Showing posts with label DriveThru RPG. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DriveThru RPG. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Review - Cult of Diana: The Amazon Witch Tradition

Title: Cult of Diana: The Amazon Witch Tradition
Publisher: The Other Side Publishing
Author: Timothy S. Brannan
Year: 2019 (?)
Pages: 26 pages
Overall Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Text Only Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Continuing in the vein of the occult, today's review is of the Cult of Diana. This book is a part of a series on witches by Timothy S. Brannan for the Basic era D&D game. A word of warning, I play a mashup of B/X and AD&D 1e. I may let slip some observations which reference a set of rules that is not the one intended by the author of this book. 

To start, the entire series of books has excellent cover art. These are worth printing in high quality. Personally, I like to print the covers of DriveThruRPG books on photo paper. It is totally worth the effort. 

What makes witches worth of a new class in Basic era? The ideas, mainly, but also the integration within the rule set. Cult of Diana introduces some simple but powerful ideas to the rules. Mr. Brannan made sure these are carefully balanced so as not to be game breakers. Except for outward facing abilities like spells, no mechanic introduced upsets other character classes, which is very important for consistency. 

Like all characters, witches roll for HP, require certain modest ability scores (10 for INT, 11 for WIS and CHR), gain a bonus to experience for superior ability scores, and have limited armor and weapon selections. The author has provided 8 pages of new spells available to witches, none of which are unbalancing. 

What makes these characters different is their calling. Witches are part of a coven, granting them the ability to access new spells based on a particular tradition. This religiosity allows the witch to be of any alignment so long as they follow the tenants of their tradition. In the case of the Amazonian witch, their tradition is based on several gods such as Diana and Artemis. The author provides a brief section on what these beliefs mean. 

Circling back to the idea of covens, witches have access to ritual magic which requires many casters to participate in. Again, these ritual spells are well balanced. For both "normal magic" and "ritual magic" there are 8 levels of each described in the standard format for Basic era games. 

This particular set calls out BlueHolme but readers will find that it is a nice addition to any basic era game such as Labyrinth Lord or the Red box set. With a little adaption, this book could be plugged into a great many rule sets like AD&D. 

All and all this is a rock solid addition to your table. Text only is 4 of 5 stars. 

I tend to be colored by great artwork, usually shifting my rating upwards by one. In this review, I have ignored the excellent artwork and tables so as not to damage my rating scale too much. The art is superior for a supplemental book and completely inline with the Basic Era style. Considering the layout with the artwork, this book merits 5 of 5 stars. 

Reviewer's note: The date is taken from the forward, this could be the most recent update rather than the original publication date. If that is the case, my apologies but then that also means the author is providing an excellent experience by routinely updating his works. 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

New Links for Products by TheseOldGames.com

I've always wanted links to DriveThruRPG to look like links to Amazon. However, most of DriveThruRPG doesn't work like that. If you look to the left of this post, you can see an example of what I wanted, which is an affiliate tool for the Daily Hot New Book. You can get that link by logging in to DriveThru and scrolling to the bottom of the Affiliate Resources Page.

The code looks like this (excuse the image, blogger doesn't like code tags):


It displays the ad like this:

Hottest New Book
City of Nexus | 20x30 Battlemaps [BUNDLE]
City of Nexus | 20x30 Battlemaps [BUNDLE]

By harvesting their code, you can change what is displayed by manipulating the code, like I did for my Swashbuckler Character Class.

Swashbuckler Character Class for D&D and AD&D

Swashbucklers for D&D and AD&D

You can get the product page link via the Social link on DriveThruRPG. 




That will automatically append your Affiliate Id to the link, which is super handy. The image associated with the product can be directly linked to by right clicking the thumbnail and copying the image address. Many times you can plug that image link right into the code.  

Zero to Hero: Uncommon Heroes
Zero to Hero
Zero to Hero

The thumbnail seems to be generated by .css, which will rescale the image to 139 by 196 for the product page. However, if the author uploaded a larger image, you will have to rescale the image and host it yourself. That happened to me with all of my products. I should probably go back and rescale all of the images so DriveThru does less work to display a thumbnail. 

Character Sheet for AD&D
Character Sheet
Character Sheet for AD&D

You can combine the code above with the table html to create side by side links, like I did below.


Kobold’s Folly Mini Setting
Kobold’s Folly
Kobold’s Folly
The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack
Compass Rose Inn Mini Setting
Compass Rose Inn
Compass Rose Inn


Sunday, December 20, 2020

DRIVETHRURPG PRODUCTS BY DUNROMIN UNIVERSITY PRESS Ad Post

Over in the lefty column are ads for DriveThruRPG. It takes a bit of work to get them looking nice and when I delete them they are gone. For this reason, I am creating a post with the links so I can save them for the future. I hope you have taken a look at all that Dunromin University Press has to offer. I'll be adding new links in the sidebar the next day or so. 


