Saturday, October 16, 2021

OSR Review & Commentary On 'Crime In The Clement Sector' By John Watts For The Cepheus Engine rpg or Your 2d6 Old School Science Fiction Rpg's

"As with all societies, crime is a part of Clement Sector.  It is a constant throughout history and the future is no different. Some player characters may be engaged in criminal activities while other characters may be members of law enforcement trying to stop such criminals. 

Outlaw: Crime in Clement Sector details crime throughout the setting and how each of the many independent worlds of Clement Sector feel about such crimes.  From Arson to Treason, from the "street" level to the boardroom, you'll find it detailed here.

"Outlaw provides seven character building careers for those who want to play a criminal character or simply have that as part of their background.  Cleaners, Drivers, Dealers, Forgers, Hitmen, Prisoners, and Smugglers.  Need a shady background?  We've got it along with a chapter filled with tasks providing the Referee with easy references to allow a character to attempt such dirty deeds. If they get caught, we have information on how to deal with a trial and imprisonment.

Outlaw also details organized crime, its history, and how such organizations operate in Clement Sector.   Want to play an entire criminal organization rather than just a single character?   We provide that here!  Building on the rules presented in Balancing Act and Almighty Credit, we give you the tools to play the organization!

Join the dark side!  Find out how crime really does pay. "

Crime pays or does it,   asks this very question including everything from street level crimes like arson all the way up to board room corporate  white collar interstellar  crimes. Its all laid out in very one hundred & twenty nine pages for your criminal PC's. The Clement Sector offers all kinds of opportunity for intergalactic crime. The closing of the hyperspace gateways to Earth caused all kinds of rosters & circumstances for crimes within the Clement campaign setting.  'Crime in the Clement Sector'  brings home to the crimes & the local circumstances of the Clement sector's locations & adventure slices. John Watts lays everything out in easily understood English. There's plenty of opportunity for mayhem & wanton violence by PC's. Crime however is laid bear with punishment following swiftly on its heels. 

There’s no such thing as good money or bad money. There’s just money. “ -Salvatore Lucania aka Charles “Lucky” Luciano, February 7, 1936 (standard)

'Crime in The Clement Sector' isn't your normal Cepheus Engine rpg supplement, it digs down into the underbelly of the Clement Sector's criminal empires. Diving through the sorted details to bring a picture of a sector roiling in corruption & depravity. This isn't light weight boast either. Details from 'murder for hire'  to full blown mafia operations are covered in detail. There isn't an 'Orion Syndicate' here but a detailed mafia that has been operating since the closing of the gates. The  material is stark covering Russian mafias & others with little regard for niceties. Because the eventualities  of arrest are also covered along with prison life & even what happens to a con who survives the interstellar systems of law within the Clement sector. 

'Crime in the Clement Sector' by John Watts cover space piracy within the Clement sector?! Yes it does & it goes over the relationships between the crimes, the powers that be, the board room, and the halls of power within the Clement sector. Space piracy has a nice meaty connection to the mobs of the sector. Much of the material within 'Crime in the Clement Sector' by John Watts could be used to knit together a far wider ranging Cepheus Engine rpg campaign by reigning in Stella Gemma Publishing's Piracy & Privateering supplement. There's enough bones here to keep the wheel of the internal crime syndicates greased for such a campaign. 

While there's more detailed Clement sector books including the 'Skull & Crossbones' supplement, 'Crime In The Clement Sector' goes more about the more day to day crime elements. Crime does a great job of the how & why an adventurer would turn to a life of crime. This is more evident within the how & why of  'Crime in the Clement Sector' . I highly recommend 'Crime in the Clement Sector' by John Watts for the DM whose looking to an interstellar street level crime game. Does crime pay?! That's for you to decide! 

OSR Commentary & Thoughts on Dave Hargrave's Grimoire IV (1984) For Your OSR & Old School Campaigns

 So I was zipping round the Piazza as I'm apt to do and ran across this thread about Arduin here by Bobby Knock but it was Blackbat 2442 who piqued my interest in this 2012 post; "The "setting" was the World of Arduin... a planet with a recorded history several hundred thousand years old (not detailed very fully, more just outlined). Some historical details from millennia earlier showed up in ancient books and so on, others were legends and religious doctrine, and so on.

