Showing posts with label basic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label basic. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Mail Call: Old-School Essentials Classic and Advanced

Been on an Old-School Essentials bender now for a while. It has pretty much taken over as my OSR game of choice. So I was quite pleased when my OSE boxed sets came in the mail this past week.

They are quite great.

Old-School Essentials Boxed Sets


Old-School Essentials Classic Rules

Old-School Essentials Advanced Rules

Let's take a look at that Old-School Essentials Product Catalogue 2023. Cause I have to admit that hit me right in the nostalgia.

Old-School Essentials Product Catalogue 2023

Old-School Essentials Product Catalogue 2023

Old-School Essentials Product Catalogue 2023

It reminds of the old "Gateway to Adventure" ones we got in the various Basic Sets and it is the size of the old Kenner Star Wars ones.

2023 Gateway to Adventure

It is reasonable to ask why did I get this when a.) I have a bunch of OSE material already and b.) It is really the same game I bought 40 years ago?

Well, I am running my War of the Witch Queens game and my oldest is running his own OSE/BX game now in addition to his 5e games.

Old-School Essentials Family

Old-School Essentials Family

Old-School Essentials Family

These will get a lot of use.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Old-School Essentials Class Compendium

Ok, this is not a product you can buy, but one made out of necessity.

Old-School Essentials

My War of the Witch Queens is moving along rather nicely, to be honest. I would like to get more games in but that is the way things go when you kids are older and have lives of their own.  My oldest, for example, has his own games going. For his annual all-weekend-long Halloween horror game-athon he is going to be running his first Old-School Essentials game.

That, plus War of the Witch Queens, has prompted me to collect all the various classes and class information from all the OSE (and related) products I have.

So I gathered up all my OSE books, all my copies of Carcaa Crawler, some Complete Vivimancer, Wormskin, Octhorrorfest, my witch and warlock, and more and printed them all out.

OSE Classes

OSE Classes

OSE Classes

OSE Classes

OSE Classes

OSE Classes

OSE Classes

OSE Classes

OSE Classes

OSE Classes

OSE Classes

OSE Classes

OSE Classes

OSE Classes

I also added all the spells and some equipment. Everything the player needs to start their characters. 

It is a nice addition to my growing collection of OSE material.  It will be a "table" copy along with my spiral-bound classic rules.

OSE Collection


Saturday, October 1, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: Octhorrorfest and Lost Classes: The Arnesonian Classes

Octhorrorfest
It is the first of October! It is the month of Halloween finally.  I am going to start this auspicious night with a treat from last year, Appendix N's Octhorrorfest, and some more.  For this month I am going to focus largely on D&D in general and material for my War of the Witch Queens in particular.

As always I will be following my rules for these reviews.

Octhorrorfest!

PDF. 50 pages. Color covers. Black & white interior art.

This book is designed for Old-School Essentials, so that is already a plus in my mind.

It is filled with some wonderful art that is both creepy and evocative. 

We begin with an introduction from author R.J. Thompson about Halloween, and all the things that make Halloween great.  

There is a bit on Samhain (with correct pronunciation) and All Hallows with ideas of how to add them to your game. This includes what classes can do and the effects on magic. 

There are new classes and since this is OSE there are race-as-classes.  The classes include The Jack-o-Kin racial class and race for Advanced OSE. A jack-o-lantern race is a really interesting idea. Maybe not one I would play myself, but I am sure I would use it as an NPC race.

The next class is the Witch. Ah. Now we are talking. The class is a Wisdom-based spellcaster. They are fairly close to the Cleric class. There are a lot of interesting features to this class like healing, cure poison, and my favorite the Dying Curse. 

There is also a Witch Hunter class. A fighter type that also can turn undead and detect evil.  Essentially like a less devout paladin.

Magic of Hallows covers the spells for the witch. There are some ones that are familiar from OSE or SRD sources and four new spells.  This section also covers Ritual Spell Casting which is adapted from the old d20 Relics & Rituals converted to OSE. It is rather good to be honest.  There are 11 "new" spells. They are familiar spells but re-presented as ritual spells.

There is a section on Curing Vampirism, Demons and Exorcism.  Another section on Turning the creatures of the Outer Dark (like Undead Turning). 

Up next, around page 40, we get some movie monsters. 

Since this Appendix N Entertainment, we get an Appendix N with new readings, music, and film. 

In its 50 pages we get a lot of fun material. Well worth the price.

Lost Classes: The Arnesonian Classes
Lost Classes: The Arnesonian Classes

PDF. 30 pages. Black & white covers and interior art.

This one is not really a "Halloween" issue, but given I am doing Octhorrorfest I figure I would add this one is as well. Plus, it is for Old-School Essentials so that is reason enough.

Plus I think today is the last day of Dave Arneson week, so there is that.

This book covers what is called the Arnesonian Classes. This includes the Merchant and the Sage, as standard classes.  We also get the Beastfolk. This includes Chimpanzee Folk and Duck Folk.  We get both Basic race-as-class versions and Advanced races.

