Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fantastic Heroes And Witchery Rpg Game System Set Up - That Old Time Religion For Warlords Of The Outer Worlds Campaign

First off Fantastic Heroes And Witchery is available right over HERE and here's the set up for tonight's game. 

  Right,so tonight I'm getting together with my players to have a PC work shop and set up with Fantastic Heroes and Witchery. The adventure is in the Warlords Of The Outer Worlds campaign universe in the wilds of Neo England between Massachusetts. The set up is simple and open ended a group of mercenaries is called together for the reading of a will and hired by the lawyer of the estate to retrieve a trio of magical swords from the ruins of the city of Springfield, Mass. The city was the stronghold of the Voltamen but has been abandoned for the last few years after rumors of undead and horrors from beyond the pale have moved in. The mix of fantasy, science fantasy and post apocalyptic horror is right on the menu for tonight's game. 
The PC options offered by the  pulp, science fantasy download, and some of the other optional material are in mix from over HERE. One of the players is already put his cards on the table for playing a Runner from FH&W. 

Because of FH&W's mix of fantasy, science fantasy, science fiction, and Lovecraftian pulpy goodness the choices here are easy to slide into place for this campaign of high action and adventure. The PC's are adventurers, mercenaries and reverers in a rather weird post apocalyptic wasteland of  terror. These guys are heroes and this is very well reflected in the presentation of the game but this isn't going to help them at all. There are secrets and monsters about ruins to explore and the forces of Chaos about. 
So where exactly does Rafael Chandler's writings and work fit into this? Well Springfield has been 'abandoned' for a reason or rather several unpleasant reasons.
This game is being done on a rather small scale campaign with a very definite 80's horror and  sci fi pulp vibe to it that FH&W captures in spades for me. 

This is isn't quite the world that you know folks. In point of fact the world of  2889 is a pulptastic hot bed of adventure intrigue and nasty cults of horror. And this is all pretty much Rafael Chandler's fault. 

The Serpent's Den of Springfield 

The ruins of Springfield Mass are literally crawling with a multitude of various type of giant mutant serpents and weird naga creatures from various dimensions. The city has become the headquarters for a minor serpent cult that worships some very nasty alien gods of Lovecraftian evil. How this came about or why is at least to the PC's completely unknown. 
A weird combination of factors has created a nasty situation in the city with a small one hundred plus cult operating in the area. These occultists have been trading and operating with several groups out of  Dunwich, Arkham, and the surrounding states.And the cult has been growing by leaps and bounds. 
The cult was rolled up using the machinations from Rafael Chandler's Obscene Serpent Religion crowned out with the perverse art of Gennifer Bone. And then filled in with the monstrous horrors of the Teratic Tome  making it that much more cinematic. And so this makes it very Lovecraftian but bits and pieces were filled in from the Fantastic Heroes and Witchery rule book, classic Monster Manual one and two.
I don't want to go into too much more details because my players are reading this blog.
I still need to aqquire a physical copy of OSR for myself but sufficient to say its been a very interesting read and exercise to roll up through this ADULT themed book. Extreme caution should be exercised when using this book. Its available right over HERE

More coming soon from the Ruins of Springfield! Thanks To DOM, Rafael Chandler and Gennifer Bone for all of the support material for tonight's old school fiasco! 

Review and Commentary On The Pay What Your Want OSR Resource 'Mead & Mayhem' For Your Old School Campaigns

Taverns are great places to begin adventures but they're also places that can get PC's into big trouble D-oom products has a new product called 'Mead and Mayhem' that adds in another layer of random rabble rousing to bring even more problems into your local watering hole of your adventurers and outlaws.

File:Jan van der Venne - A fight in an inn.jpg

Taverns and bars have always been a staple of old school gaming  one of the exciting things about the OSR is the number of optional products that fill a niche in the scene or more importantly at the table of old school gaming and here's where D-oom Products comes in with a great old school optional system for tavern brawls.

File:Cerquozzi-danza en la trattoria.jpg

Now this is a pay what you want product and it does what it does quite well, you can add this system into any old school OD&D style system. So this could go right into the background of say Lamentations of The Flame Princess, Labryth Lord, or even a Old  Western style game with little issue. This piece clocks in at nine pages of concisely condensed tables, complications, and bar room brawling fun just waiting to be unleashed on your players.

Grab It Right


John Wayne and Randolph Scott In 1942's 'The Spoilers'
has a great Western bar fight and is just the sort of place that that M&M was designed for. 

