Thursday, February 26, 2015

Random Tavern Generator For Your Old School Campaigns

    Skirmisher publishing just had their 'Game publisher WTF moments'on their  D-Infinity broadcast on Youtube this evening. Which had some pretty fun stuff in it. You can see that right over HERE. But the reason for the mention is actually the Random Tavern generator that was mentioned at the end of the board cast. This handy dandy little generator gives the perfect watering hole or meeting place for your party. 

This is a perfect random generator from Skirmisher publishing for your old school game campaign. This is a solid done generator. Easily adapted to your urban encounter area or adventure locations within a town, city, or even the countryside wagon trail.
Start Using It Right Over 

original artist right over Here

Another trick I came up with is to use the generator a couple of times to create various watering holes within a town or city block. This way various watering holes might be owned and operated by a crime family or thieves guild or some other organization.
All of this material is based on the Jester Dragon's Random Tavern Generator. A system neutral product that's only .99 cents and will seamlessly fit into the background of your campaigns,neatly and quite concisely.

Grab It Right HERE 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Free OSR Resource From Dragon's Foot - Footprints Issue #22 For Your Old School Campaigns

Footprints #22 of the venerable pdf magazine is out, and its actually one of my favorite old school resources. The magazine has changed and evolved over the years and it now sports the 'ideas and adventures for advanced fantasy gaming';this is exactly what it is and does. This issue is no exception. First I absolutely love the cover on this issue. And that's really one of the places where the places where a revamp for the look of the magazine has been coming. Believe it or not the contents page has the look of the TSR era Dragon and my heart ached seeing it for a moment. 

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But then after looking through this issue's contents it became even more apparent that this wasn't simply the graphic layout and content but there's more to it.
The Dragon's foot page reveals more of this new direction

% In Lair Column  By Ron 'rRedmond' Redmond - This is really a great article about the old school gaming experiences and tackling of the Footprints magazine by Ron. It really gives some personal insight into the who's, what's, why's of his experiences with Dragon foot and the OSR.
It also sets the tone for the rest of the mag as a whole. Some of the tone in this article sets up the backbone for the rest of the articles to come.

Charge It!(article) by Ian Slater is a really solid take on 'correcting' and offering an alternative method for charging magic item from the 1st edition DMG, and it breaks down both math and method to the madness. A really well thought out system with some nice twists that can really be applied in a number of ways. A solid addition to this issue right out of the gate. 
Feelin' Trapped? (article) - Continuing the trend with excellence is this article on random trap generation, Tony Chaplin does an excellent article which again gets back to early Dragon magazine articles. This is stuff that you can add into your own DM tool box and do so with little problems because of its quality. 
Pulling Strings (adventure) - Ahh The depth of this issue is in the adventures as well as the articles and 'Pulling Strings' really is an excellent adventure by Darren Dare  for 2nd edition AD&D but man this is a really solidly done adventure featuring some of my favorite old school monsters. I might have to back engineer this one into something like AD&D 1st or OSRIC. Very well done and love the maps and look of this one. 
Treasure & Tables (article) - Stuart Marshal turns in a really well done article on OSRIC random magic item generation, this one covers all of the bases and its very useful. The article has some very nice applications for adventure generation and provides a quick as well as effective method for magic item creation. 
Systems & Swordplay (article) - Is another Stuart Marshal effort for OSRIC to address the problem of weapon specialization inside the game. This article does a good job of giving the DM the means to deal with this problem that players sometimes make take center stage in combat situations. No more, this one takes the headaches right out of this. 
Many a Quaint and Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore (article) - Michael Haskell does an excellent job of setting up the back drop for wizards and magic users and their time between adventures. This one has it all and its worth the price of admission on the strength of this article alone. Very cool stuff with some horrific applications that reminds me of historical articles I've read about historical characters like John Dee and others. Wizards should often be the catalyst  for adventures and this article gives a DM a nice excuse to slip in plot hooks and twists between adventures. 
Prelude to an Adventure (fiction) - Now this is a good piece of fiction that drops in some ideas for the 'who, what, & where' aspects of old school adventures and their preludes. Nothing happens in a vacuum. And this story highlights that in spades. 

Blacktop Vale (adventure) - This is a solid adventure and Steve McFadden turns in all of the stops with this OSRIC or AD&D 1st edition style adventure. The maps, story, backdrop are all pure sword and sorcery with a pulpy heart that I loved. Again this is worth the price of admission. 

