Saturday, January 31, 2015

1d10 Random Waste Land Adventure Locations Table For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

There are places all throughout the wastelands that offer adventurers looting opportunities, weird locations perfect for a party to stumble upon.  Places where wizards as well as artifacts of super science are still held just waiting for adventurers. Here then are a host of adventure locations where your adventurers might find deep dangers. Locations of high adventure and terror. 

File:"TEST STAND 1-5, AIR FORCE FLIGHT TEST CENTER." ca. 1958. Test Area 1-115. Original is a color print, showing Test Stand 1-5 from below, also showing the HAER CAL,15-BORON.V,4-10.tif

1d10 Random Waste Land  Adventure Locations Table
  1. An underground military base used as a hanger for experimental drone A.I. air craft that patrol the area and use this location to spy on and locate communities for future kill sites. The place is heavily guarded by 1d10 drones but its a prime location for pre apocalyptic relics. There are 1d4 military death machines that patrol the area though. 
  2. A large former salt mining facility is now used as a temple by the local fantical post apocalyptic Lovecraftian cult. The place was used as a former storage facility for super science and military technologies. There are 1d10 temple guardians heavily armed with energy weapons. 
  3. An ancient missile silo and underground bunker is now the site of a death cult who are searching the desert for the launch codes for their towers of death. The place is a vast underground relic location strong hold for military secrets of the Ancients. There are 1d6 android mercenaries patrolling the area. 
  4. An ancient robotic recharge and maintenance shed for many military and highly classified death machine technologies. There will be 1d8 death machines and robotic units meeting at the place. This is  very intense high super science relic area holding some powerful and ancient technologies. There will be 1d8 mutant monsters feeling off of the strange energy emissions coming off the place. 
  5. There is a cache of highly dangerous super science artifacts that has suddenly started giving off weird radiations, these energies have attracted a family of giant mutant scorpions or aberrant mutant spiders. There are 1d6 mutant tribes also attracted by the weird radiations coming from the artifacts. 
  6. A strange underground bunker and vault combination has suddenly opened up automatically,anyone venturing into the place hasn't come out alive many are saying it is the abode of the gods and the resting place for their goods. It is said to be seven levels deep and patrolled by the 'spineless ones'. 
  7. An underground robotic storage facility has recently been found this weird maze of machine lined tunnels is said to yield some very rich pickings and rusty gold. But it is home to dangerous and evil machines that will destroy any who venture within. 
  8. This underground parking facility is home to over a hundred pre apocalyptic vehicles and other strange technologies but it is patrolled and maintained by hoards of religious fanatics all of the android people. There is a 20% chance of encountering one of the mad and homicidal machine things. 
  9. This underground facility is of unknown function but it has become the abode of a wizard of dangerous aspect. The magical mad man has taken to kidnapping and imprisoning some of the local mutant tribes for unknown purposes. Rumors of rich artifact finds abound however. 
  10. This former military bunker has become the headquarters for a local cult of Cthulhu said to sacrifice when the moon is gibbous. The bunker holds rich relics and artifacts according to legend. Already strange mutated fish people have been seen at night surrounding the place.
File:Underground postern to the UCP.JPG

Free Old School Comic Magazine Download - 1984 Magazine Warren Publishing Issue #9 (1979) For Your Old School Science Fiction Campaigns

