"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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Birthright - Sword and Crown, Wild Magic 6


The Birthright campaign setting is one that I want to play in  sometime but have not had a chance to yet. The idea of the  setting is one that is very appealing and without ever playing it  I could see it coming in a quick third (behind Greyhawk and  Mystara) just from the materials i have had a chance to read and  what I have heard about it.

Sword and Crown is a module written for the setting. It was  written by one of the co-designers of the Birthright rules so you  know there has to be a fair understanding of the mechanics at  least. The premise seems to be one that is tried and true and it  has been touched on in some earlier modules or printed  adventures. Since I have not had a chance to play it yet I looked  for some insight online. There was a good summary written on  Wikipedia which I have copied below. The review there ia summary  of a review by Rick Swan in Dragon magazine.

Rick Swan reviewed Sword and Crown along with several other  Birthright products for Dragon magazine #233 (September 1996),  giving it a rating of 4 out of 6. Swan called this a first-rate  example of an official adventure, "where the design team takes  you by the hand and shows you what they consider the essentials  of a BIRTHRIGHT campaign". He also called Sword and Crown "well- organized, clutter-free, and easy on the brain", and referred to  the Spiritrender an "exceptionally nasty adversary". Swan felt  that Colin McComb, co-designer of the original Birthright rules,  "supplies plenty of staging tips and helpful NPCs — too helpful,  some might say", noting that a bandit conveniently volunteers too  much information about his family at one point. He admitted that  the adventure doesn't break any new ground, and relies on AD&D  conventions rather than concepts unique to the Birthright  setting, so that the adventure acts as a bridge "intended to ease  the transition from standard AD&D to the more sophisticated  BIRTHRIGHT setting". Swan recommended that, for a beginner on a  budget looking to buy a Birthright adventure, to "go with Sword  and Crown if you can't make up your mind", but that seasoned  Birthright players who already have a campaign underway can skip  the adventure.

Even given the somewhat average review I think the module si one  that it would not hurt to own. The advantage of Birthright  material is that except for the core rules that it seems to still  be readily available and fairly inexpensive.

Published: 1995
Pages: 64

From the Back of the Book:

The Sword and Crown is an event unrivaled in Anuirean politics.  Every five years, rulers come from across the land to renew  friendships, cement alliances, and provoke their enemies with  poisoned words and sharpened swords. Wheels turn within wheels,  and plots abound. It's politics as usual in Anuire.

Except this conclave is different. Not only is it taking place in  the PCs' kingdom, but before the festivities can even commence,  someone wages an attack on Prince Avan and kidnaps his daughter.  And to whom to the regents turn to rescue the princess? The  hosts, of course! The PCs must win their way past dangerous  bandits and treacherous elves and discover a path through darkest  caverns where the slightest misstep means death. Only then does  the real threat become apparent!

This adventure contains a 64-page book crammed with details about  the setting, the situation, and the major characters, plus a  full-color mapsheet. It is designed for use with the BIRTHRIGHT  boxed set.








Spell:

Wild Magic 6


Level: Seventh
Range: Special
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: Special
Components: Special
Casting Time: Special
Saving Throw: Special

With the casting of this spell the magic user is able to simulate  the casting of any sixth or lower level spell. The spell will  work best if it is a spell that the caster knows though this is  not a requirement.

When this spell is used the caster will be able to use any sixth  or lower level magic spell even it is is not one that they  memorized or even know. If they have it in their spellbook the  spell will go off without problem.

Spells that are not in their spellbook will be trickier. If they  have seen the spell cast there is a 50/50 chance that it will  work. If the spell fails then there is another 50/50 chance of  things happening. It is possible that the spell will just out and  out fail. The other is that it works but in reverse and in a  negative way for the caster, possibly even affecting them.

The caster can even use this to try and create some new magical  effect. The DM may choose not to allow this. If they do then they  will need to impose strict limits on its use.

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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

S2 White Plume Mountain, Wild Magic 5


White Plume Mountain is one of what I would call the iconic  modules of first edition AD&D. If you played AD&D back when this  was released you most likely played this and even if you started  earlier or later in first edition and even into second edition  there is a good chance you played in or ran this.

Sorry for a mini spoiler but there are not many who have not  heard of Wave, Whelm and Blackrazor. I wonder how many characters  were destroyed by Blackrazor? I think Whelm is a much better and  usable weapon though who did not want to wield a replica of  Stormbringer just once.

The version I am writing about today displays the sword on the  back. It also features the image I use for my Blogger avatar on  page 13. This was the second printing and I actually prefer this  one for the additional four pages since it is all added art.  Other than the Willingham "halfling" the Jeff Dee and Jim Roslof  art without a doubt add to the module as does the Otus map.

Grognardia did a great post on the top 30 modules as ranked in Dungeon magazine. He stated that he  thought that this module deserved to be on the list but did not  perhaps deserve a top 10 location. Rankings like this are very  subjective but I might tend to agree. There are other modules on  that list that I would rank higher (iconic does not always mean  amongst the best) most notably Castle Amber and The Sinister  Secret of Saltmarsh. His concern was that it was too game-y and I  can understand that. It does seem created as an adventure and not  something that would occur in a real fantasy world....I am going  to stop now as I am waxing into Superman could beat Thor area!

The module was written by Lawrence Schick who I think has a fair knowledge of gaming material having written what is most likely still the definitive guide to RPGs in Heroic Worlds. I find it funny that Heroic Worlds calls S2 a "classic crawl through a tricky dungeon". Not that it is not exactly that but I wonder how I would rate the things I do or write. I wonder if he wrote that or asked someone else to summarize it?

In the end this is a module that anyone who likes D&D or AD&D or  even the OSR should have. It is a very good if not great module  with the added value of providing a glimpse into the early days  of the hobby. There are three printings of the module so it  should be fairly inexpensive to pick up. As I said I prefer this  printing, for the additional art, but I am not sure if the  collectors edition reprint has the new art or not.


Published: 1981
Pages: 16

Module description:

This module contains background information, referee's notes,  player aids, a complete map level, a cutaway view of the mountain compiles, and more than 15 pieces of art for both DM and player.  White Plume Mountain is from the special ("S") series; like  others in the series, it is meant to stand alone on its own and  is a complete Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure. The  recommended number of players is four to ten, with levels ranging  from fifth to tenth.


Spell:

Wild Magic 5


Level: Sixth
Range: Special
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: Special
Components: Special
Casting Time: Special
Saving Throw: Special

With the casting of this spell the magic user is able to simulate  the casting of any fifth or lower level spell. The spell will  work best if it is a spell that the caster knows though this is  not a requirement.

When this spell is used the caster will be able to use any fifth  or lower level magic spell even it is is not one that they  memorized or even know. If they have it in their spellbook the  spell will go off without problem.

Spells that are not in their spellbook will be trickier. If they  have seen the spell cast there is a 50/50 chance that it will  work. If the spell fails then there is another 50/50 chance of  things happening. It is possible that the spell will just out and  out fail. The other is that it works but in reverse and in a  negative way for the caster, possibly even affecting them.

The caster can even use this to try and create some new magical  effect. The DM may choose not to allow this. If they do then they  will need to impose strict limits on its use.

