Posts tagged ‘old school’

February 10, 2018

The Nameless Grimoire

is finally available in print!

The Nameless Grimoire is a supplement for The Nightmares Underneath (and other old school fantasy role-playing games) that covers all things magical, including:

  • 9 new character types: Avatar, Battle Wizard, Blood Caster, Chaos Mage, Druid, Mystic, Shadowsneak, Spellslinger, and Witch.
  • A new random equipment table for wizards and spellcasting characters.
  • More example magic items.
  • Rules for divine patrons and six example patrons covering all 5 alignments: Asklepios the Healer, the Crawling Chaos, the Dreamer in the Deep, Mog-Mnogoth the Opener of Ways, Sacred Geometry, and Yuhannah the Revealer.
  • 666 spells and dozens of variations, arranged in 33 spell schools (with simple guidelines for specialist caster), as well as a single d1000 table.
  • A short bestiary of new monsters mentioned in the spells, including demons, elementals, golems, and several types of supernatural reptiles.
  • Random spell name tables and random wizard name tables.
  • Cover by George Cotronis, and additional interior art by Nate Marcel.

The Nameless Grimoire includes all the spellcasting rules from The Nightmares Underneath core rulebook, so you can use these rules with other games. Though this book is written for The Nightmares Underneath, you don’t need to be playing that game to use them.

The pdf is Digest sized pages, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, while the print version is US Trade sized, 6 x 9 inches.

SEE A 47-PAGE PREVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE.

Softcovers and hardcovers with white pages, and the pdf version, are all available at DriveThruRPG.

At Lulu, you can find softcovers with cream-coloured pages and dustjacket hardcovers, also with cream-coloured pages.

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November 28, 2017

Dungeon Full of Monsters

Dungeon Full of Monsters is a modular megadungeon for use with Labyrinth Lord and other old school fantasy role-playing games.

The Dungeon is Modular
The megadungeon is composed of 50 individual sections, separated into 5 different levels. You can assemble these in any configuration you like, either randomly or not, either before the campaign or on-the-fly in play. You can also use these sectiosn on their own, without reference to the larger dungeon itself.

And Full of Monsters
The second half of the book contains dozens of monsters, illustrated in full colour, often with multiple variations and types. Combined with the unique monsters located in specific dungeon sections, this book contains over 150 different monster stat blocks. There are criminal organizations, insane cultists, meddling deities, evil wizards, undead kings, infernal demons and other invaders from beyond the stars, numerous unspeakable horrors and arcane beasts, and even a few rival adventurers. Use these monsters with this dungeon or any other.

Specific conversion guidelines for The Nightmares Underneath are also provided.

Dungeon Full of Monsters was written by Johnstone Metzger and illustrated by Nathan Jones.

The digital pdf is Letter sized 5.5 by 8.5 inches, 352 pages, and also comes with a file containing only the dungeon maps, and a file containing only the monster illustrations. The print version is US Trade sized 6 x 9 inches, 352 pages, and is available in both softcover and hardcover.

Buy it at DriveThruRPG.

January 19, 2017

City of Poison: A Free Adventure for The Nightmares Underneath

city_of_print_picIn the city of Neth, the painter Bashir al-Barati has not been seen for several days. His house is said to be haunted, as is the abandoned market that lies beneath it. Will a party of brave adventurers destroy the nightmare incursions before they spread further, or will the city fall to corruption?

City of Poison is a free adventure for The Nightmares Underneath. It contains two Level 1 lairs and one Level 2 lair, a dozen new monsters, a couple of new spells, and illustrations by Nate Marcel.

Download the pdf at DriveThruRPG for free (or pay what you want). A print version is available from Lulu, as a US Trade sized staple-bound booklet.

November 14, 2016

The Nightmares Underneath RPG

tnu_full_coverThe Nightmares Underneath is an old school role-playing game with a strong horror theme, set in a fantasy Middle East where dungeons are invading nightmares intent on the destruction of civilization. In the Kingdoms of Dreams, all is right with the world—except for one thing. Even though the Law has triumphed over the powers of Chaos, banishing idolatry and superstition in favour of science and reason, humanity is still threatened by a dangerous, otherworldly force. The Realm of Nightmares invades the physical world, sending incursions in the form of dungeon to undermine and destroy society.

The justification for dungeoncrawling in this setting is that adventurers are raiding nightmare incursions, to find the treasure that keeps an incursion anchored to the physical world. Once the treasure is looted, the incursion is destroyed, and the adventurers profit. Individual creatures made of nightmares can be killed, but as long as the incursion exists, it will continue to spawn more. This is reflected by a countdown die, used in addition to encounter checks for wandering monsters.

