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Sosthenes

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I was at a sci-fi conventions several years ago and one of the dealers in the market square had a copy of a supplement for underground. It wasn't for sale, he enjoyed it too much as a souvenir. He asked me if I could spot the big issue with using it the way it was intended. It wasn't hard - the pages were punched for ring-binding, but the holes weren't on the edge that was bound into the spine! You'd have to cut the pages out of the book to use them that way.
Ah, yeah, I think that was the "Underground Notebook". I was mostly talking about the outward columns, one used for a short summary, one for color-coded "footnotes". Monte Cook also used this space for cross-references, so a bit like hyperlinks.
 

Gabriel

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Fantasy-Craft.jpg


Looks like an OGL shovelware type thing. The OGL was brilliant in many respects and gave us the kick up the ass WOTC needed to release scans of their TSR back catalogue when they realised people wanted to spend money on it. Of course, it was a kick in the balls too when Pathfinder became a thing. Then there was everyone and his dog churning out OGL variants on D&D and I've got a few of Mongooses' efforts on the shelves too. They all do a job - murder hobos wander around hacking, slashing and burning their way to something or other level then you run out of stuff to do unless you make it yourself because the core rulebook was it.

I remember FantasyCraft getting a lot of praise. I think I even recall someone here recently mentioning it was their favorite 3.5 spin off and wishing it had a second edition. In fact, a reprint of the core and it's supplements was recently listed on Miniature Market, so the game is still out there.

But yeah, the accusation of running out of stuff to do because the core rulebook was it is mostly apt here. The only two print supplements are an adventure book with 3 adventures and a what I interpret as an Unearthed Arcana style splatbook of options.
 

Sosthenes

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I remember FantasyCraft getting a lot of praise.
Yeah, on a technical level, both FC and Trailblazer were superior to early Pathfinder. Although it's not like anyone made wrong predictions about who would dominate the post-WotC d20 space, given the brand recognition and talent Paizo had.

But it's not like you need more than what's in the corebook, rules-wise. That was true with D&D 3.0, and FC offered a lot more stuff. No big adventure or campaign support was a bit of a dealbreaker. The anthology had some neat ideas, but with something like their own Midnight, Iron Kingdoms or Midgard (i.e. semi-popular 3rd party settings), it could've gathered more interest.

It's funny reading through forum posts of the early post-3E times. A lot of discussions about what elements to take from each pseudo-successor game (FC, TB, PF, Monte Cooks Book of something might), favorite 3E classes and splatbooks etc.

I think that part of the success of the "OSR" wasn't just about any subjective "old school" spirit or mere nostalgia, it's also a good environment for _tinkerers_, who like to play Lego with their rule pieces.
 

Bhoritz

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Since I discovered this thread (and Brett's blog), I tried to hunt some of the games discussed here (digital or print, it makes no difference to me; I try to have both; print it if only available in pdf, scan it if only available in print, and buy both if both are available).

Some were available on Drivethru, or from Precis Intermedia (thanks Brett, Darkwood was a real discovery).

But I have just found Wizard Realm here (and if it has been already linked, sorry, I did not see it):
It seems to have been placed in opensource by its author. I have just had a quick look at it, but I quite like it.

Now, I am trying to find Cutthroat: The Shadow Wars that I find very intriguing from the sparse information I have been able to find.
 

Picaroon Jack

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Since I discovered this thread (and Brett's blog), I tried to hunt some of the games discussed here (digital or print, it makes no difference to me; I try to have both; print it if only available in pdf, scan it if only available in print, and buy both if both are available).

Some were available on Drivethru, or from Precis Intermedia (thanks Brett, Darkwood was a real discovery).

But I have just found Wizard Realm here (and if it has been already linked, sorry, I did not see it):
It seems to have been placed in opensource by its author. I have just had a quick look at it, but I quite like it.

Now, I am trying to find Cutthroat: The Shadow Wars that I find very intriguing from the sparse information I have been able to find.
Welcome to the Pub!
 

MoonHunter

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Despite 3 books, a video game, and a couple of editions, Stalking the Night Fantastic / Bureau 13 is a forgotten game... though sometimes remembered.

TriTac had some good settings. They are mostly forgotten these days.

