases in the world.
Castles & Crusades' easy to understand Siege Engine brings loads of fun and
enjoyment to the gaming table.

The Adventure:
A fantasy dungeon crawl classic. Come brave the most treacherous and dangerous
of all dungeons!
“Somewhere under a lost and lonely hill of grim and foreboding aspect lies a
labyrinthine crypt filled with terrible traps and not a few strong and ferocious
monsters to slay the unwary. Rich treasures both precious and magical fill the
crypt, but in addition to the aforementioned guardians, some say a demilich still
wards his final haunt. (Be warned that tales told have it that this being possesses
powers that make him nearly undefeatable!) Accounts relate that adventurers have
an extremely low probability of ever finding the chamber where the demilich
Acererak lingers, for the passages and rooms of the tomb are fraught with terrible
traps, poison gases, and magical protections. Furthermore, the demilich has hidden
his lair so well, that even those who avoid the pitfalls likely will not locate their
true goal. So only large and well-prepared parties of the bravest and strongest
should even consider the attempt, and if they do locate the tomb, they must be
prepared to fail.”

Title of the Game: D&D Next play test
Game System: D&D Next
Max Players: 6 (characters provided)
Difficulty: Knowledge of the Dungeons and Dragons game is helpful but not
necessary.
GM: Bill Korsak
The Adventure:
D&D Next is what Wizards of the Coast announced as the fifth major edition of the
game, and is under development. In direct contrast to the previous editions of the
game, "D&D Next" will be developed partly via a public open play test. An early
build of the new edition debuted at the Dungeons & Dragons Experience event,
with public play testing to begin May 24, 2012. There is no scheduled date for the
release of the new edition.
Title of the Game: So You Want To Play Dungeons & Dragons?
Game System: Dungeons & Dragons
Max Players: 6 (characters to be created)
Difficulty: Minimum age 10 years; No experience needed.
GM: Kathi Milliken

The Adventure:
Players will create characters and enjoy an adventure with those characters. This
event is designed with the very beginner in mind. Players with some experience
are encouraged to come to give the newbies a fighting chance.

Title of the Game: A Thing for Rings
Game System: The Hollow Earth Expedition
Max Players: 4-6 Players
Difficulty: Very Easy (Characters provided; game system taught)
GM: Mark Rosenberger
Hollow Earth is set in the Pulp Era of the 1930's. Bring your own character
(standard + 5XP max) or use a pre-generated one. Players will get to pick their
characters from a large assortment of pre-generated ones. Be anything from the
Rugged Explorer to the Famous Actress.

The Adventure:
How you got to the hill you do not know, but now you are with people you have
never seen before on a small hill surrounded by jungle. The only thing you seem to
have in common is that you had a dream about a woman in a strange dress asking
for your help. Of course, the group of men wearing German National Socialist
Uniforms can't be a good sign.

Title of the Game: Breathmoss
Game System: The Pathfinder role playing game.
Max Players: 5 (characters provided)
Difficulty: Knowledge of the Pathfinder role playing game helpful but not
necessary.
GM: Michael Galligan of White Haired Man
Breath Moss is an adventure for up to five 4th level Pathfinder role playing game
characters. Each player will choose one member of a rescue team.

The Adventure:
Don your breath moss mask, grab your illumination gem, and head down into the
murky water of an ancient Harlass Orn well. A rescue team is searching for the
missing swamp diver Anselm “Harp” Harpending.


1:30PM

Title of the Game: First Steps—Part II: To Delve the Dungeon Deep
Game System: The Pathfinder role playing game.
Max Players: 6 (characters provided)
Difficulty: Knowledge of the Pathfinder role playing game helpful but not
necessary.
GM: Bill Korsak

The Adventure:
You venture for the first time into the massive haunted dungeons beneath an
abandoned siege tower in the deadly Cairnlands, where you will experience
firsthand the true dangers of being a tomb-delving Pathfinder.

