A valiant, gallant OSR blog post.

Do yourself a favour and go check the beautiful post over at Delta's D&D Hotspot blog.

This is really a thorough old-school post. I wish i could see more posts like this nowadays in the OSR community. It is a scholarly analysis of an old article penned in White Dwarf magazine in the past by Don Turnbull.

Not only that, the blog owner also provided the full scan of the three-part article for anyone to peruse and study. Kudos to you!



Edgar Allan Poe's anonymous lithographies

I recently stumbled upon some amazing, otherwordly lithographies of Edgar Poe's works.

The author is unknown, i contacted the owner of these and after examining them he could not trace a signature or anything that might help shed some light on who produced them.


"Drakar och Demoner" decrypted.


Have you ever played Drakar och Demoner?

Probably not. And neither do i.
It was first published in 1982 and so it belongs to the kind of stuff i deal with on this blog, namely vintage fantasy role-playing games.

Sometimes the language can be an insourmountable barrier and prevents us to have a new gaming experience.
Until someone decides to translate a game in order to present it to the english-speaking world.

That is why, we'll probably be able to have a glimpse of this old fantasy rpg for the first time, thanks to this kickstarter.

It corresponds to the 8th incarnation of DOD, called Trudvang.


Your rare chance to get a copy of Phantasy Conclave

This one is pretty rare...maybe you think the price is high, but it is said only 1,000 copies were ever printed. And, it is damning old-school.



Historic D&D canpaign returns

Press Release:
Historic Dungeons & Dragons® Campaign Returns

Loxley, Madison WI, August 11 2017

Legendary game designer Frank Mentzer, famed for his worldwide version of the Dungeons & Dragons® game, has teamed with fiction author Ted Fauster to revisit one of the earliest known D&D® fantasy worlds. The game continues to be one of the most popular of all time, and Mentzer’s version is still available in fourteen languages, on every continent.

In 1981, Mentzer was given written permission from E. Gary Gygax (co-author of the original game in 1974) to establish and develop this little-known portion of Oerth, one of the game’s original settings. This new realm of Empyrea has a 40-year history (starting with simple materials from Judges Guild) and is still actively used. The artist Darlene, who painted Gary’s maps in his 1980 product, will create similar maps for this one. Other famous artists of that era -- including Caldwell, Dee,  Diesel, Easley, Elmore, Holloway, Jaquays, and Otus -- are being invited to join the project.

Empyrea is on the mysterious and isolated continent of Aquaria, east of Gygax’s World of Greyhawk™ setting. Until now, knowledge of this portion of the world has remained largely a mystery, as the broad and dangerous Solnor ocean separates the two. The continent is briefly described in the Advanced D&D® adventure “Egg of the Phoenix” (Mentzer & Jaquays, TSR Inc., 1987).

“It’s time to share this Dungeons & Dragons® world with hobby gamers,” Mentzer says. “Unlike others, Gary approved this personally. Empyrea combines both traditional fantasy and science fiction elements. Magic is dominant, but technology lurks. And it’s one Realm… this isn’t a cluster of medieval city-states like Greyhawk.”

Author Ted Fauster has accepted the role of Creative Aide, which was Mentzer’s original title when he worked with Gygax at TSR in the 1980s.

Mentzer and Darlene will finance the set through crowdfunding, with support from Judges Guild. It will be compatible with the most recent Fifth Edition D&D® game (D&D 5E) as well as Mentzer’s own world-famous "Red Box" edition of the game.

An official start date for the Kickstarter will be announced shortly after the GenCon® 50 Game Convention in August.

For More Information, contact:
Loxley LLC
Mentzer: LoxleyKey@gmail.com
Fauster : ted@tedfauster.com
(Ownership of trademarks indicated is not disputed)


Time to fall in love again

Sorry folks for my absence and the lack of posts; just when i had planned to make a series of posts for slowly examining "The Compleat Warlock" rpg, i stumbled upon an old game (and i fell in love!) a game  that i had almost forgotten- i mean, it's not that i forgot this very well known rpg, but this particular edition (the 3rd) and it's charm had eluded me and had almost waned from my teenage memories.

I am talking about Runequest 3rd edition published in 1987 by Avalon hill/ Games workshop...i recently got a copy of this and i was, well,...mesmerized-
This 3rd edition is lavishly illustrated and the paintings are gorgeous in UK "White dwarf style", and moreover the content seems to be straight my cup of tea, with several "not-so-easy" rules tables to grasp in what looks like an attempt at providing realism (particularly,  combat realism).

