Thursday, December 31, 2020

OSR Commentary On The Thieves World Companion & OSR Moorcockian Frankenstein Campaign Musings

 


"The Thieves' World series began in 1979 to instant acclaim. Not long after, Chaosium published a boxed Thieves' World roleplaying supplement, which gathered awards and more acclaim. Since the first book hit the newstands, more than 2200 paperback pages and eight additional Thieves' World volumes have been printed - a phenomenon others imitate but cannot duplicate.

Sanctuary, the town too mean to die, has changed a little from the time it first saw print, but many new characters now stride the city's streets, pillage the foolish in its alleys, and connive in its back rooms. Lalo, Ishcade, Roxanne, Niko, Mradhon Vis, The Beysa, Chenaya, Zip, and many more have come to life, and are now included in the Companion's full character stats for the RQ3 and MERP systems.

New essays consider Rankan, Ilsigi, Beysib, and Outsider deities in the light of further tales of Sanctuary, that place which is the funnel of the gods and the eye of the Rankan hurricane. The excellent encounter tables from the Thieves' World box have been revised to reflect later events and personalities, and are presented her in full. There are also floor-by-floor isometrics of the Great Dungeon. Though adjacent to Kitty-Cat's palace, nobody seems to go there. Now you can study its defenses and understand why.

Alone or with the Thieves' World box, the Companion rekindles the fabulous world of Sanctuary - Thieves' World."

Many believe the Thieves World Companion is a disappointment compared to the original box Thieves World box set. And the Thieves World Companion that we're going to be looking at is the first edition which is actually for the Rune Quest third edition rpg system. Rpg net calls it ; " A sort-of supplement to Chaosium's 1981 Thieves' World. This one covers the next four books, #3 to #6, but rather than being fairly generic as the original, it now only supports two rule systems: MERP and RuneQuest. Gods, locations, and characters from the later books are all included." 


The Thieves World Companion updates & sorta of expands on the mythos of Sanctuary in spades according to Wayne's books; ""The Thieves' World stories began in 1979, to instant acclaim. Not long after, Chaosium published a boxed Thieves' World roleplaying supplement which garnered awards and more acclaim. Since the first book hit the newstands, more than 2200 paperback pages and eight additional Thieves' World volumes have been printed - a phenomenon others imitate but cannot duplicate.


Sanctuary, the town too mean to die, has changed little from the time it first saw print, but many new characters now stride the city's streets, pillage the foolish in its alleys, and connive in its back rooms. Lalo, Ischade, Roxanne, Niko, Mradhon Vis, The Beysa, Chenaya, Zip, and many more have come to life, and are now included in the Companion's full character stats for the RQ3 and MERPs systems.

New essays consider Rankan, Ilsigi, Beysib, and Outsider deities in the light of further tales of Sanctuary, that place which is the funnel of the gods and the eye of the Rankan hurricane.

The excellent encounter tables from the Thieves' World box have been revised to reflect later events and personalities, and are presented here in full. There are also floor-by-floor isometrics of the Great Dungeon. Though adjacent to Kitty-Cat's palace, nobody seems to go there. Now you can study its defenses and understand why.

Alone or along with the Thieves' World box, the Companion rekindles the fabulous world of Sanctuary - Thieves' World."

1986 ... Anders Swenson & Steve Perrin & Iron Crown Enterprises & Midkemia Press & Lynn Willis ... 48 pages + fold-out map ... CHAO 2015 ... ISBN 0933635346"

The real on target material in this book is the fact is the fact is that it brings the locations, personalities, etc. of Sanctuary on the timeline of the books.  


The companion puts everything into perspective for Lamentations of the Flame Princess by moving affairs of the city & events forward. The city presented in the campaign setting is no stranger to travelers from across many worlds. This makes the city excellent for adventurers of all stripes. Sanctuary as a whole is a campaign setting that fits the whole theme of Swords & Sorcery quite nicely. 


According to Skiorht from Rpg net; "The new material is quite useful if you want to follow the books, and the map of the keep is very nice. The RQ stats are very good, but the RM/MERP stats are a bit weak"  Which means when it comes to the Stormbringer Rpg 1st edition through third the DM is going to have to do a bit of tweaking. Stormbringer brings home the 'metal' aspect of the PC's in spades. 


Using this opinion as a bench mark then we can assume that the Castles & Crusades stats are also going to be at the fourth level & upper end of sixth for the Thieves World Companion NPC's. The guidelines found in the Castle Keeper's Guide  are also key for this. 



