Monday, 17 November 2014

Bargains for grown-ups

Until 20th November the Teach Your Kids to Game Week sale is on at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.
This is a good chance pick up Numenera, Dragon Warriors and Mouse Guard at half price. I can never scroll past Bean D2 without a grin.

Cheap and trending is the Hero Kids range covering many genres and tropes.

Although they are not in the sale itself, as the price is already reduced, I think my own Inked Adventures Blocks would be fun to assemble with children - it's cube-based paper-crafting, simple enough for parents and uncles with large thumbs.  (Inked Adventures main site)

It's certainly worth trawling the free product lists if you're looking for one-off pieces for gaming session with children, especially when it comes to free samples of tiles, character sheets, introductory rules.  Cutting out simpler tiles and drawing plans or maps is great way to explore art, imagination and maybe a little maths with the young 'uns (or so I am told, because it's been a while since I've kidnapped friends' children...) 

The OBS sites seem to be doing a lot of themed sales these days as well as the seasonal ones. I'm fighting a personal sense of jadedness, much like that which I associate with the push-push-push last-chance-to-pledge Kickstarters. So as a shopper and affiliate I am trying to see beyond my own banner fatigue and just root out the types of PDFs I would normally buy.

Publishers have embraced the Pay-What-You-Want category with gusto, but upon closer inspection on DriveThru, I'm finding that on the descriptions many of those titles are intended as "free".  I suspect some publishers who would normally be submitting a product to the Free category are submitting products to this new category as a way of maximising time on the front page. A while back publishers, including myself were asked by the owners of the OBS sites to refrain from one-dollar-app style marketing, because of the transaction costs incurred by the sites. Does donation culture really work in this context?

Eep.  I must go. My partner's cat needs some attention.  Why is there not a "Teach Cats to Game Week"?   ;)

Friday, 31 October 2014

All Hallows E'en DTRPG Sale, Free Ravenloft, Fighting Fantasy, Big Jars

Happy Halloween  (roll on All Saints Day when we can get back to burning the pagans or at least putting them on trial before on Bonfire Night, or have I got that wrong?)

One day left to pick a possible freebie and heavily reduced PDF products (and maybe some print) in the DriveThru Sale.  There was a rather juicy Ravenloft title going for free last time I looked. You owe it to Strahd, you know you do.

UK gamebook fans still have a chance to buy tickets for the a talk given by Jonathon Green on the 2nd November in the wake of his successful kickstarter funded book on the History of Fighting Fantasy "You are the Hero".  Location: London (a big city on an island in North West Europe). Tickets:
I'll be honest, I get really confused between actual real events, Google hang-outs, Like Pages and kickstarters, that sometimes I find it difficult to find the product amidst the publicity. But I'm very easily confused in the five seconds I give to reading almost anything these days that doesn't flatter me in some way. ;)

My world: I've been keeping myself out of trouble by trying to bash out more Inked Adventures products.  The 'Blocks (see previous post) was in top ranking in the "hottest" 3D accessories on DTRPG the other day.  So I'm guessing business is slow in the papercraft terrain industry! I've also had some fun in creating more "oversized" dungeon furniture counters. Casting proportion aside, these counters are more akin to something you'd expect to see in MB HeroQuest or Gameboy 'Zelda.  In fact it's impossible to add jars to a dungeon room now, without thinking of Link smashing a lot of crockery.

Heroically Sized Furniture Counters 2
Product on DTRPG:

Inked Adventures Blocks
Product on DTRPG:

Anyhow. I hope you are well and that season's a changing bring positive perspectives and not "Oh God, Winter's Coming" which is the feeling here. And no, I don't have Sky, so I really do need to catch up with Game of Thrones, somehow, some day...

And oh, I nearly forgot, I can't comment on any of the D&D hardbacks because my partner has bought them for me and I'm not allowed to have them until Christmas because Santa has them.

5th Edition D&D on Amazon (UK).

Apparently I have to be a good boy before I can rifle through those shiny stat filled pages.

Santa might also let me have the Star Wars Rebels DVD as well. Roll on Christmas!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Inked Adventures Blocks

This is a shameless self-promotory cross-post (from Inked Adventures) regarding my new Inked Adventures Blocks.  Especially, since trying to go full time with Inked Adventures, I'll be lucky to meet the rent this month. ;)

These printable blocks are designed for the more casual builder of dungeons - for those us who can barely glue a tab without needing a proper grown-up to be present.  They also may appeal to players who prefer dry-erase mats to tiles.  The L-corner pieces are especially useful for delineating the area of larger rooms.  This idea was borrowed from the Indy Jones RPG (TSR), the cardboard models in which had design similarities scenery included in one of the D&D BECMI modules (the title escapes me).  The pieces are reusable, but there's nothing to stop a DM gluing them down or together to create pre-made set pieces.  The blocks can also be flipped to create an "upper level" in rooms, walkways and some extent bridges across chasms and so forth.  The figures here are scavenged from the D&D 3.5 Basic box.  The brick details on the blocks were originally hand drawn in fineliner pen. PDFs are available in both A4 and US Letter size formats.

