The Black Hack 2

The Black Hack RPG Second Edition -- Kicktraq Mini

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas from the Oubliette

The team at Oubliette want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

It's been a tough year for us this year and we'd like to apologize for our recent absence.  Oubliette Issue 9 was scheduled for a November/ December release but we've had to reschedule it for release in Spring next year.  The main reason for this is that Marg was diagnosed with severe anemia at the end of the summer, leaving her unable to concentrate, much less get out of bed. It has only been in recent weeks that she has begun to feel more like her old self.  We promise to get back to all things Oubliette related in the New Year and hope to release at least a couple of issues in 2013.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Otherworld Miniatures Dungeon Adventurers Range

Otherworld Miniatures are launching a range of no less than 48 minis in their new Dungeon Adventurer range.  Development of this substantial range is being funded by an Indiegogo campaign.

http://www.indiegogo.com/otherworldDA

The image below shows sculpts of the first four adventurers and I have to say they look really great, with bags of personality and real dungeon-ready equipment.

Friday, 17 August 2012

146+ Reaper Miniatures for $100

Reaper have got an amazing Kickstarter campaign going on at the moment (ends Saturday 25th August), that is smashing through its stretch goals at a blistering pace.  At present, $100 down gets you 146 miniatures delivered in March next year.  However, given the rate at which the stretch goals are being hit that number should easily hit 200+ before the end. 

The Kickstater also has great add-ons for larger figures, paints and cases all of which are priced at around half their expected retail prices.  The campaign is somewhat complex to grasp at first, but that is simply because they have added so much to it over the last few weeks.  Here's a link to the main page:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1513061270/reaper-miniatures-bones-an-evolution-of-gaming-min

Friday, 27 July 2012

Oubliette Issue 8 Giveaway Results

The Oubliette Issue 8 giveaway ended earlier this week. I can report that we managed 1,561 downloads.  That beats the Issue 7 giveaway by just 51 copies so the growth has pretty much levelled off.  I am still really pleased with the numbers though.  There may be a seasonal factor involved too as looking across everything I sell on RPGNow they all sell less over the summer months.

I've started work on Issue 9 and plan to release it late November/early December.  I want Oubliette to run for a long time so I'm happy sticking to 2-3 issues per year, as I think it will be more sustainable at that rate.  There won't be a giveaway with Issue 9, but there will still be a launch promotion to reward existing readers and help attract new ones.

Sales of the Issue 5-8 Compilation are going very well.  I noticed this morning that Lulu.com have a 20% coupon SILVERUK (try just SILVER if you are not in the UK) that ends today, so if you've been waiting for one be quick.


Thursday, 26 July 2012

1978 Advanced Character Sheet Redux

Finished!

This character sheet is a reworking of a D&D character sheet produced by Games Workshop in 1978.  I've remade it from scratch in Scribus and exported it to PDF.  It is a great sheet, but a few things struck me as strange whilst I was putting it together.  Firstly, there are no sections for recording Saving Throws or  Movement Rate.  Also Magic Attack Adjustment (Magic Att. Adj. on the sheet) is listed under both Wisdom and Constitution so I removed it from Constitution.  Finaly, there are spaces to record 15 languages and 15 weapon proficiencies, which seems to be overly generous on a sheet that is missing arguably more important sections.  These are not major issues though, as the Notes section can take care of any extra details.  I may take another look at the framework of this sheet in the future.  It would be interesting to see how it would look if it were reworked for Labyrinth Lord and/or the AEC.

Backers of the OSR Character Sheet Campaign will get a copy of this emailed to them at the weekend.  I will also include the PDF as one of the extras in Oubliette Issue 9.  However, as that is a long way off, if any Followers of this blog email me (oubliettemagazineATyahoo.co.uk), then I'll send them the PDF when I do the other emails this weekend.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Last 24 Hours of the Oubliette 8 Giveaway

There is just 1 day left to go of the Oubliette 8 PDF giveaway promotion.  Tomorrow afternoon I'll be putting the Issue back to its normal price of $3.00 so don't miss out if you have been meaning to get it.

http://www.rpgnow.com/product/103252/OUBLIETTE-Issue-8

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Can You Tell What it is Yet?

