Welcome to issue #7 of The Glatisant! This newsletter is a free service put out by the Questing Beast YouTube channel. If you aren’t subscribed, you can sign up below to get new issues sent directly to your email. Read previous issues here.
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A 212-page OSR magazine called Knock! is due to be released in September. It looks like a greatest-hits collection from the blogosphere, done up with amazing layout and art.
Patrick Stuart drops some hints that an Eclipse Knight book is in the works.
Matt Colville is creating a D&D Magazine called Arcadia.
James V. West gives some previews of his gonzo, hand-drawn GOZR RPG.
Free Adventure Locations
The blog Whose Measure God Could Not Take presents Wild Man’s Grave, a dungeon with some Mesopotamian flair.
Melan at Beyond Formalhaut presents Gloomywood, a substantial hexmap region with 36 keyed locations.
Jensan at The Acorn Afloat presents a delightful method for generating a wizard’s tower, one level at a time.
Two new OSR game jams are currently in progress and accepting submissions! Game Jam of the Infinite City is all about fantasy metropolises and CryptJam focuses on horrifying locations and monsters for the Best Left Buried system.
The Eclectic Bastion Jam has wrapped up and Chris McDowall decided to read through every single one of them, the madman.
The Lizard Man Diaries presents Ordure Fantasy, a 1d6 ruleset that takes Chris McDowall’s luck roll from Electric Bastionland and puts it at the center of the game.
Ben at Mazirian’s Garden invents a system for differentiating between weapons when you are using OD&D as a base, where every weapons deals 1d6 damage. PCs can have proficiency in different tags like Crushing, Whipping, or Gouging, and when using a weapon with one of those tags, they gain access to some special perks.
DIY & Dragons examines a number of different ways to hand out exploration-based XP. For example, PCs could gain experience by selling maps of dungeons they’ve drawn.
The Brush Wielder’s Union interviews the artist Max Fitzgerald on #Turnip28, a muddy, pseudo-Napoleonic aesthetic/universe he kicked off in the wargaming sphere.
Chris McDowall has started a new series of podcasts interviewing game designers, like Joseph McCullough (Frostgrave and Rangers of Shadow Deep). I found the discussion about the blurred boundary between wargaming and roleplaying to be very interesting.
Alarums and Excursions
I recently discovered that June marked the 45th anniversary of Alarums and Excursions, a D&D zine that has been released almost every single month since 1975. It has featured contributions from John M. Ford, Gary Gygax, Robin Laws, and Jonathan Tweet, but today hardly anyone is aware of it.
Needless to say, I bought the most recent issue from Lee Gold (who still publishes it) and will report back once it arrives. Here’s an interview with her if you want to learn more:
Over at my Questing Beast channel, I’ve started a series of videos examining old-school D&D rules and ways to apply them to modern games. I’ve covered topics such as dungeon crawling rules, hacking encumbrance, building better traps, and most recently why random encounters are great.
Adventure Review also has a pretty good introduction to OSR principles in this video on how to survive old school adventures:
The Goblin Laws of Gaming
At The Manse, Cacklecharm proposes a way to restructure how the GLOG’s template system works, and offers 20 new “A” templates. (If you don’t know what the GLOG is, see the previous issue).
Remixes and Revelations has been busy translating all of the 5e spells into GLOG format.
Lapidary Ossuary divides magic users into Town Wizards and Country Wizards.
The Lizard Man Diaries describes a city-sized wizard caravan.
Dunkey at I Don’t Remember this Move provides a depth system for exploring a nightmarish Kansas.
Free Kriegspiel Revolution
Discussions surrounding the Free Kriegspiel style of play (discussed in Issue #3 of the Glatisant) accelerated quite a bit in August. FKR (also known as Arnesonian-Style or Ancient School) focuses relentlessly on the fiction of the game, removing most visible mechanics in order to force players to imagine the world directly rather than through the lens of rules and dice mechanics.
A FKR discord channel has been set up here. It’s hosted many of the most fertile and interesting discussions I’ve seen since I first found the OSR. It has also compiled this document full of links for people curious about FKR and has started it own community zine: The Neverending Drachenschwanz.
Pits Perilous has a great post from 2016 explaining something fundamental about the play style: that stripping out most of the rules of an RPG can serve to increase the realism and complexity of the game rather than decrease it.
Patrick Stuart’s Goose-Gold and Goblins game feels like it’s leaning in a FKR direction as well.
The Invicta YouTube channel has a video on the origins of wargaming, (which gave rise to the original Free Kriegspiel), as well as a follow-up interview with Jon Peterson, author of Playing at the World.
Here’s a video of Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin) with his wargaming setup.
Rick at Don’t Split the Party explains how sweating the small stuff (like torches weighing 2.5 lbs) resulted in his players becoming far more invested in the world.
Chris McDowall explains how to build a setting that serves your game.
Sean McCoy at Failure Tolerated discusses removing levels from Mothership and replacing it with a “High Score.”
Nate at Swamp of Monsters takes unique magical abilities and imagines how combat encounters would look if the ability was common and exploited to its fullest extent.
Cyborgs and Sorcerers invents a rule of thumb for measuring player agency in RPGs: Time to First Meaningful Choice.
Throne of Salt examines how to embed monsters into the world by making them a symptom of an underlying social or natural disorder.
Ben Riggs of the Plot Points Podcast gives a GenCon talk on why TSR failed. Peter Adkison (the guy who bought TSR) shows up in the chat.
Seth Skorkowski has Sandy Peterson (of Chaosium) on to set the record straight on why several pantheons were taken out of later editions of Deities and Demigods.
Midwinter Minis opens up a fresh 1994 Citadel Paint set and tries to recreate the look of the minis on the box.
Dicebreaker takes a look back at one of the first RPG camapigns: the one run by the Bronte Sisters.
James Maliszewski has started posting regularly on Grognardia again (one of the first and most influential OSR blogs) after an ELEVEN YEAR hiatus. Here’s his review of Mork Borg and his experience playing the game.
David Shirduan at Technical Grimoire does an audio review of a single spread of Ultraviolet Grasslands, talking through the prep he is doing to run the game.
Ben at Mazirian’s Garden explains his personal standards for reviewing zines.
Captcorajus does a retrospective on the original Gamma World.