On the month June in (classic) Gaming

What a hell of a month!

This month was complicated. I am currently in free-fall, falling back on only my faith in myself. It was productive in spite of itself. I had my sleep study and got a continuous positive air pressure machine which radically altered my life. I've drastically cut down on caffeine and have had very strange sleeping patterns.

Look. The study said I had 170 interruptions average an hour. The longest of which lasted 32 seconds. Even if every interruption lasted 1 second, that's nearly 3 minutes not breathing an hour. The fact that they last much longer than that. . . I had been going without sustained REM sleep for a long time now. I was living in the realm five minutes before bed, where exhausted set in from the very moment I woke up.

What a weird hack. Sleep apnea kills, flooding your body with stress hormones every time you can't breath, causing arterial damage. This stress gives people heart attacks and the damage is cumulative. Some bright monkey built a weird box to fix this by blowing air into your face. If you're overweight, tired a lot, go see your doctor. Mine is quiet and completely covered by insurance. Last night I had only 14 interruptions an hour, and my average is now under 10. Your families and friends love you.

I only do a few Hearthstone arena runs a week, far to few to qualify for the leaderboard (which requires 30 runs or more).  But this month I played about 15 arenas, averaging 4.7 wins with a win percentage 68% (130ish wins, 75ish losses). Taverns of Time has been great fun. The above may not seem infinite, but with the improved quests, I've gotten a ton of gold this month. Here's the video of my 12-win arena run (and a quick "For the King" party wipe)

Speaking of "For the King" It's a hex-based rogue-lite where you take a team of three adventurers (with unlockable classes) and collect treasure, clear dungeons, and try to stop an ancient evil. It's a pretty fun and exciting implementation of a random hex-cralwish type game. First, It's Fun! Second, on the hard mode, it's very tense and every decision matters. You can see my quick party-wipe on the easiest level here in the above broadcast. After every win, you can spend lore to unlock more things, classes, items, events, etc.

But that's not what we are here for!

New Releases

Oh, man I'm excited about Mothership! "Mothership is a sci-fi horror roleplaying game where you and your crew try to survive in the most inhospitable environment in the universe: outer space! You'll excavate dangerous derelict spacecraft, explore strange unknown worlds, exterminate hostile alien life, and examine the horrors that encroach upon your every move" A space horror game from Sean McCoy, who I have to disclose, is a friend of mine. Still, I've seen the design of the character sheet, and it's brilliant. It's available as pay what you want on DrivethruRPG with a 4$ suggested price.

Look at that cover art! It's a great design, with a definite classic aesthetic. You're not playing heroes, you're playing men trapped in metal coffins surrounded by the void. It's also complete in less than 40 pages. And you can jump right in, character creation is on the record sheet. Go check it out!

There's also the new adventure Shadows of the Forgotten Kings, with art by Dyson Logos and Chris Huth, and written by Zzarchov Kowolski. "Caravans do not make it through anymore. A handful of tattered survivors have made it back to the city and reported being assaulted by wave after wave of panthers that would attack, retreat, and attack again in replenished numbers. The merchant houses want their lucrative route back. The villages need grain and supplies; their people cannot live forever scavenging fruit and huddling by their hearths in fear every night." Kowolski has a great talent at making visceral and very real feeling villagers and situations, so this is exciting. Gus, who we talked about leaving in our last rumors section has spent some time writing extensive reviews, and he has a good one of this adventure located here if you're interested in a solid breakdown.

The Beast is a strange product, a handwritten complete one page game about a gothic horror scenario, where you work for a reprehensible baron and there's a village attacked by a beast. You have to kill it for the baron that you hate. It's pay what you want with a suggested price of a dollar. I'd complain about it missing a list of gothic tropes or scenes, except for the fact that its free, one page long, and contains a beast generator that is very suggestive of scenes. You need to be familiar with horror tropes and I imagine anyone who's interested in this probably is. Seems like a great replacement for a night of gaming as a one shot for the right group.

There's a 7 page download that just collects the rules for polymorphing from Pathfinder. I'm used to editions where this is handled by a single paragraph.

Although I don't play his great high-powered immortal-style Godbound role playing game, any Kevin Crawford release is worth noting, so we have The Lexicon of the Throne, which contains just a whole lot of expansion content for Godbound.

Another download that looks like a passion project is the Thousand Year Sandglass. It's a set of expansion rules for labyrinth lord (B/X) for running Arabian Nights-style games. The writing seems solid. The author seems to have a real passion for the subject and it shows through in the material.

I'm going to say something about the Hidden Halls of Hazakor, which I almost just passed by. This thing here, man. Ok, it's an adventure module, written for children to run, with an expected age of 12. I, just. . . I ran Temple of Elemental Evil when I was 12.  I'm mentioning this because it's great. I mean, bully on Scott Fitzgerald Grey on putting this together. But here's the problem, who's this product for? If I were a 12 year old Dungeon Master, I wouldn't be looking for a module. You're twelve? Like, your job is to hang out and play? So mostly you have a lot of time to make adventures. And when you do go looking to buy an adventure, it's because it's one that someone you respected said was cool.

The issue with this is that it's for adults to buy for their children to run. Is that a problem? I dunno. Did you want to wear the pants your mother picked out for you when you were 12? Perhaps I'm overthinking it. I think a more useful tool would be adventures that teach adults how to run role-playing games for children.

There's some professional talent behind it, and it's certainly written for an average reader, someone who might not know the definition of summarize. It's very comprehensively and clearly written, a little cliched, but the dungeons aren't linear, and the advice that I saw mostly seems very solid. I'm not giving my opinion, because I'm not quite sure what it is yet.

Issue 4 of the unofficial Lamentations of the Flame Princess 'zine Black Dogs is out! "Issue IV contains: guidelines about social interactions with NPCs, instructions for designing NPCs, skills and experience house-rules, an adventure on a dangerous mountain pass with new creatures, and advice on setting up a campaign." It's good stuff. 3.00$ for the .pdf, or 6.50$ for a physical copy plus .pdf. Also Back to basiX #5 is available, a B/X fanzine.

Have we seen Times that Fry Men's Souls? It's an classic hexcrawl set in "Demented Colonial New York and New Jersey" It's 136 pages, and is extensively illustrated. 10$ in pdf only at RPGnow, but also 10$ in print from lulu. So I haven't gotten my copy yet, but it looks impressive!

For those of us in the hobby a long time, GURPS Classic: Wizards is finally available in .pdf from RPGnow, and it's an interesting reference for any referee about spellcasting archetypes, in addition to being invaluable for GURPS referees. 7.99$

Finally, Sacrebleu is pretty amazing. Great cover art, pay what you want with a .50 cent suggested price, it's about goblins with world war one rifles that you don't tell the players about and having the players being stuck on a tropical island with them. It's useful! It has ideas and creativity! It's exactly what we are always talking about wanting. The future is now!

As always, none of the above is sponsored. Products I purchased I purchased with my own money, and they are nothing more then things I happen to think are good. I don't talk about the things that are bad. If I've missed something, let me know.

Was that an awesome list? I'm still hustling just to make rent. It'd be great if you support me or tip me!

Hack & Slash 

1 comment:

  1. I've used a CPAP for my sleep apnea for years and when everything stays put and works well I get by on 5 or 6 hours of sleep (I just wake up) as opposed to the 9-12 I used to seem to need and I don't have the numb legs, headaches, and sorethroats I used to get all the time.

    A little bit of attention to health and there's more gaming.


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