I've used this companion several times with Lamentations of the Flame Princess and Dark Albion but its always been as a city where the PC's have visited as dimensional travelers who have had to watch their step. The fact is guns haven't been that much of an equalizer and in fact there are several NPC in the set that can cause some vicious horror aspects into a campaign of LoFP or Castles & Crusades. 
 I used this companion  with many of the Judge's Guild and Arduin materials switching in and out what I needed and wanted.  
If we're going to be using the Thieves World Companion with Black Blade of the Demon King by Ahimsa Kerp,  & Wind Lothamer from Knight Owl Publishing then it becomes a matter of making sure the PC levels match. 


Now  
BRUTORZ BILL asked me particulars about our game so let's start with the top. There are eight players currently & this is a game that has continued on from 2018 so the player's PC's are 4th level & up. They've made me drift back to Fantastic Heroes & Witchery with a ton of Castles & Crusades added in with elements of Adventurer, Conqueror, King rpg. 



And I worked up several very fast NPC's from the material that is Black Blade of the Demon King by Ahimsa Kerp,  & Wind Lothamer from Knight Owl Publishing. Names, classes,etc. all coming up really soon. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

OSR Retro Review Thieves World Roleplaying Game (Boxed Set) By Greg Stafford For Your Old School Campaigns (Updated)

 


Wayback in the annals of time in the misty years of the Eighties, Chaosium had author Greg Stafford release a glorious box set of the Thieves World sword and sorcery material. Thieves World was completely shared world that worked along a Gygaxian NPC ecology. Wiki has a decent break down of the set up for it;"Thieves' World is a shared world fantasy series created by Robert Lynn Asprin in 1978. The original series comprised twelve anthologies, including stories by such science fiction authors as Poul AndersonJohn BrunnerAndrew J. OffuttC. J. CherryhJanet Morris, and Chris Morris." Here's the complete byline for the series of novels:
"Thieves' World is set in the city of Sanctuary, located at the edge of the Rankan Empire. The city is depicted as a place where many are downtrodden and where the invading Rankan gods and the Ilsigi gods they had ousted begin a struggle for primacy. As the series continues, additional invasions occur, and the city is taken over by the snake-worshipping Beysib as the Rankan empire collapses. Over time, a number of the characters in the series are revealed either to be the offspring of or otherwise blessed by various figures in the pantheons of the competing cultures, and they discover or develop various powers as the series progresses"



"Skulk through the night on the heels of Shadowspawn . . . delve into the twisted tunnels of the Purple Mage . . . attend the court (or perhaps the harem) of Prince Kadakithis . . . dodge the keen-eyed Hell Hounds with Jubal's Hawkmasks . . . drink your ale and guard your purse at the Vulgar Unicorn . . . boldly walk the streets of the wildest, most varied, and most downright fascinating city in fantasy literature - SANCTUARY, the Thieves' World! * The Players' Guide to Sanctuary - the creation of Sanctuary; Thud and Blunder, Sanctuary chronology; 'Hakiem' and 'The Hell Hounds'; a stroll through the city; a captured llsigi document; magic, working ladies, and oaths; glossary /pronunciation guide; a map of the known world; a city map. * The Game Master's Guide to Sanctuary - palm-greasing and arrest procedures; a secret Carronnian report; city gods and religions; main city encounters; encounters for the Jewelers' Quarter, Processional, and Westside; 18 tables of specific encounters, descriptions/encounters for The Maze, Bazaar, Street of Red Lanterns, Downwind; business generators and tables by area; 6 area maps, 15 floorplans of typical buildings (including the Vulgar Unicorn); scenario suggestions. * The Personalities of Sanctuary - story/character index; system notes as applicable and character stats for 9 RPG systems (minimum of twenty characters each, each system divided to Prince and Retinue. Transients, and Residents); general descriptions of other characters. * Wall Map of Sanctuary. Referee Maps of The Maze, The Maze underground."



Back in 1981 Chaosium published one of the most under rated box sets ever to come out. It had everything you the dungeon master could want! "The Thieves' World Complete Sanctuary Adventure Pack is a boxed set published by Chaosium in 1981, containing: 1) The Player's Guide to Sanctuary; 2) The Gamemaster's Guide to Sanctuary; 3) Personalities of Sanctuary; 4) Map of Sanctuary; 5) Map of the Maze; 6) Map of the Maze Underground"  Did I also happen to mention it was cross compatible with AD&D first edition, Stormbringer, Tunnels and Trolls, Runequest and many others? No? Well no this box set doesn't get mentioned too much because it was a highly successful in my neck of the woods so much so that it spawned a companion in eighty six.


