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Monstrous Miscellany #02
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2021 13:48:35

So 'Monstrous Miscellany #02' By James Mishler & Jodi Moran-Mishler Compatible with Labyrinth Lord was sent to me by the authors. This is a great little monster addition for your OSR or Old School games. The Mishlers bring the monsters with Monstrous Miscellany #02.

Monstrous Miscellany #02 brings to the table the " Giant Centaur – A giant creature appropriate for Lost Worlds and Mysterious Islands. Krum the Smasher – A monstrous godling who does nothing but smash the works of civilization leaving ruin and suffering in his wake.

Brain Moths – One eyed, one tentacled, flying purple brain eaters from another dimension

Ulfartrolls – Born of the union of lycanthropic witches and trolls, these berserker beasts surpass their ancestors in their wickedness and might!" So the Mishlers on a roll because these monsters are a fit for a number of OSR Pulp & Old School game campaigns.
Many of these monsters are straight out of mythology, literature, & legends. For example Giant Centuars are straight out of Dante's Inferno & while they are listed as neautral these monsters could easily be converted over to the Inferno version. Here's a bit of background on these horrors; 'Giant centaurs resemble normal centaurs in that they are the combination of a humanoid and quadruped, but they are not merely up-scaled centaurs. They have the body and legs of a baluchitherium with the torso and arms of a hill giant. They stand 10 feet tall at the point at which the hill giant torso emerges from the shoulders of the baluchitherium body, for a total height of about 16 feet. Their hill giant torso, arms, and head have grayishbrown skin, with grayish-black hair and mane that flows from their head, down their back, to merge with the grayish-black coat of the baluchitherium body. They resemble neanderthals more so than ogres, with prognathous jaws and large, heavy brows." According to Dante's Infeno; "The Centaurs--men from the waist up with lower bodies of horses--guard the first ring of circle 7, a river of blood in which the shades of murderers and bandits are immersed to varying depths. Armed with bows and arrows, thousands of Centaurs patrol the bank of the river, using their weapons to keep the souls at their allotted depth (Inf. 12.73-5)"

Are we saying that 'giant centuars' were taken from Dante's Inferno?! Nope, I'm saying that James Mishler has created some really great monsters that can be easily adapted to your campaign, dungeon, or old school games. Ulfartrolls would not be out of place within a Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg session. Ulfartrolls as monsters are absolutely brutal & dangerous. Brain Moths fit the bill for Carcosa or a Science Fantasy adventure. All in all for a dollar this is a really nice piece of rpg value & ulitity.. Thanks For reading our review. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Want more OSR content?! Please subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monstrous Miscellany #02
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A Myriad of Magic Items
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/16/2021 17:46:28

"A Myriad of Magic Items is a collection of new and unusual magic items designed for use with Labyrinth Lord, but readily useable with any Old School RPG.

A Myriad of Magic Items contains a total of 80 new magic items."

The latest book to come our way has been James Mishler Games A Myriad of Magic Items the latest in a string of very solidly done quality OSR supplements. A Myriad of Magic Items is by the husband & wife team of James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler for the Labyrinth Lord retroclone.

The OSR twist up is the fact that in 'A Myriad of Magic Items' each magic item is for a specific D&D style class. This is that we've seen in other old school game supplements before & goes all of the way back to David A. Hargrave's Arduin rpg supplements for original Dungeons & Dragons. Here the Mishler's take A Myriad of Magic Items to its logical conclusion. Each magic item hooks into the character class & its done very well. This idea is also done in many of Castles & Crusades rpg supplements especially Troll Lord Games Castles & Crusades Mystical Companions for C&C. Where the occult familiar matches the capacity of its master's class's hand & specialty.

'A Myriad of Magic Items' takes this idea to its logical conclusion with the lost & elusive treasures lost to their original owners. Now these items wait in treasure chests & other monster haunted ruins across your campaign world. Take for example the Shifter's cloak a Barbarian themed item ;"SHIFTER’S CLOAK: A shifter’s cloak is an enchanted cloak that enables a barbarian, berserker, or ranger, along with all their equipment, to transform into animal form. While in the animal form the wearer retains their intelligence and personality and possesses their normal Hit Dice and Hit Points, but have the animals’ Armor Class, attacks as a Monster of their Hit Dice (if better than their normal attacks), and attacks using the animal’s natural attack forms. The wearer can change back and forth as often as desired, remaining in the animal form as long as desired. 1 in 6 of these items allows the wearer to speak while in animal form. The types of animals vary widely, depending on the type of animals valued by a barbarian culture, and might include bears, boars, crows, eagles, falcons, foxes, horses, hyenas, lions, otters, panthers, salmon, seals, sharks, snakes, swans, tigers, wolverines, and/or wolves, among others (though a cloak only allows shifting into one type). 1 in 12 of these items is cursed, such that the third time transforming into the animal form, the wearer remains stuck in that form, losing their own personality as per a polymorph other spell, until the application of a remove curse spell. Anyone other than a barbarian, berserker, or ranger who dons a shifter’s cloak is cursed as above." The Shifter's Cloak offers all kinds of possible adventures hooks for the enterprising DM especially for one whose got a Sword & Sorcery themed campaign setting in play. This is a sample of the quality that the Mishler's continue to bring to the table. A Myriad of Magic Items brings this & many other treasures to the table in thirty two pages of OSR goodness. They cover many of the major classes in Labyrinth Lord including: Assassins Barbarians (and Berserkers) Bards Clerics Druids Dwarves Elves Fighters Gnomes Halflings Illusionists Magic-users Monks Necromancers Paladins Rangers Runemasters Sorcerers Thieves Many of these treasures found in 'A Myriad of Magic Items' could be in point fact be used as the central adventure focus & added as a campaign goal. This would work as the treasure being a familial focus for an old school campaign for royalty or as the deciding force behind a crown or adventure goal. Is 'A Myriad of Magic Items' worth the download?! Oh most certainly given the following the flexibility of the treasures presented, the originality of the Mishler's vision, & their application within old school & OSR games. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want more OSR action? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Myriad of Magic Items
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Sorcerer Class
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/08/2021 11:57:50

James & Jodi Mishler from Mishler Games have created an OSR sorcerer class that dips deeply into the mythology of classic Dungeons & Dragon style games with their latest Sorcerer Class for Labyrinth Lord

"The new Sorcerer Class for Labyrinth Lord includes the following:

Class Details, including Spellcasting, Sorcerous Origin, and Evoke Magic;

The following Sorcerous Origins, each with their own special abilities: Angel-Blood Demon-Blood Djinn-Blood Dragon-Blood Efreet-Blood Fairy-Blood Vampire-Blood

New spells for the Dragon-Blood and Vampire-Blood sorcerers, adapted from spells included in the Dragonborn Race and Necromancer Class booklets." The Sorcerer PC Class is one of those classes you don't think your gonna need as a player or DM but then it hits you. This is a perfect class for an OSR horror game or even a science fantasy campaign.

Here the Mishler's do an excellent job of boiling down the PC sorcerer into its OSR roots & this is both its charm. And its dangers; "Sorcerers are humans who possess innate magical spell-casting powers due to ancient, inhuman family bloodlines, such as through having an angel, demon, dragon, fairy, genie, vampire, or other magically-powerful creature in their family line." Why do I say dangers?! Because sorcerers have powerful supernatural or occult parents. Parent can be very protective of their children.

Mishler's sorcerers go to twentieth level & leave lots of room for the players & DM's to have fun with the class in OSR games. The class has plenty of opportunities to take full advantage of the magic infused nature of the class; "SPELLCASTING: Sorcerers possess the ability to cast magic-user spells, but in a very different way than magic-users gain and cast spells. A sorcerer does not learn spells, scribe them in spell books, and then memorize the spells desired. Instead, a sorcerer innately knows a number of spells equal to her level plus her Charisma bonus. She then use her spell slots to cast the spells she knows in any combination desired, within her combination of known spells and available spell casting slots. For example, at 1st level Tiana the Sorceress (CHA 16, +2) knows three 1st level spells (plus one from her Sorcerous Origin), which she can cast in any combination of two spells per day using her two 1st-level spell-casting slots. At each level, when a sorcerer gains a new spell, she may choose a spell of a spell level that she can cast (including any newly-gained spell level from that character level) from the magic-user spell list. For example, Tiana the Sorceress advances from 3rd to 4th level; she may choose one new spell of 1st or 2 nd level, as she can now cast 2nd level spells."

The very nature of the sorcerer's magic makes it even more dangerous; "EVOKE MAGIC: Sorcerers do not have any proper training in the use of magic items that are normally limited to use by magic-users, however, their natural affinity with magic allows them to try to use such items that require activation. In order to do so, they must make a saving throw versus Wands (if using a wand) or Spells or Spell-Like Devices (if using any other item other than scrolls) each time they wish to use an item that requires active use. No roll is needed to use passive items that work without activation. To cast a scroll, the sorcerer must make a Charisma-based Spell Learning Probability Check (Intelligence Table II), with a penalty of 5% per level of the spell; even sorcerers who cannot read can try to use scrolls, as they can feel the magic in the scroll and simply evoke it out of the magical writing. However, there is danger in trying to evoke magic out of a magic item or scroll. If the saving throw fails with a Natural 1, or if the sorcerer rolls 96-00 when trying to use a scroll, Something Bad happens, the nature of which is at the whim of the Labyrinth Lord." I can think of at least ten or so uses for this class as the basis for an NPC villain or mid level hench villain with an occult parent whose a complete & utter bastard.

Mishler shifts from the various Angel-Blood, Demon-Blood, Djinn-Blood, Dragon-Blood, Efreet-Blood Fairy-Blood, & Vampire-Blood. There ar new spells, advantages, explainations, class advances, & all of this fits into about twenty pages. Not bad for a compact little class with tons of D&D potential to say the least. The two stand outs for my money are the Dragon Blood & the Vampire Blood who have some real potential as possible NPC royals or henchmen for thier parents. Taking the material has been ported over into these sorcerers with spells like this; "Dragon Claw & Fang Level: 1 st level Dragon-Blood Sorcerer Duration: 1 turn per level Range: Self The sorcerer transforms her hands into dragon claws sharp as daggers, and her head into that of a dragon, complete with sharp fangs. The sorcerer may attack each round with a claw/claw/bite routine, dealing the following damage: 1st to 3 rd level 1d4/1d4/2d4, 4th to 6th level 1d4+1/1d4+1/2d6, 7th to 9th level 1d6/1d6/2d8, 10th to 12th level 1d6+1/1d6+1/2d10, 13th to 15th level 1d8/1d8/3d8, and 16th level and above 2d4/2d4/3d10. Attacks made with the claw and bite attacks are rolled on the Monster Attack Table rather than on the Magic-user Attack Table. The sorcerer can cast spells normally while her hands are claws, but other more detailed work might be troublesome." All in all you get the essence of the sorcerer with all of the backwash of the classes origin. In no way are the Mishler's work being desparaged here. This is a great PC class with some solid bones to it!

So where can the Sorcerer class be used in old school or OSR games or settings?! The obvious answer is within Adventurer, Conqueror, King's Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu. Half dragons check & Science Fantasy check along with Sword & Sorcery. This is a perfect class to slide in the ACK's backdoor. Then there's Castles & Crusades which this class fits right into epecially given the number of elemental or potential god like cosmic powers we've got lurking in the background of Castles & Crusades. Yes I'm talking about the Adventurer's Backpack book here as the basis for a sorcerer to work along side the classes introduced within that book.

Could the sorcerer class be used with say Lamentations of the Flame Princess!? Yes but it would require a bit of adjustment or would it?! Say using the basics of the sorcerer with some of the spells from Lamentations might be fun.. The sorcerer could be a very dangerous & unknown quatity as an NPC or as a PC. Sorcerer Class for Labyrinth Lord is well done & serves its niche within old school or even OSR games quite nicely. A very useful class in my humble opinion.

Eric Fabiaschi Dark Corner Blog We've got more OSR action on https://darkcornersofrpging.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sorcerer Class
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Baba Yaga's Miraculous Transformation
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/21/2021 13:46:57

"This source booklet for Labyrinth Lord provides the method for magic-users to create a Miraculous Hut, in the same vein as the infamous crone-witch, Baba Yaga:

This source booklet provides the following details:

Baba Yaga’s Miraculous Transformation Stage I Miraculous Hut: Dangerous Chicken Stage II Miraculous Hut: Vicious Chicken Stage III Miraculous Hut: Tiny Hut Stage IV Miraculous Hut: Grand Hut Extra-Dimensional Rooms, Connections, & Hallways Stage V+ Miraculous Hut: Palatial Hut The Heart of the Hut Embedding Magical Features Through Spells Magnificent Manor Variant Stone Tower Variant

Note: The creation and improvement of a Miraculous Hut is a Chaotic and Evil Act! Not suitable for most player characters!"

A couple of days ago James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler sent us a copy of Baba Yaga's Miraculous Transformation. This is one of those titles that clocks in at a whopping twenty four pages of Labyrinth Lord witchy goodness. This is not a book that's intended for PC's at all instead this is a book that's clearly intended for NPC of the Baba Yaga's witch tradition. This is an evil book without any doubt about it. Not in the Lamentations of the Flame Princess sense but it could clearly be used for that retrclone system. Let's clear up something right away, Baba Yaga's Miraculous Transformation isn't a copy of S5 The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga (2e). This is the book that creates the hut folks. That's right!

Baba Yaga's Miraculous Transformation dives into the spells, rites, dark powers, & Hellish magick going on's behind the creation of a chicken legged house. And its rather nasty folks. The writing & lay out in Baba Yaga's Miraculous Transformation are well done. The intent is clear & crisp for the creation of a lair & the powers behind it for an NPC villain that can grow & change with the PC's as they level up or new heroes come along. Baba Yaga's Miraculous Transformation is well done & very dangerous as all Hell! This really is perfect for a Slavic mythological themed game or even a Ravenloft style game with little issue. You've got your spells, the evil bargains, the human sacrifice, & all of the styles that this style of horror comes in. So from Bovia throughout the realms of horror the player's PC's could be encountering variations of the Baba Yaga's Miraculous Transformation huts, mansions, stone towers,etc.

But the view behind the screen that fuels this is rather nasty & this is also where Baba Yaga's Miraculous Transformation giving options at the table top level for all kinds of bases & operations that these places of dark magic could be used. And its this fact that I can see using this book as an add on to a complete Castles & Crusades Codex Slavorum campaign setting possibly mixed with Ravenloft. That's how flexible Baba Yaga's Miraculous Transformation is in my opinion.

We can even see using this book with Tim Brannan's Daughters of Darkness: The Mara Witch for Basic Era Games to give a really nasty spin on a high level B/X witch NPC with little issue. And this could be spun into an on going NPC villain for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.

There is a ton to unpack & lots of unrealized gaming potential within Baba Yaga's Miraculous Transformation. This for me is a five outta of five because the Mishler's hit it out of the park with this one. Well done & very useful to the DM whose got a yen for this style of gaming. Baba Yaga's Miraculous Transformation fills that itch for me and its a very well done supplement. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want more OSR goodness & reviews Please subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Baba Yaga's Miraculous Transformation
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Bard Class
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/09/2021 11:08:04

James Mishler Games sent a copy of Bard Class by James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler. And its a really servicable Bard PC class. All of the old highlights are there from the classic Dungeons & Dragons sources. The place where this bard PC would really work?! In a classic Castles & Crusades campaign where you need a variant bard class. This is like the Swiss army knife of Bardic PC classes. The Bard Class class clocks in at twenty eight pages & has a bit of that old school Dragon magazine baric magick tweaked with the usual Mishler family OSR sleight of hand.All of the old favorites are here:

The following Bard abilities and skills: Bardic Instruments Bonus Languages Counter-Song Influence Inspire Lore Perform Read Languages Saving Throw Bonus Spellsongs Thieving Abilities Witticisms

A list of spellsongs (normal spells re-interpreted as spellsongs);

A list of musical instruments, including cost, weight, availability (City, Town, Village), and special notes;

The College of Bards, rules for advancements, and rights and responsibilities of members.

The best part of Bard Class by James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler is the fact that its open & totally usable at the table top level for a number of games such as Adventurer,Conqueror, King rpg, Castles & Crusades, & you as a player could even use it with White Star. This is a really nice & well thought out class for the OSR player & dungeon master. The Mishlers totally do a really good job with many of their games. And the Bard Class is no exception.

The Bard Class's real appeal for me as a dungeon master was the six magna opera, the bardic equivalent of relics, which are some solid additions to the usual baric magic items & artifacts that I've seen. Bard Class has an actual reason for adventuring & these magic items which could be added into a campaign to give the bard player motivation & the basis for a quest. Everything within the Bard Class fits together nicely as a tool box for the DM to add or subtract as needed for their games this is a good solid addition for the player's or the DM's tool box. The class is perfect but in my opinion needs a bit more padding & fluff for the PC class backgrounds. That's my only cavet with the entire class. Otherwise this up to the usual high grade Mishler standards. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want More OSR action? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Bard Class
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Runemaster Class
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/22/2021 13:18:10

" Dwarves and gnomes are adept at using magic to enchant armor, weapons, and other items, infusing them with magical power. While the golden age of runemaster power is long since passed, even today the dwarves and gnomes are known for their enchanting prowess."

James Mishler Games sent me the Runemasters pdf three days ago & its put me right back into the C&C OSR game mind set especially since we've got two players who are dwarven & gnome fanatics. This class has at its heart the ability to create Runestones; "Runes: Runemasters learn runes much like magic-users learn spells, keeping their knowledge in a book of runes that only other runemasters can read (no need for read magic, and read magic is useless to magic-users, as they cannot learn runes). A runemaster begins play knowing two 1st level runes, and automatically learn one new rune of their choice every level thereafter, of a level they may cast. They may also learn runes from other runemasters and by finding and learning them from ancient books of runes. Time and cost for learning (“mastering”) a rune and inscribing it in one’s book of runes is the same as for a magic-user to learn a spell of the same level. The number of runes listed on the table is the number of runes the runemaster may cast per day. Runemasters do not memorize runes; they may cast any runes they have mastered, in any combination they choose, 4 based on the number of casting slots of that rune level. Runemasters do not gain bonus runes due to high Intelligence or Wisdom. Runes musts be scribed – written on flesh, stone, gems, metal, paper, or even drawn in the air – to be cast. Usually this is done with the index finger, the magically-drawn rune often glowing upon the surface or even in midair for the duration (though some runes are invisible, and riven runes must be chiseled or etched for permanency). Thus, as with other spell casting, the runemaster cannot move and must have at least one hand free to cast a rune." But what's so new about this?! Dwarves have been doing it since the early days of 'The Dragon' magazine?! The difference is in the way that the magic is embedded into the character class. The Runemaster is dynamic class & very important to the Castles & Crusades table top level. Runemasters are really the essential class when dealing with magic weapons, dungeons, etc. and this is huge. They also get thirty four new runes for the player to deal with. This is huge for the adventurers because it gives them a leg up for magic items, relics, & much more. The runemaster is going to be a game changer in campaigns so keep this in mind.

This means that the Runemaster at higher levels can do all kinds of mayhem when it comes to dungeon delving, dealing with the forge, & much more. And it adds a new wrinkle to the legendary & mythological background of many of the Castles & Crusades books. The real difference with the Runemaster is for the Castles & Crusades Mythos Series. The runemaster in those settings is a force to be reckoned with. Look how many mythological & popculture resources such as Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). In Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung),we see the true extent of the vengeance of a Runemaster. Runemasters is solidly put together & offers the players or the dungeon master a truly solid class to add to their OSR arsenal. For the Dwarven or Gnome fanatic player this is an automatic buy. For the DM looking to add more depth to their Dwarves this is grab & go to drop into the OSR campaign. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want More OSR Action Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Runemaster Class
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Necromancer Class
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2020 12:49:20

" Necromancers are a sub-class of magic-users who specialize in the magic of death, undeath, and demonolatry (summoning demons). They embrace the dark arts in order to gain power over the living and the dead."

'Necromancer Class – Masters of Death and Undeath' came into my email box a couple of days ago & its an interesting variation on the traditional Advanced Dungeons & Dragons necromancer class. What this class does is take the standard necromancer PC class tropes & turns them out a bit. These are not just normal necromancers instead these necromancers in fifteen pages are given a whole cloth revamp. These necromancers are NPC's or PC's who studying the arts of the undead have crossed the line into another existence straddling the line between campaign reality & the spiritual or negative material plane. These necromancers have their souls corrupted by the very act of dipping into the world of the undead;"Alignment: Necromancers cannot be Good; they must be Neutral or Evil, but can be Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic (most are Chaotic and Evil)." And it get's better because it affects their ability to heal which is super critical in Dungeons & Dragons style games & this goes all the way into the core of the PC;" Corrupted Body and Soul: Necromancers cannot benefit from the casting of cure wounds spells (light, serious, critical, or heal), nor from potions of healing or extra-healing, or similar magic items; they instead are harmed by the application of such spells and potions (no saving throw). Necromancers are healed by the application of cause wounds spells (light, serious, critical, or harm); they also heal naturally. Necromancers cannot be brought back to life using raise dead or resurrection; to be brought back to life requires the use of a limited wish or wish spell." Necromaners can use & manufacture poison! Which is a big deal because it plays deeply into the murderous & corrupt nature of the necromancer;"Poison Use: Necromancers learn the manufacture of poisons as they advance in level; they learn one at each level including 1st level. They must learn the lower classes of each of a poison type first before learning a higher-class of the same type. Thus, a necromancer must learn class 1 contact before they can learn class 2 contact; class 12 inhaled before class 13 inhaled; and so on. A necromancer can manufacture a dose of poison at half the sale cost, requiring one day of time per 100 gp cost or portion thereof (minimum one day)." And it gets worse the necromancer can only really get proficience within their necromatic class; "Learning Spells: Necromancers can only learn to cast a single magic-user spell per level, but are unlimited in learning necromancer spells (and learn one of their choice of a level they can cast automatically and for free each level). Necromancers begin play with read magic, any one other 1st level magic-user spell, and any two 1st level necromancy spells of their choice in their grimoire."

The necormancer class only limited to 7th-level spells, like illusionists & that's fine because this is a class is a short handed & somewhat short cut class that is kinda made for villains or players who want to have fun with it. Can it compete in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons or The Adventurer,Conqueror, King rpg!?!

This is a nasty & dangerous classs but its 'balanced' in the sense that it does what it sets out to do. That is that it takes a very vague class & sets the person whose PC is paying it on the path of the damned. It makes no apologies for this. Don't believe me?! Check out Krynn Ellis's evaluation;"Since I'm a publisher, I don't get to write reviews, but, here's my opinion of this product, which yes, I did receive from my friend, James, but he didn't exactly buy me dinner or pay my backlogged library fines. OK, on with the personalview: Oh, man! I wish someone would run an online game for me and let me play this class! The new spells alone, while not scaling, each take the various Undead-controlling (etc.) effects to the next degree of mastery, with the higher-level spells retroactively affecting lesser Undead (as one would hope). The fact that the class makes it clear that one is no longer part of the mundane realm and that the Necromancer has learnt its own spell for tending to its injuries, is just another facet of what makes this version of of the time-honoured (BiTD this was advised as an NPC-only class in D&D, but other cool games, like, The Arcanum, for instance, allowed its ilk as a PC...) class write-up so worthy of play. Do yourself a favour and pick this one up. ****"
Here's the part where she nails this class's features the control of the undead. The necromancer excels at it in spades & beyond. This is where 'Necromancer Class – Masters of Death and Undeath' By James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler lives up to its 2.49 cent price tag. What sets it apart however in my humble opinion are the spells & the magic items plus the add on demons. These really push the whole affair over the top, check out the spell list at first level; "1st Level Animate Dead
(C3) Cause Light Wounds (C1) Darkness (reversed Light) Detect Undead Skull Sense Speak With Dead (C3) Summon Skeletons* Unseen Servant"

Basically your PC has already gone beyond the normal jog down the path of corruption. The PC is verging on villainous terrority here & the necromancer class only get's sucked into this sewer the lower we go. As they go higer in level folks! Even the magic items & treasure are completely made for the grave with things like - bone armor, cloak of the necromancer, ghoul ring, ring of undead detection, staff of necromancy, wand of wounding, and the mighty vampire cape. And the demons complete the picture. So where would I use the 'Necromancer Class – Masters of Death and Undeath' ? Well personally I'd drop the class straight into the original Wilderlands of High Fantasy campaign setting as is! This means that whole cloth of the class is preserved along with its essence.

Since this is a Labyrinth Lord rpg class its easily used in Adventurer,Conqeuror,King rpg And given its corrupt nature this class is perfect for that person who wants to play the torn & battered necromancer who advises the king. For myself I'd drop 'Necromancer Class – Masters of Death and Undeath' straight into a Castles & Crusades game as an NPC villain class. Straight up I'd use this class to torture the heck out of the PC's. There's so much laditude to work the material into a usable whole end of a campaign villain. And this the strength of 'Necromancer Class – Masters of Death and Undeath' . I think five outta of five for this one & thanks to James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler for sending it too me for review. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want more original OSR content?! Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Necromancer Class
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Dragonborn
by Chad K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2020 16:01:46

The 5E race brought into B/X and labyrinth Lord. Very nice. Id like to see other races get this treatment or even a Humanoid booklet like Orcs of Thar.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dragonborn
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The Book of Manos: A Grimoire of Handy Spells
by Chad K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2020 15:59:57

Some very fun "hand" themed spells like from that upstart Wizard Bigby. I hope some other spellbooks like this are in the future, possibly from other famous Wizards- Melf, Otiluke, Tenser, Mordenkeinen.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Book of Manos: A Grimoire of Handy Spells
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Labyrinth Lord: Balor-Kin Racial Class
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2019 14:16:53

Half demons have always been troublesome but when it comes to the sons & daughters of the Abyss that's a whole different level of Abyssial trouble! This is five pages of Abyssial fun waiting to happen to your players.

That's where 'The Balor-Kin Racial Class' For Labyrinth Lord comes in. Now let me go on record as saying that this is not a RC that's I'd allow at the table unless I was runnning a very high level Abyssial game. The goes up to ten levels & I'd use it to create a very nasty & devestating demonic NPC villain. Why because of the unnatural abilities of one of these Abyssial bastards:

"Balor-kin have the following abilities:

Armored Skin Creatures of Fire and Shadow Creatures of Magic Dual Wield Warriors Immolation Inhuman Stature Movement Natural Magicians (can use spell-like powers of 1st to 4th level). The balor-kin racial-class has 10 levels, each more fiendishly powerful than the last. "

No way was this meant for a PC of any type but for use with a NPC villain. This is a portrait of a young & very dangerous demon waitin to be sprung on your PC's! Let's get a little reminder here of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual origins of these demonic horrors. What the 'The Balor-Kin Racial Class' For Labyrinth Lord is distills all that bottled demonic evil & brings it to your table top adventures. Believe me your players are not going to thank you for this! All of the normal Monster Manual abilities are there but in miniature.

Let me go into the publication history of the Balor from the Balor wiki entry to give some context on the most dangerous of demonic horrors & overlords; "The balors found in Dungeons & Dragons have little relation to the mythical Balor of Irish mythology, actually being based on the balrogs of The Lord of the Rings,[2] and some of its derivation can be seen in its physical description, with its fiery aura, sword and flaming whip.[3]

In the original Dungeons & Dragons pamphlets, this breed of demon was known as balrog,[4] but the name was revised in subsequent supplements to simply "type VI demon" so as not to infringe on J. R. R. Tolkien's copyright.[citation needed] In second edition AD&D, the name "type VI demon" was revised to "balor," taking the name of the greatest individual of their rank as the name for the entire breed.[5] Also in second edition, balors now had vorpal swords.[6]

Gary Gygax, in his Gord the Rogue novels, has alternately called them raloogs or conflagranti.[citation needed]

Dungeons & Dragons (1974–1976)[edit] The type VI demon appeared under the demon entry in the Eldritch Wizardry supplement (1976).[7]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)[edit] The type VI demon (Balor, etc.) appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977).[8] In this incarnation of the game there were only six Type VI Demons in existence across all of the planes of the multiverse, and they were ranked in power below only the Demon Lords and Princes of the Abyss, who were each unique in both name and form. Each Type VI Demon had its own individual name as an indication of their importance and power, as lesser demons (Types I – III and lower) had only a species name, and not individual appellations. Their names were listed in an appendix of the Dungeon Master's Guide, given as: Errtu, Ndulu, Ter-Soth, Alzoll, and Wendonai, with Balor itself being the greatest and most powerful of them all.

Essentially you'd be allowing one of the most choatic & evil of the Abyss's demon lord's progeny in your old school games. Labryth Lord hasn't changed this! Their as evil & unpredictable as ever! The fact is that James Mishler has distilled them down into a useable form hasn't changed the bastards!

This RC class is completely & utterely up to Mishler's standards, James & Jodi Mishler have done an excellent job of making this a completely usable class. But man would this class devestate a group of player's who had no idea of the depths of the Abyss they were taking on. The Labyrinth Lord version of this class is completely & utterly compatible with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition. That means that even third party products such as the classic Mayfair Games Demon's box set is easily usable with 'The Balor-Kin Racial Class' For Labyrinth Lord.

The Balor came straight out of J.R.R. Tolkein with different name & paint job but they are at the completely chaotic evil bastards of old who are more then happy to tear the wings off of angels, challenge & destroy gods, & wreck the very foundations of creation as well as campaigns themselves. The 'Balor-Kin Racial Class' is their progeny given form & function within campaign. Use & allow these very carefully within a campaign. The PC class is streamlined to allow the monster to grow with the player characters & that's something unto itself. Is The 'Balor-Kin Racial Class' well done? Oh most definitely. But would I allow it into a game? Only as an NPC class to challenge the highest level PC's or the progeny of the gods! This is a class to be the heart & soul of a game campaign.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Wanna see more original content for this & other OSR products? Please Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
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Labyrinth Lord: Balor-Kin Racial Class
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Advanced Labyrinth Lord Adventure Record Sheets
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/10/2019 02:11:30

James Mishler Games has been putting out some amazing OSR products over the years. Joining the ranks of his various Labyrinth Lord reference pdfs is a brand new set of OSR style Advanced Labyrinth Lord Adventure Record Sheets .

Basically these are adventure, session, location, & stat journal sheets that let the players & DM's keep track of their Labryth Lord Advanced game sessions. According to the Drivethrurpg entry;

"This pack contains the following:

A 2-page Party Adventure Record Sheet, which is used to keep track of the party members, locations explored, NPCs encountered, information learned, monsters killed, treasures won, henchmen & hirelings, divisions of the spoils and XP, and mysteries & loose ends of an adventure session.

A 2-page Character Adventure Record Sheet, which is used during ad adventure to keep track of the character’s combat stats, special abilities and skills, and spells, and is used to keep track of locations explored, NPCs encountered, information learned, monsters killed, treasures won, and secrets kept from other party members during an adventure session.

A 4-page Labyrinth Lord Adventure Log includes two pages dedicated to information needful for running labyrinth and wilderness adventures, including rules for time & movement; light & darkness; listen & spot checks; doors in the labyrinth; traps & trap detection; climbing, stealth, & swimming; and foraging & hunting rules. Also included are a page for keeping track of details of player characters and henchmen, plus a page for keeping track of marching order (by tactics), light sources, monsters and treasures, and notable events."

But are these Advanced Labyrinth Lord Adventure Record Sheets actually useful & worth the price of admission? Well?! In a word yes & here's why..Labryth Lord is a retro-clone of Moldvay-Cook 1981 Basic D&D, a very simple and easy-to-mod version of D&D. Moldvay-Cook Dungeons & Dragons is streamlined & plays very well. Advanced LL adds some classes and races and stuff from 1st ed AD&D to Labyrinth Lord, creating a game simulation very similar to AD&D first edition. But characters are a bit under powered compared to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition. However there was a kickstarter that combined the various incarnations of Labyrinth Lord into one book. If your looking for a really good break down of the differences of Labryth Lord Basic vs advanced there's this great thread on the Rpgsite.

The Advanced Labyrinth Lord Adventure Record Sheets bring home the bacon of letting the players keep track of the little 'ins' & 'outs' that happen during adventuring & table top sessions. These events are very important during old school play because they allow the players to keep track of their PC's during the campaign. This relieves some of the burden from the dungeon master whose juggling all of the other details during the game. So in a word yes the The Advanced Labyrinth Lord Adventure Record Sheets are worth the dollar admission. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want More Original OSR Content? Subscribe To https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com



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Advanced Labyrinth Lord Adventure Record Sheets
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Quick Start Character Race & Class Sheets: BtB
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2019 01:54:55

"The QUICK START CHARACTER CLASS SHEETS BY-THE-BOOK are designed to enable a group of players, new or experienced, to quickly create 1st level characters of the various races, classes, and racial classes available in Labyrinth Lord and Advanced Labyrinth Lord. Each race, class, and racial class is detailed on a single sheet with all the information needed to begin play with that class, including requirements, class abilities, a description of basic 1st level spells (as needed), and a list of starting equipment that makes the most difficult and tedious character-creation element – choosing equipment – relatively fast and simple!

Also included are appendices dealing with Rolling Up Advanced Characters, Rolling Up Basic Characters, Equipment Lists, Fast Packs, and Secondary Skills.

Note that the Quick Start sheets do not usually include any information about advancement, abilities, or spells available after 1st level, other than Experience Points required to attain 2nd level. For all such information, consult the Labyrinth Lord, Advanced Edition Companion, or Advanced Labyrinth Lord tomes."

The QUICK START CHARACTER RACE & CLASS SHEETS: BY-THE-BOOK By James Mishler is essentially the quick jump kit for the Labyrinth Lord retroclone system. In thirty two pages you have the essence of everything you need to get the jump on getting your game started with players right out of the gate. It does this in two ways one it gives the player all of the meat of the Labryth Lord system in one easy to digest system broken down into the very basics. Everything here is geared around & toward the player creating their PC's. It does this by creating everything needed to create your zero or first level PC. This is especially useful for kicking off an Advanced Edition game campaign where the player's need to get the action moving right away. The layout is up to Mishler standards & the reading is easy on the eyes. All of the traditional Dungeons & Dragons style fantasy races are given face time here. Dwarves, Elves, Men, etc. all have their moment in the spotlight along with many of the common Labyrinth Lord classes & their advanced versions.

All of the parts & pieces here fit for getting together a prime cut Labryth Lord game. The impressions here are that The QUICK START CHARACTER RACE & CLASS SHEETS: BY-THE-BOOK By James Mishler are out for blood. Mostly PC blood in order to get you the player into the role of the PC as fast as possible. Here's the Half Elf in all of its glory. You'll notice all of the blown out information is focused exclusivly for the player. This isn't really a dungeon crawl guide but it sure feels like its everything for the player. "HALF-ELF RACE Requirements: None Ability Modifiers: None Ability Min/Max: STR 3/18, DEX 6/18, CON 6/18, INT 4/18, WIS 3/18, CHA 3/18 Half-elves are the result of the union of human and elf, and as such they seldom fit into either society. They often inherit a love of nature from their elven parent and a vibrant curiosity and ambitiousness from their human parent. In some lands there are settlements of half-elves, where elves and humans have mingled for long centuries. The child of a half-elf with a half-elf, elf, or human is a half-elf. Half-elves have pointed ears like elves and are slighter of build than humans of the same height. Half-elves average 5’3” to 5’6” tall and typically weigh 110 to 140 pounds. Halfelves typically live for 250 to 350 years. Half-elf skin, hair, and eye color are highly variable, depending on the nature of their human and elven parents. Male half-elves have a base height of 5’6”, females 5’3”. To this (d10) 1-2 Subtract 1d6”, 2-5 Subtract 1d4”, 6-8 Add 1d4”, 9-10 Add 1d6”. Male half-elves have a base weight of 140 pounds, females 110 pounds. To this (d10) 1-2 Subtract 2d6 pounds, 3-5 Subtract 1d8 pounds, 6-8 Add 1d8 pounds, 9-10 Add 2d6 pounds. Half-elves start out at the following ages based on class: Assassin 20+5d4, Cleric 30+3d4, Fighter 20+4d4, Magic-User 35+3d4, Ranger 20+4d4, and Thief 20+5d4. When multiclassing, take the highest base age and add modifiers from all classes. Age provides the following modifiers to 1st level characters: • Adolescent (24 to 44) -1 to Wisdom and +1 to Constitution. • Adult (45 to 99) +1 to Strength and +1 to Constitution. • Middle-Aged (100 to 179) +1 to Intelligence and +1 to Wisdom. • Elderly (180 to 249) -2 to Strength, -1 to Dexterity, -1 to Constitution, +1 to Intelligence, and +2 to Wisdom. • Venerable (250 to 350) -3 to Strength, -2 to Dexterity, -2 to Constitution, +2 to Intelligence, and +3 to Wisdom. These numbers include all cumulative adjustments. To determine skin, hair, and eye coloration, choose from the elf and human lists, or roll d6 for each category separately, 1- 3 as per male parent, 4-6 as per female parent. Elf Eyes: Half-Elves have infravision of 60’, and have keen eyes that allow them, when actively searching, to detect hidden and secret doors with a chance of 2 in 6 (1-2 on 1d6). Ghoul Paralysis Resistance: Half-elves have inherited a resistance to the paralyzing effect of ghouls, receiving a +4 bonus to saving throws against this effect. Languages: Half-elves speak their alignment language, Common, Elvish, Gnoll, Hobgoblin, and Orcish. Half-elves may select from the following classes, with the indicated level limits: HALF-ELF CLASSES AVAILABLE Class Level Limit Assassin 11 Cleric 5 Fighter 12 Magic-User 10 Ranger 8 Thief 12 Half-elves who multi-class usually do so in the following combinations: assassin/cleric, assassin/fighter, assassin/magic-user, cleric/fighter, cleric/fighter/magic-user, cleric/magic-user, cleric/ranger, cleric/thief, fighter/magicuser, fighter/magic-user/thief, fighter/thief, magicuser/ranger, magic-user/thief, and ranger/thief. Half-elf assassins and thieves receive the following bonuses to thief abilities: HALF-ELF THIEF SKILL ADJUSTMENTS Skill Adjustment Pick Pockets +10% Hide in Shadows +5%" So as you can see everything is boiled down into its moving parts & pieces but the overall fit makes this a nice book to have at the table top level for several reasons. One its a one shop playing field with the set up & references needed to get things moving for the players. Two all of the old D&D favorites are here & ready to go. This makes number three a race again to see whose going to take full advantage of this exclusively. But do I think that you should get , The QUICK START CHARACTER RACE & CLASS SHEETS: BY-THE-BOOK By James Mishler? In a word, very much so because the book is on sale on Drivethrourpg for a $1,& its well worth it. The time & energy that it took to birth these things into the wild makes this an act your gonna want to get in on.

