Friday, February 26, 2010

One Page Dungeon Contest 2010

It's not too late to grab that pencil and paper and whip up an entry for 2010's One Page Dungeon Contest. A lot of good prizes too! Submissions must be in by March 1st.

What the heck is a one page dungeon?

What's my entry? I created The Forgotten Tomb of the Warrior King and you can check it out here, unless you're one of my players, then no peeking! Consequences will be dire indeed for your characters!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Warlock's Curiosities

"Welcome to the Warlocks's Curiosities!"

Here you will find a collection of Classic Fantasy Role-Playing items that I have created, some free and some fee.

Please browse, download and shop to your hearts content!

Character Record Sheets
This is the character sheet that I created for my Swords & Wizardry campaign. We've tested it and it has worked out pretty well so far. It even has a space to sketch your character, how awesome is that?! It's single sided and I created a US 8.5 X 11 version as well as an European A4. Feel free to download it and use in your game.

Gaming Aids
Two fabulous gaming aid booklets based on the Swords & Wizardry Core Rules. The Book of Wizardry and the Book of the Divine.

Book of Wizardry
Give your players this hands on Spell Book for their Spell-casting characters. Compiled from the existing spell descriptions in the classic-style fantasy RPG Swords & Wizardry Core Rules by Matt Finch and organized by level of spell with an index. 40 page Digest.

Book of the Divine
But why stop with wizards? You don't want your players casting spells of divine intervention to be left out? This book of divine spells are for Cleric or Druid characters. Also compiled from the existing spell descriptions in the fantasy RPG Swords & Wizardry Core Rules and Supplemental Lore by Skathros.

With a few modifications both of these books can be used with most old style fantasy RPGs.

Both books are available as a free pdf download that you can print yourself or as a print on demand book at the Warlocks' Lulu Storefront.

Fantasy Role-playing Adventures
The Warlock's Home Brew Fantasy Adventure module "The Outpost On The Edge Of The Far Reaches".

An ancient outpost, abandoned centuries ago by a empire in decline, sits atop a lonely hill overlooking a bleak wilderness. Why was it deserted and left unattended all those years? Surely treasures that once littered the courtyard must have been claimed long ago. But still... vague murmurings of a hidden cellar have been overheard as well as visions of long dead veterans still haunting the battlements. Surely tales told in the evening in front of a fire to frighten gullible travelers. Perhaps there is something more here than meets the eye?

The elements in this adventure module have been left open enough to be adaptable with most old-school style fantasy role-playing game rules and worlds and should fit easily into any GM's sandbox with but a few alterations and modifications.

Available for purchase and pay pdf download at the Warlock's Lulu Storefront.
Also available through IndieOnlyComics in a special print version which I can ship overseas.

For all you Mutant Future & Gamma World fans, I bring to you Plant Guy!

In a future where man has fallen from the evolutionary ladder and science has spun out of control leaving a mutated wake, Plant Guy and Chu the Carrotoid survive in this world gone mad! Beware the Roctopus!

You can order this directly from IndieOnly Comics.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In Search Of The Lost City

This was a cover image I did for a retro D&D game based on the Holmes rules. The adventure is a sequel to Zenopus tower in the back of the blue rule book ('79). Mostly a Copic brush pen on this.

Update: In Search Of The Lost City Adventure
Link to Rob Pinnell's other module creations

Monday, February 22, 2010

In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming

Now this is enough to descend you into madness, no?

17 inch model sculpted by Gabe Perna. More of his nightmares at Toiletface.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Character Sheets

This is the character sheet that I created for my Swords & Wizardry campaign. We've tested it and it has worked out pretty well so far. It even has a space to sketch your character! It's single sided and I created a US 8.5 X 11 version as well as an European A4. Feel free to download it and use in your game.

US 8.5 X 11


The trademark, “Swords & Wizardry,” is reserved as Product Identity and is used with permission from Mythmere Games. Swords & Wizardry Core Rules, Copyright 2008, Matthew J. Finch.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Better Watch Your Back!

