Monday, April 26, 2010

DM screen modifications

My 4th Edition DM's screen is great at being a physical barrier between my players and my notes when running a session; unfortunately, its contents aren't very useful for 1e/OSRIC. This evening I worked out a solution to that problem...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

AD&D record sheet updated

I made some minor edits to the character sheet we've been using to better support the rules cleanup I've instituted for our game. A permanent link is also available on the right.

Prior to our next session, all players will be required to copy their character to the updated sheet for consistency going forward. This should only take a few minutes, and the effort will be worth 200 XP each.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Backstab and Turn Undead

After a bit of research today, here are rules clarifications on two abilities we debated a bit during last night's game:

  • Backstab - To backstab, the intended target must be unaware of the thief (this typically requires at least a Move Silently check). The target need not be "living," but it must have a discernible backside (for example, slimes and beholders cannot be backstabbed). A successful backstab renders the victim instantly aware of the thief, automatically foiling subsequent attempts. Also remember that thieves gain +4 to hit when backstabbing.
  • Turn undead - This ability can only be attempted once per encounter, per cleric.

Friday, April 23, 2010

T1, part 3: A Feasting of Ghouls

We played our third session of The Village of Hommlet last night, with a cast of Gulwar, Amiculum, Ellimorell, and Rylin, halfling thief and newcomer to the party. The characters have found their local renown surging of late, and as such have been approached by a steady stream of prospective mercenaries and hire-ons. Rylin, hitherto working as a line cook in the Inn of the Welcome Wench, was one of these. With Dravin still ailing from the party's previous expedition (fell ill after being bitten by rats in the moat house), the PCs also employed the hulking fighter Kobart (arranging a wage of 5 gp/day through his associate, Turuko) and the self-proclaimed scribe, Spugnoir.

At the onset of the session, an ore trader arrived in Hommlet bearing the bodies of a local huntsman and his two adolescent sons, who had departed east along the road the previous morn in anticipation of Ulaa's Hunt, a scantly-recognized holiday in the region. The hunters' wounds indicated a grisly attack, and after [finally] meeting and consulting with Rufus at the estate of the village elder, the PCs chose to investigate. At dusk, they noted the local custom of food-sharing by candlelight in the wake of a significant death.

The next morning, the PCs visited the traders' establishment to replenish supplies before heading out, and on their way they encountered Rogar; curiously, the man had a long and newly-drawn scar across one side of his face. The warrior admitted to fighting, but would say no more on the matter. After he and Gulwar mutually apologized for their previous dispute, Rogar agreed to accompany the party east. Their venture lasted two days and uncovered no leads in relation to the murders, though the characters did encounter a clothier and his family (a wife and two cousins) traveling west, and escorted them to Hommlet.

Upon their return, the PCs and their three hirelings delved back into the moat house, opening a pair of locked doors on the dungeon level and discovering an assortment of armor, weapons, provisions, and a large pile of black capes and tabards bearing an unknown insignia: a yellow eye wreathed in flames. Intrigued, the PCs set shields face-down on the steps and piled them in front of the doors to serve as makeshift alarms, then proceeded to the secret chute uncovered in the torture chamber during their last visit.

Rylin scouted the bottom, some 30 feet down, noting what the group believed to be more zombies amid an earthy room lined with six-foot alcoves (crypts). After experimenting with various means of setting fires down below using two kegs of brandy found in the store rooms (these were marked as being from Dyvers), the party descended the chute, ready for battle.

That's when things got interesting. The zombies, four in all, converged on the friends immediately, paralyzing Rogar and Amiculum, to the group's horror. The melee then degenerated into a gruesome bloodbath and feasting for the ghouls (for that's what the creatures truly were): Rogar was half-eaten alive, Ellimorell was slain, and Amiculum fell, bleeding and burned. Kobart failed a morale check and fled up the chute, but Spugnoir cast sleep and the warrior plummeted back down to the stone floor, landing in a broken heap.

In the end, Rylin and Gulwar defeated the ghouls, the latter saving Amiculum from within hairs of death with his magic. Kobart and Spugnoir lived (Spugnoir actually never descended the ladder), and the survivors (five in all) hauled the mangled corpses of Rogar and Ellimorell back to Hommlet. That's where we ended.

