Friday, April 30, 2010

Sword & Sorcery Greyhawk - The Headless Harlot

What would a good Sword & Sorcery setting be without an iconic tavern?

The Headless Harlot

The Harlot is a notorious tavern and inn of Dyvers the Wicked, located just off the central plaza of the Boulevard, on the very edge of The Groves. This modern wood and plaster, five-story structure abuts a one-story stone structure from an earlier age. The tavern is named for the ancient marble statue of a beautiful girl, the head long-since broken off, that stands by the main entrance, a doorway covered only by several ragged strips of stained leather. There are no windows on the ground floor, or the topmost fifth floor, but the middle three stories have windows with wooden shutters. A narrow alley on the right side of the building leads to a small service entrance around back, and a wide rusty grate in the mouth of the alley leads down into the city sewers. Past the service entrance is a rickety stable that can accomodate up to thirty mounts.

The main entrance opens into the wide, main tavern room, which has twenty long tables with benches, a long bar across the back of the room, and a low stage off to one side. The floor at the center of the room is clear of tables and chairs and is partitioned off by fifteen burning lamps set into iron staves. The tavern room is typically full at all hours of the day and night with raucous patrons, and after dark musicians fill the stage while the Harlot's dancing girls entertain from the central area.

The second floor features four large common rooms, and the third and fourth floors each feature 16 small rooms as well as a locked storeroom and a communal jakes that empties out into the alley below. The common rooms are filthy and often dangerous, and the third floor rooms are on the squalid side. The fourth floor rooms are kept somewhat clean and can be comfortable and well aired thanks to the height of the shuttered windows.

The abutting stone building is an ancient, but still functioning, bathhouse, and is accesible via a guarded door from the main tavern room.

The Staff

The Harlot is owned by Argus Blackarm(F6), a tall and emaciated ex-freebooter whose left arm, while fully functional, appears to be made of some sort of black stone, rumored to be the effect of an altercation with a foreign sorcerer. Argus is nearly always present during evening hours, frowning at the antics of his patrons, and acting as his own bouncer when the need arises. On the few occasions he becomes inebriated, he may be encouraged to regale the crowd with tales of his days stalking the shipping lanes of the Nyr Dyv.

The Harlot employs two bartenders, Grolf and Hubert (each F3), who despite sharing no blood ties are practically indestinguishable from one another. Nonetheless, they are highly, and sometimes violently, offended when someone attempts to call them over by the wrong name. Also in Argus's employ is a large and seemingly ever-revolving staff of wenches(typically Thief1), guards(F2), cooks, stableboys, and servants, all overseen by Argus's right-hand man, Jalister, a gregarious and perceptive priest of the Eye (C4).

Also on hand are Argus's seven slaves, the Harlot's popular and attractive dancers (T2). The most popular of these is Blissanda, a dark-eyed beauty from faraway Ket, who is never allowed to dance until Argus determines the Harlot has broken even for the night. A dozen or so lesser slaves service the bathhouse and upper rooms.

Mysteries and Rumors

The Bathhouse - This ancient structure features twohuge, ornate baths, one of which is hot, and the other cold. Both baths are fed from wide openings in the bottom that lead to some unknown source of water deep below the earth. Rumors persist of the occasional patron being dragged down into the deeps by an unkown agency. The waters of the baths are rumored to have odd effects on the bathers at times, from healing diseases, to other, less beneficial effects. Statues fill the alcoves lining the building's walls, some depicting ancient gods.

The Fifth Floor - Rumors abound about the mysterious fifth floor of the Harlot. As far as anyone can tell, there are no stairways leading up it, no public ones at any rate. Nonetheless, residents of the fourth floor rooms report odd noises, music, and thumps from above.

The Basement - Its a little-guarded secret that the Harlot's basement features a gambling parlor and brothel. Access to it is expensive, and strangers are seldom welcome. Though ostensibly owned by Argus, there are rumors of financial connections to Dyvers' underworld.


