Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dangerous Dungeons Preview: Empty Dungeon Rooms





Empty Rooms
1d20
TYPE
1
Room shows evidence of some brutal combat having taken place in the recent past. Walls are covered in bloodstains and bits of gore. Bones or rotting bits of flesh cover the floor.
2
Areas of the walls and floor are faded or stained, as if the room once contained several pieces of furniture or other furnishings, now missing.
3
The room appears as if it has been refurbished. The walls are spotless and the floor is unmarked as if recently retiled. Otherwise, there are no furnishings.
4
The walls here are splotched and covered in mold as if the room had once been flooded. Rotten bits of wood and textile can be found on the floor.
5
Whatever it’s original purpose, this room has been used as a toilet by whomever lives nearby. The stench is almost unbearable and the corners are piled high with feces.
6
The walls and floor of this room are covered in names from every conceivable race and culture scrawled in black charcoal. On the ceiling, in big red letters is the caption ‘ People Zaxes Doesn’t Like’. Who or what Zaxes is or who the other names belong to is a mystery.
7
Some great conflagration has engulfed this room. Both the walls and floor are scorched and black and in places appear melted by some great heat.
8
A large square is drawn in the middle of the floor in chalk and in it is written the word ‘IN’. On the floor near the door through which the PCs enter is written the word ‘OUT’.
9
The room is completely empty but is permeated by a sickly sweet odor as if someone has recently been smoking pipeweed. If re-entered at a later date, the room will still smell as if someone has only recently been smoking here, but will still be completely empty.
10
The walls of this room are covered in frescoes depicting ordinary life in a dungeon, if such could ever be called ‘ordinary’. Certain figures have been deliberately scraped away by some unknown hand.
11
In one corner of the room is a fake trapdoor. If opened, it reveals only featureless bedrock.
12
Cobwebs fill the room from top to bottom. If burned or brushed away, a task that takes 1d3 turns, nothing whatsoever, including a spider, is found in the room.
13
The entire room radiates a palpable evil dweomer although it is completely empty of both occupants or objects.
14
Although empty, a trail of ants leads from a crack in one corner of the room, across the floor and up the wall into another small crack in the ceiling.
15
A distinctly funky smell pervades the room, and traces of bodily fluids can be seen splattered hither and yon. Crude sexual sketched are scrawled on the walls including an inscription in Common that reads ‘For a good time, call Big Steev’. In one wall, at waist level, is a small hole that proves to be only 3 inches deep if probed. 
16
The room is bathed in a pale white light with no obvious source. A distant humming can be heard. If 1d2 turns are spent searching the room, the PCs find an inscription in one corner, in very tiny Common the phrase “There is no reason and the truth is plain to see.”
17
The layer of dust and rat droppings that blankets the room appears to have been recently disturbed by someone or something who apparently removed what could have been a large treasure chest once sitting in the corner. Marked on the dust in the floor nearby are the words ‘Jaymal was here’.
18
The room is very cold and dust-covered. Small footprints lead from the door to the center of the room where there is a kobold-sized snow angel.
19
This room is enshrouded by permanent magical darkness but is nevertheless, completely empty.
20
This room is completely unremarkable and empty.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Unimpressed Gygax








Dangerous Dungeons Preview: Index



Here's the tentative index for Dangerous Dungeons. Nearly everything is already written except for the chapter on planar adventuring and a few monsters and spells. We're still looking for artists willing to contribute and someone familiar with constructing form-fillable pdfs for a few supplemental extras to include for the book online.

Layout is still not complete, but it looks to be somewhere in the 500 page range. For those wondering, everything will be designated open content with proper accreditation.

Dangerous Dungeons Index.doc


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dangerous Dungeons Preview: Haniver




HANIVER

Frequency:
Very Rare
No. Encountered:
1
Size:
Medium
Move:
180’ swimming
Armour Class:
3
Hit Dice:
7
Attacks:
1
Damage:
1d12
Special Attacks:
Hypnosis
Special Defences:
Spell reflection
Magic Resistance:
See text
Lair Probability:
100%
Intelligence:
Exceptional
Alignment:
Chaotic Evil
Level / XP:
7 / 1,050+8/hp

Hanivers are aquatic monsters of fearsome reputations that inhabit labyrinthine lairs in the deep ocean depths. They have barrel-like torsos with vertical symmetrical flaps, big membranous “wings” and tentacle legs. Their heads are squid-like with a sharp beak.

