Thursday, November 30, 2017

O-SeRial level 1 room 20

20  This room contains a makeshift study, there are a two book shelves and a large table in the centre of the room.  Three figures stand over the table in the torchlight pearing at a musty map.

The Three figures are treasure hunters.  One is an accomplished magic user (level 3), the other 2 are bodyguards.  They have been trying to ransack the tomb with the help of some goblins. (room 8).  There is a secret door behind a bookshelf in the southern wall.  The bodyguards are armed with clubs (The  guards are scaredy cats and will give up at the first sign of trouble).  The mage has a key to the secret door in room 21.  On the book shelf under a book is a key hole.  If the key is turned to the left it disengages the trap, if its turned to the right the trap remains active.  

The magic user knows the following spells:  Floor Nails, Magic Missile, Read Magic.

Floor Nails:

Range:  10  Duration:  1 turn/level

When cast floor nails sprout from the ground immediately in front of the caster.  Anyone in the general 10 foot vicinity must save vs spell or suffer 1d4 damage.  At level five the spell causes 2d4 damage.  At level 10 the spell causes 3d4 damage.  The spell is remains in effect as long as the caster concentrates (1 turn per level of caster).

The magic user has a few things on his mind.  Roll 1d4

  1. He believes that the hertic kings tomb may contain a world changing weapon.
  2. While he has hired goblins, he doesn’t like them and is suspicious of their motives.
  3. He would like to devle deeper into the dungeon, and is looking for help.
  4. He has heard rumours of a goblin massacre deep in the dungeon, their bodies left with holes in them, gold still sitting on tables and in chests.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

It's your turn Mike! - An interview with Mike Evans from DIY RPG Productions

1. How did you get your start roleplaying? What system did you use?

I had been a fan of the RPG genre in video games since NES days and playing Zelda and Final Fantasy, but didn’t’ know there was such a thing as tabletop role-playing until I was in my teens.  I started role-playing in 1995 when I was 15. 

The first system I was exposed to was AD&D and loved it, but the game fizzled out after two sessions and I started playing in a Shadowrun 2e game.  About six months into playing, I decided to start running my own Shadowrun game.

After about a month of doing that, I was playing and running AD&D games as well. 

2. How and when did you discover the OSR?

I moved from AD&D to 3.x and played that for about a decade.  I really got burnt out by the bloat of 3.x/Pathfinder and all the munchkin bullshit that came along with it.  I hungered for quick, deadly, and rules-lite.  I started researching and delving into blogs about old school role-playing.  I started fiddling with stuff here and there, but nothing solid.

It wasn’t until 2008 that I REALLY got into the OSR and it was Lamentations of the Flame Princess by James Raggi and Vornheim by Zak Smith that it really just clicked for me.  The sheer amount of content that the OSR community generates is fucking mind-boggling and inspiring!  I was hooked.

3.  Tell me about DIY RPG Productions how did it start?

DIY RPG Productions really just started as an homage of the “damn the man” punk mentality that I hold dear. 

My wife drew what I now use as my logo.  At the time, I had no aspirations of starting a publishing company, it was just a rallying cry I wanted to put on my blog.  I was so fucking tired of the ceaseless wars about which edition is better, who’s dick is bigger, and all that BS- so my symbol is there to say, “Fuck it!  Do what makes you happy and what allows YOU to have fun.  Don’t give a shit what others say or think about your fun time.”

Eventually I started writing Hubris for Dungeon Crawl Classics and Jez Gordon suggested I stop just doing the blog thing and publish the setting.  That’s when I started pondering if I wanted to submit it to another publisher or do it myself.  I realized very quickly I wanted to do a publishing company that would allow myself and others to publish on their terms and unapologetically.  

4.  Tell me about "Death is the New Pink"

When I was pondering my next project, I was really wanting to run a Mad Max/Fallout-style game, but nothing out there really vibed with me.  I like silly, I like stupid, I like quick and dirty rules.  So I stated kinda mulling what to do.  Several things were going on at that time: I was reading Tank Girl and thought it would be fun and hilarious to run a game that was of that style, I was playing Borderlands a bunch with my friends, and I was watching shit like Dredd and listening to a bunch of punk rock (I love punk rock- pretty much my go-to music).  All this shit was mulling around in my head.  I had read Chris McDowall’s Into the Odd rules about six months previous and really loved it; they are quick, easy, and fun!  All that shit merged together and lit a fire under my ass. 

Death is the New Pink is a gonzo beer and pretzel game that is great for one shots and good for long term play.  It’s doesn’t take itself seriously and players take the roll of Meat Bags going out into the wastes or into the Catacombs (a huge dungeon beneath the last remaining city, Scratchtown), to kill Nefarios (bad guys), find Doodads (high tech gadgets), and get drunk before dying a wonderfully epic death!