Common room, night - 5cp
Common room, week - 3sp
Private room, 3rd floor, night - 2sp
Private room, 3rd floor, week - 1gp
Private room, 4th floor, night - 5sp
Private room, 4th floor, week - 3gp
Bathhouse, daily access - 1sp
Bathhouse, slave attendant - 2sp/hour
Brothel, services rendered - 1gp/hour plus tip
Gambling room, daily access - 1gp
Stabling, night, plus feed - 1sp

Pilsner, pint - 1cp
Ale, pint - 2cp
Stout, pint - 3cp
Wine, rough, goblet - 3cp
Wine, good, goblet - 1sp
Wine, fine, goblet - 1gp
Liqour, fine, glass - 1gp
Whiskey, rough, jigger - 5cp
Hookah, 10 minutes - 1sp

Meal, rough (course bread, dubious stew) - 3cp
Meal, good (good bread, identifiable meat, cheese, soup) - 5cp
Meal, extravagant (5 course, rare and exotic foods) - 1gp

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Old School DM, New-School Players?

Its a common complaint on the interwebs, usually something along the lines of "I'd love to run (insert OSR game of choice), but all anyone around here wants to play is (insert D&D 3.5, 4E, or Pathfinder)". A lot of DMs will eventually face the choice of running a contemperary edition or running nothing at all. If you don't wish to take the latter option, here are some quick and easy House Rules that can make those new systems feel a little more "old-school":

Attacks of Opportunity
Get rid of these. One of the biggest "old-school" complaints about newer editions is how combat becomes too focused on the grid-board, and less in the imagination. Eliminating attacks of opportunity can go a long way toward getting rid of the mentality of manuevering pieces on the grid for the best advantage. Make sure your players know about this houserule at character generation time, because a lot of Feats and Skills can relate to AoO's. For PCs with special abilities tied to AoO's, like the Rogue's Sneak Attack, simply have the player describe how he is manuevering, and be more liberal than restrictive in allowing him to use these class abilities.

Level Cap
The biggest differences between older and newer editions tend to reveal themselves in high-level play. Don't be afraid to set a level cap on your game. I recommend 10th level as a good benchmark; numbers don't really get too crazy until then. You can also take a look at alternate xp progression tables. Doubling the xp's required for each level is a good way to extend low-level play, or you can just run them as-is and enjoy some good old-school endgame scenarious built around establishing strongholds. Again, be sure to let players know this going into the campaign, as many "new-school" players put a lot of emphasis on character "builds", which involves long-term planning of class, skill, and feat allotment.

Critical Hit Confirmation Check
Do away with this. It just adds another roll to what may be an already "swingy" combat. I highly doubt the players will mind the increased chance of a critical hit, and this can help combats be a bit faster. This houserule doesn't impact alot of feats and skills either, so its easy to implement.

Class/Race Selection
Don't be afraid to limit the classes or races available in your campaign. If you feel strongly that Half-dragon Favored-soul/Templars will be disruptive to the old-school feel of your campaign setting, try setting some boundries, perhaps making only the traditional races and classes available at first.

Player Actions should trump Skill Checks. For an old-school DM, gathering information about a lost city, dark cult, or infamous Megadungeon can turn into a whole night of fantastic role-play, unexpected situations, and cooperative world-building. Unfortunately, in many newer edition systems, you can reduce all that into one quick Skill Check. Let players know you won't be using just that Skill Check. Make them play it out. Skill checks should only come into play if the outcome of the situation, as modified by their actions, is somehow in doubt. Or, you can use those well-laid plans to determine a modifier to that skill check roll. A well thought-out and implemented plan should never fail just because of a flubbed roll, and a nat-20 remove traps check should never trump obvious bumbling and stupidity!