Bottom line this is a solid issue with content that can adapted into any number of old school or retroclone systems. Hell I can see these adventures being adapted for Labryth Lord with the advanced companion, I can see the material being retrofitted into several other systems. Including easily being used for Fantastic Heroes and Witchery, or even OSRIC or AD&D 1st edition. 
Is it worth the download? Hell yes and its very well done issue at that. Grab this issue and get moving to the gaming table. A really nice free download. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Free OSR Resource - DC1 Tales From the Laughing Dragon A Dragon Claws Adventure For Your Old School Campaigns

There are adventures that require more then mere skill with a weapon and a bit more investigation as well as ideas on the PC's part. Tales From The Laughing Dragon : A Dragon Claw Adventure. 
DC1 is the kind of adventure that while location based all revolve around the back setting of bars. If your expecting the usual hack and slash OD&D bits your in for a bad time with your PC's. 
DC1 is one part dungeon crawl, one part interlinked adventures and one part thinking man's dungeon adventure all in one slick thirty four page package of OSR goodness. 

Tales from the Laughing Dragon

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The plot sounds like a typical D&D style basic adventure but there's where the similiarity ends.
According to the basic plot which goes something like this :

Fonkin the beloved gnome sage is missing. The town guard is busy fighting off brigands and doesn't have time to look for him. A group of aspiring adventurers take on the task and follow a clue that leads them to an old ruin and footsteps leading down some stairs to the darkness below...

Tales from The Laughing Dragon: A Dragonclaw Campaign is a short three-part adventure series for the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game. It's designed for a group of beginning player characters, making it a great way to jump in to the Basic Fantasy RPG!

This is a thirty four page mini campaign adventure that is part basic introduction and part mission oriented adventure with some interesting twists on the usual OSR campaign adventure. What you've got here is a thinking man's adventure that is perfectly suited to throw the PC's into the deep end of the pond. Here the characters are recruited by some patrons in a series of interlinked adventures but there's also another interesting twist on the usual themes. This adventure has the sub heading of a Dragon Claw Adventure. The Dragon Claw Barony is the setting backdrop for this adventure and I think we're going to be seeing a lot more campaign material for this back bone of this campaign in future Basic Fantasy rpg edition adventures. From the adventure: 

/Dragonclaw Barony is a provincial yet rough and ready area, reminiscent of ancient England or Wales. The primary terrain of the Barony is rolling fields and gentle hills, though the Dragonclaw Mountains, from which the Barony takes its name, cut a wide swath through the center of the land. The borders of the barony are primarily comprised of natural features: the forests of Norwood, the northern Dragonclaw Mountains, and the Badlands in the north and west; and the Sea of Storms, the southern Dragonclaws, and the Dreadwood to the east and south. The Barony was once a small independent kingdom known as llancrest. Four hundred years ago, armies from the Kingdom of Albion, to the distant north, forcibly annexed the lands to serve as a southern base in their perennial wars with the eastern kingdom of Kar'Tegra. Llancrest was renamed as "Llancrest Barony" and a new ruler from Albion was given control of the land. Over the years, as the Barony grew more and more independent, the court at Albion began to refer to the distant frontier area as "that Dragonclaw barony", referring to the high mountain range that bisected the countryside; "Dragonclaw Barony" was eventually adopted as the official name of the land.'
And this is one of the things that makes DC1 a bit different, there is an element of the sword and sorcery going on in the backdrop. Things are a bit rougher and darker in this adventure then I was expecting and that's a good thing. The adventure is perfect for children but I can really see this being used as a motivator adventure for a beginning party or as a series of side adventures for an experienced party. Everything about DC1 is very nice and concise in what it does. It sets up the adventures and interlinks them with the Dragon Claw campaign world and setting but this is constantly running quietly in the background.  

The maps, ideas, and player handouts are all very nicely done and there's a really nice professional vibe running through DC1. But if your party is high on the combat end of things, expect a few possible TPK's in the works. All in all I think this is a free download worth your time and energy to get to know  Tales From The Laughing Dragon. Grab this one today! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pay What You Want - The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying For Your Old School Campaigns

I've been seeing this module around since 2013, and I've been meaning to check this bad boy out for a long while. Mischief Inc has been teasing me with this one in my Drivethrurpg feed for a while and its an interesting run through reading through OA. As a pay what you want title its pretty damn well put together.

This module has several interesting features: A its truly edition nuetral and could be used with any edition of the world's most popular fantasy adventure game. Second it emulates many of the conventions and tropes of older edition adventures. Third this makes this adventure an easy fit for any old school retroclone. Everything from the stat blocks for the monsters, the artwork, the basic intro here is top drawer. If your going to get into a mid range module for an OSRIC or AD&D style game this module is a god sent. But here's the thing this module could easily be used with a swords and wizardry rule set or Labryth Lord especially with the advance companion. 
The basic plot of this adventure reads through like a TSR era adventure but more heavy on the sword and sorcery aspect. According to 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.
Much of the fantasy elements are twists on the classic AD&D 1st edition of play and with a bit of work could easily be incorporated into a game such as the Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg system game world.
The monsters are deadly and some of the encounters would have to be used with an experienced party. There is enough meat here to challenge the PC's on a number of levels. 
All in all the quality of the adventure is quite surprisingly good and the writing complex with plenty of adventure hooks for future releases.
Much of this module is well thought out and delivers on exactly what it promises, a pilot episodic adventure from Mischief Inc. It feels and plays with some very interesting twists on some potentially nasty enemies for the PC's and introduces a fully fleshed out vile villain with not a wrap up in sign. This is done on purpose but for a eighteen page adventure with quality artwork and more this is an essential adventure to grab. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Pay What You Want OSR Resource - Five Swords From Harbinger Games For Your Old School Campaigns