This was an eventful session to say the least, and it ran great, even if the outcome was less than ideal for the PCs. I inverted armor classes on the fly, eliminating hit tables in favor of hit bonuses, and the change was well worth the minor up-front effort. There's not a ton more I need to streamline at this point, though I do need to make some alterations to our character sheet to avoid any confusion going forward.

Right now, I'm unsure if I'll make the move to C&C or just stay with OSRIC. There are cases for both at this point, though I'm probably leaning a bit toward the latter. I just need to think about it more in the coming days.

Not much XP was gained from this session. I'd already decided to grant Amiculum and Ellimorell a 1,000 XP boost, as in retrospect it was somewhat unfair to allow Dravin and Gulwar to begin the campaign so much higher. The party is also granted 1,000 XP for the cloak of elvenkind found in the previous session, though this award will only be split by the characters that played in that game. For this session, the ghouls are valued at 352 XP, and this award will be split equally between Rylin and Gulwar.

Updated XP totals should be reflected on the site shortly.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Rules Update

I've been spending time today researching the potential impacts of transitioning my game to the C&C rules. Since I found one or two things that might be detrimental to the existing characters, I've decided I need to discuss Castles & Crusades with my players in more detail before making a switch. In the interim, I'm considering the following changes to 1e/OSRIC:

  • Upward AC. PC base to-hits would equal 20 - THAC0. Monster to-hits could then equal their hit dice. Calculating AC is trivial: just add to (instead of subtract from) the base of 10. Doing this math up front should make attack rolls much simpler, with no ill effects, and eliminate "to-hit" tables.
  • "SIEGE" checks for task resolution. This would replace AD&D ability checks (or the lack thereof) and saving throws with a standard "d20 + modifiers vs. target DC" mechanic. This is the meat-and-potatoes of Castles & Crusades, and seemingly makes task resolution a breeze. No more wondering what to roll, or if you want a high or low result. Of course, a great complement to the SIEGE system is...
  • Standard ability score bonuses. 13-15 = +1; 16-17 = +2; 18-19 = +3. This makes mid-range scores more relevant, and bonus thresholds easier to remember.
For next session, I'll likely implement only #1 (which is purely a syntactical change), and continue to use d20 vs. ability score for ability-based checks.

I also want to develop and print a "cheat sheet" of rolls for my players. For example:
  • Attack roll (high) = d20 + modifiers vs. AC
  • Ability check (low) = d20, less than or equal to ability score
  • Saving throw (high) = d20, greater than or equal to saving throw value
  • Initiative (high) = d6, result determines combat segment on which opponents act
  • d% (low) = d10 for tens digit, d10 for ones digit; succeed by rolling less than or equal to a target percentage; "00" = 100
That's all for now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Just what I've been looking for (finally)? Castles & Crusades

I started playing D&D when I was about twelve. The current printing of the game was AD&D 2nd Edition, and for ten years, that's all I knew. When 3e came out, I ran/played it with multiple gaming groups, and DMed a campaign that lasted a handful of years, ending around levels 10-11.

At some point in that span, the d20 system got to be a bear. I found myself spending hours upon hours prepping high-level encounters, and running a campaign just started seeming like more work than fun. That's when I began turning back to "old school" D&D editions, where the rules were simple and imagination and creativity always took center stage. I've been writing about my latest AD&D endeavor (this time using OSRIC) on this site. It's going fine, but there are still a few things that bother me about the old school mechanics: hit roll tables are a nuisance, players not knowing what dice to roll, or whether they want to roll low or high bogs things down, and ability scores are often meaningless without being at least 15 or higher. These are generally minor quips, but the fact that I've played the later D&D editions that resolve these issues make them a little harder to suffer.

I'd heard of Castles & Crusades before, paged through it briefly, but when a good friend told me of his recent C&C experiences with his gaming group, I started reading in more detail. Castles and Crusades is old school in feel, but makes the rules tweaks needed for the game to run more smoothly, adds a simple (yet effective) level-based core mechanic, and empowers players with a handful of additional (yet classic) character options. I went ahead and ordered the books, and plan to give the rules a trial run in my next AD&D/OSRIC session.

For the current PCs, there's nothing really to convert, so this should be a pretty risk-free exercise: armor class goes positive, base to-hit bonuses replace THAC0, casters (just one) gain 0-level spells, and the "SIEGE" mechanic (d20 + level + ability mod) replaces most arbitrary and ability-based checks. I actually wrote up a tentative cheat sheet of various "need to know" rules (things that normally get looked up mid-session, like how to turn undead) using C&C mechanics and based on the classes present in the current party - it's one page, 16-point font, double-spaced.

