The forgotten gem of medieval melee system

From Ebay (HERE)

I'm selling what I call the Leading Edge Games 'holy grail' – Sword's Path Glory, Books 1 and 2. This highly detailed fantasy roleplaying system is among the most nuanced and intricate ever developed! Book 1 includes pages and pages of realistic wounding effects, swing geometries, detailed movement, and other combat factors. Book 2 includes roleplaying and skills rules. No Leading Edge Games collector can afford to go without this rules set! Those programmers and game designers out there can find a lot of design ideas to inspire them or help flesh out a highly realistic video game...

These rules from 1982 and 1983 (for Book 2) are spiral bound with cardboard covers. They are in good condition, with no missing or torn pages. Book 2 has a one small marker line-out on the last page (in an advertisement) – otherwise the pages are unmarred.

You may look for years and never see these for sale (trust me on that one)! They are very rare and those who have them usually aren't selling them...

From Troll & Toad website:

At last, a realistic hand-to-hand combat system. First in a series of role-playing aids stressing accuracy, the Sword's Path Glory combat system includes these features: Simultaneous movement and combat, without turns or written orders. The effects of agility, speed, and strength on combat performance. The effects of weapon weights and designs, stabbing, slashing, or impact. The first accurate representation of armor protection, based on actual penetration tests. And, above all, over 67 anatomical hit-location tables which do away with "Hit Points" and other such arbitrary measures of how many times you have to hit the ogre to kill him.

I have my cherished copy of SPG, and i'd like to delve into it for several reasons:

- it is likely to be the most complex (fantasy) medieval melee system ever devised for a role-playing game, because of this reason alone such an item deserves to be perused and pondered.

-it belongs to the Old-school renaissance, being published in 1982- the combat is clearly aimed at being used in fantasy melee sessions.

-it is rare to obtain (125 dollars on ebay, and i've never seen another one popping up) and besides-

-it is poorly known - i should say it is OBSCURE ( i can't recall a single thread on Dragonsfoot forum or on blogs, and this is a pity in my opinion).

-even if you are not going to use it as is, portions of it may be taken and incorporated in any fantasy rpg, such as AD&D and the like.So if you are not satisfied with some aspects of combat, you can easily pick a rule from here in order to obtain more realism.

- i want to spread its knowledge, reading through its chapters thoroughly and so making them available to everyone again.

-Last, the principal reason: it is esoteric. I know some persons who are playing this, using it in their sessions. The mere fact of understanding it may be daunting, but it is rewarding as well. It opens new horizons- in a word, it is for the serious fantasy role player.


Anyone not aware of Parma Endorion?

"There is no question that Parma Endorion: Essays on Middle-earth, 3rd Edition is the premier online resource for Tolkien readers around the world. No other electronic Tolkien resource has been read by as many people as Parma Endorion. Years before the eBook was named Top Download of 2002, thousands of students in high schools and universities around the world were downloading the Parma Endorion Web sites, printing them out, citing them in research papers and dissertations, and elevating this relatively small collection of essays (about 100 printed pages) to the status of highly respected sholarly resource."



In praise of Rastan Saga

Rastan Saga was a game that i played a lot during my childhood, thanks Heaven there exists nowadays the wonderful MAME Emulator which enables people with a simple PC to play coin-op games from the eighties.

Rastan Saga is one of them, and it clearly takes inspiration from Conan character as found in the books by R.E. Howard.

I will always commend Rastan as a game, it still gives me thrills and i think anyone should try to play this once, especially if you are into fantasy.


Giving the Undead a chance

From "The Vip of gaming" issue 5 (September, 1986)

Another AD&D magic system

I can't remember where i got this, it is likely i stole it from some website some time ago. So, credit goes to the original poster (whoever you are, thanks a lot).

It was a real old-school discovery when i first saw it, dating from 1979. It comes from "The Beholder" fanzine issue number three.

From Rpggeek we learn that
"The Beholder" was a long-running and popular UK fanzine published by Guy Duke and Michael Stoner, mainly focused on D&D and AD&D, and featured new monsters, magic items, character classes, and other game aids. Occasionally there were write ups of adventures. One regular feature was that there was a D&D/AD&D scenario with a map in every issue. Although there were no publication dates printed on the early editions of The Beholder, the first issues can be placed as being published in 1979 from references in other contemporary fanzines."
The essay contained therein deals with an alternative magic system forAD&D. I am pleasantly surprised to see that it is founded on the concept of spell points.

Here it is for anyone to ponder.

The first OSR rules-heavy fantasy RPG?

Perhaps. In any case, i'm reading this game and i'm growing more and more fond of it.


