Saturday, September 28, 2013

Review And Commentary on The Pay What You Like Adventure The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying From Mischief, Inc. For Your Old School Horror Campaigns

The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying
 Get it right

There are some modules that are so very well constructed that you don't have any complains. This is one of those modules!
Reliably entertaining, solidly done, well written, and very giving to advanced parties.
The Drivethrurpg blurb: 
Rakoss was a great wizard of ages past who served the Emperor of Maere. Tales tell of his prowess as a military strategist, but they also tell of his fall. It is said that although he won campaign after campaign for his emperor, just one failure earned the wrath of his master. The Emperor had Rakoss, his generals, strategists and personal guard sealed in a tomb somewhere in the Ganlaw Mountains, and cursed them.
Who knows what treasure was buried with Rakoss and his retinue, or what horrors remain to test any who might enter the tomb. Certainly only a brave few would dare seek out the final resting place of Rakoss, and even fewer can survive the terrors of The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying!
"The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying" is a challenging adventure for
3-6 characters of level 4 to 6.
Using The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying

The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying

The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying is a very tightly written and very well playing adventure that really works to make PC's have a very nasty time within the tomb!
This module can be dropped into an existing campaign or played over an extended series of adventures. This is really a mini campaign in sixteen pages that is well thought out and challenging enough for veteran players.
There are enough of the usual D&D tropes here to make players comfortable and with that comfort comes the legality of the adventure. There are some interesting twists and turns that the SM can exploit to really play with the party's perceptions.
The usual hooks are their to allow a DM to let the monsters to spill out of the dungeon if the party doesn't clean up after themselves. The horror aspect of this module comes into play as the players realize that this location isn't going to give up the ghost quite so easily. This dungeon has the advantage of becoming a regular fixture in a campaign if the party isn't ready to commit to this adventure.
This module reads like an action adventure horror module that reminds me of some of the VHS horror/ sword and sorcery movies that came out in the 80's in a good way.
The module easily converts to 90% of the retroclones on the market today and you don't want to miss this one if you can. 

The note from Mischief , Inc. 
Note: This product is intended to be FREE!  Please do not pay for it if you do not want to.
That said, if you wish to "donate" to our future development, you can pay any amount you want when you "purchase" this adventure. Those who pay for this adventure will be granted a "Founder" rank on our Mischief, Inc. member forums. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Review And Commentary Monty Haul's Lesser Tower of Doom From Eldritch Enterprises For Your Old School Horror Campaigns

Available Right Over HERE

This is a forty page dungeon crawl that lives up to James Ward's axiom of 'Characters kill themselves Dm's don't'. 
This is an action packed adventure that not only packs the PC's into a realm of weirdness but it does it with Wardian style! 

I sent eight players through this horror laden fest of trap filled, monster fun house of adventure and four of them survived. I used 'Lamentations of The Flame Princess' and because of the generic nature of many of the Eldritch Enterprises products I had no trouble at all. Forget whatever flavor of the month that's out this is solid and tightly written.
Drive Thru Rpg description :
"There's a new demi-god in town, and he wants your soul.  His offer?  A tower packed with fabulous treasures... and great danger.  The risks might seem minimal, but there's always a catch.
Monty Haul's Lesser Tower of Doom is a trap-filled, monster-laden maze designed to bewitch the mind and separate the soul from it's corpse.  Written in generic style, it is suitable for play with most fantasy role-playing systems, and should be explored by characters of beginning to low levels of power/experience.  The first in a series of dungeons, Monty Haul's dungeons are designed to tempt your players with easy money.  Just be sure you have character creation rules handy when you play." 

Using Monty Haul's Lesser Tower of Doom For Your Old School Horror Games 
Monty Haul's Lesser Tower of Doom

Using the 'Lesser Tower of Doom' is sort of like placing the characters in a 90's horror fest where it seems like its all easy pickings and things begin going from bad to worse as the DM leads the way. That's not to say that this one is railroady at all. Basically its an adventure that allows the PC's to get themselves into more and more horror laden trouble as things slide down hill.
This isn't a Temple of Elemental Evil, this is a low level adventure with more twists and turns to shake a stick at .
Basically this is an adventure with a twisted sense of humor and the guts to twist your PC's into pretzels with puzzles, monsters, and more James Ward fun.
 Kept hearing the original 'Evil Dead' soundtrack the whole time we played this evening and it was bloody good fun.
In forty pages this is a mini dungeon crawling campaign that delivers. Its tightly written, fun, solid, and reliable as heck and my players want to return to it.