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.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Player Character Record Sheets, Wild Magic 4


If anyone is wondering I am now going through the scanned  inventory of my items in the order they appear based on name. I  often got a little creative in the naming structure so there is  no telling what might pop up.

Today is another set of character sheets. This is actually the  first version of the AD&D Player Character Record Sheet. It would  later earn the code REF2 and I think I have written about it. I  know I have written about it under a different cover. I prefer  that cover to this one. I am normally an Erol Otus fan but for  some reason this one bothers me. It strikes a cord like the cover  for Alma Mater which is a little on the creepy side.

These are my third, or tied for second favorite, sheets of all  time. I am a fan of the Judges Guild Character Codex sheets. I  still need to post a picture of the ones I like the best. They  were a Home-brew made by my first Dungeon Master who taught Math &  History at my high school. Looking back on the sheet a month or  two ago, maybe longer he was a little to adult when they made the  sheets but all in good time.

These sheets in my opinion have all the information a player  needs laid out in an easily accessible and fluid manner. In  addition the sheets are broken down by class so as to not clutter  up each sheet with information that is not needed. I might have  liked to see the Multi-Classed / Bard sheet broken down further  by combinations but that is just me.

As I have said before you don't need character sheets as it can  all be done on a plain piece of paper but a unified record  keeping layout is nice for the DM. This would be one of the few I  would return to if I was playing first edition AD&D again. I  would also use it as a model if I were ever designing my own (for  the record I did this one time and went the all in one route and  it was six pages long) again.


Published: 1981
Pages: 32

User Summary:

Contains character record sheets for use with Advanced Dungeons &  Dragons (1st edition). Each sheet is perforated at the fold and  is printed on goldenrod paper. The sheets come in 5 different  types, each tailored for certain classes.

Included sheets are:
Fighter Ranger Paladin x5
Cleric Druid x3
Magic-user Illusionist x3
Thief Assassin Monk x2
Multi-classed Bard x3



Spell:

Wild Magic 4


Level: Fifth
Range: Special
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: Special
Components: Special
Casting Time: Special
Saving Throw: Special

With the casting of this spell the magic user is able to simulate  the casting of any fourth or lower level spell. The spell will  work best if it is a spell that the caster knows though this is  not a requirement.

When this spell is used the caster will be able to use any fourth  or lower level magic spell even it is is not one that they  memorized or even know. If they have it in their spellbook the  spell will go off without problem.

Spells that are not in their spellbook will be trickier. If they  have seen the spell cast there is a 50/50 chance that it will  work. If the spell fails then there is another 50/50 chance of  things happening. It is possible that the spell will just out and  out fail. The other is that it works but in reverse and in a  negative way for the caster, possibly even affecting them.

The caster can even use this to try and create some new magical  effect. The DM may choose not to allow this. If they do then they  will need to impose strict limits on its use.

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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I12 Egg of the Phoenix, Wild Magic 3


Not on a theme but they just seem to be ordered this way for some reason. Today is another compilation module. I12 was originally released as much harder to find modules R1-R4. These were four RPGA modules that were originally used as GenCon tournament modules. The modules this were taken from are:

R1 - To the Aid of Falx
R2 - Investigation of Hydell
R3 - Egg of the Phoenix
R4 - Doc's Island

As with other modules that have been combined from separate entries this one went through a little tweaking to make it into combined product. I have never sat down trying to identify the differences but they are there. I have been told that the changes in this are much more dramatic that what has had to occur in others.

The module is set on Oerth but is on the opposite side of the world from the continent that is sued in the World of Greyhawk setting. It was said that this was to be incorporated into another setting that was planned by TSR but the departure of Gygax prevented this from ever happening.

The module says that it is designed for 5-6 characters of levels 5-9 and since it started as a tournament module this had to work. I am going to put out a slight spoiler but not too bad. I am not certain that a module that has a 20/25 Cleric/Magic User as an adversary is either not serious about the adversary or the levels are off. The module also tries to hit on all cylinders as it features dungeons, wilderness and planar adventures. Lest I be negligent I should also mention the time travel as well.

I am glad I own this. I am not sure I will ever be willing to shell out the $500 to $800 or more it would cost to have the originals. The module is not one of my favorites. I am not saying it is bad but I think it might be a little too over the top for me. I would say that this had more of a BECMI flavor and feel than an AD&D feel to it. There might be a reason for that since it was penned by none other than Frank Mentzer with help from Paul Jaquays so in the end how bad could it really be. It is still worth picking up and playing if you get the opportunity for either.

Published: 1987
Pages: 80

From the back of the module:

"Come on," they said, "It won't be so tough, just stopping a slavery ring," they said.

"I don't know," you said. "Those slaves aren't even entirely human! How do we know they won't try to kill us?"

But you went, and now you're having second thoughts. There were the thieves in the lost crypts of Empyrea, raising hundreds of - no, that's too disturbing to think about. There were the three daughters who - no, that's too painful to remember. Now there's this Egg of the Phoenix. What does that have to do with anything? This was supposed to be a cut-and-dried stop-the-slavers job. Who said anything about retrieving lost artifacts?

Trudging through forests, traipsing through castles, trotting through dungeons, traveling through other planes: this has turned into more than your run-of-the-mill adventure. The compensation had better be worth it!

Provided, of course, you're around at the end to collect your share. 



Spell:

Wild Magic 3


Level: Fourth
Range: Special
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: Special
Components: Special
Casting Time: Special
Saving Throw: Special

With the casting of this spell the magic user is able to simulate the casting of any third or lower level spell. The spell will work best if it is a spell that the caster knows though this is not a requirement.

When this spell is used the caster will be able to use any third or lower level magic spell even it is is not one that they memorized or even know. If they have it in their spellbook the spell will go off without problem.

Spells that are not in their spellbook will be trickier. If they have seen the spell cast there is a 50/50 chance that it will work. If the spell fails then there is another 50/50 chance of things happening. It is possible that the spell will just out and out fail. The other is that it works but in reverse and in a negative way for the caster, possibly even affecting them.

The caster can even use this to try and create some new magical effect. The DM may choose not to allow this. If they do then they will need to impose strict limits on its use.

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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Desert of Desolation, Wild Magic 2


After the success of the ToEE TSR seemed to have fallen in love with the idea of "supermodules". I myself like the idea but would have preferred that they release new ones and not reworking older modules into supermodules.

Desert of Desolation was one that works well for this treatment though. The core product was good with an interesting setting. The first module Pharaoh has enough history alone to make it worthy of special attention. The sequels Oasis of the White Palm and Lost Tomb of Martek were no slouches on their own either.

The combined module is not an exact duplicate of the original material. The modules were first reworked to fit inside the Forgotten Realm setting. This is not a major advantage or a deal breaker in my world so it is a push.

The module was also retrofitted to allow support for the Wilderness Survival Guide. I thought that the Survival Guides added to the first edition so this was a plus. I am not sure that there was all that much of a change adding this.

The module also added additional adventure material. This was done through additional encounters as well as overall material. The additional encounter material did not alter the overall feel or flow so it was not a bad addition. The module introduces ancient script that the players need to decipher. I like anything that takes the game away from hack and slash so this was not a bad thing.

