Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Well Deserved Shout Out

Over at the Tales to Astound! blog a group of guys at my forum get a shout out!  An OSR Forum Makes a Subsector and a well deserved shout out at that. Tales to Astound! quotes from one of the guys (The author of  The BLUEHOLME™ Project) at The Ruins of Murkhill forum who posted this:

Inspired by the Traveller Out-of-the-Box posts on the Tales to Astound! blog and makofan‘s post on the OD&D Discussion forum, what do you think of our chances of putting together a subsector based on the 1977 LBBs? I know we’re a small community, but the recent one-page setting contest seems to show there is enough will and talent here. The only question is whether you’d all be interested in doing something like this for old-school CT.

The idea is that I would prepare the blank map using only the random method in LBB3 (including ’77-style space lanes), and everyone would take it from there to develop their own clusters or individual worlds (in communication with your neighbours if you feel so inclined – we found this was the most fun part when we developed the Spica Sector for Spica Publishing years ago).

This is the way it is supposed to work people get inspired to DIY whatever they want by something here and something there! If you have a passion, keeping posting - you never know who or what you may inspire in this wide spread hobby of ours! This project is down in our Rules/Campaigns Projects forum and is titled Space: 1977.

To quote Tales to Astound!:

I can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


I have been meaning to write about BLUEHOLME™ for sometime now, but had never gotten around to it. So now the time is "write" and away we go. There are many other games I want to write about and, time permitting, eventually I will. There is no particular order in which I do these things nor is there any particular order to when and which blogs I highlight. I just go as the winds of the cosmos move me.

Back on 20 September, 2012, the owner of Dreamscape Design (and blog writer) posted on the topic of "Blueholme: A Simulacrum". He had discovered the Holmes edition of D&D and he said this: After
reading all about it, I was shocked, nay dismayed, to find that there has never been a legitimate OGL clone! This must make it unique among the editions.
And so, in just a short while, I will give you – BLUEHOLME™, the Free Fantasy Adventure Game, for 1st to 3rd level characters!
Thusly, he proceeded to write and publish what is know as the BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Edition or BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules. This version covers the first three levels of play as does the Holmes D&D itself. This was originally going to be a "No Art" pdf, but then some great people in the community hooked him up with links to free public domain art. Here is the image for the cover of this edition: 

By that point he was already thinking of the BLUEHOLME™ Compleat Edition which would cover play above third level. 

Then on 24 November 2012, he posted this update, BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules: Spells Preview as he was trying to get it finished and up at RPGNOW for Christmas. He did get it uploaded before Christmas and then had a little bit of fun getting it moved to active status so people could get it, and it went live on 10 January 2013. He also released BLUEHOLME™ The Maze of Nuromen an introductory adventure. 

Then the reviews: 

Over at Adventures and Shopping they said:
This is an easy to play, simulacrum of a hotly debated D&D transitional system.
I'm still flipping through my copy. Impressive. A worthy addition to the collection - looks pretty loyal to the J Eric Holmes ruleset.
Over at The World Beyond they said: 
Now... the only thing missing is some ole players from 1982 and a print-on-demand version :-) Have a look and see what you think. 
 Over at Dispatches From Kickassistan they said:
 ...every review that I write (maybe the word "review" is wrong; "educated opinion" is more accurate) is inspired by that work in that the work actually managed to inspire me to write about it, rather than it just being something I've read to review.
The presentation is clean and neat, the ruleset exceptionally clearly defined and well-organized.
...but yet retains a solid feeling of uniqueness and character that feels scholarly and sophisticated, as if high-brow-ifying Holmes Basic. And why not? Why can't the scholarly effort of Dr. Holmes to clarify OD&D be celebrated in a sophisticated, erudite retroclone?
 In fact, if Dreamscape Design ever does the Prentice Rules in POD, I will be one of the first guys in line. In fact, I'll take two. At least.
I find myself in agreement with the above reviews, it is indeed very well done. 

Then in this post BLUEHOLME™ Compleat: In Progress  he begins to give us teasers about what will be in the final version. (Also he notes that you will only need this one book to play from 1st to 14th level.)  In a 17 March 2013 progress report, he notes that the BLUEHOLME™  Prentice Edition had at that point gone well past 1000 downloads and that the adventure Maze of Nuromen, was doing nearly as well. Then on 7 April 2013 he announces the cover for the Compleat Edition:

 Art work by Mr Jean-Francois Beaulieu.

On 20 October 2013 as he writes the final chapter of the Compleat version he announces:
BH1: The Shrine of Sobek, will be a (free) stand-alone module featuring a step-by-step example of those rules in practice. The contents of the latter as of this moment feature a small beginner’s Underworld maze, a campaign map and a section of the Wilderness between the Shrine and the character’s home base, and the base itself: Blueholme, a small frontier port town at the north-western edge of the Realm.
Then on 26 December 2013 he posts:
As you probably know by now, the Holmes manuscript revelations on the Zenopus Archives Blog have set up a mini-earthquake in the BLUEHOLME™  Compleat Rules.
And he tell us of the revisions he is making as a result of having more of Professor Holmes own words to work with. On 5 January 2014 he provides Ye Compleat List of Creatures. He has some intervening Real Life events that slow things down, and he also does an update to tidy up the BLUEHOLME™  Prentice Edition. He also works on more adventure modules. The BLUEHOLME™  Prentice Edition 2nd printing was completed and available as of  18 October, 2014 along with a new cover:

On 25 November, 2014 he receeived his proof copy of the softcover POD version of BLUEHOLME™  Prentice Edition 2nd printing and by 19 December 2014 they went on sale at Lulu. Then for the next several months updated are published concerning all of the projects that the author has underway.

