Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ghosts of Albion Black Friday...Week Sale

If you have ever wanted to try the game I call my "magnum opus", Ghosts of Albion, then now is your chance.


The PDF is on sale for just under $5 now.

From the book:

“There are things in this world that do not belong here - evil things. Supernatural creatures that are neither myth nor legend. They are, in fact, quite real. These Enemies of Humanity would like to claim the world for themselves. Yet, in every corner of the globe, there are those who stand in their way - mystical guardians who protect the primeval essence of the Earth. The soul of England - its mystic spirit - is called Albion. Throughout the centuries it has had many champions - brave men and women who fought to maintain our freedom. For many decades, one man kept Albion's enemies at bay. Using magic and intelligence, Ludlow Swift protected England from the encroaching darkness.But change is in the air—”
- From the Journal of Tamara Swift, Protector of Albion

Join this epic struggle of Humanity vs. the agents of darkness with the “Ghost’s of Albion Roleplaying Game” from Eden Studios.

Set in London at the dawn of the Victorian age, players join in the fight to keep the ever-present forces of evil at bay. Whether fighting a demon prince or even a band of infant stealing faeries, the battle wages on. Characters can join the fight as normal humans, ghosts, mysterious faeries or even wield the magic of the Protectors themselves. All against a backdrop of Victorian England with a dark supernatural undercurrent.

Based on Amber Benson and Christopher Golden’s wildly popular BBCi drama “Ghosts of Albion” and includes new material from the creators themselves, featuring new fiction and a complete, ready to run adventure.

The “Ghosts of Albion RPG” features the Eden “Cinematic Unisystem” game system, designed by award winning game designer C.J. Carella, and written by Timothy S. Brannan (previous work includes the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG”).

“Ghosts’” Other features include:

  • New rules designed to fit the grittier Victorian age, but still compatible with other Cinematic Unisystem games from Eden.
  • Rules for playing everything from a street-side flower salesgirl to ancient ghosts, and inhuman faeries all united for the cause of Humanity and Albion.
  • Expanded rules on playing Faerie, Ghost and Vampire characters.
  • Full character write-ups for William and Tamara Swift, their ghostly cohorts and the various vampires, ferals, ethereals and demons that stalk the night.
  • Expanded magical rules for magical combat and battles.

This game is my pride and joy.  If I never write another game as long as I live I will be happy because I wrote this one.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Basic Illusionist

It slipped under my radar, but +Nathan Irving quietly released his excellent Basic Illusionist a few days ago.

If you remember the Basic Illusionist was Nathan's entry into the S&W Appreciation Day back in April of 2014.  Since then the book has seen some edits and it is now available as a proper DriveThruRPG download.

I talked about this book at length back in May.  Everything I said then applies still.

I mentioned a few games it works well with (PWWO) but since that time I have also used it in conjunction with other books.

ACKS Player's Companion
The Gnomish Trickster has a number of good spells that work well for the Illusionist.  All the arcane spells tagged as (ill) for illusion would work nicely as well.

Adventures Dark and Deep
This game has both an illusionist and a mountebank classes.  Not to mention plenty of spells.

The Companion Expansion
This is another "Companion" style book for Basic-era D&D and clones and is something of a forgotten treasure.  It also has an Illusionist Class that is roughly equal with the Basic Illusionist, but the real feature of this book is the expanded spell list.  If you are looking to extend your illusionist a bit more with more spells then this is a good way to do it.

Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion
Given it's aim to emulate AD&D via the Basic D&D-like rules it is no surprise then this illusionist cleaves very close to the source material.

I stand by my assessment of this book that I made then.  This is hands down one of the best books of this type you can get and really captures what the OSR is about.  Also, if you are playing an illusionist of any sort in any of the games I have mentioned, then by all means get this book.

Dungeon Master's Guide 5th Edition

I got my copy of the 5th Edition of the Dungeon Master's Guide the other day.  I have not read through the entire book in detail yet but I have read a good deal of it.

I am prepared at this point to make the claim that this is one of the best editions of the DMG ever.

It stands up extremely well to the classic 1st Edition DMG.  It is hard to match the 1st Ed DMG in terms of content, but this new book does an extremely good job of coming close.

It is certainly better than the 2nd and 4th Ed versions.  It has an edge over the 3rd Ed version as well, but that is only because at the moment I know the 3rd ed one better and the 5th ed one seems to have more material.

