Tabletop Gaming Feeds

Dungeons & Dragons Elves, Alien Gods, & Hellish Demons For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 08/20/2020 - 19:20
 Tonight I'm thinking about the  Original Dungeons & Dragons and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons PC race of Elves. Elves from pop culture have always to a certain extent been well problematic. Though I know where they come from Tolkein's Hobbit & Lord of the Rings books. In my mind there's always been a distinct disconnect from the Elves of mythology & Dungeons & Dragons.  But the ideas that these Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Several Glitches in the Program - The A.B.C. Warriors For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 08/20/2020 - 14:38
 A couple of  days ago I noticed a post on Joe The Lawyer's blog (Joe's Blog) about The Realm of Chaos book from Games Workshop which saw the light of day in 1988 Here . The same year which saw my introduction to one of the coolest teams of anti heroes ever to crawl out of the pages of  2000 AD program. The ABC Warriors aren't easy  to classify. A rather simple explaination of their origin comes Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Bat in the Attic Kickstarter, Attributes in the Basic Rules

Bat in the Attic - Thu, 08/20/2020 - 13:41

In this series of posts I will be talking about some of the design choices I made. In addition to explaining what the system is about, it will also help folks in deciding which elements are the most useful to them as one of my overall goals is to support kitbashing.

Attributes
The goal is to remain compatible with the various classic editions. When I needed to make a specific choice I opted for supporting the Swords and Wizardry RPG. Thus I use the  same six attributes found in most systems based on the classic editions: strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma. In the this section I also discuss several other secondary attribute that most classic edition characters possess like armor class, and hit points.

Attribute modifiers
I put a lot of thought into this. Historically the various editions had several scales of different modifiers. The original edition along with Swords & Wizardry generally gives just a -1 or +1 bonus. The advanced editions generally ranged from -4 to +4. The newest editions opted to give a modifiers every other attribute points for example a 16 score would give a +3 bonus.

I felt that just having a -1 or +1 bonus was too narrow to reflect how attribute impact the things that players try as their characters. Likewise from experence I felt that the -4 to +4 range of the advanced edition, the D20 SRD, and the 5e SRD, was too generous. So I opted for a scale where a character gets a modifier for every three attribute points. With a +1 kicking in at 12, and an 18 granting a +3. This worked out in the campaigns I ran and continues to remain the bonus scale I use.

As far as incorporating different scale, the Majestic Fantasy rules will shift in feel slightly. Adopting the original edition scaled of -1 to +1 will make class and level count for more in what the character can do. Adopting the -4 to +4 scale of the advanced edition will allow characters to tackle greater challenges slightly earlier in the campaign. It start to make a noticeable difference after the middle levels of 6th to 8th levels when the party acquires more than one or two magic items.

The Other Attributes.
I write about how I interpret the various the secondary attributes classic edition character have like Armor Class, Hit Points, Movement, and Saving Throws. One of my goals when I started writing material for Swords and Wizardry is to stick closely to the original mechanics. What helped this was all the new research about the origins of the hobby and the system behind the original edition that started to be released ten years ago. One thing that was clear that the hobbyists of the time were experimenting all the time with different ideas and systems. So as old newsletters were unearthed and anecdotes recounted, I saw some of the thinking that went behind the abstract concepts of mechanics like armor class, hit points, and saving throws.

This help me build a foundation for these mechanics for when I had to make rulings. To answer questions like whether a blow completely missed or was it resisted by armor? Was kind of injury does damage represent? How does a character avoid getting a chalice of power knocked out of their hands? Players can imagine these things happening. It not always relevant but when it is it help to have something on which construct a ruling.

In the basic rules this section is an overview. Later in the rulebook in the chapter on rulings, I get into the nuts and bolts of how make rulings based on these secondary attributes.