Spent a few minutes setting this out earlier today. It was suprisingly easy to mimic the 1978 version. I think a couple of hours work should see it completed.




















Friday, 13 July 2012

B/X Characters Rules PocketMod

One of the extras that I am producing to go with my OSR Character Sheet Pads is a PocketMod containing all the rules required to roll up a 1st level B/X character.  The folowing images show what it looks like so far.  It is amazing how much you can get on to a single A4 sheet of paper.  The PocketMod not only has all the basic rules for creating characters, but it also has a combat table, a saving throws table, weapon damage and even missile weapon ranges.  I had planned to produce 2 PocketMods one for character generation, and a second with equipment lists.  However, I surprised myself by finding space for basic equipment in addition to all the character generation rules.  I will also be adding lists and descriptions of 1st level cleric and magic-user spells on the back so the sheet can be unfolded to look at them.

A copy of this PocketMod will be sent out with every pad of OSR Character Sheets that are currently running as an Indiegogo camapign here: http://beta.indiegogo.com/projects/110891 Even if the campaign fails to meet its funding goal I will still email a PDF of the PocketMod to all the backers.  Next week I will start on my rewoking of Games Wokshop's classic 1978 Character Sheet which will also be an semi-exclusive item for my Indiegogo backers.









Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Issues 5-8 Print Compilation Out Now!

The new printed Compilation containing Issues 5-8 of Oubliette is now available to order from Lulu.com.  The printed Compilation of Issues 1-4 is also still available, along with individual printed editions of Issues 1-8.  

The new Compilation weighs in at 172 pages and costs £9.99 and the previous Compilation has 148 pages and costs £7.99.  If you order by 13th July the code CAUGHTUK (outside the UK it will probably just be CAUGHT) will save you 18% on orders from Lulu.com.




 

 

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Character Sheets Update

I am planning to spend a bit of time this weekend working on extras to go with my printed pads of Character Sheets.  The campaign for the pads is running on Indiegogo - it has still got a good way to go to reach its goal, but it would only take another 25-30 backers to get it there.

Anyway, here are the extras that every backer will get in print and as a PDF.  Plus, as an extra incentive I will email the PDFs of these to all backers regardless of whether the campaign reaches its goal.
  1. Printed Pocket Mod containing everything required to create a first level B/X character including full 1st level spell descriptions.
  2. Printed Pocket Mod containing an expanded list of equipment complete with descriptions.
  3. A reworking of the classic 1978 Advanced Character Sheet (see details here and here), originally produced by Games Workshop.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Oubliette 8 Print Edition Out Now

The print edition of Oubliette Issue 8 is now available to purchase from lulu.com

Presently, the code CHASEUK will give 20% off any order (but might only work on UK orders?) until 29th June (thanks to Wulfgar for sharing the code).

Lulu also has all the back issues of Oubliette along with a compilation edition of the first four issues.  The Compilation of Issues 5-8 is almost finished, and I hope to order a proof copy by the end of the weekend.

The Issue 8 PDF giveaway is going very well, with over 1,300 downloads in just over a week.



Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Oubliette Issue 8 - OUT NOW!

Download your copy of Oubliette Issue 8 from RPGNow.com, FREE for a limited time only!

Oubliette 8 Link

Thursday, 14 June 2012

The Cheapest Character Sheets in the World?

Following on from my last Character Sheet post the bidding on the 1978 shrink-wrapped pad of 50 sheets ended at £132 ($208).  In 1978, Games Workshop sold them new for £1.50, giving the seller a return on the original investment of 8,700%!!!

However, another bidder just manged to snag these Character Sheets for just 99p.  They are actually photocopies of the same ones mentioned above.  For my money, the fact that they are photocopies makes them even more Old School, as that's what most of my Character Sheets were back in the day.

