Monday, September 1, 2014

Latest Word On The Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Adventures Kickstarter On The Dark Corner Blog

 Want to know the latest Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg system adventure news? What treasures are coming from North Wind Adventures?
We've got all the latest right over on the Dark Corner blog right

And So It Begins - Play Testing On The Seventy Seven Worlds Old School Post Apocalyptic Rpg

Get In On The Action 

From what I've been able to gather over the last couple of days, James Ward of Metamorphis Alpha First Edition fame has been working with Fireside games on a whole range of rpg systems product.
Many of these will be covering the fantasy, science fantasy, and post post apocalyptic phases of their various campaign worlds and using a brand new character generation system that Fireside has developed.
Looking deeper into the ideas behind some of Fireside Games here we see a definite old school idea with some pretty interesting takes on PC generation using a card style system. And the familiar Wardian lunar location of a lunar city but it looks like this is a completely different Lunar setting then the one we were presented way back when in Gamma World from the pages of Dragon magazine.Very different folks, checkout this press release on the campaign setting material: 

77 Worlds is an Alien Apocalypse Campaign Setting and Science Fiction RPG 
Designed by James M Ward with Stephen A Lee

300 Years after the second apocalypse...

In the Egyptian Dome of the Lunar Resort....

You’ve just seen strange crystal ships in space battling silver ships your elders said were driven by the gods Ra and Ptah. You then look at the Earth and become sad once more. “How long as the Earth been like that.” 
“Clerics of Thoth say Earth Prime has been in ruins for over three hundred years. Those same crystal ships came, sent by the evil ones to destroy all of mankind. The gods didn’t let that happen.”

From the Egyptian Dome, on the moon, young warriors noted the terrible band of volcanoes circling the center of the Earth. They wondered at the huge forests at the south pole of the Earth. The mountains at the north pole looked unearthly. The characters couldn’t help wondering what secrets were to be found there.

The Basic Set of Apocalyptic Space presents a series of adventures where the characters learn about the game system and how to play. Nothing is what it seems as new characters actually believe they are living along the Nile and the gods of the Egyptians are very real and talk to their worshipers from the temples in the City of Thebes. 

Apocalyptic Space is designed for exploration by a group of characters who grow in experience and power as they accomplish quests. There are 77 different worlds to be explored and possibly saved as you must solve an age old mystery of why the aliens attacked and can they be stopped from attacking again. The Basic Set provides hours and hours of fun as the Game Master and the players learn what it’s like to explore apocalyptic space.

The initial basic rules are due to be released Fall 2014 at LGI Markets as well as the full basic set in print with maps, adventure module. Additional 77 Worlds products are slated for Fall 2014 thru 2015.

A look at Fireside's product line up shows a very strong old school/new school ideal within their product line up. Check this out: 

APOCALYPTIC SPACE - The 77 Lost Worlds
Design by James M Ward with Stephen Lee
Target Release Date is Fall 2014

  • Cross Worlds FRPG campaign settting
  • Apocalyptic Space (tm) SF RPG
  • Adventure Excursions for all FRPG's
  • Stellar Space: Wargame
  • 77 Worlds: Quantum Wars
  • 77 Worlds: Lost Empire Board Game
  • 77 Worlds: Empire of the Apocalypse by James M Ward and Stephen A Lee
  • Kingdoms ...of Divine Right FRPG
  • Ravin Rock FRPG campaign world
  • Age of Invention: 18th Century Sci-Fantasy RPG
    Colour me intrigued by there's one other system that caught my eye today on their website. Way back when in the pages of Dragon magazine there was an advertisement for the Mutazoids rpg . I had a copy of it one summer back in the late 80's or early 90's. I remember we played the hell out of it back then. Then my friend Rick disappeared along with my copy into the army and that was that. 
    And now its back. The first edition is available right over HERE

    Mutazoids is sort of the anti post apocalyptic rpg game in a way. The game has very strong echoes of the Xmen Days of Future Past Marvel comics them but with twists and turns all its own. 
     Here's the plot: 
    It is the year 2073, sixty years after the world was swept by the accidental release of the man-made Plague virus. Society's collapse was a brief one. Brief, because the survivors remembered the luxuries of the early Twenty-first century and wanted them back. 

