Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Running out of 2013 and still addicted to RPG reblogging on Tumblr

Aargh.  I'm never finding the time to post anything articulate in the blog at the moment, but somehow I'm holding down a roleplaying games Tumblr addiction on an almost daily basis. This might be something to do with short term lifestyle changes which mean that I'm running most things from an iPad and not a proper PC.  I know, I know... the seduction of gadgets ... need to get to a grown-up workstation. ;)

For RPG randomness please check out the Adventures and Shopping Tumblr 

I also post to my Inked Adventures Tumblr account products-in-progress and customer photos.

Sometimes I post role-playery stuff to Instagram as well...

My Instagram account has this sort of thing plus photos of my partner's cat, maps and some doodles. 

Are the American festivals of thank-yous-and-turkey-giving over yet?  This year has been a blur.  Did I miss a Blackened Monday? This UK blogger is open to all festivals and religions if it leads to cheaper RPG accessories. :) (Diwali and Eid were very dissapointing in that respect, pfft.)

 Don't miss out on any holiday sales on the One Bookshelf sites: (DTRPG sales pages)

Also don't forget to check out any of the Hurricane Relief bundles on the DriveThru and RPGNow sites.      

If I don't post anything new here before Christmas, here's wishing you everything you can fleece Santa for, Good Will and all that. 

Peace and Dice!  Spend unwisely! Collect everything!

Billiam Babble, 
December, 20-something -too-early in the century to remember all that timey-wimey stuff.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Zombie Week Shotguns and Credit Cards

One day and a bit left for the pre-Halloween Zombie Week sale on DriveThruRPG.
Two popular titles are… 

Savage Worlds Horror Companion


Achtung! Cthulhu: Three Kings

Shotguns and credit cards at the ready! ;)

I promise to post something a bit more sophisticated than just links soon... right after I sort this invasion out <BLAM> <BLAM> <reload> <BLAM>  Ammo!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Shadowrun RPG doing rather well

Shadowrun Fifth Edition by Catalyst Game Labs

Back in the mid to late 80s I was a bit of a genre purist and the likes of Rifts and Shadowrun just crossed too many thematic streams for my liking. By choosing Cyberpunk (v2.0.2.0) I was voting for games where the near future was a Gibsonesque human-plus-technology affair only. In rertospect, I think I may have missed out on quite a bit of fun. Out of all of the games which have been reprinted, re-promoted and rereleased -for up to five editions, no less- the resilience of the Shadowrun RPG still comes as a surprise to me. It’s been a number one hotseller on DTRPG for a handful of weeks now which is no mean feat for a $20USD PDF (which is a totally reasonable price for an established RPG PDF although I suspect that the original price of $59.99 is based on the printed copy).

With 15,000 hard-copies sold, clearing the stock entirely, Catalyst Game Labs sound a bit taken aback also: ;)
Every time I think the Shadowrun community can’t surprise me with their brilliance, they surprise me again,” said Randall N. Bills, Catalyst’s Managing Developer. “We were confident we’d sell out by end of the year, but in mere weeks?! Once again, Shadowrun players stepped up in a fantastic way, showing how much life beats within the Sixth World … and how much life yet beats in the tabletop roleplaying community as a whole!

Shadowrun Core Rulebook, Fifth Edition PDF (489 pages) on DriveThruRPG $19.99 (USD, reduced)

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Savage Worlds turns 10. What?!

Time to buy SWD for $10!
Ten years of Savage Worlds RPG ... already?!

This little super-popular multi-genre fast-play RPG upstart can't possibly be this old!

Reduced prices for Savage World stuff from Pinnacle on DTRPG.

Cos we all need more stuff!

It'll all be over by the 30th of July so click on the banner NOW.

1983 Redbox D&D on DTRPG

As per usual I'm a bit clueless as to most modern releases in tabletop RPG gaming but will always zero in on familiar and celebratory.

So, keeping with red boxes with Elmore dragons ... back to Basic D&D … we can now download PDFs of the 1983 D&D ruleset!

D&D Basic Player’s Manual and D&D Basic DM’s Rulebook. Currently $5 each on DTRPG.

