Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition RPG adventure 'The Vault of the Old Kingdom' is available now

I'm happy to announce that my new Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition RPG adventure 'The Vault of the Old Kingdom' is available now from DrivethruRPG!

'Welcome, brave adventurers!

The tiny Kingdom of Cardigul in North Western Allansia clings to the edge of the Icefinger Mountains and scratches a living from mining, trapping and farming. But Cardigul hides the evidence of a much older and more mysterious Kingdom. What is the secret and why are the Heroes key to the survival of Cardigul?

This is The Vault of the Old Kingdom, an Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition adventure for an experienced adventuring party, although it will be easy enough to adjust the statistics of the foes and dangers to suit any level of skill.'

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Normal service might resume...

...at some point in the future.

Now that I'm writing material for other games - I'm working on new Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition material and artwork for Arion Games and Aliens & Asteroids adventures for Moebius Adventures, as well as writing a complete RPG core rulebook due for publication in 2020 - I haven't had as much time for this blog as I used to. In fact, I have virtually no time at all as I have actual deadlines!

I still want to do work for Farsight Blogger and I may revisit the site at some point in the future, but I can't guarantee when that will be. If you're a regular reader then please keep checking back, or simply subscribe for alerts when a new article does drop.

Thank you for sticking with me for this amount of time. Farsight Blogger has been going for almost ten years, on and off, and there's still more I can do with it, I'm sure.

Bear with me.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

'Suddenly, Goblins!' OSR adventure available now from DrivethruRPG

Available from DrivethruRPG

Available as Pay What You Want.

Goblins! Goblins everywhere! When a castle is suddenly overrun by the small cackling mostrosoties the PCs have to discover how they got in and stop any more from causing trouble!

Suddenly, Goblins! is an OSR adventure for Swords & Wizardry White Box, although it can be easily adapted for most classic OSR systems. The adventure is designed for a party of any number of adventurers of any race, class and level and can be inserted into your existing campaign quite easily, no matter what world you’re gaming in.

Designed for the Swords & Wizardry ruleset, but it can be easily adapted to most OSR systems.

Swords & Wizardry, S&W, and Mythmere Games are trademarks of Matthew J. Finch.

Farsight Games and all products are not affiliated with Matthew J. Finch, Mythmere Games™, or Frog God Games

Saturday, 9 March 2019

'The Dog That Would Not Bark' Adventure available now from DrivethruRPG

Available now from DrivethruRPG

Available as Pay What You Want.

When a dog comes running to the players looking for attention, what dangers will they be led to?

The Dog That Would Not Bark is an OSR adventure for Swords & Wizardry White Box, although it can be easily adapted for most classic OSR systems. The adventure is designed for a party of four adventurers of any race and class, and can be inserted into your existing campaign quite easily, no matter what world you’re gaming in.

Designed for the Swords & Wizardry ruleset, but it can be easily adapted to most OSR systems.

Swords & Wizardry, S&W, and Mythmere Games are trademarks of Matthew J. Finch.

Farsight Games and all products are not affiliated with Matthew J. Finch, Mythmere Games™, or Frog God Games

'Cyber Streets' Campaign Setting available now from DrivethruRPG as Pay What You Want

Available now at DrivethruRPG.

‘The bright days could be annoying, with the sun forcing it’s way into our cramped office where the autoAC hardly noticed the temperature rise. Sat in that tight cubicle staring at a green and black coding screen and only allowed to get into the system with my wireless plug using the company-approved network was a chore and a ‘you are blocked from accessing this’ nightmare. Just when I thought my shoes would fill with sweat and I’d be forced to tear my monitor from its stand and beat my fellow workers to death with it, the 6:00 alarm would chime and, like the automatons were were considered to be, we’d file out to make room for the next shift. As we left the building we’d be glared at by wagecops and scanned by Tincops, making us feel all the more mistrusted, broken and abused.

But when the sun vanished behind the tall towers of this stinking city… man, even better, when the weather control dudes decided the concrete and steel and glass needed a clean and shot a rainmaker into the clouds to allow that cool, cool water to fall… man, that’s when we came alive.’

Welcome to Cyber Streets, a cyberpunk campaign supplement for ‘To The Stars, Stellar Cadets!’ This supplement is designed to use the original game rules as written with a few additions and changes for you to be able to use the rules in a cyberpunk setting.

Requires 'To The Stars, Stellar Cadets!' for use.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

'Things from the Flood' on it's way

I've been previewing Free League's sequel to 'Tales from the Loop', a new roleplaying game for grown-up kids called 'Things from the Flood'.

Oh, boy.