Haniver lairs are constructed from spiralling tunnels of rock or coral that lead towards a middle “room” where lurks the haniver. Any creatures passing over the labyrinth must make a Saving Throw vs. Spells at -4 or be hypnotized and drawn inexorably towards the middle where they can be eaten by the haniver. Only small or medium-sized creatures can enter the labyrinth.

In melee, a haniver will bite with its sharp beak. Hypnotised victims will be unaware of attack and completely at the mercy of their attacker. Spells directed at a haniver will be reflected back upon the caster and possibly others nearby, if the spell is one with an area effect. If dispel magic is cast at a haniver in tandem with another spell, the creature may (50%) be unable to reflect the spell, although they are still allowed a saving throw as normal.

Treasure: Hanivers will keep a hoard in the middle of their labyrinthine lairs that includes 10d4 x 1,000gp (50%), 1d20 x 100pp (50%), 5d4 gemstones (30%), 1d10 pieces of jewelry (25%), and 1d4 random magic items plus one potion (35%). 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dangerous Dungeons Preview: Amazons






This time it's Amazons, both as an NPC class and a monster class.

Amazons.doc

Dangerous Dungeons Preview: Adventurer Titles



Here's another preview of Dangerous Dungeons. This time it's adventurer titles a la the old level titles found in the 1e PHB.Although the listings are in d% table form, the GM is encouraged to choose a particularly fitting title for PCs.

Adventurer Titles.doc

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Celebrity OSR Jeopardy


(Jeopardy intro theme)

Alex Trebek: Welcome back to OSR Celebrity Jeopardy. We've got a very tight contest tonight. In second place with -$43,500 is publisher James Raggi the Fourth.

Raggi: (flips the bird) Because fuck you Alex, that's why!

Alex: Wonderful. And in first place with -$5,250 is author Geoffrey McKinney.

McKinney: Thank you Alex. And I'd like to say hello to all my prepubescent and nubile young fans.

Alex: (grimacing) And in last place, with -$55,002 is webmaster and fellow Canadian, John Tarnowski. John, what is that you're smoking?

Tarnowski: It's a pipe Alex packed full of a pungent mix of Pundejo's Gold No. 7 and Big Purple Nut Gone Flake.

Alex: (deep sigh) Okayyyy...here are the categories for Double Jeopardy. They are: Potent Potables, German US Relations, Dungeon or Dragon. If you pick that category you will see a photo and must identify if it is a dungeon or a dragon. Next we have Dice With 4 Sides, TSR History, and finally Words that End with -phile. Geoffrey McKinney, you're in the lead, so you can pick first. May I suggest Dungeon or Dragon?

McKinney: No, I don't want that one. I'll take Words that End in -phile for $600 Alex.

Alex: OK. The answer is 'Gary Glitter'.

(Tarnowski buzzes in)


Alex: John Tarnowski.

Tarnowski: What is RPG.net

Alex: I'm sorry, that is incorrect.
 

(Raggi buzzes in)

Alex: James?

Raggi: What is a fucking audiophile, Alex.

Alex: No, sorry, that answer is also incorrect. Geoffrey, would you like to answer?

McKinney: Uhm, uh, what is a Part-Time Maths Tutor?

Alex: No, the correct question is 'What is a Pedophile?'. Let's just move on. James Raggi, you pick a category.

Raggi: (laying nude on the podium with a dice bag carefully concealing his pubic area) Bite me, Alex.

Alex: (long sigh) Ok. Would you like to pick a category?

Raggi: (grabbing his crotch) Why don't you pick some of this, Alex?

Alex: I'll take that as a 'No'. So, let's just go to TSR History for $200. The answer is 'The inventor of the first roleplaying game.'
 

