Fiendish Friday: Come Visit Bloodstead and Die!

An excerpt from the upcoming Crypts and Things Remastered ( latest update on progress on kickstarter), which is part of the Crypt Keeper’s Secrets of the Contient of Terror chapter.

Blood Stead

The power base of the Sorceress Rula and her berserker followers. At first a  typical Wolf barbarian city , with long houses, drying fish nets, until you notice all the dead bodies hanging from masts, skulls and heads on stakes,  and red banners hanging above every building entrance.  Rula claims to be the Wolf Mother come to Zarth in a bloody form,”the Red Wolf Mother”, seeking to purge the unclean and destroy Khaos once and for all, but in reality in secret she and her followers are devotees of the Blood Throne.


Sneak into the city and out again to rescue people taken as slaves in a recent Blood Berserker raid.

Two seasons ago a local Chief from Longren was killed by Blood Berserkers and his head taken by them. The characters are hired to regain the dead chief’s head ball, which is now being used as a drinking cup by the war leader of the Berserkers.

Find out what is really going on In the Temple of the Red Wolf Mother, so the priestesses of the Wolf Mother temple in Longren and Bulwulf can stop arguing amongst themselves and unite against Rula and her followers.

Notable events

Roll d20

1-8 One of the Berserkers, backed up with 2d6 of their mates, comes up to the characters and starts a fight.

9-14 A bone seller comes up to the characters and tries to sell them a dead body (“Its dead good its got a complete set of teeth, you can use it for offerings or hang it over your hall to drive off evil spirits”)

15-18 A Blood Priest asks the characters to causally go and murder someone (50% of being an errant Berserker who has threatened the Priest) saying that it will bring them great glory with Rula the Red Wolf Mother.

19-20 Rula appears in public to whip the population into a blood-letting frenzy, in advance of some great raid against the city’s enemies or a magical ceremony to summon a Greater Other.

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The Smart Party do OSR

I strongly recommend UK Podcast “What would the Smart Party do about..“. EvilGaz and Baz King are diehard gamers who intelligently discuss the topic at hand…and this episode is a good one all about the OSR with guest Dan Sell of the Undercroft fanzine.

What the heck is OSR anyway? Damned if I know, so we got the lovely Dan (from The Undercroft fanzine fame) to come and school us like it’s 1987. So come find out what those letters stand for, what the gaming movement is about, does everyone on really hate it and much, much more!

So gowan give it a punt 😉

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Last Days of the Last Prayer of the Dying Kickstarter

Want a 5th Ed D&D scenario from the gritty Brit School of module writing?  Then check out this Kickstarter to fund an adventure called “The Last Prayer of the Dying” for 5E. I’ve backed it since artist Jonny Gray  has done various bits for D101 over the years, plus the premise sounds right up my street.  Kickstarter is already funded with multiple streatch goals and ends this Saturday.

The Last Prayer of the Dying cover by Jonny Hodgson

The Last Prayer of the Dying cover by Jonny Grey

The Last Prayer Of The Dying is an adventure module for 5E (5th edition fantasy roleplaying game). For 1st level PCs

Module Synopsis The party are travelling to the new frontier to help return an ancient Duchy to its former glory. A chance encounter with the legendary ‘Arisen Knight’, a very old hero, sets them on a path to adventure. Like most published scenarios there are some railroad parts, but enough choice to provide the feel of a sandbox

The publication will be about 80 pages in size. It includes:

  • A brief gazetteer of Keranow, the Duchy where the adventure takes place.(Size of 3-8 pages)
  • 10 wilderness encounters to get a feel for the setting.
  • A small settlement in the wilderness frontier lands.
  • Three dungeons (each about a dozen locations). A) The tomb of a mythical knight, now infiltrated by despoiling fey priestesses; B) An old dwarven fort used by hobgoblins who have been driven to the edge of despair by the alluring voice of a bloodrose witch; C) The scheming feys base of operations, from which they seek to begin a reign of chaos and insanity over the newly re-established Duchy of Keranow.
  • 8-12 quarter page pieces of high quality art (some of which is shown on the Project front page)
  • The PCs should start at 1st level and be 4th by the end of this adventure
  • An adventure outside the axis of good versus evil: betrayal, treachery, duty and the consequences of choice.
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OSR UK Hangouts gaming on G+

If you are on G+ and use hangouts for your gaming and are either UK based or within the GMT timezone,  there’s a new group that has just been set up to organise OSR based games within that timezone.

