Saturday, July 31, 2021

OSR Review & Commentary On 'The Giallo: Orpheum Lofts' By Miguel Ribeiro From Postmortem Studios

"A 'Giallo' (Italian pulp) style scenario/context for dramatic crime/supernatural adventures. A cast of strange characters, opportunities for conflict and suggestions for what may - or may not - be a supernatural threat."

So Miguel Ribeiro approached me about doing a review for Giallo: Orpheum Lofts his series of  adventure/mini campaign/ & source book all in one based upon the Italian pulps aka the Giallo (“Yellow”, in Italian). So what is Orpheum Lofts?! According the adventure's introduction; " Orpheum Lofts is a systemagnostic horror role-playing scenario, inspired by Dario Argento’s  T ree Mothers Trilogy [Suspiria (1977), Inferno (1980) and Mother of Tears (2007)], Polanski’s The eTenant (1976) and Rosemary’s Baby (1968), as well as‘80s and ‘90s sitcoms, and romantic comedies. Yes,"
Giallo: Orpheum Lofts
 isn't quite an adventure, not quite a setting book, & not quite a mini campaign all in one.
The book is well done as a modern borderline horror style supplement book. But what's the OSR connection?! After reading through the 
Giallo: Orpheum Lofts its obvious this is an advanced style adventure with its own internal rpg style loosly. But after reading over the  Giallo: Orpheum Lofts. This might be a very good weird location for Kasimir Urbanski's   "The Invisible College" rpg! Why?! Because the implication here is that are some dangerously serious secrets involved in the Giallo: Orpheum Lofts. Because "The Invisible College" rpg is B/X D&D or OSR based its a nice fit for  the Giallo: Orpheum Lofts.

Magus dealing with the inhabitants of  the  Giallo: Orpheum Lofts are going to be using magick & rituals to divine the nature of the location as well as its cast of NPC's. Think 'Rose Mary's Baby' meets early Eighties 'Friends' except creepier. In point of fact there's a bit of a David Lynch feel about this. The term I would use for the  Giallo: Orpheum Lofts is "situational sandboxes".
If set within New York City, the  Giallo: Orpheum Lofts is a place of the unreal meeting the heavy Pulp. But if your expecting flashing guns & hard core sanity ripping horror this isn't it. We have the thinking man's adventure here where magick would be approrpriate to solve a bit of the secrets. But  the  Giallo: Orpheum Lofts is place where the weird has indeed settled & I highly doubt that one session is going to solve the peoples & mysteries of the  Giallo: Orpheum Lofts. The only question is which society & organization is behind some of the mysterious. 
Is the  Giallo: Orpheum Lofts worth the price of a down load? I believe so for the following, the setting is original, the ideas solid, & its a great little book to introduce a group of players to the dangerous  side of Giallo 

Feeding Frenzy - A Post Apocalyptic Encounter For The Mutant Future Rpg Or Any Old School Post Apocalyptic Rpg Campaign

 The waters around post apocalyptical Pensacola Beach  in  Florida have been quiet. Beyond too quiet!  But things have been getting very dangerous as mutants, adventurers, & travelers have been going missing around the old ruins! 

There are legends of old mutant sharks that were released by some outfit ages back called the Hammerheads. The ruins of Pensacola Beach may seem like an unlikely spot for one of the most dangerous mutant strains around but the Floridian waters are home to Hammerheads. A strain of sharkoid that is very dangerous and very valuable.
The blue green clear waters are home to this bloodthirsty breed and after the Final Wars the Hammer head population exploded. Hammer heads are found in both the waters around the former state and occasionally hunting along the beaches. No humanoid is safe from these blood thirsty  mutants. They will track, scare, and hunt prey for days picking off parties of adventurers at their leisure. They kill for both sport and to get a high from the fear of their prey. But this has become a two edged sword for these creatures. Parties of 'shark hunters' are forming around the beaches. But the Hammerheads know of this through a network of cultists who make their home among the Pensacola ruins. These cultists take a superscience drug called Riptide. This drug is made from a neurochemical the Hammerheads create naturally due to their mutations. 