    The world was different after the Plague. Many of the children were twisted and deformed. Mutants. Out of this situation, the paranoid and hateful rose to power by using force and lies to terrify the confused. As the years passed on, those mutants who did not die in their youth were growing to maturity. The Second Republic, the subtly cruel post-Plague government in what was once the United States of America, publicly divided the mutants into two groups: the Acceptables, those with only minor deformities; and the Mutazoids, creatures of barely human appearance. There is also a third group whose existence is officially denied by the Second Republic, sometimes called Supers, who resemble normal humans but have extraordinary powers.

    But apparently while all of the other Fireside projects have been humming in the background, an old friend of mine 
    Moses "Wolfy" Wildermuth has been working on a third edition of the venerable game all this time. 

    Its nice to see this edition in print and I know how hard this edition was worked on. I remember reading about this game on Wolfie's website. 
  • This game has its roots in the work of Ken Whitman, Christopher Clark and many others, originally released in the late 1980s and early 90s.

    The game in your hand is a concerted effort by 21st century post apocalyptic role-players to create the finest in 22nd century post apocalyptic gaming. In creating this new game, we kept the rich historical references and unique flavor of the original Mutazoids, while adding layers of complexity and depth by implementing and expanding upon Open Game Content.
    Editor's note: The World of Mutazoids3e is an alternate Earth in a parallel universe. They once shared the same landmasses, life-forms and general histories, but they are not identical in every way.
    So go take a look and check out Fireside games. Perhaps get in on the play testing action and give a look at some of their fine products. I don't have the time right at the moment to take on yet another game at the moment. But this stuff looks great. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Gearing Up for Dave Arneson Game Day 2014 With A Free OD&D Download On The Dark Corner Blog

Today on the Dark Corner blog I help spread the word about an upcoming OSR celebration as we make preparations for Dave Arneson Game Day 2014! 
I discuss classic Darkmoor campaign adventure I'll be running and we've got a free OD&D download to help celebrate as well!
Right Over

Special Thanks to Harvard Blackmoor for bring this to my attention!
Cheers pal! 

1d10 Random Robo Cab Encounters Tables For Your Old School Science Fiction and Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

These cabs are some of the most mundane seeming objects traveling through the space ports and byways of the science fictional future but they can be jump off points for entire campaigns.
These robo cabs have been encountered out in the deep wastes of the post apocalyptic world as well. These encounters are never completely what they seem or sometimes they are. 

1d10 Random Robo Cab Encounters Table
  1. This robo cab has been reprogrammed to take passengers on a random route to a waiting serial killer. They will be sprayed with sleeping gas and need a save vs gas or pass out for ten rounds 
  2. This cab has a space princess on the run hidden in the back using a cloaking screen. The robo cabbie isn't aware of her, she needs a couple of heroes to help her escape her lunatic husband to be. 
  3. This cab has twelve secret panels that have a stash of very dangerous contraband hidden throughout the cab. The cabbie is completely unaware of the stash. 
  4. This robo cabbie has been pre programmed with an espinoge mission and can offer 500 credits for a quick job. He's completely unaware of his own programming. 
  5. This cabbie is completely insane and stalks groups of individuals. At some point within 1d4 days after encountering a group of individuals, this monster will hit them and try to take out those on his 'hit list'. He or rather it will drop the PC's off at their destination only to appear several times until it has the information it needs. Its been hunting for over two years now and its quite cagey about its predatory habits. 
  6. An ordinary robo cab nothing more. 
  7. This is a overly friend robo cabbie that will assist and befriend the PC's, helping them where and when it can. The A.I. wants to be free of the cab and will eventually after 1d4 weeks ask for the PC's assistance in this en devour. The corporation that owns the cab will be quite annoyed by this development. 
  8. This robo cab is actually a shape shifting alien that has been randomly abducting people for its alien masters. It functions in all respects as a robo cab but then randomly will kidnap victims who meet its weird criteria. The alien uses the same cab all the time so there a 40% that the next time this horror is encountered it will be an ordinary cab. 
  9. This cab belongs to a secret society who uses it to sheppard around its cult like members you've just stepped into the deep end of conspiracy land and now your party will have to deal with the consequences. 
  10. This isn't a regular robo cab but a dimensionally traveling cab bound for another plane. Welcome to the otherside adventurers. The cab will be picking up other alien fares as time warrants. 