Next I will be talking about classes.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Star Trek Ranger: Romulan Encounter

Sorcerer's Skull - Thu, 08/20/2020 - 11:00

Player Characters:
The Crew of the USS Ranger, Federation scout ship:
Aaron as Lt., j.g. Cayson Randolph, Operations Officer
Andrea as Capt. Ada Greer
Billy as Lt. Cmdt. Sobek, Ship's Counselor
Dennis as Lt. Osvaldo Marquez, Medical Officer
Paul as Cmdr. D.K. Mohan, Chief Helmsman

Synposis: After capturing the Romulans planetside, the away team beams back to the ship to find they have just received a distress call from the Burnell. It's systems are failing and it's running out of time. A painstaking search of the nebula brings them to the warp shuttle--and none to soon because its power is failing and life-support with it. Before they can rescue the crew, the Romulan cruiser Veritex uncloaks and demands they turn over everything they have on the energy weapon on the planet!
Not eager to fight, the Ranger crew negotiates an exchange with the Romulan commander: the Ranger lowers it's shields and beams over the Burnell's crew, while the Romulan's transporter their captured shuttle crew off the Ranger.

Commentary: While I was all set to run a space combat here, the players took the Star Trekian way out and found a nonviolent solution. Mohan's skill at persuasion proved extremely useful as did the ship's counselor Sobek's unexpected acumen with the sensors.
The Romulan vessel was a V-9 temar vastaram "Night Flyer" cruiser, from the FASA Romulan supplement. The Burnell was also a type of ship FASA created: the Pulsar Class warp shuttle.

The Frightening OSR Fifties - Alien Invasions, Mutants, & Megadungeons

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 08/19/2020 - 21:19
 This is not my first foray into 'alternative Popcultural history megadungeons' but what is a first is how it comes fast it comes together. Our first tentative steps into this alternative history begins in 1947 with the continuation of the Occult World War with the crash of the Roswell UFO out in the New Mexico desert. This was merely another Grey scouting mission in a World War II that had Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

1d10 Random Catacomb Treasures & Finds Table For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 08/19/2020 - 15:54
 Ancient Tombs & catacombs are always places of local legend & surrounded by clouds of myth. This table will help to bring the other half of the equation of terror & danger to your table top. Adventurers are always stumbling across weird and ancient catacombs, places where the piled treasures of forty thousand years or more have been buried with royalty, scoundrels, and the rich of ages past. Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Sand Rats 'The Invasive Pests' For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 08/19/2020 - 15:20
 Nasty, dangerous, and completely ready to finish off anything that comes into their clawed and fanged purview. The sand rat is found throughout many different world,a pest of a bygone age when Atlantis might war fleets sailed the deepest depths of space and these little four foot tall horrors stowed away aboard the mighty void ships. Sand Rats are   a degenerate species of nasty and dangerous Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Escaping Edgewild

Ten Foot Pole - Wed, 08/19/2020 - 11:11
By Joseph Robert Lewis Dungeon Age Adventures 5e/OSR Level 1

Last night you went out to do your chores, or run your errands. Maybe you went out for a drink? Or maybe you went out to slit a purse string, or a throat? But this morning, you wake up shackled in a dark, filthy prison cell surrounded by strangers. A man outside says you’ll be sold to a slaver in a few hours. And slaves don’t live long… So you’d better start making some friends, coming up with a plan, and trying to escape from Fort Edgewild!

This eighteen page adventure describes a jail break scenario with the party trying to break out. It has about seventeen locations, with good NPC’s, descriptions, and set ups, but lacks a little in the SOMETHING department. If I knew what SOMETHING was I’d have used that word instead. Otherwise, it’s good. I mean, except for the ennui I feel. Can you write a good adventure and  I still be full of ennui? Sure. why not, it’s 2020 and goes with the murder hornets.

You wake up shackled in a cell with six other people. Slavers will be here in four hours to buy you. Good luck! It’s a decent enough way to get a new group together, and as an alternative to a bar fight I’m ok with it. I’m usually quite negative about DM fiat types of things, like an adventure starting with you captured, etc, but at level one, to start a new game it’s a decent enough tohing to do. You gotta start with some pretext and putting the party together this way is fine.

Zo, task 1, get out of your shackles and out of the cell. There are some little tables to determine what you have in pockets (I got fingernail clippings!) and some notes about things you might find on the floor … only one of your hands being shackled to the wall. There’s also some extra NPC’s for the DM to scatter amongst the party to liven things up. Job one, use whats in your pockets and on the floor to think of as way to get out of your bonds and the cell.