But, man! The monster volume which accompanies this volume was the last strike and paralyzed my will. The fantastic and malignant illustrations to be found therein, along with stats such as "monster fatigue points"...i'm in love. I think that's my game. And there's even "Advanced Runequest" with more rules for those inclined to achieve more precision whilst gaming...how was it that these three volumes skipped my radar for so long?

Actually it's not that i was not aware of their existence, but they were like buried in my memories, but i vividly recall that as a teenager they impressed me and sparked my imagination just by looking at the covers (yes, the covers are that important). But i had never physically owned them. Until now.

So now i am in the process of reading it, hence my silence. It seems that i am embarking in a new and exciting journey. As always, the motto "too many games, too little time" is still true and reasonates with me.

Besides, i acquired a copy of the very first edition of "Thieves Guild" by Gamelords and all the ten supplements....so now more than ever i am surrounded by any kind of old fantasy system imaginable since my collection has grown really too big at this point and i must admit that i am confused :)


Fantasy rpg history: The Complete Warlock (August 1975) (Page 7)

I was amazed today to read this long explanation of how Magic works, considering that it was written in August, 1975.

Doesn't it pre-dates the AD&D magic system? (I mean, everything that it describes without taking into account the spell points system). That is, the maximum spell level attainable by magic users, how many spells he can cast, etc...

Also, i find it highly commendable that, as you can read, a distinction has been drew between magic and miracles.


Fantasy rpg history: The Complete Warlock (August 1975) (Page 6)

Whereas we find an amusing look at how much a character is entitled to progress during each adventure, and where we are told the first basics of how Magic works.


Fantasy rpg history: The Complete Warlock (August 1975) (Page 5)

Here i am. Continuing this virtual reading room of "The Complete Warlock", page 5.

I decided to start this series about "Fantasy RPG history", basically because that has always been what i started this blog for. Due to my chronic lack of time nowadays, what i can allow myself is reading with you, page after page, a set of rules. This slow method allows me to keep up the blog without having to succumb to the "time is tyrant" syndrome.

One drop at a time. One page at a time. In my personal experience, in this way you can do pretty anything, from reading a book to whatever. I learnt in life that if you try waiting for the right time to sit down and have plenty of time ahead of you, it is likely that will never happen. So i learnt to take advantage of every single set of minutes in my life to accomplish my goals.

Ok, let's go back to rpg.

Keep in mind that i am reading the very first version, contained in "The Spartan" magazine (orange cover), dated August 1975 and NOT the final version that you see in the image over my laptop.

I think the differences are not overwhelming, but i'm not sure. Also, i would appreciate if folks out there who are more conversant with OD&D than me (i definitely am NOT conversant with that game) may point out differences between these two games, because as far as i am concerned, it seems to me that "The Complete Warlock" was made as a response to it (again, let us never forget that it was written in August 1975 and OD&D was published just one year before [though on the RPG encyclopedia it says 1973]).

So, without digressing. Here we learn that Constitution score is also will (or will force), and that dexterity also means "quickness of mind".

Also, pay attention to the fact that magic users act in order of their dexterity score, because that score represents "quickness of mind and eye for both archery and magic". This is news to me. I never saw in a fantasy game that mages should act during the round according to dexterity, and i have no idea if in OD&D is the same.

Last, the second part of each phase is called "archery", and in this phase we read that not only missiles are hurled, but this is also the time when "dragon breath" takes place. Another news for me.
Does this mean that just because "dragon breath" is not a "melee" attack but instead takes place from a distance, it has to be considered "archery"?


Fantasy rpg history: The Complete Warlock (August 1975) (Page 1-4)

 "The Warlock" seemed to address "loopholes" found in the three original OD&D brown books, as specified by their authors in this first introductory page (also, i find it amusing to read how they spell "DandD" :)

Here, at the dawning of Dungeons & Dragons (only one year after its appearance on the market) there were already guys around trying to tweak its rules.

What i love in this first page is the fact that mages can use magical swords in addition to (normal) daggers. This is quite fascinating. I can easily imagine a group of adventurers entering a dungeon chamber where they find a loot in which there is a sword. The mage uses a spell in order to see if it is enchanted and once he realizes it is, he starts an argument with the fighter because both wanted to take possession of it. But at the same time, isn't it a bit illogical for a mage to be able to wield a sword, albeit magical? I am not 100% sure that i would implent this rule without thinking about it.

Last unusual thing we see here is the characteristic named "Size". We will see later what it means and its functions in the game.

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