A few thoughts on OSR Clerics

I was thinking about clerics the other and how they’ve changed. No really. The modern cleric is there as a healbot. That’s their job. Keep ’em alive. However, in this gognard’s opinion, in the old days it was something else. Sure they could heal but that was a fringe benefit. The real reason that you wanted a cleric in your party was undead.
Let’s look at the class first. Clerics had armor just as good as fighter. Their weapons were meh. But they had the second best attack progression and hit points. And heck usually they didn’t did even start with a spell at 1st level. When to shambling hordes showed up, you pushed that cleric out front and yelled “Turn!” Why? Because old school undead were just freaking nasty and could screw up even a high level party. Let’s look at some undead. For this comparison, I’ll dig out my Little Brown Books, Basic, and 5E (cause that’s what all the cool kids are playing).
The big thing was Level Drain. A 3 HD Wraith drains a level. Spectres, Wights, and Vampires drained two levels. You didn’t get those levels back with an easy to find cleric spell. Nope. You sucked up it up and drove on. Adventured more to get those XP back. Generally, by going back to low level dungeons.
Let’s look at the Level 3 Wandering Monster Table. There it is 1 to 3 Wights. If your tanks were decked out with plate armor and shields, the wights would need a 15 to hit. Your Thief, they’d need about a 10 or so. You see where I’m going. Things would get ugly real fast. You push your 3rd level cleric out front and they’d need to roll a 9 or better on 2d6 to turn those wights. And that was your best chance at survival.
Now looking at 5E, the replacement for Level Drain is HP drain which at worst may take a couple of days to get over. That’s it. Dangerous but no where the consequences.
Am I saying one way is bad wrong fun? Nope. Just different.

The First Wednesday Rant: Give them your lunch money

When I originally started this blog, the idea was to do just content and put all the rants and every else on the other (now dead) blog. But since I’ve moved domains and consolidated, I figure what the heck. So the plan it to add in a weekly rant about whatever I happen to feel like ranting about. Don’t worry folks, I won’t completely loose my mind. So up first, there’s some folks that deserve your lunch money (in no particular order).

Maximum Mayhem Dungeons: Palace of the Dragon Princess: I’ve backed Dark Wizard’s other Kickstarters before. Yeah, I know I did miss a couple but each one has been cool and just right amount of crazy (sometimes bordering on gonzo). Now, $10 for a PDF may seem a little steep but their adventures have had a cool OSR vibe and their monster book, Monsters of Mayhem, is pretty darned awesome. Note to self, get a hard copy of this sometime.

Next up: There’s Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells. So if you’ve been to this old blog in the past, you know I like crazy stuff, I fell in love with this game’s predecessor, Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells. This going to be a fun and simple game. I’m so ready to go all crazy on it. For $15, you get the PDF and an “at cost” coupon for the soft cover.

And finally there’s Uncle Matt’s D&D Studio’s Patreon. Once again this is something that quickly ranted about before and it’s well worth ranting about again. First, Matt Finch is pretty darned cool guy. While I’ve only a few interactions with him online, each has been calm, cool, professional, entertaining, and educational. Yes, that sounds like I’m a gushing fanboy but there’s a couple things I may disagree on but that’s neither here nor there and not really worth going into or even worrying about. It’s nothing he did so don’t try to dig up dirt. It’s all me. Plus I would if there was one book that started my path to the OSR, I’d have to say that it’s Swords & Wizardry Core. After watching a few of the interviews and actual play episodes (Hey there’s OSR and 5E in the same world), I was hooked. It was enough for finally make a Patreon account.
Here’s the link to the Youtube Channel in case you want to see for yourself.
There go. Three folks who deserve your lunch money.

The Keeper of Souls

While some undead consume the souls of the fallen, the Keeper of Souls collects and tortures them. The Keeper of Souls appears as a dark robed figure with with ebony bones and fiendish glowing eyes. They are dangerous and deadly enemies and vanquishing one can be just the beginning of the fight.