Since they were originally sold in a box together, why the rulebooks are being sold separately I’m not sure - unless Wizards plan to cut the Mentzer’s Expert rulebook in half? I never understood why the BECMI sets were inconsistent in this way (it was just Expert that did that, and we did get Isle of Dread - which was pretty cool) Of course, there are advantages for the DM to encourage his/her players to download the the player's manual only, but still ...

With naturalistic but dramatic illustrations by Easley and Elmore, and clean sharp text layout, this set tried to move away from the friendly seventies look of it’s predecessor - and yet now it’s considered definitely “Heavy Metal". This was the set I bought, whilst friends still had the ‘81 edition. Until, of course, many of us defected to the big boy books of Advanced D&D. 
Although I like Elmore and Easley, they were very humanoid-centric - these rules really needed more illustrations of the truly strange monsters. The odd illustration of a whole dungeoneering party would have been good too - like in the earlier sets and AD&D, but still I love what's there.

Incidentally, the reproduction in PDF format is good. It's a facsimile of the original text (scanned, not a replacement font) - but the text is still selectable. The images suffer a little in terms of grey-black contrast, but this is sometimes the compromise with scans of older rules, when as customers we're demanding clean white pages on our high definition screens. ;)

My boxed set are still a treasured possessions. I adore the Mentzer Basic Set, and both books are great to learn roleplaying by (you might want to add in a few house rules, like extra spells and bonuses on thieves skills if you want your players to at least feel a little like heroes and not just vermin prey). If you’re completely new to the old style of D&D, these rules would work very well with the up-to 20-level B/X clone Basic Fantasy RPG (free download here).

D&D (red box, BECMI) Basic is charming and rewarding - and yes you can roleplay without minis. Imagine that. “Where’s the board?" we used to joke. RPGs were too vast to have boards! You want a board? Go play Dungeon! Okay, there were sprawling maps on graph paper - it was just very different.

Ideal for tabletop gamers, collectors, archivists and the downright curious.

Thank Mentzer it’s back!

Product pages on DriveThruRPG:

(Dice and wax crayon not included)

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Red Box D&D 4e

Man, the 4e D&D red box is a lot deeper than it’s 80’s predecessor.
I gave in and bought this, partly because (a) I’m finding the 4e rule books hard to follow - unreadable, even? (b) I like boxed games (c) it's cheap on Amazon (d) I like “starter" sets, and (e) it’s a brand new unblemished thing which looks like my old red box. 
It’s like running off with a glamorous but hard to follow younger version of your current or ex-wife. She looks deep, but in fact, she’s actually a little shallow, but you forgive her because she is new and shiny… 
I also feel a little ashamed. I mean, how will I break the news to my AD&D manuals? (I’m keeping it in the bedroom, for christsake.)


Adventures & Shopping on Tumblr

Dungeons & Dragons Fantasy Roleplaying Game: An Essential D&d Starter (4th Edition D&d)

Friday, 5 July 2013

Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia

I have a few snippets of news and discoveries in my own adventures in RPG shopping, but more importantly... for any D&D B/X BECMI old school-ers who didn't already know, ...for a mere $10 (usd), this rules completist 300+ pages tome from 1991 is available on the OBS sites:

D&D Rules Cyclopedia 1991
PDF on DriveThru and D&D Classics

Let's hope high sales will lead to this one being released as a Premium Reprint. :)

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Pathfinder Sale and Kev's Lounge Furniture Pack

There's only two days left on the Pathfinder sale on DriveThru.
(That's two days left on d20/DnD3-3.5 compatible products ;) )

Random image: The author's Pathfinder core rulebooks nestling amongst other recognisable hard-cover rules. 

Image taken from the comprehensive Instructions PDF
  Kev's Lounge Dungeon Furniture Pack
Currently $1.99 on DTRPG
I've just downloaded a very sophisticated piece of paper crafting which really pushes the PDF format to it's limits. 

Kev's Lounge Dungeon Furniture Pack allows the dungeon crafter to select different textures of floor, grime and materials along with toggling the level of design complexity.

Confident paper engineers will find the furniture nets straightforward to assemble, whilst some of us might occasionally need to ask an adult for help when cutting out the smaller tabs.  (Did I mention my exceptionally large thumbs?)

