Sunday, July 18, 2021

An Overview of All the Upcoming New Big Dragon Releases

All of the following projects are production-ready, except for some final test prints and some final editing/proofing polish. The goal is to release them in September (probably late September, maybe early October). Right now, this is the plan... the initial print release will be as an "all or none" bundle pre-order through the New Big Dragon square storefront, with PDF copies included, with individual sales (including PDF only options) will follow in the weeks after the initial bundles ship. (It's kind of like doing a Kickstarter, without having to do a Kickstarter—too much damn hassle and cost associated with it.)

All of the following are specifically designed for B/X rulesets (and similar).

Old School Adventures™ Accessory RS1
Fang, Faith, and Legerdemain

This is sort of an abridged DMG for BX, with alternate and supplementary rules, including character information, weapons & armor details, supplementary combat options, expanded monster information, and more!


Old School Adventures™ Module BX1
Adventurers Wanted

This campaign module combines 5 separate adventurers run over recent years at NTRPGCon, written by Richard LeBlanc and legendary D&D contributor and author Steve Marsh. Direct sale print copies feature an old-school "separate cover" map in classic blue and magenta. 

"Rock Sorenson, an adventure broker based in the city of Drekka, is seeking would-be heroes for a mission that will lead to a path of adventure that takes them from wide-eyed novices to established heroes!"

Old School Adventures™ Accessory CCSB
Creature Compendium Special Edition Boxed Set
This a digest-sized, 4-book boxed set. Each book includes 45 new monsters based on images culled from public domain pulp magazine resources. A couple of the books include some supporting information for the creatures; for example,  book 3 includes 7 new animal-related MU spells and book 4 includes 7 new BXΨ (Basic Psionics) disciplines.

Dragon Horde, Volumen 2, Issue 2
In Alley & Shadow

This is a digest-sized thief-themed zine (similar in format and content to 2019's Wherein Evil Lies).


Monday, June 28, 2021

B/X Thieves Guild Info — Guild Organization

This is the 5th of my posts for a B/X thieves’ guild reference I'm working on. Today is a long one, with the entire section for Guild Organization (minus the section on Association with Other Guilds that I posted the other day.

Guild Organization

Guild Structure

There is no single structure which all thieves’ guilds will follow. There are major models to which the majority of thieves’ guilds will ascribe, but they are certainly not limited to the ones that follow.

Centralist. A guild organized by this principle is characterized by a powerful and dominant leader with whom the loyalty of the entire organization lies. All decisions ultimately lie in the hands of the guildmaster. In this structure, the identity of the guildmaster is almost always known to all members. 

Cohesive. The cohesive guild structure is characterized by a central authority and organization, with room for senior leadership (under the guildmaster) to make some important decisions on their own. It is possible that a this type of guild uses a “blind ladder” where the identity of the “higher ups” are not known to lower level guild members, and orders “trickle down” from above.

Factioned. A factioned guild operates as a central body, but dominant figures within the guild maintain ownership of certain aspects of guild operations. They act under their own discretion in those areas, and try not to intrude on the affairs of aspects under the ownership of other guild figures. These factions are sometimes referred to as “sects.”

Guild Leadership

Guild leadership will vary based on guild structure. Following are the most common models for guild leadership.

Guildmaster. This is, by far, the most common form of leadership. This responsibility generally falls to the highest level thief in the guild. Centralist organizations are predominantly led by a guildmaster.

Council. In this model, guild leadership is in the hands of a select number of individuals who, when necessary, replace or expand its members from the senior ranks of the guild. Council leadership is common in cohesive and factioned structures. 

Democracy. Though this type of leadership is rare in thieves’ guilds, it is not unheard of. Democratic guild elections are typically plagued by bribery, corruption, and all manner of fixing and election rigging.  

The Guildhouse

There are four important considerations common to the guildhouse (or guildhall) for almost every thieves’s guild.

Location/Cover. It is of utmost importance that the location of the guildhouse remain secret to non-guildmembers. A small guild may need no more than a backroom somewhere, but larger guilds will need something far larger and more strongly protected.

Contents. The contents of a guildhouse will vary based on the physical needs of the guild. For example, guilds operating a substantial forgery or alchemy rackets will need facilities and equipment dedicated to those concerns, in addition to standard needs (like meeting rooms, lodging, etc.).

