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Tag Archives: D&D

The Excellent Travelling Volume is a print-only Tékumel fanzine by James Maliszewski, offering up a host of content for Empire of the Petal Throne. James’ work tends to be polished and thoughtfully considered, and that’s a big part of what I like about it. I wanted to see how that translated into a zine, and […]

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I picked up Judges Guild’s Field Guide to Encounters[1] (paid link) mainly because I’d heard it was full of funny monsters (think April issue of Dragon Magazine, but weirder), and because of its glorious cover. I went in expecting to enjoy the funny bits, but not find much I could actually use — but the […]

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I’m almost out of Judges Guild Campaign Hexagon Sub-System books to try out, but I’ve saved one of the most fun-looking volumes for today: Temple Book I. (Curious about past entries? Check out all of the “Let’s roll up a…” posts.) Like the rest of the Campaign Hexagon books, the random tables from Temple Book […]

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I was poking through Dave Arneson‘s The First Fantasy Campaign[1] the other day and happened across a section I’d never looked at before: Gypsy Sayings & Chance Cards. The sayings don’t mesh well with my GMing style (they remind me of Ravenloft’s Tarrokka Deck (paid link), a 2e product revived for 5e), but the Chance Cards […]

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My copy of Delving Deeper just came in the mail, and after a thorough skim I quite like it. I was after a retroclone that hews as closely as possible to OD&D[1], and at first blush DD seems to fit the bill. But when I got to the section on dungeon stocking, it looked pretty […]

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I love hit points. They’re a brilliant abstraction, though often misunderstood, and they work beautifully in play. I double-super-love that in OD&D, how you roll them for your character is completely open to interpretation. I don’t think that’s been true since the late 1970s, as each edition since has spelled things out much more clearly. […]

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I just started reading William Hope Hodgson‘s 1912 weird fiction work The Night Land (paid link ; also available as a free ebook). I’m interested in it in large part because the setting sounds fabulous — and rather well-suited to gaming. I say “sounds” because I’m not that far into the book yet. It’s a […]

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It’s 1977. D&D is wild and wonderful and everyone’s doing their own thing. So much so, in fact, that in that same year two people published alternate versions of one of the core mechanics of old-school D&D: earning XP for treasure. In 1977, Dave Arneson, co-creator of D&D, and Jon Pickens, who later became an […]

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The Judges Guild Campaign Hexagon Sub-System has been a hoot so far (here are all of my “Let’s roll up a…” posts), so I’ve got high hopes for Island Book I. I was a bit disappointed to see that it only has three pages of tables (fewer than Castle Book I or Book II, or […]

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While reading Chris Kutalik’s excellent blog, Hill Cantons, I found myself thinking, “Why the hell don’t I own any of his books?” So I ordered three of them in print: Slumbering Ursine Dunes, Fever-Dreaming Marlinko, and the Hill Cantons Compendium. (While I was waiting for them to arrive, I also blogged about his killer series […]

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