martedì 29 marzo 2016

Dragons from Brazil

Two OSR Dragons were born in Brazil, they hatched in the comfortable caverns under RedBox Edition.

I bought them in pdf format from their online store (hoping that it will become simpler in the next days).

The first one is a fantasy rpg "Old Dragon", this one I also printed out (I can just skim pdf but to really read something I have to print it.... ok I am not really into portuguese but I can get around a bit to get what is going on.

I must say that this is not a review but just "first impressions" from reading here and there. But I am getting really good vibe from this two games.

Old Dragon is a clever mix of Swords & Sorcery, 3rd edition and BECM plus something new and fresh. 

You get the classical six attributes and bonus like in 3rd edition (+1 each 2 point over 10, bonus spell for high Int or Wis) and from previous editions (% bonus to thief abilities, % to know spells, % of resurrection, % bonus to reaction, a bonus to the number of undead turned by clerics based on Charisma).

There are the 4 classical races: human, dwarf, elf and halfling (each get a +2/-2 to one attribute, human get to chose where) with the usual special abilities, there are no level limits and no multiclassing.

Hit dice are like in Ad&D (Cleric d8, thief d6, mages d4, fighter d10 - but not elf fighters), the classes are the four basic classes but each of them have 2 or more specialization that can be taken around 5th level, such specialization work like the druid and knight/avenger of BECM (you get some powers at higher levels).

Each classes have a To hit Bonus and a Saving Throw (only one like in Swords & Sorcery), the interesting thing is the progression of the To Hit that is quick up to 10th level and then slow down (so a Fighter will have +10/+4 at 10th level but only +15/+9 at 20th level - in the tables the Fighter is the only one to have double bonus).

Clerical spells go up to 7th level, Mages spells to 9th.... there are monsters, spells, magical objects and rules for the Master. The game is complete in 150 pages plus appendix...

We have the classical Law, Neutral and Chaos alignment.

In the monster section we also get old buddy Cthulhu

As you can see even at first glance the game is a lot of old school fun... but the Old Dragon is not the only Dragon as we said.

Indeed the nice people from RedBox Edition also get us Space Dragon a pulp space opera osr rpg based on the same overall system (with adjustments) of the Old Dragon rule set.

In this second game we get 3 races (human, android and mutants), Science take the place of Wisdom and Comunication the place of Charisma. We also get 4 classes (Scientist - that can deactivate robots instead of turning undead, Prowler - a thief, spy and pirate, SpaceMan - pilots and fighters, Mentalist) like in old dragon each class get specialization based on affiliation that get alignments in space, you can be Lealist, Neutral or Rebel.

Then we have spaceships, aliens, relics, powers and all that you need for your pulp space opera rpg in less than 200 pages.

This two games are a steal at less 4 euro/dollar each (consider that the price of both manual in pdf is 12.90 R$ and each US$ or Euro is worth around 4 R$, a R$ is the Brazilian Real, for the two books 25.80 R$ I cached out 6.59 Euro), I suggest you to add this fine OSR books to your rpg collections....

My beautiful printed copy
Interior art

I have to add that a new edition boxed set of Old dragon is coming (that is a box with the rules and some additional goodies as was explained by Fabiano Neme - one of the authors - in the comments), you can find the news here: Old Dragon New Boxed set 

with new logo and graphics and a new print of the bestiary with a hard cover (capa dura!)... looking forward to getting also the new edition new printed versions!

mercoledì 16 marzo 2016

The Martial Elf an ACKS Wednesday post

Martial Elf
Not all elf are innate arcane caster, a long time ago an elf Senate decided to devote their society to develop the art of fighting.

Their longevity and connection with nature helped them to become great fighters.

This article (the second of the ACKS Wednesday) present a variant elf race using the rules of the Adventurer Conqueror King System (as seen in the ACKS Player's Companion book also considering the additional information from the Autarch Forums.

One of the thing that made me think of this is the fact that doing a martial elf let you build the canonical elven racial classes (or something very similar) and that even if the possibility of doing an Elf(mage)/Divine caster has always been there it's not a very popular choice. Indeed instead of creating an elven mage/cleric it was preferred to create a new race, the Nobirean, in the ACKS Player's Companion to fit the idea of a race/class that could mix arcane and divine casting.

And I must also cite the beautiful articles on Divine Elves by M. Blackburn who helped me think of doing a martial version of this great and proud race.

Martial Elves

When building an elven custom class, assign between 0 and 4
build points to the class’s Elf Value.

At Martial Elf 0, all elves gain the
following five elven custom powers:

  1. Attunement to Nature: All elves gain a +1 bonus to surprise rolls when in the wilderness.
  2. Elf Tongues: All elves speak four bonus languages: Elf, Gnoll, Hobgoblin, and Orc.
  3. Keen Eyes: All elves detect hidden and secret doors with a proficiency throw of 8+ on 1d20 when actively searching, or 14+ on casual inspection. 
  4. Connection to Nature: All elves are unaffected by the paralysis ghouls can inflict, and gain a +1 bonus on saving throws versus Petrification/Paralysis and Spells.
  5. Animal Friendship: Whenever elves build fastnesses, all ordinary animals within 5 miles of the stronghold become kind and helpful to the elves.
  6. Longevity: All Elves characters are ageless and enjoy a lifespan three times longer than that of normal men.
XP cost
Elf + d8 + Fighting 2
Elf + d6 + Fighting 2
Elf + d6 + Fighting 1a
Elf + Fighting 1a

Racial Classes

What follows are just some notes on what kind of racial classes can be created for the Martial Elves. More details in future post.