Ten reasons to use the Lesser Tower of Doom

  1. Good solid writing, its a fun adventure, there's mayhem plenty. 
  2. Its written by James Ward and its not that well known (yet)! 
  3. The plot is a great introduction adventure and easily adaptable to any campaign but does very well with a horror game because of certain elements in the adventure. 
  4. The adventure is forty pages of twists,turns, and puzzles to challege,delight and kill erm murder, errm, well you get the idea. 
  5. This is an adventure that isn't simply another kill the monster grab the treasure. There are some true story elements here easily graft able to other adventures. 
  6. Its on sale and its a quick buy well worth the money. 
  7. This one lends itself to convention play as well. So it could be run at a local Con if you have the chance. Also it could be used for that mode of play as well to challenge even the jaded players. 
  8. This module hearkens back to a time when adventures weren't just driven by the same old formula but by fun. This one has it in spades. 
  9. The treasures, location, etc can be inserted into an existing sandbox campaign not the other way around where you as a DM have to write around the adventure. 
  10. My players want to go back again. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Watch The Neo Noir Film 'A Hand To Play' Starring Doug Bradley Directed By Mike Clarke For Free

The Neo Noir movement has been alive and well for over forty years. The lines of horror and noir often blur back and forth with the passing of cars under the glare of street lamps. There are some really interesting stand out examples of the genre. Like this one that I was privileged to see a few months ago. 

Joe is a drug dealer and Mr. Trent is his supplier, things are not going well for Joe here at all.  Mr. Trent is very unhappy with Joe and decides to make an example of Joe. And here's where things get very interesting for us the audience.

Mr Trent is played by the excellent Doug Bradley  who played as the iconic lead cenobite Pinhead in the Hellraiser films. He is played opposite by Phil Gwilliam as Joe.
And we're brought into the characters world by these two actors.
But  this might as well be underworld of any place UK.
 The dialogue, the twists, and turns are like  something out of a horror movie or some of the television shows of the 70's and 80's. 

The good ones that left you just a wee bit uncomfortable. 
The writing is tight, the dialogue solid, and this short leaves you wanting more.
Directed by Mike Clarke this is world that could be happening right now. Its really Mr.Trent and Joe that create this world.
This is a very well done little film.

A Hand To Play's Horror Rpg Campaign Tie In 
hand to play teaser 3

A Hand To Play actually has several different tie ins for horror games or Noir games. This is where things get interesting.
The film demenstrates the importance of NPC interaction and how a good villian can make or break a campaign.
The film also acts as a perfect introduction to the world of  Joe, Mr. Trent, and the two heavies in the background as it should be with your games.
Joe's performance really sells how the audience indentfies with him and as well as your PC's.
This film blurs the lines between noir and horror, its a situation that was often exploited during the 'Golden Age of Radio as well. Programs like the 'Inner Sanctum' and other shows of that time did this. A technique that DM's can also use.
I love Doug Bradley in this and it shows just how well he can act. His Mr. Trent is a nasty piece of work that I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review and Commentary On Mayfair Game's Witches For Your Old School Horror Campaign

I had my 'Gothic Transylvania' campaign blow up in my face due to a religious 'friend' freaking out because of this book's 'Satanic' content from Mayfair games.
 Witches is one of my all time favorite books from Mayfair before they went into bankruptcy in the 90's due to T$R lawsuit. 

This book has a lot going for it. 
High production standards and it has the late Nigel Findley's fine touch (I miss that guy's work, he was a great author of gaming in the early nineties before he passed away).

For centuries, witches have been a source of fear and trepidation. Even in this day and age, the imagery of pots of gruel, bony beckoning fingers, and turning princes into toads brings on a chilling feeling.
Now, within the pages of Mayfair's Witches Sourcebook the witch is brought to life exhibiting her magical powers. All of the necessary information for including the witch as a new character class are contained within these pages. Each of the eight distinct witchcraft traditions: Classical, Dianic, Golden Dawn (of which the famous occultist Aleister Crowley was a member), Wiccan, Voodoo Animistic, Elemental, and Deryni (based on the series of Katherine Kurtz) is outlined in the book. Each of the witchcraft traditions has its own view of the world and its own respective culture. The book also encompasses new spells, new magic items, a sample witch character, and other must-have game-related information.
The Witches Source book will certainly spark player's imaginations and enhance game play in any fantasy role-playing adventure or campaign.

