So, tomorrow night I'm going to be running B2: Keep on the Borderlands for the first time. There's a section of the overland map that says "Cave of the Unknown," that's left free for the DM to populate. Anyone got any recommend side-trek, small-scale caves they'd recommend to just drop in there? Just something that's a room or two suitable for 1st level B/X or Labyrinth Lord style PCs.

Revised my Pirate class I use with pretty much all genres. Combined it with my Sailor class for a more useful sea fighter-rogue.

Pirate
Prime Requ: Con
Exp: As Fighter
HD: 1d8
Save: As Fighter
Attack: As Fighter
Weapons: Any
Armor: Leather and shield.

Sailing (includes navigating and ship repair)
Intelligence check. The Pirate receives a +1 to this check and an additional +1 bonus at every fourth level. This includes the art of steering and keeping the ship running as well as navigating or finding ones position using an Intelligence check with the Sailing bonus included. Bonuses may be given for good charts, maps, etc. When used to repair a successful roll allows x2 the number of ship points to be repaired.

Swimmer
+2 to Swimming (Strength) checks

Thief Abilities
Being a tricky and dangerous lad the Pirate can Move Silently and Climb Walls as well as a Thief of an equal level.

He can also Backstab as a Thief with the usual bonuses and extra damage.




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Hey all... Going to start a L/L campaign as soon as I can sort out when a good night to do it will be. Likely Monday evenings, open-table style. 5 or so players at a go. Probably start time 930 EST (GMT -5)

The lair of the Cyberlich is a hellpit in which the scattered toys of a thousand dead worlds were collected to be vivisected/dissected and understood, and forgotten... The peoples of the fair planet it broods underneath have no idea that it is awakening after 10,000 years of slumber

Giant vats of yellow, red, and blue liquids pulse to life, all aglow with hatred and anticipation. Jellies, oozes, zomborgs, and minor demons flitter in anticipation

All is ready. Stay awhile - stay forever!

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Fanzine Focus V: Black Pudding #2—A review of the second issue of the fanzine written and illustrated by +James V West for use with Labyrinth Lord and other Retroclones.

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To good not to share:

"TWO MODULES FOR $30 with FREE SHIPPING by MEDIA MAIL!"

http://www.maximummayhemdungeons.com/TwoFor30Special.aspx

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Fanzine Focus VI: Wormskin No. 2—A review of the second issue of the fanzine written by +Gavin Norman and published by Necrotic Gnome Productions that details Dolmenwood and its environs for use with Labyrinth Lord and other Retroclones.

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I recently asked the question at another OSR G+ group along the lines of, "Encumbrance rules are described as optional are then in play as written or do dungeon explorers move at 120/40-ft per turn/round regardless". Implied in my question was do you even use turns and movement?.

The answer was pretty much 100%, "Yes, encumbrance is important to a large degree," with some respondents declaring they were strict in the application of the rule.

I'm keen to know a bit more if you would indulge me further. :-)

Please note, I'm not asking what's the right way to play? invariably someone will chime in with the very reasonable comment if you're having fun, you're doing it right; I'm just keen to know which way this particular rule is used (or not). I fully acknowledge that fun = correct and there's no right way to play your game.

Before I ask the question, here's some background to consider:

B/X D&D and LL almost play encumbrance the same way. In both books, it's an optional rule. In both books the movement rates are the same at each category of weight allowance and those categories are the same (albeit B/X uses coins and LL uses pounds). In both books this simple rule is muddied by a further optional ruling but both books treat it a different way and it's still confusing...

B/X: "...carry this many coins OR wear leather/metal armour..."
LL: "...carry this much weight AND wear armour..."

Next up, using encumbrance means that pretty much only the magic-user moves at the 120/40 rate (unless he's also the pack mule) and, naturally, the party moves at the speed of its slowest member. This means the dungeon gets bigger. A party with one or more characters carrying 81+ pounds moves at a rate of 30-ft per turn. Without the encumbrance rules, the party travels 72 10-ft squares before their first torch burns out; encumbered, the torch is dead after 18 squares and to cover the same distance the burdened party faces 4 times the number of wandering monster throws.

