Showing posts with label prepless. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prepless. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

About On Mighty Thews

 On Mighty Thews is a pulp sword & sorcery RPG by Simon Carryer, and one of my favorite "modern" (or "narrative") RPGs.

 OMT is designed for prepless oneshot games or short campaigns. At the beginning of the game, the players and the GM follow a few simple, engaging, fun steps that create a "setting" for your session (it can be a city, an empire, a continent, or a whole world). This is mostly done by taking turns at drawing a map, one element at a time. The map will be used by the GM as a setting for the adventure, so the players have a chance to put whatever they think will be fun to see in the game. Infested jungle? City of merchants? Ruins in the desert? Draw it to on the map...

It is a "modern" game, meaning that the rules don't aim at recreating physics but at producing a fun, coherent story, and it codifies specific situations where players partake of the GM's narrative authority.

With proactive, creative players, this game is wonderful. I know, I've played it a lot! It is not particularly suited for campaign play (no conventional character development), but it's amazing for one shot, prepless games.

A fun trivia about OMT: Savage Worlds was one of the inspirations for the game, and so some of the OMT dice, wounds, and raise mechanics are immediately familiar to SW players!

OMT is available on drivethru!

Saturday, September 5, 2020

About Four Against Darkness


Four Against Darkness is a great game by veteran designer Andrea Sfiligoi, author and publisher of an enormous amount of RPGs and miniatures games such as the hugely popular Song of Blades and Heroes, or my personal favorite Battlesworn.

4AD is a pen and paper solo dungeon crawler, which can also optionally be played as a gmless group game. It is a WILDLY successful game (see that MITHRAL badge on drivethru? Now check those 242 ratings on Amazon...), and has received a rich line of supplements, and a few spin-offs into other genres and play styles.

What I like about it is that rules are simple and straightforward, with the level of crunch and detail that I find enjoyable for a solo game! 

The core book contains all the basic rules which are needed in order to play, and a  dungeon which, probably, is the weakest part of it, as it feels too generic to really be engaging. This very problem is fixed with the expansions, each of which offers a focused story or dungeon, with full flavor, and story events triggered while you play.

The spin-off games derive from 4AD, but include all the rules needed to play, and usually expand them to fit different themes, settings and narrative structures, and as such are stand-alone products. They include titles such as the atomic age sci-fi Four Against Mars, or the survival horror Alone Against Fear.

The latest spin-off, one that looks VERY interesting (and I'm definitely going to grab soon) is the stand-alone game Four Against the Great Old Ones. Designed by Marco Arnaudo, it is an adaptation of the 4AD "engine", turned into a Cthulhu themed game where investigators must find clues and foil the plans of insane cultists in the 1930s US before doom happens.


As I said, Four Against Darkness is an ever-growing line. I hit Andrea for some sneaky preview of the an upcoming supplement, and he passed me a succulent preview!

The next 4AD product is Labyrinth of the Lurking Lepidopterae, an adventure written by Erick Bouchard who's already authored Warlike Woes and Greedy Gitfts of the Guildmasters, with illustrations by Andrea Sfiligoi.

Here's the description Andrea gave me:


Labyrinth of the Lurking Lepidopterae
This adventure occurs on the western continent of An-Mòr, north of the fungi-infested land known as the Sun-Kissed Vale, and to the west of King Ven’s dwarf kingdom of Kestar Kell. A merchant family from the southern isle of Enotria, the Van Pontoretto, is trying to cut the grass under their Dorintian rivals by finding new trade routes between the realms of Man and the dreaded Sun-Kissed Vale, rich in fabulous alchemical ingredients and delicious edibles. The safest path goes through Kassar Du, the mythical Green Door to the underground kingdom of Kestar Kell, but unfortunately it is forbidden to you. Maestro Van Pontoretto (that’s his actual name) has run afoul of Lyonette of Midlands, king Ven’s Guildmistress of the Armorers Guild. Rumors speak of crookery and romantic entanglements. Whatever the cause, the miner dwarves will not let the Enotrians nor your agents enter their lands, nor will they tolerate armed soldiers at their frontier.