Arcane Sword: Elf 3 + Mage 4 (this is very similar to the canonical ACKS Spellsword)
Arcane Gladius: Elf 2 + Mage 4 (this is very similar to the previous with the ability of doing rituals)
Force of Nature: Elf 4 + Divine 2 (trade off turn undead, spells like shaman/druid)
Night Knife: Elf 2 + Mage 2 + Thief 2 (this is very similar to the ACKS Nightblade)
Ambassador: Elf 2 + Mage 2 + Thief 1 (this is similar to the courtesan)
Forest Guardian: Elf 4 + Thief 2 (power trade off for advanced bowery and ranger abilities)
High Guardian: Elf 4 + Fighting 1 + HD 1 (this means hd d10 and fight progression as monsters)

As for arcane/divine casting the Martial Elf can go for: Elf 2 + Mage 2 + Divine 2 for full divine casting and half arcane casting.

Martial elves

martedì 15 marzo 2016

L'Era di Zargo il vincitore

Come annunciato nel post L'Era di Zargo i risultati del concorso della settimana scorsa ecco il vincitore del concorso L'Era di Zargo.

I partecipanti:
  1. Fanti "Maxwell" Massimiliano: L'Era di Zargo (LEDZ) recensione
  2. Alessandro Viola su Caponata Meccanica: L'Era di Zargo è sempre il presente
  3. GdR Italia: L'Era di Zargo the appreciation day
  4. Antiche Leggende: L'Era di Zargo e la maledizione della scatola rossa
Il lancio del d4 d'ordinanza stabilisce che il vincitore è: 
  1. Fanti "Maxwell" Massimiliano: L'Era di Zargo (LEDZ) recensione
cui chiedo di fornirmi in privato l'indirizzo cui mandare la copia de L'Era di Zargo tramite Amazon :)

mercoledì 9 marzo 2016

Holy Magic an ACKS Wednesday post

This post is the first of what should become a series of articles dedicated to one of the most interesting simulacrum game of the OSR scene.

The game is Adventurer Conqueror King System (or ACKS in brief), we already have done a short review of the system in the article Adventurer Conqueror King or Diocletian D&D.

One of the most interesting aspects of the system is the attention to details and the great quantity of tools to create balanced content for the game and the total backward compatibility with the original games (as presented in the B/X version).

While some of this tools are present in the ACKS book (specially for the handling of dominions, spell research, magical object costruction and monsters creation) a lot more are presented in the ACKS Player's Companion book where we find complete rules for creating classes, races and spells.

An ulterior step forward in this direction was presented by the Autarch Patreon and is a fantastic tool to create an original magic system balanced with the ones presented in past and future ACKS book. This new tool is the Creating a Custom Magic Type (accessible only to supporter, but you can be a supporter only for 1$ so what are you waiting for? In this months we supporter got also shaded magic, mage class, overcasting, arcanogenesis and other ACKS goodness).

And by using this Magic Type creation tool you can do a lot of things, like creating an Holy Magic Type.

Among the many things I like of the ACKS rules is the magic system, specially the one of wizards who works like sorcerer in the d20 system, with the difference that prepared spell can be changed (albeit at an high cost), what I don't really like is the difference with the clerical magical system which is similar but with an expanded list of "prepared" spell (all spell in the cleric list, which are 10 and are all considered prepared for the cleric, this list can be changed only with magical research), other divine caster have a longer list (but they have stricter codes of conduct). So I got the idea of changing the clerical magic system with one that keeps the same spells (and spells cost for calculating the level of new spells) but has the same "repertoire" of the wizard class (the number of spell slots + the characteristic bonus).

Holy Magic for ACKS

This system of magic use only one of the many possibilities offered by the Custom Magic creation article, and with just a little change we have a completely different flavor for the magic present in the list of divine classes.

The differences

The Holy Magic type is the same of Divine magic but instead of being a Prayerful magic type it's a Studious magic type. This means that the Holy caster will have Int and Wis prime requisite and the repertoire will be limited to the number of spells/day plus the bonus of Int or Wis (the lowest one), but the Holy caster can change the spells into its repertoire as all Studious caster. The spell that are in the Holy caster list are all the divine spells (Cleric, Shaman, Witch, Bladedancer and so on), plus the one built with the Holy multiplier (same of the Divine one). Obviously the Holy caster will need an Holy Spell book to keep tracks of the holy spirit of his spell just as an arcane caster has a spell book.

Holy Magic can be used in two principal ways:

  • to create new classes that use Holy Magic,
  • to modify existing divine classes in holy classes

martedì 8 marzo 2016

L'Era di Zargo i risultati del concorso

Per il concorso indetto per "L'Era di Zargo Appreciation Day" abbiamo avuto una bella risposta dagli amici di tanti blog.

Prima di proclamare il vincitore del manuale (estratto a sorte tra i partecipanti) lascerò questo post per qualche giorno nel caso avessi dimenticato qualcuno o commesso qualche altra distrazione.

Se qualcuno ha postato qualcosa entro i termini del concorso e non risulta nella lista che segue risponda a questo post segnalandomi la svista.

Hanno partecipato al concorso:

Hanno (non) partecipato
E dunque per completare questo concorso vi invito a segnalarmi se ci sono stati altri partecipanti che mi sono sfuggiti.

Una volta individuato il vincitore mi dovrà indicare l'indirizzo a cui far spedire la copia cartacea del gioco (da

Mappa della Corona Litica