OSR: One Page Dungeon: The Roving Wheel

I'm trying to write a few one-page dungeons. It's harder than it looks... and it looks hard. Every time I try, I appreciate Michael Prescott's work (and the fine entrants to the One Page Dungeon Contest) even more.

Here's a fun adventure for a slightly gonzo campaign. There's a huge iron wheel rolling across the landscape. Get inside and divert the wheel before it crushes a city. 

The Roving Wheel

The dungeon's a real page-turner.
I'll get my coat.

It's released under CC-BY-NC, so feel free to hack, edit, remix, translate, or whatever else you'd like. Here's a blank wheel image if you don't want to make your own.


OSR: A Thousand Thousand Islands Review

Four small zines, written by Zedeck Siew and illustrated by Munkao. Read other reviews and get them here (maybe) or, more importantly, support the idea on patreon.
1. Mr-kr-gr: the Deathrolled Kingdom

It feels like I link to  

2. Kraching
Does this book offer more than, "a kingdom ruled by cats"?

Yes. Again. See above.

3. Drawings, Part 1

It's a book of drawings. No text, no explanations, just beautiful little black-and-white pieces.

4. Hantu!
It's a book of ghost stories, sort of. Some cultural essays.

I like it when authors think very carefully about one particular moment or object or event. Zedeck does this extremely well.
General Notes

The print quality is excellent. Some of the illustrations would look better if the books were larger, I feel, but there's no loss of detail or significant blurring.

Would I be happy to own A Thousand Thousand Islands 1-50 one day, forming a nice prismatic shelf of mini-settings and useful notes? Yes.

Can I use these as RPG tools? Aside from being excellent brain-fuel, are they useful "at the table"?

Sort of.

With a bit of prep, I'd say both Mr-kr-gr and Kraching could be used. I'd add sticky notes to pages so I can find bits easily (they don't have page numbers!). I'm not sure I could run either one and do them justice. They're windows into a world I don't really understand. Can I run them without it just being "exotic" D&D? A culture used as a seasoning?


The Thousands Thousands Islands pateron is full of useful information. But, assuming I've done my due diligence, can I get my players into the same mindset? It's like a tragic game of telephone - the culture to the author to me to my players. The art book will help.

Anyway, I'm going to plonk them next to Yoon-Suin on the Piratical Wavecrawl map and see how that works out. I'm also finally getting around to reading and making notes on The Art of Not Being Governed. We'll see how it shakes out.

40k: Kill Team Scenarios

The new Kill Team game has quite a few interesting scenarios. Here are a few more unofficial but interesting ideas. Playtesting is ongoing; numbers might be adjusted. 

1. Quoth the Raven, Eversor

Official GW Image
Kill Teams
This is a mission for 2 players. One player uses a normal Kill Team. The other uses an Eversor Assassin (Index Imperium 2, pg. 115, or the old 3E Imperial Assassins book).

The Battlefield
Set up lots and lots of terrain. As much terrain as you can.

Scouting Phase
Skip the scouting phase for this mission.

The Kill Team player can deploys first. They can deploy anywhere in the red areas shown on map below. Their Kill Team must be split as evenly as possible between the two zones. The Eversor Assassin player then places the Eversor Assassin anywhere on the board more than 6" from an enemy model.
Battle Length

Victory Conditions
The Kill Team player automatically wins if:
1. their leader is alive at the end of the battle
2. the Eversor assassin is dead.
The Eversor Assassin player wins automatically wins if:
1. the Kill Team leader is dead
2. the Kill Team is broken
Otherwise, the Eversor Assassin player gains 2 VP for each dead enemy model and 1 VP for each enemy model with a Flesh Wound. The Kill Team player gains 2 VP for each surviving model with no Flesh Wounds and 2 VP for each wound taken off the Eversor Assassin.

Special Rules
Lone Operative: The Eversor Assassin generates 2 Command Points at the start of each battle round.

Unstoppable Killing Machine: In the Fight phase, any wounds inflicted by the Eversor Assassin using its Neuro Gauntlet or Power Sword add the Eversor Assassin's remaining wounds to the Injury Roll.
E.g. an Eversor Assassin with 3 wounds remaining removes the last wound from another model. The injury roll is made with a +3 bonus.
Battering Ram: the Eversor Assassin ignores thin walls, railings, windows, etc. when moving or charging.

Special Tactics
Predatory Leap: 1 CP
Use this Tactic before making a charge roll for the Eversor assassin. Treat the model as if it could FLY when making its charge move.

Burst of Speed: 3 CP
Use this Tactic once per battle round, after your opponent moves a model, resolves a charge, resolves a shooting attack, resolves a psychic power, or resolves a model in a fight. You may immediately perform one of the following phases: Move, Shoot, or Fight. Act out the step normally. Your opponent may then continue their turn normally. This tactic essentially gives you an "interupt" phase. You can use it to fight twice, sprint around the board, get a second charge, etc.

