Saturday, August 30, 2014

Gearing Up for Dave Arneson Game Day 2014 With A Free OD&D Download On The Dark Corner Blog

Today on the Dark Corner blog I help spread the word about an upcoming OSR celebration as we make preparations for Dave Arneson Game Day 2014! 
I discuss classic Darkmoor campaign adventure I'll be running and we've got a free OD&D download to help celebrate as well!
Right Over

Special Thanks to Harvard Blackmoor for bring this to my attention!
Cheers pal! 

1d10 Random Robo Cab Encounters Tables For Your Old School Science Fiction and Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

These cabs are some of the most mundane seeming objects traveling through the space ports and byways of the science fictional future but they can be jump off points for entire campaigns.
These robo cabs have been encountered out in the deep wastes of the post apocalyptic world as well. These encounters are never completely what they seem or sometimes they are. 

1d10 Random Robo Cab Encounters Table
  1. This robo cab has been reprogrammed to take passengers on a random route to a waiting serial killer. They will be sprayed with sleeping gas and need a save vs gas or pass out for ten rounds 
  2. This cab has a space princess on the run hidden in the back using a cloaking screen. The robo cabbie isn't aware of her, she needs a couple of heroes to help her escape her lunatic husband to be. 
  3. This cab has twelve secret panels that have a stash of very dangerous contraband hidden throughout the cab. The cabbie is completely unaware of the stash. 
  4. This robo cabbie has been pre programmed with an espinoge mission and can offer 500 credits for a quick job. He's completely unaware of his own programming. 
  5. This cabbie is completely insane and stalks groups of individuals. At some point within 1d4 days after encountering a group of individuals, this monster will hit them and try to take out those on his 'hit list'. He or rather it will drop the PC's off at their destination only to appear several times until it has the information it needs. Its been hunting for over two years now and its quite cagey about its predatory habits. 
  6. An ordinary robo cab nothing more. 
  7. This is a overly friend robo cabbie that will assist and befriend the PC's, helping them where and when it can. The A.I. wants to be free of the cab and will eventually after 1d4 weeks ask for the PC's assistance in this en devour. The corporation that owns the cab will be quite annoyed by this development. 
  8. This robo cab is actually a shape shifting alien that has been randomly abducting people for its alien masters. It functions in all respects as a robo cab but then randomly will kidnap victims who meet its weird criteria. The alien uses the same cab all the time so there a 40% that the next time this horror is encountered it will be an ordinary cab. 
  9. This cab belongs to a secret society who uses it to sheppard around its cult like members you've just stepped into the deep end of conspiracy land and now your party will have to deal with the consequences. 
  10. This isn't a regular robo cab but a dimensionally traveling cab bound for another plane. Welcome to the otherside adventurers. The cab will be picking up other alien fares as time warrants. 

Review and Commentary On The Hammers of the God Adventure From Lamentations of the Flame Princess For Your Old School Campaigns

