Saturday, March 26, 2022

Footprints #6 through #10: zine highlights!

Second batch of my Footprints read-through! First batch here. The zines are available for free here.

I found not that many stuff for myself in #6-8, but then with #9-10 it picks up again! Two very good adventure modules in there.

Footprints #6, April 2006

Footprints #6, December 2005

“The Ebony Tower”, by James M. Ward

A short, simple, whimsical stone- and statue-based tower module. I like how it sticks to the themes. And when I say whimsical, I mean it. There are talking stairs. Talking chalices. Talking statues. I’m not really in need of another wizard tower, but it’s good that this exists… No level range indicated?


Footprints #7, April 2006

“Boggarts!”, by John A. Turcotte

A selection of creatures from Slavic folklore.

+ there is a Rusalka later in Footprints #9.


Footprints #8, August 2006

“Expanded Secondary Skills”, by Mike Stewart

An updated look at AD&D secondary skills. A good list to use when generating PCs, but also when generating the backgrounds of NPCs! *roll roll roll* A miner, an acrobat, and a city official walk into a bar…

“Crafting Items in 2nd edition AD&D”, by Cyrus Ayers

Just noting that it’s here, in case I need various takes on crafting systems.

New Spells: “Curse of Yarthos”, by Stuart Marshall, a level 1 spell that makes everybody drunk! “Valdemar’s Voltaic Digits”, by Joel K Bishop, a classic evil warlock “lightning bolts from fingers” spell.


Footprints #9, December 2006

“The Emperor’s Lost Army”, by John A. Turcotte

Open-ended sandbox module for levels 5-7. Very atmospheric “lost world” adventure location, a ruined city to explore. A. Merritt + Clark Ashton Smith vibe + the Terracotta Army. Crumbling masonry, alien reliefs, overgrown with vines… It’s eerie and deserted (until night falls). There is a very cool new monster living there, won’t spoil it. The city ruin exploration is mostly left to the DM (could be supplemented with Yoon Suin?), but there are 6 named locations of particular interest. There is a magic fountain, a ruined amphitheater (“voices and movements echo weirdly”), and, of course, one majestic dungeon, the Emperor’s Tomb. There are some Oriental Adventures references here, but overall the adventure is a real “module”, in that it can be slotted into any campaign easily. Extra legwork is required to do the city crawl, but what is included is very inspiring!

“Locks Come to Life – An Addition to any AD&D System”, by David Havard

Eleven levels of locks (from 0 through 10)! Ten named locks per level! From the Goblin Gripper through Eagle Claw and Tenser Series D 5 Pin to the Mitre Jewel… There is a subsystem for “learning locks” (a learned lock type is easier to pick). As written, I probably wouldn’t use this – it’s just a bit TOO MUCH :D But I think this is still a great article, and one can probably boil it down to perhaps 10 locks (one for each level) and use it to create a new house rule for lockpicking?


Footprints #10, April 2007

“Beginning Magic-User Spell Table”, by Joel Bishop

A small but quite useful table for determining starting spells.

“Death From Above!”, by Michael Haskell

Adventure (levels 6-9) set on a flying cloud giant fortress! It’s a mini-module, so there is just a small dungeon area and a compact overground, or rather, overcloud keep. Two giants lair here (twin brothers!). The giant-scale weird architecture provides interesting navigational challenges. It is also a VERY combat-heavy adventure, unless the party employs stealth and trickery (there is room for that, though).

I love this description: “Whatever eldritch quarry provided the stone for this flying castle is beyond normal ken. The stone is predominantly black, shot through veins of gold that seem to pulse and shift, sometimes suggesting the forms of animals, men, and monsters beneath the surface of the stone.” And overall there is a psychedelic feel, like “whorls of color” on a floor, etc. There is a hall “floored with cloud”, with shifting vapors. This is prog rock smoke machine action. “Strange forms of ice cling to the walls, as if the shadowy forms of nightmare had been melted and refrozen by the horrid breath of the winter wolves.” Yeah! The giants are “eating massive vegetable croquettes from immense silver platters”.

Footprints #10, April 2007

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