Guide to the OSR for the Perplexed

Currently making the rounds is a questionnaire from Zak S. Not someone I follow personally, but someone known to make a good random table. Edit: he is a horrible person to be avoided at all costs. Don’t buy his stuff.

1. One article or blog entry that exemplifies the best of the Old School Renaissance for me:

Pricipia Apocrypha
2. My favorite piece of OSR wisdom/advice/snark:

Not every encounter is going to be your level
3. Best OSR module/supplement:

Kabuki Kaiser’s Ruins of the Undercity The very first OSR item I purchased.
4. My favorite house rule (by someone else):

I cannot remember who wrote it, but there was a great ruling for choosing to let shields  break to absorb the damage of a hit that would otherwise  bypass the armor class. It Jives well with The Thirteenth Warrior.
5. How I found out about the OSR:

W.J.Walton’s RPG Advocate @the Escapist.com where I encountered links to my first retroclone: Dark Dungeons
6. My favorite OSR online resource/toy:

OBS
7. Best place to talk to other OSR gamers:

G+ for the longest
8. Other places I might be found hanging out talking games:

MeWe, This blog, Facebook, Discord, anywhere you find me in meatspace.
9. My awesome, pithy OSR take nobody appreciates enough: 

Henchmen make awesome backup characters
10. My favorite non-OSR RPG:

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy. OSR sensibilities, built on an engine I like better.
11. Why I like OSR stuff:

I get work from it. I love the feel of games that remind me of the early eighties, when I had the magenta box and the phb, and I have always wanted to draw like Tramp, Sutherland and Russ. Now I do, and my work is featured in quite a few product lines, B&T, Blueholme, S&WCL and a number of zines.
12. Two other cool OSR things you should know about that I haven’t named yet:

James Garrison’s truly weird gaming blog, Hereticwerks and John Stater. He is insanely prolific, writing for Swords & Wizardry, and Blood & Treasure and dozens of Bloody Basic Variants, including Grit & Vigor. I love his stuff, and that is not just because he is my primary art patron. Buy his stuff, I am all over it.
13. If I could read but one other RPG blog but my own it would be:

Peter Dell’Orto’s Dungeon Fantastic. It is what got me gaming again.
14. A game thing I made that I like quite a lot is: 

Beneath the Fallen Tower. It is published for S&WCL, and I blog a bunch about it, including actual play and conversion notes to my prefered system.
15. I’m currently running/playing:

I run a GURPS Dungeon Fantasy game play by post here, and have since 2013. I am always taking on new players.
16. I don’t care whether you use ascending or descending AC because:

I grew up on THAC0. I prefered to use Len Lokafka’s 5% tables, because  THAC10 was better at describing how low HD critters were; most of them hit AC3 on a 20. I can do the math, it goes either way.
17. The OSRest picture I could post on short notice: 

Orc Fight0001.png

This one is exclusively to be found here, I got paid double for exclusivity, but I can draw you one a lot like this one if you want.

I can be reached for commissions at Gwythaint.ny@gmail.com

you can support my patreon here

and get a quick prospectus of my work here

Crypts of Doom and recent play of low level GURPS DF

I just got these (minus the paint, and the Crypt of the Sorcerer box. These Heritage Dungeon Dwellers Paint ‘n’Play sets were where I started back in 1979, although I only had the Crypt of tne Sorcerer and the Level 2 Monsters and Treasures assortment. Due to lead content and small children in my house, and a fifteen year hiatus from D&D, and a lack of ability to keep up my storage unit, all of my minis and 1e books went to a friend, and I fear they were all lost forever when he and his wife divorced. Things happen, and my midlife gaming is nostalgic driven for the abe of wonder when I was reading Lieber and Moorcock and painting minis without an actual gaming group. These were my grail to acquire, and I will be paying for it for some time to come (Nostalgic ain’t cheap). Some unboxing/ painting pists should be forthcoming in the months ahead.

I also got to run Beneath the Fallen Tower using 75pt GURPS Dungeon Fantasy characters as originally intended. No casualties, lots of scrounging, search, diplomacy, and lore rolls! Slaughter of centipedes and wolves, some goblins, and effective double teaming of Mass Sleep and lend energy. More to follow!