5.  What are you currently playing?

Currently I am playtesting Death is the New Pink: Going Medieval on Yo’ Ass, which is a fantasy version of Death is the New Pink.  It’s inspired by the above mentioned stuff and I took inspiration from Earthdawn, Warhammer, and Adventure Time.

I’m running my group through the Forever Dungeon, which is inspired by an episode of Adventure Time where there was a ceaseless dungeon on a train that just kept going in circles.   I’ve run two sessions thus far and it’s been a bunch of fun!

6. If you could campaign in any world which would it be?

I guess it would be self-serving to say Death is the New Pink or Hubris, but I’ll do that anyways.  I wrote those two settings because they are the type of things that interest me. 

Not cranking away on myself, I’d happily campaign in Feral by Jez Gordon (I love TMNT and think Jez is nailing the feel), Trey Causey’s Azurth (who doesn’t want to go to the Candy Isles?!), go through Operation Unfathomable by Jason Sholtis, flounce through Hot Springs by Jacob Hurst, or a horror game in Demon City by Zak Smith.  Those are the campaign settings that have really caught my eye recently (or for awhile in the case of Feral and Project Unfathomable).

If I had to choose official D&D stuff- I’d be Dark Sun or Ravenloft all the way.

7.  Tell me about Hubris?

Hubris is definitely my labor of love.  I started writing a horrific gonzo setting and, as I mentioned before, Jez Gordon really egged me on to publish it.  So I figured DCC would be perfect fit for the rules!  DCC is so wacky and crazed and heavy metal, I was excited about it!

I took inspiration from stuff like Conan the Barbarian and Lovecraft, but I also am heavily influenced by John Carpenter’s The Thing, Evil Dead 1&2, Army of Darkness, and heavy metal bands like Slayer, Anthrax, Marilyn Manson, TOOL, and Pantera.

I threw in a healthy dose of the weird/gonzo like Alice in Wonderland, Tetsuo Iron Man, and other shit and figured out my world.

When writing Hubris, I knew I wanted it to be different.  Too many RPG settings have that “fight against the darkness and be heroes and find the light!” and that shit doesn’t interest me too much.  I like street level superheroes and street level adventures (which is why I like Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser so much).  I wanted to emphasize that hopeless battle and that even IF you do stop the darkness, people aren’t going to give a shit.  They’re too busy worrying about their own asses. 

I also knew I didn’t want it to be filled with fluff.  Too many settings try to be special unique snowflake books filled with histories and plots and characters and none of it really impacts a table’s campaign or even comes into play.  I wanted the book to be useful to a GM.  When developing the world, I created d100 charts for random encounters and interesting locations that can be used on the fly. 

I wanted the book to be hackable for those who had no interest in playing in a bleak world like Hubris, but wanted a nasty swamp territory for their world.

Thus far the people seem to really dig Hubris. 

There will be more released for Hubris in the future!

Editors note:  Mike one an award for this awesome book! 2017 Ennie for best electronic book. 

8. Who is your favourite artist and or author?

My favorite artist is Mike Mignola.  I love his style, it’s so evocative. 
RPG artist wise- I love Zak Smith’s art (both his RPG art and non-RPG art), Matthew Adams, Kelvin Green, Jeremy Duncan, David Lewis Johnson, Gennifer Bone, and Jeffery Call.  They are all fantastic artists! 

My favorite local artist is Cordell Cordaro.  I love his use of colors and style. 

Here’s his website.

Favorite authors…?  I love Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Lewis Carroll, J.K. Rowling, and Wiliam Gibson.

9. What is one of your favorite adventures other than something that you’ve released (or worked on)?

Vornheim by Zak Smith, Scenic Dunnsmouth by Zzarchov, Death Frost Doom by James Raggi, and Sailors Under the Starless Sea by Harley Stroh are my favorite adventures I’ve run for my players.  They are fun, unique, and easy to use.

editors note: It's amazing how many people say that they really dig Starless Sea, I must get it. 

10. When you get a chance to play a character, what type of PC do you like to play?
I tend to play warriors, rogues, or rangers.  Not huge fans of wizards and clerics.  I fucking hate bards.
Editors note:  Apparently no one in the osr community likes fucking bards.

11. What are you most excited about in the RPG scene currently?

Hands down, it’s the DIY community.  The ideas and collaborations that come out of it are truly inspiring and awesome. 

12.  Would you rather be a dwarf or a gnome?

Dwarf.  I can be a grumpy “get off my lawn” kinda dude at times- oh and I love good craft beer- so it makes sense. 

