Month: October 2020

Vaesen Nordic Horror Roleplaying Game Review

Vaesen Nordic Horror Roleplaying Game Review

A few weeks back I found a new game that just came out. The game store had just got it on the shelf and I took a look. It was beautiful and the front described it as Nordic Horror. Vaesen is a game from Free League. If you are unfamiliar, they put out games like Mutant: Year Zero, Tales from the Loop, Forbidden Lands, Mork Borg and the new Alien RPG. Many of the games use the Year Zero System. It is an open system for other to use. Vaesen was my first chance to run the system. I picked the book up with Halloween in mind. We like to do a Halloween one-shot RPG with our game group, and I thought this would be a change from last year. Continue reading →

Posted by No Dungeon Masters! in Game Mechanics, Halloween, Holidays, Horror, Reviews, 1 comment
Halloween Horror RPGs To give your game group nightmares

Halloween Horror RPGs To give your game group nightmares

If you are like me, Halloween is one of your favorite holidays. It is all about having fun. One thing we have been making a tradition is our annual Halloween game. A spooky fun one shot adventure just for the night. So, we pick a system and go with an adventure. I used to just run a Halloween themed adventure for the night in our regular campaign. But I find it a great opportunity to try out all those great horror games out there now. There are so many good games that you never seem to find the time to start an ongoing campaign of one because of your regular game, or just lack of time. Well, Halloween is a great time to take one of those many games you have always looked at running but never get the chance to run.

This year we will be playing Vaesen. I have been rolling up pre-generated characters for the players to choose from to cut down on the time it takes to make a character so we can jump into the game. Last year I ran Dark Places and Demogorgons. When we were still meeting to play in person as a group before the COVID pandemic this was more of an all-around Halloween party with potluck style food, dinner, and lots of tasty treats. You could take it a step forward and have a costume party potluck for this game. Continue reading →

Posted by No Dungeon Masters! in Halloween, Holidays, Horror, 0 comments
Philip Reed: Delayed Blast Gamemaster & Fantasy Sites Books Review

Philip Reed: Delayed Blast Gamemaster & Fantasy Sites Books Review

When I look to buy Role Playing books I am mostly looking for things I can use as a Dungeon Master to make the game more interesting and engaging for the players. Philip Reed has given me that, and a lot of it. I stumbled on Philip Reeds books this last year on kickstarter. The first one was only a dollar and I got a ton of PDF’s out of it. I was impressed with the quality of content, art and overall product. I started backing the other Kickstarters he did over the last year. He has consistently delivered the products he made faster than any other creator I have backed on Kickstarter. I can not believe how fast I was getting physical copies of books in the mail after backing them on his Kickstarters. Continue reading →

Posted by No Dungeon Masters! in Books, Dungeon Masters, Fantasy, Independent Publishers, Open Gaming, Zines, 0 comments
Dragonlance, Hasbro, Racism and Intellectual Property

Dragonlance, Hasbro, Racism and Intellectual Property

News broke this week that Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are suing Wizards of The Coast which is now and has been for a couple decades the property of Hasbro. This is not the first legal issue that Hasbro has seen lately involving employees. As a worker and a creator I tend to side with the workers, the creators who do the work and create the games and products more so than the company that holds legal power over the intellectual property and a right to claim the profit from the work of others. Here, the creators have put their labor into a product, not just any product but one they created and worked for decades on. I’m not a big dragonlance fan, but I knew quite a few over the years. I know the books and game was important to many fans. Now, the creators want to put out the final trilogy, fans want it, and it isn’t getting done even though at least the first book is written. Why? Because some massive corporation has power and ownership of their creation. This is why I am upset about the news of this lawsuit. I hope that Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman win. Continue reading →

Posted by No Dungeon Masters! in Anti-Fascism, Dungeons & Dragons, Intellectual Property, Opinion, Racism, 0 comments
Palladium is Dead Long live Rifts

Palladium is Dead Long live Rifts

Palladium books has been plagued with problems over the years.  Many of us grew up on their games though. I sure did. While Palladium was not my first RPG, I was playing Palladium games years before I even picked up a Dungeons & Dragons book. The experience of Palladium was quite different than that of what I found when I finally played Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. The design of the original Palladium Fantasy Role Playing Game led to many other games. My primary game that I played was Heroes Unlimited. They put out a lot of other games from Mechanoids, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Robotech, Ninjas & Superspies, Beyond the Supernatural and their most popular game Rifts as well as many others.