This is a quality product, and is currently on special offer for under $2.  KL is putting some of the competition to shame.  Watch this guy, he's dangerously talented!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Happy Free RPG Day 2013

Happy Free RPG Day! 
 I've clearly not been following the gaming news recently because today is FreeRPG Day.
My local shops aren't even sure what an RPG is so I doubt it's happening around here. But enough of my speculative cynicism regarding UK bricks'n'mortar stores.

 Check out the download lists to see if anything really special has popped into the free listings on DriveThruRPG   (link valid all year around)

Free RPG Day home site:

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Age of Shadows Campaign Map 1 : The Northern Kingdom (CSP)

On DriveThruRPG from CSP:
Todays random PDF purchase...  :)

The Age of Shadows Campaign Map 1 : The Northern Kingdom - Crooked Staff Publishing

I'm really enjoying browsing around this large map -especially from the perspective of it's use as a "fits-all" map - the version, that is, without labels.

This map looks as good as (if not better than) some of the colour Middle Earth maps from Iron Crown Enterprises. CSP have developed a style that is both computer-crisp whilst remaining respectful hand drawn styles in vintage maps.

The Age of Shadows RPG is a free-to-download rules-set drawing heavily upon RuneQuest with it's own special fast play tweaks and quirks. I have a nice Lulu print copy. I haven't looked into the actual campaign setting as yet, but there is no text included with this map to prejudice against your chosen rules system.

Very good value, considering it's usefulness, even in part, for encounters in the wilderness or for larger campaign building.


Printable A2 in size - 300DPI - PDF and jpgs, labelled and unlabelled.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Inked Adventures Competition Freebies etc and Deadly Missions

I've been a bit too absorbed with my Inked Adventures projects to pay proper attention to the greater outside world of gaming or their markets.  Despite buying tickets in advance I even forewent visiting the UKGamesExpo - because real gamers and games-shoppers go to Cons.  But that's precisely why I didn't go - I can't afford to buy all of the systems and accessories I'd possibly see there.  Powerless to resist, I am, the love of the shiny boxes, figures, scenery and hardbacks. Maybe in another year, when the coffers are fatter.  However, it sounds like things went well without me. ;)

Currently browsing the PDF for Mongoose's Traveller's Core Rules - bought through a bestsellers promotion this week.  I'll be honest, compared to all of the little black books of old it's nice to read the basics about the Imperium and alien races all together in one place.

Anyhow - cross-posting time (mainly Inked Adventures)

I attempt to get the Inked Adventures sites blacklisted by anti-spam software I posted the following under the title "Win Buy Download Free ;)"

Frugal DM Competition - Win Inked Adventures Products

Frugal DM are running a cool competition where you can win Inked Adventures products (or DTRPG gift-card equivalent)  when you submit a winning photo of Inked Adventures tiles or sections being used in-game.

Full details here:

Grey Matter Games release Deadly Missions Fantasy Dungeon

Grey Matter Games have put together a smooth bundle which combines printable figures, special combat rules and our square tiles pack.  All of the items can also be bought separately.  The bundle is in fact a complete stand-alone dungeon crawling battle game. If you like to try out new systems with great looking accessories be sure to check this out. (Also ideal as a gift)

Free Sample Tiles

Download six 10"sq tiles taken from the new large geomorph pack for free!

On DriveThruRPG:
Full product  (124 printable tiles
with counters, doors and  jpgs)

Free 10in hand drawn tiles on DriveThruRPG

Dungeon Map

To illustrate the versatility of just the 6 free tiles I've composited a low-res large dungeon map which you are free to download and use in your campaigns as a guide or player's handout. (Please note that only printable tiles in a PDF are included in the free sample pack - jpgs for every tile map editing are provided in the full product)
samplepack_examplemapmerge freetilesmap_IA_Bb2013 freetilesmap-bw_IA_Bb2013

Right-click on the fully opened images to save to your computer, or "save target as..." from the thumbnails.

Edit:  Kev's Lounge - Council Chamber.

