I don't have an inbox full of press releases for obscure indie video games, but I do have a "right click, save as" compulsion. Same difference. So here's a bunch of strange little pdfs I've got sitting in my RPG folders. The only criteria I'm using here are 1) it formed an opinion in me 2) I hear no one or next to no one talking about it 3) it is freely available.
100 Rare WondersTelecanter
Grotty bizarre overcrowded magical metropoli hold a special place in my heart, and this list is all the spice you could want. They're bizarre, they're evocative, you can spin them out for hooks, it's great.
40k Conversion for Stars Without NumberJohn B.
I've always wanted to run a 40k game, but none of the rulesets really . There are a couple other hacks out there (Future Heresy for Barbarians of Lemuria and Warband! for general OSR usage) but I settled on this one because SWN has psychics and world generation tables baked in, and is geared more towards the lower-power-level parts of 40k that I like (give me rogue traders and guardsmen over space marines any day.) Plus I just want to run SWN at some point.
(Link) - (PDF here)
Halo MythicBrandon "Vorked" Miller
A commendable effort in converting everything that's seen screen time in the Halo setting (spinoff games and that miniseries included) but crunchier than a mouthful of gravel. Bit of a Dark Heresy undercurrent (percentile attributes, purchasing upgrades with XP, having melee and ranged weapons as stats). Hits the predictable limiting wall that comes with being based on military sci-fi, in that there is next to no material supporting anything outside of shooting aliens with guns and entirely too much specificity within that genre. No expansion upon the setting of any kind. The kind of game for people who like having three different kinds of every weapon with maybe two different numbers.
Dungeons the Dragoning: 7th EditionLawfulNice
The joke that lived. As outrageous and obtuse a knot of mechanics and settings as one could possibly make and still come out with a technically-playable system. And the crazy thing is that if you stare at it long enough it starts making sense. Sure, it's got feats, buy-upgrades-with-XP, and those class-tree things (again with the Dark Heresy)...but I feel less inclined to toss it out than I would normally. Maybe it's because it's a joke. Maybe it's because I can be a demontouched tau minstrel who can do gun katas without even touching the homebrew and that statement appeals to me on some primal level of silliness.
A solo game that uses a deck of cards to determine events that happen to you on your journey. Players can select one of four archetypes, which determines the rarity of different event types. I've not yet been able to try it out myself, but it seems like it would make for a fun creative writing exercise. Especially if you break out wilderness / travel encounter tables to go along with it.
Phonomicon ex CultisDuncan Young
A system-agnostic collection of 100 minor cult patrons and the powers they grant to their believers. Each one is accompanied by a syllable (to be used in making their name), their typical worshipers, portfolio, a symbol and a short description. Not as in-depth as Petty Gods, but provides just what you need when handling petty gods. Could even make a class out of it, a cleric of small gods or the like.
The Lorian Gendarme GuidebookMK Reed and Jonathan Hill
A book within a book, the LGG is a sort of encyclopedia volume for a fictional fantasy series within the creators' comic Americus. It's a proper setting book in less than 40 pages, bestiary and grimoire included. It's pitch perfect for a YA-series that could have been, a mix of the familiar and the out-there. Excellent, excellent monsters.
One Hundred Wilderness HexesKtrey Parker
This one's a real treat. Twenty hexes for each of five environment types (Forest, Mountains, Desert, Swamp, Ocean), and each hex has three subtables to determine the details within. Drop these around a bigger map and you have everything you may need - many are linked to other hexes, sometimes multiple! Everything's got a very classic feel to it, where the weird is waiting to be stumbled upon. Would be very much in line with the baseline DCC motif.
So there we have it; eight little things you may or may not have previously seen. If you've got obscure stuff you've collected (and if you're reading this blog, you probably do), give it a dig and see what's worth sharing.