And Magazine

Some days, I really am amazed at the amount of stuff that is out there for OSR games. Between all the blogs, Dragonsfoot, various freebies around the web, and published material. This whole blog is about OSR stuff, DIY and El Cheap gaming. And what better to throw into the mix than a free fanzine!
& Magazine is nifty little fanzine set primarily for good old AD&D but heck the little tidbits will work with pretty much whatever retro-clone happens to suit your taste. I’ve read through most of the issues. It’s pretty standard fare. I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just not crazy whacked out stuff like Lamentations of the Flame Princess or Dungeon Crawl Classics. It’s standard usable material. A handy map. A magic item. New monster. A little adventure and so on. Good tools to throw into your DM bag of tricks for later use. Use what you and leave the rest behind.
And not only do these folks put out a fanzine. They’ve also got some adventures and little supplements posted over there too. And if that ain’t enough, there’s Castle Triskelion. Their own “little” mega-dungeon coming soon. Heck, it’s free. Check it out.

Talislanta & Star Frontiers

Yes, I know this is old news but I figured I’d spread the word again. Free Games!
I played Star Frontiers once when it came out. I don’t remember much about it but my interest is renewed in old school that aren’t based the “World’s Most Popular Fantasy Game” plus I’ve space opera stuff bouncing around inside my head for last few days but more on that later. The most important things is that you can pick up the PDF’s of Star Frontiers over here for free. Plus check out the fanzine that is still going strong. It’s a solid system so just check it out.
The second game I want to mention is Talislanta. The creators have posted the entire library and it is a big one. I admit that I have never played Talislanta but still have fond memories of their “Still No Elves” ads. It’s a pretty interesting system and players of d20 based games shouldn’t have that much of problem learning it. The big thing and I mean the really big thing is the amount of races. There are a lot. Even if you don’t actually play or run it, there is enough material to be really inspiring. Fear not breaking the “Human, Elf, Halfling, Dwarf” mold. It’s OK to play fantasy without. Just at Talislanta.
So old news about free games. Check them out and play them. Enjoy them.

Race As Class?

Yeah, I may be opening up an age old debate here but it’s something that I’ve been thinking about. Race As Class. Love it or hate it?
I can see both sides of this debate. Not using Race as Class, let’s players have more freedom to play whatever they want. But Race as Class, definitely, gives non-human characters a more special feel other than being just funny looking humans. It makes them seem more different.
From a design stand point, it’s an OK starter to just have the “standard” Race as Class tweaks. Looking at you, Elf Fighter/Magic-User. But I think if carry this to logical conclusion. One of the best options would be to do a design that offers your standard quad of classes (Fighter, Magic-User, Cleric, and Thief) as specialized combinations for each non-human race. Even if you want to go with low hanging fruit, there might be easy way to do it. Just use the “advanced” classes (Ranger, Paladin, Monk, Druid) and make those specific Race as Class options. For example, there aren’t Human Druids in the world but all Elf “clerics” are Druids. Get the idea.?
Right now, this only a crazy thought bounding around inside my brain pan. But what the heck. Throw it out there and see what folks say.

The Completely Unofficial System Agnostic OSR Character Sheet

Yes, here you go. Just like the title says The Completely Unofficial System Agnostic Character Sheet. Experience what is like in the golden age of days past. Feel like you’re really there when Satan was around every corner and you had to hide the Player’s Handbook. Remember the first rule of D&D Club. Don’t talk about D&D Club. Find just what exactly it is all those damned grognards are talking about.
I present unto you the type of character sheet we used back then.
Have a great day. And be careful out there.

Raise Dead for Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Hey, there isn’t a Raise Dead spell for Lamentations of the Flame Princess. There’s no reason there shouldn’t be but it’s still got to have that special something that makes it Flame Princess worthy. So here’s my modest attempt.
First, here’s a couple of my thoughts this spell. Death is natural (cause of death might not be). Death is one of the laws of the universe and everything dies eventually. Cheating death unbalances the universe and is a Chaotic act. So in this case the spell is a Magic-User spell rather than a Cleric spell. Also, returning the dead to live should be time consuming, expensive, and dangerous. So here you go.

