Gates & Glamours Recent Posts

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Around the OSR

a Desolate Dustcrawl: the Sunken Tomb of Honors  A few months ago, I tried to arrange a community project called the Desolate Dustcrawl, in which sixteen different people directed the creation of one dungeon each, contributing additions to each other's dungeons. These different adventure locations would be put ...
Road to Broken Hill
Road to Broken Hill I thought at some point i could expand my broken hill setting to include trips to coastal cities perhaps on trade missions. So one trail to Adelaide one to Sydney one to Melbourne. So far I have detailed Olary to ...
All Problems Solved In dungeon mastering a game, you're being asked to accomplish three impossible tasks.  First, you're expected to learn and implement a vast number of rules, any of which may come up at any time during play.  This is made harder in ...
Deal of the Day - Bone Age (OSR)
Deal of the Day - Bone Age (OSR) One of the things I love about the OSR is the ability to mix and match from the various rulesets without breaking anything. Rulesets that are genre or setting specific are great resources for use with other systems. Bone Age ...
Character Creation Challenge: The Dark Eye
Character Creation Challenge: The Dark Eye This is my week to tackle games I have always wanted to play, or play more of.  Today is the day I take on one I have had sitting on my shelf since 2017 or so, The Dark Eye.  The Game: ...
Post where I recommend a bunch of shitty itch.io games
Post where I recommend a bunch of shitty itch.io games So yesterday's post was kinda negative, so let's make this one positive instead. All these games are free or pay-what-you-want, so you don't think this post is advertising! They're also not all technically from itch.io, but you get what I ...
Mount Saint-Mikkel, D&D adventure review
Mount Saint-Mikkel, D&D adventure review By Tollkraft
Dondrobat Productions
OSR (5e?)
Levels 4-6
In a secluded corner of the countryside, on top of a hill stands Mount Saint-Mikkel. An ancient power awakened there and since then, the region has been subject to raids by the ...
News - Saddle-stitch to be Discontinued at OneBookShelf / DriveThruRPG
News - Saddle-stitch to be Discontinued at OneBookShelf / DriveThruRPG I got this email yesterday and talked about it on last night's podcast, but it's important enough to both publishers and their customers that I felt I needed to share it here too.From DriveThruRPG:Dear publishers, Our printer, Lightning Source, has informed ...
Tolkienian Science Fantasy - Replacing the PC Species
Tolkienian Science Fantasy - Replacing the PC Species Recently, Trey of From the Sorcerer's Skull proposed a worldbuilding concept that interested me. How would it change the game to replace the species available to the player characters?Trey first proposed imaging a fantasy setting without elves, dwarves, or hobbits, ...
Jungle Ruins
Jungle Ruins Jungle Ruins: Return To Monster IslandWhen you land at monster Island hopefully it is one of the civilised missions or settlements where you can become acclimatised and recruit some of the degenerate scum we generously call explorers. Once you have ...
OSR: Gun Witch
OSR: Gun Witch                                                    artist unknown"Control the things you can control, you maggot.  Let everything else take a flying fuck at you, and if you must go down, go down with your guns blazing."- Cort, The Drawing of the Three The Servants of ...
Flooded Catacombs
Flooded Catacombs Flooded Catacombs (300 dpi promo)
Bloody claw marks lead from the smashed door of the charcoaler’s house into the Big Sumac Woods. In the undergrowth where the trees refuse to grow tall are ancient stoneworks – a well, a few ...
Character Creation Challenge: DragonQuest 1st Edition
Character Creation Challenge: DragonQuest 1st Edition I am actually quite thankful for this challenge right now.  I feel my creative batteries are in need of a recharge and this has been a help.  The Game: DragonquestEveryone has that "one game" the game they admire from afar, want ...
The weird Demographics of Vampire populations
The weird Demographics of Vampire populations One thing that has always been left very unclear about Vampire: The Masquerade (maybe in part deliberately) is the question of the scale at which the vampire society of a given domain exists. To some degree, the concept of the ...
[New Spell] Loffkar’s Life Drain Loffkar’s Life Drain
‘That’s a nasty cut,’ observed Vistis the Blue Mage as he pointed to a bleeding laceration on the leg of his adventuring companion, Stork. The latter looked down and grimaced. The duo had just been ambushed by ...
Post where I complain about the updates to a shitty itch.io game
