Thursday, November 26, 2015

Microlite Purest Essence

This Christmas I am going to run my nephews thru a dungeon!  They are 13 & 11, so I've been looking thru my gigantic file of retro clones, looking for something that will get us into the game quick, with light mechanics.  I've often gone back to this wonderful pdf, "Microlite Purest Essence", because its beautiful, and so straight forward.  I'm currently in the process of drawing up a little dungeon map and writing out a few NPC's and story goals/plot lines for them.  The idea is to get them in the dungeon as quickly as possible and fight some monsters. 

I had read an article a little while ago about a person who's child had autism, and they had started playing some D&D, in the end it worked out quite well for the little guy. 

Here's the article - "How Dungeons & Dragons saved my autistic son". 

One of my nephews is autistic, from reading the article I see a lot of similarity's between him and the author's son.

I think they are going to enjoy it thoroughly.    It will be of course theater of the mind.  The thing I really dig about Microlite Purest Essence is its so easy to house rule. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Swords & Sorcery Apocalyptic Prophecy's

52 Swords & Sorcery Apocalyptic Prophecy's

Use a deck of cards and have the PC's randomly pull one card from the deck, when meeting with a Seer or a Fortune Teller.

Smoke rises from the incense burning in the room.  The small tent is decorated in kitchy occult symbols and strange wall hangings.  Across from you is a beautiful Elven fortune teller. You ask, "What will become of this land? What part will I play?'.  You try to follow her eyes as she stares longingly into her swirling crystal ball.  She clears her throat, "The future has yet to be written, but you will play a part in the future of this world.  It could be that you play a part in its destruction".  She pauses, and fumbles in a small pouch that is tied to her waist.  She pulls out an old deck of cards, the sides crumbled and bent.  Motioning for you to pull from the deck, she smiles and winks at you.....


1.    The barrier between worlds has grown weaker.  
(Ace of Spades)

2.    The Lizard King will arrive again.  
(King of Spades)

3.    The dead will walk.  
(Queen Of Spades)

4.    The Gods have turned their attention to other matters.  (Jack of Spades)

5.    In order to restore balance, one must sacrifice something they believe in.  
(10 of Spades)

6.    The death of the king will bring about great change.  
(9 of Spades).

7.    The armies of darkness will invade the forgotten lands. 
(8 of Spades)

8.    All forms of Magic will fail.  
(7 of Spades)

9.    A Evil God will be re born in humanoid form.  
(6 of Spades).

10.  Comets will fall from the sky causing untold destruction. 
(5 of Spades).

11.  The forests will wither and die.  
(4 of Spades).  

12.  A total solar eclipse will last forever.  
(3 of Spades)  

13.  Winter is coming, and it will last for 5 years.  
(2 of Spades).


14.  The pig half man will rule the skies.  
(Ace of Diamonds)

15.   When the desert of the dead becomes a forest, ancient lizards will walk the earth again. (King of Diamonds)

16.  The world will pass very close by the sun, whole continents will burn. 
 (Queen of Diamonds)

17.  A vampire coven will arise, they will dominate all corners of the political landscape. 

(Jack of Diamonds)

18.  A intra-dimensional door will open, spilling forth an Alien race.  

 (10 of Diamonds)

19.  You will receive a vision of a maiden being tortured.  By killing her the Torturer will bring about the beginning of the end of the world.  

(9 of Diamonds)

20.  A sign will appear in the jungle, it will point to an ancient evil tablet. 

(8 of Diamonds)

21.  Travelers from a different time will appear out of thin air.  

(7 of Diamonds) 

22.  A plague will envelope the lands, causing crippling injuries to all races.  

(6 of Diamonds) 

23.  The world will remain the same, nothing will happen.  This card does not tell the truth.  

(5 of Diamonds) 

24.   It is whispered that soon we will call the tune, and the piper will lead us to reason. 

(4 of Diamonds) 

25.  Poison gas will be released from huge fissures in the earth, causing everyone to laugh hysterically.  

(3 of Diamonds) 

26.  The automatons will become self aware. 

(2 of Diamonds)


27.  Fire & Ash will fall from the sky, rivers will boil.  
(Ace of Clubs)

28.  Men from the sky will come, their great ships will fail.  
(King of Clubs)

29.  A large labyrinth will appear out of nowhere, within the center is a gate to another world.  
(Queen of Clubs)

30.  Land will flood, the tides will rise, and the world will become a vast sea.  

(Jack of Clubs)

31.  Chickens will mutate into giant bloodthirsty birds, chasing villagers out of their fields.   
(10 of Clubs)

32.  No Dragons will be born this year, or ever again.  
(9 of Clubs)

33.  A evil sorcerers guild will start experimenting on people, causing a virus to be created.  The virus will spread causing mass chaos.  
(8 of Clubs)

34.  All natural resources will depleted by the end of this year.  
(7 of Clubs)

35.  An Evil cult intending to create peace has installed puppet doppelgangers into any position of power.  
(6 of Clubs)

