Friday, 23 December 2011

Fantasy Clip Inks Magic Items Set 2 (Outland Arts)

Very quick, almost random review... In the middle of wrapping presents, postponing little projects and wondering how long I can get away with sneezing into my sleeves...

Fantasy Clip Inks: Magic Items Set 2 (by Outland Arts)

This is a really splendid downloadable PDF pack of 33 black and white line art .tiff files from talented artist William McAusland. The art will work well as specific items or as an RPG rule book interior filler art. Wands, potions, crystal ball, weapons - all could be employed as paragraph or chapter dividers. This is also perfect for a dungeon master who likes to prepare treasure for his players in "hand-out" card format.
The sharp lines and high contrast mean that these images are well suited for all black/white printing.

If you're a writer or publisher, this pack is good value for money, bearing in mind the potential these images have in transmogrifying you manuscript into a professional and beautiful product!

Enough of my pandering praise.  If fantasy clip art is your sort of thing it's worth a gander, okay? ;)

Mr McAusland and Outland Arts also publish the fab Mutant Epoch RPG, (TME Rulebook on DriveThru) for which I keep promising myself I'll post some characters up here, because the PC generation process is fast and fun.  Another time, another time.  Preferably before the apocalypse.

Peace and "Snow in Africa", or something. :)

Billiam B.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Thousand Suns RPG -Grognardia Games-

I'm really intrigued by this ...

Thousand Suns: Rulebook from Grognardia Games
available in PDF and hardcopy formats on DriveThru (and RPGNow)
"Thousand Suns is a roleplaying game that takes its inspiration from the classic literary "imperial" science fiction of the '50s, '60s, and '70s written by authors like Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, Alfred Bester, Gordon Dickson, Larry Niven, H. Beam Piper, Jerry Pournelle, and A.E. van Vogt, among others.
... This is a complete game, providing all the rules you need to play under one cover, from character generation to starship combat to the creation of alien lifeforms. Also included is the Thousand Suns "meta-setting," a flexible outline of a setting, in which certain details have been provided, along with lots of lots of "blank spaces," and whose final shape and content is entirely up to each Game Master to build upon as he wishes for his campaign."
I have mega-plus-good-oodles of to-inifity-and-beyond respect for the gaming insights and writing powers of Mr James Maliszewski of Grognardia fame.

If you like your sci-fi with a vast galaxy classic twist then this has to be a must-own - to read, play or borrow-source for your own game system.

"It is a time of wonder. .. It is a time of glory."

Lulu Xmas 2011 Offers

Whoa. Typing "Let it snow" into Google really works! :o

Almost forgot to mention...
Every day this month Lulu have been providing different offers in the run up to Christmas.

 Every day until Christmas there's a money off code at Lulu
- just don't look at the pictures for too long you will go mad (-er)
Seven Chimeric Swans Abathing!?
(They'll break your arm, they will)

This is on top of:
20% off books - Enter code DECBOOKS11 - Save up to $25 - Offer ends 12/31/11

Actually, I'll be honest, I'm not sure if this code works at the same time as the daily code - you might need to experiment a bit at check-out.

One new item on my Lulu "wish list" is  The Chaotic Caves. This is for all of my Basic/Expert D&D needs for which the Basic Fantasy RPG caters for perfectly.  I have to point out here that the Basic Fantasy community generally against charges or profit and insist that you "try before you buy" by downloading the PDF from the  Downloads Page at -but I likes the shiny covers and smell of the pages...

Also, fresh off the print-on-demand press:

Fight On! Lucky #13 Fall 2011

This is Issue 13 of Ignatius Umlaut's "Fanzine for the Old School Renaissance", I haven't yet read a copy myself but apparently there's lots of Tunnels & Trolls material in this one.
Check out the Fight On! site for magazines so far:

Talking of "old school" RPGs on Lulu, are you still without a play-it-like-in-the-Gygax-days AD&D1e clone?  What, no, really?  Why not pick up a copy of  OSRIC.  That's "Old School Reference and Index Compilation" which is a tomic behemoth of 400 pages of tables, illustrations and beautifully written rules.  Believe me when I say it's a lot cheaper than printing out the free PDF- and hey they bind it too!  Actually, it's not a book.  It's so large it's furniture.

