The Glatisant: Issue #11

A Questing Beast Newsletter

Welcome to issue #11 of the Glatisant, a free newsletter by the Questing Beast YouTube channel. You can read previous issues here and help support the channel on Patreon here. Subscribe by hitting the button below to get new issues delivered right to your inbox!

Reviews

I am hard pressed to think of a better, more immediately evocative and interesting introduction to exploration based retro-game play. The dungeon is a perfectly constructed little jewel-box of retro-game play. In fact, it's a kind of master class in how to design a dungeon in a way that builds the relation of factions and mysteries to be unravelled in at the ground floor. What's miraculous is that Gus does all this...with a ten room dungeon.

  • The podcast Dragons are Real has a lovely, short review of my game Maze Rats.

  • John Wick (creator of 7th Sea, Legend of the Five Rings etc) has a 31-part series where he makes a character in a new RPG system every day for a month. It’s a great way to learn about interesting features of different systems, like Amber Diceless.

  • Over on the Questing Beast channel, I’ve recently reviewed two Old-School Essentials adventures: Planar Compass and Xanadu.

New and Upcoming Products

  • Luka Rejec’s survival-focused “Ice Box” adventure Longwinter is now available in PDF! You can get the Referee Book and Visitor’s Book bundled together for almost 20% off.

  • Richard at Save vs. Dragon has been creating a trio of new monster manuals during the quarantine, all derived from pulp sci-fi magazines in the public domain.

  • Eero Tuovinen has crowdfunded a new OSR primer called Muster that looks interesting. I’m always curious to hear how other people summarize the principles of Old-School play.

  • Charcuterie Board, the first GLOG (Goblin Laws of Gaming) zine, has been released! Assembled from contributions from across the blogosphere. 49 (free!) pages to explore.

  • Patrick Stuart has put out a free adventure called To Steal a Sun. Check it out.

And Now a Word from Our Sponsor…

  • Bored of bland spells? With Solemn Scriptures of the Battle Nuns of the Mercyful Sepulcher you can imbue angel of purity essence and forgive a future sin, become hosts to terrifying empyreans, harvest the kinetic potential of the dying, and more. Plus rumored occult spell tomes, tools of the trade, and adventure seeds.

Zine Quest 3

Zine Quest 3 is coming up in February! For readers who haven’t heard of it before, Zine Quest is a yearly event where hundreds of creators Kickstart short RPG-related products. It’s a great place to start if you haven’t published something before, and it gets bigger every year.

If you’d like to place an ad in the February issue of The Glatisant promoting your Zine Quest project (or anything else) to our 5,300+ subscribers, contact me at questingmaps at gmail dot com.

Worldbuilding

Cities seem to be a theme this month!

  • Goodberry Monthly continues to expand its Wizard City setting with a Black Crater boiling with chaotic magic and The Hothouse, the city’s necromatic and horticultural center.

Madame Exuberance runs a “Body Boudoir”. Don’t like your present body and want to try on a few before you commit to a purchase? Privacy and client privilege is guaranteed. A variety of options are available: skinsuits, facemasks, transplants, and full-bodies. Decapitation included free with full-body purchases.

  • A Distant Chime works out a way to make magic item shops more plausible: disguise it as an ultra-exclusive restaurant called The Smiling Sphinx.

Dark Marxism: A contrary offshoot of Marxist analysis which holds that Capital is in fact a god incarnating itself through digital technology and totalizing cybernetic systems of control. It further holds that resistance to this god is blasphemous, and that the only place for humanity in the coming order is to usher in and behold its world-devouring glory. Espousing Dark Marxist beliefs is currently trendy among young finance and tech professionals.

  • The Manse has created some rules for a Ring of Glamour where the finger it is on and the direction you twist it affect your appearance in different ways. It’s the sort of thing players love to mess with.

Monster Reviews

Another trend that cropped up this month was people reviewing monster manuals.

  • Chris McDowall at the Bastionland channel sorts nearly every monster from the 5e monster manual into tiers.

Hacking Knave

I’m delighted that my simple ruleset Knave has become the basis for so many OSR games. New rules and hacks keep popping up left and right. Here’s some that caught my attention:

  • The YouTube channel Miscast continues to develop the Knave hack Arcane Ugly, with more details on Magic Tattoos, Familiars and Wands.

  • At Mutants and Magic, K-Slacker is developing Knaves of Qud, a mashup of Knave and the sci-fi roguelike Caves of Qud. It’s got genotypes! Mutations! Talents! and more!

  • A Knight at the Opera is developing a hack called Brave, where you can become the master of a spell school by collecting the right spell tomes.

Ancient-School Gaming

I don’t think it’s really a coincidence that D&D had its first – and arguably biggest – boom at precisely the time that it was designed for a style of play which was so conducive to being spread virally.

  • At Nine and Thirty Kingdoms, John builds on Justin’s post by showing how you can streamline the equipment-shopping stage to get players into the action even faster.

  • Robert at Bat in the Attic tracks down a piece of referee advice from Strategos, a 140-year-old wargaming manual that set the foundation for much of modern roleplaying.

[The referee] should bear in mind the principle that anything can be attempted.

Theory

  • Not OSR realted, but still impressive: Caput Caprae has created a “somewhat-exhaustive taxonomy of PbtA games, tracking ten different systemic mechanical elements in each, and a loose kind of succession between them.”

  • OSR guides emphasize “rulings over rules” but often fail to give advice on how exactly one makes good rulings. This post by The Manse does a great job showing how stealth can be run without recourse to rolling dice.

  • The Alexandrian has a useful post on how to draw and interpret Melan diagrams, which boil the layout of dungeons down to the navigational decisions the party has to make.

  • Matt Colville has a video on the importance of saying “no” to players, especially when preserving the reality of your world.

Ok, that’s it for this time! See you all in February for our 1-year anniversary issue!