My attempt at a more whimsical 'encounter'.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Session VII Tomb of the Iron God

We were short two players this session but that didn't stop the mayhem!

The current exploratory party includes:

Gnarly Blunderbrush - Human Aspirant
Gedleessmote Hammersend - Dwarf Warrior
Wolfheir - Viking Nomad from the North
Tibag Backstabber - Half-Elf Footpad
Slick Vinny - Human Medium

Non-Player Companions
Father Harris Priest of St. Mellon
Tero - watchman of Caladan
Moar - Enchanted Thug

Our party of brave souls continued to explore the Tomb of the Iron God. Opening a door they found a dust and grim filled chamber with an angled alcove in the corner. Cautiously entering the room and tapping along the floor for traps, Tibag made his way to the alcove. His tapping, however, revealed a curve of iron inlaid within the stone floor. As Tibag searched the alcove, Gedleesmote explored the room while Gnarly and Wolf cleared away some more of the dust on the floor to reveal a smaller circle of iron in the floor. Thinking that the circles of iron were part of some ritual for the Iron God, they avoided it and went through a secret door that Tibag had found in the alcove.

They entered an octagon shaped room with but a single door along with, to Gedlee's delight, frayed tapestries on the wall and rugs on the floor. Finding nothing in the room, Tibag listened at the sole door while the dwarf collected the room accents onto his cart.

Hearing nothing and opening the door the party was attacked by a large number of skeletons! Father Harris stepped forward with the symbol of St. Mellon and half the undead fled back into the room from whence they came while the rest battled with the party. Father Harris bashed through quite a few of the fiends while the rest of the party, with their bladed weapons, made do the best they could.

After some of Father Harris' healing the party decided that the best way to deal with the remaining skeletons was to pick them off at a distance with slings. After a few attempts at this, Father Harris became impatient and attacked these animated bones sending them back to hell, with the help of Wolfheir.

It seemed that the skeletons were huddling in a alcove within the room. Tibag, having much luck this evening, found a handle in the alcove under a rug. Wolfheir turned the handle opening a panel in the wall to reveal yet another room. Inside this room were three iron chests on the far wall.

Examining the chests, Tibag fofund that two were locked and one was not. He opened the one to find treasure inside. As Tibag tried to pick the locks of the other two, Tero came stumbling into the room, looking deathly and pale as three giant centipedes were crawling all over him. He collapsed on the floor as two of the creatures scuttled towards the party. Gedlee and Wolf made quick work of the over-sized insects and quickly finished off the last who had begun to consume the deceased Tero.

Being unable to open the two locked chests, it was decided that they would come back for them another time. Taking what treasure they had found along with Tero's body, they abandoned the rooms and made their way back to the corridor.

Following the hallway around the perimeter of the rooms they had just explored, they came upon a door that opened into a large empty room with but one other door out. Listening at the door they hear sinister giddy laughter and decide to burst in - which they did- and surprised a handful of goblins torturing a kitten.

Geedlee and Wolf quickly started hacking through the goblins but Gnarly, furious over the torture of the kitten, lit a flask of oil and tossed it at the remaining goblins. Unfortunately, his aim was short and ignited goblin, party and kitten!

As the party put itself out and the remaining goblins died a charred ruin, the opposite door burst open and in rushed another wall of goblins, lead by their husky captain! And it was here that Moar fell. The adventurers hacked and slashed their way through this hoard until their leader finally stepped up and stabbed Tibag in a brutal attack that left the half-elf near death! Wolfheir, in a fit of rage, made quick work of the captain. The last surviving goblin surrendered.

Questioning the prisoner, Grik-Grik, the party learned of living dead roaming the catacombs below where the goblins had looted some trinkets. They also come to find that Grik-Grik came from a larger party of goblins that have claimed these ruins as their own and are holed up somewhere on the opposite side of the temple.