Grab It Right Over
Welcome to issue number # 9 of Warren magazine's controversial and subversive more adult title, 1984 then  it's other titles either Creepy or Eerie. They went quite a bit further upon some of the sexual bits and story elements that are racy even by today's standards. Warren was competing with titles such as Heavy Metal. So consider yourselves warned! This stuff isn't for the kids. Considered yourselves warned! 
There's plenty of weird and high strangeness to pull from in these issues for old school gaming, everything from dark and dangerous one shot plot lines for adventures to dangerous characters as NPC's.
But really what was 1984 and what was its backdrop on the comic magazine scene back in 1979?
According to Wiki :
1984 was a black and white science-fiction comic magazine published by Warren Publishing from 1978 to 1983.1984 was edited by Bill Dubay. The title of the magazine was changed to 1994 starting with issue 11 in February,1980 based on a request by the estate of George Orwell.
 Back then it featured some of the top talent of comic book artists and writers. 
Artists who contributed stories to 1984/1994 included Alex NiñoRichard CorbenJose GonzalezJose OrtizFrank ThorneEsteban MarotoRudy Nebres, Abel Laxamana, Wally WoodLuis Bermejo, Alfredo Alcala and Vic Catan. Cover artists included Nino, Corben, Patrick Woodroffe, Jim Laurier, Sanjulián, Jordi Penalva, H.R. Giger, Steve Fastner, Rich Larsen, Lloyd Garrison, Terry Oates and John Berkey. Writers included Dubay, Thorne, Jim Stenstrum, Jan Strnad, Rich Margopoulos, Kevin Duane, Nicola Cuti and Gerry Boudreau.
The magazine featured a set of recurring characters : 
  • Mutant World (Artist: Richard Corben; Writer; Jan Strnad)
  • Ghita of Alizarr (Drawn and written by Frank Thorne)
  • Idi Amin (Artist: Esteban Maroto; Writer: Bill Dubay)
  • Rex Havoc (Artist: Abel Laxamana; Writer: Jim Stenstrum)
  • The Starfire Saga (Artist: Rudy Nebres; Writer: Bill Dubay)
  • Young Sigmond Pavlov (Artist: Alex Niño; Writer: Bill Dubay)

    Issue nine is of special interest because of its line up of stories to pull from for old school gaming. 
Break Even has a whole pack of trouble waiting for your interstellar adventurers right out of the gate. Strange technologies, odd interstellar worlds, and plenty of opportunities to get the PC's in the deep end. A nice and perfect little yarn for an X plorers or Stars Without Numbers one shot. 
Herma is a well drawn take on the princess frozen in the block of ice motif that got used numerous times in swords and sorcery comics here its the basis for a character whose got far more going on under the plot then first meets the eye. A nice back drop story for use with a retroclone like Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea. Imagine coming across an NPC Viking princess from Old Earth and all of the weirdness that would go right along with such a character. This is a perfect vehicle for such a character. 
Clear and Present Danger  is a time travel yard with some really interesting wrinkles on how a super science gimmick and device can be used to generate a whole cloth undercurrent for a one shot adventure. Imagine your party trying to prevent the birth of a madman who will go on to end the world far in the future? Suddenly the gateway is open for those old school evil assassin types in your campaigns. A nice yarn to use with all of those science fiction retroclones with super science and technologies. 
The Star Fire saga was a really well done series of adventures centering around a regular feature in 1984 and its perfect for something like Stars Without Number. Great 1970's star ships, classic science fiction elements and a perfect one shot adventure piece for fodder for game play. The origin point for one of the characters is pretty damn controversial by today's standards and I don't endorse that particular bit. Moving on. 
Rex Havoc and the Ass Kickers of the Fantastic is a strip that had its its tongue planted firmly in cheek, much of this material is perfect fodder for Planet Mother %$%$er or an encounter critical campaign. The art is about on the old Crack Magazine from the 1970's level and Rex is a real one of a kind character.
All in all I think that issue nine of 1984 was a pretty solid issue. 
The magazine ceased publication with issue 29 in February, 1983 due to the bankruptcy of Warren Publishing. You can read more about that right over HERE

1d10 Random Lovecraftian Cultists Encounter Table For Your Old School Campaigns

Adventurers lead lives of extreme danger and encounters with dangerous individuals are bound to happen. The Cthulhu Mythos is rife with weird cults of deranged and degenerate individuals, here's a random assortment of fanatical cut throats, lunatic fringe personalities, and simply the mad ones. Those that exist at the edge of so called sanity.

