Thursday, January 29, 2015

Troll Lords Games Sale

Castles & Crusades is guilty pleasure of mine.

I love the game, but I rarely get a chance to play it.
To me it is the best of D&D 3.x and AD&D 1, all in a really awesome system with great writing and art.

Sadly I hardly ever get to play.  So you can imagine my irritation when Troll Lords puts everything on sale at 60%!

The great thing about Castles & Crusades is that given it's 1st ed and 3rd ed genes it can be used with any OSR or New School game.  In fact a lot of the innovations in D&D 5 have their genesis in C&C.

It really is like a Rosetta Stone system.

So check out their sale.

Check out the prices on the core books.

Castles & Crusades Castle Keepers Guide, $9.33  (normally $39.99)
Castles & Crusades Players Handbook 6th Printing, $8.39  (normally $29.99)
Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure, $8.39  (normally $29.99)

All for $26.11.  That is not a bad deal at all.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Checking in on my Plan

Over the years I have discussed my Plan.  The Plan is what adventures I am going to take my kids through.

For D&D 3.x I was content to take anything as it came, make stuff up and generally going towards a  stopping the cult of Tiamat plot.  It was/has been fun and we are nearing the end of that.

For the new adventures I was looking at 3rd, then 4th, then 1st and now 5th Edition as the primary game system.

At the present here is where I am.
  • B1 Into the Unknown, levels 1-3
  • B2 Keep on the Borderlands, levels 1-3
  • L1 The Secret of Bone Hill, levels 2-4
  • X2 Castle Amber, levels 3-6 (where we are now!)
  • I6 Ravenloft, levels 5-7
  • A0-5 Slave Lords, levels 4-7
  • G123, Against the Giants, levels 8-12 (I also have the Stone Giant one from Dragonsfoot, just need to find it)
  • D12,3 Against the Drow, levels 8,9-14
  • Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits, 10-14
  • CM2 Death's Ride, levels 15-20. (Again, unless I use it in my current 3.x game which the boys want me to do)
If I don't do Death's Ride I am seriously considering the classic H series to go after Orcus.
  • H1 Bloodstone Pass, levels 15+
  • H2 The Mines of Bloodstone, levels 16-18
  • H3 The Bloodstone Wars, levels 17-20
  • H4 The Throne of Bloodstone, levels 18-100
But I would REALLY edit these since they have a lot of issues.  Truthfully my best plan is to just use H4 and add bits from H1-3 and maybe even some stuff from the 4th Ed E-Series.  But that is if I want to have Orcus as the big bad guy at the end.  It has appeal.

Also I have the mind flayer adventure A Darkness Gathering to work into the mix.

It has taken me a while to get through all this because I am alternating with my 3.x game, some AS&SH and other games.

So far the adventures have seemed random and the characters are wandering about.  But they are about to get some items in the X2/I6 series that will help them later on.  

Right now, with out their knowing about it the Drow, Vampires and Illithids have gathered together to put the final phase of their ultimate plan into motion.  The PCs will discover a little of this plan when they encounter the Slavers.  The slavers are all vampires now and they are not dealing in slaves, but human cattle.    After they have defeated them the last part of the bad guys plan comes into fruition.  

The sun goes completely out.  

There is panic. Everyone gathers in the Freecity of Greyhawk.  The Church of Pelor/Ixion is hardest hit, but also the loudest voice.  All the "big names" are there and they are trying to figure out what to do.
There is a plan to set the moon a flame, but the various clergy of the Moon Goddesses are against that.  Finally they agree to instead use a large asteroid to keep life going till they can re-ignite the sun.
While all the big names are trying to figure this out the PCs have to deal with some raids nearby of giants...

The PCs will then go through the GDQ series to discover the plan and that the drow are working with mind flayers.  After defeating Lolth in Q1 the PCs will have to deal with the vampires who have Pelor captured.  In order to re ignite the sun they will need to set him free from his prison in ..... and that is all I have.

