Old School

Old School Renaissance This page collects the my latest posts on the topic of old school D&D gaming.

Halberds & Helmets is my house rules document.

I follow the Old School Revisited and Why OD&D line of thought presented by Sham’s Grog ’n Blog:

  1. Decision of the referee is final – no rules lawyers
  2. A game of making the most of what you get
  3. Not about the power of the character
  4. Sandbox gaming (players decide how the campaign develops)

If you’re looking for more blogs, I can recommend these two sources:

  1. Old School RPG Planet

2019-07-10 I need ideas for captains

I’m running the Razor Coast (Swords & Wizardry edition) using my own Halberds & Helmets rules.

⚠ ⚠ ⚠ Spoilers! ⚠ ⚠ ⚠

The book has various sections but generally speaking, there are two main plots, more or less.

  1. the coming of Dajobas, god of sharks, and the were-shark infestation
  2. the coming of Harthagoa, god of mad tentacles, and the sahuagin

My players have practically finished the first plot. Now I should be running the second part. They know about Harthagoa, they know how to recognize a member of the ring, they know the prime suspects... and now I’m stuck. Uninspired.

I drew up a list of captains, both known ones and new ones.

And… nothing. I’m drawing a blank.

How frustrating! I need to get into the groove and I’m hoping that posting about it here and writing some pages on the campaign wiki is going to get me started again.

We are 44 sessions into this campaign and I’m fearing stagnation! But I don’t want to!

I’ve pulled out The Pirate’s Guide to Freeport but it is a long text to read and I don’t enjoy reading most RPG books.

Sometimes I am at a loss when thinking about where to take the campaign next and then I pick one of the books from my shelf, looking for inspiration and I’m struck by how useless the books I have are for the problems I have. People and shops and gangs and councils don’t make an adventure. If only I knew what makes text magical adventure inspirational material. Perhaps it’s me, not the text? Do I have to be in the right mood and surrounded by the right things for this to work? 😭

I think in this case the problem is that this isn’t even pirate material. There are pirates in the area, but basically I’m concerned with the captains in the city.



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2019-07-02 Strange and beautiful things

I was listening to Judd’s podcast episode Reply Show Oscar 6/26/19: TPK the Canon with Jim and Supporter's Choice: Evocative blends of the mun.

What is it about the exact things he talk about that keeps me listening? I think it’s because I can imagine myself having the conversation I can’t have in my face to face games: referees talking to each other about their games, about what works and what inspired them and what didn’t work. I even listen to the call-ins because they’re not about praising each other or the products they made. It’s just GM-to-GM talk.

This time, he talks about strange and evocative moments in role-playing games. I started wondering. Then I started making a little list in my head. Then I decided to write it down. Here we go.

I remember a Burning Wheel game where the character of player wanted some information from a girl that was in love with him. You know how it is in Burning Wheel. You pick the skill. You look for helping dice. You propose an outcome. You start the duel of wits. The GM talks about consequences. It’s somewhat dry. But suddenly inspiration grabs me and I’m feeling the summer heat in the early evening hours on this island and the breeze and her dress, and this meeting, and she loves this guy and he wants what? Are we going to elope? Is he going to finally be painfully honest and tell her he doesn’t love her back? And it turns into a minute or two of the heart overflowing. I actually don’t remember the details. It’s just that feeling of the heart overflowing. When I read the session report I don’t recognise the names. I don’t even know which of the scenes is the one that I’m remembering. It happened years ago. It was one of the few times where love played a significant part.

I remember a game of In a Wicked Age where we were struggling in a Mesopotamian palace and Florian was playing a witch or some other powerful woman and somebody else was playing a man and maybe it was me, I don’t remember. It all comes to a head. Half the palace is dead, there’s blood everywhere. The last conflict, the last die is rolled, and she wins. It’s over. Florian gets to decide how it ends and he looks at me and says: the two of us will marry. Aaaargh! So bad! So good! Sleeping with the enemy, indeed. What a way to end the game.

