Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Advanced Adventures #37: Under Ruined Onm is now available!

Pleased to say AA#37 is now available for purchase. You can find it at rpgnow at at Lulu. Enjoy!

Nearly seventy five years ago the greatest bard ever known in the dry land of Zanzia disappeared. Anton Deangelo was a hero famous for some of the greatest songs in Zanzian history. His compositions are still sung at taverns and inns all over the land. In verse, countless dragons he slew, dozens of giants he felled, and hundreds of demons he put to the sword! Outside of the world of song, he and his band of adventurers gathered significant riches and looted many dungeons all over the land. Then suddenly…he was gone. 

The last time he was heard from he and his merry band were outfitting an expedition to explore the ruined city of Onm in search of the lost mandolin of Duaree the Mad. The Onm ruins are on the edge of the Blood River and the Dragon Teeth Mountains and no other ruins fabled enough to attract Deangelo are known to be in that area.



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Advanced Adventures #38: White Dragon Run II Preview


This follow up to White Dragon Run contains all of the village information of the original module as well as four new adventure locations in the Skathernes: The Sane Hermit, The Rainbow In The Dark, the rare and unusual Ambulatory Tower, and the deadly Temple of the Snake God. It'll probably be out in late November, 2017.

White Dragon Run II is an OSRIC(tm) module designed for 6-10 adventurers of levels 2-5.
Return to the little village of White Dragon Run! At the edge of civilization— the place where monsters are a constant threat and adventurers thrive—reputations are made or broken, and deeds are performed only to be set in verse decades after the real story is long lost. On this thin line between country and chaos lies White Dragon Run, the last stop for the civilized before the well-trodden road becomes the weed-infested trail leading to creatures that would rather fight than herd, fish or farm.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Advanced Adventures #36: Aerie of the Cloud Giant Strategos is now available!

...and #36 is out in the wild. Continue the battle against the giants in their very stronghold: Death Cloud Castle! You can pick it up at rpgnow or at Lulu for only $16. Lulu's currently running a 20% off sale with the coupon code LULU20, so it's a bit cheaper there.



Sunday, September 3, 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Advanced Adventures #37: Under Ruined Onm

So we've got a cover for AA#37: Under Ruined Omn. The talented Mr. Bradley McDevitt returns to AA covers with Under Ruined Onm! This one should be coming out in the next few months.
Nearly seventy five years ago the greatest bard ever known in the dry land of Zanzia disappeared. Anton Deangelo was a hero famous for some of the greatest songs in Zanzian history. His compositions are still sung at taverns and inns all over the land. In verse, countless dragons he slew, dozens of giants he felled, and hundreds of demons he put to the sword! Outside of the world of song, he and his band of adventurers gathered significant riches and looted many dungeons all over the land. Then suddenly…he was gone. 
The last time he was heard from he and his merry band were outfitting an expedition to explore the ruined city of Onm in search of the lost mandolin of Duaree the Mad. The Onm ruins are on the edge of the Blood River and the Dragon Teeth Mountains and no other ruins fabled enough to attract Deangelo are known to be in that area.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Career Path Character Creation for Starfinder

So now that Starfinder is out and I can pimp the PDF I made for it wherein I gut the entire character generation process to put in an OGL-Traveller-Inspired career path version working off of my World's Apart Fantasy version of OGL-Traveller.. It's not balanced (duh!), but it sure is a hell of a lot of fun! Career Path Character Creation is only $5.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bingham Art for AA 36

John's done several pieces for the upcoming Aerie of the Cloud Giant Strategos and here's one that perfectly captures the moment. Really like this piece and his style. Those spotted lions are looking mighty fierce! :-)


Monday, August 7, 2017

Advanced Adventure #36: Aerie of the Cloud Giant Strategos Cover Preview

So this is coming out later this month, my alternative follow up to the giants series instead of descent. You can of course use it for any floating cloud castle needs you have...
The hot and smoky badlands of the King of the Fire Giants lies behind the party: his great hall, once a symbol of his power and authority, now only a memorial to his terrible defeat. Within this hold, the party found information leading them onward in their quest to find the fearsome mind behind the recent giant uprising. 
Their journey has been long and tiring, but the end of the task lies ahead. A gigantic spire of a mountain rises into the sky. Around the misty peak, an unusual cloud hangs, as if tethered to the stony expanse itself, and upon this strange cloud a mighty brass-roofed castle stands. Perhaps it is here, among the peaks and the mist, that the source of the giants' evil may be found?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Advanced Adventures line hits 40 modules...

