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OSR News Roundup for December 11, 2023

It's the second Monday in December, and the end of the year is fast approaching, as is the two-year anniversary of this Roundup. Because Christmas falls on a Monday this year I will likely (but not definitely) be skipping that day. Haven't made up my mind yet. I'm also toying with the idea of doing a year-in-review for the last week in December. Would readers be interested in that? It might be fun for me to go back through and list my top releases from the past year, and see how it compares to other peoples'. I'm also going to be gearing up to interview ZineMonth creators for the February event, so if you're going to be funding a project for ZiMo24 please hit me up and I'll get some questions sent over to you.

Last week saw one of the more popular authors in the OSR/indie crowd, Noora Rose, be credibly accused of plagiarism, but I'm not going to dwell too much on that because it has been thoroughly discussed online on various platforms. I had mentioned the author's work in the past, and was really looking forward to her upcoming release that was Kickstarted this summer. It's disappointing news, but it was good, I think, for the community as a whole that it was brought to light.

Also, while never a really active Twitter user, I've decided to leave the platform and won't be promoting this Roundup there moving forward. I'll instead be posting more to over on Mastodon and Bluesky. If anyone wants some invite codes for Bluesky here you go:

  1. bsky-social-faved-63u7d

  2. bsky-social-ciqdz-7tzua

  3. bsky-social-tcdwi-dzzmo

  4. bsky-social-jri5o-dysic

  5. bsky-social-j27zf-hdnfr

  • Rabid Dogs Zine, Vol. 2 is currently raising funds for this DCC-compatible zine. It's designed partly to support the author's grimdark setting, but it can be used stripped of setting information, as well.

  • Solo gaming has seen a great upswing in popularity, especially since the pandemic, and Ker Nethalas, a single player dungeon crawler designed specifically for solo or cooperative play, is in the process of raising money through Kickstarter. It's got an interesting premise: the character is condemned to death but somehow survives the execution, and wakes to find themselves trapped in a vast underground dungeon amidst a pile of corpses.

  • The Fantasy Trip, an early rpg published by Steve Jackson Games, is held up as an example of an excellent tactical rpg with, for the time, innovative rules, and it has recently seen a resurgence in popularity as well as new Kickstarted editions. SJG is currently Kickstarting a Bestiary for the Fantasy Trip, and the project includes the option to pledge for the stl files for the monsters, enabling backers to print their own minis.

  • I'd Rather be Tending my Sheep is another solo game, this one a mini-game designed to fit on a business card. It's a game about a peasant trying to defy their feudal lord.

  • Snakes in a Hotel is a free mini-game designed as an introducttion to role-playing. It's diceless and meant to be playe by two people.

  • A recurring creator in this roundup is Cats Have no Lord; they've just released Jaxon's Claim, a mini-dungeon that also serves as an introduction to a longer, sci-fi adventure they're working on that will be statted for Cairn.

  • I mentioned the Black Spear Fellowship, by Eternal Torch, a little while ago, and they've just released a rumors supplement for the game, that uses a standard deck of playing cards to generate random rumors and adventure hooks.

  • Adam Bell has just released Locked Murder Room Mystery, a game that let's you run pretty much what it says on the tin

  • The Saint Butcher is a new class for Mork Borg. These characters make their living cutting up the corpses of fallen martyrs and saints in order to ensure there are enough holy relics to satisfy a thriving demand.

  • Philip Reed is a prolific author who often gets mentioned in these roundups. They've just co-authored a release called On the Other Side, a system-neutral guide to populating dungeons with discoveries and encounters.

  • Mausritter is one of my favorite little gems of a game, and Trader's Torrent is a new, 3rd party adventure for the system that takes the characters on a river voyage.

  • Justin Sirois is one of my favorite publishers, and they've just released Sickest Witch, Hayride, an adventure for Mork Borg. It's a prequel to Beneath, the Inverted Church, and offers four new witch classes. Just be aware that, like a lot of Severed Books products, it deals with mature themes and is not appropriate for all ages.

  • Chaos Gen has released a one-page of random cold weather encounters on Drivethru. It's written to be system-neutral.

  • I'm offering a 15% discount for yearly subscriptions to Populated Hexes Monthly, an Old School Essentials zine that is coming up to issue #30 soon. Use the code "PHMY3" at checkout and get 12 issues delivered to your mailbox.   Each issue has a hex with a different terrain type and encounters within that hex, as well as alternate and expanded rules for OSE: new classes (psionic sheep-folk! necromancer! parrot-folk! fey-dwarves!), new rules (non-point based psionics! sailing and nautical combat!), new spells and monsters, and more.

  • Additionally, all Third Kingdom Games products are 35% off until the end of the year.

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