In the end the option of buying this module or the three individual ones are both equally acceptable. If you want the setting to be form fitted for the Forgotten Realms then you will need to buy the compilation. The downside of this is that you will end up paying more as the individual modules are quite inexpensive while this wills set you back a fair bit online. Either way you decide to go this is a good addition to a DM's arsenal or a player's collection.

Published: 1987
Pages: 128


From the back of the module

Deep blue mists of the night swirl over the sands of Raurin, the incomparable Desert of Dust. As the cool night air drains the heat from the sand, you and your friends huddle around your campfire, glancing nervously at the giant pyramid in the distance.

Gradually, the winds change direction, bearing a thin streak of white mist toward you from the pyramid. It swirls and takes shape as a faceless man dressed in ancient robes and an ornate head-piece; moonlight shining through his ghostly body and robes, he lifts his arms toward the pyramid and speaks.

It was magic that conveyed you all to Bralizar, and an ancient map that guided you through the pass in The Dustwall. But it was, after all, the tales that finally brought you to this place - tales of endless wealth, of spirit-guarded pyramids, of crystalline obelisks, of gemstones with mysterious properties.

Now, as the haunted voice of the specter before you begins his tale, you wonder if the treasure and the quest are worth the price...perhaps your very lives. Are you really the heroes of the prophecies, those who will overcome the foretold tests, and those for whom the treasure awaits? It is time to search your hearts before you venture further into the Desert of Desolation.



Spell:

Wild Magic 2


Level:Third
Range: Special
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: Special
Components: Special
Casting Time: Special
Saving Throw: Special

With the casting of this spell the magic user is able to simulate the casting of any Second or lower level level spell. The spell will work best if it is a spell that the caster knows though this is not a requirement.

When this spell is used the caster will be able to use any second or lower level level magic spell even it is is not one that they memorized or even know. If they have it in their spellbook the spell will go off without problem.

Spells that are not in their spellbook will be trickier. If they have seen the spell cast there is a 50/50 chance that it will work. If the spell fails then there is another 50/50 chance of things happening. It is possible that the spell will just out and out fail. The other is that it works but in reverse and in a negative way for the caster, possibly even affecting them.

The caster can even use this to try and create some new magical effect. The DM may choose not to allow this. If they do then they will need to impose strict limits on its use.

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.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City, Wild Magic


Dwellers of the Forbidden city is ranked among the top 30 adventures of all time by Dungeon magazine. I would have to say that they got it right. This is still one of the most memorable adventures I recall being run it. Of course I was able to play this one and not run it so that helps.

As a collector I really am glad I own this. I still find the map of the city one of the best maps I recall seeing in a module. The fact that this started as a tournament module and yet still allows for more than a hack and slash adventure speaks to the adaptation of the module.

There have been some bad reviews of the module written. I guess I should temper that and call them lacklaster reviews. I find this surprising but it may be that age has allowed it to be seen for what it really is. If you have not run or been run through this module I suggest you find a way to make it happen.

For more of a review (busy time right now) please check out rpggeek.com here .


Published 1981
Pages 28

From the cover:

"Somewhere in the heart of the steaming jungle lies the answer to the whispered tales - rumors of a magnificent city and foul, horrid rituals! Here a brave party might find riches and wonders - or death! Is your party brave enough to face the terrors of the unknown and find - the Forbidden City!

Parts of this module were used in 1980 for a major East Coast convention tournament. Information is presented here to reconstruct this exciting tournament and even more has been given to expand play. Here characters may adventure several times in a unique and interesting mini-campaign. Included in this module are background and tournament notes, referee's keys, new monsters, pre-generated characters, and eight different maps."


Spell:

Wild Magic

Level: Second
Range: Special
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: Special
Components: Special
Casting Time: Special
Saving Throw: Special

With the casting of this spell the magic user is able to simulate the casting of any first level spell. The spell will work best if it is a spell that the caster knows though this is not a requirement.

When this spell is used the caster will be able to use any first level magic spell even it is is not one that they memorized or even know. If they have it in their spellbook the spell will go off without problem.

Spells that are not in their spellbook will be trickier. If they have seen the spell cast there is a 50/50 chance that it will work. If the spell fails then there is another 50/50 chance of things happening. It is possible that the spell will just out and out fail. The other is that it works but in reverse and in a negative way for the caster, possibly even affecting them.

The caster can even use this to try and create some new magical effect. The DM may choose not to allow this. If they do then they will need to impose strict limits on its use.

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.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Beyond the Prism Pentad, Match Fire


I have heard many people say good things about the Dark Sun  setting over the years. I know that it was one of my brother's  favorite settings. It is something that I have bought over the  years but in all honest I am not sure that I have ever read any  of the products all the way through. This will mean that I am not  able t provide a fair and objective opinion.

For that reason I will not drag out the what I am writing today.  This is more of a supplement than it is a module. It is from what  I have been able to determine very much a means to summarize what  has happened in the setting up till it's release as there were  some fairly significant changes apparently after it. There si  also a short module contained in the book.

Most of the reviews I have seen for this are not favorable. There was one series of exchanges that said it had the distinction of  having the worst module ever released for the setting. In the end  except for having it to complete the product line I am not sure  it is needed. It can be found cheap though so it is not going to  break the bank to find out if it is as bad as is suggested.

It will be tough call if I read up on Dark Sun or Eberron first!

Published: 1995
Pages: 32

From the back of the module:

The relentless passage of time sweeps across the burning plains,  and the world beneath the crimson sun changes in its wake...

The Dragon of Tyr is gone, his evil scattered on the scalding  winds. Torrential rains fall over the Sea of Silt, spinning off  deadly storms that can strike anywhere in the Tablelands with  only a moment's notice. Violent upheaval rocks the city-states of  Raam, Draj, and Balic after the deaths of their sorcerer-kings. A  new age has dawned on Athas, but will it be an age of  restoration--or of destruction?

Beyond the Prism Pentad summarizes the key events from the Prism  Pentad novel series and role-playing game products and updates  all DARK SUN campaigns in anticipation of the revised campaign  setting, DARK SUN: A New Age, featuring:

- The key events of the first 10 years of campaign time, with a  detailed timeline of historical events.
- Updates and details on the changes in the world, including the  seven city-states of the Tyr Region.
- Statistics for the major personalities, including Rikus,  Sadira, and the remaining sorcerer-kings.
- A short adventure to tie player characters into the events of  the climax of the Prism Pentad series.

What forces have seized control of Raam and Balic? Who is the  real power behind Draj? How are the citizens of Tyr handling  their second decade of freedom? The answers to these questions-- and many more--are awaiting you.



Spell:

Match Fire


Level: Fourth
Range: 6"
Duration: 6 Turns/Level
Area of Effect: One Item
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 Round
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user is able to make a magic  item they posses become in all ways similar to one that they see  another person using. This spell in no way affects the item that  is being copied/cloned.

The caster must have the same type of magic item that they want  to match so this will prevent unique items from being copied. To  copy a wand the caster will need a wand and to copy a rope they  will need an existing magical rope.  It would be possible for a  magic user to make a point of making a similar type item if they  knew in advance they would want to copy something. This spell can  not be sued to copy items such as relics or artifacts though  unique items can be copied.

The copied item will become an exact duplicate of the original.  This will mean that the number of charges are the same as well as  the activation phrases and other features that might be specific to  the item. The caster will know this information and will be able  to use the item immediately.

