A great review of an old school rpg

From time to time you forgot your disappointment with the OSR community and you made nice discoveries. Unexpectedly, at last i stumbled upon a great and detailed review of "The Arcanum" rpg, posted at Swords & Stitchery website some days ago.

You can find it here.

If only reviews such as this one were more numerous on the blogosphere, the OSR would start becoming a serious affair. Thanks Eric for your effort.

And by the way, as far as i know this is the third review available on the internet which deals with "The Arcanum" rpg, so we welcome very much this addition.

You can find the other ones here and here.


Heroic worlds [repost] & things to come

As a gift for this Christmas i received a mint copy of "Fantastic heroes & witchery" and it triggered
in me the desire to play in the old AD&D style.

I am writing today to announce that i'll be sharing very old and never-before-seen articles about Original Dungeons & Dragons very soon on my blog, so stay tuned. New obscure gems will be revealed only here, as you should be accustomed to by now.

In the meantime, i thought it was a good idea to share -one more time- an item of paramount importance that several among the latest followers of this site may have missed.
I am referring to "Heroic worlds" by Lawrence Schick, published many many years ago.

It is still a text you can't do without, if you are really interested in the history of our hobby. Though there is more than just a game that is not reviewed within those pages, most of the obscure role-playing games are, and you won't easily find review of them anywhere else today.

I am in a total whimsical state of mind, so the updates on my blog stay sporadic.
I would have so much to say and write but can't do it now.

Schick, Lawrence - Heroic Worlds (1991).pdf - 15.5 MB


Gemini (The Dark Fantasy Roleplaying Game) [1998]

Although Gemini is classed as a Dark Fantasy roleplaying game - (It was originally published in swedish, and afterwards it was translated into english language), it would be more accurate to class it as Gothic Medieval. Packaged in a beautifully presented hardcover, Gemini had me hooked before I had even opened it to the first page.

The Sun has been veiled and the Dark Martyr released. An ancient darkness emerges from beyond the Iron Gate, waking the slumbering demons that feed on human faltering, egotism and cruelty.

Pious priests and valiant Knights Templar behold in terror as the Darkness infiltrates the Church's inner circles, seducing the sacrosanct. The powerful sovereigns of mankind stand divided, foolish enough to decline the peace offered to them by their archenemy the Church, refusing to unite with them in the struggle against the growing Darkness.

Read the rest of the review HERE.


The Lost Shrine of Kasar-Khan (1985)

Today i thought it was a good idea to share with you two rare adventures for AD&D from the past.


The Complete Dungeon Master is a series of adventures published by Beast Enterprises between 1984 and 1987. Designed by Simon Forrest and Basil Barrett under the Tortured Souls name, the modules were intended for use with any fantasy roleplaying game system. Rules are included for playing the adventures using D&D, AD&D or Runequest. Each scenario came with detailed colour floorplans of the complexes, produced by Endless Games (II), along with a DM's screen and atmospheric handouts.
The campaign is predominantly a wilderness adventure with each module featuring a 'dungeon' to explore. These take the form of ruined Dwarven complexes, with the exception of CDM4, 'The Feathered Priests', in which the action takes place in a mountaintop monastery.
Four installments were published:
Info about the adventures, with links to the descriptions, can be found here.
I'm bringing you the first two adventures today, and as you can see they are even out-of-print at Noble Knight website, check this link to see- so please don't forget to join my blog and share the links if you appreciate my work and efforts.
You can find other interesting info here .

Enjoy the first two of these modules, grabbing them HERE. and HERE.


Time to support Aquelarre RPG!

Today i happily stumbled upon the kickstarter of an english edition of Aquelarre.

I am among those who had been waiting for such an event to take place for quite a long time.

I remember reading threads on the RPG.NET forum where people asked for a readable edition in their language, because there were hints (without taking into account the interior art which is gorgeous and successfully captures and conveys a sense of dark medieval times) that this game could possibly be even better than Ars Magica in providing the true and final medieval fantasy experience, so to speak.

So i didn't linger even for an instant to participate in this kickstarter and i already became a backer.
Today's post is to highlight all this in case it had escaped your radar.

The link to the above-mentioned kickstarter is this one.