Title of the Game: Road War/Post Apocalyptic Vehicular Combat
Game System: d20 Road War
Max Players: 8 (characters provided)
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
GM: Dave Giovannini
Simple but in-depth rules for driving that are fully compatible with existing d20
games. I feel that d20 has long been lacking a quality set of driving rules that truly
capture the wreckage and raw intensity of vehicular combat. I have set out to
rectify this with d20 Road War. I have a 90+ page rulebook that is for a post
apocalyptic theme, but the rules can be applied to any timeline. My custom rules
cover: detailed stats for many different types of vehicles and their individual
components, turns at high speeds, ranged and melee combat on and between
vehicles, eight new Races (Backgrounds), nine new character classes, skills, feats,
makeshift weapons and armor, vehicle modifications (armor, upgrades,
customization), and complete driving rules.

The Adventure:
These rules have already been played through several campaigns, but play testers
are still needed to both flesh out the rules and expose any flaws. Rulebooks,
miniatures, character sheets, vehicles, and maps will all be provided. Come and
join me for some post apocalyptic road war fun!

Title of the Game: The Cold Ones
Game System: D&D Gamma World
Max Players: 5 (characters provided)
Difficulty: Easy. Rules knowledge helpful but will be taught.
GM: Kelly Davis
The Adventure:
The heroes set off for Lost Vegas to seek fame and fortune in the lucrative salvage
business. A brief stopover in Saucer City proves problematic, however. Why is it
named Saucer City, you ask? Well, the village is built around the wreckage of a
UFO. Our heroes get in a bind and need to seek out the wisdom of a mysterious
engineered human. Seems he's been captured by a rough and tough gang of pokers
who have a quest for them: Seek the Cave of Eternal Winter and retrieve The Cold
Ones.

Title of the Game: A Hollow Earth Enigma
Game System: The Hollow Earth Expedition
Max Players: 4-6 Players
Difficulty: Very Easy (Characters provided; game system taught)
GM: Mark Rosenberger
Hollow Earth is set in the Pulp Era of the 1930's. Bring your own character
(standard + 5XP max) or use a pre-generated one. Players will get to pick their
characters from a large assortment of pre-generated ones. Be anything from the
Rugged Explorer to the Famous Actress.

The Adventure:
“Poppycock! The hollow earth does not exist!” One of your enemies, a learned
professor, attacks your beliefs and research and throws you under the bus in front
of all of your colleagues at the Adventurer’s Society. You vow in front of them all
that you will prove that the Earth is hollow. You recruit a team of talented
explorers and enter the realm of the Hollow Earth.

Title of the Game: The Place of Evil
Game System: Original Dungeons & Dragons
Max Players: 4-6 Players
Difficulty: Designed for adults. No experience needed, but this is not Advanced
D&D or later! Experience in later games not a plus... New players welcome!
GM: Herb Diehr

The Adventure:
The elves have broken into a place of great evil. They must cross from where they
are to a place of greater evil and enter secretly, without being detected (or killed).
Many possibilities exist for both.

6:30PM


Title of the Game: First Steps—Part III: A Vision of Betrayal
Game System: The Pathfinder role playing game.
Max Players: 6 (characters provided)
Difficulty: Knowledge of the Pathfinder role playing game helpful but not
necessary.
GM: Bill Korsak

The Adventure:
Dispatched on an envoy mission overland from Absalom to port city Escadar, you
must weather the harsh wilderness of the Isle of Kortos before you can hope to
meet with the representative of the elusive gillmen, and only then come face to face
with the greatest threat to the Pathfinder Society.

Title of the Game: Road War/Post Apocalyptic Vehicular Combat
Game System: d20 Road War
Max Players: 8 (characters provided)
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
GM: Dave Giovannini
Simple but in-depth rules for driving that are fully compatible with existing d20
games. I feel that d20 has long been lacking a quality set of driving rules that truly
capture the wreckage and raw intensity of vehicular combat. I have set out to
rectify this with d20 Road War. I have a 90+ page rulebook that is for a post
apocalyptic theme, but the rules can be applied to any timeline. My custom rules
cover: detailed stats for many different types of vehicles and their individual
components, turns at high speeds, ranged and melee combat on and between
vehicles, eight new Races (Backgrounds), nine new character classes, skills, feats,
makeshift weapons and armor, vehicle modifications (armor, upgrades,
customization), and complete driving rules.