The hammerheads are actually the ones fueling the 'hunting parties' who actually being set up to be murdered by the mutants. The hammerheads are having a bit of a food shortage & so they've decided to subsidize their season with some adventurers.
The 'mutant underground' has gotten wind of this situation & so they contact the characters to head off the situation. The 'mutant underground' is aware of another interested party in the form of the A.I. lead  super science cult Apex! Apex has awoken from a deep intense slumber after its last encounter with adventurers several years ago details here.  Apex at its base/lair has 1d20 cybernetically controlled hammerheads that it plans on unleashing on the local fishing villages as revenge for being stopped the last time! The rest of the tribes of the local tribes of Hammerheads will look upon this as prime feeding frenzy time & will simply dive in! 
The PC's must head off any hammerheads they can before Apex unleashes it horrors and or find the local Apex base to raid or blow it up! There will be 1d100 cultists to deal with as well! 


No. Enc: 1d6
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement: 90' (30')
                    180’ (60’) Swim
AC: 4
HD: 15
Attacks: 3 (1 bite and 2 claws)
Damage: 3d6 / 2d4+1d3 / 2d4+1d3
Save: L15
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: VII, XVI
Mutations: Aberrant form (amphibious lungs, natural weapons, xenomorphism: chimera), asexual, dietary requirement change (living flesh), increased senses (smell), natural armor.
Source: Hammerhead (2005)

Hammerhead stats by  Chris Van Deelen from 
Creatures of the Tropical Wastes (Mutant Future)

Friday, July 30, 2021

OSR Review & Commentary On NEON LORDS OF THE TOXIC WASTELAND rpg By Brian Shutter From Super Savage Systems For Your OSR Or Old School Games

 "Ultra-Violent, and style matters tabletop RPG, that builds off of the “BX” rules. Half Medieval Fantasy half Sci-Fi, neon lords of the toxic wasteland is a no-holds-barred to the max game! Oozing 80's and 90's nostalgia the game features items from Ninja Stars to Fanny packs in addition to many references to the era."

"In addition to being built on top of the 'BX" rules, the core rules use an ability class points system and fortune points in which grants the player some flexibility in dire rolls.
The setting is post-apocalyptic earth in which magic, mixed with the technology of the period of the 1980’s- the early ’90s, created the cassette futurism seen in the Neo-Terraxx tech and some of the Xeno tech, as well as the art style. Neon Lords of the Toxic Wasteland is over the top, bloody, random, wild, and a hell of a good time. Sit back, crack open some TAB, and roll some damage"

So over the last forty eight hours NEON LORDS OF THE TOXIC WASTELAND rpg has wormed its way into my hands. This is game is beyond  Mountain Dew Green  Eighties & Nineties parody atomic OSR rpg goodness. But beyond the cranked up & on weirdness is a tight little B/X mutated rpg engine in the form  NEON LORDS OF THE TOXIC WASTELAND rpg. And yet its completely compatible with the D&D cyclopedia or any of the OSR's retroclone  publications. This B/X clone has several differences then the usual OSR weirdness that blanket's the current marketplace. How?! According to the NEON LORDS OF THE TOXIC WASTELAND rpg's kickstarter,"In addition to being built on top of the 'BX" rules, the core rules use an ability class points system and fortune points in which grants the player some flexibility in dire rolls. " The game feels like a dust up of a hyper cultclassic sci fi movies & B/X with twice the Eighties or Nineties attitude. And the Neon Lords almost begs your mutated PC's to dive in with eleven PC classes: 

  • The Brutacorn; a biomechanical bi-corn that's been exiled from their society.
  • Cosmic Barbarian; a dual weapon-wielding maniac who snorts cosmic stardust to fuel his rage.
  • Cyberskin; bio-engineered clones of Ex-President Ronald Reagan. 
  • Death Bringer; master of melee carnage can take on multiple baddies at once. 
  • Dwarfling; Interstellar immigrants who utilize their luck to gain an edge in any perilous engagement.
  • H.E.A.T.H.E.R; Super soldiers from a forgotten war that were brought back to deliver justice one bullet at a time.
  • Holy Smiter; Mankind's champion against all that is chaotic and Xeno who uses holy power granted by a God.
  • Night Stalker; A deadly martial artist who uses stealth and shadows to strike hard from.
    Skull Jammer; Tape Deck jockeys who can Hack their way through dungeons.
  • Star Spawn; Strange psychic aliens whose purpose on the planet is unknown.
  • War Wizard; Humanoids who sold their souls to Demonlords in exchange for the ability to cast dark magic.
If these character classes feel familiar that's because their a complete reskin of the B/X PC classes to fit the outrageous world of the NEON LORDS OF THE TOXIC WASTELAND rpg. There's a beginning adventure in the form of 'The Last Outpost On The Left' 

There's more then enough OSR goodness to get off a campaign with only the the NEON LORDS OF THE TOXIC WASTELAND rpg rule book. The campaign world of Neo-Terraxx is pretty much fleshed out. Take any cheeseball cultclassic sci fi VHS era movie & flesh it out with this game. Faster then you can say, 'Block Buster movie night' you've got a game off & running! There's even more support in the Neonlord's Faceook group here.

