Monday, October 31, 2022

The Funeral Is About To Begin - The New Marvel Phile 'The Shadowline Saga' & The Tallman - 1939 Halloween One Shot Session Report

 New Ashford is a small lovely little small town in 1939 but there are deep shadows in this small town & they conceil secrets. The locals have asked for help through a secret society of the shadows after several strange undead demon troops have shown up & the graveyard was cleared out. 

The order of Saint George sends in a knight & things start to get intense. And a group of shadows masquarading as super heros have come to New Ashford to stop the Tallman's machinations. And that's when the PC's found exactly how far things had gone as zombies begin to attack our heroes! 
But our heroes have also brought in two Deviants who are a part of their shadow tribe just to even the odds a bit. 

The Deviants were generated using the Marvel Super Heroes rpg 'The Eternals' book available through the Marvel Superheroes Unofficial Canon project. 
The Deviants laid waste to the zombies with eye beams but then almost bought it when a gold sential sphere blasted them. 
Things were looking grave for our heroes for a bit and the game shifted to an investigation mode. And the party moved towards the funeral home. And that's when they had to deal with six or seven gravers. Our DM used the stats for soldiers from Dragon magazine for the stand ins for the Gravers. 

We dealt with the Gravers & then have begun moving into the funeral home only to discover just how in trouble we were. The entire ceiling was literally crawling with Sentinal sphere! 

We had to end for the night here as everyone has work for tomorrow! And we're going to have to pick this up for next week. So it looks like the game continues folks. On there's a complete write up for the Tallman here for the DC Heroes rpg.  We did a conversion on the fly & it worked out pretty solidly.There's talk among the players about adding a magic user or psionist to the mix. But this is going to have to wait till we're done with the first part of this run of the mini campaign. 
We're playing the Shadows 'First Line' which is actually a loose alliance of tribal member shadows who have banded together to try & protect their sanctaury small town from the uncursion of the other dimensional scourage known as the Tallman.  To be Continued! 

The Sword & The Worm Sorcerer - - Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise & Wretched Space Rpg Campaign Session Report

 Last night's Cha'alt & Wretched Space  rpg crossover game got into rip roaring turf as we came face to face with some of the spacer gangs we'd face two weeks back. And the group got into a protracted blaster fight in the wastelands in last night's session. 

During the fight that seemed to drag on our party suddenly encountered a demon worm outside of the city limits. And then things started to get down & dirty as worm took on various party member's faces. We're still not sure what this meant but things got even weirder. 
We were suddenly overtaken by worm drovers whose boss was a wizard  seemed to look like Xusia from old Eighties film 'The Sword & The Sorcerer'. And that's when the worm begged for help telepathically'. 'I can pay you to help me with this damn wizard!', the worm blasted our way & too the bandits who were attacking us. 
And that's when everyone switched their blaster fire on the wizard & his worm drovers. The demon worm started to animate any dead that were around us as well. 
And finally after an hour or so of game time we finally were able to unhinge the drovers off of the worm. Our party just went with it the animating the dead thing. 

The drovers high tailed it away but then I got the lingering feeling that we were going to have to deal with them again. If you've never seen the Eighties cultclassic 'The Sword & The Sorcerer' then you've never seen the black wizard Xusia. The take away is this the black wizard never gives up! If our deranged DM is modeling his worm wizard on Xusia then this guy won't either. 
The worm wasn't as good as his word. He lead us to a small underground dungeon & let us know that the treasure was in there. He also coughed up a magic sword & a few magic trinkets. Now as a player I've dealt with lots of these things on both sides of the screen. And the free coupons aside for a sling shot ride on the Purple Puliveriser in one of the outlying citys there's nothing that instills trust about this worm. 
And our group let the bandits have the treasure & went back to our original plan. We moved our speeders back into the deeper desert wastelands to locate the fabled Federation  spacecraft we were promised. And the demon worm assured us he could get us there. We didn't listen to the beast as we moved away as fast as we could. 
And that's when a Federation space craft picked us up & where we ended! 

