Saturday, October 30, 2010

OSR News

What Are the Attributes of an Old-school Game?

Countdown to Game Time
Defining "Old School Attributes." You Can't.

Lord of the Green Dragons
EDITORIAL: Innovation Versus the Merry-Go-Round of the Mind

Quickly, Quietly, Carefully
Classics Appendix N

Paul's Blog
OSR Presence Grows at Conventions


Here's four games for the younger player that are best of all, free :)


The fun part about The Game of Hats is that the players bring hats to the table. Everyone starts with three hats and earn more through play. They place points in their Hats, add use a Hat's powers by adopting its persona. Very simple system using, uh, hats. PDF: Free.


Play a former clown who is now employed as a special kind of police officer. Your beat is the quaint neighborhood of Palookaville (a.k.a. Clown Town), an area almost entirely populated by Clowns, Mimes and other circus performers. Very simple system using boxes of animal crackers, glasses of milk, rubber bands, six-sided dice, clown makeup and clothing, noisemakers, balloons and other fun stuff. Online (HTML): Free.


Play superpowered animals like Wonderdog, Gleek and Krypto- – regular animals with amazing super powers. Very simple system using six-sided dice and a bag of "doggie treats", called Stinky Treats during play. You will be eating these, so you may substitute something else that tastes a little off, like garlic-stuffed olives or plain rye crackers. Online (HTML): Free.


You play yourself and your malicious shadow; a game based on narration – and the urge children have to get themselves in trouble. Your shadow is an invisible person or monster who always wants you to get in trouble. The game always starts with the Players' Characters asleep somewhere; they are all then startled by a sound. What happens after that is up to the Players, and helped along by the GM. Very simple system using six-sided dice and tokens. Online (HTML or PDF): Free.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


This time we take a look at a father’s blog post about playing his first game of D&D with his daughter

Then The Dragonkin Podcast, a podcast specifically for and about young gamers. Host Sam Chupp, author of Changeling as well as many other games and publications, talks with young gamers and to adults about how to encourage and play with young people.

Also Marvel Super Heroes (Classic) for parents who might be interested in a super heroes game instead of a fantasy style game to start with.

My Daughter Just Played Her First D&D Game.


Marvel Super Heroes (Classic)

I hope these prove useful.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Those 3 little letters seem to have started a firestorm. I have never seen so much written about something as simple as a game you choose to play. Let's look at it another way:

"I play Chutes and Ladders"

"Man, that is so lame, how can you play that old piece of crap. Get with the program. Monopoly is clearly the superior game. Get your head out of your ass"' it just me or is that stupid.

It has gotten to the point where you can't have an open conversation anymore about gaming without a fist fight breaking out over what somebody else plays.

I've argued the points myself and it's just a waste of breath. People are going to play what they want. Stop harassing each other over it.

I'm old school but that's just me. Doesn't mean I hate someone for playing newer games. And when I say old school it doesn't mean everything from the old days was my cup of tea either. I have never cared for d100 games or skills based games. I came from the mash up of OD&D / AD&D 1e and will always prefer that form of play.

And now with the edition wars it just seems that gaming is tearing itself apart. Much talk of the 'industry' being in trouble is easy to see when they keep trying to treat tabletop like pc/console gaming. I don't need 4 Player Handbooks and then a new version every few years.

Rules light is the way to the future, It's just the world we live in. When you look back even to gaming history it wasn't the most rules heavy system that won out but the one that could be played with the least amount of rules. And that was before the internet and acceleration syndrome.

A lesson WotC should learn before it's too late.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Black Blade News

Problems With Encounter Tables

An interview with David Wesely

Gaming Groups: Away From The Gaming Table


Ok, sorry for the slack production of late. Between trying to get a first draft together of Forsaken Souls, preparing a transcript on an online version of Normality (which I think will be dubbed Normality 2.0-TrollHunter) and extricating butt sore fanboys out of my ass with my +5 keyboard of fanboy slaying it's been crazy. And my cat won't let me sleep...being a bratty brat is not a good path to the love little one :).

Anyway, working on finishing a string of posts then it'll be doctor bound this week.

Hold on.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Something I picked up from Rob MacDougall (who in turn picked it up from Snarkmarket) I thought was a good idea because we can't always catch everything when it's fresh.

