Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Eve - A Final Teaser for an upcoming project.

It's a pacific island adventure.

Happy New Years Eve everyone!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

If I am only going to do one post this month it pretty much had to be this one.  But who wants to read a post on Christmas?  Go drink Egg Nog while becoming increasingly belligerent instead.  Or go for Chinese food before seeing a movie.  Either way, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Christopher Helton of the Dorkland! blog has been working on putting together a charity package to help support victims of Typhoon Haiyan.  Being a good cause I wrote up a small little adventure called Scourge of the Tikbalang! that is set in a faux-earth style Philippines to be included in the package.   The goal is to generate relief funds as quickly as possible so it is rough and lacking art.

But like all adventures I write I do try and clean them up eventually.   So eventually I will clean up Scourge of the Tikbalang! as well, and re-release it.  Anyone who gets the Philippine Relief Package who wants the updated version will be upgraded.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My RPG Person Profile

I'm currently running (at home):
  Neoclassical Geek Revival

I'm currently running (online):
  Neoclassical Geek Revival

Tabletop RPGs I'm currently playing (online) include:
D&D and some BRP

I would especially like to play/run:
Neoclassical Geek Revival

...but would also try:
Most anything

I live in:

2 or 3 well-known RPG products other people made that I like:
Death Frost Doom
Weird Adventures

2 or 3 novels I like:
Time Machine (H.G. Wells)
Mars Trilogy (KSR)
The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien)

3 or 4 movies I like:
The Wicker Man
Road Warrior

Best place to find me on-line:

I will read almost anything on tabletop RPGs if it's:

I really do not want to hear about:
Politcs, religion or ways you think they are reflected in other things I do care about. There is a time and place for every discussion.

I think dead orc babies are ( circle one: funny / problematic / ....well, ok, it's complicated because....)
'Well, ok, it's complicated because...'.  I mean, it can be hilarious,  or boring.

Games I'm in are like (link to something)


Free RPG Content I made is available here on this blog. Mostly generators and monsters.

You can buy RPG stuff I made from the links on this page.

I talk about RPGs on Google+ under the name Zzarchov Kowolski

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Last Chance to get Thulian Echoes in Print

There are just under two days remaining until the LotFP crowdfunding campaign closes and with it your chance to get a print copy of Thulian Echoes

I mean, look at that picture.  If you are going to get an adventure can you reasonably expect any shot at having better cover art than that?  That is amazing.   And aren't you the least bit curious about what the hell is going on?  Don't you want to buy a copy and find out?  If not I am mostly out of other curiosity, or even guilt, laden techniques to convince you to get a copy.

Get a copy.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

This is what Thulian Echoes is all about

That image above is the best illustration possible for what Thulian Echoes is all about.  If you were ever wondering why I turn to Lamentations of the Flame Princess, that is why.   I can turn to James and make a pitch like "How about an adventure where Romans may end up screwing with an Air Loom in Iceland".  Anyone else would assume I am either drunk or trolling them,  but James is willing to see where this crazy train leads.

And that is not some form of unrelated art either.  That very scene is something you are very likely to encounter exactly as depicted if you play this adventure.

But, this is not a mind bending gonzo adventure.  At least not at first, but you know how slippery slopes are.  The adventure actually has a much more mellow opening.  When I first jotted this down way back in 2008 I wanted to make a death-trap dungeon where the players had the notes of a previous failed expedition to aide them.  Who didn't think it was cool when Indie is trying to decipher notes in the last crusade?

But,  man was that ever a boring info dump to write.  And who on earth wants to read through 20 pages of text before going on a treasure hunt?  So I had an idea and ran with it.

The adventure seed is the journal of the failed expedition sure,  but it isn't an info dump.  The players are given pre-gens and play out the previous failed expedition.  It isn't magic, the current PC's aren't being sent back in time or anything.  It is purely a mechanic to let the players gain an understanding of the death trap without needing to read thirty pages.   And because they know the original characters all die,  people are a bit less cautious.  If you like to see characters get murdered in hilarious ways but feel at all bad about "screw you!" style traps, you will have a blast murdering these disposable historic PC's. Their entire point is to die horribly so the players can know how the traps in the dungeon function.

And when they are all dead, the book ends.  Then the current player characters, armed with general knowledge from over a thousand years ago can prepare their own expedition will all the proper tools they know of.  Hopefully the previous party made it at least somewhat through the dungeon.

