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An Interview With Harley Stroh

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An Interview With Harley Stroh

Our partner Akileos Publishing is responsible for the upcoming French edition of Dungeon Crawl Classics. We recently ran an interview they did with our own Dark Master, Joseph Goodman, but they didn’t stop there. Akileos also conducted an interview with DCC-scribe-extraordinaire, Harley Stroh! This interview was already run on their site in French but was conducted in English, and we thought you might want to read it for yourself. Here is the English version of the interview. Now you’ll be able to—or at least attempt to—understand the inner workings of the mind of Harley Stroh! Hello Harley! Thanks for answering a few questions for us. First of all, could you first introduce yourself and tell us your background, how to came to play RPGs then write your own stuff? Bonjour! Thank you for the questions!  I started playing roleplaying games as a child after my babysitter had to give up his D&D books because his family decided they were Satanic. (If only they could see the DCC RPG now!) I ran games for my little brother and my parents, and then our friends all through school and college.  After college, my gaming group was scattered by real life, and I didn’t have an outlet for all the DMing and judging I had been doing for the previous 20 years. I started writing adventures just so I could mail them off to my old friends. Around this same time, I came across Brendan LaSalle’s The Sunless Garden, DCC #10. I immediately fell in love with the blue-lined maps and black and white art and sent an adventure off to Goodman Games. I’ve been writing for Joseph ever since.  Could you tell us more of your writing process and how you get your ideas? I am a terribly slow writer. I begin by collecting images of paintings that evoke a mood or a theme that I find inspiring. From there I start to rough out the adventure in broad strokes — trying to capture the tone I get from the paintings — and then circle back around to fill in the details and add depth.  My best work at Goodman Games is paired with Doug Kovacs. When he comes up with an amazing illustration or cover, I’ll re-write the text in an effort to ensure that the adventure lives up to his art. We saw this most prominently with DCC #67: Sailors on the Starless Sea. Doug’s Chaos Lord cover was a hundred times better than anything I could have imagined. As soon as he painted it, I went back to the manuscript and started re-writing.  You’re obviously one of the main voices of DCC, having penned almost half of the output of DCC adventures since the beginning, including probably the most famous one, Sailors on the Starless Sea which will be one the first we’ll translate in French. Any anecdotes on this one (inspiration, actual play, etc.)? It was a great privilege to write Sailors. At the time we didn’t know if there would be a DCC #68 or not, so we had the freedom to pour all of our love of fantasy gaming into a single adventure.  I don’t run many published adventures for groups these days, but Sailors always surprises me. Most recently I ran it for a group of teenagers at...

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Check Out Our New Forums!

Posted by on 12:33 pm in Latest News | 0 comments

Check Out Our New Forums!

A Roaring Forum for the Roaring ‘20s! The Goodman Games Fan Forums have been refreshed, with all-new areas devoted to the Road Crew, DCC College, Conventions, and more! The Forums are a great repository of knowledge and insight into Goodman Games products, including Dungeon Crawl Classics, Original Adventures Reincarnated, DCC Lankhmar, Mutant Crawl Classics, and more! • New Judges can start their DCC experience in the new DCC College section. See what other new Judges are asking, and ask questions of your own. DCC fans make up one of the most helpful online gaming communities around, so this is a great place to chat about the whys and wherefores of the rules and how to use them for maximum fun. • If you’re in the Road Crew (and anybody is eligible to be in the Road Crew) there’s a whole new area to discuss how games went, ways to promote your Road Crew games, ask questions about organizing Road Crew games, and share what you’re doing with all your Road Crew loot! • There’s a new section dedicated to Tales from the Magician’s Skull, right next to the Appendix N section, so you can discuss and explore the fiction that inspires and drives DCC ever onward…! • There are now two sections dedicated to our 5E output, covering both Fifth Edition Fantasy adventures and our line of Original Adventures Reincarnated, which presents classic TSR modules in their original form, along with historical context, notes on their original creation from those who were there, and all-new 5e conversions of those adventures! • There’s also a section for discussing our system-neutral products, which include the Cthulhu Alphabet, Dungeon Alphabet, How to Write Adventure Modules That Don’t Suck, and more! • And don’t forget, the Gongfarmer’s Almanac now has a home on the forums, too — for organizing and coordinating its creation each year! And speaking of which, that’s just about to start… so keep your eye on that section so you know exactly how you yourself can contribute to The World’s Biggest All-Gaming-Content Free Fanzine About DCC, MCC, and Xcrawl in the...