I forget to say... whilst on the subject of papercraft floorplans and scenery I've been meaning to draw your attention to A Luxious Lair: Council Chamber from Kev's Lounge:

Also available to download
from their store on RPGNow.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

OSR on DTRPG? with 15% Off. -ADnD Unearthed Arcana Premium Reprint and a Lulu voucher

DriveThruRPG and RPGNow have a featured "old school" games page -"OSR" even.
This brings me great pleasure.  It's a tidy compact list for now - a sort of "gateway game" selection.
Print a new a those games of old and their modern simulcrum-retro-cloney friends!

Old games, but no attic mould.
And, just as I was typing this the same nice folks at DTRPG have smuggled out a code that should
provide 15% off those featured OSR titles.
Use code at check-out:
Move quick because it's anti-magic shell expires and it then it will be etherealised:
"The coupon code is good for the week of Monday 5/13 - Sunday 5/19" -DTRPG

That's 13th May until 19th May - oops, already lost a day. Getting that Majora's Mask feeling...

Whilst we're in a coupony mood...

Possibly the last Lulu code I'll have for you for some time, due to Google Affiliate Network being turned off in the next couple of months - I haven't found out yet who Lulu will be providing codes through ... Hopefully every other link on my site will still work (sheesh, thanks Google, first Google Reader, now the Google Affiliates Network, what next? Blogger?).  Lulu is still one of the best resources of home published indie RPGs -in ebook form and printed. (IMHO, as the forum posters say)

Books & eBooks from 20% off- Enter code MAYBOOKS13 - Save up to $25
(I haven't tested this one - I'm guessing it's for the US store only)
-Yes, and I know it's really late!

In an unrelated -but sort of related to OSR- point, I'm also still pleased that Wizards' are really commiting to publishing quality collector reprints of the core rules and popular adventure module ranges.  Who'd have believed it, eh?  We literally kept waving the cash in their face. ;)

Shrink-wrap... break the seal ...
Look at the shiny goldness!
(Glowing under-face light effect not included)
For little me, my partner snaffled Premium Print - AD&D Unearthed Arcana from Amazon to accompany it's older brothers of PH, DMG and the MM.  Again, I'm surprised at how much fun it is have new versions of old rules I already own, but with shiny pages, gold edging, ribbon markers and blacker-than-black illustrations.   

Unearthed Arcana is bizarre beast - it divided my AD&D playing friends back when it first came out.  Bearing in mind, some rules had been already adopted by players from official magazine articles, it was great to see them all bundled up in a tome, and then some.  The class revisions, spells and all sorts of extra rules were minutely debated, whilst none of us could establish why we would really need that many pole-arms (no, really - it's an appendix, a whole dedicated appendix).  Maybe this was because we were all closet-aristocrats who looked down upon "peasant" weapons - our game was one of vague fantasy, not the specialist historically referenced kind - get thee to Sealed-Knot!  Tonight, I pointed out to my partner the difference between a Glaive and a Guisarme ... Let's just say that she told me to get back to my book. ;)

If you didn't have the originals but have purchased the other AD&D reprints, UA isn't essential for playing AD&D, but it was significant in terms of game-play development and as a stepping stone to modern editions, as it fixed and totally reworked, core game features before AD&D2 came along.  Think of it as "DnD1.5" ;) As a lover of hard cover rule-books on the shelf it looks delicious with the other three "core" books.  Is there a Latin name for RPG rule-book lovers?  Y'know, like "bibliophile" but more specific...

The question is ... do I start collecting the adventure module hard backs etc or even the AD&D2 reprints? (I only procured the black cover editions for the first time year before last - AD&D2 has less of a nostalgia tractor beam pull on me - and before you ask, my 3/3.5 are pretty immaculate so the reprints of those are out of the question...) The power of embossed covers, gold edging and matching spines, eh?

Anyhow, be lucky and spend wisely.

Screw that. Spend with abandon! Your economy needs you!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

10inch sq Hand Drawn Geomorphs for Minis

Self-promotion time again!  
Cross-posted from Inked Adventures and

This product was delayed because I spent way too much time trying to write an "instructions sheet"...  It's my geomorphs again, but this time at a useful scale for minis. ;)

I've also added extra stuff like counters and a tonne of jpgs for people who want to make their own maps. :)


Available on DriveThruRPG and other OBS sites for $8

Promotional Poster / mock-up

Instructions PDF (6mb)

Sunday, 7 April 2013

20% off RPGs on in April 2013

Books & eBooks from 20% off
Enter code APRILBOOKS13
Save up to $25


I've just tested this code and it doesn't work in the UK/GB Lulu site - but it's fine for the US store (my advertisers' account mainly provides me with US site codes).