Of course a lot can change in a millennium,  sometimes the smallest actions can have wide ranging changes given enough time.   The adventure also spells out exactly what long term impacts these small casual acts by the historical party might have on the far future.

Murderous traps,  fabulous treasure,  prehistoric monsters from the center of the earth, the ravages of time, and paranoid conspiracy theories come to life in BRILLIANT TECHNICOLOR!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Echoing death cries from far off Thule - Part 1

There is still 9 days left to get a copy of Thulian Echoes,  an adventure of paranoid fantasies rendered in Brilliant Technicolor. You do not need to get a copy of the LotFP referee book to get a copy, but this is your only chance to get a physical copy of the adventure, with postage paid worldwide.  There is even a backer level for those who just want a copy of Thulian Echoes.

It is a deadly adventure, and every day I plan to release a little vignette from past games played to highlight just how deadly.

The slave turns to you, pale to the point you could suspect he has gone into shock. "Masters, this place is cursed, if we continue further we will die as did everyone else". 
 I shove him forward and shout "March you coward"
You don't have time to finish,  his flickering torchlight may have allowed you to see the general shape of the room, but not whatever finer detail triggered the mechanism.  Perhaps it was a pressure plate, or a delicate strand of thread he careless snapped with his shin.  It really doesn't matter any longer as two arcing beams of electricity leap out from the walls and converge on his terrified body.  Like the filament in a light-bulb he glows brightly, so bright you are forced to look away before his withered corpse collapses into a fine ash.
 Hrm, I guess we should turn back after all.
Oh it is worse than that, he held the torch.  It is now pitch black.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Gnomes of Levnec: Redone with professional art, layout and cartography

The adventure "The Gnomes of Levnec" has now also been updated to include professional art, layout and cartography by Jez Gordon.  It also is now dual statted for both NGR and OSR games.

Much like "A Thousand Dead Babies" this is a really great chance to see how my writing and Jez's art work together before you get the upcoming "Scenic Dunnsmouth".

If you already had a copy of "The Gnomes of Levnec", it has been updated already so you may wish to re-download it.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thulian Echoes being released

So Lamentations of the Flame Princess is having a crowdfunding campaign for its upcoming Referee Book and it seems to be doing well.

You may have noticed that awhile ago "Thulian Echoes" quietly slipped into my listing of adventures and game systems.   It is being released as part of the LotFP crowdfunding campaign as an exclusive extra. While I imagine the PDF may be available after the campaign,  the physical copies are a campaign exclusive offering.

But what is Thulian Echoes?  Long time readers of the blog may remember that years ago I was planning on releasing an adventure tentatively named "Xenophon".   This is that adventure, after several more rounds of playtesting through the years.  Now that I have taken this moment to add nothing substantial to your understanding but still pander to my longer term audience I can go into a little more detail.

Thulian Echoes is an adventure about the opportunist wizard Xenophon, mostly considered a political metaphor for way treasures seemed to "magically disappear" when Titus sacked Jerusalem, never making their way to Rome.   But there is evidence this wasn't just a metaphor slathered with Roman bigotry toward Greeks, an empty tower on the edges of the known world filled with treasure.  It's not like the place will be filled to the brim with schizophrenic conspiracy theories come to life in Brilliant Technicolor!

 And it is a sure thing too.  The adventure is already written, it is just in grammar and spelling editing (and then it will be off to layout and art to look fantastic and be useful).  I had originally planned to promise every backer a free PDF if the LotFP crowdfunding campaign failed to fund,  but its already hit its first stretch goal as of writing this so you'll actually have to back the campaign and choose this as an extra to get a copy (note you can back for just the 1 euro mark, you don't need to get a copy of the referee book).

There are several adventures I've written already that should give you a good idea of the way I write and the content I add.  If you've liked any of them you will probably like this adventure.

Contribute Here:


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Adventure Games and the Designer's Worldview

If you are seeing this post, chances are I accidentally posted it as its been in various draft stages for several years.

But I wanted to go on a pseudo-intellectual ramble about how an adventure game is shaped by the worldview of its designer due to how the mechanics function.

Gygaxian D&D is based upon a slow grind, the careful management of risk and accumulation of wealth through sound decisions.  Not only is wealth the point,  but reckless behaviour (even if beneficial in the short term) is a foolish choice.  It is about winning wars not battles,  you don't succeed by pulling off a big score through daring and luck.  You succeed with diligence, hard work and patience until you have enough wealth to buy your castle and retire.  Intentional or not, that is the mythical golden age of America middle class success story. It is also what originally (though I couldn't put my finger on it way back then) seemed off about D&D.

