Saturday, 13 September 2014

Review: Grandpappy Cromdar's Whizbang Zoo!

Grandpappy Cromdar's Whizbang Zoo! is a well-done and imaginative funhouse dungeon. It comes with its own little bestiary of completely new and interesting creatures, all lavishly illustrated by the author, David Lewis Johnson.

(I made sure that the review below contains only a minimal amount of spoilers regarding the adventure.)

Friday, 29 August 2014

Vikings & Valkyries - Session Ten

Session 10 (August 23, 2014)

(Back to Session 1)

Lately, I have become quite enamoured of AS&SH (see my review); I discussed it with the party and we decided to convert our campaign to AS&SH. Thus, this post both reports about the events of our last session and thoughts about the conversion and whether we appreciate the changes the new system brings to the campaign.

For continuity's sake, further reports of this campaign will still  be tagged Vikings & Valkyries, although I will, of course, add the ASSH tag, as well.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Vikings & Valkyries - Session Nine

Session 9 (July 26, 2014)

(Back to Session 1)

In which our intrepid heroes gathered information about the mysterious sorcerer who attacked their village, travelled north to personally investigate a possibly related matter, and saved a damsel in distress.

The party included the following characters:
  • Esja Waldensdottir (Hunter 2)
  • Freydís (Priestess of Freya 2)
  • Gottfried Flogasson (Prince 3)
  • Harald Greentooth (Viking 3)
  • Jormund (Sorcerer 3)

Monday, 4 August 2014

Glimpse of an Auspicious Horizon - Upcoming OSR Games and Supplements

The following are complete games or supplements that are in the works (some of them on the verge of release, some still being playtested, and some still being written). This is in no way a complete list of what people in the OSR are doing; it merely includes the stuff I am personally aware of and interested in. However, if you think I left out something important, don't hesitate to put it in the comments.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Vikings & Valkyries - Session Eight

Session 8 (March 22, 2014)

(Back to Session 1)

In which our troublemakers found the location of the legendary Sommarsverd, fought undead warriors, had a wedding, and win a spectacular battle against the forces of an unknown wizard. The player of Esya (the Huntress) was still abroad, so the party roster was the following:
  • Harald Greentooth (Viking 2), javelin-thrower and spear-wielder with an unlikely high Defense Class
  • Jormund (Sorcerer 2), cunning sorcerer
  • Möjmöj (Half-Giant 1), amazingly and gamebreakingly powerful warrior
  • Gottfried Flogasson (Prince 2), tank of the party and fiancé of Ingrid Olafsdottir
  • Freydís (Priestess of Freya 1), plotting archer-priestess

Monday, 12 May 2014

The God-Machine Chronicle - The Rules

The following list summarises the mechanical changes the new half-edition of World of Darkness (that is, The God-Machine Chronicle) has introduced; as such, it assumes familiarity with the game's previous incarnation. Note that it does not list every single rule or change in the rules but rather helps see the main differences; as such, it does not substitute the rule book proper.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Abilities Acquired Diegetically

I have been thinking about character abilities lately; more specifically, about how they are acquired. In OD&D and B/X (and most games derived from them) characters do not gain new abilities as they grow in levels (except for new spells); they only improve their already existing ones. In AD&D (and its derivations) character do gain new abilities, but they are tied to certain levels. In newer editions of the game players may often choose their characters abilities (be they feats or class abilities) off a list.

I myself do not find character building much entertaining, but mostly because it is cumbersome and it is removed from the game world (i.e. my choices as an adventurer have no impact on which abilities I might be able to take). On the other hand, it feels rewarding to being able to pick a new ability and using it as soon as the right circumstances arise.

The solution might be making almost every character ability diegetic regarding their acquirement. That is, classes could be designed with only a few key differences (permitted weapon and armour; advancement of to-hit bonuses; hit dice type; and one or two distinctive feature), and we could provide ways of gaining new abilities tied to the setting. To keep niche protection, abilities could also be tied to certain classes (that is, a character may not acquire every available ability). Also, if abilities are not equal in power, the difficulty of their acquirement can be adjusted properly.