Five Swords From Harbinger Games is one of those supplements that fills a niche as a DM that you wish you have thought to have written. Its a damn useful little product with five magical blades. The title includes their history, powers, bits and pieces, all of the useful bits about the weapons and its all done up in a nice concise and well organized package from Harbinger Games. These are not power or munchkin blades, they have a specific set of powers and magical qualities but not enough to unbalance your old school campaigns

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Five Swords has a ton of uses from adding in several NPC magical blades and their history to creating brand new artifacts in the form of swords to add just that extra little bit of shine to that treasure hoard.
According to the Drivethrurpg blurb: 

  Five Swords is exactly what it sounds like - writeups of five enchanted swords suitable for use making a treasure hoard more sought after, or to make a villain more feared!.
  Five Swords has writeups for the holy sword Whitestaff, the thief's sword Stardust, and killer's sword Orphanmaker, plus two more.

On the surface this title does exactly what it says on the title but more then that the Five swords adds that little extra edge of magical sword goodness to an adventure but don't make these swords that easy to aquire during game play. Place these swords within dragon hoard, as part of collections belonging to vile villains or give these swords to NPC's who need a magic sword with an impressive set of minor and useful powers. And that's one of the things that separates this from other OSR products. These swords are actually damn useful for game play. They should be the cherry on top of any hoard's gathering of gold, gems, and silver pieces.
Because of the way that 'Five Swords' is written there is a ton of room to modify these items to your heart's content and allowing you as a DM to make and customize these swords as your own. There is a sense that these are magic swords that are meant to see use by your PC's.
That brings up the question of balance,Five Swords definitely has its collective eyes as a product to providing you with set of swords that can easily be modified to fit your needs as a DM. 
The items are very accurately described and are completely plug and play allowing a DM freedom to drop these swords right into an Advance Labryth Lord campaign, OSRIC, AD&D 1st Edition, or even an Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea campaign. The fact is that only one of these swords should appear within a campaign. Seriously these are swords that should only show up once every two years or so of game play. They're well balanced and written items with plenty of DYI editing room so you can sneak these swords right into the middle of your carefully aligned campaign with a ton adventure hooks built right into each item. 
All in all I think that this a download with your time and your attention as a DM. Go and gran this one today! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Adapting The Free OSR Adventure Resource The Stone Alignments of Kor Nak By E.Gygax & B.Poire To The Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Rpg System

I've been following the development of this free adventure resource for months and now its come out as a fully fleshed out old school pdf.
What is The Stone Alignments of Kor Nak about?
Well according to the GP Adventures website -
Discover the secret of the Alignments of Kor Nak, defeat many foes, and piece together a secret that will perhaps bring peace to the Carnelian Queen of old. This short module is compatible with 0e, 1e, and most variants of the World’s Premier Role-Playing Game. Light on stats and mechanical details, this hex is usable in a variety of settings and games, including your own.

 Grab It Right Over

So I've been wracking my brains about adapting the brand new adventure resource The Stone Alignments of Kor Nak by Ernie Gygax and B.Poire to the Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg system. But not in the way you might be thinking, you see some very cool folks have done quite a bit of the hard work for me over at the Hyperborea forums HERE
As one of the B.Poire points out :

"You'll see that we make allusion to the "Black Gulf" as "that which extends beyond the material plane" several times in the description. That's a nod for you guys, obviously. 

This material is eminently adaptable to Hyperborea, by the way, but you might have guessed it, given the source. Please enjoy, and let us know what you think!"The material is hugely influencal and very well done. It presents some clever locations, monsters, adventure hooks, and more.
Hell there are even crabmen, already built into the whole thing. I love the crabmen of Hyperborea because they're a fully fleshed out alien culture with a ton of menace and horror built right into the race.
Benoist Poire points out -
I could post some notes about possible AS&SH adaptations, but I'm not even sure those are even necessary: Switch Tenkar's Landing for the east coast of Hyperborea, and the ancient Ayceni just emerged on the continent from there, cast out from Old Earth or whatever alternate setting (our own Eurth, perhaps) you'd be using in your AS&SH game. Exchange humanoids like ape-orcs for fully blooded ape men, for instance, and you're pretty much there. It's even got a bit of science-fantasy on the side with the Iron Pyramid, the Cobalt Caves and why not, the Lone Tower as well.

