Tag Archives: osr

Eternal Empire: Session One

Last night we played the first session of the long-awaited Eternal Empire campaign, using the Lamentations of the Flame Princess (LotFP) Weird Fantasy rules; and it was great!

The Characters

Iral Darkstar: elf (former cook, vain, has a samurai mask and a pet spider)

Jym Hawke: specialist (former miner, glutton, has a Robin Hood hat, pet canary and a mule called Bob);

Randalf: magic-user (former quack, superstitious, a witch/warlock, with a black cat and a broom).

All Level One. Randalf knows Jym as they use to be in the same mercenary company; Jym knows Iral, because they shared a horse that recently died; and Iral knew Randalf because they were both caught in the treasure vault of a merchant in the town of Bute’s Triangle, barely escaping with their lives. All came together and headed off to the frontier village of Jainesville, following a rumour that the local constable was having trouble with bandits.

The Game

Late spring, late afternoon, the three adventurers arrive in Jainesville after trekking along the road from the nearest market town of Appleby (about a week away). They get a few odd looks, mostly curious, from the farmers they pass and head straight to the constable and ask him about the bandits: the friendly constable tells them there has indeed been trouble, and that sightings have been made near the old Baron’s Keep (on the hill, ten minutes walk), the old abandoned inn six or so hours up the northern trail (near the old, empty copper mine), and down south by the strange tower that attracts lightning.

He offers them 5 sp a head (or an ear) for each bandit they take out; more if they get whoever leads them.

They then head off to the local tavern, talk to Barney the innkeepers (getting the same details, plus the fact that the keep is abandoned due to a ‘monster’ that roams the place at night). They also talk to a local farm lad, who wants to join them but is turned down; he lets them know of further opportunity for adventure miles to the west, in the ruins of the old prison, Stonehell. The lad, Douglas, is given Jym’s mule to look after, while they head off and do some scouting.

After a brief discussion, the three of them decide to investigate the old keep first, and wait until dusk to do so. They skirt around the woods, scramble up the hill and as the sun begins to set, Jym throws his rope & grapple up to the battlements, and all three climb up.

Once there, they see there is indeed a monster, roaming the courtyard below and as yet unaware of them: it is a large four-legged lizard with steam pouring off its body. The rest of the keep, as far as they can see, looks empty and largely intact.

A plan is formed: Iral casts his faerie fire spell and outlines the lizard in green flames, giving Randalf time to aim and let loose a rock from the sling he borrows from Jym: he misses, and the lizard spots them and scurries across to the wall; it tries to climb, but fails to gain any purchase.

Seeing that the lizard can’t get to them, the three bold adventurers start slinging and lobbing rocks at it! Some hit, doing minor damage and making the lizard hiss angrily as it keeps trying to scale the wall; but most of the rocks bounce harmlessly off its thick, scaled hide.

Then the lizard finally gains a hold and scrambles up the wall, shoving itself between Iral and Jym; they pull their swords and hack away, but only one hits [I think it was Iral], and then the lizard swipes at Jym: luckily, he raises his shield just in time, but the force of the blow shatters the wooden shield!

Randalf quickly analyses the situation and decides that, what with the thick hide and sharp claws, the lizard can potentially kill them all! So, he casts his memorised spell, sleep, and puts the beast into a deep slumber. They kill the monster before it can wake, and shove it off the wall. It splats on the hard earth.

They quickly check out the walls and towers, finding them empty but spotting signs of recent occupants in the form of booted foot prints. They then start to climb down the ladder that leads into the gatehouse, as night falls.

End of session.


Half a session of role-play, a quarter spent fighting the beast, and the rest exploring. Very old school gaming, and it was fun.

No treasure so far, but some XP from slaying the monster.

The link to the campaign wiki is on the right-hand menu, under Campaigns.

Next session is on Monday, and I’m really looking forward to it.


  • # Kills: 1 monster;
  • # PC deaths: 0 (but came close);
  • # Shields Splintered: 1;
  • Total XP: 100 (monster).

Goblin Kiss

For some reason the words ‘Goblin Kiss’ popped into my head and made me think of goblins headbutting people; which then made me think of how I could use that in games and have a sort of combat manoeuvre/stunt type of thing, Old School Feat type of thing, maybe.

So I had a thought and came up with these (how does a PC get to use one? Whenever they feel like it):

Goblin Kiss

Head-butt your foe: standard attack roll, on a hit do 1d4 damage and opponent must save versus paralysis or be disorientated for a round (-2 to hit).

Bonus: add Strength modifier to the # of rounds if wearing a helm.

Dwarf Belly-Bounce

Knock your foe back with your ample stomach: standard attack roll, forgo AC bonus from Dexterity for that round; on a hit, knock opponent back 1d4 feet +1 foot per point of Strength modifier.

Bonus: roll 1d6 instead if opponent is smaller than you, or you have a really big belly.

Halfling Ankle-Biting

Nip at those ankles: standard attack, only against foes larger than you; on a hit, hobble your opponent by leaving tooth marks in their flesh: foe is at half-move for the next 1d4 rounds.

Bonus: increase duration by one round for every point of Strength modifier.

Elven Slap

A vicious slap with a touch of magic: standard attack, must be a magic-user or an elf; on a successful hit, slap for 1 point of damage, and also leave an imprint of your hand that magically remains there for 1d4 days.

Bonus: add an extra day of duration for every point of Intelligence modifier.

Any more I should add?

Now on Google+

I am now on Google+, and I must say that I like it so far; looks cleaner and (so far) seems easier and nicer to use than Facebook.

