Friday, January 30, 2015

The 'Pay What You Like' OSR Resource - "100 Oddities for a Thieves' Guild" From Skirmisher Publishing For Your Old School Sword and Sorcery Campaigns

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Clint Staples and William T. Thrasher as well as the Skirmisher crew turn out another very interesting supplement on the 'pay what you want' scale. This one is really a must for any sword and sorcery DM. Seriously, this is one your not going to want to miss. Thieves guilds have been a staple of sword and sorcery ever since Fritz Leiber put type writer keys to paper back in the 40's. These organizations are the back bone of OD&D going back to when the thief class was first introduced and guilds have always been one of the most popular bits of adventures and PC's.
This book gives you that extra interesting edge when exploring items found in that safe house,ware house, guild hall, or other area where the guild's members have trodden with their ill gotten gains. This book puts odd right into the center of the guilds. This  book is filled with ten pages of high handed weirdness with items that can add that extra push into the zone of madness but its more then that.
This pdf proves the DM with a nice set of  items to encounter and add that special little bit of twisted humor and set dressing to use as a prime adventure hook. With a few tosses of the dice and suddenly you've filled that locker under the NPC's bed, the vault in the vile villains den, the chest out in the middle of that pox filled ruin, and so forth.

The lists here are brisk, weird, and original enough to include in my favorite sword and sorcery games, this makes this particular list extra nice for a game such as Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hypborea where the thieves guild is such a part of the underworld of the setting but this isn't the only place in which that this list can be used.
The items are truly unique and interesting, and with a bit of imagination could be used for everything from a Call of Cthulhu cult's head quarters to a museum as well as the standard fantasy menu
The Skirmisher crew knows their material and this is another product where they've went out of their way to bring a sense of the original and strange into back drop of these lists. With a bit of work this list could be used to create a quick and dirty warehouse space in anything from ancient Rome to Cimmeria itself. Or it could be used in a more modern police warehouse sort of evidence catch basin for investigators to look for vital clues for a horror style investigation adventure.
Is this pdf worth your time? In a word in my opinion yes. Because it sets off to really add another layer of tools to a part of a DM's palette that's needed; the devil being in the details of what's found and what's used by a party. Not everything needs to be +4 sword of sharpness. Sometimes a smoking bottle of demonic essence left from a magical duel will draw your party deeper into the doorway of adventure. Basically this is a nice solid and vital piece of old school gaming goodness that your going to be using again and again to generate more treasures, adventure opportunities, loot, and most of all fun items that will have adventurers wandering down new and exciting pathways of adventure and plots involving the local thieves guild and its members. All in all this is an essential book for anyone wanting to add another layer to their DMing of a life of crime and making their PC's pay for it one odd random  item at a time. 

North Wind Adventures To Launch A New Kickstarter Featuring Three New Hyperborea Adventure Modules

Well for the past couple of months I've been quietly watching the progression of the artwork, look, and redefinition of  the new adventures for the Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Rpg system. The three modules will be having their own Kickstarter soon and their as follows: 

Beneath the Comet™, Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess, Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes
The new look of the series really captures the comic book and magazine sword and sorcery source material from the 70's and 80's. 

The first title in the series is beneath the Comet and it looks pretty damn brilliant in my estimation. 
The plot is going to go something like this: 

For weeks the Comet has blazed in the sky above Hyperborea, inspiring widespread superstitious dread and fear of some star-borne contagion. Under the light of this harbinger from the Black Gulf, the PCs have come to Bogrest, following a magical treasure map that reveals great wealth buried in the Lonely Heath north of the village. Finding that treasure will be no simple matter, however, for Hyperborea is a weirder and deadlier place than ever beneath the Comet. 

Beneath the Comet is an adventure for from four to six characters of 6th through 9th level, for use with Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea™ and other traditional fantasy role-playing games.
The one that really interests me is this one, the 'lost world' theme really captures some of the Robert Howard Conan 'Red Nails' theme quite nicely. 
Love,love, the cover art on this one as well 


I can easily see running this one at a convention or for a large group such as my buddy Peter's players. 

More than a month ago, your party found itself in Port Zangerios, where you heard of an Esquimaux thief selling a treasure map. Low on wealth but high in courage, you sought him out. The man turned out to be a fearful ex-slave who had “acquired” the map from his Ixian master. The map is incomplete but shews the Isle of the Serpent in far-off Lemuria, where rests a fabulous treasure called the Feathered Crown of Nanasa (or so thought the Ixian). Pooling your money to purchase the unfinished map, you bought passage on an Amazonian trade ship. After passing through tempests and torrential rains that shimmered with auroral light, you have come to the great city of Jhaman Ket. Now you must seek out the location of the Isle of the Serpent.

Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess is an adventure for from four to eight characters of 5th through 7th level, for use with Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea™ and other traditional fantasy role-playing games.
The final adventure I've been following for months via the OD&D forums right over HERE  when it was first announced and keeping up with it on the new AS&SH forums HERE.
Many of the ideas in this one are straight out of the sword and sorcery adventures from the 30's and 40's, so my interests are peaked for this one. Not a bad premise for a module at all. 
Somewhere in the depths of Diamond Desert lie the skeletal remains ofYmir’s Serpent, a legendary Viking longship. In days of yore, Sigtrygg Forkbeard led his company upriver, piercing the desert’s hostile heart. There the Vikings unearthed a lost mine brimming with green diamonds, but the River Æolus desiccated as the Serpent prepared for launch, and the ship was swallowed by the dunes. Forkbeard and his company were never seen again, but tales of a shimmering Viking ghost ship gliding over the dunes persist to this day.

Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes is an adventure for from four to six characters of 2nd through 4th level, for use with Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea and other traditional fantasy role-playing games.
You can find out more about these modules on the new AS&SH website. Some damn fine resources are also their for the game as well. Right over HERE

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Hidden Tomb of Slaggoth the Necromancer Cover Art

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This is a free system and edition neutral module from the site, I stumbled upon this one while dealing with Goblin week on G +. Sort of like Shark Week only cooler because its by old school gamers and for old school gamers. Kidding its actually a really made up thing gamers do for each other as an exercise of imagination but I digress.
 This module came about as a cooperative effort between friends according to the website:
It started early this year when I stumbled on to the website of fellow D&D blogger, Stonewerks. Stonewerks primarily makes maps, and his work has heavily influenced the way I’ve drawn the Deadly Dungeons maps over the last few months. At the time, his newest post was “The Hidden Tomb of Slaggoth the Necromancer,” a map which caught my eye, both for its lovely design, and compelling description
This is a damn fine adventure and dungeon crawl that utilizes every little dirty trick in the book with some nasty old school dungeon crawl works as an adventure that the DM can really sink their teeth into.
The plot reads something like this:

“The long lost Tomb of the evil necromancer Slaggoth, is buried deep with in a cavern complex. The caves have become the home of a trio of ogres and their band of goblin henchmen. The goblins guard the entrance by watching through a small crack in the rock above the entrance, alerting the other goblins when anyone approaches the entrance. The goblins will then unleash a small pack of wolves that they have chained in the front caves against the intruders. If the wolves are not enough to repel the intruders, the goblins will send a runner across the wooden rope bridge to the ogre lair to warn their masters and will use ambush and retreat tactics to slow down the intruders. In the ogre cave is a massive steel door that leads to the hidden tome of the evil Necromancer Slaggoth.

This is fifteen pages of old school location based adventure mayhem with lots of little touches that gives this one that special little over the cliff edge. There are special descriptions of NPC's, a rumor table, lots of minor loot zones, a solid backing for the maps, fill ins and motives for the monsters, plenty of room for DYI dungeons and dragons DM customization and lots more. 
The module is concise, well thought out, and obviously a labor of love. The ideas and little details here like the broken ax in the skull all fire the imagination in oh so many ways. There's lots of high drama in this one as well right in the center of the adventure. The authors work very well together as the encounters are balanced enough to challenge and lethal enough to screw a party to the bone if their not careful. Team work and party cohesion are the watch words here especially in regards to survival and watching each others back with the Hidden Tomb. 
This is a nicely thought out mid level adventure that can be used as either side quest or as a mini campaign breaker for a well heeled or even a beginning party of adventurers. 
All thoughout reading this one I was chuckling over the throw down of the maps and monster's ecology. Very well though out placement and descriptions make this one a pleasure to read through. 
There is a metric ton that can be done with this module from mid range campaign placement to its use as a stand alone adventure. 
This module can be used over and over again because peppered throughout are campaign hooks that can be exploited by a clever DM to use as a jump off point for their own campaigns. 
My advice is to grab this one. Clever and weird adventures with a clearly pulp asthetic that can be used straight across ANY edition are rare but being free and of such quality is a very rare combination indeed. Grab and download this one folks. You won't be sorry. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Free OSR Download For The Basic Fantasy Rpg System - Adventure Anthology 1 For Your Old School Campaigns

