Friday, January 24, 2014

Post Mortem for a Failed Project

As most visitors to this blog know, I am an ardent supporter of fan zines (which is why I maintain the list over here).  I love OSR/RPG fanzines so much, I declared that I was going to publish one.

Yeah . . . that didn't work out so well.

Back in June 2012 I made a great deal of noise about publishing a fan zine, which I entitled RENT ASUNDER!. I even set up a page on this blog explaining what it was and outlining my plans. I began soliciting material from bloggers and received permission from a lot of folks to include material from their blogs in the zine. And then I got too busy and put the zine on the back burner. And then I had triple-thoughts over the Creative Commons license vs. the OGL. And now, evidently, I haved turned the back burner off without letting anyone know.

Let me make it official: RENT ASUNDER! is dead.

And now Gorgonmilk has started his free fan zine with legs, Underworld Lore. I was willingly roped in to contributing content to UL on a semi-continual basis. And writing stuff for UL made me feel guilty that I never did the work for RA! and I let down all those folks who graciously gave me permission to use their work.

So here's what I'd like to do. I don't have everyone's emails, and I'm not on Google+ (I avoid social networking sites, as I teach at a Kansas community college and, well, this  . . .). If I solicited material from you for my non-existent zine, I'd be much obliged if you would allow me to transfer the right to use that material to Gorgonmilk for use in Underworld Lore at some point (the zine uses the OGL).

Below are links to the particular posts I solicited. If your blog is on the list, please leave a comment on this post to let me know if we could use the linked posts for Underworld Lore at some future-as-yet-to-be-determined date. Nothing will be used without your consent, of course.

Barbaric Frontier

City of Iron

Digital Orc

Giblet Blizzard

Monsters & Manuals

Monstrous Television 1 | 2 | 3

Mutants & Magic

Papers & Pencils

Savage Afterworld

Save Vs. Dragon 1 | 2 | 3 + artwork for cover of issue 1

sky full of dust 1 | 2 | 3

Sorcery & Super Science

Swords & Stitchery

Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque

Telecanter's Receeding Rules

Tower of the Archmage 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Valley of the Old Ones 1 | 2

Friday, January 17, 2014

Kickstarter Bookface

Rewards from Kickstarters I have known:

Tim Hutchings pulled this collection of juvenilia together from disparate sources, including this blog (see posts tagged "1981 Flashback"). Since I put Tim in contact with some of the contributors, he tossed in a few extras for me (see below), including an extra copy of the book, which I passed off to my friend Zack Zahringer.

Everything is Dolphins. Seriously. Everything. This is a surreal amateur homebrew RPG where, you guessed it, everything is dolphins. I would have sworn this was written by some twee girl, but no, it was written by some dude seriously obsessed with dolphins when he was a kid. While the game strikes me as kinda "meh," the artwork is killer.

Lovecraft Rules, a strange little story game by Tim Hutchings himself, lovingly produced in a small, handcrafted and numbered batch. I received #22 and #23, and I handed off #23 to Zack Z., too.

Issue 1 of Randomocity, a new zine from Stacy Dellorfano. Issue 2 is currently in production.

OH YEAH BABY! This thing is gorgeous. Gorgeous beyond belief. I also received 6 art prints of the Beginner, Expert, & Companion box covers and of the first 3 Dragonlance covers. I don't really care about Dragonlance, but those first three are gonna get framed and hung on the office wall.

Nice little black & white art bonus. Call Elmore cheesy all you want, but his artwork forever colored my imagination when I first got into gaming. Well, I should say that Elmore and Erol Otus stoked my imagination.

I mean, come on. Who didn't cry when Aleena died?

Okay, maybe I was just hypersensitive when I was 12.

Appendix N Adventure Toolkits (DCC RPG Modules)

This thing is so late it makes the gods cry. I ranted about this project back in July 2013. I have not been kind in the comments section of the Kickstarter project page, or in posts on various OSR discussion boards. Suffice to say I finally received a shipment which contained the first module—which was the backer level I was in for—and a few bonus rewards. The Ruins of Ramat is a re-skinning of a previous adventure that had been offered in versions for Labyrinth Lord (including a version for LL's Original Edition Characters supplement), and Castles & Crusades, so it really shouldn't have taken almost EIGHTEEN MONTHS to get out the door. I also received a copy of The Ruins of Ramat written for 3rd level characters, a copy of Appendix N Adventure #2, The Vile Worm, and two one-page add-on adventures, Gifts of the Only and The Green Orb, along with an artwork handout.

Since I received what I originally pledged to get (the first module in print), I'm not holding my breath on receiving the rest of the promised bonus rewards anytime in 2014. Or 2015. Or 2016 for that matter, given Brave Halfling Production's track record on this project and the Delving Deeper Boxed Set fiasco.

I am writing off BHP as a source for future gaming materials. John Adams produced my favorite version of the Swords & Wizardry Whitebox Rules and it is just sad to see the good name and good will he created as a small publisher implode under two very public botched projects. Yes, he had many personal obstacles to overcome during these projects and at least he didn't go AWOL like

Dolmenwood Cover Suggestion

Hey Greg! I got you covered with the cover of Dolmenwood!

I'm sorry. I just couldn't resist!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hey, Look! Bookface Lives!

So, it's been a while. I've accumulated some things between semesters. Here's a few:

Issue 5 of The Manor landed sometime near the end of December. Grab it here for $4.

Crawl! Issue 9 is very nice, focused solely on "The Arwich Grinder", a 0-level funnel adventure. Good stuff. Go get it here when Reverend Dak gets back from his trip abroad sometime in the next month or so.

Brave the Labyrinth Issues 2 & 3 dropped at the end of last year. Both are available as Pay What You Want over on These wouldn't work as booklets at the table for gaming, as the font is too small, but I like booklets so I made 'em anyway. You'd be better off printing them at 8x11 size for any serious use.

Underworld Lore #2. Grab it here about halfway down the left column. Yeah, I'm in this one, too—check out the wicked illustrations that accompany the entries on Tonya and her minions on pages 12–16. There's also an updated Dungeon Funk table with illos and a crap ton of classifieds by yours truly.

The word from Mr. Gmilk is issue 3 — The Hyborian Age Issue — will drop sometime this month!

Okay, so that's the updates for today. More next week!