OSR For You

I know the OSR movement has been around for a few years, myself really just finding out about it in the past couple years because of Facebook Groups and Google+ Communities, but also through the various blogs and Old School Gaming sites there are out there. Goodman Games’ DCC RPG was an eye-opener as well, containing a list of OSR Resources that I am still plowing through.

I know of OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord, Swords and Wizardry, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, the new Monsters and Magic, DCC RPG of course and Castles and Crusades. There are plenty of others out there as well. Not to mention you can just actually play the old Editions of Dungeon and Dragons again, thanks to the reprints that Wizards has been putting out along with the website dndclassics.com for all your .pdf needs.

I know OSRIC is a book that people have questions about, as I just researched all of this information for myself a few weeks back, I have also seen some posts on Google+ from people asking about the best version, etc. From my research and experience, get the Second Printing from Black Blade Publishing. It is up to date, it’s a beautiful book and mine was shipped quickly and packaged extraordinarily well. Just be sure to e-mail them, as the website’s store is miscalculating shipping. I’ve been very pleased with mine.

I have also picked up copies of the softcover Labyrinth Lord on Lulu.com. I’m quite impressed with the printing quality on these books as well. At Gen Con I will search out Monsters and Magic, I have the .pdf, but a book is always nice.

All in all, you should roll OSR Style for you. Because it’s something that appeals to you, not because it’s a trend.That’s why I am, it’s a way to reconnect with that little boy inside who dreamed of dungeons. And Dragons.

I’m pretty excited to roll OSR style, it’s been a long time since I used the old system, other than the HackMaster 4th Ed. years and my past year or two with DCC. I have a nice little campaign in mind…

Osric01 Osric02 Osric03 Osric04 LLAdv LLBasic

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How D and D 3.0/3.5 Changed Gaming Forever.

Did the concept of Attacks of Opportunity destroy the game? Has a game mechanic that allows you to be punished (attacked) for wanting to move your character made the average gamer change the way he thinks about ALL games?

Even back in 2004, the Attack of Opportunity was causing problems. Look at WOTC’s own article on the subject. The first sentence is “If there’s one question players and DMs dread, it’s this one: Does that provoke an attack of opportunity?” That was almost a decade ago.

Now, Attacks of Opportunity have invaded gaming in every way. People who have never played D and D know of the concept and ask about it. I was playing Zombicide with my game group a few weeks ago. A player had his character near a couple of zombies, when deciding whether to move or fight, he asked if moving away from the zombie would provoke an Attack of Opportunity  This is a player who has NEVER played 3.0/3.5. Yet, he still knows about Attacks of Opportunity, questions his actions in game worrying about them, and would have changed tactics if the game supported the rule.

This got me thinking, “Has the Attack of Opportunity become such a confusing/worrisome notion that even a gamer who has never played in a game that utilizes them considers them in his gaming decisions?”

We are currently playing Savage Worlds and since I run all of our games, I have so many rules rattling around in my brain pan that I get confused sometimes when thinking about the rules of the game I’m currently running, We have played Deadlands Classic, HackMaster, DCC RPG, Hollow Earth Expedition, Call of Cthulhu, Shadowrun, Tunnels and Trolls, Hero System 6th Ed., along with various board and card games. Having run all of these games, sometimes my mind blanks for a second and I have to find a rule in the book. While we were playing Deadlands Noir the other week, a player asked if he would provoke an Attack of Opportunity moving out of melee. I had to pause and think, then look in the book.

Why did one game mechanic change our entire way of thinking about games? Not in a good way mind you. The pervasive worry that comes from that rule has put many a game on hold right in the middle of the action. As a GM, if a player asks about Attacks of Opportunity, I have to know the answer. One of the problems with that, is that other games that don’t use the same verbiage may in fact have a rule just like an Attack of Opportunity. So, unless you have memorized all of your various games’ rules, you have to check. That disrupts the game, it’s flow and it’s effectiveness as a storytelling medium.  When I played 3.0/3.5 as a GM I just removed the rule (OSR FTW) but that didn’t stop the players from asking if they provoked one during most encounters. But during Zombicide? A board game? And we still had to look in the rulebook?