36.  An Ancient race will re-appear upon the lands.  
(5 of Clubs)

37.  A un-wise mage will release a hoard of demons.  
(4 of Clubs)

38.  A city will burn, its refugees will call another God, although he will be unworthy. 
 (3 of Clubs)

39.  A pestilence of ancient insects will kill crops.  A great famine will occur.  
(2 of Clubs) 


40.  The traveler will come and wreak havoc, in the form that you choose. 
(Ace of Hearts) 

41.  Hurricane & earthquakes will mark the great collapse. 

(King of Hearts) 

42.  He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop, his fame will increase towards the eastern realms.  

(Queen of Hearts) 

43.  A rider on a pale horse will appear on the horizon, he will bring about the death of all.  

(Jack of Hearts)

44.  Sound will be amplified and gravity will be increased as the sun sets on a early spring evening.   (10 of Hearts)

45.  Help! I'm stuck in a Apocalyptic Card Prophecy making factory.  

(9 of Hearts) 

46.  The world will become the battlefield of the Gods.  

(8 of Hearts) 

47.  The one who pulls the sword will be named King, and unto him his family will die miserable deaths.  

(7 of Hearts)

48.  A strange aura will be emitted from the earth, causing the population to deform.  You can neither smell or see it.   

(6 of Hearts) 

49.  You cannot live while it survives. 

(5 Of Hearts)

50.  Ale shipments will be tainted with the color purple, it will kill tens of thousands. 

 (4 of Hearts)

51.  Sea creatures will fall from the sky.   

(3 of Hearts)

52.  A great ruler will be resurrected, war will follow. 

 (2 of Hearts)

Monday, November 23, 2015

2 things

I swear I get most of my thinking done while walking to work in the morning.  Problem is its always something new, and not always things that I should be working on.

I digress.... 2 things.

1.  I am immensely excited about this link

in combination with all the awesome tables that +Eric Fabiaschi keeps posting over at

So much so that I've probably rolled up about 6 or more adventure ideas from it.  Filling in the story line after you do the initial rolls is quite easy.  To put something like this out in a module format however, it would be very railroadey.  Atleast as far as the story goes.  Think TSR modules from the 90's basically.  (Sword Of The Dales, etc).  That said it could be a LOT of fun to put out a bunch of adventures together, that had a overall plot line.  Maybe something similar to +Tim Shorts "Starter Adventures"
(Note Starter Adventures is not railroadey, what I mean is a nice compilation).

As far as rules, I've been wanting to dip my toes in the mini6 rules, so this might be a cool idea for that.  As well from what I gather "Barbarians of Lemuria" is similar in concept to mini6.

2.  I've been working on the next adventure after the 5e starter set.  Tying up the character backgrounds is going to be interesting.  Partially because I've already sort of fallen in love with these characters and I want to see what is going to happen.

Here's the run down of the backgrounds.

Vespers - A  Tiefling Paladin, who basically ran away from Candlekeep after a very large fire that claimed a lot of people close to him.  he blames himself for the not helping enough during the troubled time.  He follows lathander, and basically beats himself up on a regular basis (emotionally that is).

Varis - Varis is a warlock, who has made a deal with a Maralith, in front of the rest of the PCs! Including the very good aligned Vespers.

 Jen's Character - A wizard, who's mentor died before he found an ancient red dragon, he wanted to treat with.  Her quest is for knowledge, specifically to find this dragon.

Kurts Character - a common human thief, however his parents were murdered, the murder stole one of the 2 dice that his father used to use for gambling.  The dice were very specific, a home made set, none other in the world like it.

Now as you can see there's some tension already.  Varis has been tasked by the Maralith to find 4 pieces of stone that go together in a tablet, what they are for she has not said.  Vespers countiues to do what's right, including making sure a kid got home safe after showing the entrance to the red brands hideout. 

What I've been working on is tying all of this together, so there's these little threads that weave in and out of all the storylines.  As people have said "D&D 5th edition is their second favorite edition", and it really is mine as well.  There's a special place in my heart for OSR, and specifically BlueHolme & Basic Fantasy, but I can't help but love the backgrounds and how this all makes my brain work in over drive.

Obviously I'm not going to go into much more detail than this, as some of my players read this blog.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The untamed lands campaign

An idea that's been rolling around in my brain.  The PC's have been sent off by the local ruling council to make a trip to a recently unknown continent.  They have received a reasonable amount of provisions & equipment.  The promise of 2000 GP's per PC has been agreed upon, when they PC's return with a map outlining the continent.  They have been given a magical map, that fill in locations that they explore, once it is complete they are to make their way back to the mainland.

At this time there is one small settlement on the coast of the unknown land.  The PC's are travelling there by boat.  The captain has been charged with dropping the PC's off safely at the small settlement and then abruptly leaving them to fend for themselves.

Standing on the bow of the boat, the PC's are overlooking the coastline,  they can see smoke rising from the settlement.

All hell breaks loose when they arrive.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Vault of the Faceless Giants!

