Sunday, January 31, 2016

Raising The Volume For Ryan Denison's 'Go Fund Me Campaign' & The Mutant Future OSR Bundle

Ryan Denison is the co author of the Mutant Future retroclone which I've run countless times over my years in the OSR circles. So when I read about his family's situation I decided to raise the volume for him. According to the Go Fund Me site, "I write with profound grief that my good friend Ryan Denison (coauthor of Mutant Future) lost his wife (Suzanne) and mother of their two-year old son abruptly and unexpectedly on November 20, 2015"

You Help Out Here
This bundle and campaign were put together by Daniel Proctor of Goblinoid Games and you get access to some amazing OSR titles and are helping out with a great cause. "The bundle includes links to many PDF and  a few print products provided by myself and other generous publishers. Supporters will have access to links to download PDFs for free and links to print products that can be purchased “at cost” of manufacture plus shipping."
This is a stop gap to help Ryan and his family out. According to the Go Fund me account,"Ryan is back to work, but Suzanne was the primary provider for the family. There are many, many expenses associated with this loss and getting a new start. In the long term Ryan’s financial situation will stabilize, but in the short term he needs some help to get there."
There are two levels one for thirty dollars and one for sixty and here's what you get for your money and efforts.

Goblinoid Games
Labyrinth Lord (PDF, soft and hard covers)
Advanced Edition Companion (PDF, soft and hard covers)
Original Edition Characters (PDF)
Realms of Crawling Chaos (PDF, soft cover)
Idol of the Orcs (PDF, staple bound)
Mutant Future (PDF, soft and hard covers)
Starships & Spacemen 2e (PDF and soft cover)
Wizards’ World (PDF)

All of the bove, plus:

Barrel Rider Games
Class Compendium (PDF)

Faster Monkey Games
The Gyre  (PDF)
Re-Energizers (PDF)
Realm of the Technomancer (PDF)

James Mishler Games
JMG First Three Years Bundle (all of their products) (PDF)

Lesser Gnome
Whisper & Venom (PDF)

The Savage AfterWorld
Deviant Database (PDF)
Deviant Database 2.0 (PDF)
One Year In The Savage AfterWorld (PDF)

The Knotty-Works
Going Postal - Tech Bites (Microbots) (PDF)
Going Postal - Tech Bites (Vehicles) (PDF)
Table Scraps Issue 1 (PDF)
Table Scraps Issue 2 (PDF)
Table Scraps Issue 3 (PDF)
Table Scraps Issue 4 (PDF)

Mithgarthr Entertainment
The Mines of Valdhum (for Labyrinth Lord) (PDF)
The Mines of Valdhum (for Fifth Edition) (PDF)
Campaigns in Cairnvarthi (campaign setting is system neutral, included adventure is for Fifth Edition) (PDF)

Taskboy Games
Manse on Murder Hill (PDF and soft cover)
Tranzar's Redoubt (PDF and soft cover)

 So this is for a great cause and to help out an OSR author who needs our help plus its a chance to get some exceptional OSR titles to boot. Take a look and see what you can give.

Commentary On Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #3: Villains of the Undercity Adventure By Mark Taormino Kickstarter Updates

Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #3: Villains of the Undercity adventure had a Kickstarter back in October of 2015 and since then he's been quietly working on the module. Well I've seen some of the artwork he's been posting on the Villains of the Undercity adventure page on Facebook  Mark Taormino is one of a handful of OSR author's whose Kickstarters I follow and actively love. He's delivered the goods time and again with his last two Kickstater adventures including the "The Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen" and "The Secret Machines of the Star Spawn"
The plot is like something that a renegade game  company might have come up with but no its actually Mark's own twisted brand of old school mayhem. He's got a devilish sense of humor and wily weirdness to his writing which players at my table over the years have learned to dread or enjoy in equal turns. The plot goes something like this;"Danger lurks at every corner of the small coastal city of Las Farporte. The locals insist people are being abducted in the night and taken into into the bowels of the rumored "Undercity Dungeon" below. A lone survivor managed to escape and give some information before dying in your arms: “Secret door... Tavern of the Wiley Wench... The password is... the password is... Ugh!” You and your brave team of adventurers have decided to investigate these rumors, plunder the dungeon and destroy the dreaded "Villains of the Undercity!" Oh but first loot the body, of course. He won't mind... he's dead."

Now artist Joshua L. Burnett has released a few new art pieces for the upcoming module via the adventure's Facebook group. According to Joshua; " Here is the final piece completed by artist Joshua Burnett for the back cover of Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #3: Villains of the Undercity! I wanted an incredible iconic style homage to the back cover of Tomb of Horrors and Joshua nailed it! Alan will colorize it soon as I get closer to completing the module."  I'm really looking forward to the colorized version of the artwork.

Villains of the Undercity is going to be easily adaptable to any number of old school systems; "This module is designed for character levels 1-3 and can be played with the OSRIC(tm) system or easily adapted to AD&D, D&D 1e to 5e, Pathfinder, D20 System, Labyrinth Lord, BFRPG, Swords & Wizardry, Warrior & Wizards, etc or any fantasy role playing system you may want to use it with under the Open Gaming License v1.0a!"  Some of the recent updates have been pretty interesting and its nice to see a lower level OSR style title from Maximum Mayhem Dungeons. The previous modules were brutal and just because this one might rank in as a lower level that might be any different in this adventure making this one a possible go to adventure for Dungeon Crawl Classics as well. According to the author; "
A few quick updates... I should have updates for you every week from here on out.
Art: Here is a work in progress from Chuck Bowman. It is one of the encounters in the module where a few Bugbears are having a bit of a BBQ dinner with a hapless adventurer! I do have a couple more custom art pieces that I will be commissioning before the end as well.
Writing: I have all the basic encounters written now and I am working through them with improvements and tweaks. I am targeting being the layout phase in about two-three weeks.
Maps: There will be two maps. Alan will start on the first one soon, and the second one will be available soon after that.
Testing: I should be able to start testing some of the encounters by the end of this week with some of the play testers." This looks like a great old school module that can act as both a stepping stone into a campaign or a mini campaign itself. I'd be leaning towards Villains of the Undercity  being one of the latter. With nasty pieces of work like Bluto the Strongman  making an appearance in the adventure.

The author also has a habit of slipping in Lovecraftian and horror elements where you might least expect it and with a sly sense of humor about it. Secret Machines of the Star Spawn had eight new and pretty nasty monstrous horrors in it. And while the module had some funny bits, it was as lethal and cunning a module I've seen. Villains of the Undercity won't be any exception in that regards. Not when you have things like this horror, The Bonebane Warrior just waiting to tear your PC's apart.

