Showing posts from November, 2020

Murder 'Neath the Mistletoe (v0.1 Playtest)

Whew, I'm tired. I stayed up all night.  Literally.  But it was an incredibly productive night.  Anyway, you don't care about that.  I finished the rough draft of the rough draft of my new Christmas adventure, Murder 'Neath the Mistletoe.  It's a B/X style adventure inspired by LotFP's No Rest For The Wicked, my love for old Santa stories, and my fucked up desire to turn something wholesome into something twisted.  The players arrive in a tiny village with a dark secret.  Every four years, the villagers sacrifice one of their own to a coven of hags in exchange for peace and prosperity, but this year, the sacrifice survived.  Imbued with the power of the cruel hags, this Santa knock-off is coming to town to lop off some heads. This particular adventure is much more dungeon light than my usual sorts. It basically works in three phases. Phase I: Investigating the town. Phase II: Hunkering down to survive the blizzard or venturing out to seek survivors before Evil Santa

Occupations for OSR PCs (WIP/Playtest)

THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. FEEDBACK AND PLAYTESTING IS GREATLY APPRECIATED! This is by no means anything terribly original, but I feel that there is room for a tiny additional segment of character creation that could add something interesting. I'm revising the Dungeon Crawl Classics occupation chart to fit my purposes for Old School Essentials (I will be referencing sections from the Old School Essentials Rules Tome) . If you're familiar with DCC, one of the neat ways it interfaces with its 3e roots is that it has a very simplified skill system.  This format CAN be translated directly into Old School Essentials (B/X) in several ways, but you run the risk of introducing an entire new d20 based skill system.  Instead, my aim is to introduce slight benefits that work directly with the pre-existing format.  When gaps are presented that can be filled in, I'll try to fill those in. I've removed some of the occupations and added several that I felt were missing.

Hammerling (B/X Monster)

Today, we have a creature from Germanic folklore. The Bergmönch, a lumbering giant more than twice the size of a man, toils endlessly in the mines of the world. Its eyes, the size of human heads, burn like flames in the darkness. Its long white hair and pale skin set the tone for the undoubtedly cold reception that visitors are likely to receive. It dons plain black robes and carries an enormous oil lamp in one hand with a 5' tall hammer in another. It can often be found doing pointless tasks, such as shifting collected ore from one pile to another. Its presence is either a boon or a blessing. For those who act in ways that annoy the Bergmönch, death awaits. For those who honor their profession and show respect to the Bergmönch, he will show aid. BEHAVIORS: -He speaks and understands Giant, Lawful, Neutral, Dwarvish, and the most common tongue in the region. -He is incredibly hot blooded. He will kill those who frustrate him without remorse.  -He is partial to those who

In Defense of Alignment

A lot of the discourse I see on alignment seems to veer one of two ways: 1. Alignment is outdated and restricting, putting a stranglehold on players that dictates how their characters should act in particular situations. 2. Alignment doesn't really add anything to the game. I'll try to tackle these in some sort of organized chaos. Is alignment outdated? By edition standards, yes. Fifth Edition has undeniably removed any semblance of significance that alignment may have on the game. At this point, alignment is strictly a barometer for general disposition that gives DMs a shorthand on "how should the character think about things?" Spells and features that target "evil" or "good" actually target specific creature types instead. Clerics and Paladins can lose their powers for ticking off their deities or breaking their oaths, but these things are generally very tangentially connected to alignment. Among old school gamers, alignment lives on

The Player Experience: OSR vs 5e

The Player Experience in 5E vs OSR, a Brief Comparison (Skip to next session if you want the bullet points) In Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons, player characters are heroes. From the very beginning, 5e PCs are well beyond the capabilities of the average populace.  They have above average ability scores, they get a full hit die + CON HP, Spellcasters start with several spells to choose from with multiple castings per day and cantrips they can use at-will. Martial classes start with benefits that put them significantly ahead of 1HD creatures, such as Fighting Styles, Second Wind, Martial Arts, etc. This also says nothing of the many skill proficiencies and expertise. This gap only increases as the game goes on. By contrast, games in the OSR tend to be far less charitable to starting characters. For a basis of comparison, we'll focus on Old School Essentials, as it's a direct retro-clone of one of the most foundational editions in the OSR, Moldvay B/X D&D from 1981.  What