I don't have a good feeling about this pick up & because we ended there I don't trust DM Steve at this point. Things have turned quite serious as we're stuck between two battling Federation factions at this point over the fate of Cha'alt. One is a spoiled princess & the other is her older brother who are rivals who have split the throne in half. Thus deviding the Federation itself against a ruinious interstellar economic situation. 
We're not sure how the demon worm fits in but those things don't just show up outta no where?! 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

OSR Session Report & Commentary On Dragon Magazine issue#42 Adventure " The Mad Mansion of Professor Ludlow" By James M. Ward Run With DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS - Survive This!! Bloat Games

"You are all young campers on a week-long camping trip through the woods and wilderness. In the middle of a nighttime hike, you become separated from the rest of your group. None of you is worried, however; you have all taken excellent compass directions and are sure you can eventually find your way back to the campsite. So, with this great chance to do a little exploring on your own, you set out into the woods as a group. Each of you carries the following items: a large backpack with sleeping bag attached underneath, a canteen of water, a jackknife, a large, rough-cut walking stick, heavy hiking boots, a compass, cooking gear, food for three meals, two changes of clothes, and a flashlight."

So it's been an up & down kinda day today & I got a chance to play in DM Steve's Halloween game. This year it was a doozy. He trotted out Dragon magazine issue#42's " The Mad Mansion of Professor Ludlow" By James M. Ward played with Dark Places & Demigorgons rpg by Bloat Games. And this is a such a satisfying little romp of an adventure. And it's a deadly little affair within the mansion. There's a ton of encounters & rooms in this Dragon magazine issue#42 adventure. We were campers who were on a hiking trip using pre made PC's. " The Mad Mansion of Professor Ludlow" is a "Kids on Bikes" way before it was a thing. James M. Ward was once again ahead of the curve on this adventure & it's evident within the guidelines that were laid down; "While this adventure takes place in an AD&D setting, players should not be allowed to take along things which an AD&D player would normally use. For instance, graph paper would not be allowed for mapping, unless a camper had selected a mapping achievement badge. The achievement badges are just a fun thing, to allow the players to take a few more items that might help them, and they should not be abused. It is possible to have a gunnery achievement badge, but no camper will automatically possess a gun (though the badge may well be useful if the rifles are found in the trophy room). The first-aid badge allows a camper to carry a first-aid kit with ten “doses” of treatment. One dose will heal half of the damage done to an individual as the result of a single encounter, or will totally negate the effects of poison bites on one individual. Athletic achievement badges would allow campers to sustain less damage from falls and enable these campers to jump further and be a bit stronger than the other characters. Benefits for other badges can be determined as the referee sees fit. The group should be expected to travel together and to re-form in a large group as soon as possible when any of them become separated from the main body. Under “ON CLOSER INSPECTION” in a room description may be several facts, all of which would not necessarily be read to the players. “ON CLOSER INSPECTION” will not be read until all characters planning to enter the room have done so, and only after the players say that they are indeed looking around closely to gain information" 

Personally my PC Peter Crispy died on the second level & we went into the mansion looking for our camp counselor. Things were pretty damn intense for a fun little romp of an adventure. Ward certainly had his encounters mapped out & even though this is an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition adventure " The Mad Mansion of Professor Ludlow" uses the tropes quite seriously. This adventure was played as a Goonies or Stephen Speiberg adventure style but the encounters played for keeps! We were able to trade up our sling shots, pocket knives, etc. for short swords, blades, and bows & arrows in the first floor of the mansion. And boy did we need those weapons as we were attacked by giant rats, bats, and even a wandering monster! We ran! That's right we ran our asses off! And made it to the second floor! And that's where a white pudding devoured my PC! I picked up a hireling kid who was another camper along for the ride. The upon closer inspection gambit in play was really cool! It allowed us as players to pick up far more detail. But this is a lethal & very dangerous adventure! We had a great time in retrospect & the rest of the players did complete most of the adventure with the objectives completed. 