""The Thieves' World stories began in 1979, to instant acclaim. Not long after, Chaosium published a boxed Thieves' World roleplaying supplement which garnered awards and more acclaim. Since the first book hit the newstands, more than 2200 paperback pages and eight additional Thieves' World volumes have been printed - a phenomenon others imitate but cannot duplicate. Sanctuary, the town too mean to die, has changed little from the time it first saw print, but many new characters now stride the city's streets, pillage the foolish in its alleys, and connive in its back rooms. Lalo, Ischade, Roxanne, Niko, Mradhon Vis, The Beysa, Chenaya, Zip, and many more have come to life, and are now included in the Companion's full character stats for the RQ3 and MERPs systems. New essays consider Rankan, Ilsigi, Beysib, and Outsider deities in the light of further tales of Sanctuary, that place which is the funnel of the gods and the eye of the Rankan hurricane. The excellent encounter tables from the Thieves' World box have been revised to reflect later events and personalities, and are presented here in full. There are also floor-by-floor isometrics of the Great Dungeon. Though adjacent to Kitty-Cat's palace, nobody seems to go there. Now you can study its defenses and understand why. Alone or along with the Thieves' World box, the Companion rekindles the fabulous world of Sanctuary - Thieves' World."" So could the material in these box sets still be used today? Guess what they are! Many of the Connecticut dungeon masters that I know never gave this material up at all and went on to use it for many games including Traveler. Yes there was a conversion for that game already worked into the box set. You got stats and work ups for of such characters as;
* Shadowspawn- a master thief that finds himself in the middle of a web meant to catch another...
* Prince Kadakithis- the brother to the emperor he is a political threat so he has been sent to San to bring order, or to meet a more gruesome end...
* Myrtis- the most powerful and beautiful madam in Thieves' World she will do whatever it takes to protect her girls and their way of life, even if that means bargaining away a bit of her soul...

I've used this box set several times with Lamentations of the Flame Princess and Dark Albion but its always been as a place where the PC's have visited as dimensional travelers who have had to watch their step. The fact is guns haven't been that much of an equalizer and in fact there are several things in the set that can cause some vicious horror aspects into a campaign of LoFP.




You got a ton of material that could be inserted into many old school sword and sorcery  campaigns and would be a perfect addition into an Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea campaign. There would be a bit of  twisting and converting but this material would fit  in spades. This comes from another time before Advanced Dungeons and Dragons was so  controlled. The spirit of these earlier styles of games is evident throughout the box set and you have to give a bit of respect for the editing slight of hand that went into many of the NPC's and descriptions in this box set. Is it still useful? Well it most certainly is and the material is a bit dated though because portions of the shared world anthology have moved on. That being said there was far more sense of fun and vile purpose about this series of books then say Game Of Thrones. And Thieves World could easily be converted over to the Castles & Crusades system making an excellent basis for a C&C campaign. 
Many of the authors were from the foundations of the sword and sorcery literary movement in the Sixties and Seventies so there was whole cloth feel to this box set as well as some of the products in the line. I used this box set with many of the Judge's Guild and Arduin materials switching in and out what I needed and wanted. The city of Sancutary could easily be ported into a region of inner Hyperborea or even better used on its own and used as a location that the PC's could potentially visit.

A Quick Overiew & OSR Commentary On Corum: Heroic Adventures Across the World of the Five Planes Rpg From Darcsyde Productions For The Stormbringer fifth edition rpg

 "The balance between Chaos and Law has tipped. Barbarian hordes sweep across the land while civilization decays in doomed castles. Eldritch beasts terrorize the innocent. Arcane technologies are all but lost and foul Chaotic magic corrupts land and sea alike. In the age to come a cursed Prince will seek his destiny across this dying world. His path will be vengeance, his ultimate goal . . . to confront the gods themselves.

In this supplement to the acclaimed roleplaying game Stormbringer you can adventure in a heroic fantasy setting based on the World of the Five Planes created by the master of fantasy, Michael Moorcock. You will confront the most bizarre monsters and foil the deadliest plots on this and other planes of the Multiverse as you battle to free yourself and your world from the machinations of the gods."


