Thursday, September 21, 2017

It's your turn! - An interview with Diogo Nogueira of Old Skull Publishing

1. How did you get your start roleplaying? What system did you use?
Well, I don't know if that counts, but I believe my initiation was with Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, and then with the Dungeoneer RPG (which is an Advanced Fighting Fantasy version). I played many of their first gamebooks and then started to try make something similar with Dungeoneer. It was only with Tagmar (a Brazilian Fantasy RPG that functioned similar to the TSR Conan RPG) that I really started to understand the differences between gaming books and proper Role Playing Games.

2. How and when did you discover the OSR?
I think it was around 2010 or something. I had just got back to playing RPGs, and bought a bunch of 4th edition D&D books. I tried to play a campaign with them for about an year, but in the whole time, we didn't finish even 3 adventures. It wasn't like the D&D I remembered. Then I started looking around the internet to see what people were playing and I found about this whole "let's take a look into the origins of our hobby" thing and discovered Labyrinth Lord. I immediately wanted to try it out and it worked so fine (in a 3 hour session we did things we took months to accomplish in the 4th edition campaign), I became like an OSR fanatic, hunting everything I could find about the older editions and the things they were inspired now.

3.  Tell me about Old Skull publishing, how did it start?
One of the things that I found really fascinating about the OSR was how everyone had their own vision of how the game was, and how it could be, and even shared these visions with the community, publishing games of their own. It was really refreshing. I realised we didn't really need a big company dictating what game we should play, how the setting was, what story we should be telling now. We could do our own thing. The game was really ours, and we could do anything with it. So over the years I played many many OSR games and each one there was something I really liked, but didn't have something another game had. So, the logical step was to make a game myself that would combine what I wanted to have, stealing bits and parts from a bunch of other games and put it out there, and see how it goes.

4.  Tell me about "Sharp Swords & Sinister spells".
Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells is a game I made for myself. It's a light sword and sorcery RPG with strong Old School influences. It's not so light that you can't have significant mechanical bits and the rules almost don't matter. They do, and they have an important impact on it, but are easily manageable. If you need to create a character, you can do it in a few minutes. Need a monster? It's even quicker. It is inspired mainly by the stories of Robert E. Howard's Conan and Fritz Leiber Lankhmar series, although there are influences of other authors such as Clark Ashton Smith, Lovecraft, Michael Moorcock. And the actual system is a mixture and reimagination of various bits of different systems (it has parts inspired by Black Hack, White Hack, DCC RPG, Beyond the Wall, Call of Cthulhu, Edge of the Empire, Fiasco, and a bunch more), most of them from the OSR, but there is a thing or two outside of this realm of influence. I wanted to combine everything I liked in other games into my own, and the result it something unique, but that seems familiar too.

So, in the end, SS&SS is a simple yet robust system, that let me create things for it quite easily, without requiring too much work from me, while also giving me the elements a want to work with for the style of sword and sorcery adventures I like.

5.  What are you currently playing?
I am currently playing Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells and Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. I am beginning a SS&SS urban crawl kind of campaign, inspired by the Lankhmar stories, with a bunch of generators to create gaming elements, hooks, places, NPCs, conflicts and other stuff (and I plan to publish the setting and city tool kit for the game later). For DCC RPG, I basically play a bunch of one-shots of the modules.

6. If you could campaign in any world which would it be?
That's a tough question. I love playing The One Ring, which takes place in Middle Earth,  Star Wars RPGs, that happen in that universe... But I think one of the settings that really fascinates me is Edgar R. Burroughs' Barsoom. It is futuristic but medieval at the same time. The ruins, the mysteries, the different civilizations that live and lived there, the legends and superstitions. I guess I really want a good Barsoomian campaign someday!

7.  Tell me about the SS&SS Addendum, and spell books.
Well, when I published SS&SS core book, I wanted it to be compact, having everything you really need to play a sword and sorcery RPG, with some tools. But the Addendum is that little extra, that spice you can put on your food to make it more tasty. The Addendum brings some optional rules inspired by the sword and sorcery genre, like a Luck boost drunk people receive, a rule for a strong bond with your adventuring companion (like Fafhrd and Grey Mouser have), carousing, the use of true names and things like that. Not to mention a whole lot of tables and generators to help players and referees come up with stuff during play, or during prep time.

