Thursday, March 23, 2023

Exploring Original Dungeons & Dragons & Gamma World First Edition Rpg - Some Observations

 Tonight I've been examing Wayne's Books entries on Gamma World first & 2nd edition here. And as a long time player of Gamma World in almost every edition. There's something about first & second that makes either edition favorites along with the fourth edition as well. 

Gamma World first edition is unqiue among the various incarnations & editions of the Gamma World rpg for several reasons. First of all it's capability with original Dungeons & Dragons. 
The second is the fact that the first edition has a completely different feel then second edition & it's almost coheriant within it's origin for the Apocalypse that takes the world of Gamma Terra. And third is the complete view of the Cryptic Alliances & thier motives. Cryptic Alliances can be enemies, rivals, friends or anything inbetween. 
There's far and away a far more feeling of exploration and rebuilding civilization then is a part of other editions of Gamma World. Gamma World First edition is also some of the most pure of James Ward's GW rules, and writing. The man doesn't get half of the credit he deserves. 

One of the unique things about Gamma World first edition is the fact that it's so cross compatible with original Dungeons & Dragons. And its this fact that has me back reading through Original Dungeons and dragons - Book 3 - The underworld & Wilderness Adventures by Gary Gygax & Dave Arneson.

Keep wondering if the Original Dungeons and Dragons - Book 3 - The underworld & Wilderness Adventures by Gary Gygax & Dave Arneson could be used to fill in some of the underworld & dungeons of Gamma World? The short answer to this is I believe so. The various OD&D races existing along with the mutants of Gamma World isn't out of the question if we look at Ralph Bakshi's movie Wizards.  Cue Thundarr the Barbarian theme music here. Gamma World first edition has the origin of Gamma Terra.The machinations of the Apocalyse organization whom was responsible for the creation of Gamma Terra has never been settled. 

In all of the years of playing Gamma World first and second edition play  we only once ran across one of the Apocalyse's bases. And it was one of the deadliest ruins we ran into. The base was populated by robots, was almost entirely automated run by a homicidal bio computer. We barely escaped with our lives from that facility. Over the years I've compared this facility to Gygax's Tomb of Horror module. 
What I find odd is the fact that a particular marked out  Gamma World first edition USA map has the location of this facility on it as shown by Wayne's Books. 

I don't think that this was deliberate but simply an artifact of similar play. The fact is that Gamma World first edition Gamma Terra  bares a striking resemblance to many of the ideas mentioned in . And its this fact that has me back reading through Original Dungeons and dragons - Book 3 - The underworld & Wilderness Adventures by Gary Gygax & Dave Arneson. To paraphrase Wayne's Books; "

And so began TSR's Gamma World game in 1978: A rich post-holocaust science fantasy setting.

  • Finding relics in long-deserted cities of the Ancients...
  • Encountering bizarre mutated animals...
  • Thinning foliage that fights back...
And yet within original Dungeons & Dragons your looking for loot of lost civilazations. Encountering monsters, and horrors. And thinning back the wilderness. 

Review & Commentary On GEAR: General Equipment Adventurers Require By John Watts, Wendy Watts, Michael Johnson, and "Big" Dan Callahan From Independence Games For The Earth & Clement Sector Rpg's

 "The stuff you need!

"GEAR: General Equipment Adventurers Require brings you a wide assortment of gear for you to personalize your Clement Sector or Earth Sector character.  If your character is shopping in a Tudo's, a Lucky's, or any department store in Clement Sector or Earth Sector, this is the sort of thing you will find!"

"Do you need survival gear?  It's here!  Do you need armor?  It's here!  Need a new vacc suit?  We've got it!  Need a better rifle? We've got it!  Need a tarpaulin?  We've got you covered!"

"While this book may not have EVERYTHING, it's got quite a bit. We've got everything from a MedBed to toothpicks, from a rapier to detcord, from laser drills to sporting gear."

"GEAR!  You need it! "

Several days ago I knew that "GEAR: General Equipment Adventurers Require"  was coming out & it was going to be in my que anyway. Yeah that's right this book has been on my 'to buy' list for awhile now. Why?! Well this gets to the heart of the Earth sector & Clement sector rpg's. And this is the fact that both of these interstellar locations are full on interstellar frontiers. There are times when I really don't think that players actually understand the interstellar distances involved in the blackness of these to independence games. This is your party in a tin can in the middle of a vast ocean of blackness & nothingness in the middle of space. The only thing you have to rely on is something manufactured back home by folks that you've never met. And "GEAR: General Equipment Adventurers Require"  almost everything that adventurers are going to need to survive in the blackness.  
And this is a part of that reality. The stars may be the new frontier but mankind has not changed. The vast blackness of the Earth sector & the Clement sector reminds me of the pre & post American Civil War period back on Earth. A powder keg of explosive situtations & unexplored vastness on an unimaginable scale.

