Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Mail Call Tuesday: Basic Old School

I wasn't planning this one today, but I got some surprises in the mail.  

New Books

Both of these will get full reviews later on.

Blue Flame, Tine Stars, or it's full title, Blue Flame, Tiny Stars: A Memoir of Early Experiences Playing the Holmes Edition of the World’s Most Superlative Role-Playing Game, is from Stephen Wendell and it recounts his experiences at the dawn of the RPG scene and with Holmes Basic in particular. I have flipped through it and it looks like a delightful read. It is available as Print on Demand and PDF.

Chivalry & Sorcery Basic Rules is also available as Print on Demand and PDF. It is a stripped-down, basic, version of the 5th edition of the Chivalry & Sorcery RPG. A great place for newbies to the C&S game.

Chivalry & Sorcery is my third of three games I want to use as my D&D 5 replacement, so I will have some characters and ideas for this game later on.

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 28

Down this short passageway from the torture chamber is another large room. The door is standard to unlock. 

Room 28

This large room used to be the barracks for this dungeon level. It was also where all the weapons were kept.  There are plenty of weapons here and a few are still usable. Allow players to restock what they need.

As the characters search the room they will begin to uncover a nest of Ghost Spiders.  These look like large undead spiders but they are really demonic necromantic projections.  They were summoned here from all the fear and death and have never left.

They will attack the party as soon as they are found.

In the back is hidden door that is easily discovered it leads to a flight of stairs going down.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Monstrous Monday: Tribute to Jonathan Thompson

Jonathan Thompson
Something a little different today and altogether too sad.

Normally I spend today doing monster write-ups, reviews of monster books, or even updating my slow progress on my Basic Bestiary. But today I want to talk about something else.

Last week Jonathan Thompson passed away.  He was well-known, and well-liked, by many in the RPG community. 

I met Jonathan through our mutual love of the Victorian period. We became fans of each other's RPGs as well.

I helped a very, very tiny bit with the newest version of Gaslight, with some of my material making into one other Battlefield Press book.  Mostly though he had come to me for advice and edits on the 3.x and 5e monsters he had been working on.

Among other thingshe was due to publish my "Darwin's Guide to Creatures, Mythical and Mundane." A monster manual for the Victorian era and for Gaslight in particular. 

It got pushed back a few times but he had approached me over the summer to get it updated. I was going through Covid at the time and could not get back to him. When I could he had developed health issues of his own.

I typically ran into him at Gen Con. Out of thousands of people there, we always would run into each other. We typically hit the food trucks and chatted about things.  We had, over the years, continued to talk about monsters, the Victorian era, and more. I find it sad that I am no longer going to get to that.  

There is a Go Fund Me set up to cover his expenses. I urge all my readers to send whatever they can. 

His family are in my thoughts and hopefully, I can send some donations their way.

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 27

The hall turns to the right and opens up into a large area. 

torture chamber

This room was obviously a torture chamber. There are still racks, stocks, and other implements of torture still to be found here.

There are still two victims here who have been unable to leave, Two Wraiths.

These wraiths are not allied and will attack the party without regard for other.

There is some treasure here the wraiths have collected from previous victims. Both have Treasure Type E.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 26

Turning to your right the hallway continues on a bit.  On the corner to your right, there is, if the proper rolls are made, a secret door.  This is very similar to Room #7 and Room #Room 19.

Room 7

This room is found behind a secret door in the corner of the hallway, not on the flat walls. 

This room appears to have been a guard room. There are chairs for three with a small table and weapons on the walls.  There are slots in the wall where guards can watch both hallways.

This room has been untouched by the waves of denizens here. There is a dagger +1, two-handed sword +1, and 2 +1 sling bullet stored here for the guard's use in addition to some normal items. There had been food, but it has since rotted away. Additionally, there is a bag of gold pieces, 14 GP.

Finding these treasures is worth 2,714xp.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 25

Opening this door is much easier, it feels like it had been opened already and not properly locked.


 Inside this room is a pack (3) of Ghouls.

They are currently eating the remains of two goblins. They will stop and attack the party, but the party will get +1 to their initiative rolls.

They have standard treasure for ghouls and what ever the two goblins had.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Kickstart Your Weekend: The Mapweaver's Guide

Ok, this is an entirely new one to me, and it looks fantastic.