As I was trying to find the session report for the previous story but couldn’t find it. I saw nothing the like in the two session reports I could find. As I was searching for this on my own wiki, however, I found a vignette from an old school Planescape inspired D&D campaign. The party talked to a woman about her family issues. It turns out her brother is unhappy because he married an adventurer and she’s always away doing stuff instead of spending time at home. An innkeeper hears about all of this and later ask all the player characters whether they have somebody at home, waiting for them to come back. All the players think about their characters and give a short explanation of why they don’t. I felt this was a sweet moment.

That reminds me of another moment in that same campaign. The players had fought their way into a pirate lair, ascended the tower and faced the pirate king. Somehow I managed to provoke Johannes into accepting a duel to the death even though his character was surrounded by plenty of friends. And so it goes. It takes a while to whittle down the hit-points. And then the player character has to roll on the Death & Dismemberment table. He’ll die in a few rounds! And Johannes persists: no helping his character! And he manages to kill the pirate king in those last few moments before he dies. We were all very impressed. Here, at least, the session report matches my recollections!

That was a great campaign. I also remember a different scene, even earlier than that. The party had determined that they had to fight two manticores. Johannes’ character still had a basilisk head and decided that they wanted to build a basilisk puppet and scare the manticores away instead. It was hilarious. This too has a session report that confirms my recollection.

Oh, and there was Marco’s character in that D&D 3.5 game that had failed their first saving throw against a poison and knew that no matter what he rolled on that second roll, they would surely die. So he sat down on the cave floor and composed a death poem. It was powerful stuff. Belflin Goes To Arcadia. But you know how it is: the dead always get raised. 😁

Anyway, I’m sure I could dig up more. But the key takeaway for me is that none of this was mediated by the rules. The rules are important for many things, but when I think about the great moments, the strange and beautiful things that happened at the table, the rules don’t matter that much. They might enable this scene or that scene, but as long as they’re not making you waste the precious time you have left on this Earth, as long as you love the game, they don’t matter all that much.


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2019-07-01 Orcs

So... Hex Describe has plenty of orcs. I like orcs. I really like the Skyrim orcs. They’re good at making weapon. They have villages, families, run mines, you can friends with them. I played as an orc and always enjoyed visiting them.

When I run a game, orcs are sometimes evil, sometimes they’re not. I try to avoid simple good vs. evil morality questions because they’re so easy to answer. If the players are good, the answer is obvious. If the players are evil, I don’t want to play with them. Therefore, moral questions are always in the grey area where the decisions made at the table matter. With regards to orcs, in one campaign I remember orc tribes moving through the wilderness, threatening the construction site of the party’s castle. The players had to fight them off. Later in the game, there was an orc tribe living in a cave near some thieves. The players were expecting trouble, but the reaction roll went well and their leader had an evil, magic Orcus mace that kept insulting everybody and trying to incite violence – just like one of the players! They both had a silly Orcus weapon. Soon the players talked about setting up a trading post and more. Many sessions later, when they met again, some evil elves they had met before and some beholder-worshipping dwarves with their beholder showed up as well and there was a big fight. I think the thieves also showed up. In any case the party remained loyal to the orcs and so the orcs upheld their side of the bargain as well. Good times all around.

Right, so where am I going with this? I recently read two excellent essays by James Mendez Hodes:

  1. Orcs, Britons, and the Martial Race Myth, Part I: A Species Built for Racial Terror
  2. Orcs, Britons, and the Martial Race Myth, Part II: They're Not Human

And I guess it’s white fragility time, haha. OK, but I also want to do better. So I think what I need to do is look through the entries generating orc settlements in Hex Describe to see whether the orcs (and other societies) it generates are treated with respect.

“Since we cannot reliably extricate orcs from racial associations, we must characterize them with the same compassion, respect, and attention to stereotype we extend to people of color.” – James Mendez Hodes

Currently, the entries generated for mountain orcs are not so bad. I like the mountain orc product table, and the orc feature resulting in their leader being a famous sword smith in some sort of orcish tradition. I need more of these!

