Showing posts with label Legacy DnD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Legacy DnD. Show all posts

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Kids Are Alright

With my wife down from her surgery I have been left to do all the things she does, take care of her and still find the time to squeeze in "my" stuff.
One thing though (of many) that has taken a hit is my game time.

I have no idea really if I'll get back to my Pathfinder game; things are just too crazy on the weekends and my regular game with my kids has been hurting.

My son though REALLY wanted to play.  I couldn't so he sat down on his own and wrote an adventure involving finding a lost King and defeating the monster that took him.  It was simple really but he hit it with enthusiasm.  Remember, all those things we in the older guard consider cliche or even passe are still new to someone.
He then proceeded to grab my books, roll up some characters (it was a 1st level adventure) and play with his brother and a friend.  They were in my kitchen while I worked so I got to hear it all and answer

They spent some time looking for equipment, managing their funds and complaining about the high cost of cross-bow arrows in this land.  They heard rumors, interacted with townsfolk and then went on their quest.

They were attacked by goblins, but found clues that lead them to a treasure trove, the King and a green dragon holding him hostage.  The dragon was a youngling and not very skilled.  The fighter and the thief nearly bought it a couple of times, but they had some help from their retainers.
The king was returned safe, the gold from the treasure returned to the merchants' families and the King gave them all a reward for bravery and honor.

Not bad for a few hours of play.  And certainly not bad for their age range (8 to 11).

So when people are worried about whether kids have the interest in D&D anymore, I have to think of "The Forrest Quest".

Now good readers.  Can you also ID what version of the D&D game they were all playing?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

OSRIC Player's Reference - RETRACTION

EDITED TO ADD:  Looks like editor/creator of this project did not know the art was not PD and has taken down the copies.  I guess the lesson here is unless you know for sure, err on the side of caution.

So this morning I posted my endorsement of the new OSRIC Players Reference.

Only after did I learn of the drama behind it (which I am not getting into here, but you can read about it on your own here, here and here).

What really struck me was the cover art.
How cool it was and much better it was than anything else produced by the OSR (yes, present company included).  Soon I discovered why.  I wasn't produced by the OSR at all, but an old AD&D 2nd ed cover.
http://www.tsrinfo.net/archive/dl/dl-lairs.htm
http://www.acaeum.com/ddindexes/museum/dlbooklairs.html

Well the painting is by Bruce Eagle and was owned at one point by Pat Wilshire.
The interior cover of the OPG book claims that the cover is public domain.  That, and the fact that cover is very pixilated made me curious.  So I contacted Pat Wilshire.

Turns out that the art is definitely not in the Public Domain at all. Pat is still friends with Bruce and contacted him about it.  It looks every bit like this art was stolen for use of this book.

This is exactly why companies pay for art. They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but on the net that is often all we have and this cover looked awesome, so I got the book.  Turns out the Editior, Vincent Florio didn't even pay to use this cover.

The more digging I did the less I like this product.  All of it is copied right out of OSRIC.  Which in and of itself is not a huge deal.  But it is tacky.

Here are the pages that detail it.  Click to enlarge.


The page on the left is the OSRIC Players Reference. The right is OSRIC (2.2) version.
The page has been copied with the new information added in, in a different font no less.

The thing that sticks out of course is the "Cover/Back artwork is Public Domain".
Well not according to the owner of the art in question.

I wanted to like this product.  But I can not in good conscious recommend it.

Please instead download OSRIC proper and just use the pages you need.

Next time I'll put a little more research into a product before letting you all know.

OSRIC Player's Reference

EDITED TO ADD: Please read an update here, http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2011/09/osric-players-guide-retraction.html

Original Post:

The new OSRIC Player's Guide (don't call it a Handbook) is out now for a price that can't be beat.
It's free!

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=95152&affiliate_id=10748

If you are looking to get started in OSRIC then this is a good place to start.
If you want to learn the basics and the thought of picking up the massive OSRIC tome is too much, then this is also a good place to start.

While there is nothing really new here (nor should there be) the cover art is fantastic.

Edited: Seems the cover art is copied from this book.
http://www.tsrinfo.net/archive/dl/dl-lairs.htm

Not sure what the deal is there.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Heartbreaker your time has come, can't take your evil way

I have talked before about the Fantasy Heartbreaker.
Fantasy games that attempt to "improve on" D&D but in the end break your heart.

