Our debt to the Wizard of Chicago

Posted in Uncategorized by akesher on May 5, 2010

So, I’ve been waiting to write this sorta naively hoping Mike would change his mind, put up his blog, and keep going like he hadn’t been gone. Looks like that ain’t gonna happen, so all I can say is, chgowiz, sorry I didn’t write this sooner.

Mike’s a passionate guy, a straight-shooter, and TARGA, not to mention the OSR in general, couldn’t have asked for a better champion. He helped save us from inertia, built our presence on the Web, freely gave up copious amounts of time to spread the word, and spearheaded our first ever Charity Auction to benefit the Gygax Family Memorial Fund.  His blog was read by good-lord-who-knows how many people, and you could always count on a thoughtful post, a spirited discussion, or a new and intriguing project.

I can’t pretend to understand all his reasons for cutting loose from the environs, but I can respect that he understands it. It’s also hard to write this thank-you post without it sounding at least a bit like a eulogy, but that it most definitely is not.

Mike, we know you’re still out there. Thanks for your time, optimism, and creativity, and I’m still hopeful to see you across the gaming table some day!

Aaron Kesher

Tagged with: ,

More ITGW Goodness

Posted in OSR News, Uncategorized by Victor Raymond on April 6, 2010

Here’s Rafael from Brazil: “March 27 we had our ITGW game. Unfortunately, just 3 people showed up, but lots of players from other states gave us good feedback on the event, as how they thought it was a great idea and such.

“I DMed ‘The Goblin’s Lair- The Red Hand Trail’, a adventure for beginners using the ‘New! Classic Dungeons & Dragons‘ black box game, with pre gen characters, miniatures and some tiles. All to introduce 2 friends to their first RPG game ever, and the other one to the ‘true way of gaming.’

“I started talking about what was a RPG, then explained the basics and then began the game. It started very well, as the characters (a dwarf, a wizard and a elf, all 2nd level) got hired to eliminate the goblin menace that threatened the village. They explored a little, but decided to go AGAINST their own thoughts and went to a blocked path. So, they used force and got the rocks away (one of the new players even said ‘wow, the goblins would never had the strength to put those rocks here!.’ (Editor’s Note: that might’ve been a sign that perhaps that wasn’t the smartest idea….)

“The thing is that they released a wight, and that was the end of the adventure: everyone was slain by the 4** HD monster. A hour and a half game full of laughs and good moments! In the end, I gave out and explained the ‘quick primer’ guide, translated by me, and got the points where they ‘failed’, like not protecting the mage, not trying to ‘finish’ the cave and such. The payer who had ealier experiences with 3.x and 4 ed said ‘oh, that was great! my DM never puts a challenge (monster) stronger than the players.’

Now as I´ve wrote the experience in our site, other people can see how much fun it was and maybe next year, they could do the same!

link (in portuguese):http://www.vorpal.com.br/2010/03/31/red-hand-trail-meu-jogo-na-itgw/

Tyler in Vermont posted about this in comments to the last post, but here’s a bit more for everyone to see:

Labyrinth Lord: Downward to Adventure!
Left to right: Lasoleg the Elf, Gringo the Halfling, Bob the Cleric and Pope the Dwarf. Fittingly, Dingus the Thief cannot be seen.
For International Traditional Gaming Week, I rounded up some players to delve into Castle of the Mad Archmage using the Labyrinth Lord rules. For most of the people at the table, it was their first time with an old school ruleset, including myself. On their way to explore Castle Greyhawk for fame and fortune, Lasoleg the elf, Gringo the halfling, Bob the cleric, Dingus the thief and Pope the dwarf found themselves abruptly tumbling down into unexplored depths when a hidden quicksand pit deposited them on the outskirts of a sprawling underground complex.” (More adventuring goodness on his blog.)

Thanks to everyone who made ITGW a success this Spring!

Tagged with:

Spring ITGW Success!

