If the recently released Mad Max: Fury Road trailer has you jonesing to run a post-apocalyptish, car-combatesque RPG session, RPGNow has Colin Chapman’s Atomic Highway RPG and the Irradiated Freaks supplement for free.

You’re welcome.

It’s the last day of our 2013 calendar, and I and my family are getting ready to visit friends and play lots of games (as we often do to commemorate New Year’s Eve and Day). But there are still a few holiday RPG goodies in the bottom of this year’s bag, so let’s dig them out!

 

Adventure Seed – The Christmas Robbery is a plot seed for Mongoose’s Traveller RPG that features the characters, and factions surrounding a Christmastime bank heist – you supply the players, and the hooks to get them involved in the story. This adventure seed package is a Pay What You Want product, which means that you get to decide the price (But please be generous! It’s the holidays!)

Get The Christmas Robbery at DriveThruRPG.

Next up – It wouldn’t be Christmas without some Krampus, would it? Xion Studios brings our favorite holiday demon to the Mutants & Masterminds system with Acts of Villainy – The Krampus!

“Locked away in another dimension until the last month of every year, The Krampus has been set loose on the world yet again! Lock your doors and bar your windows, for he’s on the hunt for naughty boys and girls all around the world and has picked the heroes city for this year’s pickings! The Krampus, only in Acts of Villainy: Solo #53 and only only 99¢!”

Get your copy of Acts of Villainy – The Krampus at RPGNow.

 

Finally, there’s something for the kids! Yuletide Journey is an adventure for Hero Kids, an excellent introductory RPGs for young people. In this adventure, the kids must bring a tribute to Father Odin to regain his favor, and to keep the sun’s light from fading. This package includes character cards, maps, and paper miniatures for the heroes and their adversaries.

Get your copy of Yuletide Journey at DriveThruRPG.

 

And that does it for this year’s 1d12 Days of Christmas! I hope everyone had a great 2013, and here’s hoping that 2014 will be filled of all new adventures!

gingerbreadgolemGet on thgingerbreadgolemswarmose +5 Oven Mitts of Heat Resistance, because this one is coming to you fresh from the oven!

First up are two offerings of warm, sweet Pathfinder lethality from Christina Stiles: The Gingerbread Golem and Gingerbread Golem Swarm!

Both are single-page monsters for your Pathfinder game (and would be especially handy for those running a Shrek-themed campaign!), and both are free!

(Click images for links to their respective pages on RPGNow.)

Next, from Stan!, comes Gingerbread Kaiju, gingerbreadkaijua board game that uses actual cookies and candy as figures and tokens, giving players the satisfaction of literally devouring their opponents.  Gingerbread Kaiju is only $3.99 on DriveThruRPG!

I think that’s enough sweets for you today. I don’t want you spoiling your dinner. And remember to brush your teeth!

Teratic Tome is a retro-styled monster manual compatible with OSRIC and other old-school fantasy role-playing games. The cover and interior have been designed to capture the look and feel of some of the classic AD&D hardcover books of the early to mid-80s – the fonts, organization, and colors are all there, and a dead tree copy of this tome would fit right in next to the original orange-spined core books.

The monsters within are truly monstrous, not just big and hairy, and could easily cover a shift to let one of Clive Barker’s Cenobites have a day off. There seems to be a strong theme of creatures that seek out specific victims – the Acronical, for example, is an insectile beast created by ancient priests to find and destroy those who have been unfaithful to their spouses, as well as any who have aided and abetted such activity. The Epexiant is a tentacled serpent who seeks out those who are so wracked with grief that they do not wish to carry on with their lives. (What it does when it finds one, I won’t go into.) And these are not even entries from the demon or devil sections!

These are not monsters for a cheerful, fairy-taleish dungeon crawl. The dragons feature a list of horrific events that occur to herald their approach – unnatural weather, animal slaughter, and much worse. The halflings keep hell hounds as pets, and torture their captives for entertainment. If you’ve been looking for a bestiary to flesh out a Lovecraftian mythos styled fantasy campaign, I think you need look no further.

The artwork is superb, and other than a few typos and a section where some paragraphs were repeated, the layout and content is excellent. It’s difficult to read most of the entries without getting ideas about how to work them into a game, even as you’re shuddering at the thought. And that’s really where Teratic Tome shines – the attention to the details and motivations of the creatures really brings them off of the page.