The Mapweaver's Guide: A TTRPG Campaign Sourcebook

The Mapweaver's Guide: A TTRPG Campaign Sourcebook


It is a new TTRPG guidebook and campaign based on the author's world and books. You can check out the first book here, Windswept (The Mapweaver Chronicles) by Kaitlin Bellamy. 

From the campaign:

While The Mapweaver's Guide was initially intended to be a D&D5E supplement, the current upheaval with Wizards of the Coast and their OGL has forced me to take a bold step I never intended, but am still ridiculously excited about: Making MY OWN Mapweaver RPG System! This project will encompass all of it. The new world, the new mechanics, the new stories we can tell together! And you get to be a part of it all from DAY 1!

The adventure may be frightening ... after all, trying something so new so quickly often is. But isn't that what makes tabletop storytelling so wonderful? Against all odds, we tackle something massive together. Now, you are all my adventuring party. My companions. And we can take on this quest as a team! Let's slay some publishing dragons, map uncharted paths, and bring home some illustrated and hardbound loot!

Wow! Ambitious, but I admire her enthusiasm and her creative vision, so this could be a lot of fun. There is only one way to find out and that is get this published. She has some great stretch goals and I love the art.

I said I wanted to support more small and independent creators this year, so here is a FANTASTIC example.

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 24

 Moving down the passageway the next cell is on your right.

Room 24

The doors to this room are wide open. 

It appears there had been a fight here, and not that long ago. There are three dead goblins and one dead human. The bodies have been looted, but there is a 1 in 6 chance for all characters (or a 3 in 6 for thieves) that someone will find a Potion of Healing on the human.

Otherwise, this room is empty.


The part of adventurers that is ahead of this party started about three to four days before this group. They are others, but they are all slowing being picked off.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 4: In Search of the Sutherland Succubus

I have stumbled on some new information so I have decided to combine an older feature, Sympathy for the Succubus, with a newer one, In Search of, for something new.  In particular, my search for the roots of the succubus in D&D. 

You can see my first three parts here:

Today I want to explore one of the "urban legends" of the early days of D&D. The David Sutherland III succubus art from the AD&D 1st Ed Monster Manual.

Let's start with what everyone knows or thinks they know. 

Two 1977 publications
Two 1977 Publications. What do they have in common?

Oh, Sheila!

Sheila Mullen
Sheila Mullen
Sheila Mullen was the Playboy Playmate of the month for May 1977.  Certainly, the time period was right. The Monster Manual was published in December 1977. There are even a few pictures that *could be* right. The one to your right is a cropped version of the biggest contender. 

This notion has been taken up by many modern writers, bloggers, and chroniclers, myself included.  

Likely the source of all of this is the Blog of Holding. Which only claims that the "body of one of these original succubi was copied from a Playboy centerfold."  Sheila Mullen was a centerfold for 1977, making her the likeliest of choices.

Except that is *mostly* wrong.

Sweet as Honey

The date of 1977 is right, but the month was October. And it wasn't a centerfold.

I apologize for not remembering who it was that first clued me in on this idea, but it sent me down a rabbit hole of searching. 

This issue is rather famous for having an interview with Barbara Streisand. I posted the cover above. The centerfold/Playmate is Kristine Winder, who sadly passed in 2011 at 55 from breast cancer. But neither she nor Sheila Mullen lived on in the pages of the Monster Manual. 

No, that honor belongs to Honey Wells.

Miss Wells was featured in the "Ladies of Joy" pictorial by John Bowers, with photography by Robert Scott Hooper. It featured women in "the world's oldest profession." 

As you can see here with the Sutherland Succubus, her photo is a good match.

Honey Wells
Honey Wells and the Succubus. Covered for your protection as much as mine

We don't know much about Miss Wells here. Save for what she tells us.

Honey Wells

So there is no real way to research Miss Wells here. I doubt that is even her real name. Not to mention that this is a 45-year-old article, so much could have happened since then. If alive, she would be in her mid to late 60s now.

Which is too bad. I wonder if she ever knew that her pictorial inspired this art and that art was held in such fond memories of an entire generation of gamers.

Now I will concede that the succubus pic is likely inspired by Honey Wells and Sheila Mullen. The hands and hair fit a similar pose on Miss Mullen (pictured above), and the overall pose is Miss Wells.