Fringeworthy, the game of extradimensional exploration, being my personal favorite (and the one that got me associated with the company). (Avoid the non-tritac versions as the setting material gets skewed in my opinion.)

FTL 2448 is a very cool SciFi setting with a nice balance of weird and gameable. While the mechanics are simple, the format of the rules are awful. The settings however are top notch)

Oh yah, and the one I forget... Incursions - the UFO abductee game.
 

Toadmaster

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Despite 3 books, a video game, and a couple of editions, Stalking the Night Fantastic / Bureau 13 is a forgotten game... though sometimes remembered.

TriTac had some good settings. They are mostly forgotten these days.

Fringeworthy, the game of extradimensional exploration, being my personal favorite (and the one that got me associated with the company). (Avoid the non-tritac versions as the setting material gets skewed in my opinion.)

FTL 2448 is a very cool SciFi setting with a nice balance of weird and gameable. While the mechanics are simple, the format of the rules are awful. The settings however are top notch)

Oh yah, and the one I forget... Incursions - the UFO abductee game.

I'm a fan of Tri Tac, it was a fun company and a classic example of the garage game industry of the 80s. I think the company is greatly under appreciated. In addition to the RPGs Tri Tac did a lot of cheap, fun and goofy boardgames like Monster Squash and Geriatric Wars.

Another company raided by the FBI intent on saving the world from RPGs (law enforcement in the 80s was truly clueless about RPGs). Tri-tac was kind of a hot new thing in the early 80s but sadly the raid seems to have destroyed their momentum and they never really recovered. Richard Tucholka continued turning out material until 2017 when cancer took him.

Tri Tac has a website and still sells most of the games.

Tri Tac
 

chuckdee

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Another company raided by the FBI intent on saving the world from RPGs (law enforcement in the 80s was truly clueless about RPGs). Tri-tac was kind of a hot new thing in the early 80s but sadly the raid seems to have destroyed their momentum and they never really recovered. Richard Tucholka continued turning out material until 2017 when cancer took him.
Yeah, the Secret Service raid on SJG almost took them out.
 

Rob Necronomicon

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A few I really miss and that seems to have been left by the wayside. :sad:

Spite, Dread (from Neoplastic press).
A/State the old version (in fact most of the Contested Ground studios stuff).
PDQ - System I'd like to see some more stuff from the original creator.
HEX - Dev seems to have ceased creating.
Blood & Bone - seems to have gone into obscurity which is a real shame.
In Dark Alleys - Fantastic Kult-like game that never really got the attention it deserved.
Cthulhu Rising - You can still get the monograph but the original setting material has gone into obscurity which was brilliant for anyone who liked Blade Runner or Alien.
 

David Johansen

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But I have just found Wizard Realm here (and if it has been already linked, sorry, I did not see it):
It seems to have been placed in opensource by its author. I have just had a quick look at it, but I quite like it.

That's a fantastic find. I love Wizard's Realm but lost my copy long ago. It was a huge inspiration for The Arcane Confabulation.
 

AsenRG

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That's a fantastic find. I love Wizard's Realm but lost my copy long ago. It was a huge inspiration for The Arcane Confabulation.
And at less than 100 pages, it's right up my current alley:thumbsup:!
 

David Johansen

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I love the runes and the fantastic line art. Character creation's good, magic's pretty simple, skills are a bit weird, and combat's well, I don't know, it mostly works I guess.
 

Toadmaster

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Yeah, the Secret Service raid on SJG almost took them out.


Supposedly TSR got hit as well. Apparently some play test documents for Top Secret found its way to the FBI so they showed up to investigate an assassination plot.
 

Sosthenes

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But I have just found Wizard Realm here (and if it has been already linked, sorry, I did not see it):
Thanks a lot, I've been looking at older systems a while ago and that's a neat addition. Compared to similar games like Beasts, Men & Gods or What Price Glory it seems a lot more light-hearted due to the writing style and the illustrations.
And at less than 100 pages, it's right up my current alley:thumbsup:!
I believe this could be cut down by a lot, too. The rules alone plus some tables, minus the lengthy descriptions and flavor text would almost amount to something on the level of Maze Rats/Knave.
I love the runes and the fantastic line art. Character creation's good, magic's pretty simple, skills are a bit weird, and combat's well, I don't know, it mostly works I guess.
What I like about those early games is those small unprecedented rules that might not have survived the RPG evolution for a reason, but are still quite interesting to read. I like the fatigue rules and the way combat statistics are figured (which reminds me a bit of T&T).