2. Civilian Rescue

 Not mine! Wilhelminiatures.blogspot.com Go check them out.
Kill Teams
This is a mission for 2 or 4 players. Kill Teams choose to either Defend or Capture the Civilians. Equal numbers must choose each option. It's designed for Dark Eldar vs. Imperium games, but most other Kill Teams work too.

The Battlefield
Set up lots and lots of terrain. As much terrain as you can.

Scouting Phase

Before deploying normally, set up 9 civilian models as per the chart below.

Battle Length

Victory Conditions
Civilians have T3, Ld 5, 1 Wound, and a 6+ armour save.
Civilians move after all Kill Teams have moved. They move as follows, in order of priority:
1. If they can see a model from a Capturing Kill Team, they move up to 6" to get out of line of sight.
2. If they can see a model from a Defending Kill Team, they move up to 6" towards the nearest Defending model.
3. If neither applies, they stay in position.

Civilians can be targeted by charges, shooting attacks, etc. normally.

If something distressing happens within 6" and line of sight of a civilian, they must test Leadership or move 2d6" in a random direction. Distressing things include: models dying, grenades being used, psychic mishaps, etc. Test liberally.

Model from a Kill Team can move within 1" of a Civilian without charging. If they do, they can choose to have the Civilian follow them (willingly or not). The Civilian moves with the Kill Team model for the rest of the game. If the model charges or is charged, it counts as a distressing event (see above).

2 VP for each civilian within 1" of a model from this Kill Team.
1 VP for each civilian with a Flesh Wound.

2 VP for each civilian within 1" of a model from this Kill Team.
1 VP for each unwounded civilian not within 1" of a model from this Kill Team or an enemy model.

3. Additional Vehicles

Add these into any standard Kill Team Mission.
Mine. Models by WargameExclusive
Flammable Groundcar
T: 5
W: 4
Save: 5+
Explodes: If this model is reduced to 0 wounds, roll a D6 before removing it from the battlefield. On a 3+ it explodes, and each unit within 3" suffers a mortal wound.
If a shooting attack aimed at a model using a groundcar as cover misses, resolve the attack against the groundcar.

I've got 4 groundcars to scatter around the board.

Mine. Custom made from a big pile of parts.
Re-purposed Ministorum Dirigible
T: 6

W: 6
Save: 6+
Moves 8" per turn, generally in a loop around buildings. Define the loop before the game starts. Rather than acting as a vehicle, the Dirigible is moving terrain. Move it at the start of the Battle Round, before the other Kill Teams move. Models can move on and off normally. If they move with the platform, they don't count as moving for the purposes of firing weapons, etc.


OSR: 2 Pirate Captain Triads

NPCs in groups of threes. I'll probably wite a few more of these posts. It's a good format. Just enough detail to get started or to drop into an existing world.

Don't overload  your pirate campaign with them. One triad is often enough.
Alexander Shatohin
Anastassia Friedrich
Murat Gül

Baron Jacob Rail

Mercenary in the endless wars of the Old World. For his skills he was enobled; for his crimes he was hung. Yet, legend says, he walked off the gallows cart, stole a ship, and took to the sea. Whatever the truth of it, the Baron is a

HD: 5
Appearance: pale, scarred, dour. Clothes a few decades out of fashion.
Voice: never more than a choked and hateful whisper.
Wants: to revenge himself upon the Old World powers. Sinks ships and burns colonies. Not interested in loot (beyond paying his troops), prestige, or mercy.
Morality: black-hearted evil, but never for its own sake. Likes to prove a point. Bloodily.
Intelligence: educated soldier. No literary pretensions, but a practical philosopher with dark thoughts.
Armour: as plate (is actually plate; very rare at sea).
Move: normal.
Damage: 1d8 sword/1d8 sword or 1d8 pistols (2)

The Baron cannot be killed by anyone who has taken a person's life. Their attacks will still hit and appear to wound, but no blood will flow. The flesh will slowly fuse. The Baron knows who to fear and is perfectly willing to sacrifice his own sailors - ex-soldiers all - to ensure no innocent crosses his path.

The Red Revenge
A galleon of ancient make, in chipped red and black paint.
Speed: 4
Masts: 3
HP: 100
Crew: 50 HP
Marines: 30 HP
Cargo Capacity: 4
Main Weapons: 2 Port & 2 Starboard Cannon Broadsides, 1 Prow Chasers
On the first turn of combat, the Red Revenge may move at Speed 6.

Isobel Martins

Her Wexlish father's ship was trapped in the high arctic pack ice while seeking a safer route to the riches of Yoon-Suin. Her mother was an ice witch and leader of an ancient empire of skin and sinew. With a foot in both worlds, yet belonging to neither, Isobel turned to piracy. She raids seasonally from a secret fortress above the rest of the world.

HD: 3
Appearance: unusual face, round, narrow blue eyes, black-grey hair.
Voice: soft, slightly mumbled. Wry sense of humour. Excellent judge of character; reveals flaws without mocking.
Wants: gold, rare worked goods, iron.
Morality: kind-hearted but all too aware of human nature.
Intelligence: always plays the long game.
Armour: none.
Move: normal in all terrain.
Morale: 8
Damage: 1d6 dagger.