Posted in OSR News by Victor Raymond on March 30, 2010


This is exactly the sort of response we’ve been looking for – gamers discovering what the Old School Renaissance is all about, and getting excited about it.

Tavis Allison reports that the Compleat Strategist game went well: “We had upwards of 35 people at the Arneson gameday this afternoon; I do believe a good time was had by all, except for one person who left Joe’s AD&D game because it got too loud in the Strategist’s basement – a good problem to have, even if it wasn’t entirely our own crowd that was responsible (we had five tables of games, but there were also three of Warmachine players and one of an unrelated D&D group).

“One of the people at my table had never played a tabletop RPG before! He’d gotten interested in it after listening to the Penny Arcade and Robot Chicken podcasts, and this event brought him out to try gaming in person.”

JoetheLawyer reports on his Castle Zagyg event, also a part of the combo Dave Arneson Gameday and TARGA ITGW event: “We had a good time. Lots of laughing, and “Oh Shit!” moments, especially after the nefarious Gygaxian group teleport to a random part of the dungeon, and a fall into a 10′ pit trap. When the Hippogriff carried off and ate the sturdy pack mule and large sack full of trap testing chickens, it wasn’t too bad of a moment either :)”

Forest Ray from Michigan reports: “the ITGW event at evolution games was a success at three games with five people each for a grand total of fifteen.”

Norman Harmon says: “In honor of International Traditional Gaming Week I ran my “B2 Caves of Chaos” for some of the local D&D Meetup crew this past Sunday.”

Two views of Norman’s International Traditional Gaming Week B2 game – lots of fun being had!

One of his players commented: “Thumbs up to the death & dismemberment table, which gave everyone a second chance, as both Clerics were doling out the cure light wounds asap. The simplicity of the rules and the jovial energy of the players was intoxicating. I’m totally up for another old school game.”
Another one of Norman’s players, Flip, comments in his blog on what it was like to play Old School for the first time.

Last but certainly not least are videos from the massive Chainmail miniatures game at Gary Con! Check ’em out!

Tagged with:

This Week in the OSR

Posted in Uncategorized by Victor Raymond on March 27, 2010

We’re taking a break as we decide what is the best way to improve the “This Week in the OSR” column.

Meanwhile, there will be TARGA representation at North Texas RPG Con and GenCon Indy! Updates about this spring’s ITRW will be up shortly.

We also have a number of interesting projects underway, soon to be launched. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback this past week – we appreciate your interest and support!

Gary Con!

Posted in Uncategorized by Victor Raymond on March 22, 2010

On behalf of TARGA, I made the trip to Lake Geneva to Gary Con to present a check for $350 to Luke Gygax for the Gygax Family Memorial Fund. This was an amazing opportunity to help support Gary Con, and further TARGA’s stated purpose “to assist in promoting traditional gaming, recruiting new players into the fold, and providing organizational support for judges.” If this ensures that there is a Gary Con 3 next year, then we are definitely doing our job.

Here are some photos from the event; I had an absolutely wonderful time, and look forward to being there next year. Thanks to everyone who helped make this donation happen, including Gene R. for the photos, and specifically Michael Shorten, without whom this would not have taken place.

(I’m standing on the left, with the presentation check, and Luke Gygax is on the right in the black long-sleeve Gary Con T-shirt)

Check presentation 1 of 3

Check presentation 2 of 3

Check presentation 3 of 3

Luke Gygax presenting medallion to Tom Wham

Luke Gygax presenting medallion to Bill Hoyer

Luke Gygax presenting medallion to Jeff Easley

Recent OSR Controversy

Posted in Uncategorized by Victor Raymond on March 21, 2010

We would like to take a moment to recognize that a great deal of discussion has been generated over the recent TARGA news post, specifically about “I Hit It With My Axe” – Zak’s new project which debuted on The Escapist. It has engendered a lot of debate, which is generally a good thing, and no small amount of hurt feelings, which we regret.