Arduin also sat at a multi-dimensional nexus, so races from every part of the "multiverse" (yes, that exact word was used early on) found their way to Arduin... and adventurers could travel to all those universes as well.

Oh there were classes like Technos, and so on... so there were tech devices, and so on.

The Ta'Vreen were explicitly stated to be members of a star-faring technological race (from another dimension), temporarily marooned on Arduin... immune to magic and equipped with tech weapons & devices.

Then there were things like the Vampusa... yep, that's right. Medusas that are also vampires!

Flying giant scorpions.

And so on.

Grimoire IV (1984) has a section on "Integration of Arduin rules in other role-playing systems"." Yes it was the talk of Dave Hargrave's Grimoire IV (1984) that has my interest. Now you'll see lots of videos & essays on the three other little brown books. But hardly anyone talks about Grimoire IV The Losr Grimoire. And this one is one of my favorites & probably the one that has had had some of the most workout in my hands. Why?! Because Dave Hargrave's Grimoire IV (1984) has some of his best DMing & gaming philosophy. Sure there's a ton on of Arduin material but this one gives the DM the integrated philosphy of Mr. Hargrave. Which really does picking from column A. & column B. of the Arduin books & that's actually alright. But what's actually in Grimoire IV (1984)?! Well that's the other interesting bit ; "The Arduin legacy continues with 147 pages jammed packed with new ideas, tips and tricks to delight even the most discriminating gamers.

* 40 new arcane spells, conjuration's and divine rituals, as well as a look at seven (7) new specialty mages and their craft.

* New character races, such as "Swampers", "Red Dwarves" and the rarest of all Arduin races - the mysterious and elusive "Tzikki" folk.

* 30 new potent potions, lotions and amazing alchemical concoctions.

* 25 new horrific monsters to challenge even the most accomplished adventure seekers.

* 17 legendary weapons and other renowned magikal treasures.

* A brief visit to one of Arduin's famous taverns for a glass of "Black Heart Brandy" or any one of Arduin's 37 other distinctive ales, beers, wines and liquors.

* A short jaunt into the undercity and lunch at "Dirty Dorgs", one of Arduin's most notorious restaurants - where anything can be had for a price!"
Mr. Hargrave was nothing if not prolific & this book has a ton of good stuff including some solid alchemy items. Arduin is not so much a setting as it a series of campaign ideas infecting other gamers OSR & old school adventures. The fact is that so much brought out by 'The Lost Grimoire'. Many of the adventure & campaign elements within the book are central to Arduin. But the main philosophy of the book boils down to 'Take this & try it'. No arm wringing or pulling or deep artistic lectures. But down to Earth practical knowledge of game play & DMing. And that's really the essence that Dave Hargrave is trying to put forth within the  Arduin Grimoire IV 'The Lost Grimoire'  from  1984. 
You can grab 
 Arduin Grimoire IV 'The Lost Grimoire' Right over here.. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

OSR Commentary & Reviews Monstrous Miscellany #02 By James Mishler & Jodi Moran-Mishler Compatible with Labyrinth Lord

So  'Monstrous Miscellany #02By James Mishler &  Jodi Moran-Mishler  Compatible with Labyrinth Lord was sent to me by the authors. This is a great little monster addition for your OSR or Old School games. The Mishlers bring the monsters with Monstrous Miscellany #02

Monstrous Miscellany #02 brings to the table the " Giant Centaur – A giant creature appropriate for Lost Worlds and Mysterious Islands.

Krum the Smasher – A monstrous godling who does nothing but smash the works of civilization leaving ruin and suffering in his wake.