EDIT. As far as our HSD AS&SH campaign is concerned, just include a portal from the Marmoreal Tomb into the deepest level of the Alignments of Kor Nak, back-and-forth, so the PCs can return, and you are set. Of course, any portal of such sort in Hyperborea would include some sort of chance of failure, mishap, or misdirection, but that's the gist of it right there. Boom. Enjoy the Dark Youngs of Shub-Niggurath, players. ;)
Once again this is hugely inspirational. And actually very useful advice. 
I read through Handy Haversack's contribution and I see a thousand possibilities for this setting.
Yeah, I read it when I got home, and it seemed like a perfect thing to put out on the coast by Brigands Bay--or to use as the "Black Fief," Blackadder23! It's great stuff, Benoist. Thanks for sharing it.

And sometimes that can be the problem with a setting,its simply too awesome to use right out of the gate.As a DM you need time to digest it and let it rattle around in your head for a day or so. The fact that its been collected and released as a pdf with a nice old school cover is simply icing on the cake.
I've already reviewed it on the Swords and Stitchery end of the blogs but after my Stars Without Number game I cracked open my Robert Howard Nameless Cult's book and my other Robert Howard fan book.
The maps in the Stone Alignment are really well done and I want to take this mini campaign hex location and build a campaign world around it.
There are a few other free resources that I want to add, mold, and mix with this one. The possibilities here are pretty damn endless. The authors have done a tremendous job with the whole package of The Stone Alignments of Kor Nak.
If you haven't gotten into this free resource? I strongly suggest that you stop what your doing and go to the GP adventures website right now and download.This is not the last that your going to be hearing about me adapting this campaign resource to AS&SH. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Free OSR Adventure Location Resource - Adventures In High Wold By Corey Ryan Walden For Your Old School Sword and Sorcery Campaigns

So I'm planning on running a Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea one shot adventure soon but I need a town and fast, like Monday fast. So I started looking around and stumbled upon Adventures In High Wold. Not only is this a free town resource but it has everything your going to need for a party of adventurers to have a starting point, home base, and even the potential for some back yard adventures in this resource. Adventures In High Wold By Corey Ryan Walden has everything right out of the gate for a town setting for an D&D style old school campaign.
Adventures In High Wold
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It clocks in at eleven pages of sheers old school goodness with plenty of room to add, modify, and weave this town right into the background of your own campaign. 
So what's in the backdrop of this free town pdf?
Well according to Lulu:
This supplement is for any DM who needs a town, and needs a town fast! Designed to be compatible with any fantasy role-playing game system, Adventures In Highwold is the perfect starting point for any campaign. Includes two full colour maps, a table of random encounters, area descriptions, fearsome foes and numerous adventure seeds for exciting adventures ahead. Now I said that I was adding a backwater town setting to AS&SH how can this add in the details that are needed to really convey the sword and sorcery feel of this to Hyperborea. Well that's part of the charm of Adventures in High Wold. The author has spun this town into a perfect backdrop for your adventures, perhaps a mammoth or two as heavy farm animals, a few weird mounts in the backdrop and your ready to go. This resource is that useful and its only nine pages and it also includes some lovely and well done maps of the town,did I mention that all of the NPC's have really well thought out motives and desires to get involved with your PC's. Not all is well in High Wold and that's the perfect in for your PC's to get involved in the day to day goings on of the town. This product has a ton of potential for a party there are numerous hooks and dodges that allow a DM to lay the colour of their campaign set's on thick. And the town can take it. This is also a really nice backwater to stick into a game like Lamentations of the Flame Princess where a place of relative calm is needed to deal with some of the darker aspects. High Wold can act as bastion of light to the weirdness and high darkness of pulp adventures or so it seems. This makes a perfect jump off point for your PC's to spring into the high frontiers of adventure. Because of the very nature of this product its a perfect jump off point for a party and a nice place to end up back in. High Wold could well be a nice place to retire your adventurers to after dealing with the many threats and hazards that a world like Hyperborea has to off. But like all small towns this one has secrets and a few of them could get your adventurers killed. All in all this is a really nice starting point for any campaign and with High Wold along with its adventure elements this is a really nice place to add into your campaigns as a starting point and to expand from it. This product works very well with other OSR products and by combining them, you've easily got the start for a whole bunch of old school sword and sorcery adventures. My advice is to go grab this and start using it, today!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Brand New Magical 1d10 Crowns Of The Serpent Men Table For The Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers Of Hyperborea Rpg System

They are the ten legendary crowns of the serpent men of Old Earth, the artifacts of the ancient priest kings and they are treasures beyond compare with powers that scrap the bounds of sanity. And they have been lost since the time of the Green Death, but there are rumors of their appearance from time to time. Things borne down from the time of legends and myth capable of turning the destinies of nations and whole peoples.They have been wrought with metal, blood, and the insanity of history itself. 
They're powers and abilities have been speculated and dreaded until now. 

