Friday, February 5, 2016

Campaign Commentary On 'The OSR Go Fund Me Support Campaign Bundles For Ryan' For Your Old School Setting Development

I've been quietly following Ryan Denison (coauthor of Mutant Future)'s Go Fund Me Support for Ryan campaign by Dan Proctor. First of all thanks to everyone who gave but I've been considering reviving and dealing with a new Mutant Future/Labyrinth Lord mash up game for awhile now. Because this is for such a good cause and all, I started thinking about putting some commentary behind the high quality products being offered in this bundle.

You can show your support for Ryan right over here

Now this is a fantastic cause to help a fellow OSR author and designer as well as gamer some love but there are some other reasons to get involved as well. The two bundles are a complete campaign set up's waiting to happen. Seriously hear me out here. Take a look at the level one material here for a moment, you get the complete run of Goblinoid Games Product listing straight out the gate.
Goblinoid Games
Labyrinth Lord (PDF, soft and hard covers)
Advanced Edition Companion (PDF, soft and hard covers)
Original Edition Characters (PDF)
Realms of Crawling Chaos (PDF, soft cover)
Idol of the Orcs (PDF, staple bound)
Mutant Future (PDF, soft and hard covers)
Starships & Spacemen 2e (PDF and soft cover)
Wizards’ World (PDF)
One thing about Goblinoid games is the fact that their products dovetail and interact into one another with little issue. Labyrinth Lord & the Advanced Edition Companion helps to form a base fantasy system. Add in the Original Edition Characters then turn up the volume with The Realms of Crawling Chaos for that ever so sweet Lovecraftian vibe. Stir  with a heaping helping of post apocalyptic goodness with Mutant Future then start the campaign off with playing Idol of The Orcs in the wasteland. You can bring the game into space with Star Ships and Spacemen second edition or use Wizard's  World as an alternative fantasy setting. By unlocking the second tier of the bundle you get more campaign fodder.

I've run a ton of Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord back to back and it works very well as long as the dungeon master is familiar with the systems and knows how to mate them together. The second tier of this charity bundle gives even more options for the table.
Barrel Rider Games
Class Compendium (PDF)

Faster Monkey Games
The Gyre  (PDF)
Re-Energizers (PDF)
Realm of the Technomancer (PDF)

James Mishler Games
JMG First Three Years Bundle (all of their products) (PDF)

Lesser Gnome
Whisper & Venom (PDF)

The Savage AfterWorld
Deviant Database (PDF)
Deviant Database 2.0 (PDF)
One Year In The Savage AfterWorld (PDF)

The Knotty-Works
Going Postal - Tech Bites (Microbots) (PDF)
Going Postal - Tech Bites (Vehicles) (PDF)
Table Scraps Issue 1 (PDF)
Table Scraps Issue 2 (PDF)
Table Scraps Issue 3 (PDF)
Table Scraps Issue 4 (PDF)

Mithgarthr Entertainment
The Mines of Valdhum (for Labyrinth Lord) (PDF)
The Mines of Valdhum (for Fifth Edition) (PDF)
Campaigns in Cairnvarthi (campaign setting is system neutral, included adventure is for Fifth Edition) (PDF)

Taskboy Games
Manse on Murder Hill (PDF and soft cover)
Tranzar's Redoubt (PDF and soft cover)

