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OSR News Roundup for January 16th, 2023

Pretty much all anyone was talking about last week is the mess with Wizards of the Coast and the OGL. I'm 99% sure that if you're reading this you've been following it as closely as I have, and, if you're like me, still have no idea how things are going to shake out. There seems to be a pretty strong movement, currently spearheaded by Paizo, to create an irrevocable, free-to-use, no-strings attached OGL.


I'm not a lawyer, and have no idea how this will play out, especially since we actually haven't seen a finalized OGL from Hasbro. With that in mind, I'm going to look away from that trainwreck and focus on last week's releases. If you want to read more about the OGL there are some pretty thorough discussions on sites like ENworld, rpgnet, and others. If it's at all not clear, however, I stand firmly behind creators on this one, and believe that the wealth of third party and indie products makes this community a better place and draws in additional people to the hobby.


Last week's Meet the Publisher interview was with Jon Britton, the Referee behind the popular and engaging old-school actual play 3d6 Down the Line. This week's interview will be with Tanya Floaker, the author of Lo! Thy Dread Emperor.


First up, I've got a couple things I wanted to mention about ZineQuest/Month. If you're a creator and are planning something for the project, and want some free publicity, shoot me a message at thirdkingdomgames at gmail dot com. I'm in the process of sending out a short list of questions that I'll be posting all next month. Second, there are some resources for creators that might be of interest to some folks.


  1. The Canadian webstore Ratti Incantati is offering free fulfillment services to five first time publishers. You can find out about that here.

  2. The 'zine collective in*die zine is offering microgrants of up to 250.00 to creators. It's open to everyone, but priority will be given to marginalized people. You can find the application here.

With that out of the way, let's got into the new releases!


*Lead or Alive: Bounty Generator, by Dice Goblin, is pretty much as it sounds and is written for Colin Le Sueur's We Deal in Lead (you can find my interview with Colin here).


*Speaking of which, there's currently an itch jam running for We Deal in Lead, with (as of this post) a little under three weeks remaining. If you're interested in checking out more Dark Tower gunslinger-type action this is the jam for you!


*Crab has released You Died . . . Now What, an OSR random generator to determine what happens after a character dies.


*Tomb is a rules-light OSR system inspired by Ben Milton's Knave and Jason Tocci's Grave that is designed to emulate dark fantasy, souls-like adventures.


*I saw this on itch and thought it was pretty interesting: Brise Couer (or, Do you Speak Common), is a set of rules that can be bolted on to any fantasy game and is designed to emulate language gaps in rpgs.


*Beneath the Graves is a starting adventure for Sacrifice, although it can be easily adapted to other OSR-systems.


*The Dragon Killer system, by Feral Gamers, is inspired by Knave, and has been released partially in response to the OGL fiasco.


*Blaster Bolts is a 'zine published for the White Star sci-fi game, and issues 1-13 are now available as an omnibus edition.


*Miles Adams has released the sibilant Sepulchre of the Serpent's Servant, a low-level adventure written for Old School Essentials.


*Warg Borg -- Clan of the Fang, is a lycanthropy supplement for Mork Borg.


*Neon Lords of the Toxic Wastelands is a gonzo post-apoc system by Brian Shutter, and they've just released a free supplement for it: Overreaching Government Leeches.


*I'm not not familiar with the QuestRex system, but they've just released a Psionics supplement that I'm assuming, since it bills itself as OSR, can easily be adapted to other OSR systems.


*The Sun Orb, by the Merciless Merchants, is written for Old School Essentials and is geared towards characters of levels 4-7.


*Denizen, The Magonian Edition, is an interesting post-apoc setting written to be compatible with Troika! and Advanced Fighting Fantasy.


*Christopher Wilson has written the Nobleman's Manor, an adventure for OSE and characters of levels 3-5.


*Silver Bulette Games has released Fire in the Mohle, an adventure written for Mutant Crawl Classics.


*This just came across my radar and I thought it looked interesting: Stiff Whiskers Press has written Weird Frontiers, a Lovecraft-inspired Wild West setting and game compatible with DCC. There's the Core Book and the Magic Tome. Interestingly, Drivethru only seems to have the print version and no pdf. [EDIT] I've been informed there are not separate pdfs because WF was originally published as a single 900-page book. The pdf is available as part of a print bundle, also on Drivethru.


*For fans of bestiaries, Those Outside the Walls is a 450+ monster book written for Worlds Without Numbers, one of the games that doesn't use the OGL and that I would like to see become more widely played.


*Pete Spahn has released Haunt of the Barrow King, a low-level adventure written for Old School Essentials.


Finally, I've added a bunch of new titles to my website.

  1. A smattering of new used books, including some Hackmaster 4e bestiaries.

  2. The 5e version of Twilight Fables, by Izegrim Creations. This is a recently Kickstarted book that is available in both OSE and 5e versions: the 5e version is a smyth-sewn, offset print run.

  3. Delver #6, by Tabletop Engineer.

  4. Even more pdfs, including by Singing Flame (DNGN, Night Lands, etc.) and Marc Braden of This is the Weird.

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