Bar room brawls and fights are never fun in real life and usually involve the cops and lots of drama. Take it from someone whose been in one or two. But damn they're great in the back drop of old school games and who hasn't used one in a science fiction or fantasy game as well. This product can easily be inserted right into the background of those styles of games as well. As long as they use an OD&D style base as the system your in like Flint. But let's face facts you may look at this product and say I want to use this for XYZ old school system. Well that shouldn't be that much of an issue here because with a bit of damage adjustment to your favorite systems this should simply be a question of drag and drop right into the background of your favorite old school system. But is this a worthy system for your attentions?  Well, let's face it, working with tavern or bar room brawls can be a pain in the arse for the DM and having another optional system to move the process of the cinematic fights along is in my opinion quite welcome. Does this do some interesting and original things as well? Yes and no, yes there are quite a few interesting twists on old tried and true tropes but does it do those things well? Yes it does. But no its not a pain to run through a game. In point of fact this system can even be easily adapted to even a post apocalyptic setting or a space opera as easily as a  1920's speak easy in the middle of mobster infested crime city U.S.A. So all in all this is a good low cost but high quality optional system to add into your OD&D or D&D retroclone systems. In the coming weeks I'll be using this system and let you know how it goes. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Cutting Deeper Into Neoplastic's Teratic Tome For Your Old School Campaigns

 I  'm going to do a quick break down of one of my recent favorite monster books, The Teratic Tom from Neoplastic Press. You can get the pdf HERE  Or The Hardback from Lulu HERE
the APR15 and FWD15 coupons on Lulu should apply at least for a little while and before you ask I'm not shilling for LuLu or Mr. Chandler.

  So two weeks ago, I ordered a physical copy of the Teratic Tome by Rafael Chandler and his crew of incredibly demented and talented artists who worked on the book. The fact is that I've read review after review of the book and aside from the 'oh's and ah's over the mature and slightly disturbing content with all of the tentacles. I'd like to address something about the monsters withing the book. Yes there are high level monsters of all kinds and demons, devils, and wall to wall Lovecraftian weirdness  in between the slime filled tendril laden entries. Each monster has a very simple challenge level built right into the entries. And aside from being a well put together book this level entry system is keyed for the levels of the PC's who should be fighting said monstrosities. And yes there are low level horrors just waiting to tackle your PC's in the book. The thing about these horrors is that these nasties
 are memorable and very dangerous but not out of the realm of unkillable at all. Far from it, these are horrors that can go a long way to really giving your PC's a hard time.
For example right out the gate we get a very well done horror that is keyed in for a level five party of fools erm adventurers. Another thing to notice is the simple and concise way that the treasure is laid out in the book, each entry has everything splayed out with the beastie's lair and its contents right in front of you. A simple and easy way of doing treasure in a game. 

   Other bits and pieces that that added to the monster's setting and feel is the inclusion of the way the damn thing smells and I do me damn thing here in every sense of the word. Its these simple and well thought out little fiddly details that brings the whole monster experience home for a DM. Which is one of the reasons why I decided to use this book for my upcoming a Fantastic Heroes and Witchery campaign.
   Another asthetic details that gets thrown in here is the way that each monster's entry is almost but not quite a bit like a movie plot hook. That is brought home in entry after entry with lots of little nuggets and details about the mad bastard horrors that your PC's are facing down. This was done I believe on purpose and has a very 80's vibe to it. Each and every monster is almost its own star in a way and it echoes something that a friend recently said to me. Each of these monsters should be its own 'star' of an adventure or to put it another way each monsters is unique enough to have the adventures built around it. A recent conceil that I found with old pre code horror comics and movies going back to the golden age of Hammer horror. One monster or creature powerful enough to carry the entire picture or film and powerful enough to give the PC's a hard time.

   There is also an Arduin style vibe that runs through this book as well, one of power attracting power and that those with power cause ripples across the multiverse over and over again. This is again another echo that I think was done quite well on purpose and one that goes straight back into the back bone of the recent Lamentations of The Flame Princess rpg monster book Lusus Naturae. Over and over again there's over lap between the monsters here as if there's far more bubbling below the slime covered surface of this book and I can see the various arrows point back and forth between the horrors with in the Teratic Tome. Now I've mentioned using this book with Fantastic Heroes and Witchery. But why? Because the average FH&W PC is slight more robust hit point wise and the dark dangerous tone of that game suits this book of horrors quite well but  it needs to be pointed as with the other book that less is far more in this case. 

1d10 Random Low Level Lovecraftian Monster Encounter Table For The Neo England Region For Your Old School Campaigns

Some of the most dangerous ruins and complexes in Merica are found in the Neo England are, these lands are haunted by all kinds of dangerous regional monsters that adventurers might stumble upon during their travels throughout the regions especially those areas that border the thin dimensional veil of the Beyond. 
Sometimes the only thing between certain death are a wits of a PC and his trusty ray pistol or pearl handled .45. Occasional a large magical blade can also turn the tide but in the hills of Neo England the advantage belongs to the dangerous monsters that haunt the highways and roads of the old twisting towns and cities.
Note that there is a 20% that a Voltamen patrol or other enforcement group will pass overhead or try to harass the PC's throughout the Neo New England area. 

