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OSR News Roundup for January 15th, 2024

Updated: Jan 21

As I'm sure most of the readers of this series will know by now, last week we lost one of the true luminaries in the gaming field: Jennell Jaquays. She had fallen sick last year, and finally succumbed to her illness. I never met her personally, but we did correspond via email occasionally. She was one of my first interview subjects, and as I was looking back over the interview last week I couldn't help but think of the questions I should have asked. When she first fell ill her wife Rebecca set up a GoFundMe to help with hospital costs. That GoFundMe is still active and could still use some support to help Rebecca with lingering hospital bills and funeral costs.

A number of people have raised suggestions of ways to recognize her contribution to the field of gaming. One that I think is appropriate is a game jam on itch, currently taking submissions for a megadungeon tile set that will be eventually printed, with proceeds going to her family as well as the organization Trans Lifelines. Jennell was an inspiration to all gamers, but especially to the trans and queer people in the hobby, and worked tirelessly to help those less fortunate than her. She will be missed.

I was torn about doing the normal Roundup this week -- it seems somewhat crass to jump into promoting works after the introduction -- but I decided there are some interesting products that deserve a spotlight. After a week with a bunch of new releases this week seemed somewhat light. My assumption is that folks are getting ready for ZineMonth and may be otherwise busy.

  • I always leap at the chance to promote Mausritter and the various supplements and third party products for it. There's a Mausritter megadungeon currently on Kickstarter called The Tomb of a Thousand Doors. Matthew Morris is running it, but it features contributions from the entire Mausritter Third-party Community.

  • My first introduction to the OSR was Dark Dungeons, the Rules Cyclopedia by Blacky the Blackball (currently going by Gurbintroll). I was lucky enough to eavesdrop on some of the work that went into Gurbintroll's current project, Light Fantasy, which is now available on Drivethru as a pdf. According to them, the print proof is on the way, so we should be seeing a POD version pretty soon, if all goes according to plans. While part of the charm of Dark Dungeons was, to my mind, their use of public domain art, the recent Kickstarter allowed Gurbintroll to commision art for Light Fantasy, which really makes the game.

  • John Bilodeau has begun to publish some pretty cool stock art, and has just released the Gnoll Drimimancer, a gnoll that can tell the future by reading the pattern of blood splatters. It's a pretty nice piece of artwork, and I like how it invites you to create an NPC based on the image and a short description.

  • The Crash Site, by ell0, is a solo journaling game where you play the role of a recently crashed and stranded space trucker. A rescue team is on the way, but it will be days before they arrive, and you're on a strange, unexplored planet.

  • Realm Builder Games has released Vol. 1 of Beyond Basic, a set of rules expansions for OSE and other similar games. This volume presents a skill system, weapon mastery, and training rules for leveling up characters.

  • Hexplore Publishing has released a bundle of four low-level OSE compatible adventures. I'm not familiar with their work, but it looks interesting.

  • Gentle's Dungeon Guide, Vol. 2, by Taylor Seely-Wright, offers advice and procedures to generate dungeons in a simplified, check-list form.

  • I don't seem to see much these days for Against the Darkmaster, but there's a new, massive (350+ pages) supplement and setting guide out now. Secrets of the Golden Throne has new monsters, kinships, spells, and a fleshed out mini-setting.

  • Ever since Dark Places and Demogorgons I've been a fan of Eric Bloat's work, and he's just released a playtest version of Evolved, his new superheroes rpg that is run with the DCC engine. When I heard it was based on DCC I was a little skeptical, at first, but the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea.

  • There are a couple days left on the current Kickstarter I'm running for Issue 30 of Populated Hexes Monthly, which begins a deep dive into religion with rules for creating gods and deities, with an emphasis on small, local gods. You can pick up the pdf for a couple of bucks, or get an offset print version for a bit more.

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