What does this have to do with GEAR: General Equipment Adventurers Require"  ?! A bit of everything as the players have to rely on the equipment & gear that this book provides. GEAR provides everything from general equipment to new survival equipment. And GEAR does it in style for the adventurer. Here you can find new & highly dangerous tools, and equipment all perfectly suited to out fit your soldiers, adventuters, travellers, etc. And it's all at your finger tips in an easy to use one hundred & twenty eight page book. GEAR has been set up to be user friendly. 
And it does so with both the Clement sector & Earth sector rpg's in mind. what I mean by this is that Gear is specifically set up for the explorer, pioneer, or spacer in mind whose out on the edges of the map. This is a very common theme in the Earth & Clement sector. Can Gear be used with other 2d6 games?! Absolutely it can & should be. 

 "GEAR: General Equipment Adventurers Require" is lightweight and easy to use book with just thr right amount of equipment & weaponry that won't overwhelm to DM with useless information. Instead in GEAR we get a concise package that is easy to digest & process within both the Clement & Earth sector games easily. GEAR's usefulness is solid for other 2d6 old school Science Fiction games & Cepheus Engine products as well. GEAR provides just the right amount of adjustment for those wishing to really get down to brass tacks when it comes to equipment. GEAR is a solid addition to both the Clement & Earth Sector lines. GEAR is a great book for both the DM & the player alike providing new & interesting equipment,weapons, gear, and more. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Review & Commentary On Wretched Role-Playing Game By Miguel Ribeiro

 "You will notice a few changes, but the revised rules are entirely compatible with the first iteration of The Red Room’s Wretchedverse, and this book is easily adaptable to earlier editions of the most famous role-playing game."

"To get wretched, you need nothing else but this book and a few dice, though you can find several titles already published for the Wretchedverse. For fans of 1980s Conan rip-offs, Wretched Bastards offers a dark fantasy world to explore. If you prefer spaghetti westerns, Wretched Country allows you to ride off into the sunset as a gunslinging anti-hero. For a more historically accurate setting, Wretched Époque immerses players in a world of horror in 19th-century Paris. Fans of exploitation movies from the late 1960s to the 1990s can indulge in their favourite genre with Wretchploitation. Those who enjoy future noir will love Wretched New Flesh, where you can explore a dystopian Moroccan city inspired by the works of William S. Burroughs, William Gibson, and David Cronenberg. Wretched Space and Wretched Apocalypse offer exciting sci-fi adventures in a sleazy space opera game world and a post-apocalyptic fiction game, respectively. Finally, Wretched Darkness delves into the darker side of human nature with its horror/urban fantasy setting."

"These are the ones already available, but other settings are planned, such as Wretched Vigilantes, a street-level super-heroes game world. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the OSR, Wretched has something to offer everyone"

So there's a lot to unpack here in the Wretched Role-Playing Game By Miguel Ribeiro & I'd say that this is really the anti hero rpg. The Wretched Role-Playing Game is a two hundred & ninety page monster of an rpg that covers everything from the Dark Ages right through modern street level horror rpg games plus everything in between. The Wretched Role-Playing Game has a twist in which your PC's are the anti heroes not necessarily straight up 'evil' but twisted in an entertaining sorta of way. WRP is written by the entire Red Room crew and it's a pretty entertaining read through but be warned this isn't a politically correct rpg even in the slightest. WRP is completely cross compitable with other Wretchedverse games that came before it. 
And WRP is designed to work with other OSR games as well and we get this straight from the introduction:"While these are generic rules, they do not apply to all genres. High fantasy, super-heroes and dashing space adventurers are outside the scope of our spaghettipunk Wretchedverse. And remember: Nothing is written in stone! These rules are merely a tool box.With Wretched Role-Playing, you can mix and match what you like with your favourite RPGs. "
So the Wretched Role-Playing Game By Miguel Ribeiro is more of a Wretched tool box of OSR role playing goodness.And the Red Room delivers on it's promise in spades. We get new variations on the 13 deadly sins PC creation and the random PC generation has some slight variations on it. There's new background, life events, PC history and more all with the Red Room spin on them. The Wretched Role-Playing Game By Miguel Ribeiro does three things right. One WRP provides a solid OSR rpg tool kit for not only the Wretchedverse line of products. But it also provides a very gamable back beat rpg system for those who want to do thier own Wretchedverse campaigns. WRP gives more then enough of a system to foster DM's who want to add twists & turns to thier already existing OSR campaign. 
On it's own WRP might not seem impressive at first glance but like the 'nerd girl in the glasses in class' this one has it where it counts. She can play anything from Science Fiction to Gallo Horror with no problem at all.  
WRP brings several things to the table top. The ability to bring Wretchedverse elements to classic adventures is appealing to me. The ability for the DM to bring PC's from any setting over into thier games with a Wretched twist has it for me in spades. Easy to grasp OSR rpg elements is another factor of play for me with WRP. And the ability for me  as a DM to sit down & go straight into a game makes the Wretched  Role playing Game a solid choice at the OSR table top. 