Peru Chavin crown with deity figures DMA 2005-35-McD.jpg

Brand New Magical 1d10 Crowns Of The Serpent Men Table

  1. Andug the blood devourer is a crown of weirdly wrought bronze like material interlaced with human and humanoid bones. This small and seemingly delicate crown is capable of dominating the mind of lesser beings as word of power effect three times per day and commanding up to 1d100 beings with a 30 mile range of the user. The owner may cast a charm spells at least once ever three  hours and their presence is addictive to those under the effects of the crown. The owner of the crown will crave human flesh at the beginning of the week. They will also have a poisonous bite as a serpents and magically grow fangs.
    The crown must be bathed in human blood once every three days and the owner may transform into a giant constrictor once per week. 
  2. Gbarglagotu is the crown of the demonic snake lord and it an affair of gold, lapis, cut crystal, and weird wire that looks like human nerve endings the colour of blood. The owner is able to use a power word of stunning once per day, and rebuke undead as if they were a 4th level evil cleric. The owner may summon 1d10 demonic serpents once every three days and command them. They may also raise and summon a zombie to command of a strange serpent like aspect. The thing will obey the owner but may turn on them if the crown is removed. They will try to snap the owner's neck and destroy them. 
  3. Ldethur the crown of birds and poisonous serpents, this crown is a combination of ancient dinosaur bones and serpent bones wrapped in fine gold wire. The owner is able to communicate with birds and other serpent like creatures. The owner of the crown can command a group of serpents or birds once per day. Crown may also sing and whistle to itself when not in use.It is said that its songs contain clues to the vaults of the serpent men filled with the treasures of a thousand bygone ages. 
  4. Nglrurchme This crown contains the occult secrets of an upstart king who got a hold of this fine crown of gold and black silver from its serpent king master, it contains the essences of thirteen demons of horror. The crown is able to summon the demon Ithmorglkazgwe who will serve as the owner's concubine or assassin. With the understanding that it may slay the owner if it get's in the way of the demon collecting the souls of whom it slays or wants. The owner may take on the knowledge or aspect of the demon and all that it entails. The owner also has access to the memories and knowledge of a ten level wizard. 
  5. Urglinarglkat is a vain and very dangerous crown that will try to possess the own with its own tainted soul and seek to sway the owner with offers of treasures and lies. The crown has none of these to offer but the ability to lie convincingly and to lend +3 strength to all battles it does in cold murder. 
  6. Urgothiar the evil twin of Urglinarglkat which possesses the knowledge and skills of an ancient serpent man cult assassin/wizard of seventh level. This gold and pearl crown is able to focus and direct the mind of its owner and capable of causing the owner to shape shift into a cobra's form. The crown will try to possess the owner but will allow him to seemingly to remain in control. The personality of the crown is paranoid and devilish. 
  7. The Crown of No Name, this crown possesses no personality of any type but has the ability to shield its owner from all mental powers or mind affecting magic when worn but there is a side effect. The owner will feel drained and their soul will be drawn off a bit at a time when worn. The soul of the victim will fade over 1d40 days as the crown draws it off into the Abyss. 
  8. Baugorurotuthi the thrice damned, this crown has been created from an ancient serpent man king's finger bones. The crown allows one to peer into the Outer Darkness and understand the language of demons. The owner may summon a demon once per day. The crown may also allow one to create a single serpent of essence once per day to do the bidding of the owner. The serpent is a cunning assassin and the owner can see through its eyes. The crown may cause mutation as the taint of the thing runs through the owner. 
  9. Lagogormeth the secret teller, this crown is able to identify and use many of the super science items found within the underworld of Hyperborea. The owner can unravel the workings of twisted bits and pieces of super science around them and they can peer through the darkness  surrounding them the vale of the Outer Darkness. Once per day they may summon the cold cloying mists of the Outer Darkness causing 1d8 points of damage as the cold and weird energies ravages the victim's bodies. 
  10. Ulatugrc the insanity creator, this crown of gold and weird alloys allows one to peer into the mind's of its victims and induce bouts of temporary insanity. With its more powerful effects it can weave hallucinations insane enough to drive a man mad. The crown can also open doors to the realms of insanity and depravity. A very dangerous artifact that is capable of filtering through some of the insane revelations of the Great Old Ones. 