Sadly David Sutherland passed away in 2005, so I can't approach him and confirm. Indeed, it was also more than 45 years ago, and any memory is likely blurred. 

Though it is comforting that Sutherland, Wells, and yes, Mullen have a bit of D&D Immortality to call their own. 

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 23

 This cell looks like it is the same size as the others, but it begins to shift and change.


This effect is an illusion and a very powerful one. This illusion makes the room look larger on the inside than it is. Additionally, there is an effect that will confuse anyone inside.  The room's illusion is not related to the creature inside and a save vs. Magic will reveal the room for what it is. 

The inhabitant of this room takes advantage of this illusion.  Inside this room is a Will-o-the-wisp.

AC 3 [17], HD 5+1 (22 hp), Att 1, life drain, THAC0 15 [+4], MV 90’ (30’), SV D11 W11 P12 B13 S15, ML 12, AL Chaotic, XP 575, NA 1 (1d4), TT see below.

This is not the Will-o-the-Wisp normally encountered. This is an undead creature. While it has high HD it is a single creature and has low hp. It can be turned by a cleric as a 5HD creature.  The creature can only be hit by magic.  Its low AC is due to its size, its erratic movement, and its magical protection.

The wisp leads characters into this room and uses the illusion to keep victims confused and scared. It then feeds on the life energies of those trapped. It can't drain the victims directly and has to wait till they start to die of other causes.

The Wisp does not collect treasure, but there is a lot material left from former victims. The only way to find it though is make the save vs. spells to stop the illusions.


I am reworking Will-O-the-Wisps for my Basic Bestiary. This is a rough draft.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 22

 This cell is locked and the door feels stuck.  A combined strength of 28 is needed to force it open.

Room 22

This room has a large blue portal that leads to a different dungeon. Someone has been using this as a storage room. There is a treasure chest with 5,000 gp inside! There are two large Bags of Holding. Many mundane swords, daggers, longbows, arrows, and shields.  There is also food that seems to be fine (it is) but none of it is recognizable. It tastes weird but is perfectly healthy to eat.

If DMs wish they could have the inhabitants of this realm making a deposit. They are closely related to lizardmen.  They are not expecting to fight and have a morale of 6.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Not a Mail Call Tuesday (But Just as Good!)

I was recently at my FLGS, and I decided to pick up some old friends.

AD&D 1st Ed

Like many gamers my age, I started with a wide variety of D&D books. A Basic book here, an OD&D book here, and an AD&D book here. In my case, I started with a lot of D&D Basic (B/X) books. I picked up my AD&D books later on.  So my first AD&D books were Deities & Demigods and the Fiend Folio. I only later grabbed the PHB, DMG, and MM and when I did, they were "newer" Easley/Orange spine covers.  I wanted mine to be different from my then DMs. 

Also, like many gamers my age, I lost them in one of the many, many moves during my university days. This was sad, but I had my 2nd Ed books so I could still at least play.

When I got to a point where I could settle down and get them back, I bought back the original covers. But I always missed the "Trinity" of the orange spine ones.  Well, I decided it was well past time to fix that.

The Holy Trinity x3

I now have the original covers, picked up around 2000 or so. The WotC reprints. And now the Orange Spine ones.

All are in really good condition. I have others, like my softcover Monster Manual and Players Handbook from England and my first-printing PHB and DMG. But those are all safely tucked away from light

Big 3 and Little 3

And I had the mini versions of these covers, so that was one of the reasons I was not rushing to get new copies of these. But I figured I really should get them.

They were not cheap, much more expensive than when I re-bought the original covers in the early 2000s, but honestly, they are really worth it to me.

I have to say, it does put me in the mood for some AD&D 1st Ed! I think I even have some goldenrod character sheets around here as well.

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 21

This cell is just down the passageway from the last room.

Room 21

This cell is empty.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Monstrous Monday: Basic Assumptions about Basic Bestiary

Schutzengel by Bernhard Plockhorst
With the OGL fiasco settled (for now), I have returned to work on Basic Bestiary. In truth, I have enough to publish right now; I just need some art for...well, most of them. 