I was surprised to find that White Fragility is not just a book by Robin DiAngelo but also a paper with full text available. Very cool! Click on the link above.


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2019-06-25 Episode 25

Podcast Mass combat.


Mass Combat


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2019-06-12 Torture in Games

In a recent episode of his podcast Daydreaming about Dragons, Judd Karlman talked about torture in role-playing games.

I prefer a different solution based on the fact that torture doesn’t work. If you need a book to tell you so, a quick search online finds Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation by Shane O’Mara. But there are countless other sources that will tell you the same thing.

There are only four kinds of people who claim that torture works:

  1. dictators who want to degrade their opponents and don’t actually care about the truth of what their victims say
  2. wanna-be dictators who will say anything to make them look dangerous
  3. stupid people repeating what dictators and wanna-be dictators have told them
  4. people in the employ of any of the above

All of them psychopaths: no empathy, no friends, exploitative, power hungry.

Back in 2016, I said how I handle torture in my games:

Torture: I ask the players what they want to hear. Then I say that this is exactly what their victim is saying after the maltreatment. And if they want to go into the details, I tell them I don’t want to hear about it. Ugh!

That’s it. Whatever you want to hear, that’s what victims of torture tell you. When you think they are lying, they will confess to lying and tell you something else, trying to guess what you want to hear, anything to make it stop.

And if you want to talk about it at my table, I shall be happy to never play with you again. Uuuugh.

I think anybody who who has read anything about concentration camps in Germany, Armenian death marches in Turkey, the Spanish police torturing the separatist activists, the French soldiers torturing their prisoners in Algeria, the US torture prisons, the torture of prisoners in the Near East, the Russians torturing rebels in Chechnya, the torture of prisoners in China, and on and on and on, should know that it doesn’t work like it does in American TV. 🤮

Anyway, I’m with Judd: please think outside the torture box. Just do something else instead.


Comments on 2019-06-12 Torture in Games

Oh dear, thankfully I have never had players that wanted to torture an NPC beyond some threatening or the patently ridiculous. Whew. I don’t think I would play with those people long or often after that.

Jennifer 2019-06-14 06:53 UTC

You know how it is. It starts with the suggestion of mild abuse and some chuckling at the table, and escalates slowly. It took me a while to realize what was happening, to see the normalization of torture. I think it was at that time that I heard somebody else relate a similar story from their table. Perhaps it was Harald, I’m not sure. And that opened my eyes and from then on I decided to fight the normalization of torture at the table: stop the conversation before it escalates, saying that I didn’t want to hear it. And as soon as I said my magic sentence and added that we all know torture doesn’t work, the issue is gone. Everybody wakes up from the torture fantasy and agrees, of course it doesn’t work, and the game changes direction for the better. And then it’s never brought up again. Phew! 😅

– Alex Schroeder 2019-06-14 16:40 UTC

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2019-06-03 Elements of the Old School Renaissance

Over on Lasagna Social, Roger GS described it as:

… environment-focused, with exploration and social interaction the focus of creative expression, and combat not absent or abstracted but encapsuled in a simple system with a few nods to realism. We are creating interesting places to be dealt with discursively, rather than intriguing plot lines that are scaffolded by mechanics, or stages to play out a combat game in between cut scenes.

I love it. Much better than taking the old D&D rules and seeing where they can take us (although that is exactly what I am doing) – but what Roger is saying is what attracts me to products that don’t use variants of classic D&D. It’s where my love for the OSR intersects my love for other games.

I don’t think we need a new name for this kind of gaming, though. Adventure games is fine. (See Adventure Game is the name of the game.) Sword Dream? I don’t know. (See A Sword Dream.) For the moment, I’ll keep tagging these posts “Old School” and I will leave it up to you to decide whether it needs “Renaissance” or “Role-playing game” (or just “role-playing”) added to it. 🙂


Comments on 2019-06-03 Elements of the Old School Renaissance

On his blog, Roger writes:

At its best the DIY movement has given us: Borgesian monsters posing problems that go beyond combat; weird magic systems with flavor and creative effects; adventures that map out strange societies and oddball challenges. Can we really still call it “Old School” or is it more like a “Never-Was” school?