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Possibly one of the best anthologies for the OSR that I've seen, you've got everything in this adventure anthology that a DM could want. Everything from one shot adventures, plot hooks for over arching campaign events, and much more.
 If I have a session run short, or if I need to run a few one-shots while I prepare my next campaign, this is a great resource. This is perfect for the middle part of a campaign when the adventurers are leveling up and need a few side quests.Each of these adventures has everything pre packaged for your adventurers to challenge them for an evening's entertainment in the old school tradition.
According to the Amazon blurb:
This is the first Adventure Anthology Series multi-adventure module for the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game! Herein you will find a collection of small adventure modules, playable in a session or two, written by various authors. The adventures in this collection are in varied styles and are suitable for characters from first level to eighth.
This is a nice series of adventures that tie into each other and the motives of the NPC's are all mapped out and they actually have reasons for their interactions. That being said these adventures can be devided into nice bite sized play times.
Many of these adventures can easily be converted into a wide variety of retroclones or more modern versions of the world's most famous fantasy role playing game.
My advise on this anthology of adventure goodness, grab it and get playing tonight. A solid collection of old school retroclone goodness! 

'Zenob's Home Coming' - An Adventure Encounter For Lamentations Of The Flame Princess and Your Old School Campaigns

“The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.” 
― Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Seen near the Port of Isafjordur on the outer edge of Iceland, a strange ship  has been spotted by local fishermen and they think that she bodes ill for any who sight her. The ship is the Lenore and she is crewed by dead men and her sorcerer captain who has ventured beyond the bounds of our universe into the Outer Darkness  and came back a changed men. He and his crew are men and something quite different not quite dead and bound within rotting flesh. Now they are doomed to sail eternity. But they have come to the shores near Iceland seeking out the Black School, only the dark masters of this school of ancient deviltry and witchcraft can hope to release these black souls into the hands of 'the Devil'.
The PC's are traveling adventurers and are hired by a witch of some standing to board the ship and deliver a potion to these men of black renowned to allow them entrance to the gates of  The Black School. Details on the Black School can be found right over HERE

The witch will offer the PC's thirty pieces of silver or gold of a valuable aspect but she will warn them if cheated, a demon will come for them instead. 
The PC's are given a scroll wrapped in an oiled seal skin and writ in the blood of the damned. The PC's will have to row out into the Port of Isafjordur at noon and recite the words of power written on the skin of a condemned and cursed man. They must return to the spot at sun set on the same day when the veil between the worlds is thinnest.
The ship appears in flash of green grey light with the setting sun. A weird dream haunted sea of brackish green black waters appears around the PC's row boat or craft. Odd things swim around in the waters and the PC's will find themselves in a place of wrack and ruin. Strange almost organic looking rocks piece the these strange waters.
The ship is partially decayed and stinks of the dead and damned. The captain Zenob will call a welcome to the PC's.  Once aboard the PC's are trapped beyond the wall of unreality outside the  world  but inside a timeless limbo like dimensional veil.
The Captain will slowly explain his plight to the PC's.
File:Flying Dutchman, the.jpg
Zenob's is a sad tale of tragic misplaced loyalties and reckless power grabbing. He was an honest sea captain whose wife ran off with his best friend, the good captain was trading goods with some very questionable associates from some of the smaller islands surrounding Greenland. Several ancient relics,scroll texts, and other antiques came into the captain's possession.
After several months of  study the good captain cracked under strain of a combination of a broken heart, depression, and possible demonic influence from these relics. Some speculate that the relics may have come from ancient Hyperborea but this is merely speculation. But what is know is that the captain summoned something from the depths of the Outer Darkness and he was changed by the experience. His crew were soon overpowered by this hellish inference. 

Zenob and his crew were changed men and need to reach their final reward to know peace. The PC's can destroy this artifacts to free the soul of the men (which will not work.)
Or they can research these artifacts in captain's library.
The PC's will find an ancient black dagger of valcanic glass as sharp as a razor among the belongings. If Zenob is questioned about the item, he does not recognize it.

“Since then, at an uncertain hour, 
That agony returns: 
And till my ghastly tale is told, 
This heart within me burns.” 
― Samuel Taylor ColeridgeThe Rime of the Ancient Mariner

 But its not just as simple a situation as this, each night a powerful demonic witch thing sneaks aboard the ship and massacres the crew at what passes for sunset in this timeless hellish  limbo. She is wicked, implacable and immortal it seems as the crew themselves. Each time she comes monsters out of the deepest nightmares of Hell itself preceded her. Use one or two hit dice monsters from the LoFP rule book pages 133 and 134. She fights as a 6th level fighter and regenerates as a troll ala OD&D. She is able to cast magic as a 4th level wizard but seems much diminished in power. She will be confused and very angry at the PC's presence on board.
After two encounters she will ask for parley with the party.

