Sunday, January 30, 2022


Working on the monster section for the upcoming Doomslakers B/X book. I have been maintaining a monster document since around 2014, coded in Labyrinth Lord. So most of the monsters going into this book are from that document, updated to my current taste.

Here's an example critter that I kinda like. It's a monster that offers no threat to the party and has no treasure. But harming it is a very bad idea. In fact, if the party harms a burer the only rational thing they can do next is find a quiet room and lay low for three days. 


Armor Class: 9 [10]

No. Enc: 1d6

Hit Dice: 1 (3 hp)

Save: F1

Move: 40’

Morale: 4

Attacks: Nil

Treasure Type: Nil

Damage: Nil

Alignment: Neutral

XP: 0

This weird little potato-shaped creature lives in dens where it snuggles with mates for weeks at a time before surfacing to find some tasty butterflies and hummingbirds. It has no real defensive capabilities, but is a creature of blessed magic.

If the burer is spoken to, it will reply in perfect local dialect. The creature will go on a bit, talking at length about local happenings and revealing 1d4 local secrets of relevance to the party. On a roll of 4, the fourth secret will be the location of a treasure horde.

Any party that harms a burer will suffer 3 days of bad luck during which all random encounters do happen and all healing rolls yield a minimum result.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

TSR Style Guides

I posted on Twitter asking for the name of a particular style guide for TSR-era D&D books. Got a few replies so I thought I'd just collect these in one post. Anyone has some other examples, let me know in the comments and I'll add them.

These guides help you figure out how to make a book look like a certain style that you love. Some folks are not keen on doing this, which is fine. I always talk a big talk about doing it but in the end I tend to go my own way. But I have much respect for people who pull it off nicely.

The best one I know of is A Brief Study of TSR Book Design from Sine Nomine Publishing. This one is fat and filled with delicious information and advice.


TSR Fonts

TSR & WotC Font FAQ

Saturday, January 22, 2022

The Original Backstabber

When I talk about fixing the B/X D&D Thief class for Doomslakers B/X I'm not really talking about changing it too much. At least that's not what I want to do. This is why I don't embrace any of the more radical changes such as gutting the entire percentile system out of it.

No, what I want is to use the original class pretty much as-is, but layer on some additional perks and options that make the class more appealing and fun to play. I know a lot of people will argue that it's fun to play the original Thief without any house rules, and that's fine if it's your jam. Personally I just don't want to play a fantasy character who has a 10% chance to do the one thing they are "good" at doing. And I am really not sure why the original designers went with such a dreadful way of thinking. Maybe they assumed very low level play would be only a tiny portion and most people would play at over 10th level? I dunno. In my experience most people play between 1 and 9.

Anyway... I've mentioned a shitload of Thief house rules, because it's fairly easy to house rule this game into the stone age. But for Doomslakers I really want to keep that class unchanged as much as possible.

So my current thinking is that the setting itself will provide the layers of perks and house rules. It is a setting book, after all, not a generic manual. So when you roll up a Doomslakers Thief you'll choose a Guild and there are only a small number of Guilds in the world. Each has its own secrets. So the Guild you pick will modify your base skill ratings and grant you certain additional perks. THIS SHIT IS FUN.

Why do I want to avoid changing the original classes? Particularly the class tables...

Because Doomslakers B/X is a love letter, if I'm being completely saccharine. It is meant to be a 64 page saddle stitched book you can use in direct conjunction with the original game books (or OSE, Lab Lord, etc... you know the drill). It is a resource for that game not an altogether new game. It stems from the B/X 64 Challenge from the G+ days where I suggested that people should try to create a B/X supplement in 64 pages within 6 months (or something like that).

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Alternate Ability Rolling Method

Here's something for Black Pudding 7. I haven't used this in play, but of course I played around with it myself and kinda dig it. Maybe it's not new, I'm not sure. I hadn't seen it.

This method does not get you a nice bell curve. For example, it's far easier to get an 18 since it is a 1 in 8 chance. If I was "gaming the system" with this, I'd just always roll that d8. Which, of course, is totally valid. It's your choice. You aren't breaking anything

Just rolling the d4 all the way gives you an average PC that has no negative and three +1 stats... which is pretty nice too.

EDIT: I posted this in haste from an old thing I forgot about and it has shitty formatting so you should ignore it. I didn't proofread bc nobody got time for that.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Doomslakers Elf

For the Doomslakers B/X book, my Elf class tweaks are kind of like this.

1. Lawful Elves are the keepers of tradition and knowledge, very concerned with preservation of history and continuity of the world. They are very tall, often lean. Like creepy long and alien in some ways. Maybe called "high elves".

2. Chaotic Elfs (not spelled "elves") are absolutely not concerned with that shit. They are very short and have a preference for the physical pleasures. Maybe called "low elfs".

3. Neutral Elves don't have a dog in the fight and tend to be slightly shorter than humans.

Lawfuls and Chaotics also have minor tweaks to ability scores but otherwise the class is unchanged.

This is in contrast to the Magic-User, which is significantly changed. Current plan is to replace it with the Wizard class but honestly that's just semantics. We'll see.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Doom Gong Dungeon sketch

 I'm working on an image for the DCC RPG Doom Gong Dungeon which should show up in a future Goodman Games Gazette.

DCC is actually the game that drew me back into gaming and into the OSR scene back in 2012-2013 (I can't remember the exact year to be honest). I played the hell out of DCC for a number of years, running a handful of wild and fun campaigns that always seems to end up in space and/or with a giant ape or dinosaur. Fun times.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Monday, January 3, 2022

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Random Table Dump 1

Random tables are one of the great pillars of OSR gaming. I will die on that hill. Even if random tables were less widely used in D&D historically, they were fully embraced with the OSR. Hell, many classic OSR books are nothing but random tables. There are settings that are entirely composed of random tables. And I am a huge fan.

Of course you can't possibly use them all. You might be tempted to say there are "too many" random tables. You would be wrong. There cannot be too many. It is not possible.

Because the purpose and effect of random tables is... random. Stochastic, as the nerds say. It's a shotgun effect. No one expects you to use every random table that finds its way in front of your face. You use the ones that are either required by the game's rules or the ones that inspire you. The rest can sit quietly. They demand nothing of you, so let them be.

Here are some random tables I created in December, inspired by the #dicember challenge, which I learned about through Dyson Logos. I did not stick with any prompts.