Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Quick look back on 2014

It seems everyone is having a brief look back at the year, so I might as well throw my hat in the ring as well.  I managed to release 3 old school modules this year!   I am pleased with all of them.  Although I'd like to redo my first one from scratch haha.  I think its good to just leave it the way it is for prosperity sake.  

File under the "Blow my mind" column
Acquiring a copy of the basic D&D rules from 1981 for the low low price of $6 (I'm still dancing around because of this, fuck yah!). 
Gothridge Manor review of "The Overrun Mines" 
Crypt Of Rabies review of "The Overrun Mines" 
Shout out on Tenkars Tavern 

Modules Released
The Lizardmen of Illzathatch
The Overrun Mines
The Caverns Of Ugard

Here are a few of my more popular posts. 
If you're seeing things running through your headNot a RPG post

Looking ahead, I am working extremely hard on the "Enormity Project" mega dungeon, I think its going to be getting a name change.  I also have an idea for a hex crawl high fantasy land that I may just get together in the next year.  As well I need to finally finish that greedy island idea.  It appears that the enormity project might be finished by the end of January, atleast the writing part of it.  However I am in the process of re-drawing atleast one map.  So who knows! hahaha. 

Cheers guys/gals! it was a super fun Old school year!  keep those dice rolling. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Here is a semi rough version of the nodes of the mega dungeon.  Since today is my first day of Vacation I am going to desperately try and write as much as possible.  I do however have to get the laundry going and wash the dishes.  Putting on boots of speed......

13 Maps total.  I haven't quite decided if I need anymore or not yet.  I've also toyed with the idea of re-drawing the entire thing.  Tis a silly idea.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gambling, Drinking & Carousing!

What started out as a review for Mead & Mayhem turned into a bit more information on Gambling & Drinking & Carousing resources.

Mead & Mayhem

Product Description
Mead & Mayhem is a tavern fight supplement compatible with most old-school fantasy roleplaying games. Within this product you'll find:
  • use for your big lump of thirty sided awesome (D30)
  • simple alternative fist fight damage system
  • D30 table of 40 entries for tavern and pub fights
  • things might escalate to chaos and mayhem
Next time your players start to have their own fun in a local tavern open this PDF and see what happens...
Designed OSR in mind but we think this can easily be used with any system as an idea source.  GET IT HERE! It's pay what you want  

First off I need to get me a D30!  So I'll be off to the local store to grab one and Munchkin at the same time (as I desperately want to play that over Christmas).  This little module is going to have a place at my gaming table.  More often than not adventures start out with "well your in a tavern and you are met by a mysterious person", etc. One of my players has been going on and on about wanting to drink mead while we play.  With this module and a few other things I've found I should be able to create a bar scenario without too much thought on my end.  I'd like to also incorporate some basic dice gambling games and of course some music as well. 

Here are a few other resources I've found this morning to help with the atmosphere.  

e-Adventure Tiles: Adventure Town Taverns Vol. 1

e-Adventure Tiles: Adventure Town Taverns Vol. 1 brings the staple starting point of fantasy RPGs to your table top. Whether your party is meeting for the first time or looking for info on the next big adventure, the tavern is the place to start. Details in this set of 25 miniatures scale tiles include cobblestone streets, wood floored interiors, tables with chairs and benches, bars and bar stools, kegs, barrels, crates, roaring fireplaces, detailed windows and doors, and more.

e-Adventure Tiles are designed for use with your favorite role playing or miniatures skirmish game by RPG cartographer Ed Bourelle.  $9.30 CDN Drivethrurpg

Adventure Havens: Tavern Tales

You know what they say about the best laid plans...

No matter how much planning you do, your players will always figure out a way to throw you off. Whether it is suddenly deciding they want to visit every tavern in town, or take a ship instead of the main road to the next city,at some point you'll be left making it up as you go along.

The Adventure Havens Series is designed to help GMs deal with these random encounters. Each supplement will be packed with original locations, NPCs and story hooks to add hours of additional gameplay to your campaigns.

The series starts with Volume One: Tavern Tales. This supplement features a dozen fantasy taverns filled with ale-drinking, dice-rolling, plotting and planning NPCs willing to interact with your party. Not to mention plenty of mini-quests to throw into your game in order to provide a needed break from your main story, or just to buy you some time to plan out.

This product contains complete histories for 12 fantasy taverns. Each tavern includes important NPCs, seed ideas, and mini-quests.  This module is pay what you want on

Even more resources!

Here is a link to some gambling games you can try out -

If you are looking for an alternative for a bar room tavern setup you can grab one here, the maps are licensed under creative commons. 

