Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New B/X Character Class: Wärf (Hybrid of Dwarf & Winter Wolf)

Please note: this is a preview/beta version only. It is not considered Open Gaming Content until the official release of Old School Adventures™ Accessory CX1: Character Class Codex. AND BEFORE YOU ASK!!!! It will be late 2017 or early 2018 AT THE EARLIEST!!!! This is not priority right now. I am simply releasing some "stockpiled" material because it feels like the OSR blogosphere needed it.

Click here to download the PDF. >>

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New B/X Character Class: Factotum

Can't decide what class to be? Be all of them! (Sort of.)

Please note: this is a preview/beta version only. It is not considered Open Gaming Content until the official release of Old School Adventures™ Accessory CX1: Character Class Codex. AND BEFORE YOU ASK!!!! It will be late 2017 or early 2018 AT THE EARLIEST!!!! This is not priority right now. I am simply releasing some "stockpiled" material because it feels like the OSR blogosphere needed it.

Click here to download the PDF. >>

Monday, January 9, 2017

A little experiment: looking for links to OSR material (blog posts/free downloads) related to undead

I'm going to try a little experiment here. I'm looking for links to OSR-gaming-related blog posts (including links to downloads) of material related to undead. It could be new classes, combat rules, magic items, free adventures, reviews, new monsters, etc. Please, no links to actual commercial products, though PWYW items are considered.

I would prefer if the entire content at the link is undead-related (as opposed to say just 25% of what's at the post), but all input will be considered.

For example, here's a few from my own blog over the last few years:

How to Embalm a Corpse
Optional Rules for Killing a Vampire
Tomb of Ludor the Beheader (one-page adventure)
New Monster: Flailing Spirit
New Monster: Bestial Beast

If there is something undead-related as part of a larger post, then call it out. For example...

At this link, there is a spell called "Animate Warrior" (animates warrior zombies)

Before the link, it would help if there's a description. E.g.,


Okay. Let 'er rip!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Psionic Oe/1e/BX Monster: Grizzle

A few weeks ago, I previewed the stats for this through my Twitter account,
then previewed a sketch there a couple of weeks ago.

Attack modes: id insinuation
Defense modes: mental barrier
Clairsentient: S) 360° vision* (always on); D) infravision* (always on);
Telepathic: S) death urge (see below)

A grizzle is a headless, furry, tentacled beast with a bear-like frame and legs. It “sees” psionically with 360° vision and infravision (both are always on, and neither has a PSP/psionic point cost), so the grizzle can be “blinded” with the use of synaptic static.

A grizzle attacks with four tentacles. Each tentacle does 1d6 on a successful “to hit” roll. Additionally, if the grizzle has enough PSPs/psionic points remaining, the victim must make a psionic saving throw or become the victim of the grizzle’s death urge ability. For each failed save by a victim against the death urge, the grizzle expends 3 PSPs (or 10 points for Oe/1e). If the grizzle does not have enough points to power the death urge, the ability fails automatically and no saving throw is required. The grizzle may not choose when to use or not use the death urge on a tentacle attack (it is based solely on the conditions outlined above; the grizzle may not otherwise use the death urge ability (i.e., the grizzle may not use it proactively as a standard ranged psionic ability).
FREQUENCY: Very rare
MOVE: 9"
% IN LAIR: 50%
1-6 + special (×4)
See below
See below
SIZE: L (9' tall)
Attack/Defense Modes: D/H

HIT DICE: 6+1*
MOVE: 90'(30')
ATTACKS: 4 tentacles
1-6 + special (×4)
SAVE AS: Elf:6

Friday, December 23, 2016

New B/X Character Class: Skinwalker (Free PDF Download)

I feel guilty for letting this blog sit so idle the past couple of months (I've been super-busy with client stuff the last couple of months, which is a Godsend, given how slow 2016 was for me business-wise). So here's something simple, and though fairly complete it's being given away as an "as is WIP"--a skinwalker class for B/X. Click here to download the free PDF of this B/X Skinwalker character class (clicking the pic will only get you a bigger pic).

