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Monstrous Miscellany #01
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2015 13:32:02

Folks when life hits you with apples and sometimes it hits you with monsters, the type of monsters that can echo around a game table for years to come. The ones that the players say, 'Hey remember that time we encountered the Evil goat-headed fey who could transform our adventurers into goats'. 'You know the one with all of those Fey enslaved to its evil will?'. Well I'm happy to report that you get exactly that style of monster from the pen of James Mishler's Monstrous Miscellany #01 has this foul fiend and more! Is there an over arching theme of this first Monstrous Miscellany #01? There's is a tinge of the demonic and cosmic about the monsters in this product. And that's one of the things about the monsters in this book, they're of a level not only to be encountered by your PC's but their of a strata of the mythological that an entire adventure or encounter can be written around them. There's not a spec of art for the Monstrous Miscellany #01 but it really doesn't need it. The monsters here are full of the flavor and gusto that drips of the page in a solid product. So what are we getting into in the Monsterous Miscelleny? Here's what your getting for a dollar according to the Drivethru blurb: Abnokh, 3 HD Chaotic Evil Demon-Kin that trouble the Material Plane, seeking out victims for their terrible rites and rituals... Greethaw, 13 HD Chaotic Evil giants steeped in demonolatry and sorcery, seeking that which has been lost and forgotten... and slaughtering all who get in their way... Notoros, 1 HD Chaotic Evil goat-headed fey who use the bones of their victims to frighten foes, can transform their prey into goats, and seek to enslave elves, pixies, and sprites for vile purposes... Styram, 5 HD Lawful Good angels of retribution, summoned to the Material Plane to avenge the desecration of Lawful holy sites...

So yes these are some very cool monsters but are they actually useful for throwing into a game adventure? Well right off the bat the Abnokh, is rife with possibilities for use as the center of a demonic cult or other horrific encounter. I could see using these as a part of a Lamentations of the Flame Princess style cult. Here's a good example of why I really love the Abnokh, ECOLOGY: Abnokh are native to the Demon Worlds of the Plane of Chaos. On the Material Plane they subsist on the flesh, bones, and blood of intelligent beings; they can survive on other meat, but they only truly thrive on the flesh of intelligent beings. They are of course not natural to the Material Plane; they are usually brought hence through a summoning spell in service to some sorcerer, or through a permanent magical gate, and remain to bedevil locals until they are exterminated. One of the things that I think that makes these monsters interesting is that they can be used as both a one off encounter and a recurring foe for characters. In fact I would go so far as to say that these monsters should be used as fodder and templates in the creation of NPC villains. These monsters are far too interesting just to be 'one night stand monsters' or simply 'monsters of the week'. The Greethaw are horrors that should be used very sparingly. This race is straight out of the pages of the Bible, accursed giants whose abilities are both nasty and dangerous. There is a ton of potential here to take these as fully realized villains and create entire adventures around them. "Greethaw are accursed giants; long ages ago they made terrible pacts with Demon Lords. Though they gained thereby great power and immortality, they lost something essential that they have forgotten, and continue to search for it many long ages hence." You get not only a description of the bench marks of abilities for each of these monsters but full opportunities to use them for adventure encounters. The ground work is there, you fill in the details as needed for your campaign and world. The Notoros are one of my favorite monsters and demonstrate one of the fundamentals of Fey. These things are other worldly beings of ancient and dangerous aspect, they are not the benevelont creatures of Tolkein fantasy movies of Hollywood. In the mythologies across the world they were always both of good aspect and of dangerous aspect. The Notoros are no different and flesh out the evil bits of the Fey. They are monsters that adventurers are going to be lucky to walk away on four legs and not end up as dinner or worse. "Notoros are Unseelie fey; they are the personification of dreadful and evil tendencies native to dark, old-growth forests. They protect their forest not out of a love for it, but out of a jealous hatred of all other beings. Notoros subsist upon grasses, greens, and wild vegetables of their forest, but they feast upon the flesh of other fey and elves. Humans and demihumans they can take or leave, finding their flesh unpleasant; they usually simply torture them to death for fun, then use their skulls to build their beegoh’s throne and the other bones for their weapons, tools, and as warning signs to outsiders." Personally I think that if your going to use the Notoros they should be the center of an adventure or as a part of an adventure within a campaign. They're that unique and interesting to warrant that kind of attention on the Dungeon Master's part. Finally this brings up one of the trickiest monsters in the whole lot, the Styram. A bit of my background when it comes to angels and upper level angelic beings. I've used them since I was seven or nine years old to great effect in OD&D and never once did I have a problem with anyone at the table taking offense at them being included. Ever since Dragon issue #35's article Angels by William Fawcett in Dragon magazine issue #35. I've always used them sparingly. The Styram are the divine equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction with a conscious and a mission. That being said these are a well thought out and balanced monster of frightening proportions. As they well should be and these angels should be used as the center of a campaign ending or importance adventure. They are not something to be taken lightly and are used against the forces of Chaos and depravity. These are what I like to refer to as 'campaign center' monsters. Creatures whose visits can start or end a campaign but these things are always important and dramatic. The Styram are creatures of order whose outlook is very alien and whose very being is dedicated to the extermination of chaos and those who desecration of it's god's shrines, temples, and divine works on the mortal plane. Lots of opportunities for adventure possibilities right there. "A styram is a being from the Angelic Spheres of the Plane of Order. They may be summoned to the Material Plane by a Lawful cleric through the casting of the 4th level summon styram spell (see below). Styram are a type of angel of retribution; they may only be summoned when a Lawful temple, shrine, or other holy site has been desecrated. They can hunt down the offenders without fail, barring use of magic that obscures location (such as an amulet of proof against detection and location)." The Styram are incredibly detailed, dangerous and should be played as they are alien beings from other dimensions whose mission is one of destruction and divine retribution Not too bad for a dollar OSR monster book, with lots of potential to drive and move a campaign forward.I have to give this product five out of five because of the quality and ideas that continue to come out of the James Mishler Games company.