13.  What are your plans DIY RPG Productions for this year?

2017 has been a good year for me as a budding publication company.  I released two of my own books: Death is the New Pink and The Starrunner Kit: The Black Hole Edition.  I signed David Lewis Johnson to my label and we released Gathox.  And Hubris won a Silver ENnie for Best Electronic Book.

2018 is going to be busier!  For my own projects, I’ll be releasing Barbarians of the Ruined Earth, Death is the New Pink: Going Medieval on Yo’ Ass, High Noon: A Gritty White Box Western, Orcs: A High Octane Adventure for Hubris, and am working with Kelvin Green on the Forever Dungeon module for DitNP: GMoYA, and a DitNP comic book.

I will be launching a kickstarter for Zak Smith’s awesome Demon City RPG, Donn Stroud is writing a Hubris module, Kane Cathain is writing a DitNP module, Dan Domme is writing a module for DCC called The Temple of Laserface and the Kung Fu Masters of the 4th Dimension, Zzarchov has written a DCC module called The Ghoul Prince, and David Lewis Johnson is working on a Gathox adventure!

Thank fuck for coffee and booze!

editors note:  Holy Cthulhu your a busy dude!  and ahmen to the coffee and booze. 

14.  Tell me about Gathox Vertical Slum?

GathoxVertical Slum is written and illustrated by David Lewis Johnson.  David created a gonzo city setting that rests atop an inter-dimensional world-hopping godling that travels for inscrutable reasons.  David was inspired by Kowloon Walled City and created some awesome classes and tables that ooze flavor. 

One of the shining points of Gathox is the gangland mechanics.  It’s really easy to create gangs, fight for control of territories.

Here’s the page description in David Lewis Johnson’s words:

“Welcome to Gathox Vertical Slum, a far out, gonzo science fantasy campaign setting for Swords & Wizardry White Box Edition and other classic tabletop role playing games.

Aliens, mutants, spellslingers, and hardened criminals struggle for dominance in a lawless city built upon the back of a wandering, world-hopping godling. Inside this tome you’ll find:
* A fully mapped and fleshed out Vertical Slum, stuffed to the gills with greedy factions, hook-laden NPCs, and seedy locations.

* A new gangland system for running domain-level games at level 1.

* 43 fully illustrated strange and inimical monsters to spring on unsuspecting players.

* New classes, skills, ability checks, hirelings, and gear for players to work their will across the mean streets of the Great Spire.

* A vertical dungeon introductory adventure to test the skills and resourcefulness of new and seasoned players alike.

* Over a hundred lavish interior illustrations by D.L. Johnson.
* Five pieces of interconnected chapter fiction contributed by Josh Wagner.”

15.  Chips or cheezies?


16. Where can we find you on the web?

Several places, actually!

My blog, Wrathofzombie’s Blog-

DIY RPG Productions G+ Community Page-

Editors note:  Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me Mike! I appreciate it!  
If you liked this interview, I've posted a bunch on my blog as well as 2 compilations of them on drivethru (For free) 

Old School Interviews V1
Old School Interviews V2

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Rumours from Stonestump

Just working on a list of rumours from the small town of Stone Stump.

1.  During a pilgrimage a local cleric contracted lycanthropy.  She was unable to be cured by priests.

2.  A group of goblins have been charging a toll to get thru the local woods.

3.  A merchant boat was sunk off the coast, under suspicious circumstances.

4.  The latest crop of wheat has soured, locals believe it is the work of the gods.

5.  Strange sounds are coming from the basement of the local tavern.

6.  Four babies were stolen in the middle of the night.  There are no clues as to their disappearance.

7.  A small crew of loggers have come back to town frightened by low rumbling sounds in the forest.

8.  The mayor of the town wishes to court a local elven maiden, he wants a rose delivered to her.

9.  An outright brawl occurred on the docks over "fake gold".

10.  The local taxman was found murdered in his home.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Older module design

The other night I was reading thru "Dwellers Of The Forbidden City" and I came upon an interesting enlightenment.  A lot of the early adventures left room for DMs to make them their own.  That's not to say that newer OSR releases don't do this as well.  It did however remind of something.  As a writer you cannot cover every possible outcome or idea that might crop up.  In the back of "The Lost City", "Isle Of Dread" and "Dwellers" there are sections called "Further Adventures", these little paragraphs give you a few ideas on how to continue the campaign.  I think there needs to be more of this in writing.  Another thing I read just latetly was the idea of leaving out NPC names, and just having their standard title "baker", "blacksmith", "king" etc.  The idea behind that is that it allows a DM to create their own names, to fit into their own campaign.  An example is "Keep on the borderlands" which is open ended as far as NPC names are concerned.  I'm also guessing that most of those early modules are at a very specific page count (I'd have to do some research, but my guess is 32).  When you consider the amount of content in them, it's pretty startling how much there actually is.  The caveat of course is that they couldn't cover everything.

