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Showing posts from April, 2013

One Page Dungeon Contest 2013 entry

Here's my entry into this year's One Page Dungeon Contest:

The Wizard in the Woods is Up to Something (Maybe)
It's not great, but it does the job. I had a hard time fitting it all on one page. It won't win any awards, but it was a fun creative exercise.

EDIT:

The scenario references Pherosathoola, the Petty Goddess of Sexual Fear. She's one of my entries for the Expanded Petty Gods project.

Check out this sweet illustration of her, by +Studio Arkein. He's blogging her progress over at Rather Gamey.

This is the Book That Jack Made

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This is the book.
This is the book that James conceived.
This the book that James conceived that Tavis nursed throughout gestation.
This the book that James conceived that Tavis nursed throughout gestation that James aborted.

This is the clotted mass of filth that rose from the corpse of the murdered text and through the necromantic skills of Jack is now unleashed upon the world so many can raid the unknown depths beneath the mountain of a realm where space marines and satanic phlegm guard the way to twisted gods and crooked saints forgotten by men but not by beasts who prowl the paths where glory lay and also certain death.

BEHOLD THE DEVILMOUNT AND TREMBLE!

Wednesday Bookface!

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Tim Shorts thinks he's so clever.
NO ONES CANZ DEFEETZ TEH BØKFASE! (Also, this is what I look like after two solid days of conferencing with students)
Seriously, though, the Mini Manor: Faces Without Screams is pretty damn cool. I'm not the only one who thinks so. Go check out Matt Jackson's review. Or Erik Tenkar's. Then go score yourself a copy in PDF for free.



And this pretty fellow is Wizards Mutant Lazer Pistols #4. Sweet. Check out Sniderman's review here.

S&WAD Update

Cool news!

I learned today I won two contests associated with Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day.

First, I won one of Reverend Dak'sfirearms supplements for Swords & Wizardry.

Second, I won Matt Jackson's"Name the Tomb" Contest with this entry:

The Tomb of Hargoth

Hargoth was the first Owlbear. A beloved pet of Ur-mu "the Bastard" Ab'rkada, Hargoth was the most successful construct ever created and the first to be bred successfully (with a bear) to produce further progeny. Hargoth was a beloved member of Ur-mu's retinue and often roamed the small labyrinth beneath Ur-mu's tower. When Hargoth died (due to natural causes—he suffered from what we now call psittacine beak and feather disease), Ur-mu built a grand tomb near Hargoth's favorite haunt for his perpetual enshrinement. Ur-mu placed an eternal flame atop Hargoth's sarcophagus in tribute to the owlbear's devoted years of service as guard, companion, and fellow traveller of…

Crazy Week - Light on Posting

This is a crazy week for me, as I am doing half-hour one-on-one conferences with my writing students all day, every day, Monday through Friday. Posting and email responses will be extremely light.

I will announce the Conan contest winner this weekend, and get an updated version of my Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day scenario onto Google Docs/Dropbox over the weekend, too.



WTF OSR Blog Readers?

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Why in the Jale God's name do my quick little posts on the state of the blogosphere garner more pageviews than the slavishly-written content posts that take me hours to write?


Iä! Jaash im raa!

IF YOU ENABLE GOOGLE+ COMMENTS ON YOUR BLOG

then only people with Google+ accounts can comment.  I just tried to leave a comment on Erik Tenkar's blog about this new feature. No can do. I keep getting routed to a Google+ sign-up page. No, thanks.

This sucks. It locks out people like me who have chosen not to have a Google+ account but still want to be part of this vital online community.

Please, OSR guys, don't do this.

SERIOUSLY PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS!

Don't let the OSR become a walled garden! We need to keep it open to all comers to keep our corner of the hobby growing.

UPDATED! - - Harnly's Hole: An Adventure for S&W WhiteBox

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UPDATE on 2014-02-03: An updated version of this adventure in PDF format can now be found on the downloads page!




(Hey, I'm not on Google+, so will someone post the link to this post on the S&W Google+ Group? Also, there's a link to a Google Docs version at the end of the post.)

Why do I like Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox? It's deadly, that's why! It makes for gritty, dangerous dungeon crawls at low-level where the spectre of death is ever-present.

This scenario was created using only the monsters found in the WhiteBox ruleset. My preferred version of these rules is the no-longer-available 2nd printing by Brave Halfling Publishing, although you should have no problem running it with the freely available 3rd printing PDF from the Swords & Wizardry website. The stat block are for the monsters as found in the 2nd print and differ slightly from those found on d20swrd.com.

This scenario is a grind; there is much risk and slight reward in the way of treasure (but the…

Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day Teaser 2!

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Harnly's HoleA Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox Scenario for 4-5 low-level characters (pre-gens included)
Fort Harnly wasn't much of a fort. It wasn't anything more than just a glorified one-room guardhouse in the middle of nowhere. In fact, it was so far away from the Baron's stronghold that he tended to forget about it and, eventually, he stopped posting a trio of guards there altogether. After many years, Fort Harnly fell into disrepair and nearly faded into memory.