OSR UK Hangouts gaming
A place to organise GMT friendly OSR gaming via Hangouts

I’ve signed up since I’m planning to run some games of C&T and OQ, kicking off some games in the next week or so.

Posted in Crypts & Things, OpenQuest | 1 Comment

Fiendish Friday: Queen of the Serpents

From the upcoming Crypts & Things Remastered, one of the Nemesis’ of the dying world of Zarth, from the Scourges of a Dying World chapter. Note this is an unproofed work in progress which may change before publication.

Siligra Queen of the Serpent People

While the Serpent Lords sleep, their concubine and Queen Siligra controls one of the remnants of Serpent society from the lost City of Tilcoa deep within the Jagmani Jungles. There she prepares for the day when the Serpent Lords awaken to retake what is theirs.

This ruined city full of columns and white stoned buildings, was once the capital of a human civilisation in ancient times, before a disguised Siligra and her followers arrived. Using all her charm and seductive abilities she quickly sowed descent amongst the various factions within the city, which led to a bloody civil war. After the dust settled she took control of the weakened survivors, who descendants over the years became a tribe of degenerate primitives who worship the Siligra as their blond and white skinned Goddess, knowing her only as “She who Should be Obeyed!”.

Siligra Queen of the Serpent People

Armour Class:0 Hit Dice:10 Hit Points:50 Attacks: Bite 1d8+Venom, 2 Claws 1d6, Tail 1d10 Special Rules:  Venomous bite (Test vs Luck or take 2d20 damage), Assume Human Form + Spells CR15 / XP 2900.

Silgra can cast the following spells once a day:

1st Level: Charm Person, Magic Missile, Hide Magic, Hex, Oppression,

2nd Level: Invisibility, Snake Charm, Web.

3rd Level: Dispel Magic, Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Suggestion.

4th Level: Cauldron of Blood, Charm Monster, Fear, Sticks to Snakes.

5th Level: Commune with Greater Others.

Modus Operandi:

Both Silgra and her Serpent Men followers appear as humans of a fair and noble countenance who rule the savage tribesmen that shelter in the shattered city.  They will initially seem friendly and sympathetic lulling the characters into a false sense of security. Then they will either be imprisoned by force, or be fall foul of Siligra’s charm Person spells.Only powerful magic can strip away Silgra’s Human form and reveal her true Serpent Nature.

Outside of the city Silgra maintains a network of agents both human and serpentine, who gather information and seek to control the human cities.


  • Personal body guard of 10 Serpent Warriors who are never more than fifty foot away from her.
  • A cadre of 5 Serpent Priests.
  • At least 5 Serpent Scouts (the feared Black Assassins who strike down those who disobey).
  • A group of human cultists who worship the Serpent Queen, no less than 30 strong.
  • A tribe of primitives, degenerate descendants of the original inhabitants of Ticoa.

To top it off here’s preiview of David M.Wright’s Serpent Folk picture that will appear in the new rule book.


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You want Blood? We got it!

David M. Wright is a star! He sent me the following four complete pieces of art for Crypts & Things Remastered for the latest monthly backers update, and once again I’m blown away by the detail that he puts into his work. Defintiely getting the early Fighting Fantasy vibe , as seen in Death Trap Dungeon and Island of the Lizard King, in these pieces.