I have to admit I want to make a Chimpanzee Sage. I think that would be rather fun.

This little book is a great addition to OSE.

Both books are great fun.


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween



Monday, September 26, 2022

Monstrous Mondays: Twilight Fables (5e & OSR)

Taking a break from Pathfinder for a bit on this first Monstrous Monday of Fall 2022 to do something a little darker.  There is a chill in the air here in Chicago. I have a flannel shirt on and my mood ever shifts more and more to Halloween.  A Halloween bestiary would be nice and thankfully Izegrim Creations has just the thing I need.

Twilight Fables

Twilight Fables

I swear the Kickstarter for this had just ended and I got my DriveThruRPG notification that the hardcovers were available. 

So for this I Monstrous Monday, I want to talk about both the 5e and OSR versions of this book, the Print on Demand and PDF versions, plus all the other material that makes up this line. 

OSR and 5e

Overview

Both books are huge volumes at 336 pages (5e) and 326 pages (OSR) each. The covers are full color as is all the interior art.  And the art is fantastic.  

Twilight Fables books

Twilight Fables books

Both books have a solid 5e aesthetic to them; colorful art and backgrounds, text describing the creature and its place in the environment/land/myths, and followed by a stat block.

art

The 5e book features a standard-looking 5e stat block, the OSR one is largely a modified Basic-era stat block. It includes everything you would expect along with descending and ascending AC, an entry for THAC0, and XP. The art for both books is the same.  There is a good reason for this, the OSR version was added on a little bit later in the Kickstarter.  The 5e version, with art, was done before the kickstart began (minus some edits I am told) so adding on the OSR version was a matter of adding the new stat blocks.  One nitpick there are listings for "DCs" in the OSR version for magic item creation (more on that later). I would have preferred something that felt a little more pre-2000.

Now in most situations, I would fear translation errors, but the author Roderic Waibel had already developed that very successful Chromatic Dungeons RPG (reviewed here) which is solid OSR.  So I know he knows OSR.  My only gripe is kinda wanted the OSR stat blocks to look as nice as the 5e ones!  But that is only a gripe for people that own both.

Like many of Waibel's publications we get nice sidebar discussions from the intelligent and rather civilized Gnoll "Fleabag." It is a very nice touch (I have done something similar with my 'From the Journal of Larina Nix') and it gives these (and his other books) character. 

Regardless of which one you get (get both!) you are in for a treat.

I grabbed both and will be using the OSR version in my Old-School Essentials game. My oldest grabbed the 5e version and is using it in his weekly 5e game. So far he says it is great and he loves all the different sorts of monsters it offers.

The Fables

The name of the book is Twilight Fables.  So you can expect that these are monsters from various myths, legends, and tales. And you would be 100% correct. Waibel has done his reading and there are a lot of great creatures here.  Even ones that might be familiar get new life and feel "new."  

For example, I mentioned one of my favorites, the Basajaun who appears in three different monster books. 

statblocks

Each one is a little different and yet each one 'feels' right. Perfect for DMs that want a familiar, yet different creature.

The creatures largely come from the myths, legends, and folklore of Europe. This is also what is advertised and leads to the logical assumption of Twilight Fables of other lands for future volumes. One for Africa, one for Asia, one for the Americas, all are possible.

In addition to the monsters, there are various legendary NPCs like Baba Yaga, Beowulf, Cailleach Beira, Cú Chulainn, Guy of Warwick, King Arthur, Little Red Riding Hood, Merlin, Morgan Le Fay, Robin Hood, Scáthach, Queen Úna of Faerie, and Väinämöinen. So yeah. Lots.

Cú Chulainn

There is a section on Mythological Treasures and Magic items. This includes some rules on how to make magic items as well. It is a very nice value add.  You saw this sort of thing with the old Mayfair "Fantastic Treasures" and something you see Troll Lord Games do with their Monster and Treasure books.

Both books also have rules for new character species (wanna play a Pech? You can!) and for 5e there are class options such as Warlock patrons and cleric domains.

There is even a small adventure (20 pages) to introduce these new monsters. 

The Monsters

All that is gravy.  The real meat here are the monsters.

In both cases, the monsters take up full pages. This includes the background and descriptions, the stat blocks, and whatever else is involved with this particular creature such as "Lore & Rumors", any special treasures, habitat, behaviors, and more.  In some cases, the material bleeds over to another entry, but not so much as to be an issue. 

There are, by my count, nearly 220 monsters here ranging in HD from 1-1 to 30+ (OSR) and CR 1/8 to 30 (5e).  So plenty of creatures to challenge any level of characters.

I have to say these are great books and well worth grabbing for your games, 5e or OSR, or both.  There is a lot of material here and plenty to keep many groups engaged for some time.

Extras

When you get the digital copy from DriveThruRPG you also get a bunch of tokens that can be printed and used in f2f table games or digitally online. It is another value add this game offers. There is also an RTF version of the book, a printer-friendly/no background version, and maps for the included adventure.