Brain Moths – One eyed, one tentacled, flying purple brain eaters from another dimension

Ulfartrolls – Born of the union of lycanthropic witches and trolls, these berserker beasts surpass their ancestors in their wickedness and might!"
 So the Mishlers on a roll because these monsters are a fit for a  number of OSR Pulp & Old School game campaigns.  
Many of these monsters are straight out of mythology, literature, & legends. For example Giant Centuars are straight out of Dante's Inferno & while they are listed as neautral these monsters could easily be converted over to the Inferno version. Here's a bit of background on these horrors; 'Giant centaurs resemble normal centaurs in that they are the combination of a humanoid and quadruped, but they are not merely up-scaled centaurs. They have the body and legs of a baluchitherium with the torso and arms of a hill giant. They stand 10 feet tall at the point at which the hill giant torso emerges from the shoulders of the baluchitherium body, for a total height of about 16 feet. Their hill giant torso, arms, and head have grayishbrown skin, with grayish-black hair and mane that flows from their head, down their back, to merge with the grayish-black coat of the baluchitherium body. They resemble neanderthals more so than ogres, with prognathous jaws and large, heavy brows." According to Dante's Infeno; "The Centaurs--men from the waist up with lower bodies of horses--guard the first ring of circle 7, a river of blood in which the shades of murderers and bandits are immersed to varying depths. Armed with bows and arrows, thousands of Centaurs patrol the bank of the river, using their weapons to keep the souls at their allotted depth (Inf.

Gostov Dore's  Circle 7, cantos 12-17

Are we saying that 'giant centuars' were taken from Dante's Inferno?! Nope, I'm saying that James Mishler has created some really great monsters that can be easily adapted to your campaign, dungeon, or old school games. Ulfartrolls would not be out of place within a Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg session. Ulfartrolls as  monsters are absolutely brutal & dangerous. Brain Moths fit the bill for Carcosa or a  Science Fantasy adventure. All in all for a dollar this is a really nice piece of rpg value & ulitity.. 

Monstrous Miscellany #02 By James Mishler &  Jodi Moran-Mishler  Compatible with Labyrinth Lord Is Available Right Over Here. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

OSR Commentary On Judge's Guild 'City State of the Invincible Overlord', Law & Chaos, & the Michael Moorcock's Hawkmoon

 Over the last twenty four to forty eight hours I've been putting some thought into the Judges Guilds Wilderlands of High Fantasy & The City State of the Invincible Overlord. Or at least my version of it. And its been squinting through the lens of Michael Moorcock's Hawkmoon that has my mind roiling with the possibilities. What I'm speaking of is the idea that part of the Wilderlands background & history has a science fantasy element within it's history. 

Michael Moorcock's Hawkmoon royals & court reminded me of the royals of the citystate in a way. Magic propping up many of the establishments of the citystate itself. But are there hold overs from the ancient past out in the far edges of the wilderness?! The idea that perhaps that out in the wilderness of the Wilderlands are undead & their minions who may still be keeping alive the prehistoric science fantasy technologies on their estates or holdings. We know that there's a huge amount of magic that sustains the invincible overlord within his court. 

Are the Wilderlands actually the last bastions of ancient technologies?! They just might be for me in my upcoming campaign. The inthecities blog has this fantastic little entry on Science Fantasy here and this bit gets me; "Hargrave’s Arduin had aliens and advanced technological artifacts along with the monsters and the magic. OD&D had tables listing encounters taken from the Burroughs’ Mars books – and you can’t get more “science fantasy” than that! I had not been tempted to include these elements in my game – as such a “crazy” mixture would have been considered heretical among my friends and I when we started playing D&D – but the idea of having demonic Orcs in German-style Panzers… I have to admit that it really appealed to me"
Yeah me too folks! Personally it reminds me of the anime Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust and yes this should echo back to Ralph Bakshi's Wizard's instead. But indulge me here. And I'll explain why in a moment.. 

Liches, vampire lords or ladies, etc. are the only immortals who are going to be long lived enough to have such technological or occult technological trinkets around. Perhaps their state are a reward by their demonic overlords. So if these technological toys of another age are seen as the 'toys of royalty'. Then perhaps there's a deeper & darker connection between the lords of the undead & the royals of this Wilderlands. The idea here being that the knowledge of these technologies is now the lore of the dead and those of the past. Royals must pay in kind to the undead who can tell them how such baubles work. 
And this reminds me a bit of the technos PC class from the Dave Hargrave's  Arduin book seven 'Shadowlands'. 

And where else could you possibly find information on these devices & artifact?! Devils or demons respectively. or possibly from the powers of Chaos & Law. These devices could turn the tide of war, offer a miracle cure, circumvent highly expensive magic. Or a thousand & one other things that technology can do that magick can't. 
And what about the occasional starship that falls from the sky? Well there in is another area where adventurers come into play. Royals never put themselves at risk. 