Here is the Ron Edwards/The Forge standard definition. (circa 2002-3)
characterized by (1) the basic, imaginative content is "fantasy" using gaming, specifically D&D, as the inspirational text; (2) independently published as a labor of love, essentially competing directly with D&D in the marketplace; (3) the rules are similar to the majority of pre-1990s RPGs.
And some links:
Fantasy Heartbreakers
More Fantasy Heartbreakers

reviewed a couple in the past and made a number of posts about one of my favorite ones, Quests of the Ancients.

I was going through my stacks of books (and PDFs) to figure what I had and what I should look to buy at the most recent Gen Con and came on a bunch of what could be called Fantasy Heartbreakers.

I have no idea why these games fascinate me so much.
I *could* claim it is an academic interest that the design of these game reflects either the personal psychic of the designer or the inherent zeitgeist of the times.  But in truth, I don't care enough about the first and the later can be better observed in better more popular games. (Thesis topic: Is the change from oWoD to nWod a direct reflection of the post 9/11 world or merely an attempt to make more money? Another post perhaps.)

I *could* claim that each one is a fascinating game evolutionary cul-de-sac, but that is often giving them too much credit.

I think I like them because each one is insight to someone else's process of writing a game.  A flawed process from a flawed premise.  The flawed premise is "I can make a better D&D than D&D" rather than "I can make a better FPRG than D&D".  I say it is flawed because D&D is the best D&D there is.  There are great FRPGs that are not D&D and they do a wonderful job.But the FHB does not try to be a fantasy game, it tries to be D&D.

There is one thing I always find interesting in FHB's, their "Appendix N" or list of books to read.
Sometimes, rare times, there are good tidbits here.  Most of the time it is a bunch of pretentious posturing of "ooo look what I have read! You read it now to or you are stupid!"
I get putting in Lovecraft (if you have actually read his stuff and not just the bits with Cthulhu), Howard and Poe.  But "Walden", really???  How is transcendental thought going to help me in my game of mass murder and theft (killing things and taking their stuff).  I am going to put list John Dewey (a major figure in my academic life) in one of my books one day JUST so someone will call me on my shit.
Seriously.  The one-up-manship in these is crazy sometimes. In others I am convinced they never actually read the books they mention since the bulk of their game so antithetical to the writings of the author they listed.

But I digress...

Before I go on too much more let's get to today's post.

What are your favorite (or least favorite) Fantasy Heartbreakers?

and

What is the state or role of the FHB in this post OGL, retro-cloned world?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Spellcraft & Swordplay on DriveThruRPG

My friend Jason Vey has put up his stellar game Spellcraft & Swordplay on DrivethruRPG.

Spellcraft & Swordplay is not a retro-clone.  It is old-school to be sure.
Jason likes to call it a "retro game", I like to think of it more of an alternate reality, divergent evolution sort of game.  It is if OD&D continued on it's path without the "alternate combat system", you know the one where you roll a d20.

Spellcraft & Swordplay only needs two d6s. So you have almost everything you need when you download it and I am sure most people have d6s at home.

I prefer S&S over Swords and Wizardry because I feel S&S captures the feel of OD&D better than SW does. SW has a number of 3rd ed/d20 influences that have filtered in.  Not there is a problem with that, it is still a very fine game.  It I just like S&S more.  Of course I vastly prefer it to LotFP in terms of pure fun and use.

So please.  Go to DriveThruRPG and get yourself a copy of this game.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Quintessential D&D (Half-baked ideas)

So building off of my "Half-Baked Adventure" a couple of days of ago I have decided that I want to choose good dungeon crawl 1-shots from each system.

So here is what I have at the moment.

Basic:
AD&D 1st Ed:
AD&D 2nd Ed:
AD&D 3rd Ed:
D&D 4th Ed:

Not much.
Basic might be the easiest.  B1 In Search of the Unknown is my go to adventure of choice and totally sandbox.  I can fit it to anything really. Plus it is simple enough to get through in a session or two.
AD&D 1 I am aiming at 4-7 level ranges, so that is not so bad either.  Ghost Tower of Inverness might be good.
AD&D 2 would be above "name level", so above 10th level to 14th or so.  Something from the Forgotten Realms might be good.
D&D3 would need to be above that but not yet 20th.  The 3.5 update to Tomb of Horrors fits here.
D&D4 would be above 20th level. The 4e update to Tomb would also work here.