And of course if you have a copy of "Keep On The Borderlands" there is a great map of a tavern. 

Yet another D30 table (yes I need to get one of these obviously) 

30 Odd Random Inns, Taverns and Sundry Establishments

Carousing Mishaps

Alright that should get you started on a crazy drunken brawl that might lead to adventure, or at the very least a sore head! 

And if you need some actual mead, I suggest grabbing this kit from amazon! I've been making beer on and off for the last few years.  When I first started I actually bottled them in old beer bottles, including stubby's at one point.  However its a bit of a royal pain in the arse to clean the bottles and cap them.  What I ended up doing is using is 1 & 2 litre pop bottles, just for the ease of filling them.  My American friends may not know what a stubby is see image on the left. 

Canadian Stubby Beer Bottle

Mr. Beer Deluxe Edition Home Brewing Craft Beer Kit

$56.26 CDN

  • Includes a reusable 2-gallon easy to use fermenting keg with a lid and tap assembly
  • Lightweight shatter resistant keg is made from FDA compliant plastic and imparts no taste or flavor migration
  • Top of line all malt refills offer you the microbrewery taste and experience in your own home
  • The keg's wide mouth allows for an easy brewing and cleaning process
  • You can make beer just like the pros do

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

118 pages of new monsters!

Mini Review - Evolved Grottoes & Griffins - Teratic Tome

WOW is all I can say.  First off I love the cover of this, its a total throw back to 1st Edition.  All of the illustrations are amazing, and B&W.

Within the pages, there are seriously a crap ton of monsters!  All of which appear to be fairly deadly.  You could easily plan a campaign around many of these baddies.  Fret naught there are some monsters within this tome that have higher AC's.  I good percentage are pretty tough.  First thoughts, I am digging the following:

Discerner, Onlooker, BASKRA, KARKINOS, Eriophora

The module is pay what you want with a suggested price of $6.66 (LOL!).  You can grab it here

Whenever this gets released in book form I'll be grabbing it.  In the meantime I better anty up and pay for this pdf.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Here is a little teaser for the upcoming MEGA dungeon. "The Enormity Project".


A1.  The mouth to the cave, has small foot prints leading into it.  There is a small overhang the casts the entrance in shadows.  On the inside of the cave are crude drawings & writings (in kobold- “Beware! Keep Out Algurg’s Lair”).

A2. The door is locked.  Inside the room are 2 kobolds asleep at a table.  There are crude playing cards and a few cooper pieces on the table.  A candle burns low.  Against the north wall are 2 crudely made cells in one is what appears to be a corpse of a human, the other has a malnourished looking dwarf chained to a wall.

2 Kobolds AC 7, HD 1D4, hp 4, 2, MV 60’ (20’), #AT 1, D 1D4-1, Save 0 Level Human, ML 6, AL Chaotic, XP 5 *One of the Kobolds has a key to the cells.  

Gwimble Hornslager - STR 13 INT 11 WIS 12 DEX 13 CON 15 CHA 12.  AC 6 HP 8. 2nd Level Dwarf Fighter.  Needs a weapon. HD 2D8, Current HP’s 2.  The dwarf will help the adventurers if he is freed and will lead them to the Makeshift City  Map E.  

A3.  It appears you have stumbled into a religious service in full swing.  There are 4 kobolds sitting facing a poorly made altar.  A larger yellowish kobold occupies a wooden chair, the chair is pushed against one wall, he is clearly overseeing this matter.  In front of the altar is a Kobold wearing a weird hat made from the remains of a unfortunate soul.  He holds a staff that glows blue and he is speaking in kobold.  (If anyone understands kobold, he is asking for help in defeating their enemies and more luck finding wealth in the tunnels).  

4 Kobolds AC 7, HD 1D4, hp 2,1,3,2  MV 60’ (20’), #AT 1, D 1D4-1, Save 0 Level Human, ML 6, AL Chaotic, XP 5

Algurg - Kobold King  AC 5, HD 1D8, hp 7, MV 60’ (20’), #AT 1, D 1D8+1, Save F1, ML 6, AL Chaotic, XP 15.  Algurg is large for a Kobold and has seen many battles, he attacks with a Short Sword and adds +1 for his unatural strength.