Even the Appendix are useful with things like adventurers back pack to create everything you need equipment wise; "HALFLING’S PACK Backpack (40 lb. capacity, contains 14.75 lb.) contains 1 oz. vial of ink, 5 sheets of paper, quill pen, sealing wax, a vial of common perfume, shaving kit, small steel mirror, bar of soap, flint and steel, 5 torches, 5 days of trail rations, and a small wooden box containing eight vials of spices (4 oz. each salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, red pepper, paprika, cumin, and oregano); a bedroll, fluffy pillow, set of cookware (pot, frying pan, spoons, knives, etc.), and a wineskin (filled with 4 pints common wine) are strapped to or hang from the outside of the pack. A signal whistle hangs from a chain on the neck, and 5 handkerchiefs are stuffed in a pocket. Value: 39 gp, 7 sp, 7 cp Weight: 35.8 lbs.". Again its about getting you to play as soon as possible. The QUICK START CHARACTER RACE & CLASS SHEETS: BY-THE-BOOK By James Mishler takes full advantage of its reader to bring them up to speed on all facets of the Labyrinth Lord retroclone experience.

Do I personally think that its perfect for the beginning or expert players who are looking for a bit more in their game. We need more books like The QUICK START CHARACTER RACE & CLASS SHEETS: BY-THE-BOOK By James Mishler to help fill out the rank & files of player's PC's and get in on the OSR action as soon as yesterday. You can find the The QUICK START CHARACTER RACE & CLASS SHEETS: BY-THE-BOOK By James Mishler right here. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want more exclusive content for this & other OSR materials? Subscribe now to Swords & Stitchery https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Quick Start Character Race & Class Sheets: BtB
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Monstrous Miscellany #01
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2015 13:32:02

Folks when life hits you with apples and sometimes it hits you with monsters, the type of monsters that can echo around a game table for years to come. The ones that the players say, 'Hey remember that time we encountered the Evil goat-headed fey who could transform our adventurers into goats'. 'You know the one with all of those Fey enslaved to its evil will?'. Well I'm happy to report that you get exactly that style of monster from the pen of James Mishler's Monstrous Miscellany #01 has this foul fiend and more! Is there an over arching theme of this first Monstrous Miscellany #01? There's is a tinge of the demonic and cosmic about the monsters in this product. And that's one of the things about the monsters in this book, they're of a level not only to be encountered by your PC's but their of a strata of the mythological that an entire adventure or encounter can be written around them. There's not a spec of art for the Monstrous Miscellany #01 but it really doesn't need it. The monsters here are full of the flavor and gusto that drips of the page in a solid product. So what are we getting into in the Monsterous Miscelleny? Here's what your getting for a dollar according to the Drivethru blurb: Abnokh, 3 HD Chaotic Evil Demon-Kin that trouble the Material Plane, seeking out victims for their terrible rites and rituals... Greethaw, 13 HD Chaotic Evil giants steeped in demonolatry and sorcery, seeking that which has been lost and forgotten... and slaughtering all who get in their way... Notoros, 1 HD Chaotic Evil goat-headed fey who use the bones of their victims to frighten foes, can transform their prey into goats, and seek to enslave elves, pixies, and sprites for vile purposes... Styram, 5 HD Lawful Good angels of retribution, summoned to the Material Plane to avenge the desecration of Lawful holy sites...

