Diana Jones Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the coolest of all gaming awards, the Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming, has been released, and it’s got me, at least, very excited. For one thing, I’m actually familiar with more than one item on the shortlist. Indeed, I have reviewed two of them on this blog.

I am not familiar with Burning Wheel Gold and I am cynically suspicious of the mechanics in Risk Legacy that require you to destroy parts of the game, but the other three on the list are strong contenders. Crowdfunding services like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are nothing short of revolutionary, especially for an industry like ours.

However, it’s the last two books on the list that have me all excited. First, there’s Vornheim, written by Zak S. and published by Lamentations of the Flame Princess. It’s a remarkable work that delivers in its compact form as complete a city product as the classic boxed sets of the 1990s. Though the book acknowledges its position within the genre of D&D fantasy, it refuses to be shackled by its tropes and gives them its own weird fantasy spin. Vornheim is full of clever ideas in both content and presentation, and an Award delivered to Zak would not be a misplaced one.

My personal favourite for the award is Nordic Larp, edited by Markus Montola and Jaakko Stenros, published by Fëa Livia. Frankly, I must confess to being quite surprised it made the shortlist—not because it were not deserving, but because it is a niche product detailing the exploits of a relatively small group of gamers quite far away from Gen Con. It is heartening to see that mere geography is not an obstacle to such deserved recognition. Nordic Larp shines a light on a gaming culture very different from the one that engages in heated debate over the new edition of D&D on RPG.net or EN World. It’s an exceptional, challenging culture, often provocative, sometimes strange, sometimes frightening, but always fascinating.

And it’s a damn beautiful book.

Adventures in Forum Gaming

I wrapped up my first play-by-post Pathfinder RPG scenario last week. I ran it on our Finnish Pathfinder Society forum, as a sort of an experiment on whether it can be done and to figure out how it works. The module I used was The Frostfur Captives, by Jim Groves. It’s a pretty good module, but that’s not the main point of this text. You may consider it a companion piece to this post from 2008.

First things first: yes, we finished it. Forum games are fragile things and die easily. They don’t require a great deal of time or commitment as such, but they make their demands on a daily basis. The Frostfur Captives took us 93 days, with six players and a GM. There were some quieter spells at some points, especially when I lost steam in mid-March, and during my trip to Berlin in April. No players dropped out, though. Overall, I deem the experiment a success.

Of course, the play-by-post format imposes certain limitations on the practical side of the game. All rolls were handled by me. Some I rolled by hand, some on a dicebot on our IRC channel, depending on where I was at the time of posting and whether the roll was such that the players could know about it—e.g. Perception rolls to detect an ambush would be rolled in secret while the initiative rolls when the ambush gets sprung are public.

Similarly, not all information was public for all players. We utilized the private messaging system of the forum extensively, especially when characters executed their secret faction missions. After complaints by one player, the decision was also made to shift information on the health of a fallen player character to private messages. They were also used to communicate ahead of time what the characters would do on their combat turns.

Another important thing is that there’s no battlemap. While there are various ways I could execute it, they’re all rather work-intensive and anyway, as one of my players pointed out, the lack of a battlemap reduces gamist thinking. I give descriptions of the environment and list distances and directions. It is up to the players to interpret them accurately. Of course, I have a notepad with an accurate battlemap that I use to keep track of where everybody is.

We host character sheets on the Mekanismi wiki, with the rest of our local Pathfinder Society stuff. Usually the character sheets are public. One of the players likes to have his sheet behind a password, but I had access to that one as well. It’s pretty much mandatory to have the sheets somewhere online for a game like this, so I can update the game on my mobile phone from a café, if need be.

We had two separate forum threads for the game. Primarily, there was the in-character thread where the gaming action occurred, and secondarily the out-of-character thread, where people asked questions, commented, had arguments about differing playstyles, and complained about the leisurely pace.

PFS scenarios are organized into several acts and the action usually flows logically from one act to another. In some of the more sandboxy scenarios, the middle acts can sometimes overlap or be played in a different order from the one presented, but The Frostfur Captives is about taking a bunch of goblin prisoners from Point A to Point B, through intermediate points, wherein lay encounters and challenges. I opened each act with a longer, very descriptive post, sometimes utilizing art and always including a YouTube link to an appropriate piece of music. For this scenario, I drew from the soundtracks of the games Icewind Dale and Icewind Dale II, since they do an excellent job of evoking the kind of cold, wild desolation that I envision Irrisen to be.

