Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Adventure in GDF #4

In case you haven't heard, LotFP has just released the pdf-only Green Devil Face #4.

In this issue, you'll find my new small but wild and deadly adventure titled The Tomb to Die For/In.

I remember when I wrote this adventure that I tried to keep in mind the spirit of what GDF is all about. So, a quick thanks goes to Mr. Raggi for including it in the recent issue of his madhouse zine. I hope you all enjoy it.

As for the rest of GDF#4, the fun, genius, and insanity are all there, packed into 69 pages!

Check it out and use what you can in your own game to throw your players for a loop. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Quick update

It's been a while since I temporarily stepped down from writing and playing RPGs to take care of things going on in Real Life. Now for a bit of updating about the future of Prime Requisite Games.

I'm not going into much detail just yet, but within a few months, I plan to slowly get back into the OSR circles again with a couple new adventure modules, the Labyrinth Lord optional expansion book that I have been working on as well as an all-new official Prime Requisite Games web site.

I plan to go the same route as Goblinoid Games and offer PRG books free as a low-res/no art pdf. The high-res (with art) pdfs and print copies will be available at a cost. I also plan to collaborate with a couple local artists I know to help produce quality painted covers for future gaming books.

Anyway, there is plenty to do on my end before I jump back into publishing. As you might have noticed, I shrunk my availability online (no Scribd or Issuu, and turned off blog comments), but this is only to keep minimal tabs on my stuff while I am away from the gaming table.

My wife Else has been a real trooper in supporting me, and she will eventually be instrumental in helping me with the restructure of Prime Requisite Games. Else's a smart cookie, and while we are both professional graphic designers, she can design circles around me - so I'm hoping to utilize her talents for the print books and web site.

So now, I will be signing off for a little while longer. Other important Real Life situations call for my attention, but it's nice to see a small speck of light at the end of the tunnel.

However, while you wait, I have a small (deadly) adventure to be published in Green Devil Face #4.

Take care and Happy Gaming!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ah, I knew this was coming. Goodbye again, my friends!

Time has swallowed me up for the last time. My limited time for gaming has become zero time. I was knee-deep in the middle of the new LL book, but that, along with anything else RPG (or PRG) related, will be stuck on the far back burner.

I know I've said this before, but I also mentioned that soon I will no longer be able to ignore my responsibilities of RL, and will eventually slither away again. This time, I'm afraid, it will be for much longer.

Take care and happy gaming!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Spreading the brand name

Although I have no delusions about growing the old-school movement into the multi-million dollar mainstream, I still love the idea of finding new (or tried and true) ways of expanding the hobby.

What made the original D&D game so damn popular in the early/mid eighties? I'm sure some would say it was a perfect storm of something new, different (and even rebellious in some circles), and the internet wasn't around to whisk away most kids' attention.

However, I seem to remember that if there was something I was into, D&D was able to worm its way into the medium (or product) and place its ads in front of my curious eyes.

- Posters at the local book store (when there were still local book stores). Check.
- Tons of cheesy, yet freaking awesome, cartoon ads in all the comics I bought. Check.
- Groups of kids at my middle and high schools for rpg play. Yep.
- Dungeons & Dragons candy. Perfect. One of the easiest ways to reach the young boy demographic, especially with a kick-ass dragon pic on its cover.
- Action figures! Silly for (most) adults, sure. But when I was 11 years-old and out looking at G.I. Joes and Marvel's Secret Wars figures, the D&D figures looked cool to me.
- Board games! Remember Dungeon! and the D&D Labyrinth Game from Mattel? Not only did they help spread the brand name, they were actually fun.
- The AD&D coloring book. A giant coloring book with a stripped down D&D game within. As a kid, I loved this, but the art in it was the key. Plus, it was placed with all the other activity/coloring books and it was bigger than most of the others.
- Animated cartoon. Want to get the product in front of young kids? 'Nuff said.

I know there are a few other example that are escaping me at the moment, and even if I could remember, many of the hobby publishers absolutely do not have the resources for most, if any, of the promotional techniques mentioned.

Most agree that the best way to promote the game is to play and talk about it. Play, play, play and invite as many newbies from the office as possible. Most likely, those noobs have kids. With my limited time and resources, this is what I do and have been fairly successful at it.

Beyond that, if resources were available, what do you think would be the best way to promote, say, Labyrinth Lord (for example).

Let's say that the Labyrinth Lord Society decided to do a fund raiser to promote the game. What would be the best possible use of the funds? It would seem simple enough to sponsor some type of game play at the library or local book/gaming store, but that will only attract people already into rpgs. I'm thinking about different ways to spread the brand name.