“Her lips were red, her looks were free,

Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was white as leprosy,
The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.” 
― Samuel Taylor ColeridgeThe Rime of the Ancient Mariner'

She will explain that her name is Athava, a witch from the Black School who trapped her philandering black magician  husband and crew  within this timeless Hell as part of a bargain with the twelve ancient devil gods of Hyperborea. She is naught immortal and regrets the bargain after turning & mutating into this demonic hag thing. Athava has been sending dreams to her sister with a plan to free her soul and send her husband down to the depths of Hell to the fiery claws of Satan himself. After observing the cycles of horror and violence it may occur to the PC's that killing Athava themselves with the ancient glass dagger may free themselves.
File:William Orpen Kaiser Wilhelm as the Devil.jpg

“An orphans curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high;
But oh! How more horrible that that
Is the curse in a dead man’s eye!” 
― Samuel Taylor ColeridgeThe Rime of the Ancient Mariner

After three cycles of violence and degradation, Ru'kelothat the demon which holds Athava's soul in its claws for its dark master will appear from the depths of this place. It will offer to free the ship and crew for the souls of one of the adventurers. It will offer riches and other incentives for this bargain but of course this is a completely twisted bargain. Should the PC's manage to kill Athava, the mists ahead of the ship will clear and the ship will exit this timeless void quietly sailing toward the twisted  rocks of the Black School only be dashed upon the waiting claws of the Devil himself. Zenob and crew will be dragged below the depths by the demons that follow in the wake of their dark master.File:Wreck of the American Ship General Grant.jpg

The PC's will find themselves upon the shores of the Black School barely clinging to life. A few of the relics and artifacts around them, trinkets to provide them with further damnation for their souls. Members of the Black School will nurse them back to health and they may take these trinkets as payment for the deed. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Free OSR Resource From Raging Swan Press - Be Awesome At Dungeon Design For Your Old School Campaigns

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So I was touring around G+ today and discovered Raging Swan Press's Be Awesome At Dungeon Design, needless to say I was pretty damn skeptical at best. But I took a look through this fourteen page system agnostic tool box of DM advice and surprisingly this is a very handy little collection of advice for the care, feeding, and design of dungeons across the board.
The pdf has a nonsense approach to the subject and goes into detail about the philosophy and aesthetic of the designer/author's mind as well as the back drop material for the dungeon. The whole kit is set up with everything you need to get started from start to finish with regards to how 'adventure location' of the dungeon is designed.
This isn't done with stats or an rpg table top system in mind but the ideals of the author's approach to the subject of dungeons in a common sense way and series of ideals for the incarnation of the whole affair of the dungeon as adventure and story element.
Let me say that I'm not a Pathfinder player or DM, and I'm not getting into the mega mountain of their products but this is a book I didn't regret downloading. I'm not taking away from Pathfinder, if you like the game then fantastic and more power to you.
But this is a book that has lots to offer for dungeon design, subject that is at the heart and soul of whatever edition you happen to play. 
From the Drivethrurpg blurb: 
Any GM can design a basic dungeon. A dedicated GM takes the extra time to craft exciting, logical and challenging dungeons that are so much more than a series of rooms stuffed full of monsters and treasure. Be Awesome At Dungeon Design comprises eight dungeon design essays by ENnie Award winning designer Creighton Broadhurst.  Handling such subjects as a dungeon’s purpose, design, ecology, dressing and physicality Be Awesome At Dungeon Design also includes essays on alternate dungeons and the principles of megadungeon design.
Whether you are a new GM just starting out, or a grizzled veteran, there’s something for you in Be Awesome at Dungeon Design.
This product is a Dual Format PDF. The downloadable ZIP file contains two versions, one optimised for printing and use on a normal computer and one optimised for use on a mobile device such as an iPad
Why You Should Take My Advice
In short, I've been around the block.
I've been on both sides of the designer/publisher fence. In 1999, I started out as a hungry, wildly inexperienced and tremendously naive freelancer. Now, I'm a grizzled (nay veteran) publisher and editor who has written, edited and developed well in excess of 1,000,000 words of gaming content. I've written for big and small publishers alike and won an ENnie for Madness at Gardmore Abbey (2012 [Silver], Best Adventure). A partial list of my design credits includes: Wizards of the Coast (Monster Manual V, Exemplars of Evil, Madness at Gardmore Abbey), Paizo Publishing (Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Magazine), Expeditious Retreat Press (Legacy of Darkness, Plague), Kobold Press (Deep Magic), Rite Pubishing (Pathways magazine, Adventure Quarterly) and Raging Swan Press (Retribution, Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands, The Sunken Pyramid).
During my early freelance days I was very lucky to have a mentor of sorts. Stephen Radney-MacFarland at the time was the RPGA's Big Cheese and my Living Greyhawk boss. During the course of the campaign, he gave me countless pointers and pieces of advice on how to commission, edit and develop modules. He gave me tremendous insights into the design process both in the campaign and at Wizards of the Coasts. (Luckily, he also didn't strangle me despite serious provocation on several occasion). During my time on the campaign I worked on over 100 modules and wrote another 20 or so myself. I had a lot of time to practise his suggestions.
In 2010, I founded Raging Swan Press and have built it into one of the most successful, prolific and recognised publishers of Pathfinder compatible products in the multiverse. I've worked closely with dozens of freelancers and to date (November 2013), have released over 160 supplements, adventures and player aids.
I want to share with you the insights and advice I've received over the years. I was lucky enough to have a mentor, but you might not.
Look I'm not caring if the author has published  a billion products but I do care about what is going to go into the design of the dungeon that is the center of tonight's game. The heart and soul of old school games is one the adventure and two the dungeon or other focus of your D&D party. The dungeon is a very important lynch pin in the history and backdrop of a campaign and this book provides a wealth of ideas,advice, and more for any DM. The author knows the material and knows how to tailor his advice to his audience but never talks down to the reader. A key point for getting me to read more of your products as well as move ahead with using this free product. Unlike other materials that I've run across as supposedly free this one doesn't skip on quality or key pieces of actually useful advice.
There is a whole swath of notes, pieces of useful twists and turns of facts and opinions that make sense. Much of this material can be used for not only adventure setting material but also the design of other rpg locations.
All in all I was surprised and delighted to read through 
Be Awesome At Dungeon Design.
Raging Swan Press is a nice addition to the growing plethora of OSR material that I own. I'm very happy to have downloaded this one ahead of the snow storm of 2015 and happy to have yet another piece of gaming related material that adds to the tool box that continues to bring my players back to the table again and again. Grab this one and because its free I must say its a nice piece of DMing advice that actually says what it does. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Free OSR Mega Download - The Basic Fantasy Field Guide From The Basic Fantasy Rpg For Your Old School Campaigns

