Archive for the 'Retroclone' Category


Cave Map for Deepfall Area

I purchased and downloaded the Fat Dragon Games – Copper Dragon: Caverns 1 PDF. They are cavern tiles, and they look awesome printed out. Printed a bunch out then mounted them to black foamboard. I cut them out and made a bunch of cavern tiles. I like the way they look, and that I can just lay one out as my players are exploring, dropping a new tile as they move further in. This map is a representation of the tiles laid out. It is also one of several caves in the Deepfall area of my campaign. It’s a random cave I can drop into the map depending on where the players go. I like most of this map, though I am not happy with the steps down to the next level. They just don’t work for me, need to make some adjustments for the next one.

Deepfall Cave Map: Number 1

Here is the tile layout of the map, using the Fat Dragon Cavern Tiles:

Fat Dragon Cavern tiles layed out.

Red Cap and The Haunted Tower: A peek into my own DM Notebook…!!!

Many, many years ago I bought a copy of Brian Froud’s book “Faeries”. One particular image stood out for me, along with his short backstory and that was Red Cap. I totally loved the concept of a hard core goblin regularly soaking his hat in human blood.

REDCAP is one of the most evil of the old border goblins. He lives in old ruined towers and castles, particularly those with a history of wickedness. He re-dies his red cap in human blood. Image from Brian Froud’s book “Faeries”

This image and the concept stewed inside my brain for years. In my current campaign I finally created Redcap, his minions Bladze, Stinger, and Chopper. Gave him two Dire Wolves, Chomper and Ripper. He became a reoccurring villain in the campaign. He harassed the characters several times over the course of several sessions. They totally hated him, they tracked him down to his lair in the haunted tower, where over the course of another two sessions they managed to finally kill him and his minions. I am sharing some images of the miniatures I used, along with my actual notes and maps of the first three levels of his lair as written in my DM notebook, warts and all.

Redcap and his minions, Bladze, Stinger, and Chopper. Miniatures are from Reaper Miniatures, hand painted by me, many years ago.
Chomper and Ripper, Redcap’s pet Dire Wolves. Reaper Miniatures painted last year by me.
A handful of Redcap’s Goblin Hordes (I have a lot of these that I used)! Games Workshop miniatures, painted like 20 years ago by me.
The Haunted Tower – Redcap’s Lair: Actual pages of my DM notebook for this adventure. I use a mash-up of old Holmes Bluebook rules with Advanced D&D rulebooks. (That and I make up a lot of shit as I go, so don’t get weird or butt hurt on me and my stats/rules)
Next Pages
Level 2
Next Pages
Level 3 and rules on the “Pit”
Next pages
Last page (I Think) for Level 3

Level 4 is the Big Happy Spikey Fun Ball maze, Level 5 is the caverns where Redcap makes his final stand against the party. I may post those up here on the blog at a later time, or maybe I should just type all this up and publish it as a PDF on RPG Drivethru sometime? What do you kids think? Would anyone in their right mind, actually pay for an adventure module like this? Comment and let me know what you think.

The doorway to the “Big Happy Spikey Fun Ball” Maze.
“Big Happy Spikey Fun Ball” Miniature from Privateer Press, painted by me.

…..A DYI Drop Table…..

I created this little DIY dice drop table last year, works well if you put it inside a game box lid, (keeps the dice from bouncing all over). You can fill out one for certain types of monsters, dungeon levels, or outdoor terrain areas. I don’t know if it is cheating or not, but I drew out the weapons larger on paper, then scanned them, reduced the image sizes and then cut and pasted them into the table. The label banners, I drew them up separate, until I liked them, then pasted them in as well. It was a fun exercise, and I hope you get to try them out. Email me a copy of any that you fill out, and I will post them here. In a pinch it could also serve as a quick battle mat although the squares are only 3/4 of inch when printed out as a PDF.  Just Click on the image below to download the PDF Version. Have fun with it and enjoy!


Here is an example of a filled out Dice Drop Table:




….”The Fantasy Trip Character Sheets” or “What does one post when they haven’t posted anything in 5 years”…….

It’s been way too long since I posted on this blog, time to fire it up again. Why did I stop posting here, I have no idea, but mostly I think I just got lazy. So anyways enough about that.

I found a really solid gaming group last spring, and for the first few months I did not have to DM. We played 5th edition and get together every Tuesday night. We have five regular players (including me) and four or five others that pop in and out. Then Kyle (Our DM) asked me to start up a campaign so he could play once in awhile. I told them we would go old school, using a mish-mash of the Holmes Blue Book and AD&D. They all originally started playing with the 4th edition I guess, so they really had no idea what to expect. I created a sandbox campaign and had them create characters (2 for each player in the beginning as I knew some would die, and they did). Turns out they really enjoy the old style rules and my campaign has been going strong ever since. I will be posting more on that in some later posts.