Review and Commentary On The Hammers of the God Adventure From Lamentations of the Flame Princess For Your Old School Campaigns

Grab It Right
I finally got a chance to check out a physical copy of Hammer Of The Gods from James Raggi and the first thing that like is the artwork by Dean Clayton (you can see more of that right HERE ).
The physical copy of this adventure clocks in at thirty six pages but the pdf clocks in at about 86 and this adventure is compatible with most of the major retroclones including Labyrinth Lord and OSRIC.
This is a case where having a pdf on hand could help with maps of this location driven adventure. Ramsey Dow did the interior cartography and it matches the location's moody and foreboding atmosphere of this adventure.
The basic plot hook from Drivethrurpg goes something like this : 
By the Sign of the Hammer!
A mysterious map and a promise treasure to be won are all that are required to set any adventurer worth the name into the wilderness. But sometimes what is found is far more than treasure.
Many that are good and noble will kill to make sure the secrets to be found under the old mountain stay buried. Many that enter the darkness will become beguiled by the splendor of the halls in which they walk, mesmerized by the riches to be found there, never realizing that death follows their every move.
Dwarves never forget a grudge. But what if they hold that grudge against themselves?
Beware the god who has been discarded.
An Adventure For Character Levels 3 – 5
This PDF is A5 size, with the dungeon map being A4 size.
The Drivethru description doesn't even begin to do this adventure justice at all. This is another location based adventure, in this case a Dwarven stronghold. The adventure on the whole might be cast anyplace within an old school campaign. On the whole this adventure has an atmosphere about it that reminds me of John Carpenter's The Thing, the adventurers are treading their way through a place of ancient secrets. The adventure is filled to the brim with lots of well fleshed out descriptions, some nice puzzles, and lots of fiddly bits to keep a party of adventurers busy for quite some time.
 The secrets of the Dwarven stronghold does jump out at the party and instead the plot of the place builds upon itself encounter by encounter. There are plenty of riches and dangers to be had within this adventure for levels 3-5.
This is an adventure that is driven by and suited to the mythic and legendary but with lots of touches of ancient dread in between the pages. This adventure could be worked into a mini campaign and there's plenty of ideas within the pages where this location and its dangerous could be expanded upon.
There's lots of subtly with this adventure and plenty to keep PC's occupied between the pages in this adventure. The encounters are well thought out and balanced for a party while still being pretty damn nasty.
I liked the fact that this adventure is suitable for any number of retroclones systems and it's own take on the traditional OD&D Dwarven trope holds the plot together so well. Plenty of the ideas here are downright interesting and could make PC's never quite see any Dwarf in their campaign setting that this adventure is run in the same again.
And this is both the boon and bane of this adventure. DM will have to ask themselves what the preconceived notions about their own Dwarven races. Personally, I like where the author took this adventure. Plenty of treasure in this adventure but even more atmosphere, danger, dreadful creeping horror in this one if the DM runs it right. 
All in all I was pretty pleased to finally get a look at the physical book of this adventure thanks to Peter the other night. Cheers pal for that. However that being said I would certainly opt for the Pdf so that a DM could print out the maps as the exploration of the stronghold was done.
 Wait till this one goes on sale and then grab it, run it, and let a secret of the Dwarfs finally see the light of day if the adventurers survive this one. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Free OSR ' Magic' Supplement From '&' Magazine - – A Book of Miscellaneous Spells

