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How does a blade that steals wakefulness
seem more profane than a sword that only steals life?
&&&&&&&&& Treasure is a long list of very intriguing RPG items as much as it is a book of poetry. The endlessly creative prose breathes life into even the simplest, tried and true OSR fare- healing potions are translated into "the stolen potential of a god kept asleep with prayer" and stored in "large earthenware demijohns of blue-tinged milk." Many of these items have very vivid adventure hooks; necromancers, witches, beast-men, and more will hunt down the party for one reason or another if they happen to be carrying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Reading it is a draught of inspiration, page after page.
The worldbuilding is deep and mythic in tone. I'm struck by how much colonialism informs the text. Over and over again, &&&&&&&&& Treasure makes sure you know that this, the world from which these fantastical items originate, is a world where people take things from each other and propagate their cultures, over and over again. I find it to be very self-aware of the origins of the OSR genre.
If you play OSR games at all, this is for you. You'll definitely find a place for it in your game; I'm already thinking about how I could use it in mine.
Thanks so much for the very detailed review! Honestly, a map is planned, I just couldn't quite get it in under the deadline. As to your criticism of the CYCLOPS/FIST issue, I think that makes a lot of sense. Would be worth making that change and going back to it to see how it feels once the jam is officially over. In addition, I think you spotted my Delta Green history; I play that game all the time!
A very reasonable request- usually I'd have background-less versions of my work prepared, but I actually don't have the source files for Darker Forts anymore, so I wouldn't be able to remove them. I could send you the Google Doc with just the text in it if you're interested?
Jay's the sort of designer that will release a new standard for tactical TRPGs as a casual proof of concept. There's a lot of truly fascinating stuff in here; high math mechanics made accessible, abilities that get your heart pumping as you read them, an eerie and magical reinterpretation of Norse mythology, a lesbian frame narrative (!??). I'm excited to see how this project evolves, and how other projects might become inspired by it.
LFG, also ; )
BLOOD KNIGHT GAIUS is one of those perfect little OSR modules. Settle into your chairs around the table, lay your drink-stained character sheets before you, and stare up at the towering GM screen as candles of red wax are lit.
The concept is immediately strong; a sect of monk-like vampires feed only on those who search for them and fail in honorable combat. If you win, you take an inordinate amount of money back home, and if you fail, well... you knew the risks. It effortlessly combines the tone of spooky-Dracula vampirism and old martial arts film and anime.
The layout, graphic design, and art of the module is both simple and impeccable, the scantone quality of some pages and towering silhouettes of its primary foes adding much to the mood.
Situations present themselves that don't necessarily have to be resolved through combat, making for a complex OSR experience. The snippets of lore and little touches present throughout are very evocative and should be shown to the players at any opportunity.
It's really good, basically. I love thematic, punchy modules like this one. Ascend the mountain and challenge BLOOD KNIGHT GAIUS, for the night is long, and glittering gold awaits behind a cloak of stars.
It's definitely deadly. One good way to do it is to have the PC's level up after every 2 floors, so they're level 3 by the final one. You could also give them more chances to make saves or reduce all damage by one step.