I was recently (this last weekend) going through an old hard drive I rebuilt (ugh...never buying a Seagate drive again), and I found some files from 2013. One, in particular, was filled with monsters I had written for a Pathfinder project that was never picked up. It has about 170 monsters on it but the point of view is of a fantasy Earth.  Many of these creatures already have similar entries in BB. Other ideas went on to live in Monster Mash and Monstrous Maleficarum. But many of them are still good and worth giving new life to. 

This leaves me with two conundrums.  Both relate to a basic assumption I am making about Basic Bestiary.

When I was working on Basic Bestiary, I focused on the monsters of myth and legend, especially the cool, lesser-known monsters. Many, if not most, of these creatures are very much tied to a specific location and cultural set of myths. The assumption is then I would be crafting these using an Earth-based or Earth-like frame of reference. Something that many publishers try to avoid.

So Conundrum 1 is "How do I make Angels work?" D&D has angels. I have a lot more. They are very much tied with the myths, legends, and stories of various real-world religions.  They are the biggest section of BB I still need to finish.  My wife suggested I move them over to my demon book and make it "2024 problem." There is a certain amount of logic to that. Angels and Demons are more alike to each other than they are to say to dragons or goblins.  It might be a good idea to move them on over. It would reduce the total monster count right now, but this new batch I found would more than make up for it.

Conundrum 2 deals with my Earth-centric focus. One of the monsters I found was a very Norwegian-focused Troll. Another was a very Algonquin-focused.  Do I clean those up or lean into them? Classic wisdom suggests I make it all more generic, but other publishers have had some solid success keeping an Earth focus. I am thinking of leaning into them to be honest. So when I say a monster is from Norwegian mythology and tales readers can know where to put it in their own worlds. 

I know. I keep finding ways to over complicate this project, and I have been doing it for so long I nearly lost my window to publish.  So I think I am going to try to wrap this up soon. I'd like to be done with this one and maybe even BBII by this year.

One can hope.

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 20

This door looks like it leads to another guard room (like 19 before it).

Room 20

 The floor of this room is trapped. If a pressure plate is stepped on the floor gives way and all occupants slid down (away from the door) to the next level below.

A thief can find this trap, but not disable it. They can however avoid it.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 19

Turning to your right the hallway continues on.  On the corner to your right there is, if the proper rolls are made, a secret door.  This is very similar to Room #7.

Room 7

This room is found behind a secret door in the corner of the hallway, not on the flat walls. 

This room appears to have been a guar room. There are chairs for three with a small table and weapons on the walls.  There are slots in the wall where guards can watch both hallways.

This room has been untouched by the waves of denizens here. There is a axe +1, short sword +1, and 2 +1 crossbow arrows stored here for the guard's use in addition to some normal items. There had been food but it has since rotted away. 

Finding these treasures is worth 2,300xp.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 18

The cell opens easier than the others on this level.  Thieves get a +5% bonus to any pick locks roll.

Opening this door will reveal that this cell is also very different on the inside.

Bas-relief of teh Vampire Queen

Inside is a bas-relief of the Vampire Queen. It is newer than the surrounding rock.  

As the party approaches and gets within 5' of the 7' tall relief its mouth will open a spout of red acid will spill out. Everyone within 5' must make a save versus Breath Weapon or take 2d8 points of damage.  The acid used to be much stronger.

There is no treasure in this room.

Friday, February 17, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 17

Continuing down this hallway is the next cell.

Green Slime

This room is filled with Green Slime.  There are two on the floor, and one dripping from the ceiling. They are packed in so tightly there is no chance of surprise. One on the floor gets an "attack" as it rolls out.

Destroying the slimes will reveal 2 Swords +1. These are all that are left from the last group of adventurers. 

Thursday, February 16, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 16

This door is open and there is light coming from a portal inside the room.

More Goblins

This room also has a large number of goblins, 1d6+3. Again these goblins are different than all the previous ones (from yet another world, these goblins have monkey feet) these goblins are a bit tougher and all wield +1 maces or +1 spears. Their world is rather magic rich.  

They have XP as a 1+1 HD creature.

Each goblin has a bag of 6 GP and 1d6+5 SP.

The portal will close in 1d4 rounds and reopen again in 6+1d12 days.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Monster Mash Classes as Old-School Essentials Advanced Classes

 Monster Mash is now out in both PDF and Print on Demand, and I am very, very happy with it.