As soon as Oubliette 8 is out next week, I'll devote some more time to the Indiegogo Character Sheet Campaign.  I'm going to include a bonus PDF with the sheets as well as a few additional printed materials.  More details next week, but I will be sure to include a newly-created PDF version of this 1978 Sheet.


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Oubliette Issue 8 for FREE!

Issue 8 of Oubliette is one week away from publication.

Following the terrific response we had to the giveaways of Issues 5, 6 & 7, Oubliette Issue 8 will also be available for a limited period as a free download from rpgnow.com.

Here's an advance look at the contents:
  • Tales from Hell Cartoon
  • Editorial
  • The Maslow Dungeon 
  • Monster Club #14: The Death Gate
  • The Lands of Ara - Special Feature
  • Newland Campaign Setting Part III: Factions in the Forest
  • Monster Club #15: Newland Bestiary Part II
  • Forest Mini-Adventure: The Kobold & Goblin Resistance
  • Forest Location: Moot Point
  • Forest Mini-adventure: The Bloodbeard Bugbears
  • Forest Mini-adventure: The Burnt Tree Clan
  • Monster Club #16: Dungeon Random Encounter Tables: Levels 7-8 
  • Goblin Quest Cartoon
  • Fanzine Frenzy
  • Found Familiar: The Cat 
  • What's in the Oubliette? Reviews
  • Mouse Watch Cartoon
  • The Song of Sithakk Part 8
As soon as the Issue is released, I'll post the news here directly.  The printed edition of Issue 8 will follow the PDF release once I get a proof copy to check.  The Compilation of Issues 5-8 will take a little longer, as it requires some additional layout work over and above the single issues.


Monday, 11 June 2012

Sneaky preview


Bugbear Shaman

We're in that last phase of preparing Oubliette Issue 8, and the team is bleary eyed and emotional.  I keep smacking Pete on the back of his head shouting "Man up, soldier!  Only a few more pages to go!"

Actually, nothing of the sort happens.  The last part of Oubliette is rather lonely.  No more gags, no more flinging around anarchic ideas, just heads down, shoulder to the wheel and any other cliche for hard graft that comes to mind.  Our proof reader extra-ordinaire has been infected with primary school coldy germs(care of his beloved granddaughter), but continues to make his eyes bleed, magnificently combing the pages for hideousness whilst honking loudly into a large hankie.

Goblin Quest

Yesterday,  I finished the last ever episode of Goblin Quest.  I can't say I'm sorry.  It's probably some of the most detailed cartooning work I've done, and no doubt I'll look back on it and make some fatuous comments of how "I did that", but right now, I'm just glad it's over.

I love this mag, but the last part of it is like the end of a marathon.  Except, that wall doesn't just appear, it continues to fall on me repeatedly, battering my enthusiasm.

Alright, enough whinging Marg.  Time to man up, soldier!  Only a few more pages to go! 

Somebody, please smack the back of my head.  Ouch.  Thanks Pete.


Sunday, 10 June 2012

The Most Expensive Character Sheets in the World?

I don't know if these have already set a record high for a pad of Character Sheets, but at £114 ($180) plus shipping, they are certainly headed that way.  If you are not prepared to spend quite so much on some Old School Character Sheets, why not head over to my Indiegogo Campaign and grab a pad for a fraction of the price?

In fact, for $180 you can have 3,000 of my OSR Character Sheets.  However, I can't guarantee they will bring quite the same rate of return should you decide to put them away for 34 years before listing them on ebay (if they did though, they would be worth over $6,000!).



Monday, 4 June 2012

Exciting Times in the OSR

I always look forward to new developments in the OSR, but I think we are really heading for a great year with some of the projects already here.

For a start we've got zines - lots of them - and more on the way.  Even if some of them only last a few issues, they are a great testament to the health of our corner of the hobby.  My go-to resource for anything to do with zines is the page Matthew Schmeer maintains on his blog Rended Press.

We've also got some great crowd-funding projects.  I'm in on the following ones at the moment (if I had more funds I'd go for lots more of them).

