Anyone knows of a good random village generator, electronic or on paper? I need to prepare a small wilderness village fast.
john yorio's profile photoDave Inacave's profile photo
Old School Armor Class Conversion Table for your perusal.
Download PDF here!   Some help when working with conversions between editions and games.
Anders Hedenbjörk Lager's profile photoMatthew Koelling's profile photoj garrison's profile photo
+Bryan Natoli yeah, if you didn't play b/x or BECMI back in the day you wouldn't know. I think 0e used AC9 as lowest too, but I'm not sure as I didn't play that version back then. I think AC10 was introduced with AD&D.
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Here are some additional rules for killing vampires based on some thoughts Steve Marsh originally intended for the Expert Rulebook.
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Where I color like I was in grade school again and like it.
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Discussion  - 
Here is a religion I made up for a S&W game a while back. Perhaps some of you, especially those looking to fill out the divine aspects of your campaigns, will find it useful or entertaining.

photo by somadjinn (

Ananepho is part of the Pantheon of Judges, those deities that bind humanity to the Law.  He is called the Hunting Judge and his divine jurisdiction is the frontier.  Charged to preside over the liminal ground between civilization and wilderness, followers of Ananepho watch at the figurative walls of all human society.  That they guard against manifestations of Chaos lurking beyond the treeline is well and widely known.  Their vigilance for the enemy within, however, is much more circumspect.

Old Sober, as Ananepho is colloquially known among rustic people, is the patron of sheep-grazing and hunting.  His major feast is celebrated on the night of a full moon most closely preceding the vernal equinox.  Rabbit stew and roast mutton, when served with strong red wine, are sacred to him.  Feeding a hound a scrap of meat from the table is sure way to earn his favor.  Vomiting as a result of inebriation is a sign of his disfavor, as are hangovers.  One who suddenly ceases to feel anger during an argument is said to have received his blessing.  Ananepho is especially beseeched by those suffering from ailments of the liver and kidneys.

His color is purple but his followers consider wearing clothes dyed purple inappropriate unless exercising lawful public authority -- as, for example, it would be untoward for a commoner to dress as a prince holding court.  Rather, they wear jewelry wrought of silver and set with amethysts, which, along with the wood of the yew tree, are the materials Ananepho holds most dear.  Amethyst gems, silver coins, and (among the impoverished) yew berries are symbolically pious offerings.  Rituals associated with him usually involve sharing wine.

In statuary and art, the god is portrayed as a bearded man who is either balding or of shaven pate. He is always depicted as armed: either standing with sword sheathed and bow slung across his shoulders or sitting upon a stool with his sword drawn and lain upon his knees.  In any case, he is always accompanied by a large dog or wolf. Interestingly, there is no customary name for this animal aside from "the Hound of Ananepho," "the Sober Wolf," or similar phrases.  Likewise, the image of a dog or wolf is the common symbol of Ananepho.

Temples to Ananepho are built with an open space at their center, where a yew is planted.  Those who wish to settle a dispute will petition a priest of Ananepho here at the time appointed for hearing cases (usually the last day of each month).  In the case of the aggrieved parties voluntarily seeking mediation, each sips from a silver chalice leaving enough for the priest to also partake.  Once the priest has resolved the controversy, he pours the remainder of the wine at the base of the tree and the parties are free to leave.  Those who are brought before the yew involuntarily will have wine poured upon their heads after being forced to kneel.  Criminals are punished on the spot immediately at sentencing where possible.  Death, when merited, is always meted out by beheading. The skulls of offenders are preserved and hung up in the yew's branches on the day the priests hear cases.

Way shrines to Ananepho are common on roads through forests or at the edges of villages or farmlands.  Any promise made at such a shrine is considered inviolable, which makes them popular sites for country weddings.  Those so wed are loathe to divorce or remarry after the death of a spouse, although there is no formal prescription against such practices.

