14 Jun

Review of Never Ask Directions

Never Ask Directions - 5EMerric Blackman over at Merric’s Musings took some time to review my sample sidetrek Never Ask Directions that I’ve converted to 5E. The PDF is available through DriveThruRPG as a pay-what-you-want offering. Merric was complimentary but he also pointed out some areas that I agree need some improvement. As with his review of another of my 5E offerings, The Blacksmith’s Burden, I think he’s on the money and the feedback should lead to better products in the future.

Take some time to check out his site as he’s been taking a look at 5E products from a number of publishers. I appreciate the fact that he takes the time for the “little guys” and provides useful critiques that are valuable to consumers and publishers alike.

Head over to Merric’s Musings and see what he had to say about Never Ask Directions.

23 Feb

Positive Review of The Blacksmith’s Burden

Blacksmiths Burden - 5E coverIt’s always nice when someone cares enough to say something about what you’ve written. Better still when they have good things to say. Merric B. took the time to review my short sidetrek adventure, The Blacksmith’s Burden, over on his website. Feedback, all feedback, is a good thing. He had a couple of concerns, which I’m already prepared to address, but had some pretty positive stuff to say. And, while you’re there, he’s got some good stuff going on so browse around a little. Continue reading

22 Feb

Dungeons & Dragons PDF Recommendations

Just in case you’re last minute like I am, run over to DriveThruRPG and hunt down all of those classic Dungeons & Dragons adventures and sourcebooks and scoop them up at a discount. Wizards of the Coast and DTRPG are celebrating WotC’s two-year anniversary with the site. People had been clamoring for PDFs of Dungeons & Dragons material for a long time and eventually WotC realized that maybe they should get in on that action.

DNDSale-Banner-DTRPG

Here’s a look at just a few of my favorites and some of the products that really influenced me.

Continue reading

27 Feb

Reading List – Voices From Chernobyl

My typical reading selections rarely fall in the “uplifting” category. In talking to fellow gamers and writers I’ve also learned that I read far less so-called “genre” fiction than what is typical for someone who often enjoys writing in the science fiction and fantasy fields. Instead, I spend a lot of time on non-fiction and “not genre fiction.” (As usual, I don’t want to get into my thoughts about labels for fear of digressing too far.)

Voices from ChernobylI just finished Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster and, if you have any doubt at all, this book does not fall in the “uplifting” category either. I find uplifting and moving to be two very different things. It might occasionally have an optimistic moment, at least relative to what surrounds them, the book is more notable for such a raw presentation of human emotions and vivid look at human perspectives, not only about disaster and tragedy, but also about self-delusion and grim necessities. Continue reading

15 Feb

Review: James M. Ward’s Tower of the Scarlet Wizard

Eldritch Enterprises LogoTower of the Scarlet Wizard is an adventure put out by Eldritch Enterprises’ to be adapted to any fantasy setting. Written by James M. Ward, the writer of Dark Outpost (previously reviewed here), this adventure offers the unique twist of allowing a PC to inherit the dungeon after it is explored.

Eldritch Enterprises once again serves up an old-school, open-ended adventure that fits easily into any campaign and adapts to nearly any rules set you might use. It calls for “three or more players of moderate experience” on the cover and threatens a 60% fatality rating, although, at a glance, I think it is certainly more forgiving than several other Eldritch Enterprises offerings. Like all their products, it is a very easy matter to further increase or decrease the difficulty of the adventure and Tower of the Scarlet Wizard offers a number of encounters that are not based on combat alone. (Be warned, there might be some spoilers ahead.) Continue reading

6 Feb

Review: Tim Kask’s Curse of the Weaver Queen

Eldritch Enterprises LogoCurse of the Weaver Queen is Eldritch Enterprises’ latest adventure meant to be adapted to any fantasy setting. Written by Tim Kask, the writer of the Snakeriders of the Aradondo (reviewed here in January), Curse of the Weaver Queen holds to his philosophy of constructing an adventure around the fact that every group has a different style of play. The GM who runs it is expected to tweak it to the tastes of his gaming group.

A dungeon crawl that embraces Eldritch Enterprises’ typical old-school feel, Curse of the Weaver Queen can be integrated into virtually any campaign with one or two simple hooks. The cover identifies it as “a remarkably deadly adventure for 5 – 7 players of moderate level” and I would agree with that assessment. I do believe it can easily be modified, based on the system you adapt it to fit, to adjust for more or fewer players, but the GM should keep the danger level in mind (especially when reducing the number of players). Continue reading

11 Jan

Review: Tim Kask’s Snakeriders of the Aradondo

Eldritch Enterprises LogoEldritch Enterprises has put out quite a few adventures meant to be adapted to whatever system you please. I’ve previously taken a look at Frank Mentzer’s Lich Dungeon Level 1 and also James M. Wards and Christopher Clark’s science fiction adventure, Dark Outpost. Tim Kask’s fantasy adventure Snakeriders of the Aradondo embraces the same old-school approach found in those other works. Those are all names you should know if you know your RPG history.

Better still, history is still being made as the OSR continues to develop and gather support with publications like the upcoming Gygax Magazine. But I digress… Continue reading

9 Oct

Dark Outpost – Review

Dark OutpostSystem-neutral material for roleplaying games has recently caught my interest. Eldritch Entertainment’s science fiction adventure, Dark Outpost, is a system generic product that I noticed on the heels of Frank Mentzer’s Lich Dungeon. Once again, Eldritch Entertainment engages some names that might ring familiar to gamers of yore. Written by James M. Ward and Christopher Clark, it certainly carries with it the same “old school” approach seen in Lich Dungeon.

A brief warning, there might be some spoilers ahead. If you’re usually on the crowded side of the GM’s screen, just forward this link to your GM. But, if you’re here looking for hints to survival, your character deserves the cold, airless fate he or she suffers. Continue reading

5 Oct

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game Battle Report

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game Cover ArtOn the heels of my review of the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game, I had the opportunity to take in a battle between the Rebels and the Empire while visiting Dropzone Games. Aside from its simple yet engaging mechanics, one of the lures of the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game is that you can steadily expand on your force with additional ships and, for the game I observed, the players fielded both the new Y-Wing Fighter and the TIE Advanced. Continue reading

1 Oct

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game Review at Dropzone Games

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game Cover ArtI did not get to play the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game at GenCon this year. And I left the convention covered in shame for it. After all, I’m a big fan of Fantasy Flight Games, and the look and feel of the game was everything I love about tabletop games: elegant mechanics, cool Star Wars miniatures, and a self-contained game that did not require (the admittedly cool) extras in order to play. Continue reading