Thursday, November 15, 2012

More WotC Reprints and New Material

So you might have seen all of this in the blogs already.  If not here are some links.
Here are the links to the WotC pages for the upcoming products,
This is awesome of course.     The A-series even comes with an all new A0 introduction adventure.
My thoughts on these.

Unearthed Arcana. For me nothing draws a cleaner line between the "Generation 1" old-schoolers and the "Generation 2" old-schoolers than their opinions on Unearthed Arcana. Generation 1 hates it. Generation 2 loves it.

I loved Unearthed Arcana.  Not just because it gave me new classes and spells but it meant that this wonderful game I had been playing will continue to grow.  So yeah I loved the goofy Barbarian and Cavalier. I didn't care that the Paladin I had been playing all this time now suddenly was changed, I thought it was great.

I like how this new version looks.  I will agree though with the Generation 1 old-schoolers on one point.  The original UA had terrible binding.  This one can only be an improvement and I understand that it includes all the errata.

The A Series is an odd one for me.   I never sought out to collect it, never really considered it much back in the day except when going through it and my new Assassin character was killed.  It is also the one I am looking forward to the most.  For starters it will be perfect for my kids new AD&D game.  Secondly and the most important is it will include the first new AD&D adventure to be published by WotC since they took over TSR.  They are supporting an edition other the current version.  I don't care how jaded you are this is a big deal.  Yes, of course it is about making money. It is ALWAYS about making money, but they are doing it in a way that supports old-school gaming.

The S Series was one of my favorite series of modules.  I have many copies of the original adventures and even some I have for all 4 editions of D&D/AD&D.  I even have the softcover "Super  module" they released years ago. I went and had it bound into a hard cover. So while I am happy about this one, I am less excited about getting it.   I bet I still will though.  My kids have already gone though half of the S modules though.

Again I will say if you are  an "OSR" publisher I would be getting your A game ready.  We seem to be in an odd lame-duck period between 4e and 5e.  Maybe WotC (who has nothing else so far on their calendar) is going to fill this with 1e products.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

White Dwarf #39

White Dwarf #39 is another watershed issue for the series and for me in particular.  Now typically I remember this as Issue 40 and always think of Issue 40 on as the time I began to get WD regularly.  Up to this point my exposure to White Dwarf was either via photocopy or reading it through friends.  
So this is going to be well covered ground for me.  Maybe not easily remembered ground, but I have certainly been here before.  This will continue till around the 60s or 70s.

Ok let's get going.  What does March 1983 give us?  Well we have the new White Dwarf logo for starters.  This will be with us for the entire run of White Dwarf, well at least the entire run I plan on doing here (issue 100 or so).

The editorial is about all these changes and some coming up for 1983 including a new comic.  Frankly I have been happy with the fact that there haven't been any comics in WD.  We will see.

Up first is Fiend Factory with more non-human Deities.  We get the gods of the Aarakocra,  Bodachs (from WD 17), Bullywugs,   Crabmen, Desert Raiders, and Dire Corbies. Not a bad collection really.

Open Box has a bunch of reviews.  Marcus Rowland gives a mixed set of reviews to the first four D&D Endless Quest books (ranging 4 to 7/10).   Nicholas JR Dougan gives a 7/10 to Flying Buffalo's Citybook 1. He likes the book for ideas  but bemoans the lack of ready to use city.  He particularly likes the adventure ideas.  Both FASA and GDW offer a couple of books each for Traveller. Bob McWilliams gives the FASA books, Rescue on Galetea and the Trail of the Sky Raiders a 6/10 and 8/10 respectively.  Andy Slack gives the more detail to the two GD books, Prison Planet and Night of Conquest/Divine Intervention. He gives them an overall score of 5/10 and 9/10 respectively.

Dave Morris gives us a new bit for Runequest, Runeblades.  There is a lot of really cool swords here and I think we used a number of these.  For us back in 83 playing our goofy hybrid of D&D and AD&D, Runequest was "serious fucking gaming" and anything from Runequest immediately had the air of being cool to us.

An Introduction to Traveller is back and this issue Andy Slack talks about Campaigns.   I liked this article. I had my own ideas about what to do in Traveller and it usually had something more Star Treky in mind.

Marcus L. Rowland gives us something new for White Dwarf and in RPG mags in general, a new adventure for Champions.  Slayground is designed for 3-5 player characters.   The adventure is only 4 pages and I really have nothing to compare it to, but I really like seeing it here.  Love to see more than just normal D&D stuff.

Starbase is up next with Starship Security  for Traveller.  Not bad, I don't think I have ever really read it before.

