28 June 2014

Magic Items of the Absurd

This article, ​"The 20 Most WTF Magical Items in Dungeons & Dragons," is a fun read.

For some inexplicable reason, I found this one especially hilarious:
13) Druid's YokeIf you're in a D&D campaign where you need to do any kind of farming, you have bigger problems than any magical item can fix. But this yoke allows characters to — when they put it on themselves — turn into an ox. Not a magical ox; a regular ox. Then you can till your field yourself! You can't do it any faster, because again, you're just a goddamned ox, but it does allow you to… do the horrible manual labor… instead of the animal you've bred for this exact purpose. So that's… something someone would totally want. The best part? Once you've put it on, you can't take the yoke off; someone else has to do it for you. Because you're a goddamned ox.

08 June 2014

RuneQuest Essentials available as Free PDF

The dynamic duo at the Design Mechanism have produced a 'basic' version of RuneQuest 6 and made the PDF available for free (though donations are appreciated).  It is available at DM's website (download page) or at DrivethruRPG.

Here is Loz's announcement from the RPGsite:
We are releasing RQ6 in a much-reduced, introductory PDF edition called RuneQuest Essentials. Designed for those who want to try RuneQuest before migrating to the full rules, it offers a great way of getting to know one of the most celebrated roleplaying game systems out there. 
What's more, RuneQuest Essentials is free. You can download it from www.thedesignmechanism.com/downloads (or via DrivethruRPG and our publisher page there). If you feel we're being overly generous, then there's a Donate button you can use to make a contribution of whatever you feel appropriate - or, at Drivethru, you can Pay What You Want. 
What we want is for you to try RuneQuest. We'll be publishing an introductory scenario, Sariniya's Curse, very soon, and there's already a wealth of additional free material available on the Downloads page. 
So if you've never tried RuneQuest before, there's no better time, and no better way, than with RuneQuest Essentials.
I think that this is a brilliant move (and, if I may be momentarily immodest, remember suggesting to Loz that he do something like this over a year ago). The Call of Cthulhu has long offered an excellent quick start free PDF. Given that WotC will be making the 'basic' version of 5e Dungeons & Dragons available as a free PDF, this seems to be the way of the future.

As I've mentioned before here, RuneQuest 6 is the best FRPG to have been published in the past two decades.  Check it out!

04 June 2014

In R'lyeh, Pie Eats You!

(UPDATE: Image from here.)

01 June 2014

Return to the Savage North

I’m delighted to note that D101 Games recently has released a revised version of their excellent campaign setting and adventure pack, The Savage North, by John Ossoway and Newt Newport.  Designed for use with OpenQuest, it should be easy to run with other d100/BRP systems. 

I purchased the original version (both print and PDF) back in 2010, and thought very highly of it then.  The revised version retains all what was fun about the original – including a modified version of Jon Hodgson’s wonderful pulpy cover (the savage barbarian now has a crown!).  But the revised version of The Savage North also includes some new stuff.  Especially helpful, I think, is the section that discusses how to reconcile the ‘swords-and-sorcery,’ ‘Conan-esque’ vibe of the setting and adventures with the OpenQuest mechanics.  Additional advice on creating OQ characters appropriate for the setting also is provided.

So, if you’re a fan of OQ, or d100/BRP games more generally, and love the swords and sorcery genre, then consider a journey into The Savage North!

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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).