As I said the book has quite a bit going for it and its pretty well researched into the various historica and mythic takes on the class. 
Because of the material that was in 'Tourist Guide To Transylvania' I began looking into the Fairy Witch from the book to help illustrate some of the witches that are found along the various parts of the fictional campaign. Fairy Witches are closely allied with 'The fey' who are indeed a boon and a dark as well as sinister part of this. "Each of the eight distinct witchcraft traditions: Classical, Dianic, Golden Dawn (of which the famous occultist Aleister Crowley was a member), Wiccan, Voodoo Animistic, Elemental, and Deryni (based on the series of Katherine Kurtz) is outlined in the book. Each of the witchcraft traditions has its own view of the world and its own respective culture. "
It takes each of these along with the Classic witch of myth and legend allowing the DM to weave them into their games.
 This book along with To Hell and Back are two of my all time favorites and really filled in the gap for me during this campaign. Since the retroclone and OSRIC movements within the OSR these have once again become solid pieces of gaming especially for the horror gaming crowd.
 Paizo has these on sale but I'd wait to see if you can get them on the cheap.
Right over
As for the campaign, don't sweat it folks. This isn't the first time I've faced this sort of thing.
 I'll grab a couple of more players and be off again.
 Man, I do miss the work of Nigel Finley though. The man was a genius and Rpg writing is still missing him. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Free copy of T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil (1e) pdf

 Get It Right Over

Seriously do I actually have to say anything at all about this product?

The Plot information from Drivthru Rpg
A sinister force, long thought destroyed, stirs from the black hole that spawned it. Like an ebony darkness it prowls the land and safety is but an illusion, for it watches from every shadow and ponders possibilities. 

What began years ago, with the introduction of the players to the quiet village of Hommlet and the amazing lands of Greyhawk, at last is complete. Here is the long-awaited campaign adventure, featuring the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil! Evil broods and grows beneath those blasted stones. This is your chance to drive it back and scatter its force again. 

This product includes the village of Hommlet, the filthy shire of Nulb, and reveals the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil and the labyrinths that lie beneath, a warren of darkness. And beyond these ruins, even more is revealed. 

For the first time, this product provides a complete campaign adventure, which will take beginning characters from 1st all the way to 8th level and possibly beyond! Hours of adventuring await you!

Alright here's a copy of Osric In case you need it!

Tales of Gothic Transylvania - A Gothic Horror Campaign - Actual Play Part Four - In The Steps of The Vampyr

The PC's find themselves at a Romanian Inn and have been traveling across the countryside in pursue of the 'man from Lavanti'. 

 An old man enters  the room where the PC's are staying  and leaving a square packet on a nearby  table with "To be opened upon my death" written on it. One of the PC's  takes the package and walks outside finding shadows guiding him to an old castle where he sees several shadows dancing and wandering on their own.The PC also sees an elderly woman and encounters the village doctor.
The party find the PC and  leaves the castle and walks to a manor. Looking through one of the windows, PC sees the man who gave him the package earlier. This old man is suddenly murdered by gunshot. PC is let into the house by servants who rush to the aid of the fallen man but find it too late to save him. The servants have the party stay the night, where the Lord of the manor's youngest daughter, Giséle leads PC to the library where he learns that her sister, Léone is gravely ill. PC and Giséle then see Léone walking outside. They rush to her finding her lying unconscious with fresh bite wounds. They have her carried back up to the manor where PC remembered the parcel given to him. On opening the parcel, PCs  finds the book is about horrific demons called Vampyrs.File:Vampyrcoffin.jpg
The PC's have realized that their in over their heads.
More coming up on Monday!
Random Carpathian Encounter chart 1d10
  1. 1d6 brigands and thieves raiding the local villages for slaves and prey for their dark masters
  2. A group of traveling nuns looking for a bit of charity. They're armed with pistols and are actually 1st level fighters. 
  3. A traveling group of Rom looking to trade goods, herbs, and offering cures for some local diseases. 
  4. A minor group of villagers taking their cows and goods to market in the next village. There is a 30% chance of them telling local legends. 
  5. A group of small local warriors looking for a comrade whose fallen into the clutches of a vampire. Looking for adventurers to help them willing to pay 10 to 20 silver coins. 
  6. A small cunning man willing to ply stories, charms, and some advice. Can cast most 1st level spells with little issue. 
  7. A relic trader and  wizard with 1d6 pupils studying the mountain spirits & local small gods 
  8. A hidden priest of the mountains calling down spirits from the high places. A second level clerical warrior of the Asra. 
  9. A flock of harpies looking for easy victims and able to cast 2nd level wizard spells. 
  10. A vampyr looking for his supper. Guess whose it!