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New In Our Online Store: T-Shirts Of The Magician’s Skull!

Posted by on 11:55 am in Latest News | 0 comments

New In Our Online Store: T-Shirts Of The Magician’s Skull!

Now you too can show the world your reverence to The Skull! The Tales From the Magician’s Skull t-shirt is now available on our online store. Originally only available to the backers of Tales From The Magician’s Skull Kickstarter, now EVERYONE can get their hands on one and show off their good taste to the public at large. We only have a limited supply of this classic pulp-style white-on-black tee, so do not delay! And once you have your shirt, we want you to show it off. Like Tales From The Magician’s Skull fan Troy Chrisman, who sent us this pic of him in his shirt inside the home of Robert E. Howard in Cross Plains, TX—a place that we ourselves have visited! If you’ve got a pic of yourself in Skull shirt at a shrine to the sword-and-sorcery culture, send it to us! We would love to see it—and possibly even share it to the other Legions of fans out there! These are going to go fast so get your hands on them before they are gone! And if you haven’t experienced Tales From The Magician’s Skull directly, be sure to check out the first three issues, now available in our online store! TALES FROM THE MAGICIAN’S SKULL T-SHIRT Tales From The Magician’s Skull #3 Tales From The Magician’s Skull #2 Tales From The Magician’s Skull...

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The Music of DCC: The Shamanic Rites of Heilung

Posted by on 4:03 pm in DCC Lifestyle, Latest News | 0 comments

The Music of DCC: The Shamanic Rites of Heilung

The Music of DCC: The Shamanic Rites of Heilung by Michael Curtis The shield-maiden stands before the priest, her arms bound behind her, lashed to a spear. The drums, which have played mercilessly, ominously, throughout the rite have stopped. The witnesses to the ritual stand in the shadows, watching breathlessly. A noose hangs around the shield-maiden’s throat, the priest holding the cord. Then, as the witnesses gasp, the priest tightens the noose with a single, sharp motion and the shield-maiden collapses to the ground. The gods have been appeased. On the evening of January 29th, 2020, I traveled both physically and temporally to witness a primal rite being held at Webster Hall in New York City. Physically, the trip required only a couple of hours on the Long Island Railroad, but chronologically, it was a journey back into the Iron Age. This night, Heilung was returning to Webster Hall to close out their North American tour. What is Heilung? One is hesitant to use to term “band” as it has connotations that don’t truly apply to Heilung. Instead, “musical historical reenactors” might be closer to the mark. Heilung as an entity, whose name means “healing” in German, was formed by Kai Uwe Faust, Christopher Juul, and Maria Franz in 2014. In 2017, Heilung was voted one of the top 10 best performances at the Midgardsblot Metalfestival and released a recording of their performance on YouTube, which attracted nearly 17 million views. Seeing Heilung perform live is akin to stepping out of time machine into the midst of a pagan rite, one held deep in the Black Forest or in a wooded glen overlooking the fjords of Scandinavia during the Iron Age. The performance is a ritual reimaged for the 21st century, and Heilung does indeed call their concerts “rituals.” The show begins with a cowled figure emerging from the shadows, a bowl of smoking incense in hand. He smudges the stage, the instruments, and the audience members, who are now no longer paying attendees but witnesses to the ritual about to occur. Once space is cleansed, the rest of the performers appear, antlers in hand and dressed in a mixture of Iron Age clothing and ceremonial costuming suitable for a pagan high priest and priestess. Singer Maria Franz is especially startling: dressed in a white gown adorned with cloth ribbons, her face is painted ashen, her eyes and lips black as coal. A veil of white cloth hides her eye and a pair of thin antlers rise from her headdress. Kai Uwe Faust, as a counterpoint, is dressed in dark blues and reds, his back adorned with temple bells and the rack of a great stag crowning his head. The rest of the performers, who include Christopher Juul, looking like he just stepped off the bow of a Viking longship, another pair of drummers, and two female backup singers and dancers, form a circle and hold their horns aloft. An incantation is made, some of the audience answering in call-and-response, and then the ritual begins… For the next 90 minutes, the boundaries between the modern world and the distant past crumble. Animal skin drums pound, temple bells ring, shields and spears clash and clatter. Rattles filled with human ashes are shaken, a horn the size of an auroch’s is...

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California Residents, Visit Us At DunDraCon!

Posted by on 1:00 pm in Conventions, Latest News | 0 comments

California Residents, Visit Us At DunDraCon!