Eric Fabiaschi Sword and Stitchery blog Want to see more reviews and articles about this product and other OSR support? Subscribe to Sword and Stitchery http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monstrous Miscellany #01
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Ghosts -- The Incorporeal Undead
by Gregory B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2015 14:55:53

GHOSTS offers a complete paradigm of incorporeal undeadness for any D&D-ish style rules set. There are completely statted ghost types, discussion of how mortals interface with the sidereal world, and a good number of new spells to enrich your game's ghostly experiences. Makes Van Richten's guide look pale and patchy in comparison. Highly Recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ghosts -- The Incorporeal Undead
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Ghosts -- The Incorporeal Undead
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/22/2015 12:22:42

James Mishler has been producing quality material for the "Basic" era games for a number of years. I have followed him online and have always enjoyed his posts in various forums and on his own blog.
James has been in the business of releasing his own material for a couple of years now and they are always fun. Well this Halloween he has really, really outdone himself.

I grabbed his latest product Ghosts -- The Incorporeal Undead, pretty much without reading the details. It was James. It was Ghosts. How could I loose? Well let me tell you. I was in for a sweet surprise! I will be honest here. Pretty much EVERY other games can deal with ghosts better than D&D used too. This little book has a lot of work to do.

First off this "little" PDF is 64 pages. I printed it out and it would make a great supplement to my collection of various "Basic Era" books. Put on a nice cover and it would be right at home next to Labyrinth Lord, The Witch and many, many other books on my shelf. Let me step back for a moment and comment on this. James really "gets" Basic D&D. He knows why people choose it over Advanced or other games. His rules are very much in the vein of Basic/Expert and BECMI style D&D (More B/X than BECMI) but he also gives people options who like more Advanced-feeling games.

We begin with an overview of what ghosts are. I was pleased to see that this book treats ghosts as all being unique. A brief description of common powers to all ghosts is also given. Detail is paid to two of these powers, Fear and Level/Life Drain. In keeping with the Basic roots, the Fear effects table is simple and effective. If you are playing a horror game then you might want more, but in truth this is plenty. Level Drain is also discussed and how to regain those levels.
Now for me, I am still more inclined to use Constitution drain instead of level drain. Thankfully the rules as written here will allow that.

Next we get into people and animals with the Sixth Sense and Sensitives. No detailed rules here, just a nice simple approach that I really like. There is also a discussion on Mediums and Séances. Now THESE are much needed rules. This helps move ghosts from a monster with X amount XP to something that can be worked into a plot. We end with some information on ghost-sensitive animals. I love what he has done with cats and am thinking of using it for all witch familiars.

Next is the meat of the book. Ghosts Lesser and Greater. This is the "monster listing" of all the ghost types with their powers, weaknesses and alternate types. Included are some old favorites like Apparitions, Haunts, Spectres and Wraiths next to new one like Lost Souls and Geists. Following this is a list and description of all the special abilities (And ectoplasms) of the ghosts. You can mix and match to make anytype of Ghost you want. Following this is uses for uncanny ectoplasm.

There is a section on magic items. Some spells usable by or on or about ghosts. (*The Spawn Ghost spell is really nice. If you are playing a witch then the spell level is 5.)