- Comic book ads?
- Parenting magazine ads? This can promote to older non-rpg players the benefits of rpgs (reading, writing, critical thinking skills), and the bonus is that most clones are free to download - try before you buy.
- Ads in "men's" magazines? Not necessarily porn mags, but stuff like Maxim or genre mags like Fangoria. Most of these readers are either parents or uncles, and for the genre crowd who might be ex-players, it never hurts to scratch that nostalgia itch. Plus, it might get them back into the game!
- Sponsorships for kid-related events! Get those Labyrinth Lord banners over a big city's Zoobalee function, or school sporting event, or movie marathon, or whatever. Sponsorships gets your name into printed programs, t-shirts, and event signs.
- Free giveaways. Not PDFs, but hard copies. God bless Free RPG Day, but how do we get it into the hands of non-players? When I was in a band, we would spring for a ton of tapes (before CDs were readily available), set them in the area record stores with a big "Take One" sign next to them. At our gigs, we sold our demos for $1. Within a year, most of the area kids knew our songs and word spread about us pretty quickly, even to those not usually interested in metal. Could something similar work for rpgs?

These are just a few pie in the sky ideas to spread the brand name. If enough resources were available for small-scale promotion, what ideas would you have?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Early details about my new Labyrinth Lord book

Here's a few details about my new Labyrinth Lord book, Adventures into the Old Lands.

Adventures into the Old Lands is a campaign expansion for Labyrinth Lord. It will feature new classes, spells, magical items, monsters, and a couple of adventures within some of the more notable Old Lands locations.

Some of the following details are up for change.

Centuries ago, these lands were supported by a thriving fishing and farming industry. It wasn't until a secured evil on a southern island found a way to the mainland, and slowly spread. Many people moved far east, to what is now called the Known Lands.

Those who stayed moved to the northern lands which serve as a vast lair of the dreaded Worm Cult. These vile clerics and tribesmen surround Worm Mountain, a huge lone mountain within the hills of the Old Lands, to worship the Great Worm. Legend has it that the Great Worm is a god from the lower regions of the earth. Thousands of years ago it burrowed up from the earth's core causing a great mountain to form where there are no other mountains.

The southern island as well as the Worm Mountain locations will be used as two adventures to be included in the book.


• The Mountain Man class: The Mountain Man is invaluable in wilderness travel. They have spent their lives living off the shelter and sustenance provided in the harsh outside environment, using their skills to track, hunt, and set deadly traps.

• The Harlequin class: Harlequins are natural performers who have learned trade tricks of thieves and low-level wizardry. Their range of skills includes some thieving abilities and simple spells which produce minor effects (called antics).


Antics are minor spells used primarily by apprentices and harlequins. As a fan of the original cantrips, almost all of the antics are cloned from 1.5e.

Magic Items and Monsters

The new items and monsters from my past module releases with be featured here with a few more added goodies. Relics such as the Staves of Maurath and the Black Jewel will also find their way in the Old Lands book. My favorite magic item so far: the Medusa Scalp.


I had at one time used some house rules regarding shields and dodging. Researching online, I noticed that many others do the same. I may incorporate these optional combat rules here.


As previously stated, the southern (eeeeeevil) island and Worm Mountain will be the sites for the book's adventures. While the Worm Mountain adventure will be relatively short, the setting will have mega dungeon potential.

These adventures will mainly be a spring board for the new classes and items available in Adventures into the Old Lands. I think it's necessary (and cool) for a campaign expansion. Most likely they will be low level, but I am considering making the southern island adventure for intermediate levels…that's when you can bring out the undead big guns. :P


I will handle most of the interior art, but for the cover art, I am in talks with a local guy I know. I respect this guy's fantasy work a lot and I know he will do a wow-wee job. I plan for the cover to be black and white/pen and ink work, similar to the LL and AEC covers.

As I've said in a previous post, this book is still a long way off as my time for a project of this magnitude is very, very limited. However, I do make progress on it every week, so I'm happy about that.

If you have any suggestions, by all means, throw them at me.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Player's Expectations, Game Balance and Whatnot

I read a terrific post from Brunomac at Temple of Demogorgon and thought about some of my past players' expectations when coming to my game table.

I am not a complete softy GM. I have no problems with the fact that sometimes characters die. I love a good trap or puzzle that has the potential of splattering a character in a finger snap. It's just as cool when the characters play their way around these deadly encounters.

I will admit that I lean toward the characters surviving the adventure, even secretly rooting for them to overcome the same killer obstacles I placed within the adventure to kill them. Weird, huh?

I also house rule a few things that benefit the characters, but my players are the types to not complain if I decided to get rid of the bonuses. Luckily, the only expectation my players have is that I will provide them with a fun time, with or without house rules or if there are character deaths, they can relax with the idea that I will not screw them out of a good game.

I am thankful that in all my experience as a GM to know of only one player who "expected" his characters to live, and if any of them died, I automatically became the Killer GM who would wring his hands together as each character met their gory deaths.

I'm sure most GMs have met players who want to bring in their characters from other power gaming campaigns (all 17s and 18s on the stats, +5 vorpal weapons, plane-jumping, wielding Thor's hammer, and all before they reach 3rd level). Or players that bring in a stack of splat books that you have never read and never WANT to read, fully expecting you to GM his multi-multi classed/sub classed thief/magic-user/jester cyclops into the town tavern to ask about adventuring rumors.