A Book of Miscellaneous Spells Cover
Grab It Right

Need some spells for your OSR game?
Introducing the & Publishing Group’s first supplement publication from the fertile mind of Andrew Hamilton.
'&' magazine has put together a free  resource : 
A Book of Miscellaneous Spells is a free resource for players of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role playing game and OSRIC, consisting of over 120 spells including some previously seen in & Magazine and Dragonsfoot’s Workshop forum, as well as never before seen spells. This resource is designed to give players and DM’s of AD&D and OSRIC games new spells and ideas to incorporate into their game or provide inspiration for new avenues of adventure. This resource includes spells for clerics, druids, magic-users, and other wizard classes.
This supplement is perfect for all of your retroclone spell needs. From AD&D first edition to Lamentations of Flame Princess style games all these are covered under this pdf. With a bit of work this material can be used with OD&D with a bit of a step down in the system.
This fifty five page supplement has been around for a couple of months but it really hasn't gotten a lot of air play. Too bad because its a great addition to an old school dungeon master's tool kit.
Grab this one while you can. Its free and is only one of the quality free products that has been published by the '&' folks. I'm quite impressed with the OSR material that continues to be published by  the '&'folks. So I continue to support these folks and the get the word out to you.

Forgotten Friday Post Apocalyptic Cinema - The Brain Eaters 1958 For Mutant Future & Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

Autumn is almost in the air here in Connecticut and we're already seeing the Halloween candy appearing stores. So its time for me to get another round of 1950's post apocalyptic films ready to go for the traditional PA campaign fest. A film that came up on the rolls happened to be the 1958 science fiction drive in favorite the brain eaters. Its not a bad little alien invasion flick with over tones of Invasion of the Body Snatcher style and a good dose of Robert Heinlein's The Puppet Master's thrown in.
According to Wiki :
The Brain Eaters is a 1958 science fiction-horror film about alien parasites who invade the small Illinois town ofRiverdale and are able to take over any living thing, mind and body, by attaching themselves to their host's back and inserting two mandibles into the base of their spines. The film was directed by Bruno VeSota and stars Ed Nelson, Alan Jay Factor, Joanna Lee, with a brief appearance by Leonard Nimoy (name misspelled in 10th place in the credits as "Leonard Nemoy"

The film's plot is easily adapted to most of the major old school post apocalyptic systems out in the wilds of gaming. According to wiki:
A team of local scientists discover alien parasites when they investigate a mysterious, three-story-tall, cone-like object that has appeared outside of town. It becomes obvious that the parasites' first victims, whose minds have been taken over, are the town's leading citizens

For Mutant Epoch, the Brain Eaters are sight unseen monsters and there are several worm like monsters within the game that make excellent stand in monsters for Brain Eaters themselves. The cone like structures that the monsters appear from could be found anywhere and might be a dimensional invasion rather then one from space.
Full Film 

For Mutant Future, the Brain Eaters are perfect gonzo aliens that might appear anywhere. The few times that I've used these horrors has been as part of convention set adventures and one shots. They make excellent fodder for an evening's one shot Mutant Future adventure encounter. 

Brain Eaters 
No. Enc.: 1d6
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1
Damage: Special
Save: L9
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: None 
Mutations : mind thrust, possession,  thermal vision, psionic flight, metaconcert,
Brain Eaters make a perfect hazard for the post apocalyptic wastelands. For Mutant Future these alien bio creations are simply another form of Brain Lasher bio technology. These horrors are based upon the alien/human hybrid gene slicing technologies of  these Lovecraftian master horrors. Insidiously these monsters work from within to subvert and make way for their alien masters.
The film was a Roger Corman special and  according to wiki there was some fall out from it: 
Actor Bruno VeSota wanted to direct. He approached Roger Corman with the script and Corman helped him raise the low budget and arranged distribution through AIP. The film was shot in six days.