Use of this spell will have a permanent effect of the item that  transformed. The caster's item will remain in the copied form for  the duration of the spell. Once it expires the magic item will  lose all magical abilities.

The material component of this spell will the item that is  transformed. As previously stated the item is not destroyed by  the spell but it will lose all of its magical abilities once the  spell expires.

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.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Den of Thieves, Fallen Comrade






Den of Thieves is a product similar in nature to College of  Wizardry and Bastion of Faith. It takes a location dedicated to a  specialized group and explores it in great detail. Den of Thieves  visits the most iconic of all three with it's exploration of a  Thieves Guild.

This book for the first time in my opinion presented the DM with  enough information to make running a full fledged thief based campaign possible. The book provides detail of all aspects of the  Thieves Guild. It touches on their inner workings and their  activities inside their sphere of control.

The book explores the way a guild could be organized by  presenting the DM with a fully detailed example of a Guild with  detail on the hierarchy and division of duties and  responsibilities. This is something that the DM could either  incorporate into the setting as is or use as the foundation for  one of their own. As usual I think I would end up going somewhere  between the two extremes.

The book then provides the DM with information on all of the  groups that would be connected to the guild in one way or another  and would affect their operations. These range from the Assassins  Guild and beggars to fences, spies and fixers. It again provides  examples that could be used directly or as something to model  unique creations around.

The book finishes up providing the DM with a huge number of  adventure hooks that are actually fleshed out enough that they  border n mini adventures as written. There are then a collection  of tables that the DM would need to refer. These are collected  from other locations in the book for ease of use. There is also  an exploration of Thieves Guilds of fact and fiction as well as a  map of the guild used as an example in the book.

Published: 1996
Pages: 96

From the back cover:

"Watch your back!

Who stalks the fog-shrouded alleys of the night? Who rules where  the City Watch fears to tread? Enter the secret organized  underground of thieves, pickpockets, cat burglars, upright men,  and kingpins. This 96-page book includes eye-opening details  about thieves' guilds, a complete underworld organization, new  adventures, and magical items. Also included is a full-color  poster map showing an elaborate thieves' hideout in great  detail."



Spell:

Fallen Comrade


Level: Fourth
Range: 6"
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: One Individual
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user will restore life to a  fallen comrade for a brief period of time. This can be used to  allow them to continue on in a fight.

The spell must be cast while the group is in a combat situation  and the remains of the fallen comrade need to be present. The  spell will restore life essence to the target. They will be  restored with 50% of their hit points. If they were a spell  caster they will retain any unused spells and may be granted new  spells if the total possessed is less than 50% of their daily  allowance.

The comrade will fight until such time as they again fall below zero hit points. They can be healed but can not be healed beyond  the 50% number they were restored with. At the end of the combat  the comrade will immediately be restored to their fallen state and  they can be be brought back again by use of this spell.

The use of this spell is not something to be done lightly though.  Using it involves the caster touching powers that come with a  cost. The caster will find that they have aged five years when  the spell is cast. The target of the spell will pay a price as  well. If they are resurrected or reanimated they will find that  they have lost one level of experience and will have a 50% chance  of losing a point of constitution over and above any other loses  connected directly to their demise.

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.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Revised 2e Dungeon Master Guide, Light of the Night


A book that does not need much said about it. This is the second  release of the second edition Dungeon Master Guide. This one was  released six years (give or take) after the original release of  the second edition. The book is basically a tweaked copy of the  original with minor errata.

I was not a fan of this version of the book. The font was larger  and there was new art work but none of that appealed to me. For  some reason this version seemed washed out to me. I can't really  define what I mean by that but it just felt off in some manner.  It was most likely a case where i had been so familiar with the  original that I saw no need to re-buy a book I already had. I of  course eventually did.

This is one is strictly a matter of taste if you want it or not.  I do not even know that the additional material is warranted. It  is easier to read because of the layout so if that is important  then go for it. I found it a little weird that both second  versions of the DMG in both 1e and 2e dealt with doors and for  the first printing they dealt with fighting a monster.

Published 1995
Pages 256

From the back of the book:

"Here is the essential manual for the AD&D game Dungeon Master.  All the information you need to create and run thrilling, sword- and-sorcery adventures is clearly laid out in the DUNGEON MASTER  GUIDE. Learn all there is to know about magical spells, hundreds  of magical devices and treasures, battles, travel, experience  awards, and more. This fresh, new format is your guidebook to the  challenging world of the AD&D Dungeon Master!"


Spell:

Light of the Night


Level: Second
Range: 9"
Duration: 6 Turns + 6 Turns/Level
Area of Effect: Caster + 1 Creature/Level
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user alters the vision  capabilities of those selected as targets for the spell. The  targets of the spell must be willing recipients for the spell to  affect them.

This spell causes the target to have their vision capabilities  reversed. This will mean that they can see in complete and utter  darkness just as if it were a bright sunny day. This will of  course mean that if direct sunlight they will be handicapped just  as if they would be in normal darkness.

Recipients of this spell that have infravision and ultravision  will still have those abilities. They will function just as they  normally would but the level of effectiveness is reversed.

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.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shadow Knight, Pass for Dead


I have limited experience with the Amber core game system. I am  not sure when I picked this up but I expect it was after I ever  did anything with Amber as I never recall using it. I am not even  sure that I have read it all the way through. This is the one and  only published supplement to the Amber game. It has a loyal  following on the web so there may be unofficial products  available.

This book contains plot summaries from the Amber series and  information from the Merlin series which is the second line of  Amber books that Zelazny wrote. I read the original Amber series  sometime in the very early 80's if not the late seventies. I have  not read the second series.

Since I have not read or used the book I can't give it a personal  review. there is a review on rpg.net that paints it as a mixed  bag. In the end they suggest as I do that there are things that can be taken from this either in total or as inspiration even if  you are not going to use the book as it or for the Amber game.  You can find the review here:

RPG.net Shadow Knight Review

Published 1993
Pages 256


Spell:

Pass for Dead


Level: Sixth
Range: None
Duration: 1 Turn + 1 Round/Level
Area of Effect: 1 Creature/Level
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 3 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user will cause the selected  targets to become indistinguishable from the dead. The appearance  of the victims will also be changed. The targets of this spell  must be willing for the spell to affect them.

The spell will affect a maximum number of creatures equal to the  caster's level. The creatures affected will have an upgraded  version of the spell Feign Death affect them. This version will  further reduce damage so that any attack will only cause 1 point  of damage and anything ingested will have no effect once the  spell wears off.

The appearance of the targets will be changed. The new appearances  will need to be humanoids and similar in size to what they  currently are. Weapons, clothing and armor will appear different  based on the will of the caster. The level of decay is also up to  the caster though appearing as skeletons is not permitted.

The affected can remove themselves from the affect at any time  and others will not be returned. The items that exist on the  targets will still be there and visible though the appearance will  be modified. It is possible for others to search and remove items  from the targets without their deception being detected though  the targets may want to break the spell depending on what is  being taken.

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.

Monday, December 19, 2011

AC11 The Book of Wondrous Inventions, Vermin Spy

I sometimes read people talking crap about WG7 and I can't defend it all that well but it does not deserve the ridicule it gets as much as this book does. I am not one of those people who take the game too serious. I love a good pun and Monty Python reference as much as the next person but this book ....really...I am at a loss for words.