Hit Dice: 7
Armor Class: 3[16]
Attacks: 2x Claws (1d8) on a successful hit the target must make a Saving Throw or be drained of 1d4 points of Constitution.
Saving Throw: 9
Special: Undead Traits; Any character killed by a Keeper of Souls cannot be raised by any means; Requires magic weapon to hit; Release The Souls! (See below).
Move: 12
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 10/1,400

Release The Souls: When a Keeper of Souls is “killed”, its hold on its collection of souls is broken and a hoard of mad undead are released. Roll 1d6 and consult below to see what arises:

1- 4d6 Skeletons
2- 1d6 Shadow
3- 1d4 Wraiths
4 1 Specter
5- Roll 1d4 twice on this chart.
6- Roll 1d4 thrice on this chart.

Good adventurers. You’re going to need it.

The Blink Tiger

Because I just got a new tiger miniature and wanted something special to do with it. And bonus stats for two systems.

Description: Blink Tigers appear as large normal tigers except some sages insist that they are really black with orange stripes.

Swords & Wizardry Stats:
AC: 7[12]; HD: 3; Attacks: 3-2x Claws 1d6 Each, Bite (1d8); Save: 14; Special: Teleport 30 feet, Blink (when struck with a melee or ranged attack the Blink Tiger can attempt a Saving Throw and avoid the damage); Move: 12; HDE/XP: 5/240.

Dungeon Crawl Classics Stats:
Init: +2; Attacks: Claw 2x +3, (d16 Action Die), 1d5 Damage + Bite 1x +3, (d20 Action Die), 1d8 Damage; AC: 12; HD: 3d8; MV: 30; Action Die: d20+d16+d16; Special: Teleport 30 feet; Blink: The Blink Tiger attempts a Reflex Save DC equal to the attack roll. If successful, the tiger avoids the damage; Saves: Fort: +3, Will: +0, Ref: +4

Ok so normally I would do separate stats blocks but hey, they are different enough to justify and make this little beastie fit better with its target game system.

Have fun with it.

The Sword of Champions

I was thinking about my first/original D&D campaign the other day and then remember this magic item that I did way back when. So I figured what they heck share it. And I realized that this fun (for me any way) little can be easily used no matter what flavor D&D you like.
So here you go.
The Sword of Champions appears and basically functions as a normal +2 Dancing Long Sword. But like any cool magic item, there’s a catch. If an opponent incapacitates the wielder then the Sword of Champions switches sides. Because if somebody beats you then you ain’t the Champion. If the wielder is killed then that character cannot be raised because the Sword of Champions consumes his life force. The Sword creates a pool of Hit Points equal to the dead wielder’s maximum HP which can be used to heal the new wielder. When found the Sword of Champions will have a pool of 3d6 HP.
So short and sweet and a little nostalgic memory from my high school days.
Remember kids. Roll dice. Kill Monsters. Take their stuff. And have fun!

More Sharp Swords Resources

Yep, I keep making stuff for that upcoming game (which is supposed to happen after the current Dungeon Crawl Classics game). You know, I’m surprised that there aren’t more neat tools for this game so I made some. These aren’t any super special or pretty. I went for plain and useful.
First up we’ve got a GM Cheat Sheet. Not a full screen and has what I think I’ll probably need to refer to the most or just find handy. I’ve combined a couple of charts/tables into one. And I’ve added the “Medium” rest. It’s a house rules and I think someone previously had mentioned on the G+ Community.
I also made a little GM Log sheet to keep track of the key bits of information on the player characters. I admit, I don’t normally do this but it just might prove useful. So here’s the PDF’s.
GM Cheat Sheet
GM Log
And yes, that DCC game is still going. It’s just that nothing that warranted a whole blog post happened. And I’ve started putting together some notes for a White Box game which will happen after the Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells game. Yes, I plan that far out.
So keep those dice rolling. Keep killing those monsters and taking their stuff.

Arcane Portals

So I grabbed these little beauties with my last Amazon order. Now they were only $6 when I got them and the price has changed since then as seem to happen on Amazon.

Sure they are a little smaller than normal D&D mini scale but I know I can find use for tentacled magical portal. They are actually designed for the Eldritch Horror board game by Litko Game Accessories. The folks over at Litko make a bunch of handy tokens, markers, other little bits for a vareity of board games, war games and RPG’s. I’ve got a bunch of their tokes to use with Savage Worlds as Shaken, Wound and other markers plus I picked up their Savage Worlds AOE templates which of course I’ve been known to use in other games. All of which are generic enough I could use for other games. Their stuff is made of acrylic so be picky about what glue you use. Other than that they are pretty handy. Really, go check out their RPG stuff.
Keep those dice a rolling, folks.

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