Here’s the first of two RPG site roundups I’m going to post.To see the site in question, just click the associated banner.
Elf Maids and Octopi
From lost planet science fantasy based on the art of vintage Prog rock covers to the possibilities of Mesopotamian D&D, the setting material at Elf Maids and Octopi is incredibly distinct material that impresses on me how much of a blank canvas a RPG can be.
The density of this almost dayglo material is filtered through that old school RPG totem, the chart, to suggest the sense of shiny invention that can be found in what is sandbox play A freeflowing free association in genre conventions which, I am pretty sure, would be a nitro for any gaming engine.The opposite of safe and obvious.
A crisp stylized presentation which places that gaming artifact, the map, front and center. Not to say that the explorations of character class and magic do not suggest opportunities for unique play but these renderings of dungeons and town really inspire the ideas of far off worlds rendered with the right mix of grit and clarity.
I am not surprised that many fantasy cartographers are developing their maps in this direction. It delivers its information with such aesthetic aplumb, you don’t just look at its spaces so much as escape into them.
Swords and Stichery must be the only swords & sorcery & sewing site there is. Though I have never seen anything about sewing machines, I really enjoy the relaxed muted tone of the site. A curiosity shop of RPG delights where an examination of a Edgar Rice Burroughs novel can be right beside setting notes which enfold genre photos to create a peculiar alternate reality.
Uncluttered and adorned with texts and graphics that evoke the 70s textures that created Dungeons and Dragons,I have found myself dawdling over the material more and more. This isn’t retro,its authentic. Something about how it’s stitched together makes it feel like whole cloth.
In some ways Metal Earth does what you can expect to find at RPG site. A little bit of homebrewed rules, a touch of variant class work, some light theory and some maps. But just because it offers what you expect doesn’t mean there are not some surprises.
The maps and drawings have a nice rough “underground” edge to them which gives them such a distinct character. And then there is The Ruinlands setting notes which are seriously fantastic. The post apocalypse landscape presented there is like Gerry Pantner was Jack Kirby raised on Heavy Metal magazine and Saturday morning cartoons. Wild wild stuff that goes for it. ‘Not enough of that going on these days?’ I guess I was wrong!
Okay there is the first set of RPG site recommendations. I did not know there was going to be more than one of these. Like all my encounters with RPG material these days, it just spun out of control. Unlike the RPG game sites that inspired me to do this, like the movie blogs that drew into this, I am nowhere as prolific. They are so many people out there that kick ass and takes names daily that I figured I’d press myself to get something out today and tomorrow. Okay more like today and Sunday. No matter though I just want give a shout to all these amazing bloggers out there.
One of the biggest blocks I have about blogging is never knowing who this is directed towards.
Should I act like we all know what all these terms mean?Usually this is why I stay away from them the best I can. So let this post be an open invitation to talk about OSR and this upsurge in amazing RPG material. There is an opportunity for talk so why not?