Basically there are a number of rpg reviews & blog articles on the internet about the Corum rpg . This book is basically a third party add on for the Stormbringer rpg system & its done very well. 
Geoff Gillan with Mark Angeli, Alex Hammond, Bill Routt and Liam Routt take us into the Welsh mythological inspired world of Corum Jhaelen Irsei ("the Prince in the Scarlet Robe"). Corum is the Vadhagh race & another tortured aspect of the incarnation  the Eternal Champion. Out of the Eternal Champion books by Michael Moorcock Corum is one of my favorites. The cover of the Corum rpg is an artistic interpreation & it fits with the over all mood of Corum's incarnation. The history of the Corum rpg goes something like this according to the Corum wiki entry; "Darcsyde Productions produced a supplement for use with Chaosium's Stormbringer (2001) role-playing game adapting the characters and settings from the Corum series for role-playing." 
Michael Moorcock's Corum cycle is about death & rebirth, the dying of th old gods,  loss & acceptence, & the battling against the forces of Chaos that threaten to not only change but wipe out both the men of Corum's world but  t
he Vadhagh themselves. The men of Corum's world are puppets to the Lords of Chaos & yet they are willing puppets. Corum himself is one of my favorite incarnations of the Eternal Champion he finally achieves a measure of happiness against the backdrop of the battle between men, Law, & Chaos.Ultimately Corum is himself a harvest king.  Darcsyde Productions book originally sold for 24.00 dollars us & boy I'm glad I picked it up. Now even the PDF's of the rpg are getting much harder to get ahold of. 


The world of Corum is a strange & dark one where the five planes overlap. The Welsh mythological cycle is right in central themes of the game & it makes no bones about it. The rpg covers the main storylines history of Swords trilogy & the Silverhand's book plot lines.  The layout, the mapping, the cartography, & the whole product is a weird yet rpg loving system to Moorcock's maimed hero. 


Darcsyde Productions did a bang up job with this book but its not a stand alone rpg but a supplement.  There's no place where this is more evident then in the magic system where the Stormbringer rpg's rules are modified. These systems  bring in whole new aspects into the Stormbringer fifth edition rpg especially when it comes to the sciences of Law & the magicks of  Chaos. 


The Stormbringer fifth edition rpg isn't a whole new kettle of fish so much as it takes the kettle's contents in several other directions. It would require several blog entries unto itself but Corum is a product of the early '00's Stormbringer rpg scene. This isn't a bad thing but simply from a different time period allowing a different aspect of play. 



And the answer before you even ask is no I'm not ever selling my copy of the Corum rpg. This was gotten during a very dramatic time of my life but that's a blog entry for another time. All in all Corum: Heroic Adventures Across the World of the Five Planes  Rpg is a great little addition to the Stormbringer fifth edition product line & universe. Really wish that the Corum rpg was still in print so that others could experience this version of the tales of Corum as their own campaign setting. 





Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Review & Commentary on Nuelow Games Lovewitch supplement By Steve Miller For Your OSR or D20 campaigns

 "In an age before the rise of human civilizations, empires ruled by aliens and gods dominated the Earth. Prominent among these was Atlantis. This nation had its roots in a solar system far removed from our own, and they colonized the Sol system through a mixture of technology and magic that was the hallmark of their civilization."



So what exactly is Nuelow Games The Love Witch? Well its all about a hybrid of graphic novel or comic book old school Seventies goodness & Miller's game design according to him ; "
The Love Witch contains three exciting tales that mix high fantasy and horror by master comics-scribe Marv Wolfman, with gorgeous art by Ernie Colon, Don Heck, and others. The book also contains an all-new feat and talent-based magic system that can be brought into any d20 System and which is far more flexible than is typical, as it is not tied to any class- or level-based abilities." And its within these abilities & gaming design that Miller's writing shows through because this right up my campaign alleyway. The magic of Atlantis is solidly laid bare here. This is a tight book clocking in at fifty six pages with of Atlantean magic via the Love Witch PC class but its really not. We'll get to that. And its here that the book shines. We get alternative schools of Necromancy, a full view of the PC class & deeper mysteries into the fate of Atlantis. 
Because of Nuelow Games approach to the Love witch I got exactly what I need with crossover potential with Witchkind & the Immortals both of which play key rolls within my campaigns. Did I happen to mention the rather nasty cult of evil druids that appears within the comics that will be perfect minions of Chaos for this campaign?! 





