Monday, November 23, 2015

Commentary on The Free OSR Resource Gearing Guide to the Planes Issue 1& 2 - Planes of Punishment & Illusion For Your Old School Campaigns

I'm cruising around what's left of the old G+ display before it closes up on us old school gamers like the yawning maw of the Abyss that it is and happened upon the ANT-LERR blog.
The blog describes itself as "a seductive revulsion, a sickening attraction, a leper-temptation.", piqued my Barker/ Kult rpg instinct. See ever since the fan base of that game disappeared in a puff of corporate Kickstarter new edition, I've been quietly looking for something to fill that need. Happily ANT-LERR seems to fill that need and then some. There are two OSR fanzines that I knew nothing about. Well more to the point I'm late again to the table on these. Gearing Guide to the Planes Issue 1 - Planes of Punishment is three pages long of two tables of Punkish DYI D&D that dungeon master might make himself. Visually it works well and the tables are full of inspirational win for a DM whose throwing his PC's into the other world wilds. But then there's a second issue which covers illusionary planes! Gearing Guide to the Planes Issue 2 - Planes of Illusion really works because it's visual style sells the ideas of the tables really well and gives a DM yet another able to screw around with players perceptions of what's real and what means certain death. I can respect that sentiment in spades.

What works here is the approach and the visuals sell the ideas mixed into the tables. Sure its a jumble but you've got planes of death and illusion here. Com'n these are some very nasty and dangerous places to run across for a party. D&D is on the outskirts a game of horror and exploration; its also an exploration game of high weirdness and dark fairy tale like strangeness. These two fanzines capitalize on that sentiment in spades. So what types of OD&D & retroclone campaigns will these work with?  Well since their system neutral there's a whole host of games that these can be used with.
The author/artist hasn't put any restrictions on these and neither should you at all but Lamentations of the Flame Princess jumps to mind as well as the usual D&D suspects and some other places might even be White Star if you want to scare the crap out of your party of stalwart heroes. By the way these are free and my only real comment is to add a bit more content next time but so what these are exactly what fanzines are supposed to be, expressions of the passion and joy of the OSR fan! My advice is grab these and go have fun screwing with some PC's!

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