On 30 December 2015, he tells us the Compleat edition is nearing completion with the help of many proofreaders and play-testers, along with more original art to complement the cover. Yea, play-testers; how cool is that. Then on 26 March, 2016 he announces that there will also be forthcoming a BLUEHOLME™Journeymanne Rules that will be somewhat in between the Prentice and the Compleat Rules. 

As an aside in early Feb 2016 Kickstarter was run for a game called The Black Hack (based on OD&D - but ultra light) and it was released on sale as of 23 March 2016. Our BLUEHOLME™ author was intrigued and started working on a little experiment called BLUEHACK™ which is a mashup of Holmes D&D and The Black Hack. As I write this it is my understanding that BLUEHACK™ will be released in the not too distant future and then we should find out about proposed release dates for the BLUEHOLME™Journeymanne Rules, BLUEHOLME™ Compleat Rules as well as the modules that are also in progress.

Again I am really impressed that play-testing is being done and that our author is also working a full time job, is married and has a family. I look forward to his next update as I also await his new products.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Telecanter Talks About How He Generates Ideas

Something that I think everyone who runs an old school OD&D game or other game and creates you own stuff, is always searching for ideas and trying to create new things to keep the game fresh. We all have our own methods of doing this.
In between games I read everything I can make time to read. I take a thread of a theme or idea and I pursue that, tracking down everything I can learn about it. I think and meditate about it. When I am driving to work and back I often run ideas back and forth in my head to find the ones that grab me. I try to get them written down as soon as I can. I don't know about you, but I am at my most creative in the game as the referee. My mind works best when I have to create on the fly and I like it when my players do something crazy and unexpected and strike off into the unknown.

Let me point you to the blog Telecanter's Receding Rules and his essay titled Generating Ideas.

In the essay he covers the following areas:
It's counter-intuitive, but putting constraints or boundaries on a topic is helpful.
Once you start producing ideas, you can look for patterns in them that you can then use to come up with even more ideas.
Associative Leaps
This whole post is based on the idea of logically figuring out how we generate things and then using it.
I hate the word inspiration.
Incremental Improvement
You don't have to get the whole idea on the first go. 
The Brain is a Muscle
The more we do this kind of generating, the easier it is to produce things in these ways.  

Go check out his essay, and let me know if you know of other essays on the subject, if you please.

Treasure Hunters - Completed & Scott Anderson Starts a New Project

I have been following the game Treasure Hunters by Scott Anderson for some time and I believe it is time to post an update.

Treasure Hunters Prolix Edition final edit has been released. Treasure Hunters Players Rules  was released on July 10th, 2016 and Treasure Hunters Referee's Companion was released on July 11th, 2016. Right after that he started on Treasure Hunters Basic Edition and he released Treasure Hunters Basic Odd Men & Monsters as a prelude to the new edition.

Then on August the 5th he updated the project and Treasure Hunters Basic is now MYTHICAL JOURNEYS and the current version of the work in progress Mythical Journeys Adventure Game is made available for your perusal. He also in this most recent post critiques the game and notes some of the changes he intends to make.

 Check out the game and if you are moved to give the author some feedback.

A sample from the soon to be released El Raja Key Archive DVD

A sample image from the soon to be published El Raja Key Archive DVD has been posted by the author (Robert J Kuntz) at his blog here.  The sample image is from the "Ruins of Seer" a massive Greyhawk Adventure written BitD (1983-1985) by Rob Kuntz but never published.

This is just one of 1100 files on the DVD.

Great Resources From Recent Posts Around the RPG Blogosphere

As some of you may know, I read a log of blogs; however, I read so many that sometimes I get behind on it. Today I am fairly current and I wanted to share a few links to essays on a couple of blogs with you:

At Swords & Stitchery - Old Time Sewing & Table Top Rpg Blog  I found these: 

Six More Public Domain OSR Resources For Your Old School Campaigns.
Six Free Public Domain Resources Perfect For The Lamentations of the Flame Princess Rpg System or Your Old School Campaigns  
1d30 Random Infernal Mutations Table For Your Old School Campaigns  

At Telecanter's Receding Rules I found these:
Geographic Wonders Compilation
compiled from
Wonders Worth Exploring For
Wonders Worth Exploring For cont.
Sandbox Wonders cont.
Sandbox Wonders 3
Sandbox Wonders 4
Sandbox Wonders 5
Sandbox Wonders 6
Sandbox Wonders 7
Sandbox Wonders 8
Sandbox Wonders 9
Sandbox Wonders 10
Sandbox Wonders 11
Sandbox Wonders 12
Sandbox Wonders 13
Sandbox Wonders 14 
Sandbox Wonders 15  

I hope these things inspire you to take all of this and put your own twist on it and make it your own for you campaign. When you do remember these two fellow travelers and raise a toast to them.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Update on The RJK DVD Collection - Titled "El Raja Key Archive" 8/2/2016

I received the following most recent update from Rob about the "El Raja Key Archive" this morning and with his permission I am quoting his entire message here.

Rob Says: 
Thanks to all those who showed interest in this project.  It is one or two nights away from being completed.  The interface is really cool, with a splash page of my Castle El Raja Key, a great cascading view to view thumbnail image files and choose amongst them, hype-linked files, and over 50,000 words of descriptions, Preface, Forward, How to Use, etc.  It's been one hell of a project that stretches back to its earliest file which is dated 1971. I know everyone who appreciates the History of D&D and the earliest items and facts associated with it will enjoy this product for years to come. 
 To which I say, Wow!! 50,000 words just for the descriptions of files and they date all the way back to 1971!! I am looking forward to checking out all 1100 files.