Football season is over, and it didn’t end the way fans in and around San Fransisco hoped. That’s okay, we’ve got an idea on how to ease some of that pain: GAMING! This weekend—February 14-17—come see us at DunDraCon! The show is being held at the San Ramon Marriott where you can visit Jon Wilson at the Goodman Games Booth to get your fill of some gaming goodness! The booth will be stocked full of everything you might be looking for from Dungeon Crawl Classics, Fifth Edition Fantasy, Original Adventures Reincarnated, DCC Lankhmar, and much more! Not only will you be able to pick up the latest Goodman Games products but you can also get in on various games being run. If you check out the Events Page for DunDraCon, you’ll see several games being run by fans throughout the weekend! We hope to see you at DunDraCon this weekend! WHAT: DunDraConWHEN: February 14-17WHERE: San Ramon,...

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Final Hours For Doom on the Warden Kickstarter!

Posted by on 4:22 pm in Kickstarters, Latest News | 0 comments

Final Hours For Doom on the Warden Kickstarter!

If you are ready to explore the halls of the spaceship Warden, you’ve only got hours left to get on board with the new Doom on the Warden Kickstarter! Metamorphosis Alpha creator James M. Ward has written this new adventure that changes life aboard The Warden …forever. The campaign is funded and good to go, but we’ve still got some stretch goals to attain. Here’s what we’ve reached and what we still might: Stretch goal #1 ($7,000): CLEARED! First set of printable reference cards. There are 100+ creatures, weapons, and items to encounter in this adventure. We would like to create simple cards to summarize them for players and judges alike. These will be provided in PDF format and can be printed for use in game. This first stretch goal will cover creation of approximately 30 such cards, which should encompass most of the weapons in this adventure. Stretch goal #2 ($12,000): CLEARED! Two new colored metal armbands available as add-ons. First launched in our previous Metamorphosis Alpha projects, these metal armbands mimic the control bands in the original game. These make great tabletop props and Mr. Ward allows their use in his convention games. At this stretch goal, we will manufacture two kinds of new bands: the bio-science band (first encountered in Level of the Lost), and the military command band (first seen in the Warden Armory). These will be add-ons available at $10 each.Stretch goal #3 ($15,000): CLEARED! Second set of printable reference cards, similar to the goal above. This will be another 30 or so such cards, which should be enough to cover most of the items encountered in the adventure.Bonus stretch goal! ($19,000) CLEARED! Backers will receive a PDF of Level of the Lost! Stretch goal #4 ($22,000): CLEARED! Printed endsheets with great art to adorn them!Bonus stretch goal! ($24,000): CLEARED! Backers will receive a PDF of The Android Underlords and Warden Adventures.Stretch goal #5 ($27,000): CLEARED! Third set of printable reference cards, similar to the goal above. This will be another 30 or so such cards, which should cover most of the monsters, mutants, and robots encountered in the adventure.Stretch goal #6 ($35,000): A sewn-in satin ribbon bookmark to hold your place when you run the adventure.Stretch goal #7 ($45,000): Expanded page count on the printed books to include some or all of the reference cards. There are some printing parameters we’ll have to verify but the goal is to get most or all of the reference cards printed and bound into the book.And beyond that…who knows? How can you be a part of this amazing adventure? Glad you asked. Pledge $10 and you will receive: A PDF version of Doom on the WardenPDF of Level of the LostPDF of Warden AdventuresPDF of The Android UnderlordsPrintable reference cards for weaponsPrintable reference cards for itemsEndsheets with new artOption to add armbands customized to this Kickstarter  Pledge $25 and you will receive: Everything from the $10 pledge levelA printed copy of Doom on the Warden in hardcover format with the amazing “dead captain” color cover art. Pledge $35 and you will receive: Everything from the $10 pledge levelA printed copy of Doom on the Warden in hardcover format with the foil cover art. Pledge $50 and you will receive: Everything from the $10 pledge levelA printed copy of Doom on the Warden in hardcover format with the amazing “dead captain” color cover art.The printed softcover edition of the Metamorphosis Alpha Collector’s Edition (with the basic rules). Pledge $55 and you will receive: Everything from the $10 pledge levelAn edition of Doom on...

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This Week On Twitch!

Posted by on 12:34 pm in Latest News, Twitch Resources | 0 comments

This Week On Twitch!