The Adventure:
These rules have already been played through several campaigns, but play testers
are still needed to both flesh out the rules and expose any flaws. Rulebooks,
miniatures, character sheets, vehicles, and maps will all be provided. Come and
join me for some post apocalyptic road war fun!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Remember, remember the... 22nd of June? Wha...?

Just a reminder to those in Michigan that this weekend is Michicon!  Click on the link on the right side bar for info.  Come on down to Oakland University and help me to spread some Old School goodness!  

Monday, June 18, 2012

Free RPG Day Report

So, I was pretty satisfied and somewhat surprised with some of my discoveries at Warriors 3 Comics & Games Free RPG Day Event.  I went with one of three owners, Don Bodus, early in the day to get everything set up.  I was happy to see some OSR material along with some re-boots of games I used to enjoy included in the free materials.  

First off, while there were a great many Pathfinder and 1 large stack of D&D 4E products,  I found, to my delight the likes of Cosmic Patrol, DCC RPG and Castles & Crusades.  I picked up the C&C pack, which has two introductory adventures in it.  I also acquired the Blue Panther Dice Tower from the freebies.  To my surprise every one of the DCC RPG mods were taken!  In fact the only things that were left at the end of the day were some of the Harn maps and the 4E module (which really didn't get touched.)  I put some OSR explanation pamphlets out for the taking as well.  While Pathfinder is extraordinarily popular in this particular store (the are a key Pathfinder Society hub in the area) I found that two of three tables running games were not Pathfinder based.  One was my C&C game and the other was a group running Arcanis.  The guy running Arcanis seemed to have very similar issues with most newer games to those I find in the OSR movement.

That said, I initially intended to run Rising Knight but instead ended up running a modified version of  Labyrinth Lord's Tomb of Sigyfel as a C&C module.  I pulled a few of the store's Pathfinder folks in, along with a few of my gaming buddies who came out to support the store for Free RPG Day.  This was rather fun for me as I had run TOS as a solo adventure just a few nights before for a friend of mine.  I'll mention now that it took him three weeks of game time to defeat six skeletons in the mod, because his rolls were terrible and he had to keep resting.  In his defense he is a level one assassin.  The party that went this together had far less problems with the same skeletons.  All in all I felt that I did a reasonable job with this, as three of the PF folks are interested in playing in a C&C OSR style game a the store now.  From my vantage point I did my due diligence for the OSR based on this outcome.  While they all will still be regularly playing PF, they were exposed to something else, that they may not have found had it not been for the event.  Not only that, but they seem to have liked what they were exposed too.

Rappan Athuk Castles & Crusades Campaign - 2

After the escape from Zanzer Tem's Dungeon, and the freeing of dwarven and gnomish slaves along the way, Guruck, our barbarian of Altanis (if you know what "Altanis" is kudos to you) and co. found themselves on a road headed north, back to Bard's Gate and Reme.  Several days north our "heroes" arrived a a crossroad.  It was here that this party was to split, our cleric going home to Bard's Gate and Axl heading to the northwest to Reme.  Guruck, having not decided upon which way to go, only that he wanted revenge on Zanzer Tem for his imprisonment, stood with his companions pondering.  All looked up as the priest of Odin pointed toward the north eastern road.  They watched, warily, as a shrouded figure approached, seemingly oblivious to their presence.

Caught off guard when spoken to, the mysterious man, now known to be a wild elf, jumped a bit when the barbarian called to him.  He introduced himself as Lucien.  As Fate would have it, the dark stranger also had business with Zanzer Tem.  What was more, he also wanted Zanzer dead.  Of course Lucien was assured that the wizard had fled from his mine, and it was also known that he would not readily return to Bard's Gate.  the logical conclusion, they decided, would be to head toward Reme, all save the cleric who took his leave from the party and headed off home to Bard's Gate.