Grab It Right
I finally got a chance to check out a physical copy of Hammer Of The Gods from James Raggi and the first thing that like is the artwork by Dean Clayton (you can see more of that right HERE ).
The physical copy of this adventure clocks in at thirty six pages but the pdf clocks in at about 86 and this adventure is compatible with most of the major retroclones including Labyrinth Lord and OSRIC.
This is a case where having a pdf on hand could help with maps of this location driven adventure. Ramsey Dow did the interior cartography and it matches the location's moody and foreboding atmosphere of this adventure.
The basic plot hook from Drivethrurpg goes something like this : 
By the Sign of the Hammer!
A mysterious map and a promise treasure to be won are all that are required to set any adventurer worth the name into the wilderness. But sometimes what is found is far more than treasure.
Many that are good and noble will kill to make sure the secrets to be found under the old mountain stay buried. Many that enter the darkness will become beguiled by the splendor of the halls in which they walk, mesmerized by the riches to be found there, never realizing that death follows their every move.
Dwarves never forget a grudge. But what if they hold that grudge against themselves?
Beware the god who has been discarded.
An Adventure For Character Levels 3 – 5
This PDF is A5 size, with the dungeon map being A4 size.
The Drivethru description doesn't even begin to do this adventure justice at all. This is another location based adventure, in this case a Dwarven stronghold. The adventure on the whole might be cast anyplace within an old school campaign. On the whole this adventure has an atmosphere about it that reminds me of John Carpenter's The Thing, the adventurers are treading their way through a place of ancient secrets. The adventure is filled to the brim with lots of well fleshed out descriptions, some nice puzzles, and lots of fiddly bits to keep a party of adventurers busy for quite some time.
 The secrets of the Dwarven stronghold does jump out at the party and instead the plot of the place builds upon itself encounter by encounter. There are plenty of riches and dangers to be had within this adventure for levels 3-5.
This is an adventure that is driven by and suited to the mythic and legendary but with lots of touches of ancient dread in between the pages. This adventure could be worked into a mini campaign and there's plenty of ideas within the pages where this location and its dangerous could be expanded upon.
There's lots of subtly with this adventure and plenty to keep PC's occupied between the pages in this adventure. The encounters are well thought out and balanced for a party while still being pretty damn nasty.
I liked the fact that this adventure is suitable for any number of retroclones systems and it's own take on the traditional OD&D Dwarven trope holds the plot together so well. Plenty of the ideas here are downright interesting and could make PC's never quite see any Dwarf in their campaign setting that this adventure is run in the same again.
And this is both the boon and bane of this adventure. DM will have to ask themselves what the preconceived notions about their own Dwarven races. Personally, I like where the author took this adventure. Plenty of treasure in this adventure but even more atmosphere, danger, dreadful creeping horror in this one if the DM runs it right. 
All in all I was pretty pleased to finally get a look at the physical book of this adventure thanks to Peter the other night. Cheers pal for that. However that being said I would certainly opt for the Pdf so that a DM could print out the maps as the exploration of the stronghold was done.
 Wait till this one goes on sale and then grab it, run it, and let a secret of the Dwarfs finally see the light of day if the adventurers survive this one. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Free OSR ' Magic' Supplement From '&' Magazine - – A Book of Miscellaneous Spells

A Book of Miscellaneous Spells Cover
Grab It Right

Need some spells for your OSR game?
Introducing the & Publishing Group’s first supplement publication from the fertile mind of Andrew Hamilton.
'&' magazine has put together a free  resource : 
A Book of Miscellaneous Spells is a free resource for players of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role playing game and OSRIC, consisting of over 120 spells including some previously seen in & Magazine and Dragonsfoot’s Workshop forum, as well as never before seen spells. This resource is designed to give players and DM’s of AD&D and OSRIC games new spells and ideas to incorporate into their game or provide inspiration for new avenues of adventure. This resource includes spells for clerics, druids, magic-users, and other wizard classes.
This supplement is perfect for all of your retroclone spell needs. From AD&D first edition to Lamentations of Flame Princess style games all these are covered under this pdf. With a bit of work this material can be used with OD&D with a bit of a step down in the system.
This fifty five page supplement has been around for a couple of months but it really hasn't gotten a lot of air play. Too bad because its a great addition to an old school dungeon master's tool kit.
Grab this one while you can. Its free and is only one of the quality free products that has been published by the '&' folks. I'm quite impressed with the OSR material that continues to be published by  the '&'folks. So I continue to support these folks and the get the word out to you.

Forgotten Friday Post Apocalyptic Cinema - The Brain Eaters 1958 For Mutant Future & Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

Autumn is almost in the air here in Connecticut and we're already seeing the Halloween candy appearing stores. So its time for me to get another round of 1950's post apocalyptic films ready to go for the traditional PA campaign fest. A film that came up on the rolls happened to be the 1958 science fiction drive in favorite the brain eaters. Its not a bad little alien invasion flick with over tones of Invasion of the Body Snatcher style and a good dose of Robert Heinlein's The Puppet Master's thrown in.
According to Wiki :
The Brain Eaters is a 1958 science fiction-horror film about alien parasites who invade the small Illinois town ofRiverdale and are able to take over any living thing, mind and body, by attaching themselves to their host's back and inserting two mandibles into the base of their spines. The film was directed by Bruno VeSota and stars Ed Nelson, Alan Jay Factor, Joanna Lee, with a brief appearance by Leonard Nimoy (name misspelled in 10th place in the credits as "Leonard Nemoy"

The film's plot is easily adapted to most of the major old school post apocalyptic systems out in the wilds of gaming. According to wiki:
A team of local scientists discover alien parasites when they investigate a mysterious, three-story-tall, cone-like object that has appeared outside of town. It becomes obvious that the parasites' first victims, whose minds have been taken over, are the town's leading citizens

For Mutant Epoch, the Brain Eaters are sight unseen monsters and there are several worm like monsters within the game that make excellent stand in monsters for Brain Eaters themselves. The cone like structures that the monsters appear from could be found anywhere and might be a dimensional invasion rather then one from space.
Full Film 

For Mutant Future, the Brain Eaters are perfect gonzo aliens that might appear anywhere. The few times that I've used these horrors has been as part of convention set adventures and one shots. They make excellent fodder for an evening's one shot Mutant Future adventure encounter. 

