Monday, November 24, 2014

Gammarauders (Extremely Tiny) Roleplaying System, Redux

Back in March of this year, I posted scans of the Gammarauders (Extremely Tiny) Roleplaying System, which was written by David "Zeb" Cook.  In that post, I commented that it would be nice if someone typed up and re-formatted the rules.

No one did. Until now.

Last week I needed a break while grading papers. I took the scans from issues 1, 3, & 4 of the Gammarauders comics and sat there with one window open in my comics reader and another in a minimal word processor and went to town.

In typing this up, I realized:
  1. This isn't truly "extremely tiny."
  2. You really need to read the comic to understand a lot of the references.
  3. For a ruleset, it's rather incoherent.
I'm sure there are useable rules in here, but man, there is a lot of worldbuilding backstory that clutters the rules. It really needs to be stripped down to just the useable bits, which at its heart is an rules-light free-form d6-based mechanic. Quite frankly, this is an "anything goes" sort of game that embraces player agency. What I love is what Zeb says in the opening section on character creation:
. . . the first thing I’m supposed to do is explain what roleplaying games are all about. It’s simple—roleplaying games are make-believe. If you remember the Gammarauders and Slugnoids or cops and robbers you played as a child, roleplaying is just like that—with more rules. The rules are supposed to tell you who shot whom and settle arguments and the like.
So, yes, these rules are extremely light and extremely flexible, but I don't know if they are actually playable in their current form. You have to be a serious Gammarauders fan to even try. I might take a pass at editing these into useable form by separating the backstory from the mechanics and clarifying rolls with tables, but that's not going to happen for a while. Someone else is more than welcome to give it a shot.

The following file is a straight transcription; I have not edited the text to make it coherent or useable. Notice, for example, that the name for the DM changes from The Boss to The Keeper in the "second installment", there's a freeform mix of Arabic and Roman numerals, there's inchoherent use of italics and underlining, etc. I guess DC or TSR couldn't afford an editor for comic book text back in the day.

Anyway, here it is on Google Drive, with commenting enabled:

Note: I've corrected a few embarrassing typos in the raw transcription.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mining the Internet Archive: Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer Scenarios for your Old School Game

The Internet Archive Magazine Rack has 25 issues of The Space Gamer (later titled Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer). This started out as Metagaming Concept's house zine, and then later was handed off to Steve Jackson Games and then later spun off again and now seems to be stuck behind a paywall at a website that seems to have been designed in 1995 (although the forums seem to be active).

Anyways . . . I flipped through the issues available from the Internet Archive and found a few adventure scenarios that might be of interest to old school gamers. I've linked to the issues in the Internet Archives AND I've extracted the relevant pages from the PDFs of each issue for easy access, and those extracts are hosted via my DropBox account. **Links removed due to DMCA Copyright Complaint on 2018-06-06 regarding a different post.**

Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer Issue 77 (January/February 1987)

AD&D Scenario - A Plague in Westerbrook
Paranoia Solo Scenario - One of the Best PARANOIA Mini-Solo-Adventures Ever Published (small ruleset included)

Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer Issue 84 (December 1988)

AD&D Tournament Scenario - The Halls of Fortune

Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer Issue 86 (July/August 1989)

Star Wars d6 Scenario - Death of a Hero

Note: This issue was the first issue after another change of ownership, and it is paced with sweetness. In addition to the extract I've posted, there are two GURPS scenarios, an interesting article on "Luxorian Triplets for AD&D" & a new monster, the Dreadguard, both by James M. LeDuc. There's also a great "Universal Bar Generator" by Bill Burg, and an article detailing 50 arcane tomes for Call of Cthulhu by Christopher Pound, and an interesting article by Gary Reilly on integrating sci-fi weapons into fantasy games. If you are going to download an entire issue, make it this one.

Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer Issue 88 (March/April 1990)

AD&D Scenario - Pieces of Honor
Gamma World Scenario - Plague on Umbril River
Star Wars d6 Scenario - Peekoine Opera Blues

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Speaking of Star Wars . . .



Check out this totally sweet, fan made update to WEG's d6 Star Wars 2nd Edition RPG:

Star Wars 2nd Edition: Revised, Expanded, and Updated

You can read more about the project here:

Hmmm...the site got deleted!

Check out the Star Wars d6 Holocron in the meantime!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bootleg Chinese Star Wars Comic

This is a PDF of a scan of a bootleg Chinese Star Wars comic from the pre-Internet days.

And here you can find the translation, spread over 6 blog posts.

This thing is totally gameable.

Some select panels:

Darth Vader & The Bounty Hunters force Princess Leia to belly dance.

Ben Kenobi: Motorcycle Knight Rider

Darth Varder. Wielding a Laser Sword. On the Moon. In Thor's armor.

The rebel scum have taken refuge in . . . Florida?!

Chimpbacca in chains . . .

Princess Leia gets a tour of the Yavin 4 installation from a young Steve Jobs.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Today is My Birthday. And Also Donutsmas!

image courtesy of James Stowe

And so, as Tiny Tim would say, "A Happy Donutsmas to us all;
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!"