Paladins devoted to Ananepho, members of the Brotherhood of Silver Swords take the following vows:

- The Vow of Yew -- Vigilant Sobriety:  To absolutely avoid voluntary intoxication (that is, actual stupefaction of the senses) by means of drink or similar substances; to avoid self-righteousness, arrogance, and inappropriate material ostentation -- and so to tithe, as per the S&W rules.  To accept destruction rather than give into bestial motives:  harmful acts committed in anger and malice require handing oneself over to the lawful authorities for judgement and punishment, including death.  (Lawful authorities means those proper to the Brotherhood's world view.  Even in the Underdark, Drow would not be considered lawful authorities.)

- The Vow of Amethyst -- Obedient Purity:  To obey in good conscience the commands of the Brotherhood elders.  (Good conscience means that the paladin is not bound to carry out orders obviously at odds with his other vows or general alignment but also that he cannot avoid the spirit of the command by appealing to ist letter.)  Also, to avoid all romantic entanglement until the Brotherhood itself chooses a spouse for the paladin.  (This having to do with the Brotherhood and Sisterhood wishing to carefully manage the lycanthropic bloodlines.)

- The Vow of Silver -- Redemptive Pursuit:  To tirelessly hunt down the wicked (most literally werewolves) but in every instance to capture and imprison; to never take into one's own discretion whether another person merits life or death.  (All humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings no matter what mental or phsyical state [except the condition of undeath] are persons; other races, especially those that are uniformly evil, may or may not be as per the circumstances but usually are not.)  This includes putting oneself between the transgressor and those who would harm him unless they are lawfully entitled to do so.


Initiation into the mysteries of Ananepho involves a sojourn into the pathless wild starting at dawn after his major feast.  There, novices selected by the initiates learn that the Hunting Judge is the father of all lycanthropes, being the first such monster himself.  They are told the story of how mortals invented wine and offered it to Ananepho in exchange for their prosperity.  The god thoughtlessly nurtured the seed of Chaos within himself through drunken carousing among the mortals until it had spread throughout his being like a cancer and burst forth in bestial carnage.  At this point, the novices are stripped naked and ordered to leave the camp for one week on pain of death.  

Those who survive to return after one week learn the second part of Ananepho's story:  "In the throes of bloodlust, he conceived of a vile deed -- the murder of his erstwhile betrothed, a beautiful mortal virgin with skin as pale as the moon and tresses as black as the night sky.  Her terrified people has offered her as a sacrifice, but she went willingly.  He committed the treachery upon her in the most terrible manner imaginable, tearing her limb from limb and devouring her flesh even while forcefully consummating their marriage."  The novices are then presented with a freshly dressed deer carcass, upon which they inevitably fall in barbaric hunger despite the revolting tale.  But as they tear apart the carcass, the Initiates in turn fall upon the novices and beat them until they are unconscious.

When the novices next awaken, they find themselves still naked, still caked with dirt and blood, and now by a stream.  The initates tell them how Ananepho found himself tortured by guilt and self-hatred because his spirit still preserved some inkling of the Law.  "He struggled and overcame his instinct to survive.  He therefore decided to plunge himself in a deep forest pool whose placid surface reflected the silvery moonlight while exerting all his strength clinging to a great stone."  Each novice is then thrown into the icy stream water and dragged out before he knows what is happening.  On the bank of the stream, the novices are given blankets and cups of hot mulled wine, while they hear the final chapter of Ananepho's tale:  "The god did not die as he intended but awoke by the pool under a yew tree, his arms now embracing the body of his mortal wife.  Although her body was miraculously whole, it remained lifeless."

