Their roots go deep my lord…

 

 

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New old books!

 

After a number of years searching for The Riddle of the OSR Clones, I’ve decided to scrap all that and go back to my original D&D infatuation – Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

It all began a while back when I sat down and started reading in my old DMG, and I realized that I have all I need as far as D&D goes right here.

I still have my old books from back in the day and a bunch of adventures on top of that. And new OSR style stuff can easily be ported over if I should want.

At this point, I’m kinda burned out on D&D-ish games and I currently run Call of Cthulhu. After that, I plan to run some Symbaroum. After that, I reckon it’s time for some true old school AD&D, warts, high Gygaxian, and all! However, I plan to start some good old world building right now! Back in the day, I didn’t have money to buy setting stuff so I put my meager wealth on rulebooks and a few adventures, which I placed in my homebrew world along with homebrew adventures. For the new world, I will start small and then expand as we go. Back then I had this world map that I tried to fill with content, which turned out to be a killer job.

 

RQ first map

The first part of my old world, heavily influenced by the RQ2 maps by William Church. This world eventually grew much bigger and as a side note I used the same setting for b/x, AD&D and RuneQuest 2.

 

Even if we began with Moldway/Cook b/x, AD&D is the game I ran the longest during those early formative years and one that I remember fondly. I worked extra selling newspapers on the weekends to afford the PH and DMG and I got the MM from my grandparents one Christmas in Gothenburg. As the books came out I got them all and over time we added UA, OA and the Survival Guides as well. And I think that all those complicated extra rules were the beginning of the end for me. The game had gotten very complicated with all those extra rule mechanics and when AD&D 2nd edition was announced I redirected my interest towards RuneQuest 3 and other games instead.

 

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Reading my brand new MM, somewhere in the 80’s…

To commemorate this historic return to AD&D after 28 years (sic!), this week I treated myself with the limited edition AD&D Premium Reprints, which arrived yesterday. These are among the last new copies in Sweden and I even had to order the Monster Manual from Germany as it is sold out over here (I believe it will arrive next week). The reprints are of awesome quality and I honestly can’t understand the critique that some people have directed towards the illustration quality – I think the illos are perfectly fine. Much crisper than the old books and fully functional in all their old-school ugliness/coolness. And definitely cheaper than the D&D 5e books. I also got myself a battered REF1 GM screen for a very reasonable price. Never had one of those as I used a home made one back in the day.

Drawing of the adventuring party by one of my players (Johan Emanuelson), just before we stopped playing AD&D. From left to right: Emir – Fighter (w/ an unhealthy interest in pretty rocks); Sven – Fighter (badass); Daag – Assassin; Jean d’Arc – Paladin (of course); Zeb – Ranger (stinky and dirty); Casmir – Thief (sneaky and always ready to betray the other PCs. After getting caught red-handed stealing from the party, he was placed in a dinghy far out at sea and haven’t been heard from since).

I plan to run the game as written, using stuff like to-hit modifications vs. differents AC:s and segments – things we didn’t use back in the day. After reading the books with adult eyes, I see that we let a lot of b/x-isms flow over to our AD&D games. The only thing I will add is some kind of simple task resolution system, preferably based on attributes.

I also like the fact that nothing new will be added to the game – no new splatbooks or whatever. This means that I can concentrate on what I have and build my own stuff from that. As for future publications from the Lazy Sod, I might switch focus from Blood & Treasure to OSRIC instead. Haven’t decided on that yet.


Final note: For those who might have noticed that my online presence has diminished greatly compared to before, I am still here. However, an increased workload and other personal issues have eaten up a lot of my spare time. I still run (and occasionally play) games. I still write gaming stuff. It’s only that I don’t post that much or publish stuff anymore. And besides the personal stuff, my interest in sharing and discussing online has petered out in direct relation to the increasingly combative, opinionated and aggressive online climate and I simply don’t have the time or the interest to argue over non-game related issues with strangers online. I have enough of struggles in real life, and I don’t need it in my escapist feed as well. It’s as simple as that.