Finally: I'm not advocating in favour of the rule nor against it, even though the above observations may seem to indicate otherwise.

Thanks for reading this far. My question for game referees is this: In your games do you insist all characters record the weight of each item of equipment and reduce party movement accordingly and monitor game time in turns (resting after 5 turns of activity, expending resources such as food and light etc.)?

If the answer is YES to all three elements of the question please select the Count each pound/coin response.

If you don't insist on all three elements of encumbrance (record-keeping, movement and turn-tracking), even if your run with 2 of them, please select the pole response Eye-ball encumbrance.

Thanks again

63 votes
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19%
Count each pound/coin
81%
Eye-ball encumbrance

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Campaign: Castle Zagyg OSR Mega-Dungeon
Rules Set: Labyrinth Lord w/Advanced Edition Companion
Critical Hit & Fumble Tables: David A. Hargrave’s Arduin Grimoire
Setting: Gary Gygax’s World of Greyhawk

Session 1 Summary/Session Report:

Would-be-heroes gather at the smoldering ruins of **The Green Dragon Inn, the most famous tavern the Free City of Greyhawk has ever known - each convinced that THEY were they only ones able to see the curious rotating stylized "Z" sigil, limned in blue-white mage-fire, floating above the smoking pit. Soon, it became obvious to them that they were a part of a chosen few. A strange burly Dwarf known as Sadric claims to either speak directly with, or FOR, the Mad Archmage himself! The others, fascinated, fall together into a loose coalition and travel together towards the Castle.

The brave - or foolhardy - adventurers gather and cross the bridge known as Zagig's Crossing, venturing a few miles to the north of the Free City. Discussing rumors and their limited knowledge of all-things Zagyg along they way, they learn that each of them shares a preoccupation with the Mad Archmage and his eponymous Castle, abandoned now for just over 101 years. The great fog which pervaded the area, obscuring it from view on the horizon, has been lifted - and with it, a renewed sense of wonder and zeal for plumbing its dungeonous depths and exploring its majestic spires.

These "chosen few" know little of of the legends that surround the great Castle or its environs but what they have gleaned from one another in their travels thus far is the following:

Zagyg left his manse (his stately mansion and former residence) to build his Castle 200 years ago. The house still stands in the woods not far from the castle. This was verified by both Badawi (a recluse who lives in the region) and Sadric (a Dwarf who claims to speak directly with the Mad Archmage, or at times to BE him!) and was also shown on the map that appeared in the Dwarf’s pocket.

Clerics and holy men are forsaken in the dungeons of Zagyg. It would be foolhardy for them to adventure there.

The Free City’s Sages Guild covets information and secrets of Castle Zagyg and it’s depths. Tizmur (a nomad from the Plains of the Paymins) thinks the party may be able scout the castle and sell the knowledge to the Guild for coin.

A mysterious being made entirely of gem-stone races through the dungeons. It must be worth a king’s fortune!

Demons fly out of the fog surrounding Castle Zagyg and eat folks!

Madness visits all who explore the eternal dungeon depths of Castle Zagyg!

Even the gods have suffered at the hands of the Mad Archmage.

A cadre of wood-elves live to the North of the castle in a small forest known as Tamarak’s Stand. Both of the elves in the party, Saeros (a curious female woodland being) and Masdela (a Fey Sorcerer) have heard that they are led by a beautiful elven woman named Ember Raventree.

There are many caves that dot the bluff on which the ruins of Castle Zagyg stand. Sages refer to them as the Mouths of Madness. In the days of yore, these caves were cleansed of their malign inhabitants by adventurers hearty and bold - intrepid seekers of Castle Zagyg’s famed riches. The came the cursed fog and the Mouths were swallowed. Now, as the cursed fog disperses, those gaping maws are assuredly revealed anew, some saying that they are more numerous than before…

Guided by Badawi, a strange recluse from the region, the would-be heroes traverse the Old Castle Track en route to the famed site, avoiding a wooded area filled with thick white-grey cobwebs, which the mystic claims to be a by-product of a “failed experiment” in his nearby hovel.

