Friday Grab Bag: Discern Realities, Zines Galore, Sword & Planet, Forbidden Lands
This week has seen some new zine releases and a new discussion about Dungeon World. I’ve found some recommendations for Dungeon Crawlers and Sword & Planetary Romance RPGs. D&D 5e has a new unofficial microlite version. And I backed the Kickstarter for Forbidden Kingdom.
Bookkeeping Notes: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no extra cost to you. But please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them.
Some procedures in Dungeon World are difficult to grasp for the beginner. Two of them are the moves Discern Realities and Spout Lore. When do they trigger? A new Game Master asks, when to use Discern Realities and Spout Lore, and when to simply provide information. There are several good answers, and I especially like Jeremy Strandberg’s one. It’s worth a read.
P.S. You can find more essential articles at the DW Syllabus.
Dungeon World Newsletter #13 is out. I liked the free adventure starters from D. Kenny.
Someone made A Microlite Version of 5e D&D. More about it on this reddit thread.
Old School Gaming
Here is a page about hexes, useful for programmers: Hexagonal Grids.
Shane Ward created another collection of new OSR releases: New Old School Awesome - Sept 22 (affiliate links).
The Dungeon Crawler Collector is a comprehensive list of available dungeon crawler (board) games.
Dungeon Crawler? It’s when you “navigate a labyrinthine environment (a “dungeon”), battling various monsters, and looting any treasure [you] may find.”
You can play some of them in solitaire mode. I only have Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game and enjoyed it a lot.
The free Plundergrounds 4.5 by Ray Otus makes a good impression. Plundergrounds is a fanzine for Dungeon World.
Pack World is a collaborative campaign framework that will especially appeal to romantics and animal lovers. I don’t know if anyone else but me really wants to play a game about a close-knit band of adventurers and their special, intelligent riding beasts.
Random Encounters Bundle by Nathan Ryder is a zine I’ve never heard of before.
[…] the zine where we interview indie RPG creators about their awesome creations, inspirations, processes and more. This bundle includes interviews with David McGrogan, Chris McDowall, and Patrick Stuart, and features art by Matthew Adams, Kelvin Green, Kathryn Jenkins, Anxious P, Jonny Gray, Scrap Princess and Jeremy Duncan!
Available for £ 5.00 on payhip.
Dice Roll Zine #1 is available as a PDF for USD $3.00.
Dice Roll Zine is a 36-page, booklet-sized zine for OSR RPGs written by Steven A. Cook and illustrated by some of the best OSR-influenced artists around. Contents of the premiere issue include a barbarian class for B/X games, a different way to turn undead in B/X games, a trippy sci-fantasy adventure location called The Purple Mushroom Inn, a chaos mutation die drop table, random dungeon stuff tables, and other optional rules for old-school games!
You can buy the print edition on the author’s website. $9 for US/Canada and $11.50 for the rest of the world here.
And here is a free zine: The Dark Times Fanzine. DTF is a zine for horror & conspiracy gaming.
Teylen’s Crowdfunding Collection #53 is awesome. And I’m not ashamed at linking to it every week.
I backed Forbidden Lands – Retro Open-World Survival Fantasy RPG at the PDF level because of the tagline. “Retro open-world fantasy RPG by the grand masters of Nordic roleplaying, based on the award-winning Mutant: Year Zero game system” sounds nice.
I don’t know the underlying system, but it looks workable. Some of my online gaming acquaintances with similar interests are fans, so I’m willing to give it a try.
The current stretch goals entice me with names like Patrick Stuart, Ben Milton, Chris McDowall - all guys who created excellent old-school gaming material.
Cavaliers of Mars looks interesting. It’s Sword & Planet, for god’s sake!
Cavaliers’ setting is very much along the lines of the whimsical macabre you see in Fritz Leiber or Jack Vance, mixed with the hardbitten swashbuckling of Arturo Perez-Reverte and Kelly Gardiner. A lot of settings do the red-blooded savagery of sword and sorcery, whereas Cavaliers focuses more on the melancholy-but-reckless side. You’ll encounter spectacles like blind priests who echolocate by chanting and public gardens where the bodies of the executed become elegant art, while passing yourself off as a prince who eloped the very night you were going to help yourself to his treasure-vault. (forum.rpg.net)
DEIMOS System? I’ve never heard of it. But here’s a useful review of the Quickstart which also talks about the system:
Cavaliers of Mars uses the DEIMOS System for its mechanics. This a dice pool system in which to undertake an action, a player rolls several dice and adds the two best results to beat a target rolled by the GM. A character’s pool is typically formed from a Motivation, a Method, and an appropriate Trait. Another character might be able to help by contributing an appropriate die. If the character’s total is higher than the GM’s total, then the GM narrates the outcome. If the GM’s total is higher than the character’s total, then the character has failed, and the character’s player narrates the outcome.
A few years ago you could get the Cavaliers of Mars Quickstart for Wushu. I remember that I enjoyed the setting and that it was fun to play. I’m not sure if I want to have yet another different game engine though. I would rather have this as a stand-alone setting or a game that uses a well-known system.
Plus, the creator’s delivery estimate is very conservative. October 2019! I will have lost interest in two years. It’s good that the author has learned from previous Kickstarter experiences. But I wonder if he is not over-cautious.
Alternatively, check out these Recommendations for Sword & Planet/Planetary Romance.