The 1932 Movie 'The Vampyr' as Source Material 
 One of the PC's is named 
Allan Gray and since their traveling across Romania. 

The plot of this weeks adventure borrows very heavily from The Vampyr  which according to Wiki :
Vampyr (GermanVampyr – Der Traum des Allan Grey, "Vampire: the Dream of Allan Grey"; German pronunciation: [vamˈpiːɐ̯]) is a 1932 French-German horror film directed byDanish director Carl Theodor Dreyer. The film was written by Dreyer and Christen Jul based on elements from J. Sheridan Le Fanu's collection of supernatural stories In a Glass Darkly.
You can see the whole movie here. 

 The Plot according to Wiki: 
On a late evening, Allan Gray arrives at an inn close to the village of Courtempierre where he rents a room to sleep. Gray is awakened suddenly by an old man, entering the room and leaving a square packet on Gray's table with "To be opened upon my death" written on it. Gray takes the package and walks outside finding shadows guiding him to an old castle where he sees several shadows dancing and wandering on their own. Gray also sees an elderly woman and encounters the village doctor. Gray leaves the castle and walks to a manor. Looking through one of the windows, Gray sees the man who gave him the package earlier. This old man is suddenly murdered by gunshot. Gray is let into the house by servants who rush to the aid of the fallen man but find it too late to save him. The servants have Gray stay the night, where the Lord of the manor's youngest daughter, Giséle leads Gray to the library where he learns that her sister, Léone is gravely ill. Gray and Giséle then see Léone walking outside. They rush to her finding her lying unconscious with fresh bite wounds. They have her carried back up to the manor where Gray remembers the parcel given to him. On opening the parcel, Gray finds the book is about horrific demons called Vampyrs.

After reading the book, Gray discovers Léone is a victim of a Vampyr and that the Vampyr also can have humans forced into her submission. The village doctor visits Léone at the manor, and Gray recognizes him as the old man he saw in the castle. The doctor tells Gray that a blood transfusion is needed and Gray offers his blood to save Léone. Exhausted from blood loss, Gray wakes sensing danger, and rushes to Léone, finding the doctor who has just dropped a poison vial from his hand. The doctor flees the manor, as Gray finds that Giséle has gone missing. Gray follows the doctor, finding himself in the castle where he has a vision of himself being buried alive. After waking from this vision, he succeeds in rescuing Giséle while the doctor is able to get away. The old servant of the manor finds Gray's Vampyr book and discovers the way to defeat a Vampyr is with an iron bar through their heart. The servant meets Allan Gray by Marguerite Chopin's grave behind the village Chapel. They open the grave and find the old woman lying there and hammer a large metal bar through her heart, killing her. The village doctor has found refuge in an old mill, but finds himself locked in a chamber where flour sacks are filled. The old servant arrives and activates the mill's machinery, making the Vampyr's associate drown in the flour that comes crashing from above. The curse of the Vampyr is lifted when Léone recovers. Giséle and Gray cross a foggy river outside by boat and find themselves in a brighter clearing.

The PCs have stumbled into a quick two night side adventure which follows the gothic trappings of the Vampyr and the movie is very much infused with the 'Gothic Horror tropes' it seemed a natural. 
More to come! 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

This Week's Useful DM Horror Articles Wrap Up

 Here's a quick wrap up for very useful articles for Horror oriented Dungeon Masters!
 In no particular order are the following: 

            5 WTF Abandoned Wastelands You Won't Believe Exist

Return of the zeppelin: Firm unveils gigantic airship !

