Classic Dungeons and Dragons and Old School Gaming

D&D etc.

"Heir to a crumbling summit: to a sea of nettles: to an empire of rust: to rituals' footprints ankle-deep in stone."

-Mervyn Peake

"...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped."

-Sir Bedevere in Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Knife and Norholm Isles and the White Dome of the Chronomancer

Here's the map where our party is now, and a picture of a location we checked out. I didn't draw the Naga Temple, that's where the real action is.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Prison of Imshiel and the World Map

Today while looking for the Sea Witch (we didn't find her) our PCs came across the Prison of Imshiel. We also had side conversations about the government of ancient Egypt, and whether or not the werewolf transformations in Hemlock Grove are better than the Howling. We ended up in a city of Pirate Undead and bought some invisibility potions from a vampire barkeep. I fucking love D&D.

Luther - Cleric of Nordrax Godkiller - L5
Prince Mulligan - Thief - L6
Minorn - M-U - L4
Screamer - Fighter - L4

Also, after playing for years we have just recently made a world map and placed the various explored lands on it:

Monday, February 1, 2016


I've made a one page zine that's actually two zines. It's two one-page dungeons, one on each side of a single 11"x17" sheet.

On one side is the Dungeon Broadsheet #1: a cleanly presented location based adventure for low level characters for any old school fantasy adventure game. This is formatted so that it reads as a booklet with an 8.5"x11" centerfold map. The adventure involves a psionic froghemoth and the cult that worships it.

GRONOX just wants to go home and he's willing to turn your PCs into mutant frogmen to get there. 

On the reverse side is PhASM #1: a single 11"x17" completely hand drawn and lettered map of the domicile of a space sorceress in a crystal asteroid. A few ideas for how to use this are suggested, but it is likely going to be a heist or roleplaying encounter rather than a simple dungeon crawl. PhASM is intended for any space opera or cosmic fantasy game.

 Partial view of PhASM #1

To see more pictures and to order click here:
Dungeon Broadsheet/PhASM #1

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monsters Remixed: Humans

Here is the last of the monsters remixed! This series started in October 2011 with Slimes, Molds and Jellies. So it's about time I finished it. The goal behind this series was to mix things up for the benefit of both the players and the DM while using the basic building blocks of the original dungeon monsters to arrive at creatures that may be a little weird and different but still feel like archetypes.
Magic items and Treasure for all of these creatures can be generated with another quick roll of a handful of dice with this: Treasure Hoards and Magic Items The other Monster Remixes are in the links to the right.

The way this works is you roll 1D4, 1D6, 1D8, 1D10, 1D12 and 1D20 all at the same time and write down the results: Cavemen who are also religious wackos and who are lead by a thief! or a group of heavy cavalry lead by a Magic-User who are hiding for some reason, or unarmed berzerkers with a bunch of followers! Who are these people? why are they following around berzerkers? why don't the berzerkers have any weapons? Maybe the berzerkers are just regular guys from one clan who were fed psychotropic fruit by a bunch of guys from another clan (the followers) who are daring them to do stupid stuff and laughing about it, or maybe there in the middle of some kind of weird berserker annual ritual or coming of age ceremony, or maybe the berzerkers are ladies with some kind of low grade lycanthropy that only effects ladies (a curse!) and the followers are their families, or...

Friday, November 6, 2015

Pangolin Class

To celebrate the passage of I 1401, here is a character race/class for your fantasy adventure games:

Pangolins are about half the size of humans with long snouts and even longer tongues. They are covered in scales, a form of natural armor. Pangolin Player Characters can of course walks and talk essentially just like humans.

Pangolins can't use large weapons and they can't see well enough to use ranged weapons, however they can attack with their claws and tail for D4 damage.

XP as Halfling
HD as Halfling
Save as Halfling
Combat as Halfling/Fighter
Special Abilities: Pangolins can Climb (96%) and Hear Noise (1/4) as a 10th level Thief. They have natural armor that functions as Scale Mail (AC 16/4) They can also curl into a ball and when doing so may add their level to their AC. Upon reaching Level 2 Pangolins may roll their normal movement rate when curled in a ball like Samus from Metroid.

Pangolins may advance to 8th Level when they may build a sweet tree fort or dig a secret lair. At that time 3d6 Level 1 Pangolins will come hang out and eat bugs with the PC.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Devil's Sword

I recently watched The Devil's Sword. I picked it up because the back of the box called it "One of the triumphs of Indonesian fantasy cinema." I recommend this flick for it is a mighty bounty of D&D-able moments. 