"Ananepho wept tears stained with the wine he had greedily received as libations, hence the origin of amethyst gems."  Those novices who will be trained as clerics then receive the holy symbol, an amethyst tear hanging from a crescent moon surrounded by wolf fangs arranged as the rays of the sun.  "When Ananepho found he could weep no longer, his vision cleared and he found laid upon his knees a shining sword in place of his bride's corpse, hence the origin of silver."  The novices to be trained as paladins then receive swords.  "Ananepho then rose and cut a branch from the yew.  Using his own hair, he bent and strung a bow to hunt the evil children he had sired throughout the world."  Having received this mystery, the novices are taken back to the temple where they are cloistered, instructed, and closely watched until the next feast.  Only then is their initiation finally complete.

For a few, there is a further mystery.  The clergy of Ananepho have hunted werewolves since time immemorial.  But they do not always kill the beasts.  Like Ananepho himself, these monsters are given the opportunity of contrition.  Those who avail themselves of it learn over time to control their bestial natures.  Some of these were eventually able to lead relatively normal, if closely guarded lives, and even had children diluting their cursed inheritance further and further across the generations.  These children and grandchildren are inevitably selected by the faithful for initiation.  The girls are initiated as priestesses and the boys as paladins, the Sisterhood of Amethyst Tears and the Brotherhood of Silver Swords.
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(reposting here as many aren't in my smallish gaming circle)

Al Krombach and Thomas Denmark's  "Warriors of the Red Planet" (beta) is in my hands! Inspired by Burroughs, Gygax and Arneson, WotRP is compatible with Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, OSRIC, Basic Fantasy and the Original game, but is a complete game on its own.

I think I've been waiting for this since 2009, but Thomas has been understandably busy with his successful Dungeoneer card game. I'm really glad he's found the time to return to this, as Barsoom is one of my favorite settings, and I've loved everything from TSR's Warriors of Mars to Gareth Skarka's MARS for Savage Worlds (the only reason I ever bought that game).

I've only had time to page through it but for a "beta", it looks wonderful. The illustrations are lovely, complete Classes and Races for the Red Planet, a packed Monster section, 25 or more random tables (including a Random Adventure Generator), Airship Combat, Design guidelines... it is really inspiring in every way for a Sword & Planet fan like me.

I'll eventually make an attempt at adapting it for The Fantasy Trip or Heroes & Other Worlds (my preferred FRPG systems), but for now I'll see if I can "beta test" it as-is at the FLGS using BFRPG.

Lulu print-on-demand only until it's "done", but a flippin' bargain at... under $4! Why are you still reading this?!?

Great job Al and Thomas; it's looking well worth the wait!

Buy it here: (Lulu)

Keep up with it here:
Robert Saint John's profile photoJeremy Whalen's profile photoJulian Steen's profile photo
Mine has shipped. Waiting patiently for it to arrive...
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I'm a fifty-year old married guy with a mortgage. I don't know why I get so obsessed with these sorts of things...
Recently another blogger put forth the claim that monsters with only one hit die should generally be assigned 7 or 8 hit points, as opposed to the standard range of 1-8 generated by rolling for them. (Obviously we're assuming...
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Ralph Goss

Conventions  - 
Who is going to gen con? Second question, anyone want me to run S3 in my hotel room on Wednesday night before gencon?
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Chris Vermeers

Discussion  - 
I didn't get enough written for a "Things I Know" post, so I wrote a more general overview instead.
Chris Vermeers's profile photoRalph Goss's profile photo
That would be pretty awesome, actually. GURPS kinda did that with Technomancer, but that was modern day plus magic, with all sorts of assumptions (industrialized magic item assembly lines and such) that might or might not apply to such a thing in an otherwise medieval fantasy setting.
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What sets apart WotC D&D from its older editions, all editions considered up to the 5th is their keen focus on balance - balanced characters, balanced encounters (and the whole notion of Challenge), balanced skill checks, balanced rewards, etc. We find the same in Pathfinder, which makes impossible to design adventures without doing the math that will keep them in line. To me at least, the game entered a whole new dimension since then, leaving the "game of your imagination" realm to enter a competitive, scripted field that bears no semblance with what I like to play. At the contrary, I would say that the games I love to play all involve major balance failures, and that is a distinctive trait and feature of the OSR.
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About this community