1d10 Random Lovecraftian Cultists Encounter Table
  1. A gang of 1d10 low level assassins on a mission of murder for the Church of Starry Wisdom. They have among themselves a devilish device of insane aspect.  20% of some minor random mutations among their number.
  2. A lone harvester of eyes collecting the souls of those who have sold their souls to the dark powers of the Mythos. A very high level assassin with minor telepathic abilities and a thirst for murder. 
  3. A group of 1d6  half amphibian human things with some minor energy weapons primed for mayhem. They are hopped up on some form of illicit substance. Out for sacrifices for their gods. 
  4. A big brute of a cultist wielding a scimitar on a mission to kidnap a certain heiress who is the reincarnation of the high priestess of Nyarlathotep. A fanatic of the deepest stripe of insanity with some minor magical abilities. 
  5. A group of living shadow beings made from the distilled madness and insanity of a thousand children's nightmares given form. Able to shape shift in an instant and very dangerous fighters. There are 1d20 of these nightmare things. 
  6. A demon guerrilla thing summoned from some forgotten nether underworld Hell, this thing is able to use a wide variety of weird and strange implements of devilry to dispatch its victims. A very fearsome fighter of a most insane aspect. 
  7. A gang of goat human things molded from the fabric of chaos and the Outer Darkness given human forms. This group of insane beings can meld with the shadows and uses wicked bladed weapons which they bless with their goddess's poison. Very dangerous assassin creatures able to meld with many different substances. There are 1d6 of these horrors, they mostly come at night. Mostly. 
  8. A group of all to human cat burglars and perverse freaks who randomly break in and murder folks at the command of their 'gods'. These insane beings have some minor magical ability and sleep potions. Armed with light daggers and quick garrotes that they use for the kill. 
  9. Cultists of Cthulhu who are actually the neighbors and business folks in the area. They have some major occult backing as well and use a variety of plots to get their sacrifices. 
  10. A group of 1d10 assassins who are actually low level demons hell bent on taking sacrifices for their masters. They have possessed and taken over the very cultists that summoned them from the Outer Darkness itself.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The 'Pay What You Like' OSR Resource - "100 Oddities for a Thieves' Guild" From Skirmisher Publishing For Your Old School Sword and Sorcery Campaigns On The Dark Corner Blog

You've broken the last ward and seal on the thieve's guild vault, the door creaks outward and then you notice the mechanism for a dart trap, the tip of the darts are coated with a purplish golden ichor, no doubt poisonous. Then  your PC disarms that last trap and you find! What?
The "100 Oddities for a Thieves' Guild" is the perfect list to help you as the DM out with just such a question in your old school game and on the Dark Corner Blog we're going to take a look at this 'pay what you like' title from Skirmisher Publishing LLC.

Right Over

North Wind Adventures To Launch A New Kickstarter Featuring Three New Hyperborea Adventure Modules On The Dark Corner Blog

Well, North Wind Adventures has a brand new website and three new modules coming out on Kickstarter and we've got exclusive details on the Dark Corner Blog. Astonishing Swords and Sorcerers of Hyperborea has a brand new look to their adventures and some exciting new adventure location settings for their modules.
 We've got new details to bring your PC's to the next level in Hyperborea right over HERE

The Miller Chronicles - 'Who Goes There?' By John Campell And Beyond For Your Old School Campaigns

David Bay Miller has been a friend of mine for a few years in the OSR community and last night adapted The John Carpenter Version of one of my all time favorite films, 'The Thing From Another World' as an OD&D style monster with all of the powers and insights into the classic monster. Right over HERE
But there are more permutations to this alien monster then we've simply seen.
According to Wiki : 
Who Goes There? is a science fiction novella by John W. Campbell, Jr., written under the pen name Don A. Stuart. It was first published in the August 1938 Astounding Science-Fiction.
In 1973 the story was voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America as one of the finest science fiction novellas ever written. It was published with the other top vote-getters in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two.
The novella has been adapted three times as a motion picture: the first in 1951 as The Thing from Another World; the second in 1972 as Horror Express; the third in 1982 as The Thing directed by John Carpenter;[1] and most recently as a prequel to the Carpenter version, also titled The Thing, released in 2011.
But the  John W. Campbell, Jr novella goes into even more detail and background on the 'Thing' itself. You can read that right over HERE.
 The PC's are going to have to be very,very, well prepared to deal with an entity of this magnitude. To get into the kind of scale and deal with the issues of this creature, we are going to have to look back into the 1976 issue of Starscream magazine. A classic sci fi comic series which really adapted all of the ins and outs of Campbell's story. 
StarStream was a very cool and interesting comic that cost .79 cents and was a square bound anthology of classic science fiction tales. I haven't got this comic anymore, it burned up in an apartment fire ages ago. But I do have the tale on tap for your  perusal thanks to the Diversions of the Groovy Kind Web blog.
Right over HERE

