Category Archives: Geek Materialism

Magic World Is Out!

Magic World CoverWell, in PDF anyway. The print version won’t be released until the middle of March, but print’s dead anyway, right? 🙂

Magic World, in case you haven’t been paying attention, is the new BRP-based dark fantasy game from Chaosium. It’s heavily based on the Elric!/Stormbringer 5e rules which, in my opinion, are some of the finest fantasy rules that have ever been released by anyone anywhere anytime. So this is pretty much a good thing.

A friend of mine has signed on to help with developing some of the supplemental materials that Chaosium is going to release a little further down the road, and I was actually able to do just a wee bit of playtesting* on MW (which I couldn’t really talk about until now) and I think the folks involved have done quality work on this game. If you’re looking for a fantasy RPG and don’t want the hassle of picking and choosing among the options in the BRP Big Gold Book, MW is exactly what you need.

Somewhat coincidentally, I’ll be joining said friend’s actual MW campaign in progress this coming weekend. I’ll try to get off my lazy duff and let y’all know how it goes.

* If any of you wind up playing MW and choose to play an elf, you can thank me personally for their awesome starting Dodge skill. I made the case that, based on their description in the game, that they should begin as quite skilled dodgers. That I’m wearing my LA Dodgers hat as I type this (I’m greatly anticipating the 2013 MLB season, but that’s a different aspect of my nerditude that I won’t dwell on here) is probably just due to the vagaries of chance.

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OD&D Reprint, Other Stuff

OD&D Reprint BoxSo we’ve all heard by now that Wizards of the Coast is planning on reprinting the OD&D rules in what looks to be a pretty sweet boxed set. Some folks are uninterested. Some folks are concerned about the price. Some folks seem angry. Still others are rather chuffed. In other words, unique individuals are having their own unique reactions.

You can count me in the last group, though. For even though I own a copy of the Original Collectors Edition of the white box (as seen previously), I don’t own any of the Supplements in print form (I did get everything in PDF back when they were available through RPGNow) and I am an absolute sucker for a nice boxed set. And when that box is actual wood, well, sign me up! If nothing else, it’ll be fun to have this alongside the wooden box I sprung extra for in the Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls Kickstarter.

Go ahead and call me a consumer whore if you want to. But I will happily (and luckily for me) note that the release date on this is just after my birthday. So I get to call it my precious as a birthday present and not feel quite so bad about dropping the cash on it.

In Other News

The awesome G-Man slid me a new BoL adventure a little while back and, though I’ve been remiss in reviewing it for him (and posting it for y’all) my schedule has cleared up at last and, with a little bit of luck, it should see the light of day by the weekend. Feel free to yell at me if it doesn’t 🙂

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Echo Chamber News Flash: D&D PDFs Are Back

In case you somehow miss the news in all of the other thousands of places where it has been (or will be) announced… PDFs of old D&D material (including AD&D, AD&D 2e, and more) are now available for legal purchase from RPGNow.

Apparently the titles that are currently available are only the first wave of releases and (many) more will be coming, so if you don’t see the thing you’re looking for, don’t despair just yet.

Now then, if you’l excuse me, I think I need to wander off and acquire a copy of Against The Giants.

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And The Trolls Shall Be Born Again…

Wherein your humble scribe mentions a Kickstarer and presents a couple of characters and a monster for T&T 7.5.

By now you’ve undoubtedly heard about the Kickstarter for the new Deluxe Tunnels & Tolls. If not, click that link and learn all you could ever want to know about this project. There’s also more information available in this press release on the official dT&T blog.

It turns out that all of my dreams and plans for using any version of T&T last year fell through spectacularly (if by “fell through” I mean “I didn’t do jack to make them happen”), and I don’t imagine I’m going to do much with any version of T&T this year, either. But I am backing the Kickstarter because, well, I like T&T and enjoy the concept of seeing it live on – especially with the hand of Liz Danforth being involved once again.

So, being in a Trollish frame of mind at the moment, I thought I’d throw out a couple of T&T 7.5 characters and a monster for them to face off against. Go nuts with these if you have any inclination to do so. Otherwise, move along quietly and I promise to return this blog to its now expected, if still somewhat saddening, silence*.

Xal Balaq / Rogue / Elf / 2
STR 8 CON 5 DEX 14 SPD 18
INT 21 WIZ 8 LK 20 CHR 28

Height 6′ 4″ Weight 151 lbs.

Adventure Points 0
Combat Adds +15

Talents Roguery (+4)
Languages Elvish, Common, Dwarven, Hobb, Orc, Troll, and so on…
Spells Knock Knock

Cutlass (3+3), Kukri (2+5), Cuirboille (7)

Vorzt / Warrior / Human / 1
STR 16 CON 12 DEX 14 SPD 9
INT 7 WIZ 9 LK 11 CHR 13

Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 lbs.

Adventure Points 0
Combat Adds +7

Talents Gambling (Luck +4)
Languages Common

War Hammer (5+1), Throwing Axe (3+2), Scale Mail (16), Kite Shield (12)

Plague Troll

Monster Rating: 60
Combat Dice: 7d6+30
Special Damage: 1/3 – Plague Trolls fight with a terrifying ferocity, doing 3 points of Spite damage per 6 rolled in combat; 6/Plague Infection – In rare cases, Plague Trolls can communicate their disease to non-trolls. Those who become infected suffer an immediate loss of 1/2 of their remaining CON. Plague victims take an additional 2 CON damage each hour (unless an L3SR on CON is made) until they expire. Natural healing does not replenish any CON lost to the disease. Only a casting of Healing Feeling will cure the Troll Plague.
Special Abilities: Plague Trolls are desiccated and lack significant meat on their bones – thus cutting, slashing and stabbing weapons are less effective against them. Treat Plague Trolls as having 4 points worth of armor against these types of weapons. Unlike healthy trolls, Plague Trolls do not regenerate damage – their regenerative properties are too busy keeping them alive to heal them of any damage within the timeframe of a combat.