Bask in its full-color glory! Neo-Terraxx just waiting for players to dive in and slay some baddies!!The game clocks in at a healthy 249 pages of post apocalyptical weirdness. And there's enough in the main the NEON LORDS OF THE TOXIC WASTELAND rpg's rule book to get you & your players actually started right out of the gate. And there's even support for the game straight out of the gate.  So faster then you can return your VHS tapes to Blockbuster, the NEON LORDS OF THE TOXIC WASTELAND rpg already has support in the form of neon coloured  'Thirsty For More' supplement. 

And whose responsible for this toxic waste outrage of an rpg?! A fellow New Englander named Brian Shutter. Last year David Davenport from  'The Hardboiled GMshoe's Office' posted a long interview about NEON LORDS OF THE TOXIC WASTELAND rpg here. Brian is from the upper part of New York state & I believe that there's something in the water in New England. But Brian breaks down his creation right in the interview straight off; "7:31 PM +Brian_Shutter: Neon Lords of the Toxic Wasteland is a Ultra-Violent, and style matters tabletop RPG, that builds off of the “BX” rules. Half Medieval Fantasy half Sci-Fi, neon lords of the toxic wasteland is a no-holds-barred to the max game! Oozing 80’s and 90’s nostalgia the game features items from Ninja Stars to Fanny packs in addition to many references"
 And its this long drawn out OSR weirdness that the game provides that keeps tugging at the back brain. One part 90's era wrastling, three part's 'After School Cartoons', & ten parts B/X OSR rpg  ultra violence! Take for example;" Operation Cherry Bomb is the 1st of 2 adventures that are included in the Core Rulez book. Cherry Rex has been kidnapped and the Detroit-Prime murderball team, the Detroit-Prime Madmen, can't play without their star cheerleader! It's up to you and your party of sleazeballs to infiltrate the Slime-Pits and get her back in time for kick-off! The amazing art for the adventure was done by Caprio Art over on insta."

Take the NEON LORDS OF THE TOXIC WASTELAND rpg's rule book add in Mutant Future & any of the additional material that's already on the rpg market place & you could be having a campaign lasting many years! 
Add in Mentzer style B/X rules cyclopedia goodness & you've got a game built for awesomeness!

PDF Is Available Right Here 

The Nazi Mega Dungeons of Antarctica - The Modern UFO Bases For Cepheus Engine & Your 2D6 OSR Game Campaigns

At its heart Operation High Jump was an attempt to deal with & curtail Bedienung Schrank or Operation Closet.  The Nazi had cut deals with several of the alien races that were operating out of Antarctica.

'The Ice Castle' still sits in the middle of the Anaractic run by the Mi Go & their allies. The place waits with day to day operations run by key Nazi officers brains in jars handling all of the day to day details. The 'Ice Castle' herself has claimed the lives of over 400 hundred operatives & international military over the years. The highly dangerous former salt mine is home to both Earth based Mi Go & necro cybernetic entities that used to be Nazi military. There is also a loyal cadre of Black Sun fifth column  operatives using the 'The Ice Castle' 's underground city as possible launch point for terrorist activity through South America. 

The Ice Castle photos taken during the Occult Wars of 1947 through 1955 

The New Swabia Nazi colony is still there under the ice & has become very active recently with several of  its mecha reaching the shores of both  Australia & several smaller pockets of 2021 civilization. There is some confusion as to the nature of the pilots of these mecha they appear to be some sort of advanced clone or synthetic being. These cybernetic occult  creatures destroy themselves in a weird  display of all consuming  fire. This has left little evidence behind as to the exact nature of these monsters. 
Spy satellites in the area show extensive underground bases & military assets but the nature of the  New Swabia. But whom or what alien or humanoid life form are inhabiting the area is unknown. Only patches such as this one have been found at any of the attacks in recent days. And there  is fear that these attacks could spark a band new spat of a start up of the Occult Wars again among world leaders & U.N. officials. 