"Runebearer is a free web published fantasy rpg. Dangerous and tactical Runebearer is a call back to the rules heavy rpgs of the 80's"

From a review available on RPG.NET here:

"the game seem like a lost manuscript from 1985"

I started reading it, as i said before. I must admit that i love -nay, i adore passages like this one:

Hit points indicate how much damage a character can take before being wounded, knocked unconscious and killed. In a game where combat is a common occurrence, having a lot of hit points is a good thing. In other games, having lots of hit points cannot hurt.
Hit points are figured using the following formula:

HIT = TOU + ½ STR + ½ WIL + 8

It can be downloaded for free here.


The Colour out of space

Die Farbe (The Colour) is a German feature film by Huan Vu based on HP Lovecraft’s tremendous short story The Colour Out of Space. Vu’s film was completed last year, and has been well-received at film festivals and by Lovecraft aficionados.


YOR soundtrack

I am against the use of music and songs during RPG sessions. I use them only in very particular circumstances.
RPG is founded on imagination, music is unnecessary. But for today, an exception.
This comes from another not-so-well-known fantasy/sci-fi movie, called "Yor" Here you can watch the trailer.

click on Скачать файл

"Palantir Quest" for sale

I'm selling my copy of "Palantir Quest", in NM (Near Mint) condition, never used.
MARKET PRICE: have a look here
My price: 70 US $
Shipping from Europe.

Middle Earth Roleplaying

Palantír Quest
Author: Phil Kime, Chris Kennedy
Stock #: 2009
ISBN: 1-55806-207-6
Published 1994 by Iron Crown Enterprises
Cover Price: $15.00
Page Count: 160
Type: Sourcebook / Other 2nd Edition

Cover/Jacket Text:

"They were perfect spheres, appearing when at rest to be made of solid glass or crystal deep black in hue. At smallest they were about a foot in diameter, but some, certainly the Stones of Osgiliath and Amon Sûl, were much larger and could not be lifted by one man. Originally they were placed in sites suitable to their sizes and intended uses, standing on low round tables of black marble in a central cup or depression, in which they could at need be revolved by hand. They were very heavy but perfectly smooth, and would suffer no damage if by accident or malice they were unseated and rolled off their tables. They were indeed unbreakable by any violence then controlled by men..." - Unfinished Tales

Strange portents in the great Seeing-stone of Minas Tirith give promise that one of the lost palantíri of the North has returned to the lands of Men. Can the adventurers find the legendary treasure and bring it to King Elessar? Rogues of the wilds, blizzards out of Forodwaith, and the greed in Men's hearts all conspire against them.

Palantír Quest contains an extended series of adventures - a campaign - that culminate in a perilous confrontation with a subtle and deadly foe of the Reunited Kingdoms. It's perfect for players moving up from LOR to MERP. The quest is also suitable for the experienced GM who wants exciting, detailed, linked scenarios that require no extra set-up work from him or her. All the NPCs and sites involved are fully described, and the course of the adventure is completely charted.

Palantír Quest includes:

THE HEROIC SEARCH for a palantír of the North, a quest which takes our bold adventurers from the splendor of Fourth Age Minas Tirith to the frozen expanses of Forodwaith to the tangled glades of Greenwood the Great.
HISTORY OF THE SEEING-STONES from their creation in the West to their final fate in the Middle Lands.
TRAVEL NARRATIVE - for the GM to read aloud to the players - describing in brilliant detail the sights seen by adventurers on their journeys across Endor.
FOES who march to the tune of a subtle adversary: their stats, motivations, and tactical methods.
ALLIES - bound to succor the PCs out of loyalty to King Elessar.
ADVENTURE SITES where treasure, secrets, and dangers abide - including the ruins of Annúminas, a sacred refuge of the Lossoth, the burial chamber of a forgotten King, and a smuggler's Lake-town hide away.


Making Life Hard for Magic-Users (Oct. 1981)

When my players asked about how Magic works, i clearly stated that there exists the spell point system, to forget once and for all Vancian magic. I informed them that spells might be dangerous to cast and -mainly- i stressed several times that spells cause fatigue to the magician, and that they would have to adopt the delay system.
Magic is not like playing with some toys, if you are not prepared to such and such, go play a fighter instead. Only a few can play a Magician, in AD&D or in any other game whatsoever.

A quite uncommon AD&D character sheet

I've never used this one, but i've always liked it, it was released mainly in Australia, as far as i know. Maybe some aussie OSR member can confirm, sadly i never held it in my own hands.


