I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.
- William Blake
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Here is the blurb:
Maze Rats is an RPG and sandbox toolkit for old-school-style adventuring. It contains a single, compact page of rules, a one-page character creation guide, a hand-drawn character sheet, and eight pages of 36-item random tables, rollable with two six-sided dice. Each page contains 9-12 tables, covering spell generation, monster generation, NPCs, treasures, cities, wildernesses, and dungeons. If you run (or have always wanted to run) open sandbox adventures, Maze Rats offers everything you need in a compact, easily-referenced format. Also included is two pages of advice for preparing and running open-world games in the OSR style.
The game system itself is 2d6 based. Character are extremely quick to generate, making it great for convention games, one-shots, or introducing new players. The game is highly lethal, and assumes a style of play where caution is essential to long-term survival. It is technically classless, but the leveling options allow players to specialize in fighting, thievery or wizardry or some mixture of the three. Magic is simple and chaotic, with new randomly-generated spells filling the magic-user's head each night. Everything about the game is designed to be as clean, fast, and intuitive as possible, while driving players towards creative solutions rather than brute force (though brute force is always an option).
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Saturday, June 26, 2021
Nevertheless, the idea of “savage, entirely evil races” is seem as ridiculous propaganda by many humanoids. The Laestrygonian philosophers, for example, laugh at the notion that a black widow spider is “evil” for consuming its mate or that a wolf is “immoral” when it kills an innocent child. The fact that the Laestrygonian themselves enjoy eating both spiders and children should not influence our perception of their philosophy, which is based on purely logical grounds.
Friday, June 25, 2021
Midlands Low Magic Sandbox Setting* is the deal of the day over DTRPG. It is a sword and sorcery setting written for one of my favorite S&S games, Low Fantasy Gaming RPG, but you can use it with any OSR game (or any D&D-ish game, really; I could see it in Mythras, for example).
I have bought the book but haven't read it, only skimmed over it (365 pages!). It's full of B&W art, maps, and random tables. The quality seems similar to LFG, which is great. It is OGL, which is always a plus IMO. Here is the blurb:
The Midlands PDF (original version softcover/hardcover available via Lulu) is 365 pages of low magic, low prep, customisable sandbox, in a “points of light” medieval fantasy realm. The setting is written for the Low Fantasy Gaming RPG system, a d20 variant under the OGL, but is easily adapted to any fantasy RPG.
The Midlands is half setting, half DIY toolkit (per the Contents in the preview); filled with tables and tools to assist the GM to run an improvised sandbox, including fifty Adventure Frameworks to sprinkle around the region (mini adventures with enough meat to kickstart an adventure, but enough flexibility to expand/adapt to player choices).
The Midlands' main themes include:
Humanity shelters behind six isolated, walled cities, struggling for opportunity.
One hundred leagues of trackless wilderness, plagued by skorn, thuels, & monstrous beasts.
Sorcery was not meant for mortals; magic is rare, dark, & inherently dangerous.
Deities are ineffably distant; offering no miracles, nor intervening in the world in any obvious way.
Despite the dangers, the wilds beckon with crumbling ruins, lost treasures, & forgotten secrets.
High resolution images of the isometric Region Map, Six City Maps, 1st level Pregens, Illustrated Character Sheets & GM Screen Inserts are available for free download via the Low Fantasy Gaming RPG site.
As of Feb 2019, a top down colour Midlands Hex Map (with and without labels) is separately available for $5 via DTRPG.
Open Game Content
For those interested in publishing related materials, the vast majority of the Midlands is designated Open Game Content under the OGL.
In terms of independently available AFs, Midlands includes: #1-4, 6-9, 11, 13-17, 19-22 and 24-27 (some under different names, or truncated versions).
Update 27.12.17: bonus white background PDF now also included.
Update 15.2.18: Original file available as softcover (USD $24) or hardcover (USD $33) via Lulu.
Update 12.2.19: Updated file for LFG Delxue included (no print version available).
If you like S&S and OSR, I'd recommend checking this one out.
Monday, June 21, 2021
These tables are good, but incredibly uneven. You can end up with a "servant", "A pair of boots that grants you 1 boon on rolls to sneak or a gray cloak that grants you 1 boon on rolls to hide", "a can of beets", "a pungent stench" or a "bizarre fetish".
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Saturday, June 12, 2021
Now that D&D is trying to get rid of alignment (in the most recent books), I'd like to briefly go back to the topic. This post is not only about alignment, but it plays an important part.
If you find alignment too restrictive, we could go the opposite way - adopt one or multiple "mien" from Troika* (e.g., Hungry, Confused, Protective, Greedy, Conniving), one or multiple goals from Teratogenicon, or let behavior be described by any appropriate expression (chaotic, lawful, greedy, hungry, indifferent, territorial, aggressive, shy, etc.). Of course, each individual creature might be different - but having some way to start the process is useful.