New Swabia Nazi Colony Mecha 
275 KG End :15/ Life Blood 40 Armor 15 
Living Brain Cybernetic Life Form Pilot 
Combat 3 Physical 2 Technical 2 
Two Shoulder Mounted Licht der Götter 
Laser Weapons 4d6 Dam Range 20/40 Magazine 20 shots each 
Double Tap, Fire, Laser Weapon 

New Swabia Nazi Colony Mecha capable of operating for 20 hours continuously on spent nuclear fuel cell.  


Thursday, July 29, 2021

OSR Review & Commentary 'The Stars Without Number Equipment Database' By Angry Golem Games For Stars Without Numbers Revised Or Your Old School Campaigns

 When it comes to interstellar rpg games there's one thing that's always been a pain in the afterburner. That's the fact that there's never enough equipment to satisfy every science fiction or science fantasy fan. And this was something that came across when looking over Troll Lord Games's Starship Warden rpg book. Not that there isn't enough sci fi equipment & weapons. But enough to satisfy the sci fi fanatics? What to do?! Fortunately all of the heavy lifting was taken care of by ANGRY GOLEM GAMES. And their book 'The  Stars Without Number Equipment Database'

If your expecting oogles of sci fi artwork & fantastic equipment illustrations there's none of that. And that's fine for this sci fi rpg fan because we're interested in stats, suits, armor, weapons, & all kinds of mayhem inducing devices. And that's exactly what we get here! There are solid stats on, ' 
Armors, Ranged Weapons, Melee Weapons, Heavy Weapons, Ammunition's, Communications, Computing & Accessories, Field Equipment, Pharmaceuticals, Tools and Medical, Batteries and Generators, Vehicles, Drones, Droids, Cyberware and Misc. Equipment.' All of this comes in solid sixty two pages of ultra violence goodness that your PC's are gonna wanna use. 'The  Stars Without Number Equipment Database' isn't sit on shelf equipment & weapons but actual fighting & solidly made stuff that you can equip your PC's with or better yet your NPC's! 
There's enough in sixty two pages to get a full on adventuring group equipped & ready to start kicking alien or human behind. And its well done. The book is well laid out & very much up to  

The  Stars Without Number Equipment Database'  is sheer OSR & it's ready to go for those games easily. And this is something we find time & again ready to go for each of these weapons. The  Stars Without Number Equipment Database'  will easily work with OSR games such as Mutant Future or Stars Without Number Revised. 

'The  Stars Without Number Equipment Database' is a solid book which does exactly what it says on the tin & title. That is it gives you gobs of weapons, armor, & equipment for your OSR sci fi games & it does it well. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

OSR Space Opera Blues & Night Owl Workshop's Warriors of the Red Planet rpg


Today's been the sort of running on rpg table dialogue with a couple of friends & on discussion is that infamous Clark Aston Smith solar system campaign that seemed to run me ages ago. There's been talk about the fact that we brought several of our Warriors of the Red Planet rpg characters into interstellar conflict with several of Magic Pig Media's interstellar races. The reason that this has come up is Chenault & Gray Publishing's latest kickstarter Robert E. Howard Art Chronology.  
Why?! Because for a very long time I've been yammering about Chenault & Gray Publishing's The Edgar Rice Burroughs 100 Year Art Chronology

Bare in mind that two of my players passed on. And the entire group of players that we were running with turned to manure. Death affects groups in different ways & things often take turns in unexpected directions. The fact of the matter is that no one expects the rug to be pulled out from under them. 
These days we're far better equipped to deal with these things because when your fellow DM's & players are your friends things can be easier to digest. 
Now this brings up two very important points. Fact one our Mars was & is a post apocalyptic  campaign landscape. The second thing is that many of Clark Aston Smith's Martians & HP Lovecraft's Martians have returned. But this wasn't your typical campaign setting because the players had invested so much into the background with their PC's. 
There was a lot of plane jumping & several of the PC's died while exploring a realm locked within its own hidden mini plane from Brett Slocum's Warriors of the Lost Planet.  Then two of our regular DM's & player's died. This tore up our home game for almost a couple of months now. 

