Monday, February 27, 2012

Owlbear @ Open Mike Night

found via Owlbears Rock

Why, What Do We Have Here?

hmmmmm . . .

Green Ronin Support Files Index

Actual Lovingly Hand-crafted, Printed Old School Zines

Sure, all those PDF zines linked to on the zine page are cool, but holding an actual zine in hand feeds the tactile senses in a way that electrons never will (at least, not until replicators are availble in every home and starship).

Lucky for you, the OSR has you covered. Go grab some dead tree zine goodness today!

Alarums & Excursions
Dungeon Crawl
The Manor
Zogorion: Lord of the Hippogriffs

EDIT: Added Crawl! and The Manor on 2012-03-03.

OSR D&D Haiku #27

poison needle
snake rake snaps
from thief's fingers

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Another '81 Flashback

Straight from comes Mark "Mistwell" Cronan's old school homebrewed adventure module for 1e. Although it doesn't have a cover or even a title, I'm going to call it "Convocation of Death" because of room 11a, where it appears a Night Hag, a Mind Flayer, a Minotaur Lizard, a Hydra, a Gorgon, a Mimic, an Otyugh, an Ankheg, and an 11th-level Gypsy Cleric controlling two Clay Golems are having a meeting to figure out how to kill the PCs. Talk about a deathtrap!

Half typescript and half holograph manuscript (that's handwritten, for you non-archivists), this adventure includes a blurry hand drawn, graph paper map. Misspellings abound, but what do you expect from a 14-year-old kid who's just letting his imagination run wild? This is some seriously awesome teenage creativity at work. Cronan should be proud of his younger self!

You can read more about this module at this thread at The RPG Site.

You can download the adventure directly from Cronan's Google Docs account via this link.

I'm hosting a backup of the file at Dropbox here with Cronan's permission.

OSR D&D Haiku #23

steampunk gnomes
jump sharks

Monday, February 20, 2012


You like W40K? How's about WFRP? I don't play, but I know some of you in the OSR do (I'm looking at you, Porky).

Here are some links to zines to mine for inspiration:

Astro Mag
The Bellower
The Chapter Standard (my personal archive)
The Citizen Levy (list is on lower left side)
Dark Magenta
The Doom Seeker (must register to download)
Firebase (Issue 1-6) (via - filter by pdf)
Firebase (Issues 7 & 8) (via - filter by pdf)
The Invocation
Irresistible Force
Liber Fanatica
The Portent Oracle (my personal archive)
Skavenblight Gazette
Strike to Stun (bottom of page)
The Invocation
The Watchman (via - filter by pdf)
The Word of Hashut

OSR D&D Haiku #20

treasure trove
jewels glimmer
under angry dragon

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Word Verification Debacle

Google switched to a new, impossible-to-decipher word verification system. It stinks. Hence, I've turned off WV for new comments.

However, I've decided to switch on comment moderation for posts older than 7 days. It's been my experience that spammers tend to hit older posts more than any others. Your comment will appear immediately on a post younger than week old; on all other posts, I'll get an email and I'll have to approve your comment. You won't have to go through the word verification rigamarole, though, and I think a delayed comment is a small price to pay to keep the spam out.

OSR D&D Haiku #18

dust, bones
move in torchlight

Friday, February 17, 2012

Check Out These Sweet Danish Old School Zines!

You probably don't read Danish, but don't let that stop you from checking out these sweet old school zines from Denmark:

Pseudo Dragen & Den Sorte Dværg

Here are some images to whet your appetite!

Anyone Got Copies of the CBGuide?

I'm trying to track down all the known issues of the Campaign Builder's Guide.

Here's a list of files I'm looking for:

CBGuide V. 1 (September '06)(tan color scheme)
CBGuide V. 1 (September '06)(blue color scheme)
CBGuide V. 2 (October '06)
CBGuide V. 3 (December '06)
CBGuide V. 4 (April '07)
CBGuide V. 5 (July '07)
CBGuide V. 6 (August '07)
CBGuide V. 7 (September '07)

I found this list in an archived forum at However, all the links in that post are dead.

I've managed to track down two issues of the guide after it made a name change to Fantaseum in 2008. Interestingly, I've found two copies of one issue that have conflicting issue dates: one is marked Spring 2008 and the other is marked Winter 2008, and they have identical covers and content. The issue seems to stop after the Summer 2008 issue, which had a nautical theme.