Basically, I wrote this game in order to incorporate all my favourite house rules into old school D&D, in a setting where I could run any kind of dungeon I wanted to, and incorporate as many horror elements as I like to. Which is usually a lot.

The free version includes the complete text of the game, without the art. The full version of the game, including several different print options, will be available soon.

nu-1Stuff that you might find interesting:

  • Settlement rules including downtime lifestyle, inflation, social institutions you can invest money in, and communities growing to resent adventurers and their crimin’ ways, and even perhaps running them out of town.
  • Hit Points are re-rolled every day, and after resting, and injuries only occur after they run out and your attribute scores start to be reduced.
  • Nightmare curses that afflict characters after they have awful experiences in the dungeon: madness, supernatural restrictions, and even physical changes.
  • Wizards are better at spells, but almost anyone can cast any spell in the book, if they dare.

Purchasing The Nightmares Underneath

The Nightmares Underneath is available at DriveThruRPG for US$15 in pdf, $25 in softcover print and pdf, or $30 in casebound hardcover print and pdf. Both print versions are US Trade sized (6 x 9 inches) and perfect bound, with white pages.
Link to The Nightmares Underneath at DriveThruRPG.

nu-4Print versions of The Nightmares Underneath can also be purchased at Lulu, for $25 in softcover and $35 in hardcover. Both versions are trade sized (6 x 9 inches) and include cream-coloured pages instead of white pages. The Lulu hardcover version includes a black linen cover with a matte finish dustjacket and sewn binding that lies flat (or rather “faux-sewn,” as it’s glue-bound but still flexible, to mimic a sewn binding), making it probably the most attractive and useful print version of all.
Link to Lulu SOFTCOVER.
Link to Lulu DUSTJACKET HARDCOVER.

The free version of the pdf contains the full text of the game without the art.

November 3, 2016

The Nightmares Underneath Free Version

tnu_free_coverThe free version of The Nightmares Underneath is now available at DriveThruRPG.

The Nightmares Underneath is an old school role-playing game with a strong horror theme, set in a fantasy Middle East where dungeons are invading nightmares intent on the destruction of civilization. In the Kingdoms of Dreams, all is right with the world—except for one thing. Even though the Law has triumphed over the powers of Chaos, banishing idolatry and superstition in favour of science and reason, humanity is still threatened by a dangerous, otherworldly force. The Realm of Nightmares invades the physical world, sending incursions in the form of dungeon to undermine and destroy society.

The justification for dungeoncrawling in this setting is that adventurers are raiding nightmare incursions, to find the treasure that keeps an incursion anchored to the physical world. Once the treasure is looted, the incursion is destroyed, and the adventurers profit. Individual creatures made of nightmares can be killed, but as long as the incursion exists, it will continue to spawn more. This is reflected by a countdown die, used in addition to encounter checks for wandering monsters.

Basically, I wrote this game in order to incorporate all my favourite house rules into old school D&D, in a setting where I could run any kind of dungeon I wanted to, and incorporate as many horror elements as I like to. Which is usually a lot.

The free version includes the complete text of the game, without the art. The full version of the game, including several different print options, will be available soon.

Stuff that you might find interesting:

  • Settlement rules including downtime lifestyle, inflation, social institutions you can invest money in, and communities growing to resent adventurers and their crimin’ ways, and even perhaps running them out of town.
  • Hit Points are re-rolled every day, and after resting, and injuries only occur after they run out and your attribute scores start to be reduced.
  • Nightmare curses that afflict characters after they have awful experiences in the dungeon: madness, supernatural restrictions, and even physical changes.
  • Wizards are better at spells, but almost anyone can cast any spell in the book, if they dare.
October 10, 2014

The Caves in Print

The Caves of Moreau County is now available in print, click for details.

Bird Brain

September 29, 2014

The Caves of Moreau County

moreau_county_coverpic-1The Caves of Moreau County is an adventure module for Labyrinth Lord (i.e. B/X). The various sections of this dungeon are random and modular — there is no mandated way for them to fit together. You can generate the actual structure of the dungeon before you play, or do it during the game, partly in response to the players’ decisions.

The dungeon consists primarily of beastmen in caves with a few twists and buried secrets. It is a fairly dark adventure, written from the perspective of murderhobo PCs. It’s gritty, horror-saturated old school fantasy, in case that is or isn’t your bag. Or just check it out for yourself, since you can get it for free if you want to.