Using the updates might sound cheesy, but I want it to be an epic adventure and I want it to tour the history of the game.

Still planning!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Half Baked Adventure idea

So while driving home from Gen Con I had this idea about running a multi-adventure mini series using all editions of D&D.  The plot hook is that the Great Librarian has died and the walls between realities have weakened (which one causes which? have to play to find out!) the character need to collect the Three Great Books and return them to Library or all reality is lost!

Part 1 where the characters are summoned and tested would be played using Basic/Original D&D.
Part 2 where the characters find the first Great Book would be played using AD&D 1st ed.
Part 3 the characters must seek out the second Great Book and would be run using AD&D 2nd ed.
Part 4 a new threat is found, but the characters also gain the support of a mysterious cabal of Wizards located in their rain soaked tower on the Coast.  They must find the third great Book and is played with D&D 3rd ed.
Part 5 the characters, now powerful indeed must return the books to the Library, but the dangers would be great.  This would be played with D&D 4th ed.

I would like to use the basic archetypes for this, a cleric, a thief (maybe a halfling here), a fighter, a wizard and an elf fighter/magic-user and feature something that highlights the benefits of each rule-set.

Could be great fun for a Gen Con based game where everyone plays every night.  Maybe even with the right crowd each person could rotate GM duties and pass their characters around.

Like I said.  Only a half-baked thought at the moment.

EDITED TO ADD: My son says that in each part the characters need to fight one of the five chromatic dragons.  So a white first and ending with a huge, ancient red.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mini D&D books

Yesterday some of you asked me about the mini-D&D books I had on my shelves.  They are really cool and I picked them about 10-12 years ago (it was before my kids were born I know that).

They were made by WotC and some Italian game company.
The info I have, from the box, is 21st Century Games, S.r.l. and they are located in Italy.  I cna't find anything about them. Every so often you see them on Ebay and generally not too expensive.

They are small and really hard to read, but I really like them.


The three boxed sets  I own.  There was a Dragonlance one and a Realms one, but I did not get those.  I think my FLGS still has the Realms one.



It is blury, but you can see the sets are complete, minus dice and the "Gateway to Adventure" catalog.


For an idea of scale here are my two Expert Sets.


And the expert books.


Even the backs are detailed.  Even though they were made by (or at least for) WotC, all the info is TSR.


The Greyhawk boxed set is the coolest since the maps are portable.


Here are the books I got.  I have heard there were more, but I have never been able to confirm that.


Compared to their "big brothers".

Anyone else have these?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My collection is now complete!

So what is this I got in the mail today?  A box? Addressed to me?



What could be inside? Let's open it up!


It's an Original Edition Dungeons and Dragons!
What's inside that box?


All the LBBs and supplements.  I already had an Eldritch Wizardry, but this one is much better shape.  Actually all the books are in good shape.  Well the Blackmoor book has some black tape on it, but the LBBs are all in fantastic shape.


I even have the reference sheets.


Looks pretty good with my set of old-school Basic books.


and next to my favorite Original D&D "clone"


and on my shelf!

I am told this is the "5.5" edition.  6th Edition/Printing books in a 5th Edition box.  I am not sure about the other books, but I am not collecting this as a "purist" I have always wanted a copy of this.

I have the PDFs, one of the first set of PDFs I bought when WotC had them fore sale, but holding these books is a really a different thing all together.

Original D&D has the distinction of the only version of D&D I only played once.  Even then it was 1987 and I am sure my point of view was skewed from years of AD&D.  That all being said, OD&D is one of those games that time and experience has only improved to me.  The game is not for beginners really, which is kind of funny.  Reading it gives me better appreciation for the Basic sets of Holmes and Moldvay.

I am not sure if I'll ever play it.  Maybe one day when the kids are older I might pull it out.  I can run the old Wee Warriors Palace of the Vampire Queen "kit" with it.

I can't help but think who was the first owner of this game and where he got it.  I bought it from a private collector who was not the original owner.

