Basic Fantasy Role Playing Blog Appreciation Day

by Solomoriah

You may have heard about Erik Tenkar’s suggestion of a “Basic Fantasy Role Playing Blog Appreciation Day” on January 31st, that is, tomorrow.  If not, I invite you to read it on his blog (go on, I’ll wait here until you come back).

My attention was called to his post a couple of days ago, and let me say right now that I am humbled by the outpouring of support for our game.  It inspired me to start this blog, and to get on the ball and get J.D. Neal’s “Monkey Isle” module into print on

Yeah, it’s there right now; I’ve already ordered my copy.  Things snowballed after I announced my plans to release it, with newly appointed Art Director Cory “Shonuff” Gelnett supplying several more pieces of art for it just in time for the release.

Alerted by members of our forum, I wandered over to Christopher Helton’s Dorkland blog, which I found very enjoyable… his take on the game is different than mine, and that’s cool.  One of my design goals for BFRPG was to decouple the rules so that you can easily mix and match supplements to get just the campaign you want.  He has an earlier post also, just kind of introducing the game, where his comments mirror mine about both our different direction as well as the modularity of the game.

Looking through the list of volunteers in the comments below Erik’s post, I discovered J.D. Jarvis, a long-time supporter of Basic Fantasy RPG (and creator of my personal favorite character sheet), has a blog of his own at  Turns out, it’s full of game materials I didn’t even know he had written.  I’ll have to remember to talk to him about publishing some of his stuff.

Now to see what tomorrow brings.  Many people have promised to say a few words on their blogs about the game… I’m looking forward to reading them all.

EDIT 1/31/2013 @ 8:21 AM

Just read three more blog posts supporting the game, and thought I’d call some attention to them:

On the Unto the Breach blog, the author thereof gives a capsule review of our community as much as of the game.  I liked the statement “They’re doing it for love of the game.”  Indeed.  Also, he (and I’m guessing “he”) notes how difficult it was to figure out who the author was… which is funny, because I can’t figure out who the author of the blog was.  Probably I’m just dense…

On The Other Side blog, Timothy Brannan posted a short review of the game, followed by a discussion of his experiences using his Witch class with BFRPG.  It’s an interesting read, showing again the benefit of designing a loosely-coupled game system where bits can be added or removed at will.

Raven Crowking posted just a few moments ago about BFRPG.  He mentions the ease with which adventures and rules cross between BFRPG and other old-school retroclones, which is another of the original design goals of the game.  Staying close enough to the old core materials that the old materials will still work has the side effect of making all class-and-level fantasy retroclones brothers under the skin.

More later, I hope…

EDIT 1/31/2013 @ 8:42 AM

They’re coming hot and heavy:

frothsof 4e has a post about Basic Fantasy RPG.  In it, the author calls attention to the adventures we’ve written for the game.  He mentioned in particular the hit point checkboxes, which put a warm feeling in my heart as they are one of my favorite features.  He also calls some blush-causing attention to my own work in years past as a member of the development team.  I remember those years fondly, and I can say without reservation that my experiences working with the Dragonsfoot team prepared me for my current role developing and managing Basic Fantasy RPG.

Lord Gwydion’s post on the What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse blog calls Basic Fantasy RPG a “little gem of a game.”  Thanks, Lord Gwydion.  I wish I could experience your megadungeon first-hand… and hey, when you’re done with it, we’d love to publish it on the site.  Just sayin’.

Everyone sees the game differently, and like I said before, that’s a good thing.  Supporting the visions of Game Masters and increasing the enjoyment of the players are what this game is about.

EDIT 1/31/2013 @ 10:03AM

Many more posts… wow.  It’s hard to keep up.

Fabio Milito Pagliara, one of the guys who is working to translate Basic Fantasy RPG into Italian, made a post about BFRPG on his blog “Castelli & Chimere.”  In it, he emphasizes the Open Source nature of the game as part of the attraction, and indeed, were BFRPG not Open Source, we likely wouldn’t have an Italian translation project at all.

Lars Alexander’s post on his blog Mad-Kyndalanth also calls attention to the game’s Open Source roots.  Lars is apparently German, and mentioned the German translation of Labyrinth Lord, another retroclone game.  Labyrinth Lord is among the games most compatible with Basic Fantasy RPG, and I have to admit, if it had existed before I wrote BFRPG, I probably wouldn’t have written my game.  (Let me mention here that I wouldn’t mind at all if someone wanted to translate BFRPG into German.  Email me if you’re interested.)  He also called attention to my “Don’t buy this book!” message on our page as a positive feature.  Personally, I just don’t see the point in someone paying for the game without knowing if they like it or not.  Guess I’m just cheap…

WQRobb’s post on his site, “Graphs, Paper, and Games” sums his view up in one statement, Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game combines the ethos of Old School [rpg games] without the slavish devotion to antiquated and unhelpful rules, and its free.  OGL rules require me to omit certain names… rules which happily do not apply to WQRobb.  He printed his own copy, too, with his own cover.  Nice!

Danjou’s Hand (hey, cool name) wrote about our “obscene amount of free gaming goodness” in his blog, Tabletop Diversions.  I’ve always encouraged others to submit materials for the game.  I’m proud of our many contributors… without them, Basic Fantasy RPG wouldn’t be half the game it is.  It might never have been finished.

R.J. Thompson wrote about, of all things, our wrestling rules on his blog, Gamers & Grognards.  The funny thing is, we wrestled with the wrestling rules.  They are one of the very few things that changed substantially between 1st and 2nd editions.  Sometime later, I’ll find the original discussion and give credit to those who created the current wrestling rules.  It was definitely a team effort.