We are interested in what you think about this topic – do you feel that concern about adult issues is warranted? Conversely, is censorship an issue here? With so much going on in the OSR, what should we pay attention to – and how do we figure that out? Share your thoughts and feelings – and in a polite and respectful manner, please. Thanks!

This Week in the OSR – Saturday, March 20, 2010

Posted in OSR News by James Smith on March 20, 2010

New Releases!

Fight On! #8 – Winter 2010 has Arrived! In Print for $9.99, or available as a pdf for $7.00.

Surrounded on all sides by monstrous aliens, cruel demigods, and ancient lich-kings? Pull out your +4 FightOn8front Plasma Blaster and Fight On! Issue 8, dedicated to cover artist Erol Otus, is ready to ROCK YOUR GAME with new races, classes, spells, tables, gods, monsters, traps, reviews, a ‘desert sandbox’ minicampaign, two longer adventures, eight minidungeons, and lots of other goodies to help you take it to the next level – or stop the PCs from getting there! With art and articles by Erol Otus, Kevin Mayle, Mark Allen, Lee Barber, Peter Jensen, Steve Robertson, Samuel Kisko, Patrick Farley, Robert Lionheart, Ramsey Dow, Jeff Rients, Gabor Lux, Age of Fable, Baz Blatt, Zachary Houghton, Erin “Taichara” Bisson, Del L. Beaudry, Geoffrey O. Dale, Michael Curtis, Tavis Allison, James Maliszewski, Tony Dowler, and many, many more, this issue is jam-packed with the old-school action adventure you crave. Don’t miss out – grab it today!

If you haven’t used it yet, the Lulu code Ides is good for the month of March, granting a 10% discount on any order. A new issue of Fight On! is always a treat and I can’t wait to read this one!


Rended Press has released its first, full length adventure: Temple of the Ghoul. Available as a free pdf, TotG is an  Osric compatible module, designed for low-level characters. Congratulations! Here’s looking forward to many more releases from this new publishing enterprise.


If you head on over to Dragonsfoot, you’ll find a couple of new downloads. The Corrupt Crypt of Ilmater and HS1 – The Village of Rashtan. More free pdf’s, for your gaming pleasure!



320_6474363 (1)At The Warlock’s Home Brew Lulu Storefront, DC-1 The Outpost on the Edge of the Far Reaches is now available as a free pdf download! The print version is available for $7.35. Outpost is a great, low-level adventure and if you haven’t checked it out yet, now’s the time to do so.

An ancient outpost, abandoned centuries ago by a empire in decline, sits atop a lonely hill overlooking a  bleak wilderness. Why was it deserted and left unattended all those years? Surely treasures that once littered the courtyard must have been claimed long ago. But still… vague murmurings of a hidden cellar have been overheard as well as visions of long dead veterans still haunting the battlements. Surely tales told in the evening in front of a fire to frighten gullible travelers. Perhaps there is something more here than meets the eye? The elements in this adventure module have been left open enough to be adaptable with most old-school style fantasy role-playing game rules and worlds and should fit easily into any GM’s sandbox with but a few alterations and modifications. This eBook now includes the color cover as well as 3 maps colored blue instead of heavy black.

I recently wrote a review for this module, which you can check out, here.  Thanks to Mr. Fini, for making this great adventure, available for free!


After Swords & Wizardry came out, index card character sheets were all the rage. ze bulette has given us an index card Dungeon Adventure! Den of the Water Naga may be downloaded at this blog post. Let’s see if the format catches on.


Head over to Brave Halfling Publishing, where you can get a 2nd printing copy of the Swords & Wizardry Whitebox Boxed Set! $30.00.