Off all the guards who served at the frontier post, only Harnson Groot is still alive. Now a one-legged sergeant and pole-arms trainer in the Baron's mercenary force, he regales green recruits with stories of encounters with bugbears, goblins, kobolds, and gnolls who roamed the hills at the Barony's edge (although what he recalls most vividly are wasting away the hours on cool, pleasant evenings swimming in the pond behind the fort).

He remembers those years fondly (as those who are up in years are…

Thwizeviblyz, Petty God of Baby Laughter

Another Aspect of the Jale God:

Name: Thwizeviblyz, Petty God of Baby Laughter
Symbol: A baby pulling a cat's tail
Alignment: Lawful
Movement: 60' (30')
Armor Class: -3
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 50 (9 HD + 11)
Attacks: 1
Damage: 2d8
Save: C12
Morale: 9
Hoard Class:  VII
XP: 5,600

The Jale God knows many forms. This of all his aspects is the least known. Yet here his influence is perhaps the most entrenched.

Every time a baby laughs, Thwizeviblyz (whose name is best pronounced by the untoothed mouths of children) is greatly pleased and grows in strength. As his power is tied to the health of the human and halfling populations (elven and dwarven babies do not laugh), his power waxes and wanes with the tides of famine, drought, war, and plague. In good times he is one of the most powerful of gods, in bad times one of the weakest. Yet Thwizeviblyz persists as long as the Jale God persists, overseeing the birth and death of civilizations over the ages.

The key to his longevity is that ever…

Hymenphalia, Petty Godling of Hermaphroditic Fertility

Name: Hymenphalia, Petty Godling of Hermaphroditic Fertility
Symbol: An apple blossom encircled by string of pearls OR two snails engaged in copulation
Alignment: Lawful
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 0
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 60 (10 HD)
# AT: 1
Damage:  1d8 or 2d8
Save: C12
Morale: 2
Hoard Class: VI
XP: 3,100

Hymenphalia, once the reigning godling of the third sex, is now a bitter husk, banished from the world by the curse of a rival petty goddess and rendered sterile by the lack of worshipers for thousands of years.

Once, the cult of Hymenphalia had temples in every trading town, major port, and city-state. The major cities of most empires in the realms were host to the annual Spring Rites wherein the three sexes gathered in the fields to copulate in orgiastic ecstasy and ensure the harvest. The three genders lived in harmony, protected by the various gods of the six carnal loves.

Then Pherosathoola, Petty Goddess of Sexual Fear, gained in power and Hymenphalia's worshipers began…

PETTY GODS: NEED WORKS OF FOOD

Folks, I'm in serious need of submissions for the Petty Gods project!

See here to submit.


The Importance of Jeff & James to the OSR Cannot Be Overstated

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Jeff is the number 1 referrer to my little corner of the web.

Spots 2 & 3 belong to Mr. Smith.

What does it say when the top referrers to my blog have been absent from posting for a long time yet STILL manage to drive the most traffic?

So here's a shout out to Jeff & James. May their dwarves never falter and their spells never fizzle! Thanks for feeding all the folk my way, guys.

Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day Teaser

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Harnly's HoleA Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox Scenario for 4-5 low-level characters (pre-gens included)
EDIT:
I have the bare bones sorted out. This is a good, old-fashioned dungeon crawl that tries to evoke a dangerous underground feel. This might also end up as my One Page Dungeon Contest entry for this year.

EDIT 2:
Almost done! All I need to do is profreadproodread proofread this sucker.

A Quick Bookface Installment

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The most excellent Christian Walker sent me a nice surprise in the mail yesterday. Five issues of his old zine Scrollworks! Issues 15 through 18,  in fact. I haven't had a chance to look through them yet. They happen to carry the d20 logo, so might need some converting to my preferred gaming systems, which is easy enough to do. Thanks, Christian! Happy birthday, man!


The 17 Atacorns

The Three Stone Heads of Jergen Groot

The Three Stone Heads of Jergen Groot
Alignment: Lawful
Save: Magic-User 12
XP Value: 7,000

Jergen Groot was a simple man who wanted nothing more than a simple life. All his life he had done what he was told: first by his parents, then by his vicar, then by his wife. From sunup to sundown he tended his goats, plowed his fields, smoked his pipe, and slept the sleep of the just. He lived a dull but happy life for 52 years.

In his 53rd year, a local baron (in truth a wealthy adventurer recently given leave to create a barony out in the hinterlands) arrived one night to conscript all able-bodied men in the village to defend his keep against a horde of foreign invaders. Having never lifted a weapon beyond a fire poker (and then even only in jest) and having never even seen the baron, let alone known how to address one, Jergen stepped forward and asked why the men of the village should fight for the baron when clearly the baron had done nothing but demand taxes that the villagers paid with no…

Uroborialis, Petty Goddess of Instinctual Wisdom

Name: Uroborialis, Petty Goddess of Instinctual Wisdom
Symbol: a flame encircled by a snake swallowing its own tail
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 80' (40')
Armor Class: 0
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 60 (11 HD)
# Attacks: 3 (2 bite, 1 crush)
Damage: 2d8/2d8/2d8, poison
Save: C10
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: None, as wisdom is its own reward.
XP: 7, 227

While her symbol is often engraved on walls in temples and shrines, tombs and towers, hovels and castles, Uroborialis herself has no organized worshipers or clerical orders. The gods themselves often seek her counsel, although they are wary of her uncanny powers, for she owes her existence to the life-force of every being that brings forth young and thus has no need for the constant adulation sought by other gods.