Brain Eaters 
No. Enc.: 1d6
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1
Damage: Special
Save: L9
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: None 
Mutations : mind thrust, possession,  thermal vision, psionic flight, metaconcert,
Brain Eaters make a perfect hazard for the post apocalyptic wastelands. For Mutant Future these alien bio creations are simply another form of Brain Lasher bio technology. These horrors are based upon the alien/human hybrid gene slicing technologies of  these Lovecraftian master horrors. Insidiously these monsters work from within to subvert and make way for their alien masters.
The film was a Roger Corman special and  according to wiki there was some fall out from it: 
Actor Bruno VeSota wanted to direct. He approached Roger Corman with the script and Corman helped him raise the low budget and arranged distribution through AIP. The film was shot in six days.

After the film was released, Robert A. Heinlein sued for plagiarism, asking for $150,000 claiming that the film was based on his novel The Puppet MastersRoger Corman vowed he was unfamiliar with Heinlein's work when presented with the script and during production. He did, however, see the obvious references once he read the story, so he settled out of court for $5,000. Heinlein also demanded that he himself receive no screen credit, as he found the film based on his story "wanting"

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lair Of The Road Hunter - Mutant Epoch Rpg System Actual Play Encounter

In tonight's Mutant Epoch, the PC's were helping a group of adventurers acquire a rare medical droid from from a set of ruins near the Canadian border just off the global highway. Last time they had made camp with their NPC friends everything seemed quite alright. The PC's were awoken to the sound of a lone sports car driving away. A sound that they've come to dread. Apparently Max Gibson had been busy during the night as the PC's were about to find out. Max is an 'immortal' cybernetic bounty hunter upon whose hit parade the PC's have made. 

The Origin For Max Gibson Can Be Found 

The PC's were startled by a trio of combat robots that attacked them. After causing the NPC adventurers and the PC's to scatter they retreated and then attacked them again. The other adventurers did not lend our heroes a hand at all during combat! Something wasn't right at all. The other parry's scouts seemed to miss several opportunities to engage the bots and they drew the PC's into the treeline and then cloaked themselves in a camouflage field.
 After an extended game of cat and mouse the PC's finally caught up with the combat robots and gunfire as well as a few party favor frag grenades settled the combat. That's when the other PC left behind at camp noticed the 'scouts' talking on the radio seemingly directing the combat robots to the PC's location! 

 Our hero opened fire on the 'scouts' and brought them down after an extensive fire fight. Those were no wilderness scouts? They had been replaced during the night with android doubles!
The other NPC adventurers passed out as the last combat robot was destroyed with an extensive fire fight.
The implanted mind control units were deactivated after the last bot went down.
One of the other light combat bots managed to escape into the underbrush but the PC's gave chase. The PC's gun master has a good grasp of medicine and was able to dig out the implants from the necks of the NPC's.
The rest of the party followed the trail of the other combat back to a hidden cave! Inside the cave entrance was a downed space craft hidden within for centuries. The space craft was a wreck but inside was an extensive cybernetics and clone lab. The PC's found row after row of Max Gibson clones, cybernetic bodies, and more.
That's when they saw row after row of cloned Gibson bodies and parts. They were almost ambushed by several other heavy combat bots. The bots have them pinned down under heavy machine gun fire.
 Now they're waiting for re enforcement after radioing in to the rest of their findings.
 Inside the lair they found a plethora of things for the discriminating adventurers.
 Here's a list of random items that were found in and around the Lair of the Road Hunter.