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This is an eighty four page  monster manual for The Basic Fantasy Rpg packed to the brim with monsters and is perfect for any OD&D style campaign. There's a huge number of familiar faces but there's a totally whole different way of dealing with these monsters. The book takes a nonsense approach to it's creatures, everything here is geared for maximum adventure potential, there are over one  hundred eighty creatures with a full array of original and public domain artwork, and its well organized.
A DM can't ever have enough monsters. These are both the benign and darkly dangerous for the health of adventurers. They can easily be slipped into a wide variety of OSR adventures at the drop of a hat.
These are the creatures that your going to want to populate your OD&D style dungeons with. The monsters are very well done in the old school tradition with plenty of new variations to keep it punched up and fresh as well as deadly.

So what's in this book? According to Drivethrurpg:

Need a few more monsters? You've come to the right place! This tome contains over 180 creatures for use with the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game. From ordinary animals to extra dimensional intruders, this book contains something for almost any game!

Challenge your players with alien Eelbats or deadly Clockwork Skeletons. Populate your wildernesses with stalwart Chelonians or the wily Rabbit Prince. Perhaps the next tomb your players raid will house a powerful Bone Horror! These and many more weird, wonderful, and wicked creatures lurk within this book.
There's been a ton of work put into the monsters in  this book and the Basic Fantasy authors & contributors know their material. There are quite a few surprises slipped into the back door  of this free download. The problem and issue with monsters is really one of expansion, there are always always room for that one special creature that you as a DM need. This book has quite a few creatures to fill in that special niche.
The monsters here are wide ranging, interesting, dangerous deadly, and don't simply conform to the usual OD&D tropes all of the time. The authors have done a nice job of mixing it up to give a DM a real variety of creatures.
When a DM has a huge sprawling ruin to populate with monsters this is really a great book to grab. This really is a no nonsense game book that highlights, hits all of the monster high points, and gives all of the best stat blocks at a glance. I can honestly recommend this book without reservation as yet another great Basic Fantasy rpg line book with a full dance card of all of the living dangers for your dungeons and adventures Did I mention that it was free?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Soul Forged Armor For The Basic Fantasy Role Playing or Your Old School Campaigns

