Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Warriors of the Red Planet Review Round-Up

Some reviews I've seen on the interwebs for WotRP.
So this is a set of Beta rules? Really!?  Because this whole game makes me want to sit down, grab some players, some dice, give out a few rule books as gifts, and play the hell out of this game as complete campaign. This book can be used as an addition too or as a stand alone game. My bottom line on Warriors of The Red Planet? Why haven't you purchased this book and are not playing on your Mars. This book gives you the tool kit to get your own OSR Martian campaign going today! Was it worth the wait! Yes!
It is a good game. I give it a 7 bumped to an 8 because it is treading newish ground, bumped back down to a 7 because no pdf/table of contents, bumped back up to an 8 because it is a beta.
Also, @ Thomas Denmark if you are here- failing to release a product has exactly the impact on sales as it does on theft. Release the pdf. I can't even believe I have to say that in 2014. 2014, man. 2014.
Yes, yes of course I want to get the PDF out there, but there is more to the story than fears of theft. But I can't reveal all the plans for WotRP just yet, and I have other partners involved. You'll notice most reviewers are surprised it is even being called a beta - since it is really more complete and polished than a lot of OSR stuff. We are trying to cook up something very nice. But I want to get more setting material and flesh out aerial combat a bit more. Also more art. Before doing a real print run. Almost there...almost there...stay on target...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tramp Tuesday

What better way to start the new year than with one of the best pieces of D&D art ever made. This scene is just filled with great storytelling. Why is Emirikol rampaging through the city streets? Who is Emirikol? Do those city guards have a chance against him? Not likely, as they are probably a little tipsy from being in the Green Griffon inn. I never get tired of looking at this picture.

Monday, January 5, 2015

A New Year and a New Look

This new look is mostly about simplifying, and better organizing the bits on this blog. If you are viewing this through an RSS feed then you probably aren't getting to appreciate the spiffy new look. Click here and take a gander.

This year I'd like to mix things up a bit more. Many viewers of this blog are game designers, writers, and artists, both published and aspiring, as well as a lot of do-it-yourself types who've made their own self published games and books. I'd like to feature more things of interest to you. Tools to help you create your own games and adventures, interviews with professionals I know and have worked with over the years, more how-to articles, specific things like a new monster or artifact idea, as well as things of general interest.

2014 was a year of ups and downs for me. I was very glad to finally get Warriors of the Red Planet out and into your hands. Expect the PDF to be made available soon (it is probably the #1 request I get), and I'd like to get it into more venues and wider distribution this year.

Expect some new products. I've learned my lesson about promising things too early, so I'll remain vague about them for now. But there'll be some old-school goodies put into new-school formats for your enjoyment. A lot of last year was spent planning, writing, designing, and making art. This will be the year of getting this stuff out there.

I hope you had a great 2014 and will have an even better 2015! Cheers.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sea Wolf by Darlene

The Monster Cards published by TSR back in '82 seemed to be an idea way ahead of its time. A few minor changes to the format, like making them standard poker sized so they could fit card protector sheets and be organized in 3-ring binders, could have made them a real hit. As it is now they are fairly rare. I have a pretty good set of them, but since there is no numbering system on them it is hard to tell how complete the collection is.

You don't see enough art by Darlene from those days, so here is her Sea Wolf illustration for your viewing enjoyment.

FQ: Very rare
SA: Nil
#E: 3d6
SD: Nil
AC: 6 (7)
MR: Standard
MV: 30"/ /12"
IN: Average
HD: 2+2
AL: Neutral evil
%L: Nil
SZ: M (6'-7')
TT: Nil
PS: Nil
AT: 1 (3)
DM: 2d4 (1-2/ 1-2/1-4)
L/XP: II/50 + 3/hp

These savage lycanthropes have two forms. The first form is a furred mammal, porpoise-like in shape, with a wolf's head. In this form, sea wolf packs hunt the creatures of the sea, surrounding their prey and biting with their canine fangs. The second form is a wolf­ man, a man shape possessing the fur, claws, and teeth of a seawolf. (Statistics for the wolfman form are given in parentheses above.) Seawolves breathe air, and must surface periodically.

Unlike other  lycanthropes, seawolves can be hit by normal weapons. Humans taking 50% or more damage from sea wolves will contract this form of lycan­thropy. If humans are infected while on land, they will travel as fast as possible to the sea. At sea, they will disappear overboard on the next full moon.

If a sea wolf pack encounters a ship, the sea wolves will change to wolfman form and attempt to board it. Their only purpose is to slay all those aboard and sink the ship.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Nightmare Realm of Baba Yaga - Endless Quest

Since the early 80's Endless Quest books have been helping DnD fans get their DnD fix when they've got no one to play with.

Last week I alluded to this book in my post about Interstellar, Baba Yaga, and Tesseracts. This is the first Endless Quest book I read that you actually have to play it like a game with dice and a character. The only reason I got this book was that I enjoyed the adventure as it was described in Dragon #83. But it turns out this book is actually based off the 2nd edition AD&D adventure The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga.

The character sheet is really pretty clever, it does double duty as a bookmark. The character, Jerrak the bland, is a plain vanilla fighter.

Your companion in the game is Mjolnir. Mjolnir the dwarf? Seriously. I never did get over being annoyed by that name each time I read it. That was one of the few negative marks I'd give the book.

Unlink previous Endless Quest books I've read, you don't just choose your path, you often have to roll to determine results. The system has very little to do with AD&D. I think I would have preferred if it stuck closer to AD&D, rather than some new system that really isn't any more clever or better suited for the genre.

Overall the writing is fine, and the adventure quite enjoyable. It rates on the higher end of the Endless Quest books. Though I'd say it errors on the easy side, I've yet to get killed or even close to 0 HP, and have beaten the adventure each time. The author Roger E. Moore was probably my favorite Dragon magazine editor (or a close tie with Kim Mohan), and I've really enjoyed some of his other stories I've read. Particularly "A stone's throw away" a short story in Dragon magazine featuring Tasslehoff Burrfoot and Demogorgon, which was my introduction to the Dragonlance universe (also reprinted in The Magic of Krynn).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Fighting Man and a Princess of Mars

Last night I inked this drawing for Warriors of the Red Planet. It is 8.5" x 11" on bristol, inked with a Pentel brush pen. I keep meaning to draw more creatures for the monsters section, but it's just so much fun drawing princesses.