This Goddess of Instinctual Wisdom appears as two female heads at either ends of an undulating, serpentine body encrusted with sparkling scarlet scales. While both heads are strikingly beautiful, one appears as a queenly grey-haired priestes…

Pherosathoola, Petty Goddess of Sexual Fear

Name: Pherosathoola, Petty Goddess of Sexual Fear
Symbol: Vagina dentate encircled by a snake
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 0
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 56 (10 HD)
# Attacks: 1 crush / 2 claw / Special
Damage: 1d10 / 2d6 x 2 / 2d4 + special
Save: F10
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: none on self; XX in nest.
XP: 3, 100

Pherosathoola has the torso and upper limbs of a beautiful human female, while her trunk is that of a large white snake. She is approximately 20 feet long from head to tail. Her head is a tangled, writhing mass of 12 venomous red snakes. Each snake imparts a distinct poisonous effect.

Pherosathoola was originally a rusalka who practiced daily devotions to the Great Goddess in an attempt to ascend to immortality. She accidentally swallowed the fertilized eggs of a golden goose and gained a millennium's worth of mild magical powers, including the ability to assume human form, but as she was tied to her pond, she could not wander.

One year she lusted after a y…

Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day Primer

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I'll be participating in Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day on April 17. S&W was my intro into the wacky, wild world of the OSR when I returned to the hobby a few years ago.

I'm not exactly sure what I'll be posting, but rest assured that it will be as gonzo as my usual content-heavy posts.

If you haven't done it yet, be sure to check out the free online d20 S&W SRD.


S&W comes in three flavors: Complete, Core, and WhiteBox.

Complete will cost you some cash, but the other two are available as free PDFs. You can download the Core rules for free here, and the WhiteBox rules for free here. There's also a support site with some free downloads here.

There's an active Google+ community here.

There's a forum that needs some loving here.

Finally, be sure to check out Mythmere's blog for more resources (and if you want to see some really old stuff of Mythmere's check out his old C&C site on Tripod.com!).

And this is also an excuse to yet a…

Conan Contest Now Closed

Well. That was a disappointment.

Having extended the deadline by another week, I received only ONE additional entry. If you entered, there's a 50% chance you will win—talk about great odds!

My little blog is obviously not a hot-spot for contest activity. I wish I had the clout of Erik over at Tenkar's Tavern, who has companies ponying up prizes left and right every time he coughs.

So. The contest is between Dylan Hartwell's  "The Cave of Nanoc" and Ted Bonnah's"The Bathhouse of Blood".

This is going to be a tough decision. I will announce the winner sometime later this week.

Behold! Conan Approaches!

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Today is the last day to enter the deadline-extended CONAN CONTEST! Get your entries in before 11:59:59 PM Central!


EDIT: Just a few hours, left folks! Send your entry to:
 mwschmeer AT gmail DOT com

The 12 Eidolons

THE EIDOLONS are twelve (12) radiantly magical, ancient stone figures which impart specific, spell-like effects on those in their presence. The exact origins of the Eidolons have been lost to the ravages of time, but they are rumored to have been crafted by a cabal of petty godlings as gifts to their most beloved worshippers. If all twelve Eidolons are gathered together, they can be used to bind a single godling to the material plane by removing its immortality.

All Eidolons are statues carved from highly polished marble that are approximately one-and-a-half feet tall and weigh 15-20 pounds. The effects of Eidolons cannot be dispelled by magical means unless otherwise noted.

1. FEAR
Exquisitely crafted from dark, amber-colored stone, this Wyvern figure radiates energy of pure fear. Anyone coming within a 30' radius of its presences will run away, hysterical, at full running movement for 20 rounds. PCs with a CON of 15 or higher may make a Save vs. Fear based on their CON score; su…

Wälläkatüntün

Wälläkatüntün (minion of Verthish, Petty God of Single Pips, an aspect of the Jale God)
20th Level Magic User whose brain is housed in an Iron Golem

# Encountered: 1 (unique)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 60’ (20’)
Armor Class: 1
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 240 (54)
Attacks: 1 (punch or stomp) + spell attacks (casts as 20th level MU)
Damage: 5d12 (punch) or 10d10 (stomp)
Save: MU 20
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: none

Thyrfyt Dyfkyt was a low-level apprentice in the Order of the Wizards of Illustrious Light when he stumbled across a crumbling parchment scroll in the academy's library that had sat untranslated for hundreds of years. Written in a knotted, ropey, thread-like pictographic language not even the most learned of scholars could transcribe, the scroll delighted and intrigued young Dyfkyt. He decided to make translating the scroll one of his life's endeavors, so he stole it from the library. It was not missed.

For his main studies in the school of magic he focused on inter-dimensional dice pr…