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.

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

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4 Mar

GM Day Discounts at DriveThruRPG

This week, DriveThruRPG.com and its sister site RPGNow.com are celebrating GM Day. It’s the one day (week, really) that you can suck up to your game master and give him or her some swag in the hopes that you’ll be allowed to reroll that failed saving throw. There are discounts all over the site.

The Blacksmith's Burden (4th Edition D&D)My own products are no exception. You can save on The Blacksmith’s Burden, a low-level adventure available for both Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. You can also pick up The Eternal Rest, an inn set with dozens of haunted hooks suitable for any fantasy roleplaying game.

Did the party just get TPK’d? Your GM might be trying to tell you something. Buying something as a GM Day bribe might be a way to start the new campaign off on the right foot. I’m not saying you have to or anything, but don’t act surprised when your GM makes you roll your stats 3d6 “down the line” and then tells you that she always believed the Hopeless Character rule was “too generous.”

D&D Vikings Sourcebook
That’s right. I just dropped the old “green” sourcebooks. (Kittens with battleaxes sold separately.)

And, if you are starting a new campaign, why not bust out one of the classic 2E campaign setting sourcebooks like the Vikings or the Glory of Rome? Any of these is an easy GM Day way to score a +2 circumstance bonus for your Diplomacy check to determine whether or not Fraz-Urb’luu really broke your vorpal swords or just kinda broke them… Either way, you’re probably not going to be adventuring under Castle Greyhawk again.

SPOILER: The Prince of Lies did really break your swords. Next time don’t trust every bas relief carving you meet. The sword, and soul, you save might be your own.

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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

22 Jan

Old School D&D in PDF Format

Wizards of the Coast has teamed up with my favorite folks over at DriveThruRPG.com and RPGNow.com to make a great deal of “old school” Dungeons and Dragons products available in PDF form. And I should point out that although I’m excited about the old school D&D releases, the PDF format books cover the range from Basic/Expert all the way up to 4th Edition material. So go find your favorites, even you weirdo’s who have this strange attachment to Second Edition D&D.

Behold! DnDClassics.com! (And your DriveThruRPG/RPGNow login and account are linked to this sister site already.)

Dungeons & Dragons Classics

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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

1 Nov

Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Charity Bundle

UPDATED 11/16/12: Thank you to everyone who purchased this product bundle, to all of the contributing publishers, and DriveThruRPG.com. This  bundle earned $15,827.00 for the Red Cross! Well done all!

Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Charity Bundle

The gaming community can always be counted on to react quickly to current events. Just look at the outpouring of… let’s call it, “emotion” at the revelation of the Darth Vader/Mickey Mouse merger. And that’s just responding to how we feel about imaginary catastrophes. When it comes to the “real world,” we immediately involve ourselves in a response and it is usually a great deal more positive. The folks at Roleplayers Chronicle, along with a number of publishers, have put together the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Charity Bundle and I’m happy to be a contributor to their efforts.

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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

21 Sep

Review: Frank Mentzer’s Lich Dungeon Level 1

Frank Mentzer's Lich DungeonThe OSR movement has been quietly swelling, to the point where it’s less and less quiet, really. OSR, or Old School Roleplaying (or Revival, or Renaissance, depending on who you ask) delves into the earliest dungeons and their straightforward philosophy of slay the monsters, pillage the loot, abide by the rules only as necessary, but have as much absurd fun as possible. For those who picked up and cast their dice in the 70’s, there’s nothing new about this mindset. But gamers who believe in the bipartisan Pathfinder versus 4E split as the foundation of gaming might be surprised by what they find in the origin story of “their” game and Frank Mentzer’s role. Continue reading

29 Jun

Kickstart the Weekend: Pens, Swords, and Anvils

So it’s been nearly a month since I told you how you should spend your money. Well, other than buying my stuff, anyhow. Here’s a diverse selection of interesting and noteworthy projects in the works. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s also Sangria Friday.

Artwork from the AD&D Rogue’s Gallery

AD&D Rogues Gallery
This was, hands down, the thief from my old AD&D group!

I was talking to someone after my appearance at the York Emporium about some of the “lost treasures” of the early days of D&D. Several artists have set out to recreate some of the artwork from those days (apparently, there was a “purge” conducted at certain corporate offices when space was at a premium). Jeff Dee is tackling the old Rogue’s Gallery and those images tweak my sense of nostalgia just a little. Now’s your chance to get some signed copies of those iconic images.

Clang

I’m all for games where my angry physical exertion creates a game effect! Don’t get me wrong, my first love is still the steady trigger pull on a perfectly executed rifle shot in a solid FPS. But there are times when my rage must be given form and motion. Hopefully Clang will make that a reality. Plus, I like Neal Stephenson. And the video made me laugh.

Tabletop Forge

Tabletop ForgeYup, they hit some stretch goals already so they don’t need your support. But you still might want to get in on this action. I have to say I’m pretty impressed with it, and that has a lot to do with the fact that they aren’t trying to do too much. Instead, it’s giving me the tools to create what I need without shoving me into a box with predefined actions. It’s lean and functional, and I actually like that it’s a part of Google+. (If you think Google+ is stupid, please keep thinking that. I want it to stay as nice as it is…)