Archaeology seems like it’s a lot of careful picking and boring dusting that is occasionally spiced up by scenes of unspeakable evil". Also lots of trash and sewage. Much of it fossilized. Which is how we know what the locals ate and all sorts of data.
I know six real Islands that will be appearing real soon in a horror rpg that I run.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Free OSR Resource Old-School Gazette #10 From Expeditious Retreat Press For Your Old School Horror Campaign

Old-School Gazette #10
 Available for Free Download right over
 This issue find a bunch of very useful articles perfect for horror games in the form of  the contents of a wizard's laboratory!
 Old-School Gazette #10 explores the Wizard's Laboratory, offering 100 common and 100 uncommon items tucked away in the nooks and crannies. You'll also find a short article about conducting random encounters by Stuart Marshall and 4 tricks and tips from Matthew Finch. So enjoy the tenth Old-School Gazette and look forward to many more!
 This issue is perfect for delving into the hidden realms, loot lurking in the corners, and a bit of spice for those dangerous abandon wizard towers.
Careful placement of monsters and you've got an even's horrific encounter waiting to happen!
Since this uses the Osric lisence, "
This product uses the OSRIC(TM) System (Oldschool System Reference and Index Compilation (TM)), and is also compatible with the first edition of the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game." Its perfect for conversion among any of the most common retroclones on the market. 
That makes this a definitive download for those looking to spice up their Lamentations or
 Labyrinth Lord games!
Some of the contents of this issue won't be out of place among the various labs wouldn't be out of place among the more risky labs of Jack Sheer's settings either.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Free Horror Rpg Quick Start- Derby Day - Ghosts of Albion Quickstart From Eden Studios !

Get it right over HERE!

This isn't my usual sort of rpg but Tim has done an excellent job of designing and writing this one. This is a unisystem product and as such goes right over the usual vibe of the system but in a new way.
Description According to Drivethrurpg : 
These pages provide all that’s needed to begin telling tales and battles evil forces in the universe of Ghosts of Albion.
Derby Day is an adventure for the Original Cast, known to those who have visited the BBC Ghosts of Albion site: Tamara, William, Nigel, and the three ghosts.
This material includes background and period information to get players into the setting and the concerns of the times. They can learn about the different horses, notice the betting establishments and the extensive preparations for lunch, interact with others revellers, and discuss matters of recent concern—all the while trying to ferret out the supernatural threat. Several fights will occur, both magical and physical, and plenty of chances for roleplaying with various Director-played Supporting Cast Members will arise.
About the Ghosts of Albion RPG:
Based on Amber Benson and Christopher Golden’s wildly popular BBCi drama “Ghosts of Albion” and includes new material from the creators themselves, featuring new fiction and a complete, ready to run adventure.
The Ghosts of Albion RPG features the Eden “Cinematic Unisystem” game system, designed by award winning game designer C.J. Carella, and written by Timothy S. Brannan (previous work includes the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG”).

Not my usual cup of tea but this is a forty four page very well designed and thought out rpg. Tim is more then the usual fan of the material he's written this very tightly and its very well done. It runs solidly, the character design is simple and very elegant, and this makes great weekend rpg for the family or for more players. The design is very open ended and simple to drop a bunch of players into the world of Albion for a Saturday or any day. Very solid design for a new school game.
Best of all right now you can get this for free.  More old school coming up tomorrow but don't miss this one. 

Free Tomb of the Overfiend From Robertson Games For Your Old School Horror Campaign

Get it right over HERE
According to Drivethrurpg:
Tomb of the Overfiend is a free one-page adventure for Weird West RPG. The adventure is also compatible with other "old school" type roleplaying games with a few small changes to some of the statistics for the encounters.

This is a solid one page dungeon that you can easily and I do mean easily customize to your Old West or horror setting. With a game like Weird Adventures this one is perfect for regions like the zombie-haunted streets of Cujiatepec.
 This one has a little bit of everything for the haunted deserts of the 'Weird West' and other old west rpgs.