P25 - Severed Head - Ink (Lo-Res) - DMWright P39 - Scroll - Ink (Lo-Res) - DMWright P87 - Face Ripper - Ink (Lo-Res) - DMWright P103 - Primative - Ink (Lo-Res) - DMWright

Posted in Crypts & Things, Fighting Fantasy | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Neath the Shadow zine

This was a pleasant surprise present for me the other day. Kristian Richards who is the author/artist/layout guy of the rather splendid Age of Shadow RPG, which is based of the OpenQuest SRD, sent me a copy of his rather smart A5 Fanzine ‘Neath the Shadow’ for Age of Shadow. Its a nice light read, with a couple of detailed encounters, a magic item and some quick rules for Age of Shadow. Its black and white through out with art mainly being the rather speliendid maps that Kristian produces (check out his Little Book of Dungeons book).  I’ve got one of the hand made copies, with its nice pale blue card cover lovingly hand made by Kristian himself, the POD version available via lulu has a lovely colour cover.

I’m a big fan of Age of Shadow. Kristian took the OQ SRD and built a nice little RPG for some Silmarillion style fantasy action, so I’m pleased to see that its getting even a little bit of additional support :)

Neath the Shadow Zine by Kristian Richards

Neath the Shadow Zine by Kristian Richards

Neath the Shadow Fanzine
Crooked Staff Procutions blog
Age of Shadow RPG

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In my intray the Empire of Ys!

Its official Dr Mitch (aka Paul Mitchener)   is an RPG Writing Machine.

In between top sekret work of for other publishers (and another seminal piece for D101 that I’m keeping the lid on for the moment) he’s submitted, the Empire of Ys

This is his tribute to D&D, which is inspired by a love of Planescape and a style of play that revolves around exploration for the Empire of the title and the machinations of the movers and shakers of the setting rather than simple dungeon crawling.  Its a self contained game of 12 chapters, 201 pages,including a starter adventure (but bear in mind you start at 3rd Level). Overall its got enough character of its own for me (and you) to give it time amongst all the D&D love letters out there.

Date of release, certainly not until the behemoth that is Crypts & Things is out, so cautiously early next year.

There will be a playtest, I will do a call in a couple of months once I’ve done my editorial pass 😉

Posted in Dungeons And Dragons, Empire of Ys | 4 Comments

Embarking on a Quest to UK Games Expo!!

Okay dokey, tomorrow me and my wingman Guy are driving down to the home of Metal, aka Birmingham, to set up shop at UK Games Expo.

Friday afternoon the show opens up to the public and carries on till Sunday.

D101 Games is in the Monarch hall and I’ll be trading on Stand 23 :)

I’ve got OpenQuest Deluxe and the entire range of adventures, River of Heaven + Reunion and I’ve found a box of Crypts and Things 1st Ed, which I’m going to let go for a bargain price. This is in addition to our other games like Monkey, and our Gloranthan Fanzines, of which I’ll be releasing Hearts in Glorantha 1-5 Collected and Gloranthan Adventures Issue 2.

So come up and see us, buy a book (or three) and have a chat. I might even have some C&T 2 art work to show off 😉

Some of the books I'll be selling at UK Games Expo.

Some of the books I’ll be selling at UK Games Expo.


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Luther Arkright for RuneQuest 6

Bryan Talbot is one of the UK’s best comic artists and writers.  He has numerous credits for 2000AD inc. Judge Dredd and most famously Nemesis the Warlock in the 80s and is therefore officially British Old School.

If that wasn’t enough he’s got his own creator owned title, Luther Arkwritght, that he’s been working on since the 70s. It’s an exciting multiverse hopping saga that is spans across two epic comic collections, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and Heart of the Empire. Its got elements of Steam Punk, occultism, mad science, satire on the British monarchy and society. In short its a rich setting ripe with story telling potential…

…and The Design Mechanism are doing a self-contained RPG powered by RQ6.

Oh my I think I’ve wet myself with glee :)

Here’s the cover that they just released (comments on the G+ thread indicates its currently in proof).

Arkwright-Cover-Low-Res-SmallMore about the game in the press release that originally announced it back in 2012.

If you want to check out the comic as well as the collected versions available via Amazon, there’s a CD with everything + notes and commentaries over at Bryan Talbot’s own site.

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