If anyone wants to be added (or wants an invite), please leave a comment and I shall circle you :) IF you don’t want the to share any details, then I can delete the comment afterwards, before I approve it and it gets posted here.

My Google+ is: “Simon Forster”, nickname “theskyfullofdust”.

New Campaign/Adventure Idea

I want to try to publish my own RPG, Old School type adventure, supplement, whatever. Mostly to see if I can rise to the challenge, partly because I think it’ll be fun, and also because, well, why not. In this DIY Self-Publishing POD era, more people should give it a go.

So I’ve come up with an idea for, sort of, an Old School Adventure Path/Campaign/Sandbox adventure. The spark of inspiration came when watching Camelot, reading the Deed of Paksenarrion, and thinking about my own game. Then I remembered the Kingmaker adventure path that was out not so long ago.

I am going to give it a try. It’ll be something with an initial hook, a large sandbox region to play in, monthly ‘events’ and geared towards taking characters from Level 1 to Name Level (9, thereabouts). There’ll be plenty of room for DMs to put what they want in it, areas to expand, empty places to fill with their own adventures and locales, but also plenty already there. A mix of lairs and bandit camps, dungeons and ancient temples. They sort of thing.

It’s going to be a lot of work, but I like a challenge. I’ll post my ‘design notes’ as I go along, in case anyone is interested. And feel free to chip in with comments, for good or ill.

Mega-Dungeon: what makes a good one?

by Giovanni Battista Piranesi
by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

As part of my prep work, I’d quite like to build my own mega-dungeon, or at least a micro-mega-dungeon.

Now, I have played and ran games for long enough to have a fairly good idea how to put an adventure together and fill a dungeon with stuff, but what is it that makes a good mega-dungeon that will have players sending their characters back-and-forth? Hooks, multiple levels, factions, impassible entrances that require time and effort to get through and a trip back to town for the necessary supplies? All of that, something more, something else?

I like Stonehell Dungeon, but that already has a place in my campaign. I want something of my own, and probably not something as large as Stonehell (maybe a quarter of the size).

What do you think? In your experience, what makes a good mega-dungeon, or indeed what makes a good old ‘plain’ dungeon. How much history and flavour should I have, how many levels, factions, types of monsters?

Any and all advice, suggestions, links, tips and ideas, welcome and appreciated.


Adventure: Mischievous Monsters

Map of Area
Mischievous Monsters Map

Just finished putting together an OSR adventure, which I intend to run.

Here it is: MischievousMonsters.

It is aimed at low-level characters, and size of the party doesn’t matter as the number of monsters varies according to the number of characters (including henchmen).

Free feel to use it, and if you do, let me know how it turns out.

Haven’t played it yet, so not sure how exactly it’ll work out, but thought I’d share it.

Map for the adventure is (left) also on the last page of the PDF.


Rukus Making

Inspired by yesterday’s post by Dyson, about building up relations in the community, I thought I’d do just that and give a shout out to those posts I particularly liked, for one reason or another, and stood out to me personally over the week (in no particular order):

Dreams in the Lich House and his latest notes on his Black City project (which I look forward to the eventual PDF).

B/X Blacrazor and his recent post on shields (part of the Great Sheild Debate, yes, that’s a link to my own post).

Bigger on the Inside, a good read if you have any interest in Doctor Who (especially from a  RPG view).

Over at A Dungeon Master’s Tale there is a final collection of the rooms from the Sample Dungeon project that was kicking around, and it’s a good finish. You should check out the rest of the posts too.

Teleleli has Meeples, which I want in my game, while Jeff posts on his gameblog about spell books and how he’s making them unique for his game.

The Lands of Ara discussed alignment, and Zak (always a good read) gives a heads-up to The Underdark Gazette, whose blog is a great source of OSR news and I look forward to the return of the Sunday round-up in the future.

There are lots of blogs and posts out there; these are but a sample and those that caught my eye. Most are linked to the right, the rest live on my Google Reader feed and I try to add them when I remember too. If you want me to add you to my list and I’ve forgotten to, just leave a comment and I will remedy that.

Have a good weekend folks.

The Many-Eyed Bear of Appleby


Inspired by Bear Week by B/X Blacrazor, and after browsing through images on deviantArt (great site for artwork), here is a killer bear to throw at a party of adventurers (be they heroes or not):

The Many-Eyed Bear of Appleby

Some say that the crazed bear with its many eyes was the result of bizarre magical experiment at the hands of green-skinned creatures that came from the stars.

Whatever the origin of this beast, it is greatly feared by the survivors of the village of Appleby. It has a taste for human and elven flesh (but will not eat dwarf), is fearless in the thick of battle, and has a mesmeric effect on those who meet its many eyes.

Thought to be unique, no one has yet faced this huge bear and lived; and the local Baron has a reward for anyone foolish brave enough to kill it, skin it, and make the roads safe once again.


Unique beast: Alignment Neutral, Move 60′ (180′), Armour Class as leather & shield (15 for LotFP), Hit Dice 5, Hit Points 36, # Attacks 2 claws, 1 bite, Damage 1d8/1d8/1d6, Morale 10 (but 12 once in combat)

Special: knock-down, on a successful hit victim must save versus paralysis or be knocked prone; crush, against a prone target the bear simply falls and crushes its victim, save versus paralysis to roll out of the way or take 2d6 damage; mesmeric eyes, catching the bear’s eyes requires a save versus magic or else be hypnotised for 1d6 rounds or until hit, counts as surprised in combat with an additional -2 (penalty) to Armour Class.