Category: Blog

Six Spears

Monday’s session saw the heroes fetch a chest from the lake, avoid the fir darrig by hiking through a swamp, visiting a market and fighting an owlbear. Session 17 In the morning, after telling the fir darrig to stand guard in case of trouble, the party sent Ratkin, Callum and Magnus off on their raft, laden with ropes. They rowed out to the spot where they could see the chest below, and with a weighted rope they sent Ratkin swimming

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The Flooded Ruins

Session 16 After deciding that exploring the rest of the caves would be futile, the party camped for the night and then headed Weest, towards where their map said the ‘flooded ruins’ lay. On the map, in small writing, was a note saying that the ‘mail of midnight hue‘ was to be found there. They headed off through the forest, aiming to avoid the Biting Swamp, and reached the lower stream of the river before nightfall. They spied ruins along

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The Old Elf Caves

Session 15 After arriving safely at the elven caves, the party discoved a nomadic group of ‘elves’, who call themselves the doaine and are in fact animal-people, in this case, hares. Their leader, Eloin, came over to introduce himself and question the party, but everyone is friendly and they sit and talk as the humans and their fir darrig companion make camp. The elves, as the Empire calls them, are camping here for the night, but have discovered a monstrosity

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Bees, Trees, & Bridges: Part 2

Session 14 After an uneventful night, the party spent some time discussing, in excruciating detail, how best to retrieve the statuette from the hive without disturbing the hornets: using hollow logs to create a chimney for smoke, burning branches, wading in weapons swinging, sending flaming arrows into the walls of the treehouse, all were discussed. In the end they decided to build some crude doors out of woven branches and leaves, to block the doorways of the adjacent hut to

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Bees, Trees & Bridges: Part 1

Session 13 The party headed out of Gallows Hill and across the old bridge, past the Wall and the border between the Reach and the Great Forest. With Callum leading the way (having hunted along the borders for many years) they followed the old path that led through the ancient forest, North to the old Waystone that marked an overgrown and faded crossroads. There they rested for the night, surrounded by beautiful and peaceful woods. The stone itself, worn and

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Book of Lairs # 6

My latest (and penultimate) book of lairs– Book of Lairs: Desolation– is now live on Drivethru. Took a while to get the proof correct, but the copy I opened today looked great. The colours really pop. I’ll be starting to post the first of the lairs for the last book before the end of the month. If you’re interested in seeing these before they are combined into the final book, check out my Patreon site: https://www.patreon.com/theskyfullofdust Cheers, Simon.

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map of cellar and tunnels and shrine

The Old Watchtower: Part 2

Session 12 In the ruins of the watchtower the wounded party settled down to rest and recover. They camped for most of the day, until Old Man Willow and Magnus had woken, and everyone else was feeling much better. Guards were set, with even Ratkin taking a shift, but nothing unexpected happened. With their wounds tended to and their bruises healing, they grabbed their gear and headed back down into the dank cellar and the tunnels leading off. Torches and

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old watchtower ruins

The Old Watchtower: Part 1

Session 11 Around mid-morning the party arrived at the ruins of the Old Watchtower: a tower that sat along the remains of the Wall, looking out towards the Great Forest, and over a lake where the flooded ruins of some old settlement could just about be seen. The ruins looked empty, the field of grass and trees quiet. To the North and West the slopes of the hills began their climb to the distant mountains, where the sun was peeking

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The Haunted Wood

I’ve just made my latest RPG adventure book live on DriveThruRPG.com . This is an adventure for The Black Hack 2E rules, for about 4-6 Level 4 characters. Here’s the cover of the printed copy I got the proof of this morning: And here are a couple of pics of the interior pages, and the maps at the back of the book (also inside, and the PDF download has a separate file with all the maps on it): Here’s the

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Ravenscar: Part 3

The Monday before last was our tenth session, concluding the foray to Ravenscar and embarking on a short journey to the old watchtower to the north. Skipped last week as people were away, but back to it this Monday. Session Ten The party descended the stairs into what turned out to be an old summoning room, complete with a summoning/protection circle engraved in the stone floor, inlaid with tarnished silver. They avoided crossing the circle, and explored the small room:

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map of ravenscar ruins

Ravenscar: Part 2

Our ninth session mostly consisted of deals with a rat-goblin and a fight in the cellar of the ruins, against giant and monstrous centipedes. Session Nine The party continued to search the piles of rubble. Suddenly, a terrfying presence rose from the debris that Old Man Willow was checking out: a giant rat, fangs dripping with venom, bone-chilling. The sight of it sent Horace, Jacob and Magnus fleeing from the sight; whilst the others just saw Ratkin, the red-coated, top