iso_maps_and_reverse_Inked_Adventures_BlocksPage_Preview_Inked_Adventures_BlocksRoom Encounter - Inked Adventures Blocks
Drawn mock-up layout - Inked Adventures BlocksGrey tops for striking and uncluttered overhead view - Inked Adventures BlocksWall and door detail - Inked Adventures Blocks
Double doors small room - Inked Adventures BlocksX-Junction - Inked Adventures BlocksL blocks as corners for large rooms - Inked Adventures Blocks
Drawn mock-up layout demonstrating reverse sides being used as second level - Inked Adventures BlocksSecond level and steps encounter - Inked Adventures BlocksSteps Second Level - Inked Adventures Blocks
Walkway or Bridge - Inked Adventures BlocksInked_Adventures_Blocks_cover

The Inked Adventures Blocks printable PDF:
$2.90 USD
(Product description on DriveThruRPG)

Thanks for reading.  May your dungeons be beautiful!

Basic Fantasy Adventure Anthology 1

This is one seriously packed set of short adventures, suitable for Basic Fantasy, but also LL, D&D B/X, BECMI, S&W etc. (some very minor tweaking may be required to bonuses and armour classes) 
Free PDF & Open Office file. (also links to hard copies on Lulu)

Hey, whaddawant? A proper review? It's good, it's free. If it's your choice of old school system mechanic or game-genre, just go and download it.


Friday, 26 September 2014

Inked Adventures Dungeon Map

Apologies for the cross posting but it would be cruel for me not to share today's creation here!

Mock-up of dungeon sections in use Crypts, Tombs & Catacombs Inked Adventures 2014
Mock-up of dungeon sections in use from
Crypts, Tombs & Catacombs (& bonus section)
Click on image for full view PDF $7.50 USD PDF Free

Original post:

Mirror on Blogger:

Monday, 15 September 2014

Inked Adventures Crypts Tombs and Catacombs

Apologies for the lack of posts. I was going to moan sometime about the poor durability of the Age of Rebellion box set components and maybe say some nice things about the new D&D Starter Set. But, other things have been happening and one of them was ...


Crypts, Tombs & Catacombs is now on sale on the OBS sites (including DriveThruRPG) $7 USD reduced price.

Thumbnail images of pages from the Crypts, Tombs & Catacombs Cut Up Sections Pack (Inked Adventures 2014)

Apologies for the cross-posting if you're following any of my other feeds etc. :)

Friday, 4 July 2014

DnD 5e Basic Rules free to the brave

I'm going to have to take it back about Wizards'. I honestly didn't believe the hype. Providing the main rules for free is a great move.  In case you're one of the three tabletop gamers on the planet who didn't already know : 110 pages of the latest edition (5th) of Dungeons & Dragons is now available online. This is a real treat for the handful of us who weren't playtesters for the new system, and those of us still awaiting the Starter Set. :)

Tonight I will be downloading ...

D&D 5e Basic Rules*

Edit:  * Mainly just the players' rules - character generation, magic, equipment and combat.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Preordered the DnD Starter Box -Wizards need my money- It can't hurt too much surely? I don't have to buy the rulebooks as well?

Very quick post (from an iPad which seems allergic to Blogger). The collector and gamer in me has given into the hype and pre-ordered a copy of the new D&D starter box. I'm pretending to myself that I won't buy the rulebooks either.

Description, citations and confused thoughts on the new releases from Wizards' in this Tumblr post here.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Photos of MM Traveller RPG

My print copy of Marc Miller’s Traveller has arrived. :)
Reprint of the 1995 text print-on-demand soft-back from DriveThruRPG.
Haven’t read much yet - just skimming and loving the visuals.
I didn’t expect the interior Chris Foss illustrations to be in colour - which is a real bonus. There’s quite a few black and white pieces by D&D artist Elmore as well. This all seems just slightly closer to The Traveller RPG -Starter Set- I had back in the early 80s (basically a reformat of three -five?- original rule books by GDW), closer than the Mongoose edition, for example. The system of task resolution and combat still looks sublime in it’s simplicity. I’m fascinated by the human-Imperium centric Traveller canon -perhaps influenced by Asimov Foundation et al sci-fi, but it still seems so different from much of the sci-fi that I’ve read in books or seen in the cinema (I must add that I’m very under-read when it comes to classic sci-fi). And yet, varying “tech levels” on planets and interstellar trade makes me think of modern TV series like Firefly and Farscape, not to mention the Iain M Banks books with Culture operatives doing to exact opposite of the Prime Directive by manipulating politics and influencing battles on low tech worlds. Modern students of the genre will also appreciate that vast “sandbox” campaigns can be run using a subsector map and a handful of random tables.

Friday, 9 May 2014

May contain ninjas...