I think the act structure and the fact that there’s a clear endpoint to the game in sight is a contributing factor to the game’s success. Everyone is working towards a goal and, for the most part, will have an idea of what they should accomplish next. The action keeps going and it’s pretty much never dependent on a single player to make a move. If someone falls silent when their character is called upon to act, I can allow them a day or two to react and then just coldly skip them. This has been an issue with many forum games that I’ve seen. To my shame and regret, I’ve pretty much killed one last year by falling silent, and I was a mere player.

The scenario chronicle sheets were printed out, filled by me, and then scanned and mailed to the players as .jpg files after the game.

The forum game differed from tabletop sessions by its tone. The written medium forces people to consider how they express themselves more carefully than they would in a face-to-face situation. OOC banter is also entirely absent. The result is that the game moves closer to an exercise in collaborative storytelling. Of course, each participant has their own idea of what the style of the game is and the characters can be a very strange bunch. For instance, the party in my game included two sorcerers. One of them was Black Annis, a very dark sorcerer character from the far north, whose player was essentially running her as a Vampire: The Masquerade character, and the other was Gnublebum Rikikii, a whimsical gnome with an affinity for goblins. It’s a challenge for the participants to reconcile such disparate characters and the story of the adventure itself into a cohesive whole. Unlike a regular tabletop gaming session, a forum game is not ephemeral but is preserved for posterity, even if some of the events that transpired are visible only to me and the player in question, in our forum mailboxes.

I’ve now seen how a journey module works online, and I think it worked pretty well. My next project is Mists of Mwangi, which is closer to a traditional dungeon crawl. I am interested in seeing how it works on a forum.

Incidentally, the game is now accepting players. It will be played in Finnish, I estimate the timeframe to be around three months, and will be played at Tier 1-2. The signup thread is here.

Giant, Advanced, and Advanced Giant Giant Hamsters

Yes. This is what I do with my life. I stat up giant hamsters in Pathfinder RPG with simple templates.

Giant Giant Hamster                                  CR 4
XP 1,200
N Huge animal
Init +0; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9
AC 16, touch 8, flat-footed 17 (+8 natural, -2 size)
hp 38 (4d8+20)
Fort +9, Ref +4, Will +2
Immune disease
Speed 20 ft., burrow 10 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d10+9 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks cheek pouch
Str 23, Dex 11, Con 20, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +3; CMB +11 (+15 grapple); CMD 21 (25 vs. trip)
Feats Endurance, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Climb +11, Perception +9
Cheek Pouch (Ex) A giant hamster can try to stuff a grabbed opponent of two sizes smaller than itself into its cheek pouch by making a successful grapple check. A creature stuffed into the giant hamster’s cheek pouch takes no damage, and can escape by making a successful DC 24 Strength check or can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 14 points of damage to the cheek (AC 12). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another trapped opponent must cut its own way out.
A Huge hamster’s cheek can hold 1 Medium, 2 Small, 4 Tiny, or 16 Diminutive or smaller opponents. The check DC is Strength-based.

Advanced Giant Hamster                           CR 4
XP 1,200
N Large animal
Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +11
AC 19, touch 13, flat-footed 16 (+3 Dex, +7 natural, -1 size)
hp 38 (4d8+30)
Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +4
Immune disease
Speed 20 ft., burrow 10 ft.
Melee bite +8 (1d8+9 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks cheek pouch
Str 23, Dex 17, Con 20, Int 5, Wis 16, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +10 (+14 grapple); CMD 23 (27 vs. trip)
Feats Endurance, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Climb +11, Perception +11
Cheek Pouch (Ex) A giant hamster can try to stuff a grabbed opponent of two sizes smaller than itself into its cheek pouch by making a successful grapple check. A creature stuffed into the giant hamster’s cheek pouch takes no damage, and can escape by making a successful DC 18 Strength check or can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 10 points of damage to the cheek (AC 11). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another trapped opponent must cut its own way out.
A Large hamster’s cheek can hold 1 Small, 2 Tiny, or 8 Diminutive or smaller opponents. The check DC is Strength-based.

