Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Here is another portion of the REC.GAMES.FRP.DND FAQ, this time with a list of viewing material. I had even forgotten about some of these myself :)


I4: What are some good movies to watch to get good ideas?

A: As above, it would be suicidal to attempt to list every single fantasy movie ever made. However, what follows is a fairly good listing of the movies most indicative of the genre, as well as a number of turkeys which are fun to watch and get ideas from.

Warning: Some of these movies are intended for children, and a couple are almost guaranteed to rot your brain. I take no responsibility for any damage done to your sanity by watching some of these films.

All of these are available on video.

A: Animated

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989)
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
Aladdin (1986, 1992A)
Aladdin and His Magic Lamp (1968A, 1976)
Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp (1982) A
Ali Baba and the Forth Thieves (1944)
Archer: The Fugitive From the Empire (1981)
Arkenstone Fantasy (1974)
Army of Darkness (1993)
Arslan Senki (pt. 1-4) (a.k.a. Heroic Legend of Arislan) (1991-93) A
Ator the Fighting Eagle (1983)
Barbarian Queen (1985)
Barbarian Queen II (1992)
The Beastmaster (1982)
The Blade Master (a.k.a. Ator the Invincible) (1984)
Bladestorm (1986)
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1988)
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (1988)
Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1989)
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Conan the Destroyer (1984)
A Connecticut Yankee (1931)
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949, 1970A)
The Court Jester (1956)
The Dark Crystal (1983)
Deathstalker (1984)
Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans (1987)
Deathstalker III: The Warriors from Hell (1988)
Deathstalker 4: Clash of the Titans (1991)
Dragon Half (pt. 1-2) (1993) A
The Dragon Who Wasn't (Or Was He?) (1983) A
Dragonslayer (1981)
The Dungeonmaster (1985)
Excalibur (1981)
Faerie Tale Theatre: Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp (1984)
Fire and Ice (1983) A
First Knight (1995)
Flesh + Blood (a.k.a. The Rose and the Sword) (1985)
Flesh and Blood (1951)
Flight of Dragons (1982) A
Fury of Hercules (1962)
Gnomes (1980) A
Gnomes Great Adventure (1987) A
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)
Gor (1988)
The Greenstone (1985)
Grendel, Grendel, Grendel (1982) A
Hamlet (1948, 1990)
Hawk and Castile (19??)
Hawk of Castile (1964)
Hawk the Slayer (1980)
Henry V (1944, 1989)
Highlander (1986)
The Hobbit (1978) A
The Iron Crown (1941)
Iron Warrior (1987)
Ironmaster (1983)
Ivanhoe (1952, 1982)
Jabberwocky (1977)
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
King Arthur, the Young Warlord (1975)
Krull (1983)
Labyrinth (1986)
Ladyhawke (1985)
The Last Unicorn (1982) A
Legend (1986)
Legend of Lyon: Flare, pt. 1-2 (199?) A
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1979) A
Lord of the Rings (1978) A
The Magic Sword (1962)
The Magic Voyage of Sinbad (1952, 1962)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974)
The Name of the Rose (1986)
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (a.k.a. Warriors of the Wind)
(1985) A
The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1989)
Neverending Story (1984)
Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter (1991)
Neverending Story III (1994)
Ninja Scroll (a.k.a. Jubei's Ninja Chronicles) (19??) A
1001 Arabian Nights (1959) A
Outlaw of Gor (1987)
Petronella (1985)
The Phantom Toolbooth (1969) A
The Princess Bride (1987)
Quest for the Mighty Sword (a.k.a. Ator, l'Invincible) (1990)
Rashomon (1951)
Record of the Lodoss War, pt. 1-13 (199?) A
Red Sonja (1985)
The Return of the King (1980) A
RG Veda, pt. 1-10 (1991-96) A
Robin and Marian (1976)
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
Rumik World: Fire Tripper (199?) A
Scaramouche (1952)
Seven Magnificent Gladiators (1984)
Seven Samurai (1954)
Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
Shogun Assassin (1980)
Shogun's Ninja (1983)
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) A
Sinbad of the Seven Seas (1989)
Sinbad the Sailor (1947)
Son of Ali Baba (1952)
Son of Sinbad (1955)
The Sorceress (1983)
The Sword and the Dragon (1956)
The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982)
Sword of Doom (1967)
Sword of Heaven (1981)
Sword of Lancelot (1963)
The Thief of Baghdad (1920, 1924, 1940, 1961, 1978)
A Thousand and One Nights (1945)
The Three Musketeers (1933, 1948, 1974, 1994)
Time Bandits (1981)
The Vikings (1958)
Warlock (1991)
The Warrior and the Sorceress (1984)
Warriors (1955)
Weathering Continent (1992) A
Willow (1988)
Windaria/Winderia (1992) A
The Wind and the Lion (1975)
Wizards (1977) A
Wizards and Warriors (1983)
Wizards of the Demon Sword (1991)
Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (1985)
Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II (1989)
Yoma (possibly a.k.a. Curse of the Undead: Yoma) (19??) A
Yotoden (pt. 1-3) (19??) A
Zardoz (1973)

You can use the Internet Movie Database at or the AllMovie Guide at if you wish to search for information on any of these movies, or for any movies not already listed here.

