Philip Reed: Delayed Blast Gamemaster & Fantasy Sites Books Review

When I look to buy Role Playing books I am mostly looking for things I can use as a Dungeon Master to make the game more interesting and engaging for the players. Philip Reed has given me that, and a lot of it. I stumbled on Philip Reeds books this last year on kickstarter. The first one was only a dollar and I got a ton of PDF’s out of it. I was impressed with the quality of content, art and overall product. I started backing the other Kickstarters he did over the last year. He has consistently delivered the products he made faster than any other creator I have backed on Kickstarter. I can not believe how fast I was getting physical copies of books in the mail after backing them on his Kickstarters. (more…)

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Palladium is Dead Long live Rifts

Palladium books has been plagued with problems over the years.  Many of us grew up on their games though. I sure did. While Palladium was not my first RPG, I was playing Palladium games years before I even picked up a Dungeons & Dragons book. The experience of Palladium was quite different than that of what I found when I finally played Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. The design of the original Palladium Fantasy Role Playing Game led to many other games. My primary game that I played was Heroes Unlimited. They put out a lot of other games from Mechanoids, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Robotech, Ninjas & Superspies, Beyond the Supernatural and their most popular game Rifts as well as many others.

The Palladium system was Kevin Siembedia’s house rules for D&D essentially. It differed in many ways. One of the main differences outside of mechanics was that the Palladium Fantasy Role Playing Game encouraged players to play the monsters. The idea of the books was to play the most fantastic things out of the Monster Manuals, the outlandish characters that were not normally the heroes. With all the games being based on a similar system they were supposed to create characters that were compatible with each other, despite some of the rule inconsistencies across the books. On top of that, some of the content is really questionable at times, and maybe needs to be revisited or reconsidered. (more…)

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Castles & Crusades White Box Review

The Castles & Crusades White Box is available on the Troll Lord Games website in print and digital forms. We ran the box using just what was in it. Castles & Crusades is a rich Fantasy Role Playing game system that uses the 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons Open Game License to recreate the game to be more similar to earlier editions while keeping the parts of modern mechanics that streamline the game and make it run smoothly. Like modern versions of the game it uses an ascending armor class. Many modern gamers at times have expressed some resistance to descending armor class and mechanics such as To Hit Armor Class 0 (THAC0) and the necessity of charts. The 3rd edition changed that. C&C also creates a simplistic resolution system based on attributes called the Siege Engine which mirrors these modern resolution systems and creates a smooth and easy to remember rule system.

The Bad
I am going to start with the bad. The one thing that I noticed while running this was typos. Especially within the adventure Kane’s Gauntlet. The book could use another trip to the editor. I don’t notice typos that often, but I saw quite a few throughout the books and the ones I noticed most were in the adventure we ran.

What’s in the Box?

The box comes with five booklets that contain the whole game. It has character record sheets, a set of dice and a pencil for filling out those sheets. The first book we really looked at was called Men & Magic, it is pretty much just a book for rolling up characters. The book only has four classes in it, Fighter, Cleric, Thief and Wizard. For those of you wanting a lot of options for classes this is not for you. It is designed to harken back to the original Dungeons & Dragons box set from the 70’s before there was an AD&D or a Basic. (more…)

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The OSR is Anti-Fascist

I often disagree with politics of posts online, look, read, and move on. There are limits and boundaries though. I interact with plenty across political spectrums in my day to day life with interpersonal relationships and even when organizing. As one who has organized workers quite a bit over the years, I have worked along side people who are liberal, leftists, communists, libertarians, conservatives and many more. Many of them I consider friends. I can find some common ground with most people. I do not tolerate fascism. There is no common ground with fascists, and we should have no spaces that tolerate fascism. (more…)

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Digital RPG books vs. Physical RPG books

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Digital RPG books vs. Physical RPG books

I love books. I love the feel of them, the weight, the smell of old paper, the sound of the crack of the opening of a book for the first time. I have a lot of books on the shelves. I also have a lot of comics. All this stuff takes up a lot of space. It drives my partner nuts on how much stuff I had. As e-books and digital media became more popular, I began to purchase more of my readings via digital vs. hardcopy. (yes, Amazon has made it really too easy to buy crap.)


Photos: not my bookshelves but the shelves of the other contributor of the blog. (more…)

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Basic Fantasy Role Playing Game You should check it out

So, you want to start playing Dungeons & Dragons? Fantasy Role Playing has a lot of options out there after almost 50 years of history. I am going to suggest a game for you that is a great one to start with. Role Playing Games (RPG) can be cheap and easy to get into, or they can cost an arm and a leg to start. One affordable and beginner friendly option is Basic Fantasy RPG (BFRPG).

BFRPG is made with the intention to be accessible for all who want to play. All the books are free online through the site. They literally have “Do not Buy this book” printed on them. Physical books can be bought through print on demand services such as or Amazon. All the physical books are sold at cost, so there is no profit from these. This means a core book comes in about $5 when most systems are $50 and you have to buy two or three of these books to play. BFRPG is a game where the entire game comes in the one book. For this reason, I see it as a perfect example of a more community-oriented system of gaming. Accessibility is wonderful. The main book holds all the information to roll up characters, run the game and enough monsters to play for years. The Basic Fantasy Field Guide of Creatures Malevolent and Benign works as a Monster Manual it sells around 3 or 4 dollars for the physical copy, or you can download the PDF from the site like the other books. (more…)

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Dice for RPGs and Boardgames: Different types, science, collecting

Dice, Dice, Dice.

We love dice. All shapes, colors, designs, materials. We have polyhedral dice with standard numbers for roleplaying games as well as custom ones for board games. So many possible combinations and sizes. Dice rolls make or break our characters and actions in the game. The thrill of making a savings throw or a critical roll drives the excitement and fun of the games. I remember the first set of light blue / grey dice I had that came with the Basic D&D set as a kid. I carefully colored in the numbers with a white crayon and re-filled in the color once a year after the color wore out. Nothing fancy, but we were fascinated by the d4 and d10 type of dice as kids.

If you are first getting into RPGs, there are several things to know. (more…)

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Should we revisit a classic fantasy trope in Fantasy Role Playing?

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s court by Mark Twain, Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs and The Wizard of Oz all have one thing in common. The main Protagonist comes from a contemporary and modern world to a fantasy land of adventure. They discover the fantastic worlds not being from this world, but by seeing it as an alien land and being taken out of their element to experience these worlds. Films and books have used this concept for a long time, and it is not very much like what most D&D campaigns look like. The Dungeons & Dragons cartoon used this device to bring the main characters into the story. Why don’t we see that in our D&D games? (more…)

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Different RPG Player Types

There are many different types or styles of Players. Some change it up based on the characters they are are playing, type of campaign they are in (1 shot vs. long campaign), or who they are playing. (ongoing friends vs. convention strangers).

Diversity of Players

As in all things in life, diversity is important. If you are a racist fascist, pls piss off now as we will not engage in a debate on diversity. Diversity can be styles of play, age, work background, gender type, ethnicity, novice or experienced. Game groups oftentimes are friend groups before becoming a game group so probably have some commonalities already. However, making sure there is diversity in different areas of the group will make the game more interesting and carry the story line better. More diversity gives more possible solutions to solving problems, coming up with new options, new and different looks to the same situation. (more…)

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