Original Dungeons & Dragons Blackmoor, Gamma World First Edition & the Temple of the Frog

Yesterday was an extremely busy day but there was time enough to look deeper into 1975's Blackmoor supplement. While product designation TSR 2004 is usually known for temple of the Frog. Actually original Dungeons & Dragon Blackmoor actually has several other uses. 
Deep within Blackmoor according to the wiki entry is an entire section on underwater adventures;"The supplement introduced rules for underwater adventures, such as rules and guidelines for swimming, equipment weight restrictions when fighting underwater, and the effects of underwater combat on weapons and spells. Blackmoor also includes numerous new water-dwelling monsters and equipment useful for underwater adventures. A number of these underwater monsters and magic items were the creations of Steve Marsh
And while this does complement Blackmoor's Temple of the Frog it also comes in incredibly handy for those who want to run first edition Gamma World's GW1 Legion of Gold's underwater adventure section on the Legion itself. 

Blackmoor also hits the high notes for Gamma World first edition by providing the rules framework for further underworld adventures. This is a fact that has not been lost upon me. 

Speaking with my players yesterday there was talk about the fact that Temple of the Frog itself could be switched over to Gamma Terra & no one would be the wiser. The Froggies, the advanced technologies, and more are all reflective of the dangers present within the radioactive wasteslands of Gamma World. And what about an NPC assassin straight out of the bowels of Blackmoor that could well be a Red Death operative or agent. Stepthen The Rock could easily be slipped into Gamma Terra and few if anyone would be the wiser that the Temple of the Frog fits easily into the wastelands of Gamma World. 

Monday, March 20, 2023

Manifestation of the Yellow Stone Horror - A Mini Campaign Idea Using The Victorious Rpg & Wreched Eqoque

 The year is 1872 & Yellow Stone National Park has just literally been declared a national park for the United States. This wonder of the natural world has been declared a national resource. Something however isn't right. This isn't our world you see. Yellowstone in our world is one word but on this Earth it's two. 

The PC's literally are awakened out of bed as sensitives, occultists, psionicists, etc. all have strange nightmares across the country about some foul entity that crosses over into our world. 
Everyone dreams of a headless bride that walks along the edge of the grounds of the Great Falls. This is followed a couple of days later by the disappearance of several couples and vistors to the park. 
Yellow Stone National Park is known to many as the site of many paranatural occurances. 

The dreams intensify as guests and locals have encounters with horrid imp like demonic things. And manifestations of ghosts, undead, etc. all bringing in occultists like moths to the flame. 
The United States government grows more concerned as the deaths mount & the park begins to lose money. And then odd weather begins to occur with regularity. Streaks of black lightning, ball lightning encounters, and more deaths happen. The US government puts out the call for agents of unsual aspect. And PC's chosen to answer. This is a mid level campaign. With the local native American tribal leaders having thier own concerns as well. The tourist dollars are not flowing into
thier coffers either and so it has become thier tribal elders concern as well. There are urban legends wihin certain occult circles that this national parks are being used to contain great supernatural evil.  And this evil is trying to break out! 
What's really going on here?! The Yellow Stone National Park is part of a network of deep under Earth networks that channel occult & supernatural power. Certain dark forces from the Beyond have been taking full advantage of this to intrude into this world. 
Manifest Destiny from Troll Lords is going to be one of the key resources for this mini campaign. As well as Victorious itself. And this campaign is going to be relying on investigation as well as combat.
The Red Room's Wreched Eqoque rpg is another overlapping resource. The creatures & ideas here are key to dealing with the Dark Forces that are plaguing Yellow Stone National Park. And the idea for this campaign isn't from some Penny Dreadful instead it's the classic teen horror film 'The Gate'. 
Some teens have opened a gateway within the National Park and things are getting out of hand. Can the 'heroes' get things under control?

Assassin War On Old Mars - Mercs Rising - Old Mars Mini Campaign Set Up - Hyperborea Rpg & Warriors of the Red Planet - Session Report Three

 This week's Warriors of the Red Planet/Hyperborea rpg campaign came into hard focus after picking up straight from this blog entry here.  The party of adventurers encountered the first of a party of assassins after they re equipped at the village of Great Old one worshipers. The assassins sent in a scout to lure the party into a trap with some dead sea barbarians waiting in the wings. These were 2nd level but the party's thief had a few tricks of her own. She and the party's other thief circled around them and dispatched them with extreme prejuidice. 

And they came face to face with the asssasins leader a barbaric red alien psionic. And it was a huge fight with the party of seven against eight red martian warriors and the alien leader. 
They lost one of thier PC's in the fight against the alien leader. They buried thier fallen panth & then looted the alien leader's body. 
They found a flier which is how the party was found in the first place. And the party took off. 
They found a camp of yet another bandit caravan with a ton of alien uplifted animal mercenaries getting ready for a raid on a nearby kingdom. 
The players were wondering where the Hell were the mercenaries getting all of this logistical support?!
The answer came from Buffalo Games Wilderness Encounters 'abandoned' wizard's tower. The tower belongs to a 'former' black circle' wizard who hasn't been seen in centuries. 
The party came up with the idea of using the harnesses and metals belonging to the assassin/raiders they killed before. Using this and some clever rolls the party got into the mercenaries camp and really got an idea of just how big this operation is. And their suspisions about the wizard's tower being the base of operations for the mercenaries proved to be true. 
The party wants to sabotage the mercenaries camp because of all of the heavy weapons & artifact weapon systems they found there. 
There's also talk about how the Black Circle faction of wizards is gaining in power and this also means an increase of Great Old One cults springing up! The party noticed two of these cults supplying the mercenaries with supplies and ammo. There was also the feeling that the mercenaries had some deeper connection to the cult through the wizard's tower. The party went along with the mercenaries for the moment using thier flyer to keep pace with other scout flyers. However they also grabbed extra ammo and bombs during thier stay with the mercs. 

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Zhuki (Buggems) Attack -GW1 Legion of Gold By Gary Gygax, Luke Gygax, & Paul Reiche III For Our Kosmo 68 & Hostile Rpg Crossover Game Campaign

Tonight's game session report is going to pick right up from last week's here

The players have started to pick up on the fact that the Terra colony of Horn is in point of fact an old pre Recession  Sharashka – Special Research Facilities location. During tonight's GW1 Legion of Gold game the PC's came face to face with mutated Zuhki buggems at the Jeffton after meeting with the Commissioner of Horn & the mayor. The farm area does a brisk trade in produce & dairy which has been funneled back into the Soviet empire. Recent meteor showers have hidden several incursions of the Zuhki. The PC's met with local agents of the SSB through organized crime blinds who reported that several children had gone missing. The epicenter of this is the Genser Goose Ranch and there have been reports of "monsters" being seen around the area of the ranch. The mayor & his SSB 'advisors' had more intel and were forth coming. 

The SSB agents suspected that it was actually a variation of the Zuhki wolves in the buggem stages. There was a reward of a pre Recession laser pistol. And the party was more then happy with this. The party came down to the citizen  Genser Goose ranch and walked right into an ambush. We lost two PC's during tonight's game to the gas attack made by the menaces. And the party retreated back to Horn after two more injured party members. 
The party has a small tiger team containing the menace while they got thier PC's into surgery to attend the wounds. These were extensive and require hospitization & cybernetic implantation which is going to but these PC's out of commission for close to two months. This is even with psionic and cybernetic implatation but both operations were a success! 

This hit into the heart of the party meant that Steve the player's leader decided to thaw out several new PC's from cold storage. These were generated using the normal Hostile rules & the players wanted to bombard the ranch from orbit. Steve however talked the players out of this option and then decided to pull back the Tigers who had been sent to secure the location. 
The PC's were debriefed and took a shuttle from the Ben Franklin back into Horn's merger space port. And from there a cart was sent out to the farm. The party arrived just in time to see the farmer at the tree line taken by one of the Wolves. A strange mix of alien and insectoid. 
The party decided to hold thier action until they could figure out a plan. And this is where we ended for the evening. 

Saturday, March 18, 2023

A Different OSR Ecology Of The Gibberling For Your Old School Campaigns

 Hast heard the voices of the fen,

That softly sing a lethal rune
Where reeds have caught the fallen moon—
A song more sweet than conium is,
Or honey-blended cannabis,
To draw the dreaming feet of men
On ways where none goes forth again?

Beneath the closely woven grass,
The coiling syrt, more soft and deep
Than some divan where lovers sleep,
Is fain of all who wander there;
And arms that glimmer, vague and bare,
Beckon within the lone morass
Where only dead things dwell and pass.

Beware! the voices float and fall
Half-heard, and haply sweet to thee
As are the runes of memory
And murmurs of a voice foreknown
In days when love dwelt not alone:
Beware! for where the voices call,
Slow waters weave thy charnel pall.
Warning by Clark Ashton Smith

There are some places that mankind should not go, places where the weird energies of the Astral & more sinister radiations have had their ways with  things older then men.There were beings here on this world & others long before mankind walked upright. The hand of the Enki & others has their finger prints all over these beings. These are creatures of incredible violence & malignancy, beings who are  inimical to mankind in all ways. These are beings of extremes with violence,insanity & depravity their modus operadi. They have many names across the planes Gibberling, 'The Violent Ones', 'those that murder' & their names are legion as the crimes they commit without order or reason. There is no pattern to their actions only the insanity that a comes from their twistedly insane souls.

Their murderous cannibalistic  rages & hordes pure across their target with a shocking violence & fury that always ends in the quiet of the grave. These beings pour from their hiding places to murder anyone or anything they come across with their swords. Swords created from any scrap metals they come across reforged into a generic shape that has been programmed into these beings of violence. Their swords are plain affairs but very sharp capable of slicing through bone, flesh, and muscle with easy. These beings have no society, art, language, culture,etc. They simply exist under the Earth or out among the asteroids as the remains of a biological weapons system that has gone to seed long ago or so it would seem. These beings are actually the product of weird cosmic radiations that warp the mind and souls of their victims. Latent alien genes created by beings more ancient then the Earth itself created these beings right before the last Ice Age of their epoch. They were created in honor of Nyarlathotep in ancient days but have been seen as the possible final forms of mankind in the distant future millions of years in the future of some nameless Earth.

"I recall that the people went about with pale and worried faces, and whispered warnings and prophecies which no one dared consciously repeat or acknowledge to himself that he had heard. A sense of monstrous guilt was upon the land, and out of the abysses between the stars swept chill currents that made men shiver in dark and lonely places. There was a daemoniac alteration in the sequence of the seasons—the autumn heat lingered fearsomely, and everyone felt that the world and perhaps the universe had passed from the control of known gods or forces to that of gods or forces which were unknown."

Nyarlathotep by H. P. Lovecraft
There are others who whisper that in certain passages of the Necronomicon there are hints that these beings are the spawn of  LahamuThere hints that they are possibly a prototype of mankind gone wrong or the future fate of mankind after it interbreeds with something hideous out among the stars. The tarot of Lahamu has horrid symbolic meanings in its
representations of the anti zodiac,demon-stars, and the dead constellations of many millions of years hence. There are hints in the scrolls of Varq that the reason for the Gibberlings psychotic behavior is the species cold & dim recognition of what they truly are in the face of an uncaring universe.
 Make no mistake the Gibberlings are not human in a capacity as we know it. They are species that can exist in a state of hibernation for 1d100 years as their inhuman physiology slows their organs processes to a crawl. Their alien senses draw them to places where black dimensional  occult magick energies have invaded our universe. These same energies drive them into frenzies of violence & depravity when they must murder, feed, & mate in strange sexual practices that are best not described. These involve the ritual murder of one of their own releasing the alien bacterial infection of Gibber into the air. Any survivors of one of their massacres must save vs disease or in three days take on many of the characteristics of a proto Gibberling. They will seek out the nearest sharp object, be drive into a blood lust of murder by the 'Song of the Gibber' & seek to be with their own kind on an instinctive level. These beings will seek places of desolation, ruin, & loneliness as a matter of course. 

There is a 30% chance that the proto Gibberling will commit three or more murders locally to satisfy its own mad blood lust consuming the corpses of its victims. The thing will seek out the nearest local urban village or location & commit its own ritual suicide with as many witnesses as possible to spread the contagion. Victims will begin turning into more of the monsters with a three day incubation period. These beings will seek out the scent path lead by the first of their kind & go into a quiet cocoon period beginning the final transformations. They will repeat this cycle 1d10 more times until there is a nest of 300 or more Gibberlings. Many times if caught within the first 1d8 hours powerful healing magicks can cure these beings but the change is swift. Many villages or interstellar colonies have inquisition units that handle the eradication  of nests of Gibberlings. 

Gibberlings are sensitive to other dimensional eldritch energies often seek out ruins, dungeons, or other planar locations. Their alien senses, weird physiologic make up, & instinctive level of violence make them perfect top tier predators for other worldly locations. They have been found out around the Asteroids and the Outer Worlds near the far colonies of Pluto. These beings have an instinctively dangerous cunning that has allowed the species to survive for thousands of yeas spreading their brand of madness to the far corners of the dimensions. The are not sentient in the traditional sense but share a horde hive mind with quasi telepathic & emphatic instincts on a base level. This gives some hordes a +1 on initiative during combat because of these monsters psychotic blood lust.  They bark, hiss & spit the praises to their respective forbidden gods but this is done by instinctive route.
 In the post apocalyptic wastelands recessive genes of the Gibberling species crop up in death lands as the potent mutational cocktail activates the recessive profile for this species.  The loath Morlocks, ghouls,  cavemen, mutant, and many goblinoid species which are instinctively seen as competition.
Interstellar & colony locations of deep space the Gibberling disease often manifests on failed colonies, dead worlds, & where demonic or other planar incidents have happened. The disease that creates these beings flourishes in conditions such as those. It is said among certain space wizards that the Gibberling species were used as anti personnel species by certain Lovecraftian races. 

There are certain Lovecraftian cults  which see these monsters as the true inheritors of the Earth when the stars come right. They create, interbreed, and encourage the spread of the Gibberling tribes. These same cults often find themselves on the end of the swords most often used by the monsters but see this as a necessary evil for the spread of the infection to continue.

1d20 Random Lovecraftian Encounters With Gibberlings
& Their Hordes Table 
  1. There is a group of 1d8 men infected with the Gibberling disease that is headed your way. They have blood lust in their eyes and knives in their hands! Run you fools! 
  2. A sink hole has opened nearby and 1d20 Gibberlings has crawled out with blood lust in their beady eyes! What will you do? They are closing with their sword which are caked with alien gore? 
  3. Over head a comet of ill rumor flew last night. It was actually an escape pod of the Ancients. There is a proto Gibberling onboard with sword in hand ready for murder! 
  4. Nearby a woman screams like a demon and reveals a short sword, she kills herself in spectacular fashion spraying a nearby crowd with gore. She then closes on you! Will the infection spread and will you be its next victims?
  5. There are screams as a man is dragged off to nearby underground chambers that the Gibberlings have been murdering  their victims in! Will your PC's be next? 
  6. Sounds like a strangled scream come from a nearby alley and a local doctor is infected with the Gibberling disease. He wields a scalpel and bone saw to take down his latest victims. At his feet lay two of his victims! 
  7. A box lays in the street and inside is a strange book containing queer writing. This is a spell book belonging to a wizard whose brother has been turned into a Gibberling and the location of a nearby nest. 
  8. A horde of Gibberlings pours forth from a nearby sewer system! There are at least 1d100 of the mad bastards who are on the rampage! 
  9. A series of murders reveals a strange and dangerous throw back Gibberling which strangely has its mind intact but insane. It goes on a murderous spree but can't control the urge to kill! Now it wants one of the PC's! 
  10. A nearby dimensional vortex has deposited a blanket of planar energies that changes anyone it touches into a Gibberling! 
  11. Locals are on the hunt for a Gibberling disease infected child that ate its parent. The thing has shark like teeth and will inflict a very nasty wound on anyone it comes across. 
  12. An ancient site is the home to a cult of Gibberlings and they've targeted your PC for murder! 
  13. Twelve Gibberlings are on the hunt for a local wizard who has opened up a portal to an alternative dimension with a tribe of ancient Gibberlings who need more sacrifices to their forbidden and alternative sorcerous gods 
  14. Two Gibberlings are acting as scouts for their tribe and want the fresh kill of a man whose crossed them with his family. 
  15. An ancient relic has turned over some very dangerous designs that have attracted the arcane senses of  a group of Gibberlings. 
  16. Two ancient wizards are at war but the local Gibberlings keep killing both sides. A team of specialists is enlisted for assassinating the problem.
  17. An ancient cryo sleep pod contains a proto Gibberling who will go on a murderous spree if awakened! There are 1d10 local Gibberlings who are drawn to the arcane energies of the Gibberling that has come home! 
  18. There is a massive horde of Gibberlings on its way to kill everyone! 
  19. Twenty two swords arranged into the shape of a symbol of murder & mayhem mark the spot where an ancient warrior fell against the Gibberling horde. Now he has com back for revenge! 
  20. An ancient Gibberling horde has come up from the underworld to kill your PC's! The PC's have a minor relics that that attracts them!

Warriors of the Red Planet rpg, Raiders of the Lost Artifacts, & Geoffrey McKinney's Carcosa

 Sometimes it's time to go back to basics and a recent interview with Matt Finch by Captain Courageous has me thinking. Matt Finch gave an excellent interview about the OGL disaster a couple of months ago. It got me thinking my own use Night Owl Workshop's Raiders of the Lost Artifacts rpg. 

And we use this rpg system with the Warriors of the Red Planet rpg. And the PC's in our usual game are planning on diving further into the activities of the cabal of the Sorcerers of the Black Gate ( this is an alternative class within WRP but it's primarily meant for NPC's). And so I've been looking over my campaign outline & notes. And there was mention of The OSR Library blog. And boy, has David Baymiller been busy with alternative material for Raiders of the Lost Artifacts. 
There's also notes about Carcosa & it's alternatives. And calm down Venger we'll get back to Cha'alt another time. Right now I'd love to focus on Carcosa. 
And so doing some research on the OD&D forums about Carcosa. And there's a ton of older material there. I remember a recent review of the first issue of Ulfire Tablets, a zine dedicated to roleplaying in science fantasy / planetary romance settings. There was a metric ton of solid Carcosa  material within the first issue of Ulfire Tablets. 

Now I'm thinking of dumping the PC's onto Carcosa for the second or third leg of the ongoing campaign. We
grabbed Tristan Tanner's Lost Carcosa a long while ago. Tanner's Lost Carocsa is more then slightly different to Geoffrey McKinney's Carcosa. The inclusion of so many other classic Weird Fantasy author's races such as Edgar Rice Burroughs Green Martians & several Lovrcraft races is interesting. 
Then there's the fact that Lost Carcosa has the feel of another part of McKinney's Carcosa. Almost as if this was another side of the Lovecraftian sphere. 
We've had several teams of NPC archaeologists looking into the Martian desert's ruins. I've managed to sprinkle in serveral Lost Carcosa Green Martians. These have strange tatatoos & body oramentation on them. They are unknown or taboo to the local Green Tharks & dead sea Red Martian barbarian tribes the PC's know. These Carcosa Green Martians are servants to the sorcerers of the Black Gate. 
There are several gates that lead to Carcosa being used by cultists on our post apocalpytic Mars. There's only been one instance of a party of ours making onto Carcosa in the current campaign & they literally lost two party members to cultists. The other players immediately retreated back through the gate and sealed it behind them. 

Friday, March 17, 2023

Giving Original Dungeons & Dragons Supplement I It's Due

Last night it was time to journey down a well trodden road and it felt like coming home again. In this case 'home' is my copy of the 1974 original Dungeons & Dragons supplement I Greyhawk. Why is  Dungeons & Dragons supplement I Greyhawk important to me? Well besides it being one of the first supplements for original Dungeons & Dragons it's also one of the most important. 

Gary Gygax set's it down straight out of the gate within Dungeons & Dragons supplement I Greyhawk;"One cannot properly introduce a supplement to an existing body of rules which already contain both a foreword and an introduction; yet it is absolutely necessary to make certain that the prospective buyer understands that this volume cannot stand by itself. It is expressly written to augment the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS rules set. and if you do not possess the set there is no point in buying this supplemental booklet alone. However, it does no harm to read further — it is hoped that if you do skim through the pages which follow you will become so interested as to buy both "D & D" and this addition! If you enjoy fantasy you will never be sorry you were introduced to the swords and sorcery of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS games. If you already own a set of "D & D" then buy this booklet right now, for what is herein adds immeasurably to the existing game. There are new characters, new abilities, more spells to use, a horde of new monsters, heaps of new magical treasure, and various additions to the suggestions and rules tor adventuring above and below the ground." 
Gygax & Kuntz are not kidding as they add a ton of new material according to the OD&D SupplementI Greyhawk wiki entry; "Greyhawk instead focused on new game rules that had been developed by Gygax and Kuntz during long hours of home play. The 68-page supplement also introduced new character classes (thief and paladin),[4][5] as well as new combat rules, spells, monsters, and treasures.[4] Greyhawk included new rules on weapon damage varying by weapon. The supplement added new treasure and magic items, and new spells, including 7th, 8th, and 9th level spells. The supplement also included a section on monsters, introducing the lizard menbeholdersdisplacer beasts, blink dogs, carrion crawlers, and many others." So not only do we get an establishment of many of the most iconic Dungeons & Dragons monsters we get them in a very easy to digest format. The importance of this can't be understated. And critics of original Dungeons & Dragons have come to realize this. And these reviews & commentaries from the Greyhawk wiki entry sum this up; "Lawrence Schick, in his 1991 book Heroic Worlds, calls Greyhawk "The first and most important supplement to Original D&D".[4]"

"Shannon Appelcline, in his 2011 book Designers & Dragons, considers Greyhawk an "innovation" because at the time "supplements were largely unheard of in the wargaming industry. Though games were frequently revised and reprinted, continually expanding a game was something new."[6]: 7 "

"Journalist David M. Ewalt wrote that the supplement helped dungeon masters to learn how to create adventures through examples, bridging "the gap between players who leared the game at Gary's table and those who picked it up in a hobby store." Ewalt valued that Greyhawk showed that Dungeons & Dragons was meant to be adapted and evolved by the players beyond the original rules to make it most. suitable for each individual gaming group" 
Notice the consistency of opinion here the importance of the supplement to the evolution of original Dungeons & Dragons, the changing face of the marketing of original Dungeons & Dragons, and the movement toward far more player agency at the table top. Supplement I Greyhawk was the pivot point where the original Dungeons & Dragons rpg moves from simply another wargame  into the realm of wargame & role playing game as we recognize it. 
Is Original Dungeons & Dragons Supplement I Greyhawk still worth your time & energy? In a word, oh Hell yes! Why?! Because of the fact that E.Gary Gygax & Robert Kuntz did a bang up job pulling together the material into this seventy page book. A book that is primarily completely and utterly centered around campaign, adventure, & dungeon creation. 

Review & Commentary On Silvia Clemente's Temple of Flesh For the Wretched Bastards Rpg & Other Old School Campaigns

 "Temple of Flesh - Released (Red Room Store and Big Geek Emporium)

"The Temple of Flesh is a treacherous and unbalanced dungeon crawl by Sílvia Clemente, designed for parties of any level. However, it is not for the faint of heart, as the chances of survival are slim. The adventurers will face not only physical challenges but also the reasonably high chance of becoming a Creature of Shadows, a fate worse than death."

"The Sylvandell forest is home to a reclusive elven community that lives a peaceful life, undisturbed by the outside world. However, their tranquillity is shattered by a sudden earthquake that shakes the forest to its core. The elves soon discover that the quake has caused a monstrous temple to rise from the depths of the earth, looming ominously over the surrounding landscape. To make matters worse, the temple unleashes a horde of dark creatures that begin to prey on the unsuspecting elves. Faced with the looming threat of destruction, the elves desperately need a hero to venture into the temple and put an end to the evil that resides within.""

Silvia Clemente's Temple of Flesh For the Wretched Bastards Rpg isn't for the faint of heart in any way. This is a multi level forty nine page dungeon that's set within the heart of an Elven onclave and it's highly dangerous. Not only are the encounters really well done but the overall dungeon is not something that should be used lightly. 
Even a high level group of adventurers should not take Temple of Flesh off the cusp. This isn't a dungeon in the traditional sense but one that looks like it came straight from the early writings of Clive Barker. And it does fit right into the back drop of the  Wretched Bastards Rpg.

Temple of Flesh could easily be a Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg adventure without blinking an eye. There are five reasons for this. One the adult nature of the adventure. Two the writing is solid and the design of the adventure is deadly. PC's entering the temple of flesh are going to be changed and not necessarily for the better. Four the fact that the temple as an adventure location is going to be the focus of a highly dangerous campaign element. And there's no getting around the fact that this place is a focus for dark forces. 
The temple of fleash might as well be the campaign point for a cult of evil elves and all that entails. This isn't a statement made out of hyperbole but necessarity. The temple of flesh needs to be taken out and with extreme malcontent. 
But is the Temple of Flesh worth your time & money!? Well for four dollars Silvia Clemente has created an adventure location that can and will give your players pause & nightmares. Temple of Flesh is an adult title with all that conveys. And it does it well and dangerously. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

The Dungeon As Battle Front Within Original Dungeons & Dragons

 It's one of those mornings where the original Dungeons & Dragons books find thier way into my hands once again. And the pages feel as crisp as they did when we played our first game of original Dungeons & Dragons. Monsters & Treasures is one of those books that really hits home for me as a DM. 

Why?! Because it Monsters & Treasures does two things. One it intoduces so many iconic D&D monsters to the fore of the dungeon & two it brings home the importance of the treasures in original Dungeons & Dragons. Gnolls, Orcs, Goblins all come into the light of the party of adventurers purview. And Tim Waddell in his review of OD&D from Space Gamer issue #2 hits the nail on the head from the Original Dungeons & Dragons wiki entry:"Tim Waddell reviewed the original Dungeons & Dragons in The Space Gamer #2.[7] Waddell commented that "The most stimulating part of the game is the fact that anything can happen. Nothing is impossible."[7] Andy Pudewa also reviewed the original Dungeons & Dragons in The Space Gamer #2.[8] Pudewa said that "As a game, D&D is a fantastical outlet for the imagination. It has the quality of being infinitely flexible, and with it comes the reality of impossibility. [...] There are drawbacks to the game however; as there are in any game. D&D cannot even begin to get interesting in less than 20 hours playing time. Hundreds of hours of work must be done ahead of time by the referee, and it takes a fairly long time to prepare on the part of the players."
And Monsters & Treasures goes hand in hand with the Swords & Spells supplement. And it's really Chainmail second edition. Don't believe me? Check out 
Clark Timmins Rpg Geek's article 'A Wargame Disguised as an Rpg" here.  And the article makes
an excellent point about original Dungeons & Dragons Swords & Spells supplement:"
What does any of this have to do with roleplaying? Not much. There are some ties back to Dungeons & Dragons, but some are cosmetic - and most are because Dungeons & Dragons itself ties back to Chainmail. No need to explain what kobolds, lizard men, or gnolls are - that's been covered in the previous little booklets. Here, though, we learn that kobolds can only group in Unorganized, Mass, or Column Mass formations. While dwarves can form into Line or Echeloned Line they can't form into Column. And we have a spell list that's suspiciously similar to the Dungeons & Dragons list - only the Dungeons & Dragons effects are here replaced by (similar) mass unit combat effects. The same with saving throws - the same types of throws are reproduced, but with different values to accommodate scale miniatures."

Further the article goes into armor class's wargaming OD&D roots;"What's really interesting is how much of Dungeons & Dragons (Original Edition) "matches" these miniatures rules because, well, Dungeons & Dragons (Original Edition) came from a previous set of similar miniatures rules. So the terms "movement in inches" and the "area of effect" come literally from using a ruler to measure inches of distance on the tabletop. Armor class is a derived phrase from scale miniature unit stands where each was assigned a class of unit armor. Instead of using Dungeons & Dragons's dice of damage for an attack (a random number that averaged over time) here we actually use the "Average Damage Matrix" to figure the damage delivered from one mass unit (representing usually 10 individuals) to another mass unit. The "Level" of character types or the "Hit Dice" of monster types here are translated into, essentially, training and combat proficiency. "Level 0" means an untrained levy while the mid levels/hit dice (2 - abt. 6) represent trained combatants in like ranks." 
There's a consistancy to Original Dungeons & Dragon's shift into it's wargaming roots & mode. A consistancy that has been lost on many folks. And this further ties into the modular nature of "Underworld & Wilderness Adventures" Because original Dungeons & Dragons could shift the wargaming nature into the dungeon itself. Original Dungeons & Dragons literally did have the means & end to have the battles taking place within the mega dungeon itself as another front for the wargmer/OD&D dungeon master. 
And this ties back into a blog post I wrote about the fighter class in original Dungeons & Dragons back in Feb of 2019 here.