Issue one of Encounter was a snap shot of the OSR in 2010. Now still sitting on some gamer's hard drives the fanzine lingers mostly forgotten but not so far gone as one might think. There's some really nice material for use in your current OSR retroclone systems.
Starting with the article "Looking Back: X1 The Isle of Dread By Ben McCann
Good things come to those who wait", this article gives a nice overview of one of my all time favorite B/X D&D adventures. Lots of interesting and more then slightly useful tid bits. I mentioned that Encounters
was a snap shot of 2010's OSR scene, Treasure Chest takes a look at some of the then latest products for your old school table top.
But I know what your thinking you want a solid adventure to test the mettle of your players; Death Mask By Jesse Walker is a a Classic D&D adventure for 3-6 players, levels 1-3 that does that and a bit more. What about adding some personal weirdness and quirks to your PC or NPC with the "DM's Toolkit: NPC Peculiarities By Andrew Baker Random NPC 'quirks' for your Classic D&D game" all of it can work across the board for those meta players of their characters. But what happens if they have a very good time after adventuring; Trial By Ordeal By James Wilson Fire, blood and water! Justice the Medieval way" can cause them more danger in both the royal court room to the executor's block. But what if they've picked up more then simply royal justice in their adventuring travels? Well that's where the Codex Monstrum: Parasites By Andrew Baker Be infected by three new parasitic horrors" comes in. The PC's will wish they were dead but then it might be more then simply a twist of the gut with them being defined by "Seven Sins By Jeff Carrington and Jesse Walker Personality Traits for the Labyrinth Lord RPG" And finally we're treated to a look back into the golden age of the OSR blog with "Truesight Views from the Old School blogosphere ".
All in all Encounter issue #1 seemed as if it was off to a rip roaring start. Issue #2 of Encounters built on that success with more of the same quality; "From the Editor
From little things big things (hopefully) grow". But then the OSR was changing as it always does with the release of the "Advanced Edition Companion Review by Allen Gwynne Adding options to the Labyrinth Lord RPG" which changed the structure and feel of play with Labyrinth Lord. It also made Goblinoid Games the OSR power player it is today. We get even more of a snap shot of the OSR with "Treasure Chest
Take a peek at some recent Old School releases" and begin to see how 2010 was a power year for the OSR. But then we're shoved into a brand new OD&D style of adventure with "Out of the Shadows By Jesse Walker A Classic D&D Game adventure for 3-6 Characters" I've actually run this one & it can be quite deadly if the PC's are not careful. We get another PC option at the table with a classic feel with the
"The Mountebank By Chris Kutalik A rakish new class for the Labyrinth Lord RPG" DM's are given even more ideas in the form of "Fields of Battle By Jeff Carrington Make battlefields more than a mark on the map" this is basically a tool kit article for using battle fields as old school adventure encounter generators. There's some good stuff in this one. Then we jump into three short old school adventure style encounters that you can drag and drop right into your home campaigns with "DM's Toolkit: On the Road By Andrew Baker Three short encounters for your Classic D&D game". Did you ever need a frontier town ala Conan's Pict wilderness then your in luck because "A Tour of Caedessa By Jesse Walker Take a stroll around the frontier town of Caedessa" is just what the old school doctor/ dungeon master ordered. Finally we get more of another OSR blog snap shot with "Truesight Views from the Old School blogosphere". So is Encounters worth your time and energies to download for free? In a word? Yes and here's why. All of the OSR material is relevant as much today as 2010 and it works so very well today as it did then. But I would say it works even better now. With so many retroclone systems on the market its nice to see an OSR resource that has stood the test of time.
You can download Encounter Issue #1 Here
And Encounter #2 Right Here
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