So now my collection is complete.  Till I find something else I need to obsess about!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

AD&D1 in Dragon #400

Just was reading through some of the new articles that will be in Dragon #400.  Current WotC employees are talking about their favorite Dragon moments.  Mike Mearls brings back Roger Moore's Jester and keeps it as 1st Edition AD&D.   Odd seeing a 1st ed character in 4e trade dress.

Anyway here it is, but you need to be a subscriber.
http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/dra/400jester#74712

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekend Recap

Had our first Northlands game group on Saturday.  It was fun. We are playing Pathfinder and have a good group. I am looking forward to more.  The world we are in is one the GM has made, so there are some familiar names mixed in with some that are not, so I am looking forward to seeing how this all works out.

Speaking of Pathfinder. I went to one of the closing Borders books here in the Chicago area and picked up a new Pathfinder core book for my kids to have. It was 30% off.

Mike Mearls has a new column up on WotC's D&D page called "Legends and Lore" which is designed to talk about D&D and it's past, present and future.
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20110208
Of course, as expected the OSR glitterati have weighed in, most with predictable comments.
http://grognardia.blogspot.com/2011/02/legends-and-lore.html
http://platinumwarlock.blogspot.com/2011/02/in-which-warlock-has-bone-to-pick.html
http://akraticwizardry.blogspot.com/2011/02/mike-mearls-plea-for-unity.html
http://moldyvale.blogspot.com/2011/02/mike-mearls-whines-for-solidarity.html
http://wondrousimaginings.blogspot.com/2011/02/oh-yeah-mearles-then-put-your-money.html
http://batintheattic.blogspot.com/2011/02/wizards-needs-to-take-leadership.html

I am one of those people that sees more similarities in the games than I do differences, so Mearls' post, while written toward me is not actually directed at me if you know what I mean.  Nor is it really directed at the OSR (which is frankly  too small to be a concern).  While most of the reaction is the same knee-jerk stuff I'd expect, there is a point that nearly everyone makes that I think is worth WotC's time to look in to.  Bringing back older edition in PDF form.  Yes the cynic in me says why should they bother to sell rules to people who already own them, the deeper cynic in me knows that people will buy them anyway (I have) and make money for WotC.
I think a perfect world in WotC's eyes would be that people play what they want, but still buy a DDi subscription.

Gonna be a busy week.  Posting might be light.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Playing D&D with Kids, Part 3 New Old or Old New?

So I am going to chat with my regular DM this weekend (the start of our new Northlands game) and he has run tons of games for kids.

But I wanted to catch the opinion/pulse of all of you.

What "D&D" should I play?

I kinda want to run old Moldvay/Cook Basic/Expert to be honest.  I'd make the characters, and do a old timey dungeon crawl.  But truthfully other than my want there is no reason why is has to be B/X.

Should I run it as a newer Retro-Clone (something the kids can go buy)?  As D&D 4 (something they could buy and I know is fun for kids)? Or keep it as B/X?

Basic Fantasy is my current favorite retro-clone, but Labyrinth Lord runs a very close second.
Spellcraft and Swordplay is also a huge fave of mine for Original D&D feel, but I think for this I want to go with something in the Basic realm (which is why I am also not opting for OSRIC).

Thoughts?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Playing D&D with Kids Follow-up and Question

This is directed specifically to the parents of D&D playing kids.

What do you all think of a classic-style Dungeon Crawl that features a lot of undead, wolves and a big bad vampire to kill at the very end?

What would this be age-appropriate for?

My boys (ages 11 and 7) know all about zombies, vampires and werewolves and they know that if they defeat them then they will get their characters instead.

They are cool with it.  Have you ever run these horror tropes with young kids?

Playing D&D with Kids

There have been a lot of posts in the blogs and on the net about playing D&D with younger kids.

From WotC: http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4tut/kids2#73004
and this classic article, http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4news/april2010

Of course there is my kids' group, The DragonSlayers.

Well I am thinking about running some games at Gen Con for kids this year.

I am also thinking of using the Moldvay/Cook versions of Basic and Expert for it as well.    Nothing is set in stone yet, I am going to chat about it over the weekend with my regular group.  But this might be a chance a debut my long delayed "Return to the Cavern of the Vampire Queen" old school dungeon crawl.