Kobold Shaman (1st Level Wizard) AC 9, HD 1D4, hp 2 MV 60’ (20’), #AT 1, D 1D4-1, Save 0 Level Human, ML 6, AL Chaotic, XP 5 Spells - Charm Person, Shield, Magic Missile.  Scroll Of Dispel Magic

*SECRET DOOR - Secret door below altar, in a small  barrel there is 32 GP, 1 Potion of Healing, Kobold Art (worth 3 GP’s), Bottle Of Wine, Hacksaw.  Inside the barrel is the Kobold’s pet snake, a Spitting Cobra.  

Spitting Cobra AC 7, HD 1, hp 7, MV 90’ (30’), #AT 1 (bite or spit) D 1D3, poison*, Save F1, ML 7, AL Neutral, XP 13.

*If Poisoned Save VS Poison or become blinded.  1d4 days and the PC will die from poison.  They can be cured by the spell “Cure Blindness”.  

A4.  This cavern is empty.  

A5.  A large empty cavern, there are 3 exits to the north, north west and one to the east.  This room appears to be a mine, there are a few pickaxes leaning against one wall.  On the ground is a basket with some ore in it (2 pieces of anthracite worth 10 GP each).  

A6.  The tunnel opens up to a large cliff there is a 50 foot drop to the bottom.   At the bottom of the landing is a fast flowing river.  A little off to the north east is a stone wall and beyond that the roofs of small wooden houses.  30 feet across from the landing is solid rock.

If the PC’s are with Gwimble the dwarf he will show them a secret door on the side of the landing to stairs that lead down.  The stairs go under the landing to the river, there is a small boat docked there.  If a PC casts a detect magic, they will see the secret door, as well if anyone searches they have a 2 in 6 chance of finding it (Roll 1D6).  The secret door is not trapped.  

A7.  The cavern widens into a small beach, there is a stone bridge across a underground river to the north.  The bridge is about 40 feet long and 10 feet wide.  It is covered in ornate runes (none of which are readable by PC’s it is an ancient language).  It is about 15 feet down the bank to the water’s edge, the ledge is rocky and hard to manage.   

The bridge is a trap, it needs a circular crystal key to stay open, if not as the PC’s walk across it will collapse dumping them into the river.  1D6 falling damage.  The current is very quick and it travels eastwards towards the dwarven city.  There is a 35% chance that a crocodile will be lurking in the waters.    

Crocodile  AC 5, HD 2, hp 10, MV 90’ (30’) , #AT 1, D 1D8, Save F1, ML 7, AL Neutral, XP 20.

A buccaneer has made his home on the north side of the beach.  He is partially insane and will attack the PC’s if they come near him.  There is a tent on the north side of the river.  He is old and withered and has seen better days.  He appears lost in thought staring at the giant door from a distance and mumbling to himself.  

1 Partially Insane  Buccaneer  AC 7, HD 1, hp 4 MV 120’ (40’), #AT 1, D Dagger 1d4, Save F1, ML 6, AL Chaotic.  XP 10.  3 GP, Some provisions (2 days).

Ancient Ruins Door - SEE MAP B  On the other side of the beach stands a huge set of stone doors.  They are about 15 feet high, and are against a large wall.  Upon them is written something in old elvish.  There are three holes in the centre of the door… a square, triangle, and a X.  

If any PC can read Elvish, or there are any Elves in the party, the writing on the door is readable.  It reads “This is the land of the Thaylians, Seekers of great knowledge, keepers of lost secrets”.  There is no way for the PC’s to enter this door without the 3 cylinder keys.  The keys are found within the megadungeon.  No magic, or alternative measures will open these doors.

A8.  The tunnel exits to the west see MAP D - D9.

A9.  The river exits to the west see MAP D - D27.

A10.  The river exits to the east see MAP E - E18.

Map A.png

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sandbox Idea

When I first got into all this awesome OSR stuff, I download a CRAP ton of all the basic fantasy modules.  Okay, I lied.  I downloaded them all.  After reading thru all of them, I love bits of some things, thought other bits were cool but wasn't sure about them, etc.  I ended up drawing out a pretty interesting sandbox.  Here is the idea.

I took the main map from the chaotic caves as the focus of the campaign although I planned to covert the whole thing to a hexmap.  Rather than use the provided village, I used the fort from Morgansfort as it was just more my speed and I had waves of "god damn it I like the kotb, this will work facking awesome".  The actual chaotic caves I left out, but I used all the rest of the triggers from the map provided.

I took the few dungeon encounters from morgansfort and popped them in there as well.

Then I took the premise from the adventure with Fonkin - DC1 Tales from the laughing dragon as the starting point for the whole thing!

Viola, campaign.  just fill in the details.

And now my brain is really working! What might be cool is to somehow implement Allansia & Blacksand in there.  Huh......