Certainly if anyone back in the 80’s was playing or writing like this, I never heard about them.

An excellent point!

– Alex Schroeder 2019-06-06 20:47 UTC

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2019-05-21 Level Drain!

Recently, I was reading Bounded accuracy in combat: OSR, D&D 5e and Dark Fantasy Basic by Eric Diaz where he talks about his own system, Dark Fantasy Basic. Having written my own variant of the basic rules, I totally get that head-space. He was thinking about how the various numbers change as characters gain levels.

In classic D&D, this is how I see it:

  1. armour class goes down a little bit with magic armour
  2. damage goes up a little bit with magic weapons
  3. to-hit improves as characters gain levels
  4. hit-points go up as characters gain levels

The effect, however, is this: combat takes longer.

How come? If the number of characters stays the same, and the number of monsters stays the same, then it just takes more hits to kill a monster. You hit more often, true. But if the monster has ten hit-dice, and you hit ten times, that fight is still taking about ten rounds! Of course, magic items and all that make fights shorter. Once you have a total damage bonus of +3 or +4 you’re dealing twice as much damage and thus fights take half as long. But that’s still five rounds.

There are ways you can mitigate this:

  1. use a smaller number of monsters (”boss” monsters)
  2. use magic spells to kill more monsters per round (fireball and friends)

But, you might wonder, doesn’t that just make fights even easier? Yes, I agree.

If you’re like me, and you think strategy (when to fight) is more interesting than tactics (how to fight), then you’re going to aim for short fights. I certainly don’t want fights to grow longer as the campaign progresses! That’s what happened to my D&D 3.5 campaigns, and I didn’t like it.

And what’s the solution, you ask? The title gave it away, didn’t it?

The answer is:

  1. level drain
  2. save or die
  3. spells

If you goal is to keep fights between two and four rounds long, then you have to up the ante. You cannot stick to melee attacks.

Why am I not afraid of level drain?

  1. when you drain levels you’re not killing characters
  2. even if a new character joins the party with zero xp and everybody has 50,000 xp, then by the time the new character has 50,000 xp, everybody else only got up to 100,000 xp
  3. given that xp requires double for every level, having twice the amount of xp means having one more level
  4. in the long run, introducing a new character into the game is the equivalent of permanently losing a level
  5. compared to that, loosing a bunch of levels but not going all the way down to zero is simply kinder

It’s perfect. 😁


Comments on 2019-05-21 Level Drain!

I have a 9-years-running 3.5 game, and for a short while death (which causes loss of level for all but the most powerful raise dead effects) and level drain were an effective means of keeping the party from growing in power too quickly.

Eventually, though, the party becomes largely immune to both. Much of this immunity started with access to restoration spells, but full resurrection at level 17 (level 9 spells) cinched it. Death is now a minor annoyance (and a side quest to find diamonds for resurrection, since they’ve depleted them from towns and cities) and level drain is barely that (thanks to restoration).

It’s a conundrum, though; I’d like combats to resolve more quickly, too, but most tricks to doing this also drastically ramp up the peril for the PCs. I’m not against peril on principle, but it does change the flavor of the game when a single round of bad dice rolls is likely to result in ignoble deaths of supposedly powerful characters.

There is a system I like for that effect – Rolemaster. Playing RM tactically rather than strategically almost certainly means frequent PC deaths regardless of level, but everybody going into that is already aware, given the crit tables...

