All of the wonderfully weird character classes featured in Black Pudding are here with the savage gonzo factor of James & other guest authors put into the savage dungeon master style of Mr.West's artwork.
Do you wanna sample of the sort of weirdness that I'm talking about? 'Pay What You Want For issue #5 of Black Pudding here.
Here's the over all thing about James V. West's Black Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One . Everything in this fanzine is gear to actually be used in an OSR campaign especially along the lines of Labyrinth Lord or the 1981 D&D Basic Set edited by Tom Moldvay, and its accompanying Expert Set by David "Zeb" Cook. And why Heavy Helping works as a collection is because there's a weird ass gonzo consistency to the entire book grinding for a an OSR or old school campaign feel throughout the volume. The layout & writing is well done & very much up to James V. West's usual standards!
Black Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One feels like peeking at some old school dungeon master's campaign journal that they spent years building. But Black Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One is actually useful at the table top level.
Why is Black Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One actually useful at the table top level? There's a myriad of reasons but let's hit on my top five really:
- There's a butt load of new PC classes that evoke that natural gonzo factor but peer past that & you see actual thought here. Some of that thought is deranged but in a good & old school way. The PC classes work on their own merits.
- Those beautifully weird character sheets that have everything going for them.
- A solid vision throughout the Black Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One book echoes the fanzine approach that works.
- The mini encounters evoke some of the material that we've seen in early issues of 'The Dragon' magazine back in the TSR days.
- Even though this material is geared for Labyrinth Lord I can see Black Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One easily being used with other OSR or old school systems.