Some worry about Game Balance when confronted with such ridiculousness, but there are times when I think, "bring it on!" I'm not worried about Game Balance. If some dude wants to bring in his high powered 2nd level fighter with a Ring of Endless Disintegrations, then as a GM, I know how to stack some heavy freaking rocks on the game scale.

This, of course, can lead to some silly game play. Fun at times, but who wants a pissing match between a player with an entitlement problem and a GM who won't allow the offered entitlements to prevent a possible TPK? It's the normal players who will suffer...unless you give 'em all +5 vorpal weapons. ;)

Sometimes it's just best to say, "We're playing Labyrinth Lord (or S&W, C&C, BFRPG) and we're going to stick pretty close to those rules."

If a player has his or her own set of preferred house rules, let 'em start their own game.

Friday, June 11, 2010

My Mini LabLord Character Sheet

I know that more than a handful of people have already created mini character sheets, but I thought I would go ahead and post the one I created for my games.

This character sheet is small enough to fit on a 6x4 index card. It has interactive fields you can use if you have Adobe Reader or Acrobat Pro (you can save data typed into the fields only with Acrobat Pro).

If you are printing on 6x4 cards, print at 100%. If you can get any use out of these, have at it. :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My personal gaming timeline - 1979 to the present

1979/1980 - Played Adventure! on the Atari 2600 for the first time. I couldn't understand how much awesome could fit into such a small rectangular cartridge. The dragons looked like giant hollow ducks, but they still scared the hell out of me.

1982 - Played my first D&D game and died within the first 3 minutes. What happened in the game: My character went against his god's wishes and was supernaturally crushed to death by the betrayed deity. What happened in real life: The DM thought, "How can I send the little 9 year-old pest home quickly?" However, those 3 minutes changed my life.

1983 - New wave, Quiet Riot, and weird short films dominated episodes of Night Flight as I sat in front of the TV drawing pages after pages of maps. Usually, one dungeon room would fill one page. I went through a lot of paper.

1983 - Dragon's Lair appeared at my local arcade. It proceeded to eat my quarters, two at a time. It was twice as expensive as my go-to games (Pac-Man, Food Fight, Popeye, Elevator Action), but playing and guiding an animated cartoon was pure gold to a 10 year-old.

1983 - The Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. Saturday mornings became a weekly D&D holiday for me.

1984 - I bought my first issue of Marvel's Conan the Barbarian. This lone, random purchase brought me into comic collecting. I asked my dad what his favorite comic was. He told me and within a month, my back issue of Howard the Duck arrived via mail order.

1984 - Bought the Marvel Superheroes rpg. I had so much fun with this game, I nearly stopped playing D&D in favor of roleplaying Spider-Man. Plus, they turned Secret Wars into a freaking MODULE!

1985 - By this time, I was playing AD&D two to three times a week at a minimum. We house ruled so much that we may as well have re-written the rulebooks.

1985-1988 - Played through many of the classic D&D adventures. Saltmarsh, Tomb of Horrors, Beyond the Crystal Cave, Slave Lords, and the first Ravenloft just to name a few. By the way - in Ravenloft, our DM's jaw dropped (as well as a few tears) after Strahd was killed with one hit from a Mace of Disruption. Ha!

1989 - Bought all the 2nd Edition stuff. In my game, I kept what I liked from 1e in my games. Loved that the new edition was backward compatible.

1991 - My gaming began dropping off. However, I was able to DM a party through the entire Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. Incredible experience, that was.

1992 - Moved from my home town to Lawrence, KS. Not to go to college, but to join a metal band. Occasionally played 1e with a small group of friends.

1993 - Stopped playing RPGs. Stopped collecting comic books. Devoted my time to music and eating Pizza Shuttle pizza.

2000 - 3e came out. This revitalized my interest in D&D. Bought the core books and noticed how completely different it was from my favorite game. I still gave it a fair shake.

2001 - My wife and I joined a 3e group. Played four sessions. The group was full of rules lawyers and combat took FOR-freaking-EVER. After the fourth session, I put my books away. The experience even made me lose interest in any RPG playing whatsoever. I hung it up.

2005 - Graduated from college and got a nice graphic design job working with a bunch of comic book/sci-fi movie geeks.

2006 - Started collecting comics again.

2008, Summer - Spoke to my Brazilian brother-in-law about the old D&D cartoon. Apparently, the show was a big hit in Brazil. He thought the game was based on the cartoon (!!). We talked for hours about D&D and my interest started shifting toward getting a game together.

2008, Summer - I didn't want to relive my gaming experience with 3e, so I researched "old school rpgs" online. After separating the computer rpgs with the tabletop rpgs, I came across the retro-clones - and they were FREE.

2008, Late Summer - I gathered a bunch of RPG newbies from my job and played David Bezio's Lost Daughter adventure using the Labyrinth Lord rules. We quickly decided to schedule another game.

2008, Fall - I took notice of the DIY publishing movement within the old-school community. I wrote The Courtyard of Gerald Red for my group's second adventure.