Although I don't quite get what you need to cast spells. There's a separate Spellcaster experience table, but they also mention a Thief suddenly wanting to cast spells in the magic section and ways to build characters in the GM section that includes buying one spell. And of course, everyone has Power Points…
 

PrivateEye

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A few I really miss and that seems to have been left by the wayside. :sad:

Spite, Dread (from Neoplastic press).
A/State the old version (in fact most of the Contested Ground studios stuff).
PDQ - System I'd like to see some more stuff from the original creator.
HEX - Dev seems to have ceased creating.
Blood & Bone - seems to have gone into obscurity which is a real shame.
In Dark Alleys - Fantastic Kult-like game that never really got the attention it deserved.
Cthulhu Rising - You can still get the monograph but the original setting material has gone into obscurity which was brilliant for anyone who liked Blade Runner or Alien.
PDQ for sure - I would love a new edition of Truth and Justice. Come to that I would love a print edition of the Achtung! Cthulhu version of PDQ.
 

Torque2100

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The Underground is hardly forgotten. I am quite fond of it because it's the only Cyberpunk RPG I know of where the default campaign doesn't involve taking out the Megacorps' dirty laundry. Instead, player characters are assumed to live in the same neighborhood. Each 'hood, has stats called "Parameters" that can be improved by resolving gang disputes, protecting neighbors from eviction by slumlords, running off drug pushers etc.
 

SamuraiHaiku

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The Underground is hardly forgotten. I am quite fond of it because it's the only Cyberpunk RPG I know of where the default campaign doesn't involve taking out the Megacorps' dirty laundry. Instead, player characters are assumed to live in the same neighborhood. Each 'hood, has stats called "Parameters" that can be improved by resolving gang disputes, protecting neighbors from eviction by slumlords, running off drug pushers etc.
Came here to find Underground. Gladly I'm not alone in the fascination/appreciation. I never played it because I couldn't grok the system but I really liked the world Winning built.

Underground is a game that deserves a mechanical rebuild and a lore update. I think this would work in the modern world, as riven as it is political tension, power fantasies, corruptive wealth, and pace of change (well, that list goes on and on...). Build it on Free League's Year Zero Engine to add in the 'stress' factor and viola.
 

chuckdee

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Came here to find Underground. Gladly I'm not alone in the fascination/appreciation. I never played it because I couldn't grok the system but I really liked the world Winning built.

Underground is a game that deserves a mechanical rebuild and a lore update. I think this would work in the modern world, as riven as it is political tension, power fantasies, corruptive wealth, and pace of change (well, that list goes on and on...). Build it on Free League's Year Zero Engine to add in the 'stress' factor and viola.
Are you two talking about the same game? From what I remember of Winninger`s underground you were corporate sponsored and it was ultraviolet not concerned with negotiations
 

SamuraiHaiku

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Are you two talking about the same game? From what I remember of Winninger`s underground you were corporate sponsored and it was ultraviolet not concerned with negotiations
Not necessarily. The PC's super abilities were something given to you by military corporations or government to go fight dirty wars. After returning from the wars with superhuman powers and PTSD, you were left to make your own way in the world. What you did with that opportunity was up to the kind of game you wanted to play. There was a mechanic for changing your neighborhood/city/state/nation by using your powers in a revolutionary sense to fight injustice and expose corruption (as Torque2100 said above). It was certainly a supers game but it also had a political tone.
 

David Johansen

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Speaking of Shape Shifters there's an earlier game that's similar, Duel Arcane. It got a mention in Space Gamer's letter column. The author wanted them to publish articles and adventures for it. They were using Duel Arcane blended with High Fantasy. I've always thought that would be quite the thing.
 

Armchair Gamer

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According to rpggeek, one of the contributors to The Everlasting is someone known simply as "Stan!", with exclamation point and everything.

