Send your ORPGAD posts to this e-mail account only

I  received three comments so far pointing to posts already written dealing with the ORPGAD which is very near (May, 31th).

So i just set up a new mail account solely devoted to gather all your posts.
It is easier for me to handle things this way so i'm asking you to follow this instruction.

Please send to the following e-mail account all your links pointing to your post about ORPGAD, so that i can have all of them in one place and then create a post this weekend listing ALL the contributors:

thank you.


Seven days left for the first ORPGAD

Just to remind you that you still have seven (7) days left for the "Obscure rpg appreciation day" to be held on May 31th, 2013 (yes, one day more than expected).

I think there will be many posts popping up for this celebration, because a lot of bloggers have joined this project.

There will be four winners and i will give four copies of Zorin Greystarr to each one of them.

I am going to setup a new e-mail account for the occasion through which i i will get in contact with them in order to handle the shipping of the items and everything.

On the May 30th, i will purposedly create a post under which to gather all your post links.

Talk to you later,



Obscure finnish fantasy rpg interview: Miekka Ja Magia (1987)

The author, Risto J. Hieta

 -how the idea of MJM developed? did you have any influences or inspirations which lead you to the writing of the game? Was it just a burst of creativity on your part? Or were you dissatisfied with the games available at the time? Did it stem from a particular circumstance?

At that time (1980-1985)  here in Finland were no rpg's in finnish language. I was working  (part-time) as a columnist in MikroBITTI, a computer games magazine. I had read in some other magazine about rpg's and I had played much AD&D with my Intellivision video game. It sounded very interesting, and so I decided to make a paper role-playing game of my own. First we played it in our own group but some months later I thought that would be a great idea to try to sell it to my readers and people, who want to play rpg but can't read english books. So I made a finnish fantasy rpg.

-Was Dungeons & Dragons widely played in Finland at that time? If so, were you trying to deliver MJM to a niche market, or did you expect that group of players would switch to it abandoning D&D?

Not very widely, but many of those who played, were D&D -players. At that time here was no rpg's commonly in book stores. You had to know the right routes to get one copy of D&D. So I didn't think any kind of competition, I just made the first (commercial) finnish rpg for beginners.

- did you have specific aims whilst writing MJM? I mean, were you trying to achieve something specific, maybe in terms of rule mechanics or overall flavour?

Not necessarily. I tried to make the rules easy to understand and I have always encouraged people to be creative and free to make their own decisions. I don't like railroading; strictly ready made adventures, where you can only decide if you wish open the door now or later.

- in terms of mechanics (combat, magic, character creation), do you feel MJM differentiate from other fantasy rpgs of the same era? How would you describe MJM should you try to summarize it?

The rules mechanics are all made of my own. When I wrote M&M I haven't played any other tabletop rpg! M&M was a good game for beginners; simply, easy and waiting for you to create the adventures of your own.

- were there plans to publish adventures modules as well?

No. I made one compendium, Masters of M&M, but there was only some extra rules and for example rules how to use a 30-sided die in the game!

- can you tell us something about your background in the rpg field and hobby at the time of MJM writing? which rpgs were you used to playing before embarking on your project as an rpg designer? did any of these other rpgs exerted an influence over you in particular?

Some information you can find in Wikipedia (risto hieta). I have always been a keen player of different games. As a child I often made changes in the old board games. They were so dull. Then I found video games, soon after that rpg's and since that I've been playing. Board games, card games, role-playing games, small computer games etc. I have not played any big (WoW, GtA etc.) computer games for years, because they are not interesting anymore. Yes, they are beautiful, amazing and nearly as movies but in many game there is no good idea. I think, all good ideas have been found in eighties and now they just try to make them more realistic but no better in other ways.
I have made about ten rpg's to finnish markets and tens of rp-games for my own use. I have played quite a many rpg's. Some of my favourites are Vampire, Deadlands, Ars Magica, Fading Suns, FantasyHero and so on. Usually when I am the Game master, I take the world and partially the rules from the original game, but then I like to add some rules of my own, make the playing easy and  fluent and first of all: let the players decide so much as possible what their characters are going to do!

- are you still active in the rpg hobby, do you still play?

We play in my group every week. For some years we have been playing more board games instead of rpg's. It's the question of time; older people tend to be so busy... 
Just now I'm writing a small rpg named Lännen maat (western lands). It's  quite a new concept. 1 player and many gm's. You take a role of an ancient egyptian who's dead. Then (in some kind of astral form) you travel through the caverns of hell and try to get in the Halls of justice. There the egyptian Gods (other players) are waiting for you. They make you nasty questions about your life and deeds. You must give the right answers or at least try to be  sorry, if you made some bad things in your lifetime. Then you try to tell them some good things you have done during your life. At last your heart is weighed against a feather (that means, the + and - points the gods gave to you are calculated). If your heart is without sins, you may go on to golden fields. If your heart if too heavy with it's sins, a monster will come and eat you. Simple.
Idea of the game is offer some nice story-telling,  thinking and problem solving in a good company. No dice, no tables, no heavy rules.

And yes, I've been working in a fantasy game shop over 20 years now. So games are near my heart, in all ways.

- how was gaming in those years? do you feel the playing style has changed over the years?

Gaming was simplier those days. Then came all those new waves. They were and went. And now it's going back to basisc, as the popularity of Pathfinder shows. I think everybody may play just like he/she wants. I have always liked the freedom of characters and use of imagination.

-what do you think about the OSR? (old school renaissance) and the re-surfacing of old fantasy rpgs of the past to a wide audience?
As said. Whatever people like. I like it simply and free. I think, i'm kind one part of  the Old School. 