Work is going on for Monster Mash II: A Green and Pleasant Land now. Classes are built, just need some edits. I also bought a bunch of art from Dean Spencer so his art will fill the book for a single artistic vision.

But one thing people have asked me is, "Can I use Monster Mash" with the OSE-Advanced Rules?

Monster Mash and OSE-Advanced

While my intent was always to stick with OSE-Classic, there is nothing stopping you from using OSE-Advanced rules.  In fact, here are my guidelines.

For this, I am going to use the races and classes from OSE-Advanced. If there is another race or class (say from one of Carcass Crawlers or other sources) you can use the closest analog. 


OSE, for the moment still uses the out-moded "Races." I fully expect that will change but until I am using it as a "rules term" only.  

Note: ANY Game Master can over-rule these level limits as they see fit.

In every case these different races retain any abilities from 1st level on. 

Awakened Golem 

Requirements: 13 or greater in STR and CON, 10 or greater in WIS
Ability Modifiers: +1 to STR and CON, -2 to CHA

Acrobat: NA
Assassin: 10th (must have a DEX score greater than 13
Barbarian: 14th
Bard: NA
Cleric: NA
Druid: NA (and I would add they are so far removed to nature they can never be druids)
Fighter: 14th
Illusionist: NA
Knight: NA
Magic-User: NA* (special cases could arise)
Paladin: NA
Ranger: NA
Thief: 14th
Gothic Witch: NA
Profane Necromancer: 10th (similar special cases)


Requirements: 12 or greater in DEX
Ability Modifiers: +1 to STR and CON, -2 to CHA

Acrobat: 10th
Assassin: 10th
Barbarian: 9th
Bard: 7th
Cleric: 8th
Druid: 9th
Fighter: 10th
Illusionist: 7th
Knight: NA
Magic-User: 7th
Paladin: NA
Ranger: 8th
Thief: 10th
Gothic Witch: 9th
Profane Necromancer: 7th


Requirements: None
Ability Modifiers: STR, DEX, and CON are effectively 0

Ghosts can be anything but are limited to 10th level.


Requirements: 12 or greater in WIS
Ability Modifiers: +1 to WIS

Acrobat: NA
Assassin: NA
Barbarian: 8th
Bard: NA
Cleric: 10th
Druid: 10th
Fighter: 10th
Illusionist: 10th
Knight: NA
Magic-User: 11th
Paladin: NA
Ranger: NA
Thief: 10th
Gothic Witch: 13th
Profane Necromancer: 13th


Requirements: None
Ability Modifiers: +1 to CON

Acrobat: NA
Assassin: 8th
Barbarian: 10th
Bard: NA
Cleric: 5th
Druid: 6th
Fighter: 10th
Illusionist: NA
Knight: NA
Magic-User: NA
Paladin: NA
Ranger: 5th
Thief: 10th
Gothic Witch: 4th
Profane Necromancer: 4th

Lycanthrope, Wererat

Requirements: 11 or greater on DEX and CON
Ability Modifiers: +1 to DEX

Acrobat: 8th
Assassin: 8th
Barbarian: 5th
Bard: 5th
Cleric: 4th
Druid: 4th
Fighter: 6th
Illusionist: NA
Knight: NA
Magic-User: NA
Paladin: NA
Ranger: NA
Thief: 8th
Gothic Witch: NA
Profane Necromancer: NA

Lycanthrope, Werewolf

Requirements: 11 or greater on STR and CON
Ability Modifiers: +1 to STR

Acrobat: NA
Assassin: 8th
Barbarian: 10th
Bard: 5th
Cleric: 4th
Druid: 4th
Fighter: 10th
Illusionist: NA
Knight: NA
Magic-User: NA
Paladin: NA
Ranger: NA
Thief: 8th
Gothic Witch: NA
Profane Necromancer: NA


Requirements: None
Ability Modifiers: +1 to STR, DEX, and CON

Revenants can be anything but are limited to 9th level.


Requirements: 12 or greater on CHA
Ability Modifiers: None

Shades can be anything but are limited to 10th level.

Shadow Elf

Requirements: 15 or greater on DEX
Ability Modifiers: +1 to DEX

Acrobat: 10th
Assassin: 10th
Barbarian: NA
Bard: 10th
Cleric: 5th
Druid: 5th
Fighter: 10th
Illusionist: 9th
Knight: 10th
Magic-User: 8th
Paladin: NA
Ranger: NA
Thief: 10th
Gothic Witch: 10th
Profane Necromancer: 10th


Requirements: 13 or greater on STR and CHA
Ability Modifiers: +1 to STR

Vampires can be anything, but combined with a class they are limited to 12th level.


