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Posts Tagged ‘adventures’

If you’re into roleplaying games, that is. Following a review at James Maliszewski’s Grognardia blog, I took a chance on the latest issue of Knockspell, a print and PDF quarterly journal from Black Blade Publishing for the “old school revival” or “retro-Dungeons and Dragons” segment of the hobby. From what I gather, BBP specifically focuses on supporting clones of first edition AD&D and the original three booklet D&D, such as OSRIC and Swords and Wizardry, respectively.

Anyway, I’ve so far read only the adventures in the issue, but I’m very impressed. I was particularly taken with Jeffrey Talanian’s Rats in the Walls, an homage to one of my favorite H.P. Lovecraft stories. Dark fantasy at its best, it succeeded in capturing the feel of Lovecrafts’ Dreamlands or Clark Ashton Smith’s Zul-Bha-Sair, or the more modern works of Tanith Lee and Michael Moorcock. In fact, the setting screams out to be part of Moorcock’s Million Spheres setting. If I were to run this, I’d most likely use Stormbringer or WFRP 1E rules, rather than a D&D retro-clone. That’s not a knock on those systems, just a reflection of my own tastes.

Knockspell is available as a $5 PDF or a $10 perfect-bound magazine. If you’re into retro-D&D games or looking for ideas for almost any fantasy system, give it a try. I bet you’ll like it.

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I thought I had scored a bargain on eBay: two almost-legendary adventure modules for D&D and other roleplaying games, Plague of Terror and Street of Gems, from an obscure Maine publisher called The Companions. Part of their Islandia campaign (a world designed by taking a topographic map of Maine and flooding it to the 500′ mark), these were eyeopening products for me: detailed settings, believable motives and plans for the non-player characters, and timelines of how things would proceed if they players didn’t interfere. Yet they didn’t restrict the players in any way: they were free to do what they wanted, and the world would go on around them.

So, when I saw good copies of these two up for auction, I knew I had to have them. Sure, I already had a copy of each, but I wanted more. And, fully admitting this just wasn’t rational, I bid $25 for each. I waited and prepared to curse myself, even as I quivered with anticipation. Yes, I now have some idea of how crack addicts must feel.

Then some reprobate outbid me for both. His madness was greater even than mine, paying over $40 for each.

Curse you! (Shakes fist at heavens)

Ah, well.  Probably for the best. I wonder how high he was willing to go?

Oh, and Happy New Year! (Hey, it’s still January, and this is the first post of 2010, after all.)

ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention, I did score a copy of Runequest II in good shape for what I thought was a reasonable price. I’d lost my own copy years before, so it wasn’t all bad on eBay. 🙂

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