At the moment to make it really old school I need to include more treasure.  There is not really enough of that.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Druthers for Basic era FRPGs

Trying out some more Basic monsters. These are conversions of some d20 ones I have done in the past. Depending on which Basic game/retro-clone you use I have listed Armor Class as both descending (start at 9 and go down) and ascending (start at 10 and go up).

Here is one of my faves, the Druther.
You can also find this guy in my book, The Witch.

Druther
AC: 2 [17]
Hit Dice: 9d8* (40 hp)
No. of Attacks: 2 Limbs (fists or constructed weapons)
Damage: 2d6 / 2d6
Special: Immune to piercing, water and cold-based attacks. Double damage from fire based attacks.
Movement:: 20 ft.
No. Appearing: 1 (1-3 in lair)
Saves: Fighter 9
Morale: 12
Treasure: None
Alignment:: Neutral
XP: 1,200

A Druther is a type of wood golem that can only be created by a witch. The name comes from an old piece of doggerel often muttered by witches,

“If I really had my druthers,
I’d have my wooden druthers too.”

A “Wooden Druther” is a corrupt form of “wouldn’t I’d rathers”, or something the witch doesn’t want. So the Wooden Druther performs tasks that the witch would rather not do herself.

The druther can understand simple command phrases of about 15 words each. Typically druthers are used for menial labor or to perform a task that the witch can not do or won’t do herself, like killing or scaring an enemy. Often a witch will have a few druthers protecting her home while disguised as trees (Wisdom check at -2 to notice).

A druther cannot communicate at all. Some witches have used woody reeds in the construction of their druthers. When the wind blows across the druther it sounds like a deep bassoon.
Druthers can appear in any form. Usually they are biped and always made of wood. The wood can be carved or a collection of sticks tied together. The appendages need to be attached separately if the druther is to move at all. They can be precisely carved to appear as anything the witch wants, but they typically look like walking bunches of sticks. Legend has it that there was a witch that had such beautifully carved druthers that they were often mistaken for wood nymphs.

Treants, dryads, and wood nymphs view a druther in the same manner a human views the undead or a flesh golem. Most will attempt to destroy them when they can. Some witches and wizards value the wood from an inanimate druther to use to make magical fires.

A druther is mindless in combat. It strikes with its wood fists with almost no regard to what else is going on.
As a construct a Druther is immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, disease, and similar effects. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.

Arrows or other piercing items, such as spears or thrust daggers, only do 1 point of damage per hit. Water based attacks have no effect on the druther whatsoever. Fire based attacks always do double damage. Cold based attacks do no damage.


Section 15 Copyright Notice

Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

System Reference Document Copyright 2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Liber Mysterium: The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks is Copyright© 2003, Timothy S. Brannan and the Netbook of Witches Team.

Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game Copyright © 2006-2008. Chris Gonnerman.

Labyrinth LordTM. Copyright © 2007, Daniel Proctor. Author Daniel Proctor.

"Druthers for Basic era FRPGs" Copyright ©2011, Timothy S. Brannan

Art is Copyright ©2001 Daniel Brannan and used here by permission.  Art is not open content.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Is 2nd Ed the next wave of OSR?

I posted a couple days back on the growing 2nd Ed AD&D love I have been seeing on the net and in the blogs. Not a lot of it mind you, more like a few vocal people in a crowd still going on about how the LBBs are the "best thang evar!"  (Ok for the record NO one has ever actually said that, that way.)

But the OSR movement has slowed down to stead pace now and we are not getting Yet Another OD&D Clone this month and I think people are giving 2nd Ed another look.

I have mentioned in that past that 2nd Ed is the game I ran the most but hardly ever played.  I was very much a DM only with that game.  In fact I was one of the early adopters of the game, buying it on the day it came out and not even taking any of my 1st Ed books with me back to college.  But sometime in the late 90's that (and I) changed.  When 2nd Ed came out I was a single college kid, living in the dorms and surviving on the the money I made tutoring others in math and physics. When 3rd Ed came out I was married, living in a house with a brand new baby and just laid off my teaching job because the grant funding at the university dried up.   I was two completely different people.    In the middle I nearly gave up on D&D all together and even sold off 80% of my collection in favor of games like "WitchCraft RPG" and "Vampire" and other horror games.  All that I have left now for 2nd ed is the three cores, the Celts guide and some Ravenloft stuff.  Though the PHB and DMG are my originals and I got them the day they were rel

Why is any of that important?  It's important because it has permanently colored how I view AD&D 2nd Ed. for years.  I did remember the joy of the getting the latest Monstrous Compendium supplement, I only recalled the dreck of the Skills and Powers books.