For fans of the OSR; a community of role-playing gamer that have an affinity for the types of tabletop role-playing games that we played in the early days of the hobby. Variously called the Old School Revival, Renaissance, or just plain Roleplaying. (OSR Logo by Stuart Robertson)

Pearce Shea

Discussion  - 
What it says on the tin.
Pearce Shea originally shared:
This is a non-review of Deep Carbon Observatory, an RPG thing by +Scrap Princess +Patrick Stuart and +Alex Mayo.
well-behaved formostian children Deep Carbon Observatory is really, really good. +Scrap Princess +Patrick Stuart +Alex Mayo made it. Rather than review it, here is something I wrote because of it for an adventure/ sett...
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Some help when you need to convert movement between editions.
    Click here to download PDF. When you use adventures and monsters from all editions of the game, it sometimes gets kinda stressful when you sit there at the table and suddenly have to ...
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Rick Stump

Discussion  - 
My newest article in a series on NPCs, all leading somewhere, I promise.
Today I am talking about army size in 1e.
 As modern people we have trouble thinking like medieval people. Whether it is about family size, how far is 'far', or other things, we think differently.   Of course.   Another thing we often get wrong is army size. We thi...
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On the other hand, cannibal riverweed looks like a walk in the park compared to a Vicious Giant Wiener Dog.
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Jared Hayter

Free stuff  - 
What to wear to a festival in the Underworld:

I'm trying to prep some random tables for my Vornheimified New Cynidecia (from B4 - The Lost City). The Cynidecians all wear mask as if every day is Mardi Gras, but I can't make up each and everyone on the fly so I'm creating some Google Sheets to make them up for me. Once I get this in decent shape I'll add it to a set of treasure tables I'm working on. Here's a quick dump of what it looks like so far:

d% Mask Description
1 laughing face with teeth/tongue of eagle , made of rough cloth
2 turtle with snout of devil , made of papier mache
3 handsome youth with teeth/tongue of badger , made of simply carved wood
4 badger with eyes of unicorn , made of silver and gold
5 handsome youth with teeth/tongue of beautiful woman , made of papier mache
6 wasp with mouth of spider , made of finely sculpted porcelain
7 crane with eyes of dragon , made of polished leather
8 zebra with horns/feelers/forehead of owl , made of brightly painted wood
9 beetle with snout of turtle , made of rough cloth
10 crying face with snout of dove , made of simply carved wood
11 owl with hair/scales/feathers/skin of goat , made of finely sculpted porcelain
12 ass with mouth of handsome youth , made of brass and tin
13 badger with hair/scales/feathers/skin of crane , made of jewel-encrusted gold
14 laughing face with teeth/tongue of beautiful woman , made of embroidered silk
15 ass with snout of zebra , made of rough cloth
16 dragon with snout of monkey , made of embroidered silk
17 panther with ears of bear , made of papier mache
18 wolf with mouth of dove , made of silver and gold
19 panther with snout of frog , made of polished leather
20 ugly woman with eyes of laughing face , made of brass and tin
21 wolf with snout of bear , made of simply carved wood
22 eagle with eyes of jackal , made of polished leather
23 ugly woman with hair/scales/feathers/skin of chameleon , made of jewel-encrusted gold
24 frog with ears of dragon , made of finely sculpted porcelain
25 wolf with hair/scales/feathers/skin of panther , made of brightly painted wood
26 ugly old crone with ears of turtle , made of simply carved wood
27 ugly old crone with teeth/tongue of vulture , made of brass and tin
28 ant with teeth/tongue of wolf , made of jewel-encrusted gold
29 ugly man with hair/scales/feathers/skin of vulture , made of jewel-encrusted gold
30 unicorn with eyes of ass , made of brightly painted wood
31 crying face with horns/feelers/forehead of wasp , made of embroidered silk
32 crocodile with snout of wasp , made of finely sculpted porcelain
33 crocodile with teeth/tongue of zebra , made of simply carved wood
34 ugly man with snout of ugly man , made of papier mache
35 crocodile with mouth of crane , made of simply carved wood
36 lion with mouth of ox , made of simply carved wood
37 dove with ears of eagle , made of brass and tin
38 devil with mouth of handsome youth , made of simply carved wood
39 ass with teeth/tongue of monkey , made of jewel-encrusted gold
40 crocodile with mouth of beautiful woman , made of rough cloth
41 lion with horns/feelers/forehead of ugly old crone , made of simply carved wood
42 dove with horns/feelers/forehead of owl , made of brightly painted wood
43 crocodile with mouth of crying face , made of papier mache
44 antelope with eyes of chameleon , made of embroidered silk
45 lion with horns/feelers/forehead of panther , made of polished leather
46 antelope with horns/feelers/forehead of ugly woman , made of papier mache
47 badger with teeth/tongue of chameleon , made of jewel-encrusted gold
48 panther with teeth/tongue of ant , made of rough cloth
49 chameleon with snout of beetle , made of polished leather
50 beetle with ears of panther , made of brass and tin
51 bear with hair/scales/feathers/skin of angry face , made of finely sculpted porcelain
52 chameleon with eyes of dove , made of simply carved wood
53 bear with hair/scales/feathers/skin of dragon , made of brass and tin
54 dragon with snout of dragon , made of jewel-encrusted gold
55 ugly man with ears of ugly old crone , made of silver and gold
56 angry face with teeth/tongue of ox , made of embroidered silk
57 lion with snout of spider , made of embroidered silk
58 devil with teeth/tongue of elephant , made of brightly painted wood
59 turtle with eyes of turtle , made of rough cloth
60 elephant with hair/scales/feathers/skin of badger , made of finely sculpted porcelain
61 beautiful woman with horns/feelers/forehead of unicorn , made of polished leather
62 horse with eyes of lion , made of embroidered silk
63 antelope with horns/feelers/forehead of spider , made of simply carved wood
64 angry face with hair/scales/feathers/skin of lion , made of papier mache
65 crocodile with mouth of ass , made of papier mache
66 badger with eyes of ugly woman , made of embroidered silk
67 wisened old man with eyes of elephant , made of jewel-encrusted gold
68 ugly woman with teeth/tongue of beetle , made of simply carved wood
69 owl with ears of unicorn , made of silver and gold
70 wolf with hair/scales/feathers/skin of bear , made of rough cloth
71 goat with eyes of lion , made of rough cloth
72 beetle with horns/feelers/forehead of wolf , made of rough cloth
73 goat with hair/scales/feathers/skin of panther , made of papier mache
74 laughing face with ears of ugly man , made of brightly painted wood
75 elephant with hair/scales/feathers/skin of badger , made of simply carved wood
76 badger with horns/feelers/forehead of elephant , made of finely sculpted porcelain
77 owl with mouth of eagle , made of rough cloth
78 badger with horns/feelers/forehead of jackal , made of polished leather
79 dragon with ears of dove , made of finely sculpted porcelain
80 dragon with snout of wisened old man , made of polished leather
81 zebra with eyes of ugly old crone , made of embroidered silk
82 badger with horns/feelers/forehead of ox , made of finely sculpted porcelain
83 ugly woman with hair/scales/feathers/skin of ox , made of polished leather
84 handsome youth with hair/scales/feathers/skin of owl , made of embroidered silk
85 dove with teeth/tongue of dove , made of rough cloth
86 ugly man with teeth/tongue of dove , made of brass and tin
87 beautiful woman with horns/feelers/forehead of wolf , made of jewel-encrusted gold
88 dragon with eyes of vulture , made of finely sculpted porcelain
89 ugly old crone with ears of wasp , made of simply carved wood
90 ox with hair/scales/feathers/skin of elephant , made of brightly painted wood
91 tiger with horns/feelers/forehead of vulture , made of brightly painted wood
92 wolf with mouth of wisened old man , made of embroidered silk
93 chameleon with eyes of owl , made of embroidered silk
94 wisened old man with horns/feelers/forehead of ass , made of jewel-encrusted gold
95 bear with snout of ass , made of embroidered silk
96 eagle with mouth of frog , made of rough cloth
97 wolf with ears of horse , made of brass and tin
98 ugly woman with horns/feelers/forehead of handsome youth , made of silver and gold
99 horse with horns/feelers/forehead of wasp , made of simply carved wood
100 ugly man with teeth/tongue of ass , made of simply carved wood
Jared Hayter's profile photo
Some of these just don't work. If you hit a stinker, cross it off and forget it ever existed.
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Matthew Skail