Breaking proverbial ground on Advanced Adventure #40: The Horror of Merehurst which should come out early next year. Yep, FORTY! Still got several between this one and the most recent and I'll be previewing them as we go, but was so excited to start 40 that I just had to share.

Thanks to everyone for all the support these years. I sometimes feel like I'm the lone voice of OSRIC in the wilderness, and your support helps me keep chugging along.

Also, I'm still looking for manuscripts!


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Lulu 30% coupon + 20% off compendiums = half normal price baby!

LULU Coupon Code for 30% off! Use Code: SAVENOW30. Ends July 17th at 11:59 PM

So I went and put up all the compendiums for 20% off to make it nice even 50%... :-)

Advanced Adventures Compendium One (1e modules)
Advanced Adventures Compendium Two (1e modules)
Advanced Adventures Compendium Three (1e modules)
One-On-One Adventures Compendium One (Pathfinder modules)
One-On-One Adventures Compendium Two (Pathfinder modules)


Friday, July 7, 2017

Entirely too pleased with myself...

Ah, the silly joy I experienced while writing an encounter labeled "The Sane Hermit." :-)


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lulu 30% coupon + 20% off compendiums = half normal price baby!

LULU Coupon Code for 30% off! Use Code: SAVENOW30. Ends July 17th at 11:59 PM

So I went and put up all the compendiums for 20% off to make it nice even 50%... :-)

Advanced Adventures Compendium One (1e modules)
Advanced Adventures Compendium Two (1e modules)
Advanced Adventures Compendium Three (1e modules)
One-On-One Adventures Compendium One (Pathfinder modules)
One-On-One Adventures Compendium Two (Pathfinder modules)


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

20% off Compendium LULU sale!

I've put all our compendiums up for sale at LULU for the next week at 20% off. That includes...

Advanced Adventures Compendium One (1e modules)
Advanced Adventures Compendium Two (1e modules)
Advanced Adventures Compendium Three (1e modules)
One-On-One Adventures Compendium One (Pathfinder modules)
One-On-One Adventures Compendium Two (Pathfinder modules)

... and if you include the current 15% off LULU coupon (LULU15) you can pick them up for 35% off the regular price, which is a pretty good deal.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Advanced Adventures #35: The Desert Shrine of the Sightless Sisters now available!

Advanced Adventures #35: The Desert Shrine of the Sightless Sisters is now available at rpgnow.com and at Lulu.
Advanced Adventures #35: The Desert Shrine of the Sightless Sisters is an OSRIC(tm) module designed for 6-10 adventurers of levels 5-8. 
Several days to the east of the desert trading city Isfala, far from any oasis or caravan route, lies the remnants of an ancient Ziggurat, so crumbled with years as to be little more than an oddly-shaped mound in the surrounding wastes. The nomads say that it is an ancient temple to forgotten gods, a place of ill omen. Some whisper that it is not quite deserted, and that a sisterhood of devotees remains, guarding ancient secrets. 
Although local superstition considers it a forbidden place, for a few coins some less-devout nomads might be willing to give directions or even act as guide, although even the greediest dares not approach the place too closely.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Two Tome of Tomes

Puttering away at some OSRIC modules today and realized it's been a while since the last Tome of tomes, so here are two more.

A Comprehensive Draconic Dictionary
Author: Unknown
Race: Unknown
Dimensions: 16x16x5
Weight: 25 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, vellum, brass corners and clasps
Rarity: Very rare
Fields of Study: Supernatural & unusual
Special Knowledge Categories: None
Value: 250 gp

This massive dictionary to all of the draconic languages is an exceedingly rare example of organizational scholarship at its best. The dictionary is divided into sections based upon language (black, blue, brass, etc.) and each entry includes the page number of all the same entries in all the other languages. The book is rounded off by a final shared dictionary: a dictionary of words that are the same in every draconic language.