OSR Commentary On Dragon Magazine issue#104's Marvel Super Hereos Rpg 'Sudden Dawn' adventure by William Tracy

 There are several key articles in Dragon magazine that relate to a Pre & straight up World War II campaign. The one that really comes to mind is Dragon magazine issue#104's 'Sudden Dawn' by William Tracy. According to the Marvel Wiki entry; "An adventure in 1941 featuring stats for the PCs PatriotMiss AmericaSpirit of '76WhizzerThin ManRed RavenJack FrostBlue Diamond and the NPC villains Baron BloodAgent AxisMaster ManWarrior WomanU-ManIron Cross, and average Nazi soldiers and secret agents."

'Sudden Dawn'  could almost be considered a mini Marvel Super Heroes campaign that takes the heroes from the streets of New York City into a hotel & the machinations of Baron Blood. Baron Blood isn't to be taken lightly at all. He's extremely dangerous & can wreck the day for many heroes by turning them into vampires an aspect that seems to be lost on many. He's highly manipulative, imaginative, and utterly dangerous as well as completely evil. 

One of the best pieces of artwork for Baron Blood used without permission. Found in a random Google image search. 

And so let's talk about 'Sudden Dawn' itself, this adventure has some of the Nazi  heavy hitters of Marvel World War two itself from Baron BloodAgent AxisMaster ManWarrior WomanU-ManIron Cross, and average Nazi soldiers and secret agents. And these guys are out for blood make no mistake about this & despite the flowery speeches that they all make when they have the heroes dead to rights they will kill!  
And all of this takes place right within Forties New York City itself.  And while none of this is canon now, 'Sudden Dawn' isn't an adventure to be taken lightly. I'd slap 'Sudden Dawn' as a DM right into the middle of WWII as the Nazi's are throwing everything into the warfront with America. 

And while there are heroes provided with 'Sudden Dawn'  in the form of the classic PCs PatriotMiss AmericaSpirit of '76WhizzerThin ManRed RavenJack FrostBlue Diamond. We used our own heroes time & again with 'Sudden Dawn'  & it worked out just fine. 

Hell, we've used Sudden Dawn in the past with other superhero rpg's without an issue. But that's another blog entry for another time period. 'Sudden Dawn' should be used with experienced players & is absolutely perfect for a World War II campaign or a time travelling one shot with player's heroes & PC's. 

Well apparently I'm an idiot because there's an updated version of 'Sudden Dawn' in the   the Marvel Super Heroes Rpg: the Unofficial Canon Projects Marvel Super Hereos rpg Golden Age of Heroes book. And it's a really solid version of the adventure as well!


Saturday, October 29, 2022

OSR Commentary On The Wretched Space 1.4 rpg By The Red Room

 So I've been going over the latest update to Wretched Space & it's pretty damn interesting. But what's actually changed?! Well according to the authors:"As previously mentioned, instead of publishing a setting sourcebook for Wretched Space, we decided to do the same as in Bastards: introducing setting information in each scenario. But there's some basic info needed, so that's where Wretched Space 1.4 comes in: it has 70 more pages with more creatures, planets and plot hooks, a more detailed description of the Galactic Federation, new factions, major characters and suggestions to use the Beyond in a space opera game." 

" And don't feel cheated if you have previously purchased it in print: in case you decide to get a copy of the expanded version, we will send you a special discount, so you'll pay only for printing costs. But, for now, 1.4 it's just in digital format; we still have some proofreading to do before committing to print." 
So does the new Wretched Space Rpg actually live up to it's author's promises?! In a word, yes! There's expanded psionics, magic, &  a new uptake with the shaman class. 
We get a huge & drawn out section on the Galactic Federation, the capital of the Federation, major political & military battles, law enforcement, The Knights of Cydonnia optional PC class, brand new factions including the Shogunate Alliance, The Atlas, & much more! You get new major NPC's, a ton of new planets, expanded world building section, & an expaned group of PC options! Now Wretched Space feels like a complete game unto itself. 

