Thursday, November 5, 2015

Review & Commentary on 100 Oddities for a Graveyard From Skirmisher Publishing For Your Old School Campaigns

 100 Oddities for a Graveyard From Skirmisher Publishing is a great ten page pdf of adventure location and adventure setting dressing for your adventures. This book is system agnostic and will fit just about any game system and this is a good pdf to acquire for both modern and old school systems. But is it actually useful for the gaming table? Well let's dive into this book

Basically 100 Oddities for a Graveyard is a series of random d100 charts that can add interesting game adventure elements to an adventure location. This enables with a toss of the dice a DM to add in a whole evening's encounters for a game.

Graveyards have always been the domain of horror films and survival horror adventures, but this book gives a ton of interesting side bits to sneak into an adventure. This includes the exploding dice principle rule -
One final thing: Oddities for a Graveyard employs a dice rolling sub-system often referred to as “Exploding
Dice.” In this sub-system, a die that rolls the maximum value possible [i.e. a 6 on a d6] is rolled again, and the new value is added to the previous total. This continues until a value other than the maximum is rolled. So, you might roll a d8 and get 8, then roll again, get another 8, and then, on a third roll, get a 3. You would then stop and total the results, in this case a 19 [8+8+3].
When we are referring to an exploding die roll, you will see a lower case “x” after the die notation, as in
With some of the encounters this adds an element of weirdness and some horror to some of the results. But on the whole the book provides a whole host of adventure elements that can change up a rather mundane romp through a grave yard location. An example of what you'll find in this book includes the following:
"An arch of stone creating a portal over the head of a grave. Directly over the top of the arch,
the stones frame a circular hole. Local legend recounts varying tales of what happens when someone stands on the grave and gazes upon the moon or sun through the hole over the arch; stories of mystical portals, visitors from other realms, glimpses of the future or the past, or a departed love one are but a few."
The graveyard isn't usually the first adventure location that leaps to a DM's mind but this book basically provides all of the weirdness that you want to be inserted right into the back end of their campaigns with little issue. For a dollar this is a pretty solid investment for any new or old school gaming system. William Thresher's artwork adds a sense of whimsy and weirdness to the book.  Don't let my comment fool you there's enough here to keep even a group of Call of Cthulhu investigators guessing at least for a night or two.
Is this the beginning to an opportunity to adventure or your PC's demise?
This is one of the places that this book excels at keeping adventure encounters moving so that you can get to the heart and soul of your grave yard adventure location. There are other places that 100 Oddities for a Graveyard could be used.
Personally, I'd use this book with a mix of post apocalyptic and straight up dark  fantasy, many of the encounters and ideas in 100 Oddities for a Graveyard lend themselves to a mix of games. For me this would be a mix of Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord Advanced. The PC's stumbling onto a post apocalyptic graveyard adventure location could easily support the material in this ten page pdf. With a toss of the dice a DM could dress different parts of an adventure location quite easily. This book can add a sense of the epic and weird to a simple romp through a grave yard. Seriously there's some great encounters to unleash on players and their PC's. Do I think that its worth the download price? Yes I do indeed! Many of the encounters sound like they'd be perfect to add into a Phantasm movie like campaign.The idea of outdoor crawling among the grave stones is pretty appealing for a post apocalyptic or more modern survival horror style of game.  A sprinkling of undead, ghosts, or your favorite post apocalyptic horrors and your ready to go.

There's more then enough of an adventure construction and encounter kit to outfit a gang of adventurer's with a mini campaign or two. The adventure elements are well done in such a way that you can take this book as a simple stepping stone or a fully realized night of dungeon crawling through a cemetery.

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