Then stuff like this thing appeared on the Kickstarter and I was pretty much sold on it. So do I think that this is going to be worth the wait and effort? In a word yes and in spades, I've used other  Maximum Mayhem Dungeons products with Labyrth Lord games, Lamentations of the Flame Princess with some conversions and many other OSR gaming systems and they've never failed to deliver the goods. I've got The Hanging Coffins Of The Vampire Queen and the Secret Machines of the Star Spawn  adventures  as evidence for Mark's efforts as quality products to back that statement.

So what does all of this mean? Well it means that in the near future we're going to see a brand new OSR module birth itself and you'll be experiencing a new beginning module with the focus for a lower tier quality crawl among some very dangerous old school dungeon territory. I'm really looking forward to the Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #3: Villains of the Undercity Adventure

1d6 Random Encounters With Ancient Undead Heroes and Adventurers Table For Your Old School Campaigns

There are ancient undead spirits whose will and attachment to life are so powerful that they hang onto to this world and their echoes appear on others as well.Sometimes these are former adventurers whose drives, life goals, unfinished desires for fortune as well as glory keep them on the road of existence. These are some very dangerous and malignant spirits that can often manifest across worlds to wreck havoc on adventurer's and warrior's lives alike Here are six desperate and dangerous spirits to torment your player's PC's with.There is twenty percent chance per appearance across the dimensions that these spirits might take on temporary flesh to accomplish their twisted goals. Often these beings have characteristics of certain well known monsters but are unique monsters into themselves whose abilities are shaped by the drives and ambitions of the individual.

1d6 Random Encounters With Ancient Undead Heroes and Adventurers Table
  1.  Sir Dirk Fabanatu of Fanana was an adventurer of some renown whose bloody path of exploration led him to the far corners of the planes and dimensions as a warrior and professional soldier. He finally met his end in the far off alien canyons of Ilirgbairurur at the edge of Hell, where the wights of the former alien colony feasted on his soul. But this was not the end of the hero's journey merely the beginning. Dirk emerged as a fully intelligent wight but a twisted individual who journeyed with other adventurers only to finally after several months lead them to their deaths. This is a cycle that continues repeatedly. Sir Dirk Fabanatu is able to take on the illusion of flesh for 1d8 months after swallowing the souls of others, he is a 3rd level fighter and very experienced in the ways and means of  dimensional travel. His own brother has been searching for him to end his existence though and is hot on the trail but that was six months ago. 
  2. Sarah Egrcan The Bold - A former lady of a royal house hold whose family was killed when their space craft crashed into a nameless moon and a ghost feasted on her soul. She awakened in torment at the alien spirit's claws and managed to murder the thing but in the process took on its wretched existence. She however was able to form a temporary existence when she saved another family from the mini dead world's horrors. She passed herself off as a space pirate and attached herself to this family eventually draining each and every member as she helped them. A process that has continued along the space ways and dimensions. She is a spirit with a small horde of  NPC minions to help her, she fights as a 4th level fighter.
  3. Faeguriard is an alien wizard whose delving into the forbidden lead him into the snares of a demon from an alien star who turned him into a vampire and left him to rot on an asteroid circling a black  hole. Faeguriard was picked up by a group of prospectors and has been acting as an alien mercenary wizard of 6th level ever since. He is twisted and evil but is planning his revenge against his former tormentor as he ascends along the black path of damnation. 
  4. Vaulod Welkami is a ghoul spirit whose existence came about after a young girl encountered a relic of the Outer Darkness that annihilated her soul and twisted what was left into an ancient spirit thing that desired vengence upon a long dead race of cosmic beings. Dressed in spacer leathers and rags, Welkami is a being who passed itself off as an alien scribe and being of knowledge among adventurers. All of the while it slowly drains and murders its employers one after another; sometimes this being becomes obsessed with its prey and it can take months or years to murder them. Very few survive its attentions but it sometimes let's its prey think that it is a benefactor with small valuable baubles and quests to amuse itself before for the final kill. It has the abilities of an 8th level scribe in several areas.
  5. Roglaethurorc The Wise is an old spacer whose life was snuffed out on the outer edges of Shuntulallka IX after nasty malevolent spirit ambushed him. The alien ghost took the old spacer's soul and was surprised when Shuntulallka ate it instead. But now the old storyteller and spacer roams among star ship crews killing and murdering those it deems evil. It takes on flesh and has a very nasty obsession with certain attractive individuals. Those with a Charisma of 7 or great might attract its rather nasty psychotic and stalker obsessions. The spacer is know for his kindness and wonderful exterior which hides the heart of a demon. He is a 7th level fighter and spacer of some respect and reputation. 
  6. Uaulrtha is an alien space born huntress and bounty hunter whose alien body has characteristics of both ghouls and wights, her extinct tribe sacrificed her to their god master whose magicks twisted her into this thing. She roams the space ways murdering those of evil and foul deeds and helping those she can but sometimes her own alien hungers overcome her reason and she must feed or perish such is her tortured existence. She is a 5th level fighter and master of her alien relic blade Ontul a gift from her former demon god master. She has eternity to know the flesh of existence and is often found in the most unexpected and far flung corners of the universe.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Using The Free Gamma World Adventure GW5 Rapture Of The Deep As Post Apocalyptic Dungeon Crawl Classic's Wasteland Adventurer Funnel

So I'm speaking with friends last night about the last travesty of my using Legion of Gold as a funnel for a post apocalyptic Dungeon Crawling Classics game using the Crawling Under A Broken Moon rules. So the big complaint that I heard from my friends and players was that they couldn't afford Legion of Gold but loved the ideas of such a funnel. Too bad there isn't a free Gamma World module that could be used in much the same way? Well actually there is! In fact this module has a straight up dangerous high level and very lethal faction from Gamma World introduced way back in an early issue of Dragon magazine. It really doesn't matter which one because everything you need is actually in GW5 and its free. It happens to be for second edition Gamma World and that's really not going to be a problem.

So what exactly is GW Five Rapture of The Deep and why is it free?
It's a fan made module created to fill the gap in the TSR GW sequence, GW5. For intermediate to advanced players. Here's where the funnel takes place your PC's are some of the victims caught within the attacks happening along the former Florida panhandle.