If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest online happenings of Goodman Games, we’ve opened up our own Twitch channel, which provides some streaming goodness for you to enjoy! We aren’t the only ones with love of Goodman Games that are sharing their experiences with the world, though. This week alone you’ve got some great choices of things to watch online! If you are an online streamer running any Goodman-related game—such as Dungeon Crawl Classics, Mutant Crawl Classics, Fifth Edition Fantasy, Original Adventures Reincarnated, or Metamorphosis Alpha—and you’d like to have it cross-posted on our official channel, get in touch! We’re happy to share the joys of online streaming! And remember, you can watch any of the listed games on both their Twitch sites AND The Official Goodman Games Twitch Site! Now let’s look at this week’s schedule! The Liching Hour Tuesday, February 11 at 10:00 pm EST Content: DCC #69: The Emerald Enchanter Viva La Dungeon is a variety show that features a discussion about tabletop RPG and some actual play content. This week they will feature some actual play content from DCC #69: The Emerald Enchanter. Check it out on Feb. 11th, 2020 at 10 pm EST on twitch.tv/thelichinghour! Twenty Sides to Every Story Thursday, February 13 at 8:00 pm ESTSunday, February 16 at 11:00 am EST Content: OAR #2: The Isle of Dread Running an actual play of OAR #2: The Isle of Dread! Come check it out Feb. 13th starting at 8 pm EST AND on Feb. 16th starting at 11 am EST on http://twitch.tv/twentysidestoeverystory. Get your online game on! Check out those great streaming games this week on...

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Roadworthy Retailers: Weird Realms

Posted by on 11:55 am in Latest News, Roadworthy Retailers | 0 comments

Roadworthy Retailers: Weird Realms

Roadworthy Retailers: Weird Realms By Thorin Thompson The backbone of any gaming community is its friendly local game store (FLGS). If you’re passing through Cleveland, OH, do yourself a favor and swing by one of the best and nerdiest stores in town run by Beckett Warren called Weird Realms! Weird Realms, which opened in 2016, carries a wide range of games, comics, and collectibles. The store has an extensive selection of OSR offerings, 3rd party products, and indie story games to delight even the crustiest of Grognards! I sat down to chat with Beckett recently to gather a little more insight on himself and the store he runs. So how did Weird Realms come about? Beckett: Well I had been doing junk sales and markets, etc., for I don’t know… roughly 10 years before opening the store. When my dad passed, I sold his house and cashed out the pension to start this place. Which maybe wasn’t the smartest move… I should have just kept it and had a place to live. [He laughs!] You’ve got to follow your passion! Yeah, well I had been playing Dungeons & Dragons since I was seven years old, so it and the other TTRPGs are the main reason I wanted to open the store. Even though I spend most of my time sorting through Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic: The Gathering Cards… [He chuckles a little before sighing]. That’s little soul-crushing and mind-numbing, but it is what it is! Was it your father who got you into the Dungeons & Dragons? No, he got me into other cool stuff though! He was always fascinated by my interest in role-playing games, but he wasn’t really into games. He enjoyed storytelling and stuff like that. Oddly, his parents were into board games. So what was your first experience with RPGs? In the neighborhood I lived in there were these kids across the street. Every summer we would watch Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome at their house, and one summer they showed me their Dungeons & Dragons books. When I looked through the books I saw all these demons and monsters in it and I was like, “Whoa, these are pretty cool but scary!” The way they explained to me was something like this: “You can play as a guy, who just walks around wearing Ninja garb and kills people with throwing stars! It’s awesome!” And I was like, “WHOOAA!” So when I finally got to play my character was a blue dragon, y’know because you didn’t want to be a gold dragon because they’re lawful and just want to help everybody, but the blue dragons were neutral and could do whatever they wanted. Anyways, that was my initial explanation/intro to Dungeons & Dragons. To me though it was always through this weird sort of Mad Max lens, and it just sounded like the coolest s***! So then I asked my parents to buy it for me and my dad’s reply was, “I heard that game makes kids go crazy and kill their friends in the sewer.” And it was like, “I promise I won’t kill my friends in the sewer Dad!” Of course, my dad was just messing with me, but that’s when I finally got the Mentzer Redbox. Nice! So how did you decide on the...