Barrel Rider Games Class Compendium (PDF) is a must for any Labyrinth Lord dungeon masters by expanding the PC options and making more sense of the classes by giving a ton of new material and backing it up with a solid product. If you want to expand your wasteland material and give your players a hard time while having a ton of fun, The Gyre  (PDF),Re-Energizers (PDF) & The Realm of the Technomancer  from Faster Monkey games are going to help fill in lots of the loose ends of the campaign setting. James Mishler is a freaking genius when it comes to dealing with Goblinoid games and the  JMG First Three Years Bundle (all of their products) is a must! Seriously this set of products is worth the price of admission and adds a ton to the material.Lesser Gnome's Whisper and Venom doesn't get enough table time but I'm going to change that soon.
Bringing the awesome in the monsters and the adventure encounters is The Savage AfterWorld's lines with the Deviant Database (PDF), the Deviant Database 2.0 (PDF) and all of the possible encounters for your hexes with  One Year In The Savage AfterWorld (PDF). The Knotty-Works's  Going Postal - Tech Bites (Microbots) (PDF) &  Going Postal - Tech Bites (Vehicles) (PDF) is the perfect complement for the Savage Afterworld's Mutant Future goodness. I'm not kidding these are indispensable for rounding out your wasteland fun. But what your really going to want is to kick it up a notch with  Table Scraps Issue 1 (PDF) which  introduces the Radioactive Skeleton, the Rad Suit, the delicious and dangerous Fuzzwhat cactus, and a couple new weapons to boot.Table Scraps Issue 2 (PDF) fills in the gaps with new plants and a brand new faction by introducing  the Grim Fringers, a savage biker gang that lives in the wastelands. The weapons in this issue are perfect for complimenting these mad bastards.
Table Scraps Issue 3 (PDF) is the one that I want to get back to because it introduces new rules for black powder weapons, a comprehensive list of black powder weapons and bombards for your post apocalyptic pirate ships. This one that compliments 'The Savage Afterworld's Thundarr' material and one I've used many, many times.  Table Scraps Issue 4 (PDF) is another weapon issue and this time we've got  house rules and several new pre-apocalyptic weapons including sonic blasters and chain saws!
Finally Taskboy Games The Manse on Murder Hill (PDF and soft cover) and  Tranzar's Redoubt (PDF and soft cover) are easily converted over to certain strange and sinister parts of the wastelands! These are the perfect adventures to take a mixed party of mutants and adventurers through.

Commentary On Using Famine in Far-Go Gamma World module GW2 By Michael Price As Post Apocalyptic Science Fantasy Adventurer Funnel For Dungeon Crawl Classics Crawling Under A Broken Moon's Fanzine

 Famine in Far-Go is one of the first modules for the classic Gamma World game that I've ever owned and its a perfect vechile to weed out PC's for post apocalyptic gaming especially for a Dungeon Crawl Classics style of game. Here's the low down and some ideas for using GW2 as as a funnel and mini campaign.

I dusted off Famine In Far- Go at about three am and began to dig through my notes for this classic Gamma World module, I bought this module down in Toys- R- Us back in the early Eighties when they carried such wonderful products of the imagination. I started thinking about this module as a possible funnel system for Crawling Under A Broken Moon's fanzine. The first half of the module is a perfect funnel system with full advantages for monster placement and it plugs right into the post apocalyptic nostalgia sweet spot. The PC's are part of  the agricultural community of Far-Go, preparing to embark on the Rite of Adulthood. They must quest for the Forrest of Knowledge and experience the One Truth after eating certain sacred berries. Sounds a bit like a Dungeon Crawl Classics funnel to me.

The back cover blurb gives the overview of the first half of the module and a bit of the over arching tone of GW2.
"Far-Go is dying... the people are afraid... the animals are wasting away... the crops are withering in the fields. No one, even Arx Skystone, the high priest, knows what has caused Far-Go's misfortune. You are part of a group of young adventurers about to begin the sacred Rite of Adulthood. The last hope of survival for Far-Go rests with your party. On your journey to the Forest of Knowledge, you must search for clues to the origin of the mysterious plague. This quest may lead you into great danger... and great knowledge. As you travel through the savage wilderness, all you have are you companions, your wits, your strength... and your dreams!!"
Far-Go is the perfect adventurer location and strikes a nice tone as an adventurer base and community. Far more interesting is the fact that it allows a DM to put his party of adventurers smack dab into the middle of for a Crawling Under A Broken Moon campaign is the rich pickings of 'Merica or to shift it around into the heart land near Pitzburke.  I never really cleaved to the heart and soul of the rail road plot line of GW2 and instead focused on letting the players wander from one hex to another. This is quite deadly module in its own right, add to this the meteor that's fallen from the sky which I think gave the whole adventure a weird Lovecraftian quality ala the Colour Out of Space. Add to this the badders that worship their former football mascot now turned god and you've got the makings for one hell of a mini campaign. Badders are nothing to fool with as any GW player will tell you.

The wastelands of  the Famine in Far-Go adventure module are a mini snap shot and preview of things to come for both Legion of Gold which preceded it and the Ruins of Pitzburke. This doesn't even begin to over the encounters within the  La Prix Industries Automated Chicken Processing Factory and its army of mutated machine gun wielding chickenoids. This is a straight up mutant crawl with all of the trimmings including wacko robots, nasty androids, a whole host of new weapons, equipment, mutated NPC's and more. All of this is perfect fodder for the Crawling Under A Broken Moon 'Merican vibe and materials. Issue #3 of Crawling Under A Broken Moon is going to come in handy for two reasons while running Famine In Far Go. One it can be used easily to generate O level PC's quickly and second the The Mall Maul can serve as a side quest for the PC's before getting to the main dance of death in the chicken factory.