So could there also be expeditions to other worlds and dungeonscapes to recover such technological toys!?! One of the missions that our PC's  went on during the late Eighties were as escorts to the court of the Emperor of the Tragic Millennium during my uncle's campaign. It did not end well at all for us. That didn't end well for us as my PC ended up as a brain in jar within the laboratory of a Mantis scientist. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

OSR Commentary On 'Winds of Chance (Arduin Grimoire volume 8)' By Dave Hargrave & Lord Dunsany's The King of Elfland's Daughter

You'll hear a ton of the Arduin Grimoire fans talk about the first  three books of the series lovingly. In the Summer of Ninety Eight things were bad for me. Job loss, depression, & the usual BS that follows gamers seemed to dog my heels that year. Anyhow I still had a raving D&D campaign going & we had the party gate into Arduin through a warp gate. 

In a used book store over a weekend in Boston two books leaped into my hands. The King of Elf Land's Daughter By Lord Dunsany & Dave Hargrave's Winds of Change Arduin Grimoire Eight. What makes Winds of Change so good is the level of detail on Arduin's royals, cults, religions, gods, etc. And it was the detail & care that went into both books that had me. 

“Nobody can tell you about that sword all that there is to be told of it; for those that know of those paths of Space on which its metals once floated, till Earth caught them one by one as she sailed past on her orbit, have little time to waste on such things as magic and so cannot tell you how the sword was made, and those who know whence poetry is, and the need that man has for song, or know any one of the fifty branches of magic, have little time to waste on such things as science, and so cannot tell you whence its ingredients came. Enough that it was once beyond our Earth and was now here amongst our mundane stones; that it was once but as those stones, and now had something in it such as soft music has; let those that can define it.”

― Lord Dunsany, The King of Elfland's Daughter

Everything from Winds of Change by Dave Hargrave fitted on to a nice three by five index card & with a few hooks slotted into the back end of my campaign. The collapse of the events of 'The King of Elfland's Daughter' created the spark that was needed to pull the campaign across the finish line. When Erl is engulfed by Elfland it has repercussions in the mortal world & across the planes. Flash over to Arduin whose trading partner the land of Erl has disappeared! So its up to the PC's to find out what happened to Erl! The gods of Arduin haven't a clue because the events were voluntary. 

It was only with the inclusion of the dreamweaver class that the PC's managed to make it over to Fairyland and find the land of Erl. 
Dave Hargrave was always introducing new optional classes & this included the Dreamweaver class.
 Dave Hargrave's Winds of Change Arduin Grimoire Eight like many of the Grimoires introduced Arduin personalities, world setting notes, etc. 
And because of the form that these took they were able to be slotted right into play. War with several other nations was averted because the PC's were able to present Erl's king & prince. Later, the assassins guilds and thieves guild came into play during the campaign. There are five strengths that we found with '
Winds of Chance (Arduin Grimoire volume 8)' By Dave Hargrave: 
  1. Hargrave's works always seemed a bit more approachable to me as a DM. None of you must do A or B stuff. There was always 'you might want to try this' or 'In my experience as a DM A or B might happen'. 
  2. The sheer volume of material presented in 'Winds of Chance (Arduin Grimoire volume 8)' made it work and stand out among the Arduin Grimoires. 
  3. Hargrave worked his campaigns & points through actual play an early form of play testing & it shows. 
  4. The sheer imagination of 'Winds of Chance (Arduin Grimoire volume 8)'  shows through. 
  5. As a gaming resource 'Winds of Chance (Arduin Grimoire volume 8)' has been invaluable. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Clark Ashton Smith, The Wilderlands of High Fantasy, & S1 Gary Gygax's Tomb of Horrors As Old School Campaign

 A few days ago I posted about 'Judges Guild 'Wilderlands of High Fantasy' & Gary Gygax's B2 'Keep on the Borderlands' As Old School Campaign' on the blog. And over the last couple of day this blog entry has me thinking about 'The Arduin Grimoire'. For those of you who don't know of my love of these books let me assure you that they have coloured my campaigns for decades. 

