Thursday, March 10, 2011
What, you expected some anime-style shmexy babe? Ha! Not the way I roll - this is old school, baby. Horror could lurk around every corner, that pit trap may just contain a few of these and if you're prepared with the flasks of oil and spearmen in the second row, you'll stomp on this ugly creature and go looking for the loot that you're sure is somewhere ahead of you...
Now you've probably seen some posts with the same damn links to the same resources. I'd like to point you to some different, but invaluable resources that will probably benefit you right off, being that you're interested in the old school and I figure you already have the rules that you like to play...
Original D&D Message Board (1974 Little Brown Books and other out of print TSR games from the 70s - high signal to noise, extremely low drama)
Knights & Knaves Message Board (about as rabid of an AD&D board as you can get, but the best for AD&D - cranky bunch, but damn smart/experienced/worth the etiquette landmines to get to know)
Dragonsfoot Message Board (the longest running 'old school' Classic D&D forum, and tons, I mean literally tons of adventures and homebrew modules of quality, plus reviews and discussions/navel gazing.)
Jeff's Gameblog (Jeff Rients is one of the coolest DMs that I've ever run into and his posts are treasure troves of ideas)
Kellri's Classic Dungeon Designer #4 Encounter book - this + AD&D DMG could be the best D&D DM resource combo ever created. This book is invaluable for generating months of adventures)
Now, a bit of opinion for ya...
There's a lot of buzz, discussions and not a small amount of snarking over what "OSR" this and "Classic D&D" that means and even some thoughts to how much lint a navel on a D&D player can collect before you can shape it into a d20 or some shit... but if you're someone not familiar with this online D&D group of people who love the old school, original games, well... go look at any religious, political or teen-age-Justin-Bieber fan club and you'll get the idea. We're a cantankerous, creative, argumentative, self-absorbed, generous, passionate group of people who happen to love playing D&D - we just don't really know what the hell else to agree on.
So if you're feeling alone about Classic/old school D&D, take heart. You're not! It's a vibrant community. There are a lot of us continuing to play games and I'll testify to that. I've ran a 28 player Classic D&D marathon last week. I'm running an over two year old Advanced D&D campaign with two games this week - one tonight, one Sunday. I've got an online game set in the same AD&D campaign world and a smaller game/experiment in Shadowrun/Cyberpunk meets OD&D.
There are a lot of local conventions still being held and at almost everyone, there's someone running old school Classic D&D, or an out of print RPG. Ask around... do a google search or go visit the local gamestore - there are still a few around!
There are still a lot of us and we game. Hard, passionately, and with a lot of love. I hope to see you around.
Oh yea... and one final link. Joesky's blog. If you see a post on another D&D blog with a lot of "blah blah" and no "Joesky tax", you'll see Joesky getting VERY upset. You won't like making Joesky mad. Trust me. It's cool though. Joesky is one of those drunk dudes that somehow pulls wisdom out of his ass while throwing up on table, but making it look like the most fun thing possible.
Now... for my own Joesky tax, based on the pic above
d6 tricks to fool your players, like the title of this blog made you think I had an Evil DM Wednesday girl here...
1. On the next failed thief check or some sort of ability check or task, instead of failure, give them a false positive of the worst kind, make them paranoid for hours.
2. Classic Tomb of Horrors trap - open the door, the ceiling falls. Through the floor into the 10' pit trap underneath. 1d10 + 1d6 + (other damage you see fit to assign from spikes, boiling oil, poison gas, etc.)
3. Next combat, instead of describing everything, just have the monsters bum rush the players, surprise! "OK, you open the door and there are monsters. Roll for initiative." If the players want to take time to assess situation, that counts as their action - or they can just attack whatever is nearest.
4. That hot elven chick guide is really that horrible harpy vampire creature in the picture above. And she just cast charm person at your most powerful fighter as a 6th level MU. Save vs spells!
5. You're in a 50'x50' room where there is an incredible treasure on the other side... and a maze of invisible walls which shift/rotate/slide like in the movie 13 Ghosts. And yes, there are wights here.
6. The dust here is impregnated with oil or petroleum. You can smell it. Every round, for open flames, cumulative 5% chance of explosion like fireball at 6th level