Game Balance
Newer edition adventures are often very linear, and are frequently defined by a series of encounters designed to be challenging for an oppopriate level, and provide the "proper" amount of xp and treasure to keep the game "balanced". If you're using a published adventure, take a bit of time to go through and adjust a few encounters up and down in power level. Once the players have gotten out of the expectation of balance, your sessions should proceed in a decidedly more old-school fashion, as players get out of the comfort zone of knowing that every encounter is winnable and start to do a bit more scouting, exploration, and research to balance the odds themselves. This is especially easy to implement in games where a level cap has been established.

Be up front with your players about these "old-school" modifications to your campaign, and explain why you feel the modifications are necessary. Always remember that the elements of newer editions that annoy and repulse you may be the elements that your players really enjoy, so its important to compromise where possible, and focus on the elements you all enjoy in common. At the end of the day, getting together with folks and having a great time is far more important than any sort of "edition loyalty", and most rules are easy to modify to taste.

P.S. - Old School One Shots
Always keep a copy of your preferred OSR edition of choice with you. Its not unusual that real-life roadblocks can arise and players can be absent from a session, leaving you with the choice of skipping the game altogether that week, or running a one-shot for the players that are available. This is a fantastic opportunity to demo that old-school game you keep trying to sell them on!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Want to creep your players out?

Then litter your Megadungeon with these bad boys.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bob Bledsaw on the origins of the Wilderlands

"A group came to me asking me to monitor or judge a game for them which they had tried on four seperate occasions to play. After a brief look at the three books, I pointed out that many of the rules were incomplete and I would have to rewrite much of it before we could attempt a game. I had always loved fantasy and science fiction. Although a stereo systems designer at General Electric with limited free time, I reworked the game and designed a small dungeon located near Weathertop in Middle Earth.

Despite the misfit magic, this campaign grew to consist of around eight large hex maps from the Grey Havens to the Lonely Mountains and from the Iron Mountains past Mordor. We experimented with many combat systems and magic systems along the way. I had a gigantic dining room table which was filled with gamers and around thirty or more spectators from the local college and high schools. My original group began to beg me to run a session everynight and even tried chasing me down the road in automobiles when on family outings. Some all night sessions did not end until dawn and the magic system became less Tolkien like over time.

To permit the gamers to justify this more Vancian type of magic, I created a gate to the City State of the Invincible Overlord just before General Electric closed the plant I worked at. I will add more on the history of my campaigns later but suffice it to say for now that I have ran several campaigns besides the original based upon the Wilderlands. Lord Dunsany and Fritz Leiber are two of my most favorite storytellers.

Naturally, I placed in this world much of what I loved in my extensive library. This was prior to the publication of Greyhawk or any other city for this genre' that I am aware of. At the 1975 Gen Con, Bill Owen and myself sat at a small table where I sold the first City State installment with all four map sections rolled up to prevent creases."

RIP Bob.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm an idiot.

Scanning the Lawn & Garden classifieds for a lawnmower today and I see the following:

"Nigerian Dwarf Kids - Unregistered (Waterport, NY)"

While the novelty of having unregistered Nigerian dwarf kids neatly manicure the lawn may appeal to some, I was relieved when my wife informed me they were probably referring to goats.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sword & Sorcery Greyhawk + 0one Blueprints =?

So what do you get when you cross S&S Greyhawk with 0one Blueprints' Caverns of Chaos?

I can't decide.

I want to make a 1-3rd level adventuring locale for S&S Greyhawk. That means no orcs, goblins, etc. Degenerate humans are the default "humanoid hordes" in S&S Greyhawk. Monsters are big, dark, scary, and usually the product of an unkind sorcerous ritual or a debauched experiment.

Undead are cool, too.

I'm thinking Howard, Vance, Lovecraft; all mixed together for a nice introductory meatgrinder, with plenty of mysteries, traps, and just plain weird things to look at when not fending off howling cultists and giant serpents.