Random-dungeon-generator-as-a-dungeon-map
Dwimmermount
Appendix-n-adventure-toolkits-dcc-rpg-modules
Barrowmaze
OSR Character Sheet Pad

Funding is finished on the first 2 campaigns in the list, and in the interests of full disclosure, that last one is my own campaign.


Saturday, 2 June 2012

Games Workshop vs 3D Printing

Games Workshop are having a bit of a Space Sulk.  They've got stuck into a guy because he sculpted some figures which were similar in 'style' to their own ranges, and then put them up as a digital files for fellow 3D printer owners to download and er ... print.  Further details can be found on Wired.com.

I've talked about 3D printers before, and although the technology still isn't quite ready for the consumer market, there is even less doubt that it is going to happen in the next 2-3 years.  It might have been a lot early than that, but it now seems likely that consumer models will ship with an intergrated scanner unit which will be able to photocopy objects.  Basically, you will be able to put a Space Marine (sorry "Future Soldier") into the machine, press copy and print out a few hundred of them.

You can see why Games Workshop are worried, but it's ludicrous going after a fan who has uploaded a similar, but original design in the 'style' of one of their figures.  The reality is, as soon as their customers get access to a 3D photocopier which can produce half-decent, cheap copies of their models, the Comany's current business model is finished.  They might mitigate the damage by getting into the market themselves, where they could at least sell digital copies of their models.

From my point of view, I don't want to print out loads of Games Workshop figures, or rip-off recent figures from Reaper, Otherworld, et al.   However, I do have plenty of old out of production Asgard, Ral Partha and Grenadier minis which I would just love to able to make copies of.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Issue 8 Update

I'm busily working through layout of the next Issue, which should take me about another 7-10 days.  I've still got a couple of reviews to write and Marg has got some art to finish.  Once all that's done, we'll just have a couple of rounds of proofing to do.

Upshot of all that is the magazine should be out mid-June.  I'll put up a table of contents exactly one week before it's released.  I'm also working on the printed edition of Issue 8 and a printed Compilation of Issues 5-8 which will be out a week or so after the PDF.


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Indiegogo OSR Character Sheet Pad

I've just launched a new campaign on Indiegogo.com for printed A5-sized pads of OSR Character Sheets.  Full details can be found here:

OSR Character Sheet Campaign on Indiegogo.com

The sheets are designed for use with B/X rulesets of the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game, and retroclones versions such as Labyrinth Lord.

This is a small project to test the water, but if it succeeds, I have several other, larger projects in mind for the future.  A PDF of the character sheet is already on the site, so please help yourselves to a download (in the Gallery section of the project page) if you like the look of it.

If you want more detailed character sheets, the set I designed in 2010 for use with Labyrinth Lord's Advanced Edition Companion rules are also still available as free downloads on RPGNow.com.


Monday, 28 May 2012

UK Games Expo 2012 Report

Had a great day on Saturday at the Expo in Birmingham.  Seemed busier than last year, but the numbers seemed to thin out by mid-afternoon, thanks to the mini heatwave the UK is currently enjoying.  The stands and format seemed to be pretty much the same as last year.  It's a great show to visit if you are a boardgame fan with money in your pocket.

I had it in mind to pick up a copy of Stars Without Number.  Unfortunately, they had sold out by the time I got to the Mongoose stand.  There was also no sign of Dungeon Crawl Classics, but it may be a little too hot off the press for the UK distribution copies to have hit.  However, I was happy to come away with a Slayer's guide for one pound, to add to my collection from the ever popular bring-and-buy stand, and a bargain figure storage case from Chessex (of which I really should have bought two or three).

The highlight of the show for me, was a game of Living Munchkin, which is a semi-LARP version of the card game and was great fun.  We also sat in on Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson's TopTen Games seminar where they each listed their top 10 games.  They both opted to put D&D in the number 1 slot, and had on display a very rare original boxed set signed by both Gygax and Arneson.

Here's a list of the other games from their lists.  They are not in order and I'm missing about five of them as my recorder ran out (if anyone was there and can add to the list please do so):

•Ticket to Ride
•Puerto Rico
•Acquire
•Can't Stop
•Small World
•The Great Dalmuti
•Lost Cities
•1829
•Balloon Cup
•Diplomacy
•The Warlord
•Caylus
•Civilization???

