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Tag Archives: osr

Thinking about an RPG for my kids

My son is two and a half. There’s some time until I can introduce him to roleplaying games. Right now he’s into puzzles, tractors, and fire engines. I think if I was introducing RPGs to him any time soon he’d be more interested in putting out fires,  moving hay balls with a tractor, and dragging cars out of holes. That’s what his current plays are like right now.

It’s quite fascinating to see really. We were perfectly prepared to accept even girlish interests from his side, but from a very early time on he was all about wheels and big machines. His favorite place to go to after nursery is the train station. His grand dad is absolutely awesome because he owns a tractor. And so on.

So… I won’t be playing RPGs with him any time soon. Even video games are not his bag yet, although I did have some success with having him play the opening stage of Ecco the Dolphin. You know, the part where you swim in the ocean, look at fish, jump out of the water with your friends, before aliens come and kidnap your pod and you have to rescue them.

Ecco is kind of a weird game.

In any case, I don’t have a regular game, and it’s some time until I can play with my kids, so of course I am thinking how to introduce stuff to them.

And of course I am thinking old school D&D. Maybe with a board and a dungeon. Maybe with Legos. Maybe with other minis.

I was actually thinking about doing it like a boardgame first. There are a few board games that do the dungeon exploration game quite nice (I own both Hero Quest and Descent), but I was considering doing this as a game on a hexmap. Something along the lines of Talisman or Barbarian Prince. This is for kids after all.

Think about it like this: the players get a map of an area on a hexmap, they have some starting point, and they get miniatures to play with, and they get some very basic quest in the beginning, and then they get going. Depending on the size of the hexes they get a certain amount of movement points per day, they can move that many hexes, and every hex has a base chance for an encounter. Ideally I would have some key encounter areas figured out before, and even if not, I would have encounter tables.

This is all not too different from actual D&D, the rules would have to be pared down a bit, options would have to be cut, and allowances would have to be given for creativity from the players. He doesn’t have the cultural references that the rest of the world has yet. He doesn’t know what elves and dwarves are. So one would have to think about that.

It might be a nice little game.

Glorious Free Stuff

 

The last few days I somehow ended up delving into the free and pay what you want sections on rpgnow and drivethrurpg (what exactly is the difference between those two actually?). And there were some treasures to be found.

newsies-and-bootblacks-roleplaying-gameNewsies and Bootblacks

In which players play children having adventures in a world not unlike ours at the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th century.

230 pages, rather simple mechanics, and free. Link

 

 

 

 

 

quillQuill: a letter-writing roleplaying game for a single player

This one takes the whole play-by-mail idea to the top. You aren’t even supposed to have another player, you are just supposed to write letters and see how well you do with them.

Created by Trollish Delver, 16 pages, multiple supplements, can be had for free (well, Pay What You Want) on drivethrurpg

 

 

 

190792Romance of the Perilous Land

And another one from Trollish Delver. This one is basically a stripped down OSR system, with the Britain as the setting of choice. Magic is rare, as are monsters. If you were looking for a low-fantasy/chivalric RPG…

52 pages, for free on drivethrurpg

 

 

 

 

 

crusader-statesCrusader States – Hex Grid Map

Exactly what it says on the tin. A map of the crusader states circa 1135AD. And some additional color plates with the coats of arms of the states in question.

4 pages, but detailed map. Pay What You Want on drivethrurpg.

 

 

 

 

 

convictsConvicts & Cthulhu

Roleplaying cthulhoid horror in the Australian penal colonies of the 18th century. As if dealing with cthulhoid monstrosities is not bad enough, you gotta deal with Australian wildlife as well…

98 gorgeous pages by Cthulhu Reborn, either as Pay What You Want, or as a softcover book, drivethrurpg.

Bonus: a fillable pdf character sheet for the setting, for CoC 7th ed.

[Tools] Old School Tool

Now that is something nice I came across today when looking through the categories at Sourceforge (I was looking for a task managing tool that could sync with Google Tasks, I ended up in the Games section…): a Java based  GM screen tool for AD&D or OSRIC (although it can be adapted for 2e and 3e). Java-based means it will run pretty much on every system that has Java on it, and GM Screen tool means it is supposed to replace the usual paper one with some additional functionality.

Even better it is actually quite customizable, with all the tables in the program being changeable and extensible as far as I have seen. So if I wanted, for example, to use the whole thing for my campaign and I had specific armour for my campaign that was not in the OSRIC book, I could add it easily via the main window to have it accessible in the GM screen window during actual play.

That GM screen window is actually what this is about: the window can be used as a convenient GM screen that allows to look up stuff and calculate things on the fly. The combat and save tables can be found in there, as can the magic item tables, and the latter ones can generate treasures on the fly. Neat. I might think about using this during my next game.

What the whole program is not is a replacement for actual rules, or for a real campaign planner. This program is only there to help during the game. Considering that I already have been using my notebook as a DM screen I think this program might make the whole thing a bit easier.

[Tools] OSR Search

By the way, did anyone already mention the OSR Search to you?

It’s a search engine that searches only Old School Renaissance sources (mostly blogs). So if anyone would like to find if anyone else has already written about a specific topic already (very likely by the way…), it might be interesting to look here first.

Not that it should keep you from writing about the topic, but it might give some insight into what other people have said about that topic before.