I know this was reviewed at Something Awful and they will have done a much better job at beating it up than I ever could. The sad part is that this was a serious product that they charged real money for. If the introduction says that the items in the book should be viewed with humor then I think it might not be something you charge money for.

Many of these items, maybe all or the vast majority, were written as gnomish inventions. Gnomes take a beating in the game as well and though I have only ever played one gnome in all my years of gaming I don't think they deserve the hate they get sometimes. It is books like this that don't help that cause.

I have said many times that every book has something of value that can be taken from it. I am sure there is some gem in here that I have overlooked. If you own this I feel your shame as I own it as well. If you can find it dirt cheap and can shake off the eventual shame of having bought it go ahead but don't say you weren't warned.

Published 1987
Pages 96

From the Back of the Book:

Have you ever wondered why, in a world full of magic, there are no enchanted labor-saving devices? Few magical modes of transportation? No bespelled byproducts of the inventor's art? Wonder no more! They are all here, in this latest compendium from the Game Wizard's lair: The Book of Wondrous Inventions!

The Book of Wondrous Inventions is usable with both the D&D and the AD&D game systems. Each invention is clearly outlined, including function, form, and hazards of use. Statistics and spell details are presented in a manner compatible with both game systems. Adventure scenario suggestions are given, as well as design instructions for characters who wish to build a duplicate device.

As an added bonus, a section is included which details a system for creating spells and magical items. This will prove especially useful to players and DMs who use the D&D game system; the detailed information is also of help to AD&D game players.



Spell:

Vermin Spy


Level: Third
Range: 6"
Duration: 1 Turn/Level
Area of Effect: 1 Creature/Level
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 Round
Saving Throw: None

By means of this spell the magic user is able to summon forth a  small contingent of four legged spies. The spell will imbue the  creatures with low level intelligence for the duration of the  spell. The spell will also allow the caster to communicate with  them.

The creatures summoned will most often be rats or mice but the DM  can insert other common four legged pests as needed for the area  the spell is being cast in. These creatures will have their  intelligence increased to the point where they can be given  specific orders and understand them. The creatures can observe  and report but will not fight.

The vermin will be able to tell numbers and describe general  locale information but not provide details such as races and  detailed contents of rooms. They are not to be considered dumb  but they will have a limited knowledge base to draw upon. The  creatures are serving willingly and will try to be as helpful as  they can.

Anytime this spell is cast there is a 1% chance that one of the  vermin will retain their increased intelligence. When this occurs  the creature will not desire to stay with the caster but strike  off on their own. They will often form large communities of their  kind training the others to perform routine tasks becoming a  ruler of their kind accumulating "wealth" and even information.

The material component of this spell will be a type of foodstuff  that is palatable to the vermin as well as a small silver flute.  The flute can be reused but the food will be eaten by the spies.

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.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

AC9 Creature Catalogue, Sacrifice Magic

This is a book that I don't feel gets enough discussion and love.  This was produced in the UK like the Fiend Folio and may catch  some unwarranted feelings from that book. That being said I liked  the Fiend Folio so my appreciation of this book is not tainted in  that way.

This book describes over 200 creatures that may have previously  only been available through modules. In addition is serves as an  index for all of the monsters that had previously been released  through other materials at that time. I just wish it had gone  further and included entries for them as well.

The book takes a different approach in organization. It takes the entries and beaks them down into six categories first. These are  Animals, Conjurations, Humanoids, Lowlife, Monsters and Undead.  The individual entries are then alphabetized in each section.

The entries themselves are each illustrated which is nice. The illustrations run the gambit from so-so to very good. There is a  definite White Dwarf feel to the illustrations though and many of  the entries as well. This again is not a bad thing in my world  but if you didn't like the Fiend Folio you may not like this.


Published 1986
Pages 96

From the back cover:

"Are you ready to face the horror of the Hivebrood, the gruesome  Geonid or the dread Dusanu? These and many other baleful beasts  lurk within the pages of this manual, waiting to challenge even  the mightiest adventurers!

The Creature Catalogue is the first major expansion to the range  of D&D game monsters. Within its covers have been collected all  the curious creatures first presented in the official D&D  adventure modules, plus many more new nasties, designed to  challenge and perplex the heartiest heroes. Also included is a  comprehensive index of all D&D monsters found in the Basic,  Expert, Companion and Master rule sets.

Whether your players' characters are 1st, 21st, or 31st level,  this tome contains many fantastic creatures with which to test  their mettle. Armed with the Creature Catalogue, you will be able  to find the right fearsome foe to confront even the most  foolhardy fellow."




Spell:

Sacrifice Magic


Level: Zero
Range: Touch
Duration: Permanent
Area of Effect: One Item
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 Segment
Saving Throw: None

By means of this spell the magic user is able to sacrifice a  single magic item and convert its energies into a spell. The  level of the spell gained will need to be commensurate to the  level of the item sacrificed.

The caster will not be able to use potions or scrolls to power  this spell. It can also not be used or items such as artifacts or  relics as a means of destroying them. If the caster tries to use  the spell of such powerful items it is suggested that the DM have  the power of the item defend itself and have there be  ramifications from the attempt. This can not be used on cursed  items.

This ability can be used to allow the caster to have more spells  than they would normally be allowed to cast in a day or at a  specific level. The item must be in the casters possession for  them to use it for this spell. If the caster is not the owner of  the item then they must be in possession of it for a full round  before it can be used.

The DM will need to determine if the item destroyed is  satisfactory to power the spell it is being used for. They player will need to declare this before the spell is cast so as to not  waste a magic item. They will have a feeling about this as they  cast the spell and may need to alter the intended result.

The material component of this spell will be the item that is  being sacrificed.

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.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

AC7 Master Player Screen, Reaping


This is another item that needs little in the way of explanation.  Any GM is going to need or will want something to hide the  information he is describing to the players. This can be  accomplished by distance but eventually a screen is going to be  wanted.

This screen was designed with the then new Master edition in  mind. With the staggered approach on release the BECMI series  made it possible to re-market items that had previously been  released. Sort of like releasing new editions every few years but  in this case the players and DM do not need to learn new core  rules every time and work to convert characters.

The module that was included is not one that I ever ran. It  starts with an overland journey through a great desert and end  with the players learning the secret to immortality

Published: 1985
Pages: 8 (module)

From the Back Cover:

For the first time, all the important tables and information for  character classes has been gathered together in this easy-to-use  accessory. This screen collects all the crucial information for  player characters, from beginning to master level. This fabulous  product includes Level advancement, spells and weapons tables:  Saving Throws, Combat and Special Abilities.

Also featured is the Master level mini-adventure, The Spindle,  the beginning of a quest for the secret of immortality. This  adventure provides players and DMs alike, with a foundation from  which to create their own epic quests into legend and beyond.



User Summary: (taken from RPGGeek)

Master Player Screen

Internal tables:

    * Hit roll charts for all classes, versus armor class from 10  to -10.
    * Saving throws for all classes.
    * Thief special abilities and experience table.
    * Cleric turning undead table for all types of undead.
    * Spell lists for clerics, druids and magic-users for all  spell levels.

