5% Of Sales Benefit Gamers & Grognards

Friday, March 11, 2016

New Online Game Store To Offer Competition to DriveThru/RPGNOW!

I had first heard an inkling about this new foray from +Matt Finch, about a year ago while discussing what our intentions were for Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day. I was sworn to secrecy on it, partly because many things were still up in the air. Well, now things are out in the open. I could go on about it, but I might as well let the press release do the talking.

PRESS RELEASE Kobold Press, Frog God Games, Troll Lord Games, Green Ronin, Rite Publishing, Super Genius Games, Expeditious Retreat Games, Hero Games, Rogue Comet, Metallic Dice Games, Pacesetter Games and Simulations, Eldritch Enterprises, Far Future Enterprises and TableTopLibrary.com

March 10, 2016

Kobold Press, Frog God Games, Troll Lord Games, Green Ronin, Hero Games, Rogue Comet, Pacesetter Games and Simulations, Eldritch Enterprises, Far Future Enterprises and TableTopLibrary.com are jointly announcing that, effective immediately, our companies will all be offering our Fifth Edition, Pathfinder, Traveller, OSR, Hero System, Fate, and other products through a new RPG download store called TableTopLibrary, as a one-stop shop for OGL Fifth Edition products. TableTopLibrary, website https://tabletoplibrary.com/ is a newly-formed online store for RPG books and pdfs designed to offer both electronic versions and hard copy versions of books produced by your favorite publishers. TabletopLibrary will also offer a full slate of products and resources for other role-playing games, including Pathfinder and OSR-games. All of us will continue our own websites and stores, but TableTopLibrary offers a place to draw all these products together in one place for convenience.

At this time, by coming together as a consortium, we can offer the high-quality products we pride ourselves on; provide a one-stop shopping spot with outstanding customer service; and allow  a better experience for publishers, and more importantly, for customers . Centralized electronic book fulfillment, kickstarter fulfillment, and single-location warehousing will improve our delivery speed, accuracy, and customer service in the RPG download market.

Our reasons for setting up a consortium at this time include (1) each partner retains ownership and editorial control over the individual campaign worlds and other “intellectual property” that our fans have known and loved for years; (2) our desire to offer physically higher-quality printing, paper quality, and binding than print on demand outlets offer; and (3) the desire to continue drawing upon and increasing the vast resources of Open Game Content as opposed to other alternatives.

TableTopLibrary is committed to offering a deep and broad-based marketplace of Fifth Edition products, superior to any other online store, as well as many other game system products. We are joined in a partnership of many large publishers in this project, and expect many more to join us as time goes on. TableTopLibrary will be issuing its own press release soon, describing the advantages and the procedures involved in joining.

You can continue buying products directly from each of us, as always. But if you want to browse the whole library of Fifth Edition and other products produced under the Open Game License over the years, we’re letting you know that there’s a new online game store in town.

Check out TableTopLibrary at TableTopLibrary.com - The Leading Source for RPGs and watch us grow! We think you’ll be impressed.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Heads Up! Great GMs Day Sale Going On Now! 30% Off!

Thought you missed out on all of the great GM's Day sales because you were at Gary Con? Sad because your bi-weekly payday wasn't the week of GM's Day? Well chin up folks. OBS/DrivethruRPG/RPGNOW has a 30% Off GM's Day Sale running until St. Pats Day! That's right. You still have a full week to take advantage of the savings. So, what do they have to offer the discerning OSR enthusiast? Well, here are my picks.

Let's start with North Wind Adventures, who have the entire product line for ASTONISHING SWORDSMEN & SORCERERS of HYPERBOREA at 30% off for this sale! The prices right now are great. I personally love this game. It takes the framework of Swords & Wizardry and crams if full of Appendix N goodness. If you're itching for a classic Sword & Sorcery game, or a fantasy filled with Lovecraftian weirdness, you owe it to yourself to pick this game up. Even if you don't intend to play it as written, the options in AS&SH can add a lot to your Swords & Wizardry and OD&D game. The class options alone are worth a look, and even if you don't want the core game, the adventures are fantastic and can be played on S&W with little to no conversion! I'll be picking up a few of the modules that I haven't had a chance to get yet, myself.