Something that always struck me with 'Tales from the Loop' was what would happen to the kids once they'd grown up. This book answers those questions and also throws a couple of new problems; the world has changed... and now your characters can die.


I'll be playing this in the near future and I can't wait. 'Tales from the Loop' was one of the best games I've played over the last few years and it seems that this sequel is going to give me the answers I was asked when my player's kids reach 16 - what happens to them now?

“It started on Christmas Day in 1994. Black water suddenly rose from the land, invading our homes and lives. They say it came from the depths inside the Loop. Whatever it was the Flood changed everything. Nothing would ever be the same again.”

Welcome back to the Loop. Things from the Flood are coming. The sequel to the multiple award-winning Tales from the Loop RPG, based on the wondrous worlds of Simon Stålenhag, is releasing in Q2 2019.

The Things from the Flood RPG thrusts the Tales universe into a grim alternate 1990s. Step into the shoes of a teenager growing up in a decade of change – and disaster. Still, your life goes on as before. You go to school, fall miserably in love and try to fend of boredom. But when teens start to go missing, you and your friends decide to solve the mystery.

Things from the Flood presents a darker version of Stålenhag’s hallmark retro sci-fi. Create new Teens or let your Kids from Tales from the Loop grow older. But remember - things are different now, this time you can die.

The critically acclaimed Tales from the Loop RPG, created by Free League Publishing, was released in 2017 and won no less than five Gold ENnies including Best Game and Product of the Year as well as three Golden Geek Awards including Best RPG.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

'The 13th Year' Campaign Setting available now from DrivethruRPG

Available now at DrivethruRPG.

What if…?

What if the Second World War didn’t end the way it did? What if the Axis forces had atomic weapons?

What if they used them in the dying days of the war?

‘The 13th Year’ is a campaign setting for the ‘To The Stars, Stellar Cadets!’ core rulebook, set in an alternative reality. Hitler never died and actually developed his own atomic weapons. Not only that, but he used them on the world in an insane attempt to claim victory over his enemies. The survivors just want to survive, the military want to finish a war because they have no other purpose left in life.

It is set in 1952, 13 years after the beginning of the Second World War, in a period when decimated governments are trying to claw their way back to power and old enemies resurface once again.

Armies are on the move and the war continues, the sides pretty much carrying on from where they’d left off in 1945. It’s the Second World War set against a post-atomic holocaust wasteland.

Requires 'To The Stars, Stellar Cadets!' for use.

Friday, 8 February 2019

'ECHOES - We Are Alone' Campaign Setting available now from DrivethruRPG

Available now at DrivethruRPG.

ECHOES is a science fiction campaign setting in which players explore dead alien cultures, uncover mysteries of long-forgotten races and try to make sense as to why hundreds of star-faring cultures simply vanished or died out, seemingly all at the same time.

In this setting players will confront the dangers of hostile worlds, pit their wits against enterprises wanting to exploit new technologies, face off with corrupt government officials who want to use their discoveries to further their own agenda and outsmart dormant alien technologies not meant for human use.

Whole star systems lie abandoned, and their inhabitants have long since perished.

We are alone.

Contains background material - new Crew Positions, weapons, armour, starships and equipment - adventure ideas - 'Lowlight Stellarstation', a complete location from where you can start your adventures.

Requires 'To The Stars, Stellar Cadets!' for use

Sunday, 3 February 2019

'To The Stars, Stellar Cadets!' and adventures now available on DrivethruRPG

A while ago I released a free roleplaying game called 'To The Stars, Stellar Cadets!', based on the pulp science fiction adventure serials from the 1930s through to the 1950s. I found some free images on the internet and decided to have a go at designing a game that incorporated those images, as well as use it to test out my single die ODDS System.

Now the core rules, as well as the two adventures 'Danger on Bakk-Alpha-Four' and 'The Hiding Death', are available from DrivethruRPG as Pay What You Want products.

To The Stars, Stellar Cadets!

'Always dreamed of blasting through space on the back of a nuclear bullet trading laser fire with wicked alien menaces? How about exploring mysterious worlds and trading with exotic races? Perhaps you’d like to hunt down nefarious pirates in haunted asteroid belts?

Now’s your chance! Join the STELLAR CADETS and travel the stars for the Stellar Navy!'

This game harks back to the serial science fiction shows from the 1930s to the 1950s, and the system uses a single six-sided die.

Contains rules for character creation, monsters, vehicles and starships, and a short adventure.

Danger on Bakk-Alpha-Four

'The players are instructed to take a rocketship to the Bakk solar system, land on the primary planet of Bakk-Alpha-Four and pick up supplies for the struggling Beta 1-8-6 Stellarstation. Falling foul of the war and chased by the local military forces, can they make it across the war-torn city of Calappa to freedom?'