Why do these Giants have no faces?????  I have no idea! Which is why I'm going to grab the beta of this right now

I really like the idea of putting a module up for free like this, firstly as a playtest, and to gain a bit of interested on the overall. 

PLEASE NOTE: This adventure is being released for free in its current beta form. Once the final art and adventure material have been added, it will then go to its regular price. Those who download it for free as part of this beta release will get the final updated version for free as well, even after it goes to its regular price!  

The tiny jungle village of Phoumi Sramol has fallen victim, they believe, to the evil hand of the demon lord Rahb. 
Many generations ago, a temple set in the side of a cliff a few miles northwest of the village acted as the center of worship for evil adherents of Rahb. Livestock would die, villagers would be kidnapped, plagues would befall the area. It was believed this was all done in service of bringing Rahb into the physical world (the Material Plane) from his Abyssal home (an island fortress known as Lanku).
Suddenly, however, all of the evil and suspicious activity around the temple stopped. 
Legend holds that it was the great adventurer Somnang whose hand stopped the evil, but no one is really sure.

Now, generations later, an occurrence in the village has the locals questioning whether or not the evil is returning. 

A local woman named Kanya claims her baby was snatched from her hands in the middle of the night by followers of Rahb, dressed in loin cloths, their faces painted to resemble the many-faced demon. 
Many of the villagers deny the temple’s relationship to the missing child. Maybe they are naive; maybe they are just fearful of the truth. Regardless, they suggest instead the woman “lost” the baby in the jungle and a tiger ate it; they purport she is simply unwilling to admit her absentmindedness (something for which she is well known by the locals).
If the woman is telling the truth, however, then there is much to be feared, and the story bears investigating—not just for the sake of the woman and the community, but for the sake of a world where this kind of evil can exist.

This module includes several encounters that use mechanics and content from Old School Adventures™ Accessory PX1: Basic Psionics Handbook. Additionally, many of the encounters will be made more enjoyable by having a character of the mystic class in the party. If you do not plan to use the material from the Basic Psionics Handbook, some of the encounters may require modifications in order to facilitate playability. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

This is a handy idea! - Cities & Towns PWYW

Cities & Towns by Dan Coleman Productions.

Inside are 3 fantasy settlements, each with a complete description, index of NPCs, and adventure hooks appropriate for the area. Use them as a town the party encounters along the road, a base of operations, or turn them into something of your own.
Each location comes with high resolution map for your use.

Just looking at the preview, the maps are great!  and all of the town & its inhabitants are well plotted out and written.  Go and grab it! its Pay what you want. 

Get it.  

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thunderrift Campaign Setting

Awhile back I noticed a post on G+ regarding Thunderrift for the Mystara setting.  It peaked my interested.  First off the original map looks super bad assed.

From wikipedia: 
Thunder Rift is a setting created in the 1990s for the "basic" D&D product line. The setting, an alternative to the Known World/Mystara (the standard D&D setting), was conceived as a starting point for beginning game groups and to be gradually expanded by the DM. The Thunder Rift worked as a self-contained setting, but could be inserted in any existing game world as well.

Looking at the map I realize how genius this actually is.  A totally self contained world, in which you can pretty much decide everything that goes on in it.  I have been trying to think of a way of incorporating various old school modules (new ones & old favorites) into a fantasy world, that will feel very "put together".  Obviously I could just grab a copy of the greyhawk campaign to fit in the old school modules.  Alternatively I could just start creating my own hex world and fit all of these modules that I want to run into it.  However here's a mapMelnir could easily be the village of Homlett.  The Keep Of The Black Knight, could easily be the Keep On The Borderlands, actually it would be absolutely perfect starting point as its as south as it gets! 

The campaign is slowly starting to take place: 

- I'd like to use the Norse Gods for the pantheon.
- I'd like to use as much old school modules as possible.
- As far as races go, the usual suspects as well I'd like to include all the extra races from 5e (like the dragonborn.
-  I want the feel to be very Swords & Sorcery, not a lot of civilization, just small pockets.  Crazy barbarian raiders, wild eyed magic users, slavers
-  A bit of it will have a oriental adventures feel as well.  I haven't quite decided on this, but the Monk, Assassin & Paladin classes could easily be switcheroo'd to Shaolin Monk, Ninja & Samurai respectively. 
-  Because the world is limited this will allow the hero's to go from hero's of the village, to saviour's of the world.  (The whole 5e leveling up thing).  

The great thing about Thunder Rift & Mystara, is that there's a giant community online that continues to populate the world with adventures, races and ideas.
Thunder Rift -
Mystara -

And a wonderful post about starting a campaign within the Thunder Rift using 5e -

What I'd like to find is a copy of the map used in the above post.
Just looking at it I've starting getting ideas here and there.  Pretty much anytime I look at a map I started slowly writing things in my head.  

Anyways, the whole point of this blog post is to basically say, there's lots of wonderful resources out there that you can use and modify for your own purposes.  Which is pretty much what DIY is all about isn't it?


I really want some Rakasha within the module, I'm missing them! 

Also check out
for some good ideas on playing 5e old school.