Monster Mash also includes two "human" Classes, the Gothic Witch and the Profane Necromancer.  The Gothic witch follows the same format of my other witch classes. The Profane Necromancer is essentially a Necromancer with various evil Cleric abilities added in.

Here are some suggestions.

Gothic Witch

Drow: 10th
Duergar: 7th
Dwarf: NA* (Dwarf witches are known as Xothia and use other witch rules.)
Elf: NA* (Elf witches are known as Kuruni and use other witch rules.)
Gnome: NA* (Gnome witches are known as Good Walkers and use other witch rules.)
Half-Elf: 14th (Half-elves can choose a variety of witches.)
Halfling: NA* (Halfling witches are known as Herb Women and use other witch rules.)
Half-Orc: 10th* (Half-orc witches are also known as Bogglebos.)
Human: 14th
Svirfneblin: NA (Svirfneblin would likely be a type of Xothia.)

Profane Necromancer

Drow: 9th
Duergar: 7th
Dwarf: NA
Elf: 8th
Gnome: NA
Half-Elf: 9th
Halfling: NA
Half-Orc: NA
Human: 13th
Svirfneblin: NA

A note about the Profane Necromancer. 

There are so many Necromancer classes for Basic-era rule and OSR rulesets. Even OSE has its own Necromancer. Mine is an homage to the Death Master of the late Len Lakofka. But use whichever one you like the best, and feel free to use some or all of my spells with it. 

Again, individual GMs can make adjustments as they see fit.

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 15

Continuing down this hallway, there is another door on your left. Like all the cells on this level, this one is locked.

Room 15

This room is empty though there is an eerie, eldritch glow to everything. Lying on the ground is a large shield.

The shield is heavy and requires a Strength of 16 to use properly. It is magic. It provides +2 to AC and even a +1 to magical attacks that are directed (fireballs, magic missiles, curses) but not non-combat-based magic (area of effect spells where the bearer can walk in or illusions).

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Witches (and Monsters too) to the Rescue, Part 2

I did some fundraising over the weekend. Not a lot, but I hope it helped.

Last week I mentioned that I was going to donate all the profits of my various witch books to the Trevor Project in support of LGBTQ people, but in solidarity with the trans community.  When the print copy of Monster Mash went live yesterday, I thought, what the hell, I'll add yesterday in as well.

The results are in.


Not as much as I would have liked to be honest, but I guess I can't complain.

So $40.00 in sales. I said I would match all sales, so $80.00 and I figure I will round that up to $100.00.

The Trevor Project Donation

The Trevor Project Donation

The Trevor Project Donation

So donation was sent in, and I asked my day-job employer to match my donation, which they will since I know The Trevor Project is on their list of approved charities.

IF you buy a copy of Monster Mash this week and want your purchase to go towards this donation then just shoot me an email and I'll get it added in a future donation (likely next week).

Thanks, everyone!

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 14

After turning the corner to get to Room 13, you continue on. All doors are on the right-hand side of this hallway.


Inside room 14 is a human male looking over another portal. On the other side of the portal is a dungeon room that looks very similar to the one they are currently in.  

The man, a Warlock, will speak to the characters in a language they do not understand.  After a few tries of failing to communicate, he will blast what he believes to be the wizard with an Eldritch Blast. He has to roll to hit (THAC0: 19), and it causes 1d6+2 points of damage. He can do this every round.  He has AC 9 and 11 hp.

There is a 30% chance he has a magic item suitable for a wizard/magic-user.

The portal leads to another world that looks exactly like the one they have left, and they might not even realize they have gone anywhere. The world is the same, but the rules here use the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition rules.  Tell the players to give you back their sheets and hand them the same characters for the 4th Edition version of the game.


This monster for this room was inspired by the old Monster & Treasure assortment for the Second level.

M&T Level 2

I figure if he was a warlock, then he might as well be a 4th Edition one!

Monster & Treasure Assortment

Monday, February 13, 2023

Monstrous Monday: Monster Mash in Print!

This one took a little longer, but I am very pleased with the results.