George Dorn 2019-05-22 06:04 UTC

Yeah, all points are well made. The D&D 3.5 games I was in usually started bogging down after around level 10 because combat got tricky with tons of buff spells being cast, everybody updating their numbers, rolling a handful of attacks, and all that. And with access to more and better spells eventually that, too, was just sidestepped. At that time I stopped running D&D 3.5 but if I were to do it again, and if I were to run it up into the high levels, I think what I’d do is reconsider what I’m attacking. Two things come to mind:

  1. Treat it as a game of Norse gods: it’s all about being polymorphed, kidnapped, memories wiped, imprisoned in strange dimensions. I’m still going to threaten the character, but with new threats that don’t have spells to counter them immediately. More adventuring is required.
  2. Treat it as a political game: it’s all about their followers, their kingdoms, their allies.

I’m sure the second option is not easy to pull off, though. It’s about as easy as switching from D&D to Rolemaster, I guess. 🙂

I’ve also had a long-running classic D&D campaign where people reached levels 8–9 and I started to see a lot of game nights where all I ever rolled was a reaction roll (see No Dice). So that was the beginning of a political game, I guess? Except there is little guidance in the rules on how to make a political game.

If we don’t want to go around the table just improvising the story as it goes, then we need rules to provide consequences, and dice to provide random changes to the stories we we want to tell.

All of that is to say that I don’t have a good answer to the problem and the mediocre answer I’ve settled on is to keep the game in the level range of 1–10, including level draining and raising the dead.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-05-22 06:23 UTC

PS: Hah, your blog post is strangely appropriate: How to die in D&D. Perfect!

PPS: I love the idea of frequent resurrections having depleted the supply of diamonds! 😀

I ran a poll on the OSR group on g+ a while back about what was worse: Death or level drain?

The clear majority voted level drain. While your reasoning may make logical sense, the “fun” aspect of the game isn’t always logical – And I think most players would say that level drain is not a very fun aspect of the game.

If the answer to high level play not working is “level drain” I think I’d rather just play with a hard cap on levels.

Anders H 2019-05-22 10:32 UTC

Hm. Possibly. I’m happy to have some powerful undead doing save or die attacks instead. 😀

To backtrack a bit, though: I really liked how Solar System or The Shadow of Yesterday did high-level play. One way to spend your XP was to increase your skill level. If you had the highest skill level available, and rolled the highest number with your dice, thus getting the highest possible result, your success changed the world in a significant way and your character is retired from play. Thus players get to decide for themselves whether their character is ready for the end game by finally deciding to increase their skill level to the max. It was beautiful and elegant, and took care of retirement, too.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-05-22 11:16 UTC

For keeping the game to levels 1-10, a well-established fix is E6. Characters level up to 6, after which they can buy some additional perks with XP, but not gain any more levels. https://dungeons.fandom.com/wiki/E6_(3.5e_Sourcebook)

George Dorn 2019-05-22 18:39 UTC

At the time I first heard about it back on EN World, I got the impression that it was a way to keep the game the level 6 tier. These days, however, I’d be more interested in a game that either provided ever changing gameplay over time like D&D with its spell levels, or a game that provided for a very different experience without significant advancement like Traveller (or maybe Fate).

– Alex Schroeder 2019-05-22 20:49 UTC

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2019-05-15 The purpose of art in a RPG product

Recently, Richard G wrote a few words about Silent Titans on Lasagna Social, saying that it looks really good, and also remarking on the “obscurity and circularity of reference” as it refers to Bastion of Electric Bastionland or Into the Odd, as it used to be known.

I left a comment saying that I had had the same thoughts: visuals (superficially), the references to other products, and I added: “Rolled my eyes a bit. 🙄”

Paolo Greco then asked me about the eye rolling and I felt that he deserved a longer answer. The comment turned out to be long enough that I ended feeling it deserved a page on this blog. So there you go. 😃

It wasn’t a strong feeling I had, just a heh and one eye roll, I guess. Somebody writes a game using the rules somebody else has published, go buy those, or the free older edition, and here’s and interview I did with them, and I read it, too, but at the same time I sighed a bit and couldn’t decide whether this was people patting each other on the back for a job well done inside the very product this well done job had produced, or an instance of one hand washing the other, as we say in German, so anyway, I asked myself: what is this? Is this an ad? Is this a cooperation? And I felt that as an editor, I would have cut it.