Monday, December 27, 2010


While going through folders of misc text (I am a rabid archivist) I ran across the REC.GAMES.FRP.DND FAQ (Part 7) and found yet another list, this one from the recent past. I am presenting it unaltered so information will be dated but titles and publishers still relevant.


I2: What are some good books to read to get good ideas?

A: An attempt to list every fantasy book would be suicide, plain and simple. However, what follows is a list of some of the books which Basic D&D was based upon*, as well as some others which are regarded as classics or particularly indicative of the genre. In general, if you find that a certain book or series listed here strikes your fancy, chances are that the author has written many, many more fantasy novels, as many of these authors are prolific in the extreme, and listing even the highlights of each would be a task in and of itself.

Basis for D&D:*,**

Anderson, Poul. _Three Hearts and Three Lions_; _The High Crusade_;
_The Broken Sword_
Bellairs, John. _The Face in the Frost_
Burroughs, Edgar Rice. "Pellucidar" series; Mars series; Venus series
Carter, Lin. "World's End" series
de Camp, L. Sprague. _Lest Darkness Fall_; _Fallible Fiend_
de Camp, L. Sprague, and Fletcher Pratt. "Harold Shea" series;
_Carnelian Cube_
Farmer, Philip Jose. "The World of the Tiers" series
Fox, Gardner. "Kothar" series; "Kyrik" series
Howard, Robert E. "Conan" series
Lanier, Sterling. _Hiero's Journey_
Lieber, Fritz. "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" series [a.k.a. "Lankhmar" series]
Lovecraft, H.P. "Cthulhu" series
Merritt, A. _Creep, Shadow, Creep_; Moon Pool_; Dwellers in the
Moorcock, Michael. _Stormbringer, Stealer of Souls_; "Hawkmoon" series
Offutt, Andrew J., ed. _Swords Against Darkness III_
Pratt, Fletcher. _Blue Star_
Saberhagen, Fred. _Changeling Earth_
St. Clair, Margaret. _The Shadow People_; _Sign of the Labrys_
Tolkien, J.R.R. _The Hobbit_; "Ring" trilogy
Vance, Jack. _The Eyes of the Overworld_; _The Dying Earth_
Zelazny, Roger. _Jack of Shadows_; "Amber" series

* This list is selected from a list found on p. 224 of the 1st ed. DMG
** According to the authors of the 1st ed. DMG, de Camp & Pratt,
Robert E. Howard, Fritz Lieber, Jack Vance, H.P. Lovecraft, and
A. Merritt had some of the most direct influences on the direction
of the game, and the others had a lesser influence.

Other reading:

[Anonymous.] _Arabian Nights_
[Anonymous.] _Beowulf_
[Anonymous.] _The Song of Roland_
Alexander, Lloyd. _The Book of Three_ and the resultant series
Anthony, Piers. "Xanth" series
Anthony, Piers & Robert Kornwise. _Through the Ice_
Asprin, Robert. "Myth" series
Asprin, Robert, ed. "Thieves' World" series
Babbitt, Lucy Lullyford. _The Oval Amulet_
Barber, Antonia. _Catkin_
Baum, L. Frank. "Oz" books
Bradley, Marion Zimmer. _The Mists of Avalon_, "Darkover" books
Bradley, Marion Zimmer, ed. _Swords & Sorceress_ series
Brooks, Terry. "Shannara" series; "Magic Kingdom of Landover" series
Brothers Grimm. _Grimm's Fairy Tales_ [unabridged preferred]
Burkert, Nancy Ekholm. _Valentine and Orson_
Cherryh, C.J. "Sword of Knowledge" series; "Morgam" books
Cole, Allan & Chris Bunch. _The Far Kingdoms_
Cook, David C. (publisher). _Tullus and the Vandals of the North_
Cook, Glen. "The Black Company" series, "Glittering Stone" trilogy
Cook, Rick. _Wizard's Bane_, _Wizardry Compiled_, _Wizardry Cursed_
Cooper, Louise. "Time Master" trilogy, _Star Ascendant_
Datlow, Ellen, et al., ed. _Year's Best Fantasy and Horror_ series
De Angeli, Marguerite. _The Door in the Wall_
DeLint, Charles. _Into the Green_, _Brian Froud's Faerielands: The
Wild Wood_
Devers, Joe. "Lone Wolf" series ("Determine Your Destiny" books)
Dickinson, Peter. _The Flight of Dragons_
Dickson, Gordon. _The Dragon & The George_
Donaldson, Stephen R. _Daughter of Regals & Other Tales_,
"1st & 2nd Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever" trilogies
Duncan, Dave. _The Hunters' Haunt_, "Man of His Word" series
Eckert, Allan W. _The Dark Green Tunnel_, _The Wand_
Eddings, David. "Belgariad" series; "Mallorean" series; "Elenium"
Ende, Michael. _Die Unendliche Geschichte_ [Neverending Story]
Estes, Rose. _The Children of the Dragon_
Evans, Linda. _Sleipnir_
Feist, Raymond. "The Riftwar Saga" series
Feist, Raymond & Janny Wurst. "The Empire Trilogy"
Foster, Alan Dean. "Spellsinger" series
Foster, Hal. _Prince Valiant_
Forward, Eve. _Villians By Necessity_
Gemmell, David. "Drenai" tales; "Sipstrassi" tales
Gilliam, Richard, et al., ed. _Grails_ series
Grahame, Kenneth. _The Reluctant Dragon_
Gray, Elizabeth. _Adam of the Road_
Gygax, E. Gary. "Gord the Rogue" series
Harrison, Harry. _Warriors of the Way_
Henderson, Jason. _The Iron Thane_
Hildick, E.W. _The Case of the Dragon in Distress_
Jacques, Brian. _Redwall_ series
Jones, Diana Wynne, ed. _Fantasy Stories_
Jones, J.V. _The Baker's Boy_
Jones, Terry. (of Monty Python fame) _Nicobobinus_
Jordan, Robert. "Wheel of Time" series
Kelly, Eric P. _Trumpeter of Krakow_
Knaak, Richard. "Dragon Realm" series
Knight, Max E., ed. _Christian Morgenstern's Galgenlieder_ [Gallows
Koller, Jackie French. _The Dragonling_, _A Dragonling in the Family_
Kurtz, Katherine. "Deryni" series
Lackey, Mercedes. "Magic's Dream" series
________ & Josephine Sherman _Castle of Deception_ ("Bard's Tale")
________ & Ru Emerson. _Fortress of Frost & Fire_ ("Bard's Tale")
________ & Mark Shepherd. _Prison of Souls_ ("Bard's Tale")
Lawhead, Stephen R. "Merlin"; "Taliesin"; "Arthur"
Lewis, C.S. "Narnia" series
Llywelyn, Morgan & Michael Scott. "The Arcana" (trilogy)
McCaffrey, Anne. "Pern" series
Modesitt, L.E., Jr. _The Magic of Recluse_
Moon, Elizabeth. _The Deed of Paksenarrion_
Morgenstern, S. (pseud. for William Goldman). _The Princess Bride_
Newman, Sharan. _Death Comes as Epiphany_, _The Devil's Door_, _The
Wandering Arm_
Niles, Douglas. "The Watershed" trilogy
Niven, Larry. _The Magic Goes Away_
Norman, John. "Gor" series
Paxson, Diana L. & Adrienne Martine-Barnes. "Chronicles of Fionn
Mac Cumhal" series
Peters, Ellis. "Brother Cadfael" series
Pierce, Tamora. _"Song of the Lioness" series, "Immortals" series
Piper, H. Beam. _Lord Kalvern of Otherwhen_
Prachett, Terry. "Discworld" series; _The Color of Magic_
Priess, Bryon, et al., eds. _The Ultimate Dragon_
Pyle, Howard. _Otto of the SIlver Hand_
Rawn, Melanie. "Dragon Prince" trilogy, "Exiles" trilogy
Reichert, Mickey Zucker. "The Last of the Renshai" trilogy; "Bifrost
Guardians" series; "The Renshai Chronicles" series
Roberts, John Maddox. "StormLands" series, "Cingulum" series
Rosenberg, Joel. "Guardians of the Flame" series
Saberhagen, Fred. "Swords" series; "Lost Swords" series
Shea, Michael. _Nifft the Lean_, _In Yana, the Touch of the Undying_
Sherman, Josepha, ed. _Orphans of the Night_
Sim, Dave. _Cerebus_ (1st collection)
Skurzynski, Gloria. _The Minstrel in the Tower_
Smith, Clark Ashton. _The Boiling Point_, _Hyperborea_, _Xiccarph_,
Snyder, Zilpha Keatley. _The Changing Maze_
Stirling, S.M. & Holly Lisle, _The Rose Sea_
Swanwick, Michael. _The Iron Dragon's Daughter_
Turtledove, Harry. "Arhel" series
Weber, David. _Oath of Swords_
Wein, Elizabeth E. _The Winter Prince_
Weis, Margaret, & Tracy Hickman. "Darksword" series; "Deathgate"
Wells, Martha. _City of Bones_
Westall, Robert. _The Cats of Seroster_
White, T.H. _The Once and Future King_
Willey, Elizabeth. _A Sorcerer and a Gentleman_
Williams, Tad. "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn" trilogy
Wrede, Patricia C. _Dealing with Dragons_, _Calling on Dragons_
Yolen, Jane, _Wren to the Rescue_, _Wren's Quest_
Zelazny, Roger & Thomas T. Thomas. _The Mask of Loki_
[Various.] (Any novel published by TSR)