Beneath the Fallen Tower now in print

product_thumbnail

Because I don’t know how to embed fonts, this is built out of screenshots. Here’s hoping it does well! I may have to drop the price a bit, but there is a limit as to how low they will let me sell it for. Grab it here.

You can get the pdf on Drivethru

Since I can’t bundle accross platforms, I can get my publisher to send you a coupon for the pdf if you buy the print version. I will have to work out a deal for those who already bought it.

 

I am planning to run this adventure using my rules for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy level 0  (using 75pt pregens, and maybe following up with a 125pt adventure after) at an upcoming gaming con, provided I can clear it at work.

If you like my work, and want to get my art earlier than my publishing schedule, check out my Patreon!

New Stock Art on Drive thru: Half Orcs!

cover

In addition to the merchant Rushagorn Brodakin, and Darg Wharten who is ugly enough to pass as an orc blood despite being human, This set of eight includes a martial artist, a spellcaster, two warriors, an assassin and two thieves.IMG_20170629_160527

This should be available on my page in a day or so.

My Patrons got it earlier, and you could too at my Patreon!

 

contessa

My work is also featured in a superbundle of awesomeness that benefits Contessa. There is a boatload of Dyson Logos stuff, and about twenty other products. Get it here!

Update: I bought the bundle myself, and have been looking over Fire on the Velvet Horizon. Wow. Scrap Princess’ work is completely opposite mine in style, yet is powerfully evocative and ominous at times. The written descriptions in this peculiar bestiary is thoughtful and strange, if difficult to look at for long, as the typography and art overlays are very retro zine, brutally primative, but strikingly effective.

I make nothing from this, but it will help some folks have a good gaming experience at Gen Con.

Blueholme work nearly done

I have just one more picture to do, something about missile combat. I have been looking at come of the other work by my cohorts, and I must say I am excited for this project to be done.

Erik Tenkar recently sent me an advance copy of Swords &Wizardry Continual Light, and I joined the Swords & Wizardry Light Legion, so as to better work on Beneath the Fallen Tower. (I had also acquiered Monstrosities, Tome of Horrors Complete  and Tome of Horrors 4 for conversions). Oddly enough, the adventure hook I put in that would lead to an encounter with a fire Slorn scaled better with James Spahn’s abreviated stats for a SWCL dragon than with the Fire Lizard I had planned on porting from Tome of Horrors  Complete. Naturally this encounter was one of those our starter characters would have been gravely outmatched by, but no one ever said the world had to be balanced.

Likewise, the necromantically inclined apprentice wizard in the adventure scales perfectly as one of Spahn’s alternate classes.

My work has been published in two otber gaming suplements. Nod 32 ,by John Stater, has a bunch of my Mesopotamian art, along with some Circus folk for Grit & Vigor.

One of my Dungeon Scenes showed up in Christopher Clark’s systemless adventure, Bastion, the Border Village of Namar. It has good use of clip art throughout, and a decent cross section of plots, some of which revolve around a demon cult that uses succubi to lure in members, much like the Saturnal cult withintbe sewers of Northport. The one thing that felt off to me was the way every female character had some kind of attractiveness rating,and none of the male characters had more than the most cursory of physical descriptions.

You can pick that up here.

IMG_20170524_201721_276

Blood & Treasure 2e is out!

The immensely  prolific  John M. Stater  has released the first book of the latest edition  of Blood & Treasure. While it has elements  of a 1e retroclone, the game has some of the better features from 3e, namely Feats, as an optional set of rules.

There are 13 basic classes, with something  close to forty variant sub-classes; a slight modification to duelist gives you archer, the bard can be a jester, and a monk can be adjusted to be a ninja or a ronin.  Clerics  can be specialty priests, with simple equitable alterationd, magic users can specialize by college, and Sorcerers may have one of several  bloodlines.

Best of all, humans don’t  seem to be lacking when stacked  against the other races, because they get a sizeable xp bonus, and the GM (called Treasure Keeper)’s choice  of either an extra feat, if they are being used, or a bonus to Saves. To me, this feels like template  balancing, and I like it far more than level limits, which this game has none of.

IMG_20160731_154111

The system flows smoothly, the presentation  is great, and there are seven pieces of my art in this book, with more to follow with the companion pieces.

You can get it here. Now hop to it!