Lords of creation (1983)

From Wikipedia:

Lords of Creation was a table top role-playing game published by Avalon Hill in 1983 and 1984.[1][2] The game was written by Tom Moldvay[3][4] who also worked on the games Dungeons and Dragons and Star Frontiers.
Lords of Creation was not set in a single genre but was designed to allow players to play their characters through scenarios in settings varying from fantasy to science fiction to modern espionage. Characters gained powers and skills as they progressed, including magical abilities and high tech cybernetics. Their progression leads to demigod status, the character becoming a "Lord of Creation" with the ability to create their own pocket universe.
The game broke the fourth wall, encouraging players who had advanced their characters to Lord of Creation status to then in turn take the role of gamemaster, refereeing the game in their character's pocket universe.
The game came in a box containing the rulebook, the Book of Foes (containing statistics for creatures to fight, historical figures and examples of other Lords of Creation), and dice.
Three adventure modules were published for the game:
The Horn of Roland was an introductory adventure, the beginning of which is set in a science fiction convention and eventually leads to the Bermuda Triangle. This module also came with a pad of blank character sheets for the game.
The Yeti Sanction was set in the 1980s (modern day at the time of publication) and involved the characters tracking down the kidnapped Secretary of State. It also came with a GM screen and the scenario included expanded rules for cars, vehicle modification, vehicular combat, and chases.
Omegakron was set in the future, after a nuclear war in the city of Akron, Ohio.
Two other adventure modules were announced, The Tower of Ilium and The Mines of Voria, but were never released.


Spawn of Fashan now for everyone

It's satisfying when you can see with your own eyes that you contributed to something- today i noticed that the version of "Spawn of fashan" rpg that i distributed some time ago on this blog for the very first time - has been put online in such a way that if you make a search for the pdf version of the game using a google query the first page results that pops up immediately contains the link to the digital version.

The web site (which i am not affiliated in any way with) is called archive.4plebs.org and you'll find SOF at this link.


The World of Synnibar

The main purpose of this blog is broadening knowledge about old and obscure fantasy role-playing game, but from time to time i try to highlight games of niche which aren't strictly "fantasy" but nonetheless are hard to obtain nowadays in their original form.

I already made an exception with "Reich Star" (link here), and today i go on with another game: "The World of Synnibar".


Tortured souls #7

Here you are, one more issue of this wonderful old magazine packed with AD&D adventures and scenarios.

I already posted TS 1,3 and 4 besides this, so if someone missed the previous entries, let me know in the comment form below.


Clark Ashton Smith - rare articles & essays I

The last post of the day is about Clark Ashton Smith.

I'm beginning to post here some old essays and articles about him and his works that aren't currently on Eldritch dark website, so they are pretty rare (as everything you find on my blog, after all).

I recently bought the first paperback volume of "The Collected fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith" published by Night Shade Books this month for the first time.

They are in fact re-publishing all the series, but this time in softcover format rather than hardback format.

The Bard of Auburn has always been my main inspiration and the writer who had the biggest impact on my imagination, so from time to time you can expect posts about him on this site.

And i come back with...a collection of rare adventures for AD&D!

In some old posts on this blog i offered TS1 and TS3 (though i'm petty sure someone missed them-in that case, ask)- and since i remember these were appreciated and some readers had the desire of seeing the rest of it, i thought it was fit for my return in the blogosphere if i could provide TS material again.


Where have i been?

Hi everyone,

it's been several months since my last posting on the blog. I have been through a difficult time in writing on this website, not for lack of creativity or inspiration (there would be many topics to write about, after all), but i found the "duty" of typing very cumbersome and tiring lately, up to the point that my mind wandered and i even thought for a brief moment about setting up a youtube channel instead of a blog, something like "Old school empire"...or something similar.

I hope that this phase will prove to be surmountable and that i will have the chance to anwer to those who read this blog that "you all have been gullible in believing that the owner of this diary had decided to disappear from the scene", but in any case i thought that i had to drop you a line after three months just to highlight the fact that it is not that i lost interest in role-playing games all of a sudden.

Maybe my priorities changed? It may be- i never re-check my old posts and it is likely that if i should do it, perusing old comments of mine i could feel another me- different from my current myself- who is speaking.

