Friday, March 25, 2022

Footprints #1 through #5: zine highlights!

Footprints is the long-running in-house zine of the Dragonfoot AD&D community. 25 issues since 2004! In this small series of posts, I will systematically go through all the issues of the magazine, and mark my highlights. I'm not doing full reviews or overviews - these are my personal subjective picks of things I might use in my own games. Generally, new classes or house rules are of little interest to me. However, I still read them, because, well, you never know where you find something useful for your own game! My main interests are adventure modules and random tables and generators. After all, I already tested a random monster generator from Footprints #24.

All issues are available as free PDFs over at Dragonsfoot. So go check them out!

Footprints #5, August 2005

Footprints #1, April 2004

There is an adventure (“DD0: Keeper of the Old Faith”, by Bill Silvey), but it didn’t really catch my attention.

“Critical Hits & Fumbles”, by Steve “bloodymage” Willett

The author’s crit&fumble homebrew. I’m not a fan of how much crit confirmation is needed (two confirmations for a roll on the sweet Gnarly Crits table!), but the entries are pretty fun, and can be taken as-is or adjusted to fit your own tastes. Strangely, there is no info on when/how Fumbles occur in the author’s game. The chart is cool.

Kudos for including recipes in the zine (in the “Create Food & Water” column, of course)!

Footprints #2, August 2004

“What Have I Got in my Pocket?”, by John A. Turcotte

A cool general mundane item table. The type popularized in the OSR-sphere as “I loot the body!” tables, but here intended mostly for picking pockets. Two main tables (the first for humans/demihumans, the second for humanoids/monsters) and several sub-tables. Entries include (*roll roll roll*) “Spell Components (DM’s discretion, preferably something slimy)”, “Jerked Meat [Meat sub-table roll: Mutton]”, “Alcohol [Alcohol sub-table roll: Grog, in Skin]”, etc. There is even a chance to find a bug or a small monster in the pockets! So, yeah, this is a great tool for DMs.

“Multiclasses as Classes”, by Mike Stewart

This is an interesting homebrew article. The multiclass pairings are reimagined as classes. Cleric/Assassin becomes the “Macabre”, Fighter/M-U is a “Feyblood”, Fighter/Thief is a “Brigand”, etc. There are short write-ups and exp. charts for all 13 new classes.


Footprints #3, December 2004

The module in this issue (“Stop the Goblin Raid”, by Trenton Howard) has a pretty standard D&D adventure setup, goblin raids directed by a hidden evil NPC.

“Gigger”, a monster by Quinn Davis Munnerlyn III aka “Lothat TVNI”

A nasty giant centipede with a blinding bioluminescent attack. I’m definitely adding this to jungle and swamp and fetid dungeon encounters.


Footprints #4, April 2005

“Watchers on the Whyestil”, by John A. Turcotte

A Greyhawk adventure (for levels 4-6), centered upon recapturing an elven watchtower. It is set up as a strategically important episode in a greater war effort. However, the tower itself (and the island it is on) can easily be taken out of this original context and repurposed, so definitely of interest to DMs of all settings. A well-mapped edifice, three floors, with a small underground dungeon area.

“Magic Items in their Proper Place”, by Mike Stewart

A useful tool for DMs. Magic items reorganized according to their relative power levels. So they are like monster encounters (level 1, level 2…). Definitely an interesting and useful spin on the original DMG tables.

“CURSES, Foiled Again!”, by Rizak the Really Horrible

More info and details for curses. d20 random curse effects <- definitely useful!


Footprints #5, August 2005

“The Lost Cache of Father Tomas”, by John A. Turcotte

A 1st level AD&D adventure. Buried treasure in the old keep, go! There is a pretty long backstory. And it has cool elements, like the clue to the whereabouts of the treasure. According to the backstory, this cryptic clue was found and partially deciphered by an NPC (the quest-giver, who wants the chalice interred in the dungeon). I would probably change this so that the players find the clue, and have to do all the steps themselves, if time allows. But even as written, there are parts of the clue that are left to the players to decipher, which is good. The dungeon is… okay, I guess, a small 1st level dungeon, nothing spectacular.  I do like this note at the end, regarding the quest-giver: “The heroes may come to regret their arrangement with the Steward. The chalice is, after all, worth more than all the treasure in the complex by itself. However, Gregory is waiting outside for their return. He is a very powerful man in the area, and should the PCs attempt to abscond with the chalice, they may never find rest again. If they return the chalice to the Steward, he is will be overcome with emotion and they will have gained an influential patron.” The real treasure is the patron we found along the way!

“Vingotsky’s Vile Vessel”, a new spell by Stuart Marshall

Quote: “This spell enables the caster to raise a vessel from the bottom of the ocean as a ghost ship.” NEED I SAY MORE.


  1. Just done a quick skim to confirm it, and my suspicions were correct: Issue No. 5's 'Lost Cache of Father Tomas' is a direct reference to M.R. James's 'Treasure of Abbot Thomas'.