Help me pick between these:

1. Baleful Caverns of the Mind Lord

2. Lost Valley of the Obsidian Throne

3. Sinister Caves of Kor-Kuros

Friday, April 16, 2010

D&D and the Assumed Universe

I'm pondering, today, the "assumed universe" phenomenon of D&D. That is to say, when you sit down around a table for a session of D&D, there seems to be a communally assumed setting you are playing in, unless someone specifically tells you otherwise. Some of these assumptions include:

1. A pseudo-medieval, western-european-ish setting.
2. Magic is real, in varying degrees of commonality.
3. Religions are polytheistic, and gods take some degree of interest in the affairs of men.
4. Non-human races like elves and dwarves rub shoulders with humans.
5. Dwarves are grumpy and crafty, elves are aloof and inscrutable.
6. Dwarves live in the ground, elves live in trees.
7. People kill things with swords and maces and arrows.
8. Wizards always have ulterior motives.
9. Men defend themselves with castles, towers, and citadels.
10. Orcs, goblins, and ogres are out to kill you, kidnap your women, burn your village, and further the goals of the local Dark Lord.

I could go on like that for a while, but I'm sure you get the point.

So where does this assumed setting come from? Does someone completely new to the hobby make these assumptions? Or is it unique to long time players? Some likely suspects:

1. RPG manuals seem to detail a little of this, but usually it feels like they are building off the assumed setting rather than creating it.
2. Fantasy novels. I like this for the source of "assumed world", but its so seldom, in my experience, that everyone has read the same books, and very few books actually include all or even most of the assumptions gamers include in their default setting.
3. Fantasy art (RPG or fiction). Again, is this the chicken or the egg?
4. Simple evolution of expectations from long experience with RPGs?
5. All of the above?

Its an interesting subject, I think.

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Exquisite Corpses

Be sure to check out Stefan's new Exquisite Corpses. Its a flip-book that gives you both mix-matched stats and illustrations for weird creatures of unknown origin. Its a very cool concept, especially if you like Weird Sci-Fantasy in your campaigns; a very cool concept, brilliantly executed.

Available at LuLu in print or .pdf. More at Stefan's blog.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Magic Sword!

When I was a kid, summer vacation meant at least two weeks spent at my Grandparent's house in Lakeland, FL. The local station there played all kinds of cool old movies early in the morning and late at night (this was before infomercials were legal, wtf happened!?) and I was guaranteed to catch this one, THE MAGIC SWORD!, at least twice during those two weeks.

Even at a young age, I knew that this was a truly horrific movie. Yet I couldn't tear my eyes from it! The villain looked strangely familiar (that's because it was Basil Rathbone, villain of about 400 other movies), and so did the hero's aunt or mother or whatever she was (Estelle Winwood, of the campy Batman TV series, Darby O'Gill, etc).

From a fantasy standpoint, this movie has just about everything. Two-headed ogres, giant wolfmen, two-headed dragons, hungry ghosts, hot chicks who turn into slavering ghouls, and so on. Our hero, George, sets off to rescue a princess from an evil wizard with a magic sword and a group of knights from history (?) who should be wearing those red uniforms from Star Trek.

The movie shifts somewhat unnervingly from the comic shenanigans of Winwood and company to the horrible, screaming deaths of George's comrades. Even as George gamely battles the two-headed dragon, Rathbone and Winwood share a little banter.

Why, oh why, must I like this movie?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

0one Blueprints - did you know about these?

As a D.I.Y. sort of gamer, I always favor Judges-Guild-type stuff, like the Book of Villages, or Book of Caverns, etc, that are mostly a whole lotta maps with just a modicum of exposition and maybe some random tables thrown in for good measure. This is the kind of stuff that really gets me going - I may have had more fun with the blank sheet of graph paper in Keep on the Borderlands than with the rest of it (maybe ;). So I was tickled to stumble across 0one Game's Blueprints line.