Next up, OSR cartographer Dyson Logos has a trio of goodness on sale right here. Another biggie, if you've missed out in the past. He has Dyson's Delves I and II as well the 2015 Dodecahedron Cartographic Review in the sale. Again, if these are things you've missed out on, now is a great time to grab them.
Last, but certainly not least is a LIST of great White Star products. Grab these while they have this smokin' sale price! White Star may be the best thing to come from Swords & Wizardry since Swords & Wizardry!

Magic Pig Media (+Chuck Thorin ) has two products that I am a fan of on sale, either taking your White Star campaign in a drastically different direction.
Have Death Ray, Will Travel If Rayguns & Rockets are what you seek, this is a neat little supplement that can easily help White Star replicate Flash Gordon and Buck Rodgers style pulp sci-fi as well as 1950's era space exploration games.

Stark Space If dystopian sci-fi is more your speed or you've been itching to run a game based on the work of Philip K. Dick or even Judge Dredd, Stark Space is where it's at.

Between Star & Void Do you like Jedi or Sith? Of course you do. Grab this for a great take on White Star's Alternat Jedi and Sith traditions.

Sisters of the Aquarian Order Speaking of orders & traditions, if you've ever wanted to drop "space witches" like the Bene Gesserit of Dune into a game, this book by +Timothy Brannan is a fantastic piece of work. It is actually written to be able to compliment Between Star & Void

White Star GM Screen Do I need to say anything else?

The Graveyard At Lus A beautiful piece of work from +Jason Paul McCartan! This is a sandbox in the stars! Featuring:
  • A comprehensive toolkit for creating space Graveyards - the result of battles between forces at war in the stars
  • Multiple tables for the creation of starship damage, system damage, and crew survivorship
  • An event table to ensure that exploration is dynamic during sandbox play
  • New rules for Cinematic and Realistic space combat
  • New starship technology including sensors and rules for targeting/repairing specific systems
  • Additional rules for space-based phenomena, space-based explosions, and boarding other starships
  • Four new alien races for your White Star RPG campaigns
  • Updated starship usage for four of the core alien races in the main game
  • Five new creatures, including The Unquiet, a horriffic form of undead
  • Use the pregenerated Graveyard At Lus for your own games, or as a guide to create your own Graveyards.
  • Worksheets and sample hexmaps at the rear of the book to help with generation of Graveyards
  • Designed for use with the White Star RPG, but easy to convert for other OSR sci-fi systems.

  • These are just my personal recommendations. There is far more material in the sale. Check it out. 30% off doesn't happen every day.

