Doing Evil in the name of Good is still Good Right? Session 5 of my OSE game

This time we had three players, my good friend Stan, Ryan of the THAC0 blog and Todd of Third Kingdom Games.

Characters included the following PC’s and Retainers:

Gimbaya, Hobgoblin warrior woman,

Abbeye Softpaws, level 4 Lawful cleric (Stan)

Lance, Level 2 Neutral Fighter

Drucilla, Level 2 Lawful Magic User

Ruben, Level 3 Lawful Fighter (Ryan)

Annie, Level 3 Lawful Cleric

Sanken Tonni, Level 3 Neutral Fighter (Todd)

Barto the Bold, Level 1 Neutral Magic User

Encountered were the following:

a Merchant in Dunmore, along with his retainers

Farmer Brown, now proud owner of a cart and mule

Barin and Fergus, Level 1 Lawful Dwarves rescued from ogres

Nain, deceased Dwarf

Bill and Bob, two ogres, deceased

an army of skeletons, some slain, some turned, some under command of Barto the Bold

Our group met in the Brass bell, and divided up the loot from their last adventure, retaining the jewelry as a more compact form of currency than coin, except for a sapphire they sold to an insistent and slightly glazed over merchant, who said “She likes Blue” when asked why he so wanted a particular stone. The group had already checked for magic and had found none. There was a discussion about carrying coin, and I had become very used to DFRPG’s 255 coins to a pound as opposed to the 10 coins to a pound model of these older games. In any case, they sold it and reupped their supplies, upgraded Abbeye to plate mail, and passed her chainmail to Gimbaya to wear instead of her leather scale, bought a mule and cart, along with a door for the tower.

After bringing the door to their demesne, and checking to see if anyone could hang it by rolling for background skills, it was determined that both Sanken and her retainer Barto had been shipwrights, and had skill enough to install the door to the tower. The other backgrounds had Annie as a candlestick maker, and Abbeye as a baker, but no butcher was to be found; Ruben was a bowyer/fletcher, and Lance had been apprenticed to a cartographer, which had spurred his interest in adventure, and his skill with a schematic is probably what lead to the right size door being ordered. Drusilla was a Lorimer, which I had to look up, so she made spurs and the metal bits on tack and harness. That Todd’s characters were woodworkers of a sort was hilarious, as Todd is a master carpenter and cabinetmaker, as well as being a prolific game designer.

After a check in, threat session with their goblin tenements, they spent an uneventful night before heading out on the hobgoblins’ pole boat, and headed upriver. I kept rolling shit for encounters, so they got to a safe place to drag the boat onto the shore and make camp. Late that night, they heard noise and everyone got up and discovered some ogres arguing over whether it was better to boil dwarves before roasting them or to tenderize them by beating them into a paste and then grilling them. One bragged about eating “Coshig,” which he describes as a cow stuffed with a sheep and a piglet then stuffed into the sheep, but the other cut him off and told him the only thing he had ever seen him stuff into a sheep was himself… and a fight broke out. The party hailed them, and a simultaneous initiative roll resulted in a grand melee, during which Sanken was struck twice, but minimally by the ogres, Lance was injured, and Barto released the dwarves, who joined the party after the ogres were trounced,, although they mourned their cousin who had been surprised on watch while they slept, and also their prospecting gear that had been left at their camp.

Later that morning, after convincing the water wary dwarves to join them with healing and promises of loot, they headed back upriver, and eventually came to a good spot to tie up the boat. Gimbaya was without a clue as to how to proceed, as she always took the overland route instead of the water route, so they headed into unknown territory. Soon, while scouting with Ruben, she found a large encampment of skeletal warriors practicing in unison with their spears, and ignoring everything else. The party formed a brilliant plan, which involved first missile fire, a wall of flaming oil, then turning by both clerics, but discovered (after wasting oil) that because the skellys had been told to keep practicing until told otherwise, that they were fairly easy pickings, and they were able to eliminate over a dozen, and turned another 9, who regrouped and started practicing again. Searching the remains of the camp, they found the body of a backstabbed officer who had a baton marked with the same 4 horned goat skull as was on the skeleton’s shields.