You may also want to look into the Recommended Fantasy Authors List, located at as well as the Speculative Fiction Authors Bibliography, located or the Alternative Authors list, located at .

To find out more about current and forthcoming books in the fantasy genre, here are a couple of publishers' web pages to look into:
The official page for TOR Books, the SF/Fantasy imprint of Tom Doherty Associates.
The official page for Baen Books, a SF/Fantasy publisher.
The official page for Del Rey Books, the SF/Fantasy imprint of Ballantine Books.
The official page for Spectra, the SF/Fantasy imprint of Bantam Books.

There are many other, non-fiction books out there which tell the history of daily life in the Middle Ages; see the next question or ask your local librarian for more information. However, the following series pretty much sums up everything you ever wanted to know about medieval weapons, armor, and life.

Oakeshott, R. Ewart. _The Archaeology of Weapons: Arms and Armor From
Prehistory to the Age of Chivalry._ Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK;
Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 1994.

________. _A Knight and His Castle._ Chester Springs, PA: Dufour
Editions, 1993; London, Beaver Books, 1976.

________. _The Sword in the Age of Chivalry._ Woodbridge, Suffolk,
UK; Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 1994.

________. _A Knight and His Armor._ Philadelphia: Dufour Editions,
1961; London, Lutterworth Press, 1961.

________. _A Knight and His Horse._ London: Lutterworth Press, 1962;
Philadelphia, PA: Dufour Editions, 1964.

________. _A Knight in Battle._ London: Lutterworth Press, 1971.

________. _A Knight and His Weapons._ Philadelphia, PA: Dufour
Editions, 1964; London: Lutterworth Press, 1966.

If you are looking for information on mythological beasts, a decent series called _Monsters of Mythology_ was put out by Chelsea House Publishers in the mid-80's; each book detailed one monster.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tis The Season

So here I sit, the extended Lord of the Rings inspiring me on during a tough time of year for me.

As the year comes to an end I have made a point of trying to catch up on my favorite blogs and output from others in the hobby.

And now it's time to recognize those that I have the privilege of knowing:

First and always is my wife, who without I would be dead. I'm not kidding and it's no joke. I can not put into words the way I feel about this very unique individual and my love for her will extend well past parting with this mortal coil. A love ghost? Hmmmm...has potential...

To Hank for opening my eyes to the hobby by explaining it to me for the first time in a new light that has lit the path for me ever since.

To Joe, who stood tall before the wagon many times. He too showed me things about gaming that I may never had noticed if not for his particular perspective on the hobby.

To Hugh, for re-igniting the passion in me that I thought had long since flickered out. And yes, I love NORMALITY and challenge all gamers to look that work I want that prequel Hugh! :)

To Matt for taking time to offer help when he is obviously slammed himself for time. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat others, and in this case a near stranger. I hope for continued success for all the NOD projects.

To the OSR community in general who have helped preserve and promote a style of gaming that is near and dear to me and sharing it with others. I can only hope to live up to the standards that have been set by these people. May your work keep growing stronger with each passing day.

To the community members who follow my blogs and a special thanks to Cyclopeatron for his big list of OSR blogs that turned me on to so many others who are rowing in the same direction.

I wish you all peace and the only gift that I have to bestow...that all your dreams come true...

Happy Holidays to one and all.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


We can steal the term "neo-retro"; there are parallels in P-n-P gaming and console gaming.

A Farewell to Hexes (an essay on wargames by Greg Costikyan)

A History of Role-Playing (fairly extensive through '99)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

RPG Dumping Ground-The Best Of series

While surfing through my bookmarks I came across a blog I visited frequently and that always had great ideas for FRPG gamers.