Isobel knows all the Workings listed, along with the following: speak with whale, steal skin, blindness.

A low cutter with sharp-cut sails, crewed by strange wind-tanned sailors from the north. Fires constantly burn below decks, protecting a piece of pure ice from the very top of the world.
Speed: 5
Manoeuvre Bonus: +5
HP: 30
Masts: 1
Crew: 10 HP
Marines: -
Cargo Capacity: 2
Main Weapons: 1 Prow Chaser
The Icetusk may automatically use the More Sail Manoeuvre each turn, in addition to any other Manoeuvres.

Special Action: Douse Fires: the chill of the primordial ice is allowed to flow into the sea. The sea becomes cold. Frost forms along lines and railings. The wind howls. Superstitious crew might panic. Reroll the weather.

Luc Jumeau

A Valoch  privateer with legal power to sink enemy shipping. Operating beyond orders or supply lines, Luc is an opportunist and a cunning opponent. He will rob anyone who isn't Valoch.

Appearance: disheveled, stringy hair, smells faintly of cat piss.
Voice: rattling, descending into coughing fits when agitated.
Wants: prestige, beautiful women, power, eternal life and riches.
Morality: wouldn't shoot a kid unless he really had to.
Intelligence: decent pirate, terrible businessman.
Armour: none.
Move: normal.
Morale: 7
Damage: 1d6 dagger or 1d8 pistols (4)

Saint Lucille
A well-worn frigate with tattered sails. Remarkably generic.
Speed: 4
Manoeuvre Bonus: -10
Masts: 3
HP: 100
Crew: 50 HP
Marines: 20 HP
Cargo Capacity: 6
Main Weapons: 2 Port & 2 Starboard Cannon Broadsides

A small corvette used as bait or for flanking strikes. 
Speed: 4
Manoeuvre Bonus: -10
HP: 50
Masts: 1
Crew: 20 HP
Marines: 10 HP
Cargo Capacity: 3
Main Weapon: 1 Port & 1 Starboard Carronade Broadsides

What Links Them?

There's a Tarraconese treasure convoy moving towards home. Jacob wants to sink it to prove a point. Isobel wants to steal it. Luc also wants to steal it. No one pirate has the power to manage their aim alone.
Rodolphe Calcine
Murat Gül
Alexander Shatohin

Camille de Pazan

Tarraconese explorer turned pirate. Very eccentric. After visiting the Yellow City, adopted an ambiguous gender, scandalous haircut, and foreign gods. Other say there never was such a person; Camille is a spirit in human form. The truth is stranger still. Camille made a deal with a god, or something close to a god. Remade beautiful, in their mind's image, strong and clean and free of mortal worries. For ten years, ten days, and ten hours, Camille is free, but when time runs out their end will be horrific.

HD: 3
Appearance: pale, poised. Cropped hair. One earring, sparking green. Large ornate red and gold sword. 
Voice: accented, wry, mocking. Subtle echo.
Wants: to live the good life. Likes visual pleasures. Beauty to be seen and heard, not eaten or touched.
Morality: oscillates between superior piety and desperate obsession.
Intelligence: a decent sailor, navigator, and merchant. Seems smarter because of their alien nature.
Armour: as chain (dodging like a snake).
Move: 1.5x normal.
Morale: 8
Damage: 1d10+2 Sword of Sunset. Silver blade lit by dim orange reflections. Can harm ghosts, spells, or intangible things. Alerts the wielder to supernatural effects. Anyone struck must Save or become fascinated with their wound and the sensation of it for 1 round. The sword can also be used to direct specially carved cannonballs.

Bad Habit
A lorcha (junk-rigged Old World hulled ship) in blue, white, and gold. Extensively customized by Camille.
Manoeuvre Bonus: -10
HP: 50
Masts: 4
Crew: 30 HP
Marines: 10 HP
Cargo Capacity: 5
Main Weapon: 1 Port & 1 Starboard Cannon Broadside, 1 Prow Chaser
The Bad Habit cannot be Swamped.

Special Action: Directed Cannonball. Choose 1 weapon. The next time the weapon fires, it automatically inflicts a critical hit instead of normal damage. This Special Action can only be used every other round.

Handsome John

Wexlish pirate. Likes to make people compliment his looks then toss them to the sharks "fer lyin' ". Prefers shore raids, where his fearsome appearance and enormous stature have the greatest effect. At sea, any ships he captures are stripped bare. Officers and rebellious crew are hanged from the rigging and the ship is left to drift as a grisly warning.