Barto grabbed the baton, and found that by brandishing it, he could command the remaining 9 skeletons, prompting Abbeye to call out “Doing evil in the name of Good is still Good, Right? This deeply wounded Ryan’s sensibilities, as he is an Ethics professor. Nevertheless, the neutral characters prevailed in the use of the undead troops as they finally came upon the Hobgoblin’s ring fort. This meant an end to the evening, as it was time for Todd to go.

Things learned about playing OSE, included a lot of presumptions about undead from later editions were shared by most of the group. A quick check found that Skeletons, like all undead are chaotic in this edition, unlike 1e’s neutral alignment for mindless undead, and that there were no weapons any better or worse than any other for dealing with them.

A low loot expedition, but the hobgoblins in-lair treasure awaits!

buy my stuff

Support my Patreon

Eff Around and Find Out- Session 4 of OSE

Last night we had a third round of The Brass Bell of Dunmore.

Players included Stanley, and Ryan of the THAC0rpg blog.

Characters present included Abbyey Softpaws, cleric 3, And Ruben, fighter 3, along with retainers: Lance, fighter 2, Drucilla, magic user 2, and Annie, cleric 2.

The group avoided a TPK because three of their members were wearing plate mail.

After meeting, and deciding to recover the treasure of the coffer corpse, the headed out, having no encounter in the farmland, but two the next day; they met a nameless cursed man with a huge nose and one leg shoter than the other, covered in manure and pursued by bees. This poor unfortunate had shot and killed a sprite and had been repeatedly cursed by a group of its friends.

Later on they met a group of halfings “hunting kobolds” (on a tour of local taverns), and spent the night with them before approaching the brigand’s tower.

After suitable old school saftey measures were taken, they found out that the treasure had been ransacked, cast sleep on some giant rats and dispatched them, and used dead rats and a rope to try and disarm what turned out to be an alarm (tin plates tied behind a barrier of old crates) . The alarm of course notified the goblins living below, who all took defensive positions.

From the storeroom with the rats, they descended into a narrow set of low ceilinged corridors, and found a stairway down, open into a large natural chamber. Unfortunately, they did not check their 6, and once on the stairs, they were in immediate range of goblin archers on the upper tier.

A lone goblin told them, rather Negan like, to drop their weapons and half their shit. When the party opted to “F*ck around and find out” as the alternative, a hail of arrows descended upon them, and they beat a hasty retreat up the stairs, but not before Drucilla and Abbey were each struck.

Plate mail saved the others as they retreated, and ran for cover, only to be flanked by the goblins. Drucila cast protection from evil on Rubin, and Abbey on herself. U fortunately it doesn’t defend against missile weapons, so the cleric was hit again.

There was a lot of whiffing, as the goblins were useless against anything better than AC 3, and Annie sat on a goblin who rolled a 1 and tripped, and beat him to death with his own club. Soon after, enough goblins were killed as to cause those remaining to fail morale and surrender.

They rounded up the prisoners and found them to have been subjected to torture, at the hands of hobgoblins, who also had their families held hostage in order to extort tribute. The hobs were scheduled to arrive the next day, and were ambushed with a pair of sleep spells upon arrival, with the exception of Gimibya, a hobgoblin woman very disappointed with the idea of extortion instead of honest raiding. She defected and will join them next time when they go to raid the hobgoblin lair.

For now, they headed back to the Brass Bell.

Like my work? Support my patreon

goblinoids for BX, using the B/X Options: Class Builder

due to my love of point buy systems, and my love of near humancharacters, I have statted up some goblinoid peoples for pC use, using The Welsh Piper’s book