A fond purchase of mine from Lulu to date is Ruins & Ronin -adapted from the Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox Rules (softcover) on Lulu. There's quite a bit of talk of oriental conversions on the blogs and forums at the moment. I'd happily settle for Ruins & Ronin, perhaps throwing in an character honour point system (like in OA AD&D 1e).

219335_PrimaryOkay, enough of all this.  Get back to eating pine-cones stuffed with tinsel, are whatever it is that real people do at this time of year.  ;)

Thanks for reading, merry seasonalness. :)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Hot off the altar ... CoC Wasted Land Jan 30th 2012 ... LotR Lego

Ooh shiny baubles ...
....New Screenshots of Call of Cthulhu Wasted Land for iPhone, iPad, Android...

... Telegram from Red Wasp Design:

'Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land' Screenshots HD Released,
Launch Date Announced as 30th January 2012

After much chanting and summoning of dark forces, indie developer Red Wasp Design today announced that the stars will be right for the release of Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land on the 30th January 2012. To seal this pact with expectant gamers they have accompanied the date announcement with a slew of never-before released High-Definition images.

Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land is a turn-based strategy RPG based around the works of cult horror writer H.P.Lovecraft. The game is set in the midst of the First World War and pits a team of soldiers and investigators against an insidious cult intent on using the slaughter of the Great War to open the doors to an invasion of eldritch horrors.

Announced in May this year and set to launch initially on iPhone and iPod (both SD and HD versions), Red Wasp Design then later plan to infect other platforms such as iPad, Android, PC and consoles with their World War One themed turn-based strategy horror. The game has been developed in co-operation with Chaosium, the purveyors of the cult horror role playing game based on Lovecraft's work, Call of Cthulhu. The much loved RPG marked it's 30th year of publication in 2011 and continues to grow in scope and reputation.
Red Wasp Design can also be followed on Facebook, Twitter (@redwaspdesign) and on their site at


Lego Frodo and his
massive ring
Random "Other News":

Facebook and the blogs this week are alive with curious excitement over Lego acquiring the rights to make models (and games?) of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit(s).

Prior to this epic announcement, there's been some amazing Lego fan constructions of scenes from LotR, it'll be hard to see the Danish brick builders' own sets top those. ;)

Lego has flirted with the fantasy-medieval genre in the past and currently, but maybe new Lego sets will bring us more weapons and fantasy garbs for our minifigs!  Maybe Legolas and Gimli can be imported to our Heroica Sets ... ooh the possibilities!

Of course it would be wrong here not to mention BrickQuest.  :)  I mean your Lego D&D games may be greatly improved by official LotR merchandise!

Whilst you're on the Lego site check out the "Lego Universe to Close" Press Release.  Apparently the kids didn't have access to Dad's credit card, after all. ;)

(No wait, I shouldn't make assumptions about age groups - especially rereading my last paragraph)


Happy reading, gaming, collecting, playing! :)

Thursday, 15 December 2011

20% Off Code on DriveThru -Happy Holidays and all that

Man, I hate Christmas.  Man, I almost hate December as much as I hate Christmas.  I hate Winter almost as much as I hate December (and so on...)

As I sniff back the mucus from this seasonally-related head-cold-flu-bug, I have to remind myself how special this time is for us Shoppers and Worshippers of Capitalism - how we all come together share how spending joy in the shopping centres, who are eager to bless and receive our hard earned credit, as we desperately placate the technologically jaded children and loved ones.  Here, after last year, very few folk are hoping for a "White Christmas", when slightly more snow than normal fell in this almost-northern European island, and shut the country down.

All I want for Christmas is CthulYOU!
Naturally, I blame Canada - if only because they are smart enough to have chains for their tires and are generally unfazed by "big" weather. They probably sent a whole load of weather our way, in revenge for the Monty Python Lumberjack song, or something like that.