After the film was released, Robert A. Heinlein sued for plagiarism, asking for $150,000 claiming that the film was based on his novel The Puppet MastersRoger Corman vowed he was unfamiliar with Heinlein's work when presented with the script and during production. He did, however, see the obvious references once he read the story, so he settled out of court for $5,000. Heinlein also demanded that he himself receive no screen credit, as he found the film based on his story "wanting"

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lair Of The Road Hunter - Mutant Epoch Rpg System Actual Play Encounter

In tonight's Mutant Epoch, the PC's were helping a group of adventurers acquire a rare medical droid from from a set of ruins near the Canadian border just off the global highway. Last time they had made camp with their NPC friends everything seemed quite alright. The PC's were awoken to the sound of a lone sports car driving away. A sound that they've come to dread. Apparently Max Gibson had been busy during the night as the PC's were about to find out. Max is an 'immortal' cybernetic bounty hunter upon whose hit parade the PC's have made. 

The Origin For Max Gibson Can Be Found 

The PC's were startled by a trio of combat robots that attacked them. After causing the NPC adventurers and the PC's to scatter they retreated and then attacked them again. The other adventurers did not lend our heroes a hand at all during combat! Something wasn't right at all. The other parry's scouts seemed to miss several opportunities to engage the bots and they drew the PC's into the treeline and then cloaked themselves in a camouflage field.
 After an extended game of cat and mouse the PC's finally caught up with the combat robots and gunfire as well as a few party favor frag grenades settled the combat. That's when the other PC left behind at camp noticed the 'scouts' talking on the radio seemingly directing the combat robots to the PC's location! 

 Our hero opened fire on the 'scouts' and brought them down after an extensive fire fight. Those were no wilderness scouts? They had been replaced during the night with android doubles!
The other NPC adventurers passed out as the last combat robot was destroyed with an extensive fire fight.
The implanted mind control units were deactivated after the last bot went down.
One of the other light combat bots managed to escape into the underbrush but the PC's gave chase. The PC's gun master has a good grasp of medicine and was able to dig out the implants from the necks of the NPC's.
The rest of the party followed the trail of the other combat back to a hidden cave! Inside the cave entrance was a downed space craft hidden within for centuries. The space craft was a wreck but inside was an extensive cybernetics and clone lab. The PC's found row after row of Max Gibson clones, cybernetic bodies, and more.
That's when they saw row after row of cloned Gibson bodies and parts. They were almost ambushed by several other heavy combat bots. The bots have them pinned down under heavy machine gun fire.
 Now they're waiting for re enforcement after radioing in to the rest of their findings.
 Inside the lair they found a plethora of things for the discriminating adventurers.
 Here's a list of random items that were found in and around the Lair of the Road Hunter.

1d10 Lair Of The Road Hunter Random Loot  Table 
  1. Cybernetic implants still attached to the decayed skull's original bones. There are several systems that need to be examined for the true value. 
  2. Massive mutant baffalo skull made into a silver shod piece of artwork worth 200 gold pieces in current condition. 
  3. A sensor suite in a weird bone like set up. There are over one hundred working sensors in this particular implant. 75 gold as is. Worth 400 gold pieces in its current condition. 
  4. Robotic arm that would make an excellent cyber implant for some mutant. Worth about 200 gold for it. 
  5. A cell phone fully charged and in good working order. The phone's A.I. is smart SOB who will constantly prank and pull fast ones on party members. Worth seventy five gold pieces
  6.  A rusty knife that has a nanite based poison on its tip. Worth about 500 gold pieces because of the possible A.I. caught within its own web. 
  7. A rusting house hold robot with a memory of the past and who lived where. The robot is afraid of flying and hates mutant birds. Worth 200 gold pieces to the right collector
  8. An energy cell eaten away and leaking radiation. There energy slugs all over the thing.. These small seemingly harmless mutants are also worth 300 gold pieces to the right  bio weapons division. 
  9. A tube of bio paste that can be used to patch up most minor medical emergencies. Worth 100 gold pieces to the right guy who can make this from local materials. 
  10. A burst transmission radio that can reach any of the floating space junk in orbit. The radio was hidden last year by an adventurer traveling in the region. The right buyer  will pay 400 gold pieces to the collector.  
More coming soon!