On his “They Might Be Gazebos” website, the author (whose name is escaping me) points out our “solid set of easy rules.”  I couldn’t say it better myself.

More to come?  Watch this space!

EDIT 1/31/2013 @ 12:44 PM

Three more blogs have posts about Basic Fantasy RPG since last I looked:

Steve Zieser, one of the original illustrators of the Basic Fantasy RPG Core Rules and BF1 Morgansfort, has a brief “thank you” post on his “Curmudgeons & Dragons” blog.  I’d been wondering whatever became of Steve, and now I know where to find him.  Steve did the “iconic character” drawings, featuring the Intro Story characters Darion, Morningstar, Barthal, and Apoqulis.

ERIC! (nice name) has a post on his “Chronicles of Ganth” site about Basic Fantasy RPG.  He says he has a “huge desire to be a part of something like” BFRPG… dude, come on over and join us, there’s always room for one more.

Finally, Daniel Luce has a nice post on his “In The Shadow of Puzzled Vikings” blog where, rather than talk about the game, he posts a new race of his own design for use with BFRPG.  I’ll have to remember to ask him about putting it on the site.

Thanks to all who have posted so far.  We appreciate all the appreciation!

EDIT 1/31/2013 @ 2:45 PM

One more for the list… Omer Golan Joel has a nice post on his blog, The Space Cockroach’s Hideout.  Sadly, in it he describes his defection from the rolls of the Basic Fantasy Project to ACKS, a more recent retroclone (if that even makes sense).  While I’m sorry to see him go, I appreciate the contributions he made to the game.

EDIT 1/31/2013 @ 3:16 PM

Jeremy Deram has a post on his blog, “People Them With Monsters” (love that name) about Basic Fantasy RPG, with our old but well-loved slogan “make mine Basic!” as the title.  He reminds me there that one of my early goals was a game I could play with my daughter, and I have to say I succeeded there; she is now a teenager and thinks she has cooler things to do, but we all know how inevitably you return to the things you loved.

EDIT 1/31/2013 @ 3:35 PM

Gene D. has a campaign journal on his blog, “Gene’s Worlds,” detailing an adventure session played using Basic Fantasy RPG along with a brief recounting of his selection of the game.  Looks like a good time was had by all!

EDIT 1/31/2013 @ 5:18 PM

Two more, and I think this is all of them:

A guy named Roger has a blog called “A Life Full of Adventure,” and he has posted a brief “shout out” article about Basic Fantasy RPG.  Thanks, Roger.

Michael Garcia, the Crazy GM (apparently, since that’s the name of his blog) has an article titled “What I Like About My BF.”  The title made me smile, as did his comment about the core rules cover, which almost all of the Appreciation Day articles include.  (I, personally, never get tired of Erik Wilson‘s beautiful cover art.)


It’s been a heck of a day.  Thanks again to Erik Tenkar, and to Christopher Helton for whatever he said to Erik to start all of this.  I’m really happy to see so many RPG bloggers really get what I was trying to do with Basic Fantasy RPG, and I want to take one more opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to the game over the years, even those who later moved on.

I guess now I need to get to work and put some more materials out there…

EDIT 2/1/2013 @ 8:12 AM

I missed one… Herb has a blog called “Places to Go, People to Be,” where he writes that BFRPG was his first OSR game experience.  The article is titled “I’ve Always Liked Redheads,” a reference to Erik’s description of the game as the “red headed stepchild” of the OSR movement.  Herb also shares his Clockwork Skeletons on his site.  Nice!

7 thoughts on “Basic Fantasy Role Playing Blog Appreciation Day

  1. Dave Lane

    I’m glad you didn’t hear about Labyrinth Lord, I rather like BFRPG a lot. Cool To see folks recognizing you and your team’s hard work. It is certainly well deserved!

    1. Solomoriah Post author

      It’s not that I didn’t hear about it… I was first. Before LL, before OSRIC, before S&W. (I only beat OSRIC by a couple of months, if I remember rightly…)

    2. Hywaywolf

      When I was looking to return to B/X D&D all I found was the actual hardcopy books you could buy off ebay and BFRPG. I was just looking to download the b/x core rules, but after reading over BFRPG I knew I found what I was looking for. LL is a good game, but I am glad it didn’t exist when I was looking because I may not have looked further and missed out on BFRPG.

  2. erik tenkar

    Chris, somethings happen because they were meant to happen. The BFRPG Appreciation Day was meant to happen.

    When Chris Helton and I first discussed this, I would have considered getting six blogs involved in this event (including our two) a success – we hit twenty-four. Two. Four 😉

    It was a fun day. Trying to keep up with the updates on my blog and trying to appear to be working at my desk was a fun challenge.

    I truly hope we’ve added to your community and that we will continue to add to your community, as the great thing about most blog posts is that they are forever 🙂

  3. Lord Gwydion

    Chris, you’re welcome. I don’t know about publishing the megadungeon… We’ll see. 🙂

    And you probably don’t remember this, but a few years back we were discussing the possibility of playing some games together in person, as I grew up not far from you, across the river in Illinois. I’m not likely leaving Korea in the near future, but maybe in a couple years we may head back to the States and you can get a chance to play in the megadungeon.

    Glad to see such a big turnout for Erik’s blog-fest, and a lot more visibility for BFRPG!


    1. Solomoriah Post author

      Hey, just call me if you’re ever back home. They have a convention in Quincy, IL once a year that I’d make a point of attending if I knew I could get some of the online BFRPG fans to show up.

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