The party traveled along the north west road for several days before arriving at  El Marsh lake.  As the sun set over the lake, the reflection seemed to cause an issue with every party member's sight, as they seemed to have missed a curious hut at the edge of the lake until they were nearly upon it.  The hut was small and brown, and surrounded by a wooden fence, topped with glowing eyed skulls.  Upon approaching one of the skulls began to speak and told our bold (anti)heroes that this was the hut of Baba Yaga.  The witch was summoned by the party to answer questions regarding their quest.  Baba Yaga agreed, but under her own conditions.  Knowing, in here vast supernatural mind, that Lucien was not only an assassin, but was such under the watchful eye of his patron deity, a divinity worshiped in the far off lands of Khemit, Anubis god of the dead.

The witch assured the party that Tem had fled to Reme, but would not be there long.  She spoke long winded about a quest that would eventually lead them to their objective, the quest of that of stopping the plans of the cult of the Demon Prince of the Undead!  It was foretold that their journey would begin to the north of the lake in the village of Malforten, which was forced to pay tribute to a gnoll deserter named Gritznak, who had abandoned his own people and deity to serve this dead Demon God.  She stated that Lucien would have his prize if he could defeat this cult (to which it was revealed that Zanzer Tem was a member) by going through trials and tribulations in some of the harshest, blackest places in the known world, not the least of which being the fabled Dungeon of the Graves.  So it was, armed with this information, and the promise that with the final goal of the downfall of Zanzer Tem, that Lucien would return to Baba Yaga, that the party set forth for Malforten.

Upon their arrival the party learned many strange and sometimes ignorant rumors surrounding both the region and Gritznak.  They did learn that Gritznak would send goblins to the village to gather "tribute" to feed his men and fund whatever it was that his goal happened to be.  Axl, board by this, and not truly wishing to do any work, left and headed toward Reme.  The remaining duo, sought harder for information and learned that even Eryl the Hoskin, head of the village militia, believed that there was a mole in Malforten, giving information to Gritznak about the militia's plans to remove him.  Gritznak always seemed to be one step ahead of the plans.

Armed with this information the assassin and barbarian set about finding the mole.  Learning of the village priestess, Amanda Rhyan the Paish, in the service of Freya and "missionary" of Shandril of Fairhill to the wilds surrounding Malforten.  From what they gathered Amanda had the villagers in the custom of leaving offerings to the local fairy folk, that they not play pranks and whither the crops to drive the settlers off.  They also discovered that on nights of the full moon she would lead villagers to the edge of the wood where they would pray and leave such offerings, while the priestess herself would enter the woods to commune with said fey.  Suspicious of this, believing she was perhaps consorting with the goblins while unwatched in the wood, Lucien set to follow her.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Free RPG Day 2012

BEHOLD!


Tomorrow is Free RPG Day.  It's a great day in a gamer's life.  That, of course being the day that we set aside at our respective game stores to offer up a sample to hook new gamers.  Our main problem being, of course, that we don't really ever hook new gamers, we just get people already gaming to be interested in/play new games (which is actually the current marketing tactic listed on the Free RPG Day website.)  Let's face it Joe Sci Fi/Fantasy buff who would probably love table top RPG's (but really only has some vague ideas about D&D) probably doesn't even have Free RPG Day on his radar.  In fact, the vast majority of people who might even be slightly interested in table top gaming are not likely to just happen to walk into the local game shop on that day.  Nor are these people likely to be searching for "Free RPG Day" on the interwebs.

Sooo... what do we do with this marketing day?  Get some free stuff?  Of course.  Play some games?  Hell yes.  What do we do in the OSR?  We take FULL advantage of the situation.  Get thee to thine local participating game store and promote the C&C, Cosmic Patrol and DCC RPG stuff that they will be giving away!  

For those in Michigan, I will be demoing games at Warriors 3 Comics & Games in Wayne.  A link can be found on the right.  I will be running a demo of Castles & Crusades a 1:00 PM (Rising Knight) and taking along some other materials for those interested.  I will also have on hand Shane Mangus's (of Swords Against the Outer Dark) excellent "One Page Dungeon" Raid on the Black Goat of the Wood to play following Rising Knight if anyone is so inclined.  In addition I will be prepared to run a Weird West game featuring the Zombie Apocalypse in the old west, done as a survival horror game, if there is interest in playing this.

