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A blog on 40 years of gaming and Sandbox Fantasy.Rob Conleyhttps://plus.google.com/116753362008267799901noreply@blogger.comBlogger1345125
Updated: 2 days 4 hours ago

OSR Survey

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 19:19
Brendan S and Ben Milton are two hobbyists with a long history of participating in discussion related to the OSR and classic DnD. They have constructed a detailed survey that looks to be comprehensive.

The link to the survey.

Ben Milton (G-Plus)
Brendan S (G-Plus)

At the conclusion of the survey one can leave additional comments unfortunately I forgot to copy and paste my answer. But the following is the gist of what I wrote.

Irregardless of how people used the label OSR, think of the label OSR, or want the label OSR to represent there are several salient points.

1) There is a group of hobbyists who are interested in playing, promoting, and publishing for classic editions of DnD.

2) To ensure that no one vision or ideal stifles a hobbyist's creative vision the promotion and spread of legal open content is vital.

3) #2 pertains not just to classic DnD but to any system that hobbyists are interested in provided there is legal open content to use as a foundation for sharing.

4) Hobbyists interested in #1 are interested in other things as well. So hobbyists sharing or selling will often have a variety of works in addition to classic DnD including hybrids.

Open Content coupled with the low barriers of distribution enabled by the internet and digital technology ensures that anybody with the desire will be able to get their vision out there either commercially or just to share.

Keep in in mind that the consequences of creative freedom will be messy. Resulting in a confusing kaleidoscope of works along with conflicting visions of the source material. The key to remember irregardless of the results of the survey, that you are free to do what you think is best with the material in the form you think will work for your project. That thanks to the internet and other forms of digital technology you can't be stopped from sharing what you created.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Support OSR News

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 14:02

Collecting news and information about the OSR is often a thankless job. There is a ever-growing kaleidoscope of OSR publishers with new products being released every day either commercially or non-commercially on a variety of platforms and formats.

James A. Smith of Dreams of Mythic Fantasy has dedicated considerable time and effort into collecting various bits of information and news about what going on around the OSR. Now he would like your support to keep on doing this. He has established a Patreon page where you can contribute a few bucks every month to keep his OSR News continuing. I hope you will join me in supporting James.

Support OSR News and Dreams of Mythic Fantasy

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

PDF Piracy

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 19:34
Busy News day. So I logged on my publisher's page on RPGNow and found a warning from OBS about a pirate website with hundreds of RPG PDFs.

A couple of things

  • Don't lose your cool
  • See above
  • Don't use the DMCA link on that site. In the words of Admiral Ackbar. "It's a trap!"
  • Do a search for your products on Google and Bing. If a link appears to the fore mention pirate. Send them a DMCA request. I done it and it works relatively quickly. 
This is the link for the Google DMCA linkThis is the link for Microsoft Bing DMCA
Understand software, video, and PDF piracy is semi-organized. The new pirate site is especially slick which is probably why OBS reacted the way it did. However it existed at least a year prior. In addition there are various underground directories floating around that are updated regularly. The links are coded so that they don't show up on the search engines text functions. So the key is to keep those links off of the first handful of pages of search results. And that is not so hard to do thanks to the above links.
It sucks but it not as bad as it could be. 


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

RPGNow folding into DriveThruRPG

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 13:13
OBS just sent a newsletter to all publishers that due to little growth RPGNow is folding into DriveThruRPG in February 2019. That RPGNow links will redirect to their DriveThruRPG equivalent.

Also metal rankings will merge which frankly is a good thing overall as the separate counts were always a pain.

The full text

Dear publisher,

Starting in February 2019, all elements of the RPGNow tool pages and storefront will redirect to similar pages on DriveThruRPG.

You most likely know this, but since RPGNow and DriveThruRPG first merged as businesses back in 2006, they have shared all the same tools and digital inventory. On the front end, they looked and behaved like two separate sites, but essentially they have just been two faces of the same site for many years. The only real differences were the color schemes and logos.

You might have some questions about the coming change, so we’ve done our best to anticipate and answer them below.

How will this affect me?