Finally is a Creepy Appendix N. There are a lot great resources on this page for ghosts of every type "inspired by anything from Hanna-Barbera and H.R. Pufnstuf to H.P. Lovecraft and H.R. Giger"!

There is no art. BUT I also want to add that ghosts are either invisible or look like anything. So this is not a downmark for this book.

If you play any old-school game, original or OSR, and you use ghosts, then you need this book. It isn't revolutionary, but it does feel a much needed gap in the rules and (if for no other reason) it will get game masters and players thinking about ghosts a different way.
Combine this with his Vampires of the Olden Lands for some serious Halloween fun.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ghosts -- The Incorporeal Undead
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2015 09:18:21

There are many OSR authors and then there's James Mishler and his wife who turns out more useful OD&D/Retroclone material then several other OSR publishers combined and does it with style. Take his latest offering. Ghosts -- The Incorporeal Undead follows his last last monster titles including Vampires of the Olden Lands and Ogres of the Olden Lands.

The author uses every trick in the book for this OD&D title and like many of his other titles there's no artwork but wall to wall content. This pdf is packed with old school ectoplasmic goodness and its done right. The content includes everything you as a DM could want or need on the subject of ghosts. "Ghosts -- The Incorporeal Undead! Everything you always wanted to know about ghosts but were afraid to ask! A 64-page in-depth analysis of ghosts, including salient abilities, 10 different basal types from 1 HD to 10 HD, 75 ghostly special abilities, uses and dangers of ectoplasm, 23 new magic items, a complete index of spells and their interaction with ghosts (plus three new spells), and a (mostly) complete Creepy Appendix N! Designed for use with Labyrinth Lord, easily adaptable to any other Old School RPG" Normally this is about sixteen dollars but given that we're in the middle of Halloween time its price to sell at six dollars and sixty six cents. Trying to even review this is a bit of a daunting task, don't let the cute little spooky Halloween adjectives fool you this is a packed book. The first part of it is a rules kit which lays out in detail each and every bit of the classic mythological and Hollywood ghost types. This is essentially a rules toolkit for OD&D and Labyrinth Lord; this is everything that you've come to expect from the old school ghosts. What the section is isn't simply more OSR rules but a kit for constructing, laying out, and dealing with your own different styles of ghosts. Everything is laid out in sparkling details for monster construction and its done very well. Everything is laid bare at the DM's finger tips. Fear Attack 4 Fear Effects Table 4 Spawn Ghost 4 Incorporeal 4 Bodiless 4 Ectoplasm 5 Flight 5 Powerless in Sunlight 5 Weapon Immunity 6 Life Draining Touch 6 Spawn Ghost 6 Undead Special Abilities Package 6 Infravision 6 Mindless 6 Poison Immunity 6 Silent as the Grave 6 Susceptible to Turning 6 Other Special Abilities 7 Special Ability Notation 7 Incorporeal Undead Summary Table This section is laid out for both monster construction and for PC's to actually play a restless spirit and this tool kit basically has everything you could want to construct a PC in ghostly horror and wonderful detail. This is damn useful stuff especially for any DM who plays a Necromancer or Death Master NPC class. There is a range of psychic and Spiritualist PC class and options as well; this is a the first book that actually has the psychic and spiritualist as useful PC's for adventuring. This also means that this book is perfect for pulp OD&D style games. There's a whole lot more to this book then simply an NPC and PC tool kit and PC option book. You get a ton of ghostly monsters all in one place and not simply scattered to the four winds. All of these can be used as monster templates to create your own ghosts or as monsters for adventure placement. Every entry here is crammed with lots of little details.

GHOSTS – LESSER AND GREATER

Presence (1 HD Lesser Ghost)

Apparition (2 HD Lesser Ghost)

Lost Soul (3 HD Lesser Ghost)

Wraith (4 HD Greater Ghost)

Haunt (5 HD Greater Ghost)

Spectre (6 HD Greater Ghost)

Spirit (7 HD Greater Ghost)

Wyrd (8 HD Greater Ghost)

Phantom (9 HD Greater Ghost)

Geist (10 HD Greater Ghost)

This book has some damn useful and well thought out appendixes which are not simply there for decoration. These are add ons with utility and with something to add for a campaign incorporating ghostly and spirit realm elements.

APPENDICES

Ghostly Special Abilities - Here's where the dungeon master gets a few more toys to play with add more supernatural bits and pieces to your monster or PC. The list here is well done and possibly one of the best supernatural elements of the book.