External tables:

    * Cleric experience and spells per level table.
    * Magic-user experience and spells per level table.
    * Fighter experience table.
    * Dwarf experience table.
    * Elf experience and spells per level table.
    * Halfling experience table.

All tables cover all levels of experience (1 to 36 as applicable,  and demihuman attack ranks).




Spell:

Reaping


Level: Fourth
Range: 9"
Duration: 2 Rounds/Level
Area of Effect: 1 Creature/Level
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 5 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user causes the selected  targets to "reap what they sow" as it phrase goes. This will  cause whatever they do for the duration of the spell to be  shared.

The victims of the spell will have any damage they do in combat  split evenly (rounded down) between the target of the attack and  themselves. So if they were to hit a target for 13 points of  damage then the target will take six and they will take six  points of damage. This will apply to damage done in melee combat  or through the use of spells.

If the target of the spell uses beneficial magic then the effect  is not halved bu instead fully copies. Any healing that the  target does will be copied to the person they are engaged in  combat with or if not actively engaged then the caster determines  the target of the effect.

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.

Friday, December 16, 2011

AC6 - Player Character Record Sheets, Animate Flame


There is not much that I need to say about this product. It is not essential for the game but it does make things easy on both the player as well as the DM.

This is another iteration of character sheets for the basic Dungeons & Dragons game. This one followed the much rarer AC5 and included  information for the new (at the time) Masters set.


Published: 1985
Pages: 48 (24 Two Sided Sheets)

From the back of the product:

You started in Basic and as your character grew, you advanced to  Expert. And the game grew too, expanding into Companion and  Masters rules. And your character grew right along with the game,  gaining levels, equipment, magical items, and land. In fact, your  character grew right out of the D&D Character Sheet you have been  using for so long.

Now your character sheet can keep up to date with the game. Need  a space to note weapon mastery from the Master Rules? Has your  character's spellbook grown into a maze of paper scrap? Forgotten  the name of your fighter's liege lord? Now you can record these  on a single clear sheet with the new and expanded D&D Character  Sheets. Specifically designed for use with all the D&D rulesets,  these character sheets allow space for information that pertains  to all the details of the growing D&D gamesystem.

The D&D Character Sheets come with 16 two-sided character sheets  suitable for use with all characters, 8 Character Spellbook  Planners complete with all Magic User, Cleric, and Druid spells,  and a Dominion Planning Guide.




Spell:

Animate Flame


Level: Third
Range: 9"
Duration: 1 Round + 1 Round/Level
Area of Effect: Special
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user will cause local nearby  fire sources to animate and do their bidding. The animated beings  will act as distractions and cause damage as desired by the  caster. Each animated flame will be up to one foot in size.

The fire sources will split into a number of different creatures depending on the casters intelligence. The caster will be able to  create one animated being per point of intelligence. The caster  will command each as to what to do each round but does not need  to maintain concentration. The caster can split the number of  animated flames in any way but each may only perform one function  each round.

The animated flames will be able to perform three distinct  functions based on the will of the caster. The first will be to  act as a distraction to an individual. If this occurs than all  action rolls and to hit rolls are made at a -4.

The second action will be to cause damage. Each round the flame  can cause 1d4 points of damage to an individual. More than one  flame attacking an individual will increase the damage by 1 point  past the first.

The third action will be to set fire to flammable objects. The  animated flames will be able to ignite any flammable object they  come into contact with though they will not be able to perform  any other function.

The material component of this spell will be an active fire  source. The fire source is not extinguished when it is animated.  The magic of the spell will cause the flame to increase in size  to accommodate the needed flame.

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.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

AC3 The Kidnapping of Princess Arelina, Lower Resistance


The Kidnapping of Princess Arelina is an item that I have never used. It is also one that I keep meaning to buy a better copy of. The copy I have (as the image shows) is damaged. I want a new copy but it is just not that important to make a point of buying.

This is one of those items that only a completist feels the need to have a copy of. The module its a short adventure with a total of less than 20 encounters as I recall. It was designed to make use of the cardboard miniatures amazingly enough. The art of the miniatures seemed to be a little too 70's for me even though it was published in the 80's.

Published: 1984
Pages: 16

From the back of the module:

Your party moves stealthily up the dark hallway. Torn cobwebs dangle from the ceiling; to the south, a huge, iron door creaks eerily in the mysterious wind. A massive iron gate crashes down, blocking the corridor ahead!

Wait a minute. The pencil broke.

Mapping dungeons is quick, easy, and exciting with the 3-D Dragon Tiles. Use the Dragon Tiles to bring your DUNGEONS & DRAGONS and ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS adventure to life.

This package contains 51 3-D figures, featuring characters, creatures, walls, and doors. Two sheets of 84 two-sided feature tiles, showing traps, treasures, furniture, and special surprises, are also included. A Dungeon Mapping Grid is provided to help you lay out dungeons quickly.

The 3-D Dragon Tiles also comes with a special D&D/AD&D adventure, "The Kidnapping of Princess Arelina."

Can't find an eraser? Don't worry. Leave the dungeons to us.




Spell:

Lower Resistance


Level: Fourth
Range: 9"
Duration: 2 Rounds/Level
Area of Effect: One Creature
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 5 Segments
Saving Throw: Special

When this spell is cast the magic user will cause the target to become more susceptible to magic. This will have the effect of causing magical effects to have a greater effect on them and affect their saving throws.

The increase in the magical effect will depend on the outcome of their saving throw against the spell. If the save is failed by less than four then magical effects will have a 50% increase. If the save was failed by five or more points then the victim will have a 100% increase. The increase will increase both the affect and the duration on the victim. If the intended victim has an innate Magic Resistance and they are affected this will be cut in half for the duration of the spell.

If the saving throw is made then they will instead suffer immediate damage without an additional save to reduce it. If the saving throw is made they will suffer 1d4 points of damage for every point that they made their saving throw by.

There will be an additional odd result if the victim fails their saving throw. If a victim fails their saving throw they will become immune to damage from normal weapons for the duration of the spell. They will become more susceptible to magical weapons though and any plus for damage will be doubled. 

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.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Curse of the Witch Head, Lower Threshold



I have not had a chance to play The Curse of the Witch Head not  have I even had a chance to give it a good read to write a full  review. When i stared this blog it was more just to share what I  owned and provide some commentary on the items. I never intended  it to be a full review site. I will continue to try and do that  as I can but this is not one of the items I can do that with.

There is a good review of it written up over at the Acaeum. It  can be found here:

Acaeum Review

Overall the review was very positive. The only real complaints in  the review were that there was not a scale provided on the map  and that it was short. Not that it was short in a bad way only  that it was good enough that they wished there had been more.

Published: 2007
Pages: 12

From the publisher's website:

"Over two centuries ago, the Duke Ithinge ordered an underground  complex to be built to house the Witch Head and keep it from  those who would use its powers for evil. The construction of the  complex was performed in a remote and secret place, its chambers  and corridors filled with traps and terrors devised by his new  court wizard. With the complex completed, the laborers were  enchanted to never reveal its location. He knew he could not  destroy the Witch Head, for it was forever linked to the vitality  of his family line; its power was fueled by the evil deeds of his  fore bearers, and it was written in legend that the heir who  destroyed the relic would be the last of the line. The Curse of  the Witch Head is designed for 4-6 characters of levels 6-10 and  is compatible with 1st Edition gaming."



