The Glatisant: Issue #27
The Old-School RPG Newsletter from Questing Beast
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Bryce Lynch at 10 Foot Pole recently held an adventure design contest, and four of the entries have won “The Best” so far! Even better, they are all free! Check out The Frost Spire (by Hot Spring Island’s Jacob Hurst), Palace on the Pink Waves, Surgerock Vault, and Gravestone Deep.
Grumpy Wizard reviewed Jon Peterson’s The Elusive Shift, which is about early battles over the definition of RPG in the 1970s.
Many of the questions Dungeon Masters and game designers were thinking about in 1975 have persisted for 50 years. These old essays are not easily gotten a hold of and many game enthusiasts don’t realize their value in the current discourse about games. In some ways, we lost the scaffold of the hobby and seem to be rebuilding it every decade. I see some of the same topics that appeared in those homemade ‘zines being battled over on Twitter every day. Those same arguments were had in the 1990’s on Usenet, email lists and message boards.
GGNORE reviews AD&D:
Eldritch Fields went through all 25 issues of Dragonsfoot’s Footprints zine and found the seven best adventures (all of which are free!)
Dave Thaumavore reviews the scifi game Death in Space.
At Questing Beast I reviewed The Slave Mines of Vindicus the Terrible, managing to mispronounce the villain’s name every single time.
If you would like to submit a book for review consideration on Questing Beast, mail it to: Ben Milton, 6505 E Central Ave, Box 127, Wichita, KS, United States, 67206.
Current OSR Deals
Suldokar’s Wake Core Omnibus: 33% off (Whitehack-like scifi)
Bestial Ecosystems Created by Monstrous Inhabitation: 20% off (monster ideas)
Terror Of The Stratosfiend Bundle: 42% off (Dungeon Crawl Classics scifi zine)
The Sword of Cephus: 30% off (Fantasy rules for the Traveller 2d6 system)
Industry News and Community Projects
Uncanny Spheres has a detailed post-mortem of the Zine Month project.
A group of fans has creates a free 155-page adaption of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay into the Genesys narrative dice system.
From Bits About Money: Plastic (and payments) in the fantasy supply chain
Goobertown Hobbies does an overview of Siocast, which dramatically lowers the cost of injection molding for miniatures.
Yochai Gal created a Game Jam called Forests of Another Name. Tons of free adventures and resources for foresty campaigns.
Darkworm Colt has a new community project where participants are challenged to create a set of rules based solely off of an existing character sheet.
Dungeon Craft examines Wizards of the Coast’s plans for bringing back Dragonlance and Spelljammer for 5e.
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Have an upcoming Kickstarter or an RPG project you want to promote? Advertise in The Glatisant (9,000+ subscribers) or on Questing Beast (54,000+ subscribers) by emailing me at questingmaps at gmail dot com.
Peakrill Press uses AI to generate DnD encounters, with astounding results.
Monsters and Manuals looks at the kind of monsters that AI language models can create and speculates about the future of RPG writing.
White Keeper - "A small, delicate creature that flits about in the shadows. It seems to be made of fine porcelain, and is beautiful in a eerie way. It has long, spider-like fingers, and large black eyes. It is said that if you catch a glimpse of it, you will be driven insane. HD 1, AC 8, #ATT 1, DMG 1d4, Move 120, ML 6, No. Appearing 1d4"
On Reddit, user SenorPeterz runs an AI through the Keep on the Borderlands.
Scrum In Miniature continues their series on the Lost Art of D&D by looking at the work of Cynthia Sims Millan.
The creators of Break!! show off some new adventure site locations.
Matt Colville reads J.R.R. Tolkien’s poem Errantry.
Theory and Advice
Jacob Hurst has some advice on running Bandit ambushes, as well how to get everyone’s mental images of a situation on the same page.
Zzarchov Kowolski explains why fairy tale adventures are perfect for new PCs.
Negotiate with a pixie, wrestle Mr. Tumnas and sit on him until he tells you where he got her scarf, answer the riddles of a troll, and fight a redcap who has got her locked in a cage. If things get too bad, ask for the help of a Unicorn. Find piles of magic weapons and armour that are just toys and rags outside of the forest. It's a tutorial mode where people can play with high powered toys to learn the ropes and justify their call to adventure. Then they can get tetanus from a rusty lock and get their head bashed in by goblins in an abandoned watermill.
Skerples gives some concrete advice on running time travel adventures.
Dungeon Craft expands on the video I made about AD&D’s campaign rules. I loved the contributions from his son explaining how he runs a completely player-driven open-world campaign.
Quarterling’s Corner breaks down RPGs into Context, Rules, Content, and Principles.
Darkworm Colt responds to Idiom Drottning’s post “A li’l FKR caveat” with one on What Blorb Gets Wrong.
Chris McDowall at Bastionland takes Blorb’s Three Tiers of Truth and reframes them as “Prep, Procedure, and Patch.”
Pretendo Games explains how he breaks rules up into three layers: Social, Fictional, and Abstract.
At Questing Beast I answer lots of viewer questions with the creators of Bud’s RPG Review and Captcorajus’ Retro RPG Reviews.
Spriggan’s Den has five ways that PCs can learn about nearby sites of interest while hexcrawling.
Liche’s Libram explains how to run 5e OSR-style without changing the rules.
A Knight at the Opera explains how to make combat more interesting by improving the monsters, environment, and situation, with lots of good examples.
The Alexandrian starts reading his way through the whole of OD&D.
In 1982, the BBC did a piece on the emerging field of hobby gaming, with some amazing footage of early conventions and game celebrities like Gary Gygax.
Wired Magazine covers a D&D game that’s been running non-stop for 40 years in a player-driven, open-world style.
Rules and Game Design
Mazirian’s Garden creates rules for PC aging, inspired by the aging rules from AD&D, Traveller, and Beyond the Wall.
Monsters and Manuals on gaining XP for rescuing NPCs.
Pretendo Games and Technoskald’s Forge reflect on why they like Into the Odd so much.
Pretendo Games also has an extensive series of devlogs digging into the design of his 2400 series of games.
Moondog Gospel has a fun rule where the color of your torch flame can signal your intent to other dungeoneers.
At Questing Beast I discuss what I think are the strongest starting spells.
Hypertext Corner has a system for running towns in Mausritter.
From Liche’s Libram: Save vs True Love
d66 Classless Kobolds proposes three statlines that can cover any NPC.
Wizard Thief Figher explains SEACAT’s Magic System.
Marcia’s Blog explores ways to incorporate resource management without resorting to additional book-keeping.
GFC’s DnD shows how simple running a sandbox campaign can be.
Library of Attnam has 20 weird poisons.
d4 Caltrops has 100 new breath weapons for dragons of a different color.
The Cosmic Orrery has 130 weird treasures from across the spheres.
Coins and Scrolls gives an overview of a Soulslike setting, Iron Gates, as well as a campaign concept where PCs must transport minor gods.
Prismatic Wasteland explores how to do worldbuilding as a team sport.
Patrick Stuart imagines a fairy war setting where the characters are insect sized.
Vaults of Vaarn describes the Wall, a science-fantasy megastructure.
If you’ve made it this far, here’s a few classic posts from the golden age of OSR blogging:
That’s it for this issue, see you next month!