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

Monday, January 20, 2014


I've completed another one in my series of Monsters Remixed:

This preview looks all weird and crappy, but the pdf looks good.  In fact, it looks better than some of the previous Monster Remixes because I learned how to convert text to a table in Open Office Writer instead of forcing excel into being a graphics program when it's not.

Humanoids Remixed takes the basic attributes of the humanoid races in ODnD: goblins, kobolds, orcs, hobgoblins, gnolls, ogres, trolls, and giants and mixes them up.  The idea is that instead of just rolling "orc" on a table, or having to make up from scratch something that is more interesting than orcs, the DM rolls one of each die and looks at this page to make a new type of humanoid.  I've rolled up some of these, and it all seems to work, but they need some kind of name I think so something like this should be added:

For example:

Fat, three foot tall, 1 HD, nomadic humanoids 200 strong who ride about in their walking castle and wear leather armor.  Their leader is a Lvl 3 fighter and he's got 8 guards with 2 HD.  They keep as a pet a scorpion tailed, winged, headless goat thing with a voracious appetite and 4 HD.  In the lair they've got 2000 cp and 3000gp worth of gems.

In the example above I combined the Nomadic attribute with the result rolled for Lair: Castle.

Gaunt, five foot tall, 1 HD, regenerating cave-dwellers, 60 of em. Lead by one of their own with 5 HD with 10 guards at 2 HD and 40 giant bats.  5000 cp, 1000 sp and a scroll of snake control.

Now all I have left are the humans, undead, save vs. stoners and animals.  

Here's a link to the pdf:
There's more in the free loot links to the right.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Intelligent Swords and Cursed Blades


Intelligent sword rules in most every edition are complicated and don't seem to gain much for the complication. But the idea of the fighting for control of his sword/ring/arm like Elric/Frodo/Dr. Strangelove seems like Gaming Fun, so could we do that with a simpler mechanic?


The Reaction table is perfect, and the bell curve that makes the center of the bell "uncertain" roll come up the most often encourages roleplaying. It's the dice telling you to talk more.

The intelligent sword formula takes into account STR and INT I think and percentage of hit points, but really all that is measuring is how tough you are and the dead simple way to measure how tough you are is level
so I'm going to use that instead. And the swords pluses and powers make it harder to control so when it's time for a PC to battle for control roll 2d6 + level -plusses and powers of the sword: check
result on the reaction table. Simple.

2d6 + wielder's Level - 1 for each plus or power of the sword

Adding level won't get out of hand A. Because high level characters are rare anyway and B. I'm adding level caps for every class except M-Us in this campaign.

2:   draw and attack
3-5:  draw or attack if drawn already
6-8: stagger around and argue
9-11: drop sword or attack inanimate object (Player's choice)
12: sheath it.  End of argument.

Ok, but how do you know when to roll?
Swords have Alignment: roll d6:

1-2: Law,
3-4: Neutral,
5-6: Chaos.

Law and Chaos insists on attacking anyone or anything of the opposite alignment within 30 feet. I bet Lawful swords would get more characters killed than Chaos. "No I really insist we stay and fight the dragon." Maybe Neutral swords have a specific goal like: travel, in which case the PC would have to fight for control to resist jumping into the teleporter/portal/ ship heading out to sea/onto the wyverns back.  I'll have to think about neutral sword some more.

And SENTIENT SPELLS may use the same mechanic, or maybe each spell gets it's own weird reaction chart? I'll have to think about that more too.

I was thinking that I'd use the same mechanic for Cursed Blades, but  now I have a better idea:

The reaction table encourages roleplaying and hopefully makes making the PC do something that they don't want to do entertaining and fun, but with Cursed Blades I want to give incentive to the PLAYER to use the sword.  Make the thing easy to use, the benefits of using the sword hard to pass up and at the same time telegraph the risks.



Certain swords and daggers are links to a hell/demon world. Using one of these blades provides a Demon the opportunity to enter our world.  Even just carrying one allows the demon to learn about you and the world around you. It's possible that the only way to destroy a cursed blade is to kill the demon linked to it, but then again that might be a bunch of hooey. Also what happens when you kill a demon is Goblins come out.

(dicey part: when the cursed blade is used to attack a normal d20 attack roll is made. At the same time roll 3d6. The single highest die is added to the attack roll. If all 3 d6 show a 6 it's hello demon time.)

Each time the sword is used the PC will see The demon in a flash of brimstone. It will encourage/taunt/laugh at/cajole the PC though it wont have time to say much.  There is a 1/6 chance the demon will
speak to the PC in their dreams after each use of the blade. It might not know common, which may be even more terrifying than if it did.

I need a quick demon generator...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Campaign Specific Spell Components

"In some cases, the spell may require substances or apparatus, such as conjuring a water elemental (5th level) requires the presence of water, a sleep spell requires a pinch of sand."

-Dungeons and Dragons, Holmes edition page 13

The Sleep spell (1st level) requires sand from the bone wastes. This desert area causes creatures who venture there to fall asleep and never wake up. The corpses are scoured by the sand the edges of the desert are full of bones of all sorts of creatures. A pinch of sand from this desert is required to cast the sleep spell, and is consumed in the casting. If the sand of the Bone Wastes is touched any character must save vs. sleep/paralysis/Mortal Terror or fall asleep forever. A flying or levitating PC or creature could conceivably carry some of the sand away. The Sand must be stored in a velvet bag with a Kyrthanean Hieroglyph "eye". The color of the bag effects the dreams of those under the effect of the spell. Black velvet will cause terrifying dreams, red velvet causes dreams of violence and passion, and blue velvet causes confusion or self loathing. The longer the sand spends in the bag the more intense the dreams.  Once the sand is in a bag as described, its effects are diminished without the proper magic to activate its power, so that a person reaching into the bag will feel drowsy, but it otherwise has no effect. 

Magic Missile
There are two known ways to cast the Magic Missile Spell (1st level).  the first is to make an arrow from vermillion ash.  This arrow is useless as a normal arrow, but when fired in combination with casting the spell effect occurs.
The second way to cast Magic Missile is to travel to the green realm of the elves and trade or steal astral arrows.  These are intangible, invisible and held in the casters thoughts.  A Magic-User can carry a number of these equal to their INT.  Astral arrows can be traded between Magic-Users but non-spellcasters cannot carry them.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Moebius Stones take many forms and their origin is a mystery.  They sometimes appear as normal stones, or crystals, sometimes as hyporborean blue geodes.  

Sometimes they float in the air.

animated GIF

Moebius Stones have the following known uses for Magic-Users:

  1. Eliminate the 2000 GP cost for 20% chance of success of researching spells. Instead the Player writes down the intent of the new spell, then the M-U spends 2d6 days alone in the desert. DM rolls d% to determine chance of success. Player rolls d%. If player rolls equal or over DM the spell is created. If the Player rolls under the DM a spell is created, but it is not what the player intended and it is sentient.
  2. When casting any spell the Magic-User can hold a Moebius Stone to change the duration of the spell to d12 months.  Using a Moebius Stone in this way may have unpredicted effects.
  3. When casting any spell the Magic-User can hold a Moebius Stone to delay the effect and target of the spell until a certain trigger occurs. The trigger must be stated by the Magic-User PC. A trigger might be, for example: “when anyone enters this room without first saying “Flargaenout” The delayed spell will last for d100 years, after which a Wandering Monster of the same level as the spell will be attracted to or mystically summoned to the area.