Famine In Far Go isn't actually that expensive to get a hold of a used copy on Amazon clocking in at nine dollars and a bit for shipping. The module remains a classic for a reason and easily adaptable to any number of old school post apocalyptic games.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review & Commentary on The Colonial Troopers Rpg System From Night Owl Workshop For Your Old School Rpg Campaigns

Colonial Troopers puts the hard military sci fi spin on OD&D zero edition as a head spinning retro clone. This is the interstellar setting and mix of influences like  Star Ship Troopers, hard military sci fi, European comics from the 70's and a ton of other sci fi pop culture i distilled down into a zero edition style game.


PC's can choose between classes such as agent, hunter, diplomat, mercenary, trooper, and pilot as well mixing classes with the usual OD&D penalties. Races include Rackni (K’tk^nit’m~on) are alien biological adapting spideroids ,Humans, Lur (Clodhoppers) are giant eight legged vaguely reptilian aliens ,Zassarians (Skinnies, or Scalies) alien thin reptilian humanoids,Synthetic (Syntiacs)(self contained androids created by joint alien/human technologies) & Zealots are an ideology as much as a mixed factional race if you will.
This is a much a role playing game as it is a role playing game with an interstellar war, Colonial Troopers is like picking up an issue of early Eighties Heavy Metal and being thrust into the center of the story. You have to hang on and figure out what's going on. That's not a bad thing and the combination of OD&D tactics and PC generation along with the fluff of the game makes this work on a couple of levels. The artwork is up to the standard that we've seen in Guardians but the focus is solid military and warfare. This isn't Warhammer 40K at all but a completely different vibe. The PC's and party are going to have real motives and reasons for being together and this is bound into the meat and fluff of the game.

The game presents a solid frame work for your PC's to have military style adventures against the backdrop of space and has a nice assortment of specific toys and whistles to accomplish this sort of an interstellar game and its a well done story concept that echoes throughout the system.
"In the 21st century man created computers that process and correlate data
millions of times faster than any human. This lead to a near catastrophe when a
machine designed to seek out and mine uranium nearly destroyed the Earth by
perfecting the production of uranium at the expense of humans, and monopolized
the resources of the Earth, moon, and nearby asteroids (including several powerhungry
nations) to accomplish its purpose. A grueling battle for humanity’s survival was fought against this artificial superintelligence and its allies, and barely won by a ragtag band of hardened human soldiers led by a great military genius, Adam Benjoseph. A federation of surviving states formed a new constitution, rebuilt civilization from the ashes, and outlawed artificial super-intelligence."

Now the big question on everyone's mind is two fold, is this game fully compatible with Warriors of the Red Planet Second edition and can I use it with Guardians! The answer is yes but one thing about all of these games from  Night Owl Workshop  is that they are and can stand on their own. If you've already got a Warriors of the Red Planet Second Edition game in motion and play are you really going to want to introduce super heroes or hard military sci fi into the mix of play. These are questions that you as a DM really need to ask both yourself  and your players. This is a game with some very nice add ons and ideas but PC's in personal power armor can do a number on an existing campaign. So I say the above statements with warning and some caution. That being said I think that this is a welcome addition to the market. Colonial Troopers provides a whole range of interesting systems that can be used to port over incredible military style systems into a wide range of campaigns. I also think that this is a game that has a ton to offer. Within one hundred pages you get a fully working star ship combat set of rules and wargaming systems. World generating tables and stats, complete work ups for sci fi equipment and more.

The artwork is very nice, the tone rings true for a Seventies military style game and the material is solidly done. I think that this would work as a fully thought out system unto itself or a DM could mix and match this with other Night Owl Workshop  products to create the campaign that they want. That having been said I also think I need to address something. I don't know that Colonial Troopers would be a good expansion for White Star. There's two things going on here. White Star puts the PC's at the center of a Star Wars style space opera. Colonial Troopers puts the PC's into a military situation and then brings the action into focus where the PC's while internal to the greater events of the universe are not going to make a heck of a difference to the overall  interstellar picture. Colonial Troopers has the sort of vibe that echoes through the late Sixties and early Eighties post Vietnam science fiction. Echoes of warfare and the lessons of war coupled with the classic science fiction lessons of Robert Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, and Frank Herbert. This makes Colonial Troopers a winner in my book. Download and start playing with this game today.