Friday, November 25, 2016


I usually try to maintain this as a neutral ground, like the Tenkar's Tavern, but I think this is important enough to merit comment.  In the spirit of Richard T. Balsley's orangelist of RPG professionals, I have compiled my own list of industry professionals that ought to be boycotted.  Don't purchase a role-playing game supplement produced by any of the following:

Birch Bayh
J. W. Fulbright
Fred R. Harris
Harold Hughes
Edward M. Kennedy
George McGovern
Walter Mondale
Edmund Muskie
Gaylord Nelson
William Proxmire
Bella Abzug
William R. Anderson
John Brademas
Father Robert F. Drinan
Robert Kastenmeier
Wright Patman
Shirley Chisholm
William Clay
George Collins
John Conyers
Ronald Dellums
Charles Diggs
Augustus Hawkins
Ralph Metcalf
Robert N.C. Nix
Parren Mitchell
Charles Rangel
Louis Stokes
John V. Lindsay, Mayor, New York City
Eugene McCarthy, former U.S. Senator
George Wallace, Governor, Alabama
Black Panthers, Hughie Newton
Brookings Institution, Lesley Gelb and others
Business Executives Move for VN Peace--Henry Niles, Nat. Chmn, Vincent McGee, Exec. Director
Committee for an Effective Congress, Russell D. Hemenway
Common Cause, John Gardner, Morton Halperin, Charles Goodell, Walter Hickel
COPE, Alexander E. Barkan
Council for a Livable World, Bernard T. Feld, Prof. Physics, MIT
Farmers Union, NFO
Institute of Policy Study, Richard Barnet, Marcus Raskin
National Economic Council, Inc.
National Education Association, Sam M. Lambert, President
National Student Association, Charles Palmer, President
National Welfare Rights Organization, George Wiley
Potomac Associates, William Watts
SANE, Sanford Gottlieb
Southern Christian Leadership, Ralph Abernathy
Third National Convocation on the Challenge of Building Peace, Robert V. Roosa, Chairman
Businessmen's Educational Fund
Karl Feller, Pres. Internat. Union of United Brewery, Flour, Cereal, Soft Drink and Distillery Workers, Cincinnati
Harold J. Gibbons, International Vice Pres., Teamsters
A. F. Grospiron, Pres., Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers International Union, Denver
Matthew Guinan, Pres., Transport Workers Union of America, New York City
Paul Jennings, Pres. International Union of Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers, D. C.
Herman D. Kenin, Vice Pres., AFL-CIO, D. C.
Lane Kirkland, Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO (but we must deal with him)
Frederick O'Neal, Pres., Actors and Artists of America, New York City
William Pollock, Pres., Textile Workers Union of America, New York City
Jacob Potofsky, General Pres., Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, New York City
Leonard Woodcock, President, United Auto Workers, Detroit
Jerry Wurf, International President, American Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees, Washington, D. C.
Nathaniel Goldfinger, AFL-CIO
I. W. Abel, Steelworkers
Jack Anderson, columnist, "Washington Merry-Go-Round"
Jim Bishop, author, columnist, King Features Syndicate
Thomas Braden, columnist, Los Angeles Times Syndicate
D.J.R. Bruckner, Los Angeles Times Syndicate
Marquis Childs, chief Washington correspondent, St. Louis Post Dispatch
James Deakin, White House Correspondent, St. Louis Post Dispatch
James Doyle, Washington Star
Richard Dudman, St. Louis Post Dispatch
William Eaton, Chicago Daily News
Rowland Evans, Jr., syndicated columnist, Publishers Hall
Saul Friedmann, Knight Newspapers, syndicated columnist