"A terrible menace from the sea is threatening villages all along the coast. Whole shoreline communities have been disappearing without a trace.
After going through the usual DCC funnel style experience using a bunch of aquatic mutants and their gear, the PC's should have a small side adventure in the ruins of Florida.  Then this bit get's them straight into the action;
"The remaining area inhabitants have banded together and sent for a group of experienced heroes to help. They want to know what could be causing these horrible events, and more importantly, what can be done to put a stop to them. Is it some new terrifying monster from the depths? Or is there something more sinister at work? "
The biggest hurltle the dungeon master and players might have is the use of the underwater rules for DCC but they are out there in the wilds of the internet if you do a bit of research. Here's some that might be of use.
"The adventurers will travel deep beneath the waves to discover the answer. Can they survive the strange and dangerous ocean depths of Gamma World? Can they solve the mystery before it's too late? " This adventure is an extended campaign for underwater post apocalyptic adventure and there is a ton to encounter and deal with in Rapture of the Deep. This is an underwater sandbox that I've seen several side adventures worked into the background of play over the years and even with DCC it shouldn't be any different.
So that's really the set up for the post apocalyptic DM and his players. The adventure contains a whole plethora of Gamma World underwater madness including: " game master notes, background information, maps, rules for underwater adventuring, new equipment, and over 30 new aquatic creatures."

Rereading through Rapture of the Deep it brought home the opportunities for expansion of several set pieces I've seen used in Gamma World, Mutant Future and other PA games that other DM have used one of which has been floating space ship launch sites controlled by A.I.'s and machine intelligence gods. Many of these ideas were perfect for off of the coast or Florida and Gulf of Mexico, this fits in perfectly with the Merica of Crawling Under A Broken Moon. There are some free resources to that end right over HERE

Rapture of the Deep features an extensive style of underwater campaigning and this adventure could take months for a group of experienced players to go through. Have several PC's ready and make extensive use of this time to establish an underwater domain or base for PC's because by the time they're done your going to have very high level adventurers at least three or forth level in DCC. If they survive the experience. For myself I used the pattern of the movie Leviathan from 1988 as the pattern for the domain that the players had. A roving under sea mining and scavenging  platform that the PC's managed to free from its A.I. god became they're domain. This same formula could easily work for a DCC game.

GW 5 has its own set of challenges but also an extensive set of rewards and ideas for a range of extended post apocalyptic play. The module remains a favorite of mine. For issues of Crawling Under A Broken Moon that would help I suggest issue #11, 10, 7, UX01: High Caliber Hijinks, and more. Hell just buy the whole damn run and you won't be sorry. More Gamma World and DCC goodness coming up. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Review and Commentary On The Gang Buster's Rpg Weird Tales And Paranormal Investigations "The Blue Book Detective Agency" Beginning Rules By Mark Hunt

Mark Hunt is on a one man OSR crusade to get the Gang Buster's rpg off of the shelves of collectors and on to the table tops of dungeon masters as well as players everywhere. Each and every week it seems a new product or wrinkle has been added to the cult and pulpcastic rpg. Yesterday he contacted me via G+ and handed me a pdf copy of his soon to be released box set for a totally revamped Gangbusters rpg entitled  Gang Buster's Rpg Weird Tales And Paranormal Investigations "The Blue Book Detective Agency " Beginning Rules By Mark Hunt. This is going to be a part of a limited run box set with his own spin on the venerable game and its glorious. This is a complete reworking of the percentile and skill based system into a sleek and sleazy pulp ridden rpg that takes place in the hard boiled days of the Twenty & Thirties.
This is a game that takes on both the likes of Al Capone and Doc Savage style adventure with a pulp flare that is easy to pick up and run in about an hour of getting the rule book for a DM.

The lay out is slick as it gets and the fonts are easy to read, PC generation is straight from the annals of the original game but slimmed down and with a twist or two that runs with the original system. The author has kept the spirit and playability of the original while making the game hum like a fine Twenty roaster. Here's a sample directly from the pdf. Powers and paranormal abilities have been added to the game giving a fine pulp heroic and hard boiled edge to the Gangbuster's game. The adventures take place in a crime and supernatural world of pulpy action and adventure; one part Weird Tales and two parts pulp Noir detective novel all seething with the dark undercurrent of old school action as well as adventure.

But is it good? Yes in a word it works on a number of levels from the layout to the hard core edge of the game that keeps the classic Gangbuster's feel but adds dark and sinister twists to the system and it works very, very well I'm happy to report. "Gangbusters is a game about crime in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s. Players take the roles of criminals, law enforcement professionals, or other characters (such as newspaper reporters) who investigate or oppose criminals. An emphasis is placed on the violent growth of organized crime during Prohibition. Political corruption is also a recurring theme." all of this is still at the dark heart of Gangbusters but now the pulp elements of the game's pulpy material sources have been sewn into the background and heart of the system. And it works very well, the writing and the author's design is stone cold solid and begs to be played at your table. The layout is easy on the eyes and the mind. Items are clear and precisely laid out. Task resolution and percentage skill systems are clearly intact and easy to use as ever.

The game is supported with a solid backbone of a system and a nice rule book that clocks in at a slim one hundred pages of easy to digest material in the games original old school pulp style with Mark's author and designer finger prints in the mix. Wiki has a very good break down of the original system; "
Character generation in Gangbusters follows a pattern common in role-playing games of the early 1980s—a player randomly generates his character's abilities (such as Muscle and Luck) using dice, then chooses a career (character class) for the character. Careers for player characters are limited to Criminal, FBI Agent, Newspaper Reporter, Police Officer, Private Investigator, and Prohibition Agent. Each career includes a unique set of advantages and disadvantages to differentiate it from the others. Characters are further customized by adding non-career skills, such as Auto Theft or Photography.
Characters are improved by earning experience points. Experience points are awarded (by the gamemaster, called the Judge in Gangbusters) based on a character's success in his career. For example, criminals earn experience points based on how profitable their crimes are, while police officers earn experience points for capturing criminals. Earning experience points increases a character's level (which is an indicator of social status in the game setting), and allows the character's player to improve the character's abilities and purchase new skills.