 The Wretched Space 1.4  rpg By The Red Room Is Available Right Here 

Shadows & Undeath - The New Marvel Phile 'The Shadowline Saga' & The Tallman - 1939 Halloween One Shot

  "Because of humans' greater number, this other race lived as a shadow race among humans, sometimes as protectors, sometimes as predators, and over the centuries becoming the basis of many human legends myths, both heroic and supernaturally monstrous! "

Among the countless worlds there stands Earth 4635x which is in the grip of an incredible transformation on all fronts as World War II looms. Here in the darkness & dispair of June 1939 the shadows grow longer as horror grips America. Bodies have been going missing out of cemetaries across the United States. Everyone is far too busy talking about the emergence of so called costumed men across the planet! And that's not to mention the rise of the Nazi forces as fifth columists plagued New York City itself. And from the darkness come shadows.  On  Earth 4635x the shadows Doctor Zero emerges during the pre WWII years as the rise of America's other superheroes kicks things into high gear. Earth 4635x actually has Superman going into action about June 1939!  This same year also saw the German American Bund gaining in power & this draws the ire of certain patroitic supers. Right underneath everyone's nose something has been stealing bodies from America's small town graveyards! The Tallman has been moving across the midwestern United States! And some second string heroes have emerged from the darkness to battle this menace in their small town! 

Artwork used without permission found in a random Google image search. 

Alright none of this actually happened but I was on the Marvel Super Heroes RPG: The Unofficial Canon Project Marvel Phile section & noticed that they had covered the Epic Comics Shadowline books!  These comic books were Archie Goodwin's babies back in 1988 to 1990. And according to the Shadowline  Wiki entry; " Shadowline is an American comic book sub-imprint of the Marvel Comics imprint Epic Comics that was originally published from 1988 to 1990. " Oh the nostoglia for this series of books!  See about this time Phantasm II the horror movie  was hitting the theaters and boy was I mad for this series of films. 
Now at the time I was working in a video rental store after school to help out my family the hours were long, the store had a decent selection of horror & somehow my young brain melded the Shadowline series with Phantasm II later on in '89 when it hit the shelves. 

The most powerful of the shadows was Doctor Zero & he was one dark antihero in every sense of the word. Powerful, manipulative, & incredibly dangerous who would be incarnated from age to age as an incredibly long lived anti hero only to emerge into the late 80's as a 'super hero'. The Shadowline really did fit the late Eighties & Nineties Cold War paranoia. Believe me I lived & played throught it. On there's a complete write up for the Tallman here for the DC Heroes rpg. 

To me the Shadows were another tribe of Jack Kirby's Deviants because much later on Doctor Zero on another Earth would be killed by Hyperion of the Squadron Supreme. Hyperion was or is an Eternal depending upon the current Marvel comicbook canon.  I can't keep up with it. Now Doctor Zero & the Tallman could theoritically exist in the same universe. How?! Because the Tallman is ageless & so is Doctor Zero. So in 1939 Zero emerges into the light! 
 Doctor Zero has emerged because Superman has! And Zero wants to cash in. Hyperion is watching from the sidelines for the moment. 
  But back in the 90's I wrote a complete adventure in which the PC's were a group of small town heroes in 1939. The Tallman shows up in their town & things go very wrong. The PC's are all half shadows who are drawn together because of their shared heritage. One of the PC's is a full on super with psionic abilities and there was a subplot in Phantasm II about the Tallman hunting psionics. Those who survive will go on to kick Nazi ass in an upcoming campaign. 

We never found out why the Tall Man suddenly comes into Mike's small town in 1979?! My personal head canon has been because back in '39 he was beaten back at great cost to our heroes. 

The New Marvel Phile 'The Shadowline Saga' Is Available Right Here 

Friday, October 28, 2022

Review & Commentary On "Coldheart Canyon" By Sílvia Clemente, & Miguel Ribeiro From The Red Room For The Wretched Country Rpg

 "Coldheart Canyon is heavily inspired by John Carpenter's "not western westerns", especially Ghosts of Mars; any similarity is not a coincidence but an homage! The adventure is meant to be played as a one-shot, taking place over a single night, from dusk to dawn."