Post where I complain about the updates to a shitty itch.io game So you ever played Juice Galaxy; formerly Juice World? It was one of my favorite "weird" games. Totally free game, physics based, with weird and wonderful things to see. Back when I first played it, it was just a few ...
One Hundred Holy Symbols
One Hundred Holy Symbols Here is a quick table for if you ever get put on the spot having to come up with a Holy Symbol or other assorted religious iconography. It can be fun sometimes to “work backwards” when establishing what a given ...
A Question Benign I'd like to leave this as an open question, relating to my last post.I'm of the opinion that humans don't have a choice about the sexual orientation, their physical reaction to drugs or alcohol, and certainly not the number of ...
The Ruined Tower of Zenopus Goes Platinum!
The Ruined Tower of Zenopus Goes Platinum!  Updated Image for the DMs Guild Product PageI meant to post this earlier, but last month the Ruined Tower of Zenopus achieved Platinum Best Seller status (1001+ copies sold) on DMs Guild. The burst of interest from the in-depth video ...
The Danger-Snake! (and others) THE DANGER-SNAKEThe Danger-Snake the Danger-Snake,The terrible cake-striped Danger-Snake.Its form doth flow and its eyes doth glow,With a regular pulsing, long and low.With high-visibility Battenburg stripes,And eyes that flash like ambulance lights,Hope it don't see you, hope it ain't there,Over your ...
Alignment Experiment: Replacing Law and Chaos with Light and Dark
Alignment Experiment: Replacing Law and Chaos with Light and Dark  Light and Dark: an Alternate Alignment SystemThe core alignment system in early versions of D&D and many OSR games focuses on the law/chaos axis. An alternate alignment system is presented here that uses the good/evil axis instead, but also adds ...
WandaVision: Inspiration for Episode 1
WandaVision: Inspiration for Episode 1 I’ve watched the first two episodes of the new Marvel Cinematic Universe TV series on Disney+, WandaVision. Not sure yet if I will do a review of that yet, although that would be a ways down the road. Need to ...
The Singing Ice, D&D adventure review
The Singing Ice, D&D adventure review By Désirée Nordlund
Self Published
Generic
Level ?
The party enters a castle that at first seems to be abandoned. But something is not right. It is empty and cold but clean and cared for. The princess has been turned ...
Slushpile 7: Archive Dredging Edition Slushpiles Past: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 I have on my computer a folder containing writings that span from 2009-2017. Nearly all of it is terrible, and seeing as how I'm certainly not going to return to it, I ...
The Unperson and the Spacer (Deep Space Bitches)
The Unperson and the Spacer (Deep Space Bitches) There are people that the world tries to make you forget. Tries to make your eyes glaze over, part of the scenery, not worth your time and most certainly not worth your money. And yet these people are essential - ...
It's a Sprawl World After All - a Module for Shadowrun
It's a Sprawl World After All - a Module for Shadowrun      Given the prominence of Cyberpunk in culture with recent...events, my players were interested in playing a ttrpg with cyberpunk elements. Given that I don't have any copy of Cyberpunk besides the abysmal V3, I chose to go with ...
Spoiling the Keep (p. 4)
Spoiling the Keep (p. 4) Just continuing from where I left off... There's more I want to say about the humanoids living in B2's so-called "Caves of Chaos," especially the WHY of their presence...why exactly have they chosen to make the caves their home? Certainly communities ...
Thoughts on Being a Good Caller
Thoughts on Being a Good Caller In old-school D&D parlance, a "caller" is a player who acts as a designated suggester for group actions in situations where collective decision-making is required. When a party is discussing plans, it is also the caller who reports the "final ...
Through Ultan's Door Does ZineQuest 3!
Through Ultan's Door Does ZineQuest 3!  I will be launching Through Ultan's Door Issue 3 on Kickstarter for ZineQuest 3. I know this has been a long time coming. This new issue is more ambitious than the previous issues. I hope it's worth the wait. Through Ultan's Door 3 presents ...
Getting Classy with Equipment So I find myself in a weird place in this hobby. For years I played a regular weekly campaign, over a decade, going from 3.5 to pathfinder to 5e, until life and work got in the way a few years ...
Miscellany - Songs for Ohio
Miscellany - Songs for Ohio . "Ohio" by Over the Rhine, Ohio . "Carry Me Ohio" by Sun Kil Moon, Ghosts of the Great Highway . "Ohio" by Modest Mouse, This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About . "Teacup Woozy" by Holopaw, Holopaw . "Ohio" performed by The Dandy ...