Here's a sample of some of my favourite old school style games /RPG-clones available from
Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox Rules- the spirit of OD&D is alive and well in this fast play simple, complete system.  Basic Fantasy RPG (B/X clone with rule-fixes) and test your expert play with Monkey Isle.  Mix up a little Labyrinth Lord with Gamma World by playing Mutant Future and boost the mutated monster hoard with Tim Snyder's Deviant Database.  If you like mutants and the older gaming style why not purchase (the slightly tweaked text) of TSR's 1976 game Metamorphosis Alpha?  Again, I simply must recommend the pocket-sized fast-play sci-fi pulp classic: Tales of the Space Princess (which I haven't played yet, but one day, one day!).

Slick black and white hand drawn dungeon maps: Dyson's Delves. !

I loves print-on-demand rulebooks.  It's the future, don't ya know? ;)

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Army of Darkness RPG for $10

242 glossy PDF pages of the bizarre and entertaining...

Reduced from $40 (possibly the actual dead-tree book price) to $10, this a good-value good looking all-in-one game.

Army of Darkness Roleplaying Game - Unisystem - Eden Studios
$10 on DTRPG.

(Product page on Eden Studios site)

Utterly mental.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Merry Tabletop Gaming Day on March 30th!

Felicia Day wants to know what you're doing for #TableTopDay. ... watch our livestream on March 30th, 2013:

Go to find events near you, sign up, and stay tuned for awesome news and downloads.

Share using #TableTopDay.

DriveThru is also celebrating Tabletop Gaming Day in their own download-some-goodies-for-pennies way. There's a few special offers on a variety of cool games and you simply must look at the free bundle.

I don't have a game planned, but I'm torn between assembling Star Wars Lego Battle of Hoth, trying to invent a game which uses hand drawn geomorphs, perhaps a sneaky solo game of Warhammer Quest or maybe finally pressing out the Pathfinder card figures and having a play about with the Pathfinder Beginner Set ... which can be tabletoppy and board-gamey in a solitaire way. (Why didn't ever buy a copy of Chainsaw Warrior?)

Damn, I need a regular local gaming group!

Many Happy Tabletops!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Comfort Shopping, Lego, Pathfinder and Playing at the World (Jon Peterson, Unreason Press)

I'm blogging from my iPad, so please forgive any really strange formatting and instagramaged photos (edit: gave in and moved to the laptop, much easier, but kept the instagram photos in).  A random post for random times. Miserable weather and real-life chaos have led me down strange aisles in a local supermarket recently, and budget-priced Lego is hard to resist.

Tesco supermarkets (in the UK) are clearing some of their toy lines at the moment.  Bobbing to the surface are the Lego Star Wars AT-RT (75002) at £13.50 and the LotR Lego Orc Forge (9476) for £20 - which for a supermarket isn't such a bad price at all.  This makes a change for me from buying yet more Series 9 Lego Minifigs. Collecting Series 9 has become an addiction - latest two figures were a wine waiter and another cyclops.- I now have three cyclopses, and I'm justifying keeping them for Heroica or as figures for kid-friendly proto-D&D, but that's a whole other post. I already own an earlier incarnation of the Clone Wars bipedal AT-RT walker, but this one seems more posable and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to build an evil droideka - and a Yoda minifig!

The Orc Forge from The Lord of the Rings range is a very odd set - I'm guessing that it's more fun to look at once all of the parts are moving and the fire coloured "brick lights" are turned on. Again, the gamer in me was drawn to the orc/uruk-hai figures and the tiny pieces of armour - perhaps again, subconsciously planning a dungeon crawl with Lego minifigs. ;)

Slightly more game related is the Lego Games Star Wars Battle of Hoth which I bought from Argos for £24.99. I already have a couple of the Heroica Lego Game sets and this looks simpler to play (not that the Heroica system is complicated!). I'm not sure if I should try to create a cross-over game - although the Heroica forest would make a suitable Dagobah or Yavin 4 jungle. I'm really looking forward to assembling the mini snowspeeders and AT-ATs.