1d10 Lair Of The Road Hunter Random Loot  Table 
  1. Cybernetic implants still attached to the decayed skull's original bones. There are several systems that need to be examined for the true value. 
  2. Massive mutant baffalo skull made into a silver shod piece of artwork worth 200 gold pieces in current condition. 
  3. A sensor suite in a weird bone like set up. There are over one hundred working sensors in this particular implant. 75 gold as is. Worth 400 gold pieces in its current condition. 
  4. Robotic arm that would make an excellent cyber implant for some mutant. Worth about 200 gold for it. 
  5. A cell phone fully charged and in good working order. The phone's A.I. is smart SOB who will constantly prank and pull fast ones on party members. Worth seventy five gold pieces
  6.  A rusty knife that has a nanite based poison on its tip. Worth about 500 gold pieces because of the possible A.I. caught within its own web. 
  7. A rusting house hold robot with a memory of the past and who lived where. The robot is afraid of flying and hates mutant birds. Worth 200 gold pieces to the right collector
  8. An energy cell eaten away and leaking radiation. There energy slugs all over the thing.. These small seemingly harmless mutants are also worth 300 gold pieces to the right  bio weapons division. 
  9. A tube of bio paste that can be used to patch up most minor medical emergencies. Worth 100 gold pieces to the right guy who can make this from local materials. 
  10. A burst transmission radio that can reach any of the floating space junk in orbit. The radio was hidden last year by an adventurer traveling in the region. The right buyer  will pay 400 gold pieces to the collector.  
More coming soon! 

Free Old School Horror Rpg Magazine - Protodimension Summer Issue !

Download Protodimension Magazine #20 Summer 2014
Grab It For Free Right Over

Its here! Its here!
The latest issue of the award winning free horror zine Protodimension magazine is out!
The summer issue has a ton of brand new material themed for a wide variety of  venerable and old school horror rpgs including the Dark Conspiracy Rpg, Call of Cthulhu, and much more!
Here's some of the awesome contents : 
  • Dithering in the Dark, Words from the chief by Tad Kelson
  • Marburg Z, Contagion-the sincerest form of flattery by Jason D. McEwan for T2K & Dark Conspiracy
  • Prancing Ponies II, Black Rifle Variations, Covering the ubiquitous AR15/CAR15 by Jason D. McEwan for Dark Conspiracy
  • Random P-Dim Determination, Quick generation of alternate worlds by CW Kelson III (Tad) for Dark Conspiracy
  • The Istrian Affair, A Dark Conspiracy scenario by John H Godsland (1994 original) and Lee Williams (2014 revision) for Dark Conspiracy
  • Out Law or Outlaw, Life going downhill by Norm Fenlason Fiction
  • The Yakobi Island Artifact, An accounting by Jason Huls a Plot Hook
  • Ken and Protodimension Talk About Stuff, An interview with Ken Hite by Lee Williams
  • The Goblin Market, A Proto-dimension by CW Kelson III (Tad) for Dark Conspiracy/Conspiracy Rules
  • Hole In The Dark, Dark history fleshed out by Eric Fabiashi for Dark Conspiracy
  • Small Arms Instructor, A targetted career by Jason D. McEwan for Dark Conspiracy
  • Gulf Airstream Vardo, Semi-apocalyptic lifestyle by Jason D McEwen for Dark Conspiracy
  • Thunder Five, A firearm by Lee Williams for Dark Conspiracy and Call of Cthulhu
  • Call Of the Were Boar, A Study of the Methods and Operations of This Invasive Dark Minion Species, by Eric Fabiashi for Dark Conspiracy
  • What’s Your Emergency? High Tek and Folk Tek – medical gear for Minion Hunters, by Kevin O’Neill for Dark Conspiracy
  • No Longer Your Friend, Hand grenades by Jason D McEwen for Dark Conspiracy
  • From Under the Floorboards, Pod-people news by Lee Williams
While your there please grab the other issues because there's a great amount of material that you can use for your games!  Protodimension is always looking for quality gaming articles for Call of Cthlhu , Dark Conspiracy, and a wide variety of other old school and new school horror rpgs so get to writing and submitting. 

Aliens Eternal Soldiers Hive War 2384 - A Mutant Future Campaign Set Up Or A Campaign Set Up For Any Old School Post Apocalyptic Rpg

Imagine waking up from hypersleep fighting an eternal war against the Xenomorphs. Your band of humans, mutant soldiers, etc. has been pulled from failed colonies, the Rim, and every single wasteland from across the known universe to fight in your ancestors own backyard, Earth.
This is Hive War 2384 , two years after the events of Alien Resurrection.
At the end of Alien Resurrection, the medical R&D ship does a nose dive into Earth sparking the Fourth Alien War. Times are desperate and supplies are running low. Materials, ammo, weapons, etc are all in short supply and the everything has been pulled out of mothballs.
Including the Colonial Marines. It seems that not all of the Marine forces went quietly after the events of  the Walmart/ Weyland -Yutanti merger. One of the largest Colonial Marine base ships know as the USS Valhalla went into deep orbit with its complement of Marine command in hypersleep awaiting activation in Earth's greatest hour of need.

The Colonial marines have been reactivated and the United System Military has dropped the ball went it came to Earth. The world has been turned into a complete wasteland and Xenomorph holiday spot. 

