Welcome to the one-year anniversary issue of The Glatisant, a newsletter by the Questing Beast YouTube channel. You can read previous issues here and help support the channel on Patreon here. Also, remember to check out our sponsors at the end! There’s some amazing-looking products in there, and their sponsorship helps keep this newsletter running.
It pours out flavour in nearly every word, creating delicious situations for the party to interact with.
The designer knows what makes for a good regional area: a lot going on. It is pushing hard up against the limitations of the format, being as big as it is, but is not so off the rails, in verbosity, format or design, as to make it unusable. A de-light-ful little region to toss some PC’s in to!
This sixteen page adventure details about twelve encounters, mostly inside a beastman obelisk. Evocative & interactive, the adventure does a great job creating a feel in the DM that they can then translate to the players.
Disciples of Bone and Shadow: Unconquered Sun Edition, a meaty solo game, gets reviewed at Perplexing Ruins.
Alex has done tremendous work here, creating a product with a lot of inspiration for gamers. It is robust, offers some excellent tools, much creativity, and good use of art throughout. Solo players could likely use this as there go-to roleplaying system for years, supplementing it with other resources if they need to, although everything needed to get started is here.
Over at Questing Beast I also did my own awards show, running through the best products I reviewed in 2020:
I also reviewed Gabor Lux’s whimsical megadungeon Castle Xyntillan…
New and Upcoming Products
ZineQuest 3 is in full swing as I write this. There’s no way I could cover the enormous breadth of aesthetics, rules, and designs on display, but I encourage everyone to check them all out here.
Christian Mehrstam announces an upcoming third edition of Whitehack, one of the most praised old-school rulesets. This one will include PDF versions.
Mothership’s new space megadungeon module Gradient Descent is now out! As usual, it looks meticulously designed and captures that working-class-scifi aesthetic perfectly. @ClayNotestine has a twitter thread analyzing its graphic design here:
Charles Ferguson-Avery announces a second edition of Into the Wyrd and Wild, a kind of forest-themed Veins of the Earth which originally saw a limited release.
Lost Pages has also released the second issue of Jonathan Newell’s Genial Jack whale-city setting. If you’re into the incredible mapmaking work he does on his Bearded Devil blog (see below), this is worth checking out. Preview of it here.
The second issue of The Neverending Drachenschwanz, a free community zine created by the Free Kriegsspiel discord channel is out now. The theme of the issue is “Every Book is a Sourcebook.”
Theory and Practice
Customs as Arrows in a Player’s Quiver - Get players immersed in the setting by creating customs that they can weaponize.
Bounded Player Agency - An examination of how granting players GM powers (via Fate points or similar mechanics) can interfere with immersion.
D&D Assassins: Best and Worst Mechanics - Which D&D edition did assassins best? What makes a fun assassin anyway?
Player Character Survival Strategies - Chris Gonnerman (author of Basic Fantasy) breaks down some basic tactics for staying alive in Old-School D&D.
Mundane is the New Magical - Tailoring equipment to inspire player creativity.
Monster Type: Army - Some practical tips for running combat when your players have to fight an army. You are throwing armies at your players, right?
Porn Logic - (Not actually about porn) A look at how emphasizing a game’s mechanical systems over the “invisible rulebook” tends to constrict the game’s scope and make its tactics more flat.
The Healing System - A system for tracking each type of damage received separately. This allows players to picture exactly what their injuries look like and forces them to find creative ways to heal their different wound types.
On Abstraction and Saving Throws - An explanation of why the old saving throw types (Death Ray, Dragons Breath, etc) allow for greater player creativity.
Monster Reaction Subtable for Old-School D&D - Adds a d6 table to each of the standard five monster reactions, making things more unpredictable.
The Art of Active Magical Defense - Improving the counterspell system by having opposing energy and element types cancel each other out when cast in opposition.
Example of Play in Diceless Combat - I find it very hard to picture running purely diceless combat. This post helped clarify things for me.
Jon Peterson’s new RPG history book The Elusive Shift is out, and proving to be a fascinating look at how adventures games became roleplaying games. He’s also begun posting at his blog in support of the book, including this piece on The Origins of Rule Zero.
Geek Gaming Scenics demonstrates how to melt down old Warhammer figures and recast them using Prince August moulds.
Chris also has a video exploring the potential of the AIDungeon to run Electric Bastionland.
Geek Gamers has a video walking through the basics of running a solo RPG, using an interesting hodgepodge of boardgame and RPG materials. There’s lots of other great solo RPG material on her channel as well.