File:Xiuhcoatl British Museum.jpg

Monday, February 9, 2015

'The Pay What You' Want' OSR Adventure -HS1 The Lost Shrine of Sirona From Jeremy Reaban For Your Old School Campaigns

HS1 The Lost Shrine of Sirona From Jeremy Reaban is a really nice   'The Pay What You' Want' downloadable adventure that sets off to do something fairly simple and straight forward. It seeks to provide an evening's entertainment and do it well. This it succeeds in quite nicely and the module is 'pay what you want'
The module revels in its 'hack and slash' ethos and sometimes that's really all that's needed for a party of PC's.
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The text is concise, the maps pretty straight forward, and it does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a really nice mid point adventure and crawl with a location based adventure plot.
Here's the drivethrurpg blurb: 
Remember when adventures were mostly about going into a dungeon, killing monsters, and grabbing treasure? HS1 The Shrine of Sirona is the first (hopefully) in a line of small modules that focus on the somewhat neglected and usually disdained "hack & slash" style play.
HS1 The Shrine of Sirona details a small (10 room) dungeon shrine that was been invaded and occupied by monsters. It is intended for 5th to 7th level characters using the advanced first edition of the most popular fantasy role-playing game but should work with all modern simulacra, and armor class is provided in most ascending and descending formats.
My advice with this adventure is to use it for an experienced party as mid range plot point crawl and hook for your campaign against the forces of darkness. It can provide a jump point for the events and ideas of what's happening in your OSR campaign or use it as a beginning stepping stone into greater things.
Or this adventure could simply be an evening's entertainment for a party of experienced PC's.
The module is only six pages long but don't let that fool you, there are some monsters and things that could easily end your PC's quite easily. This module could be adapted to your OD&D games or retroclones but your going to have to gut the monsters and use the locations.
With a game with pulp roots such as Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea. There is going to have to be level adjustments for the encounters and the monsters will have to be ported over but because of the way combat and the rest of the setting works this is a nice mid point pulp filled bridge gap action adventure style game night run.
This is a nice hack and slash adventure with plenty of room for DYI improvisation by a DM for fitting it into they're campaigns. Because is statted out for AD&D 1st edition. This is a perfect jump point for an OSRIC game or some 1st edition style retro clone system as well.
Using the adventure should be a nice and clear experience for a veteran DM and a nice up switch for someone who wants a fast, concise, and well thought out 'hack and slash' style game.
Clocking out at five pages this module provides a nice bit of violence and good old fashioned 'kill the monsters or PC's fun' with a bit of a nice up tick of a smattering of smartly written encounters, rooms, and more. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Free OSR Adventure - Tomb of the Mummy Priest By by MedievalMan For The Basic Role Playing System

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Yesterday I wrote about The Catacombs of Death for the Basic D&D companion rules, a very high level and well done adventure with some in peusdo Egyptian setting. Now while looking through the Basic Fantasy rpg site I happened across a very interesting seven page adventure with another sword and sorcery over arch. The Tomb of The Mummy Priest is perfect low level adventure with some Lovecraftian overtones making it a welcome addition to a DM's table who is looking to run something well crafted, interesting, and potentially well done stepping stone for a campaign setting.
The plot is like something found right out of an old Universal or Hammer movie. This is a down and dirty D&D desert romp with all of the trimmings.
The plot goes something like this:
A desperate bandit uses the blood of innocent villagers to revive a long dead God but is now close to awakening something else instead. Now some adventurers are heading to the tomb to investigate it. Will they be surprised by something better left dead?
Darkness, death, depravity in the deserts of an adventure that can easily be placed right into the back yard of Stygia or another Conan style setting as easily as you can wave a sword at. This adventure is only seven pages but in those seven all of the major high points are hit.
This could be used as a nice adventure for an Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg system adventure with a little modification. This adventure could be set in one of deserts of Hyperborea and used to introduce some of the PC's into deep desert locations within the game. Given the 'Old Earth' back history to that game this adventure is almost a natural fit. Most of the major monsters in this adventure are in the AS&SH rule books and referee books so its quite an easy conversion and almost straight across. The PC's could be easily sucked into a desert campaign with some dangerous overtones & add in some ghouls, cults, and other S&S elements and your well on your way to an AS&SH ancient Egyptian style campaign.
But back to the Tomb of the Mummy Priest adventure itself. The adventure is well worth your time. 
The set up is easy, the motive for the adventurers to get involved is very clear, and every thing flows nice and organically from the center of the material straight on to the table to the PC's. And there are clear cut reasons for this horror to take place but there are a few twists, just enough to make things very interesting.
I don't want to spoil the crawl in this one but if you've got a hankering for some sword, sandal, and sorcery action my advice is to grab this one and get playing. 