HD: 5
Appearance: famously ugly. Hideous bristling beard, mismatched eyes, deep scowl, three good teeth.
Voice: barely intelligible, guttural, menacing.
Wants: gold, immortality, a fever-dream empire.
Morality: none whatsoever.
Intelligence: cunning, with a vile knack for saying just the right thing to the right person.
Armour: as leather.
Move: normal.
Damage: 1d8+1 sword/1d8+1 sword or 1d8 pistols (4)
Handsome John can shoot with 2 pistols in the same round. His infamous barbarity may require a Morale check or a Save vs Fear.

Handsome John keeps a noose on his belt. It's just another trinket, but he does sometimes use it to strangle people. Anyone he strangles is trapped in the noose as a very weak ghost. He can interrogate the ghosts with a bloody ritual. His crew think he does it just to frighten them and they're half right.


An old slaver ship with hidden gunports and a surprising turn of speed. Handsome John keeps it polished and trimmed.
Speed: 5
Manoeuvre Bonus: -10
Masts: 3
HP: 100
Crew: 50 HP
Marines: 20 HP
Cargo Capacity: 6
Main Weapon: 2 Port & 2 Starboard Carronade Broadsides. Only 1 is visible at a distance.

Special Action: Hoist the Colours. When Petition reveals its true colours and hoists Handsome Jack's flag (three white skulls in a noose), any enemy ship must make a Morale test or make no Manoeuvre or Special Actions in the next round.

Lord Salivar Flare

A very pious Tarraconese noble. Possibly too pious; he believes he is a reincarnated prophet sent to scourge the world of false idols. His self-funded fleet of extermination roves the waves, sinking or forcibly converting anyone who crosses his path. Inquisitors and missionaries spread in his wake, yet some believe Lord Flare has gone mad and must be reigned in.

HD: 2
Appearance: young, bewigged, heavily coated in lead makeup. Elaborate gold costume.
Voice: reedy but confident declarations and pronouncements.
Wants: to glorify his god and serve his divine will.
Morality: pious but focused. Wants a harmonious world. Will burn everyone to make it so.
Intelligence: not bright or cunning, but educated and well advised.
Armour: none.
Move: normal.
Morale: 12
Damage: 1d4 bludgeoning. Has people to do violence for him.

The Divine Word
A true ship-of-the-line, designed for calmer waters and fiercer wars. Some ships thunder. The Divine Word screams lead death. A militant cathedral.
Speed: 4
Manoeuvre Bonus: -15
Masts: 3
HP: 150
Crew: 60 HP
Marines: 30 HP
Cargo Capacity: 8
Main Weapon: 3 Port & 3 Starboard Cannon Broadsides.

What Links Them?

The god-thing, the Mirror Bird. A fat black nightbird with a huge sagging mouth and bulging red eyes. Looks like it's the size of a robin, but as you get closer it gets larger way too quickly, as if the world was folding around it, telescoping inwards. It's really the size of a cottage.

It only feeds on ghost moths and there are no ghost moths in the high plateaus. Not anymore. So bring it some and it will grant your wish. It reflects your mind, your fears, and imposes conditions you fear and hate. Your own monkey's paw. Your own curse. It's just a bird, after all.

Camille knows where it is and how to feed it. Handsome John wants it to make him an emperor, an untouchable tyrant, and he might know where to find ghost moths. Lord Flare wants to burn it alive and make sacred oil from its molten flesh.


40k: Kill Team Update 1

I've caught the Kill Team bug. It's too late for me. Get out while you still can! Save yourselves and your wallets!

Since this is mostly an RPG blog, here's a brief introduction to a few terms and concepts.


John Blanche is an iconic artist. His work more-or-less defines Warhammer and Warhammer 40k for some people. Messy, detailed, medieval, incongruous
There's a group of bloggers, modelers, and painters who build Warhammer models in this style. It's like nothing you've seen before. If conventional Warhammer is 5E, these folks are the OSR. Their stuff is absolutely mental.
Not mine!
Secrets of the Void
Blogs To Check Out
Ex Profundis

Echoes of the Imperium

Gardens of Hecate

Iron Sleet

Secrets of the Void

They're even working on a magazine.

Kill Team

Is a skirmish wargame. 3-20 models, ~45 minute games. It's not quite a campaign-type game like Mordheim or Necromunda (or the popular homebrewed Inquisimunda / Inq28), but it does have long-term play elements.

Skirmish games work best when there's lots of terrain. Here's what I'm working on.

Each segment is a 1'x1' MDF board covered in plasticard tiles, sand, and some moulded terrain. All of the buildings are removable. The "bridge" is glued to the tiles, but since each tile lines up with all the others I've got tons of options for how to assemble the board. Only 6 the tiles are shown in the photo.

Kits Used

About 1/3rd of the terrain is painted. Buildings and walls will eventually be the tan colour seen in the upper half of the photo.

I'm also working on some industrial terrain to add to the mix (in case there wasn't enough terrain on the board).

See no evil, speak no evil, refine no evil.

Adeptus Mechanicus Extermination Detachment Kappa Nine

Sorry for the quality. I'm hoping to get a better lightbox set up soon. Not pictured: several plasma drones and servo-hunters.

I've tried to create a proper mix of horrible mechanical creatures.


