Well the forbidden stars were aligned against me yesterday & so I had to take my father to the doctor's yesterday. The man came through with a clean bill of health! But I missed the release of Crimson Dragon Slayer 1.1 which is a free version of the game released by Venger Satanis unto an unsuspecting public! Which according to him was a ;"Indeed, a bleak and bloody dawn approaches. T'is Crimson Dragon Slayer Day today, and we're celebrating with the release of edition 1.11 here. "
Well there are several reasons why its a bit important, first this is a free introductory game/adventure all in one. It sets the more Eighties metal tone of the game and takes it in a completely new direction. Everything about the game is far more vicious and dangerous. This is more in line with keeping the game closer to a mix of Eighties horror/metal/popculture fantasy. The mechanics are the same but this game is closer to the vibe lurking under all of the first edition jokey cartoon fantasy elements. This version is far closer to the vision that I saw lurking under the surface of the original incarnation of the game. So was the first version a misstep on Venger's part? No I don't think so either. For those who own the original edition of Crimson Dragon Slayer there isn't really difference between editions only in feel not in mechanics.
Because of the PC options in the original edition I think Venger should put them aside and offer those as a part of either a player options book or a player hand book later on. So if a DM wants to run a Saturday morning style game in the wastelands of Thule its on the table.
In the meantime the leaner and more meaner version of CDS has hit the streets and its a nasty piece of work much closer in keeping with the spirit of No Escape From New York adventure. That entire adventure is both a send up and homage to Eighties post apocalyptic & dystopian films such as Escape From New York, The Warriors, The Wanderers, and many more. The whole point of the adventure is a lone band of adventurers against the world with bunch of Lovecraftian horrors nipping at their heels & the whole world trying to exploit them or kill them. Plus in No Escape From New York there are dozens of homages to other Eighties horror. This is actually the module that I've used repeatedly over the last year or so as an introduction to the world of Thule.
This version of Thule is the one that's floating up in the sky above my two campaign settings and where the majority of post apocalpytic mercenaries with modern weapons come from. Thule does a brisk business in my campaigns of importing and exporting strong arm thugs as well as drugs and more. This is one of the beauties of the OSR materials especially Venger's material the fact that you can mix and match it to create your own unique vision to play in. This is both one of the benefits and problems with the OSR, many creators and writers of the OSR have told me that the problem is the fact that product identity gets blurred when mixing and matching creations. Venger's stuff seems to revel in it. One more plus about CDS, the whole setting works great with Dungeon Crawl Classics and is easily adaptable. I've mixed Crawling Under A Broken Moon and CDS more times then I can count and the players loved it back about six or eight months ago.
There are ten reasons why Crimson Dragon Slayer's new direction works ;
- Crimson Dragon Slayer plays very well with Alpha Blue and makes it very easy to import or export PC's in and out of both settings.
- CDS plays nice with other OSR material and can be adapted into a fast pick up game quickly and easily.
- More metal awesomeness
- Modern & post apocalyptic characters easily mix together in a solid blend of Eighties awesomeness.
- Weird back handed Lovecraft references scattered throughout.
- Parody setting with a seriously warped undertone.
- Plays well with Lamentations of the Flame Princess & can be used for a side game setting with little conversion
- Handles everything from horror to high fantasy because of its weird off handed magic system that works.
- Kid friendly option from the original edition if you want a fast Saturday morning style cartoon pick up game.
- Slick design, quick weirdness, and a solidly designed OSR style gaming package.