Monday, May 25, 2009

fun new stuff

The first swaps for the non-lulu print edition of the Miscellaneum have started to roll in. First up, Chris of Sooga Games used lulu to print and ship a couple of his creations directly to me. Since he's in Merry Old England that's probably much cheaper than buying my book from lulu. Anyway, here's what he sent me:

I haven't gave either of them a thorough read yet, but The Adventurer's Tale is one more game of elves and swords and gold pieces. I certainly don't need another of those, but I'm not about to turn my nose up at one either.

Teen Island kinda looks to be sort of like the movie The Breakfast Club meets the reality show Survivor. Or Total Drama Island: The RPG, if you're familiar with that cartoon series. Only Teen Island seems to have more murders.

This game is the exact sort of oddball thing I would run once at a con just for the hell of it, like the time I ran Philippe Tromeur's Wuthering Heights Roleplay. Even better, a big chunk of the game is devoted to big random event charts. Here's a couple shots of the interior:

Randy sent me this cool set of 24 maps on this heavy creamy paper. The maps can be arranged to make on bigass campaign map. Also included is a sheet of transparent plastic with a hexgrid at 4 hexes to the inch. Here are three of the maps:

And here's a close-up scan of an island comprising about one third of one of the maps:

Randy didn't know anything about these maps, as he bought them as part of a lot. But on map 24 is the word "Archaeron", which rang a faint bell as having something to do with Chivalry & Sorcery, one of the original too-complicated-for-its-own-good D&D descendants. So I hit my first source for information on obscure old gaming products, Lawrence Schick's book Heroic Worlds.

Sure enough, Archaeron was the name of Wilf Backhaus's game system and campaign setting. Wilf was one of the co-creators of C&S, but he later released Mage and Warrior, which Schick describes as "similar" to C&S. No other products are listed for the Archaeron line, but obviously a map set was produced at some point. Many of the maps feature real place names from England. I'm not sure if the names are borrowed or if the geography is actually British. At this small scale it's hard for me to tell. There are a few places labeled as belonging to witches and wizards and such, but otherwise these maps look pretty pseudo-historical. No fire swamps or glass seas or anything like that.

One other cool thing is that a previous owner noted in pencil that one of the castles, a large black triangle labeled 'Albion' had been ruined. I love evidence of past use like that.

I can't find a scale listed on the maps. I'm thinking that .2 mile/hex, used in the Judges Guild campaign hexagon system for zoom-in maps, might work. Incidentally, here's a fairly recent game article by Mr. Backhaus that's kinda neat.

Thanks for the stuff, Chris and Randy! I hope to mail out your books tomorrow.


  1. Great information.

    Wilf's Warrior booklet was an influence upon a system I've written, so it was neat reading this post, Jeff.


  2. Those are cool maps. You know, it might be neat to just take all those maps and start running with them. When you walk off the edge, pull out another random and there you are.

    'Course, that could be a total disaster too.

  3. Jeff, I thought those maps might be right up your alley! Glad you like them and I can't believe I didn't think to look in Heroic Worlds...that is a fantastic reference even being over 10+ out of date. Can't wait to get your book.

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  5. Darren Calvert (Teen Island) is one of my favorite artists. I commissioned some character artwork from him once and it was just plain awesome!

    Nice score.

  6. As did I! He did an Andorian Starfleet Officer for me a while back and its still one of my all time favorite pieces of Star Trek art.

    Teen Island seems to be Total Drama Island meets Battle Royale ( ). If so, that sounds awesome!

    Barking Alien

  7. Glad you like the look of Teen Island, Jeff. Let me know if you ever get around to playing it!

    For the rest of you who are interested the pdf is free on my blog.

  8. Pskov9:16 PM

    Those are the maps from the C&S supplement Arden. Published in 79 by FGU.