In most ways, you’ll be unaffected. Your entire catalog of titles from RPGNow is already listed on DriveThruRPG (as it always has been), and you can log in to DriveThruRPG using the same account(s) you’ve always used on RPGNow, just as you could before.

Even your old bookmarks to pages on RPGNow.com will still work: They’ll automatically be redirected to the same page on DriveThruRPG.

What about sales reporting? Will my past sales be combined?

Yes, as far as sales records and your titles’ metal rankings, we will be merging those together.

Starting in February, your sales records will show combined sales of each title across both the deprecated RPGNow site and DriveThruRPG, together. The number of unit sales will also be combined, so if you had metal rankings for titles on one or both sites, there’s a good chance you’ll find that your rankings on some titles will have increased on DriveThruRPG.

What about my Publisher Promotion Points and marketing impressions?

No worries. Your Publisher Promotion Points (PPP) are already shared across sister sites. They are compiled by publisher, not by site.

If you have used your PPP to purchase site impressions for banners or featured product messages on RPGNow, you will also be reimbursed, commensurately, for those expenditures on DriveThruRPG.

Why is this happening?

Here’s the big picture: In the 12 years since RPGNow and DriveThruRPG merged, the growth of RPGNow has tapered off constantly, while DriveThruRPG has continued to grow strongly, year over year, since it launched in 2004. We’ve reached the point where RPGNow rarely draws new customers or publishers and sells less than one-tenth the volume of titles purchased on DriveThruRPG.

To be honest, we have known this moment would come for years now. We’ve just finally decided it’s time to put the RPGNow brand out to pasture.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Blackmarsh Updated

Sun, 11/18/2018 - 23:24
Several years ago, I added the option of using the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license to Blackmarsh to make it easier for people to use it for RPGs that don't have open content. This was done with version 3.0. Since then Creative Commons updated to version 4.0. One of the major difference is an explicit waiver of moral rights.

In copyright over the past couple of decades there is the idea that in addition to rights to profit and control how the work is copied that there is a set of moral rights that protects the following.

1) the right of credit or association
2) the right of integrity
3) the right of anonymity or context

The grant or transfer of economic rights (i.e. the right to copy and use) is separate than a waiver of moral rights. To make it clear that my intent is for anybody to be able to use Blackmarsh for whatever purpose they see fit I updated the Creative Common license to version 4.0 which waives my moral rights in the text and maps for Blackmarsh.

In addition several publishers have introduced third party publishing programs that don't use open content licenses. Since my intent to share Blackmarsh as widely as possible and to make it easy to use for one's own work. I removed the Non-Commercial and Share-alike requirements. Now only attribution is required.

To be clear dual license means you can choose to use either license. Either as open content under the Open Game License or the Creative Commons BY Version 4.0. Use whatever one works best for your project.

You can download version 11 either from my website. Or from RPGNow if you obtained Blackmarsh there. If you bought a print copy there is no need to get a new one as the text remains the same.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Medieval Demographics Made Easy new host

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 13:41
In the mid 1990, S John Ross created an article about how to calculate the demographics of a medieval realms and the numbers and types of shops in a town.

The math behind the article was straight forward and didn't involve a lot of  table lookup. Although it didn't stop people like this one on the Donjon site, or this one on the d20SRD site from making automated tools using S. John Ross' math.

Medieval Demographics was hosted on S. John Ross' Blue Room for a long time. Recently he made changes to his website resulting in the original links becoming broken. As outlined in this blog post, he decided to run an experiment, to release the file to multiple hosts and let it wander on its own. He asked for volunteers and I was one of the people who stepped up.

So today I am pleased to announce that I am hosting a copy of Medieval Demographics for everybody to download. You can use the sidebar or this link.

To be clear this file is only free to download. It has not been made public domain nor has it been released under an open content license. The details are explained at the bottom of page 6 of the PDF

Fantasy Demographics
Several years ago, I dug into the data and math used by S John Ross and found the original source of the data he used to generate shops for his town portion of his article. From the that I generated my own take that fits better with the fantasy medieval setting used by various editions of DnD. You can download that file from the sidebar or from here. Note is only for the types and quantity in a town.