Clayton Fritchey, syndicated columnist, Washington correspondent, Harpers
George Frazier, Boston Globe
Pete Hamill, New York Post
Michael Harrington, author and journalist; Member, Executive Comm. Socialist party
Sydney Harris, columnist, drama critic and writer of 'Strictly Personal,' syndicated Publishers Hall
Robert Healy, Boston Globe
William Hines, Jr., journalist; science and education, Chicago Sun Times
Stanley Karnow, foreign correspondent, Washington Post
Ted Knap, syndicated columnist, New York Daily News
Edwin Knoll, Progressive
Morton Kondracke, Chicago Sun Times
Joseph Kraft, syndicated columnist, Publishers Hall
James Laird, Philadelphia Inquirer
Max Lerner, syndicated columnist, New York Post; author, lecturer, professor.
Stanley Levey, Scripps Howard
Flora Lewis, syndicated columnist on economics
Stuart Loory, Los Angeles Times
Mary McGrory, syndicated columnist on New Left
Frank Mankiewicz, syndicated columnist, Los Angeles Times
James Millstone, St. Louis Post Dispatch
Martin Nolan, Boston Globe
Ed Guthman, L.A. Times
Thomas O'Neill, Baltimore Sun
John Pierson, Wall Street Journal
William Prochnau, Seattle Times
James Reston, New York Times
Carl Rowan, syndicated columnist, Publishers Hall
Warren Unna, Washington Post, NET
Harriet Van Horne, columnist, New York Post
Milton Viorst, reporter, author, writer
James Wechsler, New York Post
Tom Wicker, New York Times
Gary Wills, syndicated columnist, author of "Nixon-Agonistes."
The New York Times
Washington Post
St. Louis Post Dispatch
Jules Duscha, Washingtonian
Robert Manning, Editor Atlantic
John Osborne, New Republic
Richard Rovere, New Yorker
Robert Sherrill, Nation
Paul Samuelson, Newsweek
Julian Goodman, Chief Executive Officer, NBC
John Macy, Jr., Pres., Public Broadcasting Corporation; former Civil Service Comm.
Marvin Kalb, CBS
Daniel Schorr, CBS
Lem Tucker, NBC
Sander Vanocur, NBC
Carol Channing, actress.
Bill Cosby, actor.
Jane Fonda, actress.
Steve McQueen, actor.
Joe Namath, New York Giants; businessman; actor.
Paul Newman, actor.
Gregory Peck, actor.
Tony Randall, actor.
Barbra Streisand, actress.
Dick Gregory [comedian].
Charles B. Beneson, President, Beneson Realty Co.
Nelson Bengston, President, Bengston & Co.
Holmes Brown, Vice President, Public Relations, Continental Can Co.
Benjamin Buttenweiser, Limited Partner, Kuhn Loeb & Co.
Lawrence G. Chait, Chairman, Lawrence G. Chait & Co., Inc
Ernest R. Chanes, President, Consolidated Water Conditioning Co.
Maxwell Dane, Chairman, Exec. Committee, Doyle, Dane & Bernbach, Inc.
Charles H. Dyson, Chairman, The Dyson-Kissner Corp.
Norman Eisner, President, Lincoln Graphic Arts.
Charles B. Finch, Vice President, Alleghany Power System, Inc.
Frank Heineman, President, Men's Wear International.
George Hillman, President, Ellery Products Manufacturing Co.
Bertram Lichtenstein, President, Delton Ltd.
William Manealoff, President, Concord Steel Corp.
Gerald McKee, President, McKee, Berger, Mansueto.
Paul Milstein, President, Circle Industries Corp.
Stewart R. Mott, Stewart R. Mott, Associates.
Lawrence S. Phillips, President, Phillips-Van Heusen Corp.
David Rose, Chairman, Rose Associates.
Julian Roth, Senior Partner, Emery Roth & Sons.
William Ruder, President, Ruder & Finn, Inc.
Si Scharer, President, Scharer Associates, Inc.
Alfred P. Slaner, President, Kayser-Roth Corp.
Roger Sonnabend, Chairman, Sonesta International Hotels.
