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OSR News Roundup for October 9th, 2023

Welcome to the second Roundup for October. We've got a number of Kickstarters I want to mention, but first there's something I'd like to address. I've been pretty clear about my support of creators and my desire to not promote anything with AI content. Last week I had some entries that expressed displeasure at the number of AI-driven projects I've been seeing, and the overwhelming majority of reader responses have been supportive of my stance. There was one commenter on Reddit that disagreed with my stance that AI hurts individual, small-press creators, arguing that it was a good thing since it allowed creators on limited budgets to add art to their projects. I follow a number of indie and 3rd party communities, and I have seen no evidence of small creators being excited by AI. Regardless, I've been thinking about this and decided to put my money where my mouth is.

I'm currently running a Kickstarter (link below) and have since added two new stretch goals, one at 7,500.00 and one at 10,000.00. For each of these we hit I'm going to set aside 500.00 that will be divided into five 100.00 grants. If you're publishing a game and can use some financial help, let me know and I'll see what I can do. The money can be used to commission art, hire an editor, fund a print-run, buy hookers and blow, whatever you want, as long as the project doesn't include any AI. I'm hoping we can hit at least the first of those two stretch goals, especially with ZineMonth24 just around the corner.

Anyway, let's move on to the releases, shall we?

  • This has been a pretty stressful week for me, as my mother has finally made the right decision and is entering hospice care after years of declining health, and it is somewhat appropriate that I just noticed the current crowdfunding project by the Far Horizons Co-Op: Afterwords is a collection of essays and games by indie creators with the goal of "tak[ing] the lens of play and use it to highlight our own reactions to different aspects of death. To explore how death is used in myth, ritual, art, and even business. To help us all better understand our own feelings about something that will happen to us all."

  • Wind Lothamer is raising funds for Isle of Joy, a David Lynch-inspired island hexcrawl that's described as a "brooding, psychedelic trip". It's for mid-level characters and written for Old School Essentials. It looks really neat, but there's just one thing I wanted to mention that's applicable to this and other similar Kickstarters: if you're including a retailer tier, and delivery of the project is, say, more than 3 months out, please don't have the tier be for the full amount. Rather, use a placeholder of a couple dollars to register retailer interest. As a retailer, it's really difficult to commit significant money to a product that we may not see for half a year, or more (in the case of this specific Kickstarter, July 2024). Peter Regan does an excellent job of this, as do several other creators (I don't mean to single Wind Lothamer out specifically, because it is something I see a lot, and it immediately turns me off of backing projects with such a long lead time). Also, damn, I see this Roundup is turning into one big wall of text. Sorry!

  • Mythmere Games has launched a Kickstarter to fund the Tome of Adventure Design -- Digital Fantasy Builder, a digital adaptation and expansion of their hugely popular Tome of Adventure Design that should allow people to generate entire adventures.

  • Kevin Crawford's running a Kickstarter to fund a reprint of the offset version of his hugely popular Worlds Without Numbers book.

  • Prisoners of the Secret Overlords is funding on Kickstarter. It's a 2nd level adventure written for DCC. It's already been written (yay!) and just is funding for layout at commissioned art.

  • Oh, and yeah, I'm running a Kickstarter for a compiled book of the second year of Populated Hexes Monthly. This covers issues 13-24, which includes a bunch of new classes for OSE (a Garth Nix-inspired necromancer, parrot-folk, turtle-folk, ironskin craftpriest, and more), rules for naval engagements and improving naval vessels, printable ship tokens to use on a battlemap, and plenty of adventure locations! Plus, if we hit the mentioned stretch goals, I'll be donating money to other creators to help them out.

  • I'd mentioned another one of Savvy Donkey Presses generators recently, and now they've released an Endless Crypt Generator, designed to randomly generate crypts. Interestingly, it's mentioned that it can be used to pre-generate dungeons or to create them on the fly.

  • Archstone Press has released their first adventure on itch. Entitled Smoke in the Salt Pines, it's a 24-page semi-random pointcrawl adventure for low to medium level parties, and is largely system agnostic, so it can be run in any OSR or NSR system. What caught my eye was the art, which has a delightful innocence to it.

  • I don't usually plug stuff that hasn't been released yet, but I'm a big fan of Ava Islam's Errant system, and they've just announced the upcoming first adventure for it. I'm sure I'll plug it when the KS goes live, but you should check it out now and smash that "Notify me on launch" button.

  • Active Time Battle is a short, PWYW pdf meant for use with Troika! It presents science fantasy, JRPG-inspired backgrounds for your heroes.

  • Kyle Tam has released Fate's Folly, a randomized point-crawl written for Mork Borg, with the adventure being determined by the roll of the die as you progress through it.

  • Taintedweald is written for Cairn and is inspired by the works of Hayao Miyazaki. It's a post-apocalyptic forest-crawl.

  • Session Eleven of the Basilisk Hills Breakdown is now live, in which the adventurers deal with the aftermath of the Festival in Liwil, interrogate the captured brigand boss, and learn more about the town of Sin and the mysterious Lord of Shadows.

  • I released Populated Hexes Monthly Issue 26, the second part of a two-part introduction to an alternate psionics system for OSR games, one that doesn't require you to track psychic points.

  • On the Sabre end of things, we've still got our Halloween sale going on, here, and have also added a clearance page. We've also added:

  1. The offset versions of Kevin Crawford's Stars Without Numbers and Cities Without Numbers.

  2. The Tome of Adventure Design, by Matt Finch, is back in stock.

  3. We've added a number of books by Jacob Fleming to the inventory, including the Scourge of the Northland, In the Shadow of Tower Silveraxe, and Through the Valley of the Manticore.

  4. The Demon Lord Expansion, by Max Moon Games. This is the sequel to Twelve Years.

  5. A number of used titles that are OSR-adjacent.

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