The Palladium system was Kevin Siembedia’s house rules for D&D essentially. It differed in many ways. One of the main differences outside of mechanics was that the Palladium Fantasy Role Playing Game encouraged players to play the monsters. The idea of the books was to play the most fantastic things out of the Monster Manuals, the outlandish characters that were not normally the heroes. With all the games being based on a similar system they were supposed to create characters that were compatible with each other, despite some of the rule inconsistencies across the books. On top of that, some of the content is really questionable at times, and maybe needs to be revisited or reconsidered. Continue reading →

Posted by No Dungeon Masters! in Game Mechanics, Open Gaming, OSR, Palladium Books, Rifts, 2 comments
Castles & Crusades White Box Review

Castles & Crusades White Box Review

The Castles & Crusades White Box is available on the Troll Lord Games website in print and digital forms. We ran the box using just what was in it. Castles & Crusades is a rich Fantasy Role Playing game system that uses the 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons Open Game License to recreate the game to be more similar to earlier editions while keeping the parts of modern mechanics that streamline the game and make it run smoothly. Like modern versions of the game it uses an ascending armor class. Many modern gamers at times have expressed some resistance to descending armor class and mechanics such as To Hit Armor Class 0 (THAC0) and the necessity of charts. The 3rd edition changed that. C&C also creates a simplistic resolution system based on attributes called the Siege Engine which mirrors these modern resolution systems and creates a smooth and easy to remember rule system.

The Bad
I am going to start with the bad. The one thing that I noticed while running this was typos. Especially within the adventure Kane’s Gauntlet. The book could use another trip to the editor. I don’t notice typos that often, but I saw quite a few throughout the books and the ones I noticed most were in the adventure we ran.

What’s in the Box?

The box comes with five booklets that contain the whole game. It has character record sheets, a set of dice and a pencil for filling out those sheets. The first book we really looked at was called Men & Magic, it is pretty much just a book for rolling up characters. The book only has four classes in it, Fighter, Cleric, Thief and Wizard. For those of you wanting a lot of options for classes this is not for you. It is designed to harken back to the original Dungeons & Dragons box set from the 70’s before there was an AD&D or a Basic. Continue reading →

Posted by No Dungeon Masters! in Castles & Crusades, Editions, Game Mechanics, OSR, Reviews, 1 comment
The OSR is Anti-Fascist

The OSR is Anti-Fascist

I often disagree with politics of posts online, look, read, and move on. There are limits and boundaries though. I interact with plenty across political spectrums in my day to day life with interpersonal relationships and even when organizing. As one who has organized workers quite a bit over the years, I have worked along side people who are liberal, leftists, communists, libertarians, conservatives and many more. Many of them I consider friends. I can find some common ground with most people. I do not tolerate fascism. There is no common ground with fascists, and we should have no spaces that tolerate fascism. Continue reading →

Posted by No Dungeon Masters! in Anti-Fascism, 0 comments
Digital RPG books vs. Physical RPG books

Digital RPG books vs. Physical RPG books

Digital RPG books vs. Physical RPG books

I love books. I love the feel of them, the weight, the smell of old paper, the sound of the crack of the opening of a book for the first time. I have a lot of books on the shelves. I also have a lot of comics. All this stuff takes up a lot of space. It drives my partner nuts on how much stuff I had. As e-books and digital media became more popular, I began to purchase more of my readings via digital vs. hardcopy. (yes, Amazon has made it really too easy to buy crap.)

 

Photos: not my bookshelves but the shelves of the other contributor of the blog. Continue reading →

Posted by Leonidas in Books, 0 comments