Last night I went back into 'Into The Cities' webpress blog and came across the following little nugget; "There’s another version of the Wilderlands over here. Scott Driver’s version is heavily influenced by Clark Ashton Smith.

Check this out:

“The City State of the Invincible Overlord is an ancient, decadent metropolis surrounded by howling wilderness and ruled by a grim tyrant. Its precincts are prowled by grasping merchants, ruthless slavers, cunning thieves, hollow-eyed whores, and the ululating thralls of weird cults. Beneath its cobbled streets and reeking sewers lies a sprawling labyrinth teeming with foul creatures and brimming with forgotten treasures and forbidden lore." 
So Clark Ashton Smith, The Wilderlands of Hight Fantasy & more?!  You can find Scott Driver's Wilderlands on the Wayback machine here!  Driver goes on with the following; "A pronounced fondness is evinced for fungi, vermiforms, slimes, pods, cephalopods, gastropods, mutants, human-animal amalgams, dark cults, body horror, unspeakable tentacular booglies, anachronisms, purple prose, and gamer humor." 

The idea of B2 Keep on the Borderlands adventure locations surrounded by a mix of Robert E. Howard & Clark Ashton Smith inspired wilderness has very deadly implications. What about the village of Hommlet being a forgotten piece of these border fortresses along the edges of  'The City state of the Invincible Overlord'. If this is the case then perhaps S1 'The Tomb of Horrors' by Gary Gygax might also find a place within such a wilderness expanse. Now let's think about this for a moment, we've got a Clark Aston Smith inspired Wilderlands. The tomb dungeon & its occupant could be left alone by the Invincible Overlord to kill off any up & coming adventurer rivals. 

If we go with these CAS's influences  then S1 Tomb of Horror makes a certain amount of sense. The idea of a gallows humor dungeon & tomb with its lich king testing adventurers out in the wild wastelands & wilderness makes a lot of sense. Steve Wach of Red Pub Games also has a free set of maps available here for S1 Tomb of Horror 

Meanwhile the idea of a CAS inspired Wilderlands goes a long way towards roping in some of the ideas of the Arduin Grimoire. The alien influences, the nexus gates, forgotten technologies, etc. all point to an Arduin inspired connection. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

Campaign Commentary With publishing & Jason Vey's Amazing Adventures Fifth Edition rpg

 Back about 2011 or so it seemed like the OSR was quite a bit more free. Freedom to choose between OD&D, B/X, & even first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons or the retroclones of those editions. Reading through the Planet Algol blog as I'm want to do I came across this post from 2011 'Doing It Your Own Freaky Way'.  Its a good blog entry & it rings quite true in my ears today esepecially this bit; "Maybe you're unhappy with whatever edition of whatever RPG that your are refereeing or playing? Than let's just ditch whatever's dragging you down and try something else. "But the party hasn't completed the grand quest of saving yee olde fantasy orphanage!" Fuck the orphans, try playing/DMing what you'd like too, and maybe once you've got it out of your system you can return to the old game or even restart the campaign with a new system.

Maybe you're unhappy with a player in your group? Let's kickstart things, have a chat, and than if the chat doesn't resolve things KICK THE LOSER OUT OF THE GROUP. Sure he/she may be a good guy, a good friend, but if you don't enjoying their participation in the game than they need to go!

Maybe you really want to run a one-shot of Call of Cthulhu or Dogs in the Vinyard or something else but you're players are all "But we already known how to play D&D and plus we still have to recover the dwarven crown!" Tough luck, slam that COC rulebook down on the table at the beginning of the session and tell the players to make some damn investigators." 

My point? Sometimes it seems to me lately that the grand ole' hobby has a wee bit of a stick up its own ass. And I've been doing this blogging thing since '08 & there's quality or quantity. There's a game campaign that I've been dying to DM.  Since this is the case I'm planning on running J
ason Vey's Amazing Adventures fifth edition but with a Sword & Sorcery twist or two. 