Rat Master Redux
Rat Master Redux  I'm in the process of setting up a generic fantasy game using the GLoG for some friends, most of whom are new to the TTRPG scene. One of which wants to play a Rat Master. Not a problem, I love ...
Omphalos - Tarot-based City Generator
Omphalos - Tarot-based City Generator  Do you like "town" sessions? Limping home from a dungeon, counting your filthy lucre, finding an inn, feasting and drinking? Do you like to plan your downtime actions—things you’re doing while staying in the city? Do you like to zoom in on ...
Majestic Fantasy RPG Release, Wilderlands Deal, and more.
Majestic Fantasy RPG Release, Wilderlands Deal, and more.  Happy New Year everyone! It is 2021 and several Bat in the Attic Games items are happening right out of the gate. Basic Rules for the Majestic Fantasy RPG.I got the proof copies of the Basic Rules and and they look ...
Progress on Dungeon Bitches
Progress on Dungeon Bitches So. 2020 has been a heck of a year. In march, right as the 'rona hit, I started work on Dungeon Bitches as a project. It's a bit of a departure for me - a storygame about feelings with an overt message ...
10 Stupid yet Robust Games for Video Calls
10 Stupid yet Robust Games for Video Calls 2020 is a weird year. A lot of people are relying on video calls for holiday gatherings.This is fine, but it does limit the type of holiday games that can be played. For some participants, setting up a video call ...
Muster
Muster Eero Tuovinen is crowd-funding a discussion about old school play: Muster: A Friendly Primer to Challengeful Dungeoneering. Why, you might ask, is another primer useful, given the existence of Finch’s Old School Primer, Principia Apocrypha, and various fragmentary discourses scattered across ...
OD&D Combat Modifiers Compendium
OD&D Combat Modifiers Compendium There's a surprisingly small number of combat modifiers (adjustments to the combat rolls) in Original D&D. What did Gary and Dave think were important then? Using the 7th printing, let's take a look:  Volume 1: Men & MagicFire missiles at ...
The Inn Between
The Inn Between  This all basically grew from the idea of What If Spirited Away, But D&D?First of all, wiser souls have spoken of this before.  The ruleset would be GLOG.  Level-ups would come from only two places: Treasures and Friends.  Also everyone is children:During character ...
Still Alive  It's been  a crazy year since the last post.I got married last Halloween. Yay!My diabetes kicked my ass. Boo!I've been in physical decline since before winter. My balance and stamina have been severely compromised. I am on oxygen. I cannot ...
Sometimes, the best move is not to play...
Sometimes, the best move is not to play... I had to do something really hard this weekend, I had to cancel my monthly tabletop Zoom AD&D game, as well as my bi-weekly online AD&D game. I'm taking a break.It's been happening for the past couple of weeks now, ...
Cafe Prost and the Little Red Notebook The Jackalope is here, and requires a SACRIFICE.Anne requested the following gift:The Coffee House - Cafe Prost!It is well known in Regensburg, city of culture, that revolution is brewing. The Duke’s tyranny can only continue for so long, and the ...

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About This Site

RetroRoleplaying.com started out as a site devoted to out-of-print, unsupported, and/or out-of-style tabletop roleplaying games (and modern “retro-clones” of those games). While we have over one hundred pages devoted to this, as of 2010 we are probably better known as the publisher of free Microlite20 variant games designed to reproduce the feel and style of “old school” editions of the “worlds most popular tabletop RPG” including the popular (and free) games Microlite74Microlite78, and Microlite81.

While it may surprise many people, the earlier editions of classic RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons sold many more copies than the newer D20, 4e, and 5e versions. These once very popular games are available in hardcopy via Amazon or eBay (and many are available in PDF)– and are still being played today. Retroclones are much less expensive, however (often free in PDF form).

Many people prefer older tabletable roleplaying games because of their less complex, easier to modify rules and their “feel.” While many 3.x and 4e games feel more like playing a computer game around a table with much emphasis on optimal character building and detailed tactical combat, pre-D20 games feel more being in a movie or novel — the emphasis is what the characters do in the campaign world as opposed to what skills and feats are on their character sheet.