 

 

 

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Live as you learn|Status update II

 

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Cool art by uncannyknack.deviantart.com

 

No work today, as it’s National Day here in Sweden, and I thought I might blog a little…

Following my own advice from last week’s blog post, I’ve started to prune my gaming collection, selling off games and supplements that probably never will be used at my game table.

I’ve started this before but never quite “finished”. This summer, however, I will get rid of a lot of stuff: several editions of RuneQuest (RQ3, Mongoose RQ1, maybe RQ6), most AD&D 2e stuff, a lot of OSR stuff (mainly rule books), several editions of Traveller (Traveller T4, Traveller: The New Era, MegaTraveller) + a lot of mixed RPG stuff that I’ve collected over the years.

(I’m chiefly selling these books here in Sweden, but if any of you international people are interested, I ship worldwide as well).

And it feels good to get rid of all these things! It’s Zen at it’s finest 🙂

So what will I save?

d100/BRP

  • OpenQuest 2*
  • Mongoose RuneQuest 2 (now known as Legend*, with the Glorantha stuff filed off)
  • River of Heaven*
  • Call of Cthulhu (6th and 7th editions)
  • Renaissance/Clockwork & Chivalry*
  • Basic Role-playing (Big gold book)
  • Delta Green*
  • Chaosium RuneQuest 2**

d20/D&D/OSR

  • Dungeons & Dragons 5e*
  • Castles & Crusades
  • Blood & Treasure* (the only OSR game I’ll keep)
  • AD&D 1e**

Traveller

  • Mongoose Traveller 1e*
  • 2300AD (GDW & Mongoose)
  • Cepheus Engine*

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

  • WFRP 2e
  • Zweihänder*

*= Open game system (or open-ish at least)

Between these remaining games/systems, I think I can cover most genres and playing styles.

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“Hey dudes! Look at that cool bag of holding!” -LAST WORDS OF KYSTER McSCHMUCK, HALFLING FOOTPAD

I will also keep most setting books for whatever system they were originally written for – good for stealing stuff and/or getting inspiration.

I will also keep all monster books.

You can NEVER have too many monster books 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Status update

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I feel that I have to comment my absence from blogging here on the D&D/OSR-type of games blog.

The thing is that my interest in Dungeons & Dragons and its derivative OSR/OSR+ games are at an all-time low at the moment.

When it comes to fantasy gaming, games like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Symbaroum and OpenQuest/RuneQuest has re-stolen my allegiance. And at this point, I really can’t see when I will return to the D&D/OSR fold.

 

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Symbaroum art

I had a lengthy discussion with my players about this – everyone is happy to play something other than D&D/OSR except one player. The reason? Whichever version of D&D/clone/derivative you choose, the point of the game is to do stuff in order to acquire XP so that you can level up, and the story repeats itself ad nauseam.

I’ve tried to inject intelligent story arcs, interesting NPC’s to interact with and so on, but in the end, most D&D games end up in the same loop. Which is awesome at times, but at this particular time, both I and my players feel that other games have more to offer.

At the moment we play our #1 favorite game, all categories – Call of Cthulhu, and as it is a lengthy campaign it will probably take more than a year to finish it.

Next up on the waiting list is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (or Zweihänder – haven’t decided yet).

 

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WFRP art

 

I’m also much into SF gaming at the moment – 2300AD (GDW/Mongoose) and River of Heaven (D101 Games) being my favorites (I re-acquired the urge after having seen The Expanse).

I just have to coax my players into trying that – they’re firmly in the Horror/Fantasy departments, but we used to play 2300AD back in the day, so it shouldn’t be too hard.

 

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2300AD art. Sufren-class warship w/ extended spin habitats.

On the horror front, I also hope to run the new Delta Green (Arc Dream Publishing), if for no other reason than a change of pace from classic 1920’s Call of Cthulhu. It would also be nice to take the new Call of Cthulhu 7th edition rules for a spin, maybe using Pulp Cthulhu.