8. Who is your favourite artist and or author?
Well, art wise, the name that always comes to my mind is Peter Mullan. I don't know what it is, but his art really leaves me amazed. I can stare at it for hours. He has something of Erol Otus in the early days but with something more. The details, the scenes, the weirdness of it. They are really something to be studied, and I do try to do that with my own art.

In terms of RPG authors, that's a tougher one. I really enjoy Harley Stroh adventures. They are so pulpy, so exciting and have a fell of sword and sorcery shenanigans that's right up my alley. As for proper game rules author, I really like the style of how DCC RPG was written. It's really inspiring, and is not just a gaming manual but a style and inspirational book. So, I guess Joseph Goodman.

But it just know occurred to me you might be talking about literature authors. Well, as of right now, I really like Fritz Leiber. Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories are exciting, sometimes dark, but they always have a light side to it too, some funny bits that makes you smile now and them.

9. What is one of your favorite adventures other than something that you’ve released (or worked on)?
Hummm... Let me think. As I said, Harley Stroh stuff is really right up my alley. I love Tower of the Black pearl, even though it is pretty straight forward. But it mixture rumors of legendary places, pirates, mysterious wizards, a tower that comes out of the ocean. In game play, it has a time limit that pressures the players. There are puzzles and problems they need to figure out themselves, without rolling dice. There is opportunity for roleplay and epic combat. There is everything in there.

10. When you get a chance to play a character, what type of PC do you like to play?
I don't get to play as much as I'd like, but when I do, I usually like to play the seedy scoundrel type of guy. Like Grey Mouser or Han Solo. The type that can handle themselves in combat, but prefer to solve problems with a bit of wit and subterfuge.

11. What are you most excited about in the RPG scene currently?
Setting toolkits, that generate stuff for you to play and use on the table, instead of just reading it to memorize details. Like Yoon-Suin, Hubris, Vornheim and things like that. Setting that are tools for you to play them and create content for the actual game, instead of just boring descriptions of every single detail you will never actually use in play. I really want to prepare the SS&SS setting like that!

12.  Would you rather be a spell slinger or a beefy warrior?
Well, considering I am all about sword and sorcery, and that sorcery corrupts and deforms you in this type of fantasy, I will stick with the beefy warrior. I want to find ancient gold and spend with mundane pleasures!

13.  What are your plans for Old Skull Publishing this year?
Wow, so many! But I need to focus at one at a time to finish them! I am currently writing a few short adventures to release for SS&SS and at the same time writing Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, which will be Science Fantasy version of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells. It will be literally sword and sorcery in space. Barbarians side by side with robots, aliens, sorcerers, psionics, mechanics and everything. It's going to be like Dark Sun meets Star Wars meets Hyborea or something. After that, back to SS&SS with it's setting!

14.  Sushi or Dim Sum?
I don't know if there is a secret meaning behind this, but I love sushi. I do enjoy a Yakisoba though!

15. Where can we find you on the web?
You can find me on Google+ (, Facebook (, Instagram ( and Twitter (@diogoxp). Old Skull Publishing stuff can be found at RPGNow ( and Lulu (

Monday, September 18, 2017

d20 dank places

1. Crawling across the floor are six humans missing their lower torso.

2.  Strewn haphazardly about are various rusted torture implements, a large dark stain occupies most of the floor.

3. Ooze drips from a chair nailed to the ceiling.

4. A terrifying mural covers most of the wall, it is drawn in feces and blood.

5. A full deck of cards is staked indivually to the floor by 52 daggers.

6.  All of the archways in the room have a greyish phantasmal coating in the empty space. It ripples when a breeze touches it.

7.  A small old crone sits near a pool of black water, she holds a wooden stake in her hand, her eyes have a faint purplish glow.

8.  Green crystals hang from the ceiling, at various lengths. On the floor are the remains of a fire, a few pieces of unburned parchment lie near.

9.  Thousands of runes are drawn all over the room, the walls, floor and ceiling. A light wisp of smoke is slowly appearing from a crack in the floor.