1d10 Random Monster Encounter Table
 For The Neo England Region

  1. Northwestern mutated Troll warrior with barb wire implants throughout the skin of the beast. 
  2. Half ghoul traders moving their master's funeral wares throughout the area. There is a 10% chance that they might have relics or artifacts 
  3. A Church of Starry Wisdom 4th level priest/necromancer accompanied by 1d6 swathed intelligent zombie henchmen around his wagon. 
  4. Pig Faced orc warriors coming from New Ork state armed with black powder weapons and riding mutant horse like mounts. 
  5. 1d4 Voltamen patrol in hovercraft armed with energy weapons 3rd level fighters 
  6. 1d4 2nd level bandits on dirt bikes with short swords, hide shields, and cross bows. 20% chance of a mutant among their ranks with 1d6 mutations 
  7. 1d8 Apemen 3rd level ape men mafia enforces in full gear and top coats armed with relic modern guns looking for victims to shake down for their boss. They are driving a relic four door classic 1930's car. There is a 40% chance they may have machine guns and will use them if the encounter goes badly for them. 
  8. 1d4 pack of cavemen mutants armed with short bows, poisoned arrows, with hide round shield on giant flightless birds. 
  9. Mutant Tusker Ork warriors in an SUV armed with modern weapons looking for slaves to take back to New Ork city. 
  10. 1d8 Providence Dagon cultists armed with heavy stunners,gas grenades and gas masks looking to recruit  'converts' and slaves for an upcoming event. They are driving a commercially modified SUV style truck. There are 1d6 pathetic victims of their activities in the back. 

Review of Ivanhoe Unbound's Black Books - Tome Four : Doglocks and Draughts For Your Old School Campaigns

  So recently I received a copy of Black Box Book's latest offering Tome Four Doglocks and Draughts, I was thinking not another black powder rules set for OD&D. Well fortunately its far more then simply that. Doglocks and Draughts is a set of black powder rules of OD&D and Swords and Wizardry retroclone style systems but its more. What this is an expansion of several already readily available black powder rpg systems. This takes the material up to another level by expanding upon the black powder weaponry and then adding in the bonus of weird mundane medicine with some very interesting and potentially weird side effects. The whole bit of OSR weirdness clocks in at about nine pages and remains perfect adaptable to any number of old school style rpg systems. Much of the material reminds me again of stuff that would be available as optional systems to add to OD&D. 

Grab It Right 

  The material here is concise and easily dropped into any OD&D campaign or pulp style retro clone system. The author does a good job with a no nonsense  approach to the material here that gives the DM all kinds of room to adapt and fold the book into their existing campaigns. Because of the way this is done there is little chance of this material upsetting the balance of existing campaigns. The material here can be used for existing fire arms as the next phase of gun powder weaponry or dropped right into a perfectly timed existing campaign setting.
   In point of fact this material could easily be adapted into a game of Labryth Lord or as a potential expansion of gun powder systems for a game such as the Lamentations of The Flame Princess rpg system. The potential here is to move the time line of the LoFP world to get the most out of Doglocks and Draughts while giving the PC's even more options at the table. But with a game such as LoFP this might make little difference because of the very nature of the 'survival horror' nature of some of the game's adventures. Do I think that this is another worthy down load? Yes I do because it does what its supposed to and without breaking up to much of the DM's time to read or to fit this pdf into their own existing head space and campaigns. Grab this one now and get working within the frame work of your own games and campaigns as well. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lamentations of the Napoleonic Princess Campaign Idea

So over the weekend I received a copy of Ivanhoe Unbound's Black Box Books Tome Four: Doglocks and Draughts HERE. This was the same weekend that the LoFP Reference book was released for free HERE And with the recent passing of my friend Charlie this passed week I've been thinking about all of the ideas that passed across the sand tables down in Torrington and Litchfield Ct. in various friend's homes. Napoleon for better or worse changed the world in ways that we can scarcely imagine. The scale of this man's achievements were incredible, monstrous, and on an epic as well as grand scale. Genocide was common and the cost of his endeavors was enormous in both human life and economic scale.  These battles changed the face of the world.  Is it any wonder that given such circumstances that my mind turns to using this real world history as the basis for a an alternative world approach using the horrific and weird Lamentations of The Flame Princess rpg as the basis for such a campaign. 

There's a ton of free resources out there and you might want to start with Wiki's list right over HERE
The first French empire stretched across the world and you can beat your bottom dollar that given the scope and the military machine of  Napoleon's army that thousands of minor tribes, peoples, villages, towns, etc. were wiped out without a second thought. Now given the weird lens of LoFP's history this becomes an even bigger and far more warped time of history to use.
Here's chart of the First French Empire at its height from Wiki.
Map of Europe. French Empire shown as bigger than present day France as it included parts of present-day Netherlands and Italy.
Now you can damn well bet that this is an era that would allow the forces of adventurers and mercenaries a perfect opportunity to go into areas where the weird is still the rule. Given the updated time scale this might pose a problem with fire arms and the like. Not really at all. Given that the empire worked from 1804 to 1814 with the world in turmoil. This is a perfect time to exploit the horrors and high weirdness raging across Europe, the Middle East, and all kinds of  foreign entanglements happening in Russia.
Note that this would definitely be a humancentric campaign. Elves, Dwarves, etc. might be only seen as occasional NPC's. 
But surely we can't play mercenaries in such a campaign setting? Well there were all kinds of Europeans and others employed by Napoleon's army more information about right over HERE

The kit and parcel of the army's weaponry might be perfectly aligned with Tome Four: Doglocks and Draughts which expands the scope and range of firearms for the OD&D class of games but also adds some bits as well for this campaign idea. 