2008, October - Created Prime Requisite Games and published Gerald Red as my first Labyrinth Lord module.

The rest is history. Let's hope there is a future. ;)

Monday, June 7, 2010

News on Big New Project (early stages)

Dang it, I didn't mean to start on this, but it just happened. I swear.

It began with a couple ideas that I jotted down on paper. Soon I added more notes to those notes and the next thing you know, I'm typing this stuff out on my laptop. Ideas for new classes, monsters, magic and modules.

I am in the process of putting together an all-new Labyrinth Lord book. First I release A Promise of Vengeance Fulfilled, and now this.

Some vacation.

Normally, I wouldn't say anything about this project since I am so early in the process (past incidents have taught me a lesson), but after I gazed over what I have put together so far, I couldn't help myself.

The tentative title is Adventures into the Old Lands. This may change, but I'm keeping it simple.

So far, I have fleshed out (without the fine details) the following:

- Two new classes - the Mountain Man and the Harlequin.
- Cloning a batch of minor spells to be used with the Harlequin class.
- A small list of new monsters, of which I am considering on adding a bunch more. There can never be enough monsters, man!
- A few new magical items.
- A map of the Old Lands, including landmarks.
- Two locations within the Old Lands to be used for adventures. One will have mega dungeon potential (although I will not be writing a mega dungeon any time soon. It's just that this location will be ripe for such a setting).

Things I have yet to kick into for this book:

- Ideas for optional combat rules.
- The two adventures I want to include.
- Details, detail, details.

Just to let you know, I have tons of mixed notes for this book scattered about and I need to get this stuff organized and written out. This book is still a long way off (as my time to work on a project such as this is extremely limited), but I am confident that when the Old Lands finally sees the light of day, it will be a welcome addition to anyone's RPG collection.

I am guesstimating that this book will between 75 to 110 pages, depending on the amount of monsters I add and how long the two adventures will be. If I fall way short on the page count, that would be just fine with me. :)

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dark Dungeons. Unbeatable Price!

I just wanted to post a congratulations to Blacky the Blackball for his recent publishing of the RC retro-clone Dark Dungeons. From what I've read about his endeavor, he put a ton of love into this project (as do most hobby publishers), and is passing that love onto us.

The Dark Dungeons pdf is free (get it from the Dark Dungeons site) and the 344 page paperback is a whopping $13.11 over at Lulu! An offer like this doesn't come around very often, so here is a big thank you to Blacky for producing such a killer book at an unbeatable price. Dark Dungeons may be cheap in price, but definitely not in quality.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I'm not the only guy giving away free stuff

People love to get free stuff, especially if the "stuff" is a high quality product.

Case in point: Check out John Stater's NOD magazine. Stater (from The Land of Nod blog) is offering up 92 packed pages of RPG goodies...for free!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review for Vengeance Fulfilled

Notes From Under the Kayak reviewed A Promise of Vengeance Fulfilled here. Ah, the typos! I should know better on a couple of them, but that's what I get for relying completely on InDesign's spell checker. :P

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Labyrinth Lord module available! Free!

Prime Requisite Games is proud to announce the release of Classic Deep Level Dungeon Adventure DLD6: A Promise of Vengeance Fulfilled available as a FREE download!

An evil warlord, facing betrayal from his own family, swore revenge with his dying breath. Ten years later, his vengeance has come to pass with the murder of one and the promise of more death to follow. Has the warlord raised from a decade of unrest to fulfill his bloodthirsty oath? Can the characters stop him before more fall prey to his vengeance? A Promise of Vengeance Fulfilled is a dangerous dungeon crawl for character levels 5-7. For use with the Labyrinth Lord rules or other BASIC/EXPERT rpg systems.

Available now at Lulu, Scribd, and Issuu.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

R.I.P. Dio, King of D&D Metal

Ronnie James Dio passed away today from stomach cancer. His vocals will be missed.

Will blast the first Rainbow album tonight in tribute to the king of fantasy metal.

Goodbye, Dio. :(

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New module art samples

My new Labyrinth Lord module A Promise of Vengeance Fulfilled is nearly complete. I have two more interior art pieces to draw and ink as well as the cover, and a couple decisions regarding my new page layout before I can put this baby to bed.

I need to hurry with this because my vacation from my vacation is almost catching up, at which time I will resume my break from publishing for a while.

Anyway, as I'm chugging along with the new module, I though I'd post a couple samples of the interior art that I just completed.

Here we have the skeletal Keeper of the West Door and an attack by a Flame Salamander! Woo-hoo!

Art of the One-Shot Dungeon: The Adventure

I am one of those unfortunate GMs who can only manage to organize a game once a month - or every other month - due to the time restriction of real life.

Real Life. A concept that didn't fully exist until marriage, kids, house repairs, bills, and the inevitable Real Job (which either one gets because of the situations pertaining to Real Life, or the Real Job forces one into Real Life. It's really a chicken or the egg type of thing).