Tonight’s reading is Mad Monks of Kwantoom by Kabuki Kaiser. I’m very intrigued by the idea of a solo play campaign. Styled to work with Labyrinth Lord, KK is encourages the reader-player to use whatever old-school system they see fit. This will make a cool accompaniment to my eclectic collection of oriental rules: Ruins & Ronin (S&W whitebox), OA (AD&D 1e), OA (3e) and Bushido. 

DTRPG PDF (228pages) $9.99USD / £5.83GBP

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Marc Miller's Traveller RPG

I’m a big fan of GDW Traveller - although for a long time I only owned the Starter Set - realizing later that part of the pleasure of Traveller is reading as many supplements as possible in order to get a sense of vast Imperium, it’s history and neighboring races.
So I’m very excited to say I’ve just ordered the print copy of Marc Miller’s Traveller -including the PDF which will just have to do until it arrives!  I promise to post pics. :) (affiliate link to DriveThruRPG)

It’s made all the more fabulous by having a Chris Foss illustration on the cover! :)

See you in J-Space!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

GMs Day Sale 2014 ODnD Methadone and Maps on Paper Plates

GMs Day SaleOch, I'm no good at this.  I keep missing sales all over the place.

Another super duper sale - 8 days left in the GM's Day Sales on DTRPG 
30% off selected publishers and products yadda yadda.  You know you love it.

GMs Day Sale

Coping without Original D&D

This might be an Outside-of-US problem or just a Europe distribution problem, but a month or so back I was having a lot of difficulty trying to track down an anniversary edition Original Dungeons & Dragons.

Aside: I'm still fairly bemused that it's not being sold with the Chainmail rules - or at least the basic combat system which is then replaced by the "alternative" d20 system. If you really want to go way back to the roots of the game - why not crack open the d6s and set the weapon type against armour class?

Anyhow, this is academic, because I couldn't find the anniversary reprint box anywhere for a sensible price. I was amazed to see US gamers complaining at low Amazon pre-order prices ($80? $40?!), when I couldn't find it for much less than £200 GBP - and even then it wasn't guaranteed to be stock. I can't find it on Amazon (UK) tonight. Then I'm wondering if I just hold out for a couple of months Wizards will be selling the PDFs for a song anyhow (?)
(By the way, singing is NOT an accepted for of payment on most websites)

In the meantime, I returned to the three humble books of Delving Deeper.  Up to now my favorite simulacrum/clone of OD&D was Swords & Wizardry White Box -yummy compact, streamlined goodness.  After reading around the subject (thank you, OSR communities!) it appears that DD is written and arranged in such a way that is pretty close to OD&D first three books.  DD is the OSR methadone for OD&D junkies, who can't get the real thing, or who want to get friends hooked but daren't lend out their precious original game. ;)

Also, I firmly believe that the simpler system, the more empowering it is for DM wanting the play from scratch - or to run a dungeon of the fly. Naturally, these opportunities are not arising much in my all too no-fun grown-up world at the moment, but simple systems allow for grand thought experiments - which after all is what a campaign world is. 

Delving Deeper, published by Immersive Ink, is free to download:

I've been going through a tough time in the icky real world recently (visiting my partner in hospital).  In the past I used to carry about Basic D&D or the very portable Tunnels&Trolls 5th edition, but recently I put together this A5 size emergency set:

A complete set of rules and some dice.
What more can old-schooler need?
Black and white, printer friendly, a decent size of lettering -it converts well to whatever small booklet format your printer can create. Not having a long stapler I took the liberty of stitching the spines. This was rather rewarding and seemed apt that I was reminded of home-made reprographics from the 70s and 80s.

Booklets printed double-sided on a home printed
then saddle-stitched by yours truly.
Next time I'll back sure that the covers are printed on card.

I couldn't resist drawing my cleric.
If I run a campaign I think a small party of new characters
should all begin at 3rd level.

Suffice to say this compact portal to infinite realms as very reassuring, just to read, never mind actually play. I'm sure I'll get my chance. :)

Fantasy Maps on Paper Plates

I've been posting these on Instagram and Facebook and I'm genuinely surprised at the interest they create.  I recommend this to anyone who wants to fill half an hour. It started as a fantasy imitation of medieval T-O maps. Take a fine-line pen, a paper plate and just draw a world within the confines of the circle. Lots of fun.  

My Instagram Gallery - this sort of thing plus a cat (cos the internet needs more cats)
(Webstagram link).

Tonight's Random PDF Purchase

Back in the day, I never had the pleasure...
God help me. Sci-fi D&D?  Never cross the streams.
Keep fantasy gaming in a casket marked "Arthurian Only"...

Spelljammer (2e AD&D) a mere $9.99 as I type. 

For that price, definitely worth a look.

Other Randomness

Despairing at the lack of progress finishing several new Inked Adventures projects I soothed myself by making this Flipagram slideshow of a whole bunch of maps and works in progress, and adding some Philip Glass music (who as far as I know, doesn't endorse Inked Adventures products or paper plates)

Happy Shopping, Happy Gaming!