To see this in action look at my How to make Fantasy Sandbox articles starting at post XVIII

Accuracy
Keep in mind both Medieval Demographics and my own Fantasy Demographics are not meant to definitive treatments of historical circumstances. While neither sits on home plate, so to speak, instead they are meant to get you within the ballpark. Keep in mind the algorithm i.e. the process that S. John Ross uses is highly modifiable to fit your assumptions of medieval or fantasy life. For an example see my Fantasy Demographics article mentioned above.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Some bad news about Google Plus

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 18:09
Google Plus was Google's answer to facebook. It never got widespread adoption but among specific niches of internet it was heavily used compared to facebook. One of those niches is the OSR.

And now it appears the Google is shutting it down or at the least radically changing it.

Damn it. I really despise the Facebook interface and because of that I have not kept my Facebook account as clean as my Google Plus setup. I guess my wife, Kelly Anne will be happy as facebook is her primary home on social media.

Well it was good while it lasted.

The link to the annoucement



Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Original Southlands Map redux

Sun, 09/02/2018 - 01:29
Back in 2009 I released my take on the Outdoor Survival Map mentioned in ODnD. Modifying the map using the guidelines found in Book 3 Underworld and Wilderness Adventures along with substituted Judges Guild icons in place of the original.

Since then it made the rounds appearing in projects like Autarch's Dwimmermount.

Recently +Nathan Jennings requested a version that didn't have the title block in the upper left. Since I still had the original files it was easy make a version that does just that.
So here it for everybody else to use for whatever project they have in mind. Just click here to get the full resolution version.


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The next five maps are avaliable! Fantastic Wilderlands Beyonde is released

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 22:24

I am pleased to announce the release of the Fantastic Wilderlands Beyonde. This is one of four products covering the eighteen maps that encompasses the Judges Guild Wilderlands setting. This product covers five of the maps as detailed below. The four sets combined will cover a region equal in size to Western Europe providing years and decades of adventuring for you and your group.

Unlike many setting products, the Wilderlands sketches out the overview and history in light detail. Then presents a comprehensive list of local detail in a compact format that is customizable. This eliminates much of the tedious work involved in creating a setting and allows the referee to focus on the campaign and the grand adventures the players face as their characters.

This is presented at two products both in PDF and Print on Demand.


This product is a 38 page Guidebook for the five maps of the Fantastic Wilderlands Beyonde. The books has an introduction and commentary by Robert S. Conley who has used the Wilderlands as his main fantasy campaign for nearly forty years. Each map is detailed with the following listings: Villages, Castles and Citadels, Idyllic Isles, Ruins and Relics, and Lurid Lairs.

Included with the Guidebook are letter sized blank map of the Wilderlands that can be used to take notes during a campaign. A PDF with the map legend. A letter size black and white guide to the placement of each of the 18 maps within the Wilderlands. This guidebook covers the City State of the World Emperor Map Six, Desert Lands Map Seven, Sea of Five Maps Map Eight, Elphand Lands Map Nine, and Lenap Map Ten.


Finally a giant sized preliminary version of the master map that I used to crop the individual maps from. With the right printer this can be printed as a full scale map 5 feet wide and 8 feet long. With the PDF you can selectively copy out regions as complete maps that overlap the borders of the 18 maps. After the release of the final set of maps this file will be updated as a layered PDF allowing for custom maps of the Wilderlands to be copied or created.




The second product is a set of five maps:  City State of the World Emperor Map Six, Desert Lands Map Seven, Sea of Five Maps Map Eight, Elphand Lands Map Nine, and Lenap Map Ten.. When ordered via print on the demand they are printed in two overlapping halves each on a 12" by 18" poster. In addition each map is presented as a 22" by 17" PDF file.

The maps have been redrawn from the original in a color style. Instead of the distinct symbols of the original maps, terrain has been drawn as a  transparent fill and vegetation represented by colored areas. This allows both terrain and vegetation to overlap. Representing more accurately the complexity and diversity of the Wilderland's geography.

This release will be followed by the Wilderlands of the Magic Realm in a few weeks covering the next four maps of the Wilderlands.

A preview PDF

The Fantastic Wilderlands Beyonde Guidebook

The Fantastic Wilderlands Beyonde Color Map


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs