What to do with all those Lulu Codes?
Lulu is a great resource for small potato publishers and self-publishing authors to distribute printed book but buying full-price from Lulu is rather foolish, a little bit like paying for shipping on Amazon. It’s easy enough to get discounts or free shipping or both.
One problem with Lulu is that the discoverability is nil. You can search for things if you have the name but you can’t browse and the tags don’t work super well. In response There are quite a few lists floating around with recommendations (See lists by Martin Ralya (2013) Tim Short (2015) and Wayne Rossi (2015) and Sophia Brandt (2017)). Greg Gorgonmilk periodically recommends Lulu finds in posts such this or just follow his RPG collection.
More importantly than that, though, here are some things I’ve either ordered and enjoyed or hope to.
Across the White Marsh An adventure for Blood and Bronze (see below). I haven’t run it yet but it is just as high quality as the system it was created for.
Bad Myrmidon A masterwork of the hexcrawl written by maybe the most creative writer in the OSR.
Barbarians of Lemuria This is on my wishlist only, I haven’t played so I’ll let the lulu description speak for it. Barbarians of Lemuria; swords & sorcery roleplaying, inspired by Thongor,Conan, Brak, Elric and other epic heroes. Barbarians of Lemuria has been acclaimed by many as one of the best roleplaying games of this genre.
Beasties More than a bestiary, there are NPCs and dungeons all with a John Carter vibe too. Thomas Denmark’s art is of course excellent throughout.
Blood and Bronze It’s hard enough to get players for systems they know (hence the ever-popularity of D&D) so new systems can be a tough sale. This system is top notch though, with great mechanics, a fascinating setting, and incredible art.
Carcosa: Jungles of the K’naanothoa, Barrens of Carcosa, The Mountains of Dream & The Yuthlugathap Swamps While Carcosa remains both controversial and popular, these later supplements didn’t strike the same chord. Though the design is utilitarian (at best), there are memorable encounters enough in these hexes to fill a good campaign.
Chromatic Soup I did some writing for this, but it’s Evelyn Moreau’s delicious art that makes this module so fantastic. I ran it for three weeks with my home campaign and each week it resulted in even more fun than ever.
Crimson Blades 2 A pseudo-Elric like RPG with a surprisingly robust ruleset. I haven’t run this, and probably never will, but it’s very mineable for content and mechanics.
Deep Carbon Observatory I personally find this adventure rather clumsy, but in view of its massive popularity it’s worth checking out. Rumors are that an updated version may be on the horizon as well
The Derelict This Free RPG day Call of Cthulhu adventure is worth a look just to see how to use supplementary information in your adventures.
Hill Cantons Compendium I yearn for the day Slumbering Ursine Dunes and its brothers are available on Lulu. Until then, this collection of races and house rules is worth picking up.
Hubris Recently award winning. I have the pdf and there is quite a bit of content to peruse. The new classes alone are probably worth the price of admission.
Mythic Russia All you have to know about this book is that author Mark Galeotti is a senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations Prague and coordinator of its Centre for European Security, a lecturer at the Department of Security Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, and is an expert and prolific author on transnational crime and Russian security affairs.
The system is pretty clunky but if you are thinking of running anything anywhere like Russia, this is a great book.
Perdition In my opinion, just as good as Hubris, if slightly less decorated. The new classes is cool, and the setting is literally Hell. I think it takes a specific group to have appeal to, but for those players (and DM) this is a valuable resource.
Petty Gods A crowd-sourced tome of massive proportions. Close to must-have, even if you don’t include deities in your world-building.
Rad Hack I can’t really deal with the Black Hack’s sacrilegious roll low system, but Karl Stjernberg’s is an elegant, wee post-apocalyptic resource.
Sirenswail For all that Lamentations has staked out the weird 17th century as its stalking ground, there are few official supplements that take advantage of that, and fewer still third-party. This Wickerman-inspired story of cultists and islands would slot into any historical campaign and I suspect would fit very nicely with England Up’turned and No Salvation for Witches.
Woodland Warriors I’m not sure how this new version differs from the one I have, but either way if you ever yearn for some Secret of Nimh/Watership Down action this Swords & Wizardy conversion is just for you. For less anthropomorphized animals, there is Tales from the Wood by the same author.
I’ll update this list with new entries as I discover them. Let me know if I have any glaring omissions.