This line is nothing but old-school blue-ink maps of locations like cairns, catacombs, thieves' guilds, dark temples, and ruined cities. Each is 20-25 pages long, with 4-8 pages of that being blue maps, then the same duplicated in black & white, along with a little suggestive exposition to build off of or dispose as you see fit: "beneath the church lie the catacombs, a dark and damp corridor littered with smashed coffers and the remains of unknown people". Then you get a page of fillable lines for each map page, so you can keep notes as you flesh out your dungeon: "Room 2: Trapped Corridor: ______________." Add in an introductory page, and a page of map symbols and there you have it: the building blocks for your own adventures, all for about $1.65.

I should mention, the maps themselves are fairly customizable. They are .pdf's, and each has a "Rule the Dungeon" button which, once clicked, allows you to add or remove map symbols, grids, room numbers, and so on. I particularly appreciated the feature that lets you remove the "fill" from each map (all the inked-in areas between rooms), as I'm stingy with printer ink.

For less than $10, I picked up Caverns of Chaos (which look like KotB's Caves of Chaos on steroids, huge!), Dwarven Stronghold (a really cool gate-to-gate under the mountains series of maps), Shrine of the Frogmen (cause I love shrines, especially if there's frogs involved), Church on Skull Hill (about 3 or four adventures worth of maps in here), and The Great City (laid out very similarly to the CSIO with a nice array of available supplements and expansions).

Now, those 5 products alone could keep me busy for a long time, but 0one has over sixty of these available, plus an immense Black & White dungeon, and the 10-level Mega, Dungeon Under the Mountain (wink wink).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

5 Blackmoor Adventure Hooks

1. A treasure ship returning from the Sinking Lands has sunk in Blackmoor Bay with all hands lost. Who will brave the Sahuagin-infested waters to reclaim the loot?

2. Giant frogs have been attacking farmers and travelers on the outskirts of Vestfold. One was killed and found to have been wearing a necklace bearing some sort of arcane instrument. Could the infamous temple of the frog be active again or is this some new threat?

3. A silvery skyship, rumored to have been sent from the fabled City of the Gods, has crashed high in the Peaks of Booh. So far, all scavenging parties have been driven off by strange creatures weilding weapons of unnatural energies.

4. There is rumored to be a traitor among the elvenguard at the gates to the Blackmoor dungeon. What is his dark purpose, and who is behind it?

5. The Regent of the Mines has sent an adjunct to Blackmoor to organize an expedition through Loch Gloomen to the Wyvern Hills. The objective is reclaiming a lost underground stronghold rumored to be a source of rare purple diamonds of puissant arcane value.

RIP, Dave.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Evolution of an Old School Gamer, pt.2 of 3

My own personal OSR

For several months, I immersed myself in collecting out-of-print gaming stuff. Mostly off Ebay, but I also would get a lot of Judges Guild books from Lou Zocchi (remember his ads in Dragon?) and started to take day trips around Florida to any game, comic, or used-book store within a couple hours of Tampa. At the time, I was working at a chain record store in an immense shopping mall, and knew quite a few gamers around the various shops there, who I would regale with descriptions of my latest acquisitions ("Pastel D1 for $2 at a thrift store!"). Eventually, one of them suggested we should, you know, actually play some of this stuff!

At first I was skeptical. I had gotten extremely bored with D&D. There was plenty of opportunity to play, lots of clubs around, but they were all 2E, and the prospect of sifting through Druid kits or getting railroaded through a long series of "story" modules was extremely unappealing. But some 1E? Was it really all that different? Sure, I liked the art better, and the dungeons seemed somehow more mysterious, more dangerous. But that was probably just nostalgia and fondness for a pasttime of youth.

In the end, though, we ended up giving it a go. I even agreed to DM. I ran T1 (Hommlett), the players rolled up characters in about 10 minutes (ranger, magic-user, halfling thief, elf fighter, cleric, iirc), and we were off to the ruined keep, giant frogs and all. And it was fantastic! Ten hours went by and we scarcely noticed. We were hooked. On what most of us had considered an "outdated" version of D&D. In the following weeks, we would take on the Temple of Elemental Evil, a couple of the Slavers modules, the Giant series, and at last on to the Drow series. Sadly, the group disbanded just short of the climax of the series, but man, the rest was fun.