"The party arrives at a small forsaken town in the desert; they are beaten from the arduous voyage and in need of some respite, but what they find is a ghost town. Dudleytown appears empty at first, it seems like everybody has just vanished. Slowly the horrifying truth starts to be revealed. In the canyon, nearby miners have awakened an ancient alien force, that ravenously spread across town. There will be no rest tonight!"

 "Coldheart Canyon" By Sílvia Clemente, &  Miguel Ribeiro is a ripper of an adventure! The set up is a one horse town's mine  used to have gold & now the miners have awakened something very murderous & dangerous. The set up reveals the details; "The party arrives at a small forsaken town in the desert; they are beaten from the arduous voyage and in need of some respite, but what they find is a ghost town. Dudleytown appears empty at first, it seems like everybody has just vanished. Slowly the horrifying truth starts to be revealed.In the canyon, nearby miners have awakened an ancient alien force, that ravenously spread across town.There will be no rest tonight!"  "Coldheart Canyon"  is for the  Wretched Country rpg & that game can handle anything from a straight up bank robbery to pillaging & murdering with little issue. But can Wretched Country handle a 1970's style Assault On Precinct 13 but done as a Western?! 

The short answer to this question is that yes "Coldheart Canyon" By Sílvia Clemente, &  Miguel Ribeiro can handle it in spades. Why!? Because of the way that Coldheart Canyon is laid out. This is a completely done location adventure. NPC's are described & motives are laid bare, buildings & locations are completely fleshed out, and the whole package is thrust into the spotlight. And it's only then that we learn what & whom is behind the evil that is infecting Coldheart Canyon. And this is a formula that we've seen in other Red Room products. This isn't a bad thing because of the fact that Coldheart Canyon plugs directly into the Wretched Country rpg make up. 

 "Coldheart Canyon" By Sílvia Clemente, &  Miguel Ribeiro has the perfect set up for a zombie or weird possessed riot & siege in the style of John Carpenter. And yes this is a perfect Halloween adventure. And  "Coldheart Canyon"  continues the Red Room tradition of upping the quality of the adventures that continue to be produced. The A.I. artwork is better. the cartography is better, and even the writing seems a bit crisper. Not that the writing has been bad at all. 
And  "Coldheart Canyon"  could actually be used with Wretched Époque & Wretched Country to create an ultimate early 1900's Western cum horror OSR game campaign.  "Coldheart Canyon"   is going to be a brutal blood bath & so the DM should be prepared with extra PC sheets & more ammo. The party is going to need it! 

You Can't Keep A Good Villain Down - OSR Commentary On ' The Lamentable Companion' By Andrew Marrington From Grimm Aramil Publishing

 It's been a few weeks since I did anything with the  Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg  & so once again The Lamentable Companion has been on the hard drive staring at me. So last night at about three A.M. I took a look a the demonic pacts section & especially the demonic resurrection. 

So in my experiences as a DM the only players who actually would use a demonic resurrection are black magicians or necromancers yes even in LoFP games. And that's fine actually. The real folks who benefit from a demonic resurrection are actually NPC villains. According to the guidelines; ". The Referee must determine who your character has ‘‘replaced’’. This will generally be a cultist who has offered their soul to the same demon patron who has already completed their ‘‘great work’’, although sometimes it will be a cultist who otherwise offered their soul without such a geas, or perhaps an unfortunate victim of the cult." 

That's fine but there really needs to be further random tables to determine more random background goodness for the 'resurrected' body. 
Random Demonic Resurrection Complications Table  1d10 