An adventure for 'To The Stars, Stellar Cadets!'

Also included in the adventure are some extra rules to help recreate the pulp action genre, giving players the chance to not only stand a better chance of surviving but also giving them the option to take more chances at feats of derring-do! It should last a couple of sessions and you may get some use out of it in your own science fiction campaign.

The Hiding Death

'In this short adventure, the heroes must enter the slow moving Sanotron planetoid field to locate a missing Stellar Navy intelligence gathering rocketship, the Tracer IV, which was lost there recently. After being warned of strange goings on and the presence of pirates, they set out to find that not all is what it seems...'

An adventure for 'To The Stars, Stellar Cadets!'

Saturday, 2 February 2019

RPG Review - Forbidden Lands from Free League

Published by Free League/Modiphius Entertainment

by Tomas Härenstam (Lead Designer),  Erik Granström (Designer), Nils Gulliksson (Main Illustrator), Christian Granath (Writer), Nils Karlén (Writer), Kosta Kostulas (Writer)

‘Forbidden Lands is a new take on classic fantasy roleplaying. In this sandbox survival roleplaying game, you’re not heroes sent on missions dictated by others – instead, you are raiders and rogues bent on making your own mark on a cursed world. You will discover lost tombs, fight terrible monsters, wander the wild lands, and if you live long enough, build your own stronghold to defend.’

I like games that have their own personal style, their own charm and their own unique atmosphere. Games such as these have a special place on my shelf and get to spend time on my table.

Forbidden Lands is that charming it could wear a top hat and a monocle, hold the door open to a restaurant to allow you to enter first and hold a pleasant inoffensive conversation over a lunch that it paid for. It’s that charming.

With a heady mix of old-school charm and modern, story-driven rules this game is one of the best fantasy roleplaying games to hit the market in many a year. That’s quite a claim, but it sets out to do a job; to bring the old-school rogues and adventurers back to the fore. You’re not out there for the glory or the fame; you’re out there for the treasure and the rewards, and if it brings glory and fame, well, that’s a bonus.

In the sturdy box you will get two hardcover faux-leather books, a Player’s Guide for the players to create their characters and get a handle on their role in the game, and a Gamemaster’s Guide to help the GM fill out the world; A booklet called Legends and Adventurers which helps with fleshing out characters; and a full colour map and a sheet of stickers so that the group can track their progress across the world and add the stickers to mark where they’ve been and what they’ve done.

It’s incredibly well presented. The books are incredibly satisfying to crack open for the first time and the thick pages, excellent black-and-white interior art and 1980s-like layout is really, really nice. It might not be for everyone; I first got into RPGs in the 1980s so this is all familiar, even comfortable, territory for me but the simple layout may not be the tastes of those used to glossy, full-colour interiors. Personally, I think this adds to the atmosphere.

The lore of the game is well thought out and gives the players impetus to get out there and explore. With a world of danger mixed with a little bit of darkness, the setting is something that players who like a bit of grim in their games will enjoy, while not being so dark it borders on the nihilistic. There’s plenty of scope for adventure. I’ll let Free League explain;

‘The core game setting of Forbidden Lands is a vast and remote valley once known as Ravenland, conquered by the spellbinder Zygofer over three centuries ago. When faced by the savage orcs, he opened dark gates to seek the help of demons. That was his undoing. Zygofer was lost to the darkness and he placed himself on the throne of the Ravenland, his daughter Therania by his side.

To keep their vile corruption from spreading, the king in the south built a great wall across the mountain pass and forbade all to ever speak of what had happened. Since that day, the spellbinder’s domain is known as the Forbidden Lands. Zygofer's henchmen, the feared Rust Brothers, still haunt the land, but the spellbinder himself has not been seen for many years. Fearful whispers say he has transformed into a demonic creature called Zytera.

Today, the Forbidden Lands it is a lawless place where demons and dark creatures roam the countryside, while common folk barricade themselves in small villages. Only the brave and the foolish, the raiders and the rogues, dare venture out to seek treasure and glory in the ruins of old.

Written by acclaimed fantasy author Erik Granström, the Forbidden Lands setting is rich and detailed, on the surface based on classic fantasy but with many surprising twists and secrets to discover during play.’

Sounds like a great time, right? Well, it really is. The setting is solid enough to draw you into a huge meta-plot you can get plenty of inspiration from while at the same time giving you enough leeway to explore the world in your own way. The system, inspired as it is by the flexibility of older games, can easily be used for a GM’s own campaign setting. The setting you get with the game is great, but there’s nothing stopping you from using your own - or even an established – setting.