SM03 Cityguide to the City of Karan
SM03 Cityguide to the City of Karan
SM03 Cityguide to the City of Karan


SM00 A Traveller's Atlas of Dunromin and the Land of the Young
SM00 A Traveller's Atlas of Dunromin and the Land of the Young


SM12 The Trials of a Young Wizard
SM12 The Trials of a Young Wizard
SM12 The Trials of a Young Wizard

SM06 The Warren
SM06 The Warren
SM06 The Warren


SM04 Gazeteer of the Land of the Young
SM04 Gazeteer of the Land of the Young
SM04 Gazeteer of the Land of the Young


SM01 A Players' Guide to Dunromin
SM01 A Players' Guide to Dunromin
SM01 A Players' Guide to Dunromin

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Let the Hexcrawl Addiction Begin

I am really intrigued by the concept of Hexcrawls. I've never done this before, but the OSR community does not disappoint. 

Within minutes, Goblin’s Henchman pointed me to their In the Heart of the Unknown - Procedural Hex Crawling Engine Product: 

In the Heart of the Unknown - Procedural Hex Crawling Engine
In the Heart of the Unknown - Procedural Hex Crawling Engine
In the Heart of the Unknown - Procedural Hex Crawling Engine

I don't know what it is about art for Hexcrawls, but I love it. Click the link and check out In the Heart of Unknown. It's very cool. 

So I took a closer look at Third Kingdom Games and found a whole series of products. Of course, being a little daunted by the whole Hexcrawl experience, I needed the basics. I downloaded Third Kingdom Games, which I mentioned in my last post.  

Hexcrawl Basics
Hexcrawl Basics
Hexcrawl Basics

They also have map packs for Hexcrawls, which gives me a point of reference to get me started on this whole new way of gaming. 
 
Lake of Abomination Map Packet
Lake of Abomination Map Packet
Lake of Abomination Map Packet

I could spend weeks pouring over the stuff produced by Third Kingdom Games and Goblin’s Henchman. And probably will. 

When I created my Map Pack, I should have known I was going down this path. This is a very boring template for hexes, with 3 different colors of hex in three styles. It's also has a commercial license. So, please grab a copy and use it for for your hexcrawl or your product. 

The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack

Since I am looking to provide tools for you, I do have a walk thru so you can create your own DriveThruRPG links with HTML which mirror a standard Amazon ad. Give that a try, if you like. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Hexcrawling

 I started a new project called Miledown, a hex crawl adventure. 


It just came to me as art, translating it to an adventure is going to be a trick. I can't think of the last time I used a hex map for my players and wonder if I have ever really ran a hexcrawl at all. When I ran the kids through B2, that map is a grid. Not a hexcrawl at all. 

That's ok. DriveThruRPG is to the rescue. Why reinvent the wheel when someone is an expert wheel maker? I picked up Todd Leback's Hexcrawl Basics. Before this project I had been eyeing the book simply for the cover art. I love it. 

I guess if I am going to use this for ideation, I had better do a review. It's all printed out and ready to read. I can't wait. 

Check back soon for that review and progress on my own hexcrawl project. 





Monday, November 30, 2020

City of Nexus Map Bundle Review

Title: City of Nexus
Author: Seafoot Games  (Luke Seefuss and Rianna Stahl)
Rule Set: Any
Year: 2019
Pages: 5 pdfs, 15 pages each, plus 15 .jpg images. 
Rating: ★★★★★

Since this pandemic thing kicked off, I've been looking at Seafoot Games' City of Nexus bundle. It's been on the hot list for most, if not all of 2020. 

These sort of products give me fits for reviewing. How do I show an image without giving the milk away for free? Well, I'm gonna do my best by showing part of the title page of one of the five books included with set. 


It's impressive. Imagine this image with 300 px detail and multiply by five products. 

The books are nicely designed, with several pages dedicated to the Artist's Patreon following. The next ten pages include a 8.5" by 11" overview map, with nine pages dedicate to sections of the map. In this format, I advise printing one sided pages on photo paper. Every image has a grid for your figures, tokens or models. It's is wonderful with the right paper.

But I suspect that was not what the artist intended you to do. Each of the five maps has 3 jpeg files in 300px, 72px and one 300px poster size. The first two are perfect for virtual table tops and the choice of resolution is there to meet your needs. Sometimes, you don't want to pull up a massive file. 

These maps are battlemats for you to populate. They are extraordinarily detailed with beautiful set pieces, all obviously designed for each map in question. You could either ignore them or write them into your game. The set is ruleset agnostic for ease of use in any type of campaign. They are obviously medieval looking, but that's what 99% of OSR use. 