I will say this definitively, I wish the Attack of Opportunity had never been invented, I have spent more time pausing games and checking rulebooks for rules that operate in the same way as that accursed D and D mechanic that I now have to write on the inside cover of my campaign notes where and how it exists in each game I’m running.

Has there ever been an RPG game rule that has caused more confusion and anger than the Attack of Opportunity? I think not.

GenCon 2012 Recap Part 2.

Part 2 of my GenCon Recap. New information is written in a Swamp color. Photos have been added as well.

Welcome to Episode Deux of my three-part Pre-GenCon babbling, wherein I continue to talk about the booths I want to see.


Eagle & Gryphon Games
:
 Booth: 1603

Pirate Dice: Here we go again, folks. Pirates. Ships. Dice. But, this looks good, I love dice and I helped this one via Kickstarter as well. Verdict: Want to Demo/Kickstarter. Conclusion: I did not get to see the game, I heard that people did, I just happened to not. Still a backer and still looking forward to getting the game.

Exile Game Studio: Booth: 419

Hollow Earth Expedition: Love these guys. It’s a tradition each year to make sure this is one of the first booths I visit. The first year Exile was at GenCon, I met Jeff Combos and Sechin Tower and fell in love with HEX. It’s a great game, I urge you to check it out. I just read they are working on a Kickstarter soon, I’m sure I will be following that one. Hopefully I’ll see some more of the Mars stuff they have been working on. Verdict: Have to See. Conclusion: Always good to see Jeff and Sechin. I got in early to the Dealer’s Hall on Thursday because of my Trade Day Badge. It was nice to avoid the crowds and just say hi. I picked up Deadfellas and got in their Kickstarter for Perils of the Surface World.

 

Mad Science Institute with author Sechin TowerMr. Tower wrote this nifty little novel Mad Science Institute. Check it out. You can get a Kindle version right now for 99 cents on Amazon. Anyway, I’m playing in a Hollow Earth Expedition game based on Mad Science Institute run by Sechin Tower. How cool is that? Verdict: Can’t Wait! Conclusion: Excellent game! Run by Sechin, it was my first RPG played at GenCon this year and was a great way to kick off my gaming for the weekend. I picked up a hard copy of his novel, Kindles are cool and all, but I love to read BOOKS.

  

Fantasy Flight Games: Booth: 813, 819, 911, 919, 1107, 1113, 1119

Android: Netrunner: I think this is going to be one of the shows sell-outs. I was thinking about running and getting it when the Hall Doors open, but my Con brain is telling me not to rush. I remember the original version fondly, but I’m not sure about this one. Verdict: Want to Demo. Conclusion: Sold out in ten minutes from what I heard. My FLGS just got some copies, I may pick it up still. I’ve been waiting to hear anything about it, but no one I know has grabbed it up yet.

Sky Traders: I’d like to take a look at this one. looks interesting and it has…Airships! Verdict: Want to Demo. Conclusion: Avoided the cramped booth. Sometimes the Con-Corpses make it so I want to run out of the Dealer’s Hall screaming. Walk like you are going somewhere!

So Many Others: Mansions of Madness, Elder Sign and wayyyyy too many others. FFG has a ton of great games. I could spend a couple hours at their booth. Verdict: Want to See. Conclusion: The FFG Booth was a madhouse this year, as it is every year, but since Netrunner sold out early, I had less motivation to fight the crowd.

Flying Buffalo: Booth: 509

Tunnels and Trolls: I’ll have to stop by the booth and see if there is any news about the new edition, or maybe an Eagle Continent poster. I’m a member of Trollhalla, I go by the name Sharauk-Ru, if you happen to frequent the site. Verdict: Want to See. Conclusion: I said hi to the TrollGod and shook his hand. I was really making the rounds this year.

Gamescience / FRED Distribution: Booth: 1603

Blue Jasper: I have been bugging this company about this color dice since they were announced. I want them. Yes, Gamescience, I’m the pain in the butt who keeps asking about them, now Take My Money! Verdict: Must Buy. Conclusion: I got my Blue Jasper’s and nobody asked if I was the guy who was a pain in the butt. Score! Something I was wondering about this year…I thought Lou Zocchi had sold off Gamescience as he has not been at GenCon for the past couple of years. Now, this year, he and Gamescience EACH had a booth. Is there a story there I wonder? Gamescience Games vs. Gamescience? I’ll have to look it up.