So what happening now?! There's been talk among to our other players & DM's that they'd like me to return to DMing this campaign. I'm not really sure that I can. There's been a bit of movement on my part with the recent review of Night Owl Workshop's Space Nobles on the blog.  But to be honest I'm not sure if I'm ready for this. There's a lot of baggage under this bridge. Besides which I've been getting involved with DM Steve's own Stars Without Number/Cepheus Engine rpg hybrid campaign. 
Ultimately we were starting to cross into White Star: Galaxy edition rpg turf back in our own Clark Ashton Smith Campaign. Several of the players were/are huge Star Wars fans & there were several references to the ancient Martian psionic clans that kept cropping up. 
Ultimately this leads me back to thinking about Gary Gygax's passing in a way & original Dungeons & Dragons. Really need to let this whole thing rest for the night folks. 

The Starship Warden Mixed With Patrick Wetmore's ASE1: Anomalous Subsurface Environment & ASE 2- 3 : Anomalous Subsurface Environment

 So lots has been happening at the table top level this week.  Troll Lord Games the Starship Warden has been on everyone's mind because its shook up the players. The weren't expecting this massive campaign & rpg book at the table top level. Now David McGuire has shown a bunch of James M. Ward's Dark E adventures. But I know DM Steve's players. These are the type of guys who will search methodically until they come across these adventures. So being off of social media I decided to take a completely different adventure or campaign route. There are two big questions here, 'How long has the Warden been in the star system?' And the following, ' What affect has the Warden's presence had on any local fantasy M style planets?'  Foratunely the heavy lifting was already done for me by Patrick Wetmore from his critically acclaimed 

Patrick Wetmore's ASE1: Anomalous Subsurface EnvironmentASE2 -3 : Anomalous Subsurface Environment are perfect Warden campaign backdrops. The adventurers are not aware of the state of the campaign world. Nor are they aware of the fact that the Warden mayhap returned back to Earth two or three thousand years after the disaster that 'destroyed' it. The Warden returns to 'Earth' after the redundant systems kick in. Or do those systems bring her home to the nearest 'M' colony world?

 ASE1: Anomalous Subsurface Environment &   ASE 2-3  : Anomalous Subsurface Environment were published in 2012. And they are almost but not quite forgotten in the rush of OSR products today. This means that they're rife to be revived to use as a possible Warden campaign background. But the monsters, treasures,  damage stats, etc. because these adventures were meant for Labyrinth Lord originally line up quite nicely with Amazing Adventures system. This is the basis for the Star Ship Warden campaign. It also means that several of the AA Manual of Monsters creature factions might be very interested in the Warden. 

 We have no idea how long the fleet of the Starship Warden has been in system?! Could the A.I. gods of ASE1: Anomalous Subsurface Environment &  ASE 2&3 : Anomalous Subsurface Environment not even be aware themselves?! The true purpose of many of the 'enchanted' artifacts & systems might have been lost for thousands of years. So could there actually be a technological wizard or priest class ala Babylon five who actually know some of the Warden's secrets?! 
And this very situation opens up the alien factions who would like nothing more then to exploit the Warden's secrets?! The revelation of a ship such as the Warden is nothing more then society shattering! 
Think of Gary Gygax's World of Greyhawk's civilization being shattered by the revelation of the Star Ship Warden being at the heart of the world's origins. What happens to the gods at that point?! 

Gary Gygax used to mix such adventures into his own home Greyhawk campaign. Patrick Wetmore's ASE1: Anomalous Subsurface Environment & ASE2-3 : Anomalous Subsurface Environment are perfect Warden campaign because they play with such concepts at their very foundation. Now if only there was a way mix all of this together?! We'll be covering that next blog entry. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

OSR Review & Commentary On The Space Noble Supplement from Night Owl Workshop For Warriors of the Red Planet Rpg or Your Old School or OSR Campaigns

" Alien kings, space monarchs, rulers of the known universe, decadent nobles of a highly advanced and technological civilization, and of course Space Princesses are staples of space operas, sci-fi sagas, and tales of strange worlds and other dimensions. The Warriors of the Red Planet roleplaying game provides the basics needed to run a Sword & Planet style interplanetary fantasy romance campaign using the classic OSR style rules. However if there was one class that was missing it was the Space Noble -- the aristocracy of the dying red planet. This supplement endeavors to fill that gap with a very playable royal character class, though its primary purpose is to describe the NPC’s that the player characters will encounter."