all of these created using BX Class Builder by Erin D. Smale

Kobold

prime requisite is DX 100

HD: d4 400

Armor: any, limited by size 100

shield: yes 100

weapon limited by size 100

languages: kobold, goblin, common 300

Combat: as Thief 200

Save: as Thief 200

Infravision 60′ 200

Hide in dungeon 2/6 100

Detect stonework traps 2/6 200

find/set/remove traps as Thief 50

Hide in Shadows as Thief 50

Move Silently as Thief 50

Backstab 200

size (small, as halfling) -100

Stronghold: at lvl 5 -500

Max Level: 8 -600

base xp 1150

level 1 0

level 2 1150

level 3 2300

level 4 4600

level 5 9200

level 6 18400

level 7 36800

level 8 73600

goblin

prime requisite: DX 100

HD: d6 600

Armor: any, limited by size 100

Shield: yes 100

Weapon: limited by size 100

languages: goblin, kobold, hobgoblin. orc, common 500

Combat: as Thief 200

Save: as Fighter 200

Infravision 60′ 200

Detect stonework traps 2/6 200

Listen at doors 2/6 200

Backstab  200

Max level 8 -600

DX minimum 9 -100

-1 in bright light -100

Stronghold at level 5 -500

smaller size (as halfling) -100

basic xp 1600

level 1 0

level 2 1600

level 3 3200

level 4 6400

level 5 12800

level 6 25600

level 7 51200

level 8 12400

Hobgoblin 

prime requisite ST 100

HD: d8 800

Armor: any 200

Shield: yes 100

Weapons: any 200

languages: goblin, hobgoblin, orc, common 400

combat: as HD 500

Save: as Fighter 500

+1 to hit vs elves 200

infravision 60′ 200

Max level 8 -600

Stronghold at 5th level -500

ST minimum of 9 -100

Basic XP 2000

level 1 0

level 2 2000

level 3 4000

level 4 8000

level 5 16000

level 6 32000

level 7 64000

level 8 128000

like this? support my patreon

buy my stuff

Real Life Gets in the Way: a reason to travel to the West Marches

I have been trying since October to get my old gang together over Google Meet to play a simple game of D&D. The easiest version the rally old gamers around is B/X, so I went with the best version of B/X, OSE. not knowing if my high school chums still had anygaming supplies, I sent them table copies while keeping my hardbacks..

Most of the guys had moved away in the great post college diaspora, and in the ensuing decades, engaged with that thing that dooms most regular playgroups: Real Life.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with jobs, relationships. or families, those things are kind of the point of what being an adult is about. Gaming is supposed to be what is between these things.

I have made three attempts since our last game in November to play, but one or more of the okd group were unable to make it. My oldest friend in the group, a man I have known for nearly forty years, (he was my first DM in my high school gaming club) has always made the time.He and I agreed to a few things going forward: weneed a larger pool of players, preferably other people who were part of our old groups, and secondly to play with whoever shows up.

the best example of that kind of revolving troupe play is called West Marches style after this famous campaign. The primary conceit is that no session ends in the dungeon, and that incoming characters who “know” members of the group can acquire a copy of the campaign or dungeon map and pick up where the others left off.

Peter Dell’Orto runs his DF game this way, as seen on his website

I have triedto model my play by post campaign this way as well, by his example.

Going forward, however I will recruit players, their characters will start in the Brass Bell, a tavern in the war ravaged city of Dunmoore, and make their way out into the empty lands, depopulated by plague and the incursions of the necromancer. Whoever can show will forma group and head forth to adventure, and be back in town before we end for the night.

Maybe I can get a game going this month!

support my patreon!

buy my stuff

Obulex and more of my art in the wild

Obulex by Denis McCarthy

This was originally drawn for a Troika! project by Christopher Mennell, but I decided to stat it out for OSE.

Obulex
Mindless, carnivorous, starfish-like monstrosities
that occupy pits. Dwell exclusively
underground.
AC 5 [14], HD 8* (36hp), Att 1 ×
swallow (1d6), THAC0 12[+7], MV
10’ (3’) SV D10 W11
P12 B13 S14 (5), ML 12, AL Neutral, XP
1,200, NA 1 (0), TT C
▶ Surprise: On a 1–4, due to stone-like
appearance of upper surface.
▶ Swallow: Affects whoever has fallen into its gullet. A
single attack roll is made and compared
against the AC of the target, the creature’s arms sweep up and push the victim within.
▶ Trapped victims: Cannot move, automatically
suffer 1d6 damage per round.
Can attack the Obulex only if they had a
short weapon (e.g. dagger, short
sword) in hand when trapped.

Treasure is found excreted into the pit in which it dwells.

Art by Mustaffa Bekir

More of my artwork found its way into Warlock! Goblins, including most of the stock art found in my Goblinoids stock art pack. Good Stuff! Fire Ruby Designs just keeps putting out expansions to the Warlock! system, inspired by both Warhammer and Fighting Fantsy gamebooks, and almost all of them have included my artwork. I keep buying them for portfolio purposes, although it would be fun to play.

Support my work as a patron!

