Saturday, November 20, 2021

BX Wizard Revised

I posted about this before. I've used a version of this class in play and I feel like this iteration is closer to what a B/X wizard should be. So for my B/X games I'll be using the Wizard to replace the ole Magic-User. Why?

More cool options for low level play - which is where most of my gaming takes place.

How is this different from the standard MU?

1. An extra spell at level 1.
2. More versatility in spell levels you can memorize.
3. Ability to use weapons and armor in a sensible way beyond "you can't use that".
4. Putting magical research and potion making front and center so the players will actually USE them.
5. Some immediate weirdness... a minor magical item, reaction roll penalty, etc.
6. Combining MU and Cleric spells because I honestly don't care about Clerics at all. I don't need them.

Note that this Wizard can only memorize a spell once at a time. So they cannot be a healbot with multiple Cure Light Wounds.

I'm open to arguments for why this iteration of the Wizard is broken. I might have a blind spot so I appreciate feedback. This will likely end up in whatever Yria setting book I end up publishing.

Some of this was inspired by Stuart Robertson's old B/X Witch class, which I really adore.

EDIT: A hero in comments pointed out some errors so I fixed 'em. Hopefully better now.


I haven't been using the OSR label in a long time. I don't recall taking a stance on it in any particularly strong way at any point. I just sort of moved away from it a couple years ago because let's face it... so many shit shows.

But I'll probably start using it again as a hashtag because let's face it... so god damn useful.

The Expert Dwarf

I drew this Bill Willingham D&D dwarf while playing Top Secret. Go figure.

You'll know this guy from the first page of 1981's Basic D&D book. He's smacking a dragon around with his adventuring pals. I don't know if Willingham named him, but I like to call him Zipsmasher Busterchops.

I should do more fanart from the old game. It's fun to explore how another artist works and when you're drawing one of their characters you pick up on a lot of details. Willingham and Jeff Dee, for example, both obviously had tremendous super hero comic book inclinations. I actually like that they both had their stamp on this version of D&D because as an old comic book guy myself it resonated. I saw D&D characters as larger than life and not just pond scum struggling to become epic. While I love the zero to hero aesthetic that the OSR has cultivated (see DCC RPG), I also know it sucks to sit down to play an adventure game and be virtually powerless (reminds me I might need to do another Magic-User rant soon).

The original Bill Willingham art kicks much ass, natch.

I made a character sheet for Zip. I figured he was a strong dwarf, so 14 Str seemed realistic, assuming the player rolled 3d6. I could have went higher... maybe I should have. Ole Zip's got guns.

Here's a timelapse of the drawing for those who enjoy that sort of thing.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Zarp in Pan-Gea (color)

Here's the finished art for the new Zarp piece. Zarp hitchin' a ride across the broken lands of Pan-Gea on the back of a duck-skulled tigerlope with his friend Shullaroo.

Here's some B/X stats for ya bones.

Duck-Skulled Tigerlope

AC: 6 [13]

HD: 8 (36 hp)

Move: 150' (50')

Atks: 2 claws/1 bite or 1 gore

Dmg: 1d6/1d6/1d10 or 2d6

No. Enc: 1d6

Save: F8

Morale: 9


Align: Neutral

Big, loping beasts with long horns. Can be tamed for riding. Will charge for x2 damage if 60' or more space is available.

Hump back stores fatty milk to sustain the beast up to a month without food.

Zarp in Pan-Gea

Lately I've been thinking about comics again. I used to be a comic guy, not an RPG guy. I was an active small press creator, self publishing an array of titles such as Anomalic, Blacksheep, and Random Order Comics & Games (which represents a transitional phase for me from all comics to mostly games).

Comics is hard fuckin' work. This is why I probably stopped doing them. The insane amount of time you pour into it may or may not pay back. It's fine, of course. Nobody owes me their attention and I learned decades ago that I'm an underground guy forever, not a highly successful artist in terms of doing it for a living. So I'm cool with screaming into the void. But I gotta be passionate about a thing to scream with comics.

Anyway... Zarp! I was thinking about doing some new Zarp comics. Which lead me to doodle the little devil more and more lately. Now he's showing up in works that were meant to be pure pinup. This one started out as a sexy bit and morphed into a cool Pan-Gea bit. And I'm super happy about how it turned out. This is the vibe I hit in the mid-2000s with Pan-Gea and is, I believe, my most authentic, unfiltered self.*

So this might end up on a comic cover or it might end up in an art book. I'm giving serious consideration to publishing a collection of my favorite art and putting it out there for those that might like to have it.

*Well... sans the naked bits dangling out. Which I'll happily draw as well.