A Manual on Siegecraft and Fortification
Author: Marquis Tauvan
Race: Human
Dimensions: 8x10x0.5
Weight: 1.5 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, vellum
Rarity: Very rare
Fields of Study: Physical universe
Special Knowledge Categories: Architecture & engineering
Value: 500 gp

A tome not more than a decade old, the terse and direct A Manual on Siegecraft and Fortification has taken the military world by storm. Tauvan precisely lays out his effective method of investiture, and towards the end of the work puts forth a new form of fortification: the star-shaped castle. Marquis Tauvan has gained international attention as the Siege Master for the armies of the greatly-dwindled Hefestian Empire, and it is he who is primarily responsible for its newly-found strength and vigor. The manual has been distributed throughout the Empire, and a few copies have found their ways into the hands of enemies, ensuring a more difficult expansionary future for the Hefestians.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Aerie of the Cloud Giant Strategos nears the finish line...


Glad to say I've put the final touches on the area map for the upcoming Advanced Adventures #36: Aerie of the Cloud Giant Strategos! Below's the map of the cloud island (1/2 per hex). Tons 'o adventures await, or perhaps just certain death, and yes, that's a beanstalk leading up to the island, of course. :-)

Now I start editing the manuscript and then into layout and art acquisition.



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

XRP involved with OSR sale at Rpgnow.com


Heya all, just wanted to let you know that we've put in 8 of our Advanced Adventures for only $10 into the giant discount OSR sale they're having at rpgnow.com (May 24th-June 12th). Although that's cool and all, I personally find the Known World Megabundle (BECMI rules + all 14 of the GAZ setting books) for only $15 cooler. :-)



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Two Tome of Tomes

Pickpockets
Author: Hamset Filpotter
Race: Halfling
Dimensions: 4x5x0.5
Weight: 1 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Uncommon
Fields of Study: Humankind, demi-humankind
Special Knowledge Categories: Law & customs
Value: 35 gp

This underground-published work travels in seedy circles. It is the go-to work for any desirous to prevent pickpocketing or desirous to improve their pickpocketing skills. After 2 months of intense study, a reader adds 5 levels to their own to detect pick pocketing attempts (for example, a 2nd-level fighter would be treated as a 7th-level fighter to detect pick pocketing). Additionally, those who can pick pocket gain a +10% chance of success, and treat their targets as if they were 2 levels lower for detection purposes. For example, if the fighter above was faced by a thief who has also studied Pickpockets, the fighter would be treated as a 5th-level fighter (2+5-2).


A Comparative Study of Goblin and Hobgoblin
Author: Fintarfius
Race: Elf
Dimensions: 16x16x1
Weight: 5 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Rare
Fields of Study: Humanoids & giantkind
Special Knowledge Categories: Languages
Value: 250 gp

The Comparative Study is an exhaustive work of immense scholarship only achievable over centuries of effort.  500 years ago, the elven wizard Fintarfius willingly accepted a polymorph other to transform himself into a hobgoblin to learn more about his race’s goblin and hobgoblin enemies. He then traveled into their lands and eventually became their king. He ruled for more than two centuries, before tiring of his task and returning to his people. When he returned, he penned this excellent work along with several others regarding goblins and hobgoblins.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Rolling HP for Monsters

It's funny, but one of the things I love most about module creation is rolling HP for monsters. I love getting out the dice and seeing what Fate has put against the characters that will go through the module. For unnamed creatures, I don't fudge these rolls at all as that's the spirit of the game.

For named or special creatures, I typically set minimum limits (say dropping all 1's through 3's) depending on how "powerful" they're supposed to be in their respective hierarchy. For "Elite" monsters (Leaders of tribes, etc..) I generally assume maximum hp and subtract a random amount-they're supposed to be the toughest of the tough in a tough world, after all...