Gangbusters uses a percentile-based mechanic for most task resolutions. The basic chances of a character succeeding at an action are equal to the character's score in a relevant ability or skill, subject to modifiers assigned by the Judge. The player of that character then rolls percentile dice to determine if the character succeeded. The results of actions (such as the damage caused by weapons or the amount of money produced by a criminal enterprise) may be determined by further dice rolls. All dice rolls in the game use ten-sided dice."  All of this still stands and works in this version of the Gangbuster's rpg but Mark has slimmed back and worked at editing the game down into a solid old school rpg engine that works like a dream. Mark has added in the pulp element of strange and mysterious powers; "These are optional rules
designed to add a little of the mysterious and the fantastic
to a Judge’s campaign. Be warned that they take The Blue Book Detective Agency Beginner Game away from the straight cops and robbers genre of Gangbusters and into the territory of The Shadow, Black Bat, G-8, The Spider, The Phantom Detective, and other Pulp heroes and
anti-heroes. This is likely to change the tone of the game, making it more like what a 21st century readership
would think of as the Pulp magazines of the 1920s and 1930s. If the Judge decides to take his campaign down this route, the traditional set-up in the Pulps would be for one character, the protagonist, to have the strange and mysterious power, as with The Shadow or Doc Savage. Unless the playing group is willing to
play in this format, it is not recommended as it does mean that the focus of  game shifts to the player character with the power. Instead, it is suggested that each character have his own secret power to aid him in fight against crime, or indeed, his stand against the Law."  So how does this work for the PC's in the center of the pulp action of the game; "Each character has a 25% chance of having a mysterious power at the start
of The Blue Book Detective Agency Beginner Game. Once a player has finished creating his character have him roll percentile dice. If the result is 25 or less, that character has a power. If the roll is failed and the character does not have a power, the roll can be made each time he gains a new Level.
Unlike the other skills, this power is randomly selected on a d10. The possession of the power has nothing to do with the Ability scores of the character, although the effectiveness of the power does." 
All of this works very well as optional rules and takes the game down the dark and twisting paths of the pulps. There have been hints over the last month or so of this sort a direction for Mark Hunt's version of Gangbusters and man I'm so glad he went this route. The rest of the game are taken up with sample powers and abilities, adventure construction and a plethora of fantastic details that dove tail into the crime ridden pulp cesspool that is the world of Gangbusters. This is a game world that your going to want to play in.  Mark Hunt has been pushing the envelop now for months with the hints, teases, and product releases for Gangbusters. Now I can see why. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up when it hits the gamer wild!

Gangbusters has a thriving G+ community and a ton of support that seems to appear within that community all in all this is a five out of five release and if you don't pick this one up then your going to be very sorry. If your interested in picking this box set up when it hits the shelves, contact Mark Hunt via the G+ community and he'll be more then happy to give you further details.

Commentary On Venger Satanis Girls Gone Rogue Supplement Kickstarter & D6 Random Encounter Tables for The Alpha Blue RPG System

The latest news from Venger Satanis is a new adventure supplement for the Alpha Blue rpg system called Girls Gone Rogue which is up on Kickstarter right now. According to his blog;"Yep, I'm back at it again.  Here is my latest Kickstarter project Girls Gone Rogue.  It's a companion volume to Alpha Blue, filled with tables galore and fleshed-out adventures! If you enjoy sex comedies and vintage sci-fi from the 60's, 70's, and 80's, this is your lucky day."


The basic mission adventure goes something; "Basically, a sex-bot by the name of Ilsa SS has gone berserk and is killing high-ranking officials of the Federation.  PCs are "persuaded" to seek and destroy her.  Everything else flows from there or is some kind of unrelated side-adventure." So what we're looking at is a kitchen sink adventure approach which given the number of tables and ideas here could be an adventure that is slightly different each and every time you run it. Alpha Blue is about as adult and non politically correct as you can get and given the style of the other Venger Satanis products  Girls Gone Rogue isn't going to be any different in that regard.

"Bubba Fatt's junkyard"

So what we're looking at is a mini adventure campaign in the spirit of the Outer Presence and Alpha Blue. I'm going to be happy to see this project funded and supported.I'd be interested to see what wild and woolly things that Venger is cooking up for this upcoming product. But it has me thinking what would I add into this mix? Maybe a D6 random encounter table of 'space scum' and 'not so squeaky clean space heroes & adventurers'

Space Scum is the general term for the side kicks, weirdos, mutants, and all around disgusting little cretins who seem to attach themselves to star ship crews and act as NPC henchmen. They have perhaps 1d4 minor abilities and more then slightly disturbing hobbies . They act as hirelings and henchmen with a passion for wanton destruction and weird deviant behaviors. Space Scum gain +1 on Strength, and a +2 on all checks involving alien technologies, torture devices and mad science technologies.

1d6 Random Space Scum Encounter Table 

  1. Belraglak Miatugolrgimo is a small and thin wart covered little piece of space trash that drifted in on the solar winds. He's served emperors, space tyrants, dictators, adventurers, and heroes alike. He has 1d6 minor mutations and is somewhat of an adventurer and thief in his own right. He carries a blaster and has a mad scientist tool kit, on the side he works for several slaver outfits and isn't above turning over a party to his investor friends for a quick blue buck 
  2.  Eglroturo The Wicked is a gill man boot licker and weirdo who collects the lungs,eyes and genitals of his victims. He works for the highest bidder and is a competent mad scientists in his own right. He loathes adventurers and yet works with them when he has to. He is currently between jobs and on Alpha Blue getting laid. 
  3. Kangurgw The Mutated is a nine foot tall giant from Thule whose distinctive tiger like  body and skin pattern has made him a target of bullies since he was a child. He was toughened by combat and violence yet he's also one of the most dangerous bio geneticists and authorities on mad science as you will meet. He's a dangerous combination body guard and spacer scum who works for both heroes and vile villains. His sexual deviance makes Alpha Blue a prime stop for his 'needs' whatever those are. 
  4. Robarncagw The Wilde Man of Shatha Eight - Part eight foot tall hair ball and cannabel of humanoid species. The wilde man is a technician of incredible complex traps and mechanisms, he loves to construct diabolical traps to catch, as well as  feast on thieves and adventurers. His other past times are spent on Alpha Blue. He's considered a zeta level threat in the Federation and has two death sentences in various systems. He loves to gamble and spend his earnings, he's often between jobs on Blue. 
  5. Carotharorguro The Clever - Also known as Carotharorguro The Meaningless this weird little man is looks as if he walked out of a horror film from Earth's Forties but he's one of the best mad scientist's and philosopher's you're bound to meet. His problem is that he constantly mutters to himself about his next mission and the ramifications of his place in an uncaring universe. There are several adventuring parties who have committed suicide after being with him for six months or more in space. Many adventurers use his services sparingly even though he's one of the best in the mad science and lost technology game. 
  6. Drianaurund The Wrong Headed - Is an eight foot tall incredibly well muscled man with the head of a Deep One that was a part of a teleporter accident. Drianaurund used to be a barbarian warrior of incredible renown but has since gained the alien insights of the Deep One scientist after their merging. He is a wiz at forbidden or weird elder technologies and artifacts, but his deeply disturbing sexual behaviors have made him a being to be avoided. That being said he is the go to fish being for all things elder god on Alpha Blue.
When it comes to adventurers and heroes on Alpha Blue there are a number of cretins who have over the years passed themselves off as space heroes of the highest order. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure they've got the square jaw, quick reflects, gimmicks, and a flashy space craft. These 'not so squeaky clean space heroes & adventurers' gain +2 on charisma and intelligence and have 1d200 blue bucks to spend on equipment but they also often have a 20% chance of having a tarnished reputation in any system that they go adventuring in. Alpha Blue often has three of these slime of the space ways waiting in the wings to seize any mercenary opportunities that come along.

