Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Old School RPGs Links

Quick one today.

Links to a bunch of Old School / Retro clone RPG resources.

* Dragonsfoot,
Dragonsfoot is a site dedicated mostly to 1st Ed. AD&D.
A forum post on all the games to date, with some information.

* Vedron's Potion Shop
A blog post listing some of the same info in detail.

* RetroRoleplaying
A site for, well, Retro Roleplaying.

* Old-School Renaissance Gorup on Lulu
A collection of the Lulu merchants selling old school games.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spellcraft & Swordplay Pocket Editions

Semi-Review: Spellcraft & Swordplay Pocket Editions.

I recently purchased the “Pocket Editions” of the Spellcraft & Swordplay books from Elf Lair Games and Lulu and I wanted to share my geek joy with you all.

Spellcraft & Swordplay Core:
Monstrous Mayhem:

Disclaimer: Yes I do work for ELG and I am writing for S&S, but I am doing all of that because I was a fan. I will recuse myself about talking about the game system or mechanics (they are awesome by the way), but instead I do want to focus on the thing I had not seen until now; the actual printed books.

Briefly: Spellcraft & Swordplay is a new game inspired by the early history of the fantasy role-playing genre. Not really a retro-clone of Original D&D, it is more a divergent evolution that pays homage to that game and the feel of playing in the mid-to-late 1970s. Its advantage is that it is a complete FRPG in 140 pages (or so).

Ok enough of that. Let us talk about why I am writing this. The books themselves. I picked up the Pocket Editions from Lulu. The format for both books is 5.5” by 8.5”, or a standard (American standard I should say) sheet of printer paper. This puts them at the same size as the Original D&D books. They are perfect bound and if they are like other Lulu books I have purchased they should hold up rather well. I wouldn’t break the spines on these since that would ruin the overall appearance of the books. Speaking of which, the appearance is great.
The books, while obviously paying homage to OD&D also give nods to AD&D. Monstrous Mayhem sports a black cover with a gold-orange spine that is a reminder of the 2nd group of covers for the AD&D 1st Ed books. The art is very appropriate, though not as much as some games tend to use and it gives both books an overall style that just really “feels” old school. This is not a fancy new MP3 or DVD audio, this is that “Uriah Heep” or “Rush” album that has been sitting in your closet that you have not listened to in decades. Jason and Lulu have just provided you a new needle. The feel of this game is not “A thousand points of light” or whatever, but a grittier world, but a “warmer” one if you will. For those that might ask, this version contains no Elmore art.
The paper is nice bright white and the text even in these pocket editions is very easy to read.

While I have been doing some S&S playing and have the PDFs, these books will still be a welcome addition to my game library.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Random Bits

A quick post over coffee.

Why "The Other Side"?
When I was in high school I wrote an article for the school newspaper called The Other Side of Life, where I poked fun at some of the more odd behaviors of the human condition. Or it was a sloppy "Far Side" ripoff with no art, can't recall. In college I resurrected it as a bit in my campus newspaper. Fast forward almost 5 years and it became my very first website. It became my game site for many years. I took it down in 2003 or so after getting repeatedly hit by hackers that did not like some of my opinions on some topics.

I never used to like reading them, but now there are a few I enjoy.

GROGNARDIA Is an old school RPG blog. While I could be a Grognard; right age, same experiences in play, love 1st Ed and older rules, I can't be one since I also like newer rules like 4th Ed. But this is still a cool blog.

Sexy Witch - A blog about sexy witches throughout the years. The first blog I ever subscribed to. Oh, is anyone here really surprised by that? But the cool thing about this site is it is like a muse for me when I want to capture different styles or periods. So if I want to write about a witch for Ghosts of Albion, I go through the Victorian art. For WitchCraft I look at the new stuff. This has been a great source of inspiration for "Eldritch Witchery" too. No I don't look at the stuff from the dark ages, I look at the photos and art from 70's since that is the feel I want to invoke with EW.

I have no clue here. I like to pride myself on being on the edge tech wise, but I am not sure what I am supposed to be using Twitter for. I am not doing enough in the day with this side of my life that you need an update RIGHT NOW. Plus why would you want to read that or me post it? I think if I am going to spend time writing I'd rather do my RPG stuff, than write about writing it.

More soon...