As of today, you can now get my Monster Mash in Print on Demand

Monster Mash HardcoverMonster Mash Hardcover

This FULL-COLOR Hardcover is A5 sized, 148mm X 210mm, (8.3" x 5.8"), so it will look great sitting next to your copies of Old-School Essentials on your shelf. It will look even better sitting next to it on your gaming table.

Monster Mash full color interior

Monster Mash full color interior

Monster Mash full color interior

Monster Mash full color interior

Monster Mash full color interior

I admit that I think this one is the most attractive of all my recent books.  I have never done a full-color book on my own, and I am pleased with the results. It has given me some ideas on how to improve it for next time.

Monster Mash and other A5 books

Monster Mash and other A5 books

Monster Mash and other A5 books

It looks great with Old-School Essentials Classic as well as my OSE witch books and my A5-sized books like Craft of the Wise and the Pumpkin Spice Witch.

I guess now is as good as a time as any to mention I am working on Monster Mash 2: A Green and Pleasant Land.  Hopefully in your hands soon now that the OGL drama has died down for now.

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 13

This room has another open portal. Coming through is a sight terrible to behold.

Madhatter goblin

Coming through is a group (6) of Madhatter Goblins. These goblins do not appear to be similar at all to the other goblins encountered so far.

These goblins wear the skulls of their kills on their own heads. The leader is the one with the most heads.

The portal closes when the last goblin comes through. Any character on the other side when it closes is lost forever.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 12

This room is locked as the others are.


When the door is opened the room empties of its contents.

Inside are three Titanic Centipedes. These creatures are like Giant Centipedes but much larger. They have 2HD each. Their bites cause 1d8 damage and the same poison of their smaller kin. 

Inside their stomachs are a total of 42 gems worth a total of 2,300 GP.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 11

The door to this room is also open and there is a commotion coming from inside.

Goblins and Kobold

A group of 3 goblins is attacking a single kobold. There are three other kobolds dead on the ground.

The goblins will attack the party when they enter, the kobold will try to find a way to escape. It will attack the party to get out of this room.

Each goblin has a sack of 50+1d10 CP and 2+1d4 SP. They have spears and daggers. The kobolds have 20 CP in total.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Kickstart Your Weekend: Demons! Classes! Adventure! and Mice!

Lots for you this week. All worth your time to look into.

Demonology For Old-School Essentials - Zinequest 5

Demonology For Old-School Essentials - Zinequest 5


We always need more demons.  While I do have my own I have been using for a while now this will be a welcome addition to my OSE library.

Kibbles' Compendium of Legends and Legacies

Kibbles' Compendium of Legends and Legacies

I am still supporting third-party 5e folk. I am sure they panicked when the OGL fiasco broke, so I am here to boost their signal.  Still looks like a lot of fun.

After Winter Dark: Aihrde A Fantasy Campaign Setting

After Winter Dark: Aihrde A Fantasy Campaign Setting


How do I love thee Castles & Crusades? Let me count the ways. Wait, that will take too long. Instead I'll just back this new book!

I mean this just looks so cool, and I have been dying to do something that I have been calling "endless Winter" in my mind.  Maybe this is it? 

Escape from Undergarden - RPG Adventure for 5e D&D

Escape from Undergarden - RPG Adventure for 5e D&D


Another adventure and it looks like a lot of fun. I will admit a certain level of dissatisfaction with some of the D&D 5 adventures of late. This one looks like it could turn that trend around.  Of course I would run it under Castles & Crusades now.

Feathertail Falls

Feathertail Falls


Ok now this one looks like a lot of fun.  From the creator:

This adventure collection is a mouse-fantasy tabletop role playing game that builds on the free Mausritter rules, a deceptively simple system perfectly suited for mouse-sized expeditions. The collection’s adventurous yet melancholy tone is inspired by Over the Garden Wall, Hilda and Studio Ghibli’s Arrietty, as well as the art of Júlia Sardà.

The adventures take place in Feathertail Forest, a place little mice pups may know from bedtime stories, about mice that dream to fly. When you start to explore it, you will find that the unwelcoming forest has been petrified in time. It is up to you to decide if and how to reawaken it, and how to deal with the consequences as you discover more of the forest's secrets.

This would be great for the right group!


So much great stuff and so little time and money.