Under Dark Spires, Character Generation

And so it begins, our run through Under Dark Spires, my mini-campaign for Crypts and Things starting with 1st level characters.

It’s been a while since I’ve played C&T and an eternity since I’ve run an ongoing campaign of it. In between, I’ve been on a steady diet of D100 games (OpenQuest mainly) and new modern D&D variants like 5th Ed and 13th Age. So it was a shock at first going back to C&T’s very old school OD&D base + tweaks from 80s White Dwarf/Fighting fantasy. Any doubts that I would not enjoy this style of play anymore were quickly dispelled. The players are certainly very enthusiastic about playing it ūüôā

The Crypt Keeper awaits you in the Room of Zoom!

The Crypt Keeper awaits you in the Room of Zoom!

I explained a bit about the dying world of Zarth, the demonic Others who have come to feed. We discussed that it has elements that require maturity due to themes of violence and oppression and the safety tools we would use if the game moved outside of what people were comfortable with.

The immediate set-up is that the characters are 1st Level and are many treasure hunters who have gone to a region called the Ash Plains. Where the Gods buried an Empire under volcanic debris for their hubris hundreds of years ago, hence in places, you can literally trip over the treasure that was left behind (or so they say).

We did character generation pretty much as written in the rulebook, the exception being that we used 3d6, rerolling 1s and 2s, which leads to more heroic characters. Part of me thinks I should make this the default for Crypts and Things.

The characters are:

  • Bodak Slashingspear (male fighter) played by Tony.
  • Xara (female Theif) played by Al.
  • Torsten Dagsson (Female Disciple) -played by Ginger Matt

We’ve also had another player, Jason, join us since the character generation session, and he’s currently considering a Sorcerer for his character.

I’ll post more about these characters, including starting character sheets, once I’ve got Jason’s character in a future blog post.

Under Dark Spires is currently in development. This run-through is meant as a final playtest of a set of adventures that were previously run individually as convention games. As well as making sure there aren’t any places where there are unavoidable Total Pary Kills, I’m also seeing how experience point allocation and levelling up works when the adventures are run together as a campaign.

We are playing again in just under two weeks when we get stuck into an adventure called Blood of the Dragon.

Look, it’s us rolling up characters!

Lucky Friday 13th!

Who said Friday 13th is unlucky?

Glynn Seal of Monkey Blood Design has just announced another Handy Maps Kickstarter.

Pelgrane Press has just put out a new 13th Age Quickstart rules.

Peter Regan has just started a very quick, nine-day long Kickstarter to fund a 2nd Printing of the Black Hack 2nd edition. If you missed it the first time around, or want the deluxe box sets with lots of extras, like foil-stamped covers, mugs etc, now’s your chance.

This is a fine award-winning British OSR rules set, that I personally highly recommend. I liked it so much that I used it for the base for a self-contained Crypts and Things reimagining.

Blood of the Dragon available until the end of November

As part of our Dark November sale, I’ve re-released my long-unavailable adventure for Crypts and Things, Blood of the Dragon, for free in pdf format.

It’s available until the end of the month, then it won’t be available again until the adventure/setting book Under Dark Spires, of which it will be part, ¬†is released in early 2021.

The first adventure module for Crypts and Things, intended as an introduction to the game. Compatible with other Old School Class/Level based games based on the Worlds Favourite Fantasy Role-Playing Game in its 70s/80s incarnation.

‚ÄúUnder a land shrouded in volcanic ash punctuated by rocky spires that tear at the sky they say the Great Dragon sleeps. Tyanos the Black, Trickster god of the long-dead Hu-Pi people stole their blood and bottled it for his insane delight. As the drink of the gods, it confers immortality to mortal man, but at what terrible price?¬†The very quest for this elixir is insane. A trip into a harsh and unforgiving land of the Spires, a poor and bandit ridden weird land, inhabited by the likes of Black Joop, Nigus the Headless and the Mother of Hydra. Names that should send a shiver down your spine. So pick up your sword, down the last of your ale to steady any nerves and stride off towards a great adventure amongst the rocks that defy the sky.‚ÄĚ

What this Module contains

Blood of the Dragon is a short introductory adventure set in the ancient and ruined lands of The Spires.

  • A Rough Guide to the Spires
  • Adventure: The Lair of the Battle Apes
  • New Monsters ‚Äď The fearsome Battle Apes.

Dark November is Here!

So I missed out on doing anything for Halloween because I was preoccupied with the end of my Gloranthan Fanzines, and before that, in Sept/Oct I was in full pimp mode for the OpenQuest Kickstarter which kind of blew up in my face.

So It occurred to me that my Dark Fantasy OSR/D&D stuff is not getting the love it deserves. So I’ve decided to run a month of promotions/competitions/new-releases for the Crypts and Things, the soon to be released Swords Against the Shroud as well as other OSR bits I do is in order.¬† This is what I call…

Oh, and It has a logo, that uses the most British Old School of fonts (Moria Citadel) ūüôā

First Dark November competition is to get more minions…oops sorry followers over on D101 Twitter Account. When we reach 500 followers, I will do a prize draw for one of D101’s OSR/D&D titles in print.