(Tarnowski buzzes in)

Alex: John?

Tarnowski: Who is RPGPundit?

Alex: No, sorry, that answer is incorrect.
 

(McKinney buzzes in)

Alex: Geoffrey, do have an answer?

McKinney: Who is John Wayne Gacy?

Alex: No, sorry, again that is incorrect. The correct question is Who is Gary Gygax? So, Mr. Raggi, would you like to pick a category?

Raggi: Yes, Alex, I'll take Germ Anus Relations for $800, Alex.

Alex: (another deep sigh) No, James, that is German US Relations and you know it. Let's just go to Final Jeopardy, shall we? The category is 'Basic Dungeons & Dragons'. And the question is 'What is a monster with only 1 hit point?'

(Final Jeopardy music plays and finishes)

Alex: Ok, let's see what kind answers we have. James Raggi the Fourth wrote: 'My wife' And he wagered...'All her money.' Inspiring.
And Mr McKinney wrote: 'A pale-skinned 12 year old girl with long blond hair and budding young nipples' And he wagered...'25 years to life.' Also incorrect.
Finally, John Tarnowski, let's see what you wrote. 'Social Justice Warriors' and you wagered 'Oodles and oodles of paranoid delusion'. Again, incorrect.
Well, that's about all the time we have. Join us next time on Celebrity OSR Jeopardy, I'm Alex Trebek and goodnight.
 

(Jeopardy outro theme)

Gene Weigel: Motivational Speaker




(Scene opens with a Dungeonmaster (Allan Grohe) sitting around a kitchen table with 2 players (Scot Hoover and Bill Silvey)

DM: Kids, I'm so glad you've decided to join me tonight for this campaign communication session.

Player 1: So, what's up, are we going to play or not?

DM: No, I just wanted us all to talk as a group.

Player 2: Ok, but let's make it quick. I'm missing the season finale of Vikings for this shit.

DM: Well, to be honest, I'm been a bit concerned. The other day I was on Dragonsfoot and I noticed a couple of you complaining about 1st edition AD&D and particularly about my Dungeonmastering skills.

Player 1: You're not a fucking mod are you?

DM: No, I'm not a mod. Now, I'm not here to start an (makes parenthetical marks in the air with his hands)Edition War. I mean, that's not what I'm about. I'm just concerned that complaining about my handling of encumbrance and demi-human level limits could lead to other things like 2nd Edition or other (makes parenthetical marks in the air again) Editions that Shall Not Be Named or even worse, BECMI. I know you really don't want to hear this kind of thing from your Dungeonmaster so I've come up with a brilliant idea to give you kids some direction. A motivational speaker. One of those guys who speaks to small groups of nerds in basements and at community centers.

Player 2: You mean to come here and lecture us?

(Players both stand up together to leave)

Players (in unison): Later dude!

DM: Hey, hey...don't go. This set me back a few bucks. Give him a chance. Ok, his name is Gene Weigel. Now he's been down in the basement drinking Red Bull and Whiskey and popping mood-stabilizers for the last 6 hours and he should be ready to go. I'll call him up.

(DM walks over to the basement door)

DM: Gene! We're ready for you!

(DM turns to the players)

DM: His speech is called The One True Way. Now he's used to small groups of semi-retarded misfits, so make him feel at home.

(turns back to the basement door)

DM: Gene! C'mon up buddy!

(Gene Weigel walks into the room, sweating profusely and looking like he hasn't taken a bath or shaved in a decade)

Gene: Hey! How is everybody. Good, good, good. Now, as your Dungeonmaster probably told you, my name is Gene Weigel and I am a motivational speaker. Now let's start by letting me give you a little bit of scenario about what my gaming hobby is all about. First off, I am 52 years old, I am divorced, and I live in a basement down by the river! Now you kids are probably saying you're going to play a casual game of AD&D and houserule a few things here and there. Well I'm here to tell you that whatever ideas you have about AD&D don't amount to JACK SQUAT! You're going to end up eating a steady diet of Xanax, drinking Mad Dog 20/20 and LIVING IN A BASEMENT DOWN BY THE RIVER!