Mods pls change my name to " Gringnr!" TIA

He worked for TSR/WotC back in the 2nd Edition days, and was a major contributor to the Dragonlance: Fifth Age line.

There's a story behind the name (and the exclamation point), but he tends to reserve it for conventions, or did last I heard.
 

Torque2100

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Not necessarily. The PC's super abilities were something given to you by military corporations or government to go fight dirty wars. After returning from the wars with superhuman powers and PTSD, you were left to make your own way in the world. What you did with that opportunity was up to the kind of game you wanted to play. There was a mechanic for changing your neighborhood/city/state/nation by using your powers in a revolutionary sense to fight injustice and expose corruption (as Torque2100 said above). It was certainly a supers game but it also had a political tone.
As the line continued, Underground did try to shift its focus to the "Corporate Raiders" aka more traditional Shadowrunners. They were in the Core book but seem to be intended to be either antagonists for the Revolutionary Supers, or an alternate campaign model.

The shift in focus to try and be more like Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun seems to have been the mistake that killed the line. I would very much like to see a new edition, or port to another system (so long as it's not 5e :sick: ). SWADE feels like a good fit here. The Savage Worlds Mook v Wild Card dichotomy fits Supers games extremely well.
 

brettmb

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Nice to see Wizards Realm is available for download (assuming it really does have the author's permission, which I have no reason to doubt). I haven't gotten any notifications for these new posts for some reason, but I've got another blog entry lined up.

In Dark Alleys was mentioned. I've got to say that I don't see much talk about any Vajra Enterprises Games. That's a shame, because they produce some good stuff. Link for those interested: https://vajraenterprises.com
 
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Bunch

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Nice to see Wizards Realm is available for download (assuming it really does have the author's permission, which I have no reason to doubt). I haven't gotten any notifications for these new posts for some reason, but I've got another blog entry lined up.

In Dark Alleys was mentioned. I've got to say that I don't see much talk about any Vajra Enterprises Games. That's a shame, because they produce some good stuff. Link for those interested: https://vajraenterprises.com
Where do the various Different World's products sit on your list of interesting IP to aquire/clean up?
 

Bunch

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Do you mean the magazine? If so, not on my radar.
No they own Gamelords(Thieves Guild, Traveller adventures, Runequest 2e stuff) and I think some other older companies stuff.
 

brettmb

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No they own Gamelords(Thieves Guild, Traveller adventures, Runequest 2e stuff) and I think some other older companies stuff.
I did look into Thieves' Guild - you never know what the future brings, but the present does not see it in the cards.
 

Brightfires

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I was sorting through some books yesterday while reorganizing our shelves and came across a game I'd forgotten we even had... Ghost Dog.

The only time I tinkered around with it, for a quick one-off session, I recall it being a pretty solid little game, even if you didn't know a lot about the movie it was based on. (I was the only one at the table who'd even seen it-)
 

brettmb

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I was sorting through some books yesterday while reorganizing our shelves and came across a game I'd forgotten we even had... Ghost Dog.

The only time I tinkered around with it, for a quick one-off session, I recall it being a pretty solid little game, even if you didn't know a lot about the movie it was based on. (I was the only one at the table who'd even seen it-)
I have it. Didn’t think much of the movie, so the game never really did much for me.
 

Brock Savage

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This is the last Lego set I ever owned... View attachment 45675
OMG this brings powerful nostalgia feels.
I was sorting through some books yesterday while reorganizing our shelves and came across a game I'd forgotten we even had... Ghost Dog.

The only time I tinkered around with it, for a quick one-off session, I recall it being a pretty solid little game, even if you didn't know a lot about the movie it was based on. (I was the only one at the table who'd even seen it-)
Man back in the day I really liked the Ghost Dog film. I saw that RPG on the shelves but never read it, was it any good?
 

Brightfires

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I only did anything with it that one time (A short, one-off "beat a rival syndicate's group to the goodies"-style heist with a table of four-), so I wouldn't call myself an expert on the system by any means... but I don't recall us having any issues with it. While I was the only one familiar with the Ghost Dog movie itself, the players had all seen their fair share of other gangster movies and samurai dramas, so, even as weird a combination as that is, they just picked it up and ran with it.
 
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