My expectation is for the game to feel no different but run more smoothly, and with the players feeling a bit more empowered with their characters, having a better sense for their odds of accomplishing their various heroics. Long term, there are a lot more options for creating new characters, and the game should prove even easier for me to adjudicate, both in and out of combat (the monster stat blocks in the Monsters & Treasure volume are classic, simple, and clean: a combination I hadn't previously thought possible).

By the way, the artwork's sweet too.

Anyway, I'm trying not to get into too many C&C specifics in my post - the game isn't new and it's not my intention to write a full review (I haven't even run a session with it yet). But before I go, I just want to paraphrase a conversation that my friend had with one of his players toward the end of one of their games, retold to me over the phone:

[DM] Do you want to level up your character real quick before we move on?
[Player] I don't know, it's getting late. Maybe we should stop for the night...
[DM] Actually, it's really easy... [checks book] Roll your d6 for hit points. OK, good. Base to-hit doesn't change, [checks a couple more things...] OK, I think that's all we need to do.
[Player] OK, so I guess I didn't really gain anything new?
[DM] Yeah... but remember that you add your level to all your checks. You basically just got +1 better at everything you do.
[Player] Oh? ...Ohhhh!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spoils from T1, part 2

  • Foes defeated: 535 XP
  • A pile of silver and copper coins (awarded to Rogar as payment): 5 XP
  • A silver baton: 0 XP (not yet sold)
  • An ivory box: 0 XP (not yet sold)
  • An elven-made cloak (magical): 0 XP (not yet dispositioned)
I'm only dividing the XP from this session between the three player characters, so 180 each, plus 300 each for rescuing the three prisoners, for a grand total of 480 XP each to Amiculum, Dravin, and Gulwar. Your totals have been updated. Let me know if you think I missed anything.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Points v. Counterpoints

Since Tracy informed me that may use or link my previous post for his next Troll in the Corner write-up, I want to issue a few quick counterpoints to the old-school shortcomings that I mentioned in my session recap. The great thing about old school is that it's so easy to change something that's not working for you:

  1. Combat is dry. Counterpoint: the two combats I referenced saw the PCs pitted against a horde of giant rats and a horde of zombies, respectively. These are not the kinds of combats I normally include when writing my own adventures; they only transpired because we were playing a module. I have a strong suspicion that these fights would have been equally as dry using any "e." Don't make the characters play tedious encounters = problem solved.

  2. The XP-for-treasure system is questionable. Assuming the campaign remains old-school, my guess is that the XP system is nixed within a few more sessions. An easy three-pronged alternative? No more XP for treasure; monsters yield x5 or x10 their normal amount; continue issuing "story awards" when warranted. Problem solved.

  3. Looking up rules is an annoyance. Print off individual spell lists, class descriptions, and key pages of the rules beforehand. As a more drastic measure, I may want to make 2e the de facto rules source for the game, for the sake of my own sanity. Anything not provided inherently by 2e (half-orcs, assassins, etc.) would just be custom additions from their respective sources.
In old school D&D, making the game your own is often the surest path to victory.


T1, part 2: A Mixed Bag

Tonight ran the second session for the party exploring the ruins of the moat house in The Village of Hommlet. It was also my third session running 1e/OSRIC. My opinions of the games so far have been mixed, and are leading me in a direction that I actually find very surprising.

First, a recap: Dravin, Gulwar, and Amiculum hired Rogar, man-at-arms-for-hire, for a suit of old chain mail plus wages of 2 gp per day and delved back into the moat house, fighting off a horde of rats before slaying the wolf spider lurking in the tower left of the draw bridge (props to Gulwar for his clever use of a mirror in this encounter). They located the steps to the dungeon level, but elected to camp for the night in the bandit room with the door barricaded before descending.

At night, the ogre from the dungeon level wandered up from below, detected the PCs, and broke through the door. Though it managed to bash Gulwar with its club, the party just as quickly peppered it with arrows, and down it went. The party waited out the rest of the night, but then decided to return to town, wounded and out of spells. In Hommlet, word of the ogre was enough to recruit Burne on the characters' next foray - in exchange for a third of all gold and treasures found. And so, five strong, they returned once again, battling zombies, uncovering a hidden chute inside a pillar (amazing rolls here), and freeing three prisoners locked in a closet next to the dead ogre's sleeping chamber.