"But the faces of the happy children!" I hear you cry.  Yeah, yeah, light in the midwinter darkness.  Yadda, yadda... ;)

Forget all that.  Treat yourself to some cool RPG downloads!

Lots of companies are running special offers and bundle deals - so remember to have a good shop around. 

DriveThruRPG are providing a 20% Off code (that's like a whole fifth off) which is valid for all of the following products:

Adventure Companion (FantasyCraft) [Crafty Games]
Age of Cthulhu 5: The Long Reach of Evil [Goodman Games]
Smallville: The Watchtower Report [Margaret Weis Productions]
Huxtropy (D&D 4E) [Silent7Seven Games]
Shambles [A Terrible Idea]*

The code to use at checkout is
Expires: January 18th, 2012.

* Man, this is a strange looking game:
"Shambles is an RPG in which you explore life as a Zombie. 
One day you just woke up dead. 
Now you just want to get on with your life, such as it is.
But walking around as a Zombie just isn't that simple."

(Clicking the picture will take you to the Shambles page
on DriveThru, check out the description on the author's site: 

Gift Certificates are also available, I'd say "encourage a relative to buy you one", but then they have to register with site first - which some non-gamers may find a chore, but it's always worth a try!
Shorter copy-friendly link:

May the season bring you what you desire, be it a cappuccino-toaster or Zombiepocalypse.
Happy Holidays, as they say.

Thanks for reading!

Paper models: Kev's Lounge Hovel, E-Z Overland, EL4 Barrow Tomb

There are many printable scenery packs out there, but when it comes to RPGs (as opposed to tabletop wargames) there's often a need to see the inside of the building as well.  Kev's Lounge Fantasy Scenics are selling this beautiful Humble Hovel over at the Papercraft Dungeon ( ).

Recently popular, is the Overland Adventures sets by Fat Dragon Games - with camps, felled logs and forest scenery these could be employed by tabletop wargamers and role-players alike.  Tents and camp fires are essential for encounters in the wild!

Okay, this is all an elaborate ruse for me to sneak in a mention of my Inked Adventures barrow plan with figures by David Wears. ;)

Cover and page thumbnails follow:


The Encounter Lairs 4: Barrow Tomb be purchased at a stupidly cheap price on DriveThru:

Thanks for reading.  Happy Shopping. :)

Monday, 12 December 2011

MTE Judgment Day (for Savage Worlds)

Savage Insider: Judgment Day (Mystical Throne Entertainment)

"Judgment Day is a universal setting where characters join the ranks of the Inquisition and their fight against the supernatural beings that threaten mankind. ..."

Slick, comprehensive, professional, inspiring.  The product lives up to it's description and has quality illustrations to boot.

If you're a fan of modern horror, Buffy, or Constantine, or anything with a good vs evil war, and you like the Savage Worlds system then there's oodles of material here tailored just for you.

Happy demon hunting!

(Short post, I know, I've got flu or something... tis the plague I say!  Or the-T-virus ...)

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Legend (MongooseRQII) for a dollar!

Hot and cheap!  That's how I like my ... no, wait, stop that.
The current hottest item and Electrum Best Seller on DriveThru ...

Hottest New Title

In a nutshell:
Runequest style mechanics with lush black and white illustration.

I'm loving what I'm seeing so far, but this quick flip through reveals  that the Games Mastery section seems a little light - a handful of pages at the back tagged onto what feels like a player's guide; no bestiary, or NPCs, no sample quests, but in using RQII (Mongoose) system, the range of source material out there is quite substantial. One explanation is that since Legend is very "human" centric - the adversaries can be generated using the main rules* - but what lovely rules!

The character backgrounds have just enough general facts to provide history back-story and motivation, which an inventive GM will merge with the gameworld. The format is novice-friendly with examples of character a called "Alaric" throughout.
I drool over tables like this
- who needs magic or skills
when the weapon tables
look like this? :)

I'm drawn to the familiar here, but I realise that a more thorough read may reveal subtle nuances specific to this game.  But that'll take too long and I want to share the news of this game, now!