1d6 Random 'Not So Squeaky
Clean Space Heroes & Adventurers' Encounter Table

  1. Rex Niabelothali Of The Interstellar Legion - Rex is a true blue space pimp of the highest order and opportunist whose got a gambling problem & runs the SSC Silver Vulture as a ship of fortune. He's also got six wives in nine systems who know each other and run an assassin's guild just to kill him and his crew. He also supplies slavers with adventurers when and where he can as well as taking them on jobs for everything their worth. He does however have twisted sense of honor and will stay bought as a contractor. 
  2. Glauldurcazg The Slug is a mutant slug who only wishes to be a hero but has become one of the most dangerous psychopathic killers this side of a certain Federation captain. He's also found himself in charge of a crew of space pirates and other scum who have set him up as their straw man interstellar crime lord captain. What no one knows is that Glauldurcazg is actually quite good at being evil and dangerous over the years and the stupid act is wearing thin. He uses Alpha Blue as part cover and part opportunity in waiting. The dope ring he heads operates out of the back of two rooms there. He's willing to help anyone for a price sometimes it happens to be their brain.
  3. Thavanglandulk The Man Of Action - Thavanglandulk is your cut and coffed space hero straight out the Seventies science fiction television shows of old Earth. With a dashing space crew and ever revolving group of female side kicks, he's the guy you call to be rescued and romanced. He's even got an eight hundred space phone number, but this is a man of action on retainer. With over a thousand crimes to his name and two murders of major figures of interstellar space. Thavanglandulk is actually a cynic and mercenary of the highest order who exploits every single life form he comes across. 
  4. Uglalkogorae Princess of Space is one of the most dangerous shape shifting  assassins to ever cross swords with Federation authorities. The problem is she doesn't actually remember who or what she orginally was. She's be operating in space for eons and money, power, fame, has always been hers. Operating the USS Golden Falcon Uglalkogorae is a force to be reckoned with but whose side is she on? She doesn't even know herself but she's prone to acts of cold and calculated evil from time to time then there's the matter of the occasional bouts of black wizardry and dark magick. 
  5. Vavan Of Elormonthan Six - Former milk maid and farmer, this space heroine has grown into one of the most dangerous and wanton space pirates around. She hand picks her crew from among the lesser dregs of Alpha Blue and uses them in many ways for six to eight tours aboard her ship 'The Black Wave', many don't return from her adventures. There always seem to be more and she uses her missions as cover for campaigns against a number of Alpha Blue factions but why isn't clear. Some dark and sinister force drives her on the space winds and she always willing to take the coin of certain fools. 
  6. Cabavazgorint The Brave is a true blue hero always willing to help those in need and dire circumstances unless your human in which case his fees are 1999 plus taxes per hour plus expenses. The USS Capitalist is his ship of choice and he sails the space ways looking for illicit opportunities to exploit humans in every way he can. The green skinned thing assumes the form of humans as a mockery of them and acts like comic book hero while collecting money and serving his dark gods. Every ninth or tenth mission on of his charges dies in a fiery explosion in space as a sacrifice to the black and unholy star gods that he serves.

Using The Gamma World Adventure GW1 Legion of Gold By Gary Gygax & Luke Gygax & Paul Reiche III As Post Apocalpytic Dungeon Crawl Classic's Wasteland Adventurer Funnel

The post the other day about Dark Outpost  had me thinking about another of my favorite post apocalyptic sand box modules for first  edition Gamma World, The Legion of Gold. This module features a number of mini encounters and throws the PC's into the deep end of the 'terrors' this science fantasy game.
The PC's are introduced to the Barony of Horn and some of the monsters, hazards, and dangers of the Gamma World system. This sounds very familiar to Dungeon Crawl Classics players who have to deal with having to be thrown into the deep end of the pond with a funnel.
Here's the blurb from the back cover of Legion of Gold; "
"There is much to worry about in the mutated world of the future, but Baron Jemmas, Warder of Horn, has more on his mind than most. In recent weeks several of the outlying towns of his Barony have been wiped out by a band of mysterious golden marauders.These creatures struck from nowhere and vanished without a trace when their deeds were done. The Warder has decided that they must be stopped before the entire Barony of Horn falls beneath their onslaught, and so he is offering a great reward to anyone who can defeat the Legion of Gold."

So given the whole cloth feel of Gary Gygax & Luke Gygax & Paul Reiche III's creation I could see putting through a bunch of zero level mutants, fighters and more through the first half of Legion of Gold.  There are several encounters and monsters that would make this a very epic post apocalyptic sand box capable of wrecking an adventuring party where only the strong and able survive. Which is exactly how a funnel functions in the first place.  Given some of the post apocalyptic elements of the Crawling Under A Broken Moon fanzine its easy to see this coming together.
In fact issue number three of Crawling Under A Broken Moon has a complete mall adventure location that could be used as a side trek in Legion of Gold and slipped into the background of the campaign with little notice as a rumor or a quick encounter.

The main heart and soul of Legion of Gold is the weird wrap around way that the underwater complex sort of snakes its way through the encounters within GW1. The hyper intelligent A.I. and the events of the underwater complex add a certain deadliness to this adventure that I think translates well into the over the top essence of Dungeon Crawl Classics. In fact the events of The  Albuquerque Spaceport mini adventure could lead into a Crawljammer campaign with very little effort but a bit of modification on the DM's part. The real fly in the oinitment is the system overlay but is isn't as much of a problem as it first appears. The DM should use the DCC and Crawling Under A Broken fanzine systems for smooth and quick transition. Even though Legion of Gold is only thirty two pages long DM's are going to have to several optional systems from Crawling Under A Broken Moon's Hi Caliber Hijink's issue to simulate the new creatures, new robots, and new weapons. The transition is going to rely on the slight of hand by the DM. The Buggems have monster analogs already within the various issue of Crawling and the DM can vary the strength of the enemy mutant monsters  depending upon the the strengths of your adventurers.

The real star of this module is the underwater complex and many of the environs are going to be challenged with some of the deadly and dangerous encounters.This is match made in the depths of a mutated hell and since this module is already a sand box its not much of a leap to see that many of the elements of Legion of Gold and DCC are going to easily mixed and matched for a maximum result.

For even more deadly effects on the PC's effort that can pad this adventure out a bit more just add in a small Deep One's nest and watch to chaos ensue. These Lovecraftian bastards can easily war with the forces of the underwater complex allowing PC's to have even more of a slice of the old school pie. 