Soon after, the yowling of hungry Hyena Men can be heard echoing through the low-hilled scrub known regionally as “Little Hillwood.” As the company turns northward along the once-cobblestoned path, the sight of a massive (75’ tall) black oak tree lures them across a wide open plain span - despite the warning and protestations of the Fey, Masdela.

Upon their approach, a briar nest is viewed partway up the vile tree, causing them to hesitate - but not before a beautiful siren song meets their ears. Most of the party succumbs to the duplicitous charm and begins staggering mindlessly towards a horrid cave entrance in the hill upon which the black oak stands. Unaffected and thinking quickly, the subtle Elf, Saeros casts a magical slumber enchantment over her fellows, saving them from a likely ominous fate - but not before the sun is blotted out by the wide wingspan of a hideous Harpy! Combat ensues and Saeros’ hand is viscously ravaged by the mythical beast’s talons. In a streak of good fortune, the Harpy falls prey to another Sleep spell and Saeros defeats the vile bird-woman!

The party, now released from the fallen Harpy’s charm, collects parts of the creature’s body for later use and Masdela nails her head to the great black oak. The Hyena Men, observers of the victory, prostrate themselves in docile fealty to Saeros and her allies.

The quiet and friendly Hobniz, Vinric, eager to reap the rewards of the Harpy’s nest, ascends the giant tree with ease, assisted by Tizmur, scaling to just over fifty feet. During his ascent, a majestic vista can be seen over the hills: the clouds parting to reveal the surreal opulence of Castle Zagyg in all its wondrous glory! Also seen, at a considerable distance, is a low one-story cottage set into the woods off the trail - its location noted by the Hobniz.

Within the thorny Harpy’s nest, Tizmur lowers the Halfling into the briars via a carefully constructed rope and pulley system. The vile nest itself is covered by a thick and rotting bear-hide tarpaulin, which is carefully pulled away by the tenacious treasure-seeker. Vinric’s eyes widen at the site of a poniard (parrying dagger) in an amethyst-studded scabbard and several fantastically valuable gems: three rubies, a sapphire, a huge tiger-eye stone and a diamond-studded bracelet! These items are carefully stored into the Hobniz’s sack.

Tizmur, unable to control his zeal, ascends the tree with the assistance of the capable warrior, Slavomir. He too, is granted the view of the majestic Castle! As he helps the Hobniz & the Plainsman descend from the tree, Slavomir feels a movement around his ankles! Black tentacular roots emerge from the hillside and attempt to grab the warrior as the small cave mouth at the base off the tree begins opening like an orifice of fey roots! The athletic Slavomir jumps off the hillock just in time as the root appendages, grabbing for him in vain, retreat into the aperture which closes tightly with a thorny “snap!”

The group comes together to observe the great wealth Vinric has uncovered, to praise the magical prowess of Saeros (as well as acknowledging the loss of her hand!), the new fealty of the wandering Hyena Men and the next steps for their very fortunate company!
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4/15/17
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Old or New-ish?

Now that the Modvay and Cook B/X D&D books are available in PDF for what I would consider to be a very reasonable price, are we still playing Labyrinth Lord as our default ruleset or are we returning to the originals?

In favour of the originals we have better artwork, the writing style, atmosphere and the nostalgia of youth.

Whilst in the black and white corner we have the complete rules in a very sturdy perfect-bound book - much better than carting your rules around in a hole-punch binder or on an electronic device (in my humble opinion). You do get the sometimes alarming "clarifications" (I'm looking at you Backstab and changes that needed to be made to avoid copyright persecution.

So what are we playing, the Lord or B/X?
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66%
Praise the Lord
66%
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34%
Moldvay & Cook
34%

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The death of Munafik the Undying, 18th Level Mummy-Lich at the end of I3 Pharaoh:

The Spirtualist/Summoner PC threw a Hail Mary and the Lich rolled a natural "1" when saving vs. Dispel Evil!

Stellar climax to a classic old school AD&D module using Labyrinth Lord w/Advanced Edtion Companion + house rules based on Burning Wheel RPG & Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG!
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4/12/17
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