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map of ravenscar ruins

Ravenscar: Part 1

Our eighth session of the Children of the Raven BtW campaign was on Monday. The six-strong party (three PCs, three allies) ventured off to investigate the smoke seen by shepherds in the ruins to the West of their village. The Ruins of Ravenscar After a couple of days in Gallows Hill, resting and spending, the party (Alf, Callum and Magnus, with their allies Old Man Willow, Horace and Jacob) hefted their packs and headed off along an old path, overgrown

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front cover of the RPG adventure The Curse of Ravenmere

Ravenmere: Parts 2 & 3

Double report today, as I didn’t have time to throw up a report of the game. This covers parts 2 and 3 of the Curse of Ravenmere sessions, ending in the removal of the curse and a close-call that was but a throw away from a TPK. Part 2 In the morning, the tension between the party members was still strong. Alf, Callum and Magnus, together with Horace and Jacob headed back to the village, leaving Old Man Willow looking

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front cover of the RPG adventure The Curse of Ravenmere

Ravenmere: Part 1

Played this Monday just gone, and we’re back to playing Monday nights now, although no game next week because of holidays. This session kicked off the Curse of Ravenmere adventure, which I wrote a lifetime ago and recently revised. It’s a small adventure, but we should get two (maybe three?) sessions out of it. What’s Up with Jacob? Upon their return to their village, which helpfully coincided with market day, they bid farewell to Barton, but hung on to Jacob

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Mischievous Monsters: The Standing Stones

Our fourth session concluded the first adventure, my old Mischievous Monsters adventure (lasted four sessions, that’s about 6-8 hours, not bad for a small adventure), and the PCs are on their way home to their village, escorting Barton the trader and the two caravan guards, Horace and Jacob (who may well become allies if the PCs ask them nicely). Hunting Rats After resting another day and night, in order for everyone to be fully rested and healed, the three friends

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Mischievous Monsters: Siege of the Dancing Donkey

The third session of our new Beyond the Wall campaign, Children of the Raven, was last week and the whole session was pretty much the PCs and their allies defending the inn of the Dancing Donkey. The Fir Darrig and the ogreish allies surrounded the inn, and the ratty creature with the top hat, who was obviously their leader, called out for them to surrender; Young Alf told him where to stick it, and when the red-coated goblin made some

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Mischievous Monsters: The Eastern Cave

We played our second session last week, wherein the three PCs went off following the tracks of the rat-goblins. The tracks led the party of five (Callum, Young Alf, and Magnus, together with Horace and Jacob the mercenaries) across the fields and over some rolling hills, until the tracks split off in three different directions: one set, the lightest went North towards a forest in the distance. Another set lead to the curved arm of the same forest, to the

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Children of the Raven

Last week we started a new campaign, the Children of the Raven (a name that may possibly change, but which will do for now). Played the first session (did characters the previous week), and have the second one planned for tomorrow. We’re using the Beyond the Wall & Other Adventures rules, and the players created their characters using the playbooks. Haven’t fleshed them out too much at the moment, but we have the following characters: Callum, a Young Woodsman Young

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cover for the spire RPG book

Spire: Appendices

Appendix 3: Monsters The Spire has its fair share of monsters, from the walking dead, to giant goats, spiders and ant-like creatures carved from obsidian. These are listed below with statistics for HD (that generally governs many other stats, from attack to damage), AC (based on a type of armour), and any special abilities worth noting (other than the obvious, such as an Undead’s immunities). Some monsters are just re-skinned monsters common to most fantasy games. These are noted after

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cover for the spire RPG book

Spire: Appendices

Appendix 2: Shadow-Under-Spire The settlement that has grown around the towering Spire is known as Shadow-Under-Spire, and is home to a variety of souls. The shadow of the mighty spike looms over all. It has farms, places to eat and drink, and a market that swells once a week as merchants come to trade. In game terms, if this used the ACKS rules, it would normally be a Class VI settlement, with a boost on market day bringing it to

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cover for the spire RPG book

Spire: Appendices

When I published my system-agnostic setting, the Spire in 2018, I planned on adding supplementary information to this site. It’s taken a while to get around to that, but I needed some distance between it before I made a start; and since the book has now been downloaded by lots more people than previously, it seems a good time to start. For the most part, standard classes and monsters, spells and magic items work perfectly well with the setting. It

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In the Forest of Broken Dreams

I’ve had this idea in my head for a long time, and keep coming back to it, but I’ve never really done much with it. Over the last couple of weeks I started to sketch out a setting, along with some rules, with the aim of maybe making my own RPG out of it. Now that I’ve put it down on paper, so to speak, the urge has gone. I don’t think it’ll work as a RPG, at least not

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covers of my published RPG work

OSR Guide For The Perplexed Questionnaire 

1. One article or blog entry that exemplifies the best of the Old School Renaissance for me: This: the Rainy City campaign. A setting that inspired and intrigued me, and that I’ve taken elements of in stories and games since first coming across it all those years ago. It’s the creativity, the approach to play, the fun the setting, play reports and details produced. I would’ve loved to play in a setting like this when I was still playing and

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