Basic Fantasy

It seems that Basic Fantasy has been getting quite a lot of press on Google + and the blogsphere as of late.  This is awesome!  I for one am going to blame Tenkar's Tavern for posting about the decent prices on amazon!  All joking aside its a awesome, quick to run system.  It has that nice old school flavor that we enjoy with the added bonus of ascending ac so we don't have to do too much math.  A little while ago I did a brief review on the Field Guide which has been available for awhile on the basic fantasy site.  If you haven't checked it out yet, you owe yourself a quick read thru at the very least.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Baglins - New Monster For Labyrinth Lord

Armour Class: 6
Hit Dice 1+1
Move 60' (20')
Attacks: 1 Bite
Damage: 1D4
No Appearing: 1 - 6
Save As: Fighter: 2
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: XX
Alignment: Chaotic
XP: 15

Baglin's resemble a large bag, sack or in some cases a backpack. Inside the the sack are a set of large teeth. Baglins cannot see but have small ears, they use sonic vibrations to track prey. They can fly for brief periods of time. They will normally lay dormant on the ground near their previous victims. They will usually attack by surprise gaining a +2 to their first attack roll. Any treasure found will be nearby the Baglin, they only ever eat their prey, and spit out what is inedible. 

Another Awesome Review!

A short, satisfying, no-nonsense "dungeon". While most of the encounters are what I would call "standard", The Lizardmen of Illzathatch has a certain naive or simplistic charm. 

This would probably be a good introductory adventure for basic D&D and similar OSR roleplaying games. However, I wish it had something else going on... a twist or totally unexpected monster, magic item, NPC, or environment to really set it apart from its brethren.

[4 of 5 Stars!]


Yet another mega dungeon progess report

I have one more map to finish editing, which makes 13 in total.  Part of me is saying "That is quite enough Shane!", and another part of me is saying "Draw a couple more".  I have realized that I may need atleast 2 more, there is one area under a city, that should be fleshed out more, and a dungeon section that could use one more map.  One thing I did while prepping for the mega dungeon is to setup individual doc files for each map.  Which breaks up the writing a bit.  "I gotta get thru 21 rooms" not "247 rooms".  BTW That's the estimate of room count at this point (247).  Like a silly person, I went and counted all the individual files and came up with that.  So its now rolling around in the back of my head.

While doing some research on mega dungeons I've come across a bunch of interesting blog posts and resources.  Some of which have given be quite a lot to think about.  In this post by the Greyhawk Gronard he points out the following:

I happen to agree whole-heartedly, but it's important to remember (as James has) that just because a campaign has a central megadungeon as its focus, it is by no means the exclusive province of the campaign. Adventurers are free to delve into its mouldy depths if they choose, but they're just as free to poke around in the local town or city, hie off into the wilderness, or explore smaller dungeons that the DM should properly have waiting for those eager for a change of pace.
Which leads me to believe, that I may just go ahead and combine the mega dungeon with a little campaign setting I was working on.  Which of course will mean quite a lot more writing, which I'm fine with.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


I am making really good progress editing the maps, I have 6 more to go.  It appears there is going to be 13 maps in total.  Which is more than enough!  As I work on these, the gears in my head have started grinding and I am getting a few more ideas here & there.  I've started working on a few new monsters, and possibly races.  Which should be interesting.

So it's coming along.  I've labelled all the maps alphabetically, and have opened up individual doc files for each map.  I then went in and labelled each doc with all of the room numbers.  This way I don't miss anything.  Also this is going to make the whole writing process that much easier.  Instead of having to write 120 rooms.  I just need to write 20 - 25 entries for each, save the file move on.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Official Canadian Old School Character Sheet

I had a bit of fun yesterday re-working a Old School Character sheet, this one is designed for use by Canadians.  Obviously anyone can use it, and may appreciate the silliness of it.  I did however neglect to add "Save VS Donuts, Hockey & Poutine".  It is bilingual for the most part, my keyboard would not allows me to put the correct egu's in unfortunately.  Enjoy!   Here's the link to download.

A little GM advice... make sure you check monster reactions when using this sheet.  We are after all Canadians.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Free Old School Character Sheet

 Here's a free Old School Character sheet, use it for any OSR game your playing.  It's a 2 pager, roll 3D6 in order and go start hacking some monsters!

Download here 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Finished editing Map M!

Just need to add all the numbers now.  I need to really do this with a mouse and not a track pad.  Damn hand hurts now.  This will probably be the last one that I put up for the time being.  I haven't quite mapped out exactly what's up in this cavern, but this is the map I posted early.