The USS Ray Bradbury is dispatched to assess the situation on Earth. A small tactical squad of ten marines is brought in to investigate the African space port facilities. The whole planet has been abandoned to a wide variety of native mutant species,Xenos, and worse.  United System Military forces set up a series of  warning beacons and flash probes but have retreated to several other planets leaving the residents of the planet up to their necks in it.
Colonial Allen Poe a descendant of Spears is in charge of the Earth mission and a very able bodied commander but with hatred of United System Military forces whom he considers nothing more then corporate backed clowns. He blames them for abandoning the home world.
The troops have only just landed in Africa via drop ship and begun scouting out the ruins of a former capital city and space port. They have not yet engaged Xenomorphs .. yet.

The Van Deelen Option & Conversion 
About ninety percent of this campaign is based on the Mutant Future rpg conversions of Chris Van Deelen and his work with the Alien movies. The following are some of those conversions with annotations for my campaign. There are several main hives across the planet and very active Alien Queens each of which is descended from the USM Auriga nests. Millions have died and there's been a legacy of horror that continues in the wastes of Earth.

Chest Burster and Egg Cycle Available Right

Chris Van Deelen's Queen Conversion
Right HERE
Her Praetorian Guards
Are Right HERE

Because of the human resistance and several of Earth's forces were already used to dealing with the battles with the Xenomorphs. There has been the incorporation of several Bio Genesis programs including the rise in so called Mutates. Human soldiers modified with mutant and bio engineered organs that can deal with the Xenomorphs. Marines have been quick to incorporate these native forces.
 The Xenomorphs warriors are still some of the most commonly encountered and deadliest. The cycle of infestation within the human race may have altered the genetic heritage of the human genome forever. The extent of mutational and genetic drift because of the series of  Hive Wars is unknown. 

Some of the most common Xenomorph species have been the canines , these horrors continued to be encountered in the Rhineland and Germany theaters. Cyborg and other heavier acid resistance mutate forces have been very effective against this style of warrior 

More information right over
Deep in the  
Australian Outback is a deadly secret, the corporations of Earth have been breeding human/Xenomorph hybrid horrors based upon partially recovered data from the data cores of Father. The results are a complete variation of the work of the USM Auriga science teams.
These hybrids have escaped and begun to establish themselves in the Australian  wastes.
Most are in the newborn stages and several bio firms are already considering sending in cyborg teams to wipe these horrors out but it may be far too late. 
More information right

 Predators In The Dark 

The spread of such a concentration of Xenomorphs on a planetary scale has not gone unnoticed at all. The Predator species has been hunting and killing their old foes in several South American communities. There are rumors of the ancient cults reviving in those countries and the Predator species reviving their ancient practices of being worshiped as gods deep in the old jungle preserves.
Recent events have revealed that the Predator Xenomorph hybrids have been encountered. 

More information available right HERE

There have been several pieces of Predator technological devices that have been seized by Colonial forces from the black markets of Earth. There have included netting launchers, and dart throwers. These aliens remain aloof, completely homicidal, and very dangerous. South America is under Colonial indict for now.

The Space Jockey Legacy 

The Space Jockey encountered on LV -326 is not the same race that the expedition from the Prometheus encountered. The Space Jockey are far older then the Osian humanoids and were originally their servants created from our genetic base thousands of years ago.
The Osians are the inheritors of their master's bio technological legacy and continued their ways develing into the mysteries of the universe until the Priest and Warrior castes locked themselves into an eternal war that has all but wiped out that race.
 There are very few of the Originators of the  bio technological races left. They're as individual as the stars and as alien in their mindset's as well. Now with the infection of Earth and the telepathic siren song of the Xenomorph queens. They're attention has been piqued but for what reason is unknown but one of their ships has been detected deep within the galactic sector and its headed for Earth.

Tried, True, And Blue Technologies
The Weapons Of The Colonial Marines 

The weapons of the Colonial Marines are still in use after so many intergalactic wars, conflicts, and dust ups. There are are many reasons for this. Many of the marines weapons are easy to manufacture on a local level. The native populations of many colony worlds continue to field their own forces with Colonial weaponry. The Colonial ideals are intertwined and identified with these weapons.

Compete Stats for The Iconic  M41A Pulse Rifle 

The Colonial marines have begun funneling weapons, tactics, and forces to the Earth Resistence that's left. The marine presence has been welcomed but its going to be an up hill war for the Earth. And its only started.