Mar 29, 2022

Night Owl Workshop Forums

 I've experimented with various social media like Reddit & Discord. I really miss G+, it was ideal for discussing and playing TTRPG's on, and it had a vibrant old-school community.

I enjoy visiting ODD74 and Dragonsfoot, and a few other forums dedicated to old-school/new-school RPG's on occasion. But there has been a need for a dedicated forum for Night Owl Workshop if the company (or more accurately hobby venture!) is to thrive. At long last here is a forum to discuss Warriors of the Red Planet and the other NOW games:

It is a ghost town now, but if you visit, and bring a friend, it may eventually become a community of like minded gamers. I will be using it to keep customers and fans informed on what Night Owl Workshop is up to, and will participate in the conversations from time to time. Check it out, sign up, discuss.

Gateway to Adventure

 I'm not sure I can put into words the power these catalogues had. Even now looking at them still sparks that sense of wonder and anticipation, what is inside? What new books by TSR are coming out? Which ones will I be able to talk mom into getting for me? Will any of them show up at the game store?

Mar 28, 2022

What If Disneyland Was A Dungeon Crawl?

 This incredible architectural rendering of an early Disneyland design sold for a whopping $708,000 at an auction back in 2017. This fairly high resolution map shows off Walt's vision for the amusement park. Much of it remained virtually unchanged like the Riverboat and the entrance area, while other parts changed quite a bit from this early draft.

Looking at this map it struck me what an excellent DnD adventure map it would make.

In particular this little detail in the bottom right is a useful key for the DM. Now all that needs to be done is to stock it up with monsters and treasures, a few traps, and it's ready to go. Done in the spirit of the classic Dungeonland and Beyond the Magic Mirror adventures!

Mar 24, 2022

Mystery Map - Cellars

 As you walk down the creaking wooden steps the air is stale, but there are also whiffs of herbs and ale. You hold your light forth to reveal a dingy cellar stacked with crates and barrels. The room is relatively small and rectangular, but could there be more to this cellar than meets the eye? What is behind those crates on the south wall?

Mar 23, 2022

Gunslinger - The Engineer

The Engineer class is finished. This class was inspired by John Carter's ill-fated prospecting companion James K. Powell.

You may recall I mentioned this class back in October of last year, while the basic write up was fairly straight forward, designing all their gadgets was quite a project.

If you are familiar with Warriors of the Red Planet you know the Scientist class has a suite of gadgets they have access to that get more powerful with each level. Likewise the Engineer is the Wild (wild) West equivalent.  To put it in classic fantasy RPG terms they fill the roll that a Magic User traditionally has. 

The gadget list is a little large at the moment, and perhaps a bit too powerful. It is as if you were to combine all the Magic User and Cleric class spells into one list, since that is kind of how gadgets work.

While the playtesters are letting me know what gadgets to keep on the list, I am deep in the Strange Science section, which is getting bigger than intended! The ideas won't stop coming. To continue with the fantasy RPG analogy they are a bit like what magic items are in that genre. So as you can imagine the possibilities are endless. 

I'm making great progress on Gunslinger. The RPG is well on track to be completed in June.

Mar 11, 2022

Original Edition Campaign

 This little homebrew retroclone by Erik Johansson is designed as a supplement for the original LBB. It includes some bits from Greyhawk, Blackmoor, and Eldritch Sorcery - mainly in the form of classes.

It is an alternate take on character creation, with some alternate adventuring rules, and DM advice for how to run an old-school Original Edition game.

I've only skimmed it, but the writing is clear and concise. At only 48 pages it is thin and packs a punch. No spells, monsters, or treasures it is a replacement, or enhancement if you will, for character creation. Quality is typical Print on Demand perfect binding. The gutters are tighter than I'd like but I was able to read every page. The proportions are a bit smaller than the LBB's (little brown books) at 8"x5".

I ordered it from Amazon:

I also found it on other online stores:

Mar 3, 2022

Gunslinger Pre-Order

 I've received emails from some who missed the Kickstarter. Can you still order Gunslinger? Yes, pre-orders are available on my store here:

Note, this is the special Kickstarter edition that includes On The Arizona Hills (prelude to Princess of the Red Planet campaign adventure) and an expanded Adventures section, it will only be available until I put the order into the printers. After that the book will only be available as a POD and the adventures will be sold separately.

Mar 1, 2022

Unearthed Arcana II

This illustration by TSR vet Jeff Easley is reminiscent of his Unearthed Arcana cover. It was published in Encyclopedia Magica Volume 2 and was reused for the Amazing Stories #58 cover. 

It was also used as a mockup for an Unearthed Arcana II cover in the 1986 TSR product catalog. Rumors are sketchy that there may have been an unpublished version of this book in the TSR archives.  Is it possible there might be a draft copy floating around somewhere?

Joshua Fritts says "During 2E that there was talk of a second book that was coming out but may have been scrapped for budget constraints if I remember right but I’m old now so who knows how good that is."

At that point Gary was out (or on his way out) and TSR was moving towards 2e.

DM Dave has some speculation on what may have been in a Gary Gygax 2e AD&D such as Mystic, Savant, Mountebank, & Jester classes. It seems reasonable some of these would have made a first appearance in an UA2.

Just another TSR mystery we may never know more about, but how we would have embraced an Unearthed Arcana II! Even though the first one was of questionable quality and use.