Business Executives Move for Vietnam Peace and New National Priorities Cont:
Morton Sweig, President. National Cleaning Contractors
Alan V. Tishman, Exec. VP, Tishman Realty & Construction Co., Inc.
Ira D. Wallach, President, Gottesman & Co., Inc.
George Weissman, President, Philip Morris Corp.
Ralph Weller, President, Otis Elevator Company
Clifford Alexander, Jr., Member, Equal Opportunity Comm.; LBJ's Spec. Assistant.
Hugh Calkins, Cleveland lawyer, member, Harvard Corporation.
Ramsey Clark, partner, Weiss, Goldberg, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; former Attorney General.
Lloyd Cutler, lawyer, Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, Washington, D.C.
Henry L. Kimelman, chief fund raiser for McGovern; Pres., Overview Group.
Raymond Lapin, former Pres., FNMA; corporation executive.
Hans F. Loeser, Chairman, Boston Lawyers' Vietnam Committee.
Robert McNamara, President, World Bank; former Secretary of Defense.
Hans Morgenthau, former US. Attorney in New York City
Victor Palmieri, lawyer, business consultant, real estate exec., Los Angeles.
Arnold Picker, Muskie's chief fund raiser; Chmn. Exec. Comm., United Artists.
Robert S. Pirie, Harold Hughes' chief fund raiser; Boston lawyer.
Joseph Rosenfield, Harold Hughes' money man; retired Des Moines lawyer.
Henry Rowen, Pres., Rand Corp., former Asst. Director of Budget (LBJ)
R. Sargent Shriver, Jr.
Theodore Sorensen, lawyer, Weiss, Goldberg, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, New York.
Ray Stark, Broadway producer.
Howard Stein, President and Director, Dreyfus Corporation.
Milton Semer, Chairman, Muskie Election Committee; lawyer, Semer and Jacobsen.
George H. Talbot, Pres., Charlotte Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. ; headed anti-VN ad.
Arthur Taylor, Vice President, International Paper Company.
Jack Valenti, President, Motion Picture Association.
Paul Warnke, Muskie financial supporter, former Asst. Secy. of Defense.
Thomas J. Watson, Jr., Muskie financial supporter; Chmn., IBM.
Michael Ellis De Bakey, Chmn., Dept. Surgery, Baylor University; Surgeon-in-chief, Ben Taub General Hospital, Texas
Derek Curtis Bok, Dean, Harvard Law School.
Kingman Brewster, Jr., President, Yale University.
McGeorge Bundy, President, Ford Foundation.
Avram Noam Chomsky, Professor of Modern Languages, MIT.
Daniel Ellsberg, Professor, MIT.
George Drennen Fischer, Member, Executive Committee. National Education Assn.
J. Kenneth Galbraith, Professor of Economics, Harvard.
Patricia Harris, educator, lawyer, former U.S. ambassador; Chmn Welfare Committee Urban League.
Walter Heller, Regents Professor of Economics.
Edwin Land, Professor of Physics, MIT.
Herbert Ley, Jr., former FDA Commissioner; Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard.
Matthew Stanley Meselson, Professor of Biology, Harvard.
Lloyd N. Morrisett, Professor and Associate Dir., Education Program, U. of Calif.
Joseph Rhodes, Jr., Fellow, Harvard; Member, Scranton Comm. on Campus Unrest.
Bayard Rustin, civil rights activist; Dir., A. Philip Randolph Institute, New York.
David Selden, President, American Federation of Teachers.
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Professor of Humanities, City University of New York.
Jeremy Stone, Director, Federation of American Scientists.
Jerome Wiesner, President, MIT.
Samuel M. Lambert, Pres., National Education Assn.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