Protection. A guildhouse will almost always have guards on duty (and the ability to summon more quickly), as well as plenty of locks (to which only members have keys), traps, and other forms of protection (guard dogs/monsters, magical wards, etc.).

Attitude toward Non-guildmember Thieves

The guild will definitely have an opinion on non-guildmembers operating in its territories. This may be scripted or determined by a 2d6 roll on the table below.

Membership Terms

Membership terms may vary from guild to guild. The following terms are meant only as a guideline.

Recruitment & Resignation. Wether or a not a thief is required to join the guild operating in a specific area will depend on the guild’s view of non-guildmember thieves (as above). Recruitment, therefore, will vary from simple to solicitation to downright violence. Resigning from a guild is not usually an option, as it means the guild’s secrets go along with the former member. Guildmembers seeking to sever their ties with a guild may need to use deception to do so (e.g., faking their own death). Membership in multiple guilds is particularly frowned upon. 

Tithing. The standard tithing for a member (regardless of level) is 50sp/month, plus a 10% take for jobs approved in advance by the guild or 20% for those not approved ahead of time by the guild. If the guildmember goes 3 months without pulling a job, the tithing requirement increases to 100sp/month.

Secrecy. This is equally important as tithing, usually requiring an oath of loyalty. If the oath is broken, punishment will vary based on the attitudes of guild leadership, and may be as extreme as death.

Information. Guildmembers are expected to provide the guild with information about their own plans. They are also expected to gather and feed general information back to the guild that may help in other endeavors. The latter will help assure the guildmember remains in good stand with the guild. 

Other Limitations & Expectations. Guildmembers will be given explicit instructions relating to the territories in which they may operate and the activities in which they may engage. They may also be expected to do legwork for upcoming jobs or participate in other guild activities and rackets. Additionally, traveling thieves (e.g., those that spend the majority of their time adventuring) are expected to remain members of the guild, and are not permitted to become Guildmaster.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

B/X Thieves Guild Info — Services

This is the 4th of my posts for a B/X thieves’ guild reference I'm working on. Today, the services available to members...


General Services

The following services will be available in most thieves’ guilds, regardless of the size of the settlement where it is based. Unless otherwise specified, these services are not available to non-guildmembers.

Repair & Replacement of Thieves’ Tools. Repair is free and takes 1d3 days. New tools are available at standard pricing (25gp). Specialty tools (with a singular purpose) are available for purchase for 50gp or rental at 10gp per day (paid in advance, with the balance refunded upon their return).

Money Changing. Conversion of one type of coin into another (e.g., platinum to gold) is free.

Gem & Jewel Assessment. This service costs 1gp per item assessed.

Fencing/Black Market. This involves the movement of stolen goods through a middleman to an unsuspecting third party. Guild members generally receive 50% of the price the fence believes he can get when selling the stolen merchandise. The guild and fence split the profits at a negotiated rate. If this service is available to non-guildmembers, they will receive as little as 25% (or less). 

Lockpicking Assistance. Guild members may bring in a locked item which they were unable to open and receive assistance from more-skilled guild members. There is generally no fee for such assistance, but a thief who successfully picks the lock may require a favor in return.

Knowledge/Information. The thieves guild is a wealth of knowledge for its members, particularly in regards to planning jobs (e.g., information about a mark, the weaknesses of a location, the most opportune time to strike, etc.). Information is usually shared freely between members, and may be made as a Lore Check to determine how much or little any member knows about the question being asked. It should be noted that 

Location & Procurement. One of the main benefits of guild membership is help in locating assistance, support, people, and goods. This includes, but is not limited to: henchmen and hirelings, sages, cartographers (including map analysis & consultation), transportation, accommodation, equipment, and illegal and illicit goods, including poisons. There is no guarantee that what the guild member is searching for will be close or cheap.

Safe Houses. Safe houses are locations which provides thieves protection from capture. In every community, there will be a number of buildings assigned as safe houses—locations where a thief can lay low until the heat is off. The use of a safe house is free for guild members. Non-guildmembers will not be allowed in a safe house unless accompanied by a guild member, but there is no guarantee they will be allowed in to a safe house that is being attended by guild members.