Buy my stuff

OSE session recap 11/16 with the gang

Dramatis Personae

Abbye Softpaws, cleric 3

Lance, fighter 2

Aria Silverwind, elf 2

Drucila, MU 1,  (at end of session, MU 2)

Ashanti, “mercenary”( assassin) 3

Farmer John, normal human

Skeleton, deceased

Ankheg, deceased

The bulk of this evening’s OSE game involved the creation and introduction of a new character, for an old player, Darren, a member of the gaming group that James and Stanley belonged to with me in the late eighties to early nineties.

Also present and observing was a new player, Ralph, who wanted to see how we rolled.

After the party had defeated the coffer corpse last week, Lance had run upstairs to the relative safety of the prison level, and awakened Ashanti (who replaced the minimally defined halfling I had originally had there, and gave the same backstory, having had her party scattered by the coffer corpse and owlbear/ giant rat combo.

Darren was surprised to see how stripped down the OSE assassin was, as they have d4 hp and no longer have open locks (handy for getting to your victim) or any method of concocting poisons as they did in AD&D. I think I will resolve that as a poison saving throw to acquire venom from deceased creatures. He also opted to put his second highest roll into Intelligence; I  will reward that with better information and lore results; the only mechanical effects are more languages.

Once regrouped, a skelly followed them up and was turned.

Both Ashanti and Aria were interested in dealing with what was below…without a light so Ashanti made a series of stealthy rolls and was able to open doors and get next to …something… in the darkness of the crypt level without being seen, but wisely fled rather than engage. Still got xp for this.

Upon her return, Aria impulsively descended, and slew the skelly, but retreated as well.

The rest of the group was preparing to follow, and Lance went with Ashanti to stow his halberd safely in one of the cells so that he could use mace and shield. Ashanti took the occasion to search the cell with the chained skeleton, and opened the secret door there. After acquiring a torch; she entered a tunnel three feet wide and high, and clambered some distance to a rusted grating that served as an escape hatch for the original inhabitants of the tower. Limited by her strength (and a failed open doors roll), she returned to report, leaving the rusted hatch unopened. After an inventory of hit points, they decided to travel to a nearby farm and spend some time healing.

After resting up in the barn, they were able to assist the farmer when a giant insect leapt out of a burrow to eat one of his goats.

Taking time to ready, they fired arrows at it, avoided its acid spit, whiffed at it with a halberd, were missed on a bite attack, and felled it with another arrow and a solid swipe (nat twenty, natural max damage with 18ST) of the polearm and finished a 4hd Ankheg.

They climbed down into its lair, and over about three hours, were able to pry almost a thousand electrum pieces and a silver ring worth 100gp from the walls of its burrow, lined with resin like something out of the Alien franchise. The lawful cleric was kind enough to split some of this with the grateful farmer.

Collectively they bagged a few hundred xp, enough to raise Drucila to level 2. They returned to town to requip and Drucila loaded Sleep into her book from Aira.

Mechanics I will be using going forward: the secret doors roll is ideal for finding needle in a haystack items that involve spotting a specific something in a pile or fully concealed, like a ring embedded in the resinous walls of an Ankheg’s lair, amidst hundreds of coins similarly embeded.

I come back to BX games from many years playing games with skill systems, as have some of my players. I have seen a number of attempts to graft skills onto BX era games that were unsuccessful, but I have seen ways to use existing systems within the games.

For example, there had been a blog that proposed use of a saving throw to represent a class feature that is level and class based; I  believe it was in a post called “Save vs Awesome” that I can no longer find

The gist was that each basic class has a saving throw that they excel at, and that ought be used when a class related action is taken that has an uncertain outcome; wizardly endeavors resolved with a save vs spells, and for our poison using assassin, save vs death for handling and preparing poison… an ability check of that prodigious intelligence could identify ingredients, how best to extract it, and how to forensically recognize its use.

buy my stuff

Support my Patreon

The OSE Characters, GURPSified

As is my perennial obsession, I converted the OSE characters mentioned here into GURPS DF , using both this conversion of mine for low level characters, and Peter Dell’Orto’s DF 15: Henchmen.