Discussion  - 
Thinking about Psionics recently in my multitude of efforts to 'fix' it. A big stumbling block was always psionic combat, which I loved in theory but hated in practice as it doesn't play well with normal combat.

Then I got to thinking, unless you had several psions together, why would ANYONE choose to enter psionic combat? You essentially get locked down, cannot react to the world around you and become a sitting duck. Psionic monsters are better off using disciplines or psionic blast, unless there are enough to cover the guy locked in.a in war.

It just seems like a terriblely niche side case when it would ever be useful.
Bryan Steward's profile photoMatthew Skail's profile photo
Psionic Segment based Combat only can happen between two psionic characters. Psionic blast versus non-psionics explicitly does not work like that and can only happen once in a round with normal initiative.

Meaning our mindflayer can either a) blast the whole party or b) get locked in a duel with the one psionic in the party. Sure, when it's said and done the psionic is dead, but so is the mindflayer as the fighters carve him up.

Now if there are several psionic baddies it might make sense to lock someone up in a duel while your buds deal with everyone else, but that seems a rare case.

It just doesn't seem that helpful to participate in is what I'm saying.
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Tony T

Free stuff  - 
hot summer and welcome to the chiggers.
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Discussion  - 
In imitation of +Matt Finch, I have often tried explaining "old school" gaming to "modern" gamers using the terms rule and ruling.

But these terms already have "modern" meanings: A rule is what permits a player to do something. A ruling is simply how a DM decided to execute a rule in a particular instance.

It seems to me these terms have different "old school" meanings. A rule, in the sense of a mechanic you find published in a rule book, is a guideline, an example, a model, an inspiration -- but it does not bind. It is a starting place. A ruling is when a DM generates/applies mechanics to test whatever players describe their PCs attempting to do. Rulings are influenced, to a greater or lesser degree, by rules.

In the "modern" idiom, "old school" RPGs have no rules.
boltorange's profile photo
+Richard Pilliard Yep, I started with AD&D 2E Revised and hated it. The books looked so cool but our game was awful, like sadistic simon says. Dropped D&D for decades, went to play things like Call of Cthulhu and WEG Star Wars, before coming back to it with 3E. Based on my past experience, I thought 3E was a kind of "players' bill of rights" to strike back at shitty DMs. It took me about a year of arguing with +Aaron Zirkelbach to get over myself.
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So the Ennies are looking for judges for next year's Ennie Awards (2015). 

Here's the kicker, though... all applicants may "not have any professional relationship with any RPG publisher during the period from January 1st, 2013 to August 1st, 2015." 

Not that I want to be a judge (I don't), but the very collaborative nature of the OSR means that most of us are self-publishing (or assisting others who are). So does the very supportive nature of the OSR as a whole tend to preclude us from things like this? 

I know that others self-publish outside the OSR, but I wonder if there's something about the DIY attitude amongst us that means more publishing-related activity "per capita" than the general RPG audience.
Dennis Higgins's profile photoZak Smith's profile photoDyson Logos's profile photo
Transparency and accountability are a must, as is the integrity and security of the voting process itself. 
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