As an aside, designer dude knows how to write a fucking NPC. Terse. Iconic. On the shit that matters. Emily is 25, curly brown hair, wild-eyed intense look. Cerlic of Gideon. PRO: Healing Magic. CON: Violent Zealot. Forcibly heals anyone/everyone. Nell, 30, red-hair, freckles, pale, depressed, hungover. Local addict. PRO: Medicine & Chemistry. CON: Severe depression. Same with the guards and all of the NPC’s in the adventure. You get these little snippets that make it easy for the DM grab on to them, remember them, and, better yet, add color to the adventure. WHich is what a fucking NPC should do. Otherwise, why do they exist? It’s not paragraph after paragraph. We don’t need to know Nells fucking life story. Just fucking addict part and the quirks she has. The rest comes to mind and we can make it up.  Perfect.

Ok, so, you’r eout of the cell and now you’re down in some “dungeon”/jail. Eight rooms. Full of loud things that might summon the guards, who come by every hour anyway to check on the prisoners. Some more makeshift stuff, a few weapons, and the parties gear, ultimately. And those other prisoners. Loudmoths … so I hoped you freed them too. But, they are a pain also. What to do, what to do? 

Then it’s out of the jail and in to a palisade compound, the other guards and other buildings, trying to escape from the inside, not be seen and have the wrath of the guards fall on you. 

Descriptions are short and evocative. It’s well organized and easy to locate information. 

But there’s something wrong in Muddville.

I don’t know what. This is an open-ended sandbox. The tools are there to run it as such. But, still, something is wrong. Too straight forward, maybe? That wouldn’t normally be an issue with me. Usually all you need to do is set up a decent situation (Which this is) and provide a decent environment (which this does) and then let the party fuck thing sup with their plans. I don’t know, maybe it’s the scope? The Fall of Whitechapel(?) did something similar, but that seemed more dynamic and interesting than this does. I think, maybe I’m feeling the constraints of size/length? It’s written for a single session, but … that can’t be it, can it? Maybe I wanted more? Well, yes, I feel like I’m wanting more, but … not in that way. I don’t know in what way. I’m left confused, something that rarely happens. 

So, hey, this is a decent adventure. For some reason it feels like something is missing. All I can point my finger at is interactivity; its what the party makes of it. Do they cause trouble, come up with a wacky plan, etc. 

I’m going to Regert this. But I feel wrong. I’m open to second opinions here. Buy it and tell me what I’m missing? Or, just check out the preview and do the same thing, the preview is long enough to get a sense, I think. But, you could also do worse things in life than throwing $2 at the Dungeon Age dude; he generally writes stellar shit. 

This is $2 at DriveThru. The preview is ten pages and shows you more than enough to make a good purchasing decision.


https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/310516/Escaping-Edgewild-A-Dungeon-Age-Adventure-5e-and-OSR-versions?term=escaping+edgew?1892600

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Wild Wild West Wednesday

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 08/19/2020 - 11:00


This is your periodic reminder that my review of the high points of the Wild Wild West television series from the 1960s, aided by Jim "Flashback Universe" Shelley continues on the Flashback Universe Blog under the Wild Wild West label. A new installment is up today.

1d10 Weird Cargo Events Table For Your Old School Space Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 08/18/2020 - 21:28
 Across the space lanes there are always incredible events that can happen to even the most hardened spacers & adventurers. Here's a table of incredible & weird events to spice up your old school space operas. 1d10 Weird Cargo Events TableSecreted in the load or cargo your hauling is an alien head with a hidden agenda Someone switched loads on you & the original owner wants his back There's a Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Old School Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Adventures As Micro Campaign Settings Outline and Write Ups

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 08/18/2020 - 19:42
 There are lone lost world settings that your PC's stumble upon and their perfect for pulpy mini campaigns but why?So over the last couple of months I've been rereading old classic TSR modules and various OSR adventures including the recent World of the Lost From Rafael Chandler and the Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg line. Right but then I started thinking about some of the classic Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

1d20 Random Encounters With Cosmic Contamination & Debris Table For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 08/18/2020 - 19:37
 There are some hazards that adventurers can't fight against or win, things that fall from the sky and infect the land with roiling horror and degeneration that runs deeper then any horror. There is a 60% chance that when these things happen that PC's might become infected themselves with the cosmic debris of an uncaring universe. There is also a 40% chance that the chaotic quasi dimensional Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Fang & Poison - Hammer's 1966 'The Reptile' & Classic AD&D's N1: "Against The Cult of the Reptile God" (1982), by Douglas Niles

