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Stu’s ongoing West Marches-style Old-School Essentials campaign is a year old, so this week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we thought we’d see how things are going (and how many characters have died). And since you can’t really trust the Dungeon Master, we invited two of the players — Justin Wigard and Clay Fleischer — on to share their impressions of…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we look at Shadowgate (1987, 1989), the point-and-click fantasy adventure videogame. Explore a mysterious castle while trying to find a way to stop the Warlock Lord from destroying the world! Tremble in fear as your torch burns low! Get eaten by every monster! Have a soundtrack-induced panic attack! All this an…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we chat with Gavriel Quiroga about his new game, Black Rainbow Society. A sequel of sorts to Hell Night, this game doesn’t feature players in the roles of fiends from hell, but rather normal humans grappling with the knowledge that there is more to existence than the mundane world (a staple theme of ’90s RPGs, …
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At the very end of last year, Bryan Ansell, a man who played a pivotal role in the world of tabletop games, passed away. To understand just how important Ansell was, this week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we chat with Timothy Linward, Wargamer staff writer and author of the forthcoming Grimdark: A Very British Hell. Tim walks us through the early da…
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Where does the game end and real life begin? This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we look at Gameplayers, Stephen Bowkett’s 1986 novel. At first blush, it seems to belong in that silly microgenre of panicky novels dedicated to wondering about how kids can cope with fantasy as powerful as tabletop RPGs (see Mazes & Monsters and Hobgoblin, both 1981…
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Set phasers to stun! This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we check out FASA’s 1982 Star Trek RPG. It’s an interesting game in it’s own right — a hack of Traveller, when it comes down to it — but is also super interesting in regards to fandom, IP canon and licensed RPGs. Climb on board as we explore these strange old worlds! * * * Stu’s book, Monst…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we talk to John Patrick Cooper about Get in the Van, his live music-themed Troika hack. Form a band (hardcore, hair or thrash) in the year 198X, hit the road, do battle with the audience, rock their faces off and get to the next gig. A tight, fun little ode to the road dog life. Also, surprise, Cooper designed …
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There may be a million ways to die, but you’re probably only going to see the first two or three. This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re remembering the classic coin-eating arcade game, Dragon’s Lair (1983). That’s the one that features the cell-shaded, professionally animated (by Don frickin’ Bluth!) adventure of Dirk the Daring that was hidd…
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If the Colour is out of Space it should maybe consider weeding some of its shelves, amirite? This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re going back to witch-haunted Arkham, Massachusetts by way of Chaosium’s latest edition of the Arkham sourcebook (previously known as Arkham Unveiled, H.P. Lovecraft’s Arkham and The Compact Arkham Unveiled). This i…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re checking out Caverns of Thracia (1979)! Considered by some to be the late Jennell Jaquays’ finest work, we talk about some of the ways it differs from her previous Judges Guild module, Dark Tower, the cool way it handles random encounters and its place in the high trinity of ’70s adventure design. Fun Fac…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re continuing our talk with Anthony Meloro about Mystic Punks! This is Part the Second, so be sure to check out last week’s jam to get the full experience. On tap: the imminent Kickstarter for the multiplayer Mystic Punks RPG, the majestic art of Benjamin Marra, trash culture, the healing power of reefer and…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re talking to Anthony Meloro about Mystic Punks! This is Part One, because we got to gabbing so long that we got two episodes worth of chat. Within, we talk about the original Mystic Punks solo game, the imminent Kickstarter for the multiplayer Mystic Punks RPG, the majestic art of Benjamin Marra, trash cult…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re talking about Roger Zelazny’s 1971 novel Jack of Shadows. Gygax included the novel — a high-concept blend of fantasy and science fiction — in Appendix N, but it isn’t one that gets talked about all that often. Perhaps because it is such an unrelentingly ugly book, featuring a protagonist who embraces his …
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we talk to Chuck Kranz and Adam Rose about their forthcoming RPG, Teenage Odyssey. Set in a small town in the early '90s, the game casts players as teens navigating humdrum lives that are periodically thrown into chaos by bizarre supernatural events. Featuring art by Marie Enger and a light and flexible system …
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we take a look at the Cold War curiosity The Price of Freedom (1986). Basically Red Dawn (or Red Scare) the RPG, it seems like a serious attempt at creating a game in the mode of similar military-focused, conservatively minded box sets that were coming out at the same time. On the other hand, it’s by Greg Costi…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we talk to Luke Gearing and David Hoskins, the creative team behind the new RPG Swyvers, from Melsonian Arts Council. In a fictionalized, horrible sort of fantasy London full of corruption and wild magic, the only way to get yours is to take it from somebody else. Rules light, with a focus on collaborative play…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we chat with Joey Royale about the new adventure in Ninja City: Drug Demon Disco, for DCC. A new drug is hitting the streets and turning people into demons — can you and your ninja pals save the city? Can you do it while busting out the best breakdancing