Mark Thomas recently stopped posting and under his gracious CC licensing permitted us to reprint posts from the blog.

A big thank you to Mark and his additions to the community and now:

The Shoe of Many Mounts

The Shoe of Many Mounts appears to be a normal-sized horseshoe of polished steel. Any blacksmith, farrier, or experienced horseman can easily determine that the shoe is not made for use, as it has no nail holes. The shoe is lighter than expected as well. There are four runic symbols carved into the top (hoof) side of the Shoe: Swiftness, Strength, Conflict, and Power. On the bottom of the shoe stylized images of the rising and setting sun are carved into each arm of the Shoe, and a sheaf of grain is carved into the toe. Each carving is enameled in gold with a green background. The exact language and form of the runes should be appropriate to the campaign.

Heating or altering the Shoe in any way will destroy the magic it contains. Attempts to identify the magical properties of the item will reveal Great creation and transformation magic. The Shoe radiates neither good nor evil.

To activate the magic of the Shoe, place it on bare soil with the toe facing the rising sun. Spill a handful of grain on the ground nearby and speak one of the runes. The Shoe will transform into a mount depending on the rune spoken:

* Swiftness - A silver riding horse with saddle and tack
* Strength - A brown mule with a pack saddle
* Conflict - A red heavy warhorse in chain barding
* Power - A black draft horse with full harness

The mounts summoned are of Great quality, and requires no food or drink. They will serve the summoner tirelessly until sunset, when they revert to the Shoe of Many Mounts.

Summoned mounts are subject to harm by normal means. If a mount is slain it reverts to the Shoe, and no mount may be summoned for one week.

-Mark A. Thomas -

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


After reading over the post I recently did on influential books within the hobby I realized I was probably as influenced by film as by book and maybe more so. I had always been a bigger fan of Science Fiction than Fantasy and much of my mental imagery in gaming comes from movies.

Films like:

Jason and the Argonauts
Bakshi's Lord of the Rings, Wizards and Fire and Ice,
Fantastic Planet
Clash of the Titans
Conan the Barbarian
Heavy Metal (both film and magazine)
The Beast Master
The Dark Crystal

So feed the need, kick back relax and enjoy a Fantasy film when you have time. We don't always have time to read a novel but we can get our game snack on with a film :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

BUILDING YOUR BOOKSHELF -A Reading List For Inspiration

Reading lists have started cropping up in the blogosphere and I thought I would share an 'origin of the species' list and a newly posted list that shifted my imagination into overdrive

From The AD&D 1e Dungeon Master Guide:


Inspirational Reading:



Brackett, Leigh.

Brown, Fredric.

Burroughs, Edgar Rice. "Pellucidar" Series; Mars Series; Venus Series

Carter, Lin. "World's End'' Series


de Camp & Pratt. "Harold Shea" Series; CARNELIAN CUBE

Derleth, August.

Dunsany, Lord.

Farmer, P. J. "The World of the Tiers" Series; etal.

Fox, Gardner. "Kothar" Series; "Kyrik" Series; et of.

Howard, R. E. "Conan" Series

Lanier, Sterling. HIEROS JOURNEY

Leiber, Fritz. "Fafhrd &Gray Mouser" Series; et of.

Lovecraft, H. P.


Moorcock, Michael. STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; "Hawkmoon"
Norton, Andre.

Offutt, Andrew J., editor SWORDS AGAINST DARKNESS Ill.

Pratt, Fletcher, BLUE STAR; etaf.

Saberhagen, Fred. CHANGELING EARTH; etal.


Tolkien, J. R. R. THE HOBBIT; "Ring Trilogy"


Weinbaum, Stanley.

Wellman, Manly Wade.

Williamson, Jack.

Zelazny, Roger. JACK OF SHADOWS; "Amber" Series; et of.

MIRAGE; et of.
Series (esp. the first three books)

The most immediate influences upon AD&D were probably de Camp &
Pratt, Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, H.P. Lovecraft, and A. Merritt; but all of the above authors, as well as many not listed, certainly helped to shape the form of the game. For this reason, and for the hours of reading enjoyment, I heartily recommend the works of these fine authors to you.

And from a recent post at Quickly, Quietly, Carefully

In the original Appendix N, and in personal appendixes N from various OSR blogs, contemporary and modern fantastic literature dominates the reading list. Given the selection you'll find in a bookstore's fantasy section, that's not surprising, but I wonder what an Appendix N would include if limited to pre-1900 literature?