Saturday, April 22, 2017

Aerie of the Cloud Giant Strategos - Continuing the Giants Series

It's probably silly, but nothing physically feels as good as working on a new 1e module. It's the seat of my gaming creativity and the fountain which regenerates my enthusiasm. Putting some digital ink to paper this drizzly PNW Saturday morning and feeling refreshed. (Illo is the back cover Peter Mullen art from AA #11)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Vehicle Combat in Sorcery & Super Science 2nd Edition

Vehicles in Combat
Vehicles can generally be treated just like characters in combat situations. Attackers target either the vehicle or its passengers; hitting a passenger requires at least a major success and you cannot target a passenger completely concealed within a vehicle. Use the lower of the vehicle’s Handling or its pilot’s Coordination of the vehicle’s pilot for its defensive reactions. Passengers gain the benefit of the vehicle’s armor while inside provided it’s reasonable to assume the attack would be lessened by the vehicle’s presence. A vehicle can be used for a charging attack. Treat this as the vehicle crashing into the target, using the target’s Damage Resistance as Material level—this can result in some vehicles being destroyed by crashing into very tough targets!

Vehicles react differently to Slams, Stuns, Kills and to the effects of bleeding weapons and draining weapons. A vehicle cannot be slammed, stunned, or killed unless it currently has a Structure of less than 8. However, a successful Called Shot can slam, stun, or kill a vehicle regardless its Structure (Aim for the tires, Boo, aim for the tires!).

Slamming Vehicles: If an attack achieves a potential slam outcome and inflicts 0 or more Structure damage to the vehicle, after resistance, test the full damage level against the vehicle’s Structure. Attacks inflicting less than 0 damage cannot slam a vehicle.

• Marginal Success reduces the vehicle’s Handling by 1 for the next round.
• Moderate Success knocks the vehicle off course. The driver must spend their move the next round correcting this unwanted change or crash if there is anything nearby to crash into. The vehicle’s Handling is reduced by 1 for the next round.
• Major or Massive Success sends the vehicle off course. The vehicle’s Handling is reduced by 1 for the next round. The driver must spend the next turn correcting this unwanted change with a successful Handling Test equal to the full damage level of the Slam. If this test fails, the driver crashes into something if there’s anything nearby to crash into.

Stunning Vehicles: If an attack achieves a potential stun outcome and inflicts 0 or more Structure damage to the vehicle, after resistance, test the full damage level against the vehicle’s Structure. Attacks inflicting less than 0 damage cannot stun a vehicle.

• Marginal Success reduces the vehicle’s Handling by 1 for the next round.
• Moderate Success knocks the vehicle off course. The vehicle’s Handling is reduced by 1 for the next round. The driver must spend their move the next round correcting this unwanted change or crashes if there is anything nearby to crash into.
• Major or Massive Success reduces the target’s Structure to 0 and renders the vehicle nonfunctional.

Killing Vehicles: If an attack achieves a potential kill outcome and inflicts 0 or more Structure damage to the vehicle, after resistance, test the full damage level against the vehicle’s Structure. Attacks inflicting less than 0 Structure damage cannot kill a vehicle.

• Marginal Success reduces the vehicle’s Handling by 1 for the next round.
• Moderate Success forces the driver to succeed on a Handling Test equal to the full damage level of the Kill. The vehicle’s Handling is reduced by 1 for the next round. If this test fails, the driver crashes into something if there’s anything nearby to crash into.
• Major or Massive Success reduces the target’s Structure to 0 and renders the vehicle nonfunctional.

Bleeding Weapons: Bleeding weapons reduce a vehicle’s Speed by 1 in addition to their normal damage. A vehicle’s Speed can be reduced by 2 Levels maximum in this manner.

Draining Weapons: Draining weapons drain 1 Armor Level in addition to their normal damage. A vehicle’s Armor can be reduced by 4 Levels maximum in this manner.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

60 Expeditious Retreat Products for sale as Softbacks at rpgnow.com

I finally made the plunge into rpgnow.com's print on demand service. There are now 60 different titles up for sale in softcover form at their website. I've also set all the softcover orders to get the PDF version for free.

All of the Magical Society books, all of the 1e OSRIC Advanced Adventures, all of the Classified material, all of the 1st Edition Sorcery & Super Science! material, and all of the long-out-of-print 3.5 Monster Geographica books.

And of course, our 1e OSRIC monster book, Malevolent and Benign, our One on One Compendium Volume One and the newly released One on One Compendium Volume Two.