  Using Tomb of The Overfiend 

This is a quick one shot evening's entertainment. A great into into the world of pulp horror out in the old west. With very little work this adventure might also be converted into a Call of Cthulhu adventure set in the old west as well.
 Nice Free solid adventure. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Review And Commentary on Spinechillers and Silent Killers From Thistle Games

Get it Right Over HERE
 If you haven't checked out SpineChillers and Silent Killers?
Why not?
Here's what you get! 
Spinechillers and Silent Killers is a system free add-on for tabletop RPGs. It’s full of 500+ highly configurable traps, spinechillers, omens and other hazards or surprises. The content can be put to a number of uses:
  1. Scattering unexpected and unusual events through an adventure or across a campaign.
  2. Designing high intensity gameplay using clusters of high impact encounters.
  3. Adding layers of mystery, suspense and mayhem to adventures and campaigns.
  4. Remixing existing adventures or campaigns by parachuting in hazardous and/ or menacing encounters.
  5. Raising the emotional content of the gameplay by reinstating the sense of the unknown and the unexpected so often reported as part of new players’ gameplay.
  6. Building gritty and grimy gameplay.
Spinechillers ~ Traps ~ Omens ~ Dark Secrets ~ Jailbreaks ~ Runaway Wagons ~ Unpleasant Places ~ Local Delicacies ~ Mishaps and Misfortunes ~ Extreme Sports ~ Ridiculous Laws ~ Serious Complications ~ Money Pits ~ Debt Collectors

 For six bucks you get 150 pages of system free deviltry perfect for adding to a Gothic Horror game. The material is perfectly tuned in to the horror movie vibe and the dark omens table came in very handy for a recent game. 
 Ten reasons why Spinechillers and Silent Killers From Thistle Games is perfect for a horror campaign 
Spinechillers and Silent Killers
  1. This material hasn't appeared in any magazine and its perfect for throwing a curve ball right in players direction. 
  2. The material is a great retro throw back to the pages of early Dragons when PC's were given circumstances beyond their control. 
  3. The dark secrets are perfect to add to NPC's at the drop of a hat to make them even more believable and more then slightly strange. 
  4. The unpleasant places fit right into the Gothic Horror world and really do live up to their name. 
  5. The omens table does make PC's nervous and I had one players scrambling for the DMG which made him really pissed. 
  6. Dark scerets, food, wagons and money pits spread mayhem. Mayhem is good and keeps a game moving very quickly. Be prepared for side adventures spawned by the book. 
  7. The traps aren't goofy or so unbelievable as to be incredibly lethal unless you want them to be. Specialists will come in very handy here and with a bit of work can become mini adventures in their own right. 
  8. The material here is enough to test adventurers through an evening and beyond. 
  9. This is a book with a diabliocal sense of fun and its that sense that shines through. Fun that is actually based on logic and just when the PC's think they've seen it all or done it all. This book is perfect for that 'Wham' you haven't a clue bit. 
  10. This and other Thistle books are a throw back to a time when gaming was DYI and all you needed was a few books to throw the campaign into an all night over drive. 

Right now in my Gothic Translvanian campaign I've got a debt collector dogging the trail of the PC's and they're really not enjoying this at all. 
 The book isn't so much a book of traps,events, or simply evil turns what the book is are horrific surprises that leap in to twist the PC's necks at very weird moments. They add both levity and danger to the game. I've written about this book before. Using it with Jack Shear's material has been enlivening and interesting to say the least. 
You might want to wait till this material goes on sale but its a solid product and there's more coming out of Thistle games all of the time. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tales of Gothic Transylvania - A Gothic Horror Campaign - Actual Play Part III

File:Castrum Apulum 2011 - Porta Principalis Dextra.jpg
The PC's were twisted around this past week! |
They were delayed by mutated gnomes known as Rumpelstiltskins.  Evil little twisted things that fired Egyptian style short bows with fairy shot. By the time they got the theater it was too late! The little bastard mutants had done their work all too well. 
The sun was setting and something nasty had been left behind for the PC's.
Blood  flowed down the steps of the theater slowly,very,very, slowly. It washed the pavement red and raw! 

File:Timisoara - Union Square at sunrise.jpg
The entire theater stairs were awash in blood and gore. The doors having been bolted from the inside by heavy metal bars.

