Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Vision Map 2019

A while back I posted a Vision Map of OSR projects I'm working on. My original goal was to finish them in 2018, but that was a bit ambitious. Here it is halfway through 2019 and how are these projects coming along?
I went through the various documents and artwork to see where things are at. I have a terrible habit, instead of working serial: one project at a time until completion, I tend to work parallel: jumping from project to project as whim and inspiration comes along. So here is a visualization of where these parallel projects are at. The good news is two of them have been completed! Beasties II and Knight Hawks.

If you are interested in any of these and want to see their development, and even help in playtests and early previews you can sign up for my Patreon and get access, along with other rewards. Patreon.com/ThomasDenmark

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Origin of the Basic D&D "Known World" or Mystara Setting

Black Gate got a great scoop on the origin of Mystara, the default fantasy campaign setting for basic D&D.

Lawrence Schick says:
In early ’74 Tom [Moldvay] came back from an SF convention with Dungeons & Dragons in its original white box edition. He DMed a session, I DMed a session, and suddenly we knew what we were going to create together: a fantasy world setting for D&D.
We were both nuts about Clark Ashton Smith, Tom was a Michael Moorcock and Philip José Farmer fanatic, while I could quote chapter and verse from the works of Jack Vance and Fritz Leiber. So we knew what we wanted to create: a single world setting that would enable us to simulate the fictional realities of these, our favorite authors.
Read the full text here:


Knight Hawks, the first expansion for Colonial Troopers

Knight Hawks, the first expansion for my sci-fi game Colonial Troopers has been released. I made a fun cheesy little promo video to give you the gist of what the book is about. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/280570/Colonial-Troopers-Knight-Hawks

Monday, April 22, 2019

Read Wormy from First to Last

Happy Birthday Dave Trampier!

Dave and I have something in common, we share the same birthdate. I was reminiscing about the Wormy comic strip and found this website that compiled them all together in an easy to read format. You can start from the very first one and just hit Next to see the next one. You can get through the entire run rather quickly and appreciate just how great this strip was and also see Dave's artistic growth. The artwork starts out good and by the end is truly remarkable!

So, celebrate Dave's birthday with me and read Wormy.



Tuesday, March 26, 2019

A Chainmail Retro-Clone

I've been playing around with the idea of creating a Chainmail retro-clone. Now that Beasties II is done, this is the next book on my schedule. The original book itself, like all early TSR products, is a scattershot with random organization. For example poring over the text for information on any unit type shows bits of valuable game information scattered across various tables and sections.

A while back I did a little personal project to reformat the original Chainmail to make it more useful for my gaming group. Since Chainmail is not public domain I couldn't disseminate it, other than showing a few fair use page examples (I was even warned on one forum not to post any more images of it).

I wouldn't be the first to make a retro-clone of Chainmail. There is Grognard which you can learn about here. Also there is Platemail, and the excellent Swordplay & Spellcraft that takes it into an RPG direction. There are probably others I don't know about. Grognard is closest to what I envision for a retro-clone as it stays close to the source mechanically, but it doesn't get the aesthetic quality I'm seeking. So here is a little example. This takes all the information of an Anti-Hero unit, puts it all together into one stat block with a cool illustration to decorate it.

Division: Chaos
Point Value: 20
Combat 1:20: 4 figures as unit type +1 die (see below)

Combat 1:1: 4 figures as unit type (see below)
Combat FC: Hero
Hit Points: 4
Move: see below
Charge: see below
Road bonus: as unit type
Missile Range: by weapon type
Morale: n/a

Special Abilities:
Never need to check morale.
Add 1 to dice of their unit for 1:20 combat results.
Last figure in unit to be killed by regular missile fire or melee.
May engage in regular melee with normal troops, 1:1 combat with other heroes/anti-heroes, or engage with fantastic creatures on Fantasy Combat table. (See below)
A Hero-type, armed with a bow, shoots a dragon passing within range overhead out of the air and kills it on a two dice roll of 10 or better (9 or better when firing an enchanted arrow).
Anti-heroes have the fighting ability of four figures. Their class of figure is dependent on the arms and equipment of the Anti-hero types themselves, who can range from Light Foot to Heavy Horse.
Melee (1:20) Combat: Anti-heroes are the equivalent of 4 figures. They move, charge, fire missiles, attack and defend per their class. When meleed by regular troops, four simultaneous kills must be scored against Anti-heroes to eliminate them. Otherwise, there is no effect upon them.
Man to Man (1:1) Combat: Similar to Melee Combat.
Fantasy Combat: Anti-heroes may be attacked individually by enemy troops of like type (such as other Hero-types) or creatures shown on the Fantasy Combat Table. Anti-heroes may act independent of their command in order to combat some other fantastic character.