Looking through the pre-release PDF of the OSE Advanced Fantasy Referee’s Tome

I backed the Old School Essentials Advanced Fantasy Kickstarter by Necrotic Gnome and Exalted Funeral, Gavin Norman the author was kind enough to send pre-release PDFs to the people who back the Kickstarter. In this episode I’m looking through the second of the two compiled rules tomes available on the Kickstarter.

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Looking through the pre-release PDF of the OSE Advanced Fantasy Player’s Tome

I backed the Old School Essentials Advanced Fantasy Kickstarter by Necrotic Gnome and Exalted Funeral, Gavin Norman the author was kind enough to send pre-release PDFs to the people who back the Kickstarter. In this episode I’m looking through the first of the two compiled rules tomes available on the Kickstarter.

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Session Zero Mapping

We recently did a session zero for our forthcoming OSE campaign set in a fantasy world loosely inspired by the feel of Colonial America, the heroes are the first of a group of pioneers who have arrived on boats in a recently revealed landmass once shrouded in great glaciers. As they adventure they’ll also be trying to help their village prosper and survive.

I love a session zero because it gives everyone a chance to get involved and invest in creating the campaign setting, of course you need to make sure your players are comfortable with that, but I’ve gamed with all of our players before and was sure they’d be up for it. Taking a tip out of the Perilous Wilds (a book designed for Dungeon World) I basically laid down the coastline, a river and the location of their village, we then alternated between us adding in areas and creating rumours related to them.

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Coinage in Our Smoke & Snow Game

As some of you may be aware, I’m going to be starting an OSE game in the next month (session 0 scheduled for the week after next as of time of writing), the game is going to be loosely based on the Colonial America time period and set in a New World of sub-arctic temperatures (think Northern Canada). Amongst the various things I’ve been considering (rules for blackpowder firearms, hex-crawls, etc) I’ve also been thinking about coinage. I’d love to be able to have something a bit more flavourful in our game but don’t want it to make things too difficult for the players or to have to draw up new cost lists for things.

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Sequence of Play

In this episode we’re talking about the benefits of having a clearly defined sequence of play in your games, we’re referencing Old School Essentials by Necrotic Gnome.

If you want to check out Old School Essentials you can find their website here:

The basic rules for OSE are also available as a free PDF from DrivethruRPG:

CBP Worldbuilding #2: Draw Your Map

This is the second post using Angeline Trevina’s book 30 Days of Worldbuilding (available on Amazon), the book provides 30 prompts/exercises to help guide world-building.

Day 2: Draw Your Map – the author advises us to draw a map to prevent us getting lost in our world.


Colonial Blackpowder

Since my setting is based very loosely on American colonisation I decided to use a map of North America as my starting point, I downloaded an antique map from Google.

I then printed the map and–using the old-school technique of tracing a drawing whilst holding it up to a window–I created the following outline map.

I scanned the outline map back in, using Photoshop to darken it and correct a few errors.

Next I filled the landmasses in a solid colour, using Photoshop.

This looked cool but the map was still very obviously North America, after some time I decided to rotate the map and use the shaded section as the sea rather than the land. I printed out the map and extended some of the bits on the right hand side of the new picture.

Next I scanned it in again and filled in any areas of sea that were still unshaded.

Finally I changed the sea colour to blue and shaded the land green, putting a simple colour effect, making the sea lighten nearer the land.

Finally I added an outline around the landmasses.

As you can see from the image above I’ve still got some work to do on the map and there are a few bits and pieces I’ve missed out (I’ve also not decided on scale or things like that), but–in about an hour–I’ve got a promising map that I’m pretty happy with overall.

A Cautionary (but interesting) Tale

As you may or may not be aware, once of my plans for the New Year is to create a long-term D&D campaign world to run multiple games in. This desire has been spurred on by a number of factors:

  • Getting the excellent Old School Essentials books and then the boxed-set for my birthday.
  • Listening to Chicago Wiz’s amazing blog back catalogue where he talks about his own campaign world.
  • Playing in Jason Connerley’s very entertaining American Gothic themed game of ICRPG.

I’m not really planning to start doing anything concrete on this until the first couple of week’s of the New Year but I’ve been knocking a few ideas around in my head, I even put a poll up on Twitter (still active at time of publishing this blog entry) to gauge a bit of public opinion.

One of the ideas was a Colonial Gothic inspired fantasy world–which does appeal due to the presence of black powder and a slightly later implied time-period (whilst still having the ability to use a lot of standard D&D stuff)–however a number of people cautioned me about the possibly of causing offence due to portrayal of indigenous people. No-one jumped on me for suggesting the idea, and the cautions were well-intentioned, and that’s one of the reasons I definitely want to do a fantasy world inspired by the era, rather than a historical recreation.

Alistair Langsford was kind enough to share this interesting blog with me that discusses similar issues: https://signsinthewilderness.blogspot.com/2019/12/fictional-racism.html

Thanks very much Alistair 🙂

It’s a very interesting topic and–whilst I certainly don’t wish to make light of historical events–I do believe that ignoring them or trying to pretend those issues didn’t exist would be worse.

Old School Essentials Birthday Unboxing

As you may or may not be aware, the 27th of November is my birthday, I’m celebrating by opening some lovely gifts that my wife has bundled into a hamper.

Pride of place is the Old School Essentials black box set from Necrotic Gnome.

Theme tune is Exotica by Juanitos, used under Public Domain licence.