"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Red Mausoleum - AA#2, Cassandra's Vorpal Wires

The Red Mausoleum (AA#2) is the second module released by  Expeditious Retreat Press for use with the OSRIC. Normally one  might insert an explanation of what OSRIC stands for but I think the audience of this blog already knows. The module was released  in 2006 and since then there have been eighteen other modules  released them for OSRIC.

The module was written by James C. Boney and is sixteen pages  long saddle stitched with a black and white interior. The actual  module portion of the product is fourteen pages long and packs in a good bit in those pages. The cover art on this module was done by the same person that did the art on first module they released  in the line. Both did a good job of evoking that first edition  feel.

The module is written for six to eight characters between levels  12 and 15. To this day I still don't have any characters created  under OSRIC that could play in this so the GM might need to create some pregenerated characters for the players to use unless they have characters that high already. The module has a three  level dungeon that will be challenging even to well played and  equipped characters of those levels.

I won't go into too much detail about the module itself for the  sake of anyone who might read this and intendeds to play in it  sometime as a player. I will point out that the module does add  two new magic items and a number of new monsters. I would really like to have seen the module expanded with more time spent at the  modules beginning and middle portions. The outdoor portion of the module could have been expanded in detail and encounters but I am a fan of outdoor adventures.

Below is the module summary presented on the product itself:

The populated regions north of the Sistermoors have enjoyed over  a century of respite from the wars that once plagued the area.  However, within the past year, baronial patrols have reported  clashes with undead and other dark creatures brave enough to  strike out from the moors into the forests of men and elves. The  Baron’s sage suspects that the undead issue out of the mysterious  ancient landmark known as the Red Mausoleum located somewhere on  the wild stretches of the moors! The Red Mausoleum is designed  for 6-8 characters of levels 12-15 and is compatible with 1st  Edition gaming.

I really need to make a point of picking up more of these  modules. I go back and forth between AD&D and BECMI as being my  games of choice and I often use a blending of the two. The  modules I have seen by Expeditious Retreat Press have been well  done and well received by the OSR community from what I can see.


Cassandra's Vorpal Wires

Level: Seventh
Range:  None
Duration: Six Rounds + 1 Round/Level
Ares of Effect: 9" Sphere
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 6 Segments
Saving Throw: Halves

When this spell is cast the magic user causes a sphere of nearly  invisible shifting wires to appear around them. The sphere can be  set out to a maximum of 9" in diameter but can be made smaller if  desired. The wires when seen will look like glittering metallic  strands of spider webs.

As beautiful as the strands may appear to be when seen they can  be deadly to those that pass through them. Anyone not in direct  contact with the caster that pass through the sphere will  immediately suffer five d4+1 in damage and be incapacitated from  performing any other actions for that round. Those affected will  suffer four d4+1 damage the next, then three d4+1 the next with  each round the damage done decreasing by one dice for a total of  four rounds. In addition the first round after being affected any saves and attacks will be made at -4 and then -3 the next decreasing by one each round as the damage does. Those who make  their save will suffer only half damage but will suffer the full  negatives.

Other caster who are affected by this will need to make a saving  throw each round they try to cast a spell while taking damage.  Those who make the save successfully cast the spell while those who fail have the spell casting interrupted. The magical nature of the damage and depth of the wounds from these wires will cause  any healing effects to be halved unless a Heal spell is used.

The material component of this spell is a number of braided  strands of wire. The wire will be a combination of mithril, adamantine and other wires that would be used in the manufacture of a vorpal weapon. They must then be enchanted in a process that  will take eight hours. The cost of the manufacture of these wires  will be no less than 500 gp and the DM may require the caster to  quest for them. The wires are not consumed with the casting of  the spell and may be reused.

Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the  write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the  80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other  than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be  slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of  spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :)  Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on  me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please  let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.

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