Friday, July 13, 2018

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and the Hall of Judgment

The latest from Douglas Code is a kickstarter for an adventure for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy called the Hall of Judgment. It is an adaptation and revision of his earlier adventure Lost Hall of Tyr for the GURPS system. It is noteworthy because in part it is an experiment by SJ Games to see how 3rd party publisher support will be received by the fans of GURPS and how it will work out in the long run.

So far the kickstarter has been a success and it is now in it's last 24 hours. If you are a fan of GURPS and fantasy I recommend checking it out. Doug has a passion for Viking myth and legend and it shows in his previous works giving them a distinct feel. He knows GURPS inside and out and the mechanics side of the adventure will be solid. Finally he mastered the tricky art of making full color layouts and his books are a treat to read.




Thursday, June 28, 2018

It goes where? An idea seed for a science fiction campaign.

In the late 21st century, humanity has a tentative foothold within the solar system. There are thousands of humans living off planet scattered throughout the Earth-Moon system and a few transitory outposts on Mars and various near earth asteroids.

On July 6th 2089, observatories and astronomical satellites start tracking a high energy source inbound into the Solar system. Within 5 years it was clear that it was decelerating and would soon enter solar orbit. Over a dozen probes were developed and launched. Finally in 2098, the object entered into a solar orbit between Neptune and Uranus and ceased emitting energy. What remained was a small localized area where gravity was distorted. Barely detectable as stars and planets moved behind the object and then suddenly shifted back to their normal position once they emerged from behind.

The first probes reached the object in May of 2101, what they detected amazed everybody, it was a mechanism of alien manufacture creating an opening to a stable Rosen-Einstein bridge or wormhole several hundred meters in diameter. Upon further investigation the first transit was attempted and when the probe return and its data was analyzed the results were electrifying. It was not just a bridge through space but time as well.

The other end of the wormhole was in the orbit around Earth, Earth of 65 million years ago.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Recommendations for the original Wilderlands of High Fantasy

On a forum I was asked for a list of what original Judges Guild supplements were useful for a Wilderlands campaign. So I made a list along with my recommendations.  I may have missed one or two.

You can read the details on each of these at the Acaeum's excellent reference site.

The City States
City State of the Invincible Overlord
City State of the World Emperor (includes Map 6)
Modron
Tarantis

The Wilderlands of High Fantasy
Wilderlands of High Fantasy
Map 6 is found in CSWE
Fantastic Wilderlands Beyonde
Wilderlands of the Magic Realm
Wilderlands of the Fantastic Reaches


The Wilderness Series
Mines of Custalcon
Spies of Lightelf
Pirates of Hagrost
Shield Maidens of Sea Rune
Witches Court Marshes

Adventures
Book of Treasure Maps
Book of Treasure Maps II
Book of Treasure Maps III
Lost Man's Trail
Prey of Darkness
Tegel Manor

City State Adventures
Glory Hole Dwarven Mine
Wraith Overlord: Terror Beneath the City State

Supplements
City State Warfare
Fantastic Personalities
Sea Steeds & Wave Riders
Wondrous Weapons
Ready Ref Sheets

Pegasus Magazine
Each had a Wilderlands supplement/adventure

Dungeoneer/Journal
Some issues had Wilderlands info.

For a novice looking at the originals my recommendation is to get them in the following order:

  • CSIO
  • Wilderlands of High Fantasy
  • Ready Ref Sheets
  • Book of Treasure Maps
  • Mines of Custalon
  • Tegal Manor
  • Glory Hole Dwarven Mine

If you find them useful and fun then get the rest of the Wilderlands Maps, and whatever else interests you.
The hardest and most expensive to find will be the City State of the World Emperor which has Map Six CSWE,. Luckily my revised Fantastic Wilderlands Beyonde will be out in a few weeks and will Map Six in it.



Friday, June 1, 2018

The OSR is what you want it to be!

Just keep in mind when you read about what the OSR ought to be or ought to be doing that the widespread use of open content under the OGL means that the OSR is always what YOU think it is. Not what me or anybody else thinks.

