Gates & Glamours

OD&D PDFS: What Do You Really Need to Play?

Original D&D from the mid-1970s has finally been released in PDF form on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow. As most readers of this blog know, I started playing D&D back in 1975. OD&D was my first RPG and is still one of my favorites today. This is a short post with my suggestions for what you need to buy to play OD&D and what additional items might be nice to have. The only rulebooks you really... »

OD&D Boxed Set Available as Legal PDF

Guess what I just saw on DriveThruRPG/RPGNow? The original Dungeons & Dragons Boxed Set (White Box version) is available in PDF for $9.99! Finally. Now they just need the supplements. »

More Free Drawings for Old School Games

A few days ago i posted some line drawings I had converted from public domain illos for old school fantasy games (see Free Drawings from Photos for Old School Games). I was asked if I could do modern stuff for games like Shadowrun or Top Secret clones. I played with this in my spare time over the last couple of days and have come up with the following. My technique works for modern stuff but I thi... »

Free Drawings from Photos for Old School Games

If you look at the art in my Microlite75/78/81 games, you’ve probably noticed that I tend to use public domain line art, either from old books or from the sets of art Sine Nomine Games has released into the public domain. However, this means I end up reusing a lot of art from publication to publication. Given that I can’t afford to pay for art as my games are freebies, this probably is... »

Initiative, Healing, and Fairness in Old School D&D

I received a complaint about group initiative in my games and in old school style games in general, I suppose. The complaint when like this: when you roll initiative every round it’s possible the monsters will get two rounds of attacks in a row before the PCs can take a turn. This is unfair because it means the PCs cannot heal before the monsters get to attack again. I blinked several times ... »

Gift Suggestions for Your Favorite OSR Gamer

If you are looking for a Christmas present for an OSR gamer or would like to spend some of your Christmas cash on yourself, here are some of my favorite newish OSR products on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG. There have been a large number of very good OSR products released this year, the following as some of my favorites: White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying: Take Swords & Wizardry White Box... »

New Turn Undead System for Microlite75

I’ve never been happy with the Microlite20-based system for turning undead that I used in Microlite74. From Microlite74 3.0 Basic: “A Cleric can Turn Undead with a successful Magic Attack. DC is 10 + twice the Hit Dice of the undead. One undead flees per point over the roll needed. This can be used (2 + Level + MIND bonus) times per day.” It avoids the need for a table, but reall... »

It Really Is Okay to Just Say “No”

A popular (and relatively new from my old-timer point of view) GM meme goes something “Always say ‘yes’ or ‘yes but'” with a strongly implied never say no. Personally, I think this is some of the worst GMing advice I’ve ever heard as there are times when saying anything but “no” is going to seriously hurt a game session or even a campaign. For exampl... »

Why I Have Little Interest in Trying the Average New RPG

I’m often looked upon as some strange type of gamer as I have no interest in even trying most of the new RPGs that are published every year. This is apparently especially annoying to some RPG players as I’m willing to try just about any boardgame at least once. There are, however, major differences between trying a new RPG someone I know has bought and wants to run and trying a new boa... »

Wizard Guilds or Pacts Instead of Spell-Casting Classes?

We had an interesting discussion during my Sunday Game yesterday. One of my players suggested that since using cult rules instead of clerical classes seemed to be working, perhaps I should consider eliminating remaining two spell-casting classes in Gryphons & Gramarye and replace them with a Wizard Guild that worked like a cult but provided spell-casting benefits instead of miracles from deiti... »