All of the classic Starstream issues were collected into the classic Questar Illustrated Science Fiction Classics now available on Amazon right HERE

Right away we notice the differences between Campbell's classic and the film adaptation of the story. The comic captures one of the differences right away, the 'Thing's slight telepathic or psychic ability to scan the minds of its prey. If you haven't read the Campbell novella go do so now,please because there's a major spoiler ahead
Even more the 'Thing' in the Campbell original novella has the ability to cobble high tech super science items from ordinary items. According to the original novella,according to wiki: 
When they reach Blair's cabin they discover he is a Thing. They realize that it has been left to its own devices for a week, coming and going as it pleased, able to squeeze under doors by transforming itself. With the creatures inside the base destroyed, McReady and two others enter the cabin to kill the Thing that was once Blair. McReady systematically forces it out into the snow and methodically destroys it with a blowtorch. Afterwards the trio discover that the Thing was dangerously close to finishing construction of an atomic-powered anti-gravity device that would have allowed it to escape to the outside world.
"No, by the grace of God, who evidently does hear very well, even down here, and the margin of half an hour, we keep our world, and the planets of the system too. Anti-gravity, you know, and atomic power. Because They came from another sun, a star beyond the stars. They came from a world with a bluer sun."
 But these are not the only 'things' that are here among us. There's a more highly evolved version of the species that was encountered by Professor Alexander Saxton (Christopher Lee), a renowned British anthropologist, from his expedition in Manchuria in 1906. This was chronicled in the wonderful PD movie, Horror Express a favorite film of mine. The film opens with the following narrative: 

"The following report to the Royal Geological Society by the undersigned Alexander Saxton is a true and faithful account of the events that befell the society's expedition in Manchuria. As the leader of the expedition, I must accept the responsibility for its ending in disaster. But I will leave, to the judgement of the honorable members, the decision as to where the blame for the catastrophe lies..."

You can watch the film for yourself, below. Basically Saxton finds what he thinks is a missing link in a cave in Manchuria and tries to bring it back with him to be examined. He believes it to be a fossil. 

The monster in Horror Express is a 'Thing' right out of Campbell's novella and its been among us since the beginning  of the dinosaurs as it explains to Saxton. The monster in D&D terms is in the body of a Yeti or a Voormis.
The thing is able to psychically assault and boil the minds of its victims as it steals their essence, it is able to do this numerous times a day. The victim must save vs death or die as their minds and souls are absorbed by the monster. It gains 3 points of their intelligence and wisdom from their essence. 

Three times per week this 'thing' may body jump as some of its alien material and soul stuff is passed onto its victim who must save vs death or have their souls obliterated as this alien horror possesses them. 

Once per week it may animate its victims as undead psychic puppet parodies of themselves. These monsters are merely shells filled with negative planar energies who can not see and only attack by the senses of smell and hearing. They're eyes and brains are boiled from the psychic attack of the monster.
As its intelligence is raised the monster will try and find a means off planet, as its ability to cobble together low tech items into higher technologies kicks in.
These horrors are partly of an alien life essence and cell material &  they are also very dangerous to encounter. These things have been moving among our societies since before the fall of Hyperborea and Atlantis.
Even eons before the extinction of the dinosaurs.

I personally think that these alien monsters were creations of the Elder Things from HP Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness from the god essence beneath the ice millions of years ago. By instinct and some alien drive they are drawn back to the former dwelling places of their alien masters for unknown purposes.