Legal Help. Should a thief become entangled with the law (have a bounty placed on their head, get arrested, etc.), the guild may be able to provide legal help. This most often involves bribes or the calling in of favors. The costs of bribes will, in one form or another, be passed on the member in need of assistance.

Specialized Services

The following services may or may not be available from the thieves’ guild. Additionally, specialized services (like forgery and translation) require the engagement of a retainer with expertise in that area. If the guild does not have the relevant specialist (or specialists) in their employ, they may be able to refer the guild member to the specialist. In such cases, the fees outlined below do not apply, and the guild member must negotiate directly with the specialist.   

Forgery. The creation of false documents (identification papers, licenses, forms, etc.) is the domain of the forger. The forger is a specialist that usually works independently of the guild, unless the guild operates a forgery racket (see “Thieves’ Guild Activities (Rackets),” below). The cost of a forgery varies, but guild members will usually receive a discount.

Magic Item Identification. Unless the guild employs a magic-user who knows the spell identify, the identification magic item is based on experience and intuition, and is not foolproof. The cost for identifying a magic weapons is 10gp and the cost of identifying a miscellaneous magic item is 25gp. 

Magic Item Exchange. Only minor items may be exchanged. 

Scroll Exchange. This service is only permitted to thieves of a level high enough to read magic. The rate of exchange is based on the level of the spell on the scroll (as a spell for hire).

Language Translation. The cost and time required for this varies based on the obscurity of the language and the length of the sample being translated. 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

B/X Thieves Guild Info — Associations with Other Guilds

This is the 3rd of my posts for a B/X thieves’ guild reference I'm working on. I had planned to post the guild services information today, but based on a comment from yesterday's post by Chris Stogdill asking about beggars as a racket, I'm jumping to the section on the thieves' guild's relationship with other guilds (assassins, beggars, bards). 

Associations with Other Guilds 

Thieves’ guilds are most likely to cooperate with guilds of assassins, beggars, and bards. 

Assassins. Thieves and assassins are, in many ways, kindred spirits. They will usually maintain at relationship that is, at a minimum, moderately friendly. They will share information and even plan together. However, this association can become strained if the assassins are particularly evil or the thieves particularly disreputable.

Beggars. Beggars are a great source of information, and make great spies. They seem harmless to most, and may not seem suspicious in places where others would. Not to mention, they work cheap. When beggars and thieves guilds maintain a good relationship, the beggars guild may even allow thieves to spy by posing as beggars within the territories maintained by the beggars guild.

Bards. Though they train as thieves and rogues, there is no natural connection between bards and thieves—they don’t think alike, and they don’t necessarily like each other. 

In lieu of the DM scripting a thieves’ guild’s relationship with these other guilds, a 3d6 roll may be made on the table below.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Thieves Guild Activities (Rackets)

Yesterday, I posted about working on a B/X reference about thieves guilds. This is a draft of the section on "Thieves Guild Activities (Rackets).

Thieves Guild Activities (Rackets)

A thieves’ guild may operate a number of activities as a source of secondary income for the guild. The number of “rackets” which a guild operates will vary based on the size of the guild and the size of the city or town in which they operate. Generally 4-5 rackets will sufffice for providing the guild the income it needs.

Street Crimes (Pickpocketing/Mugging/Cutpursing). These crimes against pedestrian victims are the responsibility of the lowest level thieves in the guild. They are expected to bring in a certain amount of revenue each week, from which they receive a cut/percentage. 

Protection. This racket is so named because the racketeers often phrase their demands as payment for "protection" from real or hypothetical threats. Homeowners and/or shopkeepers pay a weekly or monthly fee to prevent their homes, businesses, or selves from being destroyed/robbed/beaten up. Making the collection rounds is the duty of low-level thieves with the high Strength scores. These thieves are paid a fee based on the number of places from which they collect.

Blackmail. Blackmail is the extortion of money from people in exchange for not revealing or publicizing either substantially true or false information about them. Making blackmail arrangements is the duty of low-level thieves with high Charisma scores. These thieves are paid a percentage of the amount they are able to collect.