* Arabian Nights
* Beowulf
* Voltaire's Candide
* Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
* Cervantes' Don Quixote
* Stoker's Dracula
* Grimm's Fairy Tales
* Spenser's Faerie Queen
* Goethe's Faust
* Gilgamesh
* Machen's The Great God Pan
* Swift's Gulliver's Travels
* Homer's Iliad
* Dante's Inferno
* Ovid's Metamorphoses
* Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur
* Homer's Odyssey
* Edgar Allan Poe's short stories
* Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen
* The Song of Roland
* Stevenson's Treasure Island

A D&D campaign drawn from this Appendix N would have a distinctive flavor, although you could find a basis for many of the traditional D&D tropes in those pages.

These two lists provide a wealth of material for mining and insight into the hobby and in the ways that you can make your game worlds unique.

And most of the second list are free downloads from Project Gutenberg :)

(My own list would be heavily influenced by Tolkien, Burroughs and Moorcock with a lot of mythological and historical material added, especially Roman, Viking and Celt culture.)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

SOLO PLAY-Playing alone or 1 on 1-Part 3

Solo gaming comes in all shapes and sizes. Today's shapes look like this :)

Attacks of Opportunity

Which morphed into this:

About How to Host a Dungeon

And if you have a few minutes to kill and want to do some crawling or even show someone new to the hobby how much fun they can have, just start them with this:

Solo Dungeon Bash

And with such a simple form you can re-load this a few times until a bigger challenge is desired.


Stars Without Number Free RPG (for a short time)

I saw this listed over at Miniature Wargaming and had to check it out.

Free as of now. Get it while it's hot :)

Stars Without Number


The year is 3200 and mankind's empire lies in ashes.

The Jump Gates fell six hundred years ago, severing the links between the myriad worlds of the human diaspora.

Now, the long isolation of the Silence falls away as men and women return to the skies above their scattered worlds.

Will you be among them?

Stars Without Number is a retro-inspired science fiction role playing game influenced by the Old School Renaissance. The contents are compatible with most old school clones and are designed to be easily imported to your own favorite gaming system. In addition to a complete pre-made stellar sector, Stars Without Number offers GMs and players the tools to create their own sandbox-style adventures in the far future.

* Classic mechanics adapted for science-fiction adventure in the far future

* Extensive GM support for building adventure-crammed sandbox settings more quickly and easily

* World building resources for creating system-neutral planets and star sectors

* 100 adventure seeds and guidelines for integrating them with the worlds you've made

* Old-school compatible rules for guns, cyberware, starships, and psionics

* Domain rules for experienced characters who want to set up their own colony, psychic academy, mercenary band, or other institution

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

BUILDING YOUR BOOKSHELF-Great Ideas For Game Masters

A good GM is always learning-so get your learn on with these:

From the Spirit of the Century (OGL SRD)

Also this thread (I believe listed in a Paleo post but still good for a quick glance for the list:

Gaming Books that Offer Unexpectedly Good GMing Advice?


This may be an unusual entry but I had a hard time coming up with this for myself so I decided to add it:

Nested hex is essential for working out sandbox style campaigns and this is the first I have found for roughing out areas to build later with a pro tool or even just for your own personal campaign. My eyes are going, I may be blind, but it took a bit of searching to find these and time is precious.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Building Your Bookshelf: Dark Sun Flashback

With the renewed interest in the DARK SUN line and a slow release schedule many folks seem to be looking for material. DRAGON, DUNGEON and POLYHEDRON published many articles that may be of use to current players. You might have next weekends game idea sitting right on your own shelf :)