So, if your in Michigan, come on down.  If not, find your local participating game shop and inspire some old school goodness!

http://www.freerpgday.com/

Michicon 2012 - 40th Anniversary Convention!

Only one week to go to Michicon!  If you are in the area and looking to come here is the schedule.  I will be running Rising Knight and Tome of Horrors.  I look forward to seeing anyone there who may be coming!  Looks like some good events are in store!  I was looking forward to playing Ogre, but it looks like it runs in one of my time slots.  Oh well, I've been wanting to check out Pulp Nocturne (on the Savage Worlds System) which I have been told is a two fisted 1930's Pulp Mythos mashup.  It sounds up my alley.



http://www.michicon.webs.com/

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Like ***holes Everybody's Got One, Or My Appendix N

Yep, so I'm way late in the game on this one, but it should give everyone an idea of where I come from.  Many of us know that posting your own "Appendix N" was in vogue in the OSR some time back.  What?  You don't know what Appendix N is?  Actually, if you don't know what Appendix N is, I'm curious as to why you read this blog.  Anyhoo, if you are out of the loop on this one, "Appendix N" was a literal (Ha!) appendix in the 1E DMG, in which E. Gary Gygax posted most of the things that influenced him in the creation and early stages of D&D.  It was placed in the DMG to help to educate players as to what it was the D&D was meant to emulate and represent.   In later "OSR" times various bloggers have made their own influences known via the posting of their own individual "Appendix N's."  Here it is for your enjoyment:

"Appendix N:

Inspirational and Educational Reading

Inspiration for all of the fantasy work I have done stems directly from the love my father showed when I was a tad, for he spent many hours telling me stories he made up as he went along, tales of cloaked old men who could grant wishes, of magic rings and enchanted swords, or wicked sorcerers and dauntless swordsmen. Then too, countless hundreds of comic books went down, and the long-gone EC ones certainly had their effect. Science fiction, fantasy, and horror movies were a big influence. In fact, all of us tend to get ample helpings of fantasy when we are very young, from fairy tales such as those written by the Brothers Grimm and Andrew Lang. This often leads to reading books of mythology, paging through bestiaries, and consultation of compilations of the myths of various lands and peoples. Upon such a base I built my interest in fantasy, being an avid reader of all science fiction and fantasy literature since 1950. The following authors were of particular inspiration to me. In some cases I cite specific works, in others, I simply recommend all their fantasy writing to you. From such sources, as well as just about any other imaginative writing or screenplay you will be able to pluck kernels from which grow the fruits of exciting campaigns. Good reading!
Inspirational Reading:
  • Anderson, Poul. Three Hearts and Three Lions; The High Crusade; The Broken Sword
  • Bellairs, John. The Face in the Frost
  • Brackett, Leigh.
  • Brown, Fredric.
  • Burroughs, Edgar Rice, Pellucidar series; Mars series; Venus series
  • Carter, Lin. "World's End" series
  • de Camp, L. Sprague. Lest Darkness Fall; Fallible Fiend; et al.
  • de Camp & Pratt. "Harold Shea" series; Carnelian Cube
  • Derleth, August.
  • Dunsany, Lord.
  • Farmer, P. J. "The World of the Tiers" series; et al.
  • Fox, Gardner. "Kothar" series; "Kyrik" series; et al.
  • Howard, R. E. "Conan" series
  • Lanier, Sterling. Hiero’s Journey
  • Leiber, Fritz. "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" series; et al.
  • Lovecraft, H. P.
  • Merritt, A. Creep, Shadow, Creep; Moon Pool; Dwellers in the Mirage; et al.
  • Moorcock, Michael. Stormbringer; Stealer of Souls; "Hawkmoon" series (esp. the first three books)
  • Norton, Andre.
  • Offutt, Andrew J., editor. Swords Against Darkness III.
  • Pratt, Fletcher. Blue Star; et al.
  • St. Clair, Margaret. The Shadow People; Sign of the Labrys
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. The Hobbit; "Ring Trilogy"
  • Vance, Jack. The Eyes of the Overworld; The Dying Earth; et al.
  • Weinbaum, Stanley.
  • Wellman, Manly Wade.
  • Williamson, Jack.
  • Zelazny, Roger. Jack of Shadows; "Amber" series; et al.
The most immediate influences upon AD&D were probably de Camp & Pratt, REH, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, HPL, and A. Merritt; but all of the above authors, as well as many not listed, certainly helped to shape the form of the game. For this reason, and for the hours of reading enjoyment, I heartily recommend the works of these fine authors to you." - Gary Gygax