Friday, April 14, 2017

One on One Adventures Compendium Two available now!

I'm happy to say that the next 10 1 on 1 adventures are now available in compendium form. You can pick up the PDF at paizo.com and rpgnow.com. We're also starting to put up print versions of our products at rpgnow, so you can get a PDF and a hardcopy at the same time now.

This compendium contains the following adventures: 
1 on 1 Adventures #11: Unbound Adventures
1 on 1 Adventures #12: Journey into Riddle Canyon
1 on 1 Adventures #13: The Pearls of Pohjola
1 on 1 Adventures #14: A Sickness in Silverton
1 on 1 Adventures #15: Cipactli's Maw
1 on 1 Adventures #16: The Lost City of Bransik
1 on 1 Adventures #17: The 300th
1 on 1 Adventures #18: Redemption
1 on 1 Adventures #19: Adventurer's Guild Local #409
1 on 1 Adventures #20: The Tomb of Kara-Duir


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Suppressing Fire for Sorcery & Super Science! 2nd Edition

Finally figured out how to simulate suppressing fire for S&SS using its modified ICONs ruleset. Pleased with this....

Suppressing Fire: A ranged attack used to pin down an opponent, forcing them to choose between staying put (losing their move) or suffering a potential attack if they decide to move. Suppressing Fire can be performed using any ranged weapon that fires every round. If your target decides to move regardless your Suppressing Fire, they’re subject to your normal attack with the suppressing weapon and they suffer a -1 on their roll.

Suppressing Fire can also be performed by groups of individuals firing weaponry with longer reload times. Groups armed with ranged weapon can use Suppressing Fire if they collectively reduce their Reload time below 1. For example, a group of two Slingers can perform Suppressing Fire (Reload Time of 1, divided by 2 Slingers = 0.5), as could a group of 4 musketeers (Reload 1 (black power) + Reload 2 (musket ball) = 3. 3 divided by 4 Musketeers = 0.75). If a target moves while under group Suppressing Fire, the person with the best attack is used to target them. In other words, the best shot of our 4 Musketeers above would roll to attack the moving target.



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

In which I break another promise...

Another day, another promise to listen not listen to Escape from New York broken again... This soundtrack is just sooooo goooood. Listened to it several times a day this past week. It and the soundtrack to They Live.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Two Tome of Tomes

Two more Tome of Tomes below. I'm nearing on the 500th tome in the series and am expecting Tome of Tomes vol. V to be out probably in late April, 2017. Thanks to all my Patreons! If you want to join in, it's only 2 bucks a month.

Flies of the Sligo Swamp
Author: Spree Waghorn
Race: Halfling
Dimensions: 8x8x1
Weight: 4lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, stoneboard, parchment
Rarity: Rare
Fields of Study: Fauna
Special Knowledge Categories: Insects
Value: 200 gp

Another smartly illuminated manuscript by Spree Waghorn, Flies of the Silgo Swamp is also found throughout libraries of the west as the only study of said insects of that eastern swamp.  Like his other work, Insects of the Eastern Jungles, this one is also entirely a work of fiction. Yet again, Waghorn lives up to his name, reaping a significant retirement by organizing reproductions and sales of his work.


Symbolic Language, Vol 1-6
Author: Dorial Lightwalker
Race: Dwarf
Dimensions: 8x10x1
Weight: 2 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, vellum
Rarity: Rare
Fields of Study: Humankind, demi-humankind, humanoids & giantkind
Special Knowledge Categories: Languages
Value: 100 gp (per volume)

This extensively illustrated work dives into unknown scripts and languages. Compiled from hundreds of adventurers’ notebooks, and coupled with 200+ years of personal experience, Lightwalker provides an excellent framework for those seeking to know something, anything, about an unknown script. Unfortunately, the volumes are not indexed in any way and finding precise information is a long and tedious task.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Pump-Action Broadsword for S&SS! 2nd Edition

This magic item as always cracked me up ever since I made it up several years ago... :-)

Pump-Action Broadsword
Value: 500 bv
Spirit Recipe: Good (5) Chaos and Death
Determination Points: 2
Description: Appearing as a normal well-crafted broadsword, a pump-action broadsword shoots a magical broadsword from the blade when the wielder moves their hand along the hilt in a pump-action motion. The sword is treated as a normal sword for hand-to-hand purposes, albeit with an Incredible (8) Material Strength and a Break of 10. Its missiles deal 4 points of Slashing Damage with Medium Range. The missiles dematerialize after 20 seconds.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Two Tome of Tomes about Giants

Thanks to everyone who supported the Advanced Adventures Bundle of Holding! We raised a few dollars shy of $1,000 for Reading is Fundamental, so much good was done. Below are two tomes for your fantasy libraries...