If I can get the entire run, I'll throw them up on a Google Sites archive and add them to the zine page.

OSR D&D Haiku #17

fungal forest
spores bloom
in halfling's lung

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Yet Another Post About the Zine Page

I think I'm done updating the zine page for now. I've added a ton of links, broken the list down by game and/or setting, and have even gone as far as to create a number of Google Sites to host many files for downloading. Mind you, they are bare-bones ugly Google Sites, but at least they provide access to these old zines.

Any link that says "my personal archive" will take you to a Google Sites page where you can grab all the back issues of the zines I've been able to find. I'm especially proud of hunting down a lot of zines that folks thought were gone for good, like Super Samurai and Revisiting the Three Kingdoms. I'm still working on getting the Silven Trumpeter online; the files are too big for Google Sites and I'm loathe to host all of them via my Dropbox account. I'll find a solution eventually, although I'd like to avoid Mediafire and other sites that assault folks with ads and pop-ups.

Oh, and one more thing . . . I've got links to Christian Walker's Iridia zine compilation. And his Free City of Haldane supplement. And his Newsletter of the Lincoln Middle School Dungeons and Dragons Club zine. Who's a Google-Fu black belt? I's a Google-Fu black belt!

Take a look and let me know what you think.

OSR D&D Haiku #16

dune sea
sandworms disturb
the sarlaac's sleep

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

In Which I Brag About My Google-Fu

Over the past few evenings, I have been hunkered down in front of the computer, trying to hunt down several older d20 fanzines published as PDFs. Most of these went "POOF!" when the d20 Magazine Rack site was taken over by spammers.

Now, I'm not a d20 gamer--never was. But while I've never played a game under the d20 rule system, I admire the wealth of material that fans churned out under the OGL during the 3e/3.5e days.

I got back into gaming in late 2009/early 2010. By this time, many free d20 fanzines had gone the way of the dodo.

So. What to do?

I cracked my knuckles and worked Google and the Internet Archive Wayback Machine for a few hours. The result?

I've tracked down all the issues of Fictional Reality (39 issues), Super Samurai (3 issues), and Revisiting the Three Kingdoms Quarterly (8 issues). I've got almost the whole run of the Silven Trumpeter (I posted about the missing issues previously). And I found a ton of links to other cool fanzines in the process, many of which I've added to the zine page.

There is an archive of Fictional Reality hosted on another site, and I've linked to that on the zine page, too. In the coming days, I'll be uploading the other zines to my own archive site and posting links.

In the meantime, I'm still trying to hunt down issues of four zines: Ethos Magazine, Legions Realm Monthly, TempesT's Lore, and Critical Hit (for HeroClix). I've got good leads on Critical Hit (I've managed to grab a handful of issues via the Wayback Machine), but the others are proving damned difficult to locate. If you have any issues of these zines (all of which were published almost 10 years ago!).

Just call me your friendly zine archivist.

OSR D&D Haiku #12

wizard kills
time, self

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

More Useless News About the Old School Zine Page

I'm reorganizing the links on the Old School Zine page. I've added a lot of stuff in the past two days, so you really should check it out.

New Issue of TrollZine Is Out!

Go here and grab it.

No Turkeys!

Check out this sweet Italian wargaming fanzine!

No Turkeys

The early issues are in Italian, but newer issues feature complete miniature wargames written in English.

Killing the Buddha

image via Daniel Solis

Look at this Sweet Image


image from A Paladin in a Citadel

Calling Dr. Who Fans

Aching for some old school Dr. Who gaming?

Check out these two sites:

1. This website for Time Lord, a 1991 Dr. Who game published by Virgin but now available for free. This is the game and expansions, minus orginal artwork, for free download in PDF format. You need Flash to navigate the site, and be sure to click all the links. Maybe Mr. Proctor needs to talk to Ian Marshall and get the game back in print!

2. Once you grab the Time Lord pdf, head over to J. Curtis' Earthbound Timelords website (click the TARDIS on the landing page) and scoop up some free modules and 14 issues of a Dr. Who fanzine, Diary of the Doctor Who Role-Playing Games.

J. Curtis has some links to other free Dr. Who material on this page.

Happy gaming, and watch out for the Daleks!

