Saturday, February 28, 2015

'The Black Hole' 1979 Movie Concept Art of Robert McCall as Inspiration For Your Old School Science Fiction Campaigns

   Robert McCall was one of the premiere sci fi artists of all times who got his start in Life magazine in the 1960's. The gentleman worked on some of the best sci fi of the 70's and 80's including films such as Star Trek The Motion picture and the Black hole. Mr. McCall passed on in 2010 but his legacy lives on. You can learn more about this fabulous artist right over HERE

                      Bob McCall with wife.jpg
Its only recently that I've discovered his incredible artwork on one of my all time favorite films 'The Black Hole' and 2001 A Space Odyssey. 

This legacy of artwork included things like designs for V.I.N.C.E.N.T

And the various incarnations of  the star ship U.S.S. Palomino

 More versions of the Palomino.

You can find more of this incredible artwork for this master artist over on his official web page right over

The Crypts and Things Remastered Rpg System by Newt Newport Kickstarter For Your Old School Sword and Sorcery Campaigns

Get In On The Action Right

The OSR has been very,very, good to me & one of the games that I haven't gotten to play nearly enough is the Crypts and Things Rpg retroclone system. Crypts and Things is a sword and sorcery retroclone built on the Swords and Wizardry engine. For me its a really important game because what it allows a DM to do is to take the game,grab some players and dive into the deep end of sword and sorcery D&D style play.The first edition was nicely designed,easy to use,concise, and simple enough for beginning players but complex enough to allow DM's to run their own fully fleshed out campaigns. First edition Crypts and Things was solid but in some areas a bit well lacking.  But all of that is about to change. Newt Newport is back with a brand new kickstarter for a remastered and expanded Crypts and Things book.

The Scrolls of Wondrous Revelation

In his words this the old edition is in need of a completely new redesign  and in some respects I can see why :
Crypts and Things (C&T) is a Swords and Sorcery Roleplaying game based upon the Old School Rules of the 70s/80s. It also draws upon the British fantasy games and game-books of that period to bring a distinctly dark and dangerous feel to the game.
It was originally released back in 2012. After three years of being available I'm looking to remake the book and need funds for production costs."  Artwork and production costs are two factors in the process of bringing Crypts and Things Remastered to market. This Kickstarter is going to help move things forward for this sword and sorcery retroclone system. 
With new artwork by David M.Wright
Fighter and Barbarian by David M. Wright
Crypts and Things used the campaign world of Zarth setting which was made to be flexible and  yet open for the DM to customize as they see fit. There was some solid background  and setting material but now we're going to see a whole new level of  campaign magic from D101. The last time we saw the Kickstarter for the first edition, the game satified my needs for a fast,flexible, and concise set of sword & sorcery basic style OD&D emulation rules. The first edition of the game had some great monster sections, a totally different take on magic treasures, and some very nicely thought out resource sections for a DM specializing in just this type of old school campaign. The first was a great game for Con or weekend pick up game, when you want to run a short set of adventures.Given how the mechanics work this retroclone can literally be tailored to how the DM wants to run their own campaigns. Now reading over the Kickstarter and having seen other D101 products over the years, I trust Newt to deliver an expansion of the product that makes even better. Crypts and Things will be taken to another level and into its next incarnation with your help.
My advice is to get in on the action now and I'll be following this kickstarter until its completion. 

'The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescene' Adventure By Venger Satanis for Your Old School Campaigns

If your a reader of this blog, then by all means you know how much I love the gonzo. Well I went after and pestered the hell out of Venger Satanis for a review copy of  the infamous 'The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescene'. And this isn't one for the kids, the Pat Robertson Crowd, or the easily offended. If you're still reading this then let's move on and go right into the breakdown of this adventure. First of all this is a straight up unapologetic OSR module for any edition of the world's most popular fantasy role playing game or any of its retroclones.
Hell you can use this module with other old school post apocalyptic rpg's such as Mutant Future or Mutant Epoch.

Grab It Right Over

Let's get right down to it, with the cover art. That behind has been bothering me for months! Where on Earth have I seen that behind? And then it suddenly came to me.
That behind belongs to one of the Taarna fighters whose landed on the time haunted isle. But my feeling is that this Venger's homage and love letter to the Heavy Metal movie from 1981. And that's really one of the things  that this module is all about. I suspect that the author Venger Satanis is about right around the same age as I. Which means he grew up with all of the same nerd and pop culture influences.

This is a huge hex crawl that takes place on a set of islands lost to the dimensional winds that's haunted by a malevolent ever present purple cloud monster and the black sand beaches of this mini campaign. Venger has infused this place not as simply an adventure which it is but an entire mini hex crawl campaign. 'The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescene' has charts and lots of them for every sort of  background and encounter that links back to the islands. This is the sort of adventure that could take years and years to play, there are alien races,crashed space craft, high weirdness, random mutation, and much more. This is done with the sort of stylish humor and old school weirdness that we've come to expect.
There are really two parts to the module, one is a straight up balls to the walls hex crawl of incredible potency, and the other part is an OSR tool kit that brings forth the Satanis formula of PC infusion with purple laced madness. There's a new PC class called the monk and more. The artwork is fantastic for a gonzo module but that's because that's exactly what it is but don't let it fool you. This is a slight of hand trick on the author/designer's part,he's created a gonzo module but with some really nice even quality that emulates products that never existed.
There are over forty pages of house rules, tweaks for connecting PC's to the Islands to sword personality roll charts, and much,much, more. Note that the maps are really nice and completely fit the tone of the adventure.

I've been a huge fan of  Faustie and Zarono  for years now and they're used to complete effect in this adventure. Every square inch of   tentacle  rending artwork is simply perfect for setting the tone of this adventure. This is an island out to play merry havoc with the PC's. And there are a ton of backhanded and well done pop-culture references and more.This entire set of islands is like having your campaign in the  second Fallout video game on the special encounters mode. There are going to all kinds of weird and deadly encounters cropping up again and again. Some beneficial and some deadly.
And this set of islands is out to get your characters,in fact the islands reward your PC's for putting their needs first. There's plenty of NPC's that will push your PC's to their limits and beyond.
One thing about this adventure is the author's tone and writing,he never talks down to his audience and goes into the history,setting, and many options. This was done on purpose and Venger set out to do exactly this right from the get go on his Kickstarter Video.
Which lays down some of Venger's ethos that went into this hex crawl, you get a sense of what he was going for. 

  This is a hex crawl that your never know what is going to come up in the next hex,and this fits exactly where this module's strength is. 'The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence' can be used as an entire mini campaign. There are dimensional gates being opened all the time by sorcerers,mad scientists, and a ton of other NPC factions across the islands.
There are a ton of weird locations,mini dungeons,downed space craft, dimensional gateways, and much more. Used correctly and this adventure could be used as a side campaign for a very long time to come.

How To Use The 'The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence 
For Your Old School Campaign 
  So you buy this adventure but what the hell are you going to run it with? Well any of the original AD&D or OD&D systems could be used for running  'The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescene' adventure. There are a few options that spring to mind immediately. One is Mutant Future or Mutant Epoch because of some of the post apocalyptic themes on some of the hexes. If your group of players has been up to their necks in Lamentations of The Flame Princess's Carcosa and you want to switch them up to a mini side campaign then this is the one. Hell you could easily gate the party back and forth between Carcosa and this adventure. If you need new PC's for Carcosa, Islands presents a viable option for the inclusion of fresh blood. Because Lamentations of the Flame Princess presents a solid working system, it could well work with the next set of old school options. 

 The second set of options that sprung to mind is the Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea. Which contains a system that will not only handle this mini hex-tastic campaign adventure but give the DM all kinds of options for PC's and be able to handle the science fantasy goodness the predominates the setting. The other option that I might be doing is the Fantastic Heroes and Witchery rpg system. This system presents a boat load of PC classes and handles many of the elements and setting details that makes 'The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescene' unique, interesting and decidedly fantastic. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves this style of old school play. In closing the only thing that I'd love to have is a physical copy of this module. Because of the nature of the encounters,hexes,and elements of 'The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescene' a physical copy is a must. The artwork alone makes an excellent reference for players 

Major Influence - 2000AD Timeline 35 years Video And Old School Gaming

 I just ran across this wonderful video by Richard Herrero , this morning and its like someone took a snap shot of my mind. I've written before about some of the major comic book influences it in my life, especially after the 90's trip to the U.K.. But growing up there was a comic book title that was like a kick in the head. 2000 AD. was/is one of my old favorites and pretty much gave me the first real taste of British science fiction,science fantasy, and more. My rpg gaming became filled with Judges, Rogue Troopers, Dan Dare ships etc. Nothing was sacred or profane in A.D.2000 and the title reflected the politics, music, and a distortion effect that still echoes to this day. But how the hell did a Yank get a hold of  a run of this venerable title? Well in the days long before the internet and in a place where comic book stores were few and far between family comes in very handy. I had inherited a long box filled with these comics, magazines, etc. from my dad's retired RAF pal. A gentleman I knew growing up in Hudson, New York back in the 1970's . He got the title and had a subscription to it. He was a mean S.O.B. with a love of British science fiction and gaming. I first played in his OD&D and AD&D campaigns, then Metamorphosis Alpha 1st edition adventures, and finally Gamma World.With a few healthy side trips into the worlds Runequest thanks to White Dwarf, a very different animal then today I can assure you.  Then back into the dungeons of Blackmoor. All with the same PC's and the lessons I learned under him which I still carry with me. 

 I have/ had a very different view of Space 1999, Dr.Who, and AD 2000 because of this family friend and his kids. The punk anger, creativity, viciousness,etc. was or still is running through me because of this comic,the music and those times. And for that I'm eternally thankful. Thanks Richard Herrero for the trip down memory lane today. More on the history of 2000AD right over HERE

 In 2009 I was forced to sell that long box but I kept a few titles and items for the strolls down memory lane once a while. Maybe this weekend I might take a long walk into the Cursed Earth.

Beta Max Black Hartford Edition Stars Without Number - Mopping Up The Thundarr Fantastic Heroes and Witchery Cross Over Adventure.

You can read about the original Fantastic Heroes and Witchery Thundarr game HERE

After the last cycle of Thundarr inspired Swords and Witchery rpg games with Peter's group, my old Stars Without Number party stayed behind to make sure the last loose ends were wrapped up.The party worked out two weeks ago that group of Brainlashers and rival slavers were at each other's throats was a ploy. The merchant man sleeper ship employed by the slavers didn't seem right. After a rather interesting encounter the slavers it was determined were under the subtle mental domination of some unknown power. 
The Brainlashers had been running a mining operation and supplying a local wizard's city state with nuclear fuel and relic technologies. This caused the players to make a raid on the Lasher's flying saucer and gather clues to what was going on. Last week's game saw the saucer raid and freeing of  Lasher's human slave work force taking up a good solid chunk of the evening. 
Android mini's from this site HERE
This week the PC's found out who was behind the free merchant man ship when they found esper technologies belonging to the Slavers ( a group of rival psionic aquatic sophonts from Trey's Strange Stars universe right over HERE). The psi tech of these alien horrors scared the crap out of my players. Meanwhile the PC's in this week's game ran across another city state of androids ruled by vast god like A.I. intelligences. The party attacked an ATV that was packing some strange tech whose energy cells were giving off powerful energy readings. The ATV was driven by worker Andies who dropped the cargo and ran. Seems as though the androids were clean up crew for battle androids who had gotten the worst of a fight. There were four or five carcasses in the back of the cargo cab that they found. But the weirder part was the mecha parts that they found. These were Dark Invader mecha parts which included heat rays, bio mechanical tendrils, razor cloud casters, and more. The 'Dark Invaders' are from the party's time on an alternative Mars, a post apocalyptic Mars in point of fact. The 'Dark Invaders' are from HG Well's War of The Worlds.

Now the party is taking stock of the three way struggle they find themselves in between forces from across the multiverse that seems to have aligned against them. They're anlaysing the finds that they've made in this week's game as some old friends from out of town namely 'The Dark Invaders' have shown up. 
More coming up next week.

You can find a ton more of Trey's Strange Stars in the resource section right over HERE
Or better yet go buy the fantastic PDF right over HERE


Friday, February 27, 2015

New Monster - Essence of Evil For Your Old School Campaigns

Drifting in from the 'half worlds' and other whens are the infections and remains that were other alternative Earths and timelines. What they once called populations. Weird finds and strange relics sometimes hold such horrors. They are monsters of incredible malignancy  that are actually the twisted remains and demonic slurry that is left over after the forces of Chaos and the Abyss have finished with a plane. Toxic spiritual left over after the demons and supernatural shock troops  have come and gone often clinging to various pieces of cultural debris that drifts across the planar winds. Until finally settling in the wastelands of Accursed Atlantis.Adventurers often encounter these horrors out in the deep wastes and become the victims of the essence of Evil itself. This stuff resembles certain primal pre demonic life forms that still drift on the winds of the never ending storms of Saturn and Jupiter. 

When encountered the stuff will try to force itself into any openings and orifices that adventurers present. And then mutate their hosts from the inside out as random mutations burst forth from within the corpse. The corpse will seem to scream out silent horror but is actually presenting proto lifeform like spores that will drift on the winds to infect others with this chaotic cancer of horror and depravity.

Frequency: Uncommon 
Number appearing: 1d6 
Armor Class: 7 
Hit Dice: 8 
% in Lair: Nil
Treasure Type: G or
better often found clinging to relics 
No of Attacks: 3-12
Special Attacks: See Below
Special Defenses: See Below 
Magic Resistance: Standard
but see below 
Intelligence: Non 
Alignment: Chaotic Evil 
Size : Med to Large 
Psionic ability: Nil 
Attack/Defense Modes : Nil 

Anyone encountering these horrors must save vs death or become mutated as the Chaotic energies seep out from the slurry that makes up this virus like chaotic mess. It dissolves flesh and skin for 3-12 points of damage per exposure plus mutation. The thing feeds on magical energies dividing into 1d6 more smaller essences with half hit points and doing half damage. 
 The essence can be driven back by a cleric of a god of Law quite easily but the stuff is utterly without mind or reason and will return again and again after 1d6 rounds after it retreats. Only a pentacle of Law or cross of order will hold these things at bay.

Artwork by Zdzisław Beksiński and presented as a homage to this great artistic master. No copyright or trade mark is inferred, this is a fan homage to one of art's greatest masters and painters. His official website can be found HERE

1d10 Random Ancient Wasteland Mutant Things & Tribes Encounter Table For Your Old School Campaigns

      The time haunted wastelands of Accursed Atlantis  play host to a number of terrifying and dangerous tribes of mutant horrors left over from the magick power sources that the city states once used. Energies of a terrible and chaotic nature that still cause insanity,change and random mutation wherever their unleashed. The artifacts and lost relics insure that adventurers and explorers unleash all manner of havoc. Devices, ancient technologies, and hideous curses out the wastes ravage any that they come across and turn them into murderous raging things that howl for blood and violence of any that they come across. 


1d10 Random Ancient Wasteland Mutant Tribes Encounter Table

  1. 1d8 mutanoid ant warrior headed things attack with +2 weapons of accrus metal and shields. They are blood thirsty and dangerous in the extreme for they have not eaten in days. 
  2. 1d8 floating eyeballs and bits of brain matter float over the landscape. Every 1d4 rounds they unleash horrid and terrible beams of energy ravaging anything that they touch. The things absorb the remains. 
  3. A band of dog headed freaks stalks across the landscape looking for victims and rides on the back of cybernetic camel things. They are armed with blasters and shields of strange glowing metal. There are 1d10 of these horrors
  4. A flying spleen thing zooms over the landscape, lowering tendrils of acidic horror and absorbing anything it sees with puckered eye balls strewn across its surface. It is a horrid and tortured thing made from the souls of all it has absorbed. 
  5. A band of 1d8 zombie things infected with rot is attacking anything that they can. They were valuable armor from Mu, rife with techno organic circuitry. 
  6. An ancient Atlantian grey overlord has been reduced down to sheer cannibalistic horror. The thing will attack anyone it comes across and has 1d8 mini heads on tendrils to bite and snap at anyone who comes near. 
  7. 1d6 band of disease  worshiping mutanoids riddled with pus filled leporsy and red death spirits who wish to spread their 'blessings' upon others. 
  8. A crashed space crew of 1d6 who have been infected with a horrid alien disease/parasite. The thing is intelligent and very dangerous. It is trying to reach an ancient ruined out post not realizing that the thing was destroyed long ago. A mutant cult seeks it out for worship. 
  9.  1d10 ancient band of Cthulhu worshipers and mutants is raiding any whom they come across searching for a power source for an ancient Atlantian device. They are armed with energy weapons.
  10. An floating shaggoth monster thing is seeking to add more souls to its bulk and you happen to be on the menu. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Free Random Tavern Generator From Skirmisher Publishing For Your Old School Campaigns On The Dark Corner Blog

   Need a tavern or bar for your party to stumble into and deal with or perhaps a back alley dive in that fantasy city that you've designed but your forgot to fill it in? Have no fear the boys from Skirmisher Publishing are here with a random generator for taverns that fits seamlessly into your old school campaign.
 We've got your party covered right over HERE

Adventures In The Razor Trade - Judge's Guild's Inferno or Let's Offend Everybody The Tour Guide Edition

In nineteen eighty one or eighty two I learned the hard way about LGBT issues when one of my soon to be best friends lay on a street corner in my home town with his lights punched in. His face was bloody and I found him after the fact of the beating. 
Rick was the kid's name and I brought him home, we only lived a couple of streets away. We (my family) took him up the emergency room and called his folks.
He's about twelve at the time and being what was called a latch key kids we had a ton in common. This led me to the reintroduction of D&D and AD&D in the 80's. 
Becoming best friends was pretty much a given because I was going to St.Peter's school and he Vogal Wetmore which at the time was actually two grammar schools. And it was a time of very painful lessons.
 This all led to us walking home after school protecting each other in a gauntlet of 'Lord of The Flies' style dodges of avoiding bullies and bloody noses. Its amazing what happens when two friends, hook up and begin watching each other's backs.
Words like 'faggot', and the usual variety of children's vulgarities left its mark on both of us. The pecking order of bullying and fighting gave me a very clear survival instinct for family and friends.
Busted ribs and stitches were not on the menu for us anymore. Each day we would walk past Laraia's smoke shop which at the time was on the corner of the main downtown street.
So one day we're zipping down one day and there was a Judge's Guild module for 2.00 or 3.00 dollars.Maybe even a dollar. 

Just look at that cover! What kid was going to pass this up!Laraia's smoke shop  carried at the time a variety of board games, war games, and D&D products including AD&D first edition. But they weren't the only place in town there was a full service book shop downtown but the name escapes me and for years they also carried AD&D and Runequest titles but never JG material. They were far more, well upscale might be the wrong word but that's what it felt like at the time.

A bit about Torrtington might be in order.
I grew up in a former blue collar manufacturing town whose glory by then was and has faded fast. Bled dry by a numerous economic and political climate issues that have never been resolved despite years and years of broken promises.
It's still a town that needs help badly.  You know the type folks these days.
And this all comes down to a flash forward, ten or fifteen years later, I'm burying my best friend and brother in a hole in the ground surrounded by our friends,family, and his other half. A.I.D.s is full swing still cutting through swaths of Litchfield's Hills 
LGBT community with no end in sight. It was really the first time I had to mourn a friend (but not the last), and hell to this day I'm still mourning. And before you ask, we were brothers never an item.
And we all deal with sadness in our own way. I was going to a 'Christian' high school at the time and then on to college later. But what  I  really wanted was out of the North West Hills of Connecticut.


And I got my chance in spades when I got to go on a high school  'missionary' conference to London. Pass port, bags packed, and one flight later  I'm in London town for the first time. And we've got a 'Christian' tour of the U.K. Sweet Jesus what a joke this was, I and the other students ditched the conference and tour every chance we got and headed off into the English countryside. For them it was the pubs but for me it was the hobby shops and the back alley independent comic shops. 
Places like the Traveling Man in New Castle, and any number of back town and village  comic shops and highers. Independent places that are no longer in the U.K. and its here that I made some of my most valuable contacts in gaming. Other obsessive/compulsive types who school me in  the myth,magic, and majesty of OD&D and the Runequest rpg. And the first time I heard the whole of OD&D's tradition and real use with Judge's Guild products. I also got to know White Dwarf magazine and its ties with the grand old game.
In a quiet little back room of a comic book and magick shop in a sleepy village. I met two dungeon mistresses (witches) who brought out a copy of Judge's Guild's Inferno. And here's where things get really interesting. You see Inferno is strongly connected with the West Coast tradition of D&D and Bloody,Bloody ,Arduin. It follows Dante as much as Disney follows the tradition fairy tales they supposedly  animate.
In Bloody, Bloody, Arduin tradition there are twenty one planes of blackest Hells. These range from dead planets with incredibly deadly atmospheres to worlds filled with nuked out cities. You can find more about the demons of Arduin right over HERE

You see Judge's Guild material didn't simply use cheesy artwork because it was cheap(because it was) but because it emulates another American tradition that the creators of these games also were influenced by. American sci fi comic books from the 30's thru 70's. 

I've seen a ton of arguments and counter arguments about the use of Christian and religious this & that. It never came up when I played this module with these two wonderful ladies. Because the game I sat in on was about the recovery of the soul of a PC who had vital information that the party needed from Hell's of Inferno.
There were seven high level AD&D PC's in that game and they had a very difficult time. You see that module was intended as a wilderness crawl that was influenced more by issues of 60's and 70's  Dr. Strange then by Dante. But I can hear the howls for blood already from the wilderness from over my shoulders. 
But why not use that infamous series of articles by Ed Greenwood and Robert E. Moore from Dragon magazine #75 and on? Oh I sure do love those articles, in fact to this day I keep a spare couple of Dragons with them under plastic. But those wonderful articles also present an issue. Those wonderful articles that lay bare the entire cosmology of the Hells for everyone to read about and takes away a dozen shades of mystery from the palette of the DM. Those are articles that every player of the game can recite chapter and verse from to this very day. The ones that served as a bridge gap into the Monster Manual II?
I loved them as much as the next DM and in fact more because by using them players have gotten dozens and dozens of PC's killed over the years. 
But this wasn't the first brush with the Hells over the years in the pages of Dragon there were other articles that set off the Satanic panic before this one. This just happened to have been the gasoline issue to the fire!
Dragon #75

But is there room enough for both Hells in the multiverse? Sure there is and more; old school comic books not Dante provides the answer to this. There are literally thousands of devils and demons all claiming to be the one 'true' Satan, Devil,etc. whatever in the pages of comic books, movies, horror novels, in pop culture.
Should the players have the answers to the questions about the 'true' nature of Hell? Even the fictional damned and undead don't have the answers to this. And getting a soul out of the underworld is never easy for resurrection but that comes with its own risks. Which we'll cover next time. 

You can find the updated version of the Inferno right over HERE
I haven't read the new updated version of Inferno from Spell book games and there are a few free resources for it including a monster book HERE

I have no affliction with Geoffrey O'Dale other then he wrote for Judge's Guild one of my favorite adventures. Incidentally another old friend of mine wrote one of the definitive guides to Dantian Hells.
Nigel Finley wrote for Mayfair Games a great box set called 'To Hell and Back'. It also contradicts both the Judge's Guild material, Dragon, and Dante in some spots.

This one's for Rick and those who plum the depths of the Abyss.
Next more U.K. memories, goat men, Rune Quest, Games Workshop, Goths, and Clive Barker! Coming up in part II of Adventures In The Razor Trade.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

1d10 Random Sorcerer's Of The Wastelands Encounter Table For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

The famous African magician.jpg

Sorcerers are some of the more benign practitioners of the magical arts in the post apocalyptic wastelands, here is a table for adventurers to encounter these enigmatic figures in the deep wastelands and urban ruins of the world. These beings are figures of mystery and more then a bit of menace. They can be resources of occult knowledge, patrons for adventurers and sources of the darker arts but encounters with them should be tempered with caution for no one calls upon the forces of magick should entirely be trusted.


1d10 Random Sorcerer's Of The Wastelands Encounter Table
  1. This sorcerer uses his magick arts to explorer the darkest secrets of the wastes and he acts as patron for parties of adventurers to go off to explorer ruins of his choosing. He is more then willing to pay top dollar for relics but these must be recovered from the 'right' ruins. 
  2. Th'reure The Wise is an information broker on matters of things mutagen out in the wastelands. There isn't a creature he can't identify. But he is really looking of evidence of certain chemicals which created his beloved mutant races. He pays handsomely for the right items. 
  3. This sorcerer specializes in certain esoteric technologies and may act as a fence for certain items. He will pay handsomely for walk mans,music, and opera recordings. He will allow parties to keep certain relics and weapons but will become like a crazed animal when it comes to music which is his passion. He will pay handsomely for certain pieces he is looking for but should you try to curse those who betray him. 
  4.  This sorcerer loves his books and library, he will pay quite a bit of scratch for certain  titles and volumes of occult lore. He uses phantasmal killeer to track and kill anyone who get's in his way. 
  5. This sorcerer uses a combination of guile and trickery to preserve his collection of magical artifact but he will curse any who betray him. He hires to grow his collection. 
  6. This female sorcerer leads a cult of mutant Amazon women that seeks the jump start their technological base by raiding adventurers who pass through their domain. They often equip their warriors with heavy stunners and light armor. They have outposts scattered throughout the region. 
  7. This sorcerer keeps his enemies have close by in perfectly preserved glass globes. There are seven wizards and adventurers looking to escape from his collection. He often hires adventurers to look for certain relics out in the wastes for him.
  8. This sorcerer has started the rites of 'becoming one with magick' and is making the transition into a full wizard. He is seeking certain relics in the wastes that he needs to complete these rites. He is looking to hire adventurers to recover them. He pays well but is more then slightly insane. 
  9. This sorcerer is head of a cult of Great Old One worshipers and is looking for converts. He will hire adventurers in order to brain wash them for his merc army. 
  10. This sorcerer is a slave trader and plantation owner working for a pack of demons. He is looking for souls to trade in exchange for his soul and he is willing to capture certain adventurers. There is a relic that is found in the deep wastes that can free him for a price. He is willing to pay 20% mark up on certain occult and magick technological devices and spell books. But he may murder certain party members who meet his twisted criteria. 

Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #50: Artifact Quality From Skirmisher Publishing For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

Wisdom From The Wasteland Issue #50 goes into an aspect of post apocalyptic and fantasy gaming that drives folks crazy,the quality of the items that your PC's find. In actuality, this issue is more then merely a simply designed system for artifact and relic quality in both the fantasy and science fantasy realms of Goblinoid Games.
This magazine presents a complete system for the recovery and quality of the relics and items that your party finds. This system can be applied from Labyrinth Lord to Mutant Future. Or any old school system or retroclone that the DM needs
This like all of the Wisdom From The Wasteland issues are top drawer products.

Grab It Right

Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue # 50 presents a system that covers many types of artifacts and relics, from weapons like primitive fire arms, advanced, powered devices, medical drugs,power sources, explosives, and personal shields.
But this system is perfect for applications  for any rpg where relics can come into play from another era. This system could be applied to a campaign where the quality, make, and style of the relic can make the difference between a top flight weapon to a poorly constructed item like an ogre make fire arm or mutant created primitive weapon.
This is a perfect cinematic system that can be applied across the board in a campaign. From power cells to  whole weapons systems this system covers everything from the most common weapons to medical supplies. And the medical supplies are a welcome bonus to this issue and are very clearly useful for  outfitting adventure  locations such as military bunkers, old underground lairs, military ruins, and more.
This same system could be used for other old school post apocalyptic games such as Mutant Epoch or even Star Ships and Space Men Second Edition. Or other science fictional or fantasy games where the PC's venture into alien and unknown situations that might involve alien yet familiar Earth like world technologies.

Not all of these technologies  might work the same or might even be of shoddy or inferior make perhaps time has had its way with them.
This is one of the best parts of the Wisdom From The Wasteland product line, the modular nature of the plug and play ethos of it for your campaigns. By buying this issue you get an entire secondary system that can give bonuses, pluses, and modifiers to your items in many genres and campaign situations. From one shot adventure locations for a campaign set to fully functioning ware house treasure points no longer will you the DM have to wonder about the quality, conditions, or hands on setting info. for your treasures. This system provides everything you need in one clear cut package.
 And this is exactly where this system perfectly applies itself. Chris Van Deelen and the Skirmisher crew do an excellent and concise job with this system. And its a welcome addition to my table which I can see using well into the future. At a dollar this is a damn fine bargain of simplicity and substance with maximum bang for your old school dollar!
A four out of five in my humble opinion and well worth the time to download for adventures in the wastelands or the fantasy realms! 

Lessons In Dungeons & Divorce - Or How It All Falls Apart And Came Back Together With Portals of Irontooth (1981) From Judges Guild

Right so it's weird Wednesday and I've been thinking about past games of AD&D 1st edition that happened right in the middle of West Hartford because I suddenly find myself in a similar situation once again. As when back in the early 2000's and I was running a pretty extensive campaign using a bunch of Judge's Guild modules. There were was a whole lot of Arduin and Delos material as backdrop to this world.
But it was about to fall apart!

Now this game began at about three in the afternoon in our favorite Chinese restaurant. West Hartford,Ct. had a nice Chinese place where we would gather for a meal. Everything in our groups always revolved around food. And especially Chinese,pizza, or whatever food the players and myself agreed on.
The meal allows the players to unwind from school, work, or whatever and play catch up,life events, and besides  we were all friends as well as gamers. The meal allowed us to meet new players in a public setting, even play catch up with parents at times, get whatever was happening off our chest,etc.,etc.
It also allowed us get distractions off our plate before diving back into our campaign. This is a tradition that I've tried to keep over the years.

The four us arrived as usual and three of my players were already at the table. And they didn't look happy at all. They had news from W&P, the fire marshal stopped the store from having games in the basement. That canceled things right there. But it got much worse. Barbara and Tom were in their thirties, computer programmers and married. And they didn't look happy at all. For months there had been something weird in the background of their marriage now it came out, they were getting a divorce. As a group we were devastated. We weren't simply a group of players, again we were friends and this event divided the whole dynamic of the group straight down the middle. They parted as the best of friends but they wished to remain with the group. So we still bought our gaming material from W&P  but the dynamic changed.

So I had to roll with the punches, and I asked for suggestions of people's homes or places to play. Well fortunately one of our players William had a very clever and cunning plan. He was a bonded house sitter as a side job for wealthy clients, suddenly our AD&D games became a floating one across the state of Ct.
We found ourselves later that evening in a lovely home in the hills of Northwestern Ct much closer to our respective homes and so the evening began.
And so we began our journey with Portals of Iron Tooth a continuation of the Tosh series. This series has a series of alternative worlds and Earths. This series is perfect for traders across the multiverse.
"This is the second product in the "Portals" series. The first product in the series, Portals of Torsh, deals with a world in which mammals never evolved and the primary inhabitants are the reptilian Lizard Men. This product Details a section of a completely different world. One where the native animals have iron teeth and a strange resistance to the powers of magic.
Both of these products can be used as independent campaigns but have been especially designed to link up with an ongoing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons tm campaign through a limited number of teleport doors or portals (as they will be called in this booklet). It is no secret that many, if not most, Judges use the published playing aids as special environments which can be entered only through portals. This series of products has been designed to be especially suited to that sort of adaptation..."
1981 ... 48 pages ... Rudy Kraft ... JG 560
There is a boat load more information right over HERE

Grab It Right

Portals of Irontooth

The Second of the portals series of adventures presents a series of gateways across a wide variety of fantasy and science fantasy worlds. There's some really interesting and cool concepts mixed into the background.
Personally I always loved the Gateway series of modules. I love the Portal series, they allow flexible play and bring an entirely new dynamic to AD&D 1st edition of play.
The kick in the head with that early 2000's game campaign? Well, at the end of the evening there was a huge blowup between Barbara and Tom, it divided friend against friend as folks took sides as they are prone to do. It was an ugly scene and the group broke into a much smaller core of players but why dregs up ancient history? Because it's repeated itself.
 As my friend Peter is getting a divorce from his wife of twenty years. I find myself once again without a larger group of players, as people take sides and the debris begins to fly.
But as always the core will remain and we'll roll with the punches in the Northwest Hills of Ct.
More later. Don't worry,I've got a clever and cunning plan ;-).
And now that my special little snowflake of a campaign  has melted in a blow torch, I'm I worried? Umm no because at the end of the day its only a game. I go back to writing. I'm dealing with the fact that one of my best friends is getting a divorce and his world as well as family is going down in flames which is actually real life.
Finding players is really simply the easy part; real life is much,much, more complicated. 

Note that the names of friends have of course been changed and so have circumstances as well to protect the privacy of everyone involved. Cheers folks 

1d10 Random Weird Encounters Table For Your Old School Campaigns

You never know who or what your party might run into along the paths of adventure. Here is a list of quick encounters to bring home the weird and deadly along the path to your adventurers and old school heroes.
Some of these encounters may be fragments from the Dreamlands that drip down the paths of reality into your campaign worlds.
Batten - IndianFairyTales.jpg
1d10 Random Weird Encounters Table 

  1. A pack of rabid demon hybrid beings looking to incorporate a new pack member and your adventurer looks like a prime target. Very dangerous and they are only harmed by magical weaponry. 
  2. A ghostly princess from another reality who has been separated from her soul and body. She seeks adventurers to free her lands from a most vile villain, herself. She does not remember the powerful magic she has employed to summon her own soul to turn herself into a demi god like figure of power and magic. 
  3. A weird figure in an archaic rain coat with a ball of light for a head. This being is an echo and fragment of some lost or forgotten god on a mission. He does not remember what it is but seeks out the PC's for a world shattering mission. 
  4. Twenty three identical mini copies of your PC's armed with magical weapons seek to kill your character. They are dangerous and foul little goblin like demonic beings. 
  5. An elemental vortex of sand,glass, and debris form itself into perfect copies of anyone it sees, the thing will attack anyone beautiful or attractive.But it has no idea why but it seeks a powerful wizard. 
  6. A minor god of time seeks out a murderer with an enchanted stop watch, it sees your PC's shakes his head and  few seconds later disappears only to reappear muttering, 'Not again'. 
  7. A flock of birds made of diamonds and rubies flies over head crying out the PC's names. And they suddenly attack the party. Once slain they reveal a set of spells and wards with the PC's name's inscribed upon them. 
  8. The PC's encounter a minor prince of Dream and Nightmare who needs their help on a mission of great importance. His own dream fragment is trying to kill him and the PC's must enter his own mind to defeat this menace. 
  9. An ancient piece of a magic spell that one of the PC's will cast in the future has taken on the form of an assassin and is now stalking the party to kill them all off so that its tortured existence will never take place. 
  10. The PC's encounter a undead prince who seeks one of the PC's for a mission into the realms of the dead claiming that the PC owes him from a previous life.

    Illustration inset (c) at page 132 of Indian Fairy Tales (1892).png

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

1d10 Random Ancient Wasteland Adventure Locations Table For Your Old School Campaigns

The deep accursed Atlantian wastelands hold many dangers and terrible secrets. They beckon adventurers to their fortunes and deaths.

File:Egyptian Landscape with a Distant View of the Pyramids) by David Roberts, RA.jpg
There are places that man should not venture and where even angels fear to trend, these places draw men and women from across the wastes with tales of fortune, glory, and better. Atlantis is a dim memory merely uttered about by fools in legends but the golden artifacts that found from time to time draw fortune seekers and adventurer like flies.
Many times only sand,blood and horror are the only things that they find.
Here then is a table of legendary and terrible aspected ancient adventure locations for your old school campaigns.

File:LHC(1844) p171 Pyramids.jpg

1d10 Random Ancient Wasteland Adventure Locations Table
  1. An ancient temple complex half of which sticks up from the sand and desert floor, much of this temple complex still rests below the soil. The place is watched over by 1d100 mutant cultists who worship a minor demonic goddess of Chaos and Strife. The thing takes sacrifices and holds court every new moon. This place holds 1d30 super science artifacts and pieces of ancient technology. There is a 20% chance of an ancient war machine guarding the place. There are seven levels to this complex.
  2. This half sunken castle complex sits with its ancient towers half exposed. A local band of thieves and tramps has moved into the place. 10% chance of the 1D20 fighters having mutations. They are armed with flintlock rifles and ride mutant lizard dog things for mounts. Very vicious and dangerous are this place's guardians. There are three level to the place. 
  3. This ancient ruined pile is actually a mish mash of three different piles of ruins toppled into each other. The an ancient Atlantian god aspect of Set watches over this place and there are 1d6 choatic wind elementals guarding the ancient treasures and relics scattered throughout these ruins. 
  4. An ancient glass and quartz set of ruins blazes in the sun, this three terraced monument terror holds four ancient demons. The place was once a minor palace and scattered throughout it are magic jade statues said to foretell the fortunes of those who venture inside. There are 1d6 demon things guarding the magic hoard within, this includes five super science items. 
  5. This ancient facility is now ruins there are several small block house still buildings sticking above ground and an extensive network of six levels of ruins and tunnels below ground. A group of 1d30 mutant tribesmen use the place as a base. There are ancient machine beings guarding the hallways of this place. And there are rumors of fabulous ancient machines able to cheat death within this palace of miracles. 1d6 robot guardian things patrol the hallways. 
  6. An ancient massive sailing vessel has been gutted and turned into a fortress. But under this massive former machine a four leveled structure lays below ground. 1d20 mutant monster things hungrily await adventurers. Robotic guardians watch over the treasures of this place. 
  7. A massive deep well within the wasteland sands skins seven levels down. The place is infested with demons and local legends say that this was once the lab of a warlord and his wizard associate. Ancient treasures lay within the place. There are several items of sorcery and super science scattered throughout. 
  8. The ruins of a massive tower sky scarper awaits your party. This place is still maintained by the half insane A.I spirit bound within the stone work of this structure. The place is paroled by ancient and half forgotten demon things. There are twelve levels to this structure. And strong ancient magick protects this place. Several bars of gold have been found in the ancient structure over the years. A very sad aura hangs over this place 
  9. A multi leveled temple of Cthulhu awaits you as his cultists drag to their fate a train of 1d20 slaves/sacrifices. The temple is strung with incredible super science devices and treasures beyond compare. Star spawn guard this structure. 
  10. An ancient temple complex strung through with soul crystals that hold the soul of some ancient super scientist. They are psychically active and several lich brains guard and  deal with intruders, the place almost seems like museum and holds several caches of mystic treasures and super science artifacts. There are five levels to this place and a cult of rat mutants assassins worship the lich brains and Cthulhu.