10.  The room is devoid of anything, small luminscent orbs float around.

11.  The rotting carcass of a large animal fills most of the room, clawing and scratching can be heard coming from underneath it.

12.  Chained to a wall is a haggard human, he looks malnourished. Tattoo all over his arms are what appear to be the writings of a madman. He smiles, and looks down at his feet.

13.  Murky green webs fill the doorway, a low moan comes from within the room.

14.  Water pours thru the ceiling, a small chalice sits directly below. It remains empty.

15.  A pile of skeletal remains are arranged in the shape of a pyramid.

16.  The room is filled with dust, it's hard to breathe. There are cobwebs everywhere. On the floor is a set of footprints that appear, and then they get covered in dust right away.

17.  A grotesque chess set lies in front of you, small deformed children are the pieces, they are all made of stone.

18.  Bubbles of blackness pitch forward from a pit. A upside down religious symbol made of wood hangs from a alcove above the pit.

19.  Inside the dark room is a jar filled with toes, an old torch that is still warm to the touch, and a broken lyre.

20. In the floor is a large steel metal door, across the room a set of keys in the socket of a large skull.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Old School Awesome At OBS - Sept 15

Good Morning! (alternatively Good Afternoon, Good Night!)

Here is the awesome.

FOR THE MOTHERLAND:  a collection of support missions designed for WWII: Operation WhiteBox.  $7.29 CAD

FRINGEWORTHY D20:  the original RPG of Inter Dimensional exploration, presents this d20 edition, filled with information, scenarios, friends and foes, aliens, equipment and artifacts.  $24.82 CAD

ELDERS PLAYMAT:  Generic counter playmat.  PWYW

MALICE FROM THE MIDDLE VALE:  Looks like a choose your own adventure kinda book.  $3.23 CAD

SAVE YOURSELF FROM HELL:  NEW Alpha Blue adventure from Venger. $4.87 CAD

FROM THE MAW OF THE WURM:  Labyrinth Lord Adventure.  PWYW






THE PIRATE HACK 2E:  Looks like version 2.0, obviously a pirate hack of the black hack. $4.86 CAD





Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Stoner - Alternative Class for Dark Places & Demogorgons

The Stoner (Sub class of Rebel) 

You spend a inordinate amount of time out of class, smoking grass behind the janitor's shed.  Paranoia & Conspiracy theories are always on your mind. You are pretty mellow and lack any real worry about life.

Prerequisites:  Intelligence 

Level 1 - Beginning Skills Knowledge General, Select one of the following:  Language, Mechanics, Paranormal, Science.  You get that skill and and get a +1 on all rolls for that skill.  -2 to all skill rolls towards police. 

Gain Ranged Weapons Skill (or a +1 if you have it)
+1 to attack rolls, or +1 to any INT based Skill
+2 to all Saving Throws
Gains dream bong!

Starting Equipment:  A lighter, rolling papers, a backpack, hard cheese, 1d6 dollars, metal pipe and screens, half a gram of mary jane. 

Man: You wanna get high, man?
Pedro: Does Howdy Doody got wooden Balls, man? - Cheech & Chong 

DP&D Kickstarter is now LIVE! Go Check it out.
SURVIVE THIS!! Dark Places & Demogorgons RPG Core Rulebook

Monday, September 11, 2017

A review of the character classes in Dark Places & Demogorgons

Dark Places & Demogorgons has a huge variety of classes, you can play as the following: The Kid Scientist, The Nerd, The Geek, The Jock, Extreme Athlete, The Karate Kid, Break Dancer, Goth, Metal Head, Preppy, The Princess, Teen Heart Throb, Bully, The Hood, and last but not least the Punk Rocker.

Since I was basically a nerd punk rocker, I decided to review those 2.  As well, I took Judo when I was kid (i was terrible at it) however I loved Ralph Macchio, so I will also review the Karate Kid.

The Nerd 
You've always been picked on for being different and for being smarter than everyone else... Well I was always picked on anyways.

You must have a Intelligence of 13, you automatically get the following skills:  Knowledge, General & Science, a -1 to Strength, CON, & CHA, and a +1 to INT And Wis.  I like it already!