Nonetheless, i was rummaging through my collection lately and i always end up with the same feeling: it would be a crime from my part not to talk. I counted that i own at least twelve old-school role-playing games that no one has or knows something about, so just for this reason i should in some way continue to spread info.

This morning i have found it somewhat easier to write a post because i haven't touched a laptop for more than one month, so when you turn it on after a long time you feel fresh and it seems as when you started writing posts as a youngster. I rode the wave to write this brief message.

What i am doing in terms of rpg playing in this period?
Well, just to reflect my current mood, i stopped dungeon mastering AD&D with my goup because we found another DM (and i am glad of that), and what i'd like to accomplish for the year to come is to find inspiration to run at least one session per month of Powers & Perils, but no more than that. That would mean that i will be dungeon mastering for no more than ten times a year, rather than once a week as i was used to until recently.

Bye for now,



Sex and skills in Melanda

As promised, i'm starting to write something as i read Melanda rpg (link).

SEX: In Melanda, one may be male or female, or do without. The choice is entirely up to the player.

BASIC SKILLS: These skills are essential to adventuring in Melanda.

For instances, crude weaponry: this indicates the experience in fighting with objects other than your fist, whether it be a broomstick, hoe, chair, or beer mug.It affects your striking capability with weapons of any type.

Basic outdoor survival and Horsemanship are among the skills that are considered essential for Melandian characters.

Then we have other skills, that are called support skills, which apparently are not as essential as those specified above, but nonetheless may equip your character with useful knowledge.

Climbing, swimming, hunting, are good examples among these.

Also, Shadowing: within cities lurk many who should be followed,observed, or tracked: here's how.

Then there's a skill which gives me the impression of the first encounter with the Melandian Weltanschauung.

Camouflage/Concealment: the ability to hide one's self or others (including objects, within reason) from normal view.
The player is required to come up with the idea of how to hide or where to conceal the subject. The ability then grants the player to do so with a greater chance of success.

Pilfering: You possess experience in removing items from the pockets,backpacks,saddle bags of others. .It also covers petty thievery from establishments (shoplifting).

Plant tending: Background in plant lore will serve as a starting point for realizing the living nature of the vegetable kingdom.In Melanda, this is more crucial than you might think for you will find personality everywhere and someday may learn that your best friend is a begonia!

Combat skills: archery, hand projectiles, two-handed weaponry, swordmanship, etc... are all available.

Your race, social status, and age determine together which and how many skills you may have acquired in your youth days. Once you reach adulthood, it is supposed that you have the opportunity to travel so you may acquire other skills that you desire.

For instance, Baltak was raised in the Baladl community. He was the son of a city guard lieutenant.This made him a member of the privileged class.

So, Baltak was exposed daily to mining and crude weaponry (scrapping is a way of life for Baladel),subterranean navigation, and (due to his father's position in the fortifications of the city) the construction and maintenance of mechanical traps and snares. As a privileged youth, he is entitled to eight additional choices of skills from those available in his community. Finally, he is entitled to six  choices as an adult.

In the next post we'll take a look at how the initial choice (race and social status) affect the next stage of character data- statistics.


Fantasy wargaming (review, June 1986)

This is the first review that i'm posting about Fantasy wargaming, it can be found in "Adventurer" issue #2 (June/July 1986).

It is a positive review, i'm going to post other comments on the game which were written at the time of its appearance.


Fantasy wargaming cover-to-cover, part I

"Fantasy wargaming" was published in 1982 and is deeply rooted in medieval history, trying to recreate the feeling of that period. It does a tremendous job in that sense, as i hope to highlight later, especially in trying to convey the feeling of the incantations available to magicians and what to speak of the cleric's faith, on which their ability to call their divinity is founded.

Together with "Chivalry & Sorcery", i know of no other vintage role-playing game so focused in detail on the medieval time period and in this respect the first lenghty part of the book is worth reading just for this fact, regardless of its usage as a fantasy game.

Fantasy wargaming (FW), is in my top ten old school fantasy rpg, and it should really be rediscovered.

Go read the introduction below and find out why the author believes that "D&D is unsatisfactory".

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...