We're not talking about running the PC fifth edition D&D here. Oh no! This is straight up balls to the walls Sword & Sorcery and Pulp action. If your interested then please tune in! We've got more action coming up! 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

OSR Review & Commentary On Davis Chenault's 'Beneath the Black Moon' For Castles & Crusades Rpg or Your Old School Campaigns

 "The Celebration of the Black begins with the unfurling of the Banner of the Black Moon. Delivered to the streets of Bergholt by the gods, the Banner is raised high and paraded through streets and alleys for all to see. Everyone dons mask and cape, lights fires and burns incense, imbibes and enjoys a bacchanalia, only to be followed by deeds of heinous nature, murder most foul in dark alleys, killings and slaughter abound such that the night ends in dread and terror.


What brings the Black Moon?"

Davis Chenault's 'Beneath the Black Moon'  isn't an adventure that you hear a lot of talk about. That's too bad because its a really solid mid tier adventure for Castles & Crusades PC's levels three to six. And 
'Beneath the Black Moon' picks up from where Castles & Crusades By Shadow of Night leaves off. The setting of  the City of Bergholt is a sort of mid point pseudo European country that adventurers always seem to stumble upon. And it reeks of criminality, backroom deals, scummy nobility and more. 

Inzae reminds me of Middle Ages Europe in the midst of the flowering of history. Things & history are changing, the old ways are dying, and almost everyone is trying like Hell to hold a candle to the darkness. According to the Inzae primer; "Observations, Notes and Commentary of Fodius the Fishmonger (deceased) on the World and People Before aught, the Dragon Inzaa existed. In the vast emptiness, Inzaa grew restless and wroth and began to spin upon herself. Such a violent thrashing and churning did this become that the Dragon ripped a shred from the fabric of nothingness and from this hole all manner of energy and matter spilt into the universe in a savage, churning vortex: the Maelstrom. Inzaa twirled about the Maelstrom for ages untold as time and space and matter and energy were cast off into the universe. Thus the beginning of worlds . . . . Inzae is a primer for a savage world of dark design. A land forged by the rage of a dragon. A land both harsh and cruel, where life is short and brutal ..." So the whole affair reeks of a world circling the drain of history. But Inzae is a world of a sorta of stability amidst the tides of the gods & history. Davis Chenault's 'Beneath the Black Moon'  takes this up & runs with it. Now I've got a physical copy of  'Beneath the Black Moon' & its not missing that key map. And the adventure itself is nicely done. Is it Halloween fare?!  Well yes & no. Remember those regions of stability within TSR classic Ravenloft second edition setting?! There were no monsters per say (even though there were). Well, Beneath The Black Moon presents other more dangerous foes and NPC's. Inzae should be called the sunset world. Because as soon as the sun sets your PC's are in for a Hell of a time. Highly recommended.. 

 Davis Chenault's 'Beneath the Black Moon' Is Available Right Over Here.. 

Review & Commentary on 'Speed Round 5E: A Guide to Streamlining Remote Tabletop Games' from Skirmisher Publishing


The folks over at Skirmisher Publishing were contacted me about looking at 'Speed Round 5E:A Guide For Streamlining Remote Table Top Games' . And this is fine because I'm planning on running & DMing fifth edition Amazing Adventures by Jason Vey from Troll Lord Games coming up for Halloween. 

The pdf clocks in at one hundred & fifty eight pages of rules, rolls, adjustments, and side systems for fifth edition. But these should work nicely with  fifth edition Amazing Adventures by Jason Vey because these systems are optional. They do actually seem to work in principle according to the blurb on the back of the book; "Speed Round includes mechanical adjustments to combat, characters, spells and spellcasting, and monsters — to include a mathematically-sound method for creating monster clusters — that are designed to streamline online play and make it quicker, easier, and more enjoyable. It helps to make online gaming smoother, quicker, and more pleasant with tips and guidance on teleconferencing; use of virtual tabletops and features associated with them like windows where maps can be displayed; and preparing for, running, and wrapping up sessions. It is lavishly illustrated and includes more than 100 images by noted fantasy artist Amanda Kahl" 
The systems  within 'Speed Round 5E:A Guide For Streamlining Remote Table Top Games' should work out from what I'm seeing they do present an entirely optional framework within which to run your games. There's a lot of care that went into this book and how I would use these systems is run the player's PC's through a number of gated world or as a part of a time travel campaign. Given Skirmisher Publishing's product history one title immediately springs to mind & that's 'Viking Warriors'. These two products used  together could be used enhance both real time & on line gaming. By speeding up combat rounds & reducing stress at the table top level there's more time for play & for actual role playing at the table. 