Converting 5E to OSR

"My players are used to D&D 5th Edition but I'd like to try an Old School Renaissance-style game. Can I convert or modify 5E?"
I've seen this question asked a lot. The answer is... yes. Technically.
Alexandr Komarov

The Right Tool For the Right Job

You're used to driving a compact automatic 2 wheel drive car on your daily commute. It's light, fuel efficient, smooth, and nimble.

You'd like to try off-road bouldering.

You could modify your commuter car. You could, given time and money and enormous amounts of effort, convert it to 4 wheel drive, rebuild the suspension, etc. You might get a decent off-road car for your troubles, but chances are you won't. Unless you undertook this project for fun or passion, the end result won't be satisfying. If you did it to save time, money, or effort, you definitely chose the wrong method.

D&D 5th Edition

As I see it, 5E has two halves. The first half is a character generation minigame. Read and buy books, pick options, imagine a future, plan a path. Usually, GMs ask people to show up with pre-built characters, so you might have weeks or even months of gestating a character in your head, getting attached, imagining them into life.

The second half is a story generation game using D&D combat rules. The goal is to generate interesting stories that highlight the characters. Deaths should be important and meaningful and tragic. Characters gain significant power, allies, contacts, and otherworldly abilities automatically by leveling. They go from heroes to superheroes.

The status quo of the world is threatened. The world is an OK place. Maybe it's not perfect, but it's not actively awful. The job of the PCs is to keep the world on an even keel. Challengers to the status quo are the enemy; chaos, orcs, cultists, criminals, madmen, supervillain schemers, and the like. Threats go from local to apocalyptic. The ideal end goal seems to be to generate a story that's really exciting to tell. People draw a lot of art of their characters and groups and of their adventures.

The rules are designed by other people. There are FAQs and patches and revisions. Official content usually takes priority over homebrewed content.

5th Edition handles this type of game extremely well.
Dwarf Fortress

OSR Games

There are several great OSR Primers out there. I like Ben Milton, Steven Lumpkin, David Perry, Bryce Lynch, and Chris McDowall's Principia Apocrypha (secret V2 here).

OSR character generation isn't a minigame. In most OSR systems it's highly randomized. You don't "build" a character;  you let the dice decide and deal with the results. Sometimes the numbers are good. Sometimes they're not. It rarely matters. Rolling up a new character takes a few minutes at most, and you'll need to roll up several new characters. Death is frequent and rarely glamorous.

Old-school games are not designed to generate stories. Stories will emerge, but they won't be planned or pre-written. Success depends entirely on the skill of the players in making good choices, but failure is still interesting. The world is usually ruined or disorganized. The status quo is not always worth preserving.

There are no official rulings. Your guess is as good as anyone's, most of the time.

Actually Converting  5E

First, ask yourself why. What is the goal?

If you all wanted to run a detective story set in 1950s France, you wouldn't use 5E just because your players know it. It's not the right tool. You'd probably pick a system specifically designed to help you tell a detective story.

Are you worried about learning a new system? Don't worry. If you can run a 5E game you can run an OSR game. In many ways it's easier. If you have problems, there's a large and supportive community out there willing to assist. This thread should answer most initial questions. There's a Discord channel here and a G+ community here. Most blog authors are happy to answer questions in their comments.

I've written a free "learning dungeon" for new players. People seem to like it.

Are you worried about a complicated, fiddly, badly-written system full of obscure tables and misleading descriptions, written when RPGs were a slightly different type of wargame? Don't worry about that either. There are plenty of "new" old school games with all the modern conveniences, and the "old" ones aren't nearly the tomes you're imagining. Most people tend to run some sort of franken-system anyway.

Pop The Hood
If you still want to convert 5E to OSR, you'll need to get your hands dirty. This isn't a clean operation like changing a headlight bulb or replacing a filter. It's messy. You'll need cut, weld, and modify.

Major Changes
-adjust the general tone of the implied setting
-rewrite character generation to use a random method. Dan D has a decent system here. Minimal backstories, minimal "optimal" mechanical choices.
-the only way to gain XP is gold. No story milestones, no killing monsters. Just loot.
-no balanced encounters

Best of luck. There's a complete guide out there but it's 191 pages long. Seems excessive.

You may just want to try another game. Anything with "AD&D", "OD&D" or "B/X" should work as a starting point.

Andreas Rocha

The Ludicrous Mechanical Compatibility of OSR Games

As you make these changes and pull apart the system, you may start to appreciate how it was put together. Once you understand the general principles (discussed in Principia Apocrypha) you can do two amazing things:

1. Adapt all sorts of content to your games. A module, monster, or idea no longer needs the right "brand" to be used. Grab a 5th edition monster book, a strange zine, a map from a 3.5 module, and some random tables from an AD&D booklet and run a game. If you understand how to adapt things to your system of choice, anyone who makes content is now making content for you. Some content is easier to adapt of course, and your tolerance for conversion might vary from others.