Neoclassical Geek Revival is about risking death on a razor's edge to get the big score.  Playing it safe lets you safely fail in a slow decline.  Wealth isn't the point, it is a means to an end.  Exploration and reputation are the point, and what you use wealth to finance.  The mortality/abject failure rate for characters is absurdly high, but advancement can be vastly faster. Retirement happens when you run out of ambition and just settle down to play it safe. That much more closely resembles my own worldview.

I'd be interested to see how this kind of faux-insight could be applied to other games and their creators.

What the hell, I haven't posted much lately, I may as well post this rather than continue to post nothing.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Myriad of Grotesque Glares

Brother Adamson looked up at its curling horns as he was cloaked in the long shadows of its bat-like wings. Its gaping maw was surrounded by green mosses and its body was largely obscured by a blueish lichen.
  "Yes, we need to send someone up there to clean them soon" spoke the doddering old priest as he slowly shuffled down the path, leaning on a cane worked from gnarled juniper root.
  Adamson turned to face the old priest "I have always wondered why you Northmen carve these horrible gargoyles.  Forgive my bluntness, but to adorn a church of Law with demonic looking statues would give the pagan tribes you hope to convert the wrong impression.  Their dark temples only show the likeness of their so-called gods and this would imply we worship the agents of Chaos".  
   The priest shook his head and let out a brief sigh "You do not understand, these are not statues which resemble demons.."
    Adamson interrupted "I don't recall any agents of law with ba.."
  Adamson fell silent.
    The priest continued in a more subdued tone "which we maintain for utterly practical purposes."
   "But why would you commit such blasphemous idolatry?" asked Adamson as revulsion raced across his face.   "Oh this is far from any form of veneration, quite the opposite.  Surely you know the power a name has over a demon?" said the old priest, waiting for Adamson to nod before continuing "A demons true form has more power still.  To carve an exacting likeness of the demons physical body as it exists in the pit is to bind its astral form in this world.  It is rooted in this spot, rendered utterly impotent..though some say they can answer questions if a particularly potent rain flows over them."

    "If this is true, why is every artisan in the realms of man not carving more?" asked Adamson.  "Because they are only held in check by the power of Law and the holy ground they reside on.   Should a cathedral be defiled by the dark powers these demons are granted a physical form with which to defend their now blasphemous lair against the righteous forces".
   "Then destroy them!" he spurted before the priest interjected "And free the demon to possess the weak willed, blight fields and spread contagion?  Perhaps if we had a legion of clergy to exorcise these demons before it came to such a thing such would work.  But we do not have the luxuries and wealth of you in the south, we are an isolated priesthood in a hard and unforgiving clime. We use what tools we have in the fight to push back Chaos.  We are wardens of Law and these cathedrals are the prisons this world uses to keep the denizens of the pit contained.  We Northmen could use any help you Southerners could spare in keeping their walls standing."

Adamson stared back up at the grotesque gargoyle whose shadow he stood in and felt a sense of nausea deep in his stomach as a trick of the passing clouds seemed to let it blink.

"Yes, if we can't hire someone to clean him soon I fear weathering will soon disfigure the statue enough to release the demon within"

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Thousand Dead Babies - Redone with professional art, layout and cartography

As some of you are no doubt already aware,  the adventure "A Thousand Dead Babies" has been updated to include professional art, layout and cartography by Jez Gordon.  It also includes a dungeon that was previously only hinted at.

With the upcoming release of Scenic Dunnsmouth, this is a really great chance to see how my writing and Jez's art dovetail together. It is also currently the only NGR adventure (though it does have OSR rules as well) currently available.

If you already had a copy of "A Thousand Dead Babies", it has been updated already so you may wish to re-download it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Of Dice Jenga and Poker Chip Architecture

This post will be a bit more of a rambling mess than I usually try to produce, but right on par with what I actually produce.   One of the things I like about Google+ is the ability to play games using its Hangout feature.  To actually play a game with any of the myriad of bloggers gives you a much better idea of what the electrons they type into the ethereal void actually represent when the rubber hits the road.  This is fantastic.

My game design marches to the beat of its own drum, something that I became very aware of when I started formalizing the pile of house notes that was Piecemeal (now Neoclassical Geek Revival) into something remotely usable.