This Boxed Set Contains everything you need to play:

  • 6″ x 9″ Game Box (This is an actual game box manufactured for just this purpose)
  • Four Rule Booklets (Characters, Spells, Monsters, & Treasures)
  • A digest-sized copy of Matt Finch’s, “Quick Primer for Old-School Gaming”
  • A Pad of 10 digest-sized Character Sheets
  • Set of Polyhedral Dice
  • An 11″ x 17″ full-color poster (not shown)



More stuff, from the wonderfully, creative OSR community! Click the link to this thread at the OD&D Forums, where  Greyharp has put together the cream of the crop of various Carcosa related postings. Carcosa Coacervation is available as a free download and features, amongst other things, that really cool color Carcosa map, I posted about a few weeks ago.  Available in booklet or A-4 pdf format, the latter running to 40 pages.



James Edward Raggi IV has released his latest preview version, of LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing, V 0.04. Check it out and give him some feedback!


Events and Happenings!

The Gygax Memorial Fund website, has a testimonial page, where you can leave a message, relating how Gary Gygax influenced your life. This is being used to help make the case for the memorial:

Gary encouraged millions of men and women to excel in literature, math and science all by making it fun for them to open a book in order to excel at the game. Please take a moment to tell us how Gary affected your life as part of the testimonial we will be presenting to the Lake Geneva City Council with our request for the site.


I Hit It With My Axe, featuring Zak Smith and the gang playing D&D, debuted on The Escapist, this week. The first episode was introductory in nature and my only complaint, was that it was rather short. Zak, Mandy, Kimberly, Satine, Frankie, Connie and Sascha invite us to their gaming table, to see how they roll. Congratulations to all involved!


TARGA’s International Traditional Gaming Week, kicks off tomorrow! I reported on a couple of events, last week, to which I need to add that Bat of Ancient Vaults and Eldritch Secrets will also be running a marathon B2 session. Details, here.


Goblinoid Games is looking for Module Submissions! More info here.


Now, That’s Just Cool!AEC

The Advanced Edition Companion is back up to #1, at RPGNOW! As a matter of fact, the AEC is now a Popular Copper Pick. As is Original Edition Characters. Labyrinth Lord, itself? Silver!


Michael Curtis’ The Dungeon Alphabet has Sold Out! Goodman’s working on a second printing, but if you can’t wait that long, head on over to RPGNOW for the pdf! It’s currently occupying their #2 spot and has also become a Popular Copper Pick!


That’s it for Now!

Send News of New Releases, Events, or anything else you want to share, to:

James Smith


Auction success and International Traditional Gaming Week comes soon!

Posted in Uncategorized by Michael "Chgowiz" on March 18, 2010

Wow. Simply wow. You guys rocked hard and helped TARGA to collect $350 in the Pledge an Auction drive to donate to GaryCon/Gygax Family Memorial. With TARGA’s mission being “putting butts in chairs at traditional roleplaying games”, our support of GaryCon just all fits right in and it’s great to see us able to help. I don’t know if $350 is a drop in a bucket or a big help, but I certain hope to see a GaryCon 2011 and I hope our contribution goes a long way to making it happen. Keeping Gary’s legacy of playing games and having fun is very important to us.

Most importantly, those of you who contributed items, bid on items and won, you guys made this happen so THANK YOU VERY MUCH! I can’t say that enough.

GaryCon kicks off tomorrow and it should be a great time! We hope to hear some great game recaps. GaryCon also marks the kickoff of TARGA’s International Traditional Gaming Week! It is just sheer coolness that we have 3 B2-Keep on the Borderland adventures going: I’m (Chgowiz) running a 12 hour Holmes/B2 marathon, Norman of TrollandFlame blog is running B2 and so is Bat of AncientVaults. It would be neat if we could get some Gamma World, Metamorphosis Alpha, Tunnels & Trolls, Classic Traveller or just some regular games listed, but we’re working on that. Small steps, grasshopper, small steps.

This Week in the OSR – Saturday, March 13, 2010

Posted in OSR News by James Smith on March 13, 2010

New OSR Releases


Dragonsfoot has released HM3 The Chaos Halls of Belzir by Todd Hughes!

