Friday, October 31, 2014

Another Free Halloween Download - Skywald Comics: Nightmare Issue 11 (1973) For Your Old School Campaigns

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My own journey with Skywald comic magazines begins someplace around 1975 when I was a wee little lad and since it is Halloween I thought I would share one of my all time favorite issues of the venerable ghoulish grave side story offerings. I stumbled upon these magazines whilst helping clean out a basement back in New York state.  This issue features some fantastic tales of horror, a bit of sword and sorcery thrown in, and some old school horror articles. This magazine series is forever linked in my mind with OD&D because it was two years later I stumbled or was shoved right into my first game! And things haven't ever really been the same again.
Skywald was an incredible engine of creativity and horror back in the 1970's and then it disappeared under an avalanche of Marvel horror induced haze. Many speculate that this was done as sheer marketing volume stunt to drive Skywald into submission. Needless to say that Skywald folded its tents and its material have faded into the public domain. Its perfect fodder for a retro horror campaign.

This issue featured :
The Wetness of The Pit which could well be a purely urban retroclone adventure withe PC's pushed right into the horror train tracks of the story. The monsters here are nasty and deadly enough to make this a very easy story to adapt to a variety of old school retroclone games.
Taw is another story with potential for an old school adventure encounter, here I'm thinking either Strange Adventures or another modern day variant here. 

The Beasts of Tomb Island might well be a great adventure encounter for a Planet Mother #$@er campaign touch stone with a bit of reworking this could be used for an old school post apocalyptic campaign. 
Where Gods Once Stood is absolutely perfect for an Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea style adventure or any old school sword and sorcery campaign. 
Corridors of Caricature is just the sort of thing that might go on in a lower key Planet Mother $#%er campaign. Very workable for any old school modern style horror themed campaign. 
Where are The Inhabitants of Earth? now this is a perfect crossover venue for any old school post apocalyptic campaign including Stars Without Number, Mutant Future, Bandits and Battlecruisers or any old school science fantasy style campaign setting. 
Titan Weep is another old school sword and sorcery story with a twist that makes a great little encounter for AS&SH or any old school sword and sorcery campaign. 
Finally The Horror War rounds out the whole issue and keeps the ball rolling.
The whole issue of Nightmare has some great filler material and adds from a real by gone age. It gives a great alternative to the huge glut of Marvel horror material of the time. Bear in mind that I love Marvel here even though Skywald was a completely different animal and had a whole different feel to their magazines. From their characters, settings, stories, art, and backdrops in all of their graphic comic magazines. All in all Skywald is like Charlton comics for me. An old school independent spirit in age when boxed and packaged consumerism was just really getting its toe hold in. 

Free Halloween Download - Protodimension Magazine Issue #21 For Your Old School Horror RPG Campaigns

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Just in time for Halloween is this of Protodimension magazine and some fantastic old school horror rpg articles!
Most of the major horror rpg bases are covered and there's some great stuff to spruce up any monster or Halloween themed adventures . There are some great articles in this issue! I really love Tad Kelson's adventure and Easy As That by Osmond Arnesto
 Here's a list of the contents from their page: 
  • Dithering in the Dark, Words from the chief by Tad Kelson
  • Easy As That, A bit of fiction by Osmond Arnesto for Your Reading Pleasure
  • The Shadow of the Fleshless Ones, A New Race by Eric Fabiaschi for Call of Cthulhu, Dark Conspiracy & Conspiracy Rules
  • Call of Cthulhu Fate Hack, Hacking the Mythos by Ed Gibbs for FATE (CoC)
  • The Digital Tome, The Right to Know, Chapter One by Ed Gibbs for FATE (CoC)
  • Random Hardware, Getting by in the Greater Depression by Jason D McEwen for Conspiracy Rules!
  • Solitaire, A Vignette by Bradley K. McDevitt for Halloween
  • 100 Oddities for a Creepy Old House, A review of Skirmisher Publishing’s Book by Eric Fabiaschi for Your Old School Horror Campaigns
  • The Birthright, A Dark Seed by Jason D McEwen for Dark Conspiracy and Other Dark Settings
  • Just NoWhere A hap(hazard)ly fashioned adventure by Tad Kelson for Multiple Settings
  • Gumiho, A New Race by Jason D McEwen for Conspiracy Rules!
  • A Haunted Subject: Ghosts In Dark Conspiracy, Referee advice by Eric Fabiaschi for Dark Conspiracy
  • The Bar Run, Fiction by Tyler Omichinski for your reading pleasure
  • Old Rifle For A New Century: Part 2, the FG-42, Guns, guns, guns… by Kevin O’Neill for Dark Conspiracy
  • Red Carpet Ready, Characters and plot seeds by Jeff Moeller for Call of Cthulhu 6th Edition
     As always Protodimension is support with a great website HERE
     A very active Facebook group HERE
    And the Dark Conspiracy rpg Facebook group HERE

The Mythos Guide To New England By Clint Staples From Skirmisher Publishing For your Old School Campaigns

Cover for "The Mythos Society Guide to New England"

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This is a massive 142 page tomb of knowledge & New England lore for essentially the heart of Lovecraft country. Writing and designing this sort of supplement is tricky business because Lovecraft wove both the imaginary & factual into his material. The Clint Staples did a great job with this one but for the Call of Cthulhu DM this book is really a nicely done book. The design and layout is easy on the eyes and the author knows his material very well.
Love Bradley MC Durmett's cover art as well
Clint draws from both New England folklore and the well stocked Lovecraftian lore to create a unique blend of material that a DM can draw a ton of campaign and adventure ideas. 

I really don't think that the Call of Cthulhu crowd has given these books or product line a second glance. That's too bad because their missing out on a very well done piece of Cthulhu rpg reference that includes not only the Mythos but a large chunk of New England lore as well. This book is a really bold stroke by Skirmisher and Mr. Staples does a great job capturing the flavor and feel of New England in these pages.
We're given a nice overview of the history, horrors, and facts all in one hundred and forty pages with additional monsters and mayhem just in time for Halloween.
Here's The Drivethrurpg Blurb: 

The Mythos Guide to New England provides a record of the land and its inhabitants, its prehistory and history, and its natural and unnatural characteristics. In these pages you will find tales of the witchcraft, hauntings, monsters, and malevolence that have plagued the peoples of the region, from pre-Colonial days into the 20th century. 

New England is a diverse territory. Some the earliest settlements in the New World lie check by jowl with rugged country that, to this day, is all but untraveled by humanity. The sea, with its rocky shoals, rugged coves, unknown depths, and centuries of legend and lore holds sway over the minds of the region's inhabitants. The mountains and forests are just as mysterious and deadly, keeping secrets centuries and even millennia old, some of which mankind would be better not off not knowing. Between these wild areas are the settled portions, farms and orchards inland and harbors filled with ships and the folk that sail them on the coast. Man prevails in such places, but in the shadowed lanes, forgotten cellars, and lightless passages beneath his world there is still much that is unknown and unsettling.
The material here is very well balanced and the author is a veteran rpg designer & writer who knows the material. He's carefully researched his subject but put his own thumb print and ideas into this product as well. This is a product though with a bit of utility at the table top as we'll see.

Using The 
The Mythos Guide To New England
For Call of Cthulhu and Your Old School Horror Campaigns 

There is a lot of old school horror action going on under the hood in this product. New England is a vast subject and while not every aspect can be covered all of the Mythos highlights are hit here and some other traditional subjects are hit upon as well. This is a volume that will spark a DM's imagination and add the thread of the weird and depraved to their imaginations. This book provides a DM with plenty of opportunities to enmesh the PC's into the machinations of cults, high weirdness, and plenty of Lovecraftian hi jinks deep in the New England venue.
Cover for "The Mythos Society Guide to New England"

A good example of one of the nasties that are found in this tome but was  an over flow creature is the Misshipesha. A sinister water spirit and horror of turbulent waters, which has deep meaning for those of us who have been to the Great Lakes.
This is a monster rife with adventure possibilities deep with the fabric of the New England region.  You can find this horror right HERE

This is a monster which has plenty of utility across the horror rpg spectrum and any DM worth his salt could easily built an entire adventure around such a creature which really is about the essence of this book. The ability to build an adventure and campaign around the backdrop of New England and its lands.
New England held deep echoes for Lovecraft and his contemporaries. And this volume allows a DM to use this material as a handy horror candy sampler picking & choosing what he or she needs or wants for their old school campaigns.
But this does not have to be simply Call of Cthulhu, any contemporary horror rpg can benefit with this material and that's really one of the strengths of this book.
Many of the DM's I know who use Realms of Chaos and other Lovecraftian OSR material can easily create their own stats and draw from the plethora of horror material within these pages. There is a ton of monsters, cults, and nasties to bedevil your PC's with. The advantage here is that these monsters have been here for a long time. At least two hundred or more years and this is rout out within this book's pages.
 Could this material be used in a game like Chill or one of the other great horror games on the market currently including some of the OSR retroclones? Sure it could.
This is the first updated exclusively New England book that I've seen seen Chill had their own New England Guide book many years ago and its very well done! Pick this one up and get going on your investigations into one of Lovecraft's back yards! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Free Halloween Download Psycho #14 For Your Old School Horror and Sword & Sorcery Campaigns On The Dark Corner Blog

Dare you trod down the dark alleyways of time to the newstand of old where Skywald's Psycho magazine is still sold for the cover price of .75 cents and there are realms of horror and adventure that await your old school campaigns right over 

Free Halloween Download - Creepy magazine Issue 58 For Your Old School Campaigns

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Well kids its almost that time of year again. So I'm giving you all one of my favorite issues of Creepy issue #58 for a free download. This issue features some fantastic useble material including a great little sword and sorcery yarn that can be the basis for a nice one shot adventure!
 Change into something is a great little were wolf yarn that could with a bit of imagination be adapted right into a nice little Call of Cthlu one shot adventure.
" An Excuse for Violence" is like something straight out of the old EC Tales From The Crypt and features some really nice twists and turns.Very easily adapted to little horror one shot.
"Shriek Before Dawn" could be made into an old school horror adventure with the PC's called in to deal with the central horror of the piece. 
"The Soul And The Shadow" now this is an excellent piece to adapt right into Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea or any old school sword and sorcery AD&D or OD&D campaign. The ideas here are easily adapted and coiled into an old school campaign. 
 " The Waking Nightmare" is the perfect little vehicle to introduce PC's right into the deep end of your supernatural horror campaigns. Nasty, dangerous, and easily adapted to any old school horror system! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Free Science Fiction Resource - Martian Homecoming By Frank Belknap Long 1951 For Your Old School Martian Campaigns

 "Through the veils of illusion, and waves of terrible remorse, they set out to slay the deadly creatures ..."

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Frank Belknap Long weaves an interesting tale of Post Colonial Mars that might neatly fit into my on going Post Apocalyptic Mars campaign. The spin here is about some colonists upon Mars. We've got a washed up boxer and his wife, lightning guns, strange Martian monstrous races and more. Here we've got a Mars filled to the brim with ruins and ancient megadungeons waiting for the coming of colonists from Earth. The story weaves a tapestry of charming pulp adventure but really there is a ton here to pull from for a one shot adventure. An illusion causing proto telepathic race, echoes of history darting through the story and an almost Lovecraftian vibe slithering just under the surface of this tale. Even though its a quick read there's lots of little nuances that can be pulled from to make this into a touch stone for a Martian style campaign, something I'm planning on taking full advantage of. All in all this is rather interesting little relic created by one of the masters from the Lovecraft circle. 

Review and Commentary 100 Thrift Store Items, More Crap! From Fishwife Games For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

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Thrift Stores are the red headed step children of  the ruins of towns, villages, and other places. A zone of loot and opportunity that DM over look as an adventure location and opportunity. Well once again Dave Woodrum and Fishwife games comes up with another post apocalyptic product I didn't know I needed but now I can see all kinds of twisted uses for.
100 Thrift Store Items, More Crap! follows the exact formula of these products a very concisely put together list of  items, junk, and whatnot to stuff the pouches, bags, and what have you of adventures with treasure. The pdf is only two pages and gives the post apocalyptic DM everything they need to fill the ruined shelves of a former thrift stores or dollar store locations which for urban or country adventures are perfect.
This is the second product in this series and these locations can offer a DM a great opportunity to set up a monster's lair or mutant tribe right within a thrift store. Another thing that can be done with this locations is their use small scale locations for minor treasures such as those find within the AD&D 1st edition's DM's guide. This list provides the icing on the cake for such locations.
These pdfs are well put together, they're system agnostic and can be used with any old school post apocalyptic game or even modern gaming system for that matter.

Using 100 Thrift Store Items, More Crap!
For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

Being the second in the series I recommend grabbing the first of this series and then diving into the deep end of ideas for using this one.  Yes this can be used to salt those zombie infested cities that have been cropping up like flies across the face of post apocalyptic gaming. And this list could also be used to salt apartments and various other urban and deep city ruin locations with treasures of the Ancients.
Other ideas are to use this list to deck out weird little shops like Christmas Village variety junk shops as well with certain items.
These charts can also be used for ruin themed sporting events such as those found in certain old school post apocalytic campaigns to indicate especially rich zones of ruins where mid level mutant monsters are lurking.
One thing about post apocalyptic gaming a DM can never have enough loot charts, artifact charts, and relic lists. This is another tool in the DM arsenal for more post apocalyptic fun. A bit of advice is to wait for a real sale from Drivethru or Rpgnow. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Quick Shoutout & Review For Wisdom From The Wastelands Issue # 45 For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

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Issue #45 of  'Wisdom From The Wastelands' is a great little post apocalyptic gem of mutant dinosaur madness. If you love your mutant dinosaurs then this issue is one to get. This issue goes into all of the basics and options for introducing your PC's to all of the high weirdness  of mutant dinosaur driven adventures.
Here's a sample from an old 80's cartoon of what might be done with this issue's contents  turned it into a campaign. 

Mutant Dinosaurs have the potential to be an incredible campaign resource or hazard for adventurers . Here's a chance to really showcase some of the super science of the Ancients and show the lasting legacy of monstrous evil and ecological science gone wild. The genteic super science  effects are still echoing through the wastelands even today. And can easily be the lynch pin for a campaign. Even in the rpgnow blurb  we get a sample of what this issue is all about: 
Using their expertise in biotechnology, the Ancients created or recreated many new species for use as pets or livestock. Ever-popular dinosaurs were among the first large, complex creatures brought back in the lab. This was not cloning or “de-extinction” in the strictest sense, but rather a combination of genetic archaeology and reinterpretation, and the Ancients designed the animals for their own reasons and pleasures as though sculpting with DNA putty.

This issue opens up the possibilities  of mutant dinosaurs adventure locations within your campaigns for adventurers to stumble upon. The legacies of the Ancients can be exposed with  just this sort of adventure.  Mutant dinosaurs can act as the catalysts for entire campaigns here.
 For example from the classic film Jurassic Park we get the remains of a park where super science has run riot . Imagine adventurers stumbling into such a place
and there's no happy ending.

This issue pushes the  pulp post apocalyptic adventure elements and allows a DM  to introduce lost valley preserves for PC's to find. This is a perfect way of introducing Ancient's DNA manipulation technology and artifacts to a campaign.

All in all I found this to be one of the most useful issue of Wisdom From The Wastelands to date. The rest of the issue is rounded out with some great mutant monsters and solid content that could be woven together to create a great one shot adventure or a long term campaign. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Ruin & Dungeon Scalper For Your Old School Campaigns & Dungeons

An ancient throwback mutated species of primordial looking arachnids whose vicious presence was first observed two years ago on an expedition in the ancient city of Manhat. These heavily armed predators use a combination of swarm tactics and guile to take down prey humanoids and mutated animals armed with deadly clawed and horned legs.

 A series of neuro toxin producing  spines edge the front legs of these creatures  are used to rake prey while a vicious toothy bone palette slices and injures the prey with a grating wound across any exposed flesh or soft tissues. Each one of these horrors is as big as the diameter of a humanoid hand and they are often encountered as lone scouts or advanced hunters for larger feeding swarms.

Palaeotarbus jerami.png

# Appearing 1- 100
AC: 6
Movement : 15
HD: 2
% In Lair : 70
Type: C

The victim must make a save vs death for any wounds received or go into a spasm induced state of rigid paralysis as the toxins do their work reeking untold harm on the victims nervous system and body. As the victim bleeds out from a combination of wounds and poison the rest of the swarm will move in to finish off any fleshy bits. Especially loved are the eyes and tongues of victims.
These horrors are especially well suited to temperate climates but have adapted quite readily to many wasteland locations across the former United States. The speculation is that the species is actually a mutant variety of an ancient primeval spider like species from a time space gate from millions of years in Earth's past.
The species seems drawn to ancient paranormal energies and the like. There is speculation that these horrors have some form of empathetic/telepathic bonding which enables them form webs of mind energy.
 These creatures often hunt as lone creatures drawn to ancient ruins and places of power. These monsters are sensitive to the negative energies of certain planar conditions and often seem to be found where undead operate. There are some varieties that glow a ghostly green with these energies as part of a defense mechanism. These creatures will cause 3 points of damage to anyone trying to handle them.Scalpers often seem drawn to dungeons, old military bases, and the like. The Scalper comes in to distinct varieties, the dungeon scalper is often found in areas of undead activity where zombies and the unquiet dead make their homes. They are fond of certain quasi paranormal parasites that infect the undead. They tear into the scalp and brain pan of these creatures which has given the name to the monster.
 The second variety is the ruin scalper which can be recognized by the distinctive blue green markings around the legs. 

These horrors love to lay egg sacs within the eye sockets of prey animals and adventurers resulting in the births of hundreds of young feeding upon the decayed corpses of former victims.Often these will burst forth onto anyone or thing present and enter a feeding frenzy on anything present. There are often relics or artifacts present from former 'guests' of the Scalpers. Many times adventurers will seek out lairs of scalpers for the rich pickings and salvage that go hand and leg with these deadly predators of the wastelands.  From time to time warlords often capture these horrors to torture and torment especially hated enemies. 

King Solomon's Mines-Classics Reimagined by Stephan Friedt Graphic Novel Kickstarter Reminder

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There are only eleven days to go on the King Solomon's Mines Graphic novel! There needs to be a push to get this wonderful tale funded and gotten to market! The romance, intensity, and ideas of Haggard are brought to exciting life by top talents in the comic book and graphic novel world but it can't happen without your support! 
According to the Kickstarer site: 
This adaptation by the team of legendary comics illustrator Pablo (Conan The Barbarian, Tales of the Zombie) Marcos and best-selling author Mark (Outlanders, Doc Savage, Justice Machine) Ellis brings a new and colorful perspective to the Victorian-era yarn.
Now look I of all people know that times are tough and tight but this is a great project and the material will be treated with the respect and admiration that it deserves.
 The intended series...
From the top talents to the artwork this graphic novel is a throw back to a time when pulp magazines & comic books featured incredible artwork and design. The team on this one knows the material and ideas of where to go with it. They'll do a killer job with this property but only if it gets funded. 
So here we've got a great project that has a new take on this classic pulp work and like so many of the incredible wonderful other projects this one needs your help. I've seen some of the artwork associated with this one and its a great take on the Haggard material. There is a certain epicness associated with King Solomon's Mines and a feeling of continuing almost pulp level journey that comes with the writing and artwork. 

I've followed these folks various projects and products for years and I have no doubt that this one if successful is going to be one hell of a graphic novel and possibly the start of a series. This is a case of  a project having to start someplace. I'm biting at the bit to see this enter the public arena as an actual graphic novel. But as I've said this project can't happen without you! Take a look, reach into your pocket and get this one funded. 
King Solomon's Mines
And an this is an epic take on Haggard's all time classic and with a bit of a twist or two to keep even the most hard core pulp hound interested for the entire way. King Solomon's Mines is part hero's journey and part adventure into a world of epic adventure and pulptastic story telling in the old school tradition with a brand new spin.
But it can't happen without your help. 

One thing about this project, Ellis and co always support their various projects with Facebook groups and more. You can join this Facebook group right over HERE 

Quick Shout Out For Slaughter Grid By Rafael Chandler For Your Old School Sword and Sorcery Campaigns On The Dark Corner Blog

There are modules and then's Rafael Chandler's Slaughter Grid, well go read what I've got to say about it right over

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review and Commentary on The Free OSR Camapign setting Narcosa From Neoplastic Press For Your Old School Campaigns

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“The junk merchant doesn't sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.” 
― William S. BurroughsNaked Lunch

Neo Plastic has been turning out some fantastic old school stuff for ages but its only recently that I've gotten around to downloading Narocsa. The book is part OSR campaign setting book and part send up of the Seventies drug counterculture that has always been a part of the D&D sub culture forever.
This book is actually a psychedelic fantasy trip down a rabbit hole of high weirdness and was a part of a community effort by some of the great OSR writers and designers out there. Once again I didn't know this setting and material was out there.
Its free and there's a ton of great drug induced madness to infect your old school campaigns. This product actually fills a niche that can be exploited by a DM when they need a pusher NPC or a seller of illicit substances for their campaigns with exploitable backgrounds that can be expanded into full psychedelic trippy adventures. And its done and written very well. 
While tongue is planted firmly in cheek in this drug idled setting there's also a whole range of weirdness that can be exploited for your old school games. 
From the Drivethru rpg blurb : 

Will you seek your fortune in Hashishastan? Will you gather the silk of the Mindmoth Caterpillar? Is it your destiny to join the Ecstatic Order of the Five Pleasure Plagues? Should you ingest those Troll Poppies?
Enter the weird world of Narcosa, a land of Shroombies, Drug Trance Mages, Purple Pipeweed, and hallucinogens injected via Stirge needles.
Born of a hashtag, emerging like rainbow-hued smoke from the minds of dozens of creators, Narcosa is a crowdsourced setting book for old-school games.
Narcosa could be used as a one off adventure draw or as a stepping stone for a whole campaign of hobbit weed induced madness.
Using Narcosa For Your Old School
Post Apocalyptic Campaigns
“In the City Market is the Meet CafĂ©. Followers of obsolete, unthinkable trades doodling in Etruscan, addicts of drugs not yet synthesized, pushers of souped-up harmine, junk reduced to pure habit offering precarious vegetable serenity, liquids to induce Latah, Tithonian longevity serums, black marketeers of World War III, excusers of telepathic sensitivity, osteopaths of the spirit, investigators of infractions denounced by bland paranoid chess players, servers of fragmentary warrants taken down in hebephrenic shorthand charging unspeakable mutilations of the spirit, bureaucrats of spectral departments, officials of unconstituted police states, a Lesbian dwarf who has perfected operation Bang-utot, the lung erection that strangles a sleeping enemy, sellers of orgone tanks and relaxing machines, brokers of exquisite dreams and memories tested on the sensitized cells of junk sickness and bartered for raw materials of the will, doctors skilled in the treatment of diseases dormant in the black dust of ruined cities, gathering virulence in the white blood of eyeless worms feeling slowly to the surface and the human host, maladies of the ocean floor and the stratosphere, maladies of the laboratory and atomic war... A place where the unknown past and the emergent future meet in a vibrating soundless hum... Larval entities waiting for a Live One...” 
― William S. BurroughsNaked Lunch
Narcosa has a myriad of setting possibilities within an old school post apocalyptic setting campaigns. The elements of Narcosa can exploit the inhabitants  of the wastelands as resources for further markets or perhaps the adventurers from the wastes are seeking out the wares of Narcosa.
Believe it or not there's a ton of things that can be done in a post apocalpytic setting with something like Narcosa. The material here makes for some interesting ideas with perhaps more then a trace of William S. Burroughs ideas & dash of Michael Moorcock.
On the whole Narcosa has its tongue planted firmly in cheek at points but there's more then enough here to get a gang of drug induced murder hobos exploiting their stash of material in the wastes. 
Several of the relics, artifacts, and substances in Narcosa make excellent items as hooks for wasteland adventures by themselves & can add whole aspects to your games as your PC's are confronted with the twisted tri coloured high weirdness of Narcosa itself.
All in all I think that as a community driven tool box Narcosa succeeds on several drug levels of old school goodness that allows one to set the depth and gauge of the use of the elements of this community source book. Tune in, turn on, and allow the OSR weirdness to flow into your campaign. 

Hexopeidic Ruin Trilobites For Your Old School Campaigns & Dungeons

# Appearing 1d8 
Move: 9 
Hit Dice : 5
Damage: 1d6 Bite 
In Lair %: 70 
Treasure : D 

These are a strange throwback mutation of a trilobite like monster. These things often inhabit the ruins, wastes, and stagnant waters surrounding many of the ancient deathlands. These two foot horrors often congregate in groups or swarms looking for warm blooded animals from which to feed. These horrors will attack their victims with double rows of weird flesh rending jagged teeth like mandibles. These horrors leave ragged wounds causing 1d6 points of damage as they tear chunks of flesh from their victims. These little armored horrors often carry dungeon diseases and worse plagues such as Red Death.
They seem to be drawn to areas of bio dimensional energy or paranormal dimensional anomalies. These things often seem to dwell in areas of so called magic or near areas of dimension instabilities such as worm holes and the like. 
These  creatures are amphibious and very cunning some would say they have an almost malevolent animal like cunning. They often seem drawn to the aura around certain types of relics and deathland weird energies which they might use to sustain themselves between meals. The small horrors often coat & cocoon themselves in highly enzyme rich slime to enter a deathlike state that can last for centuries only to spring to life at a moment's notice when prey is within the vicinity.

 These horrors are often drawn to body heat and have multifaceted eyes capable of looking deep into several unknown regions of the spectrum. They have infravision up to 20 feet and delicate sensing apparatus capable of tasting blood in the air or water up to two miles away from their prey.
There are thousands of variations of the species across the planes and can often be found in dungeons, space wrecks, ancient flying saucers and other post apocalyptic habits. They have adapted quite well to several magic rich prime plane locations and dimensions sharing space with other dungeon denizens some of whom the species hunts as well.
Several of the larger varieties of the species which range from four to five feet have paralyzing feelers or tendrils capable of paralyzing a man in moments unless a save vs poison is made. The victim is aware of their surroundings but can do nothing as the horror moves in for the kill. The monster often takes several chunks of flesh from its victim & then comes back to feed at its leisure after the victims bleed out. These larger variety of monster seem drawn to negative material energies often given off by undead and their ilk. They often inhabit crypts, ruined museums, and other places of the dead. They scavenge from corpses and other dead things while sustaining themselves with the negative aural energies of such places.
These horrors often keep small nests of treasure and artifacts to attract mates. These are often collections from past victims piled into trophy displays. There is very little difference between sexes within the species and they can switch genders as needed for reproduction.
These monsters have filled a little known ecological niche within the post apocalyptic world and though a nuisance to adventurers and excavators. These horrors can present a very dangerous foe if under estimated.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Quick Shout Out For Anomalous Subsurface Environment ASE1 By Patrick Wetmore For Your Old School Campaigns

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The problem with the OSR is that the awesome stuff is often so spread out that you don't find out about it until years later. A good example of this is ASE1 and the writing of Patrick Wetmore. Now after zipping around LuLu site today I stumbled upon the unlikely title of Anomalous Subsurface Environment an adventure module and gonzo science fantasy setting. Why the hell didn't I know about this wonderful little piece of OSR wonderment years ago?
Apparently this sucker has a science fantasy vibe in the key of incredible. This looks like the type of module Little Jimmy DM would have thrown together after a sick week from school and an overdoes of 80's cartoon school afternoon shows before his mum switched the channel to the soaps or Opera.
But I digress after some extensive investigation work and reading up on the module's review  because there's now two levels covered. I decided to throw some coin at this product and its author when I get the chance.
When began looking into this product this piece of artwork from the module popped up! Yeah that's pure old school science fantasy right there in one quick piece of art.
Apparently there's also a whole solo blog called Henchmen Abuse that pretty much supports this module with new material and reviews coming out daily. Why isn't this in my blog roll then? Hmm. Lately I've been of the opinion that each DM is really their own OSR. So basically its really up to me to have sought this whole brand of whole sale OSR madness out myself.
The fact that this Megadungeon adventure manages to squeeze in a whole post apocalyptic campaign setting into its backdrop in one fell swoop as well is an added bonus of coolness. This needs to be a part of my world! So after looking over the author/designers blog I discover something else. There's a second level that's been made.
And this second deeper level to this maze of  high level old school weirdness comes  with clowns and dinosaurs! Clowns and dinosaurs no less in one module just waiting to be run. I must have been a sleep at the wheel here. This is the perfect bit of madness to torment my PC's with!
Yup I'm going to be ordering this series of modules ASAP! Thanks to Patrick Wetmore for making my day a bit more awesome! You'll be getting my cash soon! Cheers pal!!

You can find The Henchmen Abuse Blog Right Over

Fantastic Heroes & Witchery (hardcover) By Dominique Crouzet Shipped !

Fantastic Heroes & Witchery (hardcover)
Grab It Right

For months I've been watching this particular retro clone for months now and have wanted a copy. So I finally ordered a copy of this from Lulu. I've read the various reviews of it and a couple of days ago I got a chance to check it out.
 So this is now on its way. I can't wait to get the hard copy!

 Here's the description from Lulu - 

(This is the hardcover version of the book.) - This version 2.1 has been proofread (though some typos might remain), and more than 70 spells have been rewritten (so as to be somewhat different) and/or renamed. A couple of illustrations have been changed too.
This 430 pages old-school RPG is compatible with most adventures, monsters, spells, etc., published for other retro-clones and simulacrums of the game (i.e. fantasy RPG of fighters, wizards, dragons, and underground adventures), but proposes a lot of options, such as talents, combat schools... or classes, races and rules for science fantasy games with laser guns, etc.

Review and Commentary On The Free Download Underworld Kingdom Volume One: Explorers of the Unknown By Albert Rakowski

Underworld Kingdom Volume One: Explorers of the Unknown
Grab It Right Over
For years I've been quietly mixing in the various retroclones, OSR material, and more to pretty much create the post apocalyptic & fantasy  old school sandbox that I've loved. Those efforts have been interesting and have made up the bulk of this blog. One of the key books for this has been Underworld Kingdom Volume One Explorers Of The Unknown.
Why? Because in twenty pages it adds a whole background of material that can be dropped in, plugged into, and generally enhance an existing campaign.
Here's what's in this twenty page bad boy: 
Finally the first Underworld Kingdom campaign booklet is available!
It contains some new rules and guidelines, 200 random names, quirks, prophecies, mutations and equipment lists, ready to be used in your Old School Gaming Campaign. There's a lot here to take in even in twenty pages and its very well done. This is a very nice set of tools to take out and add into your OSR sand box. Over the last couple of months I've been quietly getting into the mode of non brand post apocalyptic generic gaming an idea that I've been quietly thinking about. The quietly filing off of the various brand names of the old school veterans and doing pretty much what my imagination limits me too. This is one of those tool boxes that can easily help.

This book lays out more options for a DM to use in campaign construction and adventure design easily, concisely, and without a hint of an over arching campaign or any style of world. Its generic and solid in what it does and does it all in twenty pages.

In twenty pages the author lays down without an ounce of background fluff and fuss everything you as a DM are going to need to get the job done of adding in a bit more spice to your on going sand box and does it with style. I've always loved this book because of what it represents, one guy's efforts to get his passion distilled into an OSR product that can fit any style of adventure writing. And it shows. A very nicely done little piece of sleight of hand writing that has a very well done old school tool box that can be added right into your sandbox for more PC and adventure location options. At the moment its free and a pretty nice little download at lulu.
That being said I'd buy the print version as well after taking the free material for a test drive. I'm aware that there is a second volume and more of the authors efforts on the market. So this is going to come in very handy in the next couple of weeks as I gear up for my Winter campaign. My advise is to grab both volumes and throw the author some coin so we'll see more in the coming years.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Revisiting Poul Anderson's Free Sword and Sorcery Tale The Valor of Cappen Verra On The Dark Corner Blog

Need a sword and sorcery tale to get the ball rolling in your old school games? How about an old classic from the mind of Poul Anderson? A nice old school sword and sorcery number to get the blood boiling and your imagination fired up! 
Available right over 

1d10 Random Encounters With Lovecraftian Horrors From The Outer Darkness Table For The Astonishing Swordsmen And Sorcerers Of Hyperborea Rpg System On The Dark Corner Blog

 There are things from the Outer Darkness that have come to plague mankind upon Hyperborea, here is a small selection of these horrors to plague your adventurers with!
Right Over

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Upon The Streets Of Thovas Thoon - A Post Apocalyptic Mars Campaign Actual Play Event

Upon The Streets Of Thovas Thoon 

Thovas Thoon sits near the post apocalyptic Martian poles around the swamp lands and is one of the last basitons of civilization before the deep post apocalyptic Martian swamp wastelands. These areas are home to a wide variety of tribes, red men, green warriors, mutant and worse.
This area sits right on the edge of the Lovecraftian Serpent Men's territories and city states. The peaks of their ruins and temple pyramid complexes can be seen over the tops of the massive trees and the mix of  ruins that still tower over the jungles here.
Many of these former city state ruins were left abandoned here after the fall of entropic bombs, Atomics, and worse was used in the conflict that devastated Mars.
The players in tonight's game found themselves deep in the streets of the city state after following a party of alien bounty hunters & assassins that they've been tracking after a blood feud has been brewing between the two groups after a heated battle upon another world. After a pitched battle on the streets of a star port, the PC's gave chase through a dimensional door and found themselves on the streets of Thovas Thoon. The red Martian Incan warriors gave them their first clue. The PC's needed to re epuip after the alien bounty hunters gave them the slip down a series of side streets.
The PC's found themselves at the city's Grand Bazaar and after a very heated deal with a low land Red money lender and his Green Martian body guard. They ended up exchanging a good deal of their treasure for credits and Martian money. This was a pretty damn one sided deal however and they weren't happy at all. 
They began to explore the streets of Thovas Thoon and were quite surprised at the number of mutants and rabble about in the city which seemed to have very low life and slightly seedy quality to the city. There were several duels and one gun fight that caused the party to beat tracks.
Just after they ducked for cover they spotted an assassin that they had tangled with from a distance. This bastard was Vothus Hal a were rat Red assassin that they had tangled with long ago. He had ties to the alien bounty hunters they were tracking earlier. And so began a merry chase down the crooked streets of Thovus Thoon. More coming soon. 

Random City State Street Encounters 1d10 

  1. Red men Inca like warriors 2nd level fighters equipped with blasters & power flint swords +2 
  2. Greys technicians 1d4 armed with wands of pain 1d3, 2 hit points each 
  3. Thork warriors 4 hit points each & very intelligent. Bone armor,short swords, & shields. Quiet & Introspective. Could be up to something. 
  4. Red Highlanders warriors in religious dress. 1d6, 1st level warriors armed with ceremonial swords, daggers, & radium pistols 
  5. First Born pirates/traders with wares. Will not fight. Surrounded by green warrior/bodyguards/slaves 3rd level fighters. Short swords & long swords. Radium pistols 
  6. Water Merchant 2nd level selling wars from across the face of mars. Some with special properties 
  7. A group of stray cadlots 3 hit points each & very hungry 
  8. Escaped slave being pursued by red bounty hunters. He pleads for his life. There are several strange scars around his major organ areas 
  9. A white martian scientist with handfuls of weird tech comes racing out of a building followed by a series of explosions & human screams. He throws down the tech & waves at you screaming something in high Martian 
  10. A jeddak's parade with him in attendance stops & he approaches you to "talk" 

1d10 Random Haunted Post Apocalyptic Fallout Shelters Location Table For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

Out in the deep wastelands there are ancient bolt holes that are uncovered by wind, rain, and time. Places where the horrors of the past still linger and call out from beyond the grave to the post apocalyptic world. Here are a few of those locations that serve to haunt wastelands and some of the horrors that can be visited upon adventurers during their expeditions into the wastes. 

1d10 Random Haunted  Post Apocalyptic Fallout Shelters Location Table
  1. A three tiered bolt hole and vault that is now inhabited by a pack of 1d8 zombies. This horrid family of the ancient crawls from the churning ground and seeks vengeance upon those who survived. The location has been ransacked of most food but there is some sundries. There is also a map to several other such locations in the area though. 
  2. A hidden door in the side of a hill promises some rich pickings but there are several recent skeletons around the area. A weird cannibal spirit is said to haunt the area and guard its rich treasures of artifacts very well. Any items recovered here are said to be cursed. In actuality, this military style bunker is haunted by a very crafty wight who haunts the area. He uses military tactics and gear to terrorize the place. 
  3. This area is the center for a wide array of haunting activity and lights seen at night. The has been eerie pre apocalyptic rock music echoing through the wilds on certain nights. The place is actually the center of a minor cult of necrotic  worshipers who summon the spirits of their ancient ancestors. The whole fallout shelter has been converted into a minor temple. There will be 1d8 undead horrors haunting the place. 
  4. An ancient radio signal echoes from this location where there is nothing at all. On certain days weird witch lights can be seen from a distance. This place is in fact haunted by a very deranged A.I. who is still carrying out its last orders. The thing has a bunch of combat bots made up as 'spirits' but the place is a rich loot area. The bunker is a three floor location in the ground. 
  5. This location is said to be the be haunted location where thousands died and their spirits still cry out for vengeance. There is a mass grave nearby but the place is actually one of the last stands for a small group of Ancient soldiers who used the undead as terror weapons. These horrors still haunt the location and on nights of the full cracked moon ride out on nightmares to hunt the living .They haunt a small fallout shelter that still houses their spirits and has the military weapons that they use. These undead soldiers will be accompanied by 1d4 insane ghosts of the ancients. 
  6. A group of 1d8 ghostly soldiers of the Ancients is looking to press gang any living that they find for their unending war in Hell. These horrors will seek to drag any living that they find to the Hell mouth fallout shelter entrance. Most days the shelter appears to be ordinary if unpleasant. 
  7. This shelter was recently uncovered by the weather and any playing around with the lock mechanisms will release 1d10 zombies of the ancients upon the world. The location is prime looting material as the shelter has never been disturbed.  
  8. This fallout location exists in the land of the living as well as the dead and anyone crossing the space to get to it may 20% chance find themselves in the Lands of the Recently Dead. They will be assaulted by 1d6 minor undead things and must fight their way back. The shelter and its contents will beckon the next pack of adventurers, unless they find their way inside. The place is packed floor to ceiling with weird machinery still running on a small atomic pile responsible for the effect. There are also some minor artifacts as well. 
  9. The area is said to be haunted by some ancient evil of horrid aspect. There is a fall out shelter nearby only recently uncovered by the wind and rains. The shelter is infact the lair for a gang of mutant bandits whose mutations mirror the effects of the undead. A fact that they take great advantage of. There are 1d10 3rd level fighters and some military weapons that they are using. 
  10. Chanting, ghostly lights, and weird illuminations in the sky have been seen in the area.
    This fallout shelter is the lair for a pack of Lovecraftian ghouls who have recently been scouting out nearby communities to kidnap and take with them back into the darkness of the Earth. There they will be sacrificed to their ancient gods of blood and madness. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Commentary And Revisit To The Pay What You want OSR Adventure For BLUEHOLME The Maze of Nuromen From Dreamscape Design


Grab It Right

The Maze of Nuromen From Dreamscape Design does in sixteen pages what most modules seem to take forever to do. It takes a party of first level adventurers into the Underworld and gives them all of the old school action they can handle and then some. This is a down and dirty dungeon crawl that presents exactly what it says on the tin and then some. 
The ideas here are clearly marked out and the crawl has some interesting twists and turns. The other aspect of this crawl that also makes it of interest is the customization factor here. As it stands this is actually a family friendly little adventure but can easily be reworked as the DM sees fit and that is one of this retroclone systems's strengths. 
For a pay what you want adventure the DM gets two levels of play and a whole lot of challenging bits for the PC's. This one will take the characters into the heart of a minor bit of darkness & enable them to adventure with some solid OSR material behind them. I like that the wandering monster charts include creatures that have a maximum count - if the party has defeated the max number, they won't occur again. You just don't see this as often as you should.

My biggest complaint is the font style for this adventure which is a pain in the neck. That having been said its a very minor point. 
Small note is the 'I' in the monster entries is their Initiative. 
Over all the PC's are not going to find this adventure a push over and even a second level set of characters is going to find this one a challenge. The ideas and background are very well done. Its a very concise dungeon which is meant to be played with the Blue Holme retroclone. It will take a bit of down and dirty converting to use this one with your favorite retroclone system but I think its well worth it. 
All in all its a pretty solid adventure that should keep a group of players very busy for at least a couple of sessions. I really enjoyed the hell out of the adventure.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

1d10 Random Lovecraftian Artifacts & Locations From Beyond Time and Space Table For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

There are things that should not be that appear from outside of time and space out in the deep wastelands. Altars from other times, locations that can cause horrible problems for surrounding communities, and all kinds of high Lovecraftian weirdness just waiting to cause problems for adventurers. But all of these locations have guardians and some of these are horrors from beyond the Outer Darkness. Here now are a small sample of these locations that can appear throughout your campaigns appearing almost overnight to reign havoc upon adventurers out in the wastes.

1d10 Random Lovecraftian Artifacts & Locations  From Beyond Time and Space Table
  1. A ring of weird stone pylons that sings with the music of insane stars and dead worlds. Anyone stepping near this ring of stones will have to deal with hulking insane beast thing that haunts this place. Each and every pylon is inscribed with the name of some ancient demonic prince from a dead world. The ring is said to grant forbidden knowledge to those who sleep in its shadow if they survive. There is a 20% chance that those sleeping in this place will be taken to another universe in space time. There is also a 5% chance of encountering some nether beast from the darkness each time this place is encountered. 
  2. A weird pulsing living monolith of alien flesh and organs. This thing is supposedly a piece of some ancient Outer One. There is a 20% chance of the vile thing trying to absorb anyone coming near it. The thing telepathically gibbers and whines at night. The thing will be surrounded by a pool of acidic water like liquid. The stuff will burn as a mild acid anything that touches the monolith. There will 1d8 ancient demonic guardian things circling around this thing in the sky. They will attack anyone getting to close to it. The thing may heal the body of anyone near it but it may alternatively at the same time try to render the body of anyone near it insane with a telepathic blast of mental energy. 
  3. This giant silver eye ball watches the world with a baleful gaze. Anyone caught by this thing in the noon day sun may 10% chance be turned to stone. The eye is guarded by a trio of gorgon like cybernetic mutants. These horrors may answer any esoteric question put to them but they will demand a romantic story from the patron. The eye can see into other times and places, it may send any PC or group to one of these places displayed in the iris. 
  4. A living giant pole of flesh and bone, this thing is topped by a stylized eagle with tendrils hanging from it. The thing is a living guardian of machine, stone, and flesh. It will seek to kill anyone running across this icon. The pole will whisper the names of twelve demonic princes names to a patron. They must exchange a bag of coins of the dead for this information or an artifact from the waste. 
  5. This weird pile of alien flesh and bone collects stories from across the cosmos and whispers the gossip of the Outer Ones. The thing will impart one or more secrets in return for one of yours. It knows the locations of several ancient hoards of artifacts out in the wastes but its guarded by a bevy of evil cannibal nymph mutant things who will trade an audience for the manhood of an adventurer.
  6. A column of black stone like material that exists in twelve dimensions at once. The patron only sees one side of this thing and its presence will affect the local time space in warped and strange ways. It knows the key and gate, and it will transport one adventurer there. Or there is a 10 % chance of it sending the adventurers 'away' to some other part of the Outer Darkness. The thing is guarded by several cryptic cybernetic entities who will trade a memory for an audience or they will send assassin bots after your PC's of appropriate level.  
  7. This giant massive tape worm thing threads its way through and under the ground while squeezing the local space time continuum. This thing will allow one to experience a previous life..This will enable PC's to know how to operate certain key events of their lives while sampling preholocaust technology. This thing is protected by a flock of faceless demon things who will demand a precious memory for an audience or they will rip the PC's apart for bothering them. 
  8. This massive star spawn of Cthulhu ha been chained to the exiled skull of some giant nameless skull. This star spawn priest will create a telepathic nightmare of insanity upon the population of the nearest village or community. The thing will demand that it be worshiped there and then. There will 1d8 Deep One warriors protecting the thing. 
  9. This giant meteor structure contains the mummified brain of some ancient ruler who lords over this giant bio organic network of flesh and blood. This thing has a vast library of medical knowledge but will demand one adventurer to perform and experiment upon. This thing is served by a horrid of incredible mutant things that worship death and hate all life.There will be 1d10 of these horrors armed with stone age weapons and attack without mercy. 
  10. A star spawn of Cthulhu frozen in a block of frozen space time who has come to lead his chosen people. It is also seeking its master and wishes to communicate with dangerous super scientists to pick and eat their brains. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

1d10 Random Lovecraftian Horrors From Beyond The Pale Encounter Table For Your Old School Post Apocalpytic Campaigns

There are horrors that come into the wastes when certain cults and worshipers of ancient terrors from beyond seek the eternal favor of things best left alone are disturbed. These horrors watch and wait outside our worlds and where they stride men shake in horror, blood runs cold, and men of extreme courage are called upon to deal with the results. Here then are a list of encounters for a minor roster of horrors and things that wait outside. Use these things wisely. 

1d10 Random Lovecraftian Horrors From 
Beyond The Pale Encounter Table
  1. A partial amoebic minor demon prince thing waits brooding and has come in search of souls and worship. The thing is armed with a cold rod of iron meteor ore inscribed with the twenty two guardians of the greater gateways. In OD&D terms this thing will conform to a pit fiend with several weird powers including division and chaotic corruption. 
  2. Astral demonic reptilian wolf things pack of 1d10  has come through looking for easy victims to take with them back to the Outer Darkness. They sort weird tendrils upon their flanks and to look upon them is to see into other places outside of our reality. They seem to grow and shrink as you gaze upon them. 
  3. A formless shape shifting blob pack  comes through. The remains of some thing that might have been a group of humans has come through already adapting and adjusting itself to our local time space continuum. The horror will telepathically rape anyone's mind it comes across. It will have the stats of a stout warrior with the ability to induce madness and horror in its victims. These horrors will want to devour the souls of those they come across. But they will strike in secret and use guile to try to draw prey in. 
  4. An ancient lean and hungry demon rat thing like predator that is looking for fresh meat and its wizard master who has accidentally teleported it into this location. The thing is armed with dagger of iron and has a belt holding the scalps of previous victims. All of them were heroes of renowned. 
  5. A weird cybernetic lifeform that floats several feet above the ground and twist as well as turns on metal and glass organs. The spaces between it are made from weird regions and anyone caught by it will be ripped apart by the angles that it is made from. It will impart forbidden knowledge to those who contact it telepathically but there is a price in blood and souls. 
  6. A strange bag of organs and demonic tendrils that rolls along the ground leaving tracings of blood and slime. The thing is a weird mix of several collected corpses held together telekinetically by sheer demonic will power and malice. The thing seeks to add anyone it can and grow in sheer mass of gore and horror. The thing will soon erupt in a division of blood and gore into nine separate little horrors. 
  7. A pseudo life form made from several cosmic slimes and fire filled star things held together by a body of nothingness and blackness reeking of insanity and soul searing horror. The thing seeks the minds of humans and hungers for what they contain. It will attack and strip a victim in seconds in a grasp that corrupts and erodes anything it touches. It can be bought off with the tears of a maiden and a very touching tale or it will devour the wizard who runs across it. 
  8. A weird spinning collection of bone dust, cosmic debris, & bits of weird sonic stuff held within a rolling ghost like shape. The thing seeks esoteric knowledge and wisdom from the Ancients. They worshiped the thing in ancient times and it has come looking for them. Now its angry and bitter at their destruction. The thing might share its wisdom for worship and a bit of super science. The thing can age anything 1d100 years in seconds if it envelops the thing within the field of its body. 
  9. An intelligent coloured being from outside space and time. The weird coloured spirit thing is made from the nightmares of ancient dead universes lost eons lost. The thing will drain anything it runs across to fuel its escape from our local time space continuum. It will trade a a map of neighboring universes for several children's toys. It is playful but very dangerous. 
  10. A star spawn alien priest of some ancient lost world, this thing is a worshiper of Cthulhu and wishes to find its master. It will disappear in a puff of dimensional smoke only to attack any fool it can. It will leave behind a victim's liver and a symbol of futility and insanity.