The GNS theory may now be a dusty relic in conversation, but other elements just as alien in game design still trundle along.   Terms like 'Narrative Structure', 'Plot','Spotlight', 'Climactic Sequences', 'Style of Play', 'Reinforced Behaviour' are all alien.  I mean I know what the terms mean, but the usage of those terms is alien (or was, I am becoming more aware of what people mean).

And perhaps I am wrong and simply self-indulgent, but I think my problem is that I am designing based on a different reference frame.   I really am looking at what is going on around the table, not on the table.  For me and my design goals (even if I don't meet them),  the game is just a device to produce desired results around the table.  What happens on the table is of completely secondary concern to what happens around the table.

An epic story line with interesting tactical and strategic challenges fully backed up by intuitive yet deep mechanics is utter trash if I can't keep one person from wandering to the kitchen to have a thirty minute conversation about cupcakes with the spouse, or keep another from trying to use the poker chips to build a sturdy bridge able to balance his ever growing tower of dice.   But if I can get four hours out of trying to steal the grease from a short order cook to sell for pocket change with convoluted mechanics and have an unending stream of laughter, bad puns and vile innuendo then the game has succeeded.

All else being equal, I would love to have the game be nice and interesting all on its own.  But push comes to shove, it is a machine to encourage the actions going on around the table.  In my case that means I want spend less time prepping while getting through more adventure, in a way that keeps everyone paying attention and having a good time (be it frustrated and solving puzzles, laughing with shenanigans, or on the edge of their seats with tense high stakes conflict).  To that end the game should lean to be self-regulating and work to help generate its own adventures based on player desires.   How this forces a narrative or climactic scenes or whatnot is secondary.

Or maybe I am just spouting drivel.

G+ comments here

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Canada Day

Wooo! Nationalism!

I'll post something useful later this week.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

So June is almost over

And I haven't done much this month.   Have an adventure getting an upgrade, and that is about it.  Been a busy month in the world beyond gaming.

But!  I have just started on one new "adventure" on behest of Reynaldo .   It will be terrible.

That is all for this month.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Porphyry - Initial Thoughts

Over the weekend I was able to peruse through a copy of Porphyry - World of the Burn and form a few thoughts.  I don't play Tunnels & Trolls so I'll just be pilfering from this as a setting book.

The setting is a post-apocalyptic hellscape, where it appears technology fell to something eldritch and supernatural  ("The Burn"),   which has left a world that has advanced from monks and knights to somewhere between pirates and cowboys with remnants of robots and tanks.   What surprised me most of all though was how this was kept from the first band of adventurers from plundering one library or one computer data file and instantly rebuilding civilization.  A simple concept with big implications even in day to day adventuring.

I get the feel I should have a bunch of cowboys sail up to a ruined castle in a galleon and swashbuckle some goatmen cultists raising the dead, but without it being gonzo.

I intend to run a few games and I'll be able to say more then.

In terms of a physical product I have a hard time gauging the layout as I don't know Tunnels and Trolls rules,  but the artwork is fantastic black and white work from Jez Gordon.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

RIP Ray Harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen passed away today at 92.   The man was a huge influence on my childhood.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess Now Available!

Sometimes you want to play an adventure where you can recapture that feeling of childlike innocence. And, sometimes, wishes do come true. 
LotFP presents more hard biting horror: Now with unicorns, gumdrops and rainbows!

(Not suitable for children)


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Neoclassical Geek Revival - Ram Edition

UPDATE: Sorry Folks, out unless/until there is another printing.

So after an astoundingly cursed series of events where everything that could go wrong had gone wrong I finally have a batch of Physical copies of Neoclassical Geek Revival for sale.  The book is printed on linen paper, and hard bound with a silk ribbon and gold stamping.  To simplify things this year, I am simply rolling the cost of shipping into it.  For $50 CDN I will mail this to you,  but note that international shipping may include extra fees on your end (such as customs) or you mail service may suck (I don't have tracking numbers).   I haven't had any go missing yet,  but i have had some show up ridiculously late before so fair warning.  Note you can also get a copy of "The Gnomes of Levnec" included with your order for an extra $4.

Fantastic Reviews!

This is possibly the best FRP I've read in decades, as much for what it simplifies as for what it enhances.

When playing the game quite a few things stand out to me as brilliant 

I love the look of the book and the feel of the paper. 

My opinion? Neoclassic Geek Revival is WIN! Buy a copy! 

Overall rating: 9½ out of 10 stars. 