  1.   The resurrected has a demonic sigil  mark on their body that is impossible to hide pointing to exactly to whom the resurrected soul really belongs to. 
  2. There's a strong odor of the grave that lingers just below the body's normal day to day scent. 
  3. The resurrected breath and body temperature is always cold no matter the temperature outside or within a room. Those who talk to the resurrected will see a trail of exhauled breath as if they were talking on a cold day. Their skin & nails are light blue in certain shades of light. 
  4. A slight facial tick every 10 to 15 rounds randomly crawls across the face of the resurrected. 
  5. Veins on the back of the resurrected's neck bugle & writh with odd spasms every 1d6 rounds. 
  6. -2 to their Charisma as the palour of the grave gives small children & animals a tremor of the underworld. There is something quite off about the resurrected but others can't quite put their finger on it. 
  7. The resurrected's fingers are twisted and bent at unnatural angles add odd times & then suddenly return to normal with a bone shattering twisting sound. 
  8. No one can stare into the eyes of the resurrected without turning away in 1d6 rounds as the spector of the grave hovers in the eye of those who have undergone this unatural rite. 
  9. Grass dies under the feet of the resurrected after 2 rounds at sunset. 
  10. Holy water burns the flesh lightly of the resurrected only to unnaturally healed within a five to ten minutes. 
The resurrected soul is perfect as an unkillable NPC burning for revenge & to visit horror upon the players time & again. In a recent LoFP game a couple of months ago I witnessed first hand a PC's magician making a further pact with an NPC's patron to keep the soul within Hell! The DM as the demon actually manipulated said magician into entering Hell to defeat the NPC villain only to not let either soul go! The party decided to leave them both there & move on with the game. 

Those who dally with such powers themselves sometimes have a whiff of the brimstone as the party later found out. They found themselves with a witch finder on their trail after that! 

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Review & Commentary On "Wendy's Guide to the Fleets of Earth Sector, Volume 4" By Michael Johnson For The Clement & Earth Sector Rpg

 "Incoming intelligence!

Ship captains need information about the systems to which they are traveling. These captains depend on Wendy’s Naval Weekly as their primary source of naval fleet information.  It is rare to find a ship captain that doesn’t have Wendy’s Naval Weekly on their handcomps or mindcomps."

"Wendy’s Guide to the Fleets of Earth Sector Volume 4 is the fourth and final entry of a series which will collate all the available information to provide a complete overview of the fleets of the nations of Earth Sector.  Each of these books will briefly outline a nation’s spacegoing navy as well as provide some insight as to how that organization functions and provide a list of the ships reported to be in commission."

"This book provides information on the space navies of the Austria, Greece, the Philippines, Portugal, Kenya, South Africa, Italy, Poland, and Spain.  In addition, this volume contains information concerning the fleets held by the British Interstellar Company and Interstellar Special Survey Group (InstarSpec).  The book covers every ship currently operated in those fleets, their doctrines, and even their uniforms.  The book also contains an in-depth discussion of the Pulsar-class Survey and Exploration Vessel and the Wilkes-class Long Range Scout used by the Pulsar as a parasite craft. "

"Wendy's Guide to the Fleets of Earth Sector, Volume 4" By Michael Johnson For The Clement & Earth Sector Rpg is perfectly aligned for this time of year from Independence Games. "Wendy's Guide to the Fleets of Earth Sector, Volume 4" continues the 'Wendy's Guide to the Fleets of Earth Sector' high end quality with a break down of all of the major fleets of the 'minor' countries of Earth. 
Earth Sector is a minor powerhouse which has been cut off from the rest of the frontier of the  universe. And these Fleets of Earth sector books reflect this in spades. The blackness of space really is the deep blackness & the no nonsense approach of this reflects the attitudes of many of the countries of Earth. From the board rooms to the backrooms of taverns of the fleet there's a sense that Earth sector has it's work cut out in spades. 
The quality of writing is on point, the layout is well done, and the usual quantity of Independence Games's technical knowhow is on display within "Wendy's Guide to the Fleets of Earth Sector, Volume 4". We get into the 'lesser' fleets such as Italy's as an example; "The Italian Space Navy is a small force with relatively modern and well-maintained ships within its active-duty fleet. Created specifically to protect Italy’s four interstellar colonies the navy has received positive budgetary support from numerous successive governments. However, those naval budgets are still not sufficient to allow for fleet expansion and for the hull replacement program it wishes to undertake. Given that the navy only has four colonies to defend, the stationing of four large system defense monitors is considered by many naval analysts to be somewhat overkill. But for the Italians, that is a perfectly acceptable doctrine for the navy to utilize as like almost all the smaller third tier naval forces, there is more reliance on the use of capable system defense assets rather than more expensive interstellar capable warships. The Italians are very quick to point out that the Littorio, a system defense monitor of the Vittorio Veneto-class, is one of the very few warships to fire its spinal mount in actual combat and successfully destroy its target* and not even the Brazilian Space Navy, who are renowned for their use of monitors, has achieved that level of success. Fleet Organization The Fleet Standard Italian Space Navy doctrine is ensuring a proactive system defense that pushes back against any attackers as they transition into the system via incoming Zimm points (IZP’s). Key to this defensive doctrine is the four 8,000 tonne Vittorio Veneto-class system defense monitors that are stationed in each of the Italian colonies. Supported by the smaller system defense boats, the monitors can engage enemy combatants at long range with their heavy armament. The Interstellar capable warships of the Italian Space Navy fleet are organized into two squadrons based at the main fleet base in Bellezza (Gansu 0108) and the fleet base in Forza (Gansu 0309). Unusually the main shipyard and repair dock for the navy are located in Forza, taking advantage of the increased capabilities of the Class B starport facilities. Designation Shipyard Location Bellezza Squadron No Bellezza (Gansu 0108) Forza Squadron Yes Forza (Gansu 0309)" 