Well ladies and gents, there you have it, Appendix N in all of it's glory.  It kind of has a divine glow, doesn't it?  Anywaaay...    without further ado, my own Appendix N.  Note that I included and divide my Appendix N into varied media.

Literature:

Robert E Howard: Conan, Kull and Solomon Kane stories
Edgar Rice Burroughs: primarily the Barsoom and Tarzan stories
H.P. Lovecraft: The Dream Cycle and the Cthulhu Mythos
Michael Moorcock:  Elric saga
Jack Vance:  The Dying Earth
Stephen King: especially The Dark Tower Saga and The Stand
Frank Herbert: Dune saga
Fritz Leiber: Fafhrd & Grey Mouser series
Robert Heinlen: Stranger in a Strange Land
J.R.R. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, The Book of Lost Tales
Lloyd Alexander: The Prydain Chronicles
Marion Zimmer Bradley: The Mists of Avalon
Roger Zelazny: The Chronicles of Amber
Mary Stewart: The Arthurian Saga
Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
Lord Dunsany
Clark Ashton Smith
Edgar Allen Poe
Gary Gygax: Gord the Rogue novels
Neil Gaiman: American Gods and Sandman

Film

Dragonslayer
Legend
Willow
Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Excalibur
The Beastmaster
Red Sonja
Lord of the Rings
Hero
House of Flying Daggers
Kurosawa (any)
Princess Mononoke
The Mouth of Madness
The Call of Cthulhu (HPLHS Edition)
Ninja Scroll 
Vampire Hunter D
Clash of the Titans  (1981)
The Dark Crystal
The Princess Bride
The Last Unicorn
Wizards
The Flight of Dragons

Television

Jim Henson's The Storyteller
Hercules the Legendary Journeys
The Legend of Prince Valiant
Roar
Record of Lodoss War
A Game of Thrones

There you have it.  A small sampling of what influences my campaigns.


Friday, June 8, 2012

FROG GOD GAMES ACQUIRES NECROMANCER GAMES


Direct from Frog God Games:


"FROG GOD GAMES ACQUIRES NECROMANCER GAMES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Dallas, TX, (June 7th 2012) – FROG GOD GAMES, the makers of roleplaying games and books, today announced that they are acquiring Necromancer Games, the award-winning publishing house known for Necropolis, Rappan Athuk, City of Brass, Tomb of Abysthor, Crucible of Freya, Tome of Horrors, and many other famous titles. 


The purchase of Necromancer Games considerably increases Frog God Games’ influence in the tabletop gaming industry. “The merging of the companies made sense,” said Bill Webb, CEO of Frog God Games. “As primary developer of the Necromancer line of products, I created Frog God Games with the same aesthetics and design principles in mind. We are all about capturing that hard-edged Retro feel in both our Pathfinder Roleplaying Games and our Swords & Wizardry product lines.”  The acquisition will provide Frog God Games with the use of Necromancer Games extensive intellectual property, allowing re-imagination and expansion of existing work, as well as new products under both labels. Frog God Games will maintain a separate product line of Necromancer Games products, which so far has included the Tome of Horrors Complete and will soon include Rappan Athuk.  


Frog God Games will re-animate several of Necromancer Games’ products in the future to provide its customers with revised and expanded products for a variety of tabletop editions. “The integration of both companies will take place over the next few months. Our customers will continue to receive the same high quality books which they have come to expect” stated Webb. 