The Frost Giants of Flarjarik
Author: Logner Snuppe
Race: Fire Giant
Dimensions: 16x20x3
Weight: 36 lbs.
Materials: Cave bear leather-bound, stoneboard, vellum, iron clasps
Rarity: Rare
Fields of Study: Humanoids & giantkind
Special Knowledge Categories: History, languages, law & customs, legends & folklore
Value: 175 gp

The second of a series of three by the fire giant ambassador Logner Snuppe, The Frost Giants of Flarjarik is a denser, more-scholarly work reflecting an improvement in abilities of the author. Like the former book, this one details a basic history along with language, customs, laws, and legends of the Flarjarik frost giants. Snuppe’s authorial voice is stronger in this work, the details finer, and there is less rambling concerning day-to-day affairs.


The Fire Giants of Rajayarikavaola
Author: Logner Snuppe
Race: Fire Giant
Dimensions: 16x20x3
Weight: 36 lbs.
Materials: Cave bear leather-bound, stoneboard, vellum, iron clasps
Rarity: Rare
Fields of Study: Humanoids & giantkind
Special Knowledge Categories: History, languages, law & customs, legends & folklore
Value: 200 gp

The final in a series of three, The Fire Giants of Rajayarikavaola details Snuppe’s home clan. After more than 15 years as a travelling ambassador, Snuppe returns to his home and turns his eye towards his own people. Of most interest, the final few chapters were written after Snuppe’s encounter with divine Tulatiathior, who unhardened his heart. The Fire Giants of Rajayarikavaola are treated most-harshly in these final chapters, written while Snuppe was in exile, a retainer for Baron Lorformere, the human marcher lord.



Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Bit of OSR History: Advanced Adventures and the art of Bradley K. McDevitt

In the current Advanced Adventures Bundle of Holding  (only $16.5 for 15 modules, so quite the bargain) are three adventures graced with a cover by Bradley K. McDevitt. Like all rpg material, the covers of Advanced Adventures are important in conveying the interior material. Bradley did the front and back covers for Advanced Adventures #2-10. With these 16 illustrations he helped set the visual tone of the modules and informed people of what lay within. He was the first artist that I worked with on a consistent basis and I attest that he was everything one could hope from a professional.







Monday, February 20, 2017

A Bit of OSR History: The Lost Keys of Solitude

The Lost Keys of Solitude is one of the modules in the current Advanced Adventures Bundle of Holding (only $16.35 for 15 modules, so quite the bargain). It is the only Advanced Adventure that both I and my wife Suzi worked on. It started as an idea I had for a location that grabbed her interest and pulled her into authorship.

The basic idea is that a group of monks created a magical prison called Solitude. This artifact was composed of a spire and many individual cells, in which the monks would secure valuable items for powerful people. Think something kinda like Fort Knox for whoever could pay the highest. Over time the group degenerated and eventually the location was forgotten. Which is where the PCs come in, obviously.

I imagined the monks as a sort of Clunianc/Carthusian-esqe order that lived most of their time in their own quarters tending their own private garden (the “Cell” as it is known) and only coming together to pray and eat. I cribbed the monastery map from the great Charterhouses of Clermont and Nuremburg. I then just attached the prison Solitude to the construction and volia, the above ground level. The below ground levels were conceived as a mix of carved work and natural caves (which the keepers used for mushrooming, of course!).

I’m very proud of The Lost Keys of Solitude, there’s the above ground challenges of gnolls led by a pair of spriggan who’ve just managed to kill a tyrannosaur they foolishly released from the prison Solitude, a nest of giant bees, and of course a spirit of a slain keeper. Solitude itself allowed for full freedom regarding what could be in each cell, from valued treasure, to an avatar of famine, a water elemental prince, and an ancient red dragon.