Advanced Giant Giant Hamster                 CR 5
XP 1,600
N Huge animal
Init +1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +11
AC 19, touch 10, flat-footed 18 (+2 Dex, +10 natural, -2 size)
hp 46 (4d8+28)
Fort +11, Ref +6, Will +4
Immune disease
Speed 20 ft., burrow 10 ft.
Melee bite +9 (1d10+12 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks cheek pouch
Str 27, Dex 15, Con 24, Int 5, Wis 16, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +13 (+17 grapple); CMD 25 (29 vs. trip)
Feats Endurance, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Climb +13, Perception +11
Cheek Pouch (Ex) A giant hamster can try to stuff a grabbed opponent of two sizes smaller than itself into its cheek pouch by making a successful grapple check. A creature stuffed into the giant hamster’s cheek pouch takes no damage, and can escape by making a successful DC 26 Strength check or can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 18 points of damage to the cheek (AC 12). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another trapped opponent must cut its own way out.
A Huge hamster’s cheek can hold 1 Medium, 2 Small, 4 Tiny, or 16 Diminutive or smaller opponents. The check DC is Strength-based.

Undead Hamsters!

I couldn’t get sleep, alright? The giant hamster is from Tome of Horrors Complete. The skeleton and zombie templates come from Pathfinder RPG Bestiary.

Giant Hamster Skeleton                            CR 2
XP 600
NE Large undead
Init +6; Senses low-light vision; Perception +5
AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+2 Dex, +7 natural, -1 size)
hp 18 (4d8)
Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +2
DR 5/bludgeoning; Immune cold, undead immunities
Speed 20 ft., burrow 10 ft.
Melee bite +6 (1d8+6)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Str 19, Dex 15, Con —, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +8; CMD 19 (23 vs. trip)
Feats Improved InitiativeB

Giant Hamster Zombie                              CR 1
XP 400
NE Large undead
Init +1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9
AC 18, touch 10, flat-footed 17 (+1 Dex, +8 natural, -1 size)
hp 33 (6d8+6)
Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +2
DR 5/slashing; Immune undead traits
Speed 20 ft., burrow 10 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d8+5) or slam +7 (1d8+5)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Str 21, Dex 11, Con —, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +9; CMD 19 (23 vs. trip)
Feats ToughnessB
SQ staggered

Nordic RPG News – Penguins and Varg Vikernes

I’ve heard interesting news from the sphere of Nordic roleplaying games in the past few days.

First, the company Vagrant Workshop has announced they will be releasing Valley of Eternity, the Finnish penguin roleplaying game, in English. Written by Juhana Pettersson, the game was originally released in 2009 as Ikuisuuden laakso. It’s a game about penguin heroes and antipenguins, about survival in the bitterly cold Antarctic, and the things a hero must do to protect their community. Its inspirations include Conan, spaghetti westerns and March of the Penguins, if I recall the original press release correctly. I must admit that I thought it was an off-season April Fools joke, but it turned out to be a fine game. Once the English version is released, I’ll translate my original review and post it here.

Vagrant Workshop is also, apparently, releasing Itras by, from Norway. Its Finnish translation was released at the same time with the original Ikuisuuden laakso, and I reviewed it here. I am less excited about that.

My other news item also comes from Norway, and good or bad (or evil?), it’s at least interesting. Last month, Burzum.org released an interview with Varg Vikernes that includes the following exchanges:

Are you still planning on the release of your own role playing game? What can you tell us about this, if anything at all?

Yes, very much so, but I am not yet sure exactly on how to do this. I expect to be asking for help from gamers to play-test the system and to get feedback, but I will do some proof-reading and add some more meat to the bone, so to speak, before I do so.

Note that I am not trying to revolutionize RPG gaming with this game or anything like that. I just wanted to add in a game some things I have always missed in other games and remove some things I didn’t like, and then create a setting I would want to play in myself.

It’s all done out of love for RPGs, and because I enjoy working with this.

Do you have any fond memories of your role playing game days you would like to share? I myself, with a few, select others, played the first edition AD&D only, and we still sometimes do, in the manner of the old Gary Gygax tradition of early RPG… We have created many characters and had much magic still, with some great opportunities to play out the character and personalities like Mackarel Dale the rouge; the druid Owck the gnarled or against villains we have created like Fitzworg the enslaver…

Oh, it is a very long time since I last played a game, and I think even back then, when I had the opportunity to play, my biggest fascination was the logic (or lack thereof) of the system itself, the technical details and gaming mechanics, the complexity of the gaming world, races, stats and so forth. I am a terrible friend, so I have lost all my RPG-friends, and I lost the last one many years ago, and have gained no new friends to replace them, so I relate to RPGs pretty much just like some autistic person trying to figure out in details how a complicated mechanical device works. Right now I just try to make a logical system and a logical world for it…

My fond RPG memories have mostly been lost, but I still remember how fun it was to even just have the PC party walk up to some ruined tower or a cave entrance, and then try to unveil the secrets therein.

