Showing posts from August, 2012

Dungeons and Dragons: A Documentary

OK, Reaper Miniatures Kickstarter was an overwhelming success.  So was Frog God Games Rappun Atthuk and it looks like the new Swords and Wizardry Kickstarter is shaping up nicely too.  As awesome as all of those projects are, I think the one that really deserves quite a bit of attention is Dungeons and Dragons:  A Documentary.   We wouldn't have any of the aforementioned projects if it wasn't for Gary, Dave, and all the other founders of our hobby.  Sadly, there's not much in the way of documentation of the early days of gaming.  It is sad that we've lost quite a few of the founders of our hobby before they had a chance to really lay down in documentary format their stories.  So this is probably about the best shot we are going to get.  I'm actually quite saddened that this project hasn't ignited like the Reaper project did.  I highly encourage you to support this project and let the story get out of how our hobby started and where it is going.

I Shot the OSR - It's Dead. DEAD I Tells yah!

Yes, I'm a bandwaggoner.  Yes, I'm late to the party on this one.  Yes, I have no excuses on this post aside from my overinflated sense of self importance.  So, after all of the self flagellation, I do want to chime in on this.  I've more or less been quietly working on OSR projects for the past seven years or so.  Of course, I've been a gamer for longer than that, but 2005-2006 was when I first became aware of what is now considered the OSR.  At the time, we did have games like Castles and Crusades and companies like Necromancer Games and Goodman Games putting out products with an old school sensibility.  As good as that was (and is), it wasn't completely satisfying.  There were a lot of folks that wanted to play with the old rule sets with NEW product designed for use specifically with the old rule sets.  The Old School Reference Index and Compilation (OSRIC) started by Matt Finch and later championed to completion by Stuart Marshall was the first of the Clones

Delve! Issue 2 Progress and Black Powder rules for old school games

I'm actively working on the second issue of Delve!  Unlike the first issue which was primarily an adventure, the second issue will be more or less segmented into articles more like a traditional zine.  The primary focus of issue two is the Town of Duschapel Downs.  Though there are other other articles and rules supplements for old school games.  Here's a my arquebus rules that I've been tinkering with.  These rules are hereby designated Open Gaming Content so feel free to use them if you want: Black Powder Firearms Rules:   Arquebus Part of the challenge of firearms in fantasy settings is that they could quickly overpower other combat options.   Quite often, many game masters completely forgo such weapons.     And there is the oft used rule that gun powder is inert on most fantasy worlds.   This can prove a bit troublesome for folks that want to emulate games set beyond the early and middle medieval period.   To that end, I’m setting forth the following rules for

Write your own Weird Aventures

Trey Causey, author of one of my favorite OSR offerings Weird Adventures is having a contest.  He is asking for submissions for a new WA companion .  I loved the first one so much that I jumped at the chance to do some artwork for it.  I'm totally digging the chance to be a part of a companion volume.  Details are at the link above.  So dig out some of your best pulpy weirdness and send it in! 

Delve! issue 1 now available at Noble Knight Games!

I've been a big fan of Noble Knight Games and have purchased quite a few gaming products through them.  Being in Italy, there is not really much of an option for me to frequent my FLGS.  However, Noble Knight has done an admirable job of filling that niche for me.  I reached out to Aaron Leader a few months back and inquired about the posibility of me selling print versions of Delve! through Knoble Night Games.  Turns out that Aaron is very interested in carrying items from small time Old School Gaming DIY enthusiast such as myself.  Stopping by Noble Knight's Web Store today, I was very gratified to see that Delve! issue 1 is now available for sale at the store.  So for you folks that haven't yet purchased a print copy, there is another way to get one.  I intend on ceasing sales of hard copies of the first issue once I finish with the second issue.  So the print run will be limited.  Judging by the amount of time it is taking me to work on the second issue and the number

I am not at Gen Con but I am world wide!

Nope, I'm stuck here in Italia drinking wine and eating excellent food.  Don't cry for me though, it's not all misery.  I'm working on Delve!  issue 2, detailing the town of Duschaple Downs and black powder gun rules, a bit about my explorations of the haunted isle of Poveglia, my take on werewolves, my experiences brewing my own apricot brandy and plum wine and perhaps more. I just received a review of Delve! in Polish by Kordian Krawczyk.  You can check it out here .  I tell yah, I appreciate the honest feedback and the fact that folks are enjoying my work.  I'm not a professional writer, Delve! is a total love letter from me back to old school gaming.  Anyway, I hope everyone has one hell of a good time at Gen Con.  I'll try and get back there soon and I'd like to get in some gaming with some of my fellow old schoolers.  Keep rockin the dice.  Ciao!        

Art of Progression: Looking Back at My Earliest Published RPG Works

The other day I was thumbing through the Necromancer Games version of City State of the Invincible Overlord and thinking about the early d20 days and how much things have changed.  I know 3e doesn't get a lot of love in old school circles, but I have to admit that it is what sparked my interest in gaming again after a ten year hiatus.  Not only did it revive my interest in gaming, the d20 OGL really intrigued me and made me want to get involved somehow.  When I look back on what got me started as an active participant in gaming, I tend to give all the credit to my involvement as an artist for OSRIC 2.x.  While that is what really got me into the OSR, I actually participated as a published artist before then.  Starting in 2002, I did some illustration work for Khan's Press.  A small publisher with pdf only releases.  I only made $9 from my work, but it did get my foot in the door and I learned quite a bit in the process.  More importantly, that got me back into really drawing a