As a side note – there’s an interesting twist on the way treasure is handled that would be worth using in most of your OSR games, even if you don’t get a lot of use out of the monsters.

Because I review a lot of RPG products with young people in mind, I feel obligated to say that these are NOT monsters to put into a campaign that you’re going to run for your kids. Please don’t. Save these for the grownups. And only the grownups with strong stomachs. Please.

My two gripes: The beautiful retro-styled cover isn’t a part of the PDF, and I think reading the monster entries before bed every night for the last few days may have given me nightmares. And some plot ideas. Okay, make that one gripe. (EDIT: Rafael informs me that the cover is now part of the PDF, so I am out of gripes.)

Check out Teratic Tome at DriveThruRPG

Here’s another Christmas freebie from DTRPG. It’s Nick the Mall Santa, a bonus character for the Survival Horror board game that includes a printable figure that can be used with any modern horror, espionage, or crime RPG. Print him out, put him together, and let him sort out the naughty and the nice!

Get your Mad as Hell Mall Santa at DriveThruRPG.

Looks like I let a few days slide by whilst preparing for Christmas festivities in the Walton household. Sorry about that, kids. To make up for it, here is a double dose of Krampus freebie goodness!

  • First up is Krampus Race, a mini holiday boardgame you can play with the whole family! Sure, it pretty much has all of the strategical opportunities of Candyland (or Driedel, for that matter), but who can resist a game where you’re snatching up naughty children to punish? Get your copy at DriveThruRPG.
  • Next is The Shadow of Krampus, a supplement for the excellent Macabre Tales horror RPG. For those who aren’t aware, Macabre Tales is a Lovecraftian horror RPG for one player and a GM that uses dominoes for task resolution (read my review here). This mini supplement puts Krampus in a Lovecraftian context, stats him up for MT, and has a handful of ideas for bringing our furry friend into your game. A great little supplement that you can use in any horror game, not just Macabre Tales. Get your copy at DriveThruRPG.

 

That’s all for now! Remember to be good, or you might hear some cloven hooves on your doorstep this Christmas Eve!

It’s that time of year again, kids! Time for a completely random number of holiday-themed Quixotist blog posts!

First up is SNOWBALL WARS, a print-and-play boardgame for 2-3 players (with an expansion that can allow up to 4 players).To play you’ll need a color printer, cardstock some glue sticks, scissors and a hobby knife to cut out the pieces, and some six sided dice (some foamcore board to mount the game boards and bases on is optional but recommended, and can be found at your local dollar store).

It’s a fast and furious snow battle between warring factions of kids, and a great intro to wargames for any budding gamers in your household. It includes rules for morale, indirect fire, critical hits and fumbles, Wild Cards that are drawn and applied when two opponents roll the same number, plus several optional rules (including ZOMBIE SNOW MEN!), six missions, and a solo variant.

Best of all, you can print as many copies of the board and terrain as you wish, making the play area as large and cluttered as you wish!

The rules are well-written and very clear, and the art on the pieces is excellent. You get all of this for the paltry sum of $5 at DriveThruRPG – though there is the other cost of time spent cutting and preparing the pieces, which does take a while. Don’t expect to play this one right away. You’ll want to prepare everything a few days in advance, especially since sharp objects are involved and you really don’t want to rush it.

As I began writing this, I discovered an expansion for Snowball Wars – Elf Help, which adds elves (a band that can be controlled by a player or used as a random nuisance), presents (grab them for a bonus!) and a Snow Beast (who carries kids off and removes them from the game!). A whole lot of additional fun for a mere dollar.

If you’re looking for some fast-paced wargaming fun, possibly even something non-violent that you can play with the whole family, you can’t go wrong with Snowball Wars.

Here’s a pretty exciting offering in the free old school RPG category – Hackmaster Basic is now available as a free download!

For those who aren’t aware, the HM rules offer some pretty interesting twists to the classic fantasy RPG model, and for the low, low price of absolutely free, you get 231 pages filled with spells, magic items, GM tips, and more. If that’s not enough, the combat examples are illustrated and demonstrated by B.A., Bob, Dave, Sara, and Brian from the Knights of the Dinner Table!

If that’s not enough, then just take a look at that flippin’ sweet Erol Otus cover. That should clinch it all, right there. If it doesn’t, then you’re reading the wrong blog.

