Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Footprints #16 through #20: zine highlights!

Previous installments: #1 through #5#6 through #10, #11 through #15.

As always, check out the zine for yourself over at Dragonsfoot.

Footprints #16, November 2009

Footprints #16, November 2009

The adventure in this issue is by Brian Wells, who wrote the great module in #15. This offering is less intriguing: “Bandit Stronghold”, for levels 2-4, and that’s it.

New Monsters: “Primordimental”, by John Turcotte, is a cool Lovecraftian beastie.

“The Urban: A New Character Class”, by Ryan Coombes

A criminal character class for city campaigns. I don’t particularly care for the class. However, one of the features is an interesting subsystem that can be hacked and used independently of the class. It is the “Web of Contacts”, which works on three levels – Rabble, Toughs, Specials. The example NPCs given at the end of the article are good too. “Contacts” is something that many other non-D&D RPGs do anyway (like Shadowrun), so it’s interesting to see an AD&D implementations of the idea.


Footprints #17, March 2011

The adventure in this issue is “The (False) Tomb of Horrors”, by Joseph Pallai. It is, indeed, a false Tomb of Horrors, that can also serve as a ramp-up towards the real thing. Not really my cup of tea.

“Death Dice”, by Leonard Lakofka

A fun Deck of Many Things style magic item. Roll 2d6 in-game and on the table, suffer/enjoy the results.


Footprints #18, April 2013

“The Cult of the Devourer”, by Andrew Hamilton

A write-up of the cult of Jubilex, with a handful of slime-based spells. I guess Nickelodeon was a cult of Jubilex?

“The Mired Cathedral”, by C. Wesley Clough

A location-based adventure for character levels 4-6. The setup is simple, and it has a very classic feel, but it’s also pretty well-made. It’s a pity the ogre lair that is mentioned in the adventure wasn’t included. The titular mired cathedral is described in some detail, with attention to various points of egress; definitely a useful piece. I like all the different items of interest that can be used as hooks or that can spark further ventures for the party. There is a book with details on a local noble family’s history (possible blackmail material? Or simply a thing that can be sold to them for profit or patronage?), swamp lotuses grow in the middle, etc.

“Tribal Spellcasters Revisited”, by Andrew Hamilton

Includes a gnoll spellcaster NPC and a couple of new spells. Hyena-themed, of course.

“An Unhealthy Obsession with Equipment”, by Stuart Marshall

A long-ass equipment list for OSRIC. Item, price, weight. Several categories, items in alphabetical order, 8 pages.


Footprints #19, July 2013

“Field Notes from Davendowns”, by Tain Wehrcraft ( & Andrew Hamilton)

This is neat, the detailed description of an in-game book written by a ranger, Tain Wehrcraft. Some parts of the book are about herbalism, lore, geography, there are some magic spells sprinkled throughout (incl. a couple new ones, described at the end of the article, like “Transmute Stick to Arrow” or “Bird Call”), info on monsters… A great way to slip rumors or hooks or hints to the players. This is good world building too.

“The Shrieking Hollow”, by C. Wesley Clough

Adventure for levels 1-3. A two-level cave dungeon. It is probably not a bad adventure, but feels overwritten? Lots of text… So it’s hard to pick out the highlights. It comes with a convoluted back story about rivalry between two wizards. I like the new spell included in this adventure!


Footprints #20, November 2013

“The Witch”, by Stuart Marshall

This is a very good Witch class for OSRIC! In fact, one of the coolest I’ve seen around. With a bunch of new spells. “The witch is meant to cleave to OSRIC's source literature which contains few clerical archetypes. In campaigns that lack clerics, witches can, to some extent, be substituted. Alternatively, witches can work alongside clerics, since the two classes' abilities do not necessarily overlap.” Definitely a class worth adding to the roster.

“The Secret of the Wood of Dark Boughs”, by R.N. Bailey

Adventure for levels 3-5. Okay, this also has a convoluted backstory (like the module in #19), but I feel it pays off, because it ties into a mystery/investigation plot. I also dig the Scandinavian names and the overall “folk horror” feel. The main hook relies on the party being good of alignment and ready to help out unjustly persecuted people; but the “local lord asks the players to act as arbitrators” can also work. Anyway, the adventure presents the background not just as a text narrative, but also as a timeline, so that’s definitely useful. Because there are a couple of “moving parts” (the players, the fey agents, Brand the thief). A lot of important details are included, like tactics for the fey search party and many NPC writeups. There is a patch of wilderness and two dungeons/lairs. A big and flavorful adventure! Very impressive.

“The Rat’s Meow”, by Darren Dare

A second adventure! This one is for 2e, for levels 3-4. It’s a small side-trek type thing, about a roadside inn overtaken by lycanthropes. It does the job, I guess? I feel that there’s only a certain amount of “the tavern keeper tries to murder the party” adventures you can do with a single group.

Footprints #19, July 2013

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