After the party's specialist finagles with the door they were confronted by
skin, gore, and much more hanging from the rafters and the ceiling by weird brass chains and funeral hooks. Then they heard weeping upon the stage!  A vision or goddess confronts them! 
'The Rite of The Hundred Death Gods'has taken place.  And the man has fled taking the souls of theater's patrons with him! They are his!   Only their cloths and their undead flesh has been left behind. Flesh that now waits in the wings to kill them!
 She can hold this undead thing for only a moment but they must flee! 
File:Barbara Radziwill ZjawaBarbary 19th century.jpg
They  find out that 'Man from Lavanti' has fled deep into the Transylvania wastelands where vast halls,ruins, and  cityscapes from the 'Time Before'  still hold many deadly secrets and vast ancient demons waiting to be awakened!
The Man has fled Into the Wasteland and they must follow.  They also learn that the man has an enemy in the form of the archmage  Pan Twardowski.
 The party puts the theater to the torch and it burns as the cries of the undead things shriek their idiot praises to the Death Gods.
The place burns with relish.
The party goes back to the 'Roman villa' of their patron for further investigation and finds that there is an entrance to a vast secret underground network of tunnels beneath the city state.
Its seems that the 'man from Lavanti' seeks  the legendary immortal queen Omphale and her Grotto of Time. Rumor has it that Omphale is in league with 'Dark Forces.' No one is certain if she is undead,goddess, witch, or something far, far, worse. 

Tune in next week for the exciting continuation of  'Tales of Gothic Transylvania'

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Old-School Gazette #2 Free From Expeditious Retreat Press For Your Old School Horror Campaign

 Get it Right HERE

I've been looking for a few surprises for my Monday and Thursday night Gothic Pulp game and remembered the Old School Gazette.
This is issue #2 and its got a few surprises in store for those players of retroclones who have memorized the Monster Manual and the various fiends in the Fiend Folo.
This issue has a few surprises with '
the statistics you need to pit black skeletons, bone sovereigns, dark voyeurs, and inscribers against your players.'
 With very little work these can be easily modified into a Lamentations game or your classic Labyrinth  Lord Advanced game. There are also four new magic items that round out the download. These all fit right into the Gothic vibe that I've had riding through this game.
This is a pretty solid little issue and I've used some of this material before. All in all its about a three out of five.
Mostly this material has a classic horror and dungeon feel that wouldn't be out of place even in a game of Carcosa or Mutant Future. There's a bit of the classic 80's horror here as well.
Simply some well thought out monsters and treasure with a bit of placement work as part of the greater horror landscape of a quick encounter to a more advanced dungeon. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Free Old School Gothic Horror Adventure - The Manse on Murder Hill From Taskboy Games

Get it right over HERE!
 Want a nice, concise, well done adventure that has a bit of everything for you Gothic game? Want something that going to actually live up to the usual tropes of the OD&D game?
Want it in thirty two pages of fun and murder?
 The plot according to Rpgnow: 
Several children of Little Flanders have gone missing near an abandoned house of evil repute. A desperate town has begged your heroes to exorcise the house of evil spirits and rescue the children. Will you brave the dangers of the Manse on Murder Hill?
A Labyrinth Lord adventure for levels 1-3
 This is a solid, well done, low level crawl with all the options to either be customized for a Gothic setting like Tales of the Grotusque and Dungeonsque or run straight against the bone.
This is a really well thought out adventure that can fit anywhere really.
The module is a throw back to the pages of Dragon magazine and one of the first haunted house adventures.
This a great adventure for low level horror rpging and dungeon crawling. The fact that its compatible with about ninety percent of the retroclones on the market is an added plus.
 There are some killer NPCs here and a whole town to use as well all done in a percise fashion with all the trimmings of a well thought out story.
 A very happy find on this one folks.
Four out of five stars for a good solid old school hit. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Meditations On The Gibbering Mouther Character Class

Gibbering mouther.JPG
Get it right here

There are utter strokes of genius out in the OSR blogsphere & this is one of them. Dyson's Dodecahedron presents this wonderfully warped piece of  sanity bending knowledge.  He gives birth to a whole new take on the monster.
File:The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan.jpg
I've been a big fan of Mouthers ever since the 
The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan. What the author has done is something pretty damn cool. Instead of simply being a monster that is only available to as a high level AD&D monster he's basically allowed the Mouther to be scaled to your campaign and party.

The Mouther can now be used in any retroclone. The thing can appear anywhere within the OD&D retroclone campaign sphere.
This also allows the Mouther to become a hazard as never before.