[you] could definitely find worse ways to spend your money

Its a Podcast!

Physical Copies Remaining:  0
PDF: Available at RPGNow

Physical Printing of "The Gnomes of Levnec"

This is a small little adventure about Gnomes.  It is meant for low level characters and is written for a retroclone ruleset rather than NGR.   It chimes in at 16 pages and is chalk full of weirdness and dark comedy.  This little staple-bound booklet is in full colour and comes with a matching PDF copy.  The booklet is $6 CDN plus shipping (for non-international orders, the price of a stamp) or $4 if you purchase it with a copy of the 2013 Printing of Neoclassical Geek Revival.

Scrap Princess of Monster Manual sewn from Pants wrote

"The Gnomes Of Levnec is a dank twisted little affair which I imagine will leave adventures some how feeling dirty no matter how they handle it. Well done sir, well done."

Gnome Stew wrote

"Good adventures about gnomes are rare, but this one by Zzarchov Kowolski checks both boxes. It's short, peculiar, and perfect for an old school D&D game; I'd happily drop it into a campaign with an evil smile on my face."

Gothridge Manor wrote:

"First impressions...this is a adventure is disturbing and hilarious.  I got a lot of entertainment  reading it."

HeroPress wrote:

"you will begin to fathom the warped genius of the module's writer."

Physical Copies Remaining: 0.
PDF: Available at RPGNow

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pelgrane Press Fire Sale

Pelgrane Press is having a fire sale,  in that a talented artist who works with Pelgrane (Chris Huth) had his home catch fire.   The proceeds of the sale are to help Huth get back on his feet.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Adventure Convertotronica - Greekish..


Classes (Mechanically the same)

Fighter = Hoplite
Magic User = Philosopher
Cleric = Priest
Thief = Inventor
Elf = Nymph
Dwarf = Celt/Barbarian
Halfing = Satyr

Monsters (Mechanically the same)

Goblin = Satyr
Orc = Centaur (alternative:  Roman Legionairre)
Troll  =  Minotaur
Skeleton = Skeleton
Lich =  Shade
Dire Wolf =  Lion
Dragon =  Hydra (alternative: Chimera)

Dungeon Dressing
Walls =  Cyclopean blocks of stone held without mortar (Mycenaean)
Doors = Heavy timber doors bound with rusted bronze
"Dust" =  Silt and brine residue
Chests = A damp wooden chest with rusted bronze bindings.

Comments can be made on G+ here.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Adventure Convertotronica - Surreal Medieval

"Surreal Medieval"

Classes (Mechanically the same)

Fighter = Knight
Magic User = Wizard
Cleric = Friar
Thief = Bandit
Elf = Jester
Dwarf = Grumpy Old Hermit
Halfing = Gnome

Monsters (Mechanically the same)

Goblin = Boggart
Orc = Cynocephali
Troll  = Blemmyae
Skeleton = Skeleton (type: Dancing)
Lich =  Grim Reaper
Dire Wolf = A great pale hound
Dragon =  Jabberwocky

Dungeon Dressing
Walls = immaculatey placed bricks of light coloured stone
Doors = Rounded oak doors, carved from a single smooth piece.
"Dust" = Plain ole dust
Chests = A small stone box with a sliding lid

Comments can be made on G+ here

Monday, February 25, 2013

Adventure Convert-o-tronica 9000

Oh the predicament of the lazy GM.  You have nothing for this week.

Now maybe you found some free bland and generic modules, but they have things that don't fit with the unique snowflake of a setting that you run.

Maybe you want to write generic adventures that easy for others to use?

So I'll assume we'll use any OSR game and the power of renamed clones to deal with things. Using this template won't make the adventures good but it will make it passable filler while you bring your A game next week.

We have the 7 race/classes (or keep them separate whatever, same idea)

Magic User

There are also monsters, this is where the big issue happens.  Lots of people don't use orcs, or they have some other weird thing.   But there are in my expert* opinion also 7 monster types you need.

Goblin (Diminutive pest/fodder)
Orc (Footsoldier of the bad guys)
Troll (Bulky Bruiser)
Skeleton (Minion Undead)
Lich (Undead Kingpin)
Dire Wolf (A beast that hunts players down)
Dragon (A big F'Off Monster)

Then comes the "dungeon dressing"  these are the things you should be able to describe inside the dungeon and swap out.


So you might have a template that looks as follows for easy switching of an old module adventure.

