Tag Archives: Swords & Wizardry

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!

Alchemical Scorpion

Oh, how long has it been since wrote about Swords & Wizardry? Way too long. I guess thank Old School Gamer Radio for getting me back into the swing of it. So here you go a fun new little monster for you.
The Alchemical Scorpion
HD: 1 HP
AC:8(11)
Attacks: 1 HP Damage+Potion Effect
Special: Can reload it with a potion.
Wizards are a bit lazy and strange will come up with any thing they find interesting. Getting tired of running up and pouring a healing potion down the the throat of the fighter or cleric, a wily wizard created Alchemical Scorpions as a safer and easier means to deliver potions. Just throw at your downed companion and hope it stings them.
Alchemical scorpions do not (normally) have poison instead they are magically altered deliver a dosage of a specific potion then die. This potion or even poison (one more toxic than a normal scorpion) is determined when the creature is created. It is nearly impossible to determine what potion the scorpion has so many wizard inscribe runes on the creatures’ exoskeletons.
If found in a wizard’s lab/lair, they will most likely contain normal potions. Determine how you will. If the creatures escape into the wild, them the GM should let their imagination go just as wild using odd and bizarre effects.

Pyramid of the Lost King


I had great time this last Saturday. I stopped by the FLGS to sit in on a little demo game of Pyramid of the Lost King with its creator Johua De Santo. So what the heck is Pyramid of the Lost King? It’s a cool sandbox for OSR games. It’s specifically written for Swords & Wizardry (Man, it has been too long since I’ve done anything with S&W.) but if you been around the OSR scene for even a little bit it’s easy to convert to the system of your choice. It’s also part of the Lands of Usarm series of adventures.
So what do you get in this 100 page book? Well, quite literally a desert sandbox. You’ve got an overview of the area. A city (Basq). Adventure hooks galore. Random encounters. Some really cool monsters. Three dungeons (The Charnel Keep, Temple of the Fallen Good, and (of course) Pyramid of the Lost King) plus some mini adventures just in case the DM needs something quick.
I like to keep my rants spoiler free. But here’s what I plan doing with it. It’d be a great start in creating the yet-to-be-named southern continent on the World of Zoong (which is my go to DCC/OSR/D&D world). In my little mind, this would be prefect addition for Crypts & Things. Pyramid of the Lost King has a really good Weird Fantasy/Sword & Sorcery vibe going for it without getting so weird that it’s totally alien. Greedy scheming merchants. Caravans. Lost ruins in the desert. Raiders. Mysterious ancient relics and monuments. Cults. You’re smart. You get the idea.
Like I said, I like to keep my rants about adventures as spoiler free as possible. So I won’t go into the details of the adventures. But this does got a thumbs and place in the queue to throw some unwary adventurers.
Go ahead and check out Pyramid of the Lost King over at RPGNow.

Another Rant about Elves

I ranted about elves before way back when but I still wanted a little extra something to make them more alien and just a bit different. Nor your tree hugging wild elf or that mysterious high/gray elf or whatever you want to call them. Somewhere in the bowels of the internet someone made the comparison of old D&D elves to Elric. I like that. Then this little idea popped into my brain that focuses on the standard fighter/magic-user type elf.

In ancient times, the elves make a pact with an ancient being whose name has been long lost. They wanted the power magic and immortality. The elves were granted both but not at the same time. The elves learned the power of magic and would each live for 1,000 years. They had magic but using would cost them years off their lives. The elves created an empire and rules the world for millennia but due to their arrogance and decadence their empire has crumbled. Many elves venture out into the mortal world out of boredom.

The Game Mechanics:
When the elf casts an arcane spell, roll 1d20. If the result is less than or equal to the spell’s level then elf permanently losses HP equal to the spell’s level.
And since I’m on a Dungeon Crawl Classics kick, there’s a little variation for those rules. Elves do not suffer from Corruption. Instead, any time a Corruption effect occurs, the elf loses permanently HP as above plus suffers the effects as if the character had Spellburned a number of points equal to the spell’s level (but doesn’t gain any bonus to the spell check). Additionally, Elves may voluntarily “Spellburn” HP at rate of 2/1 (1 HP=+2 bonus to the spell check). These HP are permanently lost.