Laws of Franchise dictate that more Legend books will follow in this rebranding of Mongoose's take on RuneQuest.

For the moment it is a mere one dollar.  Clearly Mongoose Publishing is trying to get us hooked!

Alaric - the sample character

Alaric's sheet (cont.)

*Edit: D'oh!  Well, it said "Core rules" - I thought it wud hav monsturs in ...
Looking for monsters for Legend? Check out Monsters of Legend (on DTRPG)

Friday, 2 December 2011 Offers in December 2011 and Calendars

For those of you wanting copies of indie RPGs from for Christmas, now is a good time to send those links to loved ones, with the following code:
20% off books - Enter code DECBOOKS11 - Save up to $25 - Offer ends 31st Dec 2011

Another special offer Lulu is offering is on photo books and calendars - the latter, being very appropriate for this time of year.
30% off photo books and calendars - Enter code DECPHOTOS30 - Save up to $100 - Offer ends 31st Dec 2011

Calendars?  Twelve pictures and some square grids which you can make in Publisher? Hmm.  So why use Lulu?

I was compelled to to investigate the self-publishing aspect of Calendars.

Monsters! Calendar (by me) on Lulu
Art therapy is fun, but why should your
shrink be the only one to see it? 
Share it with the world!
Making your own photo book or calendar can be really straightforward on

For fun, I had a go at making my own, using my "monster" art which goes down well at Christmas with family and friends. It's definitely worth working with large photos or hi-definition art since some of my own pieces came out a tiny bit pixelly in places, but it hasn't spoilt the finished product.

When you make a calendar for publication, you're also allowed to download a PDF version, which probably means that with a little work you can print the calendar at home. To be honest ,Lulu, as with other print-on-demand sites is really all about print quality and binding. My ink jet printers can be very limited and I struggle to even print double-sided, so to recieve a glossy finished product in the post was a real pleasure.

Naturally the prices are higher than calendars you'd by in shops, but it's a real buzz receiving a polished professional looking product with personalised content. You don't have to use their own border templates, and you can also add special dates to the calendar itself ("Zombiesmeg's Birthday", "DragonCon"). You don't have to "publish" your calendar to the site - it can be a private product, but if your content isn't too personal then it always fun to see if anyone will buy your masterpiece.

Some RPG-related Calendars for 2012 on Lulu:

Remember to look at the previews and use the code:  DECPHOTOS30 for 30% off.
Be wary of calendars for previous years - many folks keep their old stock still for sale on Lulu!

Happy countdown to the hideousness of Christmas! ;)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Purple Mountain I: Temple of the Locust Lord - low level PFRPG megadungeon

Why are we looking at the outside?
Let's get into the dungeon!
Purple Mountain I: Temple of the Locust Lord -
published by Purple Duck Games

This is a really well presented module.  Although it represents one level of the Purple Mountain megadungeon, it could also be played individually in a low level campaign for pathfinder / DnD3.5 – but could easily beadapted by a confident DM to most systems, since there’s a focus on environment and some NPC motivation/tactics - enough "meat" for any system.

Don’t be fooled any negative associations with the term “Megadungeon” – the encounters follow logically, the adversaries are consistent with a dungeon population and themes, there’s also few nods to dungeon ecology.

The dungeon level has a traditional gaming feel, but the descriptions are modern and slick.
Dungeoncrawlers! Get 'em!
Purple Mountain 1 ‘Locust Lord has inherited from classic dungeoneering style the very best elements of play and plot by the way it is guided by the physical environment of the  dungeon - which was the original purpose of a original D&D dungeon - as opposed to the war gaming open field of battle.

The DM is given plenty of “what if/then” guidance if the players are struggling or alternative approaches to reaching the end points of the plot.

Appendices (inc. Monster stats) and inset tip boxes make this scenario very easy on the eye and implies minimal preparatory work on behalf of the DM.

Lush map of the level.
Definitely more than a
few sessions of play
in this baby.
I’m especially excited about this product because it can be played using it’s sister product – a gorgeous and massive battle-map by CSP (briefly looked in my post here).  I’m a sucker for glossy play aids.