 Grab It For Free Right
There are times when a DM needs something a bit more well special then the usual 'magic sword' that we get in OD&D and basic.I stumbled across this particular take on the magic sword the other night.
According to the PDF : 
Soul Forged Armor is armor that has been infused with the soul of a warrior or paladin. It is usually created for a specific purpose. That purpose can be good, or evil. It can be specific (eg. A Soul Forged Lich Slayer would be created for the express purpose of slaying Liches), or it can be more general (Soul Forged Armor of Chaotic Good). It can be forged for a specific group within a game world. Often, an order of Holy Warriors will choose one of their greatest, and have his soul forged into armor so that he can be called upon in time of dire need.
This idea is simply the bare bones of a very cool idea that can easily be fleshed out in a game such as Lamentations of the Flame Princess or Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea as a type of lost magical artifact that while powerful cares with it an air of the sinister and more then slightly weird.
Its really only two page pdf with some interesting and very respectable high ideas that adds a bit more flare to the idea of the magic sword which is already steeped in real world myth and legend.
Its always the little touches such as these that bring home the classic tropes of old school sword and sorcery. With a bit of conversion this article can serve as a nice set of old school mythological guidelines to create an other aspect of the dark fantastic for your old school D&D game. Not too shabby a free download at all that infused with a sword and sorcery classic piece of gaming meta mythology.
1 4 Рукоятки скифских мечей. IV в. до н.э. Курган Чертомлык (Никопольский район).jpg

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Free OSR Adventure - The Tavern Of Daednu By The Oliver Brothers For Your Old School Campaigns

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Everything about the Tavern of Daednu is well done and very interesting. This is a small twenty page module that is big on encounters and if done well could well be a first rate horror style introduction adventure. The module paces itself well and solid.
With a bit of work this module could be adapted into a solid location adventure into your old school campaigns. Everything about this module screams add me into your game. Since this is an AD&D 1st edition module, you can easily add it right in. The plot and NPC's here are very generic but with a few clever twists this module can be a party's introduction into the darkness that lays at the heart of your horror or weird sword and sorcery campaign.

According to the Dragon's foot intro: 
The Tavern of Daednu seems a pleasant place for adventurers to spend the night, but all is not as it seems. A short adventure for character levels 1-3.
According to the adventure the structure for the module is laid right out in the open from the  introduction: 

"The Tavern of Daednu is a short
adventure for 3-8 characters of 1st-3rd
level. The scenario works best with
characters of low level who are veteran
players. They will of course be suspicious."
Don't let this fool you as a DM, with a bit of work this module could make a fine introduction adventure for a Lamentations of The Flame Princess game or a even a game of Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea. The weird adventure elements here are compelling enough to keep PC's interested and busy from the ground up.
The adventure reminds me of Solomon Kane and some of the older Weird Tale influences here and I like the feel that I got from this one reading through it a few times. 

There are two levels to the inn and with a bit of clever slight of hand this adventure location can be used over and over. The writing here is interesting, the plot can be reused a couple of times, and personally I think that  the PC's should escape with their lives with this one. Only to have the place show up again later on in their adventuring careers. This is the sort of adventure location where adventurers should cut their teeth and be thrust into the darkness only to escape knowing that its waiting for them.
Grab this adventure, twist it around, and drop it into your campaign for a sword and sorcery twist on the usual basic AD&D game module. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The New Free OSR AD&D 1st Edition Module From Dragon's Foot -The Barrow of the Moon Druid By The Oliver Brothers For Your Old School Sword and Sorcery Campaigns

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Sweet mother of Tiamat, I go to sleep last night and wake up to brand new module on Dragon's foot for AD&D first edition for a basic set of level of level 2-4 players! I'm not sure who the Oliver Brothers are but man I'm going to keep my eye on 'em.
The Barrow of the Moon Druid is very exciting on a number of levels. First this is a free download and that right there is one of the exciting things about this module.

Right off the bat just from thumbing through the pdf of the The Barrow Of The Moon Druid, one get's the sense of the pulp and dark fantastic about this module. The artwork evokes a sense of 1930's Weird Tales mix in with a 1970's TSR style module.

The introduction goes into the dark and twisted background: 
What lies inside the ancient barrow of the moon druid Arasgain? Only those of stout heart should endeavour to survive the perils inside. An adventure for character levels 2-4.