The Characteristics Of The Gibbering Mouther 

According to Wiki : 
"The gibbering mouther is not regarded as an evil creature, but in order to sustain its mad self, it must feast upon the bodily fluids and sanity of mortal creatures, preferably intelligent ones. It attacks by spitting strings of protoplasmic flesh which end in a mouth and one or more eyes at opponents, which then bite them, causing both acid and blinding damage. When it has defeated an opponent, it swallows them whole, and then proceeds to suck the bodily fluids and sanity. It is possible for the victim to cut their way out.
Having so many eyes, gibbering mouthers are difficult to sneak up on.
Gibbering mouthers can speak Common, but seldom speak anything other than mad babble and gibberish.
They are regarded as neutral in alignment, but have distinctly evil habits."
They're abilities which have been worked into the character class include the following : 
"Gibbering mouthers can produce a constant gibbering that confuses all creatures within 60 feet. They can also change nearby ground (whether earth or stone) to the consistency of quicksand. The mouther can move unimpaired through the quicksand.
A gibbering mouther can loose a stream of spittle that ignites on contact with the air, temporarily blinding creatures within 60 feet."
I've used Mouthers as proto shaggoths many times and the results haven't been pretty. They're a bit powerful when they appear in the Monster Manual II.

Uses for the Gibbering Mouther Character Class 

"It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train—a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter."

At The Mountains of Madness HP Lovecraft 

Mouthers have appeared in my games throughout the multiverse. This character class is perfect for introducing PC's to the horrors of the species. In the comments of the entry is  the idea of using this as part of a curse for a 'were shaggoth'. Which is a whole other entry into itself. Perhaps the Dyer Expedition brought back more then a few insane members. 
The uses for this class on Carcosa goes without saying because its possible for these things to be an actual PC class where warriors corrupted as part of a possible rite to become one of these things. 
The late great Nigel Finley (RIP) created the ecology for these Lovecraftian horrors and these things can certainly appear where and when they are needed. I can think of dimensional holes opening up and one of these horrors leaking into the world. 
Then these mad bastards might ooze into the ruins of a Mutant Future game quite easily and perhaps even become part of a party! Realms of Crawling Chaos gives some pretty solid guidelines for Shaggoth erm Mouthers.
These things can easily find their way into a host of science fiction and fantasy retroclones. Space might be the place these things are encountered or Heaven help us as part a society of mad humanoid aliens that dance under the stars until the time they are right.
 These things make a perfect encounter in Jack Shear's Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonsque region of Scar. These mad bubbling bastards can easily be encountered though out the region feeding, breeding, and corrupting. 
There have been suggestions for using these things as part of some weird reverse dungeon and I can easily see this happening. This only actually highlights the idea of monster as character class and the options it actually brings to the table for the DM. Not to mention the horror of it.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Review And Commentary on The Free OSR Resource - Oriental Classes And Oriental Monsters Written and Edited By Ed Martell

Link for the Oriental Classes Below: 
Here is the link to the new "Oriental Classes" document *FREE* PDF:
The Oriental Monsters Book Down below
                 Here is the link to the "Oriental Monsters" document *FREE* PDF:

Are you looking for a source for some of the classic Oriental classes without the world background setting BS that seems to go with them? A stripped down balls to the walls classic look at these classes that once graced the pages of Dragon Magazine?
Well look no further. 

Bushi, Hengeyokai, Kensei, Koropokuguru, Nature Folk, Ninja, Samurai, Shugenja, Shohei, Wu Ren, and the deadly Yakuza are all there in loving B/X and Labyrinth Lord goodness. 

These are well organized and well thought out. They're compatible with 90% of the OSR campaign worlds that are out there on the market today. I've been looking into doing something with them for my take on Jack Shears campaign some time ago. 

Oriental Monsters is great. A catalog of Oriental mythologies nasties all in one easy to use place and stripped back into a format that fits many of the OSR retroclones. 

These are as they they appeared in mythology and the various sources of legend that they came from. These are not the anime high adrenalin source monsters they later on became. This makes them perfect for horror games and campaigns where sudden violence and death actually count. 

 Ned Martell does an excellent job with these classics with well thought out and deadly monsters put into a hard core B/X and LL format.

 Do yourselves a favor and download these and roll some dice.
Thanks for all the work that went into these and the authors of the Oriental Classes book.