Lance:

100 points for a level 2 fighter

ST13/17 [50] DX 11 [20] IQ 10 [0] HT 12 [20]

HP 13 per 10 will 10 fp 12

T/s 1d+2/3d-1 Basic Lift 34lbs

BS 7.0 [5] Basic Move 6.0 Dodge 10

Parry: 10 Block: 10  DR 6 plate and chain

Damage with light club (1d+3 crush/3d crush)

               With polearm 1d+6 imp/3d+4 cut, becomes unready

[15] combat reflexes +1 to active defenses and recovery from stunning

[-] Striking ST+4 (accounted for)

[-4] unattractive 

[-5] sense of duty:Adventuring companions

[-10]code of honor:soldier’s 

[-5] overconfidence 

[-5] hamfisted 1

[-5] callousness 

[-5] stubborn

[-1]obnoxiously loud drunk

Q: grunts loudly when lifting things, prefers head shots, always wants an armor upgrade,

     Spiderweb tattoo, greedy

Leveling up (25)would be high pain tolerance [10], hp +2 [4] primary weapons +8 pts, 3 more points to other weapons)

Skills:

Brawling [2] 12

Wrestling [1] 10

Knife [2] 12

broadsword [8] 13

Shield [2] 12

Polearm [4] 12

Axe/mace [4] 12

Armory, melee weapons [1] 9

Sling[2] 10

Carousing [1] 10*

Forced entry [1] 11

Intimidation  [1] 11*

Abbyee

125 pt initiate

ST 10 [0]; DX 11 [20]; IQ 13 [60]; HT 11 [10].

Damage 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs.;

 HP: 10 [0]; Will 13 [0]; Per 13 [0]; FP 11 [0]; 

Basic Speed 5.00 [-10]; Basic Move 5 [0].

Dodge 8 Block 9 Damage Resistance: 3 light mail

Damage with light mace  (1d+2)

Advantages:

[20] Power Investiture 2

[24] Turning undead

[5] resistant to Evil supernatural powers +3

[1] Good with spiders

Disadvantages:

[-10] Honesty

[-5] Sense of duty, adventuring companions

[-10] Sense of duty co-religionists

[-15] greed

Quirks:tbd

Skills:

Theology [2] 12

Religious Ritual [2] 13

Esoteric Healing [2] 12

Hidden Lore: Undead [2] 13

Axe/Mace [8] 13

Shield [2] 12

First Aid [1] 13

Interrogation [1] 12

Detect lies [1] 11

Diagnosis [1] 11

Exorcism [12 12

Scrounging [1] 12

Search [1] 12

Stealth [1] 10

Climbing [1] 10

Spells:

Purify food [1] 13

Protection from evil [2] 14

Minor healing [2] 14

Aria Silverwind

125 points

ST: 10 ​[10] DX: 12​ [20] IQ: 12​ [40] HT: 10​ [0]

Thrust/Swing Damage: 1d-2/1d Basic Lift: 24 lbs.

HP: 10 [0] Will: 11 [0] Per: 12 [5] FP: 10 [0]

Basic Speed: 5.50 [0] Basic Move: 6 [0] Dodge: 9 [0] Block 9 Parry 9

Advantages:

[20] Wood Elf (ST-1, DX+1, Basic Move+1, Attractive appearance, Forest Guardian 2 (+2 to Bow, Camouflage, FastDraw (Arrow), Stealth, Survival Woodlands) Magery 0, Sense of Duty to Nature, elven gear is 10% cheaper)

[10] magery 1

[5] Magic Bolt (does 1d-3, ignores armor)

[5] Night Vision 5

Disadvantages:

[-5] Sense of duty: Adventuring Companions

[-5] Overconfident

[-10] Honesty

[-10] impulsive

Quirks:

 Curious,Wary, Truthful

Skills

Bow at DX+3 [4]15^,

Camouflage (E) IQ+2 [1]13^,

Fast Draw (Arrow) (E) DX+2 [1]14^,

Stealth at DX+1 [1]13^ 

Survival (woodlands) (A) Per+1 [1]12^

Shield [1] 12

Shortsword [4] 13

Tracking [1] 12

Meditation [2] 10

Search [2] 12

spells:

Foolishness [1] 11, Daze [1] 11, Sleep [1] 11, Mass Sleep [1] 11

Drucila

ST: 9​ [-10]; DX: 11 ​ [20]; IQ: 12​ [40]; HT: 10​ [0].

Thrust/Swing: 1d-2/1d-1; Basic Lift 16 lbs.

