More Battlelords of the 23rd Century RPG Stuff

An example of Battlelords cityscapes, by Michael O.

I have added more Battlelords Stuff to the page. Updated the weapons PDF, armour PDF, added two adventure resources. First one is a STALKER game tribute mini-capaign for Battlelords. Download links for the adventure resources are also put down here.

Listrom STALKER Tribute

The players are sponsored to retrieve an artifact from Listrom in Gharick sector. Characters will be challenged by rival groups, bandits, faction conflicts, and even HALs as they try to find a matrix-like artifact in the exclusion zone on Listrom.

Ghanifred Mining Consortium Campaign

A handful of you that have read my stuff may have picked up on the seeds of this one from the Draco Illustrated Galaxy Guide and/or the Gharick Sector guide. Here is a bullet-point form of a campaign guide with key-events and some complications to introduce. Better suited for the GM who does not require everything laid out and is happy to improvise & expand on other ideas.

More Battlelords of the 23rd Century RPG Stuff

Roll 20: Online Gaming

At you can find services for hooking up with other gamers for online gaming. This is usually via a voice-chat client (Skype is most popular) and the virtual tabletop that provides. Basically its accessing a web-app (HTML5) that shares and hides information between clients. It’s a good system and a great way to keep gaming as the hobby is eroded by video-game advancements.

I’m on there and starting to build up some campaign interest.

CADs : Cloaks, Alleys Daggers, as an Alpha test.

Finding Fitzwilliam: a Shadowrun 3rd Edition game.

Get on Roll20 and look up those campaigns and we might even get to game together.

Roll 20: Online Gaming

RPGs Require Art

Inspiring art is a benchmark for a quality product in the RPG industry. Without a captivating cover the book relies on marketing and reputation to reach players. For the private publisher this requires budget. Cover-quality art is about $1000 per piece from pro-artists. It will be a gamble if the cover-art alone can net you sales to recoup those costs.

What does this say about the people we sell RPG product to?

They are visually driven. The branding of RPGs is around the imagination of the artist who illustrate the product. It also says, to me, that we gamers are far less imaginative than we believe.

Peace and giggles.

RPGs Require Art

What are the best Sandbox RPG products and why?

Spending lots of time in the last few months researching RPG products, blogs, forums and what gamers like I’ve determined that I’m an OSR-Sandbox kind of gamer. What has become interesting is the games that I’ve purchased all reflect this, to various degrees, without me even realising until I started writing this post.

MERP – although it is solidly in another’s very famous world it is presented as a massive Sandbox ready for gaming glory.

Battlelords of the 23rd Century – a multi-galactic setting waiting for you to populate it with all the seeds of information and flavour from just the core book.

Rolemaster – doesn’t even come with a world!

Warhammer FRP 1st Ed. – a massive grim world of perilous adventure! There’s lots of gaps with guidelines for ways to fill them between cities and wild lands empty for your artistic GM brush.

SLA Industries – a planetary urban sprawl with Cannibal Sectors, ruins, and mega-dungeons and not a single map.

SLA Industries

All this brings me to ask of you: what are the best Sandbox RPG products and why are they best? What makes a product capture your attention? How do you decide if you’ll purchase an RPG Sandbox product?

For me it’s something that oozes “potential”. It has a clear world that operates along familiar daily patterns. And it has events & ongoing actions that are exciting, even if more than a little dangerous.

What are the best Sandbox RPG products and why?

My Big 15

It’s a common meme in the RPG blogosphere so I’ll bah-bah and join in.

  1. Dragon Warriors. I cut my RPG teeth on this game so my early RPG memories have no DnD in them.
  2. Tunnels & Trolls. After I got this book I started meshing it with DW but didn’t really know what I was doing.
  3. Twilight 2000. I bought it on recommendation. It took ages to save up for the boxed set. Then played it once and no-one ever wanted to play it again. I ended up using the great equipment lists in other games.
  4. Rolemaster. This became the medieval fantasy staple ruleset, heavily modified and much of it ignored, for many years of high-school gaming. The spell lists and critical strike tables still stay with me. Khara Thel grew out of the world that I GM’d with Rolemaster.
  5. Muties. This was a years of homebrewing TMNT: Roadhogs into something entirely different. We incorporated Ninjas & Superspies, Heroes Unlimited, Villains Unlimited and most of the other TMNT supplements. When the space supplement, Mutants in Orbit, came out it started morphing even further.
  6. Battlelords of the 23rd Century. In an odd synchronicity Muties was turning into Battlelords but without the aliens. Loads of gear and body armour. This took over Muties completely. We played into my late twenties.
  7. Shadowrun. Most of my SR experience was through a MUSH. The Shadowrun Detroit MUSH. It was an education in online gaming but had some moments.
  8. Morrowind. Sandbox on the computer and beautiful at that. I greatly enjoyed exploring the vast wastes and wilds of Morrowind.
  9. SLA Industries. The great setting that never really took off. I still love the production.
  10. Warhammer FRP. 1st edition. I bought this book then sold it to a mate. We played a lot and I had incredibly good luck with my character Wulf Nikenhausen starting as a Labourer with a club. In fact I has such incredible luck with rolling damage for the club that the GM called it the club of death. I bought the Hogshead book and a few supplements in a clearance sale for $20. Still love the artwork and want to use it for Khara Thel.
  11. STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl. Atmospheric shooter with survival and horror elements.
  12. Oblivion. Morrowind taken up an order of magnitude. Even with the magic item creation nerfed a bit. I’m such a fan I even like the soundtrack.
  13. The Riddle of Steel. The greatest game I’ve never played. The incredibly crunchy combat system really digs into the details of sword fighting and the Spiritual Attributes are a great way to reward roleplaying with game-mechanic bonuses.
  14. Diablo II. I put off playing it for years then when I finally did it was great fun. With the magic success chance of 57-75% it worked very nicely.
  15. STALKER: Call of Pripyat. I loved this one so much I wrote a journal about it.
My Big 15