2. Write new content for other people to use. Content for OSR games varies enormously. Everyone's an amateur in a way. Write the stuff you want to see in the world.


OSR: Veinscrawl Session 9 & 10

Last session, the party discovered they were being fought a mind flayer, mutated, duplicated, and meddled with forces they really shouldn't have meddled with.

The party consists of:
Cazael the spiderling fighter. The leader of the group by default.
Bill the wormling Orthodox Wizard. Has antlers, telekinesis, permanent wizard vision, inability to sleep, magic not-dying amulet, etc. Generally considered a liability.
Swainson the Garden Wizard. Formerly a hawkling, currently a dryad.
Christen Bell the weasel-ling Bell Exorcist. Keeps vanishing and returning, possibly on secret errands.
Many Goblins. A nebulous swarm.
Tuck the Flealing Summoner. Despite being untrustworthy, has proved both reliable and sensible. Everyone is surprised.

The map has grown so complex that the map-making player has split it into 2 files. Here's the original map (up to Session 8)
And here's the map for sessions 9 and 10.
I'd really recommend reading the map before reading the writeup below.

1. The party met a village of red-and-black fungus people. They wanted the party to assist in their war against another village of fungus people across the river. The party accepted, traded some items for light and food, and rested in a coal-cave for a few hours. Bill, no longer requiring sleep, kept watch.

2. Klaus the barbarian, who had vanished at some point previously, finally turned up. He'd been taken by "nightmare elf slavers" but escaped their prison-pens through copious violence. The party, slightly embarrassed, mumbled something about a rescue plan and welcomed their friend back into the fold.

3. After considerable debate, the party decided to "deal with Yorminthal the Giant" before exploring the rest of the fungid valley. Using Swainson's locate animal spell to locate the nearest cave giant, the party tried to track the hideous cartilaginous creature as it was tracking them.

4. While creeping back along the river-side path, Tuck located and taunted the slinking cave giant. He was nearly captured for his troubles, but retreated safely using his summoned rope. Yorminthal waded through the river towards the party,  filling his guts with water before belching a small tidal wave towards the party.

5. Bill posed dramatically (wide stance, finger gun pointed, head tilted) and let off a fireball. The blast evaporated most of the water, but it still carried Bill off the path's edge and into the river.

6. Klaus grabbed the falling wizard by the ankle (still posing) and flipped him back onto the path (still posing). Bill fired off prismatic ray, severely melting the howling cave giant. Cazael finished it off with several arrows to the brain.

7. Delighted, if a little damp, the party looted the corpse. Yorminthal was wearing a giant-sized gold torc encrusted with fist-sized diamonds. It was incredibly heavy. Klaus, delighted, stripped off his armour and decided to wear the torc as a sort of cloak or bandolier.

8. The party returned to the fungus village. They traded the giant's body parts for gold and maps and helped the fungus-people fish more giant chunks from the river.

9. With a map to the "enemy" fungus village, the party set off through the coral reef coal-caves. After a narrow squeeze, they emerged into a white fungus-tuft bowl. Inside, moving through the dense spores as if they were water, was a giant fungus... whale... thing. It moved on dozens of stolen legs. Its milky hide was pierced by dozens of spears, rusted swords, and bone daggers.

10. Cazael, slightly terrified, shouted "Whales don't have legs!". Klaus the Barbarian, thoroughly convinced, used his (hitherto secret) sorcerous powers to make the fungus whale's legs vanish.

11. Snapping and squelching, though with significantly reduced mobility, the whale attacked the party. Clouds of fungal spores blinded several party members, but Swainson, assisted by the goblins, managed to pour an entire bottle of giant-killing poison down the whale's throat before it reached their tunnel. It dissolved into stinking slime. A few moments later, the disappeared legs popped back into reality, kicking wildly in the puddle of dissolving whale.

12. Sorting through the rubble, the party found several lumps of fused gold coins, a dozen gems, and a giant magic spear. The wizards couldn't conclusively identify the spear's enchantment, but they were certain it was primordial, incredibly powerful, nearly impossible to break, and designed to kill one particular kind of being. "Angels, maybe," Bill speculated.

13. Cazael was very excited by the spear. His knight and friend, Tschana, had vanished when the Angel of Death showed up during an adventuring disaster several months ago. With an angel-killing spear, his chances of rescuing his friend from the land of unlife.

14. While crawling through a very narrow passage, the party collided with a band of fungus-dwelling humanoids. Rather than the mushroom folk they'd seen earlier, these people seemed to be infected with and adapted to their fungal surroundings. After some negotiations, they invited the party back to their village.

15. While resting, the party was ambushed, knocked out with fungus bombs, and tied up. They awoke in a grand arena. There, Wonderwood Strongbow, one of their former companions, accused them of various crimes. Wonderwood looked worse for wear; she'd become a vampire, but her fungus-zombie-potion flasks had somehow fused to her body. A swarm of necrotic fungus pygmies, with her scowling face, attended her every move.

