Wednesday, June 23, 2010


We've been very, very busy behind the scenes.  Based on some advice and feed-back by knowledgeable and successful bloggers such as Trey (and some others), we're making a few changes to how we do things at Old School Heretic. 

We are developing a very focused and regularly appearing feature to launch in the next week or thereabouts (barring any more obstacles).  It may or may not be scheduled to only appear on a particular day, depending on reader feedback. This feature will be tightly focused and will tackle subject matter that tends to fluster, confuse, befuddle or stymie a lot of DMs/GMs and we don't much care what edition/ruleset/homebrew they are using, we're going to focus on the nitty-gritty stuff and not let the rules get in the way of addressing the core concepts and how to handle this stuff creatively, effectively and in a fun manner in your game.

TED Thursdays is undergoing a total overhaul and will be back starting tomorrow.  From now on TED Thursdays will be a regular feature of this blog, and we're going to limit it to One Big Idea at a time.  Again, we're not interested in what edition or ruleset you use, we use or anyone else uses--these posts will toss out some ideas and then you can click on a link to go to the Riskail Blog to see a demonstration of how we take the One Big Idea and adapt it to our setting.  You can then go off and do things your own way in your own game.  It's about freedom and inspiration, and we'd love to hear some feed-back from some more people who've gotten some mileage out of one of these posts.

The Asylum-Chateau Diodati which was slated to debut last week has been pulled from the schedule, broken-up into smaller, more tightly focused sections and will be coming out starting later today. This series will detail the history, grounds and inmates of our first system-neutral scenario derived from Riskail, and being firmly rooted in the weird soil of Riskial you'll have to go to the Riskail Blog to follow the Grim Cabal series after today. This ongoing series will include maps, encounters, and some very bizarre stuff including new monsters, new cults, etc. All of this stuff will remain system-neutral, but we're looking at possibly expanding it into an OGL(?) or similar product complete with all the stats you need to use it in Labyrinth Lord or another rules-set/system. We don't need to decide anything on that front for a while yet, but are interested in hearing advice from others as to which system/ruleset to consider. Right now we're looking to handle this one in-house, but will consider working out an arrangement with another publisher if anyone is interested in this particular project.

The Twelve Worlds, Twelve Villains, Twelve Locales sorts of posts will continue over at the Riskail Blog, but now that we have established a goodly amount of the overview sorts of stuff we plan on taking some time to focus-in on specific worlds, locales, personalities, etc.  We did develop Lorshal a bit further, now we're going to be going back and revealing a bit more about the other Mad Wizards, Insane Geniuses, Bizarre Adepts, Great Masters, and others.  We're also developing a set of 'seed' articles that will be more generic and transportable to other folks' settings like the '100 World-seeds' piece that is already scheduled for later this week.  Some of that Setting-Specific stuff will be moving to the Riskail blog, as we've hit a critical mass of Riskail-oriented world-building here at Old School Heretic and it is time to really start building-up the Riskail setting via it's dedicated blog.  Monsters, Peoples, and other things like that will be popping up over at the Riskail blog beginning this week, not just fiction and art.  But again, we're staying system-neutral on the blogs and will consider developing more statted-up versions for various systems later on, depending on reader interest and feedback, and other such considerations.

Apart from those changes and new features above, we're going to be posting here at Old School Heretic in regards to the on-going discussion/design process involved in developing the River Marshall rules/spells/scenarios/play-test gaming sessions, etc. both in terms of fleshing out the setting and the system we'll be using.  Yes, we've decided what system to adopt.  Ours.  We're going back to the roots, as it says up top on the right sidebar and we're deconstructing OD&D in order to find our own way and our own system, in many respects doing things a lot like Professor M. A. R. Barker did when he tore OD&D apart and built his excellent Empire of the Petal Throne.  EPT is not a direct clone or simulacrum, but it is very definitely Old School.  We're not going to settle for a clone or a simulacrum either, but we're coming at this from a decidedly and pointedly Old School perspective.  Plus we're building off of over thirty years of notes, designs, and material that we've accumulated, and in that respect, perhaps it is no surprise that we're looking to Empire of the Petal Throne for inspiration as much as (or more than) Greyhawk, Blackmoor or The Wilderlands.  EPT was all about the setting, first and foremost, and yet it remains a highly playable game, despite the negative mutterings about how it is filled with unpronounceable names, etc.  And since that has been an issue in the past, we promise to include pronounciation guides in all our stuff from now on so any weird/made-up words are easier to say.  We're also looking into setting up a wiki-style glossary/guide/gazeteer sort of thing to help organize things a bit.

What else would any of you who are reading our blogs recommend or suggest we consider doing to make Riskail more accessible as a setting?  We're open to your suggestions.


  1. Sounds awesome.

    Love TED Thursdays. I'd highly recommend the podcasts to gamers of all kinds.

  2. Sounds like some interesting stuff ahead.

    And I'm not just saying that because its the first time anyone called me a "knowledgeable and successful" blogger. ;)

  3. @Scottsz: Thanks--we're going to be going back over those podcasts with an eye towards stuff that might work well in any setting, and then showing how we put it to work in Riskail. Nothing beats a direct, immediate example right then and there.

    @Trey: We hope things turn out for the best. There's a lot of stuff just about ready to go for the other blog, so they'll both be getting busy shortly.

    @Timeshadows: Glad to hear from you--we both like Urutsk a great deal. As the Diodati, Reservoir Keep and Clock Tower scenarios unfold on the two blogs, we're looking to put together something kind of like what Judge's Guild used to do way back when and make them universally accessible to whichever system you wanted to plug them into.


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