HP 9 [0]; Will 12 [0]; Per 10 [10]; FP 13 [9]

Basic Speed 5.25 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0] Dodge 8 Parry 9

Damage with dagger is 1d-3 impale

Advantages:

[35] Magery 3

Disadvantages:

[-5] sense of duty: Adventuring companions

[-15]Weirdness magnet

[-10] Low Pain Threshold

Quirks:

Skills:

Thaumatology [4] 14

Occultism [4] 13

Hazardous materials, Magical [4] 13

Hidden Lore: Magic Items [1] 11

                      Undead [1] 11

                      Magical Writing [1] 11

Natural Philosophy [1] 10

Meditation [1] 10

Knife [4] 13

Throw Knife [1] 11

First Aid [1] 12

Throwing [1] 9

Spells:

Sense Evil [1] 11

Protection from Evil [4] 14

Lend Energy [1] 11

Recover Energy [8] 15

Actual play with old friends using OSE

Players:

OSE Play recap with the old group we used google meet, and haven’t seen eachother in over 15 years!

Stanley, playing Abbyee Southpaw, a Lawful cleric 3 of the spider goddess from Petty Gods, and Lance, a fighter 2

James, playing Aria Silverwind, an elf 2 with sleep and magic missile

            And Drucila , a human magic user1 with protection from evil.

We started the main party with 4200xp and retainers at 2100. Characters were rolled with 4d6, dropping lowest, and arranging stats by preference, max hp for first level. Only one character, Lance, bought up a stat by reducing another.

Starting money was the base rolls only.

Two days from town and during a rainstorm, they came upon a brigands lair while the brigands were hunting, and sought shelter within.

After a quick survey of the area to rule out hostiles, they set a fire in the fireplace and began to search, enough to realize that the ruined tower with its collapsed roof and leaky upper story had been very recently inhabited.

One such sign was a bit of graffiti that matched a heraldric shield device of a group that had beenpart of an army that had laid siege to their town a few months before.

 Checking through the arrow slits on the damp upper level, they determined that the glow of the fireplace could be seen from the entrance due to the front doors and most of the furnishings having been used as firewood.

They also saw several lanterns approaching…

The elf was also able to spot a secret trapdoor due to rain water draining around its edges.

Lance, brute that he is, was able to rip it clean from its hinges, which left it obvious where they went, as if the barricade of the empty doorway and roaring fire weren’t enough of an indication that they had been playing goldilocks, which factored in their decision not to parley with the larged armed party approaching. 

Down they went, Aria scouting ahead and finding a door below that led to two more doors.

A quick check of the left showed a row of cells,and to the right a staircase further down.

They decided to head deeper in, and kicked in the next door into… a crypt. They all froze, and decided immediately not to mess with any of the 4 plain sarcophagi or the two with carved effigies, and prepared defensive spells to deal with the brigands they could hear approaching. 

Lance’s primary weapon was a polearm, due to poor starting cash rolls, and he carried a sword and club as backup… with 18 ST it was quite effective. 

Dulcinea cast pro vs evil on herself, and Abbyee cast it on Lance.

First order of business when the door was yanked open by ten spearmen in leather and shield was to cast sleep. 13 HD affected, and only three saved. Lance charged out and brained one, followed by Abbyee with her mace, and Aria with her bow and a natural 20. They quickly stripped and bound the captives, and prepared to politely interrogate them. This was facilitated by Lance bashing another who tried to pull a knife on them.

After a fistful of super low reaction rolls, I got a 12 and the beans, such as they were, were spilled, after a Samuel L. Jackson monologue from the others.

They moved their encampment upstairs after gagging the prisoners and deciding wisely not to sleep in the crypt (Abbyee has an 18 wisdom).

While they got a fistful of copper from each, along with weapons and armor, a better search in the morning revealed 200gp and 160gp worth of furs from a trader the brigands had robbed, along with a freshly killed deer. They paused to properly bury the dead to avoid creating some species of revenant, and frogmarched them in to town with their gear slung behind them.

I used 25% as the base rate of sale on used cheap goods, so they made an additional 133gp and received xp for defeating the foes as well.

A great deal of listening, great open doors rolls, and a lack of interest in stretching themselves too thin. Real ease of use of THAC0; Stan was my first DM back in 1982.