These alien horrors should not be used lightly on a party of adventurers but the the truth is that they may be encountered literally in any time period of Earth's history or even in the depths of space or time. They're obvious connection to the Mythos is a plus and their a very flexible monster to use with high level parties. David did an excellent job of adapting the John Carpenter film and the prequels.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

1d10 Random Treasures from Beyond HP Lovecraft's DreamLands Table For Your Old School Campaigns

From the time haunted shores of the Dreamlands there have always been treasures pulled by men of renowned and ancient aspects from the minds of dreamers. But many of these weird and ancient relics and things are relics from nightmare haunted bygone ages.
What weird or strange treasures will your adventurers pull from the stuff of dreams in time haunted lands? Here are are some tables to fill your adventurers coffers with treasures from the edge of sanity and the deepest gates of nightmare itself.
Filigrana de chiapa de corzo.JPG
“By noon Carter reached the jasper terraces of Kiran which slope down to the river's edge and bear that temple of loveliness wherein the King of Ilek-Vad comes from his far realm on the twilight sea once a year in a golden palanquin to pray to the god of Oukranos, who sang to him in youth when he dwelt in a cottage by its banks. All of jasper is that temple, and covering an acre of ground with its walls and courts, its seven pinnacled towers, and its inner shrine where the river enters through hidden channels and the god sings softly in the night. Many times the moon hears strange music as it shines on those courts and terraces and pinnacles, but whether that music be the song of the god or the chant of the cryptical priests, none but the King of Ilek-Vad may say; for only he had entered the temple or seen the priests. Now, in the drowsiness of day, that carven and delicate fane was silent, and Carter heard only the murmur of the great stream and the hum of the birds and bees as he walked onward under the enchanted sun.” 
― H.P. LovecraftThe Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

1d10  Random Treasures from Beyond HP Lovecraft's DreamLands Table

  1. A broach formed from the blackest nightmare whose surface shines and shimmers with the souls of those who have parished insearch of the original hoard from which it came. The working was from the dreams of a jeweler and wizard from Asia Minor during the Roman Empire. It grants visions of myriad Heavens or Hells every New Moon. Worth 600 gold pieces 
  2. A wizard's stick pin formed from twin demons intertwined in damnation or sexual union. The pin allows one to peer into the sleep of the waking world once per week and pull a memory or dream from one sleeper. Worth 760 gold pieces. The pin is +1 vs creatures of dream. 
  3. A golden carved box containing one perfect dream of a child, this piece bursts with the energies of its creator and sleeping with this box under a bed will allow one to help from the insanities and terrors of the Underworld. The thing has a gug's tooth locking mechanism. Worth 800 gold pieces to the right collector. 
  4. A jeweled memory piece of glass spun from the memories of a lost lover. This piece allows one to pull the dream memories of the dearly departed and interact with the illusion as if they were real. The piece is worth quite a bit at 1000 gold pieces to a necrotic collector of such curiosities. 
  5. The jeweled eyes of a Cat From Saturn taken at great expense. These eyes allow one to peer into the underverse of the Outer Darkness and view sights beyond. They are worth 750 gold pieces to a collector or wizard and are quite striking. 
  6. A jeweled ruby box containing sand from the pouch of the Sandmen who guard the far shores of sleep. Able to instantly put anyone into a deep sleeping trance but these sands are also an addictive drug of the most dangerous type. Worth 5000 gold pieces to jaded and degenerate royalty and personages. 
  7. A single cut diamond container holding the ever frozen snows of distant icy dreams of loss and heart break. These snows will instantly freeze a dream in place and allow one to delicately collect the reality from the very air around a dreamer. Worth 5000 gold pieces to a dangerous wizard of icy and weird aspect. 
  8. An iron wrought bracelet of hellish aspect enclosing a piece of solidified jeweled nightmare. This cut and sharp shard of a child's terror gleams with the inner fears of its former creator. The thing will allow its owner to detect the nearest door into deeper realms of nightmare and shadow itself. A very valuable tool in the right hands or a weapon of very dangerous aspect. Worth 1000 gold pieces because few would valuable such a collector's piece. 6000 to a wizard of nightmares but be warned of such insane and dangerous individuals. 
  9. A cut piece of ancient and ground demon gold bathed in the waters of Order and polished by the tears of angels. This golden bracelet allows one to gather the dreams of hope and bravery against the most dangerous of dark dreams. It will heal the mind of its owner's target once every month and allow the energies of order to rebind the victim's mind and heal all of the insanity and depravity of recent experiences. Worth 10000 gold pieces to a temple of Order, a very rare find. 
  10. An emerald of clarity and illusion, this jewel has been formed from the dreams of ancient and lost angels during a world's creation by the dreams of its god. This emerald gives one the ability to construct realistic dreams for others to inhabit. Worth 700 gold to the right healer. It has very dangerous and addictive qualities though. 


