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Monday, July 31, 2017

Swords & Wizardry Metro Detroit Tap Room Tour!

I find myself with some extra time this Wednesday and Thursday night. After having a few successful nights at The Loaded Die's Board Game Night on Thursdays at Dragonmead, I have decided to an additional night, also hosted by The Loaded Die. This week I will be running my Swords & Wizardry live drop in game at both the B.Nektar Taproom on Wednesday night AND Dragonmead on Thursday night. Characters from previous games can be played in both. If we have success at B.Nektar, I will run 1-2 sessions a month there and 1-2 at Dragonmead. These games will run under the name "The Metro-Detroit Swords & Wizardry Society."

This weeks games for the Metro-Detroit Swords & Wizardry Society will be:

Wednesday 8/2/2017 at B.Nectar - 7:30-?

Thursday 8/3/2017 at Dragonmead 6:30-?

If you've been itching to play Swords & Wizardry, or any old school D&D and are in the area, stop in!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Midderlands and Why You Should Jump On This Kickstarter

Hey folks! I'm writing today to share with you a Kickstarter that I want to see fund. I'm talking about "The Midderlands" campaign from +MonkeyBlood Design (Glynn Seal). Glynn recently gave me a preview copy of the book and let me tell you, this thing hits a lot of the right spots for me, which I will talk about shortly. First, let me share some blurbs directly from the KS.
"The Midderlands is an old-school game setting with bestiary for use with old-school role-playing games. It is based on Swords & Wizardry Complete, but could easily be used with other old-school systems and even non-OSR systems such as D&D or Pathfinder.
It is a green-hued, dark-fantasy, late-middle ages, early-renaissance view through grime-smeared spectacles. The setting itself is based on an area in the middle of England near where I live called The Midlands. Many of the locations are loosely based on reality, but others are pure fantasy from an addled mind.
The setting part of the book contains something I call "game-juice". Not heavy of history and monotonous detail, but enough to get the game-juices flowing and let the game master twist and tweak as they need to in order to fit their campaign."

Now for some of the setting fluff:

"Situated in the middle of Havenland is an area known by the ancestors as the Middle Havenlands. They don’t use that name much any more, preferring to talk lazily, and skip letters.
In strange accents, often misheard and little understood by those outside of the central region - they call it “The Midderlands”, and themselves “Midfolk” or “Midderlanders”.
There are many peculiar folk that call these Midderlands home. Generally mistrusting of outsiders, they suspiciously eye strangers, close doors, bar windows and scurry in opposite directions. Maybe the area has had a troubled history and that is why the folk behave the way they do.
All that aside, there are good folk too. These folk just want to subsist peacefully and not have interference or “goings on” in their lives. Nothing is ever that simple.
As well as the people of the area, there are the places. The towns and hamlets, the woods and hills, the lakes and the rivers. Amongst all these places are stranger locales too; circles of stones, strange towers, castles and burial grounds.
Everywhere, the Midderlands is tainted by a green-hued menace that rises from the deep and affects nature and order, sometimes subtly and sometimes catastrophically. It rises from the mysterious subterranean realm known as Middergloom. Often described as hell bathed in green fire and flames. Green-tinged slime, noxious vapours, and miasmas creep upwards, amongst them viridian-coloured demons, lime-green tentacles and other malachite horrors claw their way to the surface to wreak havoc. The Lords of the land are always working to keep things at bay. The realm of Middergloom is deliberately nebulous and mysterious, and left for you to develop as needed to suit your campaign.
The vileness that lurks below taints the skies above the land too, known as The Drab. The atmosphere is a hint of green rather than blue. The colour can shift between turquoise and sickly yellow-green in a short space of time. When night comes and the Drab clears, the midfolk can see the constellations surrounded by wispy green nebulae, strange wandering stars and comets, and a single many-cratered moon.
There are many things to keep the inquisitive minds of treasure seekers amused. There are also many things to keep the treasures where they are.
Things stir in this viridian-hued landscape. Evil eyes blink and watch. Teeth and claws scratch and sharpen. Gaping maws slobber and drool.
All is not content in the Midderlands."
So, if you're still with me, it's time for the list of things I like about this, and why you should be backing this.
1. The genre. It is NOT genre fantasy/D&D. This is not going to be just "another Forgotten Realms or Middle-Earth." Not that there is anything wrong with that, but genre D&D tends to saturate retro clones. LotFP WFRP and DCC are different in the way they set themselves apart with their implied settings. This could help S&W do the same. Not being genre D&D, even if you don't use this completely as written, there will be many things to rip out of it that you won't find in any other sourcebook. The feel of this setting is very much a Weird Fiction meets D&D meets Dark Fairy Tale meets Hammer Horror. It's a good mashup.
2. The systems. This is made for my favorite system, but fits well with my other favorite system. It's not secret that I love Swords & Wizardry, and this is written for that system! I like that, it draws attention to Swords & Wizardry. That, of course, makes it easy to use with any version of D&D, but especially other OSR games. The other system that I mention is Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Weird Fantasy Role Playing. The feel and tone of The Midderlands makes this a good product if you want to run LotFP about 100 years earlier than the implied setting that +James Raggi has set up. It takes place in a fictional England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth (Elspeth in the book.) The feel and tone fit the feel and tone of the earliest LotFP products such as Death Frost Doom, People of Pembrooktonshire, No Dignity in Death and Tower of the Star Gazer. Other LotFP titles can easily work here as well, but the tone of these four in particular would work with in The Midderlands. So, if your a Swords & Wizardry fan, or an LotFP fan, this should be up your alley.
3. The setting portion is ideal, in my eyes. See, I don't have the time, as a single father, to devote to fully fleshing out a homebrew world anymore. I also don't have the time or desire to fully use a campaign as detailed as "Forgotten Realms," for example. Products that are bogged down with too much history and canon are not up my alley. Hell, I prefer modules that are a little more bare than "boxed texty." I want a setting that lays things out in a short and concise manor but gives me tons of room. Something with basic info for at the table inspiration that can easily be used in play. Judges Guild's Wilderlands comes to mind. The Midderlands hits that nail square on the head. Each location, including towns and cities give two to four paragraphs to give the referee a good dose of atmosphere and inspiration to run with, without bogging them down with minutia and canon that won't make a lick of difference at the table. If you're like me, and this is your thing, this product is definitely for you. Here are some sample pages to show you the level of detail to expect:

So, if any of these things are your thing, back The Midderlands. At the time of this post, the campaign is just under $4000 away from funding! Help make this a reality.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Swords & Wizardry Campaign At Dragonmead.

Well, after a successful week last week, I have decided to return to The Loaded Die's Board Game Night at Dragonmead in Warren, Michigan this Thursday night, July 20th. Last week we played a game of Swords & Wizardry that involved 1st level characters taking out a vampire without and real combat, a mausoleum crawl and and oracular chicken named "Jeff." You know you want to play this.

I will be running Swords & Wizardry again! Those who came last week will be able to use their characters again. This game will become an ongoing campaign in which players can drop in and out as they are able. I intend to run it twice a month at this point. So, if you like Swords & Wizardy, or good RPGs of any stripe and are in the area, come on by and roll up a character! I will be at Dragonmead not later than 7:00 PM.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Come Play Swords & Wizardry At Dragonmead Microbrewery!

So, on the local gaming scene here in Metro-Detroit, a local FLGS The Loaded Die has partnered with some local breweries to get some game nights running around town. One of these is in my own backyard (so to speak) and the microbrewery I have frequented the most. Dragonmead of Warren Michigan. I've always wanted there to be gaming at Dragonmead, as it is a somewhat historically and fantasy themed brewery.
I have spoken with Rob Otlowski, who runs the Dragonmead Game Night for The Loaded Die, and he has green lighted me to run some OSR games there. I can't personally make it every week, so I will be running once or twice a month.
The plan is to begin a Swords & Wizardry campaign that players can drop in and out of as they are available. This ongoing game will take place once a month. If I am available a second week in a month, I will run a one off, possibly on a different system. So, if you are in the area, and want to get your OSR on, come down to Dragon mead Thursday night 7/13/2017. I intend to begin by 7:30 and run until 10:30 or so. In addition, these fine folks have many board games going on!

Monday, July 10, 2017

U-Con 2017 Event/GM Registration DEADLINE! Get Your OSR On!