Robbery & Burglary. Robbery is the taking of property from the person or presence of the owner by force or the threat of force. Burglary is the illegal entering a building or other area for the purposes of theft, robbery, violence, or murder. Robberies and burglaries are typically planned ahead of time and executed by a crew of low level thieves led by a thief of 4th or 5th level. Crew members are paid based on their level, with violent crimes paying a flat fee, and theft paid as a cut of the take.

Fencing. Fences are individuals who knowingly buys stolen goods in order to later resell them for profit, acting as a middleman between thieves and the eventual buyers of stolen goods who may not be aware that the goods are stolen. Fences are specialists who may or may not be Thieves who patronize a fence must be willing to accept a low profit margin in order to reduce their risks by instantly "washing their hands" of the loot and the criminal activity that procured it. These services are often provided to non-guild members at an even lower profit margin. The fence gives a percentage of their profits to the guild.

Smuggling. Smugglers specialize in moving contraband from one area to another while avoiding detection by authorities. Sometimes a smuggler’s cargo is illegal goods, like narcotics. Other times, a smuggler hides legal goods to avoid paying duties or taxes. The most common contraband are: narcotics, potions, exotic creatures, discounted wares (tax dodging), and antiquities. Smuggling is often set up as an ongoing activity executed by a regular/established crew of thieves of varying levels. Given the subterfuge involved, this will often be under the direction of a thief of approximately 5th to 7th level. The fees for smuggling vary greatly by the type of cargo and the risks involved. Lower level crew members are paid a per diem, as is the crew leader. However, the crew leader will often be paid a bonus for particularly lucrative jobs. 

Cons/Scams. A con (short for “confidence trick”) is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust. These may be executed one-to-one (by a single thief) or by a crew of thieves, and most often are orchestrated under the direction of sharpers and pilferers (6th and 7th level thieves), even if executed by others. Crew members are paid as a percentage of the take, with the guild receiving a percentage off the top. 

Fraud (Forgery/Counterfeiting/Coin Clipping). Forgery is the creation of false documents (identification papers, licenses, forms, etc.). Counterfeiting is the creation of an unauthorized imitation of a genuine article (e.g., a work of art, or a false magic item—an item with no actual powers but enchanted to appear has them). Clipping is the act of shaving off a small portion of a precious metal coin for profit. Over time, the precious metal clippings can be saved up and melted into bullion or used to make new coins. These are specialized activities beyond the ability of normal thieves (regardless of level). Specialists in these skills are hired as retainers at a weekly rate. If the guild has access to these resources, guild members will be referred to these specialists without having to pay the guild a commission or finder’s fee.

Gambling. Gambling activities may occur at a moveable location (e.g., shooting dice in an alley), a general location (e.g., a cock fighting ring), or a fixed location (like an underground casino). The types of gambling that is legal or illegal in any location will be set by community standards. The guild will usually have a monopoly on illegal gambling, but will often attempt to control legal activities as well, even resorting to violence against legal gambling operations to do so. The odds are always in favor of the house, especially when the games are rigged.

Kidnapping. Kidnapping is the capture, imprisonment, and transport of a person against their will as a show of force or for the purpose of exchanging them for money, information, or other concerns. Kidnappings for ransom will usually be orchestrated by a crew of guild members with pay based on a fee for each thief based on their level. Kidnapping for other reasons will usually be executed on contract for parties from outside the guild for a negotiated fee.

Assassination/Murder-for-hire. Assassination is one of most lucrative activities of a thieves guild, with prices for contract on a high level character by a high-level assassin reaching as much as 250,000gp! When executed on a contract by the guild for a third party, the guild may take as much as 50% of the fee (with the remainder going to the assassin). Assassination is a specialized skill with the utmost concern for secrecy, so assassination contracts are never given to standard thieves to execute.  

Prostitution (Brothels/Streetwalkers/Call-outs). Prostitution is the exchange of sexual services for money. Brothels are a fixed location for the sale of sexual services. Brothels may be run independently or under the direct oversight of a guild. Independent brothels pay a fixed tribute based on their size. Streetwalkers (prostitutes who work publicly in or a around a certain location) and call-outs (prostitutes who work privately, going to a pre-determined location for service) may work directly for a guild or independently, but pay a percentage of their income to the guild either way.  