16. The party protested their innocence, especially Tuck and the Goblins who had never seen Wonderwood before in their lives. The vampire elf promised to kill them last.

17. While Cazael furiously tried to get out of his restraints, Swainson cast light with (as her player gleefully pointed out) "all the properties of natural sunlight." Hissing and screaming, the vampire elf retreated at speed, leaving her fungus-goons to defend her path of retreat.

18. As Many Goblins untied the rest of the party, Cazael and Swainson pursued. Cazael dispatched three of the vampire's guards with his ice sword. Christen knocked out the fourth with her magic bells.

19. The hallway the vampire fled down was trapped. It tipped like a see-saw in the middle, depositing several PCs one level below the others. Those below fought a hideous spider-construct, a wood and web golem that launched poison darts and grappling tarantulas. Those above fought the vampire and her fungus minions.

20. Bill was level drained for 2 hard-won levels, making him a diminished and dismayed wizard. Christen, surrounded by fungus creatures, called on the dEr0 Conspiracy to aid her. It turns out that she hadn't entered the tunnel at all; she was still outside, and a dummy made of straw and glue had taken her place in the combat. Bill, now further dismayed, started screaming.

21. By resetting the trap tunnel, Swainson was able to retreat and shove her light-bearing arm towards the vampire. One round of direct sunlight later and the vampire evaporated, leaving a greasy residue of ash behind. Her fungus minions fled into the darkness.

22. Rather than retreat, the party pressed on. They came to a cave full of powerfully hallucinogenic spores. The swarm of goblins were thoroughly confused and saw a vision of the Beige Dragon Gomstead, their entirely fictitious protector. Delighted, they swarmed across a chasm (along a path the rest of the party could not easily follow) to frolic with their hallucinated friend.

23. Klaus used his sorcerous powers to create a "real" Beige Dragon Gomstead to try and lure the goblins back. The goblins, clambering all over their friend, asked the dragon to fly them to the surface. The dragon complied, flying upwards through a series of narrow chimneys and shafts.

24. 5 rounds later the Beige Dragon vanished. The goblins screamed briefly before falling. The party was pelted with their mangled corpses as they plummeted.

Now goblin-less, but still hallucinating intermittently, the party fled the cave to search for a place of safety. What would they find in the next cave? Have they become permanently lost? Will anyone figure out Klaus is a sorcerer before he explodes from his own hubris?

Find out next time.


OSR: Pirate Artifacts

More ideas for the Pirate GLOG system (now released). In a low magic setting, a simple artifact or tool can change the course of an entire game. Consider the following items from the Pirates of the Caribbean films: not particularly impressive in a game with fireballs and dragons, but very powerful in isolation.
1. A compass that points to whatever you desire most.
2a. A cursed chest of gold coins. If any coins are removed, the person who removed them is cursed to a joyless, passionless, unending life until all the coins are returned.
     2b. An enchantment on the coins that calls to said unliving people if the coin touches seawater.
3a. A huge murderous vaguely controllable sea beast.
     3b. A black spot, cursed to draw said murderous sea beast to the bearer.
          3c. A device to wake up the sea beast and draw it (impossibly quickly) to the location.
4a. A piece of cloth with a key drawn on it that, impossibly, feels exactly like the actual key.
     4b. A chest with the heart of a very powerful magical figure and his submersible death ship.
5. A map that shows routes to impossible places.
6. Nine mundane items that collectively bind a sea god.
7. The fountain of youth. Requires cups and a mermaid's tear. Drains years of life from one person, gives them to another.
8. A sword that controls the rigging of a ship.
9. A method to put sunken or captured vessels into bottles, preserving them in a timeless diorama.
10. Pulp horror voodoo dolls.
Since your players may have seen the films, it might be useful to have "new" campaign-defining magical tools.
The Titans of Brahma
1. The 3 Faction Rule
Everything should have at least 3 sides: the PCs and 2 other factions. The other factions should have goals that are semi-sympathetic - the PCs could stomach allying with them - but mutually exclusive with the PCs' plans if followed to their logical conclusion.
E.g. There's a stone that lets you raise or sink an island, but only once. The PCs want to use it to raise the Isla del Big Heaps of Treasure. The Valois want to use it to sink the island of Wexland (or at least threaten to). And the slave republic of Lost Chains wants to use it to sink a major Valoch island to end their control of the region. Added layer of complication: the PCs have entrenched allies on the Valoch island and family home in Wexland.
So. The PCs don't want either faction to succeed, but they can work with them to gain information or a brief advantage.

2. Artifacts Are Environmental
A sword of +5 head-removal isn't an artifact you can build a campaign around. It's got one use; head removal, and only one person can use it. You can remove heads with a regular sword. 

Artifacts change the world, not the PC. They might have side effects that change the wielder, but they reach outwards, not inwards. They call, summon, lead, lift, drop, destroy, create, predict, etc.

