Monday, August 27, 2007

2 micro-pseudo-reviews

The cover is amateurish but charming.
Labyrinth Lord is available as a free PDF download from Goblinoid Games or via print-on-demand from Goblinoid's Lulu store. When I first heard of this product it sounded to me a lot like the OSRIC project, but for my beloved '81 Basic/Expert D&D. Turns out that's not quite the case. I haven't poured over LL with a fine tooth comb yet, but there are just enough differences from the old versions to drive a purist nutty. The equipment charts include armor and weapons imported from 1st edition AD&D and/or the later Mentzer books. The magic item section includes some lifts from the original DMG. The xp charts for the various classes have been fiddled with a bit. And clerics get a spell at first level.

I could see one or more of these being a turn-off for somebody, but I'm just personally thrilled to see a new edition of D&D where elf is a class again. I used to think that an in-print Basic/Expert would make finding players much more easy, what with all the whining you hear on the internets like "Waah! My players won't play 'dead' games!" But last February I ran a Basic/Expert con game and ten players signed up for it, at least two of whom weren't born when my Moldvay books were published. So what do I know? Anyway, do yourself a favor and download a freebie copy of Labyrinth Lord. I'd love to hear what everybody else thinks about this game.
I'm not a huge fan of the original Traveller supplements The Spinward Marches and The Solomani Rim. Sure, you get a whole sector worth of adventure in each, but I find unpacking UWPs to be a pain in the butt. The old Gamelords book A Pilot's Guide to the Drexilthar Subsector is more my speed. You get a brief intro on the overall sector, but the heart of the book is the write-ups for each world in Drexilthar. You get a page of info for each place on the subsector map. That hits the sweet spot for me. You get just enough stuff to riff off of, without being inundated in information. If you click here you can still buy new copies of this 1984 classic from Different Worlds Publications. While you're at that page check out Wanted: Adventurers, Startown Liberty, and Lee's Guide to Interstellar Adventure for more awesome Traveller adventure.