Saturday, April 2, 2022

Footprints #21 through #23: zine highlights!

Previous installments: #1 through #5, #6 through #10, #11 through #15, #16 through #20.

The issues are getting longer (although more spaced out in time), so I'll do three in this batch, and the final two separately! Oh, very impressive cover arts beginning around #22.

Footprints #22, February 2015

Footprints #21, May 2014

“Monsters of All Sizes”, by R.N. Bailey

Guidelines for scaling monsters up and down, how their HD and abilities change, pretty useful stuff!

“The Wizard’s Laboratory”, by Marco

An EXTREMELY detailed random table of d100 types of things one can find in a wizard’s lab. With subtables for each entry. *roll roll roll* Spell components for a random spell for 9 castings, explosives, cheese cultures!

“The Conjuror”, by Ian Slater

A magic-user subclass specialized in summoning spells. I’m not a fan of subclass bloat, but I like the new spells! “Svintooth's Mighty Carriage”, for example, “summons a wyvern carrying an iron cage in its talons. Up to eight medium-sized creatures, or the equivalent, may be carried in the iron cage at a time.”

“Lake of Sorrows”, by Steve McFadden

Adventure for levels 1-3. Felt like a lot of text… There is some good imagery, though! A lake in a caldera, shrouded in permanent mist, a banshee trapped underwater… Pine forest, glacier yeti ambush, lake ghouls…


Footprints #22, February 2015

“Feelin’ Trapped?”, by Tony Chaplin

Random traps for dungeon stocking! Great material. Traps are divided into 4 levels of danger, and rolled like monsters depending on dungeon level. 66 different traps, with smaller tables for trigger types, etc.

“Treasures & Tables”, by Stuart Marshall

This is “an optional, alternative system for generating random magical items. These tables allow for more variation in the kinds of items found”, looks useful!

“Blacktop Vale”, by Steve McFadden

Adventure for levels 1-2. A lot of dense text (I guess this is McFadden’s style), so it’s hard to get a good overall feeling of this adventure without reading all of it. I read the first page of long backstory, and it says that the wizard’s tower was “recently damaged” and the wizard disappeared, but there is no explanation of this here (although it would be important for the DM to know right off the bat). I think you only learn about the background some 10 pages later, in one of the room descriptions? Not a fan of this. I like the wintery setting.


Footprints #23, September 2015

“Centaurs! More than just horsing around”, by Alan Powers

This is a pretty comprehensive look at centaurs as D&D characters. It brings together rules from the 2e Complete Book of Humanoids and the author’s home game.

“No Bones About It”, by Darren Dare

Darren brings another small 2e adventure, for levels 3-4. This is a classic abandoned wizard tower. I think the lack of any visually distinct characteristics is a missed opportunity. There is only one room that has “Intricately carved arches depicting snakes and vines”, that’s good. But the tower is supposed to be just this featureless cylindrical thing in the wilderness. Perhaps useful to drop into a hexcrawl as an adventure location?

“A Digest Alchemical”, by Ryan Coombes

Write-up of the author’s alchemy system. Ryan says, “I prefer that alchemical methods be non-magical in nature, rather than the properties of the compounds produced being the result of mystical or arcane energies”, and he delivers. A big list of about 50 various potions and concoctions, with requirements to brew them, and a paragraph of details for each. Definitely a good supplement if you need a more mundane set of alchemical things!

“Human and Halfling Background Tables”, by Alan Powers

What it says on the tin! Good if you need details for NPCs. There are several tables to roll on, Social class, Sibling rank, Social rank, Skills & professions, many of them with subtables. If you just need a single quick detail, pick that particular table and ignore the rest.

“B11a: Priest’s Errand”, by Leon Baradat

A supplement to use in conjunction with B11: King’s Festival, to bring characters up in levels before B12: Queen’s Harvest. “I created this add-on adventure when my children suffered a total party kill (TPK) at the end of module B11,” discloses the author. I haven’t read or played B11, so cannot comment on this much. I like the opening: the characters arrive and see the tavern besieged by goblins! I think this is a good setup, a clear call to action. The next task at hand can be to pursue the goblins and find where they came from, which is actually the tunnels they dug and reached the Temple of the town. This is a 13-area underground goblin cavern. So, mostly standard stuff, but I like how these staples are put into a wider context.

New monsters: About a dozen new monsters, pretty good ones. One that stood out is the “Decanter Golem”, by John A. Turcotte. I came up with this monster too! Had it in the lair of a decadent satyr. Only I had my “glass servants” be filled with booze. Turcotte’s variant is the offensive type, often filled with acids or poisons.

“Citadel of the Carrion Eaters”, by Andrew Hamilton

For character levels 10-14. Heavy on marauding gnolls (no lairs in the adventure, but the author provides a couple of sources that can be referenced), in the Borderlands. Probably ties in with Hamilton’s gnoll shaman from Footprints #18. The gnolls build a fortress (the titular citadel). There are simple maps for the citadel, which also look instantly reusable if you need a stronghold map. There is a ghoul-infested dungeon underneath. The gnolls and their shaman worship a demon lord, so, good luck, there’s your really high-level component… Overall, this looks like a solid adventure, although not one I’d see myself using as-is.

Footprints #23, September 2015

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