Spell:

Lower Threshold

Level: Fourth
Range: 9"
Duration: 2 Rounds/Level
Area of Effect: One Creature
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 5 Segments
Saving Throw: Special

When this spell is cast the magic user will cause the pain threshold of the intended victim to be lowered. This will have the effect of causing them to suffer increased damage from any melee attacks.

The increase in damage will depend on the effect of the saving throw. If it is made there will be done but they will suffer some direct damage then. If the save is failed by less than four points then they will suffer 50% more damage. If it is failed by five or more points then they will suffer 100% more damage for the duration of the spell.

If the saving throw is made then they will instead suffer immediate damage without an additional save to reduce it. If the saving throw is made they will suffer 1d4 points of damage for every point that they made their saving throw by.

There will be an additional odd result if the victim fails their saving throw. If a victim fails their saving throw they will become immune to magic effects that target them directly for the duration of the spell. This will include both harmful and beneficial magical effects.

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.



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A 1-4 Scourge of the Slavelords, Dream Speak


I have never run this module but I ran the originals that it was  based off of. As I recall A1 was the first module that i ever  bought. I think I ended up running X2 first for some reason. It  was most likely because I had just got done reading the Amber  series and somehow connected the two.

The compiled edition contains revised editions of the modules and  I really am not sure of the differences. I will have to pull them  all out of storage and compare them sometime. I like how they  made it a followup to the ToEE though I seem to recall coming of  the the Temple higher than seventh level. It may have been that we  did some side adventures but I really can't remember them.

I am not sure which way I would go today if I had to but them.  The combined module is nice and the tie in makes it convenient.  There is something to be said for owning the originals though.  Being a purest I might go with the four stand alone modules and  play them as they were intended and not as a continuation of the  ToEE.


Published: 1986
Pages: 128

From the publisher:

"Screams echo in the night, the charred remnants of a village are  mute by day. From the decaying lands of the Pomarj, slavers have  struck again!

The adventure that began in the Temple of Elemental Evil now  sweeps southward across the Wild Coast and into the desolate  lands of the inhuman Pomarj. Slave raiders scour the countryside,  leaving death and destruction in their wake. Daring adventurers  strike into the heartland of the foe to harry the villains and  bring retribution and justice to the land.

This product contains the completely revised Aerie of the  Slavelords series of adventures. Also included are new challenges  and new scenarios detailing the Wild Coast, the city of Highport,  the blasted lands of the Pomarj and the Drachensgrab Mountains.

With the beginning found in Temple of Elemental Evil, your  campaign adventure can lead characters from 7th level all the way  to 11th and beyond! Hours of adventure and excitement lie between  these covers!"




Spell:

Dream Speak


Level: Second
Range: 6"
Duration: 1 Turn + 1 Rounds/Level
Area of Effect: One Creature
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: None

This spell will require that the magic user cast it on a creature that is already asleep. The sleep can be a natural one or one that was caused by a spell or magical effect.

When the spell is cast the magic user will be able to ask questions of the sleeping victim. The questions must be ones that are direct and can easily be answered. Asking them what the plans of their master would not be something they could answer but asking where their master plans to attack would be allowed.

The spell does not allow the creature to speak or understand languages that they would not normally know. The victim will answer the questions as truthfully as they can though only answering the questions ask of them. They are not compelled to volunteer any information other than direct answers to direct questions.

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.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A|State, Siphoning Mist


This may be one of the creepiest covers I have ever seen for a game. I almost didn't buy it when I saw it as it was that disturbing to me for some reason. I am glad I finally decided to get it. The game is yet another I have not had a chance to play but I really want to. Rather than me try and describe it I am going to copy the Introduction from the publishers site. If that does not make you want to play it or pick it up there is nothing I could write that would make that happen.


Published: 2004
Pages: 256

From the back cover:

Welcome to The City…

A sepiatone world lit by guttering gas lamps and the flickering filaments of electric bulbs. A closed world, isolated and alone.

A world of contrasts and contradictions. The citizens live their lives in a tangle of technological obscurity.

A world of pain, fear, longing and hatred. Where the basest human emotions rise to the surface, where men will cripple each other for a dull shilling.

A world of superstition, folk tales, wild religion and rampant rumour. The Shift and The Bombardment are apocalyptic legends from the far past, feeding the nightmares and fantasies of current generations.

A world of strangers and beings who do not belong. The Shifted, strange entities, whispered about in pubs and taverns. Mentioned in guarded conversations, lest the very mention of their name summon them from the dark.

You will never forget the The City.
But The City will forget you.


From the publishers Site:

I n t r o d u c t i o n    t o    t h e    w o r l d    o f    a /  s t a t e  

Welcome to The City. A sepiatone world lit by guttering gas lamps and the flickering filaments of electric bulbs. A closed world, isolated and alone. Stinking canals radiate out through The City, thick with effluent and the detritus of millions of lives. Dank alleys wend between corroding concrete towerblocks, wide boulevards swarm with peddlers, traders, sellers, buyers, thieves and victims. The City is full of dark places where the lights of knowledge, morality and justice fail to glow.

Welcome to The City. A world of contrasts and contradictions. The citizens live their lives in a tangle of technological obscurity. In crumbling brick tenements, they crowd round dim televisions, sedated by the media output. In the factories, workshops, mills and yards, they toil and strain with rusting, decaying machinery. Above them all, the macrocorps stand like gods, islands of glittering advancement in a sea of black oil, flaking iron and reeking gas.

Welcome to The City. A world of pain, fear, longing and hatred. Where the basest human emotions rise to the surface, where men will cripple each other for a dull shilling. Yet light, life, love and hope manage to raise their voices, occasionally heard above the clamour of darkness. Through all the evil and wreckage, some still manage to retain a sense of decency and honour.

Welcome to The City. A world of superstition, folk tales, wild religion and rampant rumour. The Shift and The Bombardment are apocalyptic legends from the far past, feeding the nightmares and fantasies of current generations. Some pray to God for salvation, others pray to a cold, empty universe. In hidden places, black rites are carried out, for reasons as varied and obscure as The City itself. Folk heroes and villains stalk the streets: Ticktock Man, The Leaper, Iron Lady. They all contribute to the second city, the city carried on the tongues and in the minds of its citizens.

Welcome to The City. A world of strangers and beings who do not belong. The Shifted, strange entities, whispered about in pubs and taverns. Mentioned in guarded conversations, lest the very mention of their name summon them from the dark. The Ubel, twitching and creaking through the backstreets in their bloodstained rags, chittering incomprehensibly. Lugner, whispering maddening dreams in the night. Drache, as insubstantial as mist, clouds of unreason. Hager, assassins and kidnappers, looming figures cast in black cloth and pale flesh. The Simils, pitied and reviled in equal measure, clanking golems of iron, brass and stone.

Welcome to The City.
You will never forget The City.
But The City will forget you.

Nearly one thousand years ago, as far as anyone can tell, an event took place. Why and how this event happened remains unknown. But it happened, and since then, things have been different in The City. Philosophers, scientists and poets agree that the The City once had a name. In the present it is simply called The City, for there is nowhere else other than the blasted Outlands.