There are times when something so obvious goes right above your head & that it doesn't come into play until you need it. Take for example the NPC  idea of the Space Noble from Night Owl Workshop. Player's PC have been encountering space going nobles since the inception of the 'grand game'. Right?! Wrong! 
The Space Noble NPC class brings the high end space royals into an interstellar game or even an original Dungeons & Dragons! The Space Noble does this in fourteen pages of royal OSR goodness. 
The threat of bringing down the interstellar hammer onto a kingdom isn't one that I've seen before in D&D. But it would easily fit as a campaign goal & here we've got all of the tools to bring to life a 'Ming the Merciless' style NPC quite easily. 
Remember that  Dejah ThorisPrincess of Helium, from Edgar Rice Burroughs 'A Princess of Mars' & Flash Gordon's Ming are both cut from the same cloth. The cloth of interstellar  alien royalty is quite extensive a pedigree in Science Fiction & Science Fantasy. And in my humble opinion interstellar royals are quite under represented as villains in D&D campaigns. 

Ming as portrayed by Charles Middleton in Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940), seen with one of his dancers, actress Carmen D'Antonio

Used correctly & a '
Space Noble'  could easily become the center piece for an entire campaign setting. And by this I mean ANY campaign setting. The Space Noble  could be a whole cloth villain of a campaign with a whole host of lesser NPC villains under him or her. The real pattern here could be Ming whose one of those vile villains that has his lesser nobles at each other's throats. Yet, he along with his ancestors built an entire artificial solar system spanning  empire that's mobile. Mongo according to the Flash Gordon newspaper strips is mobile capable of being encountered anywhere in the universe. 

But we digress here, the 'Space Noble' has the potential to be one of the deadliest NPC villains that a campaign can have. And the 'Space Noble' from Night Owl Workshop is classy & very well put together for both your Old school & OSR style games.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Zero Session or DM Flip's The Script - The Castles & Crusades Rpg Aligned With The Star Ship Warden Rpg book Sessions

 Happy Gary Gygax day! This blog post pick's right off where we left off yesterday  on the blog! 
To celebrate we got together over the weekend over DM Steve's place & cracked open a few beers for play session of Castles & Crusades. I got to play an arcanist Metatron The Magificant whose a fugitive from Amazing Adventures rpg by Jason Vey. Metatron has been trapped on Greyhawk after a botched teleport spell. His party of adventurers left Greyhawk  ages ago. But because scheduling I didn't get back to play so he got left behind.  

So over the weekend we've been having a lot of fun with Troll Lord Games Starship Warden rpg. So our Castles & Crusades party were wrapping up a group of orc envoys taking an object back to their black wizard master. We intercepted the orcs & after a prolonged battle wound up accidently activating the cubic gate. After the Elven warrior rolled a 'one' in his battle with the orc  shaman who was carrying the gate. One flash & a whole lot of magic later, our party ended up along with half of an orc party of NPC's in the middle of a 1920's urban city! Confronting us were two groups of  wolf like Hyena creatures dressed in impeccably tailor Nineteen Twenties gangster suits armed with machine guns! 

Tiger by ~jeddibub on deviantART
We didn't even stick around to find out what was going on?! Our party ran! And ran eight or so blocks as the 'gangsters' open up with Thompson submachine guns on one another!?! We have no idea at the moment what happened to the orcs! We've got the cubic gate if that's what it is. The party is completely in the dark. The players have no idea where we are or what's happening. We're only sure of three things: one we are in a strange alien city, we have crossed planes (again), and we're no longer in Greyhawk! 
Even though I own  the Starship Warden rpg book 
. Neither myself nor my PC has any idea what's going on at the moment! 

Neither does the party but Hilllock our Dwarf has heard of such jumps before from his ancestor over two hundred years before. But Hillock's grandfather was a cheat & a liar of the highest order so who knows! Right at the moment our party of adventurers has broken into the store room of some business and has hidden there for the moment. We've found food and some facilities for getting ourselves cleaned up. We have  fresh source of water at the moment.
Are we on the Pequad, The Warden, or some other vile ship of DM Steve's design & making?! We don't know! He's flipped the script on us! 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Other Times & Other Starships - The Castles & Crusades Rpg Aligned With The Star Ship Warden Rpg book

They designed the Starship Warden to house, feed and clothe over a million people. To do this the designers outfitted this massive ship, miles long and miles wide, to serve as a home for people offering up quarters and cafeterias, restaurants, and malls all intermingled with a host of features to mimic earth-like conditions, from artificial lakes to fields of crops. Her maiden voyage began with hopes and dreams of a future like nothing humanity had ever seen."

