Sunday, March 27, 2022

Footprints #11 through #15: zine highlights!

More interesting materials from the pages of Footprints! Issue #15 in particular turned out to be a goldmine.

Previous installments: #1 through #5, #6 through #10.

Footprints #12, March 2008

Footprints #11, August 2007

“Lost Shrine of Tharizdun”, by Alphonzo Warden

This is of some interest due to its modular nature. It’s a small chapel to the dark god Tharizdun, hidden behind a secret door, that can be slotted into any existing dungeon. Two magic items, very useful if the party delves into WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun. The little dungeon segment is not particularly outstanding, but I do like the idea of this little connective element.

“New Illusionist Spells”, by Brian Dougherty

Delvorm’s Dancing Deck is an interesting spell, it summons a deck of cards, from which cards with various spell effects can be drawn. And then tossed, Gambit-style, at the target. The deck scales with caster level, so it remains useful for a long time. It’s also a shortcut to memorize a couple spells at the price of one – this might be open to exploitation though… I’d prefer if the deck draws were randomized (as written, the caster chooses from effects available to their level).


Footprints #12, March 2008

Slim pickings, other than “Leomund’s Silken Squares”, a set of wacky magic items by Len Lakofka.


Footprints #13, August 2008

“Tower of the Elephant”, by Tulsa

An adaptation of the R.E.Howard Conan classic. Pretty close to the text in most parts. An archetyptical tower adventure. The author is probably right when he says that you can run this even if the players are familiar with the story (and most RPG fans are), because the fun is in avoiding the wizard and looking for the alien elephant creature.

“Kzaddich” & “Tsalakian”, two new monsters by John A. Turcotte

Based on a dream vision of the Fiend Folio II! Two Lovecraftian cosmic beings, locked in eternal struggle.


Footprints #14, January 2009

“The Necromancer. A Chilling NPC”, by David Mohr

A couple of cool spells, like Cloak of Death (either to hide from undead, or hide your undead minions), Spectral Voice (ventriloquism, speak through undead creatures; although I’d expand this power to include any corpse), Choke (ghastly hands choke target, “apology accepted, captain”, I guess?), Empathic Healing (transfer damage from target to self), False Face (disguise spell, but it can copy both living and dead people --- I think it would be more thematic and necromantic, if it could only copy dead people…), Cannibalize (actually Auto-Cannibalism! Sacrifice ability points for a temporary boost), and more, this is a big article!

“One Hundred Names for Taverns and Inns”, by C. Wesley Clough

What it says on the tin! The names are okay, but short descriptions of the sign-boards are also included, which makes for an interesting detail (“67: The Thirsty Fish (The head of a trout peaking out from an ale tankard)”).


Footprints #15, June 2009

“The Haunted Inn of the Little Bear: Revenant’s Revenge”, by Brian Wells

A short low-level adventure, set in an abandoned roadside inn. The inn became the place of a gruesome massacre some years ago. There is a small mystery element (which can be tied into the campaign’s politics), exploration of the two-level inn, and a small dungeon. Around a dozen or so areas. There are a couple of cool descriptions, like shambling skeletons that “walk as if they are becoming accustomed to using limbs that have not been used in quite awhile”. I also like how not all undead in the adventure are instantaneously “enemies”. The module text is pretty bloated though. But overall, this reads like a good adventure, with a Solomon Kane vibe!

“The Shaman NPC Class”, by David Mohr

Detailed write-up. Cleric & Druid spells, plus a couple of new ones. Around 40 (!) different totem animals. Each totem animal provides a unique boon at levels 1, 4, 7, 10, 15. This is a great table, very useful even if you don’t want to include the whole class. These boons can be spell-like abilities, skill bonuses, etc. There is also a very useful list of all these powers, another thing you can grab.

“Random Phantom Generator”, by Michael Martin

Nine tables (mostly d6, one d8) on two pages, to generate flavorful phantoms. Good in general for haunted house situations. This is mostly eerie dressing though, not much interactivity.

“Give Your Cities Some Character”, by Mike Hensley

A quick template for random city generation. The classic six character attributes are applied to the settlement. Strength is military presence, Dexterity is for laws and personal freedom, Constitution is population, Intelligence is arcane/wizardly presence, Wisdom is the religious factor, Charisma is the overall atmosphere and crime levels. A neat feature is that small checks are assigned to the attribute scores. For example, to find if a mundane item is available in the shop, roll 3d6 under the Constitution score. Roll 3d6 against Charisma daily to see if the players are harassed by criminals.

Footprints #15, June 2009

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