The event came to be known as The Shift, a change in reality so great that the very fabric of The City was changed forever. Places and people were altered, new beings sprang, fully formed into existence. One fact that is known is that almost immediately after The Shift, The City was subjected to a rain of fire known as The Bombardment. Infernos fell from the sky and laid waste to whole tracts of land. More important than the destruction of the physical was the destruction of knowledge that The Bombardment caused. Datacores were wiped, libraries reduced to ashes and the memories of the survivors scarred. No remnant of life before The Shift and The Bombardment remains, only a few structures of vast size and strength remain to remind the inhabitants of the past. For centuries people have lived in limbo, the only history that of the past hundred decades.

Rumours circulate that The Outlands were once fertile and green, now they are a blasted land of desert and rock. The City is a place of dark alleys, ponderous architecture and stinking canals. In the century following these two cataclysmic events, the survivors sought to band together and make some sort of life for themselves. Not only did they have to deal with a lack of technology, they had to deal with the creatures which became know as the Simils, the Ubel, the Drache and the Lugners. The struggles of the first century gave rise to organisations which still exist today. The eight macrocorps all grew from the ashes, each with their own unique story of war, decimation and survival.

Over the coming centuries, The City and its inhabitants would reach a twisted equilibrium with their situation. Society grew and expanded, the population stuttered, fell and then grew. Sciences and technologies were rediscovered, yet even today, many live in poverty and primitive conditions. The rediscovered technologies were harnessed by those who had the power and influence to utilise them. The macrocorps became bastions of knowledge, hoarding their precious discoveries to themselves, only to find them ripped away by unceasing war and the more subtle influences of espionage and treachery.

Now, centuries later, The City is a study in contrasts. The majority of the population live in tenements and towers built of brick, stone and concrete. Their dwellings are lit by gas piped in from huge rubbish heaps, their clothes made from crude fibres and their property that of a society barely reaching the industrial age. In the domains of the macrocorps, things are very different. The corporate citizens have access to the finest food, to unlimited power and light, to shining vehicles and well made clothes. Their soldier who guard them ward off rioters armed with black powder sparklock weapons, the soldiers themselves carrying sleek gauss rifles and compact lasers.

In the slums of Mire End, Dreamingspires and Fogwarren, life is a daily toil, making enough to get by as best you can. The middle classes fear the slums, envisioning them encroaching upon their own moderately comfortable lives. In the corporate bastions of Luminosity Tower, Konkret and The Forbidden City, the corporates look down upon the teeming million, their workforce and their potential doom.

Through the backstreets and alleys, Ubel stalk, ripping and tearing those who come too close, leaving only a cooling corpse as an echo of their passing. Simils made of iron and brass, surmounted with a human head, clank their way through the streets on lay down their existences in the hell of the Contested Grounds. Lugner spread rumour, fear and suspicion through their whispers and fleeting dreams.

Some seek to stand up to the despair and hopelessness. Lostfinders search and investigate for little or no reward while Stringers piece together fragments of information to feed into the hungry newswires and memory cores of the Dataflow. The Provosts of the Three Canals try to enforce some form of law and order in a chaotic society, holding on to the belief that there is the one place in The City where life is that little bit better. Others believe that the forces which prevent anyone leaving this place are corroding, that soon they will be able to leave this place for a better life among the stars.

The clouds will one-day part. And then, the people of The City will once again have that rarest and most precious of commodities: hope. 




Spell:

Siphoning Mist


Level: Third
Range: None
Duration: 2 Rounds/Level
Area of Effect: 6" Radius Sphere
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 4 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user brings into being a sphere of thin mist. The mist is thin enough that it can easily be seen through though obscuring vision is not the intended effect.

The mist will fill the allotted space in a matter of seconds once the spell is cast. The following round all creatures not connected with the caster ot their party will suffer 1d6 of damage. The DM will need to assign each creature affected to one of the casters party before rolling for damage. It will be possible that there may be multiple or no creatures assigned to a party member.

After assigning the creatures the DM will then need to assign one half of the damage that was syphoned from the victims to the party members. These points will heal any damage that has been taken but can not increase the hit points beyond the characters maximum. Any points not sued in a given round are lost as far as healing effect is concerned.

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.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Magical Medley, Decoys


Let me start by saying that I have never used the FUDGE system and I don't think that I owned it when I bought this book. I am certain that I have since picked it up but never played it. When I bought this I purchased it because first the price was right and then secondly the fact that it presented a number of different magic systems.

The book presents a total of six magic systems which run the gambit of types of magic. These could be used as is and as presented but they could just as easily be tweaked and renamed to fit into any campaign. The book includes conversion information for other systems including one that might work for well too known game system.

The six different magic systems presented are: African spirit magic, Bioenergetics, Celtic magic, Chinese magic, The Gramarye (pseudomedieval magic), and Occultism. The length of space devoted to each varies but I don't think any are cheated. The book also includes a short section on magic items and a dozen adventure seeds. It also includes a short dungeon crawl that though written for FUDGE could be converted.

In the end I think this was a good acquisition even if I had never eventually picked up the system. The magic systems can easily be converted to any other game system or used as inspiration. If there is anyone working on a new game and looking for some alternative ideas for magic systems this would serve them well.

From the Publisher:

A Magical Medley is a magic-rich supplement for Fudge and other role-playing games. Medicine man, biomancer, magician, monk, sorcerer, or occultist: A Magical Medley has something for everyone! We've compiled a variety of magic systems and magic-related miscellany for use with Fudge and other role-playing games. Magic systems include: African Spirit Magic, Bioenergetics, Celtic Magic, Chinese Magic, The Gramarye, and Occultism.

Plus: How to design your own magic system to suit any campaign; tips on integrating Fudge magic systems with other RPGs (and how to use GURPS Magic with Fudge), interesting magic items and tips on designing more, and adventure seeds to help GMs create their own magic-related adventures. There's also "The Tomb of Shrak Ironfist," a complete fantasy adventure loaded with magical traps and tricks.

This is an unabashed dungeon crawl in the best spirit of the early days of fantasy role-playing, and combines a touch of horror with the mystical to provide a memorable adventure.

A Magical Medley is a Pyramid Pick (reviewed in Issue 28, November/December 1997). It was also nominated for an Origins Award in the Best Roleplaying Supplement category of 1997, with competition from the likes of Delta Green from Pagan Publishing (the winner).




Spell:

Decoys


Level: Fourth
Range: 12"
Duration: 1 Turn + 1 Round/Level
Area of Effect: 2 Creatures/Level
Components: v,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user causes two events to occur. The first will be that the target creatures selected will become invisible. The second is that a exact duplicate of the creatures made invisible will appear next to them.

The duplicates that appear are actually illusions though they will have form if actually touched and generate heat signatures. When created the decoys will immediately take off as a group in the direction specified by the caster. This should allow the invisible group to slip away.

The decoys will proceed as a group until such time as an option for directions occurs. When this occurs there is a 50/50 chance that the group will remain intact or split evenly. This will occur every time that an option to go different directions occur. If the group remains intact the DM should determine randomly what direction the group goes.

If the group that is pursuing the decoys catches them and engages them in combat the decoys will pretend to put up a fight but can never hit or do damage. Each decoy can be struck three times in combat before "dying" but any magical attack will cause them to "die". The remains will continue to be visible until the duration of the spell expires.

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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