Right in the introduction the of the adventure, the authors lay out the parameters of the adventure. This module can easily and conveniently be inserted into the backdrop of the DM's old school campaign with little to no fuss. Here's the module's back blurb and it spells out how to use the module : 

As your party travels the Old Road which cuts a path through the dangerous moorlands,
you spy an old barrow sitting off in the distance. An old gnarled tree, the only tree to be
seen on the moor, sits atop the barrow watching over the round door set back deep in
the mound. What possible treasures lie within the barrow mound, the one said to be the
burial location of the Moon Druid? Who within the party will be brave enough to enter
The Barrow of the Moon Druid?
Contents :
The Barrow of The Moon Druid is both a location based adventure & a tradition crawl with some twists into the back drop. The is a place with a deep and abiding pulp style history and the darkness of the location colours the landscape and ideas of the module.
Encounters are balanced, concise, and deadly for an AD&D 1st edition or
OSRIC style module. Looking over this one, a clever DM could adapt this one to OD&D with some slightly of hand and number crunching. 
Here the Barrow adventure itself is laid out in pretty clear detail but with lots of room for DYI conversions into the back drop of module.
The maps are clearly and very well done. This is a twenty seven page module with two parts to the adventure location The Barrow Part I and The Moon curse Part II with some defining NPC's and events that surround the whole of the adventure worked in solidly into the background and history of the place.  This also sets up the new  monsters and it has definitive nods right back to First Edition AD&D Deities and Demigods. Note that the Oliver brothers know exactly how this book was intended to be used and do so with style in this adventure. This is pretty damn complex plotted lower level adventure module.
All of this ties neatly and somewhat nicely into the backdrop of the module which incidently has a Celtic/Sword & Sorcery feel. Elements of this module could and should be used for a Lovecraftian cult, and its black miracles. Yes this is that well done.
 There is a boat load of new material packed into the setting,history, monsters of this adventure.
All in all this is an essential hardcore sword and sorcery AD&D 1st edition module with all of the trimmings with the potential to be used extensively as a 'drop in' adventure location.

The Barrow of the Moon Druid
By The Oliver Brothers
For Your Old School Sword and Sorcery Campaigns 

I've said before that this is a fantastic old school module and do I think that it could be used for a sword and sorcery campaign? The answer is a resounding,'yes'. The adventure is done in such a way as to be fully contained within itself and this is its core strength.
The Barrow of the Moon Druid could easily be converted into a number of AD&D style clones with little issue. My idea would be to use it is a part and parcel for a Hyperborean Celtic back point for Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea campaign. Because of the system of that retroclone its so easy to do a conversion and given the motives of the NPC's there's a clear line of sight to drop in the module into the mix.
For other retroclones such as Lamentations of the Flame Princess and other retroclones of weird aspect, some element base conversions are going to be needed. That being said the bench mark of this module with the character levels works very well for an OD&D style campaign with the usual conversions as necessary.
All in all this is one very well done module whose authors dedication and passion for the hobby shines through. You can see the amount of work that goes into these and the sense of fun that appears behind the work . All in all, I personally think that this is a free download worth your time. Happy gaming and keep em rolling. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Free OSR Adventure Download - Fortress, Tomb, and Tower: The Glain Campaign For Your Old School Campaigns

Grab It Right Over
Fortress, Tomb, & Tower contains three easily adapted Basic Fantasy retroclone rpg system mid level adventures. It clocks in at sixty one pages but what's in it?
And just because its free should you down load it?
Well according to the the Basic Website blurb: 
This adventure series from the World of Glain includes three distinct adventures, suitable for characters of various levels: Fortress of the Iron DukeTomb of Karsma Megalos, and Crooked Rock Tower.

The adventure is designed for PC's of second thru forth level, and believe me it lives up to its reputation. These are nice mid level adventures that can easily be adapted to any old school sword and sorcery campaigns. There are certainly an number of old school retroclone systems one thing I've noticed is the way in which the Basic Fantasy rpg system seems to exploit the down and dirty nature of its D&D roots. Something that comes across in the presentation of their material. Because of the nature of the adventures, PC's are fully exploited in the backdrop of the world of Glean the setting for these adventures.
There are motives, backdrop stories, and more to exploit the PC's their fullest and these adventures make the most of the situation. The adventure plays with the PC's as they thread their way through this adventure.
Because of this aspect of the adventure, the fact is that these adventures are perfect to add to an existing game such as Astonishing swordsmen and sorcerers of Hyperborea. The system is different enough to warrent a bit of shoe horning on the part of the DM.
The adventures are clear cut with enough plot to keep the players interest as their PC's lives dangle over the over arching plot running through the back of this adventure.
Watching what the PC's are doing and dealing with is key to running through this set of adventures and keeping the PC's on their toes is one of the things that this adventure excels at in spades.
 Because of the free nature of the pdf there is plenty of wiggle room to keep the over arching plot threading of the adventure from shoving the whole affair off course. 
All in all this was a great little read through and I can't wait to exploit the PC's to the full extent of this adventure. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

1d10 Magical Chalice Table For The Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg System and Your Old School Systems

There are treasures of ancient workmanship and strange aspect which are the focus of adoration for dread rites and forbidden magics. They are the source of extraordinary power and the focus for dangerous cults, many have been left behind after the power of their gods fades and yet legends and myths grow around them creating the central focus for adventures.
Heroes, rogues, and adventurers seek their power, wizards lust for mystic might, and indeed empires are forged from the center of their droughts. 