Uncanny Ectoplasm - Ectoplasm is the one bit about ghosts that no one has exploited until now; this substance is exuded by ghosts and in the author's hands becomes a drug to enhance and titillate your adventurers. This stuff goes from horrid to full post apocalyptic gonzo with the induction of laser ectoplasm! That's right material that can blast the hell out of PA adventurers. This is easily one of my favorite chapters and one of the most useful for a post apocalyptic dungeon master; the Mishler's have done a damn fine job of making and adding in some fantastic bits to the material here that can be applied to everything from pulp gaming to full on dungeon crawling.

Eerie Enchanted Items- These magic items echo and deal with the ghostly and their quite well done in what they do. With a bit of writing slight of hand the author has looped these back into the book so that they are actually useful when dealing with the various types of Geists, Spectres, Phantoms, and spirits in 'The Incorporeal Undead'. These are really vary useful for a DM whose planning everything in a campaign from a sword & sorcery adventure encounter to a full one on one basic OD&D Ghostbusters or Carnacki ghostly investigator romp ala The Masquerade of the Red Death campaign setting. This book is that flexible and interesting.

Spooky Spells- This is an an overview of how the various OD&D spells and such interact with the ghostly entities and horrors depicted in the book. This list can also act as an adventure hook or two as the DM reads through it and gets ideas from the various bits and pieces offered here. Once again its very well done and really nicely researched.

Creepy Appendix N - I have a love/hate relationship with Appendix N's but this one tickles me as a dungeon master in all of the right places and covers everything that a DM's going to need to research for the various ghosts and entities. It covers all of the basics with more then a few surprises thrown into the deep end. Note that this book echoes and builds on many of the principals of the various OD&D, Judge's Guild style material its not afraid at all to tackle and embrace the gonzo. This makes this book extremely useful for a DM running Mutant Future, OD&D, Basic Fantasy, Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, etc.,etc.,

So in closing do I think that Ghosts -- The Incorporeal Undead From James Mishler Games is worth the price of admission? Well at six dollars and sixty six cents this is a steal. My only real concern and bitch session about the whole product is the lack of a print option! I guess that there are some issues with it but to have this booklet at my table would be a lot easier then simply trying to deal this pdf at four AM. But for what this book does and how it does it?! You'd be completely crazy to grab this book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ogres of the Olden Lands
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/20/2015 00:54:21

Ogres of the Olden Lands is both a monster book & PC book rolled into one, in the Olden Lands ogres are a menace and a boon. These monsters in this pay what you want title are very dangerous highly unpredictable are a species unto themselves and the author does a good job of getting this very well across. These are tribes of creatures that have traits, habits, norms and a society that is just this south of the usual races of PC's and they're very well detailed in this title. The random tables for ogres and ogre magi are fantastic and add in a bit more color into a race of 'monsters' who are at once menacing and yet understandable. Given the author's background in anthropology its very understandable how he's able to breath new life into a pair of monsters from the Monster Manual that have only been regarded as big dumb humanoids. Here they're anything but. The real star here is the the half ogre PC class everything that I've come to expect from the race that appeared in the pages of Dragon magazine and several old school rpg sources instead here we have a working PC racial class with real motives and dangerous intentions. Yet they're not only playable but well done too boot. They're certainly well done with several other random tables to add in even more customization options to your PC's. This product also features an ogre encounter system, just perfect for generating complete parties of these brutal and dangerous warriors as well as their Ogre Magi counterparts. Make no mistake these are some very dangerous customers and they should never be taken lightly. This is a living and breathing race of dangerous warriors going about their business in a society with its own rules and ethics, even though these are a some what alien species in many respects. There is a section on advice for generating your own ogre PC's and this is done in such a way give practical advice and really down to Earth guidance with these creatures making them feel realistic and solidly done. Finally we get a series of maps detailing the lands and world of the ogres of The Olden Lands. Finally we get the Gorge of Ogroth a place of mystery and legend steeped in Ogre lore, the perfect place to drop a party into the deep end of it. A ton can be done with this twenty page piece of OSR gaming goodness, since this is a Labyrinth Lord compatible product its just perfect for use with a wide variety of OSR products. I can honestly see using this book as a part of a Mutant Future Advanced Mazes and Mutants campaign. With all of the information here its easy to see these races appearing in the post apocalyptic wastelands. Ogres make the perfect bogey man and mutation platform in a post apocalyptic jump off point. There is so much detail here that its possible for Ogres to be used as a contact race for a game of Star Ships and Space Men 1st edition with little issue. Seriously these are one of the more versatile races of monsters turned player character races that I've seen and the product is that well done. This product could be used to create a subrace of sword and sorcery characters, monsters, NPC's and plenty more. Because of the LL style of stats in this product and the fact that the advanced companion is considered in the PC and NPC generation options this book gives a ton of bang for its buck. I can even see using this product with an OSR game such as Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea. I don't own a single Castles and Crusades book but I can see given the gaming fluff that there is plenty of sparks and fire to start a blaze of bonfire proportions for a wide variety of OSR style games. Given the amount of time, details, ecology issues, and more for the societies of the ogres this title gets a five out of five from me. Do yourselves a favor and grab this baby today! Highly recommended. Eric F Sword and Stitchery blog