Raise Dead
Magic-User Level 5
Duration: Permanent
Range: Touch

The Magic-user attempts to defy the laws of the universe and return a fallen being to life.
Fist, the dead body must be as whole as possible. Missing limbs and organs are not replaced. The caster must acquire rare oils and spell components with a value of 1,000 SP per Level/Hit Die of the target. Additionally, the caster must perform a long and precise ritual lasting 1 hour per Level/Hit Die of the target. As part of this ritual, the caster must attempt to bring some sort of balance to the universe by sacrificing a number of sentient beings of the same race as the target. The total Levels/Hit Dice of the sacrifices must at least equal the Level/Hit Dice of the target.
Once the ritual is completed, both the caster and the target attempt a Saving Throw versus Magic. If both succeed then the spell was successful and the target returns to life with 1 Hit Point.
If either of them fail so does the spell. Roll 1d20 on the following chart. If both fail then roll 1d10+10 on the following chart. The spell may not be attempted again.
A cleric will not witness or partake in this ritual. Also, a cleric cannot be the target of the spell.

1: The body is consumed in a divine fire leaving nothing but ash.
2: The body shows all the signs of life but no soul has entered it. It will expire from dehydration in a matter of days.
3: The target’s soul reenters the body but the transition was too much. The target has total amnesia and is now a Level-0 character.
4: The target’s body explodes with necromatic energy causing Level/Hit Dice D6 of damage to every thing in a 30 foot radius. Save versus Breath Weapon for half damage.
5: The caster accidentally summons the spirit of wrong person. This can be any dead person from history as determined by the GM. But chances are that it will be some historically insignificant person.
6: The soul of the target ends up in the nearest animal no smaller than a rat.
7: The caster’s and the target’s souls switch bodies.
8: The target’s soul ends up in a random item. That item is now magical and has powers based on the class and level of the target and GM’s discretion.
9: It looks like the spell worked. The target will live for 1d100 days (GM rolls secretly) then target drops dead, his corpse rotting away to nothing in seconds.
10: The target’s soul does not enter his body but is turned into a vengeful ghost which attacks and haunts the party.
11: The caster accidentally summons some otherworldly entity that now possesses the body of the target.
12: The ritual fails but summons forth 2d6 angry ghosts which immediately attack any present.
13: The target’s body explodes in a shower of flesh eating maggots. Save versus Breath Weapon or take 1d6 damage each round until the character makes a successful Save versus Disease.
14: The spell mostly fails. The target’s soul reanimates the body but as a form of free-willed, intelligent undead.
15: The caster loses a number of levels equal to the Level/Hit Die of the target. If this drains the caster to 0-Level then the caster is killed.
16: The spell weakens the veil between the mortal world and the Underworld. The area will be haunted by ghosts and become prime habitat for undead creatures.
17: The spell loosens the connection between body and soul. Each being within a 30 foot radius must Save versus Magic. Those who fail their Saving Throws have their souls switched to another random body. If only one character fails the saving throw then his soul is ripped from this body.
18: An Angel of Divine Retribution descends on the area killing every sentient being in a radius of the target’s Level/Hit Die x miles. Save versus Death or die.
19: Every dead creature in an area in radius equal to the target’s Level/Hit Die x 100 miles is re-animated as zombie.
20: An area in radius equal to the target’s Level/Hit Die x 100 miles is drained of life. All creatures 4 HD or less are instantly killed. Those with more than 4 HD are allowed a Saving throw versus Death or die. This effect lasts in the area for one year. For one 100 years, no plant life will grow in this area and animals will avoid it.

The Not-Adventure Adventure

I had this crazy idea the other day. The Not-Adventure Adventure.
It starts off pretty typical. A little village filled with bumbling peasants hires a group of hearty and greedy adventurers to care of a monster problem. But here’s the catch. There is NO monster.
Through a series of unfortunate events, half truths and misinformation, the villages honestly believe that they are being plagued by a big mean nasty monster. So the only natural thing to do is hire some adventurers.
So the party goes on its usual way to track down “The Monster”. The usual methods turn up pretty much nothing. If they take the time and dig just a little deeper, they realize that the villagers are just being, well, villagers.
Here comes the interesting part. What does the party do? Do they try to convince the villagers that there is no monster? Do they kill something else and try to pass if off as the monster? Do they ride the gravy train for as long as they can and take advantage of the villagers? Or just maybe do they throw their hands up in frustration and walk away? If done just right, this might a fun a little session to throw the party off balance a little bit.

Roll Dice. Kill Monsters. Take Their Stuff. And Have Fun!

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