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 08/18/2020 - 16:06
Last night I got caught up with one of the family's all time favorite Hammer films the 1966 film 'The Reptile'. This sixty six production has a bit of everything for the connisueur of the serpent men. You've got snake cults luring in the background, strange black magick curses, and more. But the 'The Reptile' while well known in Hammer horror fan circles doesn't have that much of an audience Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

On Towers IV

Hack & Slash - Tue, 08/18/2020 - 12:00
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

How to Build a D&D Polearm Master That Might Be Better Than a Sharpshooter

DM David - Tue, 08/18/2020 - 11:19

When I wrote a post rating the Sharpshooter feat as overpowered and naming its combination with Crossbow Expert as the worst thing in Dungeons & Dragons, some readers stepped up to expose my bad take. But nobody said the feats were weaker than I claimed, because most folks who read my posts have played D&D.

Many folks refuted the power of Sharpshooter plus Crossbow Expert by naming a spell with the power to win an encounter. Animate objects (5th), mass suggestion (6th), and forcecage (7th) make particularly good examples. My posts on the most annoying lower-level spells and higher-level spells add ammunition to this line of thinking. Still, a look at the spells-per-level tables shows that even high-level spellcasters rarely get more than one chance to cast one of these spells per day. D&D lead designer Jeremey Crawford explains, “We constrain how many spell slots you get at those upper levels. You’ll look at your table of spells slots and you’ll go down the slope and you’ll get down there and you’ll go, “Oh, just one.” And it never goes up. That’s on purpose because it allows us to make 9th-level spells, for instance, just crazy bonkers. But you get that crazy bonkers no more than once a day.” Meanwhile, a martial character optimized for damage blows up every encounter.

Most commonly, folks tried to refute my point by citing other character builds they rate as even more broken. What could possibly be more ridiculous than the Sharpshooter and Crossbow Expert feats combined with either a fighter using the Samurai martial archetype or a ranger using the Gloom Stalker archetype? Also, you might ask how to build such ridiculous characters (but only because your story concept arrives there organically). Read on.

1. Great Weapon Master + Polearm Master

Great Weapon Master and Polearm Master offer the combination of feats most comparable to Sharpshooter and Crossbow Expert. Great Weapon Master lets characters trade -5 to hit for +10 damage with a heavy weapon, including polearms such as halberds and glaives. Polearm Master lets characters use a bonus action for an extra attack. Sure, the extra attack only starts with 1d4 damage, but when each hit still deals 13-15 points of fixed damage, the d4 is just seasoning. Plus, you can use a reaction to attack creatures who enter your 10-foot reach.

To create a character based on this combination, choose human to take Polearm Master at creation, then add Great Weapon Master at level 4.

Either barbarian or fighter makes a good class to combine with these feats.

  • Barbarians can use Reckless Attack to gain advantage, making landing blows at -5 easier.

  • The Battle Master fighter gets combat maneuvers like Trip Attack that enable you to gain advantage on follow up attacks. Later, the fighter gains more attacks. Plus the Riposte maneuver lets you use your reaction to attack creatures who miss you with a melee attack.

Are these feats better than Sharpshooter plus Crossbow Expert?

As strong as the combination of Great Weapon Master plus Polearm Master seems, three factors make it less troublesome in play.

  • These warriors must enter melee and stand in harm’s way. Flying foes can avoid their attacks.

  • These warriors usually must move to attack and to switch targets.

  • No fighting style comparable to archery offers a +2 bonus to hit with great weapon or polearm attacks.

Paladin also makes a fun combination with these feats, but the class needs both Charisma and Strength, so trading ability score improvements for feats hurts more.

2. Polearm Master + Sentinel

Polearm Master and Sentinel creates a combination of feats able to frustrate monsters and dungeon masters alike. The polearm master gains ways to trade bonus actions and reactions for extra attacks. When the sentinel lands an opportunity attack in a polearm’s 10-foot reach, the creature’s speed becomes 0. The combination of reach and literal stopping power lets these warriors plug a 25-foot gap.

To build a character based on this combination, choose human to start with your favorite of the two feats.

For fighters, choose the Defense fighting style. The Battle Master martial archetype brings several abilities that save your bonus actions and reactions for the feats. The Goading Attack, Lunging Attack, and Sweeping Attack maneuvers seem like particularly good picks.