Getting The Word Out For The 'How To Game Master Like a $%#ing Boss' KickStarter

So Venger Satanis has a brand new Kickstarter up and its manual about Dming and it looks like its going to kick ass. Which given the quality of his other gaming material and adventures is good with me.
So what is this project about? 
Above is the cover artwork by HELMUTT. 
"The time has come to set down what I've learned so that you, too, can wrestle the untamed crimson dragon that lurks in the shadows beyond the lowly Game Mastering practices of yore, weighing our hobby down.  To wrestle with the dragon and win... that is what I shall teach you!
I'll be going over the entire Game Mastering process:  tips, tricks, techniques, outside the box practices of the Hidden Masters, state of mind, confidence, insecurities, combat to non-combat encounter ratio, improvisation, room for improvement, dos and don'ts, random tables, as well as, a number of other topics.  Everything you need in order to Game Master like a fucking boss!
Those who know me know that I love a lot of different systems and genres, old school and new.  While this book will focus primarily on fantasy - there should be something for everyone.  I love to meld genres, for instance science-fantasy, gothic horror fantasy, scifi horror, and maybe something for those super-hero western fans.
I'm not exactly sure how long this book will be, but my guess is about 64 - 72 pages, give or take a couple.  This will be an 8.5 x 11", black and white book with artwork."
But will this book simply be for OSR retroclones and Fifth edition AD&D? Well according to Venger On G+ today. 
"It's not strictly OSR or any style of play or system.  Mostly fantasy but I think roughly a fourth of the book will apply to non-fantasy RPGs such as Call of Cthulhu." 
Which is fantastic news as far as I'm concerned. Take a moment,check out the Kickstarter and get this one made. He's already half way there and you can help. 
You can find out more and pledge right over 

An Abridged Volume - A Call of Cthlhu or Old School Horror Adventure Encounter For Your Old School Campaigns

Recently a selection of volumes of  Magia Naturalis (in English, Natural Magic) twenty volumes came up for auction in an estate sale. These parituclar volumes were vary dangerous due to the annotations and notes written within them by a monster hunter and sorcerer. Sir Charles Baptist was an  amateur hunter and adventurer of renowned who had acquired these volumes from his old family mansion in the upper part of New York state. These volumes dated back before the forming of America itself, and the family's interactions with legendary creatures including the Mythos but these volumes also contained wards, counter spells and weird incantations dating back centuries. Some of them quite dangerous to the soul &  sanity of their caster.
More about 
Magia Naturalis can be found right over HERE
File:Henry M. Stanley, In darkest Africa or the q Wellcome L0027735.jpg

Henry Wallis was an naturalist and occultist of some repute who lusted after these volumes for years and had a friendship with Sir Charles who contracted a deadly jungle disease after a particularly harrowing experience in the bush of Africa.

Wallis managed to secure the volumes of 'white magic' and pre-Baconian science, one paritcular aspect of these volumes was the the tales of Wha Baccuum, a dark and dangerous primordial world in another dimension. This world of incredible beauty was only surpassed by the viciousness of its prehistoric inhabitants. Wallis managed to open a dimensional rift to this world and for his troubles the experience killed him. The rite was cast at a near by lake and a Chaousarou of dangerous aspect was summoned. The creature not unlike others of its kind quickly adapted to its environment and has begun to feed on locals and some live stock. It is quite clever in its feeding patterns and bares an almost uncanny malicious intelligence. 