So is this a PC class or not?! Sorta but more  of a legacy according to Miller;"It was mentioned above that Atlantean magic is not a class feature in the d20 System. Instead, heroes gain the ability to use magic by acquiring one or more feats either during character creation or as they advance in level. Their spellcasting abilities grow more refined and powerful through additional feats, as well as talents and ranks in certain skills. Depending on when the GM’s campaign is set, or what relationship the heroes have to Atlantean enclaves after the continent has been destroyed, the characters may have access to the feats that form the foundation of the spellcasting system in this book." And its this that makes the Love witch easy to slip into a campaign. Things like 'Deathless' make the Love witch an easy match for Immortals; "Deathless [General] You are hard to kill. If slain, you will rise from your grave. Your supernatural patron wants your work to continue. Prerequisite: Ancient Blood or Ancient Spirit Benefit: +2 to Fort and Will saves. Special: When the character is dropped below -10 hit points (or the threshold used for “dead” in the campaign), he or she doesn’t die. Instead, the character’s spirit leaves the body and continues to exist as a formless entity on the mortal plane. If the Disembodied template is available in the campaign (see NUELOW’s Ghost Woman), the character has gained that template. If not, the character exists formless near the location of his or her demise until a suitable living vessel comes along. The character may attempt to possess the being. The target receives a Will save (DC12+your character level) to resist. If the target is injured or somehow emotionally vulnerable or frightened, the Will save is DC8+your character level. The target immediately gains Dual Souls as a bonus feat, with this character become Character B. (See Dual Souls for details.)" 
And this makes it simple for the DM to take Castles & Crusades Siege system or Fantastic Heroes & Witchery to adapt the Love witch to their home campaigns.  




Is the Love witch perfect?! No its a supplement that's built to fit into Miller's OGL material but easily lifted & fitted for an experienced DM. It has that Seventies horror comics vibe & we've had one player whose PC is going down the Love witch path & has the ancestry for this supplement's magic. All in all its a fine addition to the DM's tool box. 

Monday, December 28, 2020

OSR Moorcockian Frankenstein Campaign Workshop Songs of Accursed Atlantis - The Neulow Games Files


  "Above its domes the gulfs accumulate.

Far up, the sea-gales blare their bitter screed:
But here the buried waters take no heed—
Deaf, and with welded lips pressed down by weight
Of the upper ocean. Dim, interminate,
In cities over-webbed with somber weed,
Where galleons crumble and the krakens breed,
The slow tide coils through sunken court and gate.

From out the ocean's phosphor-starry dome,
A ghostly light is dubitably shed
On altars of a goddess garlanded
With blossoms of some weird and hueless vine;
And, wing├ęd, fleet, through skies beneath the foam,
Like silent birds the sea-things dart and shine."

Atlantis  (1912) 
by Clark Ashton Smith


 'You owe us Fabiaschi & we've put up with a lot of your guff.', DM Steve wasn't letting me off of the hook easily. But what the Hell was I going to do if the PC's survive!? Their latest decent into  Black Blade of the Demon King by Ahimsa Kerp,  & Wind Lothamer from Knight Owl Publishing?! 



So today we were informed that two players who moved away about two years ago are moving back into Connecticut to take care of their eldery parents. They'll be working remotely as are a lot of people in this age of Covid. But now they'll be playing more the problem?! My sewing machine work takes up a good chunk of my schedule. Now 
Black Blade of the Demon King by Ahimsa Kerp,  & Wind Lothamer from Knight Owl Publishing is an adventure that I've been running with the OSR rules set up for this game has been the Fantastic Heroes & Witchery  Rpg. But with possibly eight players what can I possibly do for a ready to go campaign world yesterday?! Well wayback in October there were a few sessions of  Atlantandria Port City Of Accursed Atlantis. Now here's the problem there's not a huge amount filled in about the world campaign setting of Accursed Atlantis or is there?!  
A while back I approached Steve Miller of Nuelow games to grab a copy of his Love Witch supplement.Which while it is D20 Modern OGL is actually easily convertable to both Castles & Crusades or Fantastic Heroes & Witchery  Rpg. 




Originally 'The Love Witch' was supposed to be an encounter for my Godzilla/War of the Worlds Victorious rpg 1898 campaign. And it still might be. But now the Love Witch has become an island off the coast of Accursed Atlantis. But that's not all! Miller's Jungle Terrors supplement has several nasty Chaos laden vampiric species that are going to be on another part of the extra dimensional isles surrounding Accursed Atlantis. 



