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OSR News Roundup for December 4th, 2023

It's the first Monday is December. What's left of my Twitter feed lit up on Friday with a news of an "Indie RPG Creators Summit" put on by Goodman Games with a promo that featured headshots of ten of the participants; white males all. With as much creativity and innovation as goes on in the OSR and indie ttrpg spheres, much of it driven by women and people of color, it was really disappointed to see such a tone-deaf promotion. With the third year of the News Roundup rapidly approaching, now's a good time to reiterate that one of my goals in doing the roundup is to help promote those independent creators who don't look like me, a middle-aged, bearded white dude. I'm not perfect, and I'm sure I miss some stuff that I should be highlighting, so if you think there's something I overlooked, especially if you don't fall into the traditional OSR creator category, please let me know and I'll correct my oversight.


The past few weeks have been pretty light on new releases: looks like that has changed. This is going to be a long one, folks, so buckle in!


  • Charles Avery Ferguson has just launched a Kickstarter for Ave Nox, a system-neutral megadungeon. Charles is one of the driving forces behind Into the Wyrd and Wild, Cess and Citadel, Never Going Home, and more, and consistently puts out high-quality, top notch work.

  • Another author known for their output is Paolo Greco, who, with Yochai Gal (the author of the wonderful Cairn system) is raising funds for Beyond the Pale, a horror adventure that draws on Jewish religious themes and mythology. It's statted for Cairn.

  • I don't know if there's something in the water, but there's a lot of religious themes going on this week. Let us Build a Tower is a new Kickstarter for a mythic bronze age setting in the ruins of the Tower of Babel. It's designed to be compatible with OSR systems in general, and seems to be offering a lot of content as well as an interesting hook with the Tower of Babel as a constantly shifting mega-dungeon.

  • Knock Issue 4, the acclaimed 'zine (although, it's really too much content to truly be called a zine) by The Merry Mushmen is also live on Kickstarter. Take that, Christmas budget!

  • I've been really looking forward to this release: Hellwhalers is now available on itch as a pdf. It's a game of existential nautical and Christian religious horror. The players take on the role of crew aboart a damned ship hunting a god-like whale, and the Referee the role of the captain of the vessel. The art is done in a woodblock-style that is absolutely phenomenal. Right now it's not available in print, only pdf, but I believe the goal is to release it as a printed book in 2024.

  • Not only can you download pdfs and desktop games from itch, you can also purchase music! eskur has made a short, ambient album live on itch. Entitled Distant Shores, it's inspired by the Slugblaster jam.

  • A Feast for Flies is a short adventure for Cairn, designed to be run in a single session. It's designed to be introduced to characters traveling along a stretch of road, so would serve well as a one-shot, a side quest, or something to run when all the players don't show up for a game but you still want to run a quick little adventure.

  • Wanderhome is proving to be a pretty good seller at Sabre, and Feet Melting on the Path is a collection of twelve short scenarios for that system now available on itch. This is the ashcan version, and I'm hoping there's enough interest in it for the author to polish it up and add some art.

  • I've mentioned before how much I like the work of taichara. They've uploaded a new minizine to itch. Titled Beasts in Shining Beads, its a system neutral collection of gemstones and the beasts carved from them, little charms and low-powered items reminiscent of figurines of wondrous power.

  • I'd heard of NaNoWriMo, but not of Nagademon, the National Game Design Month. That is, I hadn't heard of it until I came across Bristle, Thistle, Tusk and Mud, a modern horror implied setting and mystery. It's nominally statted for Liminal Horror, but can be used with a wide range of systems. It is inspired by kaiju, medieval fairs, injustice in the name of religion, and time in Southern France.

  • San Tagoy has released Smells Fishy, Jack, a Fallout-inspired, system neutral adventure set in an alternate Philippines wracked by colonialism and dealing with the aftermath of nucleur war.

  • Eternal Torch has released Whispers of the Black Spear Fellowship, a PWYW alternative magic system designed to be system neutral and open-ended.

  • Hunt on the Borderlands is another free solo adventure for the Dragon Warriors game put out by the prolific folks at Red Ruin Publishing.

  • Another prolific publisher is Philip Reed, who's just come out with two system neutral products: Deck of Dungeon Illumination and DoDI Vol. 2. Both are 50 card decks with light sources and more to add flavor to dungeon crawls and help design dungeons.

  • Codex Magica, by the Wandering Mage, is a short supplement that provides all manner of arcane items and spells to add to you campaign. It's system neutral and written for OSR-style games.

  • The Key of Alamantra is a low-level OSR adventure that looks to be a fun puzzle-style dungeon.

  • I've added a 'zine suprise bundle to the website. For 50.00 you can get over 100.00 dollars worth of randomly selected print zines. There may be some duplication of titles between the different bundles.

  • Populated Hexes Monthly Issue 28 is now live on the website in print and pdf. It features a manticore lair, new monsters, and basic rules for aerial combat.

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