No matter. All one needs to know is that the beast known as Real Life can really take a chunk out of one's hobbies. I don't care if it's painting, sports, spelunking, or RPGs - Real Life will unapologetically take its unfair share.

So as a time challenged RPGer, I need to get the most bang for my gaming sessions, and that usually means one solid action-filled adventure that can be completed within one night. If we kill the momentum in the middle of a dungeon, having to pick up the pieces again one or two months later...well, that stinks. I hate that. If we had a weekly or bi-weekly gaming session, I could live with an adventure that last three or four sessions.

However, my sessions are too sporadic for such a luxury. Ain't gonna happen.

In order to prepare a one-shot dungeon, I have to understand the parameters of what can and cannot be accomplished in a single gaming session (four to eight hours in length).

1. The quintessential beginning town adventure.

In my youth, I loved starting off an adventure in a town. The inn. Ale. Rumors. Thievery. The supply shop to buy torches (and the "Magic Shop" required in every Monty Haul campaign). The town setting is a great place to Role Play before heading off to the meat of the adventure.

Not in the one-shot dungeon. The town can quickly become a time-eater. Players will get so wrapped up in local affairs, politics, thieves' guilds, and prostitutes, that they will never get to the desired destination: the last room of your dungeon.

Unfortunately, unless the adventure actually takes place in a town, you will need to either strip the city way down or scrap it all together. My modules usually begin in a generic, undefined town, mercilessly devoid of hard details as a simple jump start into the goodies: the first room of my dungeon.

2. Wandering monsters.

Also known as wondering time-eaters. Do you want to burn up enough time so the characters will never find the Lost Artifact of Whatever? Toss in teams of wandering monsters. Even one wandering monster will set your adventure off by one or two "numbered" areas within the dungeon. You will kick yourself when you have to stop the adventure a mere one room away from completion because the party had to take care of a batch of stupid giant centipedes.

To be fair, I do put wandering monster tables in my modules, but I do this for a couple of reasons. 1. Tradition. Can't help it. I rarely use it, but I can't help it. 2. There are folks out there who game frequently, like every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and can afford to eat up some time. I hate them. God bless 'em.

3. A map with tons of areas.

Thankfully, I hate creating maps. Hate it. So, for me, the smaller the map I have to create, the better. A small map with some carefully placed encounters will help to ensure a quick adventure. Also, keep in mind that if you really want to write a one-shot adventure, stay the hell away from labyrinths. Holy crap. I learned my lesson when I test-played the Labyrinth Tomb of the Minotaur Lord (available now in Knockspell #3). It ended up lasting two full sessions and the players actually missed a few numbered areas. Boo.

Plus, watching a player try to carefully map out the twisting passages of a labyrinth is the ultimate exercise in tedious time-wasting. Avoid!

4. The use of intricate puzzles.

Puzzles are great fun. The can add flavor and challenge when well-placed in a dungeon. They can also make players sit around for precious minutes, scratching their chins, while wandering aloud what they should do to solve your ingenious time-eater.

This one is always tough for me because I love to place puzzles throughout my dungeons, so the trick for me is to make the puzzle a bit obvious, but in a way that keeps the characters moving. I don't know how to explain this except that the players will know how to solve the puzzle, and the answer to the puzzle can be found somewhere further into the dungeon, so they must keep moving to other areas until they eventually stumble upon it.

This keeps the adventure moving though other important areas. They make progress until they find the key to the puzzle, and then they can backtrack (which is not too wasteful considering I eighty-sixed the wondering monsters).

5. Fast ending.

While I have no problem saying, "Good job! This one's done!" after the characters took care of the dungeon's final encounter, some players need a bit more closure to the adventure. To accomplish a quick ending, establish what will happen at the beginning of the adventure as to what events will follow after conquering the Temple of Fill-In-The-Blank.

Something along the line of a set reward to be given to the characters after bringing back proof to the citizens of whatever evil that plagued the temple is now destroyed. That way, after the characters sweep through the dungeon, you can have them "instantly" return to town (again, since the trip will be devoid of any wandering encounters), do a quick role-play session with the town officials, and close the book on that adventure.

These are just a few pointers I use. One-shot adventures for the busy adult can be fun (or it can suck, but we busy fellers sometimes have to take what we can get), at least to be able to game, even if it is once every other month.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Progress on new Labyrinth Lord module

The rewrites for A Promise of Vengeance Fulfilled are nearly complete. For this module, I have an all-new layout that I've been wanting to try. This layout allows for more art (and bigger art, too), and offers an easier read than my previous releases. Some people might not like the look, but I believe most will be impressed.

Since I mentioned that there will be more art, let me tell ya that I am stepping the quality of illustrations up on this one. I'll admit that the art in my first couple of releases were done with a bit of silliness, sketchiness, and cartooniness that I remember loving in old-school publications.

Well, that's all still there, just better refined. :P

I have an idea for the cover (thanks to my test-player Jason for suggesting a twist on my original idea), that if I can actually pull it off, it will be killer. If I don't pull it off, none of you will know. I'll simply state, "That's exactly what I meant to do," and then go sulk and cry in the corner.

