Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review and Commentary on Black Box Books -- Tome Three: Cannibals and Confusion From Ivanhoe Unbound For Your Old School Science Fantasy Campaigns

Grab It Right

  Science fantasy is a hard one to really classify and but there have been some writers of incredible exception and Clark Aston Smith is one of my all time favorites & this eight page swords and wizardry supplement covers all of the basics for creature design and designation. Black Box Books seems to cover some of the most esoteric OD&D style angles of content that I've seen from the OGL. The monsters have a myriad of uses and are right up the Weird Tales sort of a alley. These are meant to be dropped right into an existing Swords and Wizardry or Labyrinth Lords style of adventure. The Avatar of Mordiggiel is from the Clark Aston Smith story The Charnal God, as well as the Clergy of Mordiggiel. These are presented with a concise and condensed background that a DM expects from Swords & Wizardry. The Graedigg, is a nasty piece of work just waiting to devour your adventurers. And the Akephalos are the monsters from myth and legend, and pretty much in line with the mythology of these horrors right HERE.
  Then we get another clan of nasty and dangerous cannibals that are straight out of Icelandic or a frozen landscape. Wrathful emanations are a sort of dreamlike monsters who resemble their creators. Something akin to a monster which seems one part Doctor Strange comic book spell and one part legendary myth. These things can kill with intent of the cleric or spell caster and can be used for a variety of taboo or weird in game effects. 
Finally we get a weird little take on Chaos magic which is perfect for a cleric or wizard devoted to a chaos god or goddess random magical insanity and decadence. Think something akin to a weird or more sinister  So does 
 Cannibals and Confusion From Ivanhoe Unbound lives up to the hype? Here is the break down, for a dollar and one cent you get a whole mess of pulp style weirdness to drop straight into your Swords & Wizardry or OD&D campaign or your favorite retro clone role playing system. Because of the mix of mythological and pulpy goodness this is a perfect little convention set of monsters and magick to drop into your favorite old school campaigns. To be perfectly honest,this set of weirdness inspired by Clark Aston Smith might work in a set of adventures set in a customized or loosely based Smithian set of adventures. Is it worth the price and set up of the whole pdf? I think so, it reminds me of those other small 70's and early 80's style Old dungeons and dragons style fanzines that used to make the rounds back in the days of legend & yor. There's even a few options for printing out this product into a handy fold away pamphlet style booklet for easy small handy Seventies take away for your old school campaigns.  All in all this one has a ton of uses. 

 All of these monsters and spells can be used to enhance any number of areas from a great campaign up change in the post apocalyptic wastelands to the use in a Clark Aston Smith style dungeon location where you need any number of weird or more then slightly strange horrors to stalk as well as feed on your adventurers. Do I think that this one is worth the download? Without a doubt this little add on puts a more then slightly sinister spin on your old school campaigns with an OD&D addition of weirdness to your campaigns. 

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