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ogres of the Olden Lands
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Hercynian Grimoire #1
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2015 10:29:59

The Hercynian Grimoire #1 is a 'pay what you like.' title from James Mishler Games for the Castles and Crusades rpg systems and the Labyrinth Lord rpg system. James Mishler Games has been quietly pumping out games for a long time now, The Hercynian Grimoire #1 is by James Mishler and Jodi Morgan Mishler. There's a real sense of the energy and creativity from this issue of the Grimoire especially when you crack open the Glowing Words where the writer introduces this OSR magazine. The Hercynian Grimoire is for both the Castles and Crusades rpg systems and the Labyrinth Lord rpg system. For me this makes this an especially useful magazine and its packed with wall to wall OSR style articles. Right out of the gate we get “Gnolls – The Hyena Men", an article that makes the humble gnoll race one of the most dangerous and flexible old school monsters, this article reminds me of the old Dragaon magazine ecology of articles. Fast, dangerous, flexible and terrible are the gnolls as a race.There's references peppered through out this article about the Olden Lands, the house campaign setting of James Mishler Games. I'd love to know more. This article is followed on its heels with the nipping article “Gnoles, the Mannish-Beasts” which gets into Gnoll/human hybrids. I've seen this article described as ick but with material like something that describes a monster that could be from the Islands of Dr. Moreau by HG Wells. “D66 Ferocious Fighters”is a random encounter tables of NPC fighters for your players to encounter! Three damn pages of high energy fighting men to make your PC's lives a misery. Yahh! “Spells Arcane and Occult" goes into one spell “Alasadree’s Empowerment of the Ultranic Orb.”. this is one spell that perfectly fits what it does a healing version of Tasha’s Uncontrollable Hideous Laughter” but you dance instead of laugh for the spells effects to take place. I've seen this described as unbalanced and of course its unbalanced as a first level spell but that's really the point. We've seen the effects of magick run wild and the horror that they can cause in games such as Lamentations of the Flame Princess, please leave the six versions of this spell alone and let the PC's cast it and then find themselves in the deep end of the magic pond with adventure hooks around their ears. Same with “Spell Songs of Salamacine” which really goes into the deep end of the witches spell books with some terrifically terrible spells with some Disney style consequences just waiting to happen!

"D66 Fairies and Nymphs”gives some solid bang for the buck style Fey encounters that you can slip into your old school Peusdo European adventures. Again a solid random encounter table that can lead to a whole host of side adventures if used right. “Gnoll Encounter Table” this dovetails right in with the previous article's on the author's gnolls and it does so with style. Here's a random adventure chart to really draw the adventurers into the previous articles circles of adventure mythology and monster wisdom with an entirely different take from this issue. “Magical Miscellanea” well these are ten flavorful and interesting magic items that will not break a campaign but have at least four or five adventure hooks waiting in the background. “Monstrous Menagerie” has some very interesting and nicely put together monsters especially the hyena ones. There's a sense of a pseudo African campaign piece waiting to tear out from the veldt about this issue. Something I want to see fleshed out further. “D666 Demonic and Devilish Traits”now this is a damn useful chart, I'm a Fantastic Heroes and Witchery rpg system fanatic and one of the races that is included in the game is Tieflings. So these are very welcome because players want more randomized charts to role on to really make their PC's distinct. This chart also brings me much glee because of one of my favorite cockroach style monsters to use. Demons! I love demons they're really nasty dangerous and can cause all kinds of hassles for PC's of all levels. Again this is a welcome charts for my games! Dungeons should be odd, memorable, and set dressing can stress a DM out well we get a chart that comes in very handy to do exactly that. A chart for that last cheery on top of that dungeon you've been itching to unleash on your players in the “D66 Underworld Oddities”.Many rpg companies will give you a bit of a preview of their upcoming campaign setting products but instead of one, we get three and their actually useful. Right out of the box you can use these as hooks within your games today. So that down the road if you choose to use the 'Olden Lands.' your ready to go with your PC's. “Olden Lands Preview: Alspadia”is interesting, sets up the lurer for the campaign setting and does a great job of fleshing out a region of the Olden Lands and not only makes you want to read more but to send your PC's there. There are some nasty bits hinted throughout this preview and its well done enough for the DM to push the right buttons with their PC's. 'The Olden Lands Preview : The Olden Wood.' is a solid one page preview of material that goes into a forested location of epic proportions: "The Oldenwood covers more than 18,000 square miles ofold growth forest amidst rolling and craggy hills and valleys,dingles and dales. Here and there a tall, sharp peak rises above the sea of green leaves. Other than the treants, it is a virtual paradise for natural and giant animals, for no man or even goblin is so foolish as to hunt in the Oldenwood" And you the DM get a whole range of this material to play with and flesh out. Rounding out this issue is a vile and nasty piece of work known as The Blood God, this is a distinctly dangerous and repugnant piece of work whose cult is outlined along with beliefs and sacrifices, etc. Perfectly heinous material for a vile NPC villain of the deepest dye. To wrap this up this review up, I don't own a single Castle and Crusades rpg system book, but I know my OSR material and this issue of the Grimoire reminded me of some of the very best of the older Judge's Guild stuff in a good way, a solid way, optional old school material that can easily be shunted or back written into your campaigns in such a way as to make it useful and rewarding. Because of the 'Pay What You Like Price' Tag this is a no brainer. Grab this issue now and get cracking with an exciting issue of what will I hope will be a regular publication! Eric F Swords and Stitchery blog