Just something that was rolling around my head this morning.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Floor Nails - A Blueholme Spell

Floor Nails: 

Range:  10  Duration:  1 turn/level

When cast floor nails sprout from the ground immediately in front of the caster.  Anyone in the general 10 foot vicinity must save vs spell or suffer 1d4 damage.  At level five the spell causes 2d4 damage.  At level 10 the spell causes 3d4 damage.  The spell is remains in effect as long as the caster concentrates (1 turn per level of caster).

Monday, November 20, 2017

Old School Interviews Volume 2

I’m back with Volume 2 of “Old School Interviews”.  Detailed within this document are people of the “OSR”, old school publishers, role players, graphic artists, cartographers. It’s been my pleasure to read their responses, invest time in researching what makes them tick. I look forward to sending out more emails with the subject line “it’s your turn!”

  • An Interview with Chris Gonnerman, Basic Fantasy 
  • An Interview With Ms Gennifer Bone, Artist
  • An interview With James George, Pits & Perils 
  • An interview with Glynn from Monkey Blood Design
  • An interview with Eric from Bloat Games
  • An interview with Diogo Nogueira of Old Skull Publishing

Saturday, November 18, 2017



Roll 1D20
A group of 1D4 plague victims, all coughing and dying.
Section of tunnel is flooded, 3 feet high.  -1 attack penalty.  Roll for random monster
A old ripped painting.  Worthless
Pieces of a broken wooden door.
Large growth of 3 foot tall mushrooms
A Axe with strange runes on the hilt.  (non-magical).  Runes are in Dwarvish.  “Slarrgh’s Slayer”.
Half eaten corpse of zombie.
Magical rune trap.  Save vs spell for half damage.  1D6
Smashed porcelain vase
Strange altar in tunnel.  There is a jug of what appears to be blood.  1D6 Gems worth 5 SP’s each.
Hissing noises that are becoming increasingly louder.
A group of Dwarven scouts (1D6 fighters)
The ghost of a wild eyed child starts to follow the party.
Bard desperately trying to carry all of his instruments.  Needs directions to a underground village.  Has gotten lost.
Cave in, turn around find another way, or spend time digging out the tunnel.
A pile of smoking carcasses.  Recently deceased.
A glowing purplish substance spots the ground, a trail of it leads into a dank tunnel.
Cavern is covered in blue moss.  Edible, heals 1 HP only, no matter how much is ingested.
A very loud gong is sounded off in the distance.
The hilt of a rusted sword is stuck into a wall.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ghostly Warrior

The Ghostly warrior will sometimes appear in the dank places underground.  He/She was a veteran of many wars and armies.  Every round in combat, the warrior's visage will change.  From a young soldier to an old grizzled man.  As the rounds change, so will his/her armour.  Roll on the following table every round.  The ghost fades in and out from ethereal to almost real as the combat rounds move forward.  Trapped between semi life & death.

Armour Type
Armour Class
Chain Mail
Plate Mail

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Random Cavern Crawl Table #3


Roll 1D20
Buried to the hilt in the ground is a silver sword +1.  Strength Check at -2 to remove.
A broken wand (unusable)
A piece of parchment detailing a proposed raid on underground village
Stumble upon a merchant who lost his way trying to find underground village (has basic supplies)
A broken down cart, missing one wheel.  The cart has provisions for one week, a suit of leather armour, 12 arrows, 20 feet of rope.
An old book that details how to read an ancient language.  Intelligence check at -2
Bag of jewels (1D10 x 10 SP’s each)
A note from a lover “meet me at the usual place”
Runes written in Elvish – “A warning against disturbing the evil City”
Ground is quite rocky for 30”.  -1 attack penalty.  Roll for wandering monster
A group of badly injured NPC’s are camped out in the tunnel.  (3 Fighters)
A dark mass of energy appears out of thin air.  It rushes the PC’s.  Save vs spell for half damage.  1D6.  It disappears afterwards.
A grappling hook and 20 feet of rope
A group of 1D6 beatloids fighting off a scouting party of 1D6 Dwarves
3 half empty potion bottles (2 of which have nothing useable, 1 is a portion of healing that will heal 1D4 HP’s)
Sprung trap, a dead goblin hanging upside down from ceiling.  1D6 X 10 SP’s
A set of rusty keys
A keg of ale lying on its side, half full
Makeshift bloody bandages
A lost dwarven child who wandered away from underground village