Ian Livingstone also announced a new Zombie-themed Fighting Fantasy book, which will be released in August this year to mark the 30th Anniversary of the series.

Overall, a great day was had by all.  It will be interesting to see how the show does next year in its new, bigger venue.












Friday, 4 May 2012

Titanoboa Stats

It's always bugged me that, whilst D&D presents us with many giant-sized animals and insects, the snakes mostly seem to be just regular-sized snakes that exist today.  Last night, I caught the UK screening of the Smithsonian Channel's Titanoboa documentary, and decided to scribble down some of the giant snake's characteristics and create some stats for it.

Titanoboa for Labyrinth Lord (all open content)

No. Enc.:  1 (1)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  60' (20')
        Swim:  120' (40')
Armour Class:  5
Hit Dice:  10-12 
Attacks:  2 (bite, constrict)
Damage: 2d6/4d8
Save:  F8
Morale:  8
Hoard Class:  None (see below)
XP:  1700/2000

Titanoboas are immense constrictor snakes, measuring 40-50 feet in length, with bodies 2-3 feet in diameter at the widest point (or more if they have just eaten).  They live in warm, tropical climates and spend most of their time in the water.  On land, their movement is slow, due to their colossal weight (2,500lbs).

In combat, a titanoboa will first use its bite attack and attempt to lock on to prey with its powerful jaws.  If successful, it will then throw its coils around the creature and begin to constrict it.  Once the prey has been crushed to death, the titanoboa will swallow it whole and digest it.  A large meal for a titanoboa would be a 15-foot long, half-ton crocodile, which would take the snake up to a year to fully digest.

A titanoboa, will not have treasure of its own, but there is a chance of finding undigested valuables in the snake's stomach.




Tuesday, 1 May 2012

One Page Dungeon Entry

Over the weekend, I took one of the adventures that will be in Oubliette Issue 8 and adapted it to fit on a single A4 page.  Considering the full version will be about 5-6 pages in the magazine I think I did quite well to manage it.  One thing that struck me when I did the layout, was that reducing the font size down to 7 or 8 points, instantly gives the text a more Old School feel.  I guess it's mostly nostalgia for all the hours I spent wrecking my eyes reading the DMG as a kid.

I wouldn't suggest trying to read the text of my entry from this image but if you pop along to the One Page Dungeon Contest site, it should be available as a PDF download when the site gets its next update.


Friday, 6 April 2012

Figure Box #1 Giant Cave/Rock Troll

I have a love/hate relationship with miniatures.  I love playing games with them, and I enjoy painting them, but the time I have available to paint them is very limited.

To combat this I've adopted a two pronged strategy.  Firstly, I look for clever ways to acheive reasonable painting results with minimal effort (using products like Army Painter's Quickshade for instance).  Secondly, if possible, I buy pre-painted miniatures on eBay.  However, whilst looking for figures on eBay, I often stumble across more than just piles of Warhammer regiments and WOTC D&D minis.  For a start, there's plenty of Old School lead miniatures from the 1980s.  Some of them are rare and expensive (Citadel AD&D, Grenadier Giants, etc.), but many are very reasonable.  With a bit more searching, you can also find miniatures that are not strictly intended for gaming but can still be used to great effect.

A good example is the Lord of the Rings Cave Troll from the Eaglemoss Collector's Range (in the UK they sold these in newsagents for £5.99, for a pre-painted, 60-70mm tall lead figure and magazine).  I think the Cave Troll must have been a special issue as he's 80mm tall.  Anyway, these things often pop up on eBay and many of them only reach a pound or two:

Completed eBay Auction 1
Completed eBay Auction 2

After reading Carter's Rock Troll in The Lands of Ara Compendium , I immediately thought of this figure.  Mine is shown below up against a small (soon to be even smaller) party of adventurers.  The second picture shows the troll in close-up with an Asgard Dwarf to demonstrate scale.