Already I can hear the OSR fans sniping but there's no bleeding old school connections. But wait there's the vampiric cult of Drelnza on Accursed Atlantis. Her fearsome cult of blood sucking fiends grows nightly & her priests grow her flock in preparation from when she awakens on another world.  Drelzna, the vampiric daughter of long-deceased archmage Iggwilv. One of the biggest modules that had an impact on me was S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. 


The players have already said they wanted a bit of an off beat campaign? And boy have I got them covered. Imagine if you will crossing slumberland & adventuring  with some of the horrors of both HP Lovecraft, & Clark Asthon Smith. Surely this would require an expensive book from the furthest reaches of the OSR? Actually it ran us about ten dollars with issues one & two of 'Through Ultan's Door'. 


And this leads me back to using Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure book to fill in the rest of this wonderful little solid gem of OSR weirdness.  Both Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure book & Castles & Crusades Classic Monsters & Treasure book are  effectively the C&C Monster Manual & Fiend Folio (sorta) but works well with Fantastic Heroes & Witchery rpg. 



This whole cloth idea came straight outta of Michael Moorcock's The Dream Thief's Daughter Tales of the Ablino along with an unhealthy dose of Lovecraft's Dream cycle. But remember Chaos will have its day folks. 

Two of our players are already agents of Chaos & one of em is an agent of  Law who seems to be inching towards Chaos.. But time will tell... That little incident involving on of the PC's  becoming a necromancer might have tripped a bit of a trigger.
 


Monster Ecology - Huygen's Trolls & Poortvliet's Goblins For Your Old School Campaigns

 So it's Nineteen Seventy seven or Seventy nine and I'm sitting down with my grandmother Rose on Christmas day. I get a copy of  Gnomes  by Wil Huygen and illustrated by Rien Poortvliet.

And I pretty much fascinated by the book. Everything else pretty much falls by the wayside for all of three or four hours. So we're now in Twenty Fifteen and six copies later I've still have the book with me. In point of fact I'll be using it tonight. But its not the Gnomes who fascinated me it was the trolls. By the way those are not actually gnomes per say they're actually Kabouter. But that's a story for another day, so flash forward to the Monster Manual in Eighty One or so. My copy of the Monster Manual is sitting next to me along with the D&D booklets. And I'm planning out my next AD&D campaign at the time. Friends of mine were complaining about AD&D not having monsters like out of mythology and horror films. What they were really angling for was Deities & Demigods like encounters but they got something different. Gnomes contains a good solid section about the various foes of Gnomes written in the voice of  David the Gnome. Whom later on would turn into a kids cartoon which ran in the Nineties and might still be in reruns.


The trolls of the world of Gnomes were incredibly dangerous and were killers and torturers of gnomes throughout Europe. This was heady stuff for a kid to read and were quite a step up from the usual species of trolls found in most D&D books. They're described as stupid, greedy, incredibly dangerous, and one derivatived from a variety of mythological sources including bits of  Norse, Scandinavian, English, and European  folklore. When the Fiend Foilo came my way so too did a pack of Troll subspecies and that's where Dr. Huygen's Trolls & Poortvliet's Goblins came from.

Dr. Huygen's Trolls


Number Encountered: 1d4 
Alignment: Chaotic Evil 
Size: M 
Movement: 40 
Dexterity: 7 
Armor Class:6 
Hit Dice: 5 
No Attacks: 3(Claw/Claw/Bite) or By Weapon
Damage: 1d6/1d6/2d6 
Saving Throw: 14
Morale: 9 
Experience Points: 200 
Treasure type: C
Huygen's Trolls are a subspecies of the common troll and unlike their more dangerous relative this species of troll are slightly smaller at less then six foot tall. But make up for their lack of height with a cruel and evil streak a mile wide. Huygen's Trolls  are a malicious and slovenly lot of humanoid horrors who live in caves and cavern works preying on nearby communities. They eat both humans, Fey, cows or any other creature they can catch and cook. Huygen's Trolls are very greedy and crave treasure above most else. They love the scent of blood and entrails.
They are often employed by local wizards and warlords as muscle and raiders. They are of average intelligence but very cunning and dangerous.. These horrors know human technology and have been known to wield enchanted blades, use magic, conduct coordinated raids on farms, villages and the like. This subspecies of troll speaks the tongues of men, Fey, and Troll kind. They may breed with humans, the result of these abomination of  'unions' is always a creature of troll kind. These beings often willingly serve the cause of evil and Chaos with abandonment.
Special abilities -
Dark Vision up to a Fifty foot radius.
Acute Sense of smell  Able to smell prey within one mile unless up wind 
Regeneration after three rounds after sustaining damage, wounds heal at a rate of 3 hp per round. Unless fire, acid, is the cause of damage. They will not fully regenerate if killed and fire is applied to the corpse.
Poortvliet's Goblins