Alchemy/Poisons. While alchemy isn't necessarily an illegal activity, the production of potions that cause (including poison) may be. Additionally, the guild may be involved in the manufacturer of potions for sale to its members, and possibly non-members. Poisons, however, will rarely be sold to non-guild members. 

Narcotics. The guild may be involved at one level or another with the manufacturing, distribution, and/or sale of narcotics. The greatest risk is with distribution, but when sold directly provide a higher rate of return for the guild.

Next up... the "Services" section.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Thieves Guild Information for B/X

Recently, I was needing some thieves' guild information for the city at the center of a campaign I was working on. I cribbed something together quickly, but realized there could be a B/X resource. So I'm working on it. Here's the tentative outline...


What They Are

What They Do

Why Join



— Repair & Replacement of Thieves’ Tools

— Money Changing

— Gem & Jewel Assessment

— Fencing of Stolen Goods/Black Market

— Lockpicking Assistance

— Location & Procurement (incl. illegal goods/poisons)

— Knowledge/Information

— Legal Help 

— Safe Housing

Specialized Services

— Forgery

— Language Translation

— Map Analysis & Consultation

— Magic Item Identification

— Magic Item/Scroll Exchange

Guild Member Responsibilities




Other Duties

Thieves Guild Activities

Core Activities




Forgery/Coin Clipping

Associations with Other Guilds




Guild Organization 

Guild Makeup by Size of Community

— no. of thieves by population

 level of thieves by total number in guild

The Guildmaster

The Guildhouse

Recruitment & Resignation

Monday, June 14, 2021

The System Surpasses 13,000 Downloads!!!

It has been a while (actually several years) since I provided any sort of update on The System

Well, as of this past week, it has surpassed 13,000 downloads (as a free PDF). Holeeshit! Thirteen thousand freaking downloads! WTF!?

As a published RPG product, it predates the other things for which I'm known (including the d30 DM Companion, the otherwise first of my published products). It has been available as a free PDF download (direct from this link) and in print-on-demand from

If you've never heard of The System, here's the topline overview... I originally wrote/designed this in late 1985/early 1986 (when I was about 16 years old) before other universal role playing systems were available on the market. As I was getting ready to playtest it with my friends, a guy in our gaming group brought in a copy of the (then) newly-released GURPS, and I shelved my system in the disappointment that comes with having someone beat you to the punch. In 2011, I "rescued the from oblivion" (that is, I scanned the old daisy-wheel printed version that came from my dad's word processor at work), gave it a (very) quick polish to the ruleset, and typeset it with a decidedly retro (1st generation) RPG feel to it.

As stated previously, I'm quite willing to admit the game has its flaws... I mean, c'mon, I was 16 or so when I wrote it. (e.g., there is a very convoluted constitution-to-hit-point system, and there is an innovative but ultimately ill-conceived initiative and movement tracking system, and while it purports to handle supers among its genres, I can't claim that it actually scales to reflect the expanse of power levels between the weakest and strongest heroes). But over time, I have more and more appreciation for the fact that it uses d6s only, and led to some underlying things that Welbo and I would like to see become part of a "2nd Edition" of The System. (Should we ever get back to it, but may something it takes us 10 or more years to complete.)

• If you want the full story on The System, check out this post.
• To download a free PDF from MediaFire, click here.
• To buy a deeply-discounted print copy of The System from, head over here.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Creature Compendium Special Edition Boxed Set is in final stages!

As a quarantine project last year, I scoured PD pulp sources, culled a bunch of images, cleaned them up and populated them into a set of four 6"x9" books, each featuring 45 new monsters (based on these classic images). Book three also includes some animal-related spells, and book four includes some new B/X psionics disciplines. They are statted up for B/X (so that's makes them compatible with all those similar editions and retro-clones). And easy enough to adapt for white boxers and first editions. 

I just finished writing book #4. The first three have already had a first edit (and a pre-release at the most recent NTRPGCon), and we'll do another proof on those over the next couple of weeks as we edit the final book. We'll order test copies of the box, and look to make these available (as a boxed set) by August.