Ah, you know; Det som engang var (“what once was”)…

Okay, it would actually have surprised me more if Vikernes was not a former roleplayer, what with the 1990’s metal scene and all (and upon investigation, I found out that Det som engang var is actually the name of a Burzum album with cover artwork inspired by Temple of Elemental Evil). However, having the guy design and release a game of his own… yikes.

For those who aren’t entirely certain who Mr Vikernes is or why his RPG background is interesting, well… he just got out of prison a couple of years ago, having gone there for stabbing his Mayhem bandmate Øystein Aarseth (himself apparently a theistic Satanist) to death. Before that, he’d been running around burning churches in the name of Nordic paganism. He has also been associated with the neo-Nazi movement.

So, he’s not necessarily the first public figure I’d pick to have associated with my hobby, but I must admit to a certain curiosity towards the game project. The thing is, the interview answers above don’t sound like he’ll be turning out a new FATAL or RaHoWa. Spawn of Fashan or World of Synnibar, perhaps. Fantasy heartbreaker, quite possibly. Still, he seems to have a sense of perspective.

I’ll be keeping an eye on that project. It may not be anything I’ll want to play, but it would almost have to be a hoot to read.

Oh, and one more thing: the first RPG.net review of Stalker RPG is up!

Conan the Barbarian

It’s now May 14th, the 30th anniversary of the American release of Conan the Barbarian.

It’s not, unfortunately, the 30th anniversary of the world-premier. That was back in March. However, it’s the one I choose to observe because it coincides with my birthday. Fortunately, I’m a few years younger than the film.

I picked the day to rewatch the film. My friends can tell that this doesn’t exactly require a lot. It’s one of my favourites and moreover, one of the few films that I can watch over and over again without ever growing bored. Somehow, there’s very little in the film that does not work. The direction is good, Schwarzenegger has the physical presence and sense of timing to pull it off, the art design is sublime, and the Basil Poledouris soundtrack knits it all together into something that is more than the sum of its parts. Every fantasy movie between Conan the Barbarian and Fellowship of the Ring – and quite a few afterwards – owe it a great debt, and there’s nary a sentence in its dialogue that is not quotable.

It’s a classic for the ages.

Fittingly, this is also the 200th post of my blog.

Review: Enter the Shadowside

Enter the Shadowside is a new roleplaying game from FableForge. It’s available as an affordable 75-page PDF. It’s a modern-day supernatural conspiracy game written by Marco Leon. The first thing it reminds me of is Unknown Armies. In Enter the Shadowside, player characters have spirits riding around inside their heads. The second thing it reminds me of is Sorcerer.

The Shadowside in the title refers to the game’s parallel universe, or alternate reality, or dimension of dreams, or whatever you wish to call it. It’s a reality overlaid upon our own, where the souls of the dead go and the ghosts come from. It’s created by the thoughts and dreams of people, much like in Planescape. Belief Creates Reality, or “Cogito Ergo Mundus” (which literally means “I think, therefore the universe” and is grammatically as correct). The different religions of the world are explained as merely different ways to contextualize the Shadowside and its phenomena.

The PCs belong to one of nine—or seven, really—organizations or secret societies that are nicely laid out in a three-by-three grid with the axes of Altruistic–Neutral–Egoistic and Orderly–Neutral–Anarchic. The Altruistic Orderly and Egoistic Anarchic organizations are recommended only for the endgame of a campaign and even then as NPCs. Indeed, they aren’t even described with the rest of the organizations in the organization chapter, but in a special appendix at the end of the book that says “DO NOT READ ANYTHING BEYOND THIS POINT UNLESS YOU ARE A STORYHOST AND HAVE RUN AT LEAST SIX SESSIONS!!” I confess to cheating, here.

“StoryHost” (sic), incidentally, is the game’s Game Master figure.