All in all I think that Crawling Under a Broken Moon and the Legion of Gold have the potential to work really well as an entire mini campaign unto themselves. The Baron Jemmas, Warder of Horn could become a post apocalyptic patron kicking even more adventures into high gear within the Barony of Horn.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

1d20 Random Finds From Carcosa Table For Your Old School Campaigns

Carcosa from the folks over at the Lamentations of the Flame imprint remains one of my all time favorite books. I was speaking with some friends tonight about the game setting and book, the results of this evening's conversations are below.
Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink behind the lake,
The shadows lengthen
In Carcosa.
Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies,
But stranger still is
Lost Carcosa.
Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Dim Carcosa.
Song of my soul, my voice is dead,
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
Lost Carcosa.
—"Cassilda's Song" in The King in Yellow Act 1, Scene 2
1d20 Random Finds From Carcosa Table
  1. Carved thigh bone flute  of a humanoid being slightly larger then normal, the thing bares the signs and symbols of the Old Ones. It is part of a rite to summon a child of the Old Ones. 200 silver pieces
  2. Alien scanner corrupted puts out a burst of weird cosmic radiation, any exposure to it the victim must save vs death or have a check on the mutation table. The relic is very pretty though and seems to beckon. 1000 silver as a piece of jewelry
  3. A watch like device that measures the grade of any Carcosian that it is brought before and if they are worthy of the alien hungers of the Great Old Ones. 300 silver pieces
  4. A brain cylinder of alien design carved with brass like fittings over the entire surface, this piece is incredibly valuable to doctors and alchemists but the alien brain inside is still living. The thing will try to take over the owner by possession. Worth about 500 silver pieces but the inquisition will be after the owner. 
  5. Carved death mask of a white priest of power & magick, this piece gives the owner access to the dark cosmic truths of the universe and allows one 1d4 spells per day but it also gives mind parasites access to the owner's brain. Eventually after 1d6 months the owner will have to save vs death or be infected with hyper intelligent brain grubs from Denab IV. Worth 300 silver pieces for this piece of artwork alone.
  6. Reworked star ship part that is now a walking stick and yet can put out a blast of weird energy every three days in a ten foot radius for 1d4 points of damage. The stick though is a sensor unit and will brain scan a new owner stunning them for 1d6 rounds as their brain takes a trip to ancient and horrid vistas of reality. Each of the previous owner's data is stored in the thing and an alien demon from beyond has been looking at it for a dire agenda of its own. Worth about 200 silver for the fine craftsmanship and art of the piece.
  7. Silver brooch with a weird spider motif that can generate a healing spell once per week and replace a section of flesh or 1d6 points of damage. The section of wound that is to be healed is alien, weird and the thing must be paid in 1d3 pints of blood each time this ability is used. An alien spider demon may come to call looking for the soul of the owner or the item. 200 silver pieces and the Inquisition will not be amused that you have this item. 
  8. Hand carved set of bone needles that have bits of recovered and re-purposed gold and other alien metals on them, they can be used to sew a man's soul to his shadow enabling a 5% resistance to some minor witchcraft's and magicks. The soul is bound by a red thread to an alien god being who feeds off of the love and fate of the owner, their soul's become its when they die. Worth 100 gold pieces especially for the carved case with the leering alien gargoyles on it 
  9. Ray gun parts refitted into an alien vase, the thing gives off minor  strange radiations and any plant put into this hand craved monstrosity is going to grow a dangerous and highly aggressive planet demon thing. Worth 300 gold pieces to a black magus of power or a one way trip to the pyre. 
  10. Alien sword carved from the thigh bone of some metallic monster from the other side of Carcosa. The thing is rife with weird signs and symbols. It is a tool and not a weapon and enables a wizard to cleave between the cracks of reality enabling them to see and touch the angles of time. Those that do however might be subject to a Summon spell without the protections of a pentacle or other astral device of power to protect them. It can also be used to summon objects from other realities but could let loose 1d6 minor alien demon things. Worth 400 silver to the right owner but beware the witch finders on this one.
  11. Tooth pick holder like relic carved from a humanoid thighbone and it holds 1d10 little tools capable of intricate work but their form and function is unknown but when arranged in a certain pattern they can summon 1d6 Carcosian imps. There is no way to stop the process however but for the most part this piece is a collector's item. The race who created it is unknown but its worth a cool 200 silver and the witch hunters will have no idea what this is. 
  12. A brass like holder that has six weird greenish blue liquid potion like capsules within it. The thing is a work of art and glows with harmless light but inside there is a trapped water elemental spirit that used to be a part of some alien space craft. The thing has carved Deep One writing over its surface and its writing hurts the eyes to look at for too long. It can be used to call other elemental spirits but they will be very, very, angry that their fellow spirit has been treated in this manner. Only the sacrifice of an eye or other limb will appease them and the owner must make amends. Worth 200 silver and the owner must be very careful with this piece. It could break and the results might be disastrous. 
  13. This small delicate mechanism is the creation of the black ones of Carcosa and though a recovered spring steel and brass like material piece it plays an odd tune what it actually does which will only be apparent after months of research. The thing plays musick similar to Eric Zahn's volin enabling a six foot warp bubble of worm hole material to protect the owner from demons and alternative realities. The effect creates a zone of 1d6 hours of time loss around the owner and there is a sixty percent chance per use that those within the bubble will have their existences removed from their current time line. 
  14. Red sand from the radioactive deserts of Carcosa that allows the owner to turn back time for 1d6 minutes and can be used in certain rites of protection against alien demons and certain life forms but the stuff causes 1d8 mutations after six uses. Comes in a nice brass and glass vessel and this stuff is only found in certain areas of lost Carcosa and its guard by murderous tribes of black magic using bastards. There are certain witch finders who have twigged to finding this material in three affairs. Worth 200 silvers to the right black wizard but don't get caught. 
  15. The preserved skin book of a Deep One with 1d6 spells written within its still living and sticky leather like pages, hundreds of pieces of horrid artwork are scattered throughout it. The book will reveal 1d6 spells every new moon. Those caught with it will be burned alive but those who use it gain an extra 1d4 hours for spell effects. Worth 300 silver pieces to the cult of Dagon but there is a sixty percent chance that they might try to murder the owner.
  16. A flute that opens the minds of its listener to the horrid places between reality where small and dangerous imps of perversion live. This is a purple man artifact carved from the weeping woods along the paths to Hell. Worth about 100 silvers but the flute weeps tears of blood every 1d4 hours if these are collected they can be used to summon a minor suicide demon. 
  17. A brass key that opens the heads of certain Jale peoples and enables a Mi Go to be summoned within 1d6 rounds. The key has been made from the small bones of a mutant giant and made with thin strips of brass. Worth 100 silver to certain black magick collectors and priests of the old religions. 
  18. A wand of the Thule creatures, this wand has been carved from the arm bone of an alien creature and worth about 70 silver pieces because legends surround these wands enabling the those who own them to summon demons of ancient and foul destruction. Witch finders will kill those that possess these foul things. The wands are almost creepy living extensions of the demonic essence of these things. 
  19. A living brass like mask of horror that has a black pudding like living thing within it, the relic will eat off the face of the owner inflicting -3 charisma points and branding the owner a follower of this thing's foul god. The owner gains 1d6 rites and spells but their mind is a semi twisted copy of itself and their souls float in a sea of black magick. Worth 600 silver pieces but the thing is a twisted piece of foulness and anyone looking at it will be struck by the horror. 
  20. A silver plated ball containing the essence of a shoggoth that will easily open for some fool playing with it. Those handling it will be taken over by micro bits of the Lovecraftian horrors.Worth 100 silver pieces but there are certain witchfinders who know what these things are.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Free Dungeon Crawl Classics Old School Space Campaign Resource From G+ & Noah Stevens's Space Dungeon Community