Adventures In the Razor Trade - Passing Of An Old Friend


  Welcome to Thursday, I just got a call from California from an old friend who I was once pretty close with. This call was both heart wrenching & a bit interesting. So it seems there's been the passing of an old war gaming buddy of mine out in California. Bill's brother Charlie gave me a call and Charlie has passed away. He was a member of the North West Hills War Gaming society, which I was a part of back in the early 90's. Charlie was in his late 60's( so now early 70's) when he went to live with his brother out in California marking the passing of another member of what was really as far as I know one of the last vestiges of the war gaming scene here in the Torrington area. At its height there were perhaps twelve members of this old school war gaming club. When I refer to war gaming I'm referring to sand tables and Napoleonic war gaming. The whole carefully laid out nine yards and the rules were old school 70's typed up rules. What was interesting was that at the height of Wizards of the Coast style D20 madness there was a pocket of 60's & 70's style old school figure war gaming buzzing right along here. It was a private club and simply a bunch of friends getting together to play the games they loved. This was right around the corner from three hobby stores and they had no idea that these folks were there. And actually that was the way these guys wanted it.

   But over the years as always health concerns, jobs, and plan real life tore the group apart. I was always the junior member and learned by playing, cleaning brushes,etc. There are three members left in the area that I'm friends with, my buddy Max whom I've been doing vanity press fanzine articles for years, Larry whose an entire bag of stuff all on his own, etc. Now during the phone call I was told that Charlie had been following my blog Swords and Stitchery. Charlie thought my style of writing, designing, etc. were in his words,'pulpy', 'lurid', and worthy of being sold in magazines and comic books back in the Thirties, Forties, Fifties,etc.  Here's really one of the problems with each of these deaths besides the obvious loss of a friend. Each and everytime another hobbyist passes on a small piece of knowledge, tradition, etc. goes with them. A unique part of the collective bits and whatnot that each war gamer brings to the table. Not to mention their life experiences as well. 

   Now I'm not entirely sure how to take this and I haven't told Max about Charlie's passing but I'll take 'lurid', 'pulpy', etc. any day of the week.
Rest In Peace Charlie give em what for in the other world pal!
Hail and well met! 

1d10 Warlords Of The Outer Worlds Asteroid Belt Random Encounter Table For Your Old School Science Fantasy Campaign

Because this is an age of piracy the asteroid belt has become a sort refuge for those desperate adventurers  and outlaws that hide among the debris and refuge from a thousand star systems who cleave to the traditions of  the lost preholocaust colony worlds. Here is a handy chart that logs some of the more common encounter in the inner worlds. Here are a few examples of some the strange and weird encounters adventurers can cross paths with. 

1d10 Warlords Of The Outer Worlds
Asteroid Belt Random Encounter Table
  1. A third level alien sorcerer is stirring up trouble with the native population and has a group of witchling space pirates at his disposal. There are a number of trigger happy 3rd level fighters wait for trouble to start. 
  2. A minor cult of Great Old One worshipers is threatening to hi jack a cargo vessel passing through the neighborhood. There four assassins about these folks who will kill to keep the cult's agenda secret. 
  3. A group of hidden warrior nuns has a hidden abbey among one of the larger asteroids. They will trade for food and supplies. They may deal harshly with strangers or be open to trade. 
  4. A dangerous patrol of Voltamen 3rd level fighters who are looking for trouble, these will be very interested in the PC's. 
  5. A cult of deep space worshipers who bask in the radiance of the stars. They are willing to trade secrets about certain spacers. 
  6. A group of space dwarves is mining a rich vein and they are looking to hire a group of adventuring mercenaries as guards and soldiers. 
  7. A gang of Drow space pirates wants to hire an adventurers to scout out likely targets. They are 2nd level warriors and are willing to use violence if adventurers don't hand over some of their take of treasure. 
  8. A band of dark tinker gnomes is trying activate an alien machine and are looking to hire adventurers to go on a quest for the parts for the former mecha that they've uncovered. 
  9. A giant star spawn of Cthulhu  has awakened because the stars once again right. The thing is wrecking havoc in the wake of a hero who has fallen. 
  10. A super science device has been stolen and the authorities need a covert team to steal the item back. The cult of  hell spawn warriors wants the device back from the undead alien zombies that have come to feed on the flesh of the living. There are several news holo shows following the trail of the super science device. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

1d10 Unique Random Demonic Finds Table For Your Old School Campaigns

The clash of thunder, lightning, and brimstone marks the battles between adventurers and puppets behind the forces of the Beyond namely Hell itself. There are sometimes relics and artifacts left behind after such clashes but often times these things are far more dangerous and disgusting then anyone realizes. Here then is a random table of several demonic finds that may cause your adventurers a Hell of a time out in the wastes.

Only those of minor demonic blood can hope to hold on to these items without shock or disgust. These items carry with them a heavy price for those who use them will feel depressed and tired as if something awful and dangerous is stalking. 

