Category Archives: Random Bits

Hugh Rankin: Oldest School Sword & Sorcery Inspiration

Before Frazetta and Boris, there was Hugh Rankin. I can’t find much out about him other than he was an artist who did many pieces of the original pulp artwork. I think he’s the first person to draw Conan. From what I can tell the works have also passed into the public domain. Pretty cool. The art does have a completely different tone than what us modern folk are used to. But it’s refreshing to see the original works.
I’ll a picture be worth 1,000 words. Enjoy and be inspired.

Queen of the Black Coast
Queen of the Black Coast

valleyoftheworm2

People of the Black Circle
People of the Black Circle

Here’s some more OSR Sword & Sorcery Resources

frazetta
It’s no secret that I’m a fan and backer (of the Kickstarter) of Crypts & Things Remastered and I’m a fan of Sword & Sorcery. Yes, I’m all in for a crazy gonzo game but I also like the gritty weird fantasy of the lower magic settings. If you’ve got Crypts & Things then cool and really back if you want to. But this post about other resources out there for Sword & Sorcery games.
How about some free stuff first?
Head on over to grey-elf.com then just scroll down to the Age of Conan and Secrets of Acheron. This one is an homage to the Little Brown Books and pretty darned cool.
This time Underworld Lore #3 (Hyborian Special). Really all of the stuff on Gorgonmilk rocks but this one is about our subject at hand.
This one is mix of free and for pay stuff. I’ve really good things about Xoth.net and their setting but I haven’t gotten around to picking it up yet and yes some of the material is Pathfinder/3.x but it’s easy to convert. Here’s the main page for the Hyborian Age but the real meat is here with the adventures. And here’s their shop. Order the PDF’s through them or dead tree versions thru Lulu.
Now, Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea is pretty damned cool but their adventures are also darn good fare. But let’s not forget their free resources on their website.
Lastly here’s another couple of adventures that comes with some neat house rules too. I’m talking about Liberation of the Demon Slayer and Revelry in Torth. Yes, there’s some little things that I’d tweak and they’re a bit racy. So you’ve been warned.
No I know there’s lots of other stuff out there and there’s plenty of retor-clones and hacks out there. It’s a big internet and I’m just one little guy with a hyper puppy bouncing around the office. Other resources and stuff go ahead and share.
Did I also mention that there’s only a few days left on the Kickstarter for Crypts & Things Remastered, and I really want that last stretch goal. By Crom, Kill monsters and take their stuff!

Flail Parties

OK, this crazy idea popped into my head. You know about Flailsnails right? Basically, it’s a little OSR thing. Bring whatever character into a campaign. Fun and simple. If that sounds cool then check out the Google + Community for it.
So here’s a thought. What about place that’s a repository for OSR characters. Let’s say there’s a game going via Google Hangouts or maybe you’re a running a game at a convention or at your FLGS. Somebody shows up without a character. Just go to the repository and pull a character and play it. Then the character goes back into the repository when the player is done. The character gets adjusted for experience, loot, or any other things that might happen. The character’s go up in level but get played by different people. New characters get added. Old characters die and get removed from the data base and so on. I know folks will be more likely to pull a character and use it rather than spend the time to update it and put it back into the rotation.
I’m not sure how exactly this should be implemented whether via Google drive or a blog or a wiki. Right now, it’s just an idea bouncing around inside my head. Thoughts? Critics?

The Completely Unofficial System Agnostic OSR Character Sheet

Yes, here you go. Just like the title says The Completely Unofficial System Agnostic Character Sheet. Experience what is like in the golden age of days past. Feel like you’re really there when Satan was around every corner and you had to hide the Player’s Handbook. Remember the first rule of D&D Club. Don’t talk about D&D Club. Find just what exactly it is all those damned grognards are talking about.
I present unto you the type of character sheet we used back then.
osrcharactersheet
Have a great day. And be careful out there.

DIY Dungeon Terrain

So I’ve had this idea for quite a while and finally the folks over at Gnome Stew threw up this little post and I finally got off my butt and made some simple and inexpensive Dungeon Terrain.

Here’s the materials list:

3/4 inch x 3/4 inch (That’s about 2 CM x 2 CM) square doweling (I got three 3 foot pieces, so that’s 9 feet of wall and it cost only about $7.50).

Spray Primer (Already had in the garage but should only cost a couple of bucks.)

Gray and Black paint (Once again, I already this laying around but only a couple of bucks more.)

Clear Acrylic Spray Coat (Yes, I have a lot stuff around the garage but only a couple of bucks more.)

Depending on good your selection of local home improvement stores is, you’ll probably spend between $15 and $20.

1. Cut the dowels into conveint lengths.  (I did 1 inch for doors, then 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 inch lengths.)

2. Sand down any rough spots.

3. Prime it.

4. Paint it.

5. Seal it.  And you are done.

I decided to go with 3/4 inch for a couple of reasons. One there was a huge price difference between 3/4 and 1 inch.  Also, I wanted the walls to be shorter than the miniatures.  There’s always one person who won’t lean forward or stand up to see that “hidden” orc behind the wall in front of them.

You can paint as much detail as you want.  I just went with a simple gray and then painted black lines every inch or so.  I’m not that exact when it comes to laying out dungeons.  It’s just one of those things that I think “close enough” is good enough.

Yes, I just realized that the door is upside down.

Another cool thing you can do is make stairs with the various lengths.

Dwarves always want to smack the elf upside the head.

So there you go. Some inexpensive, durable, easy to make and light weight dungeon terrain.