Of course, even after this, I failed to put two-and-two together. I think I assumed I had just needed a break from gaming, thus the renewed sense of fun, rather than laying the improved experience at the feet of any difference of edition. Not wanting to lose momentum in the renewed fun, I quickly put together another group. This time 2E, in the bizzarre Planescape setting. It lasted about four sessions. I quit gaming again.

And then, a year or so later, out of boredom, joined yet another group. Which just happened to be running 1E. It was fun again! Now it was starting to make sense. Though my free time available to game got smaller and smaller, I stayed with 1E, and it stayed fun. I renewed my subsriptions to Dragon and Dungeon, ran games in the Wilderlands, developed my own campaign settings, had a blast. I kept up with new TSR releases, but seldom bought anything, except for brief period when the company got acquired by Wizards of the Coast, just to see if any major changes were implemented. As in, backwards, in the direction of the older editions. No such luck. On the contrary, previews started appearing in Dragon, tidbits and teasers of whole new edition of D&D, a complete revision. A new site founded by Eric Noah followed the news with interest...

3E loomed on the horizon.

Up next - Part 3: "1st Edition Feel, 3rd Edition Rules"

Monday, April 5, 2010

Evolution of an old-school gamer, pt.1 of 3

Since there's so much discussion on just what the OSR is, and what the appeal of old-school gaming is in general, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to take a look, in depth, at just what led this particular gamer (me) to, or back to as the case may be, old-school games.

Warning: I delve into some pretty nerdy territory here, so read with caution!

I got started in RPGs in the late seventies after spotting a group of guys with some cool miniature figures. From there, I played B/X all through middle school, with a seemingly endlessly revolving group of players. We used Judges Guild's Wilderlands of High Fantasy, which was to be had exclusively from the local hardware store.

In high school, me and a couple of friends joined up with a long-standing group playing AD&D, and played that exclusively through graduation. This was my first experience with long-running campaigns, and serialized modules. And despite some ridiculously over-the-top Monty-haulism early on, my first experience with some cool, gritty, nasty, realism in gaming.

Soon after that, it was on to college roughly the same time that AD&D 2E appeared. College was a great time for gaming, with plentiful home games, as well as a long-running campaign via USF's official gaming club, the Adventurer's Guild. This was both one of the most entertaining periods of gaming for me, and the beginning of my dissatisfaction with how D&D was changing. A snapshot of my "game shelf" in 1988 compared to 1993 would have looked vastly different. The 1988 version featured a "blue wizard" cover 1E AD&D Players Handbook, a couple of Dragon Annuals, and a long row of Elric, Lankhmar, and Thieves World books (which I considered to be gaming materials at the time, and would come to do so again).

Fast forward to 1993, and the game shelf now has a 2E PHB, a 2E DMG, a giant ring binder 2E Monster compendium, a row of "Complete" books about the various races, a row of "Complete" books about various classes, a row of boxed sets detailing the minutae of the Forgotten Realms, and a row of various other campaign settings. Gone were the pulpy novels of my youth; now in their place stood "official" TSR novels set in Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, Dragonlance, etc, along with the rising tide of Tolkein knock-offs like Shannara, the Belgariad, and so on. Again, I very much enjoyed all this at the time, or at least I thought I did. It wouldn't be until much later, upon reflection, that I realized how much my consumption of these never ending supplements and chain-novels were fueled by a never-satisfied need to find some real quality.

Every month there was a new pile of stuff to get.

Compared to the "old days", this was a time of unprecedented character customization. No longer did one roll 3d6 six times, in order, pick the class you qualified for, and go from there. Now, you could develop your character concept before you ever even touched the dice. Abilities could be arranged and customized to suit your concept. Then you selected the optimal selection of non-weapon proficiencies, then pored through the "complete" books, selecting the best "kit" to match your concept, weighing the various bonuses and benefits against their attendent penalties and restrictions. Then you could sift through the reams of campaign setting material, looking for that region or subrace that got you still more bonuses and benefits.