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One of Us: Sideshow Salvation Kickstarter for DCC RPG

Posted by on 12:26 pm in Kickstarters, Latest News | 0 comments

One of Us: Sideshow Salvation Kickstarter for DCC RPG

You are no hero… You are a carnie indentured to the mysterious being known as The Madame.  In exchange for wondrous powers and “a more perfect self,” The Madame calls upon you to procure ancient artifacts as you crisscross the dusty and dangerous remains of a once robust and proud land. Cannibal hobos, shadowy cults, and uncouth hecklers will do everything in their power to prevent your caravan from carrying out its mission. Grab your barbells and bullwhips and hop on the trail to adventure. We accept you, we accept you!  One of us! Those strange—but somehow familiar—words are what begins your journey down the path of the new One of Us DCC Kickstarter. Created by Tim Deschene and Joey Macrino, this new publication puts you into a world of the weird carnival, controlled by the strange and powerful Patron known only as The Madame. Under her guidance, you will face horrors unlike any you could imagine… One of Us will feature new character classes, profession tables, and quick performance rules for when the characters are trying to win over a crowd. A short adventure set in the world after The Big Mistake will get your new campaign rolling.  This zine-sized campaign setting will also contain bonus material by both Brendan LaSalle and Michael Curtis, as the Kickstarter has already been funded and reached those two stretch goals! So you know something wicked this way comes—in the form of fun! So head on over and show your support! Gooble gobble! Gooble gobble! One of Us! Support The One of Us DCC...

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Support Terror of the Stratosfiend DCC Zine on Kickstarter!

Posted by on 12:39 pm in Kickstarters, Latest News | 0 comments

Support Terror of the Stratosfiend DCC Zine on Kickstarter!

ZineQuest has begun in earnest! And one of the original ZineQuest publications is back on Kickstarter to help you bring them the second issue! Welcome to the world of Terror of the Stratosfiend #2: A DCC RPG #ZineQuest Zine. Let’s have them tell you what this is about themselves, right from the Kickstarter text: “While Earth was ravaged by the Drop, space continued distorting. Strange new entities, unknown to modern and fantastical humanity, roiled in the depths of space. supposedly calling as many souls as possible to the dispatch… Within Dispatch’s walls walk horrors with limbs made of limbs made of limbs made of limbs made of limbs made of limbs made of limbs—and, supposedly, a certain bat roosts.” – Rite 38 of the Incarnate Drop Stratosfiend Magistrate “IX-777” Fear-Engine, by RabidBlackDog What is Terror of the Stratosfiend? Portals and warp gates have been opening all over the earth and giant aliens have been pouring out. Players will quickly find out that some of their own have been aliens the whole time, and that humans from distant stars have also shown up to help quell the madness. The setting is meant to be both an add-on to any DCC (Dungeon Crawl Classics) session the Judge and players would be running; adding a splash of tentacles. It’s also being built to be a standalone setting where tentacles and sorcery would be the focus. Here is everything that will be included in the newest issue. What is in Issue #2? New Classes: Half-Stratosfiend Reality Binder : casters that mutate their spells as they release them.Stratosfiend Magistrate “IX-777” Fear-Engine : Giants that channel fear through their “instruments” while “inspiring” their allies.Half-Stratosfiend Roof Jumper : thieves that mutate their adrenaline to gain strange new abilities. (Also they have pet ravens) Additional Items: New Incubating, Sentient, and Living Weapons: ever wanted a shield covered in fur? A jealous dagger? Or maybe it’s the egg for a fire demon?New “Cleric?” Items : imagine an item allowed you to recast instantly. So long as you were forced to keep doing it until it succeeded…. those deities are going to be furious.New “Doors”: we’ve got walls of beads, lead lined doors, bank vaults, and laser grids… what more could you want? Additional Spells: Door Hatching: when 1 (or more) doors need to be used to make a door hatch from a door egg.Door Surfing: when you need to ride a door.Door Quantum Entanglement: when you need two doors to relay information to eachother.  Denial & Bargaining, by Shane O’Neil New Things that go Bump in the Night (specifically 9 new entries): Razor-Worn’s Oasis of Wires (3): Elevators, Molten Metal, and Mirrors, things you depend on that would rather crush you in their maw.Cults of the Elevator God (4): the divine that operate elevators and those that wander the hallways determining who can enter.Pirates of Deep Fear Space (2): a t-Rex with a phase rifle? A “human” pirate that harvests limbs for her body. Appendices for Days: New Level-0 Occupations (20): ranging from brand mascots with costumes to butchers and bakers.New Lucky Signs (32): maybe you were born under the “Chains of Poseidon” and have modified tentacle damage rolls… or you channel the Sky-Channel.More info on Languages (18): did you realize there is a secret language only spoken by skulkers that requires 4 or more limbs to...

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