Feeling a bit worn out at this point, the party decided to head back to Brakken with Grik-Grik as their prisoner. On their way out, Tibag fell into a pit. It is here that Grik-Grik pleaded for his freedom and said that he can lead the party back out and to avoid the traps. Gedleesmote told Grik-Grik that he had no choice but to lead them safely out or his corpse would rot down in the ruined tomb.

Grik-Grik alas complied and after disabling another pit trap, lead the party back out the way they had come. The party headed down the Path of the Dead back to the coastal village of Brakken.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fantasy Friday

And now for some post-apocalyptic psychosis brought to you by The Who, Ken Russel, Eric Clapton and crazy Arthur Brown....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dungeon Art

Here's another illustration depicting a scene from the same online play-by-post game I mentioned earlier. This was also used as the back cover illustration for the Swords & Wizardry Quick Start Guide put out by Chgowiz

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dungeon Crawl Massacre - Well, Not Really.

I ran my first ever event game this past Saturday at the Tucson RPG Guild monthly gathering. The group that runs these monthly events also run the RinCon here in Tucson. Their monthly events are a great way to meet other gamers and an opportunity to keep rolling those dice.

Now, I've never run a game for strangers before and I was looking forward to that challenge though it did cause some butterflies. I got some good advice from the OD&D74 boards which really helped put me at ease.

I ran Swords & Wizardry Core Rules with only some minor adjustments. I titled the game "The Dungeon Crawl Massacre" and ran Jeff Rient's Xlyathan's Tower. Feeling that this has a great mixture of mystery, danger and puzzles it was a good choice to run for this event.

I wanted to let randomness rule the game. I created 20 pre-gens of the standard classic classes (Fighter, Magic User, Cleric, Thief, Elf, Dwarf and Halfling) which were randomly equipped. I added to that Jeff Rient's 100 random starting items to give each player something unique (never underestimate the fun of that list!). Each player then randomly chose one of these characters. Good, bad, weak, strong, they all loved that anything is possible feeling.

There were 7 enthusiastic players at the table. 4 of them had played early versions of the game in the far past but have been playing modern versions in recent years. For them it brought back many memories of the fast-paced, loose rules games of their youth. I had the honor of introducing two new players to D&D. With the simplified character sheets of Swords & Wizardry they were able to jump right in, participate and have a great time. The final player has only played 3rd and 4th ed. He ended up enjoying the game quite a bit and after the session stated that he enjoyed this much, much better. He said now he understood what his brother, a former classic player, was talking about!

I read them my custom intro to Xylarthan's Tower and then handed out random motivation cards. Each card had a different motivation for why their characters were entering the dungeon and it wasn't just all for gold either. This is something that I like to do and it got everyone involved right away.

It was great to see all the excitement at the table. Not one bored face waiting for their turn, just a lot of participation, enthusiastic problem solving and at times horror for what they encountered. But all the payers worked together and laughed a lot. And it made for a fantastic experience for all.

Some game highlights include:

The party's apprehension to approach what turned out to be a large snake scale on the floor within the first few minutes of descending the stairs.

Unleashing an Ogre Wight in the second room explored. The fighter discovered he had a potion of Undead Command in his position (a result of a random roll).

Discovering the secret Hobgoblin password and shouting "Blueberry" in every language but the required Hobgoblinish at the Ogre.

Unleashing some very vicious Giant Killer Frogs on the party.

Igniting a 5 gallon keg of fine brandy that the fighter was carrying around (another result of that random roll) to kill a room full of giant rats.

The party found the flight of stairs to descend to the second level but chose to just explore the first level. They ended up walking away with some nice coin and a large 'statute' of an Efreeti with a missing hand.