So yes these are some very cool monsters but are they actually useful for throwing into a game adventure? Well right off the bat the Abnokh, is rife with possibilities for use as the center of a demonic cult or other horrific encounter. I could see using these as a part of a Lamentations of the Flame Princess style cult. Here's a good example of why I really love the Abnokh, ECOLOGY: Abnokh are native to the Demon Worlds of the Plane of Chaos. On the Material Plane they subsist on the flesh, bones, and blood of intelligent beings; they can survive on other meat, but they only truly thrive on the flesh of intelligent beings. They are of course not natural to the Material Plane; they are usually brought hence through a summoning spell in service to some sorcerer, or through a permanent magical gate, and remain to bedevil locals until they are exterminated. One of the things that I think that makes these monsters interesting is that they can be used as both a one off encounter and a recurring foe for characters. In fact I would go so far as to say that these monsters should be used as fodder and templates in the creation of NPC villains. These monsters are far too interesting just to be 'one night stand monsters' or simply 'monsters of the week'. The Greethaw are horrors that should be used very sparingly. This race is straight out of the pages of the Bible, accursed giants whose abilities are both nasty and dangerous. There is a ton of potential here to take these as fully realized villains and create entire adventures around them. "Greethaw are accursed giants; long ages ago they made terrible pacts with Demon Lords. Though they gained thereby great power and immortality, they lost something essential that they have forgotten, and continue to search for it many long ages hence." You get not only a description of the bench marks of abilities for each of these monsters but full opportunities to use them for adventure encounters. The ground work is there, you fill in the details as needed for your campaign and world. The Notoros are one of my favorite monsters and demonstrate one of the fundamentals of Fey. These things are other worldly beings of ancient and dangerous aspect, they are not the benevelont creatures of Tolkein fantasy movies of Hollywood. In the mythologies across the world they were always both of good aspect and of dangerous aspect. The Notoros are no different and flesh out the evil bits of the Fey. They are monsters that adventurers are going to be lucky to walk away on four legs and not end up as dinner or worse. "Notoros are Unseelie fey; they are the personification of dreadful and evil tendencies native to dark, old-growth forests. They protect their forest not out of a love for it, but out of a jealous hatred of all other beings. Notoros subsist upon grasses, greens, and wild vegetables of their forest, but they feast upon the flesh of other fey and elves. Humans and demihumans they can take or leave, finding their flesh unpleasant; they usually simply torture them to death for fun, then use their skulls to build their beegoh’s throne and the other bones for their weapons, tools, and as warning signs to outsiders." Personally I think that if your going to use the Notoros they should be the center of an adventure or as a part of an adventure within a campaign. They're that unique and interesting to warrant that kind of attention on the Dungeon Master's part. Finally this brings up one of the trickiest monsters in the whole lot, the Styram. A bit of my background when it comes to angels and upper level angelic beings. I've used them since I was seven or nine years old to great effect in OD&D and never once did I have a problem with anyone at the table taking offense at them being included. Ever since Dragon issue #35's article Angels by William Fawcett in Dragon magazine issue #35. I've always used them sparingly. The Styram are the divine equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction with a conscious and a mission. That being said these are a well thought out and balanced monster of frightening proportions. As they well should be and these angels should be used as the center of a campaign ending or importance adventure. They are not something to be taken lightly and are used against the forces of Chaos and depravity. These are what I like to refer to as 'campaign center' monsters. Creatures whose visits can start or end a campaign but these things are always important and dramatic. The Styram are creatures of order whose outlook is very alien and whose very being is dedicated to the extermination of chaos and those who desecration of it's god's shrines, temples, and divine works on the mortal plane. Lots of opportunities for adventure possibilities right there. "A styram is a being from the Angelic Spheres of the Plane of Order. They may be summoned to the Material Plane by a Lawful cleric through the casting of the 4th level summon styram spell (see below). Styram are a type of angel of retribution; they may only be summoned when a Lawful temple, shrine, or other holy site has been desecrated. They can hunt down the offenders without fail, barring use of magic that obscures location (such as an amulet of proof against detection and location)." The Styram are incredibly detailed, dangerous and should be played as they are alien beings from other dimensions whose mission is one of destruction and divine retribution Not too bad for a dollar OSR monster book, with lots of potential to drive and move a campaign forward.I have to give this product five out of five because of the quality and ideas that continue to come out of the James Mishler Games company.

Eric Fabiaschi Sword and Stitchery blog Want to see more reviews and articles about this product and other OSR support? Subscribe to Sword and Stitchery http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com



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Monstrous Miscellany #01
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Ghosts -- The Incorporeal Undead
by Gregory B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2015 14:55:53

GHOSTS offers a complete paradigm of incorporeal undeadness for any D&D-ish style rules set. There are completely statted ghost types, discussion of how mortals interface with the sidereal world, and a good number of new spells to enrich your game's ghostly experiences. Makes Van Richten's guide look pale and patchy in comparison. Highly Recommended.



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Ghosts -- The Incorporeal Undead
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Ghosts -- The Incorporeal Undead
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/22/2015 12:22:42

James Mishler has been producing quality material for the "Basic" era games for a number of years. I have followed him online and have always enjoyed his posts in various forums and on his own blog.
James has been in the business of releasing his own material for a couple of years now and they are always fun. Well this Halloween he has really, really outdone himself.

I grabbed his latest product Ghosts -- The Incorporeal Undead, pretty much without reading the details. It was James. It was Ghosts. How could I loose? Well let me tell you. I was in for a sweet surprise! I will be honest here. Pretty much EVERY other games can deal with ghosts better than D&D used too. This little book has a lot of work to do.

First off this "little" PDF is 64 pages. I printed it out and it would make a great supplement to my collection of various "Basic Era" books. Put on a nice cover and it would be right at home next to Labyrinth Lord, The Witch and many, many other books on my shelf. Let me step back for a moment and comment on this. James really "gets" Basic D&D. He knows why people choose it over Advanced or other games. His rules are very much in the vein of Basic/Expert and BECMI style D&D (More B/X than BECMI) but he also gives people options who like more Advanced-feeling games.

We begin with an overview of what ghosts are. I was pleased to see that this book treats ghosts as all being unique. A brief description of common powers to all ghosts is also given. Detail is paid to two of these powers, Fear and Level/Life Drain. In keeping with the Basic roots, the Fear effects table is simple and effective. If you are playing a horror game then you might want more, but in truth this is plenty. Level Drain is also discussed and how to regain those levels.
Now for me, I am still more inclined to use Constitution drain instead of level drain. Thankfully the rules as written here will allow that.

Next we get into people and animals with the Sixth Sense and Sensitives. No detailed rules here, just a nice simple approach that I really like. There is also a discussion on Mediums and Séances. Now THESE are much needed rules. This helps move ghosts from a monster with X amount XP to something that can be worked into a plot. We end with some information on ghost-sensitive animals. I love what he has done with cats and am thinking of using it for all witch familiars.

Next is the meat of the book. Ghosts Lesser and Greater. This is the "monster listing" of all the ghost types with their powers, weaknesses and alternate types. Included are some old favorites like Apparitions, Haunts, Spectres and Wraiths next to new one like Lost Souls and Geists. Following this is a list and description of all the special abilities (And ectoplasms) of the ghosts. You can mix and match to make anytype of Ghost you want. Following this is uses for uncanny ectoplasm.

There is a section on magic items. Some spells usable by or on or about ghosts. (*The Spawn Ghost spell is really nice. If you are playing a witch then the spell level is 5.)

Finally is a Creepy Appendix N. There are a lot great resources on this page for ghosts of every type "inspired by anything from Hanna-Barbera and H.R. Pufnstuf to H.P. Lovecraft and H.R. Giger"!

There is no art. BUT I also want to add that ghosts are either invisible or look like anything. So this is not a downmark for this book.

If you play any old-school game, original or OSR, and you use ghosts, then you need this book. It isn't revolutionary, but it does feel a much needed gap in the rules and (if for no other reason) it will get game masters and players thinking about ghosts a different way.
Combine this with his Vampires of the Olden Lands for some serious Halloween fun.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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