It was fun stuff. It was engrossing. It appealed to the collector in me, the math junkie in me, gave me a way to stack the odds in my favor. All before I even sat down at the gaming table. In fact, it wouldn't be too far off base to say that a large part of my gaming experience in the 90's took place somewhere between Waldenbooks and that game table. And once at that table, communal world-building had long since taken a back seat to having an encyclopedic knowledge of the published campaign setting. We were all very concerned with keeping up with the "canon" of the Forgotten Realms, what was to be gleaned from the latest boxed-set, supplement, or novel.

Compare that to my early days of Judges Guild, where you had to fill in a lot of blanks. Or my high school games, where it was considered a cardinal sin for a player to even peek through the Greyhawk Gazeteer or DMG, much less own them.

Years later, I would come across one of my favorite Gygax quotes: "Character background is what happens between levels one and six". In the mid-90's I would have scoffed at that. Character background was a complex combination of min-maxing, campaign setting knowledge, and pre-planned series of modules.

By the time I got sick of it all and quit gaming, I didn't even realize what I was sick of.

Or, more accurately, what I was missing.

Enter the rising popularity of a little website called "EbaY". It was inevitable that I check it out eventually, if only to see what all the fuss was about, and inevitable that some of the first things I would look at for auction (after vintage Star Wars figures, of course) would be D&D stuff. It was strangely compelling to see images of "Demon-statue" 1E PHBs and the covers of all the great Judges Guild books of my adolescence. Out of a fondness for the evocative art and desire to reread this stuff, I started ordering. And ordering.

But actually using that stuff again?

Up Next - Part 2: My Own Personal OSR.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter! - Warriors of the Red Planet Preview

Hope everyone has a great, chocolate bunny and colored egg-filled Easter weekend!

Speaking of eggs, here's a quick preview from Warriors of the Red Planet, which, in addition to monsters from and inspired by classic Sword & Planet yarns, also features a sizable selection of original beasties.

Egg of Crepsys
AC 0[19]
HD 10
Atk Mind Blast (3d6)
Save 5
Special Mental Powers
Move 0
CL/XP 10/1400
An Egg of Crepsys appears to be a fist-sized, iron egg that is warm and faintly pulsing to the touch. While the origin of the Eggs is unclear, it is rumoured that within each gestates a member of a race so far above humanity that they may as well be gods. So far, none have hatched that anyone knows about, which is fortunate, for the Eggs of Crepsys are evil entities of great power and malicious genious, even in their undeveolped state. Each may emit a blast of mental energy in a 30' radius, and may use the following mentalist powers at-will: Control Person, Mind Reading, Project Illusion, and Suggestion. Though they cannot move around under their own power, they usually have a slave to carry them about, and are not above seducing, with promises of power, those they cannot mentally enslave or intimidate.

Past Previews

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Making Porn with D&D Stars!

Beyond the Black Gate is pleased to announce it has joined forces with Rogue Pinky Productions in Kingsman, Alabama to make an exciting new line of explicit amateur erotic films!

So what, you ask?

These wild, steamy, direct-to-dvd releases feature only certified, veteran D&D players, all of whom have been participating in the fantastic role-play phenomenon since at least 1981! We here at Beyond the Black Gate and Rogue Pinky feel that who better could act out tales of raunchy abandon than experienced roleplayers who have been playing the parts of grumpy dwarves, ooh! mysterious! elves, and funny-voiced wizards for decades!

Three films are already in production:

The Forgotten Nipple of Tharizdun!

The Temple of Elemental Anal!

In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords!

With many more exciting titles to come!

So get together with 6-8 friends of 5-10th level, put on your hottest costumes, and lean back for the ride of your life!

Check out our full-color ad in the latest issue of Tell On!

Must be 18 or older to experience ride of your life.


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