The session ended with an interesting exchange between the PCs and Rogar, which occurred after the gnome prisoner offered the latter an iron ring of friendship to return him to safety (prior to this, the PCs had decided they would escort the prisoners back to Hommlet only after their resources were further depleted). The characters were adamant that the ring was rightfully theirs since it was obtained while adventuring; Rogar felt otherwise. In the end, they all returned to Hommlet, and Rogar, offended by the pettiness of the dispute, tossed the ring back to the PCs, accepting a small bag of silver for it, albeit reluctantly. It should be interesting to see whether this bridge has been permanently ruptured.

So, that was what happened. Reading the above, it had all the makings of a good session. The PC-NPC interactions really stood out, and the personalities of Rogar, Burne, and even Zert (who the party nearly hired before Gulwar detected him as evil) became much more defined - these are the kinds of things that should really drive the game forward as it progresses.

Despite all the good, this session was tiresome to run; three main reasons stand out to me:

  1. Combat is dry. Too many misses, too many rounds of nothing but melee attacks, over and over. Did the players get creative at times? Sure. But especially from my side of the screen, when I'm running the part of giant rats, sitting there rolling piles of d20s and just looking for 15s and higher practically puts me to sleep. The zombie fight was equally fruitless, Burne's wall of fire being the main highlight.
  2. The XP-for-treasure system is questionable. This session, it lead to lots of metagaming decisions. Treasure is good, and characters motivated by treasure are fine, but characters motivated by treasure because they need it in order to gain levels is weak sauce. Additionally, we just don't play often enough to use this XP system "by the book." As written, these PCs may not see 5th level until 2011 or later (they're currently levels 3-4, mind). Having grown up on the 2e experience tables, I certainly can respect and appreciate this kind of slow advancement, but I'm seriously doubting its long-term merit for this campaign.
  3. Looking up rules is an annoyance. Especially when there's the 2e rule that I grew up knowing, the 3e rule that I played with for several years, the 1e rule that I've read once or twice, and the OSRIC rule that I'm now using as my de facto source. How does detect evil work again? Let me double-check how this system defines it. Too much ambiguity and flipping through books, even if it's not all that frequent.
So why am I surprised by the direction this is leading? Because that direction is 4e. The above items are three core pieces of D&D that it addresses: cinematic combats (allegedly), regular advancement, and minimal rulebook references. The things that went well in this session were all system independent: what might we gain from giving 4e another shot to see how things go? With the PHB2 races and classes, all the current PCs would be easily translatable, and I could cut things I don't like (dragonborn and tieflings) to keep the "classic" D&D feel without worrying about character options being too limited.

Does that mean I want to convert my game to 4e? No. I still have many doubts about the system, two of the foremost being long, dragged-out combats and hard-coded options stifling player creativity. That said, given that I have access to the 4e version of The Village of Hommlet, the idea of letting the players re-engineer their characters for a session or two to finish the adventure in 4e is intriguing: it might be as close to an apples-to-apples comparison as I'm ever able to come up with. If not, maybe I'll try a one-off run of Keep on the Shadowfell - I just hate pulling players away from plot lines they're starting to become involved in.

Anyway, we'll see what happens. Depending on when the first domino of our kitchen remodel falls, it may be a few weeks before I have a chance to play again. Anyone reading this post, feel free to comment, especially if you're one of the players.

Experience from tonight should be forthcoming sometime this weekend. I also like where the campaign is headed, plot-wise. I feel like I have a lot of good leads and NPCs to work with.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

L3: Deep Dwarven Delve (part 1)

Last night I ran an impromptu session of Deep Dwarven Delve for four players. The party, rolled up just an hour beforehand, consisted of two halfling thieves, a gnome assassin, a dwarven fighter, and an elven cleric. All of the characters were evil, and one of the thieves ended up being treated as a semi-NPC (his player had to leave before the session began).

The PCs arrived in Restenford and Lake Farmin after catching wind of the recent string of humanoid raids against the towns. After a brief internal debate over whether to help the distressed towns or simply continue the raiding themselves, they decided to offer their aid, but not before negotiating the per-head bounty on dead humanoids up to 110 gp each, and the reward for the towns' missing gold chalice up to 300 gp.