The ancient halls of the long lost wizardpriest of chaos Belzir have been rediscovered. Can the party  discover its secrets and find his legendary amulet? A module for 4-6 characters of levels 4-6.

Available as a free download, running 36 pages in pdf form. Many thanks, to all involved.


1000404n4-300x135 Swords & Wizardry Whitebox booklets, are now for sale, individually! At $4.00 each and $16.00 for the set of four, here’s a chance for those not into boxes, to save some cash. There’s also a deal on Referee’s Bundles, so visit the Halfling and check it out!



Expeditious Retreat Press has released Advanced Adventures # 13 – White Dragon Run, by James Boney! With art  by Peter Mullen, John Bingham and Jason Walton. Available for $6.00 in pdf and running 16 pages, you can pick this up at RPGNOW or Your Games Now. The publisher’s site doesn’t have a listing for the print product, yet.  Their preview page lists the module as an April release, so maybe a print copy will be available, then. Let’s see what the blurb from RPGNOW says:

White Dragon Run is An OSRIC(tm) module designed for 4-6 adventures of levels 2-4

The little village of White Dragon Run is at the edge of civilization – the place where monsters are a constant threat and adventurers thrive. It is here that reputations are made or broken, and deeds are performed only to be set in verse decades after the real story is long lost. On this thin line between country and chaos lies White Dragon Run. The last stop for the civilized before the well-trodden road becomes the weed-infested trail leading to creatures that would rather fight than herd, fish or farm. There’s a fortune to be made for the up and coming adventurer with the strength, the wile, and the cunning to strike out against dangers both natural and unnatural. White Dragon Run is the final stop before meeting one’s destiny behind the sword, stave, dagger, or holy symbol.

The preview file on RPGNOW looks good! I might go back and buy this, tonight!


On the Horizon

Last month, I reported on some plans by Goblinoid Games and Otherworld Miniatures. Well, the official announcement has been made! Coming in August of 2010, a series of official LL miniatures will be released. These will be level specific and each will be packaged with an adventure. The adventures, will be capable of standing alone, or can be linked together, to form a campaign. As Mr. Proctor wrote:

Adventures will be written by some of the best writers of the old-school gaming scene, including Jeff Talanian, James Maliszewski, Rob Conley and Michael Curtis, and many others.

Otherworld, is going to get some of my money, yet!


Events & Happenings

Want a chance to win a free $6.00 credit, from Faster Monkey Games? Check it out, here.


addmarathon-targaChgowiz, will be running a Marathon Keep on the Borderlands session, at Chicagoland Games, on March 27, from  9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. The event is in celebration of TARGA’s International Traditional Gaming Week and I truly wish, I lived in Chicago!





Norman Harman of Troll and Flame, fame, will be running B2 as well, for ITGW. March 21, is the date and the event will take place at the Austin D&D March Meetup.  If anyone else has open events, for ITGW, drop me a line and I’ll shout it out, hither and yon.


In Case You Missed It…

 Zak Smith was interviewed by WOTC, this week. You can also check out his comments on the interview, here.

Scottsz posted Part 1 of a most awesome piece of Greyhawk scholarship, at Lord of the Green Dragons. Part 2 is coming, so keep an eye out, for it.

And, back to Troll And Flame, as Norman takes a look at recent history.


That’s it for Now…

Send News of New Releases, Events, or anything else you want to share, to:

James Smith


Last week of TARGA Pledge an Auction for Garycon

Posted in Uncategorized by Michael "Chgowiz" on March 10, 2010

With 5 days left in the auction drive for GaryCon, we have collected over $300 (with the current auction at a $4.95 bid price) and I personally could not be prouder of all those involved. I really hope that you can get in any final items – we will be writing the check to the Gygax Family Memorial shortly before GaryCon so the donation button will stay up till then.

Thanks and happy bidding/auctioning!