(Gene turns to Player 1)

Gene: Now young man, what do you want to do with your life?

Player 1: Well, actually Gene, I kind of want to be a game designer.

Gene (shouting): Well, LA-DEE-FUCKING-DA! We got ourselves a game designer here!

(Gene turns to the DM)

Gene: Hey, Dungeonmaster, I can't see really good, is that Gary Gygax over there?

DM: Well, actually Gene, I've encouraged Scot to write an occasional encounter or two and think about running his own campaign game on alternate weeks.

Gene: (shouting) Yeah, I wish you could just shut your big TRAP!

(Gene turns back to player 1)Well, what I've heard is that you've been using that computer of yours for trolling on Dragonsfoot! You're gonna be doing a lotta trolling when you're LIVING IN A BASEMENT DOWN BY THE RIVER!

(Gene turns to Player 2)

Gene (shouting): Young man, what do you want to do with your life?

Player 2 (deadpan): I want to live in a basement, down by the river.

Gene: Well, you'll have plenty of time to live in a basement down by the river WHEN YOU'RE LIVING IN A BASEMENT DOWN BY THE RIVER!

(Gene, gets up on the table and begins flailing his arms wildly)

Gene (shouting): So, you're probably asking yourselves, Gene, how can we GET BACK ON THE RIGHT TRACK! Well as I see it, there is only one solution, and that is for me to get my AD&D books, move it on in here, and be your Dungeonmaster, cause I'm going to show you what real Gygaxian gaming is all about. We're going to be buddies, we're going to be gamers, we're gonna (Gene manhandles Player 1 up onto the table) wrestle around in the basement and make youtube videos and listen to country & western music. Ole Gene is going to be your shadow! Here's you, here's Gene. There's you, there's...

(table collapses)

Gene (standing back up): Whoopsie Daisy. Whoopsie Daisy. I'm gonna go get my books right now. (Gene walks out the front door)

Player 2: Hey, hey, you don't have to do that. We'll never complain about 1st edition on Dragonsfoot ever again.

DM: (shouting through the open door) Uh, Gene, hey, thanks for all you've done.

Gene (reappearing at the door): I don't give a rat's ass because I'm taking over this campaign. I'm sick and tired of LIVING IN A BASEMENT DOWN BY THE RIVER!

(Gene walks out again)

(DM closes and bolts the door)

DM: Is the backdoor locked?

Player 1: We love you Grodog.

DM: I love you too.

(Whole group sighs and hugs)

(Fade to black)

The Castle of the Mad POTUS



Little Known Fact: Coolidge spent the last three years of his Presidency constructing a 15-level mega-dungeon under the White House, where he eventually hoped to hide in the event that he won another term. Many eyebrows were raised when the POTUS personally requested 15,000 H1-B work permits for a mix of goblins and kobolds with a smattering of bugbear, orc and troll slavemasters. Public dismay grew when Coolidge began openly referring to his Secret Service bodyguards as 'Men-At-Arms' or 'Zero-Level Normal Men' in his last State of the Union address. Eventually, on the evening of January 12th, 1928, Coolidge, heading the weekly Cabinet meeting, announced his eleventy-first birthday and abruptly disappeared in a puff of strangely acidic greenish-orange smoke and has never been seen or heard from since. For the first couple of months the White House got a regular influx of multi-racial parties of 5 to 8 "security experts" who sought to descend into the tunnels beneath the White House to find the 'Mad POTUS'. Most spent a day or so striding the halls of the Presidential home asking everyone if they knew any rumors before walking through the back door in the kitchen leading to the first level of the dungeons and likewise disappearing for good. Some latter-day Coolidge-experts point to rumors of tunnels connecting all the Wal-marts in America as proof that the Mad POTUS is still alive and adding new levels.