1d10 Unique Random Demonic Finds Table 

  1. A vase of alabaster containing a strange buzzing something but stopped up with a sealed wax and thread symbol impressed into the wax. The vase is surrounded by a strange glowing pattern of erotically suggestive forms. The thing is able whisper rumors of war, gossip, and strangely weird bits of esoteric. If unsealed then a demonic cloud of weird supernaturally dangerous insects escapes. They have strange human like faces and savage sharp like miniature teeth. They count as a swarm and do 3d6 points of damage per round when they are released attacking both friend and foe alike. 
  2. A black piece of iron that seems slimy and disgusting to the touch. This piece of metal always points to the true direction of Hell and is able to damage ghosts, demons, devils,etc. There are several claw marks embedded in the thing. +1 weapon and its always slime ridden. 
  3. A broom of twisted oak and black burnt twigs at the end of it tied with twine made of human or perhaps animal gut. The thing grows warm to the touch with approaching storms and whispers on the winds. Once a day the broom may be used to summon a gust of fetid wind and used as a broom of flight should the command word be spoken. But the thing will after 1d10 months of operation cause a minor demon to take notice of the owner and it will want to 'talk' or eat the owner. 
  4. A dagger made from hell metal and the smallest finger claw of a demon, the thing isn't a weapon at all but an instrument of direction and torture. It points to its target's weakness and a small spooky voice whispers in the ear of the owner about the target. Another weapon must be used on the target  or the minor demon twisted in the metal of the thing will grow angry at the breaking of the game's rules. 
  5. A strangely wrought device made from the discarded junk of Hell. The device gives off weird noises that indicate when an angel or other Heavenly being enters within 50 miles of the owner. The thing requires frequent bits and pieces of blood to lubricate the organ like devices of the mechanism. A minor demon will come to make a pact after 1d30 days of operation and ownership of this device. 
  6. This +2 butterfly like knife device has been forged from an iron egg of an aborted demonic thrall. The knife is used to cut and slice the cords of life and death from a target. The thing is cursed with a bit of murder and there is a 30% chance of those using the thing will try and murder a loved one or even a complete stranger. The thing drips with a blue puss like substance at night. 
  7. A sack of black leather like substance that contains the ingredients for a minor demonic summoning along with the chant tattooed inside the still living bit of demon skin. There are nail clippings, weird powders, several bits of horror, and strange fetus like thing that appears to be still living. Once the words have been read, the entire thing is consumed in a gout of hell fire and a type 3 or better demon will appear and you'd better have a damn good reason for the summons.
  8. This twisted rod of fused human thigh bones echoes with the vibrations of hell, if someone holds it for 1d40 minutes there is a 30 % chance of a spell or other vital occult insight will be screamed out. The thing can also scream once per day a word of panic or fear all targets must save vs magick or be frozen with fear. 
  9. A minor demonic claw is present and its still alive. It can be used to open a gate into a middle Hell or the Beyond. The thing acts as a +2 weapon against mortals but writhes in fear of devils who cut apart its last owner. Once per day it can produce darkness and is considered cursed by those who see it. 
  10. The eye of a minor demon lord which looks balefully out onto the world. Once per day this still living thing can be used to gaze into Hell. Its owner knows when it gazes into the plane. The owner will seek to murder anyone who knows about it. The eye can cast a minor curse upon a target but the eye itself is considered cursed by many occultists.

Assembling the parts and pieces of my OSR campaigns

So I'm on the second half of my OSR retrclone appendix X  resource list and going down the list of OSR material as I get my Warlords Of The Outer Worlds campaign written up and assembled piece by bleeding pulpy piece. I'm going over my notes and getting the adventure ready as well. There are a few more races,items, and fiddly bits to deal with. 
Since LuLu had a lovely little sale in April I took full advantage of those codes and got my arsenal fully loaded up with OSR goodness. More as it becomes available over the next day or so. 

My choice for this upcoming campaign setting and series is going to be the Fantastic Heroes and Witchery retroclone system. And because of its kitchen sink approach to the OSR material this one is something I've been looking forward to for a while. 

The Venger Satanis Haul As OSR Campaign Fodder

So the other half ordered me an OSR adventure haul from the depths of Veneger's fevered imagination and I'm now the proud owner of Revelry In Torth, The Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescence, and Liberation Of  The Demon Slayer. Which is actually even better in person then the pdf's. The paper stock is nice, Venger did an excellent job packing this stuff and the material is as adult and dangerously dark as I remember it. So all in all some great stuff that over the next couple of months will be slipped into the backdrop of the campaigns I've been working on. Recently Venger has added a bunch of new support content via Geek Native for The Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescence right  over HERE.
So first of all thanks to my wonderful other half for the gift and thanks to Mr. Satanis for making my PC's lives a living hell.  And in the words of the immortal Tall Man, 'So it begins!"