The Labile Labyrinth
Fortunately, there still lies a path the Dorintians dare not thread – the Labile Labyrinth, a shimmering canyon between harsh mountain fangs inhabited by the sinister moth people and their insane queen. Ever since the gods cursed the moth folk to lose their flight, they have become vicious, forcing captives to obsessively collect insect wings when they are not killing trespassers outright. If a safe path could be established for caravans, the lucrative trade with the fungi folk – for they are not all dangerous psychopaths – would drive a hard blow to the Dorintian traders, and especially the Orfeld Company which has been denying the Von Pontoretto for far too long. All that’s needed is to establish a beachhead by having a first convoy arriving safely at the Outpost, the only known passage from human lands to the Sun-Kissed Vale. In the name of profit, free trade and maybe Enotrian patriotism, your party has been tasked with escorting a caravan of four chariots, half a dozen workers and as many llamas across this wicked and treacherous land.
Will You Survive the Labile Labyrinth? Four hundred gold pieces for escorting a caravan across a valley populated by butterfly people. Who could refuse that? Of course, it won’t be that simple. The moth folk fiercely defend their valley with treacherous traps and bruising brigades. Not to mention the menacing mushroom men, weird temples, shape-changers and the ominous Tower of the Screaming Virgins. Things wouldn’t be so bad were it not for the quarrelsome, alcoholic, lustful and dishonest crew members who you will have to keep an eye on. Add the bad roads, broken wheels, stolen cargo, tactical ambushes… and the llamas. Oh dear. Requires only the core Four Against Darkness book. This book contains adult humor, flamingos and lecherous llamas.

And here's also a preview of the cover, with art still not finalized, but nice to see!

Nessuna descrizione disponibile. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

About Gold & Glory - Seven Deadly Dungeons





 Gold & Glory - Seven Deadly Dungeons was my first project I designed completely by myself, crashing together my love for Savage Worlds and OSR games.

From the blurb:

Welcome to a world of legendary heroes and daring feats or, more probably, to a dishonorable story of ill-fated treasure hunters who’ll soon bite off more than they can chew… unless they manage to return home with enough gold to carouse wildly until their next expedition!

Gold & Glory is  a toolbox, to enjoy the Fast, Furious and Fun rules of Savage Worlds in a game of classic dungeon exploration, in the spirit of the Old School Renaissance, with no other book needed besides Savage Worlds Adventure Edition.

It is ideal to play one night games as well as longer campaigns and allows you to play with no preparation at all.
Gold & Glory: Seven Deadly Dungeons includes:
  • A random character generation system to start playing in no time
  • New equipment for dungeon delvers
  • Magic and Miracles Arcane Backgrounds to create classic arcane characters in the FFF spirit of Savage Worlds
  • Downtime activities such as Carousing and Magic Research, tied to the Experience system, to keep your heroes busy between one expedition and the next
  • The Dungeon Deck system to generate your dungeons while you play
  • Seven deadly self-generating dungeons for your heroes to explore!
  • More than 30 new monsters to face and a heap of magic items to loot!

All Gold & Glory interior art and covers are by ink master Francesco Saverio Ferrara (check his works on Facebook!), and we also used some maps by acclaimed map artist Dyson Logos to complement the layout.

Gold & Glory has received a widely favorable reception, with several dozens of five-star reviews, both for the SWDeluxe and SWADE version.

Even now that two years have passed since release, I must admit I'm really happy and satisfied with how the random character creation system works. That, and the Dungeon Deck that generates thematic dungeons while you play, are two of my most accomplished designs, in my view.


Design aside, I'm also happy with the variety of the seven dungeon adventures I squeezed into the book, a mix of vanilla fantasy, dark fairy tale, and horrific visions. They range from the rather classic swamp temples of the Serpent Shrines and the abandoned dwarven city of the Dwarf Prince Demise, to the Moldy Caves, infested with undead bandits and moldy abominations, to the non-euclidean Witch House with its grim fairy tale vibes, to the verdant, puzzling nightmare that is the Green Maze, to the steampunkish, ooze-infested Iron Vat, to the Hellraiser tribute that is the Halls of Pain.
And thanks to the Dungeon Deck system, each of those will play different every time, with a unique map and always new combinations of events, hazards and rewards.

The Gold & Glory book is also expanded with the following:
Solo, GMLess and One-on-One Adventures: A supplement with rules, options and suggestions to play with no GM. The obvious complement to a system that is already prepless on its own! It also features an Abstract Clues system and options for hired Allies, which can be used in any type of fantasy games!


The Old School Gaming Guide: A guide aimed at explaining the core concepts of “Classic Dungeon Games” and how they interact with the Savage Worlds rules through the Gold & Glory book!


The Dungeon Template: simple empty form organized with all the infos and tables of the G&G dungeon format, which you can fill with your own unique creations.


The Character Sheet Pack: A character sheet specifically designed to make character creation ultra fast, with checkboxes for all the main results of the G&G random creation system.




And then there's a whole lot of dungeon adventures written by guest authors such as Diogo Nogueira, Richard Woolcock, Andrea Mollica, and Courtney Campbell... but the "deadly dungeon hosts" will be the subject of another post!

          

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