"But that was long ago. There has been no contact between the Warden and Earth for many long years for on the ship something went horribly awry. Radiation leaks, singularity, mutations, madness, what it was, only the inhabitants could say. Whatever it was, her inhabitants, those that lived, dwell in a world of want and despair, and when they were not preying upon one another, they fight beastly mutants, cyborgs, self-aware robotic humanoids and all the other creatures who vie for the precious resources of the beleaguered starship."

"It is your time now. Rise in the chaos of the Warden and bend its apocalypse to your will -- or be ground away in the lonely quiet of deep space."

So the Warden has been wandering space for a very long time now. Now if there were planar gateways vie the wormholes like 
the Rings of Brass, magical portals that lead to Dwarven roads carved through the planes from Castles & Crusades Stains Upon The Green. These roadways are very old indeed. 

This means that there are likely other ancient fantasy races that might be using these 'back doors' as a means of expanding their own interests aboard the Warden. A fantasy race that comes immediately to mind? James Mishler's Dragonborn  are a perfect dragonic set of colonialists who share their ancient dragon ancestor's lust for conquest. This means that they are perfect foils for some ancient dragon whose looking to expand his or her holdings upon the prime material plane. Why would the world of the Warden be prime real estate?! The fact that's a self enclosed environment means that there are not any other dragons within the Warden. But its ripe for dragonic conquest or  exploitation especially with an army of dragonborn warriors whose draconic parent has taken full advantage to bring in his family of familial warriors. 

So let's go with this idea for a moment. The Warden is a technological nightmare of an adventure campaign setting location & this is meant in the best way possible. Could the Warden only be the starting point. If we go back to 2012 Greyhawk Grognard's blog had an alternative Metamorphis Alpha rpg campaign start up called the Beanstalk. And while this campaign setting  start point was written for Metamorphis Alpha first edition. It could easily be ported over to a Metamorphis Alpha colony idea. Not the Warden's original destination but an alternative secondary destination. 

In the past we've used our own fictional generation  colony ship based on Herman Melville's novel 'Moby Dick'. The name of the world spanning colony ship in question was the Pequod based on the Warden from the original Metamorphis Alpha rpg first edition deck plans. The 
 'Pequod' was a part of the Warden expedition & star ship colony & exploration  fleet. This was a part of my uncle's original campaign back in the early Eighties. 

DM Steve recently used his own campaign notes that last year were turned over to me based on my uncle's notes. He himself inserted two different D&D & OSR style groups invading certain sections of the ship. One was the Elves of Castles & Crusades looking to exploit a plane Prime location & the other? The Eld peoples of  'Misty Isle of the Eld' by Chris Kutalik, &  Robert Parker. The Eld are in a protracted war with the mutants of the 'Pequod' & the Elves. 

The Eld themselves had a run in with DM Steve's own Amazing Adventures  rpg 1940's crew of adventurers. Things went from bad to worse with the 1940's crew of adventurers running from the 'Pequod'. But now I'm off to play in that Amazing Adventures rpg campaign. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

' Dangerous New Beginnings Aboard The Warden & The Beginning of Adventure' - The Castles & Crusades Rpg Aligned With The Star Ship Warden Rpg book

 "An unraveled dream of new worlds turned nightmare; lost in the deep beyonds, the Warden is your home, your world, your end"

When it comes to post apocalyptic  rpg's there are a few that really get under my skin in the same way that Metamorphosis Alpha first edition rpg did. The Goodman games version was solid but really wasn't my cup of tea. But last year Troll Lords announced they were doing a Kickstarter with James M. Ward. Long story short I missed it. And its new version of Starseige which is powering the Starship Warden rpg  was written & designed by Jason Vey from the Amazing Adventures  rpg. Did I mention that the Starship Warden is massive clocking in at six hundred & forty eight pages of space trapped goodness. 

So being the post apocalyptic fanatic that I'm, I ordered the Starship Warden rpg book from Troll Lord Games & the pdf along with it! The book lives up to the hype because it has so many campaigns, adventure locations, new mutant monsters, & much more. The Starship Warden rpg book  is so much more. On the one hand this  the Starship Warden rpg book  is also a campaign setting book as well as its own rpg system book all in one. 

This is basically an all in one sci fi rpg & campaign setting or system depending upon how one looks at it. Can it be played with classic Castles & Crusades rpg. And that goes back to a recommendation of James M. Ward said about using the Starship Warden rpg  book as the starting point for a C&C campaign starting point. This means that the peusdo European areas of the Warden could be used as the starting point for such a campaign. Players however don't need to know that their PC's are starting in such an area. 