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Game of Thrones Abridged Script

Really looking forward to season two of Game of Thrones. Here's a quick recap of the important bits of season one (originally published in Oubliette Issue 6):

King Robert Baratheon: I’m King of the Seven Kingdoms. I’m a fat bugger. I like to drink wine and f+&k girls (I tell the viewers that every episode I’m in an’ all). I used to be fit and gorgeous, but after I usurped the Iron Throne with the help of Ned Stark, I married the richest blonde bint in the kingdom, and being all salt o’t’earth and northern, frittered my youth away on alcohol, feasting and trying to get as many STDs as possible.

Sean Bean: I’m Major Eddard Sharpe of the 95th Rifles …

King Robert Baratheon: No yer not. Yer Lord Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell, Lord Paramount of the North, and Warden of the North. But as yer me best mate, ah calls you Ned.

Lord Eddard Stark: Oh ar. I’m northern as well, so I’m all gruff and loyal with lots of gravitas. Isn’t that right, yer Grace…Yer Grace?

King Robert Baratheon: Shurrup, I’ve made a mess of running my kingdoms and I need you to be the King’s Hand and rule in my stead so I can drink wine and f*&k girls.

Lord Eddard Stark: Weren’t the last Hand killed suspiciously?

King Robert Baratheon: Nononononono. It were totally unsuspicious. There’s no way my wife could be having an incestuous relationship with her brother and producing progeny that has nothing to do with my loins, despite the fact that they’re all blond and I only produce dark, swarthy kids because I have a dominant dark, swarthy gene. There’s no way she could have killed the last Hand – have you got some wine and some buxom girls for me?

Lord Eddard Stark: My wife’s not going to like me running off. Last time I did that I returned with a baby saying that it was mine – I suppose this’ll give me a chance to get rid of my bastard son John Snow on the wall that guards us all against the Scots.

King Robert Baratheon: Ned, Neddy, Nedling … we don’t use racist terms like Scots. They’re The Wildlings.

Queen Cersei Lannister: Robert, I’m just off up that tower over there where Ned’s son, Bran, goes climbing, to … um … do some … quilting.

King Robert Baratheon: Whatever, wife. Ned I wish I’d married your sister, whom I revere above all other women, but who died before I became King – where’s the wine and girls, man?

Jamie Lannister (Inflagrante with his sister Cersei, wife of King Robert): I killed the last King, and now I’m into killing kids to protect my incestuous secret. I use Timotei shampoo and conditioner to keep my hair this good.

Bran Stark (surprising Cersei and Jamie inflagrante): What are you and your sister doing?

Jamie Lannister: Ah – the things I do for love (tosses his golden hair and pushes Bran out of the tower window).

Tyrion Lannister: I may be a dwarf, but I’m going to act everyone off the screen every scene I’m in.

Jon Snow: I have a grudging respect for Tyrion – he may be short, but what a fine actor. Oh look, The Wall! I get to kill the Scots.

Daenerys Targaryen: My dad was the mentally-ill King who went all Nero on the Kingdoms. I’m a pawn of my vicious and depraved brother Viserys who’s married me to a big horse-riding savage lord called Khal Drogo who only has one sexual position.

Khal Drogo: Bend over.

Daenerys Targaryen: Dammit. I’ve just fallen in love with Drogo and some witch has turned him into a vegetable. I’ll have to pillow him and burn myself with him. Day-um, I don’t burn! And look – the dragons' eggs which we all thought were fossilised have hatched, and the dragons are now my babies. Right, now I have to get back the Iron Throne which is my birthright. Might take me a few seasons though.

King Robert Baratheon: I’ve just been gored by a boar. Wine! Girls! Ned? Neddy? Nedling?

Lord Eddard Stark: I’m here yer Grace. I’m going to depose your first born after yer dead because he’s not actually your son. He’s yer wife an' her brother’s son.

King Robert: (expires)

Cersei Lannister: Right Ned, you’ve given me a chance to escape with my kids but I’m going to imprison you so you have to accept my cruel, mentally-ill son Joffery’s reign.

King Joffery: Behead Lord Stark!