Still, I could release this module with a blank cover and it won't kill the fact that this adventure rocks and I'm excited to get it into your hands. As usual, the PDF will be made available for free. No need to thank me, just pay it forward by killing as many characters as possible with this module. :)

Take care.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Please tweak for publication, Lawrence! Please!

We played a marathon of Labyrinth Lord last night that lasted until 2:30am. Yes, we were all tired, but everyone had a great time. The entire party survived (!) and I was finally able to give my new set of GameScience opaque dice a whirl.

This was an unusual gaming experience since the thief had to strip naked due to his encounter with the ever-acidic gray ooze. Luckily we had Bracers of Armor AC 2 for him, and with modesty cast aside, he adventured in the buff…for the most part (“where do you sheath your dagger?”).

I feel like I was off my mark as a GM during this session because I missed the little traps, puzzles, and curses that added a lot of flavor to the adventure. It wasn’t until the characters would “conquer” the area and move on when I would realize that I had forgotten to utilize half of the goodies I had placed in there as a fun and deadly challenge. Boo. This happened more than a couple times. Usually, I put stern reminders about important items to uncover, but this time I did not -- it won’t happen again any time soon.

This session was very helpful for my rewrites. I’ll have it play-tested again after I do some tweaking, and I’m hoping to publish it soon after. However, I said the same thing about Beyond the Midway Post and The Dead Heir of Kressik Keep, and both of those are STILL awaiting final tweaks.

I’m sure many of you know what it’s like when it either feels like your beating a dead horse, polishing a turd, or to say, “screw it! I’m moving on.”

I try not to do that, especially since there is SO MUCH prep work to go into these dungeons, I want to see it through to publication. Hopefully this latest module will hit the finish line.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Test-play for new adventure! Can't believe it.

As I've stated here, the clouds have parted a bit, allowing for a weekend game with an adventure that has potential to be the next PRG release. But just as quickly as the clouds parted, they will swallow me up again, so if play-test goes well tomorrow night, I'll need to pop this one out asap (because I'm not sure when I'll have the opportunity again so soon).

So, yes, although I am officially still on a temporary vacation from publishing to take care of some real life ordeals and necessities, it looks like I'll be able to take a quick vacation from my vacation.

Besides, I believe the last thing I published was way back in November of '09. Unthinkable! Gotta get something else out before I duck my head back under the surface for another six months. Right? Right.

Tomorrow, my players will adventure through my new Labyrinth Lord module A Promise of Vengeance Fulfilled, for levels 5-7. I have such high hopes that this one will be PRG's next published module that I've already begun the artwork!

Your well wishes for this session is appreciated because, man, I'm super excited to sit at the gaming table again.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rumors in the Southland! A horror to investigate!

Could it be?!

Rumblings in the southern parts of the Known Lands. An evil overlord, 10 years dead, has exacted revenge from the grave.

Is it really him, back from a decade of unrest? We shall find out this Saturday!

(Out of the chaos, my blue moon for gaming has risen, and I had to jump at the opportunity before it sets...and it will.)

The frenzy a sold-out book can cause

Congrats to Michael! :)

Also, I have posted this elsewhere, but some dude is attempting to sell the previous edition of Labyrinth Lord for $999.98!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Passed some dice on to my little nephew

Last night my wife and I watch my little niece and nephew (ages 11 and 8, respectively), and I busted out the Labyrinth Lord game in place of the Star Wars (Episode 1) Monopoly set we had planned to play.

You see, I've played a couple games of "D&D Lite" with these two in the past, and for the past several months, my nephew has really been hankerin' to play, reminding me every time he and his parents come to visit. We just never could find the right time for a quick game.

Recently, I thought about those past games we played using extremely simplified and watered-down rules. Both my niece and nephew had a blast. However, I began playing D&D around my nephew's age, and the older guys I played with definitely did not water down the rules. In fact, since I was the tag-along young kid in the group, I believe they purposely did not pull any punches, hoping for my character's quick demise and sending my annoying little butt home.

Although I did not plan to build up a cruel death dealing dungeon for the kids to lose their characters, but I did want to start playing the game a bit more closer to the actual rules.

The simplified version went something like this:

You could be a Knight or a Wizard.

No abilities, XP, or Armor Class.

You have eight Hit Points.

For everything (attacks, spells, stealing, saving throws, whatever), a 10 and over on the d20 is a success (or a 9 and over with a +1 weapon).

Every time you're hit, you lose one hit point. At the end of the encounter, hit points are regained.

Of course, as you can tell, there are no rules for a character to become stronger and more powerful via level advancement, but it wasn't my intention. I just wanted a "beginners" gateway RPG for the kids, offering them a basic understanding on how to play. Just a quick story hook, kill some monsters, and find the treasure.

And it worked! Like I said, they had a blast. So now that they have a basic knowledge on how to play an RPG, I wanted our next game to adhere a little closer to the rule set.