Lets see how this tower restocks itself next week!

support my patreon

Buy my stuff

Demons and Patrons in Basic Era Games

I am working on converting both my adventure Beneath the Fallen Tower and the Redoubt of Hades from GURPS (because I don’t have a license) to BFRPG (in particul;ar my publisher’s variant Odysseys and Overlords) and OSE.  BFRPG is very easy to pick up; it was designed as a quick and cheap starter game that anyone could immediately pick up and play. Old School Essentials is an elegant and accurate re-framing of B/X D&D. A circumstance I have discovered is that while my games feature a lot of summonable creatures, infernal, celestial, and elder entities, BX has no such thing.

Literally, in addition to the menagerie a couple of the druids are porting in, the Necromancers accompanied by the spirits of their ancestors, and the earth priest with his pet elemental, there is a character with elder thing power investiture from an otherworldly sorcerer that keeps rolling insanely good reaction rolls, a wildly talented bureaucrat who summoned a celestial demonslayer, and another player who has a hellhound, demonic servant,  and ‘Spirtitual adviser’. It is a lot.

Neither old school game system has any spells for summoning,  which makes things less of a headache for the DM, and generally kept these editions from triggering Satanic Panic responses, but they do have devices for summoning elementals and both djinn and efreet. Therefore, I propose items for summoning other extradimensional entities, perhaps graded for the HD of what they summon, 1d12 HD, with lemures, larvae, or manes at the low end, and a demon lordling at the high end, and an extra chance for getting something higher level.

   Brazier of Extraplanar Summoning

brazier

This iron or bronze brazier, incised with runes and chased with enamels or silver inlay , is inscribed with the name of a being from a nearby dimension. Any item of this type is good for summoning that singular being, for a period of up to one hour, and can be used no more than 6 times per owner.  For any given brazier, roll 1d12, and on a roll of 12, roll an additional d8. The total number rolled is the HD of the creature that can be  summoned by performing a ritual with the brazier as the central feature, involving candles and diagrams on the floor. The creature summoned may be of any alignment, and this can be determined by random die roll.  The summonee must perform a service for the summoner, but may make a save vs spells (minus the summoner’s wisdom bonus, if any) to resist. Braziers are worth 1000 GP per HD summonable.

Now, you can find game stats for any sort of extradimensional being in most advanced rulebooks, and in a variety of blogs ( such as Hereticwerks  where I got the Ymid from), but if you want to keep B/X formatting, I can recommend New Big Dragon’s Fifty Fiends (available on Drivethrurpg for only a buck!)

And for that matter, you can get a bunch of neat pictures of demons from me too!

(Or from Jeremy Hart )

And now that demons are in play, what about patrons? DCC did this excellently, but here I have

20 answers to the question: What does your warlock’s patron want in exchange for power?

1 to spread chaos! Go out there and blow shit up!

2 to be entertained.  They are bored, and find your actions interesting…until they don’t.

3 to be amused. They find the supplicant ridiculous, even pathetic. 

4 to annoy a rival, by showing them up with their own fancy minions.

5 to annoy a rival, by encouraging the destruction of their (equally) nefarious plan.

6 to spread their own influence; use of their powers tags an area with their signature,  the entity with the most tags wins something, as if our world was a boardgame to them.

7 to manifest themselves in our world; the more their power is used, the greater their ability to enter our plane.

8 to void excess energy that is causing them etheric indigestion. 

9 to silence your yapping. You are annoying, but not yet worth the bother of destroying.

10 to alleviate the irritation of the sense of debt; the entity cannot tolerate supplication without response; it itches.

11 to appease their sense of vanity. They desire worship.

12 to appease their curiosity. Whatever will the minion do with a little power.

13 to appease their hunger. Blood and Souls!

14 to appease their hunger. Only creatures empowered by and flavored like them can fulfill their hideous appetites

15 to appease their unnatural lust. Only creatures empowered and flavored like them can fulfill their hideous appetites.

16 to better observe our plane. Buying a pair of eyes is cheaper than actually manifesting.

17 to relieve their aching loneliness. Being immortal makes it hard to keep friends.

18 to pay a gambling debt. The being is making the pact because of an unfortunate forfeiture on a wager.

19 to pay back a favor. The summoning and binding spells are vestiges of an ancient promise made to someone who liberated the being from imprisonment, and then forgot that they were still active.

20 to be left alone. Power is cast out to deflect contact.

If you enjoyed this, support my Patreon!

Buy My Stuff!