Yeah it is kinda story-gamey.  It's my game, my house and my kids. They will eat this up.
I guess it is hard for me to get away from the idea of vampires as the big bads.

Those of you who have been reading this blog a long time might notice that there was a similar plot in my Buffy Season 7 game, Episode 12 No Other Troy.  Though that one the sun being blocked was a side effect. 

I am inclined to use Orcus as the big bad holding Pelor.  
I have a huge ass mini of him and a crap ton of material for him.

But I have also wanted to use Camazotz as the demon-god of Vampires in his abyssal plane of Xibalba.  Maybe I still can use him in some way.  It is possible he is something like a high priest to Orcus and his job is to sacrifice Pelor on a bloody altar.  Once that is done Orcus will suck up his godly powers and reign as the God of Death and Darkness.

And he would have gotten away with it too had it not been for those meddling PCs.

Owl & Weasel Wednesdays: Owl & Weasel Index

Here is an index of all the Owl & Weasel reviews I did over the last year and some change.

O&W #1 April 1975
O&W #2 May 1975
O&W #3 April 1975
O&W #4 May 1975
O&W #5 June 1975
O&W #6 July 1975
O&W #7 August 1975
O&W #8 September 1975
O&W #9 October 1975
O&W #10 November 1975
O&W #11 December 1975
O&W #12 January 1976
O&W #13 February 1976
O&W #14 March 1976
O&W #15 April 1976
O&W #16 May 1976
O&W #17 June 1976
O&W #18 September 1976
O&W #19 October 1976
O&W #20 November 1976
O&W #21 December 1976
O&W #22 January 1977
O&W #23 February 1977
O&W #24 March 1977
O&W #25 April 1977

Here is the index for all the White Dwarf posts.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bundle of Holding: Unisystem

Many  of you know about the Bundle of Holding.  Well the newest one features Unisystem powered games which are some of my favorites.

Here are five games in the starter collection:

  • Conspiracy X 2.0 (retail $17.50): UFO conspiracy in the post-9/11 world. As an agent of Aegis, you're our best hope against the alien threat.
  • CJ Carella's WitchCraft (free): The magical Gifted have been persecuted for centuries. Now, join with your coven-mates to shape the modern world. WitchCraft was the first Unisystem game.
  • Armageddon: The End Times (retail price $15): The Apocalypse has arisen, but not the way anyone predicted. Play as an angel, a demon, or a mortal brave enough to challenge a god.
  • Ghosts of Albion (retail $5): Explore occult Victorian London in this complete RPG (widely regarded as the best version of the Cinematic Unisystem rules) inspired by the 2003 BBCi series co-created by Amber Benson.
  • Terra Primate: Savage adventure in a world where Man is the missing link.

I have gone on and on about my love for these games. Admittedly I am biased.

WitchCraft might just be my most favorite game of all time. In my mind WitchCraft is the perfect game, it has everything I have ever needed in a game.

Armageddon is a "sequel" to WitchCraft. It extends the myths and expands the system to include some greater supernaturals and more metaphysics.  Armageddon isn't a "post apocalyptic" game, you are in the middle of the Apocalypse right now and you have a chance to send the world in a completely new direction.

Conspiracy X 2,.0 updates 90s paranoia to a post 9/11 world. Written by Dave Chapman (of Doctor Who fame) it uses the same system as WC/Arm but presents a very different sort of world.

Terra Primate also uses the same Classic Unisystem rules as WitchCraft, Armageddon, Con X and All Flesh Must Be Eaten.  In this game though all the characters are (or can be) intelligent apes.  Think Planet of the Apes.  Really great and  underrated game.

Ghosts of Albion.  What else can I say about this game?  It's my baby, my magnum opus.  I love that they mention that is is "widely regarded as the best version of the Cinematic Unisystem rules".  If WitchCraft is my favorite game Classic Unisystem game then this is my favorite Cinematic Unisystem game.  In fact I have often said that Ghosts of Albion is my love letter to WitchCraft.