"Universal Horror"

Classes (Mechanically the same)

Fighter = Vampire Slayer
Magic User = Warlock/Witch
Cleric = Witchhunter
Thief = Grave Robber
Elf = Bad Gypsy Stereotype
Dwarf = Hunchback
Halfing = Domovoi

Monsters (Mechanically the same)

Goblin = Red Skinned demonic imp, spontaneously grow near areas of moral corruption.
Orc = Goatman, the head and legs of a goat on the body of a man. Summoned from the mixed  offal of a goat and man both sacrificed on the full moon.
Troll  = Werewolf (consider rather than silver to hurt, that it simply regenerates all non-silver/magic injuries)
Skeleton =  Revenant , the near mindless side effect of a vampires feeding.
Lich =  Vampire (specifically a Dracula knock-off)
Dire Wolf = Either keep Dire Wolf,  or a Giant Spider.
Dragon =  A bat winged demon lord or devil king.

Dungeon Dressing
Walls = Crumbling limestone bricks with traces of moss.
Doors = Iron bound wooden doors in a peaked gothic style.
"Dust" = Heavy cobwebs
Chests = A slightly rusted trunk.

"Harrryhausen Arabian"

Classes (Mechanically the same)

Fighter = Swordsman
Magic User = Vizier
Cleric = Zealot
Thief = Thief
Elf = Lesser Djinn/Jann
Dwarf = Desert Nomad
Halfing = Beggar

Monsters (Mechanically the same)

Goblin = Rat Fiend, A diminutive mixture of rat and man. Formed when rats eat the unburied dead.
Orc =  Ghoul (The corpse eating sallow kind, forget special powers)
Troll  = Lesser Ifrit
Skeleton =  Skeleton
Lich =  Mummy
Dire Wolf = Giant Scorpion
Dragon =  Manticore

Dungeon Dressing
Walls = Plastered adobe bricks
Doors = Ornate brass bound wooden doors
"Dust" =  Sand accumulation
Chests = An ornate brass bound wooden box with a sliding lid.

Comments can be made here

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Neoclassical Geek Revival is not a retroclone

So the LotFP free RPG Day Kickstarter has successfully hit its goal to be a Platinum Supporter, 9000 physical copies of "Better than Any Man" will be given out free, and some 330ish people will be able to read "Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess".

Which brings me to the next point of this post by being in absolutely no way a segue.

So someone bought a pdf of Neoclassical Geek Revival and assumed it was a retroclone.  It is not.  Most or all of its bits can easily be ripped out and plugged into your favourite retroclone,  but it is not a retroclone.

As a couple people have had this implication I figured I should be clear about it,  I am not a fan of giving people false impressions about "what is in the tin".

Comments can be made on Google+ here

Monday, February 4, 2013

Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess

So I mentioned awhile ago I had a secret project in the works,  that was "Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess" an adventure for the LotFP 2013 Free RPG Day Kickstarter.

If you've liked any other adventure I have ever run or released, you want to back this and get a copy of Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Currently Available

Neoclassical Geek Revival 5th Edition

 Fantastic Reviews!

This is possibly the best FRP I've read in decades, as much for what it simplifies as for what it enhances.

When playing the game quite a few things stand out to me as brilliant 

I love the look of the book and the feel of the paper. 

My opinion? Neoclassic Geek Revival is WIN! Buy a copy! 

Overall rating: 9½ out of 10 stars. 

[you] could definitely find worse ways to spend your money

I would definitely recommend NGR.

Its a Podcast!

Does that sound awesome?  If you want a copy, here is how!

 A physical hard cover:  Currently out of stock.

A PDF version:  Neoclassical Geek Revival is on sale with RPGNOW for a couple bucks CDN.


Just shoot me an email and ask for a copy. If you are willing to agree to
1.) Not redistribute it,
2.) Not make a physical copy of it and most importantly
3.) Provide feedback on the game,  I can email you a PDF copy.

The Gnomes of Levnec

This is a small little adventure about Gnomes.  It is meant for low level characters and is written for  both Neoclassical Geek Revival and any OSR retroclone .   It chimes in at 20  pages and is chalk full of weirdness and dark comedy.

Scrap Princess of Monster Manual sewn from Pants wrote

"The Gnomes Of Levnec is a dank twisted little affair which I imagine will leave adventures some how feeling dirty no matter how they handle it. Well done sir, well done."