moves? Find out on Kickstarter, now! We also chat a littl…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re looking back through videogame history at The Temple of Apshai Trilogy (1985), the classic remake of the original 1979 game and its two expansions. Apshai is maybe (depending on the criteria) the first dungeoncrawler videogame and one of the earliest videogame interpretations of Dungeons & Dragons. The Tr…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast we welcome back friend of the show Mark Sable, who is about to start teaching a class called Writing Adventures for Tabletop RPGs. Seems like something y'all might be interested in. We talk a bit about game design, about teaching games and the nebulous ways we've approached how-to in RPGs. Marks class is eight s…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, Stu's crowing about one of his Christmas gifts, The Meints Guide to Glorantha, by Chaosium president Rick Meints. The books amounts to the definitive guide to all publications to include material on Glorantha in existence (well, all the ones Rick knows about, which is certainly most of them, if not all of them)…
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And we're back! This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, Hambone's got the reins and talking about two books from Goodman Games: the Dungeon Crawl Classics Reference Booklet and How to Write Adventure Modules that Don't Suck. Spoiler: he loves them both! * * * Stu’s book, Monsters, Aliens, and Holes in the Ground is for sale now! Buy it! Patreon? Disc…
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Hello friends! We're running remastered repeats for the holidays. I can't tell you why I thought Black Angel worked for the holidays beyond being similar to that vague, dreamy vibe of The Green Knight (itself a Christmas movie of a sort). Maybe it's just because I got my first Pendragon books for Christmas circa 1991, who knows? Anyway, happy New Y…
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Hello friends! We're running remastered repeats for the holidays. I thought the Coloring Album would, in some way, speak to warm memories of childhood Christmas gifts. Whether or not that's apt, we hope your holidays are rad! Original notes: This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we flip through the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Coloring Album (1979),…
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Hello friends! We weren't planning to go to reruns this soon, but events conspired to prevent the recording of a new episode for this week. We're sorry about that, but also we're sure you'll enjoy revisiting this classic episode. We've got remastered reruns coming on December 25 and January 1 as well, because, well, holidays. We'll be back with a n…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we look at (and listen to) First Quest: The Music, a double LP record of electronic music and narration for an officially licensed (and totally ridiculous) Dungeons & Dragons adventure printed on the sleeves. Is it a precursor to dungeonsynth? Sort of? Is it a precursor to the 1994 First Quest box set for D&D, …
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, Momatoes is back to chat with us about her new RPG, The Marvelous Children of Inang-Uri. It’s a worldmaking game that spans generations, has a splash of hidden traitor mechanics for flavor and involves a culture living in symbiosis with a gigantic creature/entity that they also call home — that’s the world that…
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A couple weeks back, Stu talked about some books that came out in 2023 that he thought were notable. This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, Hambone’s got his own picks for books that are well worth your time. On tap we have the Fairhaven RPG universe from Get Haunted Industries; Neon Lords of the Toxic Wasteland, by Brian Shutter; Minacious Midway f…
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We lost a real legend in Russ Nicholson this year. I can honestly say that Russ and his work sneak into my mind in short order whenever I talk about fantasy art at length, no matter the period. When we recorded this interview back in 2019, it was apparently his first appearance on a podcast, which seems bizarre considering how large his work looms …
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re looking at some cool books that came out in 2023. Perhaps in a novel twist on frequency bias, Stu noticed a bunch of books hitting shelves that, like steak and red wine, seem to pair well with his own Monsters, Aliens, and Holes in the Ground in a variety of ways. So here we are, chatting about Adam Rowe’…
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In January, the Vintage RPG Podcast is going to the Philadelphia Area Gaming Expo (PAGE) to sell some books and play some games, so we thought we’d talk to the expo organizer, Ron Meischker, to see what to expect. Stu’s never been to a game expo! New things are fun and exciting! * * * PAGE runs January 5-7. When buying your pass, be sure to use cou…
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In the tradition of Ozzy Osbourne asking the long-dead Aleister Crowley what went on in his head, this week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we ask the very much alive Max Moon what’s going on in his. As it turns out, he’s working on a third volume of The Abyss of Hallucinations, his RPG setting that merges MÖRK BORG with themes pulled from Crowley’s Bo…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we take a look at The Ancestral Trail (1993), a serialized fantasy fiction released in fortnightly intervals in the UK. Every issue a new environment and a new, monstrous foe. It’s a pretty standard, if sometimes surprisingly gruesome, story, but the real draw is the art by Julek Heller. Amazing stuff! * * * St…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we look at Beyond the Supernatural (1987), Palladium’s horror RPG that anticipates a bunch of mechanics and lore that would be important for Rifts and the Megaversal system. Richard Corben on the cover, Steve Bissette doing tons of interiors, this books is worth it for the art alone. * * * Rest easy, Shane. * *…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we talk about dungeon tiles, specifically Halls of Horror (1986), the set of haunted mansion tiles produced by Games Workshop. We also talk briefly about the board game Mystery Mansion and the fact that Monsters, Aliens, and Holes in the Ground is pretty much IN STORES NOW. * * * Stu’s book, Monsters, Aliens, a…