The Cavalier martial archetype also combines well with these feats. The Unwavering Mark helps you draw attacks and punish foes who attack your allies.

Barbarians make a good match because they can shrug off damage better than any other class. Choose the Path of the Bear Totem Warrior for resistance to everything but psychic damage while you rage. The Path of the Ancestral Guardian also makes a good choice, although the Spirit Shield feature takes the reactions needed to power your Sentinel abilities.

Unlike armored fighters, unarmored barbarians need Dexterity and Constitution to gain a high armor class, so they suffer more when they trade an ability score improvement for a feat.

Are these feats better than Sharpshooter plus Crossbow Expert?

A character built on these feats rates as the best way to frustrate monsters and DMs looking to maneuver past the party’s front line. Still, these characters shine less in bigger spaces, when attacks come from multiple directions, and against ranged and flying foes.

While these combinations prove strong, they lack the consistent dominance of Sharpshooter plus Crossbow Expert. But forget feats. The most common builds rated as more powerful combined a paladin’s martial proficiency and smite ability with a spellcasting class able to fuel more smites.

Next: The best multiclass combinations with paladin

Related: How to build a sharpshooter who wins D&D.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Ten Random Mid Level Cosmically Artifacts Table For Your Old School Space Based Campaign

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 08/17/2020 - 19:01
 Five Cosmically Powered Mid Level  ArtifactsThe Key of Ainglazgllal- This artifact enables the user to restore the biosphere of one planetoid of small size. This item allows the user to take the bio image of his home planet and imprint it upon the nearest lifeless body. The key will put in place all smaller plant and animal matrices from temporary planar/cosmic energies. The planet will last forNeedleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Retrocommentary On The Free Skywald Comics Download - 'The Saga Of The Victims' Your Old School Alternative 1970's Rpg Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 08/17/2020 - 16:26
 Grab It Right OverHERE "The Saga of the Victims" originally appeared Scream 6-9 & 11 from the 1970's Skywald publishing company. Skywald never really played it 'safe' skirting the lines of good taste, horror, and pure grind house awesomeness. According to wiki - Skywald Publications was a 1970s publisher of black-and-white comics magazines, primarily the horror anthologies Nightmare, Psycho, Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Golden Bob Cryptkins Unleashed Vinyl Figure (Cryptkins Unleashed Launch Party Exclusive)

Cryptozoic - Mon, 08/17/2020 - 14:00

Bob is as good as gold, and now everyone knows it! The Golden Bob Cryptkins vinyl figure is a Cryptkins Unleashed Launch Party Exclusive, only available during the online event that takes place August 19.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Bat in the Attic Kickstarter, Character Sheet

Bat in the Attic - Mon, 08/17/2020 - 13:33
Three items today.



First is version 4 of the character sheet I been using since I started running campaign with Swords and Wizardry and my Majestic Wilderlands supplement.

Majestic Fantasy RPG, Character Sheet

My idea with this character  sheet is to make it a booklet of its own. You print it off and fold it in half. The interior remains blank in order to record whatever notes you need and the front and back are filled out.


My players seem to like them and more than a few have the interior packed with notes, reminders and lists.

The second item is that I sat down with Erik Tenkar of Tenkar's Tavern for one of his Fireside Chats. It is packed with details on the Majestic Fantasy RPG.

Although I have to warn you that the first couple of minutes are more of advertisement for Necrotic's Gnomes current Old School Essential Advanced Fantasy kickstarter. Congratulations to Greg Norman and his team for storming out of the gate with their kickstarter as they continued to expand Old School Essentials.

A Fireside Chat with Rob Conley of Bat in the Attic Games.

Last but not least, I have reached over 170 backers and $2,000 pledged. I am humbled and pleased at the support shown. I thank everybody who came on board. This supplement is the first in a series so anything extra will mean that I am that much further ahead lining up what I need for the next supplement.

Basic Rules for the Majestic Fantasy RPG Kickstarter
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Endless Tunnels of Enlandin

Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 08/17/2020 - 11:16
By S. Ballard Poag B/X Dragonsfoot Low Levels

Does your group have the nerve to explore the endless tunnels of the mage Enlandin? Many have tried and all have failed.