Today I am just posting some TFT (The Fantasy Trip) character sheets, I got the new boxed set from Steve Jackson Games Kickstarter. I remember seeing the game in the late 70’s early 80’s and I always thought it looked fun, but I never got a copy back then. I eventually picked up some original copies of Melee and Wizard on Ebay, but still had never played it. Once I received my new set, I was so happy to see the reverse side of the Mega Hexes were drawn by Dyson, that was a very cool surprise. Kudos Dyson! I brought the game to our group, and we gave it try. I just have to say WOW, we had so much fun, we play it quite regularly now. It’s fast, quick, and deadly perfect for winding done after a good session of D&D or those nights when not everyone can make it. We’ve had battles between Highlanders and Romans, Fighters and Orcs, Wizards battles, it’s a lot of fun to get creative with. I was inspired to make up my own character cards so here it is, the health boxes on the bottom are Dyson’s style of boxes, I copied his style, but I got his permission to post this first.  Click this link for a full sheet of for full PDF sheet of five cards for your own personal use, just print and cut them apart: Full Sheet 3×5 Cards

Our group like these cards more than ones in the game, and I have started on a new improved version as well. Enjoy.



….”Friday’s Mystery Meat”….Village Geomorphs w/ Rivers….

~ Attention. Here’s an update on tonight’s dinner. It was veal. I repeat, veal. The winner of tonight’s mystery meat contest is Jeffrey Corbin who guessed “some kind of beef.”~

Well, I somehow broke one of the pins to my USB connection on my printer/scanner…Damn!!! Even though it is a wireless device as well, I can not get the wireless part to work right now. In the past when it lost the wireless connection I would have to reload the drivers and the software using the USB cable to get the wireless functionality back. It was always such a hassle, I just quit using the wireless capability. Last night I spent a couple of hours working on it, I could see it on my laptop, but without the USB connection I could not get the driver to install properly for some dumb-ass reason. So I gave up for now, I will probably just have to buy a new one soon. Hell if I could just open the case (which I see no way of doing with out seriously breaking it apart) I could just solder a new USB connector onto the circuit board…problem solved. The good news is I can adjust some settings on a scanner at work so I can scan my stuff in until I get a new one, the bad news is I just spent $60 on new printer cartridges for the damned thing. Such is life, and if that is the worst thing that happened to me this week…then life is still pretty damned good.

I told you all this, because I wanted to post something else for this week’s “Friday Mystery Meat” but I could not scan it. So instead, I have this set of village geomorphs with a river, I really like how these turned out…and I have another set of these done as well. I created these for the new Village and City sets of Dungeonmorph Dice that Joe Wetzel started on Kickstarter, but we’re not sure we will be making a set of dice with rivers this time around. The first two drawings are just concept drawings for river geomorphs, I did them just to get my head wrapped around the best way to make rivers flow on geomorphs. Besides that I had a lot of fun drawing these, if anyone wants the PDF’s for these let me know and I will link them up. I am not sure if they would be of any use for gaming but I do love how the second one looks for some odd reason…it was just fun for me.

First drawing of River Geomorphs Concepts: This one I do not like so much.


Second Concept Drawing of River Geomorph concepts: This one I like so much more, its much more organic, and for what it’s worth….I really enjoyed drawing this….!!!!


 And finally here are the Village with Rivers Geomorphs, click on the image for a full page PDF. As always, Enjoy!



….Megamorph-4….Something Different….

This Megamorph was totally inspired by the first (or was it the second one..?) Hobbit movie, the scene when they are running through the goblin caves on all the rickety wooden platforms. In my mind when I started this, it seemed like it would be really awesome, but it did not turn out that way in my humble opinion. After some trial runs at drawing the wooden bridges/pathways I found a great way to depict them….which I plan to share in the future. But the combination of the wood bridges with the style in which I do my crevasses just gets too damned busy and doesn’t work for me visually. I can see that they would look really great over some water or less busy spaces, just not so much with my crevasse style. Even though the final drawing doesn’t work for me so much, it was really a lot of fun to draw, and is sort fun to look at. If anyone has any suggestions on how to make it work better with my style of crevasses (Which I like too much to ever change) please let me know. One idea I have had is to keep them more at right angles to the cliff faces, to break up the lines a bit more. Anyway, let me know what you all think.

Click on the image for a full page PDF, and as always enjoy!



Friday’s….”Mystery Meat”……MegaMorphs, Finally back at it again….!!

~ Attention. Here’s an update on tonight’s dinner. It was veal. I repeat, veal. The winner of tonight’s mystery meat contest is Jeffrey Corbin who guessed “some kind of beef.”~

     It’s been a very, very long time since I posted anything here, lets face it, I just suck at blogging. That being said, I have still been drawing, still creating….I haven’t quit. Between two jobs, 3 kids (two of which are in college now and my baby is now a junior in High School) throw in my 53 pounds of tail wagging dumb-ass named Sierra and voila, I have just been very busy for awhile now. I am also working on a new project that will be announced in the near future. Enough about that, I took the whole geomorph concept a little further, with megamorphs. These are very large geomorphs that can be used with the standard 10 x 10 ones. I have done this before on a smaller scale Here. These new ones are just larger, more room for me to play with, and less predictability for players who may have gotten used to standard geomorphs. Here is my first one, just some large long hallways, with some caves underneath. I am not sure what the hell I was thinking when I put a trap in the middle of the main hallway! Must have seemed like a good idea at the time….oh well!

Update: Chakat Firepaw, had this to say about my random-ass trap in the middle of the main hallway. I really loved his take on it so I am updating the post with it. Many Thanks to Firepaw for this!

Quoting Chakat Firepaw:

     “Presuming that the trap was intentionally placed, and does not represent a weak spot in the floor, I can see a reason for it:

It was intended, first and foremost, as a secret access to the cave below. At some point it was re-purposed to serve as a trap either to specifically target something like a ceremonial procession or on the basis of a badly placed trap still being better than no trap.”

For a full page PDF of this just click on the image. As always, Enjoy!!



The Hidden Tomb of Slaggoth The Necromancer by Nick Whelan

    Awhile back I posted a map, The Hidden Tomb of Slaggoth the Necromancer, Nick Whelan at Paper and Pencils contacted me and asked if he could write up a module for it.  Like everything I post here, it’s free to be used by anyone so long as I get the credit for it.  We emailed back and forth, but this is totally his work, all I did was draw the map that inspired him. Nick and his cohorts did a great job putting it all together.  It was a lot fun getting the rough drafts as he worked on it, seeing the artwork added to it as it progressed.  It is absolutely fascinating for me to see what someone else does with one of my maps. I love the cover art, and there is a picture of the rope bridge on page 7 that was a perfect match to what I saw in my mind when I drew it on the map.   Nick wanted me to post his module here as well, so click this link to download it.  It’s free, and I’d love to hear what anyone thinks of it.  Great Job Nick, I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Slaggoth Cover


….The Moldvay Experiment Part: 1….

   I created this map, keyed it and stocked it over a year ago. I read in a few different blogs about the little chart for stocking a dungeon in the Moldvay Basic Dungeons and Dragons red book on page B52. So I dug out my old copy of the book and looked it up. Back in the day, we played mostly a mish-mash of rules from the Holmes blue book and AD&D, I acquired the Moldvay books later on and probably mashed in a few rules from them as well.

   My intention was to create a random dungeon stocked randomly using only the red book basic rules, I was going to randomly generate the dungeon using the tables in the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide, but quickly scraped that way of making a dungeon. Just too complex for my simple mind. I just started drawing out some random rooms, then began to stock them using nothing but charts in Moldvay’s Basic D&D book. I generated the contents of the rooms using just the “Stock the Dungeon” chart, since it was basically a first level dungeon, I used only the “Wandering Monsters Level 1” chart on page B53, rolling a 20-sided dice to determine the monsters. If there were monsters, I used the “Treasure Types” chart on pages B45 and B46 to determine the treasures. Using treasure charts was something I almost never did in the old days. For specials, room traps and treasure traps, I just rolled on the appropriate lists on page B52. 

    I stayed faithful to the charts in the book, just rolling the dice and letting the results fall where they may. It was an enjoyable experience, taking those random rolls and coming up with descriptions for each room. It seemed like each time I rolled, my imagination went into overdrive to picture the scene. For example in room 5, I rolled up 7 Traders, looking at the L-shaped room I originally drew, I pictured it to be a blacksmith workshop, the traders were hiding in there, recovering from a previous encounter that did not go so well. I saw them as being lost in the dungeon and in their current condition, could be friend or foe to a party entering the room. A perfect little back story for some completely random rolls. I did deviate once from the charts, when I rolled up the wolves in room 8, I pictured the iron cage that they had somehow escaped from only to be trapped in the room itself. Since they had been trapped in this room for so long, I decided that the wolves needed something to eat to have survived that long in the room. So I added some giant rats and the rat tunnels for those poor trapped wolves.

   I left some open passages so I can come back and expand on this thing in a part 2, level 2 (or more). This was a fun experiment for me, I am glad to finally getting around to posting it. I hope you all enjoy it as well. Click on the map image for a complete 4 page PDF, which includes the map and all the room descriptions. Below the map image are the room descriptions as well. Peace Out!