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hercynian Grimoire #1
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Myrkridder -- The Demonic Dead
by Kyrinn E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2015 08:16:55

I will be upfront about this: I received a complimentary review copy. Next: I think the natural attacks for these creatures should be higher, by how much I cannot say, but, these things seem like they should be meaner; I'd likely run them one Die-Type higher in natural attacks, but, I'm kinda mean.

These monsters not only fit the Evil Dead Ash bill very well, but would serve as a playable Revenant PC with careful consideration.

The sort of forces these creatures could lead and their variety makes this a very attractive monster 'module' to plug into any FRP game, not just Labyrinth Lord. In Mutant Future, for instance, they could serve as super zombies and mutant lords without alteration. In Starships & Spacemen, with a simple re-skin, these are easily some of the nastier aliens around, possibly used to have Zangid and Human forces temporarily ally against them.

I keep coming back to the Evil Undead Ash from Army of Darkness, and I get that wicked smile.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Myrkridder -- The Demonic Dead
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Vampires of the Olden Lands
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/13/2015 00:06:27

I'm still reeling with the passing of Sir Christopher Lee, no seriously this death along with a bunch seemed to come out of no place and pull the rug out from under me. So I'm thinking about vampires and decided to play catch up with an old friend of mine's work. James Mishler and Jodi Moran-Mishler's Vampires of the Olden Lands is a pay what you'd like title Available right over HERE . This pdf book comes from James Mishler's home campaign the Chronicles of Mhoriedh. Oh sure, sure, you've seen vampire books before but this one is very different. It comes two very distinct direction to the issue of vampires. On the one hand these undead fiends are looked at from a distinctly sword and sorcery style direction. All the books in this series are dual stated with Labyrinth Lord and Castles & Crusades write ups. And everything is laid out with the dungeon master in mind, there is a one of the best approaches to the PC Dhampir in this book but the entire thing is laid out with the DM in mind. There's plenty of the usual mythology and legendary material here but this book presents vampires that have a distinctly edgy and completely dangerous aspect to them. Make no mistake these are the monsters of Hammer, horror, and myth. The blurb from Rpgnow lays everything out nicely:

Bhabaphirs – Soul-sucking child-slaying vampiric wise-women of the mountain villages that truck with night hags and liches; Ekimmu – The Vampire Lords, founders of all the vampiric lines, masters of the High Vales of the Mountains of Blood, immortal spirits born of Chaos and Evil; Lhamiras – Mothers of Monsters, the Vampire-Witches of the South who hunt men for sport and for game, dams of dhamphirs and lamias; Lhamphirs – The Plague Bearers, the rotting husks of men and women who died of plague and now haunt the families and friends who abandoned them; Mhoroiphirs – The Living Vampires, men and women who seek to continue to live their lives though they are undead, the classic blood-suckers of myth and legend; Strighoiphirs – The Dead Vampires, mhoroiphirs who have moved on and fully embraced their undead existence and retreated from the world of living men to seek solitude; Szalbaphirs – The Vampire Gamins, sad creatures born of horror, children transformed into blood-sucking monsters who seek an end to their undead existence even as they gather around them more of their kind that they create seeking solace and safety with siblings; Vhukodlakhs – Vampire-Men, created as servants by the ekimmu in ages long passed, they now haunt the mountains and highlands of the Olden Lands, serving vampires and other dread lords as they prey upon man and beast alike.