Do the systems within 'Speed Round 5E: A Guide to Streamlining Remote Tabletop Games' actually work?! From reading & thumbing through my review pdf it would seem so. My brushes with Fifth edition have been very limited and will continue to be. But this version of the rules of Fifth as it relates to 'Speed Round 5E: A Guide to Streamlining Remote Tabletop Games' seem to be solid & well thought out. They will be put to the test coming up. From all accounts 'Speed Round 5E: A Guide to Streamlining Remote Tabletop Games'  actually seems to be worth your time & your fifth edition dollars. 

'Speed Round 5E: A Guide to Streamlining Remote Tabletop Games' from Skirmisher Publishing  Is Available Right Here. 

Review & Commentary On 'As Above So Below' Adventure By Miguel Ribeiro For the 'Post Cards From Avalidad' rpg or Any Science Fiction or Horror Rpg

 "In Avalidad there are urban legends about Agartha, an underground town inhabited by mutants and other outcasts.

It is not a myth."

“This is a war universe. War all the time. That is its nature. There may be other universes based on all sorts of other principles, but ours seems to be based on war and games. All games are basically hostile. Winners and losers. We see them all around us: the winners and the losers. The losers can oftentimes become winners, and the winners can very easily become losers.” William S. Burroughs

'As Above So Below' clocks in at fifty one pages & is by Miguel Ribeiro &  includes statistics for AFM and *Punk, but usable with any system. Sometimes adventures are not simply adventures because their supplements as well. Miguel Ribeiro sent me a copy of 'As Above So Below' & thought that it would add into the mix of my 'Post Cards From Avalidad' & Zozer Games Zaibatsu campaign coming up. Avalidad is a bit of a monster for a DM to tackle in the sense that there are a ton of moving parts & pieces. This isn't a bad thing at all. 

Miguel Ribeiro  brings the seedy underbelly of Avalidad to the fore front of the campaign setting in spades. 'As Above So Below' punches the players in the face with the setting's factions, underbelly, criminal elements, alien forces, & more. According to Miguel Ribeiro this has been done on purpose; 


Though I used the same "formula" as before, As Above, so Below is slightly different from previous releases: it's both a micro-setting, Agartha, and a scenario (that's the similar part), but plays a bit like a "dungeon", taking place in an underground shantytown and being encounter-based.
Player characters can choose from several factions – mostly criminals, but also law-enforcement – who storm Agartha searching for a stolen future tech item."

Because of the way that the factions, powers, etc. of how 'As Above So Below'  this adventure can be played with a number of Rpg's. That being said it easily translates over to Zozer Games Zaibatsu. The PC's find themselves up to their ears in some definitively dangerous circumstances. But is 'As Above So Below' good?! Yes on a number of levels. The first level is as an adventure & you can think of 'As Above So below' as a mix of both a high budget action tale & a deeper pitched thriller with science fictional elements. 
As a sourcebook for the  
'Post Cards From Avalidad' rpg, 'As Above So Below' works as both a sourcebook & excellent expansion for the game. It does this by plugging into the idea of adventure as campaign setting expansion in spades. The encounters, NPC's, etc. are all pitched for Avalidad as a breathing & living adventure location. 
Third 'As Above So Below' works as a deeper cut into the underbelly 
'Post Cards From Avalidad' rpg game & setting. Make no mistake 'As Above So Below' is pure & clean making it unique for the rpg, campaign, and game as a whole. 
Can 'As Above So Below' be used with other rpg's?! And the answer to that is yes as a whole it could work as an introduction to 
the Post Cards From Avalidad' rpg setting. 
And this is what swings us back around to 
Zozer Games Zaibatsu. Where the low lift characters become embroiled in the world of 'Post Cards From Avalidad' rpg setting from the events of 'As Above So Below' 

'As Above So Below ' works because it places the PC's within the line of sight of several factions at once. The crooks, the law, and forces from beyond. And it does this while moving through its internal timeline. And 'As Above So Below' is a solid addition to the 
  'Post Cards From Avalidad' rpg! 

 'As Above So Below' Adventure By Miguel Ribeiro  For the 'Post Cards From Avalidad' rpg Is Available Rpg