D&D Print-on-Demand


It's probably already blowing up your news feed (I saw it over at the Tavern), but Wizards of the Coast is slowly rolling out their backlog of D&D pdfs in print-on-demand format.  They have a smattering at the moment (only 19) — a handful of books for Basic/Expert, 1e, 2e, and 5e — but the plan is evidently to roll out more each week.  Check 'em out!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fifth Edition Hirelings from the Walfismeer

In my long-running D&D game, I introduced two hirelings using rules and setting material from Clint and Cassie Krause's Driftwood Verses.  (You can read about Geverspike and 254 over on the Crux of Eternity wiki.)  They are adventurers who left their grim homelands to find their fortune elsewhere.  (And, in the case of Geverspike, hopefully get away from the wretched ways of his slaving kin.)  If you want to introduce them as hirelings in your D&D 5e game, their statistics follow.

If you prefer, they are available in .doc format, and have been formatted to print on a 4"×6" index card.  Download here.

Geverspike the Blattarian
Medium humanoid, chaotic neutral
Armor Class 13 (15 when wielding 1 shield, 17 when wielding 2 shields)
Hit Points 42 (7d8+14)
Speed 30 ft.
Str 13 (+1), Dex 17 (+3), Con 15 (+2), Int 11 (+0), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 10 (+0)
Saving Throws Str +3, Con +4
Skills Athletics +3, Insight +3, Perception +3, Survival +3
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Common
Challenge 1 (200 XP)
Hideous.  Blattarians gain advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) rolls against humans and demihumans, but they gain disadvantage on all other Charisma rolls against such creatures.
Limited Flight.  Blattarians have a fly speed of 30 feet, but must land between each such movement.
Squishy.  Blattarians cannot wear armor, although they can wield up to two shields.
Multiattack.  A Blattarian can attack with up to four equipped weapons.
Matchlock Pistol.  Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 30/90 ft., one target.  Hit: 8 (1d10+3) piercing damage.  Rules for early modern firearms are in the DMG, pg. 267-277.
Scimitar.  Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.  Hit: 4 (1d6+1) slashing damage.

254 the Vassal
Medium humanoid, neutral
Armor Class 13 (studded leather armor)
Hit Points 35 (5d10+10)
Speed 30 ft.
Str 15 (+2), Dex 12 (+1), Con 15 (+2), Int 8 (-1), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 10 (+0)
Saving Throws Str +4, Con +4
Skills Athletics +4, Insight +3, Stealth +3, Survival +3
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Common
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)
Bearer of Burdens.  A Vassal’s carrying capacity is doubled as if it were a Large creature.
Iron Stomach.  Vassals are capable of ingesting just about anything without getting sick.
Underfoot.  Vassals gain advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) rolls.
Cowering Cur.  If a Vassal spends a round cowering rather than attacking, next round, creatures must make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw to attack the pitiful creature.
Greatclub.  Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.  Hit: 4 (1d8+2) bludgeoning damage.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Hundred [mass]Acre Deathcrawl

In case you've been missing it, Randy Andrews has been posting animal classes for Dungeon Crawl Classics (we have a chicken, goat, and bear thus far).  [Edit: Rat added November 5, 2016.]  In a conversation on Google+, I made reference to a "Thousand Acre Deathcrawl," then stormed a brain and this fell out.  I hope to expand on it shortly, but this should be enough to get you started.  And sincerest apologies to A. A. Milne.

If you prefer things in portable pdf, download it here.

The Hundred Akers' Copse.  Click to enlarge.
Compare and contrast with this facsimile of A. A. Milne's Hundred Acre Wood.
Many years ago, all hundred members of the Akers clan — a coven of mad criminals, slackjawed backwoodsmen, weird occultists — left for a wooded land, never to return to the lands of Men.  The place where they settled came to be known as the Hundred Akers' Copse, and wise men do not go there, for they pursued their fell research in that accursed place.  In the intervening years since the Akers left the lands of Men, the place has turned into an eldritch hellhole of demons and mutants.

And now, against all reason and sense, you're going inside.

The Goal: Like a lot of hexcrawls, there could be any number of "goals" — rescue a companion, grab treasure, learn a new spell, or just go into the toolbox and mess with stuff.  The straightforward goal is, "The musteloids have been stealing treasure from nearby settlements for years; there must be a king's ransom in their hideout (hex 08.19)."

The Lairs: I haven't fleshed out the lairs yet, but you can compare the two maps and determine roughly what could go in each lair — a barbearian in hex 02.11, the bunnyman clan in hex 15.06, mutant bees in hex 25.02, the musteloids in hex 08.19, possibly an owlbear in hex 26.14.  The last, lonely necromancer of the Akers clan lives in hex 34.22.  The sole civilized inhabitant, the Lord of Thrushes, is an Elf who guards these woods, warning away travelers; he lives in hex 35.10.