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It’s just a game, right? This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, Hambone talks to Charlie Menzies about the found footage solo RPG Don’t Play This Game. I was busy with book stuff so I couldn't be on this show, and weirdly, I haven’t seen nor heard from Hambone since. It’s weird. I’m sure he’s fine. Anyway, coming to Kickstarter soon. What’s the wors…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re getting into the spooky season a little early with The Dare (2020), a scenario for Call of Cthulhu that pits some costumed kids against a haunted house and the thoroughly horrific witch that lives there. Originally written by Kevin A. Ross as a somewhat legendary tournament module in the late ‘80s, this m…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we explore the Realm of Chaos, the two-volume opus from Games Workshop dedicated to all things chaotic. Slaves to Darkness (1988) and The Lost and the Damned (1990) detail the four lords of chaos, their armies, the mutations they inspire and so much more, in terms suitable for all the Warhammer games of that pe…
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Pull up a stool and name your poison! This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we chat with W. F. Smith, the mastermind behind Barkeep on the Borderlands! This Ennie Award-winning zine is the product of over thirty collaborators, including 11 guest writers and 17 artists, who worked together to reimagine the classic D&D cavern crawl B2: Keep on the Bo…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we chat with Dillon Morton, the creator of Bloodsport Gambler, a game betting on horrifically brutal arena combat. And, because of all that debt, you can’t afford to lose those bets, so it is also a game about lying, cheating, rigging, sabotaging, sneaking and otherwise finagling any advantage you can scrape to…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re opening up the Arkham Investigator’s Wallet, from the prop maestros at the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. It’s a real leather wallet, stuffed with ‘20s-style IDs, paperwork, newspaper clippings, a trolley coin, a mysterious key and much more. The props tie directly with the scenario book The Dog Walke…
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Climb into the Titan’s ear! This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re talking about Swordthrust (1984), a particularly wild scenario from Mayfair’s Role Aids line of D&D supplements. Despite the generic sounding title, this adventure sees players exploring the brain of a hibernating Titan and navigating his dreams made flesh in order to find an a…
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Contrary to Mick's claim, time was not on our side this past week, so we had to dig into our archive for another remastered rerun. When we redid the fairly recent Erol Otus interview last time, I made a mental note to stretch further back and pluck our interview with Tony DiTerlizzi out of the mists of time. It remains one of my favorite RPG chats,…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re talking about Champions, from Hero Games, a major evolutionary step in point-buy RPG systems, one of the best regarded superhero RPGs of all time AND the cornerstone of the broader, semi-universal Hero System. It’s a whole lot of four-color fun! * * * Stu’s book, Monsters, Aliens, and Holes in the Ground …
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we take a look at The Monster Overhaul, by Skerples, a book that looks to reimagine not just the monsters but the book that contains them and the way we use them in play. It's hugely ambitious, largely successful and full of amazing art by a heap of talented artists; basically a must have for your shelves, folk…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, Stu finds a book he didn’t know he owned: The Armory’s 30-Sided Dice Gaming Tables. It’s weird and mostly useless, but has some nice (though odd) illustrations (by Greg Barrett, who did the cover of The Dragon #1), and, bizarrely, anchors a small line of increasingly useful sourcebooks. Who’d a thunk? * * * Stu…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we look at The Complete Warlock, one of the earliest hacks of the original D&D — the rules were compiled from a homebrew California-area game in 1975 and finally saw print in 1978, only to be buried by the then-fresh Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It’s still an interesting system, especially considering it correc…
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Toys, toys, toys. This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we look at the new Dungeons & Dragons toys released as part of Super7’s ReAction Figures line. As with other ReAction toys, these are old style figures with five points of articulation, in the mode of Kenner’s original Star Wars toys. Deliciously, these figures are based on some iconic charact…
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Stu's got a full plate, so that means a rerun! This week, please enjoy a remastered version of our 2021 interview with legendary RPG artist Erol Otus! * * * Keep up to date on Erol's RPG work by following him on Facebook. Definitely keep an eye out for restocks of his currently sold out line of tees and prints at Bay Merch! Big thanks to Skinner fo…
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we take a look at the strange world of the unknown. We chat about a bunch of books (like Time/Life’s Mysteries of the Unknown) and television shows (somehow In Search Of didn’t come up?), and how the “Unknown” as a topic seemed to have wafted away or transmogrified into “New Age” at the turn of the millennium. …
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This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we take a look at The Dragon #1 (1976), the first issue of one of the most important RPG-focused magazines (also known as Dragon and Dragon Magazine, on and off through its run). We talk a little bit about the magazine’s run, but focus mainly on the issue itself, how simultaneously amateurish and professional i…
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