This 21 page adventure contains a three level dungeon with about ninety rooms, using about sixteen pages to do so. A classic basic dungeon with a decent map, Poag has an ability to write a little vignette scene without verbally running over. When it does that, it’s good. When the monsters wait in the darkness to attack the person who opens the door … well, it’s not so good. I’d say it’s on the higher-end of being a typical B/X dungeon.

Let’s talk The Art of the Vignette. If we take the unhold Bryce trinity of Ease of Use, Evocative, and Interactivity then when their powers combine we get this little burst of energy jabbed in to the DM’s brain in a flash that reeks of potential energy. A kind of sparkle in the DMs eye, a gleeful internal cackling, all obtained in just the split second the DM glances down on the page. Is this good D&D? No, but it FACILITATES good D&D. The DM is now as ready as they can be, running a prepared adventure, to lead their players in to Good Times(.) One sort of room/encounter type is the little room vignette. When Poag is ON IT he is writing good room vignettes. “The very pale body of a dead elf is in the middle of the room, dressed in chain mail with a sword and longbow. Only two arrows are left in the quiver. Two giant ticks are clinging to the ceiling above and will drop for a surprise attack.” Oh snap! Look at what Poag did! He creates little vignettes in just a few words that describe a situation. I wouldn’t call this a masterpiece by any means, but it does deliver in an above average way. A pale elf corpse in the middle of the room. The party investigate … down come the ticks! Oh! The DM is cackling gleefully and the party all say “Oh shit! Obviously!” That’s a good encounter. When the surprise hits and the party says “Of course!” then you know it’s good. Another room has a grim reaper statue, with scythe, in the middle of a room along with a headless corpse. We all know the deal and we all know that we all know the deal. It’s glee! Unadulterated glee! Poag can do this.  Even in a shitty “they attack!” room he can do this. Zombies come out of the darkness in a room to attack. That’s not exactly perfect, but even this shitty “they attack!” moment brings a little extra, with them coming out of the darkness. Your mind should fill in that picture and even with it being simple I’m excited to run it. Another room has a halfling with a crowbar in the middle of opening a chest … paralyzed, while three giant centipedes are about to/are eating him. Oh man! Stick that in your fucking hat! These are not rockstar descriptions but they are significantly above average. They describe a scene with energy waiting to happen. They have a few extra words that add description to the scene, flavour. And they do it without taking a fucking column of text to fucking do so. Combined with the decent maps, I’d give this adventure a solid C+/B- and a No Regerts.

Well, I mean, I WOULD, if it were consistent. But, for every room that’s a little vignette there is another that is a straight out They Attack! Worse, they are waiting in ambush. The eternal ambush room. Orcs with bows wait in the darkness at  the other of the room, eternally, for you to open the door. There are multiple, multiple examples of this. Yeah, D&D has combat. And there’s a place for ambushes. The tick room is good and is, essentially, a They Attack room. But creatures on guard waiting to attack when the door is opened? No, not so much. There’s a good way and bad way to handle it and this adventure does both, in about equal amounts, I’d say.

Combined with the book treasure (which may, also, be a little light … IDK, feels like it, I would have to add it up) and an interactivity that TENDS to combat, then I would give this one a pass, but it’s close. Pits lead to the second level. Rooms rotate and there are simple puzzles. But it doesn’t feel like it happens all that often. It feels more like a heavy They Attack dungeon with a mixture of better stuff thrown in. Or maybe a heavy Room Vignette dungeon with a whole lot of boring/typical thrown in? If/then statements abound, and the standard room format is the simple paragraph. A well written one, organized, and, by keeping it short it remains functional. It’s right on the edge. 

This is an early dungeon, from the 70’s, rewritten, I assume, in the modern day. As such, it shows both the good and bad. WHen its good then its short and terse and evocative and exciting all at the same time. And when its bad it looks like a bad minimal key expanded. I suspect that the interactivity lack is from the 70’s. What WAS interactivity in the 70’s? It was this. 

I’m a fan of this, as an artifact. I’m a fan of where this adventure was going and the potential it showed. But, in a world full of billions and billions of adventures, I would probably pass this up for that hits more regularly. Compared to most of the dreck that comes out, though, it’s great!

This is free over at Dragonsfoot.

https://www.dragonsfoot.org/php4/archive.php?sectioninit=CD&fileid=163

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Pages

Subscribe to Furiously Eclectic People aggregator - Tabletop Gaming Blogs