They soon were off to the humanoids' hidden lair, having been provided directions by one of the towns' rangers, who had tracked the invaders there following the last raid, three days prior. In the end, the PCs barely scratched the surface of the place, killing only a half-dozen orc guards before an alarm gong was sounded and a veritable horde swarmed from the delve's entrance. The dwarf fighter (Pug) was surrounded and slaughtered, and the others turned tail and fled, failing to procure even a single orc's head for their efforts.

The session ran great, and on only about 40 minutes of prep time for me. Like last time, there were a couple of tense moments where a single initiative roll tilted the outcome of the entire evening. For example, as the PCs began to make short work of the few orcs guarding the cave entrance, one guard bolted back inside to sound the alarm gong. The next round, the orcs won initiative, and the gong was sounded seconds before Ping (one of the thieves) rolled a natural 20 and crushed the orc's skull with a sling bullet from outside the cave, some 100 feet away. Had the gong not been rung, the party would almost certainly have been able to sneak inside the delve; as it was, they didn't even manage to set foot inside the cave entrance.

We also had a tragic cinematic scene play out in the ensuing rounds, after a score more orcs flooded from the cave and surrounded Pug, the only PC that wasn't in hiding. He fought the beasts off as best he could (with the help of the thieves and assassin firing from range), but was dropped from 34 hit points to zero in a matter of minutes. In a valiant attempt to try to save his friend, the elven cleric waded through the orc ranks (having first cast sanctuary on himself), then cast cure light wounds on Pug. Every last remaining orc failed its save to be able to attack Godric (the cleric), but even as Pug was restored to a comatose state with positive hit points, the orcs in their battle frenzy continued to impale the dwarf's body with their halberds, killing him outright. That's when the rest of the PCs fled down the hillside and took cover in the trees below until they could escape back to the safety of the towns.

Thus, the party returned empty-handed, having found no treasure and garnering only 200 XP for orcs slain, netting the surviving PCs 50 XP each. AD&D is interesting in that, despite these scarce winnings, the group could easily return, find themselves much more successful on a second run, and net many times more experience along with a mountain of gold in reward money. There's definitely a fine line between success and failure in AD&D, and crossing that line often means all the difference in the world.

As a closing thought, L3 is looking like a great module so far. We might easily play three or more additional game sessions in the delve before the adventure is finally completed, and if the characters currently in Hommlet manage to finish up their dealings soon, maybe they'll arrive in Restenford and Lake Farmin in time to win their share of the spoils here as well.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Village of Hommlet: 4e

Today I acquired a PDF copy of the 4th Edition reprint of The Village of Hommlet, the AD&D module I'm currently running. I've only glanced at it so far, mostly just to get a feel for differences and similarities to the original. I don't really have an opinion on it yet, but given that I own the 4e core books, and despite the less-than-positive feelings I've had trying to run 4e in the past, I wonder if it would be worth running this as a one-off for those currently playing the AD&D version, just as a way of doing a side-by-side comparison. In any case, I'm expecting to have another one to two more sessions (at least) in "old school" T1, so I definitely have time to think about it.

Experience points for T1 session #1

The "by the book" experience breakdown for Friday's session is as follows:

  • Foes smitten (or otherwise defeated): 250 XP
  • Bolts of cloth (claimed by merchant): 120 XP
  • Inlaid wooden box (claimed by merchant): 45 XP
  • Crystal ware (sold): 20 XP
  • Four +1 arrows: 80 XP
  • Chest of 2,000 cp (tithed): 20 XP
This amounts to 535 XP, or 134 to each of four characters.  Not very much, but at least for now, I want to play it by the book.  For one, it seems likely that upcoming sessions will yield more than this, and for two, I've fallen into a habit over the years of simply handing out thousands of XP at a time to promote steady level advancement every few sessions.  This certainly wasn't how AD&D was intended to be played.  Plus, the treasure-based system should encourage selling and bartering tactics by the PCs (maybe next time they won't be so quick to sell those goblets to the first offer when experience points are at stake!).

