Discover more from The Glatisant: A Questing Beast Newsletter
The Glatisant: Issue #25
The Old-School RPG Newsletter from Questing Beast
Welcome to issue #25! In celebration of the Questing Beast channel hitting 50,000 subscribers, I’ll be giving away a stack of 9 RPG books on March 4th to one lucky subscriber to this newsletter. Make sure you’re subscribed (if you’re not already) to get your name in the running!
The fourth draft of Knave 2e has arrived! Lots of new rules additions including constructing strongholds and hideouts, excavating your own dungeons, designing opulent outfits, guidelines for clerical magic, a shrine generator, and more.
Much about The Temple of Hypnos recalls the better Judges Guild products: a willingness to think beyond the basics without actually breaking the game with runaway rule inflation (it is almost all core), creative encounters, the care taken to make the scenario useful for very different gaming groups. Most of all, though, it is the willingness to go fantastic, and let the alien beauty of the imagery guide you.
Captcorajus does a side-by-side comparison of the the original and re-release of Heroquest.
If you would like to submit a book for review consideration, mail it to Ben Milton, 6505 E Central Ave, Box 127, Wichita, KS, United States, 67206.
And Now A Word From Our Sponsors…
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Gig Economy is a 20 page zine for Old-School Essentials and other OSR systems. Inside you’ll find 200 weird, fun and quirky characters to keep your campaigns stocked with a lifetime of retainers and hirelings looking for work. On Kickstarter now!
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Astonishing Super Heroes is a remix and reimagining of the FASERIP system, streamlining action scenes plus adding social conflict and a flexible role-play based Karma system. Best of all, it's one-hundred percent compatible with previous FASERIP games. Book 1: Basic Rulebook, is out now!
Lone Archivist and Jump Over The Age present In Other Waters: Tidebreak. An underwater exploration adventure for the Mothership Sci-Fi Horror Roleplaying Game. Based on the Award Winning 2020 video game, Tidebreak offers the chance to explore the oceanic world of Gliese 667Cc. Pre-Order In Other Waters: Tidebreak Now!
Have an upcoming Kickstarter or an RPG project you want to promote? Advertise in The Glatisant (8,800+ subscribers) or on Questing Beast (50,500+ subscribers) by emailing me at questingmaps at gmail dot com.
Podcasts and Livestreams
Chris McDowall continues his Bastionland Podcast where he interviews designers who have been influenced by Into the Odd, such as Ava Islam (Errant), Yochai Gal (Cairn), Isaac Williams (Mausritter), and Sam Doebler (Skorne).
The Brittonica YouTube channel has a high-quality live play exploring Dolmenwood, using the playtest materials from Gavin Norman’s Patreon. One of the few OSR campaigns of its kind being broadcast.
Free Kriegsspiel Renaissance
Chris McDowall describes a Certainty System for making calls in a diceless game.
Eric Nieudan discusses Diegetic Mechanics in TTRPGs, especially how this can be applied to magic rules.
At any given time, the referee should keep in plain sight a list of what promised rewards and prices have been agreed upon by sorcerers and spirits. It functions as a reminder, but can also give inspiration to set up interesting situations and choices. I’m looking forward to see it work in play.
Idiom Drottning has some warnings about the FKR style.
Quarterling’s Corner speculates on the what the FKR style is trying to “solve” in the OSR style.
From Coppers and Boars: What is a world and how do I play it?
BREAK!! continues its eternal development, with the release of some new art.
Ram shares a spreadsheet of data taken from ZineMonth.
A game called Tresspasser just released a free playtest version. It seems to combine OSR principles with tactical combat inspired by D&D 4e.
Scrap Princess has written a cyberpunk setting for Mothership called Noo Futra.
It's me doing a take on shadowrun but trying to be less tolkien , more "new-weird", less cyberpunk 1980 and more cyberpunk 2019.
Theory and Advice
From Augury Ignored: Productive Voids, or The Unfathomable Agony of Rule Holes
The implementation of a productive void in an incomplete system requires trust: trust in our own design abilities and judgment, but also trust in the extant ruleset. Designer’s commentary and gamemaster advice sections are, in my experience, the unsung heroes of building this type of trust.