Free OSR Adventure From Dragon's Foot Catacombs of Death By For Expert-Companion Level D&D And Your Old School Retro Clone Systems

This is a sort of rare beast of a high level  adventure from Dragon's foot by author RC Pinnell because of the upper level of the PC's needed and the deadliness of the adventure.
The plot is something straight out of the pages of an old Dragon or Dungeon magazine in a good way, its got all of that hard core wilderness/ and dungeon action surrounding a nice plot of sword and sorcery action. But this one is an upper level crawl and lives up to its premise in spades. 
An old friend requires your help to rid themselves of a curse, but can you survive the Catacombs of Death. An Expert-Companion adventure for character levels 12-15.

Grab it Free Right Over
The author lays out the ground work for Catacombs of Death straight out of the gate.
This adventure is designed for characters at the upper range of the "Expert" levels of play--12 to 14. Players running demi-human types should have attained at least Attack Rank C, as provided in the Companion Manual of instructions, that their characters may be able to experience the adventure on a more or less equal footing with the human types.
This is not an open sand box style of adventure instead this is a carefully plotted adventure that follows PC's into the mid range of character development and the pit falls that go along with later life of such characters.
The encounters are a challenge for these characters and the adventure centers around several locations of very dangerous aspect and a rather nasty dungeon.
Action, NPC's, and plot are interwoven throughout the Catacombs of Death, the author making no secret of the lethality and challenge of its plot and story line. This isn't an adventure location but a set of interwoven plots in the style of the older adventures for Basic D&D and retroclone systems.
Think of this module in terms of the Expert module such as the Slave Lord series because there is a very similar vibe running throughout the adventure, a set of circumstances that will haunt the characters for years to come surrounding events already set into motion.
This is an adventure about old vendettas, ancient history, and hair trigger circumstance all putting the PC's at the center of its Egyptian style setting material.
There is a ton of new monsters, set pieces and more right between the pages of this one. It really is a well done but upper level adventure & used well can prepel characters into a whole other realm of character back story and development. But those playing this one are going to be changed forever by what happens out in the sands in the Catacombs of Death. Take a look and download this one
Using Catacombs Of Death
 For Your Old School Campaigns 
Using Catacombs of Death for your Old School Retroclones is going to require a bit more of a challenge because of the very nature of the module, this isn't a sandbox or kitchen sink adventure but one that requires some preparation and careful thought by the DM.
Because of the very nature of its story and plot a careful working by the DM is needed. A nice idea is to work the events from the back drop into the PC's career early into a campaign and then use Catacombs as a send off or mid range adventure for upper level characters.
That being said there are other ways of dealing with the circumstances surrounding the adventure.

Another idea is to have another high level  rival party hook up with the adventurers and one of their number set the plot and events of Catacombs of Death into motion. This adventure is interesting, complex, and full of adventure and surprises. There are a myriad of uses for it but for a game such as Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea some real solid adjustments of level and a handful of solid conversion work needs to be done by the DM. The material will fit a such a game but it would require some work on the DM's part.
This is a module well worth the time, energy, and circumstance to take a look at and its very well done. For a free module is blurs the line once again between fan and pro. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lands Beyond Kos (Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting) From Skirmisher Publishing For Your Old School Sword And Sorcery Campaigns