So the quality of the paper is solid, the binding well done, everything that was in the Pdf's are right there and the fonts are very easy on my aging eyes. So all in all I'm pretty damned stoked to have these in the archives to pull from.  Thanks to the soon to be wife and Venger this is a great piece of OSR resource and gaming goodness. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

1d10 Weird Finds From Within The Domed Cities Table For Your Old School Campaigns

These cities of the Ancients are found throughout the wastelands made of jet and green  porcelain like materials these places house weirdly wrought secrets and strange artifacts of sorcery & super science. The odd inhabitants are all that remain of these once mighty peoples. They can not even remember their origins but these domed palaces of a bygone era hold many mighty and dangerous secrets within them. Here is a listing of ten random artifacts to confound your adventurers.
File:Old-french-fairy-tales-1 003.jpg
1d10 Weird Finds From
 Within The Domed Cities Table
  1. Strange genetically modified tree thing in the shape of a man that sings in many languages entire operas of alien and unknown qualities. Every hour he or it produces metal flowers from within its blue green hair like growths. These will heal 1d6 points of damage or banish fatigue from within the owner and then vanish. Worth 20 gold pieces for each flower. 
  2. Golden holographic mini projectors that show the heart's desire of their owners by telepathically scanning the mind of the said owner. Worth 400 gold pieces. 
  3. A purple and grey computer like device that projects semi solid dream like illusions from within the mind of those within 20 feet of it. These illusions have a semi addictive quality about them. The projector weights several hundred pounds and is well worth over 20000 gold pieces. 
  4. A giant glass  brain that has all kinds of weird and spinning liquids through it. The thing is a telepathic storage device that mimics the human mind and makes a snap shot copy of anyone standing within 20 feet of it. This thing then projects an extensive telepathic wave of thought and light energy that creates a semi real illusion of the past to those standing near it. The experience alone is worth 20 gold pieces per use. 
  5. An inner golden glowing robotic drone bird machine hybrid that creates telepathic thought patterns of weirdly erotically charged dreams that act as charm spells to those who are within eye shot of this bird. The lawmen of the domed cities use these to keep riots and civil unrest from happening. Worth 400 to 1000 gold pieces as this device works well out side of the cities. 
  6. A weird fan like device with hundreds of multiple holo projectors that create incredibly realistic holograms of people and animals from the minds of those around it. They will interact and almost but not quite be real. Have about the same substance as a phantasmal force spell. Worth 1000 to 5000 gold pieces. 
  7. Giant block like plastic cube with thousands of wires running through the center of this device. The thing acts like a giant artificial nervous system, this thing has thousands of nerve like contacts scattered through out the thing. This device may project pleasure, pain, and many emotions between as well. The device is actually a security system and fry victims minds for 3d6 points of telepathic damage. The thing can also force heal anyone by jump starting the victim's life force. Worth 60000 gold pieces. There is often an A.I. that controls such devices. 
  8. A wickedly dangerous robotic device that is actually a great warrior but is in fact a former peace droid that has been extensively modified into its current state. This robotic thing laments many of its past and wishes it could help with tactics and planning. The bot will want to advise in all matters of war and conquest. The robot is willing to share insights with anyone who will listen. There are super scientists willing to pay 7000 gold pieces for this unit. 
  9. Clone creator will telepathically scan its creator and will want to make their ideal fantasy a reality. These clones are temporary and will last 1d20 hours after which they will dissolved back into primordial soup. The device is a coffin like mechanism with lots of bells and whistles on it. Worth 60000 gold pieces the thing weighs several tons. 
  10. A hair salon chair like device that scans the minds of those who sit in it and creates incredibly vivid and erotic dreams for the victim. The device meantime has a snap shot of the victim's mind, this device can be used to  inject into the mind of the victim certain ancient Lovecraftian or advanced magical formulas. Worth 30,000 gold pieces to the right collector. 

Quick Review Of The Gar’Haden Family Crypt By Steve Gilman For Your Old School Campaigns

Grab It Right Over 

The The Gar’Haden Family Crypt is a well done and quite straight forward old school adventure, the material here seems to pull from the horror filled roots of OD&D and is done with a great sense of dread and doom. The author has assembled all of his bits and pieces very well to enable a DM to drop this adventure right into his existing campaign. The design could be used as a part of a far more extensive campaign set up or as a drop and draw adventure for its intended game system which is Sword and Wizardry. The use of monsters is straight out of the S&W Monstrosities & Tome of Horrors Complete titles and the twists on the more traditional undead are surely welcome here.  The maps is well done and gives the DM exactly what's need to peer into the crypt.
This adventure could work for any number of campaign styles from straight up horror to a more sword & sorcery based campaign as well as everything in between. Style and substance are fully fleshed out here but there is plenty of meat on the bone for a DM to do their own DYI twist to add this to their own campaign. All in all a very enjoyable little romp through the grave yard and the author knows how to put together a tight,condense, and professionally done adventure. This adventure is the first to receive the Swords and Wizardry compatible logo. I meant to get this one up days ago but work has been keeping me busy and it seems sometimes the OSR titles can get away from you as an author. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Commentary On The Free LotFP Referee Book (old Grindhouse Edition) From Lamentations of the Flame Princess For Your Old School Campaigns On The Dark Corner Blog

Since reading that the LoFP Reference Book ( The old Grindhouse Edition) was available for free download. I've been drowning in the blood soaked gore of the Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg system goodness.  So I've go down the organ and slime threaded tunnels to take a look at the Referee book for the Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg System. 