The PC's are called in as 'experts' by the local police knowing that they are in far over their depth. The characters are well known as 'experts' in matters of the occult and such. Wallis's corpse has been found near the lake shore still dressed in his robes and surrounded by accutraments and instruments of the occult. A single volume of  Magia Naturalis lays near by covered in close cropped cryptic writings that the Baptist family used. There is a very uneasy feeling surrounding the area as if something dark and dangerous is watching. 
Photo by (WT-en) TVerBeek 
The police have Wallis's apartment coordinated off and the PC's can get first crack in. The apartment is a fairly standard 1920's flat and for a raging occultist's residence is fairly well kept accept for the kitchen table which is covered in volumes of  notes practically thousands of close worked handwriting similar to the type found within Magia Naturalis. The books themselves are scattered about as well, stuffed with hundreds of notes & scribblings. There is also a diary by Wallis written in archaic Dutch that has the cipher key written within it including his mad plans. 
Reading all of the ravings of this mad mind will cost 1d10 points of sanity as Wallis's mind breaks under the strain of  the occult concepts of  dimensional walls and insane passages to primival worlds. Places where the Elder Things still might hold complete sway over the passage of life and death. File:East stairwell between second and third floors - Dade Apartments, 403-405 North Miami Avenue, Miami, Miami-Dade County, FL HABS FL-526-11.tif

Wha Baccuum is such a world and a source of incredible magickal  power. Wallis thought that using the dark powers in charge of this world would make him like unto a god. 
The Chaousarou will have killed eight to ten people by the time the invesigators come across the rite to return the horror to its world. Eventually after the third new moon, the dimensional shift will hurl the monster back to its own space time but who knows how many people it will have killed by then. Gain 1d10 minor spells and rites as well as the correct spell to banish the Chaousarou back to its home world. 

STR 36
CON 30
SIZ 40
POW 15
Move 10 Swimming
HP 35
Damage Bonus: +4d6
Bite – 95%, 2d6 + Damage Bonus
Armor: 6 points
Skills: Watery Stealth 65%, Spot 55%, Listen 70%.
Sanity Loss: Lose 1d2/1d6 Sanity Points on seeing A Chaousarou.

Capsize – A Chaousarou can spend an attack action to capsize a rowboat, canoe or other small watercraft by rolling its SIZ or less on D100. If it succeeds, the boat is overturned.
Death Roll – A Chaousarou that scores a special hit with its

To learn more about the 
Chaousarou, visit Clint Staples blog right over HERE
Or pick up the Mythos Society Guide To New England for a ton more solid old school Call of Cthulhu information.
 Available right HERE

Note that this adventure encounter could easily be translated into a wide variety of horror retroclones with little issue. 

Commentary & Review On Dwimmermount (ACKS version) From Autarch Part I For Your Old School Campaign

It is the place where adventure begins, the ender of lives, and the legend itself. Dwimmermount (ACKS version) From Autarch is all that and more. And it almost broke me. Well not really but this is the first of a multi part review in which I take a look at one of the most massive products in PDF to come across my hard drive. 
So lets dive right into  Dwimmermount (ACKS version)

Grab It Right

So  for the last week and a half I've been going over the insanely huge Dwimmermount megadungeon from Autarch and at four hundred and twenty eight pages it lives up to its name believe me.  This is a dungeon with a very troubled history and Kickstarter back story. I'm not getting into that whole mess nor do I care about the ancient history surrounding that whole sorry episode in the history of the OSR.
 I couldn't care less about the sorted history of the Kickstarter for the originator of this project. Instead I want to take a look at the descendant of Dwimmermount. The Adventurer, Conqueror King system has some twists to it and I spend sometime looking and reading up on it before even attempting to tackle this megadungeon. I actually like the system from what I've seen. Its well done and has some very smart twists and turns to it. The skill and proficiency bits are nice. But as a DM you really don't have to know the system to get the most out of this product.


Available right over HERE

So why is it on the Swords and Stitchery blog? Because of its pulp science fantasy roots and some of its material being very much in the OSR science fictional setting.
So I'm I rather excited about Dwimmermount (ACKS version)? In a word? Yes it takes the original product and expands upon it to almost four hundred and twenty - eight pages of old school awesomeness.
The top of the dungeon is sort of standard with its own twists and turns, then it goes into high weirdness mode as things get more lethal and dangerous as your party delves in deeper and deeper. The text is easy on the eyes. The art work certainly fits the product but this is a mega campaign as well. But what's in the product? 