    Friday, March 4, 2016

    Dice Mechanics For Morale And Loyalty In OD&D And Swords & Wizardry

    So... another year and I am, yet again, not at Gary Con. So, here's a long overdue post, some old school gaming related material to tide me over...
    Continuing on with an idea I had for more simple dice mechanics, begun back in the Simple Dice Mechanics for Reaction Rolls post, I have come up with a system loosely based upon the one provided for troops in Swords & Spells for OD&D. You can see pages 19-20 of the aforementioned OD&D supplement to see my inspiration for this system.
    For those of us who are avid Swords & Wizardry enthusiasts, +Matt Finch presents us with this in the complete rulebook, with regards to morale:
    Certain monsters, such as mindless or undead creatures, are fearless and always fight to the death. The majority, however, will not continue to fight a hopeless battle; they will seek to retreat, flee, or surrender. The Referee decides when monsters abandon the battle and retreat, based on the situation and the monsters’ intelligence. Keep in mind that the party’s own non-player-character allies might decide to flee if their prospects of survival look grim."
    It's up to the referee. I love it. I love the simplicity. HOWEVER (yeah, you knew that was coming,) just like with the reaction rolls, sometimes I like things random. Sometimes I want the same surprise that my players get. I also don't always want to make every decision  for every creature that the players encounter. I have always used a relatively arbitrary 2d6 roll, based upon conditions, kept in my head for morale. That said, I've been feeling like it's time for a change. I've toyed with a few things, but re-reading the actual OD&D rules, including Swords & Spells, I was inspired to create what follows. Bear in mind, these rules will apply to henchmen, hirelings and troops used by the PCs just as much as they apply to enemies!
    Rules! We've Got Some Rules Around Here!
    I. Situational Examples For Rolling Morale Checks
    In Combat
    • Creature(s) drop below 50% HP
    • "Leader" of group is slain/unconscious
    • When opposed by superior magic
    • When drastically outnumbered/out "gunned"
    • "Elite" allies are slain or withdrawing from combat
    • When the tide of battle turns against the creature(s)
    Out of Combat (in the case of henchmen, hirelings and pack animals, this may result in desertion of the PCs)
    • Creature(s) not being paid/cared for properly (including any abuse)
    • Inclement conditions (anything from trap ridden dungeons to extreme weather)
    • Consistent encounters with "otherworldly," eldritch or otherwise out of the ordinary creatures (ex. common men at arms encountering undead or demons for the first time, or consistently)
    • Exposed to taboo locale, creature, power etc.
    II. The Morale Check
    When a morale check is made, roll 1d20 comparing the result to the following tables. If the result is equal to, or lower than the desired number, the check is a success. If it is higher, then the creature(s) fail the morale check and attempt to flee, in combat, or desert the situation if outside of combat.
    Base Morale Check
    Creature's HD            Check
    Below 1                         5
    1 - 2                               6
    2+ - 3                             7
    3+ - 4                             8
    4+ - 5                             9
    5+ - 6                             10
    6+ - 7                             11
    7+ - 8                             12
    8+ - 9                             13
    9+ - 10                           14
    10+ - 11                         15
    11+ - 12                         16
    12+ - 13                         17
    13+ - 14                         18
    14+ & Higher                19
    NOTE - There is always a chance of failure, except in extreme cases as determined by the Referee. If any modifiers raise morale to 20 or above, on a roll of 20 a second roll is made. If the second roll also results in a 20 the roll is failed.
    Morale Bonuses (all applicable bonuses are added to the Base Morale Check)
    Loyalty Rating 13 - 17   +1*
    Loyalty Rating 18          +2*
    Leader CHA 13+            +1*
    Strong Resolve (Dwarf,  +1
    Human etc.)
    Superior Resolve (Elf,    +2
    fanatic etc.)
    Rallied (via a leader's     +1 - +3 Referee's discretion
    speech, bard's tale etc.
    Well cared for/rested**  +1
    Trained for situation       +1
    Paladin present applies   +3
    to lawful only
    Advantage (winning       +1 - +3 Dependent upon scale of advantage
    battle etc.)

    Morale Penalties (all applicable penalties are subtracted from the Base Morale Check)

    Loyalty Rating 4-7         -1*
    Loyalty Rating 3-           -2*
    Leader CHA  7-             -1*
    Weak Resolve (weak     -1
    goblinoids etc.)
    Inferior Resolve (gob-    -2
    linoids fighting in day-
    light etc.)
    Leader flees                    -1
    Leader slain                    -2
    Shaken                            -1 - -3 Referee's discretion
    Ill cared for/tired**        -1
    Untrained in situation    -1
    Disadvantage (losing     -1 - -3 Dependent upon scale of disadvantage
    battle, wounded etc.)   

    * -These bonuses and penalties do not stack. Use the best possible bonus/penalty applicable.
    ** -cumulative over time

    Loyalty Ratings

    When a henchman, hireling or military unit is acquired a roll will be made to determine how loyal they will be to the PC. This is done the in the same manner that attribute scores are determined. Rolling 3d6.

    This can also be done, if needed for the loyalty that an army, unit etc. has toward it's leader. An example might be that the PCs want to hire away some of a local merchant's guards. A roll should be made to determine how loyal the NPCs are to their "leader" and a morale check should be made based upon this with modifiers based upon the PC's CHA and what the PC is offering.

    Similarly loyalty ratings can be applied to ideals, jobs etc. where NPCs are concerned, if the referee wants a random factor added to a situation. How much do these guards really care if the treasure they are guarding in route to the castle comes up light when they arrive? Is this thief really dedicated to his guild, or will he give up secrets signs and passwords for the right price?

    Loyalty Rating Modifiers (all applicable modifiers used to adjust the loyalty rating)

    Same race as Leader/Master   +1
    Same alignment                      +2
    Same religion                          +1
    Leader CHA 13+                    +1
    Common goal/aspiration        +1
    Leader/Objective reputable    +1
    Leader/Objective deplorable  -1
    Opposite alignment                -3
    Opposed religion                    -3
    Leader CHA 7-                      -1
    Opposed goal/aspiration        -1

    There you go. I hope that this is helpful.