Gnome Stew wrote

"Good adventures about gnomes are rare, but this one by Zzarchov Kowolski checks both boxes. It's short, peculiar, and perfect for an old school D&D game; I'd happily drop it into a campaign with an evil smile on my face."

Gothridge Manor wrote

"First impressions...this is a adventure is disturbing and hilarious.  I got a lot of entertainment  reading it."

HeroPress wrote

"you will begin to fathom the warped genius of the module's writer."

Dreams in the Lich House wrote

"There were a few times I caught myself laughing during the read through, and immediately knew I'd slot this adventure into any upcoming low level campaign."

Tenkars Tavern wrote

"I smiled, I cringed, smiled some more and nearly did a dry heave (well, maybe not that far, but certainly more than a cringe)."

Take On Rules wrote

"a fantastic “so you are lost in the woods” table. Based on the map, and the awesomeness of the table, I would make sure that I roll on that table the first time they head into the woods. And at least one more time."

Frugal GM wrote

"The Gnomes of Levnec is a great little adventure that is worth getting to read, get a new table idea, or possibly screw with your players some. I think it is totally worth it, even at almost $6....which is saying a lot for me."

Physical copies: Out of stock.

PDF: Available at RPGNow

A Thousand Dead Babies

This is an introductory adventure with rules for use in NGR or your favourite retroclone.  It is my go to starting adventure with a new group of players and was composed into a mini-adventure for the 2013 crowdfunding campaign as a reward to early backers.

It has since been released with amazing art,layout and cartography by the very talented Jez Gordon.

Available at RPGNow

"It is efficient, engagingly written, mechanically solid, and there's a sense of...anticipatory and ominous giggling?" - Playing D&D with Porn Stars

"This would also be a good module to use to introduce your non-D&D friends to D&D" - Goblin Punch

"The highest compliment I can give to any product is that I intend to use it in my own campaign...and I intend to find a cool little spot on a map for Corroc and wait for the day they players wander to that neck of the woods." - Gothridge Manor

"I can't wait to run it myself." - Dyson Logos

Scenic Dunnsmouth

This is an adventure about isolation, paranoia, body horror, moral peril and fabulous treasure.. or at least some of those things, or maybe none of those things.  One of the key aspects of "Scenic Dunnsmouth" is that reading the module spoils little of the game play, if any.  It is always a mystery, and always playing on paranoia.

Here are some fabulous reviews of the book!

"Scenic Dunnsmouth is great. Get it." - Cubic Dystopias

"Scenic Dunnsmouth is one of the best thought out and designed adventures I’ve seen this year."  -Diehard GameFAN

"I was completely gobsmacked by this module." "It's truly inspired work" - NerdWerds

"It's a curious offering." - Dreams of the Lich House

"If you have been waiting for someone to write a really creepy Village of Hommlet look no further." - Save vs. Total Party Kill

"it is a sandbox setting on the whole done right"  - The RPGPundit

it’s absolutely wonderful. - James Maliszewski at Black Gate

Scenic Dunnsmouth takes an interesting and divergent approach from a standard adventure. - Take On Rules

"I am talking out of character here - can you please stop scaring my girlfriend." - Ten Foot Polemic

Michael Curtis, author of Stonehell Dungeon, many DCC adventures, and of  the Society of Torch, Pole and Rope blog had this to say after a play test:

"I had a tremendous amount of fun during my ill-fated sojourn to Scenic Dunnsmouth. It's a cunning bait-and-switch of an adventure and fellow travelers should heed my warning: Whatever you think is going on, you're wrong."

Evan from the blog "In Places Deep" (or as he prefers it to be called as often as you can In Deep Places) had the following to say:
"It has [Spoilers!]"

..thanks Evan.

Greg Backus of TrollZine and Quiet day in Heimdall says:

The first time I was genuinely frightened in a RPG session. It was the first time that I actually thought that the best thing I could do for my character was to just high-tail it out of there and not look back (I mean this as a compliment, BTW)

Still not satisfied?  How about some quotes from people you don't know and probably never will?

Totally didn't give one player nightmares  - Ryan
I wanted to rinse my uterus with bleach pretty much immediately - Mel
A good time that will haunt your nightmares - Josh
Surreal, creepy, disturbing - Gerry

Wow?  Look at those comments from people who are barely above anonymous!

Still not convinced?

Did I mention its artwork is by Jez Gordon of Secret Santicore fame?

Available HERE!

Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess

Sometimes you want to play an adventure where you can recapture that feeling of childlike innocence. And, sometimes, wishes do come true. 
LotFP presents more hard biting horror: Now with unicorns, gumdrops and rainbows!