I lay out Italy's fleet because of the fact that it highlight's the level of detail, profiles, & more that we've come to expect within the  "Wendy's Guide to the Fleets of Earth Sector" series of books. It's solidly useful for Cepheus Engine games because it puts the fleets right in line for conflict with each other & what's out in deep space. There isn't anyone coming to help the marines of forces of say Italy out in the blackness. Earth's fleets are the only line of defense for what awaits out in the darkness & this book shows that up.  "Wendy's Guide to the Fleets of Earth Sector, Volume 4" By Michael Johnson For The Clement & Earth Sector Rpg shows the continuing quality & well thoughtout solidness of the Earth sector campaign setting. 

"Wendy's Guide to the Fleets of Earth Sector, Volume 4" By Michael Johnson For The Clement & Earth Sector Rpg Is Available Here 

Review & Commentary On 'The unofficial canon project' The Marvel Super Hereos rpg Golden Age of Heroes book For Marvel Super Heroes Rpg

So just today I finally picked up the second set of purchases that I had done which was  the Marvel Super Heroes Rpg: the Unofficial Canon Projects Marvel Super Hereos rpg Golden Age of Heroes book. This is a huge fan supplement for the Golden Age of WWII Marvel comic super heroes rpg clocking in at over three hundred pages of old school Marvel comics goodness. And they are not afraid to get into the nitty gritty or the  soft underbelly of the Marvel  WWII. So basically I had  the Marvel Super Heroes Rpg: the Unofficial Canon Projects Marvel Super Hereos rpg Golden Age of Heroes book printed out, spiral bound, with a colour cover & black/white interior.  Not only do you have the usual Captain America, Bucky Barnes, classic Namor, but this book dives into the unusual characters & NPC's who played hard ball with the heroes of the Sixties later on. 

We've got the classic 70's Invaders 1975-1980 is represented here and we've got every Nazi scum that appeared in Marvel from the 1940's right on through the later '00's. Even in B/W the artwork is on point & the descriptions are solidly done as well as useful. 

Everything in the Marvel Super Hereos rpg Golden Age of Heroes feels like it might have rolled off the presses at classic late Eighties TSR. And not only does the homefront get this feel so do the Marvel European hero teams of WWII. And this follows with battles, appearances, etc. of the timeline of World War II. And because this is a fan production there's a lot of heart in this one. Because I'm planning on running a classic supers campaign coming up. 

