Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Footprints #24 and #25: zine highlights!

The journey comes to an end! Previous installments: #1 through #5, #6 through #10, #11 through #15, #16 through #20, #21 through #23.

Make sure to check out the very last adventure in #25, "Gilded Dream of the Incandescent Queen" by H.D.A. (whose Terrible Sorcery is Without Equal in the West), because it's a great one.

Footprints #24, January 2019

Footprints #24, January 2019

“Centaurs”, by Alan Powers
Continued from #23. Includes tables for Centaur backgrounds and skills.

“Revisiting the Ghost Tower”, by Ken Marin
How to fit C2 Ghost Tower of Inverness into a 4-hour convention game? Ken Marin addresses four key problems and offers his solutions. Reference this article if you face the same task!

New monsters for OSRIC: “Creatures Cthulhic… and Chthonic” by various authors. A cosmic horror/weird fiction bestiary, incl. Gugs, Hounds of Tindalos, Night-Gaunts, Quicksilver ooze, Zoog, a couple of deities; and a couple more abominations from the Chthonic section. A solid selection for dark fantasy and weird fiction games! Some overlap with Realms of Crawling Chaos, but there are differences as well.
And my personal favorite: a random generator of Spawns of Shub-Niggurath by Marco Cavagna! I tried this generator on my blog before.

“Dwarf Backgrounds”, by Alan Powers
There are a lot of solid NPC/PC backgrounds in this issue, plus see the Human/Halfling tables in #23. I’m particularly fond of table IX, Dwarf Secrets! I couldn’t find table X, Traits though ☹

There are two new classes, for 2e, “Western Monk” and “Skald”.

“Ruins of the River Gates”, by Andrew Hamilton
Adventure for levels 3-6. A location-based module, very easy to drop into any campaign. I like the location itself: a “river gate”, two towers standing on opposite banks of the water. There are underground chambers beneath both towers, that eventually connect into a large flooded dungeon. Water levels vary between knee-deep and complete submersion; unfortunately, the water level is not noted uniformly, and not marked on the map, so you have to wade through the text to find this crucial piece of info, or extrapolate from the neighboring areas (e.g. water level is not noted for a key location, the throne room… I guess it’s ~8’, because the adjacent room has 3’, then there is a staircase down?). Lots and lots of small, cramped, claustrophobic chambers, and drowned undead, which is a cool aesthetic.

And thus we arrive to…

FOOTPRINTS #25, June 2021

A giant jubilee issue! 198 pages!!!

“The Beginning of the Brazilian RPG”, by Pedro Panhoca da Silva
A short but interesting account of the early RPG scene in Brazil. I hope such overviews continue in future issues, as I’d like to learn more about RPGs around the world.

“Behind the Fallen God”, by Joseph Mohr
A short adventure for levels 7-10. Based on a nice isometric Dyson map. Delve into the forgotten temple of an ancient Cthulhoid god. The keys are brief, more in the vein of “modern OSR” principles, less in the house style of Footprints (which is based on the high word-count AD&D modules). The monsters are aberration types. Overall, this is a nice short adventure, although I think the map is too linear.

Two useful supplements: “Random Treasure”, by Jeff Wagner - Revised and expanded treasure tables. Unites DMG + UA. “Barbarian”, by Daniel Ottavio - The UA+Dragon #148 Barbarian adapted to OSRIC.

“The Watch Tower of Quasqueton”, by Ken Marin
I like this running theme in Footprints: publishing additional materials for classic adventures. This one is for B1 In Search of the Unknown. The author notes: “The back cover of the original monochrome edition of B1 In Search of the Unknown features a tower, presumably on top of the dungeon’s hill top, not described in the module itself.” So, he maps out a little tower, that provides an extra entrance into the dungeon – sweet!

“Simulated Advancement for NPCs”, by Ken Marin

What are NPC adventurers up to during their “off-screen” time? Answer: they possibly level up, or, possibly die and maybe turn undead or some other mishap befalls them… Some adventurer NPCs simply retire! I think a lot could be added to this foundation: like tables of possible occupations/activities for retired NPC adventurers, or more mishaps… Anyways, a good tool for long-running campaigns.

“Supernatural Diseases”, by Marco Cavagna

A bunch of foul maladies. Yuck.

“Zero is an Apprentice’s Best Friend – Zero Level Spells”, by Delta Demon

A bunch of cantrips. Summon a skunk to spray a random person. Cast “Sleepy” to make a person sleepy…

“Colledician Magic Vol. I. New Vancian Spells… for OD&D games”, by Robert “Bobjester” Weber

Write-ups for titles generated in a Dying Earth spell name randomizer! I approve. “Deour’s Serene Cigarette”, “Meepo’s Memorable Superstition”? “Thoure’s Ghastly Spleen”? O yeah.

“The Tenebristic Orb”, by Malrex

Adventure for levels 4-7. Ooooh I like this setup, this is good fantasy shit. A dungeon inside a magic orb. Light/shadow/darkness themed. Lots of weird and psychedelic images, strange demons, riddles (twisted wizard-created pocket dimensions is the only context where I would use a riddle)… Definitely adding this to my folder!

“Elvish Backgrounds”, by Alan Powers

Rounds out the backgrounds published in #23-24.

“Last Stand”, by Jesse Walker

2e adventure, for levels 2-4. A small 14-room dungeon adventure, pretty modular (easy to drop into any setting or campaign). This means it is also quite generic, there is not much theming going on in the dungeon itself. I do, however, like the final artifact that can be found here: an arcane clockwork recording device, that can also be used by the DM to deliver hooks to further adventures.

“Gilded Dream of the Incandescent Queen”, by H.D.A.

Labyrinth Lord adventure for levels 3-6. Yes. Oh yes. I really like this adventure, and I already have it printed out separately, ready to be run. It’s a big, complex, and flavorful adventure. A double-tetrahedron-shaped floating golden edifice. Psychedelic and weird. Inside, space and time do not follow the laws of nature. The concept of a witch-queen’s failed ascension to the higher planes is interesting. “I wrote this adventure so that it could fit into almost any campaign. It does however rely upon that old stumbling-block, alignment”, discloses the author: yes, at certain points in the adventure character alignment comes into play.

The silver jubilee issue of Footprints, thus, ends on a high note!

Looking forward to #26!

Footprints #25, July 2021


  1. Tamás, thank you for the kind words! If you run 'Gilded Dream' do let me know how it went... just watch out for Zarmuun, he's hungry!