"Candyland a la Texas Chainsaw Massacre" Save Vs. Poison

"This adventure is dark, weird, bizarre and quite wonderful, very old school and wacky."  Sea of Stars (contains spoilers)

¿Veredicto? por cuatro euros, hay que comprarlo.

Available HERE

Thulian Echoes

"When Titus sacked Jerusalem, it is said that during the chaos an enterprising sorcerer made off with a King's ransom in silver and disappeared to far off Thule. A century later an enterprising party of explorers made a failed bid to reclaim it.  Armed with their notes, are you able to succeed where they failed over a thousand years prior?"

Thulian Echoes is two adventures in one! In the first phase, players take the role of pregen characters exploring the dungeon long ago... their actions recorded, so that the players' actual characters can then follow in the footsteps of the previous characters and gain all the riches and magical secrets to be found!

Since they already will know what's in the dungeon, it'll be easy! Right? ... right...?

An adventure for use with LAMENTATIONS OF THE FLAME PRINCESS WEIRD FANTASY ROLEPLAYING and other old school adventure roleplaying games.

Thulian Echoes is a resounding "must have" - Take On Rules

this one is just too off-beat and clever not to spotlight. - Sean's pick of the day

Thulian Echoes doesn’t just provide a well-written adventure full of dangers and rewards accompanied by the always-excellent art of Kelvin Green; it does all that twice over, on the same map, without being predictable - Nerd Titan

snide and pompous - Diehard GameFAN

Thulian Echoes offers a finely wrought challenge both for the GM to run and the players to negotiate safely – twice. - Geek Native

Available HERE

Scourge of the Tikbalang!

Scourge of the Tikbalang is a horror adventure created for the OSR Cares package in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.  Anyone who donated to that charity can contact me to receive a complimentary copy of this adventure now that it has been redone with professional art and layout by Alex Mayo.

Note that this adventure is not currently part of any charity bundle.  Also note, look up what a Tikbalang is and be forewarned about the subject matter than can occur in this adventure.

Available HERE


Rampaging Monsters is an adventure toolkit designed for the utterly unprepared GM.  When you have no new hooks planned,  why not let a monster tear across the countryside?  As it trashes a few villages you can rest assured you've bought yourself another week.   Designed for use with Neoclassical Geek Revival.

Available HERE


You know what I find really tedious? Random NPC wizards and needing to generate a spell list for them, knowing there is better than even odds they will end up dead and looted within 2 rounds of their appearance.

Hark! A Wizard! Is a generator to give NPC wizards a cohesive set of spells in just a few seconds.  It is a useful tool for further lowering the prep required with a game of Neoclassical Geek Revival. Features some amazing art by the very talented Alex Mayo.

Available HERE

Under the Waterless Sea

Under the Waterless Sea is a Polynesian mini-setting and siege based adventure. 

Fictive Fantasies Wrote:

"There is very little art in the scenario, but somehow there are two pictures of the penis tower in addition to a vertical map of it." - Fictive Fantasies

Available HERE

The Tomb of Santa Claus

This was a very limited release Holiday adventure.  Few people have it, but it may be re-released at some point.

The Trail of Stone and Sorrow

This is a small Pay-What-You-Want mini-adventure set in a sleepy alpine village.  Something has begun turning local wildlife to stone and the villagers are getting worried. They are also getting increasingly paranoid about a foreigner who settled in a nearby chalet.

Paul Baldowski wrote:
"Personally, I believe it warrants your support with a donation."

Available HERE

The Pale Lady

Deep in the woods, every woods, there seems to be a monstrous child stealing witch.

Every spring more and more children go missing never to return.

Two years ago one returned from his absence and is telling tales of vast riches, monstrous servitors, and the way back to her accursed domain.

An adventure for characters of levels, for use with LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing and other similar systems.

Available HERE

Adventuring Party

This is an old one,  its a really quick and simply "party game", ie, meant to play with children or people who don't game.  Very dated, but people still seem to like it.

Free Download Here

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

An OSR Adventure about Gnomes

So in all the rush to notice all the old TSR era modules available on RPG now,  I would like to make a small plug that one of my own adventures has gone up for sale today too.

The Gnomes of Levnec

If you want an evenings game and a good example of how I run games, this is a good example.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone and I hope you had a Happy New Year.

Figured I'd make the first post of the year something cheerful.