                                                              Right Over HERE

1d10 Random ''Blessings' & Mutations Of The Ancient Kings Table For Your Science Fantasy Campaigns

They are the ancient alien kings who ruled the solar system before the coming of mankind, they're names are legion and as mankind reached his hand to the Outer Worlds past Neptune, he found evidence of their passing. The shattered remains of a once mighty empire gone to dust among the howling winds of these weird alien worlds were found by mankind. But man has always been the great adapter took on the only remaining thing of these strange peoples, he adopted their genetic heritage. From mysterious blue and green pyramids of semi divine metals the great 'blessings' of these ancient kings are imbued upon new agents who follow in the wake of this fallen kingdom of alien kings. But are their blessings for good or evil? Only time will tell. 
File:P. Pomet, A compleat history of druggs...; mummies Wellcome L0028504.jpg
The ancient violet liquids and divine potions from the distilled royal bodies flow into new inheritors of ancient wisdom but will this be your PC's? Weird impulses, strange thoughts, and event speculation of the whispers of alien souls are heard in the halls of certain places. Here then are 1d10 random mutations that may only be passed by the blessings of the mysterious Violet Monks of The Ancient Kings. For a small tithe of several thousand gold pieces these blessings might also be yours.

1d10 Random ''Blessings' & Mutations
Of The Ancient Kings Table  

  1. Voices in The Night - The gifted can sense life and mysterious energies with a twenty foot radius, strange and mysterious whispers echo through his mind telling him some details such as the type of radiation or life that is present. There is a 20% chance that if magic has been cast that the gifted will know what type of spell or rite has been done and how long ago. The imubed will have strange antenna like growths from their heads when they receive this blessing. 
  2. The Strength of Alien Ages - The gifted adds three or four inches of height to their frame and gains + 3 to their strength, a ruddy sheen spreads across their skin and they add +3 to their Constitution. But they become less emotional and far more distant from their fellow men. 
  3. The Coming and Going of Kings - The gifted can see and smell the dimensional trails of travelers. Dimensional gates and portals cause the PC's eyes to glow and a trail of energy marks any dimensional gates that are within a 40 yard radius of the PC. They can follow such trails as blood hounds. 
  4. Makers Strength and Rage - The PC's fists glow with the light and fury of dead alien demon haunted stars and the PC gains +4 on all hand to hand attacks. But the energies linger after such attacks causing all within 30 feet of the gifted to make a radiation check as the alien radiations leech from the fool's hands attacking all. The gifted is immune to his own alien emanations.
  5. Gills of The Gifted Ones - The PC is able within 1d4 rounds to adapt to any atmosphere as his body's army of nano gilled processors cope and straighten the soul's frame to the planetary conditions. Those who receive this 'blessing' are a - 4 Charisma. The nano gill structures are quite evident and ugly to most eyes.  
  6. Eyes of the Void - The blessed one gains eyes and brain apparatus capable of seeing into the voids of space and time. The fool may gaze up to 1d8 light years away. They're eyes are black alien pulsing things making the blessed -5 on Charisma and they must be protected with specially made eye wear available through the Violet Monks for 6000 gold pieces per pair. 
  7. Understanding Of The Kings - The fool erm gifted is able to understand any alien pieces of technology as the biological computer structures within their minds spins through billions of computations as to the understand of such alien devices. The gifted one gains bright blue and green pulsing veins upon their fore heads and +5 to their wisdom scores. There are those who whisper of the alien understand and weird aura about such individuals however. 
  8. Crimson Bands of the Old Kings - The flesh of the gifted is crisscrossed with strange coloured bands of crimson and red. This is actually an alien thing that feeds and nurtures its host disabling the need for sleep or food. The blessed no longer requires these and will vomit forth food. The blessed now only goes into a fifteen minute rest period. These bands allow the blessed to recover and heal 1d8 points of damage but each time this is used another bit of the fool's humanity withers away and they will receive some minor alien feature. - 1 on their Charisma attribute. 
  9. Countenance of the Kings - The gifted gains infravision and his face warps into an alien form, taste and hearing become close to an elf's and he is able to hear colors. The fool takes on a semi demonic countenance and is able to sense the relics and works of the Ancient kings within a 30 foot radius of him. Further all robotic and cybernetic servants of the Ancient Kings will function for this being. The blessed will also gain the eight fingers of the kings as well gaining +2 on Dexterity. -4 on charisma with humans and near human races however as the ancestral memories of these beings brings hatred and disgust at a genetic level across the centuries. 
  10. Robes Of The King - The gifted becomes an ancient king in form and deed, he gains 1d4 mutations from this list and another five minor mutations from the appropriate matrices. The Ancient Kings will call to their brother from across the stars and enlist his help in their fight against Chaos itself. They may 10% ask the fool to return to the mortal plane after suitable training and seek out their works across the alien stars. The PC may be spoon fed missions by his mysterious benefactors and rope in their comrades into these adventures.
  •  Note that this list of mutations is from my Warlords of the Outer worlds campaign & PC's will not be receiving these benefits right away or at all depending upon adventures and missions. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Beast From Below From My Warlords Of The Outer Worlds Campaign

The beasts from below are a supernaturally mutated variation of mankind that has become all too common as the other dimensional energies of the Beyond have infected Earth and its Outer World colonies. These horrors are actually the mutated forms of men who have been exposed to the Abyssal energies of the Beyond and become twisted by these dangerous other worldly energies. They must make pilgrimages to the half worlds that border the local space time continuum and the Beyond lest they expire from the lack of the strange radiations of the dread dimension. Warped by this exposure to the dangerous and horrid other worldly energies. The beasts from below are dangerous, unpredictable, and highly chaotic in nature. They may be found anywhere that a gateway to the Beyond exists. These horrors often hoard treasure and relics out of some weird and half understood instinct. These horrors often harbor half insane and psychotic revenge fantasies against perfectly innocent victims that the beasts perceive as having been wronged against in life. 