Myriad Petty Planes of the Multiverse Pt2 - Because everyone needs 100 more demiplanes.
d100 Weather, for the City of Doors - Making weather in Sigil weirder.
99 - The Heavens Have Opened – The Gates have opened to – The Silver Sea? Holy water pours down on Sigil. Fiendish folks run for cover while Celestials stand and enjoy the cool, sweet, rain. The city looks cleaner than it has in living memory afterwards.
Iron, Amber, Wood, and Bone: Using Courtly Rings in Your Game - Adapting the ring system from The Wise Man’s Fear to spice up your RPG’s intrigue.
…wearing a ring of horn shows that you accept the enmity and its consequences. If the sender then kills the wearer in broad daylight, it will at least be seen as a duel instead of a murder. It is an open invitation to violence.
Sky-Child and Monster Count - Patrick Stuart wraps up the 50 monsters he’s designing for his Goose-Gold and Goblins RPG, such as the Pickle Lich.
Building Gossamer, Part 6 - The Blooming Quarter - Jonathan Newell continues his construction of a fairy megalopolis.
Suit Court - In Wizard City, court cases are settled…sartorially.
New Genotypes & Backgrounds - Mutants and Magic adds more unlockables for Knaves of Qud.
Blacksite Alpha - The perfect, horrifying HQ for your intergalactic villains.
And Now A Word From Our Sponsors…
Our sponsors this month have a ton of crazy new products to explore. These folks help keep The Glatisant a free service, so show them some love! You can contact me at questingmaps at gmail dot com if you’d like to place an ad for The Glatisant’s 5,500+ subscribers.
Games That Goblins Play: A zine based on the idea that goblins play card games. There are new card games, random encounters, goblin treasure hoards, and a hex crawl board game. Will your players draw from a Deck of Goblin Things? The zine and cards are on Kickstarter now!
Mighty, the solo fitness RPG, is looking for playtesters! Complete regular workouts to generate action tokens, and gamble those tokens in push-your-luck missions to stay ahead of your rivals, aid your allies, and shape the world. Links to the free ruleset here.
REALMS OF PERIL is a classic fantasy adventure game focusing on OSR principles and West Marches campaigns. Complete with everything needed to run amazing “open-persistent sandbox” wilderness and dungeon crawls. Clear layout and concise procedures featured in a pair of lavishly illustrated full-color zines. Explore if you dare at RealmsofPeril.com!
THE DRAGONWILDS is a classic fantasy hexcrawl campaign for just about any OSR game. Discover something exciting in each of the 248 fully detailed hexes. Includes over a dozen interactive, flavorful dungeons, ranging from small to huge, inhabited by monsters both familiar and new. Start your journey at TheDragonwilds.com
YOU’RE A SKULL WITH A PROBLEM. You live in a nice little dungeon, and a bunch of wanna-be heroes are about to raid it. Know what that means? Time to power up with magyk, build weird traps, and put these raiders in graves! SKÜLLBOX — 40 punk pages of mayhem!
Desert Moon of Karth is a space western sandbox zine for Mothership RPG. Harvest ossified coral corpses to live forever. Become an involuntary organ donor. Dodge ancient orbital defenses. Hunt the fearsome sandsquid. Ride camels through the desert. Drink whiskey until you’ve forgotten your name. Launch on February 8th.
Calling all game mechanic aficionados! Dieku Games is inviting you to be part of the upcoming playtest of a new rules light system, so simple, it can be conveyed in an IKEA instruction manual! Learn more at DiekuGames.com
The Bat is back. Stratosfiend 3 is here. Metallic Bat Drones, Blood Mechs, Half-Ogre Demon Hunters, Pteranodons and these are just the playable classes. A New DCC zine with new items, classes, spells, the bat navy, wing-suited cultists, and the new Surgical God. TENTACLES AND SORCERY FOR ALL!
Old Roads, a book of isometric maps, launches on Feb 3rd and runs until the 17th! Each hand-drawn map illustrates a bespoke set-piece that would be perfect for your next one-shot or major combat encounter! No rules, no stat blocks, just beautiful maps!
Flik Silverpen’s Guide to Dragon Town: a low-level adventure playable with or without combat! A whimsical town full of mysteries, slimes, zombies, goat people, magic apples, and a ruined castle to explore. 32 pages packed with fun illustrations and maps. 5E and OSR compatible! Kickstarter runs Feb 1 - 14!