I am not going to step through every article on this one, just call out the ones that stood out for me.
Patrick Farley's Penguin character race reminded me of the old Dragon Magazine races and classes that sometimes just cam out of nowhere. It is wacky but seems like it could work. I am thinking about throwing them in as NPCs and seeing how it goes over. If it flops we can just not come back to it.
The Darkness Beneath is going to be Fight On!'s community megadungeon. I will probably not use any specific levels from it, but as I am starting work on my first megadungeon it is cool to see what they did.
Shields shall be splintered offers an optional rule system for shield where they can be used to basically cancel a hit. I like this a lot and it is likely to be the first rule I add to my OSRIC campaign after the first session or so if my players want more detailed combat.
The Entourage Approach by David Bowman adds depth to the henchman system. He creates a head henchman that becomes the primary character in the event of death. I love this idea. One of the main dangers with old school gaming is that it is... dangerous. As a whole I see this as a plus, but it can lead to players feeling disconnected from the action if they have a few bad sessions. I will be implementing The Entourage System from the start in my OSRIC campaign. This is just a plain cool idea.
James Raggi gives us a really cool random inn generator that is packed with great stuff. As I have said before, these "idea" articles are my favorite. The whole time I was reading this I was thinking, "I could do this... and this... and this." You can use the table here to make a really dynamic feeling inn as your players' base. This one is going right into the game too.
James M.'s Outdoor Map is one of the prime contenders for the backbone of my OSRIC game. The other contenders are all from Rob Conley's Points of Light books, Rob also drew the map for this one. Usually I would make my own setting up, but law school could put me in a position where I can't keep up so I am going to go with help where I can get it. One of the main advantages to this map over the others is that some of the areas get developed on Grognardia so I have an additional source of inspiration in a bind.
Victor Raymond's Wilderness Architect article is a good read. I have never really done things that way, but it is interesting to see how he works.
The articles on Dave Arneson are fun, and of use to me since I plan on slipping Castle Blackmoor into my game.
A couple of issues:
This becomes more of a problem in later issues (I'll get to them), but Fight On! runs a lot of stuff specific to some really old campaign settings. In this issue it is Empire of the Petal Throne. While this is cool to an extent, it can be a bit much. I don't know enough about Empire of the Petal Throne to really follow those adventures. There are some later issues with a lot of old campaign specific stuff in them. I am torn on these, on one hand it is cool. On the other, it can make large parts of the magazine hard to follow.
That said, I am not really part of the Old School movement. I may not be their target audience. I enjoy that style of play, but I also enjoy White Wolf, GURPS, 4th edition, and other games.
One thing that Knockspell is doing much better: At the end of each article Knockspell gives you a little blurb about the authors, including their websites. Both of these magazines are community magazines, this aids in that feeling.
Maps! My Real Maps!
1 day ago