-are you going to republish MJM in some way? maybe a 2nd edition or a PDF version in english language?
It's been discussions of that, but it's not economically very clever. Just now I'm concentrating in Lännen maat. Let's see what is the next project!


Pristine (shrink wrapped!) copies of Zorin Greystarr await you on May, 30th.

First post for the ORPGAD already popped up:



First glimpse into D&D lost manuscript

I started reading today the so called "Beyond this point be dragons" manuscript, in the version that will be soon published, called "Champions of Zed".


The draft version is 195 pages long, so i put my eyes on the available classes.

There is a mystical relationship between iron and magic that few understand. When carried upon the person, iron tends to interfere with spell casting, and therefore Magic-users do not wear or carry any iron objects larger than a knife. and will often prefer even their knives made of bronze or some other non ferrous substance. 

Further, during the process of spell casting, the entire body of the caster becomes charged with the spell just prior to its release. Tight  clothing or worse, armor of any sort, can create an insulating effect that reflects back some of the spell energy creating a hazard for the caster. Because of this, Magic-users typically dress only in sandals and loose fitting robes and will not wear any type ol armor or helmets. When times permit. Magic-users will often prefer to wear nothing at all!

 Small iron objects will cause a 10% chance of failure for each spell casting. Larger iron objects, such as a shirt of chain mail or a helmet cause a 75% chance ol failure (or a miscasting) and loss ol the spell. In addition the caster may take heat damage at the discretion of the Referee. Even greater amounts of iron on the person. such as a plate mail suite, guarantee a 100% chance of spell failure.

 So there is no confusion, these restrictions do not apply to Clerics casting Clerical magic. which is a divinely granted power unconnected to iron and quite different in nature from the magic ol Magic-users. Elves, it should be noted, are able to manufacture a magical armor in which the wearer will suffer neither the chances of spell failure or heat damage indicated above.


Announcing: The Obscure fantasy rpgs appreciation day

Here we are.

Today i want to establish a new OSR celebration, to be held once a year, to which any blogger out there can participate.

After the S&W appreciation day, it is well time for a new celebration: The Obscure fantasy role-playing game appreciation day, to be held on the 30th of May of every year.

Every blogger who wish to participate in the event, will have to write a post centered around an obscure/lesser known old-school fantasy rpg, of the kind i write about here on my site (to get a rough idea)..

The post can contain anything related to that game: a rant, a deep analysis, new material, much like the posts created by enthusiasts from all over the blogosphere some days ago for the S&W appreciation day.

The game must be fantasy genre and must have been published between 1975 and 1989. These are the two basic and mandatory rules to be followed.

You have 30 days from now to make your post.



I actually have four copies to bestow. The rulebooks are free, the only cost will be for the shipping amount to physically deliver the copies.

"The Complete works of Zorin Greystar" is hard to find nowadays (last copy was on Amazon but now disappeared, and Abebooks fails to help as well). Published in 1984, it was a 120 page AD&D house rules. (you can see it in the photo below on the right side).


I will choose the four best posts among those that will be published and then send the free stuff accordingly.

So, time to share the love for obscure fantasy role-playing games of the past! You have plenty of time ahead of you to write your shining post. Good luck.

Some interesting remarks about Powers & Perils rpg

Text taken from the official P&P mailing list.

I haven't played Powers & Perils (or D&D3e for that
matter) in a while, but the new game you discuss seems
to miss target.  The single strongest asset of Powers
& Perils was melee combat realism, in my opinion.
This is where games like D&D and the new game you
discuss do not quite match Powers & Perils.
Specificly, Im talking about D&D's "To Hit" vs. Armor
Class, and the new game's "Attack Value" vs. the
opponents Armor value.  Further, damage based only on
weapon type seems overly simplistic and doesnt accound
for "critical" hits, although D&D has made some
strides to this end.  P&P's melee system is perfect;
the amount of damage is predecated on the quality
strike you inflict.  And the odds of a successful
strike are based on the the attackers ability to hit
vs. the defenders ability to avoid, where armor only
absorbs impact. 
(The following are a series of thought in no particlar
order regarding P&P, and to a lesser degree, D&D)

I have been running and/or playing roleplaying games
since about 1984.  Now, I know there are those out
there that have been around the games longer than
that, but in the scope of roleplaying games (paper,
pencil and dice), I've been around long enough.  I
have done just about every genre there is to play:
fantasy, gothic, modern warfare, and various themed

At the heart of roleplaying is the fantasy genre, so
flexible in styles. There has never been a question
that when it comes to flat out realism,
Rune"Rule"Quest seemed superior.  Unfortunately, it
was difficult to master (at least at the time it was
printed), and never really caught on.  Powers and
Perils seemed like the best mix of realism and
playability.  Dont like the rule: ignore it.  Dont
understand the rule: make it up.

I want to run P&P again, but I am lured to D&D because
of the following reason:

Monster variety & awareness (P&P can overcome this)
Spell variety & awarenss (this one is key)
Class arangements and abilities (not so key)

If only D&D used P&P's combat and experience/expertise
system (which I think is far superior, or more
preferably, P&P used D&D's spell system, I would be on
cloud nine.  Its such a pain in the ass to
create/replicate all the D&D spells.  I also am not
too keen on Law/Chaos/Balance and
Elder/Kotothi/Sidh/Shaman stuff either.  It was good
at first because it was new, but I think it has run
its course.  I am considering a non-aligned sytem
where all spells will be available to everyone, and
there is no alignments.  Not to say there is no
religion, but no Law/Chaos, etc. 

The five games that are floating in my mind now.

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