Thursday, 3 September 2015

Concreteness, inquiry, and rationalisation

An internal view of 15th. century Brigandine.
The question "why is this stuff in RPGs?" has been thrown around a lot lately.  In the interests of making that discussion a little more safe, let's talk about continued existence of "studded leather" armour in D&D and its successors.  I would like to think that's going to be something that can be talked about without anyone reliving past harms - and if I'm wrong about that, I sincerely apologise for my ignorance.  (There's also a reference to Rust Monsters being tied up later on, but it's not particularly explicit.)

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Campaign catch-up I: The temple in the sands

It has been a very long time since I first posted about my campaign.  Despite my absence from the blog, I'm happy to report that the game hasn't died - although one character did.  As I'm summarising a few months of play, these catch-up episodes will be a little sketchy.

Further investigations of the temple in the sands revealed a good many secrets and some fair share of treasure.  The riddle of the altar was finally revealed when the characters traced the path of the sun, opening up a hidden compartment filled with treasure. (1) Excavation showed that there was a great trap door before the altar, leading to a bizarre crypt.

Review: "The Forbidden Land" by RC Pinnell

The Forbidden Land by RC Pinnell is a free hex-crawl scenario hosted on Dragonsfoot.  The design is oriented towards Classic D&D (B/X, BECMI, or the Cyclopedia) but the work leans lightly enough on the statistical information that I think it would work well under any old school rules.  Indeed, it wouldn't be too hard to use The Forbidden Land with new school or non-D&D rules.  The scenario is recommended for somewhat seasoned characters, from about 4th level, but the actual difficulty will be determined in the process of preparing the work for play.

Review: "The Lair of Largash the Lurid" by Michael Mills

The Lair of Largash the Lurid is a free introductory module (released as Pay What You Want with a recommended price of nothing) by Michael Mills of Canister & Grape Wargames.  The scenario is intended for use with Classic D&D, specifically B/X, and would run very easily under Labyrinth Lord.  Other old school rules could be used with a little bit of conversion.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

OneBookShelf to stop stocking Indie RPGs?

OneBookShelf (who run DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, among others) recently announced a new policy on rejecting "Offensive Content".  Here's the core of the policy:

Monday, 31 August 2015

Review: "The Craft Dungeon of Reynaldo Lazendry" by Jeremy Reaban

The Craft Dungeon of Reynaldo Lazendry is a pay what you want module designed by Jeremy Reaban.  For the sake of full disclosure: I don't know Jeremy but I do follow his very useful OSR News and Reviews blog, and I believe that he's a reader of War beneath the Earth.  If he decides to never read my blog again on the strength of what I say here, then I'll just have to live with that.

Impressions: Geoffrey C. Grabowski's "The Dreams of Ruin"

Earlier this year, Geoffrey C. Grabowski, writer of the Exalted RPG, released The Dreams of Ruin.  This free module is nominally as a Labyrinth Lord product but compatible with a great many retroclones and the games that inspired them.  At the time it first came out, I took a look with an eye to review and got bogged down in the text.  The recent publication of The Dreams of Ruin in print format inspired a second look.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Review: Night of the Mad Kobold by "Mad Dave" Olson

Cut to the Chase Games are giving away "Mad Dave" Olson's WK0 Night of the Mad Kobold until the 16th of September.  The adventure is aimed at six 1st-level adventurers and is written under Swords and Wizardry.  Converting to Original or Classic D&D, or to Retroclones based on these systems won't be a problem, but I think Cut to the Chase are a little quick to say the module can be run under OSRIC.  It can, but it will need some conversion along the way.

Review: "Ice Maidens of the Frozen Horn" by RC Pinnell

Back in May, I reviewed RC Pinnell's Cold Drake Canyon, a module with an engaging ambition but lacklustre achievement.  Pinnell's latest on Dragonsfoot, Ice Maidens of the Frozen Horn, is another module outside of the usual design parameters.  Styled as "X14-T", Ice Maidens is described as a tournament module for the 1981 B/X rules, but it would work very well under the other Classic lines or their clones.  There's a sensible note that running the module under AD&D would require conversion and - perhaps for my benefit - permission to modify the scenario is granted but not repeated too many times.  The scenario is a little unclear but it seems to be aimed at six to nine characters of 8th to 12th level.