The organizations, each of which have their own paranormal skills, are Fujin’s Blood, who are a mystical Yakuza; Diabolus Malleos (a.k.a. Διαβόλου σφύρα), who are the local Knights Templar; Somosa, the Voodoo guys; the Sisterhood of Salem, who are witches, vampires and werewolves in the WoD vein; the Greater Thelema Society, the descendants of the Hellfire Club by way of Aleister Crowley; Accelletrix, who are the magical megacorporation; and finally, the only one that I consider really interesting, the SCaV3NG3R.

The Scav3ngers are the mystical Anonymous. They’ve found the occult reality through “creepypasta”, the urban legends and ghost stories of the internet generation, on various forums. I think the concept is interesting and sort of grounded in reality in a way that the others aren’t. Their slang is inspired by 4chan and other online forums. They call the apocalypse “Longcatnarök”, which captures the gleeful irreverence of the culture. This is good stuff, and I’m sort of interested in seeing the eventual SCaV3NG3R sourcebook. The game is coyly suggesting that these are the heroes of the setting by using certain of their slang terms as the game’s core terminology. For instance, in the gameworld, Hierogamy and Shadowside are the Scavenger terms for these things, while the other organizations use their own names.

The game’s system looks lightweight and workable (I must confess to not having had the opportunity to test it in practice), though the resolution mechanic involves the use of a table called the Jacob’s Ladder. I understand the motivation to inject flavour into the ruleset itself, but the introduction of a chart you must refer every time you roll and check the target number with a ruler is inelegant. The character sheet also contains some potential for great confusion. Here, meet the World-Turtle. The World-Turtle

The World-Turtle is where you mark down your character’s stats, a number in each of the boxes. Simple, right? Except that once your character enters Hierogamy (i.e. gets a spirit riding in their head) you also mark down the spirit’s stats in those boxes, in a different corner, and in the middle you put the combined value. The Turtle looks nice, but will end up cluttered and confusing.

In general, the visual side is where the game fails. The game is laid out, for reasons beyond my mortal comprehension, in a hideous three-column format with a typeface that is slightly too large, leading to very short lines and an unpleasant reading experience. There’s a reason the two-column format is the standard. The short lines also lead to great many syllable breaks, which the word processor has inserted more or less at random (well, not randomly, but I’ve never seen a word processor that can reliably and accurately do syllabification in English). The font itself is Arial, which should never be used for anything and commits an aesthetic crime with the introduction of drop cap initials. Seriously. Two columns, and for all that is good and pure, find a font that can differentiate between the capital I and the lowercase l. Even Comic Sans can do that.

Enter the Shadowside doesn’t explain much. The GM is called the StoryHost, which you are not told anywhere. The term just pops up in the middle of character generation. The game uses six- and twenty-sided dice, which you must figure out by carefully reading the Mechanics chapter. It could use a page in the beginning going over the basics: this is how the game is different from other roleplaying games, these are the dice you need, the basic rolling mechanic goes like this. Another thing I find myself wanting is a StoryHost chapter telling you what to do with the game, what kind of adventures to run, perhaps a recommendation on whether all the PCs should be from the same organization or if a mixture is possible. In general, there should be a few lines on how the organizations regard one another. These omissions limit the usability of the game and make it seem like a work in progress instead of a finished product. Also, someone new to roleplaying games could probably apprehend that this is a roleplaying game but not, perhaps, what a roleplaying game is. A short introductory adventure might not be out of place.

The game has an interesting community aspect. There’s a subreddit for it, and the author espouses the concept of “open canon”. Basically, if you want to write your own Enter the Shadowside supplement and sell it, go for it. He retains copyright to the game, but will not demand royalties. He also reserves the right to say what’s official and what isn’t. I think this could’ve been more succinctly presented as some kind of Creative Commons licence (cf. Eclipse Phase), but I’m not an expert and can’t be sure. The idea, however, is interesting and I heartily support experiments like this. The author also describes his views on DRM, which I can agree with—hell, the PDF isn’t even watermarked. I can’t really find much to criticize in the price tag, either.

