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OSR News Roundup for October 2nd, 2023

Welcome to the News Roundup for the first week in October. In all probability we'll be seeing a lot of horror and Halloween-themed releases this month. First, however, there are a couple of things I wanted to mention. I totally spaced on promoting Justin Sirois' (of Severed Books) metal zine spinner rack that just ended funding on Backerkit. It's a one-off thing, with no plans to make it available after the end of the project, but if you act fast and send him a message you may be able to squeak in. Sorry, Justin! Second, Tony Vasinda and the folks over at Plus One Exp have just started a monthly zine club, where you can subscribe and get physical zines mailed to you on a monthly or bimonthly basis. You should check it out if you're into indie zines and supporting small press publishers!



  • Hammer City Games has released Earth, AD: Wastelander's Handbook 0e. It bills itself as a spiritual successor to Gamma World, and right now it is a PWYW preview product, with the expectation that this release will provide feedback and playtesting for the upcoming full release next year.

  • Claim the Victim, by Urania Games, is a game about probably one of the most horrifying aspects of being an adult . . . applying for jobs. In this zine, however, you play as a real-life movie monster trying to get a job. It's a solo game of CVs and cover letters.

  • Theunlawfulneutral has added Magical Miscreants: d100+ Wizards & Witches to their itch page. It's a collection of random tables that can be used to generate magical miscreants for any fantasy adjacent game. And, because their tables involve rolling more than just a d100, you're guaranteed to get billions of possible combinations.

  • Into the Odd is a game that I don't think gets enough love, and I just saw there's a new, 3pp setting written for it (but, of course, easily adaptable to other settings) called The Splitting Stone. It's free, and provides a bare bones sketch of the setting, including a community and the dungeon that has opened up beneath it.

  • I was intrigued when I saw the elevator pitch for Super Space Shifters. It's a sci-fi game set in an alternate galaxy where the players act as a cadre of messengers and diplomats (er, or spies) that travel to different planets solving problems. What caught my eye was the author's deliberate attempt to meld traditional rpg games with newer, more modern innovations (the kind of narrative or storytelling games that a lot of OSR gamers sneer at). I think it's an interesting approach, and if something like that appeals to you I think it is worth a look.

  • Spectacle is currently raising funds on Kickstarter. It's a science fantasy space gladiatorial game inspired by Kirby, Junji Ito, and more. It is being published by Bolt Neck Oppossum and features contributions by some luminaries in the indie/OSR field, including Tony Jaguar and Luke Gearing. It's written for Troika!

  • Mothership is a great game to be running this month, and there's Hell on Rev-X is a depthcrawl for Mothership set on a derelict, city-sized generation ship. The publishers have two purchasing options: full-price and economically distressed, which is a solid thing for them to do.

  • The first retroclone I ever played was Gurbintroll's (formerly known as Blacky the Blackball) Dark Dungeons, a clone of the Rules Cyclopedia. They're currently crowdfunding Light Fantasy RPG, a modern take on OSR gaming. I highly recommend checking it out; they've got a long track record of producing high quality products. There's a thread over on rpgnet where they talk about their design decisions that went into Light Fantasy.

  • Another OSR adjacent author I really like (as do many readers, I would assume) is Kevin Crawford, and they've just launched a Kickstarter for another round of offset books for Worlds Without Numbers.

  • The RPG Blacksmith has just released a series of hand-drawn hex-tiles to use in swamp or marsh hexcrawls. They're designed so they can be used as lone encounter locations to together as a hexcrawl setting. I like the idea of randomly assembling them to create a map for solo gaming.

  • Academia Arcana is available on Drivethru as an ashcan edition. It uses the DCC rules as a framework to create a game of students in a wizarding school. It also features some of my favorite artists, including Amanda Lee Franck, JE Shields, and Charles Ferguson-Avery.

  • Bill Edmunds has released Black Dragon #4, a zine for OSR gaming. One of the things that drew my interest to this issue was a section on randomly generating cults.

  • The Shattered Oak is a two-page, vertical dungeon written for Mausritter designed as an introductory one-shot to the system.

  • Written for OSE, and just in time for Halloween, goddamn it. Another title with AI art and text. Yeah, not going to promote this one.

  • One of the biggest questions I see being asked in the OSE space is when there will be a demons and devils supplement. There's nothing official, but Appendix N Entertainment has just released Demonology, their bestiary that looks at demons.

  • This looks to be . . . fuck. More AI art. Nope.

  • Tim is of the Essence is a scenario for CY_BORG where the players have to find Tim.

  • Populated Hexes Monthly Issue 26 is now out on the website. This issue is the second part in a look at a new type of psionics for OSR games, one that doesn't use points to activate or keep track of powers, but instead uses a roll-under mechanic. It's available in pdf and offset print through the Sabre Games webstore.

  • We're having a spooky Halloween sale the whole month of October at Sabre Games. You can get almost one hundred horror-themed titles at a 20% discount!

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