The Manse discusses the many types of resources required on a dungeon crawl, and how they can be replenished using player skill. Useful to think about while designing dungeons.
Monsters and Manuals considers the ways that the minimalist visuals in roguelike games (or D&D maps) can make them more immersive and engaging.
Direct Sun Games has some concrete tips for creating puzzle dungeons that aren’t frustrating.
From Grumpy Wizard: Player Character Continuity Is Not A Big Deal.
The game is not for the characters to have a story. It is for the players to play. We don’t worry too much about the continuity of which PC was where and what they were doing if someone can’t show up this week. We go ahead and play.
A new subreddit dedicated to adventure design just got started, so I made a post covering the most influential OSR articles on the topic. Worth a read if you are relatively new to the OSR and want to know where a lot of its ideas came from.
I’m not even hyperbolic when I say designing maps is probably 10 times faster on paper than doing it on a computer.
Conjured Craft builds a beholder-like monster from scratch.
Rhystic Studies explores the art of Magic: The Gathering’s saga cards.
Monsters and Manuals breaks down the Philosophical Typologies of Elves.
I feel like almost any game could be made better by taking the monster manual and just writing The before every monster.
Vaults of Vaarn describes The Wall, a titanic megastructure running through his dying earth setting.
Suffice to say the Wall is large; so vast that it constitutes a biosphere apart from the rest of Vaarn, and there are peoples that dwell within its recesses to whom this construct is a universe unto itself, removed from the cares of those outside. These Wallborn live and die in a vertiginous world of passageways, shafts, vents, chutes, and great ferrosteel canyons built at scale far beyond the imagining of any man, in which their towns and keeps nestle like paper wasp hives in the eaves of an abandoned granary.
Vaults of Vaarn also has a beautiful, interactive, in-world map generator.
Jim Parkin at d66 Classless Kobolds describes the NPCs that he has reused across multiple game worlds.
From Dice in the North: d10 Unsettling Natural Phenomena
10 Coffin Rain - Torrential freezing rains that occur in high winter. The water falls and freezes fast enough to trap anything caught outside in a shell of ice a few inches to feet thick. Seek shelter immediately! Buildings in areas that experience regular coffin rains have extremely wide eaves that curve downwards to protect exterior walls from ice buildup.
Eldritch Fields takes Georges Polti’s 36 literary character types from The Art of Inventing Characters and turns them into a random table.
Against the Wicked City has some excellent advice for creating “Romance Ready NPCs” that can produce drama in the backgrounds of your sessions.
The Awesome Lies blog digs up an article written by Rick Priestly in the 1980s describing the nature of Law and Chaos in the Warhammer universe.
Speaking of Warhammer, Dana Howl has a video unboxing the 1998 40k set, which inspired me to buy my own copy of that rulebook, which I’ve wanted since I was a kid.
Ever wonder what an amphora filled with solid gold roman coins looks like?
Lindybeige attends a castle siege reenactment. The explanations of all the historical armor technology was really interesting.
Rules and Game Design
Caput Caprae has three interesting rules for HP recovery, called shots, and inventory exhaustion.
Profane Ape explains why +X swords in his campaign are all non-magical.
Slight Adjustments has an unusual system for diceless combat as well as an automatic generator for creating 3 Word Swords.
GALLOW AMONG BOUGHS - If someone it's wounded has broken a law of the land they're in, the sword will shriek their crimes as it tastes their flesh. Blood spilling from that wound will write a detailed description of the events. Ash and Iron Machete, gauntlet-locked hilt. I heard it was an object of faith for a wise religion.
The Joy of Wargaming breaks out the Fantasy Supplement for Chainmail.
Map and Key explains the advantages of running games off of index cards.
Welcome to the Deathtrap runs through the many different ways encumbrance can be handled. Orbital Crypt comes up with a slot-based system that has bit more detail than most.
Kelsey at the Arcane Library demonstrates how to design a dungeon map live.
Silverarm Press argues for the return of calendars and seasonal event tables.
That’s it for this issue! See you all next month!