In a treat we get another adventure.  This time it is one for AD&D.  The Daughters of Danu using the monsters from the Fiend Factory from WD #37 and #38.  Three pages, it is a good little adventure for a side quest.

Letters this month has a couple of letters focusing on the Necromancer debate.

A new feature is Critical Mass covers books in sci-fi and fantasy.  This issue they cover the potential 1982 Hugo winners.  Among my faves covered are Robert A. Heinlein's "Friday" and "2010" by Arthur C. Clarke.

Lew Pulsipher has more information on how to play monsters. Great stuff for the time really, but something I think we all kinda do now.  OR at least I do.

There are some Runequest monsters that can be easily adapted to D&D, which is what I would do at the time.  They are good as they are to be honest.

Treasure Chest has three new NPCs for AD&D including a neat 1/2 caveman, 1/2 frost giant barbarian like guy. Not sure how that guy came about, but he is a neat guy.

We end with a few pages of ads.

We are now in the time period I consider more "my" proper time frame of White Dwarf.  I am really looking forward to the 40s.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

LL + MF + The Witch = ????

I 'd still love to do my Adventure Time (Labyrinth Lord + Mutant Future) mashup game sometime.
It would be a blast.

Plus I think I have found the perfect muse in adding my Witch class to the mix (since we have seen a lot of witches in Adventure time already).

Witchcraft by ~EllisSummer on deviantART

How awesome is that!  Maybe it's just me, but I think it is awesome.

Another Review for the Witch

Woo hoo!

David Brawley over at Tower of the Archmage just put up his review of my new book The Witch.
Have a look:

He gives it a solid 4 out of 5 on DriveThruRPG as well!

We should be seeing a print copy soon.  But to tide you over don't forget the PDF is still available.

Thanks so much!!

Confession Time: Gamma World

I have a dark confession to make.

I have never played Gamma World.  Not even once.
I have barley even cracked open one of the books.

It hasn't been out of lack of want, more it has never been in the same place I have been for any amount of time.  Also, and this is the biggest deal, I don't own a copy of any of the 7 editions of the game.  Though if I were to play it I would want to play the original first edition (pictured).

Yes I know I have easy access to Mutant Future, it's not exactly the same thing is it.  Very. very close yes, but not the same.

Part of the problem, for me at least, came from the fact that GW was always the 70s view of technology and by the time I had thought about playing it it was the mid 80s.   We knew then (and even when it was written really) that mutations don't happen like that.
Trouble is I let that get in the way of what could have been a great time with a game.

It struck me that the time is right for a Gamma World like game again.  Post-Apoc (with or without Zombies) is fashionable again.  Hunger Games, Revolution and even specials on History Channel are all about what to do during and after The End.

What has has really got me thinking about  shows like the obviously D&D and Gamma World influenced "Adventure Time".  I did a couple of posts on the show a while back featuring the stars Finn the Human and Jake the Dog.

Honestly if I were to ever play a "Gamma World" style game it would most likely be Mutant Future.  1st Edition Gamma World typically goes for a lot of money on eBay whereas Mutant Future can be had for under $25.  But still. Having a copy of this would make for a nice addition to my game collection.  I'll have to keep looking and find one at a good price.  I do enjoy the challenge of finding an out of print game.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Blast from the Past: Sun Priest

I was cruising around the blogs today and I discovered a link to a old Netbook released back in 1998.

Back then the members of the online mailing list ADND-L got together and collaborated on a netbook of new material for the then reigning edition of D&D, AD&D 2nd Ed.  They took their project one step further and had an introduction written by none other than Gary Gygax himself.

The book was called "Unearthed Arcania" (note the spelling).
You can grab a copy here:
or here: (zipped Word 97  format).

One of the contributors was none other than yours truly.
My contribution was a new Priest "Kit" (read sub-class), the Sun Priest.

The Sun Priest shares some DNA with the Witch.  As I was working on the Witch class I also had plenty of research and material left over.  I also created a Healer class, a Necromancer variant and the Sun Priest.

I think I should update it someday for either Basic Era (BFRPG, LL) or Advanced Era (OSRIC, LL-AE) play.

I had mentioned my Sun Priests very, very briefly before.   I think it might be fun to revisit the class with 14+ more years of perspective.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Zatannurday: Hero Clix 2!!

I didn't forget!  I was waiting on this.

A while back I posted some Zatanna Heroclix.
Well now thanks to reader and fellow blogger Justin Isaac look what I got in the mail today!

Wish I could take a clearer picture, but it is the only Zatanna I didn't have!
And here is the "enjoy!" envelope it came in

She looks great with my others.

And with my other witches!

Thanks so much Justin for making my Zatannurday perfect!
Check out his blog (with cool ass supers) at the Halls of the Nephilim,