But as time goes on and I wax on about earlier systems it is only natural that eventually my rose colored glasses gaze on 2nd Ed. Others seem to be doing the same.

2nd Ed as a retro-clone though has some issues it must deal with first.
- First, 2nd Ed is mechanically not all that different from 1st Ed.  One could in theory play a "2nd Ed Game" with nothing more than OSRIC.  One of the big selling points behind 2nd Ed was it re-organized the material from earlier editions.  It is in a sense the first Retro-clone.
- What made 2nd Ed special to many were the campaign worlds, and those don't fall under the OGL at all.  Plus most of the OSR folks seem to prefer sandbox worlds so anything created by them would naturally fit into any other world.
- The Proficiency system of 2nd Ed is needlessly complicated.  Note I am not saying it is complicated itself, it's not, but it is more complicated than it needs to be for a game.  3rd Ed's Skill system is superior in nearly every respect, and 4th Ed's is better still.  Reverse engineering it would not be difficult (premise, not every skill is worth the same amount) but I'd have to ask why?

The monster's in 2nd Ed were a nice improvement over 1st ed. I like the one monster per page format, something that 3rd ed dropped but 4th ed picked back up.

Personally I think it is only a matter of time before someone does a full on 2nd Ed clone.  I know there are some in development now.   I know of and have looked at the beta of Adventures Dark and Deep, a sort of "what-if game", as in what if Gygax had developed AD&D 2nd ED the way he had planned.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gypsy Elves for Basic Era Games

Another in my series of posts for Basic era (late 70's to early 80's) games.
This one expands on my sub-race of elves known as Gypsy Elves.

The Gypsy Elf

"Thousands of years ago the elves were a unified race.  The elven people stood strong and diverse.
Then the War came and the Elves were Sundered. The elves were divided by the war.
But some chose not to fight, some took in their brothers and sisters from all sides.
These elves were cursed by the Great God of the Elves to wander the lands till the day when all elves stood as one people again.  The other elves took pity on them, calling them, in their own tongues The Wanderers.  But not the Wanderers themselves.  They knew a powerful secret.

They knew they were Free."

- From the Songs of the Ranagwithe

The Witches Beck by Nichole Marie Grubb
by Nichole Grubb
The Gypsy Elf, or as the call themselves "The Free Elves" (Ranagwithe in their own language) , wander the world, in and out of the land of faerie, searching for their lost home.  They will find it only on the day when all the elves are reunited as a race.  Until then they wander.

Like their human counterparts, Gypsy Elves travel all over the known world. However, unlike the Human Gypsies, Gypsy Elves are much more gregarious and less xenophobic. The origins of the Gypsy Elves date back to what has become to be known as the Sundering of the Elves. When the Dark elves broke free from the light elves they split into several races.

There were elves that remained outside of the conflict. One group was a band of light elves that protected both the dark and light elves from each other. When the gods split the elves apart, the gypsy elves were left without a home to call their own. Since they never harmed another elf before they were not forced into the dark underground. Ever since then the Gypsy Elves have wandered from place to place looking for a home. While Gypsy elves tend to be neutral to all other races, they are always treated as “good” to other elves. There are several universal elven customs that apply only to Gypsy Elves.

  1. No Gypsy Elf may harm another Elf. Even Dark and Light elves.
  2. No other elf, Dark or Light, may harm a Gypsy Elf.
  3. No Elven community may refuse lodging to a band of Gypsy Elves. The Gypsy then must agree to be on their way soon after.
At any point in time other elven species may be found in a group of Gypsy Elves, as they may freely travel as long as they abide by the Gypsy Elves rules and lifestyle. These “Free Wanderers” can make up to 10% of the tribe’s population.

As long as the other elves do not fight amongst themselves or the other Gypsy Elves they may remain with the tribe as long as they like. Also any Gypsy Elf is invited to remain in any Elf community, but few rarely do.

Gypsy Elves are on friendly terms with humans. They find Human Gypsies to be too xenophobic for their tastes, but they will travel with them for mutual benefit.