We get an overview of these creatures with guidelines from one of the veterans of the old school hobby's pen's and it show. The organization here is one of handcrafting, the material is adapted to the author's campaign world but its done in such a way as to make it fresh, useful, and totally horrid to PC's health on a number of levels. There's an element of old school horror and gravitas in this pdf that almost seems to have the author daring the DM to use these monsters in their own games and taunt's them to come back for more. The author lays everything out in forty eight pages of sold work with elements of horror, a bit of humor and lots of style. Vampires of the Olden Lands knows exactly what it is and what its intended audience plans to do with these creatures and that's where the excitement of looking into the Dhamphirs comes from. The author knows his subject and knows that these monsters who are part man are intended as PC's and this version of the famous monsters are actually playable. This is one of the best versions of these horrors. And I intend to use them. Could Vampires of the Olden Lands be used for other adventures and retroclones besides Labyrinth Lord? After looking into Vampires of the Olden Lands I can honestly say yes! I can see using some of this material for a game of your favorite space based old school campaign fun or even in a science fantasy setting as well. Such as the horrors of the sinking of Atlantis or something more akin to the Marvel vampire menace or something out of folklore and legend. If one was running say an advanced Mutants And Mazes variation of Mutant Future I would turn to Vampires of the Olden Lands for fleshing out my wasteland vampires. Or since there is an element of almost comic book style madness lurking in the back of this book. I might tack this book on to the sweeping vampiric horrors of Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea. Do I think that Vampires of the Olden Lands is worth the download. Yes I do and then some. Serious this one of the best vampire books I've read in a very long time. Its well done, smart, savy, doesn't talk down to its audience and has a sweeping style that you will find very useful at your table time and again. Grab this one!



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampires of the Olden Lands
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Demi-God Race
by Kyrinn E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2015 21:47:18

I agree with Eric F's review, and can say that the translation to Sci-Fi was a fun one. Using the Demi-God Race pdf I created an Encounter Critical DGR character, using LEAdership in place of Charisma, resulting in 7 Powers -- right in line with the power level of that setting and system.

I liked the section on Divine Enemy, as it creates many opportunities for conflict without it necessarily diving into combat.

Divine Legacy and both parents being DGRs is an intriguing nation-state in any setting, and lends itself to (Anti-)Paladins as the main expression of this legacy.

Very powerful, not for the GM who doesn't think it through, but a great product for those willing to take the time and build the DGR into the setting, giving more than one nation or pantheon a few of these exceptional characters.



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Demi-God Race
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Demi-God Race
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2015 10:30:09

This product has all kinds of connotations beyond the usual pale of playing semi Greece or Roman style adventures set in a pseudo old school campaign. The demi god PC class can be applied to a wide variety of science fantasy and science fictional campaigns especially for Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future post apocalyptic campaigns. The author does a fine job of presenting exactly what's needed in a concise and well thought-out package. The clocking in at only eight pages the ranges and everything is here and easily applied across the board in a complete range of stats and options right down the line. This product has all kinds of connotations beyond the usual pale of playing semi Greece or Roman style adventures set in a pseudo old school campaign. The demi god PC class can be applied to a wide variety of science fantasy and science fictional campaigns especially for Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future post apocalyptic campaigns. The author does a fine job of presenting exactly what's needed in a concise and well thought-out package. The clocking in at only eight pages the ranges and everything is here and easily applied across the board in a complete range of stats and options right down the line. Everything is right in the eight pages that your going to need to adapt these bastions of myth and legend into your games. Complete and solid this is a really well done PC option but as with all things use this race with responsiblity or not the choice is yours. This download presents all of the bells and whistles to get you started in the way into legend!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Adlerstein and Environs Map Pack
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/22/2014 15:54:10

8 maps. Pay What You Want The maps are all hires PNG files. Features the hex area around Castle Adlerstein which is to be detailed in the future. Again at present it is avery sandboxy and can be used with anything. 8 maps (7 maps and a grid) and PWYW make this a great deal. It will be a better deal when the rest of it comes out too.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Adlerstein and Environs Map Pack
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Chronicles of Mhoriedh Map 00 Olden Lands Continent
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/22/2014 15:51:21

