Friday, August 31, 2012

The rumors of the OSR's death...

Thanks to my lousy, dead-end job, I don't read as many gaming blogs as I used to. However, I hear third-hand reports that with the recent GenCon announcement that WotC is going to put out the original D&D catalog on PDF early next year, some have declared the OSR either dead or obsolete.


Tell me, is WotC going to publish any new material for OD&D or 1st Edition?

I don't think so.

Are they going to publish variants of the original rules that take the Original D&D out of the traditional "high fantasy" genre? (i.e. Sword & Sorcery, Sword & Planet, Science Fiction, Horror, Post-Apocalypse, etc..)


How about new settings? Is WotC going to give Original D&D those, or is it all going to be digitized Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance...?

I see.

What about all the non-D&D, non-TSR titles? What about Empire of the Petal Throne, Star Frontiers, Gamma World, Classic Traveller, Top Secret, Tunnels and Trolls, and numerous out-of-print RPGs from the Golden Age? Can we declare all of those "dead" now too?


So what you're telling me is that WotC, while kindly allowing us to legitimately draw from previous editions by making them available again, is NOT actually going to support those games. They've moved on to D&D Next, and they're merely throwing the Old School Grognards a bone as they pass by. Therefore all of those OSR hobbyists and campaigners should just toss away their retro-clones and their "vanity press" modules come in out from the cold back into WotC's loving embrace? After all, we only play these games for the nostalgia, right?

Sorry. Not interested. I'm having way too much fun here. Thanks.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Buddy, can you spare a C-note?

While the Hulks & Horrors crowdsourcing crashed and burned, Reaper Miniatures' Kickstarter to expand its resin "Bones" line of figures has nothing short of a phenomenal success. They're initial goal was $30,000. At this time they are bringing in a whooping $2,127,605! With each funding milestone met they add more and more Stretch Goal rewards. Look at what you can get at the $100 "Vampire" level:

In the immortal words of George Takei: "Oh my!"

CRAP! What I wouldn't GIVE for an extra hundred bucks so I can get in on this cornucopia of sweet, sweet minis before the deadline! Sadly, I'm just a poor call center drone who get's abused by customers and condescended to from management for the princely pittance of $11/hr. (Meanwhile our glorious CEO took home a $24 Million bonus check on top of his huge salary. So much for supply side bullshit, folks!) 

Maybe it's about time I put up a PayPal donation link and start begging like every other self-respecting blogger.

UPDATE: I done a baaaaaaaaaaaaaad thing. I broke down and chipped in $100. Yeah, I probably can't afford it, but I could not resist the siren song. I'm crazy in the head. I need help.

"I despise all weavers of the black arts. Speaking of which, could you pass the gravy? "

I used to like Adult Swim, the Cartoon Network's nightly block of "mature" entertainment, back when they used to show actual original cartoons. These days they seem to have figured out that animation isn't cheap and now seem to have mainly dedicated themselves to airing crappy, surrealistic, live-action "comedies." The only thing that keeps me coming back on a semi-regular basis is that it is the home of my favorite animated show, The Venture Bros.. However, it takes quite a while for the two geniuses who produce that amazing satire to get a season together and I can always download seasons from iTunes or wait for the DVD release.

Also, Adult Swim is guilty of the most unforgivable crime in the whole of geekdom: it picked up and dropped the following masterpiece of fantasy animation after airing only the pilot:

TRAVESTY! INJUSTICE! Heads should roll for Adult Swim's myopic parsimony!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hulks and Horrors: Come on Spanky! Let's put on a show!

Remember those ancient Our Gang (aka The Little Rascals) shorts? In many of them Spanky, Alfalfa, Frogie, Buckwheat, et al would have to raise the money for some worthwhile, tear-jerking cause (i.e. help pay off some old granny's mortgage or keep a lovable stray dog from being gassed at the pound) with some sappy, kiddy, stage show that always seemed to rake in enough money to save the day. Well, that's sort of what I'm trying to do tonight... only without a show. Hey! Child labor laws are tougher now than they were in the 1940s!  At least I won't be featuring any horrific racist stereotypes or future wife-murderers in the cast.

P.Z. Myers would have an orgasm if he saw this.
No, what I need you to do is help out Hulks & Horrors, a new sci-fi OSR game in the works by John Berry. At this time, his crowdsourcing effort on IndieGoGo has only brought in about half of the $5000 he needs to launch this cool looking project and he only has 50 hours to go. To quote the IndieGoGo page:
Hulks and Horrors is a game of space exploration, treasure hunting, and horrific peril, set in the abandoned places of space. 
Centuries before mankind and its new allies reached the stars, a great galactic plague wiped out all sentient life, leaving the galaxy littered with the ruins and wealth of entire civilizations. But the plague also left behind the plague horrors, terrifying creatures twisted by the mutagenic plague into atavistic monsters that crave only the flesh of other life.

Characters take on the role of one of seven classes: the battle-hardened Soldier, the brash and dextrous Pilot, the clever genius Scientist, the meditative master Psyker, and their alien allies, the tribal Bearmen, the brilliant ameoboid Omega Reticulans, and the nimble Hovering Squid.
COME ON! IT'S GOT "HOVERING SQUID" WITH RAY GUNS!!! What more do you want? A game where you can play a floating cephlopod HAS to be worth a few bucks! So what if your cat goes without food for a week, or you put off that kidney dialysis for a few days? The flying space squid are well worth the inconvenience!

So what do you say OSR community? Surely we can raise $2500 in two days! Otherwise, we just might have to let Alfalfa perform:

I'm an atheist/materialist, but if I believed there was a Hell, then I'd hope that Hal Roach would be burning its darkest depths.

UPDATE: I guess really, really wanting it just wasn't enough. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Kickstarter: Wild Card Creator

Now this is an AWESOME idea. I've used other character creation tools like MetaCreator and HeroLab in the past. They're great for keeping track of PCs and creating legible record sheets and most of them suffer from the same problem: adding new content. You either have to wait until the manufacturer or a third party programmer puts one out, our have the coding chops to make one yourself.

Wild Card Creator would make adding a new Savage Setting easy. All you need is the .PDF of whatever game setting you want to add and import it into Wild Card Creator. It will scan the text and upload all of new campaign-specific Edges, Hindrances, Gear, etc. will be added to the program! Cool, huh?

 So far the Kickstart is off to a good start. They're a couple days in and they're already a quarter of the way into their goal. Stretch Goals include getting Pincacle artist Storn Cook to create character portraits, adding a Showdowns army builder, and a copy of an upcoming iOS/Android tablet edition! If you got the bucks, why not help out?