Number Encountered: 1d6
Alignment: Chaotic Evil 
Size:S
Movement:50
Dexterity: 7 
Armor Class:8
Hit Dice:3
No Attacks:  By Weapon or Magic
Damage: By Weapon (see below)
Saving Throw: 14
Morale:6
Experience Points:200
Treasure type: C
There are small humanoid species that are distantly related to Goblin kind, Poortvliet's Goblins are small malevolent little manling like beings that live and haunt the deep woodlands far from civilization. They are beings who live close to the howling and haunted graveyards of ancient kings and forgotten races. From these places they have learned secrets of black magic and forbidden lore. This race of Fey like beings have been twisted by their closeness to the blackness of magick.  Poortvliet's Goblins haunt graveyards, dungeons, and other fringe places in search of magick, treasure and gold. They are hateful things that wield magic as third level black wizards and can curse men with rotting and wasting diseases upon the new moon. They use blow guns for one point of damage and their darts coated with horrid poisons that cause victims to save vs death or die in agony. They create dead falls, traps, snares and worse for adventurers in their territories. They've been known to haunt prominent families of the recently dead for gold,treasure, ransom or 'favors' or they will kill the first born sons and daughters of  simply out of spite. They willingly serve chaos and evil out of sheer principle. Poortvliet's Goblins continue to grow in number because they are able to convert victims into new monsters of their kind. They are highly intelligent and dangerous beings of evil. Poortvliet's Goblins are considered a disease on the face of humanity by many clerics and scholars of Law.




This post is for educational purposes only and is not an attempt to violate the trade marks or copyrights of the holders of the Gnome properties or Pan book LTD. This simply the rabid ramblings of a Gnome and AD&D, D&D and retroclone  fan.

Matters of Death & Amber - Using X2 Castle Amber By Tom Moldvay & The Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Rpg As OSR & Old School Campaign - Laying The OSR Ground Work

 " Lo ! Death hath rear'd himself a throne

In a strange city, all alone,
Far down within the dim west —
And the good, and the bad, and the worst, and the best,
Have gone to their eternal rest.

There shrines, and palaces, and towers
Are — not like any thing of ours —
O ! no — O! no — ours never loom
To heaven with that ungodly gloom!
Time-eaten towers that tremble not!
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie."
The Doomed City
by Edgar Allan Poe



DM Steve sipped his brandy quite nicely & the pipe smoke waffled around us. 'How would you go about running a successful Modern Gothic dark fantasy game?!' The question hung in the air about our group of players in the after game session fugue. In this case the question was hung out because already the blog entries  on  Matters of Death & Amber here & here.  'The problem is that you, the dungeon master already have campaigns in play some of which are still in play years on. Even if the players have pasted on..'  DM Steve & co. are trying to force me to move on with everything. 



There were murmmerings among the other players at this point & Steve was bringing up the fact that several campaigns had simply 'ended' when friendships had broken up & funerals had occurred. Now was a new beginning & the players wanted in on this purposed  'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Rpg' campaign with the hooks & chains that it connects with our older campaigns.




 In the past we've used elements of Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg but not all of the line. 
And if this holiday weekend's games taught me anything its that we're gonna need vehicle rules & we're not going to wait around for the Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Rpg companion which is due really soon. Fortunately my buddy Dave Miller did OSR Vehicle Rules and those should work out quite nicely. But Simon Washbourne also did his Terror Tales X! rpg rules for his OSR label Beyond Belief Games & these were done for the Swords & Wizardry light rpg


Why?! Because there are extra monsters, spells, & equipment that can easily be adapted into this 
 'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Rpg' campaign. The players have told me in no uncertain terms that this isn't going to be in their words a WB Supernatural television show. This is straight up going to be a bloody 'R' rated Gothic horror fest. If this is going to be a Gothic horror fest then other resources have to include Jack Shear's  Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque series &  Adventures on Gothic Earth. These are top drawer OSR Gothic horror & adventure campaign world builder stuff. Be sure to check out Jack Shear's blog here

And its from here that we've got to pick up with campaigns of the ghost Christmas past. The first thing the PC's are gonna have to do is to clean out the Duley house. The Duely house was the headquarters for a party of supernatural hunters & slayers that was wiped out back in 2012. And that was from the D'Ambervilles influence but we'll get into that one tomorrow. 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

OSR Moorcockian Frankenstein Session Report - Black Blade of the Demon King by Ahimsa Kerp, & Wind Lothamer from Knight Owl Publishing Session Report II

 "Buried for 10000 years beneath a mountain of black obsidian, a sword of unfathomable power has just awakened. Now, in a desperate race against time and the elements you must try to reach it before its former master returns from his astral prison."