7 maps and a guidebook. Pay What You Want. The maps are all hires PNG files. The guidebook lists various monsters and resources of the areas. No descriptions of the lands or anything else. That is all coming in the in the Gazetteer of the Olden Lands. But it works as a huge sandbox and I was already mentally placing it in my own world. Easily worth the price of a look and throwing a few bucks into James' hat. Easily more things to do here than I can put down on paper (pixels?) now. IT really recalls that feel that getting the original Expert Set box and seeing the maps.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Mhoriedh Map 00 Olden Lands Continent
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Ogres of the Olden Lands
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/22/2014 15:40:54

Ogres are the boogeymen of the Olden Lands. Or at least that is how they are depicted here. I love what James is trying to do with the ogres here. Give them something more of the supernatural. It works to be honest and for how little this book costs you have no excuse not to be using this to spice up the ogres in your own game. Ok though, I do plan on using this information for goblins instead! The random ogre feature tables for both Ogre and Ogre Magi is just great.

Though the STAR of this book is the Half-Ogre as a player character. Gamers of A Certain Age (like James and myself) grew up on a steady diet of fantasy and the half-ogre is the result of that. Either from the pages of Dragon magazine or the pages of Piers Anothony, the half-ogre was something that was sure to show up in someone's game in the early 80s. This half-ogre does that memory justice.

As a bonus we get the lands of the ogre and full color maps!

This book is designed to be used with any Old-School game. It is overtly labeled for Labyrinth Lord and dual-stated for Castles & Crusades, but really you could pick up anything from the *D&D family and play these.

The look of the books is certainly Old-school with the Souvenir/Soutane font. The layout is crisp, clean and easy to read. Like other books from this publisher it lacks art (save for the maps), but I don't think it is lessened because of it.

All in all a great addition to my game library and something I plan on using in my own game world.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ogres of the Olden Lands
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Hercynian Grimoire #1
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/22/2014 15:31:53

46 pages (cover, OGL, 44 pages). The first of hopefully more books in this series as well. This is also the first of the Olden Lands and the Chronicles of Mhoriedh line. The book is divided into a recognizable "Men & Magic", "Monsters & Treasure", "Underworld & Wilderness" and a newer, but still recognizable "Gods & Demi-gods". So needless to say I am hooked so far.

First up a great few of pages on Gnolls and their human-half breed kin the Gnoles. I never gave gnolls a second thought but this is some good stuff.

Another feature that you see the d66 table. Roll two d6s like percentile dice and get 36 outcomes. Like Traveler used to do. Next up is a section on spells. What I love about this and can get 100% behind is that Magic-user/Wizard spells are also labeled as "Intelligence", Cleric spells as "Wisdom" and Witchcraft spells as "Charisma". It is like it is custom made for my Witch class! There is a Gnoll encounter table, a random faerie table.

The next section is a collection of new magic items.

About half-way we get to a monster manual like section. Plenty of new hyena types and more. All monsters are dual stated. Following some more tables we talk about some of the Olden Lands. Up first, the Realm of Alspadia and it's major settlements. This is a pretty packed book at 46 pages. Lots of things to use to be honest and all can be added to your current game with no troubles.

This book is designed to be used with any Old-School game. It is overtly labeled for Labyrinth Lord and dual-stated for Castles & Crusades, but really you could pick up anything from the *D&D family and play these.

The look of the books is certainly Old-school with the Souvenir/Soutane font. The layout is crisp, clean and easy to read. Like other books from this publisher it lacks art, but I don't think it is lessened because of it.

All in all a great addition to my game library and something I plan on using in my own game world.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hercynian Grimoire #1
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Gods, Demi-Gods, and Cults #1: Chaos Queen of Ants
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/22/2014 15:03:08

This 21 page (cover, OGL, and 19 pages) book is the first of the GODS,DEMI-GODS, AND CULTS series. This one features Khraliche Karinkhamür the Chaos Queen of Ants. Presented here is plenty of detail about the cult, the sub cults and the important figures. Worshipers are detailed and discussed. We also get some new spells for both Wizards and Clerics and some new monsters.
What I like most about this is that it can be easily added to any game world. The feel is overwhelming old-school and sandbox, but that is great.

This book is designed to be used with any Old-School game. It is overtly labeled for Labyrinth Lord and dual-stated for Castles & Crusades, but really you could pick up anything from the *D&D family and play these.

The look of the books is certainly Old-school with the Souvenir/Soutane font. The layout is crisp, clean and easy to read. Like other books from this publisher it lacks art, but I don't think it is lessened because of it.

All in all a great addition to my game library and something I plan on using in my own game world.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gods, Demi-Gods, and Cults #1: Chaos Queen of Ants
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