Advancement is kinda nifty in DP&D, All of the classes go to level 5 and as you go your skills increase and some attributes.  In the case of the Nerd, they get a +1 to all knowledge rolls at level 2, a +1 to Intelligence at level 3.  (That's as far as I go for now, you'll have to buy the book!).  The game itself has waves of Fifth Edition as far as the classes go & leveling up, but it easy.

Starting gear is funny: Home Computer, home library, library card, a flashlight, 4d6 dollars and a revenge of the nerds poster.

I'd like to add some silly black glasses, a plaid shirt button up to your neck, possibly suspenders, defiantly a Kleenex or two in your pocket (allergies!)

Obviously there are a pile of great pop culture references for nerds, most of the crew from Big Bang Theory, Thelma, Urkel, George McFly.

The Punk Rocker 
No prerequisites needed for this one! Except maybe a disrespect for authority, and a bad attitude. Starting off you get art & music, driving and intimidation skills.  - 2 to all skill checks against authority figures (LMFAO awesome)

As you level your armour class increases, fear and intimidation checks, and so on

Starting equipment: punk clothes, leather jacket with patches, pocket knife, punk rock handbook

I'll add a knock off stratocaster guitar, a package of band aids, a skateboard missing a wheel

Obviously you can pull influences from Punk Music, Punky Brewster, a few of the lost boys. Marty McFly.

The Karate Kid

Prerequistes: dex 9, and Con 8.
You start off with basic athletics, martial arts.  You get a +1 dex and a -1 charisma (due to people thinking your a bit weird).

As you level you get bonuses to your AC, and physical attacks, extra melee

Starting equipment: a Gi, pair of nunchuks, throwing starts, last dragon VHS,

Obviously The Karate Kid you can draw an influence from, as well bruce lee, chuck norris,

I love all the humour written into the character classes!  There are a lot of great throw back quotes that get you in the right frame of mind to roll up your character!

The Kickstarter launches tomorrow! 
Check out the video (I wish i could embed it)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

A whole WACK of new old school stuff! - Sept 9

Hurricane Harvey Bundle: There is a bunch of great stuff in this bundle

from Goodman Games, including Sailors Of The Starless Sea! (For DCC)

$12.14 CAD 

Beast Hack + Bundle :Includes the following:  The Beast Hack, Beast Hack 2 Monster Madness, 
Beast Hack 3, The Item Hack, The NPC Hack. $4.86 CAD.  

The Forbidden Caverns OF Archaia Kickstarter Package:  This special collection is intended for 
distribution to kickstarter backers $89.11 CAD and the GM Screen Inserts.

Wormskin Issue 7:  Old School Mag $6.07 CAD

Riddles Of The Sphinx:  OSRIC Adventure $4.25 CAD

Underbelly Of The Phoenix: Adventure setting for Filbar $3.65 CAD

Aerie Of The Cloud Giant Strategos: Adventure for OSRIC $9.73 CAD

The Black Knights Revenge:  OSRIC Adventure $4.25 CAD

Valley Of The Damned:  OSRIC Adventure $4.25 CAD

The Wicked Woeful Web:  Swords & Wizardry Adventure $1.25 CAD

The Black Knight Rides:  OSRIC Adventure $4.25 CAD

An Invitation To Dinner:  OSRIC Adventure $4.25 CAD

Dead Men Tell No Tales: OSRIC Adventure $4.25 CAD

Castle In The Clouds:  OSRIC Adventure $4.25 CAD

The Blood Pharaoh: Swords & Wizardry Adventure $1.25 CAD

DCC Quick Start Rules:  Speaks for itself $2.52 CAD

B/X Essentials Core Rules:  A revamped version of B/X $6.07 CAD

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

the old door in the basement

The light spills from the edges of the door
Mist creeps thru the cracks
It's been years since it's been opened, 
Let alone had any light coming from it
The small room is unattended save for the rats
The kegs remain dry 
Only whispers exist of the mysteries behind the door 
in the basement 
Where no one ever ventures forth 
The brave hero's sit at the bar
An old man mentions the door 
The barkeep ponders the wonderful ale that used to come from the depths 
There might be treasure down there, 
There maybe death 
There are surely traps 
The hero's go off to sleep, and dream of gold 
When the morning light shines, they decide to venture forth, into the depths, behind the old door in the basement.