Skip to main content

Loot: Blood & Treasure; Nod #1-10

I came back from vacation, and look what was waiting for me! John Stater's Blood & Treasure and the first ten issues of NOD, received in exchange for some doodles I did for Mr. Stater's forthcoming Tome of Monsters.

I encountered Stater's work my first week of noodling into the OSR. The concept of the hexcrawl was kinda new to me (my formative D&D edition was Holmes Basic), and Stater has produced troves of hexcrawl resources. He stuck out particularly to my art-school eyes because of his visual sophistication (NOD #7 has the best cover in the entire OSR).

It's a massive stack of material, and I haven't had a chance to do more than skim, but man-o-pete, it is good.

B&T is a wonderful system, drawing from across games and editions, and designed to be modified for your comfort, with lots of clever new considerations. I might graft race-as-class onto it and use it as my new system, or harvest huge bloody chunks of it for either B/X or Microlite20.

The centerpiece of NOD is the presentation of a sandbox world. I assumed that I'd scavenge it for my own sandbox, but I'm thinking more and more of adopting it outright. Even more exciting are the non-sandbox articles which present races, classes, and rules and system variants. Really clever stuff.

The only downside to these products is that they are print-on-demand from Lulu. This means that they are a) expensive and b) the image quality leaves a lot to be desired. As mentioned, Stater has a sophisticated eye for art, both public domain and commissioned, so it's disappointing to have it reproduced as pixelated, greyed-out lines. Fortunately, everything is available as pdfs, which alleviates both problems. And neither problem is so horrendous that I'm not going to go ahead and get the rest of the NODs in print.

I'll probably write more about the individual issues, because this is going to be the bulk of my rpg reading for some time to come.

You can download issues #1 and 6 of NOD here: Free Downloads.


Popular posts from this blog

Reviewing Rules for Play-by-Post Optimization

I’ve played a lot of PbP games: all your favorite flavors of OD&D, AD&D, and their retroclones, Call of Cthulhu, Marvel Superheroes, Traveller, Dungeon World, etc. ad nauseam. In almost every instance, I forgot what ruleset we were using at some point. Which is a good thing. Once chargen is over, you spend a lot more time describing your characters actions and poring over the GM’s descriptions than you spend interacting with rules. When you do roll, it’s usually a combat to-hit roll, which you’ve probably programmed into the online dice-roller as a macro. Pretty much any game will work for PbP. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t points of possible optimization. Point 1: Resolution. Anything that can keep the action moving is a boon to PbP. A game that requires a back-and-forth exchange of information to resolve an action is going to progress very slowly. A good rule of thumb is that it’ll take 2 or 3 days to get a response from any given player. At that pace, an exch

Maze Rats by Post

In my previous post , I reviewed a bunch of my favorite rulesets for optimization for Play-by-Post. It occurred to me almost immediately that I hadn't really thought about Maze Rats enough. In fact, I'd mis-remembered and mischaracterized it. Upon reflection, one of the mechanics I took issue with is actually a big strength. Re-reading the rules, it seems like just a few very simple hacks could make it a highly-optimized PbP game. As follows: Danger Rolls are rolled by the GM. Danger rolls usually fail, so it is in the player’s interest to describe their actions plausibly and mitigate as many risks as they can, in the hopes that they don’t trigger a danger roll. 2d6 + ability bonus ≥ 10 If you have taken enough precautions to have a distinct advantage in an action, but not enough to have eliminated the distinct possibility of danger, the GM will give you a roll with advantage. 3d6 keep 2 + ability bonus ≥ 10 Because each character only has 3 ability scores (S

An Exaltation of Rockets

I've been toying off-and-on with a rockets-and rayguns campaign/ruleset based heavily on the original Buck Rogers strips. I started working it up as a Black Hack, but I've since switched over to Maze Rats, which has become my ruleset of choice for Play-by-Post. I don't have a good name for it. I want something that conveys the baroque majesty of science fiction in the 20s and 30s. "Planetary Romance" is an accurate description of the genre, but needs about 20% more pulp. Pseudo-pulp magazine names seem like a good way to go, but that's such an easy well to dip into that the results can sound pretty generic. Request for feedback #1:  On this particular morning, I'm enamored of "An Exaltation of Rockets," but it may not carry the right resonances. I'd be eager to hear from you what your first impression was when you saw that as the post's title. What sort of imagery did it conjure up? What sort of world does it belong to? The prem