Friday, November 11, 2016

Guest Post: Steve Marsh on Alignment

As the completion of art and editing for Steve Marsh's Shattered Norns draws imminently closer, and its publication looms, and editor always has to face the unfortunate truth that there is just not a place for EVERYTHING you'd like to include in the book. In this case, the thing I'd like to include (but just seemed to feel forced in wherever I put it), is a small insight penned by Mr. Marsh regarding his introduction to Gary Gygax of the Good/Evil alignment axis (thereby creating the "dual-axis" alignment system introduced in AD&D), and how it relates to Steve's concept of chaos (i.e., "anarchy"). Steve also nods to 5th Edition's acknowledgement of abominations (outsiders/forces of entropy) as this is particularly relevant in his Shattered Norns world where abominations abound.

In addition to Steve's commentary, I've included a graphic I recently created, taking all of the components of the various alignment charts that exist, as well as the SRD alignment content, and merging them into a single "go to" reference graphic for alignment.

On Alignment – My approach to alignment
by Steve Marsh

The original alignment system was based off of the law/chaos axis of Poul Anderson’s Three Hearts and Three Lions more than anything else.

Chaos was feral rebellion, both the immoral and the amoral, and everything that tore down creation.

Law was the harmonizing and creative force that organizes, creates and preserves the world.

Using this law/chaos polar opposition as an express part of a gaming world was a conceptual breakthrough by Gary Gygax that allowed it to be a natural driver for all sorts of things in the game world. The system fit a dark ages world very well. It creates a natural conflict and aligns with good and evil directly on the law/chaos axis.

The system had two problems, though. First, too many gamers were much more familiar with Michael Moorcock’s use of law and chaos. Second, I wanted a different type of nuance.

This is why I proposed an order/anarchy system with the poles of good and evil on a different axis. Anarchy can have natural nobility (determined purely by personal charisma and power), and Law can have democracy. For a long time in my personal campaign I used Anarchy or Tychism (a philosophical school) in the place of Chaos in order to focus the point on what “chaos” was.

Eventually, Gary agreed with me and migrated the game world to a 2-axis system where the law/chaos axis crossed with good/evil axis. It allowed for things to be feral without them being necessarily evil (old school “chaos”). It also allowed for characters to distinguish between the amoral (where being without morals = neutral) and the immoral (where those who are doing wrong = evil).

One thing I like about 5th Edition is that it acknowledges abominations (those from outside; generally forces of entropy, normally classified as “evil”) that do not necessarily fit properly into the law/chaos structure. My campaign world (Shattered Norns) is marked by having been marred by a massive intrusion by an abomination that was repulsed. I used to use the term “chaos” to refer to it, which led to confusion. Part of what I like about the 5e “abomination” category is that I can use the term “abomination,” and be clearly understood across the game categories, while using the standard law/chaos terminology as well.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A day of gaming in Wacko, Texas?

Okay Texans, I want some feedback on this idea/plan...

The idea came up a while back to do a 1-day game meetup in Waco, so folks from Austin and DFW would only have a 90m drive in and home. And only slightly longer for Houston-ites and San Antonians.

Saturday January 14th,, 2017, 10am-10pm
Comfort Suites Waco North

I've looked into the following: getting the meeting room at the Comfort Suites Waco North. It would accommodate 6 tables w/ 8 players each. I'm looking at getting the room from 10am to 10pm (which should pretty much allow two 5-hour-ish gaming sessions for the day with a break between at mid afternoon).

They would also arrange a block of rooms at a discounted rate for Saturday night (they can't do a block for Friday because they have a baseball group that comes in weekly and leaves Saturday morning).

If 40 people committed at $10 each for the room (I would do something like Eventbrite, so there might be a small surcharge on that) we could get the room paid for.

Also, the hotel would have no problem with people brining in their own food. I looked at the possibility of bringing in food (from non-hotel source), but don't think it's financially worth it, but there are plenty of close-by places to eat.

And now Waco isn't so dry anymore. The hotel actually has a "bar" (beer/wine; doesn't normally open until 5pm, but if they knew we were interested, they could arrange to have it open as early as noon; I'm not sure how much earlier we could arrange than that).

Could possibly do a 2-day deal if there was enough interest (for an extra $10/person).