The 400-page Dwimmermount hardcover includes:
  • 13 mapped, keyed, and stocked dungeon levels containing a total of 715 fully-described and detailed encounter areas for players and their characters to discover – with random tables to generate even more!
  • 86 monsters and 70 magic items to confound, challenge, and reward your players.
  • 6 pre-generated adventuring parties to serve as rivals for your player characters.
  • A gazetteer of the lands surrounding Dwimmermount, with realms, domains, and settlements described using ACKS mechanics to support a campaign endgame.
  • An overview of Muntburg, a fortified town nestled in the shadows of Dwimmermount, intended to serve as a “home base” for the player characters between expeditions into the dungeon's depths.
  • A history of the dungeon from its earliest days to the present, with innovative mechanics that reward the characters for learning the secrets of the past.
  • Descriptions of numerous factions operating within and without the dungeon, whose activities add a further layer of complexity to Dwimmermount.
  • Discussions of ways to approach Dwimmermount, both as a player and as a referee, including insight into the dungeon's origins and design.
  • Over 40 different works by top artists including Jeff Dee, Mark Allen, Eric Quigely, Conor Nolan, John Larrey, Steve Zieser, Russ Nicholson, Kelvin Green, and the grand master of old-school fantasy, Erol Otus.
In the Golden Age of fantasy roleplaying, the dungeon was the linchpin of adventure design and the sandbox was the assumed role of a campaign setting. With Dwimmermount, the Golden Age has returned.
The history, setting, timeline, interaction, and back base material for Dwimmermount are essential these are the backbone of the campaign itself and tie into everything about the dungeon. How it all fits together and how this over arching monster of a campaign can fit into your world. That's one of the beauties of Dwimmermount dungeon that it can easily and compactly be fitted right into the back drop of your own campaigns. This book is really a tool kit for the design and care of the Dwimmermount setting itself.
The fact is that 
 the Autarch crew have done an excellent job of setting up this book into a whole cloth campaign into itself that can link into the backdrop of your own dungeons and that for me at least is part of its charm and OSR style. There's a lot to this beast and using it is going to take time, patience, and a whole lot of build in with it. That's not a bad thing at all. There's plenty of room here for DYI improvement to shoe horn it into your own campaigns.
Does this campaign live up to its hype? Yes, I think so because of the care and feeding that has been done into the quality of Dwimmermount (ACKS version) but this is a very different and highly expanded beast then the original incarnation in my humble opinion.
There are a metric ton of monsters here with their own motives, motivations, and agendas for your PC's along with a world into itself which is 
Dwimmermount. PC's are going to be changed forever going into this megadungeon. There are everything here from PC options to leveling up to simply having your PC killed outright. There are sections of sheer nasty and lethality that are going to take PC's by surprise.
This is only the tip of the OSR iceberg here even if its a well written campaign your going to need a few things as well even though their optional.
The maps are very well done but you as the DM are going to want the optional map book.
Seriously this is a wise investiment on the DM's part and they show just about every over arching map that a DM is going to need to really truly run this mega dungeon right over HERE
The Dwimmermount Map Book presents each of Dwimmermount's wilderness, dungeon, and fortress maps as a two-page spread for reference and annotation in play. It’s an indispensable reference when running a dungeon that’s large enough to encompass an entire campaign! The Dwimmermount Map Book also includes a special two-page visual timeline of the construction of Dwimmermount, showing its origins in the early First Era to its final completion millennia later. 

The second piece of equipment whist running this monster is the art book. If you want to show your players exactly what the hell their getting into grab this book. 
This is an entire world of a dungeon that your PC's are getting into and their going to be there for quite a long time. A picture is worth a million words and the artwork is perfect setting fodder to really bring home the feel and old school vibe echoing throughout this product. Available right over HERE 

Which really brings me to the whole point of  Dwimmermount which is the investment factor itself. And I'm not talking about money here but time as well as energy. All of those are going to come into play with running this monster. This campaign is compatible in some respects to fully thought out old school dungeon ecologies. There are plenty of set dressings, ideas, monsters etc that are pulled from this product and will engage your PC's for a very long,long time to come if used properly. This product if used correctly could connect a plethora of old school campaigns for years and years to come.
And that brings me to the end of part I. Part II will be coming up on Saturday evening.
Bottom line do I think its worth getting into?
Yes for a plethora of reasons that we'll be exploring soon.