Underground, the PCs can befriend a race of intelligent rats (called Mus Maxumus) and help the fight their enemies (intelligent suped-up groundhogs), combat the de-evolved remaining keepers, and eventually find a pair of giant black gates beyond which they cannot travel (which of course the GM could use as a set up for further exploration).

As a bonus, there’s something like 10 new monsters and half again as many new magic items in Solitude to entertain the most-experience player. Below are some interior illustrations by John Bingham and Jeff Womack. One of the cool monsters is the Bone Sovereign, a nasty undead that can absorb skeletons into itself and grow stronger: it can also “spawn” skeletons back, effectively being its own walking party. Another is the haemovorid, a mix of fairy and stirge (*shiver*), and the last is a jellyhive, a critter that eats jellies and slimes and spits them out as a defense mechanism.





Friday, February 17, 2017

A Bit of OSR History: The Frozen Wave Satsuma

The Frozen Wave Satsuma is one of the modules in the current Advanced Adventures Bundle of Holding (only $16.25 for 15 modules, so quite the bargain). It is the only Advanced Adventure that contains material strongly influence by Asian cultures (Oriental Adventures ftw!). Satsuma began (2010) as an idea Andrew Hind had for an adventure aboard a floating iceberg. Unfortunately, I’d just published a module with a similar theme (The Conqueror Worm, by Alphonso Warden) so I asked him if I could re-work his idea a bit and be a co-author. He said that was fine, so Satsuma came into being! The setup is that a strange fog is rolling into shore bringing fantastic invaders dressed in strange armor and the PCs are sent out to find out what is in the fog.

As I’d recently discovered the remarkable Zheng He and his amazing treasure ships, I combined the idea of a floating iceberg and a treasure ship into a treasure ship made of pure ice – The Floating Wave Satsuma. As you can see by the illustration below, the treasure ships were huge so I had a lot of space to work with. I decided on having the upper decks be “more traditionally” occupied by wako, bushi, and oriental barbarians and the lower decks becoming progressively more strange, ending with a new monster, the krabban (a hybrid of sahuagin and squid). Along the way were an ogre magi, mephitis, monks, and an evil samurai.

The cover for this one was done by Peter Mullen (love his style!) and interior art by John Bingham.






Thursday, February 16, 2017

Redtooth Ridge - AA28 in the Bundle of Holding

(Redtooth Ridge is one of the modules in the current Advanced Adventures Bundle of Holding - only $16 for 15 modules, so quite the bargain). Redtooth Ridge is an exploration of an old abandoned mansion atop the titular ridge. I think it’s a great introductory module that heavily focuses on exploration and throws in enough combat to maintain the tension of what isn’t that dissimilar to a “cabin in the woods” horror movie setup.

Redtooth Ridge is the only Advanced Adventure that comes directly from my campaign. Most of the time, the games I run are too customized to be turned into a suitable-for-all module, but this one managed to make the cut because I was starting out with a brand-new group, and 1st-level modules tend to be the easiest to translate from my table to the tables of all gamers.

That said, 1st-level modules also tend to be quite hard to write for public consumption as they’re generally very similar and you don’t want your modules looking like something that’s come before. Finding new ideas is also more difficult at low levels because of the power constraints. Redtooth Ridge was powered-down from my table into the final product because my players were all very experienced. For instance, the vrock (yes, vrock!) that appeared at my table doesn’t show up in the finished module. But the vrock did provide for one extremely memorable scene: My wife, playing a trusty dwarven fighter, who upon seeing what appeared to her as giant-chicken-footprints in the dust on the floor, decided that clucking like a chicken was the appropriate way to see what critter lay behind the prints. Needless to say, that infuriated the vrock and it immediately came to investigate. A few rounds later the cleric put it down and managed to save the rest of the unconscious party. Fun time!

Redtooth Ridge is illustrated by the wonderful John and Daisy Bingham. These two show the encounter with the giant rats in the library tower and the party stumbling upon the secret treasure area guarded by a stone guardian.




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