It starts of with a comet falling and an old guy with a (wolf?) head staff makes a sword out of glowing ore from the comet. He puts a wolf head pommel on the sword. Banyunjaga (below) has a pair of swords with croc head pommels. I think all of the swords used by the main characters have animal head pommels. Who needs detect magic or identify when all you need to do is look to see if it's got an animal on the pommel?

She emerges from water with her servants after a red cloth flies out of water. Her servants wrap her in the red cloth and when they unwrap her she’s magically wearing fancy clothes. Do your NPCs do things like that? They should.

There’s a cage of cannibals just kind of randomly placed in a corner of the Crocodile Queen’s Chamber. What could go wrong there?

The Crocodile Queen has a white leather couch and the back of it looks like a white leather crocodile. This couch is really a marvel to behold. Look, this is a silly movie. but if your open to the kind of aesthetic experience exemplified by this couch then you'll get a lot out of it.

Really you will.

He's a warrior who serves the Crocodile Queen. He emerges from exploding rocks laughing maniacally, then kicks a boulder, jumps on it and flies to where he wants to go, laughing maniacally the whole time. This is how you do NPCs.

There he goes. Hahahaha!

Other times he just pops up out of the earth. Is that a thing in martial arts movies or Indonesian mythology? Other characters do that to, including the crocodile men.

 Crocodile men are always lookin' for a tussle.

Banyunjaga breaks up a wedding party and it’s the bride who has a big fight with him while the groom waits on the sidelines/hides. In this movie the female characters duke it out along with the guys, they are generally interesting and have agency though things don't end well for most of them.

This lady is a bad-ass.

There’s a lot of really truly crazy martial arts action. The bride makes this whirlwind/wind gust attack by spinning a parasol. One guy's weapon is a hat on a string. Banyunjaga does this decapitating scissor attack with his two swords that's pretty great, and I'm not even going to tell you what the old lady does.

There's a fight outside of the cave where the Devil Sword is just to see who gets to into the cave. That is definitely something I'm going to use. Before the fight one guy magically creates graves for the others just to show how hardcore he is, which should be a thing you can do in D&D. It's easy enough for the DM to throw in little magical or quasi-magical flourishes like this for the NPCs but I think the PCs should have a way to do it to. Depending on the flavor of your game everyone could do it, only characters of a certain level, or only M-Us and again depending on the desired flavor this could be a "signature move" or something like the above example that is clearly magical.

The evil warriors refer to themselves as "The Evil Warriors"

There are a LOT of headbands. Seriously. All of the main characters have headbands. Most of the extras have headbands too. I think the Director sent out a memo that said if you showed up to the set with a headband you got to say a line in the movie. All kinds of headbands. Skinny headbands. Thick headbands. Bejeweled headbands. Spangled metallic headbands. Clean headbands. Dirty headbands. Multi-colored headbands. A headband that hides an obviously false bald head. There's different headbands for different occasions. You've got your general purpose headband for fighting and such. You've got a headband for gettin' it on. Then maybe another headband for gettin' it on underwater. Devil Sword the RPG would definitely need a random headband table.

"Old woman, there is room for only one tiger in this jungle." (actual quote)

"I brought my jeweled headband, did you bring yours?" (not an actual quote)

Monday, October 26, 2015


Wait, was that Conan shooting a fireball in that ridiculous picture in that last post a while back?

Why yes it was.
Here's a new class for Swords and Shenanigans or Lamentations of the Flame Barbarian or Labyrinths and Lizards that uses those Magic Words we were talking about:


Prime Requisite: Strength and Charisma
Save as: Fighter
Hit Dice: as Fighter
Weapons: as Fighter
Armor: Leather, wool or none
Spell Progression: as Cleric, but can only cast spells that have FIRE in the name. No spells at first level means your BARBARIAN FIRE WIZARD just has to set fires the old fashioned way.
XP Progression: as Dwarf.
Special: Barbarian reflexes. +1 to AC per level up to double Charisma modifier.

Spells particularly suited to this class:

Allows the caster to control existing fires.
Allows the caster to grasp smoke as if it were solid.
creates a disc of fire that does d6 damage per level and lasts as long as the caster charges forward.
Protection (from)
The caster is unharmed by fire for one day per level.
burning a person's belonging allows the caster to divine one fact about them.
The caster can thrust or throw something into one fire and it will come out another.
The caster may fire one missile per level. Roll to hit. Damage is 1d6(+1 per level) plus ongoing flame damage. The spell starts a fire if it misses.
The caster may disappear into a fire and remain in it for up to 1 hour per level.

There are some more great fire related spells in this.