Gypsy Elves, like their Elf cousins, produce fine art, in particular music and dance. Many have excelled in woodcarving and sell these pieces of art in communities they pass through. What these elves cannot make, they buy. In this respect they are very good terms with humans.

Gypsy Elves are careful never to take more from the land or their hosts then they absolutely need. It has been said that there will be no evidence of a gypsy elf camp 24 hours after they leave.

Gypsy Elf  (Ranagwithe)
Armor Class: 6
Hit dice: 1*
Move: 120' (40')
 - Caravan: 90' (30')
Attacks: 1 Weapon
Damage: By Weapon
No. Appearing: 2-8 (2d4) / 5-40 (5d8)
Save As: Elf 1
Morale: 12 or see below
Treasure: Same as Elf
Intelligence: 12
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 5

Monster Type:  Demihuman (race)
Gypsy Elves are typically found traveling in caravans across the world.  Any given caravan will have 5 to 40 members with an a advance scouting troop of 2 to 8 members.  Each caravan has a "Caravan Master" who will be a 5th level or greater elf and a "leader", typically an Elf Seeress (known as a "Kuruni") of 6th level or higher.  Most gypsy elves will be armed with a short sword (75%) or a cross-bow (25%).  All will have daggers as well.

There will also be a variety of random faerie creature travelling with the gypsy elves.  These creatures do not fight if the caravan is attacked, but will flee.

Each Gypsy Elf will know a 1st level elf spell, the Kuruni will know spells as a 6th level elf.  The Caravan Master and the Kuruni will typically have magic items appropriate for a fighter and a wizard respectively of their level.

Moral will be 12 unless their Caravan Master or Kuruni is dead, then it will be 9. If both are killed it will drop to 6.

Like elves, gypsy elves are immune to the touch of a ghoul.


Section 15 Copyright Notice

Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

System Reference Document Copyright 2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Liber Mysterium: The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks is Copyright© 2003, Timothy S. Brannan and the Netbook of Witches Team.

Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game Copyright © 2006-2008. Chris Gonnerman.

Labyrinth LordTM. Copyright © 2007, Daniel Proctor. Author Daniel Proctor.

"Gypsy Elve for Basic era FRPGs" Copyright ©2010, Timothy S. Brannan

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jim Ward is ill

To many of us old enough to remember the old guard one name always stood out to me; Drawmij.   Drawmij was a one of the many characters of Gary's home game that became immortalized in the pages of Greyhawk.

The real Drawmij, Jim Ward is not doing as well.

According to this post, and many others in the blog realms, he is ill and the hospital bills (as they do) are rising.
There are a lot of things that you can do to help, the Dragon'sfoot page details some of them, but another would be to buy something from his DriveThruRPG store.  
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=2191&affiliate_id=10748

You can read more here:
http://poleandrope.blogspot.com/2010/11/please-help-jim-ward.html
http://greyhawkgrognard.blogspot.com/2010/11/jim-ward-needs-our-help.html
http://batintheattic.blogspot.com/2010/11/warden-is-declearing-medical-emergency.html

and some more recent updates:
http://poleandrope.blogspot.com/2010/11/update-regarding-jim-ward.html
http://blackmoormystara.blogspot.com/2010/11/james-ward-on-way-to-recovery.html

Jim gave us Metamorphosis Alpha, which in turn gave us Gamma World and even recently spoke to WotC about it all.

Here is hoping that Jim gets better soon.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Games Plus Auction Haul, part 2: Back to Basics

So I went back for a another round at Games Plus last night and I am SOOO glad I did.

Here is my second, but smaller haul.


So FINALLY a Mentzer boxed Basic set, complete with both books (in mint shape) and dice, still in the bag with a crayon.  Second Ed Vampire the Masquerade (that I got for 1 buck), and the "new" D&D Basic game; which if it came out today would send people into paroxysms of bitching about how it was too much like a board game (it comes with paper figures and poster map dungeon).  I got it for 2 bucks.

Now I think my Basics Sets are complete.


All are in pretty good shape too.

Of course I have to do this:


Here is part of my collection now.


My D&D "Core" collection all together.  Yeah I have 2 Holmes set, one is in sorta sad condition though. And yes D&D4 is on the next shelf over.

I have a lot of gaming to do!