Here is the last one.  I just finished it up last night.  Big assed cavern with a very large lake, as well there's a cliff point with a higher cavern above.  The ruins are obviously not perfectly symmetrical and were not drawn on a grid.  The guys who built it didn't have access to decent geometry or T squares at the time.

Last map for enormity... so far

Here is the last one.  I just finished it up last night.  Big assed cavern with a very large lake, as well there's a cliff point with a higher cavern above.  The ruins are obviously not perfectly symmetrical and were not drawn on a grid.  The guys who built it didn't have access to decent geometry or T squares at the time.


Layout & GIMP Editing:  Just finished scanning all the maps, I now have 13 done.  I think I may yet draw 2 more, I guess we will see how it goes.  Now comes the process of cleanup!  Then I'll be adding a grey fill for all the background and the graph grid layers.  Basically take the scans & add an alpha channel, delete all the original white.  Funny note, some of the maps were drawn on very old paper, that was bleached a little off white from the sun.

What I am going to do, and hopefully it isn't met with resistance is the following:

The maps were drawn on 8.5 x 11.   I plan to scale all the maps to fit the graph paper example on the left.  As you can see there is a indent and the graph paper isn't full 8.5 x 11.  Part of the reason for scaling is that I want to make sure when the final product is done, it fits on the 8.5 x 11 paper properly, with nothing getting cut off.  I am hoping to release this as a softcover as well thru drivethrurpg.

Speaking of which, if you get a B&W softcover (which is basically the cheapest option) I am guessing that the cover also has to be b&w as well?

I personally like the old schoolness of B&W art and text.  however it would be nice to have a color cover & back.  It's obviously not the end of the world if its B&W only, but from a marketing stand point I think people like color on the front atleast, and sometimes glossy is nice.

Oh one thing I forgot to mention, I am also opening a doc file at the same time.  I finish a map and number it, then I got in create a page that says "map a" and then just add A1, A2, A3 and leave em blank, and so on.  That way I don't miss a room hahaha.

On Writing:  I've realized that some of my original ideas for this project were not vanilla per se, but typical?  After reading an article about mega dungeon design, I am going to take my original premise, expand on certain elements and then basically go thru a map at a time fill out all the encounter locations.  Once all of the basic writing is done, I'm going to read it all over find places where things can be tied in, etc.   Then do a mass edit!  My wife has kindly said that she'll edit it, of course she said she'd like to read an adventure first.  So I'm giving her Keep on the borderlands & Temple Of Elemental Evil.

So tonight it begins. #theenormityproject

Monday, December 1, 2014

Its a poor man who blames his tools

But damn, these new pens suck, that or I'm having a bad night.

Blackmarsh Review

I started working on a bunch of free, cheap & pay what you want OSR resources that are available on drivethru & rpgnow, etc.  Blackmarsh was one of them and then I realized that Blackmarsh is its own blog all by itself.  So here we go. 

Blackmarsh - FREE! 

Product Description
In the days when man knew only the working of stone and fought for their existence against the orc and the goblin, the sky turned to ash and down fell the fiery mountain onto the land. The world tore open and the grey waters rushed in. Those who survived the impact were lost as boiling clouds rushed out in all directions leaving a wasteland in its wake.

Blackmarsh is a complete, ready to run setting for your campaign. It can be run as its own setting or an expansion of your existing world. Contained in Blackmarsh are 17 geographical entries, 78 described locales, and one detailed town; Castle Blackmarsh. Each entry provide one or more adventure hooks to use in your campaigns.  Read more

I grabbed this pdf along time ago, and I'm at the point where I may order the softcover (its $5.70 CDN a steal).  From what I gather Blackmarsh was the original setting for OD&D, or atleast that's the rumor I've heard.  Reading it, it feels very war gammer, for use with Chain Mail possibly.  Example "hex number - 300 Orcs live here" that kinda thing makes me think that.  However its an awesome setting, and good enough to keep you busy for a long time.  Plug in a bunch of random dungeons & adventures and your off and running.  If you don't have a copy of "Keep On The Borderlands" don't worry,  Castle Blackmarsh is just as detailed!  The nice thing about Blackmarsh is its just detailed enough that it doesn't stay your hand as a GM.  You can toss stuff out, fix stuff up.  300 Orcs, lets make that 30.  At this point I think that Blackmarsh may just become my default setting for games.  

If your not great at drawing maps here is a few recommendations, you can grab FREE - all you gotta do is fill em with monsters, traps and treasure! 

You can also get some super sexy maps by +Dyson Logos over here -