EDIT: I changed this post after double-checking the site. The site where you can download Time Lord is a fan site, but the files are legitimately free of charge, as they note when you read them. Ian Marsh, the writer of the Time Lord RPG, released the game as freeware in 1996. If you feel downloading from the fan page is iffy, then you might want to download for free from Precis Intermedia or from Ian McDonald's Dr. Who-RPG List.

OSR D&D Haiku #10

the blacksmith's shop
soot hammers
mithril to shape

midnight moon
a hymn hummed
to a long-dead god

a diamond aloft
moonrays enchant
flame-tempered shield

in clear night sky
breaks silence's spell

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Holy crap!

Have you seen this? Some blokes have scanned almost the entire run of a first edition UK fanzine called Trollcrusher. You can download grainy 75dpi scans in PDF format for most issues, too--capture that old school feel while you read on your future tech reading device!

Check it out here.

OSR D&D Haiku #9

yawning chasm
a rope bridge sways
planks fall

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Looking for Missing Issues of Silven Trumpeter

The title kinda says it all. This was a 3e fanzine put out by Silven Publishing. For 28 issues, it was free, and then it switched publishers to 12 to Midnight, which then turned the zine into a a pay-to-download via e32.

The Internet Wayback machine gave me a bunch of back issues. But I have a few holes I'm looking to fill:

Silven Trumpeter 14 - September 2004
Silven Trumpeter 18 - January or February 2005
Silven Trumpeter 22 - June 2005
Silven Trumpeter 26 - October 2005
Silven Trumpeter 27 - November 2005

If I can assemble the whole run of free issues, I'll throw them up on my zine archive on Google sites.

If you have a copy of any missing issue, leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

OSR D&D Haiku #8

little worm burrows
ripples flow
across a dwarf's face.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

OSR D&D Haiku #7

ragged claws
intestines unwind

a dwarf pauses
a torch flickers

a roar
an axe
a friendship avenged

Monday, February 6, 2012

Updated the Zine Page

I did a bit of updating to the zine list this evening. I've added some new zines I've stumbled across, and I decided to add a new section at the bottom for "new school" zines and publisher newsletter archives. If you have a suggestion to add to the list, let me know.

Another Cool Tool

Go check out the Nonsense Word Generator, which uses English phonemes to create pronounceable multi-syllable words (well, pronounceable to English speakers, anyway).

Leveling Up!

I just noticed that I've now leveled up to Maven status, at least according to the Old School RPG Blogger Advancement Table!

Thanks guys!

KantCon 2012

Just got an email this morning from my local con, KantCon, which will run July 6-8, 2012, at Johnson County Community College's Regnier Center, located in Overland Park, KS.

This is a young con, going into its third year. For the last two years, Jon Hershberger of Black Blade Publishing has had a table selling OSR goodness and he also ran some great Original Edition and 1st Edition games using Swords & Wizardry and OSRIC rules, respectively. And I have the "DEAD" stamped character sheets to prove it. I hope he comes back again this year.

They have a good mix of old school RPGS, new school RPGS, wargames & miniature skirmishes, and a whole lot of board games. It's a smorgasbord of gaming goodness.

I urge you to pre-register via Kickstarter for this fantastic gaming event.

OSR D&D Haiku #6

beneath the city
so many unsheathed swords
cleave flesh from bone

Sunday, February 5, 2012

An Open Letter to the OSR

Dear OSR:

Please stop coming up with so many cool ideas.

Every time you guys come up with a new item or monster, a detailed encounter, an awesome map (keyed or otherwise), a neat geomorph, a bitchin' table, or some other kick-ass thing that I just think is cool, I save it to my hard drive. I print that sucker to PDF, save the webpage as a webarchive or plain, barebones HTML, right-click to save that image file, or click your download button to grab whatever it is you have hosted at whatever download provider you happen to use.

The problem, of course, is one of space.

I just did I "get info" on my RPG folder. 23.47 GB.

Holy. Crap.

I have more cool ideas on my hard drive than I will ever have in my head. Or be able to use at the game table.

Thank you.

Now, please stop producing cool stuff until I can sort through this folder. I'll let you know when you can get back to creating cool things when I'm done.

Your awesome pal,


OSR D&D Haiku #5

:::: points of light ::::
diamonds cast
across majestic wilderlands

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012