Edit (3/14/2010): I've awarded the PCs 200 XP each as a bonus for capturing the bandit leader Margon and returning him to Hommlet. Experience totals (including bonuses for high ability scores) are now updated and posted in the right-hand column of the site.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

T1: The Village of Hommlet (part 1)

Last night marked my first attempt at running a classic AD&D module; I chose T1 (The Village of Hommlet), precursor to The Temple of Elemental Evil. We brought Dravin Deepsyer over from the 2e campaign I ran briefly last year, resulting in the following cast of 2nd-3rd level PCs:

  • Dravin - human fighter (NG)
  • Gulwar - half-orc thief/cleric (N)
  • Ellimorell - elven assassin (LE)
  • Amiculum - human ranger (CG)
The group, having met south along the road, marched into Hommlet, like many others, in response to a call for protection by the Viscount of Verbobonc. In the village, the party spoke to a number of potential arms-for-hire, most notably a warrior named Rogar at the traders establishment, and an assortment of fellows at the Inn of the Welcome Wench: a fighter named Zert, a gambler named Furnok of Ferd, an ogre of a man named Kobart, and a passive scribe named Spugnoir. The characters also visited the castle-under-construction of Rufus and Burne, a semi-retired warrior and wizard of local adventuring fame who originally came to Hommlet three years ago.

In the end, the PCs decided to proceed to the ruins of the nearby moat house on their own, where they explored the east and south portions of its ground level and defeated a troupe of nine bandits, killing five before capturing the bandit leader, Margon (the other three escaped with their crossbows). Margon was escorted back to Hommlet and turned in to the captain of the militia, and to the characters went the bandits' spoils:
  • Two bolts of fine cloth (later claimed by a local merchant)
  • A decorated inlaid wooden box (also claimed by the same merchant)
  • A set of a crystal flagon and four crystal goblets (sold for 20 gp)
  • A gold chain necklace
  • A chest of 2,000+ cp (tithed between the church of St. Cuthbert and the druidic grove)
  • Four finely-crafted arrows
  • A suit of chain mail
Upon returning to the traders establishment, the PCs agreed in principle to barter the chain mail to Rogar in exchange for the fighter's services, though the arrangement has not yet been finalized. They also received a standing offer of 50 gp for the gold chain from the fat merchant, Rannos Davl. Finally, as a courtesy for their efforts, the magic-user Burne ("His Most Worshipful Mage of Hommlet") granted a casting of identify, revealing the arrows to be +1 magical arrows.

I still need to calculate experience for the adventure, but all in all, the players did well, having circumvented almost certain peril at the hands of the bandits after being ambushed by drawing the enemies into a dark chamber where Gulwar and Ellimorell's infravision yielded a major tactical advantage. By the time the bandits managed to procure torchlight, the tide of the battle had fiercely turned in favor of the PCs.

Having never run a true 1e game before, I really enjoyed the initiative system using combat "segments." At least two initiative rolls against the bandits were certain matters of life or death, and both of these the characters won. A couple questions I found myself pondering during and after the session:
  1. Is a thief's backstab ability viable in an ongoing melee? We had a situation where Gulwar approached a bandit, presumably unobserved in total darkness, while the bandit was busy blind-fighting either Amiculum or Ellimorell (I can't remember which). I allowed a backstab attempt at the time (which succeeded), but my uncertainty in the moment makes me want to research a little more about backstabbing before we play again.
  2. When awarding XP for treasure, should I award points based on the stated value of the treasure in the module, or the value received from its sale? (I think probably the former.)
I plan to find the answers I seek for both of these questions at Dragonsfoot. I'm sure I've seen forum threads on both of these topics there before.


AD&D 1e Record Sheet

Click here to download the official AD&D record sheet for my campaign. I can't remember where I originally found this, otherwise I'd give credit for it. Link also permanently available on the right.

Monday, February 22, 2010

OSRIC Record Sheet

Click here to download the official OSRIC record sheet (this link is also permanently available in the Links section on the right).

A New Beginning

Having defended the walls of Frostmar Keep from invading humanoids, Dravin Deepsyer and his companions have set out across the perilous countryside to build their legacy...

Here begins a new set of adventures, after a full year away from person-to-person gaming for me as a DM. My system of choice for upcoming sessions is OSRIC, the Old School Reference and Index Compilation. OSRIC takes the rules and mechanics of first edition AD&D and strips it down to its core, presenting the material in a succinct and reader-friendly organization that promises to make old-school gaming easier than ever, for players and DMs alike. OSRIC is freely available as a downloadable PDF, and hardbound and paperback copies can be purchased through