For being supportive through times of outrageous fortune, my partner has yet again rewarded me with a roleplaying treat through Amazon (yes, I know, she's a "keeper").

I had initially avoided the Pathfinder Campaign Setting World Guide: The Inner Sea because I felt that core rules books should be just that, core rules. The clever marketing blurb in the Pathfinder RPG Beginner Box had finally convinced me that the Core Rules and Bestiary (1) were somehow orphaned without the campaign setting.  Also a paranoia has overcome me, I was fearing that since Pathfinder has been around for a few years, that suddenly the opportunity to buy these books new would be ushered away by a new edition. I think Wizards' must have broken me with DnD3-thru-4 and Next, because so far Paizo have been very sparing with replacement editions - a revision, here or there maybe. Nonetheless, the collector-reader in me had decided that I needed the three staple Pathfinder books whist the covers and logos still matched (-well sot of).

Content-wise The Inner Sea World Guide incredibly dense, and when it comes to atlas details, it puts the the DnD4 Faerun / FR guides I have to shame. Also the map was without a perforated edge - the collector's bane - instead, only tiny spot of cellulose glue holds the map in place - no tearing required. I like this book, every paragraph is a campaign hook in itself. It is immensely rewarding to dip into. There is both consistency and fascinating variety in the world of Golarion.  My partner also approved, because she loves new books and insisted upon sniffing the ink fresh pages (something she refuses to do with my second-hand vintage ebay purchases).

Paperback USA
Kindle US
Paperback UK
Kindle UK

Another random procurement this week, much to the disgust of same said partner, was a Kindle ebook.  As an ex-bookseller, if a tree hasn't been felled, she looks down upon these things (they certainly don't smell the same).

I haven't read deep into Playing at the World by Jon Peterson, but so far, and from browsing through, the author seems to be very thorough with his primary source material, if not a little dry in his style.

It reads very much like a Masters degree final paper, upon the origins of D&D, RPGs, gaming group culture and terminology. Importantly, Peterson observes that it is almost impossible to re-imagine D&D's birth without modern bias due to it's iconic status, that amongst dozens of other niche games, one couldn't have assumed that it's climb was assured or a straightforward commercial success.

Flipping through, I'm not entirely sure why we need etymological sourcing of the word "Dragon", not as much as say examining the reasons behind why a game would adopt the word "Dungeon" in it's title. It's as though Peterson is proving a point to a tutor unfamiliar with the fantasy genre. In his introduction, he stresses the need for works of gaming history which draw upon contemporary publications (journals and newsletters) and not upon internet anecdotes and gaming community folklore. I partly agree, there is occasionally the need for strict academic approaches, but in terms of an entertaining read about a fun pastime, I think I prefer our many casual blog posts of reminiscence, or the personal heart-felts of geek authors like Ethan Gilsdorf and Mark Barrowcliffe.

My own attempts at trying to find books on simulation games, or complex role-based games for educational drama workshops, whist at college, was met with a single publication regarding games in business training, and I was pretty lucky to find that it a library devoted to playscripts (I did Dramatic Arts degree for my sins).  Hopefully, tomorrow's media and social studies students will have a comprehensive selection of texts about RPGs from which to quote with confidence from. Playing at the World may yet become a scholarly definitive text in citing the early history of D&D within American wargaming tabletop culture, but it ain't no nostalgic journey or rites-of-passage-with-dice-tale (like Gilsdorf's Fantasy Freaks' and Barrowcliffe's Elfish Gene).

If this book blows my mind, I'll let you know. If I never type of it again, then assume my jury is still out when it comes to my all-round recommendation. Still, it would be hard not to say that for gaming history aficionados it is an "essential" addition to a reference bibliography. Incidentally, Playing at the World was advertised in Gygax Magazine #1, so it's target audience is almost certainly old-schoolers.  We keep our dice boxes next to our walking sticks, y'know. ;)

My summary so far: Playing at the World has thorough, no-nonsense historical accounts, with a few pictures.
(But we likes pictures of old games)

Right, those Inked Adventures dungeon tiles aren't going to make themselves.  Or shall I start building the Lego?