It's that time of year again, folks! U-Com Event Registration is open! As the OSR event coordinator I am looking for Referees, Judges and Dungeon Masters to come run old school games! U-Con will be held November 17-19, 2017 at the Marriott Ann Arbor Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest.

What qualifies as an OSR event this year?
Official D&D:
All TSR Era D&D qualifies,
AD&D 2nd Edition
Rules Cyclopedia
Other TSR Era Stuff:
Gamma World (TSR editions)
Boot Hill
Metamorphosis Alpha
Star Frontiers
Top Secret
Alternity etc.
Other Early Era RPGs/Supplements:
Early Chaosium products (RuneQuest 2nd Edition, Elfquest, Sandy Petersen era Call of Cthulhu etc)
RuneQuest (yes I know I mentioned it before)
Tunnels & Trolls (all editions)
Dragonquest (all editions)
Traveller (early editions)
Chivalry & Sorcery
Pacesetter System Games (Chill, Time Master, Crypt World etc.)
Middle Earth Role Playing (I.C.E.)
The Complete Warlock
Rapier & Dagger
Cyborg Commando (Did he really just say Cyborg Commando AGAIN?)
WEG D6 Star Wars
WEG D6 Ghostbusters
The Fantasy Trip
Pre 2000s Palladium Games (TMNT, Palladium RPG, early RIFTS etc)
If I missed your favorite, contact me and make sure, but it will likely be fine to run.
Swords & Wizardry
Labyrinth Lord
Mutant Future
Dark Dungeons
Delving Deeper
For Gold & Glory
Spellcraft & Swordplay etc.
Near Clones:
Dungeon Crawl Classics
Mutant Crawl Classics
Adventurer Conqueror King
Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea
Castles & Crusades
White Star
The Hero's Journey
The Black Hack
Adventures Dark & Deep
Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Weird Fantasy Roleplaying Game etc.
As always, this list is hardly exhaustive regarding all of the great Old School RPGs in the world. If you have one you want to run and it isn't here, just let me know. Let's make this thing huge. I want to give your favorite Old School game a place to live and breathe.  When you register and OSR game, be sure to note that it is an OSR game in the comment so that we get it registered properly.
Now, here is the official announcement from our website regarding requirements, what you get as a GM, where to submit events etc:


Gamemasters are crucial to the success of U-Con. The games and events you bring are why people show up.  Gamemasters are the creative force behind U-Con. We appreciate your willingness to contribute your time, and we wish to make your convention experience enjoyable!
This page provides information for individual and small-group gamemasters. Other places to look for information include:

Event Submission

Online Submission

To join us as a gamemaster, we need to know a few things about you and the games you want to run. We have an online event submission form which takes a few minutes to fill out. If you have multiple events, you may follow the prompts to add them before you complete your submission. Children 12 and under please have a parent or guardian fill out the form.  We ask for:
  • Your name and contact information
  • Description of the event(s)
  • Scheduling preferences, including how much time to reserve for your event(s)
We ask each gamemaster to run at least 6 hours of events in order to receive a gamemaster badge, though we make exceptions for those who organize larger events such as LARPs.
update-note-arvin61r58-64pxGamemasters who go above and beyond by running a total of 16 hours of games can earn a Play Games All Weekend Ribbon.  This ribbon grants access to events all weekend long as if you had generics.  Free ribbons will be included in the preregistration materials of those who qualify. Here is the link for registering for a gamemaster badge.
You can use our contact form to request a status update regarding your event(s) or a copy of your schedule at any time. Please also send your event corrections by the contact form. In case of errors or an incomplete submission, we will contact you. If we can’t reach you, we might not be able to accept your event, so it is important you provide us a valid email address. We will do our best to accommodate your requests regarding the schedule. Gamemasters who are running in many slots can provide us a schedule.
We will accept events before the final deadline as long as we have space. Event submission deadlines are listed on the home page of our web site.
Convention related materials can be picked up on site (as described below). We do not mail anything in advance. The gamemaster is responsible for other materials necessary to run the event (e.g. a board game or rpg characters). Any exceptions to this rule of thumb should be mentioned in your event description (e.g. “please bring 4th level characters”).