This module was created to be a proof-of-concept prototype, to see how well this format works, and what needs to be done to make it work better. As such, the text is released under a Creative Commons license and the PDF is offered here as Pay What You Want. Monetary support goes towards creating more role-playing game materials. If you enjoy this module, you might also consider purchasing some of my other books, if you haven’t already.

LINK BELOW

The Caves of Moreau County is available in PDF from DriveThruRPG.

And in print from Lulu (6×9, staple-bound, cream pages, B&W printing, US$10).

*

Some Design Notes:
Because this is a prototype made in preparation for a larger project (related to my Monthly Monsters project on Patreon), I don’t mind critiquing it or offering my thoughts on how it could be done better.

The sections in The Caves of Moreau County are fairly small, mostly limited to one room each. I think this would work better with larger sections, maybe small collections of rooms, or several rooms that comprise the lair of a particular monster, or a type of monsters. So, probably something more akin to a series of modular one-page dungeons, though many sections would be smaller than your typical OPD, I would think.

There’s only a few connections between rooms—the ritual room leads directly to the tomb of saints, for example—and only a few rooms lead back to rooms that are already on the map. I’d like to insert more connections of that sort, including secret passageways, and links between different dungeon levels.

In general, this is also a fairly small dungeon, with twenty rooms and only a few different types of monsters. More variance in the wandering monster tables would definitely be a plus.

October 28, 2013

RK3: The Third Verse

The Third VerseThe third installment in the River Knife series of adventure modules for Dungeon World and Labyrinth Lord is done. The Third Verse is a collection of four minidungeons inspired by Tony Dowler’s maps, joined together into one perilous meat grinder of a delve.

Buy the print version from Lulu for US$12. It is 72 pages, saddle-stitched, US Trade-sized, B&W on cream-coloured paper.

Buy the pdf from DriveThruRPG for US$5. It is digest-sized and includes an extra pdf with just the maps.

What is the Third Verse like?

Based on a series of old Red Box Vancouver adventures, this module includes:

  • An abandoned fire temple, complete with old traps and new inhabitants (like exploding ghouls).
  • The tomb of the Red Mummy, and ancient an powerful king, who had malevolent machines built all around his mausoleum.
  • Those machines, churning beneath the surface of the earth, tended by automatons, sending evil spirits against the people who live above, and allowing demons to venture forth into this world at will.
  • And finally, below everything, the shrine of an ancient, forgotten goddess, where the actual third verse, the solution that will cure this land of its ills, is located. But can you make it this far?

The Third Verse is not intended for low-level characters. Experienced dungeoneers only!

See an 11-page preview of The Third Verse here!

The text of this module is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

ALSO: I have a Patreon project for making monster manuals going on right now.

September 1, 2013

The First Six Months

Since I put Adventures on Dungeon Planet up for sale in March, the end of August marks the first six calendar months of me being a “professional” game design studio. These are my sales numbers so far (“print” includes bundled sales):

March
56 Dungeon Planet print
31 Dungeon Planet pdf

April
53 Dungeon Planet print
61 Dungeon Planet pdf

May
42 Dungeon Planet print
33 Dungeon Planet pdf

June
11 Dungeon Planet print
28 Dungeon Planet pdf

July
16 Dungeon Planet print
21 Dungeon Planet pdf
10 Lair print
44 Lair pdf

August
8 Dungeon Planet print
24 Dungeon Planet pdf
7 Knives print
23 Knives pdf
9 Lair print
27 Lair pdf

Analysis

– From selling games, I’m basically pulling in half of a minimum wage salary right now. The end of September will mark the end of a full year of what roughly amounts to a full-time job designing rpgs (not that I actually keep track of my hours).

– If you want to at least try to compare all this with the DW-related kickstarter projects, compressing these six months of Dungeon Planet into similar figures gets us 384 backers with a total raised of something like $6,500-7,500, depending on how much I would be gouging people for shipping. You can probably use this comparison as an argument in favour of Kickstarter as a marketing platform.

– My marketing strategy is pretty crap, not gonna lie. It currently consists of little more than g+, SG, and “continue releasing books.” That third one takes up a lot of my time, though. You’d think that given the low sales of RK1 Knives in the Dark, I’d give up on that series altogether, but no, I’m doing more. They’re quality, so hopefully they’ll pay off at some point.

January 17, 2012

And these arrived as well…

ACKS original art by Ryan Browning

Shown with eraser, highlighter, and one of Blair’s old digest-sized Planet Algol booklets for scale.