Back to "massive". The last jpeg for each map is a mighty poster 33" by 23" with a nice white border. It's perfect for framing as art OR to print off and cover with glass for your physical tabletop. Did I mention you get 5 of them? 

The price is great. It's CyberModay today, so I am not sure if there is a sale on right now, but at triple the price this is an excellent set. An easy 5 star product. 

Click the link to order. 

Hottest New Book
City of Nexus | 20x30 Battlemaps [BUNDLE]
City of Nexus | 20x30 Battlemaps [BUNDLE]

Monday, August 24, 2020

The Simple Things - Printing

I love books, but the oldest and the newest stuff is hard to get in print. Invariably, I wander DriveThruRPG ordering stuff left and right. It never ends. Once I read through something, it goes in one two places: into a hard copy or stays in my "Library of (Digital) RPG Titles" on my Kindle. 

Qualitatively, they are different places. One I expect to read again, while the other is something I might want to read by candlelight after the Nuclear Apocalypse. 

Anyway, reading preferences aside, printing books yourself is really dependent on your printer. I have an HP all in one inkjet printer. It's good for most things, most of the time.

In the picture on the left, look how sharp the text is. It's really nice. Perfectly acceptable for reading by nuclear candlelight. Inkjet are very good on plain paper for text. You can see a little blow through because I printed two sided, but it's still very legible. 

What inkjets are not good at are large, color images on plain paper. Things could not be worse. And since I print a lot of my own stuff on plain paper, the result is less than satisfactory. 

Here is a photo of Cult of Diana: The Amazon Witch for Basic Era Games by Timothy S. Brannan. I just love the covers of his books and this one is my favorite. 


And with inkjet on plain paper, it just sucks. Can you say mud? How did it go so wrong? 

It's the paper. 

Check out this next image. It's the same printer and settings, except I used photo paper.  


I'm very happy with this one, the colors are much brighter in real life, but I didn't want to alter the image with different settings to accentuate the colors. Where I went wrong is selecting my favorite cover rather than one that would highlight how good good can be. 

Take a look at this next image from Mr. Brannan's The Basic Witch: The Pumpkin Spice Witch Tradition


That 100 times better. We have blues and reds, and stuff in between. I can totally see the how this is different than how it appears on screen, but even using my cheap inkjet printer, the photo paper gives it far more color than plain paper. It's far more satisfying. 

Ah, the simple things. 

Monday, August 3, 2020

New! SM05 The World Guide to Barnaynia

New Product from Dunromin University Press. This one is called The World Guide to Barnaynia. 

SM05 The World Guide to Barnaynia
SM05 The World Guide to Barnaynia
SM05 The World Guide to Barnaynia

I'm not ready to do a review. In fact, I haven't bought it yet, owing to the fact that payday is Friday. Also, this book is over 200 pages of world details on Barnaybia, so it would take me a while to process it. I have many of the other titles in this series and enjoyed them all. I haven't played a session in this world, but I am looking forward to doing it. 

One of my favorite things about this whole series is the artwork. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it is gloriously old school. Many of the images and maps look hand drawn, but are crisp and sharp like digital renderings. I suppose I could ask which it is, but that would ruin the mystique. 

One tangent. I hope you like these prepackage links which look like DriveThruRPG's product links. They aren't, I make them up on the fly. I do have instructions on how to make those for your website, at this link. When you do the code, you'll have to reference your copy of the image or link directly to DTRPG's .png file. Usually, it is 140 px and a .png. Also, don't forget to change the affiliate number so you get credit. 

Friday, May 29, 2020

Thank You for Making The Hex Pack My Most Popular Product!

Wow! I can believe all the interest in this Hex Pack. 



I like hex paper, but it's kind of a pain in the butt. A full page of hexes boggles the eyes and really isn't a full page unless you mess with the hex size. You need to go smaller than a page to get a manageable workspace. I jumped into Worldographer and knocked something together:

Hexes... like so. 
As I was doing this, I hopped over to Steamtunnel's The Hydra's Grotto to read up on 6 mile hexes. It really is the best size for hexes. Don't trust me, click that link to see all the mathy wonders that can be done with a 6 mile hex.

As I was working, I eliminated all of the stuff that bothers me. Text on the page, hex numbers, etc. I ended up doing 9 different styles: red, grey and black lines then dotted, dashed, solid lines. Once I was done, I threw them in a template. Since I was working from the ground up, I made a set of templates for 8.5 by 11 and A4.


A little consumer copy later, and I had my next DrivethruRPG document. This thing is PWYW, with a suggested price of $0.99. It's available via the Creative Commons 4.0, share and share alike with attribution for private and commercial use.