File:Ardagh chalice.jpg
Photo by Kglavin
1d10 Random Magical Chalice Table 

  1. Alkandut - From Old Earth, this chalice has been known as king maker, the widow cup, and by many names from throughout time. The chalice magically reads the heart and soul of its drinker after wine is poured into its cup. The user gains 1d4 points to attributes and +2 to wisdom. The cup may once a month grant a cure light wounds spell and it has a 30% chance of sealing a dimensional breech. The cup will do 3d6 points of damage per round to those not of lawful good alignment who handle it. An ancient elemental spirit of fertility dwells within its metal confines. 
  2. Angorugu - The Cup of The Stars, this chalice is the focus for several astrological gods and grants its user the ablity to see beyond and open the doors between planes. The chalice may grant this if spring water from a lower valley spring is poured within it. It may open or seal  a dimensional door once per day. Used more then once a day and the power of the chalice will rip the user apart as the cup's spirit takes offense and 4d6 points of damage pours into the fool. 
  3. Bakaulo- The Blood Cup, this chalice magically fills with the blood of a lesser saint Bakaulo who quested for this chalice back in the days of Old Earth. The chalice grants its owner the ability to heal land and people of wounds of the soul allowing a barren land to yield 1d4 seasonal harvests and healthy infant mortality rates. It may also grant a vision every 1d6 weeks. 
  4. Cagitua- The Emperor's Bane, this chalice has a long and bloody history of royal linage until it found its way to its current holding place. The chalice allows one to hear the thoughts and wishes of the people he rules. It also grants one a vision from beyond, a communion with the ruler's god once per month. There is a blemish upon the cup, for those who use it have a 2% chance of attracting fate and for someone close to the owner to betray and try to murder the owner of the cup for possession of it. And so it goes 
  5. Laulan -The Hunter's Moon, this cup allows its owner to assume the guise and shape of a hunter or animal of prey once per moon after blood of the kill is poured into it. The owner of this cup will have incredible insight into the nature and mind of animals as well as the powers that watch over them. The owner must dedicate every third hunt to the spirits of the cup or bad luck is sure to follow. The owner will find 1d6 extra kills per month from the cup's influence and other tribes of hunters will look to the owner for wisdom and insight. 
  6. Drotundu - This chalice was the center of worship for a group of knights from Old Earth who sought a refuge for their wives and families. The chalice's spirit  is able to provide insights, guidance, and wisdom in the form of dreams and illusions every new moon but the owner of the chalice must engage in prayer and rites of the chalice every day. They must forgo marriage and procreation for the rest of their lives. The spirit demands fidelity in its owners for the good of the familial lines and once every 1d8 years calls these families together to observe the travels it has made. The cup is now lost. 
  7. Fangoru - The cup of ancient kings, this cup has passed from ruler to ruler across the centuries and all of their spirits reside within. Those who drink from this cup may experience their wisdom, memories, and lives within the visions the chalice grants. The chalice will also grant 1d10 extra years of life to the owner and insure that the owner is fertile and gains an heir. But there are those who whisper that it is the chalice's children who rule in the stead of the owner and a blood curse follows in its wake. 
  8. Otundur -This chalice once belonged to a cult of the moon goddess Otundur but it was stolen by a necrotic cult who twisted its spirit and now serves dark forces. The cup will grant undeath to those who taste of its dark icor as the cup magically fills each new moon. The thing may create one vampire or 1d20 zombies under the command of the spirit's cup. The rites of this chalice are far too awful to writ down here. Once per new moon, the chalice may summon a minor demon of low aspect who will demand a blood sacrifice and serve the owner of the cup. Those who handle the cup will be tainted by it. And will become of low undeath aspect after death. 
  9. Hagodrimanguna - This cup will change and liquid poured into it to pure spring water. The cup of prophecy as it is known has yet to have its powers unlocked and waits its rightful owner. It has been known in the past to heal, grant wishes, and destroy armies with its might. But for now it sleeps in legend and has been lost to the mists of time. 
  10. The Vangorca - This cup belongs to a long tradition of blood sacrifice and war, the cup of warriors demands the blood of the vanquished. It grants its owner a temporary increase of 1d6 points for stats but lasts as long as the battle. Once over the cup will offer new visions of conquest and war but the spirit of the cup always demands this,eternally. The cup may create 1d8 berserk from ordinary men by causing them to be possessed by the dark warrior guardian spirits who serve the cup. There is a legacy of blood and thunder associated with this cup.