Monday, May 29, 2017

Death in Reik Caverns Review — A Relic of the 1e/2e Transition Era


Death in Reik Caverns is a modern day rarity, an OSR module actually meant for 1st Edition (either actual AD&D or OSRIC). In truth though, it's not so much OSR, as old school. It was an AD&D module used at Gencon in 1992, though in a way, it feels much older with that, more like '79, as it completely uses standard monsters and has a rather pedestrian premise — archmage dies, monsters come in and take over his lair and use it as a base to raid a nearby town. However, its true age is betrayed by a number of 2e-isms sneaking through, which honestly does represent how a lot of games were played then, using both 1e and 2e material somewhat haphazardly.

It's meant to be set in Greyhawk, dubbed "Darkhawk" here, but the tiny included map includes Maure Castle, Cairn Hills, Safeton, and Abbor Alz, all unchanged from Greyhawk. Still, it doesn't literally use the Darlene map. It is however set in a new town, Breehaven, 2 hexes away from Greyhawk. At least as far as I know it is new, I was never really into Greyhawk beyond the original folio and early modules.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Some New Pulps at Comic Books Plus

Not directly OSR related, but this is the literature that inspired the game. On issue of Planet Stories and 3 issues of Avon Readers, which basically just took old pulp stories and reprinted them, sans illustration or ads.

Planet Stories v2 08 - Most notably has a sword & planet tale from Henry Kuttner, The Eyes of Thar

Avon Fantasy Reader 15 -Has a sword & planet adventure from Stanley Weinbaum (and a heck of a cover), a story about a guy with ape servants and some other stuff.

Avon Fantasy Reader 17 -  Featuring (and the cover) The Sapphire Siren. It's funny, while 1950s male heroes went shirtless, they still pulled their pants up to their navel and some older tales by HPL and William Hope Hodgeson

Avon Science Fiction Reader 1 - This has a cover like from a Venger Satainis module, but is actually for a story from Edmond Hamilton, and has stories from A. Merritt, CAS, Frank Belknap Long, and Donald Wollheim.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

OSR sale at DTRPG

Not much of a sale, only 15% off.

And from what I can tell, it's mostly titles from the commercial, as opposed to the hobbyist side of the OSR. Still, as most of those are priced high to begin with, you can save a few bucks.

Edit: More interesting is the sale at DM"s Guild

Has bundles of TSR products at really low prices and a nice bundle of Advanced Adventures.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

New OSR Releases at RPGNow/DTRPG — May 23rd, 2017

After a very slow last week, things have picked up a little with a couple of new race supplements and a couple of adventures

Official


Cult of the Dragon -  There was a Forgotten Realms book with a Dracolich on the cover. I may or may not have read it, I can't remember. But this has the same cover and presumably is about it. 128 pages, $4.99

Hail the Heroes - As part of their new take on Mystara, bringing it into AD&D, they also put out adventures with accompanying cds.  I don't know if it comes with audio files or not. 36 pages, $4.99

Monstrous Arcana: The Sea Devils -  Sadly, not a Jon Pertwee Doctor Who crossover, this is instead a sourcebook about those lovely sharkmen, the sahuagin. $4.99 and 96 pages.

Night of the Vampire -  Another one of these adventures. Didn't have this one either (I did own the Castle Amber one. $4.99 and 36 pages

Wizard's Spell Compendium Vol 2 -  More spells for 2e wizards. Unfortunately they lump in illusionist spells, so it's not as useful as it could be for earlier editions. 288 pages, $9.99

Adventures


Dungeon of the Selenian Conclave -  From the author of the pretty nice module Arsenal of the Warrior Princess comes a new B/X adventure with a seemingly similar premise, the remains of a wizardly research lab. $1.99 and 18 pages.

Peepee Soaked Heckhole - The name is a Simpsons reference, but it seems to be a standard "I'm so edgy"  LotFP module from the usual bunch. 8 pages, PWYW

Rules


Book of Fantasy Races -  This book introduces 31 new races for use with Advanced Labyrinth Lord or 1e. So they are races, not race classes. $3, 36 pages.

The Nephilim -  Children of angels for Sword & Wizardry. Complete 6 pages, 99 cents.


Misc


Friday Freebie 5-19-17 - This week's map from Tim Hartin is a cavern with one looks like to be a bottomless pit. $1 for the enhanced version

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Giant's Perch Review — It's Not a Huge Fish


Giant's Perch is a short adventure for Labyrinth Lord, written and illustrated by John Frederick of Sharp Mountain Games. A couple years ago I bought another adventure from him, Witch of Tariswoods which was good but not great. Both adventures use the same town as base, though it's not really described here save for a tavern. (He's also released 2 more adventures, all available in a 4-pack for $6 total)

Also like that adventure, this has a couple of wilderness encounters, then a small dungeon. It's pretty much linear, the party has the first wilderness encounter, which then leads them to the next, then finally the dungeon. Basically they run into an elf being attacked by frogmen, they rescue him, who enlists them on his quest to find a magic flower.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

New OSR Products at RPGNow/DTRPG — May 16th, 2017


Quiet week on the OSR front. On the other hand, we have the 2017 One Page Dungeon Compendium. Personally I am not a big fan of that format. Just because you can make a dungeon on one page doesn't mean you should. Also an old school, if not D&D favorite, Mercenaries, Spies, & Private Eyes which is like a modern Tunnels & Trolls, only good.


Official

Dungeon Builder's Guidebook -  Sometime in the mid-90s after eschewing dungeon adventures (particularly in Dungeon magazine), TSR realized "Hey, maybe those dungeon things aren't so bad after all". This is a fairly useful guide. 64 pages, $4.99

Dungeon Master's Design Kit -  This is a late 1e era product on how to design adventures, not so much dungeons, $4.99 and 96 pages


Wizard's Spell Compendium Vol 1 -  The first of 4 volumes of every D&D and AD&D magic-user (I mean, wizard since it's 2e) spell up to its compilation, which I think was mid 90s. 288 pages, $9.99

Adventures

None

Rules

None

Misc

Castle Builder - More a guide on how to describe castles to players. PWYW

Monster Wheelies For Labyrinth Lord Vol 2 -  More combat charts for 190+ more LL monsters. Because having a separate chart for each monster is so much simply than THACO or Ascending AC and attack bonus. PWYW, but I swear, this makes less sense to me than a single saving throw.

Friday Freebie Ehanced Map 5-5-2017 - Which despite the name, is actually May 12th's map. $1 for enhanced version

Ward's Warrens - A collection of hand drawn cave maps from Shane Ward. Free.