As for the art, I’ll start with me really liking the map in A Red and Pleasant Land, the squares, the inking, the slight abstraction away from fantasy realism we’ve seen in D&D, away from the retro line art we’ve seen in the OSR, something new, colourful, somehow familiar and yet unknowable. I guess I’m not an art critic and fear I lack the words and the sensitivities but anyway, Maze of the Blue Medusa went a bit further in this direction, more abstract, less something I can just show players and say “you see this!” and more something that conveys a mood, a mental confusion, a state that is perhaps a bit like the altered state of the mystical underworld, I guess the Medusa dungeon in Vornheim was a bit like that, and I didn’t even look too much at Frostbitten & Mutilated, so then I leafed through Silent Titans and felt that it was even more abstract, even less usable, less showable, nothing I could look at and interpret as a map, or an image of creature, or a location, but a jumble of things that provide an emotional reaction, a jumble of something, a weirdness, and I don’t deny that it fascinates me, but at the same time it’s also a bit in that line of art I like less, that I find less useful for a product that I don’t just buy to be entertained but to aid me at the table, to be useful in a very specific way.

So perhaps then the question is this: what is the purpose of art in an RPG product? It’s about pleasing the buyer, the reader. I have bought something beautiful, they say. And Silent Titans delivers. But I sort of dread the moment at the table. Is this something I can run at the table, as is? And I roll my eyes, a tiny little bit.

I guess this is all also in the context of an early post I had written on Diaspora: as I’m trying to read Silent Titans every now and then, I sigh as I realize that my brain is probably too puny and my imagination too boring for this. Feeling overwhelmed and unsure whether I can make use of this at the table.

What OSR PRG product have you actually used and liked using at the table? Even Stonehell has a lot of text for my taste. I guess Castle of the Mad Arch Mage worked pretty well for more than fifty sessions.

I should write more of my own instead of complaining, hah! 😅

I am reminded of advice I recently gave somebody, regarding adventures for newbies:

“I would write my own, I think.

That’s because I think finding a scenario and preparing a scenario takes time in which you could have written your own. And having written your own, you will never fear getting it wrong.

Even the One Page Dungeon Contest submissions are too much to read through. You’ll get lost wondering whether this or that fits your aesthetics better, whether this or that plays better with the table, whether this or that offers something your players might enjoy. And all this uncertainty about picking an adventure tells me that you already know all the things you need.

Trust me on this: writing up something simple for a night is quicker than finding and reading and prepping anything else and you’ll feel better at the table, too.”


Comments on 2019-05-15 The purpose of art in a RPG product

I love the art in RPG books but I hate that it’s only really seen by the DM. I buy more PDFs than physical books so art often gets in the way rather than enhances my experience while playing, but it’s nice for theme while reading away from the table.

Tom 2019-05-15 20:31 UTC

Yeah, I hate it when there are beautiful maps that nobody else ever sees.


  • entertainment for the reader
  • building enthusiasm before running the game (for the reader)
  • sometimes you can lift the book and turn it to the player so they can see it?
  • can work as a substitute to reading (just look for visual inspiration in a Paizo adventure path and ignore the sea of words)


  • Price
  • makes PDFs slow

And then there’s the drawbacks of having the wrong art:

  • confusing maps are confusing
  • watermarks make the text hard to read
  • busy maps make them hard to annotate (for the love of all that is good, bring back marginalia! we need more white space everywhere)

– Alex Schroeder 2019-05-16 05:54 UTC

I just read a very interesting post about Silent Titans. A Literary Analysis of Silent Titans by Patrick Stuart on the Sheep and Sorcery blog.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-05-19 08:35 UTC

Another positive review: Silent Titans Actually Works.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-05-22 06:44 UTC

100% onboard with the “I’d rather spend an hour half-assedly prepping a dungeon than looking for the right existing one” sentiment.

I guess that’s why I’ve been designing all these procedural tools and worksheets and stuff.