Once released, PDFs will be available as a bundle through a super great price ($1 for all four). Individual books will be available POD through, and the boxed set will be available directly through the NBD storefront (looking like the boxed set will sell for $30 + shipping). 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

B/X House Rules: Potion Miscibility

 In working on the layout for Fang, Faith, and Legerdemain, I realized I had waaaaay too much room for illustrations in the Alchemy section. So I asked myself, "What additional content could I maybe put in that section?" 

Being a fan of Chris Stogdill's d30 Potion Miscibility Table (I've used it often in my games),  I decided a Potion Miscibility Table was the perfect addition. Also, I had completely forgotten the 1e DMG included one. 

I like the 3d6 roll vs. the d% used in the DMG because it's more B/X to me. Also, in this table, the chance of the "Poison" result on 3d6 is 1 in 216 (vs. the 1 in 100 chance from the DMG). The same is true of the "Discovery" result.

Anyhoo, here's my B/X adaptation of the Potion Miscibility rules. 

Potion Miscibility

The composition of a potion is a complicated thing. The alchemist can spend weeks preparing the ingredients just so, then combining them in perfect balance. The composition of one potion is not always compatible with another. The miscibility of potions should be tested when either of the following occurs: 

  1. the commingling of two (or more) potions
  2. a creature still under the effect of one potion consumes another

It is suggested that, under such circumstances, a 3d6 roll be made on the Potion Miscibility Table (or a similar table of the DM’s own design) to determine the outcome of the commingling: 

Additional Considerations

The following considerations should be taken into account when using the Potion Miscibility Table.

  • Contradictory potions (e.g., a potion of growth and a potion of diminution) will normally cancel each other out, but may cause additional miscibility effects. 
  • A potion of delusion may be commingled with any other single potion without the effects of either being affected.
  • Combining oil of slipperiness and oil of etherealness has a 50% chance of causing the imbiber to lost in the Ethereal Plane for 5d6 days.
  • If three or more potions are combined, subsequent rolls should be affected by a negative modifier. (The modifier is at the discretion of the DM, and should be based on the similarity/dissimilarity of the potions’ effects.)

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Call for Expanded Petty Gods Corrections!

Okay. so with the recent dealings with Expanded Petty Gods, and the fact that this coming week is Spring Break for me (from my collegiate teaching duties), it seems like the perfect opportunity to rectify some minor issues with Expanded Petty Gods. If you have noticed a typo, or know of a credit that needs changing, please post it in the comments below. 

I am mostly concerned with crediting issues, but will address typos and inconsistencies as I'm able.

PLEASE LIMIT COMMENTS TO CORRECTIONS ONLY! (Otherwise, I'll have to dig through comments to find true edits and fear edits getting lost.) 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

B/X House Rules: Custom Character Classes

I gained a couple of pages in the layout for Fang, Faith, and Legerdemain (the B/X house rules book I've been working on), and have decided it needs a Custom Character Classes appendix.

The overall system is one that's familiar (from both Dragon Magazine and 2e), but I've tried to make it more "Moldvay-like" (as much as I could). 

This is a pretty rough draft (I know there are some issues) but I'm doing a beta of it regardless. I appreciate any input people are willing to provide.

Download the Beta PDF of Fang, Faith, and Legerdemain "Appendix A: Custom Character Classes" >>

Please let me know your thoughts. For shorter comments, feel free to use the comments boxes below. If you'd rather give longer input (e.g., in a text document), or even mark up the PDF, I've set up a FileDrop you can use. Make sure to include your name (as you'd like it to appear in credits) so I can add your name to the Thanks section.

Use this link to access FileDrop. >>


Monday, February 22, 2021

B/X House Rules: Fang, Faith, and Legerdemain

So this is the final table of contents for Fang, Faith, and Legerdemain... 

Everything is written (but not edited), except the Dice Mechanics page. (There's some math to be done!)

Friday, February 19, 2021

B/X House Rule: The Effects of Alcohol & Drugs

There's a player in my bi-weekly game who's character seems obsessed with finding something to drink every time they visit a town or stay in someone's roadside cottage. So I figured it was time I prepared some drinking rules in case his character gets slipped a Mickey and some shit goes down while the character is in their altered state.


Every time a character consumes an alcoholic beverage there is a chance it will affect them based on their Constitution and the strength of the beverage.