I was lucky to get a great group of players for this session. I really do think it's the light rules and the anything can happen aspect of a classic style of gaming that really has the opportunity to bring fun and excitement to the table. It's like I've always stated, if gamers have a chance to play either for the first time or return to a more classic style of play, they always see the fun and excitement that has originally always been present in this game we all love.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dungeon Art

I'm going to start posting some of Dungeon illustrations starting with this one, an illustration of the characters that were involved in a Holmes play-by-post game over on DragonsFoot, titled, what else, Dungeon Crawlers!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fantasy Friday

As I'm (madly) preparing for my Swords & Wizardry game at the Tucson RPG Guild (my first public performance as DM) I've just got a real short Fantasy Friday image today. It's from my calendar collection and is a cover for Thrilling Wonder Stories.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thoughts on Game Time and Character Advancement

I've always wondered the real life equivalent of time involved with a character's leveling of experience.

In our campaign, we have had six gaming sessions that have spanned over four months of real time and has lasted three game days. After the fifth session, we have had one PC death and two characters were able to advance up to second level (barely, I might add).

When one thinks about it in terms of game time, three days of harrowing life threatening adventure was enough to slightly 'advance' two player characters' knowledge and experience. To me that seems to be a fairly accurate process. There was plenty of near-death experiences for those involved, not to mention overcoming some dungeon dangers. It really wasn't easy for any one (1st level) character to survive but most did and the rewards are just starting to show.

We'll see what the future holds for our party of brave, though at times foolish, adventurers.

session recap

Monday, February 1, 2010

When You Need To Roll That 12 Sided Die

Level Titles

One thing that I've always enjoyed quite a bit in everyone's favorite classic fantasy game but is sadly missing in the many iterations of the Retro-Clone Rules are Level Titles. I've always felt that Level Titles added just a bit of color to characters and the game. I mean, what sounds better:

"Greetings, I am Kal'Thak a, 3rd level fighter."


"Greetings, I am Kal'Thak the Swordsman!"

It's a very minor element but I think it fleshes out the game. It's one of the things that pulls the game away from just numbers and stats. Whether the players use it or not, I enjoy having it present in my games.

So, to keep Level Titles alive for the character classes in my campaign, we have some of the more familiar titles and a couple of others:

1: Veteran
2: Warrior
3: Swordsman
4: Hero
5: Swashbuckler
6: Myrmidon
7: Champion
8: Superhero
9: Lord
10: Lord (10th Level)
11: Lord (11th Level)

Dwarven Warrior
1: Dwarven Veteran
2: Dwarven Warrior
3: Axebearer
4: Vanquisher
5: Guardian
6: Dwarven Hero
7: Dwarven Champion
8: Commander
9: Dwarven Lord
10: Mountain Lord (10th Level)
11: Mountain Lord (11th Level)

1: Medium
2: Evoker
3: Conjurer
4: Theurgist
5: Thaumaturgist
6: Magicician
7: Enchanter
8: Warlock
9: Sorcerer
10: Necromancer
11: Wizard
12: Wizard (12th level)

1: Nomad
2: Savage
3: Barbarian
4: Berserker
5: Buccaneer
6: Corsair
7: Vindicator
8: Dane
9: Thane
10: Thane Warlord

1: Acolyte
2: Adept
3: Priest
4: Curate
5: Perfect
6: Canon
7: Lama
8: Patriarch
9: High Priest
10: High Priest (10th level)
11: High Priest (11th level)

1: Rogue (Apprentice)
2: Footpad
3: Cutpurse
4: Robber
5: Burglar
6: Filcher
7: Sharper
8: Magsman
9: Thief
10: Master Thief
11: Master Thief (11th level)

1: Aspirant
2: Ovate
3: Initiate of the 1st Circle
4: Initiate of the 2nd Circle
5: Initiate of the 3rd Circle
6: Initiate of the 4th Circle
7: Initiate of the 5th Circle
8: Initiate of the 6th Circle
9: Initiate of the 7th Circle
10: Initiate of the 8th Circle
11: Initiate of the 9th Circle
12: Druid
13: Archdruid
14: The Great Druid

1: Runner
2: Strider
3: Scout
4: Courser
5: Tracker
6: Guide
7: Pathfinder
8: Ranger
9: Ranger Knight
10: Ranger Lord
11: Ranger Lord (11th level)
12: Ranger Lord (12th level)