Reactions to Clark Ashton Smith in 1930/1940 - I

("My favorite Science Fiction Author") by G.L. Bedford, Jr.:

"My favorite science fiction author is without a doubt Clark Ashton Smith. Although of late he has been writing weird stories and the fact that he has written more weird stories than he has science-fiction does not deter me from saying that he is one of the best science-fiction authors alive today. He told me that he liked to write weird stories better, so you can see that if he ever devoted his entire energy to the writing of science-fiction stories he would be far ahead of the so-called leaders of science-fiction today. Clark Ashton Smith has a wonderful vocabulary and knows how to use it. It is always worth the price of the magazine to read one of his rich, fascinating stories."

Wonder stories, June 1935

(Supposedly Smith read this, and was pleased by it).


One of the loveliest Silmarillion cover i've ever seen

A gloomy day for the OSR blogosphere

Today Austrodavicus from There's dungeons down under announced he will close his blog once and (probably) for all.
I am aware of the fact that his very health is involved in this decision, so i cannot disagree with his choice. I hope he may recover as soon as possible.

I think this is a big loss in the OSR blogosphere and Austrodavicus will be greatly missed. I have been following his personal blog for some time now, and his was one of those few blogs that i particularly enjoyed to visit and ponder, i don't know why. It's like when you find someone who has a frame of mind similar to yours, you can't explain that particular feeling of pleasure you have when you stumble upon a blog that you prefer over a dozen others.

Some blogs catch (capture) the eye, others don't.

It would be great if Austrodavicus left the content online, without deleting anything. I can understand his need of withdraw from the scene, but i think that maybe the articles could remain floating in cyberspace.

How many of us will be concerned with this disappearance? I don't know, perhaps many are too fixed on gigantic blogs such as Grognardia, this is the opportunity to realize there are (seemingly) "smaller" realities which come and go, and sometimes leave us orphaned.

How a Magician should look like

More or less like this


The Spellcaster's Bible (1979)

Today it's about time to talk about a very old supplement for Dungeons & Dragons, called "The Spellcaster's Bible".
It was written in 1979. I am not interested at all in the spells-list, which in fact is a mere and boring list. D&D has never been able to properly convey what Magic is and should be, so the only important thing is to be found in the first four pages, namely the Spell point system and Spell power. Concepts and philosophies ahead of their time (by the way there is another obscure method of magic from 1979 but-later)...



You did not understand Clark Ashton Smith

"Please, dear editor, will you kindly enlighten our abysmal ignorance, as to the brand of dope Clark Ashton Smith uses? "The Eternal World" is certainly an excellent revelation of a hashish guzzler's mental processes - of all the imbecilic drive!!! His manipulation of superfluous verbiage, while qualifying him perfectly for a position as secretary of an insane asylum, certainly has no place in a magazine of scientific fiction. Understand, we're not crabbing about the use of apt or colourful expressions when they serve to strenghten and clarify description - it's those wise birds who think they can string a lot of weird, onomatopoetic adjectives and hackneyed phrases together, and dish out the resultant drool as pure science, that get us".

C. Ferry and B. Rogers, of Frankford, Michigan, published in the December 1933 issue of "Wonder Stories"


H.P. Lovecraft rare VHS

Hosted by Henry L. P. Beckwith, Jr., author of the 1979 book Lovecraft’s Providence & Adjacent Parts, this biography of horror writer H. P. Lovecraft features locations in Providence, Rhode Island that shaped his life and works. Also shown are photographs of Lovecraft and his family, as well as numerous Lovecraft manuscripts and books. Beckwith was granted unprecedented access to the Lovecraft collection at the John Hay Library of Brown University, and he hauls out plenty of manuscript material, including the original draft of "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward".

Released on VHS at the time of the Lovecraft Centennial in 1990 and sold almost exclusively at horror conventions such as the NecronomiCon, this is a hard one to find these days. Favourite Haunts was reviewed (none too favourably) by Kevin Patrickson in the Spring 1991 issue of Lovecraft Studies, who mostly complained that modern vehicles and background sounds detracted from the antiquarian aspect of the walking tour. At a remove of 20 years the film seems far better: a thoughtful video from a genuine old-school Lovecraft scholar, rather than an "Outsider" seeking to cash in on Lovecraft's recent ascendancy in the canon of American letters.
Favourite.Haunts.1991.VHSRIP.XViD-CG.avi (699.96 Mb)


I do not think this exists

Paragon rpg was advertised on the pages of Dragon magazine during 1986. The ad is a bit "bizarre", so maybe it was a hoax, but i still don't know. Whatever the case, if a draft of these rules actually exist somewhere, i would love to put my eyes on them- if it is a real product, i believe it would be one of the most elusive titles in rpg history.


The Dark eye

dark eye
adult image host

If you want to forget Dungeons & Dragons here is your chance. "The Dark eye" RPG is the english translation of the famous Das Schwarze Auge. That is, the most successful role playing game on the German market, which outselled D&D.

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