For each alcoholic beverage a character consumes, the Potency Rating of that drink is totaled with all the other drinks that character has consumed to produce their Intoxication Score. A PC can sustain an Intoxication Score equal to their Constitution without being affected. Should they consume in excess of that amount, the difference between the amount consumed and their Constitution determines their Potency Excess which, in turn, determines their State of Intoxication. 

A character’s State of Intoxication affects their performance as outlined by the Intoxication Table below:

Every turn a drunken character remains in a Stupor, they must save vs. poison or pass out for 1d4 hours. Additionally, the result of this roll is modified by their total Potency Excess minus 8 (e.g., a character with a Potency Excess of 10 would suffer a penalty of –2 on the roll).

A character’s Constitution score determines at what rate their Intoxication Score is reduced. The rate of recovery is doubled while the character is sleeping.

If a character awakens from a full-night’s rest after drinking, or has not had a full night's rest since they were drinking, and their Intoxication Score is still greater than 0 (zero), they will remain exhausted until their next full-night’s rest. While exhausted, they suffer a –2 penalty on all “to hit” rolls and saving throws, a +2 penalty to Armor Class, and their movement is halved.


Generally, narcotics will have the same effects on a character’s State of Intoxication (as above). However, at the DM’s discretion, these substances may have additional effects on a character’s Morale, Ability Scores, Attack Level, etc. Furthermore, strong stimulants have a 5% chance per use of permanently reducing a character’s Constitution score by 1 point. Mild stimulants are rarely produce this sort of harmful effects.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Update to my "Petty Gods Update"

For those of you who read my Petty Gods Update a couple of weeks ago, an update!

After receiving the notice, and making the post above, I started digging for email addresses and phone numbers for actual people at Lulu (since there's really no such thing as Customer Service there—I mean that literally, I don't think the department exists, as there is never anyone to talk to). 

So I actually found some found information, and dug my way into the system, leaving voice messages for everyone I felt could help my plight (trying to find out the source of the complaint so I could respond appropriately). I called and left messages for operations folks, and the COO. 

Two weeks passed, and I was pretty much resigned to having to start over at (because I still needed the resource for POD, especially for those overseas wanting my books).

Lo and behold, on Tuesday, I received the following email from

Dear user,

We are not sure if you received our previous email. Your content was flagged during the printing process. ​

Upon further review, we have reinstated the content in question and the Lulu account. Your projects are now in draft status and you may complete the publication process from your Lulu account. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and greatly appreciate your business. 

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

Questionable Content Team
Lulu Press, inc.

Did you read that? Did you see what happened? And when it happened?

During the printing process.



Good news is, my account is up and running again. 

Bad news is, I'm setting up an alternate account for ORC (the "official" publisher of Petty Gods), so it may be a couple of weeks before Petty Gods is available in print again. 

I'm also still debating how to handle the PDF version (which was previously available through DriveThruRPG, but I pulled when the Lulu thing happened, just for safety sake, until I was able to figure out what happened.)

Thanks for your patience!

Saturday, February 13, 2021

B/X House Rule: PC Astrological Alterations

I, like many others my age, bought a copy of what is generally agreed-upon as one of the most convoluted products ever put out by our hobby—the Bruce Galloway monstrosity Fantasy Wargaming: The Highest Level of All. Also like many others who bought it, I read it (well, skimmed it from time to time), but never attempted to play it. 

For all of its pages, and it's intriguing visual look (including that whole hardback thing), the one thing that struck me most—and is ultimately the reason I coughed up the (what I seem to remember as) $25— was the idea that a character's astrological sign could change their attribute scores. 

I always wanted to include that in my D&D games, but since the attributes didn't quite jive between rulesets, I never took the time to work it out. Until today!!!!

I was looking for a reason to use my 12-sided zodiac die. After finishing the chart, I went digging for that dodecahedron and it turns out I misremembered it. It is a planet symbol die, not a zodiac one, so it doesn't quite match up (Mercury and Venus are each attached to 2 signs, and the die features north and south nodes for the moon, which are not directly tied to any of the signs). 

Oh well, guess I'll have to buy a zodiac die or two. 

Here you go! 