I honestly didn't know what to do with the price. For home use, there are 9 zillion websites you can download templates from for free. The main difference on this product is, there is a booklet for 8.5x11 and A4 pages, plus a file with just the hex in JPG and PNG at 1400x1299 pixels. Ninety-nine cents is probably too much for home use, but far too little for commercial use.

I don't know... I'm just hanging it here for all of you. I'm going back to my game now.

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Ads of Six - Dunromin University Press

I like doing these posts of ads, which is unfortunate for my readers. Lol. 

Today's Ad of Six are from Dunromin University Press on DriveThruRPG. These modules, gazetters and guides are great. If I get a chance to play D&D after quarantine, I'm gonna run a few of these. 

As a general rule, I think I'll be placing these Ads of Six in the left column from now on and save a post. 
SM03 Cityguide to the City of Karan
SM03 Cityguide to the City of Karan
SM03 Cityguide to the City of Karan


SM00 A Traveller's Atlas of Drunromin and the Land of the Young
SM00 A Traveller's Atlas of Dunromin and the Land of the Young
SM00 A Traveller's Atlas of Dunromin and the Land of the Young

SM12 The Trials of a Young Wizard
SM12 The Trials of a Young Wizard
SM12 The Trials of a Young Wizard



SM06 The Warren

SM06 The Warren
SM06 The Warren


SM04 Gazeteer of the Land of the Young
SM04 Gazeteer of the Land of the Young
SM04 Gazeteer of the Land of the Young

SM01 A Players' Guide to Dunromin
SM01 A Players' Guide to Dunromin
SM01 A Players' Guide to Dunromin

Monday, May 25, 2020

Products by These Old Games - The Ad Post

I've finally hit six products DriveThruRPG. Yesterday, I launched The Hex Pack and already have dozens of downloads. I think that's the strongest launch ever. I'm on the front page too, under Newest Free and PWYW heading. It's silly, but feels good.

 

You can find all of my products on DriveThruRPG under PWYW. Check them out.


Swashbuckler Character
Class for D&D and AD&D


Swashbucklers for D&D and AD&D
Zero to Hero:
Uncommon Heroes

Zero to Hero
Zero to Hero
Character Sheet
for AD&D

Character Sheet
Character Sheet for AD&D



Kobold’s Folly
Mini Setting

Kobold’s Folly
Kobold’s Folly
Compass Rose
Inn Mini Setting

Compass Rose Inn
Compass Rose Inn
The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack

Sunday, May 24, 2020

And another thing... 6 Mile Hex pack.

Edit 5-29-2020 - Wow! The response to this tiny pack of Hex Paper has been outstanding! Thank you so much. 


I am hooked on Gemstone IV, a MUD. Yeah, I know it's 2020 but damn am I addicted. Anyway, being a MUD, you have to make your own maps. Other people have happily charted all the lands but I find that most fonts and images are far too small for me to read without my glasses. Ah, the joys of being a gamer for X decades.

I make my own maps which are much larger than normal so I can read them without my glasses. Here is an example, all maps print on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper:

Standard Marshkeep Map My Map, Part 1 My Map, Part 2


As I do these things, sometimes I notice that the person that created the area was working on grid paper. The other day, I noticed someone must have used hex paper, because the small size and the arrangement of rooms. Hex paper can produce tighter maps as opposed to grids.

I like hex paper, but it's kind of a pain in the butt. A full page of hexes boggles the eyes and really isn't a full page unless you mess with the hex size. You need to go smaller than a page to get a manageable workspace. I jumped into Worldographer and knocked something together:

Hexes... like so. 
As I was doing this, I hopped over to Steamtunnel's The Hydra's Grotto to read up on 6 mile hexes. It really is the best size for hexes. Don't trust me, click that link to see all the mathy wonders that can be done with a 6 mile hex.

As I was working, I eliminated all of the stuff that bothers me. Text on the page, hex numbers, etc. I ended up doing 9 different styles: red, grey and black lines then dotted, dashed, solid lines. Once I was done, I threw them in a template. Since I was working from the ground up, I made a set of templates for 8.5 by 11 and A4.


A little consumer copy later, and I had my next DrivethruRPG document. This thing is PWYW, with a suggested price of $0.99. It's available via the Creative Commons 4.0, share and share alike with attribution for private and commercial use.

I honestly didn't know what to do with the price. For home use, there are 9 zillion websites you can download templates from for free. The main difference on this product is, there is a booklet for 8.5x11 and A4 pages, plus a file with just the hex in JPG and PNG at 1400x1299 pixels. Ninety-nine cents is probably too much for home use, but far too little for commercial use.

I don't know... I'm just hanging it here for all of you. I'm going back to my game now.

Enjoy!

Here is a link to go play GSIV. It's free to play or you can purchase a subscription.