Lands Beyond Kos is the newest entry for the Swords of Kos Fantasy imprint from Skirmisher Publishing and for a fan of sword and sorcery role playing the timing couldn't be better. 
This is closer look at the big bright world beyond the Kos setting books, a sort of 'Ancient World' of mythology seen through a D&D style lens with over arching spins of adventure, fortune, and glory woven together with sword and sandal. Here adventure is always at the ready and your PC's are expected to be thrown into the deep end of legend and mythology itself. 
These are the lands of Hercules and  the heroes of old, erm not quite. See your PC's are the heroes and this book is a setting book of lands,details, all the little bits and pieces your DM is going to need to deal with what's over the horizon of the seas of the world of Kos. 
Grab It Right
This book details the lands and high areas of adventure in Kos. The book does it out in grand style and very easy to read bits and pieces with scattered adventure hooks provided through out but its a book with plenty of room for customization on the DM's part. The nice thing is the lack of system which means a DM can hang this world book right into the backdrop of their own campaign world and favorite system. 
So what's in it? Well according to the description from Drivethrurpg: 
As their adventures take them away from the shores of Kos, characters may increasingly visit other countries throughout the Mediterranean and the lands of Europe, Asia, Africa, and beyond — and, the further afield they go, the more unfamiliar the customs and people of these places will be- come. This chapter contains detailed descriptions of 16 nations that characters from Kos might visit in the course of their adventures, or which themselves might be the homelands of some characters. Most of these lands in this extended adventuring area are located in the region of the eastern Mediterranean but a few lie further to the west and three lie somewhat outside the region altogether, along the shores of the Black Sea, in Mesopotamia, and in the European Alps, respectively. Most are at least as much under the control of Humans as of demihumans like Dwarves or humanoids like Hobgoblins.
Make no mistake, this isn't our world but an alternative world of fantasy, with lots of details and back drop for the Kos DM. But this book has a ton to offer a DM who wants to add this world to their sword and sorcery game. With a bit of work this world can easily become another piece of mythological or planar setting material just waiting for your D&D characters to explore. There is place after place just waiting for adventurers to put into port and go adventuring on the deep and dangerous twisting locations of Lands Beyond Kos.
This is a setting with a twist, this world came about by the events of 'The Great Cataclysm'  which sparked off the populations of fantasy races in Kos and makes a good back drop to add into a weird fantasy world backdrop. There's plenty of monsters and mayhem just waiting for a party, there are enough details here to get a DM headed straight into the world and connect it straight into an existing world or transport their adventurers into Kos's setting.
Look the pdf is a good value at only 3.99 for the amount of detail and work that your going to take a away from the setting. This setting is sword, sorcery, and mayhem with a flare for old school adventuring and there's lots to be had.
One last thing Lands Beyond Kos comes with a well done, and highly detailed map of the locals and locations spoken about within the product. For a pdf this is a really nice add on and one that I'm planning on having done out in heavy parchment style paper at a local printer to keep track of an upcoming campaign using this material.
Using The Lands Beyond Kos 
For Your Old School Sword and Sorcery Campaign 
There are several ways to use this setting book, and for me they involve taking the backbone of the book in nations, details, and entries of the campaign setting and adding it to my favorite retroclone say Labyrinth Lord or some retroclone system. This is a readily available system free plug and play world and its a post apocalyptic fantasy world at that. 
The proto mythological world of Kos and its Grecian roots the meat of the product can be plugged into a wide variety of fantasy setting variations from the larger then life legends of the 'Great Heroes', to battling the monsters and titans of sword and sorcery, to dealing with the everyday problems of living against the backdrop of this world. Kos has one other element to it, a very dark and seething underbelly of mythology and legend. There are reasons for this darkness and Kos has it in spades relating back to the 'Great Cataclysm' and the origins of its fantastic elements.
There is a ton to work with here and at its price there is more then enough nations,powers, NPC personas, and more that enough to keep a DM and his players busy for years to come. My recommendation is to grab Lands Beyond Kos and get to designing your own adventures within this expansive setting. There is also a ton of setting material support available for Kos. I highly recommend this book and to get in on the action. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The 'Pay What You Want ' OSR Resource Magazine - Brave the Labyrinth - Issue #5 (PDF) From Small Niche Games

 Garb It Right

'Brave  The Labyrinth' is one of those OSR zines with so many varied uses its not even funny. I admit I haven't kept up with the zine as much as I should. In point of fact I haven't kept up as much as I should with as many of Goblinoid Games as I'd like to. This is one hell of a nice little resource zine and of exceptional quality  with some great and varied content for the Labyrinth Lord game and 90% of the retroclones out on the market. This is a really packed piece of OSR gaming zine right here. 

But what's in this issue of awesomeness? According to the blurb from Drivethrurpg : 
Brave the Labyrinth is a quarterly fanzine published by Small Niche Games for the Labyrinth Lord™ roleplaying game community. It consists of fan-created material designed to cover all types of Labyrinth Lord™ and Advanced Edition Companion™ gaming.
In this Issue you get: 
-a new demon lord - This is a really nice variation on the lords of the Abyss and a good contribution to a region where you can really vary the enemies. 
-new elf variations - Yet more of these pointed eared PC favorites, these are always welcome and very nicely balanced. 
-an amazing map of Andrel Castle - Sold map of a very cool adventure location 
-sainted icons of the Church of Law and Order -Finally! Some very nice minions of the powers of Law! Very useful for my games. 
-tools, keys, and magic items for thieves - Thief themed items that tie directly into the class. Very nicely done. 
-three (3) new monsters - Monsters are always welcome and these are nicely balanced. 
-a green wizard who sought to cheat death - Very cool. 
-a review of the Caves of Ortok - A really nice overview of an adventure module that needs more spotlights on it. Hoping my players don't get a chance to read this overview because I so want to run it. 
-artwork contributions by by JV West and Jim Wampler- Really nice pieces of artwork and old school inspiration. 

All in all this to me is a really nice issue of Brave The Labyrinth and a pretty solid old school resource. There are several articles and entries here that tie directly into some of the campaigns I'm running. I think that this is well worth your time and energy to take a look into if your a DM with any interest in old school gaming. Small Niche games has consistently put out some quality products in the past and this is certainly among those in my opinion. Throw these folks a few gold pieces and get to using some great old school material.