Magazine articles


Dragon #173, p10, The Monstrous Side of the Dark Sun World (September 1991)
Dragon #173, p19, A Letter from the Wanderer (September 1991)
Dragon #173, p24, Random Magic for Organized Minds (September 1991)
Dragon #173, p67, A Little Knowledge (September 1991)
Dragon #174, p50, Novel Ideas (October 1991)
Dragon #177, p52, Sage Advice (January 1992)
Dragon #178, p92, Sage Advice (February 1992)
Dragon #182, p29, Sage Advice (June 1992)
Dragon #184, p88, Novel Ideas (August 1992)
Dragon #185, p10, The Arena Master's Arsenal (September 1992)
Dragon #185, p18, Mastered, Yet Untamed (September 1992)
Dragon #185, p64, Role-playing Reviews (September 1992)
Dragon #185, p76, Sage Advice (September 1992)
Dragon #188, p92, Sage Advice (December 1992)
Dragon #189, p98, Sage Advice (January 1993)
Dragon #190, p72, Novel Ideas (February 1993)
Dragon #191, p78, Sage Advice (March 1993)
Dragon #192, p76, Sage Advice (April 1993)
Dragon #194, p71, Dark Sun Campaign Journal: Slave Hunters and Silt Sailors (June 1993)
Dragon #194, p53, Sage Advice (June 1993)
Dragon #197, p84, Beyond the Dark Horizon (September 1993)
Dragon #197, p90, Ashes to Ashes (September 1993)
Dragon #201, p44, Sage Advice (January 1994)
Dragon #202, p42, The Preserver's Choice (February 1994)
Dragon #202, p67, Sage Advice (February 1994)
Dragon #203, p79, Sage Advice (March 1994)
Dragon #205, p59, Eye of the Monitor (May 1994)
Dragon #205, p71, Sage Advice (May 1994)
Dragon #206, p88, Sage Advice (June 1994)
Dragon #208, p107, Sage Advice (August 1994)
Dragon #209, p66, 1,001 Faces of Undeath (September 1994)
Dragon #210, p48, Dark Sun Campaign Journal: Adventure Seeds for Athas (October 1994)
Dragon #216, p96, Novel Ideas (April 1995)
Dragon #220, p98, Hunt's Ends
Dragon #220, p114, The Game Wizards: A New Age Dawns for the Dark Sun Campaign (August 1995)
Dragon #221, p87, The Ecology of the Crystal Spider (September 1995)
Dragon #226, p89, Sage Advice (February 1996)
Dragon #231, p40, Defilers and Preservers (July 1996)
Dragon #234, p40, Artifacts of Athas (October 1996)
Dragon #236, p18, Elemental Summoning Gone Wild (December 1996)
Dragon Annual #1, p93, Heroes of Athas (December 1996)
Dragon #237, p23, On a Waterless Sea (January 1997)
Dragon Annual #2, p22, Campaign Classics: Mindscapes of Athas and Beyond (December 1997)
Dragon #244, p76, Bazaar of the Bizarre: Miracles of Flight (February 1998)
Dragon #245, p70, Bazaar of the Bizarre: Dwarven Relics (March 1998)
Dragon #255, p88, Bazaar of the Bizarre: Life-Shapes of Athas (January 1999)
Dragon #258, p42, Wizard Societies
Dragon #315, p32, Defilers of Athas (January 2004)
Dragon #319, p18, Dark Sun Setting & Races (May 2004)
Dragon #319, p32, Dark Sun Classes: Heroes of a Dying World (May 2004)
Dragon #319, p38, Dark Sun Equipment and Rules: Tempered by a Burning World (May 2004)
Dragon #339, p22, Dragon Kings (January 2006)
Dragon #351, p32, Athas and the World Serpent Inn (January 2007)
Dragon #364, p66, Campaign Classics: Hazards of Dark Sun (June 2008)
Dragon #387, p72, Ampersand (May 2010)
Dragon #388, p58, Design & Development: Returning to Athas, Part 1 (June 2010)
Dragon #389, p11, Fiction: Blood Oasis (July 2010)
Dragon #389, p86, Design & Development: Returning to Athas, Part 2 (July 2010)
Dragon #390, p5, Dark Sun: Playing Templars (August 2010)
Dragon #390, p16, Dark Sun: Slave Theme (August 2010)
Dragon #390, p94, Design & Development: Psionics, Magic, and Metal (August 2010)
Dragon #391, p5, Monster Hunters of Athas (September 2010)
Dragon #391, p55, Winning Races: Muls Beyond the Desert (September 2010)
Dragon #391, Traveling the Sandswept Roads (September 2010)
Dragon #393, Dark Sun Grandmaster Training (November 2010)


Dungeon #35, p26, The Year of Priest's Defiance (May 1992)
Dungeon #44, p36, Raiders of the Chanth (November 1993)
Dungeon #56, p38, Grave Circumstances (November 1995)
Dungeon #110/Polyhedron #169, p56, Last Stand at Outpost Three (May 2004)
Dungeon #179, p61, Eye on Dark Sun: Sunwarped Flats (June 2010)
Dungeon #180, p68, Eye on Dark Sun: The Dragon's Altar (July 2010)
Dungeon #181, p4, The Vault of Darom Madar (August 2010)
Dungeon #181, p70, Eye on Dark Sun: Mar Juk-Adan, Dune Trader (August 2010)
Dungeon #182, p62, Eye on Dark Sun: The Broken Builders (September 2010)
Dungeon #183, p4, Revenge of the Marauders (October 2010)
Dungeon #183, p53, Eye on Dark Sun: Magma Elementals (October 2010)
Dungeon #183, October Adventure Hooks: Doing Your Groundwork (October 2010)
Dungeon #184, Eye on Dark Sun: Silt Elementals (November 2010)