In recent years, some house Republicans have begun to claim the US could balance the Federal budget by aggressively seizing Coolidge's treasure chests (or anyone bearing monetary evidence of them) while others advocate a more hands-off approach to allocating experience points. Democrats remain skeptical, claiming no apparent "trickle-down" benefits from adventurers spending gold coin in the marketplace on the overall welfare of the average American working-man.

Indeed, the town of Washington D.C., which still provides services for a dwindling number of adventuring parties has begun to strain under the weight of an increasingly unwieldy Gold Piece Standard that contributes significantly to inflation in the prices of common consumer goods as varied as hard rations, iron pitons, high hard boots, 10' poles and sprigs of wolfsbane. Crime and other social ills have skyrocketed. What was once 'Brother, can you spare a copper piece?' has become 'Up against the wall motherfucker! Give me all your gold and platinum, spellbooks and +2 weapons and above, I've got encumbrance limits!'

The 10 Kinds of OSR Gamers



(1) The Hipster Dilettante - These players are a cut above, if you don't mind them saying so - usually as they leave your Luddite campaign for something released yesterday. As GMs they are perpetually fluttering off to the latest trendsetting mechanics and settings, have a keen tendency to spend weeks or months preparing for a campaign that lasts all of one session.

(2) The Immersionist - These players want to be a part of the fantasy, and not just idle bystanders. They expect an almost religious attention to the smallest details, and woe betide the GM who hasn't exhaustively detailed the languages, religions and sanitary practices of their game world.


(3) The Tactical Wargamer - If it has hexmaps, strictly regulated LOS, and ammo tracking they'll play it. They don't do abstract, at all, so you'd better bring a Jane's Guide and drafting equipment to every game.

(4) The Thespian Storyteller - If it allows for cosplay, rubber swords and lengthy in-character soliloquys, they'll play it.

(5) The Snack Food Junky - If the gaming group supplies enough carbohydrates, they'll play it.

(6) The Soloist - If no other human being plays or even understands the game, they probably wrote it.

(7) The Freudian Slipster - If the game allows for revealing personal snowflakery, they'll play it.

(8) The Douchebag - If attractive members of the opposite sex play it, they'll use the game session as an opportunity to hook up.


(9) The Artiste - The write or draw a lot better than they game. Will spend much of the session either keeping a campaign journal in longform prose or sketching scenes for their graphic novel.

(10) The Senior Citizen - This guy was distantly or closely connected to some kind of Lake Geneva gaming group in the 70s but has done absolutely nothing in the intervening years. Will interrupt key moments in the game to tell an uninteresting, creepy and/or unfunny anecdote about something that happened in MAR Barker's basement.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Some Dangerous Dungeons Maps



Here are a couple of work in progress maps for Dangerous Dungeons that will serve as examples of an OSRIC campaign area and region. These maps come courtesy of the talented Sean Stone, colorized by yours truly.

Area Map.jpg
Regional Map.jpg

Back in Black



So, it's been a real long time since I posted anything here. I've not given up gaming or anything like that, rather I've been busy writing Dangerous Dungeons for OSRIC which will include much of the Classic Dungeon Designer netbooks as well as tons of new material.

The old truculent.org server has been taken down, so here are the new links for anyone looking for those old CDD netbooks and other stuff.


CDD1 Statblocks Reference.pdf
CDD2 Spells Reference.pdf
CDD3 Old School Geomorphs.pdf
CDD4 Encounters Reference.pdf
Old School Puzzles.pdf
Glyphic Lexicon.pdf
The Collected Pelinore.pdf
In Search of New Gods.pdf
The Awakening.pdf
OSRIC Monster List.xlsx
SWN Interstellar Shipyard.xlsx
SWN Mech Factory.xlsx
FASA Trek Who's Who.pdf
FASA Trek Worlds.pdf
FASA Trek Timeline.pdf
GW Events.pdf
GW Settlement Generation.pdf
GW Settlement Sheet.pdf
GW Scavenger's Field Guide.pdf
GW Underwater Gear.pdf
GW Wild in the Streets.pdf
Weird Science.pdf
Scifi City Blocks.pdf

Update: All the links on the sidebar have been updated as well, so download and enjoy!