Sean Bean: Bum. Now I can’t ask for more money next season!

The Stark Kids: They've killed Dad! Let's declare war. I'm taking my dire wolf with me. It's been woefully under-used – if they've got a budget for CGI dragons, then surely they can afford a big dog in a bearskin rug.

George R. R. Martin: Bugger ... I’ll need to pull my finger out and finish those last two books, but all I want to do is drink wine and f**k girls.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Does Fantasy Sound Better with a British Accent?


The BBC have got an interesting article up today discussing the fact that many characters in fantasy film and TV productions talk with British accents. They cite The Lord of the Rings films and TV adaptation Game of Thrones as examples where most, if not all the voices are British. Indeed in Game of Thrones, Peter Dinklage is singled out as being the only US actor who, for the show, puts on a very convincing RP (Received Pronunciation) accent – very apt for a Lannister.

To my British ears, these shows would just sound wrong to me with US voices, and I say that as someone who generally prefers US TV shows to British ones. However, in using British accents all of these productions face another problem with the use of regional accents. In The Lord of the Rings the hobbits all have different accents, suggesting they are all from very different locales. In Game of Thrones the voices in Winterfell are all essentially from the North of England, but even amongst those there seems to be a mix of Yorkshire, Lancashire and a bit of Scottish. What's the US perspective on how they sound?


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Lands of Ara Compendium 2011 (FREE PDF)

Last weekend saw the launch of The Lands of Ara Compendium 2011 which may be downloded as a free PDF here.  It's got 40 pages of classes, monsters, spells, and stuff for the taking.  Carter Soles and Spawn of Endra have done a great job editing material from over two years of blog posts. 

The PDF is US letter sized, but as I have a duplex printer, I opted to print it as an A5 booklet which produced a very nice, and still easy to read, zine-like publication.  The Compendium also includes lots of great art by Jonathan & Daisey Bingham, Kelvin Green, and our very own The Marg.


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

You know you're taking Stonehell too seriously ...

... when you download and avidly study an article on crocodiles as prep for the next game.

http://www.wec.ufl.edu/safety/Crocodile%20safety.pdf

We had a great Stonehell session on Saturday, and managed to dispose of all (we hope) the lizardfolk on level 2 and take their shinies.  We wisely decided to leave their 8 pet crocs undisturbed, but now we're wondering whether we could drive them into the neighbouring hobgoblin area before we start exploring it.


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Wraith



One of the things I hoped to be able to do by having my iPad, was draw for the Monster Book in the evenings(my big computer is at work). I'm continuing to practise in Sketchbook Pro, and here are my latest offerings.

We might use the close-up wraith illustration in the Monster Book and the full length wraith will take its place as a contender for the next Oubliette Compilation (Issues 5-8).

I realise I seem a little undead-centric, but this might be a result of watching The Walking Dead, which continues to be one of my favourite leisure-time programmes.

Monday, 19 March 2012

iPad Map Doodle

I sneaked a quick 10 minute go on Marg's iPad today, to try sketching a dungeon map with it.

The maps in Oubliette are usually one of the last things I do, and they are often rushed creations in GIMP or Paint Shop Pro. Given time, I know I could do a much better job on them, but it never happens. When I write and play-test the adventures, I normally use quick hand-drawn pencil maps on squared paper. Today I surprised myself, by producing a digital map in the same time it normally takes me to draw one with a pencil. I used Sketchbook Pro to draw it, which is well worth its £2.99 price tag if you want a drawing app.

I'll have a go at some more maps over the next week or so and refine the style, but I think there's a good chance that most of the maps for the next issue will be drawn on the iPad and look all the better for it.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Undead on the iPad

Marg got her new iPad earlier today. Having not owned an earlier model iPad, the whole family have spent most of the afternoon trying to get a go on it. Once she had a proper chance to try it out as a drawing tool, she mangaed to produce this charming portrait of a generic undead type fellow in just under half an hour - not bad for a first try.

She's using a drawing app called Sketch Book Pro and a Wacom Bamboo Stylus.