 That the tools are there for you to show how the rest of us are doing it wrong (in a good way). Coupled with the low barriers enabled by digital technology, you can share as little or as much as you want in the matter you think best. Whether it is a comment, a text file, a full color hardback or god help you a boxed set.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Choose your own sci-fi stock art.

I like supporting other OSR projects. The more people we have doing this stuff successfully helps to keep this a thriving hobby with enthusiastic gamers. As many if you with my works know, I am partial to black and white line art and James Shield excels at drawing in that style. I was very pleased with what I got from his last kickstarter and now he has new one, Do It Yourself Science Fiction Stock Art.

This time the focus is on science fiction but what especially neat is that it is also a tool kit for making your own. You can see a preview of it in the image below and he explains it on his kickstarter page.


While the focus of the OSR has been traditionally on fantasy, but there is now a wealth of science fiction material built on the ideas behind classic DnD (White Star, Stars without Number, etc). Having resources like James' DiY Stock Art will make it take much easier for projects to get done and in our hands.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The first five maps and guidebook for the Wilderlands of High Fantasy is available for sale!


I am pleased to announce the release of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy. This is one of four products covering the eighteen maps that encompasses the Judges Guild Wilderlands setting. This product covers five of the maps as detailed below. The four sets combined will cover a region equal in size to Western Europe providing years and decades of adventuring for you and your group.

Unlike many setting products, the Wilderlands sketches out the overview and history in light detail. Then presents a comprehensive list of local detail in a compact format that is customizable. This eliminates much of the tedious work involved in creating a setting and allows the referee to focus on the campaign and the grand adventures the players face as their characters.

This is presented at two products both in PDF and Print on Demand.


The first product is a 24 page guidebook containing a brief overview of and commentary on the first five maps of the Wilderlands along with lists covering details on Villages, Castles, Lairs, Ruins, and Islands.

Included with the Guidebook are letter sized blank map of the Wilderlands that can be used to take notes during a campaign. A PDF with the map legend. A letter size black and white guide to the placement of each of the 18 maps within the Wilderlands.

Finally a giant sized preliminary version of the master map that I used to crop the individual maps from. With the right printer this can be printed as a full scale map 5 feet wide and 8 feet long. With the PDF you can selectively copy out regions as complete maps that overlap the borders of the 18 maps. After the release of the final set of maps this file will be updated as a layered PDF allowing for custom maps of the Wilderlands to be copied or created.




The second product is a set of five maps: City-State of the Invincible Overlord, Barbarian Altanis, Valley of the Ancients, Tarantis, and Valon. When ordered via print on the demand they are printed in two overlapping halves each on a 12" by 18" poster. In addition each map is presented as a 22" by 17" PDF file.

The maps have been redrawn from the original in a color style. Instead of the distinct symbols of the original maps, terrain has been drawn as a  transparent fill and vegetation represented by colored areas. This allows both terrain and vegetation to overlap. Representing more accurately the complexity and diversity of the Wilderland's geography.

This release will be followed by the Fantastic Wilderlands Beyonde in a few weeks covering the next five maps of the Wilderlands.

A preview PDF

The Wilderlands of High Fantasy Guidebook

The Wilderlands of High Fantasy Color Map




Friday, April 27, 2018

Dragon Heresy Kickstarter

My friend, Douglas Cole of Gaming Ballistic is in the final 48 hours of his kickstarter  for his Dragon Heresy Introductory Set.

Dragon Heresy is a Dnd 5e variant that is a gritter take on the fifth edition mechanics. In addition the setting he created for his RPG has an interesting take on Norse mythology and culture.

Currently I am running an Adventures in Middle Earth campaign. The experience had lead me to conclude that Mearls and his crew did an excellent job of designing an RPG that can be adapted, with tweaks, to radically different settings and sub-genres. Dragon Heresy is another excellent example of using that flexibility.

Head on over to the kickstarter and listen to Doug's pitch and see if it something that interests you.