Profiles are done with an eye towards classic Golden Age World War II comicbook timelines that date all the way back to the Seventies. The Marvel Super Heroes Golden Age of Hereos book does a good job of  trying to  keep the 90's & 00's WWII events within Marvel (haha) comicbook continuity. And there's even alternative Earths within the appendix that can be used as alternative campaigns. The whole package is a love letter to classic Golden Age & Bronze age Marvel War comics that we all grew up with & is perfectly suited for those who want to start a campaign in World War II.  You can grab a copy of the The Marvel Super Hereos rpg Golden Age of Heroes book after joining 'The unofficial canon project' The Marvel Super Hereos on Facebook. And it is in my humble opinion well worth the download. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

From Civilized To Alien Barbarians - The Best of Dragon magazine volume # V & James Mishler's Demi god Class

"Even the gods took fright at the Deluge,
they left and went up to the heaven of Anu,
lying like dogs curled up in the open."

Anonymous, Epic of GilgameshThe Flood, Tablet VI, Third Dynasty of Ur ( c. 2100 BCE).

 So last night whist looking over the Best of Dragon magazine volume # V. there was an article that jumped out at me at about 3 A.M. & this was Katherine Kerr's 'The Real Barbarians', "History offers a different picture from literature. (Issue 72, Apr 83)". Basically the article goes into how history's barbarians are completely different from from Sword & Sorcery literature. For a kid this was ground breaking stuff but for an adult looking over the article it was a 'duh' moment last night. Or was it ?! 

According to the 'Real Barbarians' article by Katherine Kerr ; "All these disparate peoples do have certain traits in common, enough so to justify talking about a “barbarian way of life.” In general, barbarian cultures are more or less successful social adaptations to living conditions in wild forest, scrub land, veldts, or jungle edges — land that’s unsuitable for sedentary, intensive farming as the Greeks, the Romans, and later the Europeans practiced it. Though many barbarians do farm, they obtain the bulk of their food supply from animals, either livestock, wild game, or both. A population that doesn’t rely on agriculture to feed itself must meet two requirements: The people need a lot of open land in proportion to the population being fed, and the people need to be mobile. Barbarians rarely have cities or towns, merely villages and camps, if they have any permanent settlements at all"

And this has me thinking about star faring civilizations & how this same lifestyle could be applied to the stars. Now over the past couple of days I was looking into creating a group of puesdo space marines as a faction. And I needed to do it quickly for an upcoming post apocalytic game. What if the ancient gods decided to take full advantage of the circumstances by creating their own ancient semi divine warriors. Warriors who could take back what was 'rightfully theirs'. So started looking at the  Mesopotamian god Anu & his incarnations.  So if we go with the idea of the Nephilim being powerful semi divine beings & Anu & his incarnations being a part of this equation. Then it's easy to see these beings emulating at least in the beginning some of the traits explained in the 'Real Barbarians' article by Katherine Kerr. What would warriors sent down to a post apopalyptic world look like?! Well that's easy James Mishler did a perfect PC or NPC class to emulate this in the form of the Demi God race. 

If these entities follow the barbarian then civilized model within their life cycles then it's possible that they also have singers & shaman among the former galactic empires; "Singers, such as the Celtic bard or German scop, are far more than entertainers. They are the oral historians and guardians of the traditional wisdom lore for their tribes. In their memories, in the form of poetry, are the genealogies of important families, tales of past battles and events, and a kind of lore called gnomic, which is part good advice and part primitive science. Using poetic stanzas, gnomic lore preserves wisdom such as “a faithful wife is better than a fine horse” and “dark clouds, yellow leaves — winter is coming.” Among Low barbarians, each camp or village has its own part-time singer. Among High barbarians and nomads, most singers have a place in a noble lord’s retinue, but some wander from group to group within their tribal territory. Whenever they appear, these wandering singers are fed, sheltered and treated with respect by those they visit." 

The 'gods' are coming back to the post apocalyptic wasteland & their shamans or singers are announcing their coming. They enslave and once again begin the practice of city building among humanity. This is the barest of outlines right at the moment but there's other thoughts thundering their ways through my head right now. The idea here is that these alien semi divine beings go from roaming barbarians, conquer, & then begin building city states for a few million years then move on. They roam the stars using their vat grown  children as conquerors. These are simply some ideas scratched out.