Players can use seven races; Human, Half-Elves, Dwarf, Halfling, Wolfkin, Orcs, and Goblins. They can then choose from eight professions; Druid, Fighter, Hunter, Minstrel, Peddler, Rider, Rogue, and Sorcerer.

They have four attributes; Strength, Agility, Wits, and Empathy. With sixteen skills to choose from it may seem the characters are a little thin on detail, but there is plenty of material such as Talents, which give a character advantages during play, and choices to make sure the PC is fleshed out enough to be unique and fun to play.

The rules are straightforward and players of Free Leagues other games will be in familiar territory; roll a number of D6s, and any die resulting in a 6 is a success with a 1 being detrimental to the roll. The rules are simple and straight forward and easy to get into, even for players new to the system. It was easier for me and my group as we had experience with other games such as ‘Coriolis’ and ‘Tales from the Loop’.

But my reviews of games are never about the rules or how well they work as that is always subjective. The real question is, how did we get on with the game?

The characters were easy to set up – my group’s experiences in the golden age fantasy roleplaying games helped and it was fun to see this game’s take on classic races and careers – and within an hour we were set up and ready to go. We had the advantage of having played ‘Coriolis’ and ‘Tales from the Loop’, so the system was nothing new to use and all we had to do was get used to the tweaks and new approaches to the game engine.

Straight away the players were invested in the game setting. The struggle against a dangerous foe in power, the idea of exploring a land lost to them and being able to play in a game where they could basically look out for themselves and not get too hung up about an overbearing world meta-plot gave them plenty of drive to get out there and explore, delve and fight. I created a simple dungeon and a local legend for the players to get embroiled in and sent them on their way.

In fact, this game seemed to be more action-orientated than the two previous titles we’d played, and even though the game system handled the combat in the game well it was quite dangerous, and sadly the Half-Elf Hunter dies a rather ignoble death in the first hour of the game. Within fifteen minutes the unfortunate player had created a new character and rejoined the fray. The combat system certainly gave my players a reason to pause, and every possible encounter was met with a degree of uncertainty; there are some games where the players can be heroes and throw themselves into the fight with gusto but this game did not feel like one of those games. It was frustrating as the group tried to cover every angle to give themselves the best chance of survival, but it added drama and tension which is something the setting cries out for.

The system was agile and fun and quite easy to use, with very little bookkeeping or page-flipping, and with the players knowing what to do and when to do it - without having to read tables or rely on charts - encounters were easy and a lot of fun.

In fact, it was so much fun we made plans to integrate it into a future ‘Tales from the Loop’ game. We’d joked about what the child characters in the kid-driven sci-fi game would play, and this is it. If we ever sit down to play Tales from the Loop and there are any scenes in which the kids play an RPG, we’ll crack open the Forbidden Lands books and run a quick encounter in the vein of over-excited teenagers. It promises to be a lot of fun.

The game was a joy to play as most of my group are old-school gamers with fond memories of a particular age of gaming. The old-school feel was pleasant but the setting and the new story-driven way to get involved in a game felt very new, and it’s this coming together of the old and the new that gives Forbidden Lands it’s charm. There’s something in here for players young and old.

But let’s not get hung up on the charm the game offers; a system or a setting cannot survive on nostalgia alone, and to rely on that nostalgia to please old gamers does not do much for newer gamers wanting a new experience. Is the system and the world of Forbidden Lands enough to attract and retain players? It’s hard to say. For me it’s yes, because I enjoy the system and I love the setting and for other, newer players there’s a whole new world to explore. But what’s here that will bring new experiences to the table for everyone? That remains to be seen, but new material that Free League has available and in the pipeline promises much.

All in all, Forbidden Lands is an excellent game, setting and overall product. It’s productions values live up to what we expect from Free League, the box is sturdy and the contents are a lot of fun and, even though the books may be laid out in an old-school style, it’s a really attractive package.

The setting is dark and forbidding, but there’s enough room to create your own take and the system is flexible enough to create your own worlds.

The nostalgia is heavy for us older gamers and the story-driven world is attractive to newer players, but the game cannot exist on nostalgia alone so it remains to be seen how the game is supported by following material.

There’s something in here for almost every type of player. Enjoy your dungeon bashes? Love your exploration? Like to get involved in deep narratives? Forbidden Lands has you covered on pretty much every approach.

Forbidden Lands is a heady mix of old-school adventure and grim, dangerous journeys. Players can create three-dimensional characters with plenty of choices to make them unique, and the GM has plenty of room to inject their own material into the mix. There really is something in here for everyone, and gaming groups old and new will get a lot of satisfying gaming out of it.