So last night, out came the Labyrinth Lord book and my quick Monty Haul adventure Treasure Crypt of the Salstine Pirate. My niece played a thief, my nephew played a magic-user, and we rounded out the party with a cleric and fighter NPCs.

I will admit to watering down a few details (including the monsters), but not by much. They survived and had so much fun that my nephew wanted to go home and download the Labyrinth Lord game right away. My niece had fun, but she is the type that goes with the flow, is up to play any game, but not one to pursue a die-hard interest in RPGs (I'll continue to work on that!). She does, however, at age 11, play a mean clarinet.

Before my nephew left with his parents, I told him to wait for a minute as I dug into my dice bag. I sorted out a mismatched set of old and new poly dice, put them into a zipped baggie and handed it to him. As gamers, we all remember our first set of polyhedron dice, and my hope is that he will, too.

Our next game will be the Tomb of Horrors. ;P

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

AEC Echo Chamber Announcement

Just popping in to say that the Advanced Edition Companion for the Labyrinth Lord game is now on sale!

Many LL/1e fans have been waiting eagerly for this puppy to hit the online stands so I'm sure AEC is going to be a big hit.

Hardback and softcover copies available HERE.

PDFs available HERE.

More info HERE.

Happy Gaming!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So leave a light on, Leave a light on for me

Well, it wasn't too long ago when I detailed a few plans for the fresh year of 2010. However, like so many involved in the OSR, writing, playing and publishing rpgs is a hobby. You know where I'm going with this, I'm sure...

With a heavy heart, I must put aside my cherished hobby to put some hard work into personal matters. As we know, there's only so much time in the day, and the amount of time required to produce Prime Requisite Game materials is simply not available to me as of now.

Don't worry, friends, because as the Joe Cocker post title implies, I will be back sometime when my real life obligations aren't so hectic. I have a ton of gaming materials swimming around in my noggin that I need to get outta there!

Since I have no idea when I'll be returning to the OSR publishing circles, let me say this: The past year and a half have been amazing. I've "met" so many positive, creative, helpful, and encouraging people within the old-school rpg community. The incredible response I received for my written adventures was humbling.

Prime Requisite Games modules have always been with the "quick game" in mind - for those who play infrequently and need an adventure to provide as much entertainment as possible for a one or two night play session. That's the way I like 'em anyway: a quick start, nice little hook, lots of action and plenty of treasure.

Although I have a soft spot for all my released modules, I'd have to say that The Courtyard of Gerald Red is my favorite. It has everything I enjoy in a low level adventure: deadly mysteries and curses (the rings), surreal spectacles (the fighting skeletons), fake-outs (vampire coffins??), and loads of treasure that will be hard as hell to obtain (giant piranhas) but is worth it all in the end if you get it.

Again, since I don't know when I will be back to the OSR stomping grounds, let me get out a few thank yous (Yes, I know this isn't an awards show, but please indulge me).

First, I'd like to thank Dan Proctor, not only for his excellent product, but also for his help and encouragement in PRG. The forum space he kindly gave me at Goblinoid Games really helped to shine a bigger light on my work, and I can't thank him enough for that. Here's hoping that the Revised Edition as well as the AEC will be a huge hit for Dan and the OSR.

Thanks to John at Brave Halfling Publishing, who was a major influence in me getting PRG started. It's awesome to see how far BHP has gone within the span of one year.

A big thanks to Matt Finch for the editing help and publishing The Labyrinth Tomb of the Minotaur Lord in Knockspell #3. People seem to really enjoy that adventure and I grateful to Matt for getting it into so many hands. I owe him a new module that I hope to get to him someday.

Jim Raggi and Michael Curtis for their thought-provoking gaming materials. Anyone that has a spot of writer's block needs to thumb through a copy of Green Devil Face or The Dungeon Alphabet to help the spinning tires get out of the mud. (Side note: I have a submission sent in for GDF #4. If Mr. Raggi decides to use it, I'll pop my head up on the blogs and forums to let you all know).

David Bezio, who, along with John at BHP, was another influence in my OSR publishing. As I mentioned many times before, his Lost Daughter adventure was the first LL module I ran for my noob group. I still owe him an X-plorers module.

Moritz at Soapbox Games for his unending support of all things old-school. He has mentioned my modules on his blog and I don't think I've ever gave him the proper thanks he deserves for the support. So, thank you, Moritz! :)

Thanks to Bruce at Barrataria for his killer gaming materials and for being such a cool cat.

The many blogs out there (James at Grognardia...I'm lookin' at you. But not in a weird way). Thanks for the hours of your food for thought. My gaming experience was all the better from the old-school blogs offering up their 2 cps on rpgs.

I definitely must thank my family who put up with my endless late-night writing sessions. My wife Else is fantastic, and I know that she's proud of what I've accomplished here. Love you, girl!

Finally, a big thanks to the followers of this blog and to those who downloaded/bought my modules. Your excitement in old-school rpgs in turn made me excited about producing quality adventures. This community rocks.

I know I forgot a few folks out there. I'm sorry!

So, other than the occasional comment I may offer up, I am going to sign off for a while. I don't know if it will be in six months or 24 months, but I will be back to writing and publishing old-school rpg adventures again.

So please...leave a light on for me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Labyrinth Lord sighting and a set o' dice

While browsing my FLGS (Tabletop Games in Overland Park, KS), I noticed a fresh Labyrinth Lord paperback on the shelf. I asked the kind gentleman (dude) if he has people coming in asking about LL. He said, "Oh, yeah" and went on to tell me that the number of people buying the small press products is growing and growing.

That's encouraging news. Especially for small press publishers like BHP and Black Blade Publishing getting their products up on the shelves.

It was hard to not buy the LL paperback, but since I just received my hardback from Lulu over a week ago, I had to leave it behind for another lucky bloke to find.

Instead, I saw that they had a bunch of Gamescience precision dice, so I bought my first set- blue opaque. Beautiful. My wife asked me if was going to retire some of my old worn-out dice. Haha!


Never, ever, ever throw away dice. I don't care if the sides of my old d20 are so worn that it more resembles a marble. Never toss out dice! I keep 'em all, even the so-called "cursed" dice (I give those to my players - heh heh).

One day I'll have enough dice to satisfy my gaming needs. But then again, probably not. Probably not ever. :P

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Test-play for new adventure completed

Two two straight nights we hacked and slashed through my new adventure The Dead Heir of Kressik Keep. The players came out the other end of this module with more than a few bumps and scrapes, but everyone survived. Even Jason's thief survived this time, which is a rare occurrence 'round these parts. :P

Kressik Keep was going to be my submission to Knockspell #4, but I missed the deadline with this one. Many obstacles kept me from my hobby including a sick two year-old daughter and a severe case of writer's block.

Well, not that I wasn't writing, it's just that the adventure was not quite coming together. It was done. I had the map and all the rooms were keyed, sucked. Blah. Patooie.

So then came the rewrites. I knew by this time that I would miss the Knockspell deadline, but I needed peace of mind with my work. With a bit more planning and a heavy dose of help from the Dungeon Alphabet (man, that book can stir up ideas!), I was able to reach a point with Kressik Keep in which I was comfortable enough to run a test-play.

Now, after a two day marathon of Labyrinth Lord fun, it's back to the rewrites, tweaking what needs to be fixed before I submit it to Knockspell, hoping to get it into issue #5. We'll see!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Dungeon Alphabet and the OSR make me feel great!

I finally received my pre-ordered copy of The Dungeon Alphabet, and it's beautiful. With its $9.99 price tag, such a book is truly a steal. Looking over the material, I must say that Michael Curtis really knows how to jump-start the imagination. From the wondrous to the disturbing, The Dungeon Alphabet is teaming with ideas that would prove valuable at the fingertips of any dungeon designer.

Yes, I am a fan.

While I may come off as some sort of slobbering fanboy, it's difficult for me to contain my enthusiasm due to all the quality products available from the OSR. I haven't acquired so many gaming materials (both bought and for free) since the TSR days.

For those of you who were gaming in the late 70s to early 80s, I'm sure you remember the bubbling excitement of visiting your local bookstore to thumb through the game books, modules and magazines. To me, it felt like my friends and I were onto something truly unique, and as far as we were concerned, it was all lovingly produced specifically for us alone.

Such is the feeling I get with the new material streaming out of the OSR. In fact, the products getting churned out of people's basements ARE specifically for us: the FANS who love this crazy hobby. When I think of all the great materials published by Goblinoid Games, BHP, Mythmere, LotFP, 3 Headed Monster, Barrataria, Grey Area, ect., etc., and so on, it takes me back to that small local bookstore to find that one strange product to add a bit more fun into my rpgs.

Right now is a wonderful time for our hobby and I hope many within the OSR are taking advantage of the goodies provided and soaking in the old-school rays of resurgence. I know I am (to the best of my ability, both money and time-wise). Right now, I am awaiting the arrival of my copy of Stonehell and the hardback copy of LL Revised. Meanwhile, I have my eye on a print copy of the Companion Expansion and when AEC is released, I'll get that, too.

Now, back to my copies of Green Devil Face and The Dungeon Alphabet to gather up a bit of dungeon creating inspiration. Yep! Again, what a great time for us old-school game-lovers.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Another Half Price Books Score

I braved the frigid temperatures and went to the Half Price Bookstore during my lunch break today. In the past, there I have found near-mint copies of Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure ($7), The C&C core books ($9 each), and a ton of old Dragon magazines.

Today I was able to replace my missing copy of the Moldvay Basic rulebook for $5. This sucker is also in near-mint as the pages haven't even yellowed much.

In addition to this fabulous find, they were selling comics in bulk - 20 for $5. I landed a bunch of 70s/early 80s issues of Avengers, Hulk, Iron Man, and Invaders.

Man, I love HPB. :)