So if we go by  the Rings of Brass, magical portals that lead to dwarven roads carved through the planes from Castles & Crusades Stains Upon The Green then perhaps these account for the appearance of the Elven prince Wren upon the Warden. Prince Wren is from 'Starship Warden: Saving Wren and Deck Expansions adventure module

We know that there are replica of European castles aboard the Warden perhaps some of these are a bit too exact. Some of the castles details mimic the Dwarven runes & these in turn act as a gateway for the magicks of the brass rings .

So perhaps that inn where the PC's meet isn't simply located  an isolated mountain village. Perhaps its a part of a mountain retreat that was originally a ski resort lost in a post apocalyptic star ship a million miles from where the adventurers were expect themselves to be. 
This could be a prime time to trot out Gary Gygax's  'B2 The Keep On The Borderland'.This time however the classic module is set aboard the Warden. And adventure events proceed's from the classic module's time table. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Gamma World 1st Edition "Legion of Gold GW1" by Gary Gygax, Luke Gygax, Paul Reiche Ill As Well As Gamma World Memories.

 "There is much to worry about in the mutated world of the future, but Baron Jemmas, Warder of Horn, has more on his mind that most. In recent weeks several of the outlying towns of his Barony have been wiped out by a band of mysterious golden marauders."

"These creatures struck from nowhere and vanished without a trace when their deeds were done. The Warder has decided that they must be stopped before the entire Barony of Horn falls beneath their onslaught, and so he is offering a great reward to anyone who can defeat the Legion of Gold."

"Legion of Gold GW1" by 
Gary GygaxLuke GygaxPaul Reiche Ill still remains one of our all time favorite post apocalyptic sand box adventures. This is because while other post apocalyptic rpg games come & go Gamma World first edition remains iconic. So iconic that even today the model is being offered in print once again by Wizards of the Coast. Even today mutants & adventurers are still being killed off in the wilds of horn seeking out the golden maruaders! 

Baron Jemmas, Warder of Horn, is an interesting NPC in his own right. Often glossed over in favor of the the rest of the sandbox of a module. Horn has all of the hallmarks of a post apocalytic domain. And that's exactly how we used it back in the Eighty one. The more we solved the dilema's of Baron Jemmas the more we came into his own good graces. According to Zen Darkstar on Rpg Geeks; "This is perhaps the best GW module ever made! If you are a lazy/unimaginative GM who needs everything laid out for you (or you like your adventures designed by rail-road engineers), that this is not your game. This is a "sandbox" (or 'point of light') setting - its an open-ended setting, with enough "seed" to run all sorts of adventures in and around it. The only down sides, is the way the players get to pick freely from the Baron's armory. This armory has a number of powerful artifacts, that the players should find on the course of the adventure - with all the trials and errors that comes with figuring them out."
And its these trials & tribulations from the players of the Gamma World adventures within GW1 that gives the fodder to create the campaign world of Gamma Terra from the ground up! The sand box style of GW1 is both its strength & weakness. Paired with Gamma World first or second edition & soon your mutants & adventurers had their own kingdoms if they lived that long. 

"Legion of Gold GW1" has several of the usual high end qualities of Gamma World classic play going for it! Weird creatures, outlandish awesome adventure encounters, weird factions, & deadly combat. Beware that even though it says on the module cover, "Designed for use by 2-8 players of low to mid-levels." There have been several PC's of mine from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons that have been killed by the monsters in GW1. There's so much potential for campaign use in GW1. And the encounters can end well or not at all. 
And its the all or nothing attitude with GW1 that remains a part of intriniscic charm & why it remains iconic even today. What makes it better? The 
"Legion of Gold GW1" module has been reprinted & is available on Drivethrurpg right here 

There are five things that our group absolutely loves about "Legion of Gold GW1"
  1. The sand box nature of the module allows the DM to string in their own encounters into the mix. "Legion of Gold GW1" is that module that brings the best of early Gamma World to the table top. 
  2. The Buggems! 
  3. There is so much potential for actual hard core Gamma World campaign planning. 
  4. The potential is there for Greyhawk cross over! Nuff said there! 
  5. The mutants & adventuers actually have a chance against some if not all of the Gamma World horrors within GW1!