 

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Not Delta Green art. But it could have been…

 

So, in conclusion, I’m still very much into RPGs. Just not D&D at the moment.

On the publishing side of things, I have two OSR adventures brewing, but progress is slow. I will, however, try to finish one (short adventure) this summer and the other (long adventure) towards the end of the year.


If you’re interested in games other than D&D/OSR, please feel welcome to check out my other blogs:

Sanity Zer∅ – Call of Cthulhu and other horror RPGs

Grit & Filth – Warhammer, Zweihänder and other RPGs in the dark fantasy department

Delta Quadrant – Science Fiction RPGs (not very active at the moment)

With a fistful of d20’s – Game session recaps for our table group (whatever RPG we’re playing at the moment)

And when the Stars Are Right, we will surely return to the worlds of dungeoneering again 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game plan for 2017 continued…

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Black Queen | Yaroslav Gerzhedovich

A while back I wrote down some thoughts on games I wanted to run during 2017 and provided a short list of those I thought we could realistically be able to play this year.

We are now playing Masks of Nyarlahotep (Call of Cthulhu 6th edition), which is a mega-length campaign that would realistically take a year or more to complete. In our youth, this wouldn’t be a problem since we played several times a week and the “recruitment process” was like:

“-Do you guys want to play D&D this afternoon?”

These days it’s an online mail/Google Docs/Texting affair to (i) set the next play date, (ii) get people to say yes or no and (iii) decide the location. Basically, you have decided about a month in advance. So much for spontaneity…

These ALC™ (adult life complications) is why I try to think of my more recent games as TV-show seasons, thus being able to break the story at a convenient point in order to be able to play something else without scrapping the previous game entirely and we can always come back to Season 2 of the game when we feel like it.

Games that I’d very much like to run like tomorrow include:

  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e/Zweihänder (The Thousand Thrones – dark fantasy)
  • Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (Ravenloft – Gothic Fantasy)
  • Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (Greyhawk – vanilla fantasy but with my own darker touch)
  • Castles & Crusades (Aihrde/Haunted Highlands – vanilla fantasy but with my own darker touch and with a nod to old AD&D)
  • River of Heaven (basically OpenQuest in space – Hard SF in the vein of The Expanse TV-show)
  • Call of Cthulhu 7th edition (to try the new system – maybe run a short adventure to get a feel of the rules)
  • Delta Green (the new edition, but also the old CoC 6th edition)
  • Achtung!Cthulhu (CoC 6th edition WW2 coolness)
  • Dark Streets (Renaissance d100 variant set in 1800s London – Victorian Horror galore)

When we wrap up Season 1 of Masks of Nyarlahotep (probably after the New York chapter that has now swelled out infinitely – I mean, I’ve got side treks and ideas that have come up due to the PCs actions, that would fill a year of play if we wanted – I will run any one of the games in italics above. It will probably be “Curse of Strahd” for 5th ed D&D, but Warhammer is a strong contender as is both Delta Green and River of Heaven (although, for those I have to write completely new adventures, so it’s easier at this point to run a published adventure, mainly due to my exponentially increasing workload).

Life was definitely easier when I was a teenager…

 

Butt-kicked by the lich lord

LICH by Elder-of-the-earth

All that energy I’ve poured into finishing my Ph.D.

All those things I’ve postponed to “after the disputation”.

All those cool ideas I’ve jotted down in Evernote or in one of my many gaming notebooks.

And now, when I’m a bona fide Doctor of Odontology, I feel like I’ve been butt-kicked by some über-lich.

No inspiration or energy whatsoever.

I guess this is something akin to GM burnout.

So I hereby declare that I am taking some creative timeout and just reload my creative batteries while adjusting to my new less-stress life, new stressed-up job and game master/blogger duties 🙂

I will concentrate on my at the table OpenQuest/Ravenloft game and my online games (as a player).

Probably, I will break this resolution like tomorrow, but it felt good to write this!