So apparently I gave my friend Noah Stevens of The Hapless Henchmen blog  a bit of a hard time when I mentioned JamesWard's Dark Outpost adventure and didn't give his marvelous G+ community for Dungeon Crawl Classics space adventure a shout. If your into space dungeons and DCC then your going to want to head over to the G+ community. Is very active and has some great DCC and old school resources as well as an on going play by post game. Please note that this is an invite only group and so you're going to have to contact Noah Stevens about joining the Space Dungeon group yourselves. In the meantime the group is

One thing about the Dungeon Crawl Classic's community its extremely active and Noah has cranked out some great material for the game. Specifically three great resources that would fit right at home in Crawljammer and the wastelands of Umerica's Crawling Under A Broken Moon.

Space Dungeon - Mechannids

Are the sorts of alien bastards that mutants and space adventurers alike live in fear of. These alien horrors should be handled carefully by parties and make an adventure unto themselves. 

The Silgurians 
are the sorts of aliens  that your adventurers are likely to wander into on some back water world and they're nasty as it gets for a middle management space horror. He's got a whole write up on these things including technology, patron status and more.

Finally Noah gets his rock and zombie groove on with  Peoria Plague Redux - don't breathe the vapors, Garfunkel!  which is all kinds of wrong and DCC right in so many ways.

There is a ton of material that Noah has put up on his blog for free for DCC and if your a DM its quality stuff for the game for free and he does a damn fine job.

Free OSR Retroclone System - The Sabres & Witchery RPG By Simon Washbourne For Your Old School Campaigns

So I'm quietly looking around The Beyond Belief Games website for their free fan based Blake Seven rpg and came across a monster hunter style retro clone based on the Swords and Wizardry engine called  Sabres & Witchery. Described as "an 18th Century supernatural horror roleplayiong game based on the Swords & Wizardry (Whitebox) fantasy role playing rules." The game takes the usual tropes of monster hunting ala Solomon Kane and relaunches them into a slick little system of horror role playing.

Your players play several different alternative PC classes from the usual magic user, fighter, cleric, thief party combination. Instead you have a complete wrap around of the PC classes with more of touch of the pulpy horror swashbuckler and sword fighter style of party; the classes are the Fighter, the Magus, the Scoundrel, the Woodsman and the Hunter (a Witchfinder or Vampire Hunter type). While this is based on the Swords and Wizardry engine there's something rather unique about the game, it has a more grounded pulpy swords and sorcery style in the tradition of Robert Howard's Solomon Kane. The fighter is based around the usual professional soldier of the 1600's to early 1800's. The magus is the wizard of supernatural horror and witchcraft history with appropriate spell modifications and twists. The woodsmen is a ranger type but with overtones of the OD&D optional hunter class seen in Dragon Magazine. And then finally there's the Hunter which is akin to a combination of a cleric and a witch finder general type. The game really revels in its source material with an Appendix N right at the very beginning of the book. There are rules that play fast and loose with the material as it should be. Spells have been modified to fit the pulpy supernatural horror setting of the game. Magic is ancient and dangerous here with prices to be paid in blood and more then a hint of corruption. The monsters are reworked from the usual Swords and Wizardry denizens into creatures that are dark and dangerous yet at once very strange. Horrors that have crawled out of myth and legend, these misbegotten horrors from beyond are really the center of the game. There is a good use of public domain artwork which is also at once familiar and yet never overdone. The layout is easy on the eyes and the material both familiar and yet different enough to keep my interest.

There are two mini adventures to round out the horror game and the first is based on Robert Howard's "Rattle of Bones", found in The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane and it well lives up to its horror roots. The mini adventure contains the barest outline of an adventure but it's waiting for the DM to inject life into it. Korred Table is next up and is based on events in history with a good smattering of horror mythology thrown into the mix. 
There is plenty of material here to basically run these adventures with a little DYI preparation work on the DM's part and really make them memorable as well as direly dangerous.
So is the game worth the download? Well yes on a number of levels. First off this is a free game but its a well done free retroclone system and its based off of Swords and Wizardry which has a proven track record. This game is also a retro clone variation of OD&D meaning that it will work very with other games out there in the market place. As a stand lone product it can really be made to shine. As an addition to other games on the market this retroclone system brings several things to the table additional PC classes, new takes on spells, brand new re imagining of the classic monsters of D&D.  The Sabres & Witchery game makes a excellent counter point to Lamentations of the Flame Princess an add on resource. With the additional PC classes and monsters this game could take campaigns to another level. In addition this game could be used as an additional counter piece to Dark Albion enabling a DM to add' time lost' PC's or other monstrous elements to that dark brooding horror laced game. All in all I really liked having another resource to pull from for OD&D style games and Swords and Wizardry. I give  Sabres & Witchery RPG a four out of five. 
If you really like the game there is a Lulu printing option of it available right over HERE

Monday, January 25, 2016

Using James Ward's Dark Outpost Adventure By Eldritch Enterprises As Dungeon Crawl Classics Space Adventurer Funnel

Its been a very long time since I thought about James Ward's Magnum Opus adventure Dark Outpost. That changed tonight. The blurb of Dark Outpost reads like certain Saturday night cable sci fi horror movies but its got a creepy flavor all of its own;
"Dark Outpost is a generic science fiction adventure set aboard a spacestation in geosynchronous orbit above a small class M planet. This massive station, built by robots and crewed by automated machines, is the pride of the galactic fleet, and the hope of those that will colonize the planet below.  But something has gone wrong. 
Nearly a month ago, all communications from the outpost ceased.  A patrol vessel was sent in to investigate, and it, too, was never again heard from.  Since that time the Planet Kask outpost has been known as the Dark Outpost.  Have you the courage to explore its mystery?"