So, is it a good game? Perhaps. I must confess that I am somewhat jaded towards the whole genre of occult conspiracies. In a post-Foucault’s Pendulum and Illuminatus! world, it’s a difficult one to work in (cf. the execrable Da Vinci Code), and if it takes itself too seriously, it easily becomes a parody of itself. If done well, though, like in Unknown Armies or Delta Green, it can be something sublime. Enter the Shadowside is right there on the edge, saved mostly by its refusal to delve too deeply into the setting. The system looks functional, if a bit clunky. SCaV3NG3R is genuinely interesting organization.

Full disclosure: I was offered and accepted a free review copy from the designer.

Later addendum: Since the original publication of this review, the publisher has released an edited version of the core rules, 88 pages long, where the layout issues I complained about above have been fixed, making the book a much more pleasant read.

Some Paizo Fanboyism

I’ll do all the Paizo fanboy stuff in a single post.

First of all, the Pathinder Online project is moving forward. They put up a Kickstarter to raise funds for a tech demo, which would allow them to raise the kind of funds that are difficult to get by crowdsourcing and are needed when developing a MMO. They got the $50,000 they were after in about 24 hours. They’re now looking to just up the number of pledges – money is no longer the main thing, but the number of fans. This is to show investors that there’s a solid playerbase for this kind of thing.

Personally, I’m cautiously interested, but I have enough things vying for my attention that I can survive without another MMO. I still threw in $50 for the Thornkeep book. (Incidentally, the LotFP IndieGoGo project got the main goal fulfilled and is now heading for the Ken Hite module.)

Also, Paizo just supplied one more thing to vie for that attention. As of two days ago, I am the Pathfinder Society Venture-Captain for Finland, which is a really long way of saying that I’m the regional campaign coordinator, which in turn means that I’ll be doing much the same as I have until now, except LOUDER!

Additionally, this means increased support for Pathfinder Society at conventions. This means I can offer all kinds of help to game day organizers. I’m still figuring out all the stuff that’s in my power to do, specifically, but getting free module PDFs for GMs at public game days and conventions is on the menu.

I’ve already appointed Jussi Leinonen as the Venture-Lieutenant for the Helsinki region, which is also pretty much making official what the man’s doing already.

I’m now looking for Game Masters in the more distant cities of Finland, like Jyväskylä, Oulu or Turku. My “work” address for this stuff is PFSFinland@gmail.com.

Also, I probably should clarify that this does not make me an employee of Paizo. I get some swag and they taught me the secret VC handshake, but I’m still just a campaign volunteer. Also, PFS is not getting preferential treatment because of this at Ropecon. The PFS Game Masters get treated just as well as any other Game Master, and if there are special circumstances, it’s because it either makes things easier for me as the Master of Game Masters or because their games require special circumstances (such as if we end up running Blood Under Absalom, which may end up taking the whole room for itself).

Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Stalker RPG, Self-Aggrandizement

It is time for some commercials!

As you may know, I translated Stalker RPG for Burger Games, and the game was finally released in PDF back in March. Now, Burger Games finally got a print-on-demand option worked out that they’re happy with. Additionally, the PDF’s price has been lowered to €14 (which translates to about $19.30). The PDF is available on DriveThruRPG, and the PoD book can be purchased from Lulu, for an eminently affordable €29.90. For a refresher, here’s J. Tuomas Harviainen’s review of the game. Additionally, here’s a thread on EN World where I discuss the system in some detail.

Another project I’m involved in is an IndieGoGo drive from Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Ostensibly, it’s for printing hardcover versions of the rulebooks. Actually, it’s about getting game writer luminaries such as Kenneth Hite, Frank Mentzer, Jason Morningstar and Zak S to write LotFP adventure modules. Oh, and me. I’m not sure what, exactly, I am doing in this esteemed company, but if you throw enough money Jim’s way, we can all find out together when I pen him a 32-page adventure module. “Enough money” in this case means $105,000.

Okay, it’s probably not going to happen unless someone throws in $7,500 for a Drooling Fanboy pack with my name on it (which is also probably not going to happen, but I’d love to be proven wrong), but guys, I want that Richard Pett adventure. If I don’t get my Richard Pett adventure, I will be very disappointed. Also, I want the stuff that comes before Pett, too. Seriously, the writer of Fiasco and Grey Ranks doing old-school D&D? Gimme! Never saw anything by Kenneth Hite that I didn’t love, either. And there’s Frank Mentzer, the man who gave us Bargle!

Also, since the man behind the project is Jim Raggi, you know he won’t skimp on the production values. These adventures, when they get made, will be small works of art.