Hey BTW, Alex, did you write about the aforementioned sentiment somewhere else recently or am I imagining it?

Eric Nieudan 2019-05-27 12:56 UTC

Hm, not sure, Eric. On Lasagna Social I posted some thoughts that ended up in blog posts but it was more abstract.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-05-27 18:09 UTC

Back in my Graphic Design class they pointed out (this is from rough memory) that most art in books serves two purposes (1) To clarify text visually (2) to act as a sort of bookmark to help find bits of information later.

So add those two to the benefits. These apply even if the art is horrifically ugly as long as it is clear (unlike the map mentioned above).

– Ruprecht 2019-06-04 18:59 UTC

Good points!

– Alex Schroeder 2019-06-04 19:04 UTC

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2019-05-11 Brainstorming Hex Descriptions

I’m trying to find people to collaborate with on writing more stuff for Hex Describe. My creativity usually works via mutual inspiration.

Mutual inspiration happens when two or more people get together and enthusiasm builds up. This is the most elevating creative experience, as you not only “stand on the shoulders of giants”, but you can see your ideas grow and improve as you toss it back and forth amongst each other.

Factors that help you reach this state of mind as a group:

  • Brainstorming, being amongst friends, i.e. feeling less inhibition
  • Strong common interest or fascination
  • Similar ideas, you need some difference to inspire your partners
  • Similar language

I might have found such a place in this thread on Diaspora, where Ktrey has been offering ideas and tables and answering back with more specifics and Wikipedia links and all the goodness of the web. Thanks, Ktrey!


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2019-05-04 Working on Hex-Describe

Sometimes it’s hard to enumerate the things I added to Hex Describe. It’s small things, and one thing leads to another, and yet I am still impressed by what it does.

Just looking at the log of all the changes I recently made, going back to April 25:

  • contrib: more swamp creatures
  • contrib: fix green dragon typo
  • contrib: added black dragons to swamps
  • contrib: more elven name processing
  • contrib: link spellbooks to spellcasters project
  • contrib: added Ufala’s spellbook
  • contrib: added Xoralfona’s and Zorkan’s spellbook
  • contrib: added Ysabala’s spellbook
  • contrib: various fixes
  • contrib: various additions (balor, warlocks, etc.)
  • contrib: typos
  • contrib: more potions, move visuals to the front
  • contrib: feyrealms are Alfheim and Svartalfheim
  • elvish: using my own, simpler liaison rules
  • contrib: italics for demonic names
  • contrib: add manor houses to villages
  • contrib: fix typo
  • contrib: various
  • contrib: fix magic user treasure
  • contrib: more netherworld elf companions
  • contrib: add link to spellcasters project
  • contrib: four more spellbooks
  • hex-describe: fix Sindarin names
  • contrib: more changes
  • hex-describe: fix Sindarin names
  • contrib: more changes
  • contrib: undead in the mountains
  • hex-describe: smarter HR for text output
  • contrib: wording
  • contrib: netherworld elves
  • contrib: more spellbooks; spellbooks for elves
  • hex-describe: better Sindarin names
  • contrib: landmarks at rivers through settlements
  • contrib: landmarks at crossroads
  • hex-describe: doc wording
  • hex-describe: credited ktrey and Whidou
  • contrib: added another spellbook
  • contrib: more spellbooks
  • hex-describe: do not log missing keys in lists
  • hex-describe: use HR to separate long elements
  • hex-describe: link Matt Strom
  • hex-describe: how to generate spellbooks

It’s so much! And the thing is that it remains hard for me to convey what it does, the excitement I feel whenever I see the Text Mapper maps and start reading the map key generated by Hex Describe. Sure, I don’t read it for an hour, but it still excites me when I read it for a few minutes and it makes me want to run a campaign. And I keep wanting to add more stuff!

One thing I’d like to add more off are simple, map-less dungeons, a bit like those lairs for the elves of darkness that live up in the mountains.

Today I think I mostly added to swamps. Black dragons, sunken temples cursed by a gorgon, that kind of thing... 🙂


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