 

 So, Mr. Zocchi has a Booth… …As does Gamescience? I’m confused.

 Beware the D-Total!

d30: Gotta grab a few for the gaming group, plus, the only one I have is one I bought when I was about 26 years younger than I am now. Time for a new one, especially since I like DCC RPG so much. Verdict: Must Buy. Conclusion: Snagged.

Geek & Sundry: Booth: 633

I gotta say, I missed the boat on this one. There has been a flood of new gaming things happening in the world. This is one of them. Quality gaming entertainment. I never thought I would see the day. This is a corner of the gaming world I haven’t poked around in much (much like my recent foray into Google+). I also just starting watching The Nerdist. I’m a little behind the times. But, I’m happy to see there is a whole aspect of gaming that is new to me. This is the new Golden Age of Gaming. I think I’ll be taking some time to learn and watch, more. Verdict: Want to See. Conclusion: I’m now watching, and enjoying.

Goodman Games: Booth: No Booth

DCC RPG: There may be no booth, but I’m playing in a couple of games of this GM’d by Harley Stroh. I really like the game, looking forward to this. It’s also one of the games I run, so it’ll be nice to learn from one of the creators. Verdict: Can’t Wait! Conclusion: Seeing Doug Kovacs’ new DCC cover in the flesh and playing in two of Harley Stroh’s games were some more highlights of this year’s GenCon. I’m gonna head out to GaryCon just so I can play with him again, a damn good GM. The two groups I played with were spectacular as well. Three Thumbs Represent! R.I.P. and Long Live Nicos Knicknevin. BTW, Harley flipped me off for saving my character, the mark of a true OSR GM.

 

Kenzer & Co: Booth: 519

HackMaster: I love HackMaster. I do, I do. It’s one of my favorite games to run, and it holds a special place in my heart. The new Player’s Handbook should be there, buy it, it’s a glorious book. I already have my copy. Verdict: Have to See. Conclusion: The Booth looked busy and it was nice to say hi to Jolly Blackburn. 

-Loughmiller’s Pub Saturday 7 p.m.: Looks like there will be a meetup for KenzerCo and HackMaster fans, I’ll probably stop by. I’m HMGMA #300 by the way. Verdict: Maybe. I didn’t go.

 

 

Koplow Games Inc: Booth: 1219

d24, d30: Need to get some for the gaming group for our DCC RPG game. It’s funny, when I owned my game-store, Haunted Chapel Comics and Games, I sold Chessex and Crystal Caste dice. I find I prefer Koplow or Gamescience for my own needs. I just think the pips and numbers look better on Koplow dice, so I buy them. Verdict: Must Buy. Conclusion: I got a handful of D30’s and D24’s for the Home Group.

Looney Labs: Booth: No Booth

Cthulhu Fluxx: No booth. It’s really bummed me out that Looney Labs no longer goes to GenCon. I’m an Icehouse/Treehouse fanatic, but no-one will play with me. I’ll bring a copy of Ice Dice for pick-up games. The first games I played with my (at the time) soon-to-be wife, were all Looney Labs games. I used to run demos as well. I’m sure I’ll find a copy somewhere. Verdict: Must Buy. Conclusion: I bought a copy of Cthulhu Fluxx at the Steve Jackson Booth along with another game called Cthulhu 5000. 

I’ll be back with more!

Next: Volume C.

Almost that time.

GenCon is just about 2 weeks from now, got my wife’s badge and our tickets yesterday. My badge I’ll pick up on Wednesday at the Con, as I will be participating in Trade Day this year on behalf of the library I work for.

Looking forward to quite a few things, the Deadlands Noir Kickstarter game I’m in on Friday; the Mad Science Institute Hollow Earth Expedition game with author Sechin Tower; two games of DCC RPG with Harley Stroh and the smell of the hallway between the Convention Center and the Marriott (it’s a tradition).

Didn’t get in any HackMaster or Shadowrun this year, but we did secure some tickets for the amazing games from the You Too Can Cthulhu guys.

Might head over to the Shadowrun Fan Meet and Greet Wednesday night.

Ah. Too much to think about. I’m sure the Con will cross my mind a few times in the coming days.

Next: What loot I’m looking for!