Damn it! The players survived our Dredd/Swords & Wizardry mash up! But  Session II finds me dragged back behind the DM screen away from my family to deal with machinations of the players in  Black Blade of the Demon King by Ahimsa Kerp,  & Wind Lothamer from Knight Owl Publishing.  The Chaos infused Amazons have been playing the PC's like harps from Hell! The PC  level of this campaign is on the heavy side of  3 thru 4th level  but its been really brutal! 



Meanwhile the player's PC's are making social contracts with obsidan gnomes & double dealing against an agent of Law. The whole affair is being run with Fantastic Heroes & Witchery  as the game began & sorta went on hiatus in 2018. Now unknown to our eight players  Gregorius21778 gave me a pdf copy of : Beneath Unhallowed Ground a Lamentations of the Flame Princess mini dungeon that I snuck into as a quick Chaos laiden encounter. 


 Beneath Unhallowed Ground is a location based adventure & now the base of my latest Chaos agent whose sending a few rather nasty undead at the players PC's. Now the game session is bogged down in the player's PC's party in a fight for life against the undead! One of the player's said something about today being a real Bernie Wrightson game!




Now the players are talking plans about possibly making this a regular game. Fortunately I've got one or two thoughts about this coming up. The players did get their hands on several magical scrolls in one of the crypts. And one of the PC occultists  cut a very fast pact with Chardros the Reaper, to become a necromancer . Fortunately I had a copy of James Mishler's Necromancer class on my lap top's hard drive & the player was really happy to have the opportunity to have a chance at this. 



Will they survive in this in this cold undead Hell from beyond the grave?! We'll see coming up!  These undead were mostly out of Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure


South of the Mega City - B1 In Search of the Unknown Christmas Post Apocpalytic Mash Up Session II - Rise of the Tcho-Tchoids



The last of the skeletons were dispatched by the PC's & things were heating up fast in B1 folks. The skeletons were pretty mouthy to the player's PC's & they taunted the party even as they were getting mashed. A lot of Zombierama rules from

The OSR Library here in other words those weren't ordinary skeletons. 

 

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So being bound & determined to spend Christmas with my family didn't go as planned!?! Today I got dragged unto the gaming table again!?!  Never let it be said that the players ever let us dungeon masters rest on our laurels. We picked right up from last session with the player's PC's coming face to face with another old foe. 
After dealing with the orcs & several minor goblin snipers the player's party made it into a hallway where several strange bio mechanical alien mercenaries were having slave dealings with B1's humanoids. The aliens were buying a local young lass that had been captured for nefarious purposes.
 The PC's hung back & went to identify the aliens & came straight up with a successful roll of Heretick werks blog's  Tcho-Tchoids. I believe there was a 'Oh Hell no!' from one of the players & the PC's flanked the aliens & the pig faced orcs! 
There was a Frazetta artwork  moment when one of the thieves rolled a 'one' on their check!




 There is a long standing hatred of  
the Tcho-Tchoids & the players as Papa has employed them as mercs since their first encounter in 2012. The alien mercs unleashed Hell on the party with grenades, and several fire ball spells. The PC's yanked the slave away from the orcs who went down under knives, bullets, & two natural 'twenties'. The Tcho-Tchoids disappeared in a whisper of psychic powers & retreated to the shadows. The party of six is bidding its time after a morale check once two of their number went down.. 
Turns out the girl is actually a 2nd level fighter and replacement for one of the player's PC's who died last game. The rest of the player's PC's equiped her fast with crow armor salvaged from the orcs, several knives, a short sword, and a goblin bow with arrows. Countess Tara wasn't in any position to be picky folks. She also managed to kill off a goblin warrior about to pick off the party's thief. 
Now its deeper & deeper into B1's inner works & the players absolutely think they know where this is heading. Not realizing that the DM is using 
 the B1 Insearch of the Unknown Sourcebook available here from the Zenopus archives site.  Papa will have his due folks its gonna get worse from here. Much worse...