Dark Outpost  is an adventure by James Ward that came out three years ago from Eldritch Enterprises for just about any science fiction system. The whole adventure feels very old school science fiction as if the adventure walked off the page from an add in early issues of Dragon Magazine or The Space Gamer. The adventure is one very close to my heart and I can see using it with any number of rpgs but one very crazy thought came into my head today. Taking the Dark Outpost adventure premise and running a bunch of O level cadets through it ala the Dungeon Crawl Classics funnel campaign generator system. Imagine sending a bunch of Crawl Jammer or Crawling Under A Broken Moon   zero level PC's through the bot and alien life form infested space habitat, the crown jewel of an empire. One of Wards often quoted saying is that he doesn’t kill players, they do it to themselves and Dark Outpost has this notion in spades. Because of its very nature I can see using this adventure with the DCC version of Metamorphosis Alpha. The PC awaken from their cryotubes aboard the Dark Outpost and events take off from there. 

 Because Dark Outpost is almost a mini campaign unto itself, this entire exercise could take place upon the station itself and perhaps expand to the planet Task below(as in Tim Kask a little inside joke cus their friends and all). Anyhow I can see using the adventure to center the players within an enclosed environment with all kinds of weirdness happening in the background. The adventure is quite eerie in its own right and feels like some of the areas are tailor made to make the players stand back and take notice of the high science fiction weirdness going on around them. There are new pieces of equipment, new monsters, & a ton of maps in this one.
This is really where the adventure shines offering what amounts to a fun solid night of play or several that could be stretched out the DM sees fit. This I think is one of the entry points for the PC's for a DCC style funnel, Dark Outpost is divided up into sections with unique encounters and monsters allowing the DM to customize the funnel or set of encounters as they see fit. The DM has plenty of elbow room to add in the backstory as they want and more then enough detail to pull in the players into the deep end of the station's  space terror. One particular issue of Crawling Under A Broken Moon that might come in handy is the
UX01: High Caliber Hijinks (DCC) From Shield of Faith Studio.Which contains rules for Alien and Weird Weapons that fit right into the background of Dark Outpost.

All in all I think that Dark Outpost is a perfect fit to the gonzo and over the top old school gaming world of Dungeon Crawl Classics. The look and feel of the gaming materials is highly authentic, James Ward does a killer job on this adventure and its ideas and science fiction background are idealilly suited to test the merits and medal of even the most experienced players .

Reconsidering The Free OSR Adventure The Black Tower By David Guinasso & Stephen Abrahams From Midkemia Press For Your Old School Campaigns



I have a long and storied history with Midkemia Press, I started using the Carse material back in the Nineties to supplement some of the overflow from AD&D second edition and discovered the Rift War cycle by Raymond E. Feist way back then. My life back then revolved around alternative games and that included AD&D and D&D. Way back when you could pick up the  Midkemia Press material for a song. Not so now, as a DM your best bet is to contact them at their website for digital downloads of their products. I digress though, I used the Carse gaming material and Riftwar books as fodder for my own home campaign Empire of the Petal Throne campaign according to Wiki;"
Midkemia was originally created as an alternative to the Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) role-playing game. When Feist studied at the University of California, San Diego, he and his friends created a new role-playing game based on their own original world of Midkemia. They called themselves the Thursday Nighters, because they played the Midkemia role-playing game every Thursday evening. After some time, when the group changed and began meeting on Fridays, they became known as the Friday Nighters. The original group have since formed a company called Midkemia, which has continued publishing campaigns set in Midkemia.[2]
Feist acknowledges that the Tekumel setting from M. A. R. Barker's Empire of the Petal Throne was the source for much of Kelewan. The original D&D campaign which he based his books on had an invasion of the Midkemia world by Tekumel. As a result, much of the background of Kelewan - the Tsurani Empire, the lack of metals and horses, the Cho'ja, the pantheons of 10 major and 10 minor gods - comes from Tekumel. Feist claims to have been unaware of this origin when he wrote Magician."
If you haven't seen read the Rift War cycle, I highly recommend that you do, they reflect a far more open and different time in gaming when folks added and created their own world campaigns and played in each others adventure settings. For more information on the Rift War Cycle of books visit right over HERE or the author's website right over here.

Which brings me to the The Black Tower adventure according to the Wayne's Books write up;
"Ancient and ill-fated, Castle Tulan stands as a spectral edifice surrounded by a reed-choked moat in the old town of Tulan. At night, fearful sailors on passing ships have reported strange lights flashing from the windows of the northernmost castle tower. Rumors have it a host of unholy creatures have taken up residence in the vast halls and galleries. The locals tend to be close mouthed on the subject, and when queried, turn hastily away, muttering about dangerous questions. The townspeople do not interfere with anyone foolhardy enough to visit the castle but simply shake their heads in disbelief over those so obviously bereft of their senses, and never speak of those who have tried before. Tulan Castle is now under the control of Zorasis the mighty, once magician and advisor to the East Baron of Tulan and now a dread vampire. Here then is his story..."

What you get by downloading this adventure is a complete set of NPC's, a castle, and a complete setting to add right into the back end of your own old school campaign. But is it worth downloading? In truth its very much in line with the quality of Carse material that came out in the Eighties. It both reflects the time and the balance of Midkemia Press's efforts. I enjoy the mix of materials in this adventure and what it evokes from the works of the authors. This is another puzzle piece in what would become Thulan and the author's own adventure setting. This is a place of adventure and intrigue from another time, I love the contrast of elements in this adventure and the way it blends itself seamlessly into a DM's campaign. The balance of NPC's with well developed backgrounds and motives lends itself to other future products from Midkemia Press. Do I think its worth downloading? You bet it is.
Now believe it or not I can actually see not only using these adventure resources in not only a retroclone system like OSRIC, Advanced Labyrinth Lord, Arduin, AD&D 1st Edition, and many other old school rpg systems. But I can see easily adapting these resources to more pulp swords and sorcery adventures like Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea or pulp sword and sorcery style games. 
The truth is that these free resources while well written could easily be adapted to any old school post apocalyptic style campaign such as Mutant Future or even Mutant Epoch. Its really nice to stumble upon these old school campaign resources. I had a whole bunch of Midkemia Press products once upon a time. But an apartment fire took my copies of Tulan of the Isles, Jonril, and The Sunken Lands. The Sunken Lands have always been an old favorite of mine & I would love to get back into designing a campaign there.
While your there I would grab  TOWNS OF THE OUTLANDS its a collection of six fully populated, predominantly human habitations designed to be compatible with any of the currently available fantasy role playing games. With some modification, they are compatible with science-fiction games and modern military role playing in games