3. Artifacts Are Legend Fuel
Get one and people will never forget you. They'll tell stories of what you did until the seas dry up and the land blows away. For a pirate, with no easy retirement prospects, temperamental heirs, and a near daily risk of death, a legend may be the only way to secure a permanent legacy.

Becoming a "dread" pirate is an informal process. It happens when people shorten your name to one word, like a curse. It happens when you enter a tavern and everyone stops moving, not to reach for their weapons, but to very carefully look for the exits. It happens when you run up the black and your flag causes sailors on the ship ahead to dive into shark infested water and swim for the nearest continent.
Igor Kieryluk

Example Pirate Artifacts

Some major, some minor.

The Seaglass Staff 
Carved from a single piece of green-grey glass. Almost primordial. Bits of rock are still stuck to it. Once per day, strike one end against a solid surface and the sea freezes for a mile in every direction. Not cold, not ice, just water solidifying like glass. Waves tower like mountains with snowcovered peaks. Ships are locked in place in the glassy plane. The effect lasts until the wielder drops the staff or chooses to end the effect.

The staff is currently in a bubble at the bottom of a sea trench. Water above, a thin wall of glass-water, then air, then a skeleton in gold robes clutching the staff. Sure, you can remove it, but a mile of water will come crashing down on your head. Hope you have a plan.

Captain Kale's Coin
A slightly bent gold coin with a front side, a back side, and a third side. Front has a skull, back has an eagle, third side has a blurred fingerprint and a bloodstain. Whoever owns it can name two outcomes and flip the coin. E.g. "Heads we go left, tails we go right" or "Heads says you're a liar". The coin is mundane and the results are random. The bearer can spend 1 HP to have the coin come up heads or tails. If the wager pertains to some imminent supernatural event, the coin lands on the third side. The coin can be given away or taken from the corpse of the bearer, but it can't be lost or stolen.

Roc Caller
A huge metal tube tied to the mast, attached to a horn and a set of bellows. Requires a great deal of pumping to build pressure. The tube produces a hideous wailing whine that calls a Roc, a bird larger than two elephants with the intellectual capacity and moral compass of a chicken. The Roc will circle overhead and attack anything that isn't making the correct droning noise, flying off when it's reduced below 1/2 HP or there are no more targets.

The Groaning Spyglass

A standard ornate spyglass, bent and dented, with a cracked lens. Look at something and twist the end of the spyglass. If you are on the water, you begin to move towards the target at a very accelerated pace. Waves break like the beat of a drum. You should probably reinforce your ship. Wind and tide are no matter. A half turn takes you to the horizon (~5 miles) in five minutes. A full turn takes you 100 miles in 10 minutes and involves a great deal of warping, bending, and folding of reality. Try not to hit an island. When you arrive, everyone has to spend 1d6 rounds staggering about and going "argh!" or "FUCK" or "bwah?"

The Extra Hour
A leftover piece of time from Creation. Try not to think about it too hard. When activated (there's a ritual), everyone near the object gets one extra hour. It's as though time has frozen for everyone else. The ritual participants could rob a fortress, assassinate a city, or walk into a volcano's heart.

Bound Name
A ritual, and a complex one at that. Bind your name (pseudonyms work) to a simple condition (holding a type of coin, holding a murder weapon, fully immersed in sea water, dying). Whenever someone speaks your name, anywhere in the world, while they meet the condition, you see through their eyes for a half second and get a general impression of their location. The closer you are, the more accurate the location. Don't pick too general a condition or you'll never see anything but impressions.  
Someone can inherit a name if they perform the ritual and kill the current name-bearer in the final step.


A horse's skull, bleached and carved with curses and symbols. In its inactive state, its effects have a radius of 1 mile. Active, they have a radius of 100 miles. Activating Faminecaller requires a ritual, and the ritual requires someone to deliberately starve to death out of spite, defiance, rage, or sorrow. Under its power, uncooked food rots in 24hrs. Crops grow just enough to offer hope. The flesh of beasts grows corrupt and full of worms, and even the worms carry only misery and disease. 

Dagger of Body-Switching

Stab a person (enough to draw blood and pierce flesh, but it doesn't need to be fatal). You switch bodies with them. They are holding the dagger. Seems simple enough... until you consider court politics in the 16th century. Plot twist: there are actually two daggers.

The Rebel's Stone
Turns rice into gunpowder. Change the crop to suit the plot, but the basic effect is dangerous enough. A short ritual can turn a warehouse into an apocalyptic bomb.

Moon Gate

As the moon sets, sail towards it on a calm sea, traveling along the silver path as you hold the moon gate before you. If everything works you'll end up on the foggy mercury oceans of the moon and steal heaps of pure silver from the white marble palaces of the moon lords.

Other Artifacts

If you're not using OSR Search... why?
20 ideas from Arnold K
20 more ideas from Arnold K
5 ideas and some theory from Scrap Princess
3 more and some additional theory notes from Scrap Princess
Whole bunch of little artifacts
from John Arendt

Black Auction items by Dunkey Halton 
15 ideas from Swords and Stitchery