Poveglia: Professional Ghost Hunter I am not

Nor am I much of a cinematographer but I stubbornly plow ahead with my mediocrity anyway.  I did take some video clips from Poveglia.  Here's some clips of my explorations of the island just to give you some ideas of what it is like there.  If you are looking for some spooky activity, I'm sorry to disappoint ;).  However, something more compelling is the digital audio that we took.  Check out the link here .  You can hear the sound of voices over the insect sounds.  Definitely not definitive proof of anything by any means but I do know that there were only three of us in this building at the time of the recording.  We did not hear these sounds (well, other than the insect sounds) when we recorded these.  I've always wanted to play with EVP and this was a neat experiment.  If I had any idea what the hell I was doing, it'd be cool to clean up the audio and see if it was a voice and what it said.  Alas, that is beyond my


I went on my ghost hunting expedition yesterday and quite a bit of fun.  Here's a shot of me at St. Mark's Square in Venice awaiting our ride to Poveglia.  I'm pretty psyched at this point but it is due mainly to the fact that an Aperol Spritz in only 2.50 euro.  THAT'S CRAZY!  Is this really St. Mark's?!?! I'll have two please! It was a pleasant boat ride to the island and took maybe 25 minutes or so to reach it from St. Mark's.  Here's our first glimpse of the island from the boat. So the island is uninhabited.  I'm not going to go into detail because there are plenty of stories about the island online.  Here's a link to the wikipedia article .  Here's another random article with some good pics (and no, I didn't get to see the "plague" pits.  Here's an aerial view of the island (thanks Google image search!). Here's some more pictures from our initial landing on the island. As you can see from

Dustchaple Downs Map

After Six+ years, I've FINALLY started to detail Dustchaple Downs.  It has made some appearances in my home campaign, but so far, only as gossip from NPCs.  Well, here's a look at the map as it currently stands.  I'm not quite finished with it yet.  Dustchaple will be the focal point of Delve issue 2.  Happy gaming all, I'm off ghost hunting on Poveglia Island .  You know, I've heard that ghost tastes like chicken which is good because tomorrow is grill night.  I hope I bag a big one.  Ectoplasm, the other white meat ;)!  
I finally got my lazy butt in gear and got around to pricing Delve! for the Europeans ($8 USD) and Canadians ($6.50 USD).  Check out the order button to the right.  Delve! Issue 2 is coming along.  I've finished the map for Dustchaple Downs.  Ye Gods, after what, six years, there is an honest to goodness map of the place so it looks like Sinister Sightings at Dustchaple Downs will no longer be vaporware.  I'm not sure if that is exciting to anyone but me, but, well, there you go.  Also, I'm going on the ghost hunting expedition tomorrow so I expect that will influence Delve! in some manner.  Happy gaming gang!

Delve! Mailing Update

I've been recieving reports of lengthy mail times to folks who have ordered print copies of Delve!  It has been taking something on the order of two weeks to get to folks.  Unfortunately, such is the way of using the APO mail system.  So if you placed an order, please be patient.  If it has taken longer than two weeks then let me know.  My only other options would be much costlier (using UPS) or the Italian Post (which is costlier and could possibly take just as long). I have also sent some copies of the first issue to Noble Knight Games so that may be an option for some folks as well.  Work on the second issue is underway.  I'm playing around with Adobe InDesign and trying to determine if I can get up to speed with it for the second issue or go back to Publisher.  InDesign has some neat fatures that I'd like to take advantage of.  But as with most Adobe products, they have a learning curve.  More info soon!

Screw GenCon, I'm going Ghost Hunting!

I'm a dyed in the wool skeptic, but I have a deep and abiding interest in the paranormal.  I have never seen a ghost, an alien, nor have I encountered any other paranormal event.  I did grow up with my mother and grandmother's southern style ghost stories.  I loved them, but never experienced anything of the kind myself, and quite frankly I chalk it all up to some very vivid and impressive imaginations.  Having said that, I am very pleased to be invited on a ghost hunting trip to the supposedly very much haunted isle of Poveglia in the Ventian lagoon.  After all, how many times does such a thing get to come up?  I'm sure there is some gaming fodder in this trip for sure.  If nothing else, next Saturday, 11 August 2012 should make up for not getting to go to GenCon.  Me and my gaming group are going to be busy hunting ghosts :)! 

Delve! Reviews

Tim Shorts over at Gothridge Manor was so kind as to review the first issue of Delve!   The gang over at Hereticworks also reviewed the first issue here .  Thanks gang for the reviews!  I'm pleased with the feedback on Delve! and it is motivating me on the second issue.  I'm currently mapping out the rather sinister town of Dustchapel Downs.  That will be the basis of the second issue along with rules for medieval black powder weapons and my take on werewolves.  So, there you go.  I've set a little bit of work out for myself, not to mention that I'm still proceeding with Strange and Sinister Shores as a Lamentations of the Flame Princess Project (more on that a little later).  Oh yeah, I also sent a box of 10 issues of Delve! to Noble Knight Games.  I'm quite excited about bringing some small press gaming goodness to such an awesome game store.  Aaron asked me to pass the word around that he is very interested in stocking other small press gaming material.  So pl

Thoughts on the Lamentations of the Flame Princess Campaign

I'm sure by now just about everyone who reads these old school gaming blogs has heard that the Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign is over.  Four projects were successful in funding.  I offer a most sincere congratulations to all of them.  There are lots of folks that are going to be debating the outcome of this and I think it is most worthy of discussion.  But right now, I want to talk about my campaign, Strange and Sinister Shores.  It came nowhere close to funding.  I had hoped it would do a lot better than it did, but I also realized that I was competing with a lot of folks with more street cred than me.  Frankly, I'm honored that I was asked to the game.  I realize that to stand on equal footing with some of the other campaigns would have required more salesmanship from me than I was able to do or even felt comfortable in doing.  Having said all of this, I do think that Strange and Sinister Shores has some merit and I'm committed to fully developing the proje