Welcome to the 17th issue of The Glatisant, Questing Beast’s free monthly newsletter. You can read previous issues here or support it on Patreon. Click the button below to get new issues of The Glatisant sent straight to your email.
Deal of the Month
As a special thanks for subscribing to The Glatisant, here’s a 50% off discount for The Waking of Willowby Hall, my haunted mansion heist adventure. It expires on July 15th, so use it quick!
A new OSR review site, Bones of Contention, has been launched, featuring reviews by Dan (Throne of Salt), Ava (Permanent Cranial Damage), Anne (DIY & Dragons), Nick (Papers and Pencils), Ben (Mazirian’s Garden), Eric (Malevolent Bejeweled Cutlass), Zedeck (A Thousand Thousand Islands), and Gus (All Dead Generations). The site’s first review (of Donn Stroud’s Isle of the Plangent Mage) is based on an actual play-through, which allows for a level of informed criticism you don’t often see.
Captcorajus does a review of the new OSE adventure Halls of the Blood King. Rating: 19 / 20.
I think this would make a good bestiary for "genuine" medieval campaigns, inspired by Arthurian legend and medieval myth rather than Tolkien and Vance (it reminds me of Ars Magica, for example)
Owen Edwards reviews the little-discussed but monumental setting The Night-Wolf Inn by Anthony Huso.
From the Mike’s World review:
that’s what this product does, over and over and over again. It makes you think “I could do this, and this and this and I could use this in this way …” The entries have just about the exact amount of details, describing interesting things, using its word budget wisely, not overstaying welcomes and in some cases leaving some hooks or threads to follow up on. Just off hand comments but enough to get he DM going. Almost every runs that knife edge between underexplaining and providing enough information for the DM to bring the situation to life. And that’s GREAT!
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Wizard Colleges Imply Wizard Undergraduates (A Blasted, Cratered Land)
Publish or Perish: d100 reasons your wizard had to drop out of academia and become an adventurer instead (Against the Wicked City)
Sumerian Spell Names (Alex Schroeder)
Burmese Royal Barges (A Thousand Thousand Islands)
Twenty-Three Swords-ish (Numbers Aren’t Real)
EMPTY THRONE MILLENNIUM. He is a heavy sword of pale and adamant. Six feet long, guard and hilt studded uncomfortably with flawed diamonds, with runes down the fuller revealing his name. He sings verses of scriptures while cutting and promises miserable reincarnations to those he kills. Every time you kill someone with EMPTY THRONE MILLENNIUM, intelligent enemies within earshot check morale. Currently a prized treasure of the green heretics.
Magic Weapons as Poems (Xeno’s Ramblings)
God’s Expected Mercy: Blades (Sundered Swords and Silver Shillings)
COULD'VE WOULD’VE SHOULD’VE and AIN’T I PRETTY, twin hook swords, one with emerald Elvish inlay reading “prune the garden well” and the other with onyx Dwarvish inlay reading “burn out the weeds”. When blood touches the blades, COULD’VE becomes boulder-heavy, while AIN’T becomes paper-light.
The Shattered Labyrinths of Illith Varn (Swamp of Monsters) - Nate reveals a massive, gorgeous megadungeon project his players have almost finished exploring. Seven levels with names like The Black Pyramid of the Grinning Pharaoh.
The Tunnels of Blue-Green Brass (The Manse) - Cacklecharm shows how to whip up a catacomb/tunnel system underneath your setting’s metropolis.
The Grimdark Aesthetic
In the Artist’s Studio interviews fantasy illustrator Ian Miller about his career.
I also stumbled across this video that does a great job explaining how the Inquisitor 28 style of miniature painting evokes the underlying themes and aesthetics of the Warhammer universe (which Ian Miller had a large part in creating).
Another Way to Identify Potions (Archons March On) - What if every potion had a bottled animal within that hinted at its effects?
Diegetic Monster Statblocks (Liche’s Libram)
Theory and Advice
Map Crow looks at how integrating your worldbuilding into your NPCs can make it much more accessible.
Dungeon Craft explains why balanced encounters aren’t any fun, and gives an example of an unbalanced encounter he ran recently.
Classic Vs. The Past (All Dead Generations) - Gus examines some of the important ways that modern games (OSR or not) differ from the assumptions used early in the hobby.
. . . all three of these circumstantial elements: campaign length, session length and expected party size are generally smaller in contemporary play. The limitations imposed by technology as well as different expectations of how rpg play will work have changed since the mid 1970’s. While none of these 2021 conventions are worse or better then those of 1976 they do militate for a different style of adventure design and perhaps rules modifications that account for shorter sessions.
Deathtrap Games explains the concept of 1-to-1 time in D&D and the effect it has on gameplay.
A Better Approach to Deadly Games (Prismatic Wasteland) - A couple ideas for lethal games, including the flunkie, an NPC follower that players can switch to when their PC dies.
Carcass Crawler - This official Old-School Essentials zine now has a 7-page preview to check out.
Yoon-Suin (2e) - The first edition of this game was one of the first OSR products I ever bought. It’s great to see it coming along with a much-enhanced second edition. Lots of gorgeous new art by Matt Adams and maps by Tom Fitzgerald.
The Alexandrian has a great entry-level video summarizing all the different editions of D&D (there are far more than 5!) and how they relate to one another.
Jorphdan explains how Vancian magic really worked in the original novels.
Magic: The Gathering
Magic is about to release a new expansion set within the Forgotten Realms of D&D. There have been a number of 5e works set in the Magic multiverse, but I believe this is the first time that the reverse has happened. Check out the cards revealed so far.
5 Point Star Faction System (Monster Manual Sewn From Pants) - Scrap Princess looks at how the five-color system that magic uses can help develop factions in your campaign.
The Cube format for Magic (where you create your own set of cards that players draft from to make decks) has a ton of creative variants. Like this one, where players can take keyword stickers and customize their cards.
Dael Kingsmill interviews Web DM about their “Appendix N.”
The channel Small Village interviews Patrick Stuart about Veins of the Earth and other topics.
That’s it for this issue! See you next month!