Necromancer Games, which will continue to operate under that name, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Frog God Games. The company has not published new material since 2007, although it produced nearly 100 titles from 1999-2007.  The Company’s other founder, Clark Peterson will remain involved in an advisory capacity, and will continue to contribute to the company’s success. 


About Frog God Games
Founded in April 2010, Frog God Games publishes resources for the tabletop roleplaying games Pathfinder Roleplaying Games and Swords & Wizardry. Its products are known for their grand adventure settings and high quality production values. “If our hardcovers won’t last you a lifetime of use, we have not made a high enough quality product”, said Webb. Frog God Games currently serves over 2500 customers in USA, Canada, Brazil, Europe, South America, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and has produced over 70 books for Pathfinder Roleplaying Games and Swords & Wizardry in the past two years. The writers of Frog God Games have won numerous ENnie Awards. For more information about Frog God Games visit its website at www.talesofthefroggod.com"

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Upcoming Events I Will Be Running

As news too all OSR enthusiasts, but more especially those in Michigan, I will be running several events intended to steer local gamers toward a "rules light": and "OSR" approach in gaming.  First off, on Saturday June 16th at 1:00 PM I will be running a Castles & Crusades demo at Warrior 3 Comics and Games in Wayne, Michigan.  I will run other C&C games for people that day as well if desired.  I will also have a copy of Weird West on hand that day for the purposes of running a "Zombie Apocalypse Western" one off, if anyone at the store that day is interested.

Secondly, and possibly more importantly, I will be running the same C&C demo at Michicon on Friday June 22nd 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM at Michicon.  What I am more excited about at this event, is that I have been allowed to run a Castles & Crusades version (base conversion by myself) of S1 Tomb of Horrors on Saturday June 23rd 9:00 AM - 1 PM!  See the flyer below for Michicon if you are in the area and would like to attend.  



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

OSR/AD&D/OSRIC Modules

In an attempt to spread the OSR.  I present you with a list of "AD&D" adventures currently being released in print or pdf.  Many of you may have seen this list already, but I have decided, despite that to post it myself.  According to the guidelines, you can add to the list, but only upon following said guidelines.  For clarification "OSRIC" counts as AD&D 1E.  Please re-post this link and keep our community running strong!

http://tinyurl.com/7ndq2xv

I'll See Your Pathfinder and Raise You A Monte Cook

I've been curious about it since I saw the notice that he might be writing a module for LotFP.  Monte Cook seems to be favoring systems that he is terming "logic" based.  I believe that most in the OSR would term these as "rules light," though, as Monte's own post on this subject points out, this may be an incorrect term for this style of rules.  Hence Monte's logic based post.  Even if he isn't officially OSR, having one of the "big names" i gaming backing up an older style of play helps those of us who enjoy that sort of thing tremendously.

Here is a link to Monte's blog concerning the "logic based" rules set:

http://montecook.livejournal.com/254395.html

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In Case You Haven't Seen This

The Aspiring Lich has posted a fantastic Old School combat tracker.  Laminated, it would be ideal for tracking in the old school.  It even has a space on the bottom that is a grid.   The grid is a great tool here for keeping track of where everything in the combat is, sans the miniatures.  Check it out.   I'll be using it in an upcoming session, and likely for both games that I will be running at Michicon this year as well.

Here is the link:

http://aspiringlich.blogspot.com/2012/06/combat-tracker.html

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage

In case this has flown over your radar, there is a new Sinbad film set to release this year.  This film forgoes our modern CGI fantasy in order to attempt a movie that Ray Harryhausen would be proud of.  That's right, all of the fantastic "critters" will be stop motion (grognard)!  This might bother me if Hollywood were handling it, as the butcher most of what I loved as a child, but this film is independent, and seems to come from a fan for fans.  What's more?  Patrick Stewart is the narrator.  That would be a pre-screen thumbs up from me.  See for yourself here:   http://www.sinbadthemovie.com/



Look forward to a review here after the moive's release.  As for me, I'll be finding and watching the early Harryhausen Sinbad films in anticipation.