You can download the Hackmaster Basic PDF at the Kenzer and Company website.

wjw

Gamemastering: Preparing and Running Storytelling and Roleplaying Games is a 162-page manual that addresses the subject in six sections: A Gamemaster’s Tasks, The Role-Playing Group, Mastering a Gaming Session, Preparation, Adventure Themes, and Further Gaming Techniques.

The first thing I noticed about this book was the format – rather than looking like your typical RPG book, the use of color, graphics and subject icons on the cover and interior make this book look like it could easily share a shelf with “how-to” books such as the popular “X For Dummies” series. While it definitely gives the book a professional look, I can’t really say if this would lend any appeal to the target audience, who can be notoriously fickle about such things, and easily turned off by such a mainstreaming of their hobby. I didn’t encounter much of a problem with it during my own read-through.

The advice is solid and useful, and runs the spectrum from common-sense tips that only the beginners would find useful to common-sense tips that even the veterans never considered. Much of this advice can be found in other places, but the “For Dummies” style of the book invites a somewhat different approach to the material – for example, there are “Exercises,” or thought experiments at the end of sections to inspire the reader to consider how they would handle certain situations

The book outlines the tasks of the gamemaster and his relationship with the players, the different types of players (power gamers, storytellers, etc.), suggestions on dealing with problem players and resolving personality conflicts and conflicting player desires, as well as preparation and story structure. It is the latter two of these that I found the most useful, particularly the suggestions for using Mind Maps and Conflict Webs to structure and organize stories.

The book is wrapped up with an appendix that includes Georges Politi’s list of 36 dramatic situations (with possible RPG applications added to each) and possible solutions to the exercises presented throughout the book.

Gamemastering is an excellent collection of GM advice compiled in a familiar format – but one that I hope won’t turn too many gamemasters away, because the content is solid and very useful.

wjw

 

The 2012 edition of the Microlite20 RPG Collection is available for download – it’s a massive 1300 page collection of material for the retroclone RPG system. The RetroRoleplaying Blog gives us the rundown on what’s inside:

In addition to the standard Microlite20 rules (and a large number of optional systems and expanded rules, The Microlite20 RPG Collection (2012 Edition) includes the following Microlite20-based role-playing games: Microlite20 House Rules, MicroFantasy, Alter Microlite20, Ultramicrolite20 Revised, Ultramicrolite20 Revised II, Nanolite20, Microlite20 Modern, M20 Modern: Expert, Microlite20 Modern-Day, M20 Hard Core Rules, Swords against Sorcery, M20 Heroic, Iron Heartbreakers, Microlite11, WildWalker’s M20 4e, Microlite20 Variant 4e, Microlite 4E, Micro Action Fantasy, MULRAH, Lite20, Mini20, Realms of Renown, Microlite74: Basic, Microlite74: Standard, Microlite74: Extended, Microlite74: Companion I, Microlite77, Microlite20 OSS, Advanced Microlite20 OSS, Argo, M20 Hyborian Age, Microlite Conan, Prehistoric Microlite20, Microlite20 Bronze Age, Microlite Dark Sun, Omerian Tales, Beacon, WarEngine RPG, Yamato M20, Challenges & Champions, Microlite20 Elf Lords, Microlite20 Resident Evil, Microlite20 Cthulthu, Microlite20 Vampires, Microlite20 2012, SpyLite, Giant Bug Invasion, Cyberpunk, SuperLite, Microlite20 Costumes, Tumbleweed, Gunsmoke & Goblins, Owl Hoot Trail, Microlite Storytelling, TileHack, Dragoons, ZombiePocalypse, Relics & Ruins, OmegaLite20, RABID, Microlite20 Vermin, Where No Man Has Gone Before, Galactic Methuselah, FrontierLite, M20 Star Wars, Microlite20 Star Wars, Scions of a Primordial Planet, Micro MechWarrior, Stargate 1895, Blaster D20 Microlite, Pendragon D20 Microlite, Diabolical D20 Microlite, PathfinderLite20, Microlite20 Golden Edition, DungeonFinder Player’s Guide, DungeonFinder GM’s Guide, DungeonFinder Book of Monsters, and Grimm Lite.

And it’s completely free!

BUT…

…before I give you the link, I’d like you to consider donating to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund, to help out a fellow gamer with her medical bills. You can find out more at the link. It’s a good cause, and not only will you be rewarded with the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve helped a fellow human being in need, you also get some classic RPG goodies for your trouble, and could be entered into a drawing for even more.

And now, with no further ado, here’s that link to a whole lot of Microlite.