Friday, November 7, 2014

Kickstart Your Weekend: Barrel Rider Games

James Spahn over at Barrel Rider Games has been quietly releasing a steady stream of work for Labyrinth Lord and Old-School Games for a couple of years now.

I have posted a number of times about BRG over the years and reviewed a lot of his work.

Where BRG really shines is getting out PDFs of a single class for a buck.   You don't have to buy everything they make, but there is certainly something for everyone.

So it is my pleasure to let you all know about BRG's fund-raising drive to get some new equipment to put out the Class Compendium.  Promising to over 200 pages (and I expect it will be more than that even) the BRG Class Compendium will feature some of class from his catalog with plenty of updates to some of the earlier ones.

He is asking for a modest $550 via Indiegogo.  Which honestly I feel is reasonable.  You are making an investment in his company and getting nice book of classes in return.  Also this means the BRG can keep doing what they have been doing the best; short sweet pdfs for a buck.

I think this is a good cause.  You spend some money, you get a book.

You can also find him on the web at:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Owl & Weasel Wednesday #16 May 1976

It's Spring of 1976.  I remember my parents putting up this red, white and blue wallpaper in my room around this time.  It had all sorts of colonial pictures with it including one of the declaration of Independence.  Why is this important? It isn't!  But it was what I remember from the time.
The time is May 1976 and the magazine is Owl & Weasel #16.

Well the BIG news of this issue is of course the overview/review of Supplement III Eldritch Wizardry.  EW is, without a doubt one of the most influential books introduced to me back in the days of my early game playing.   Depsite the fact that all this material later became part of AD&D, the fact that at one time additional material was a revelation to me.  Druids, Demons, Psionics, Artifacts.  Really. It was everything I loved about AD&D in a "Basic" D&D package.  It is no wonder then that I own 4 copies today.   My favorite part of this?  The last paragraph where Ian Livingstone mentions that there is so much in this book that Gygax and Blume can't possibly dream up more material for the game!

The Page 2 Editorial talks about how Ian and Steve will be going to America the first week of July till September. They plan to visit the TSR headquarters.  There is also talk of the UK's first D&D Con when they get back.  I find this interesting because I wrote a Chill adventure that begins on a TransAtlantic Flight from London to New York in July 1976.   I think for my own amusement I might place Steve and Ian on that same flight and they can interact briefly with the characters!

Page 3 has more on EW and the D&D Society news.

Page 4 to 5 has some book reviews on game books.   They are written though as if all the readers are already familiar with the books.   Was this an artifact of the time, the place or the hobby?  Not sure.

Letters.  Hmmm.  One looks sincere and legit, the others all look like fakes/bad attempts at humor.  We occasionally saw these in White Dwarf as well.

Pages 6 and 7 have a true oddity for me.  "Friday in Dundee" is a basic sort of RPG where players can take on the persona of nearly any sort of character; though only a couple of characters are provided.  You are given some basic information and you are supposed to collect Benefit Points.  I failed to mention that this game was made in Japan by a company that usually makes surgery equipment.  I did some looking and I can't find anything on it.   Anyone know anything more?

Moving on there are articles of "Competitive" D&D, which has some interesting ideas, but I see why it never caught on.

In other news, Avon Hill buys the American game company 3M gaining the rights to Speed Circuit, Feudal, Stocks & Bonds among others.

So this issue goes to show that once again the past is not really as far back as I sometimes thought it was.  A lot of what passes for RPG history or lore is often shrouded in some mysterious "bygone age".  It wasn't, not really.  Once D&D was brand new and people felt three supplements were enough.   Actually, I have run into people like that this week.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Link roundup

I have had a few links from the last week of Halloween and wanted to do something with each one, but instead here they are en masse.

10 Sites to Make Your Halloween Games Better
Over at EN World Charles Akins of Dyvers Campaign has written another guest post of 10 RPG sites you can use to make your Halloween/Horror gaming better.  Yours truly gets picked at #5.

Witches on TV and in Books
Of course this time of years gives us a lot of witch related posts.

Television, Toil and Trouble: The Witches Of TV
A pretty cool article on all the witches on TV now and some notable ones from the past.  I appreciate that the leading photo is of Willow and Tara.

Why Witches on TV Spell Trouble in Real Life
A silly article (not silly funny, but silly not very intelligent) about witches and wish fulfillment. It is like the editors of Time said "we need an article on witches, it's Halloween.  Make it snappy, with references to TV shows but make it topical with references to terrorism."

11 Witches From Fiction Who Embody What Feminism Really Means
An interesting look into witches from literature.

While Children Sleep, Their Stuffed Teddy Bears Fight Away Horrors Under Their Beds [Short Film]
A cool little short film that is a good representation of what I was trying to do with "Kids Stuff: Bogeys, Imaginary Friends and Childhood Terrors".

Plus I updated my own Witch Links page with several witch related blog posts.

Monday, November 3, 2014

What Am I Working On and Why You Won't See Me Much

There might be a dramatic drop in my postings here for November.

I have two projects I need to finish up.  Strange Brew and Darwin's Guide.
I have two projects I am starting that I can't talk about yet that I need to get started on.

I have already decided I am going to take a long break from Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, all of them) and focus on hard core writing, editing and developing.

So if you need me, email is the best. If it is an emergency then my phone.  If you don't have my phone number then it really can't be that big of an emergency!

I still have some reviews I want to get out, so it is not going to silent running all month.

Halloween Head Count

Checking on my numbers for my October Movie Challenges.

39 Total Watched,  26 New

35 Total Watched, 30 New

33 Total Watched, 24 New

31 Total Watched, 24 New.

Not too bad really.
Got in some horror-related gaming in too.  No new releases; Eldritch Witchery came out in 2013 and The Witch in 2012.  But still a fun month.

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