Friday, February 2, 2018

A Gloomuim Laden OSR Commentary On The Demon Stones Adventure By Monkey Blood Design For Your Old School Campaigns

So while I'm having a beer last night & I'm on the phone with a friend speaking at length about his Midderlands campaign.  The following statement  came up during the conversation, "Unfortunately there's no real adventures available for the OSR setting? "  This gets into one of the actual problems that I've had with OSR bloggers over the years and we'll get to that adventure in a moment.

One of the real problems I have with OSR adventure reviews on various blogs is that the writers in question don't actually use the various adventures in play during their campaigns. Yup they do tons & tons of reviews both good & bad but very seldom do I see bloggers actually use these products that they're send in pdf  or book form in actual play. So over the years I've created a variety of kitchen sink campaign worlds to test out a wide variety of OSR products without breaking the campaign that I'm running. I'm not a guy who has an rpg book sitting on shelf someplace and this brings me to the Midderlands by Monkey Blood Design. The campaign setting is rife with its own green hued Gloomuim laden chaos inducing mutational magick. Glenn isn't paying me for this nor have there been any bribes. But he's got a Kickstarter on right now to expand the English countryside inspired OSR setting.

So right now in my own home Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Second Edition home game I'm making a bit of plans to back door right in my own version of the Midderlands! A nice little isolated group of country locations with some secrets!  This brings me to that introduction adventure there's a lovely little OSR adventure for Swords & Wizardry called The Demon Stones by Monkey Blood Design.

“The sun had set an hour ago, and the rain lashed down and the wind howled on the dark moor. A storm this late in the season was unusual, but this one seemed different. The clouds were more menacing, tinged with anger, the rain colder and more biting than usual.
Skerrill had to find the lost calf and get him back to the farm before his father came back from the city on business. He’d been looking for two hours now, and he was right in the middle of the moor when the storm hit. He knew he should have turned back as soon as darkness fell, but then he was never the brightest boy in the valley. If only he had remembered to lock the farm gate.
The calf was now likely dead anyway having stumbled among the boulders and rocks, panicking in the dark, and then fallen in a floodwater stream and drowned. Either way, he was in more trouble than he could imagine.
Suddenly, a bright flash of white light and a roaring peal of thunder were preceded by an explosion as a huge object fell from the sky and impacted the ground of the moor no more than a stone’s throw from him. Dirt, mud, water, and debris erupted from the impact site, flying high into the air and then covering the moor for hundreds of feet all around.
Skerrill was knocked to the ground instantly and covered in the fallout from the blast. His ears rang and his head spun, but he staggered to his feet in a daze.
He stumbled to where the blast had happened only moments before, and in a depression in the ground lay a huge stone glowing orange as if hot. Skerrill passed out.
Two more thunderous explosions crashed in the distance.”

The Demon Stones shares many of the same locations & monsters as the Midderlands & can seamlessly be inserted into a campaign as an introduction adventure. Sure some of the encounters, PC levels,etc. will have to be adjusted for a beginning set of PC's. But this could prove to be a perfect set up to get the players into the setting without breaking the bank.

Many of the basic elements of the adventure can be seen in this flip through of the adventure. This includes some of the cartography, maps, and set up. The Demon Stones adventure could be worked out for a Dark Albion or The Lion & Dragon retroclone game as well.

The reason why I've stopped doing reviews is because I actually own this adventure & I want to use many of the OSR books that have been gathering dust. I want these adventures used in play & that's exactly what's going to be happening in the next couple of months!
I'm going to put out session reports, adapting commentaries, & more!

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