The bonus books are really, really awesome.

  • Conspiracy X Paranormal Sourcebook (retail $17.50): Alien vs. ghost -- who wins? With your luck, you'll be squaring off against them both.
  • Conspiracy X Extraterrestrials Sourcebook (retail $17.50): Planning a close encounter with alien invaders? This is the Conspiracy X sourcebook you need.
  • Mystery Codex (retail $11.50): New WitchCraft skills, powers, metaphysics, and, above all, vampires.
  • Abomination Codex (retail $8): More skills, powers, metaphysics, secret organizations, voodoo magic, and -- because the vampires weren't enough -- were-creatures.

The Con X source books will work with the WitchCraft/Arm ones and visa versa. You just have to figure out how to get the myths of both worlds to interact.
Mystery Codex and Abomination codex are also long out of print, so getting these PDFs is the only way you can get the books now.

So if you don't have these books yet now is a great time to check them out.

I give ALL of them my highest recommendations.
Plus 10% of your contribution goes to the American Cancer Society.  So there is that.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Listserv - Going, Gone

It was going to happen sooner or later, I have to admit it was much, much later than I ever would have thought.

I just got this email from Wizards of the Coast regarding the listserv emails.


On February 15, 2015, Wizards of the Coast will terminate our LISTSERV
system that manages this (and other) mailing lists. We've watched the usage
of these mailing lists dwindle due to the rise of other communication
platforms, such as forums and social media. Given this decreased usage, we
have made the decision that it was time to turn them off.

Please take these two weeks to back up or archive any emails you wish to
keep. After February 15, 2015, they will no longer be available and these
lists will cease to function.

—Wizards of the Coast
So the communication tool that began with (remember that?) and once was the primary voice of TSR (and later WotC) on the internet is now slipping away to join other relics of the 90s tech like the TSR pages on AOL  and Compuserv.

Frankly I am surprised they were still active, though the MYSTARA-L list was pretty much active the entire time I have been on it. That dates back to the early 90s.

So I don't have a good song to toast the life and death of the Listserv, so the Dropkick Murphys will have to do.   Going out in style.

BTW. Anyone know who the girl is this video?  The one in the screen grab above.

Satanic Panic!

I am fascinated with with the Satanic Panic of the early 80s.  Partially because I lived through it but also as someone who isn't religious I found the whole "panic" to be very confusing.
Here is an article that covers part of it.  D&D makes brief cameo.

A Brief History Of "Satanic Panic" In The 1980s

To get an idea of how serious people took this stuff here are a few other posts I made with links to articles and videos.,  Turmoil in the Toybox videos.
Here is a direct link to the D&D video (starting around 3:30)

And a few other videos I have watched, but not otherwise shared.

I LOVE that he used my Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of the cover of Dark Dungeons track.  It is too bad that no more of this series was produced.  I also got a kick out some of the picture of old D&D stuff.  He had another series on his older account.
The first one is here: (the production values are a bit low).
There is a playlist by another user of all these videos, warning there is a lot of crazy here.

I have to admit my own (at the time) anti-theism influenced my early D&D games.  So lots of undead, demons and (you guessed it) witches.  An immature reaction? Yeah. of course! But I was a teen at the time; by definition, immature.

It has though been fruitful in one respect, I have a ton of material that I wrote back then that I'd love to pull out sometime.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Zatannurday: Zatanna Bishoujo Statue

Once again, I have to give a shout out to my buddy Calvin up at the Cave of Cool for finding this for me.

It is not due out till late September of 2015.  But I am thinking pre-ordering is a good idea.

I noticed there was a Batwoman one as well.  But I can't justify getting two. I can barely justify getting one!  At least there is a good reason for Zatanna to be wearing high-heeled boots; she is a stage performer and this is a costume.  Batwoman should be wearing red combat boots.

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