The Glatisant: Issue #23
The Old-School RPG Newsletter from Questing Beast
The latest draft of Knave 2e is now available for patrons! Includes six d100 tables for generating over 1 trillion different spell names (think of it like the Maze Rats spell generator, but supercharged) three d100 tables for generating potions, potion miscibility, rules for exploration XP, illumination rules, and more.
Professor Dungeon Master over at Dungeoncraft reviews Hankerin Ferinale’s Index Card RPG, now available in hardback from Modiphius.
Bones of Contention has a very in-depth review of Luka Rejec’s new adventure for Old School Essentials, Holy Mountain Shaker (available here). It’s done as a dialogue between Gus L. and W.F. Smith, which allows for some opposing points of view on the adventure, which I enjoyed.
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Have an upcoming Kickstarter or an RPG project you want to promote? Advertise in The Glatisant (8,100+ subscribers) or on Questing Beast (49,400+ subscribers) by emailing me at questingmaps at gmail dot com.
It’s January, and so far Kickstarter has not announced whether they are going to promote a Zinequest event in February, as they have in previous years. Since many people are planning on releasing something regardless, the people over at Feral Indie studios are creating a project called Zine Month to replace it, complete with an (almost finished) website where creators can display their projects.
WotC has recently removed a lot of text from their previous adventure, mostly relating to monster alignment. Jorphdan breaks it down:
The OSR subreddit ran a one-page adventure contest for Christmas! See all of the entries (for free) here.
The Mothership boxed set has become the most funded non-licensed Kickstarter RPG in history with a whopping $1,405,569 total. Congrats, Sean!
Swords and Stichery features some of P. Craig Russell’s sword-and sorcery comic book art.
The always-delightful TheCrafsMan channel tinkers with a box of cheap Stargrave minis. A good option if you want scifi soldiers but don’t want to shell out for 40K.
Bat in the Attic has a super-crisp, fully vectorized version of the Darlene Greyhawk map. Comes with a number of options including black and white and 6-mile hexes.
Eric’s Hobby Workshop shows you how to build a medieval jousting tournament!
Was it Likely? continues with his superb word-association monster creation method with The Prodigal Dandy, the Towering Mourner, and The Putrid Hunters. Now including a random generator for making your own weird creatures!
Need something forgotten? Visit the Void Monks in their hidden Obliterat.
The tower itself exists in a lacuna--a gap in space. If you hunt for it, you will never find it. It is hidden, like a raisin under a fold in the tablecloth that you will never see, much less touch.
But there is a way to get there.
Here is the traditional method.
You must not intend to reach the Obliterat.
You must not know where you are.
You must be close to death--the boundary of the smallest oblivion.
I love a good list of magic items. Here’s Goblin Punch with 20 magic orbs.
Caput Caprae invades my brain and steals an idea that’s been bouncing around in there for years: an adventure in an America that’s much bigger than it is in our world.
For people who love new vocabulary words: a huge list of medieval fabric names.
Seed of Worlds shows you how to generate a 3D campaign world with realistic biomes and weather patterns using a number of free online tools.
Whose Measure God Could Not Take has created a generator that describes every vampire in America, each with a role, a quirk and and a connection to another vampire.
I love Coins and Scrolls’ posts about magic works at Loxdon College. This one covers some unsolved magic problems and related adventure hooks that theoretical magicians might send you on.
No law forbids the study of divine magic, but tradition - and common sense - suggest that such research is unlikely to lead to a long and fruitful life. Putting a cleric in a prismatic centrifuge tends to attract divine wrath. The vague consensus is that the mighty soul-stuff of a great power is directly bonded to a chosen vessel's soul, or dispatches specially prepared spell-creatures at selected times. Some wizards believe clerics are merely delusional wizards.
Also: 20 ludicrous taxes.
From Odd Skull: Put “Minor God” on your encounter tables.
Rules and Game Design
Following up on his jousting crafting video, Eric explains how to run Full Tilt, a d jousting game published in White Dwarf.
Chris McDowall releases an early version of Blighters, his scifi game inspired by Blades in the Dark and Mothership.
Rise Up Comus develops an Earthsea-like Truespeech magic system.
Goblin’s Henchman has an interesting idea for slowly revealing a map “fog-of-war” style using a jigsaw puzzle.
At Questing Beast, I look at how simple wood cubes can replace most DnD terrain.
Simulacrum has completed their five part series on the history of the OSR, in which four different tribes are identified.
Classic OSR: The original wave. Has both compatibility and principles.
OSR-Adjacent: Some principles, some compatibility.
Nu-OSR: Principles, but not compatibility.
Commercial OSR: Compatibility, but not principles.
I Cast Light responds to Simulacrum’s post, proposing that the real dichotomy is between Preservation and Principles, and that “compatibility” is a red herring.
Grumpy Wizard examines how stories can naturally emerge from gameplay, and how “the game” is really a combination of mechanical apparatus and the open nature of an imagined setting.
Gary wasn’t playing Dungeons and Dragons. He was playing Greyhawk.
Alchemist Nocturne describes why he likes the OSR.
The best thing for me about Old D&D and its clones (and what brings them over any other games) is, in my opinion, how they are the only rpgs that care about procedural game generation. That is: you have a looping mechanic that keeps the game forward, by the chemical reaction of the PC's advancement rules (XP for gold) and the dungeon stocking chart (or hexcrawl generation chart). As long as you have this, there is a game going on.
Trilemma Adventures has a lot of advice on how to build situations for intrigue-focused campaigns.
. . .no one faction can be so powerful that it dominates the others outright. Each faction's power is incomplete. Each must have only a few pieces of the puzzle, however outwardly strong they seem. If any one faction is so strong that it holds all the cards in any negotiation, this limits the options for intrigue.
William SRD goes into detail on the Bronte siblings’ shared fictional universe, Glass Town.
The blog Glumbosch's Schmiede has an interesting post on the layouts of medieval villages, for those who are aiming for historical accuracy.
Molten Sulfur gives a historical overview of Ibn Battuta, a real medieval Moroccan traveler with a wild background that would make him a great NPC.
Islamic scholars were valued everywhere. Ibn Battuta found that leaders would give him gifts in exchange for his educated counsel in matters of rulership and jurisprudence. These presents – money, provisions, mounts, slaves, and robes of state – funded further travel to further rulers. And the more he met, the more he could tell kings and sultans ‘this is how this ruler handled a similar problem to what you’re facing’. He effectively became a management consultant as a way to pay for his travel hobby. By the time he reached Delhi, Ibn Battuta had grown so wealthy that his baggage train had forty people and a thousand horses.
That’s it for this issue, see you in February!