As I type this, the product is at an absolutely bargain price for what you get. Disgustingly cheap!  If you don’t buy this product now, definitely keep an eye out for deeper levels in the Purple Mountain.  Again – this is playable as a single dungeon in its own right, the fact that it is part of a series of a huge sprawling megadungeon structure is a plus.

$3.50  $2.28
(at time of post)
Purple Mountain:
Level 1 Battle-Map
-Crooked Staff Publishing-
on DriveThru

stupendously good value!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Belated Happy ThankyousGivemas & Black Friday Deals

Black Friday: when it gets just that little bit darker before the weekend ...
I seem to have been living under a rock for, well, since forever, so I hadn't really heard of "Black Friday" - and even then I assumed that we were all commemorating a stock market crash or something.  In my various jobs in the past I have noticed a pre-weekend slacker attitude which can cause typing mistakes on a Friday, which may or may not lead to global financial meltdown.

I haven't had my translation goggles set to "American" so anything relating to Thanksgiving seems to come through as Klingon-Ewok gibberish.  It seems that Black Friday is a bit like our own hideous bun-fight Boxing Day sales.* 

I find the customs of the Lost Colonies just fascinating.  ;)
[ * -Either that, or my mother is a verengan Ha'DIbaHand I'm a P'Tok for not defending my family honour.]
By way of absurd comparison, the fact that we in the UK mainly only have fireworks on Guy Fawkes Night (New Year's excepting)  will seem a little strange to outsiders.

Oh dear. I've just realised that July 4th and November 5th could be seen as celebrations of political polar opposites.  The former is the independence of a nation from The Crown and the latter being the successful prevention of a plot to overthrow, and loyalty to, the same said crown.  So, perhaps in the UK we use fireworks to celebrate the execution of treason-doers and successful suppression by the state (of Catholic folk, anyhow ... oh, god, please don't mention Ireland, or this really will look like I was trying to be political and not just silly or trite -gulp-).  

In my hometown fireworks go off all of the time from October through to January.  People in-the-know point to the Diwali, the Festival of Light and Eid; also there's return of students to university, the occasional autumnal wedding, but normally it's just the local psychotic kids, who are armed.  Not with guns, but the next best thing, GUNPOWDER.  It's a plot I tell ye!   Occupy Parliament!
 (Hums God Save the Queen in quiet self-reassurance)

Anyhow, I think I supposed to be talking about cheap turkeys stuffed with maize and pumpkin or something.

Happy bargain Black Friday money-saving greetings to you all!
(and good luck to Christmas shoppers as well ...)

Paizo Black Friday Bundles

Assorted RPG games publisher and product line reductions on DriveThru - Gifts for under £10

Black Friday Sales

Lulu 20% off books - Enter code NOVBOOKS11 - Save up to $25 - Offer ends 11/30/11

RPGNow Sale Items

Black Friday at RPGObjects

Sale at Warehouse 23

Nevermeet Press - Black Friday (check out the size of that Turkey!)

Kidrobot Holidays Deals

Sales at Deviant Art
237641_300x250 Star Trek 15% off
... because you can never have
too much Star Trek gear...
Quick Jim, that man isn't
spending enough, shoot him!
(or throw quality mugs
and t-shirts at him)
Spend long and
makes us prosper...
Google Ebooks Holiday Deals: $10 or Less

501249_Cyber Monday Chess Sale with Coupon501249_Black Friday Chess Sale Banner with Coupon

Cyber Monday?!  What the frak!?

A couple of links have been borrowed from Roleplayers Chronicle who, incidentally are looking for writers who might be interested in RPG games industry perks.

(This is how I stave off my
existential angst. No, really.)

On a random almost-related note, this week I quickly dashed together a Calendar on Lulu to give as a present to friends and family - however I'm not so sure that it'll even get past the quality control robots at Lulu, but here's the link anyhow: Monsters! Calendar 2012

Thanks for reading this far. 
May your Gods aid you during your foretold credo-assigned apocalyptic civilisational endpoint.

For the love of money,
spend now before it all becomes worthless!