The Crawl: A hex is a couple of miles across (maybe two or three miles) and should take roughly an hour to cross.  Hexes that are a little harder to traverse (like grassy hills or marshes) take an hour and a half.  Difficult hexes (like dense forests) take two hours to cross.  Each day of travel, or each time you change terrain, roll 1d6.  On a "1," a random encounter appears from the random encounter table.

Random Encounters (roll 1d6):
1 — Hellephant
2 — Musteloids
3 — Bunnymen
4 — Giant beetles
5 — Mutant bees
6 — Namruu


Hellephant (type I demon): Init +2; Atk tusk +5 melee (2d6); AC 14; HD 4d12; MV 40’; Act 2d20; SP half-damage from non-magical weapons and fire, infravision, spells (+4 spell check): darkness, detect invisible, ESP; SV Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +4; AL C.

Hellephants are demons of greed somehow bound to the Prime Material Plane, specifically being trapped in the Hundred Akers’ Copse.  They can smell precious metals and gemstones, and they roam the land searching for these things, which they then eat.  (They care little for weapons or magic items, unless these things contain precious metals or gemstones as part of their construction.)  If they encounter any characters carrying such things, they will demand them; even minimal resistance is met with immediate and merciless violence.

Hellephants digest consumed valuables quickly, although there is a 10% chance that any given hellephant still contains precious items in its stomach, perhaps a handful of gold coins or a single gem.  (Of course, the beast’s killer can only determine this by splitting the stomach.)  Additionally, a hellephant’s bones have magic properties.  If pulverized and spread on a stick of natural wood, the holder can cast locate object for the next 1d4 days with a +4 spell check.  (If the holder is a wizard with the locate object spell, she gains a +4 bonus to her locate object spell checks for the duration.)  If used as a weapon, the arm and leg bones deal damage as a club, but are enchanted as if by a 16-17 result on sword magic (see DCCRPG, page 367).


Musteloid: Init +3; Atk bite +2 melee (1d8), dagger +2 (1d4); AC 13; HD 2d8; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP backstab +6, hide in shadows +4, sneak silently +6; SV Fort +0, Ref +3, Will +3; AL C.

Musteloids are strange, wiry weasel-men who inhabit the Hundred Akers’ Copse.  The mutant descendants of the original Akers clan, the musteloids have trained in secret among themselves as a den of thieves.  They roam the Copse in packs, trying to steal anything of value and return it to their lair.  There is a strong possibility that any given musteloid pack has recovered valuable items and is en route back to their hideout.  Musteloids are usually encountered in groups of 2-10.


Bunnymen are a degenerate tribe of cannibals also derived from the Akers clan.  They are so-called because they dress themselves in the skins of the slain as well as the hides of rabbits, and they frequently fashion distinctive caps with rabbit ears (or strips of flesh in a facsimile of the same).  Barely sapient anymore, they descend en masse upon anything that crosses their path, falling upon it with sticks and bones wielded as makeshift clubs.  Treat bunnymen as subhumans (DCCRPG, page 429).  Any group of ten or more is typically led by a berserker warchief (DCCRPG, page 433).  There is a 25% chance that a given pack of bunnymen will be riding giant beetles (DCCRPG, page 397) into battle.


Giant beetles are native to the Hundred Akers' Copse; in fact, a large nest of them is located in hex 21.10.  They typically burrow underground, although they can also be found traversing the plains themselves.  Specimens are often aggressive.  Some have been trained by the bunnymen as mounts.  Giant beetles are detailed on DCCRPG, page 397.  All varieties can be found in the Hundred Akers' Copse.


The strange energies of the wood have mutated a beehive in hex 25.02, and members of the hive constantly scour the landscape for both nectar and living meat.  There is an equal chance of encountering an insect swarm (DCCRPG, page 419) or a group of killer bees (DCCRPG, page 419).


The namruu are predatory cats that tend to hide in trees in the hopes of surprising passing prey.  They are strange and grotesque-looking with earth tone hides, and lean and skeletal appearances.  Namruu have the same statistics as giant lizards (DCCRPG, page 420).

Print Friendly