Frequency: Uncommon 
No Appearing: 1d4 
Armor Class: 4 
Move: 12" 
Hit Dice: 8 + 1-2 
% in lair: 40% must make frequent trips to their Beyond gateway homes to recharge their reserves of other dimensional energies 
Treasure Type :E (these mutated horrors frequently rob and hoard certain artifacts or treasures). 
Number of Attacks: 3 
Damage: 2-16 
Special Attacks: By weapon or mutation 
Special Defenses: See Below 
Magic Resistance: Standard 
Intelligence: Low but very cunning 
Alignment: Chaotic Evil 
Size : L (13 foot tall) 
Psionic Ability: Nil 
Attack/Defense modes: Nil 

The Beasts from below are an all too common type of giant mutate that frequently is created when ordinary men are exposed to the Abyssal energies of Beyond gateways. These mad and deranged mutated bastards  guard the dimensional gateways to the Beyond super natural realms. These horrors are mad, bad, and completely insane. Able to inflict bone crushing blows and bare five incredible clawed  hands with claws capable dealing out incredible blows. They are so quick that they have been known to attack three times per round. The thick skin of the beast from below are immune to many mundane weapons and only magical +1 weapons or better weapons will penetrate these mad horror's skin. Once per day these horrors must rest within the confines of  fifty feat near the  Beyond gateway to maintain the hold of the weird other dimensional energies and radiations that bathes the sites of these horrors. The beasts from below are cannibals and dangerous raving beasts who prey on local villages and communities. These horrors often speak orgre and giant languages but have a language all their own. These monsters are evil, unpredictable mutated bastards who often sport 1d6 random mutations. Should they fail to return to their Beyond dimensional gateways they will parish within 1d4 months when the Abyssal energies stop coursing through their bodies.
The Beast From Below originally appeared in Blue Bolt Weird Tales of Terror #112

Five Giant Monsters Flicks From The 1950s as Fodder For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns


Out in the post apocalyptic wastelands there are giants that hunt among the wastelands, giant mutated horrors from another era that hunt the wastelands. Here are five of my favorites that work very well in old school rpgs and retroclones such as Gamma World, Mutant Future, and with a bit of modification Mutant Epoch. 
Them from 1954 is one of the best monster flicks of all times. Giant ants, fighting through the tunnels of the underground with flame throwers, the mystery aspect of the film. Many of these themes we would later see in such films as Aliens and countless monster flicks.
Classic stuff and still very useful for a reference point for old school post apocalyptic campaigns.

Them 1954

When it comes to deadly dungeon and ruin crawling, Them is a great resource from the deadly mutated horrors bursting through settlement walls to full on assaults you can't beat giant ants for deadliness. 

I've used Them countless times and every single time the players didn't see the giant ants coming until it was too late. Avoid the sugar bit and go for the gusto when running encounters with these giant mutated insect horrors. 
Here's another forgotten gem from 1957. The Deadly Mantis is perfect for delivering the goods to your old school post apocalyptic filled campaign.
The Deadly Mantis 1957

One of the later 57 monster flicks this one has lots of effects, panic, campy lines, and a great prehistoric monster that is perfect to unleash on your unsuspecting mutant adventurers. The monster makes a great mid level monster for a higher level group of adventurers who have dealt with other monster menaces.

Nineteen Fifty Five's  Tarantula always brings out the big guns from PC's, don't ask me why but giant spiders are one of my favorite horrors to unleash on mutant adventurers and every single encounter unleashes as hail of post apocalyptic military grade weaponry. I've always unleashed little ones that the giant spider has secreted away before unleashing mamma upon the PC's.
Giant spiders are a great way for PC's to waste a ton of those powerful artifacts before setting them up for a deadly encounter.

Tarantula 1955 

There was something in the air in 1955 because we got It Came From Beneath the Sea, this time a mutated octopus that changes the San Francisco skyline by tearing apart the Golden Gate bridge. Its an excellent monster to run on any coastline though and most players have forgotten about this wonderful film from the mind of Ray Harryhausen.

It Came From Beneath The Sea 1955 

Clever, entertaining, and mostly forgotten is a giant monster flick that demonstrates how one monster and its spawn can dominate an entire campaign. The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms is a great example of a flick that plays with its audience while sending the characters running. A great flick to pull ideas from. The plot points, monster, and setting material are perfect fodder for a group of PC's to deal with. This film will keep a party busy for months as the Beast rampages across the mutated landscape.
The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms 1953