Greyhawk Grognard: AD&D's Lost Second Edition

GROGNARDIA: Gygax on Tolkien (Again)

Old School, New School and Gygaxian Naturalism (or not)

Running a D&D Campaign in 1974
(be certain and get the first part here)

OD&DITIES fanzine issue archive
, published and reproduced here by permission from R.E.B. Tongue

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Because there are so many excellent blogs out there I though I would drop in an occasional 6 pack of ones that stood out to me. A sampler, if you will, of all that is happening in the rpg blogosphere.

So, without further ado:

How D&D Essentials Changed 4E...forever!

Gaming Groups: Away From The Gaming Table...

WotC's D&D Red Box Commercial Rips Off Dungeon Majesty

(I liked the comments section on the above post-some good points from all sides)

Freeport + Pirates of the Spanish Main

Tolkiens & Dragons

Tolkein and D&D

Friday, October 8, 2010

ROLEPLAYING FOR KIDS-Part 2-Wizards of the Coast’s Introduction

From the current home of Dungeons & Dragons comes this free starter for young people.

(From the download page)

Dungeons & Dragons for ages 6 and up - To help promote their upcoming novel Monster Slayers, Wizards of the Coast has put together Monster Slayers: The Heroes of Hesiod, a stripped-down version of Dungeons & Dragons that's fast, fun, and playable by adventurers as young as six. Best of all, it's completely free!

Reviews have been mixed but being free it gives someone a chance to see what all is available-and it is free :)

Monday, October 4, 2010


A lot is being made of whether or not the OSR is having any kind of economic impact on the industry as a whole. Many think it to be a niche market in a niche market. That the majors are where all the purchasing is going on and that the OSR has no financial future.

I will submit only one comment on that statement:

Do you think that Wizards would take the time and effort to issue what they have described as a 'retro' product, placed that product in a red box and put the original cover to that red box on its front if they didn't feel they were losing market share to the OSR and independent gaming in general?

Each OSR publisher on its own may be only selling a few hundred copies of any given item, but add all that up and you find numbers that are enough to scare the CEO in his sleep.

Keep in mind the heyday of selling 150,000 units are long past in the industry. Now 5,000-15,000 is more realistic. And added together the OSR / Independent scene starts to look awfully close in the rear view mirror.

The OSR represents the hydra to me. There are many games, using different systems to accomplish the same thing-to bring back a form of gaming that doesn't feel like you have signed up for a calculus class that plays like wargame light.

Don't get me wrong. I have no burning desire to destroy any particular version of any game. But when I think role playing I think AD&D. That was my game and the one played the most with my friends. Sure, some Ringworld and Twilight:2000 and others slipped in. But it was AD&D where we spent our time, money and imaginations. It's different for everyone, but it unites a seemingly disconnected group.

Myself, I'm becoming a bigger Microlite fan by the day. The sheer variety of materials and what can be done with it is astonishing. Look at a M20 compilation sometime and see what I mean. And the system isn't foreign to younger players while allowing the flexibility to create anything for the older players. 2 pages of basic rules. Now THAT is tight design. A fully fleshed out game built on the system can easily fit in 32 pages and that includes everything and details. That's impressive. Others are doing fine work too and I look forward to spotlighting all of the work over at The Dragon's Eye as I wind my way through the multi-layered path of Old School and OSR gaming.

So pick a rule set, grab some dice, a few friends and have fun. Because if you're not having fun you're not doing it right. :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010


More and more the question of children playing rpgs and whether it is a good idea or not keeps landing on the table. In the early days of gaming it was thought that somehow playing these games would encourage children to believe in alternate worlds and religions and do psychological damage or worse. Religious organizations saw the games as a straight path to Hell, believing the games encouraged Satan worship and demonology (so much so that TSR removed many references in their product as an appeasement to parents and groups alike).

Now, 30 years after the hobby began, a re-evaluation has taken place. The positive aspects of role-playing have come to light, so much so that there is now a sizable rpg that is Christian based, as parents are now encouraged to bring children into the rpg hobby.

This series will cover opinion pieces and resources for parents, schools and church's to get the most from this playground of the imagination. I gladly solicit any input or feedback and will try to answer to any concerns one might have. My position is that I believe there is a definite need for children to play 'make believe' and that given the proper tools it can be a healthy and rewarding experience. I hope this series is helpful in promoting the hobby in a positive way and if not providing all the answers will help one learn where to look.

Here's a good place to start: