Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Free OSR Fanzine 'Back To The Dungeon' For The Labyrinth Lord Retroclone System & Your Old School Campaigns .

Its Sunday at about eleven o'clock, I've picked up the wife to be from the bus stop two town or so away. Barely made it back home but that's another story for another blog entry. Uriah Heep is playing through the speakers & the other half's U.K. twang is picking my memories of my adopted uncle. He did a ton of weed to the Heep's Demons & Wizards album from 1972. Never in front of me mind you but I heard the stories of what we call today mega dungeons. So this Sunday morning I went looking for a free one & came across Raven's Keep for the Labyrinth Lord retroclone system. It looks like the full adventure location or a huge chunk of the megadungeon appeared in issues of Back To The Dungeon. This dungeon looks like it ran its course from late 2013 through 2014. Its evolved into a completely different retroclone system now which is the way of things. However the entire run of five issues for the Labyrinth Lord is available for free!
 This is the issue that your going to want right out of the gate because it sets up the adventure locations, the dungeons, the monsters, encounters etc. Because its a Labyrinth Lord production it makes it perfect fodder for an Adventurer, Conqueror, King adventure location or for a beginning  B/X Dungeons & Dragons adventurer party location. Raven's Keep is a small city of eight thousand out in the middle of no where. So you've got everything you need as a DM to keep an old school campaign going for months. 

The entire run of five issues is up there on the Internet Archive and there's the better part of a year or more's old school D&D style action. Everything is laid out and its ready to play. The maps in this fanzine are serviceable and look pretty easy to work with. What's really nice about this material is how easily adaptable it looks to any number of old school retroclone systems and not just Labyrinth Lord. Because you've got temples, shops, urban locations, magus universities, etc. Raven's Keep is perfect to add into an outlying era of Hyperborea for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. This means that you as a dungeon master can weave this city & its dungeon locations right in the  Mainland Hyperborea and Nearby Islands Map by (Ben Ball) from the AS&SH resource page on their   website here. 

Raven's Keep and its environs would be perfect up the line from Kimmeria or along the Kimmerian Steppe. A number of adjustments on the history, races, etc. would be necessary to keep it in line with the swords & sorcery motif of AS&SH. All in all I think that Raven's Keep & the Back To The Dungeon fanzine adventure locations are great resources to add to an OSR campaign as a starting base for a party of beginning level or mid tier PC's in a retroclone system.

You Can Download The Entire Run Of 'Back To The Dungeon' HERE

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