Polyhedron #59, p16, A New World to Conquer (May 1991)
Polyhedron #63, p2, Bookwyrms (September 1991)
Polyhedron #74, p2, Geran (August 1992)
Polyhedron #75, p20, Thri-kreen: Language of the Mantis Warriors (September 1992)
Polyhedron #79, p3, Take a Byte (January 1993)
Polyhedron #80, p2, Take a Byte (February 1993)
Polyhedron #80, p9, Guarded Wagon (February 1993)
Polyhedron #80, p15, Dark Sun Player Characters (February 1993)
Polyhedron #80, p19, Dark Sun World Monsters (February 1993)
Polyhedron #86, p31, Take a Byte (August 1993)
Polyhedron #87, p26, Bartering Made Easy (September 1993)
Polyhedron #99, p5, Coin Collecting Under Athas's Hot Sun (September 1994)
Polyhedron #99, p8, New Gladiator Weapons (September 1994)
Polyhedron #99, p12, The Enemy of My Enemy (September 1994)
Polyhedron #99, p19, Templars of the Tyr Region (September 1994)
Polyhedron #100, p20, Kre'ketrac (October 1994)
Polyhedron #134, p13, Intrigue in Raam (January 1999)
Dungeon #110/Polyhedron #169, p58, The Dark Sun DM's Guide (May 2004)
Dungeon #110/Polyhedron #169, p82, Dark Sun Monsters, Part One (May 2004)
Dungeon #111/Polyhedron #170, p88, Dark Sun Monsters, Part Two (June 2004)

(EDIT: Never let me blog before that first cup of coffee is finished :)

I missed some things:

Dragon #364, p66, Campaign Classics: Hazards of Dark Sun (June 2008)
Dragon #388, p58, Design & Development: Dark Sun (June 2010)
Dragon #389, p11, Fiction: Blood Oasis (July 2010)
Dragon #389, p86, Design & Development: Dark Sun (July 2010)
Dragon #390, p5, Dark Sun: Playing Templars (August 2010)
Dragon #390, p16, Dark Sun: Slave Theme (August 2010)
Dragon #390, p94, Design & Development: Dark Sun (August 2010)

Dungeon #179, p61, Eye on Dark Sun (June 2010)
Dungeon #180, p68, Eye on Dark Sun (July 2010)
Dungeon #181, p4, The Vault of Darom Madar (August 2010)
Dungeon #181, p70, Eye on Dark Sun (August 2010)

And regarding comics, IDW's Dungeons & Dragons #0 (August 2010) includes a short Dark Sun comic which is basically the prequel for next year's series.

and the link to the thread at Enworld that yielded this bounty:

where there is a TON of material...apologies to the original compiler of this material )

If I missed something please add it in comments and I hope this gives your session a boost. Now if we can just get WotC to speed up those releases. :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

SOLO PLAY-Playing alone or 1 on 1-Part 2


I decided to start this off with the a nod to the origin of Vancian magic in D&D. It’s an online pick-a-path so not to involved but a chance to get your solo feet wet :)

Lord of the Rings Solo Books

(From the website)

Tolkien Quest Solo Game Books - solo adventure paperback books, but this range was withdrawn due to a copyright dispute (and, according to Pete Fenlon, was a major contribution to the financial troubles of ICE culminating in their loss of the MERP license)

• Night of the Nazg├╗l (1985, #101)
• The Legend of Weathertop (1985)
• Rescue In Mirkwood (1986) (Labeled as Middle-earth Quest)

I didn’t even know these existed until I started researching the solo game topic for this series. I would say these are a bit on the collectible side, but, again, solo Lord of the Rings…awesome.

(ICE also did a few other non-MERP titles: )

• Sherlock Holmes Solo Mysteries line
• Murder at the Diogenes Club (1987)

• Narnia Solo Games line
• Return to Deathwater (1988)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

From Aeons & Augauries-PARS FORTUNA:Basic- my first look

JDJarvis over at Aeons & Augauries has posted a very favorable review of PARS FORTUNA:Basic (beat me to it :)the sneak peak of the new rpg from John M. Stater, of The Land of Nod.

Check out the review here and download the sneak here.

And I have mentioned before but will again for continuities sake check out NOD #1 E-Book :

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY! In this first issue of NOD, you can explore the Wyvern Coast, a sandbox hexcrawl with over 190 encounters. There are six new classes, three new races, a random village generator, a dozen new deities, new monsters, and more! Compatible with most Old School game systems. Over 700 downloads so far - what have you been waiting for!?

Cracking good stuff! :)