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.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

BX House Rule: Manufacturing Holy Water

There has been some discussion in my bi-weekly game group about the possibility of making their own holy water, so I had to do a little research. I've created a B/X house rule for making holy water based on the information in the 1e DMG.

The good news for the cleric is there is a clairvoyant NPC that can send a message for the party to have a stoup made dedicated to the cleric's deity—Morbagallicus. The bad news is the cleric is a couple of levels shy of being able to cast 3rd level spells. 

But, then again, by the time the stoup is finished, the cleric might have gained a couple of levels!

A cleric (or paladin, or similar divine spellcaster) may create holy/unholy water under the following conditions:
  1. They possess or have access to a approriate blessed/cursed vessel (a “stoup”) in which the holy/unholy water will be created.
  2. The character is capable of casting 3rd level cleric spells.
Holy/Unholy Water Receptacles

The stoup/vessel for creating holy water consists of 2 parts:
  1. the font: a finely-crafted repository of wood (with a base, pedestal, chest-like holder, and lid) carved or engraved with the holy/unholy symbols of the deity to which the vessel has been dedicated.
  2. the basin: a metal bowl placed within the font which holds the water to be blessed.
A cleric may only create holy/unholy water in a vessel dedicated to their deity. The amount of water they may create depends on the metal used for the basin.

All fonts and basins are made to order, taking 4-10 (2d4+2) weeks to be designed and constructed. 

Basins in combinations of metal may be available (at DM’s discretion), with costs and capacity adjusted accordingly (e.g., a silver basin chased with gold and set with gold handles).

Generally, the stoup must be housed in a religious structure, and each structure is limited to having a single stoup. 


The ritual for creating holy/unholy water takes 1 hour to perform, and requires the cleric use the following: a purify food and water spell (or reverse), a bless spell (or reverse), and a 3rd level spell slot for the ritual that creates the holy/unholy water. The ritual must be performed uninterrupted, and if the cleric does not have the available spell slots for all three spells, the ritual cannot be completed. The ritual may only be performed once per week, and immediately after the cleric must rest for at least 8 hours.

Portable Stoups (Optional)

The DM may opt to allow the use of portable stoups. The suggested cost and capacity for such stoups is outlined below:

The encumbrance of a portable stoup is a number of coins equal to the font cost for the stoup (e.g., a portable silver stoup has an encumbrance of 200 coins). 

Performing the ritual to make holy water outside a structure dedicated to cleric’s deity (even a structure dedicated to a similar or companion deity) takes the cleric an entire day, during which time they may not undertake any other adventuring or perform any other activities. The standard period of 8 hours is required as normal.

Friday, January 8, 2021

BX House Rule: Lore Check

My bi-weekly game group kept encountering symbols and books and things, and there's always a question about how much/little information I should give them, so I worked this out as an answer.

The DM may make a lore check for any Player whose character has an an association with the topic or object being investigated. For example: thieves might know about other/famous thieves; clerics might have knowledge about other deities, their symbols, followers, etc.: a magic-user might be able to gain an understanding about the meaning of a symbol or the type of spell research being done in a lab based on the materials and equipment; race-classes (dwarves, elves, etc.) would have knowledge of the lore of their race; characters with ties to nature (e.g., rangers, druids, wood elves, gnomes) would have some knowledge of plants and animals, and their respective ecologies. 

Procedure: The DM should first determine how uncommon or uncommon the subject is before the lore check is made. The DM then rolls 2d6 for the character making the lore attempt, checks the column appropriate to the subject obscurity, and provides the appropriate amount of information to the player.  

Arcane Symbols: The ability to understand an arcane symbol does not grant the ability to read the symbol aloud or activate its magic (if speaking the symbol aloud is required). Likewise, it does not provide the ability to disarm any magic held in/by the symbol (dispell magic will most often still be required to do this). 

Sigils: The ability to recognize the sigil of an outsider (e.g., a demon, devil, angel, etc.) does not grant the ability to know the being’s true name, nor the ability to read the sigil aloud. 

The folowing rules are optional and may be adjusted at the discretion of the DM.

Roll Modifiers: Generally, the character’s Intelligence modifier should be applied to the roll. However, the DM may choose to have the roll to be adjusted by a different modifier based on the instance (e.g., if a  Wisdom (divine spellcasters).

Areas of Expertise:
In lieu of an extra language, the DM may allow a character to choose a general area of knowledge not necessarily associated with their class. For an additional language substitution, the player may choose a specific area of knowledge from a general area of knowledge they already possess. Lore checks for a general area of knowledge are made as normal. Lore checks made for a specific area of knowledge are made with a +3 bonus on the roll.