Under the Hill

so tired…

Posts Tagged ‘dsa

Under Oak Hill

with 9 comments

My entry for the One Page Dungeon Contest 2010: A small module taking a group of low to mid-level characters through a cave system. I noticed during writing this little dungeon how used I am, as a referee,still thinking in DSA’s terms. Where others would have put in a lot of weird and uncommon monsters more, my enemies are a bit more mundane; if one can call undead bears mundane… (also the sheer mass of creatures is showing the D&D).

This design paradigm is normal for The Dark Eye, as most gamemasters notice pretty soon how hard it is to write extraordinary creatures and plots without completely breaking the whole setting. I kept myself mostly to usual fantasy fare with the monsters in that module. A few were not in the Labyrinth Lord basic rules (which I used as reference); that won’t matter, I will post writeups on those the next few days.

The map was created with Dungeon Crafter v1.4.1 (the free one), then finished off in GIMP. I noticed that at least when using it under WINE I cannot turn tiles in Dungeon Crafter, or even save a map, for reasons unknown, so the mapping took longer than I planned and still is lacking something. Anybody got a better mapper that’s also usable on a Linux system?

Update: Feb 26. 2010 – replaced download link with slightly corrected version

Download: Under Oak Hill

Related: New Creatures

Written by G. Neuner

25. February 2010 at 2:17 pm

Serial Numbers Filed Off

with 6 comments

Labyrinth Lord is original Dungeons and Dragons with serial numbers filed off. It seems that Wizards of the Coast, by open sourcing their game mechanics in the early 2000s, also opened them up to be retrocloned to older rulesets that were not part of the original deal. And so LL has nearly everything a group needs to play as if it was 1977. The word is “retrogaming“, and it has been rather popular lately, mostly carried by guys who have been D&D/RPG players in the first years of the hobby. And there is more to that little part of the hobby than only Labyrinth Lord with it’s evocation of 1970s/80s fanzine quality. Sword&Wizardry tries to evoke the aura of even earlier sets of D&D, OSRIC tries to be AD&D 1st ed., Mutant Future tries to be Gamma World.

Now, I’m obviously not part of that age group that seems to be so fascinated by those old-school games. Not as much as those people in their 40s and 50s are who played D&D back when it was fresh and new. I’m not even close to that. My first experience with roleplaying games came in the mid-90s with Germany’s very own “Das Schwarze Auge” (The Dark Eye), although I can relate to them desiring simpler and faster rules than what is current now. The new version of D&D (4th edition) appears to me a as a bloated, overdone try to rip off World of Warcraft. Even the 3rd edition, which I used for a long time and had lots of fun with, always appeared to me as overly complicated. Maybe the reason for that was that the first time I played DSA back then I was using the Beginner¹ rules, which were the rules of it’s 1st edition: fast, easy, and a lot of fun. They had their very own problems. but I never lost the feeling that roleplaying games should be played like that: fast and loose, story over rules, a quick decision in favor of hour long battles.

On the other hand there is a certain dogmatism in the retrogaming community: as much fun as playing the old games just like they were played 30 years back might be, many of those adherents to the old school also want something else: reliving the old days. And so they try to simulate the old times as closely as possible.

Why am I putting that much thought into this? Because I plan to use LL for some games, that’s why. it turns out that there are a few people  interested in playing pen&paper roleplaying games. I haven’t really played for years now, but let’s see if I still got it…


¹ and lo! there actually is a retroclone of those rules as well, in English even…

Written by G. Neuner

24. February 2010 at 6:17 pm