Thursday, October 30, 2014

Beautiful Witch

Happy Halloween!
As a fun little exercise I went through the Original D&D books to look for an Halloween themed illustration to revisit. Appropriately I found the Beautiful Witch on page 27 of Men & Magic.
Something I have been intending to do for some time is to use the old D&D illustrations as inspiration to create new 21st century versions. Just out of nostalgia, and also a good reason to force me to practice drawing. The danger in this, is of course, that nostalgia is a powerful thing and awful hard to compete with. There is a charm to that old art that you can't compete with, but to think of it as a jumping off point - something to inspire a new drawing is the intention.
Enjoy.
And here are some stats so you can use her as an NPC in your old-school game.

Beautiful Witch
Level 8 Chaotic Magic-User
23 hp
Fighting Capability: Hero
Spells
1: (4) Detect Magic, Read Magic, Charm Person, Sleep
2: (3) Detect Invisible, Levitate, Invisibility
3: (3) Fly, Hold Person, Clairvoyance
4: (2) Polymorph Others, Confusion, Charm Monster
Armor: ring of protection 5’ radius
Weapon: dagger +1, Staff of Commanding (25 charges)
Items: Potion of Invulnerability, 30 gold pieces
Str: 9, Int: 16, Wis: 12, Dex: 14, Con: 11, Chr: 17
Saving Throws
Poison: 11
Wands: 12
Stone: 11
Breath: 14
Spells: 12

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Running WotRP at Big Bad Con - After Action Report

I wrote an adventure for Warriors of the Red Planet to run at Big Bad Con over the weekend. It was a good time, the players - as players tend to do - did unexpected and very clever things.

The adventure was designed "sandbox" style, not as a railroad. So it is more like an adventure location, than a linear adventure. Though it does have a series of events that happen roughly in order. There are some Lovecraftian influences, quite a bit of Gygax (Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun to be exact), and of course plenty of Burroughs.

The player's managed to avoid the final encounter and the big aerial battle at the end I was planning on, so it ended about a half hour earlier then intended. I collected the playtest notes and am in the process of incorporating them, and tightening up the adventure all around. I'm considering making it available for sale if there is any interest in it.

Spoilers ahead (mouse over to read)
Set on Barsoom, though designed to be placed on any alien world, an ancient vault has been discovered where a mad scientist is creating mechanical soldiers and building an army to conquer Helium and beyond. The mad scientist is trying to awaken an ancient evil that could make his army unstoppable. The mechanical army is actually made of captives who are processed using bicmechanical weird science. K'Ral is an ancient scientist who first discovered this biomechanical technology, but he was overcome by enemies and imprisoned in permanent stasis within the vault. Inside the vault is a huge complex with slave pens, a laboratory, a factory, an arboretum, and a fleet of airships in a hanger, including a powerful battleship that is designed to be K'Ral's flagship when he is awakened.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Chainmail Reformatted - Revisiting an Old Friend

I was recently rereading Chainmail and realizing my copy is getting a little battered. I thought it would be a good idea to type it into a text document and lay it out so I could print a copy and that way keep the original safe. In same ways its a little like a parody of what Wizards has been doing lately with all their reprints and special editions of old out of print products. Except this is more useful, since Chainmail has been increasingly difficult to get a hold of, and it wasn't like it had the best printing quality to begin with.
This is what the final result turned out like:
I've been posting the work in progress on the Original D&D discussion board here: http://odd74.proboards.com/thread/10407/reformatting-chainmail