 

Under Dark Spires coming soon

It’s Fiendish Friday, so here’s some news on what’s coming on for Crypts and Things very soon…
The long-overdue adventure pack for Crypts and Things, Under Dark Spires,  after a series of writers blocks, and various production failures (both straightforward and arcane) is back on track for being completed.
Under Dark Spires is a collection of five adventures. Blood of the Dragon (C&T’s long out of print adventure), The Dark Path, Terror At Black Oak, Fort Boneguard and The City of the God-Emperor. There’s also setting information for the Dark Spires region that the adventures take place in. Its a low level, 1st – 3rd, sandpit of nasty wriggly things that rises up to the pcs exploring one of the big secrets of the Serpent Kings.
I’m not going to give a firm date, but I’m looking within the next couple of months.
To help fire me up and inspire me, I’ve commissioned Dan Barker who did the art for Tournaments of Madness and Death, to do the art for Under Dark Spires. Dan brings his own take to the Weird Fantasy Swords and Sorcery world of Crypts and Things.
Here’s his take on a Barbarian being taken by surprise by a carnivorous plant in the fetid swamps of Stink River.

Stay tuned for regular updates.

Grogzilla now live on ZineQuest 2 on Kickstarter

Now on ZineQuest 2: Grogzilla, briefly seen at Grogmeet 2019 now getting a proper printing. It’s full of fire-breathing three-headed skyscraper-sized giant lizards¬† (stats for D100, OSR, and Monkey!), articles for Mythras, and a mini-adventure sequel to the Road to Hell (for Swords and Wizardry) amongst other things. And It will grow in page count as we hit stretch goals.¬†¬†

Also, our other zines for Glorantha and Crypts and Things/OSR games are available in print/pdf as add-ons at a significant discount. 

Grogzilla

Missed out on getting a copy of Grogzilla at Grogmeet 2019?

This 36 A5 page zine of D101 Mega Gaming Fun with skyscraper high three-headed firebreathing lizards is now available to preorder (with free pdf)

As well as articles for OpenQuest and Crypts and Things, it also has a sequel to the Road to Hell in the form of Wigan Pigs an adventure for OSR games. Also making their debut in Grogzilla are the Six Traveller culture for Mythras, which is a short taste of things to come in the new year.

 

 

From the Shroud #2 Kickstarter now funding Beyond Dread Portals Preview Edition

The From the Shroud #2 Kickstarter is nearly over, with less than 48 hours to go. Four stretch goals funded which include two additional a5 books (Crypts & Things Black Hacked and The Lost Lands of Grungamesh) and now we are funding a preview version of Paul Mitchener’s Beyond Dread Portals; an A5 version with adventure playable up to 5th Level. This is your chance for as low as ¬£3 (the pdf level) to get a playable sneak peek of this game of fantastic multidimensional exploration.

From the Shroud now delivering two Zines for the price of one

Quick update about the From the Shroud Issue 2 ZineQuest Kickstarter.

The zine itself funded on day one, its maxed out size wise due to the successful funding of two stretch goals which add new monsters and strange locations to bring the page count up to about 60 pages

So I added a zine sized (A5 approx 40-50 page)  version of Crypts and Things powered by The Black Hack, called Crypts and Things Black Hacked, and guess what?

That’s right, so all backers of the campaign (whose buy-in¬†is as low as ¬£3/$4 for the PDF) get a copy of C&T Black Hacked as well as the From the Shroud #2. That’s two for the price of one!!!

And soon it’s going to be three for the price of one, as we are now funding a stretch goal which gives a new Swords and Sorcery setting in A5 Zine Format for C&T, C&T Black Hacked and other OSR RPGs to all backers. The setting has a more Saturday Morning Cartoons feel than C&T’s default grimdark setting of Zarth, and its sandbox nature means its the ideal accompaniment¬†for C&T Black Hacked.

Welcome to The Lost Lands of Grungamesh!

Note, you won’t be able to get this bundle of zines at this crazy low price once they go on general release. Crypts and Things Black Hacked and Lost Lands will be full priced individual items, and Intro the Shroud won’t even be available in print outside of this Kickstarter.

If you’ve not backed you’ve got 5 days at the time of writing to do so.

Into the Shroud #2 now up on Kickstarter’s ZineQuest

It gives me great pleasure to announce Into the Shroud #2, my irregular Crypts and Things fanzine is now live on Kickstarter as part of their ZineQuest,

This issue takes the form of a 48 pages A5 black and white booklet, with black and white art by Jonny Gray (whose Death Rider graces the cover) and Dan Barker.

The contents are as follows:

  • ¬†My Dirty Little Secret.¬†A quick table of dark secrets that player characters can have, and probably wish they hadn‚Äôt, at character generation.
  • ¬†The Pie Makers of Peoplolis.¬†An adventure location in the Zarth‚Äôs City of Beggars (although they may have a franchise near you).
  • ¬†A Strange Thing Happened on the Way to the Ruins.¬†An encounter table of weird and wonderful non-player characters to liven up otherwise dull and humdrum journeys.
  • ¬†The Place of Dark Hooks.¬†The old lair of a foul Court Torturer, whose riches and secrets are said to lie in its depths. A full Crypts and Things mini-module, usable with any early edition D&D game even, 5th Edition pretty much as written.
  • ¬†All Hail the Death Riders.¬†They are death from above with these flying undead warriors, a new monster for the game.
  • ¬†Prince of Rona.¬†A demonic Prince of an Other World, fit to become the character‚Äôs latest Nemesis.
  • ¬†Varna‚Äôs Travelling Caravan.¬†Neil Shaw details this group of travelling merchants who deal with the mysterious and harbour a dark secret.

Also available if you missed it the first time around is issue 1, in pdf and print. Note both issues won’t be available in print after the KS via my normal outlets.

Also, there’s a chance to get the main Crypts and Things rulebook and the released adventures at a deep discount as add-ons.