Plague Trolls are trolls that have contracted a hideous wasting disease yet refuse to die. They look like regular trolls that have shriveled and shrunken away to nearly skeletal creatures. They are quite mad and easily enraged – the disease has accelerated their metabolisms, making them far quicker than healthy trolls – and are known to actively seek death.


*For those who care, I’m still not feeling the mad drive to create RPG stuff, though I am back on track with running my Dungeon Crawl Classics game. And the big Call of Cthulhu game I was in most of the past year and a half is starting back up shortly. And it looks like I’ll be joining up with what should be a long-term BRP fantasy game in the near future, too. So I’m gaming, just not writing.

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Echo Chamber News Flash: Starships & Spacemen Crowdfunding

In case you’ve missed it elsewhere…

Carry Out Missions in the Final Frontier!

The IndieGoGo project to fund the Starships & Spacemen Second Edition rule book is now live!

Starships & Spacemen was first released back in 1978, only the second science fiction RPG ever to be released.

This second edition of the classic game is compatible with Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future. The best elements of the first edition have been kept–the classes and subclasses, the excellent starship rules, and the space adventuring rules. Classes, races, and abilities have been made more in line with Labyrinth Lord.

This second edition has elements that let you customize the style of play whether you prefer an “original series” feel, a “next generation” feel, or something in between.

You won’t be bogged down by an over-complicated and detailed galaxy. That’s one of the difficulties sometimes when trying to play in an established licensed universe. With Starships & Spacemen get just enough information to get going, and plenty of advice for designing your galaxy. Galactic space will be yours to customize.

Much like in Labyrinth Lord, in Starships & Spacemen you design your milieu. This is adventuring in space, not History 101!

Pledging at any level gives you access to the playtest draft and the playtest forums!

Because we all need something else to spend money on, right?

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Shameless eBay Auction Plug: Vintage RuneQuest Stuff

Well, I’m at it again. I’ve got three auctions up at eBay for some vintage RuneQuest stuff that’s generally in quite good shape. Take a look if you’re interested in such things:

These auctions all wind down on Saturday afternoon, so there’s plenty of time to weigh your interest in ’em.

In other news, I have once again found myself in a gaming funk, though I’ll admit that the new Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG has piqued my interest. It’s just too bad that I’m pretty sure most of my players won’t be similarly interested in it. But that’s ok. I’ll eventually grow weary of thinking about games that won’t get played and revert my attention to those that might.

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Shameless eBay Auction Plug: Battledroids!

BattledroidsHowdy, everyone. It occurred to me this morning that some of y’all might be interested in (or know someone who would be) this eBay auction I’ve got up for a very cherry copy of the original Battledroids boxed set.

If you’re not familiar with Battledroids, it’s the original version of Battletech, that Macross-esque miniatures wargame that FASA used to produce back in the olden days. When they first released the game it was indeed called “Battledroids” but then a certain purveyor of science fiction films got all chippy with them over the use of the word “droid” and forced them to change the name to Battletech. So this is something of a rarity.

If you’re one of the StrangeStonesHeads and you wind up winning this auction, let me know. It would please me to know this set was going to a good home.

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Advanced Fighting Fantasy Books

Blacksand!So I’ve ordered vintage copies of the old AFF books Blacksand! and Out Of The Pit, and they’re both on their way. Part of me wanted to get the new printing of Out Of The Pit, but it was much more cost effective to snag an old copy, and since the new book is just a straight reprint. I’ve also read that the content from Blacksand! is due to be released by the new license holder eventually, but I didn’t feel like waiting.

Anyway, I keep having ideas of things to do with the system, but I know that it’s way too simple & light for the folks I play with normally to want to sink their teeth into. But, like Barbarians of Lemuria, I think it’s a system that I can use as an inspirational tool even if I have to then take those inspirations and wrangle them into Basic RolePlaying.

All that aside, I’m still entertaining notions of using AFF for some kind of online play or another. It strikes me as ideal for a good one- or two-player (plus GM) game. That is, having only three truly character-defining stats feels good for quick play with a small group, but even I can admit that for larger groups you’d run into folks feeling like their characters were all too much the same. But if you had one fight-y type and one magic-y type getting into trouble side-by-side, I think it would be aces.

Building Out Advanced Fighting Fantasy

Out Of The PitIn other news, I’m already kicking around some ideas for a few new talents for AFF, including:

  • Brawler: This talent reduces the combat score penalty for fighting unarmed against an opponent armed with anything more than a dagger from -4 to -2.
  • Iron Fist: This talent increases the damage table for unarmed attacks to (1/1/1/2/2/3/4)

I’ve also got an idea for implementing a whole bunch of new talents based on the Martial Arts abilities in the old, ill-fated wuxia-meets-D&D game DragonFist to make AFF a solid engine for that kind of fighting. But I’ll save those thoughts for another time.

I think the key thing I’m seeing/feeling here is that AFF is so delightfully light that (like other light games) it’s just begging to have stuff made up for it. Consider these new spells for the Minor Magic system as a great example.

I guess the ultimate point of this post is that, unsurprisingly, I like games that are inspiring and open a hell of a lot more than I like detailed games with detailed rules and answers for everything. Shocking news, I know 🙂

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