Of so far it seems that 1e, 3e, and 5e are the stand outs.

What strikes me the most about the new 5th ed DMG is that it is full of options, not rules.  It gives DMs ideas on how to make rulings, much like old-school games but leaves the details up to the DM.

Honestly if you are an old-school DM and you can't find something of use in this book then you are being unnecessarily obstinate.

This book continues the trend of reading like a "Greatest Hits" of D&D.  Everything from the earliest supplements to 4th edition is here in one form or another.   Sure you won't find the table of Harlots here, but the sample dungeon (also reprinted in 3e) is here.

The Great Wheel cosmology is here along with Sigil (covering 1st and 2nd Ed) the define your own multiverse is here (3rd Ed) and places like the Feywild and Shadowfell (4e) are here.   In fact this book makes all my 4e fluff books usable again. Yeah the mechanics will need to be altered in some cases, but so fare things like DC still line up real nice.

I am looking forward to spending more time with this book.  I am also looking forward to going back to my 1st Ed DMG to compare and contrast.


Hope the start of your Holiday was good.

I took some time off last week to visit family. I was my dad's 85th birthday yesterday so we celebrated that.

Will have some new stuff for you all soon enough.

The big thing today is CyberMonday.  Lots of sales going on.
The one that might interest everyone around here is the DriveThruRPG CyberMonday sales.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

For my American readers, Happy Thanksgiving!
For everyone else, Happy Thursday!

See you.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Owl & Weasel Wednesday #19 October 1976

Issue 19 represents a shift in Owl & Weasel.  This issue has more D&D related content than any other issue so far.  The front cover also takes on a more magazine like feel. Lets see what is inside.
The editorial is noticeably longer this issue, a precursor to the long White Dwarf editorials to come.  But a fully half of it is devoted to a long and odd joke about mouse having sex with an elephant.  It was a different time.

Page 3 covers the D&D Society news.  More names but also some house rules on which race you can choose.  Basically there are new minimums for some scores to be demi-humans.  Strength for Dwarves, Dexterity, Wisdom and Intelligence for Elves and Dex for hobbits. Hobbits are still used in place of halflings at this point. Rules similar to these show up when OD&D converts over to Basic.

The new D&D supplements "Gods, Demi-gods and Heroes" and "Swords & Spells" are mentioned, but only get about a paragraph each.  I am not sure if longer reviews will appear, but that was the impression I got from the last issue.  Also paragraph on how the new issue (#3) of The Dragon is the best yet.

Page 5 revisits Ian's and Steve's fascination with American Baseball and they discuss the Avalon Hill baseball simulation game where they pit their fantasy Mets (Steven) and fantasy Red Sox (Ian).  While I have not played this game, I might check it out. I have been a life long St. Louis Cardinals fan and this sounds fun.  Plus having some of my favorite historical players like Smith, McGuire, McGee and Stan the Man on the same team with some of the better newer players would be a lot of fun.

Later on we get an overview and discussion on 3 player games.  Interesting, but not my thing.

 Maybe there is a bit of professional jealousy or just natural progression of how these things work, but O&W has some new D&D house rules on keeping time in D&D and another on magical uses in D&D.

Page 9 to 10 covers alignment in D&D.  The first of several thousand never ending discussions.  Though to be fair this is one of the first.

The "News" page is a cross between actual news and classified ads.
Back page covers items for sale at Games Workshop's store.

Owl & Weasel is not just yet a pure RPG zine, or even a pure-ish D&D one, but it's wargame and even board game roots are more in it's past than it's future.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Strange Brew Updates

Thought I would spend some time today talking about Strange Brew.

For my part (the writing) I am moving along. Maybe not as fast as I would have liked, but 12+ years of playing around with this material has given me new perspectives.
For example last night I rewrote the Hermetic Mage Prestige Class to work a little better if your initial path to it was an Alchemist or an Oracle.

Today I am on track to finish up the magic items, though that might take longer depending work and how many pages it ends up.

The art is looking great and I love what I have seen so far.  I have not seen the spells chapter in layout yet, but that is what is happening to it now.

So we are moving along. We had a team meeting a couple of weeks ago to see where all the departments are at and things are good.

I am really looking forward to getting this into your hands.  It is going to be a massive volume.