If you love monsters like I do then this is a must-buy.

Twilight Fables 5eTwilight Fables OSR


Tuesday, September 6, 2022

I'll Take a Pumpkin Spice, A5 size

You have asked and I serve them up. It's September, it's almost the start of Autumn and that means Pumpkin Spice Season!

The Basic Witch: The Pumpkin Spice Witch Tradition

Pumpkin Spice Witch, Letter and A5

And I am so pleased with it!

Much like my Craft of the Wise book this one now comes in softcover and hardcover options. 

A5 Witch books

The Softcover version is Letter-sized, 8.5" x 11".  This works with your B/X, BECMI, or other OSR books.

The Hardcover is A5 sized, 148mm X 210mm, (8.3" x 5.8").  This is the same size as the OSE books and roughly the same size as my Warlock book (which is Digest size 6"x9").

The content and art are the same for each, so the layout is different. Despite the size, this is still designed largely for Labyrinth Lord; so 20 character levels, and 8 spell levels. Though obviously it can be used with any "Basic Era" sort of game.

A5 Books

Pumpkin Spice Books

Same contents, different layout

With only 55 days left till Halloween order yours now and enjoy the magic of Fall!

Friday, August 26, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: Wayne Robert's O5E Classes

Wayne Robert's O5E Warlock
Going a little bit old-school and a little bit new-school tonight.

Earlier in the year Wayne Robert released what he was calling O5E classes. His first batch includes the Warlock and Sorcerer for Old School Essentials.

Wayne Robert's O5E Warlock

PDF. 8 pages. 1 cover, 1 title, 2 blank, 1 back page. 3 pages of content. $1.50.

Presently this version does not have art. There was a version before this that did have art, but the author made the choice to remove it for now.

The class is done up in OSE style. There are obvious nods to the 5e Warlock, which is by design.  The warlock does have spells and which spell list you use will depend on the warlock's pact.  Four Patrons are detailed, The Archfiend, The Faerie Regent, The Whisperer, and the Primordial. 

In truth a very serviceable class. Though some new, Warlock-only spells, would have been a nice add.


Wayne Robert's O5E Sorcerer
Wayne Robert's O5E Sorcerer

PDF. 8 pages. 1 cover, 1 title, 2 blank, 1 back page. 3 pages of content. $1.50.

Presently this version does not have art. There was a version before this that did have art, but the author made the choice to remove it for now.

The class is done up in OSE style. Much like his warlock book this one borrows from the OGC Sorcerer (though there is no OGL page here). 

Sorcerer's gain their magic via their sorcerous bloodlines. These are Celestial, Chaos, Dragon, and Serpent. So a nice little switch-up. 

They cast magic-user spells and gain access to meta-magic powers.  Each bloodline also gains some powers.

A really neat application of the Sorcerer for OSE or B/X.


Of the two I rather like the Sorcerer a little bit more.


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween




 

Thursday, August 25, 2022

#RPGaDAY2022 Day 25 - Where has the character been?

I suppose for the purposes of this #RPGaDay I should have started out with just one character.  But where is the fun in that?

So the Werper family began in Mystara, Glantri to be exact. I know clerics in Glantri. But when I moved over to AD&D 1st Ed my DM and I merged our worlds (me Mystara, him Oerth) Glantri changed a bit.  Since then Johan the III was trapped in Ravenloft and thought to be lost. Johan the IV was the first ever to travel to the Forgotten Realms. All of them have been to Abyss to fight demons, their sworn enemies and Johan II even ended up in London in the 1980s.

Likewise, Larina has been EVERYWHERE.

But I love a good plane-hopping adventure.

War of the Witch Queens will introduce my kids to my favorite playground, the Multi-verse. They have already been Krynn, but didn't know it yet.


RPGaDAY2022

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

#RPGaDAY2022 Day 23 - What situation are they currently in?

Going off of yesterday's post here is what is happening. 

Phygor is "exploring the world." That is code for I don't know what I am doing yet.

Johan is still in the Demonweb with the other D&D 5 characters.

The OSE characters are all NPCs in the "War of the Witch Queens."

But let's talk about my AD&D Second Ed characters, Sinéad and Nida.  These characters are still rather new for me.  The stats I posted are not the ones I am playing. They are still both 1st level, and they are not in the same game. Well. At least for now.

We are trying out all different editions of D&D here and these will be my return to AD&D 2nd Ed AND my first real introduction to the Forgotten Realms.

Of the two I have only played Nida once. Sinéad is 1st level, but I have not taken her on any adventures yet.  Right now there is not a lot to tell them apart save that Sinéad is a half-elf and might be the daughter of my last AD&D 1st ed character.  Not sure about that one just yet. Though I do think I am getting a grasp on who they might be.

Nida
Nida, Witch of Rashemen

Sinéad
Sinéad, half-elf Bard/Wizard

The current situation right now is me needing to move them forward. 


RPGaDAY2022