Saturday, February 6, 2021

B/X House Rule: Object Saving Throws

I've often felt like I needed Object Saving Throws in my games, and have long been enamored of how they appeared in the old AD&D DM Screen. Since I've been putting a lot of house rule things up lately, no reason not to share this too!

It is generally assumed that if a character or creature survives, anything they are are wearing or carrying also survives. If a special form of damage kills the character (e.g., dragon breath or magical disintegration), their normal equipment is also considered destroyed. 

At the DM’s discretion, magic items or items standing alone may be permitted a saving throw to avoid being destroyed. Magic items receive a bonus equal to their best bonus (e.g., a sword +1/+2 vs. lycanthropes would receive a +2 bonus on its saving throws). A roll of 1 always fails. 

How an object is affected should consider both the object and the type of damage inflicted (e.g., a crushing blow would shatter glass, but tear or rip cloth). The notations below are only guidelines, and the DM may adjust the numbers as they see fit.

Notes on Item Types

Wood/Rope. The number may be adjusted up or down based on the hardness or softness of the wood, or the strength/thickness of the rope. A fall does not normally harm rope, regardless of the height.

Liquids/Potions. This assumes that the container in which the liquid or potion is held remains intact. If the container is destroyed, it is assumed the liquid or potion held inside is also lost.

Soft Metal/Jewelry. This includes silver mirrors and pearls of all sorts.

Hard Metal. If a hard metal object that has been exposed to extreme cold is struck with sufficient force (10 hp or more in a single blow), there is a 50% chance it will be shattered/damaged/destroyed.

Notes on Damage Types

Fall. This is based on the object falling approximately 5' and coming into contact with a hard surface (e.g., stone). Softer surfaces provide a bonus of +1 to +5 (based on how soft they are). Falls from a greater height should penalize the roll by –2 for each additional 5' fallen. 

Crush. The item is struck by a weighty object falling on it or hitting it (e.g., a giant’s club or a thrown rock). 

Strike. The item is struck by fairly-heavy object or a normal-strength opponent. 

Magic Fire. This includes all varieties of magical fire (e.g., dragon breath, the spells fireball, wall of fire, etc.). For normal fires, adjust the target number by –3.

Magic Frost. This includes all varieties of magical cold (e.g., white dragon breath, the spells cone of cold, wall of ice, etc.).

Lightning. This includes both magical electricity (e.g., blue dragon breath, the spells lightning bolt, etc.), and large scale electrical effects (e.g., the “shock” of a giant eletric eel). For smaller discharges (e.g., a normal-sized electric eel, spells like shocking grasp, magical traps, etc.), all objects save on a 2 or better except liquids/potions, which require a roll of 10 or better to avoid being ruined.

Acid. This assumes the object is immersed or submerged in a considerable volume of a strong acid (e.g., black dragon breath) for an amount of time substantial enough to affect the item.

Disintegration. This is the magical effect. Non-magical items should not be permitted to make a save against disintegration (except as otherwise indicated by the spell or effect).

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Petty Gods Update

So late on Friday, January 29, 2021 I received an email from informing me my account had been deleted because Expanded Petty Gods contained material that was in violation of someone else's copyright. Of course, this came too late for me to contact anyone before the weekend (as if I have ever in the last 12 years been able to contact anyone directly from And, of course, they did not include the complaint itself, so I have no idea what the claim is in regards to. After all, Expanded Petty Gods is a massive thing (even by old-school gaming standards), and it could seriously be anything (so much art, so many entities that could raise IP issues, etc.). I honestly and truthfully did my best to vet all the content, and tried to err on the side of caution in every instance where it was even questionable. 

Most of you have seen the book, so you understand what a daunting task this was. 

Restarting at for other titles will be a PitA, but not a major setback. Losing my DriveThruRPG status, on the other hand would be akin to taking a critical hit from 10d10 fireball and failing my saving throw. So, in order to preemptively protect my DriveThruRPG account from similar censure (please understand, I have had no complaints there), I've retracted Expanded Petty Gods from the site, and deleted the related files). It will no longer be available from DriveThruRPG. 

For now, consider Expanded Petty Gods in print a collector's item, and the PDF version something relegated to the "sharing community." 

BTW, I do have one copy of EPG left in my cache, if anybody wants to trade it for a copy of Deities & Demigods that includes the Cthulhu Mythos.