Moldvay Experiment-Final

Room 1: “As you get to the bottom of the long winding stairs, the room opens up; the walls go up at least 30’ to the ceiling. The air is stale and quite still. A thick layer of dust covers everything. Something moves in the opposite corner of the room…”

Rock Python:

AC: 6

HD: 5

HP: 23

Damage: Bite 1-4 / Squeeze 2-8 / round

Move: 90’ (30’)

Save: F:3

Morale: 8

   In the room there is a heavy round wooden table with three creaky wooden chairs around it. In the corner are some wooden crates and barrels.

Crate 1: Rotten apples.

Crate 2: Moldy, crusty loaves of bread.

Crate 3: Empty.

Barrel 1: Old red wine, tastes like vinegar.

Barrel 2: Stagnant, putrid water.

Barrel 3: Oil soaked rags at the bottom.

(Useful for torches)

treasure: None

Room 2: “This smaller room has a low two foot high pool in the very center of the room. The pool is filled with a very clear sky blue liquid that sparkles from the light of your torches. At one end of the room is a rounded stone bench along the length of the wall, it is covered with ratty, dusty animal skins.”

   The liquid grants levitation to any who drink it. It can be stored and carried from the room, in small amounts. Upon returning to the room there is only a 20% chance the liquid will be in the pool.

Treasure: None

Room 3: “This room has a large chest covered in dust and cobwebs against the wall opposite of the door. There are also two human/humanoid skeletons along with their rusty weapons and armor lying on the dust-covered floor.”

   A pressure plate in the center 10’ floor section sets off a spring dart trap from the north wall, firing one dart for 1-4 points of damage. The chest contains 59 CP.

 Treasure: 59 CP

 Room 4: “Inside this dark and musty rooms a wooden table with two wood benches, one of which is overturned. There are also two barrels filled with brackish, stagnant water.”

 Barrel 1: Nothing

Barrel 2: 7 SP, 23 CP, under the sludge at the bottom of the barrel.

 Treasure: None (Other than what’s in Barrel 2)

Room 5: “The smell of smoke, coal and metal permeates this room. The light of your torches reveal work benches, stools and various tools scattered about. The room branches off to the left where you see an overturned table. A stern voice yells out, “Stop where ye stand, lest these arrows stick ye like a pig!”

    A large party of fur and pelt traders is holed up here, some badly wounded from a previous encounter. They entered the dungeon and can’t find their way back out. They are not looking for a fight, but will defend themselves if attacked or provoked. HP in parentheses are current HP. There are six human traders and one halfling trader.

 7 Traders:

HD: 1

Move: Human 120’ (40’) Halfling 90’ (30’)

Save: F1

Morale: 7

 Maximus: AC: 6, HP: 7, Short Sword 1d6

Flavius: AC: 7, HP: 6 (4), Short Sword 1d6

Claudius: AC: 7, HP: 5 (3), Battle Axe 1d8

Marcus: AC: 7. HP: 4 (2), Spear 1d6

Octavius: AC: 7, HP: 4, Spear 1d6

Quintus: AC: 7, HP: 3, Mace 1d6

Bob (Halfling): AC: 7, HP: 1, Dagger 1d4

Treasure: 1 potion (Levitation), 1 potion (Growth), 1 gold bracer set with sapphires and garnets (800 GP), 1 mithril neckchain set with a large emerald and two smaller amethysts (700 GP), 95 SP, 19 CP.

 Room 6: “The ceiling in this room rises 30’ high, supported by 4 large stone columns. It is dusty and very cold in here.”

 This room is empty.

 Treasure: None

Room 7: “The only thing in this room is a waist-high, circular stone pedestal. An object rests on top of the pedestal sparkling in the torchlight.”

   On top of the pedestal is a fist sized clear gem (diamond). If it is picked up, a brilliant flash of light erupts from it blinding everyone in the room (Save vs. Spells) for 1d8 turns. The gem is actually an illusion cast on a fist sized rock. On top of the pedestal where the rock was is a small disc of metal set into the stone. If the metal disk is depressed, a secret compartment on the front side of the pedestal opens up, spilling out 400 SP. Roll immediately for wandering monsters.

 Treasure: 400 SP

 Trap 7a: “Torchlight down this corridor, reveals a dead-end.”

   A large stone block falls from the ceiling if anyone steps into the last 10’ section of the corridor. Any character in that section of corridor must (Save vs, Turned to Stone) or take 1d10 points of damage.

 Treasure: None

 Room 8: “Strong smells of musk, fur, urine & feces assault the senses when the door to this room is opened. To one side there is an opened iron-barred cage, with a humanoid skeleton in the corner. On the other side are puddles of water and small 2’ to 3’ skeletons of some kind. In the darkness ahead, low growling begins to start…”

 4 Wolves:

AC: 7

HD: 2+2

HP: 14, 11, 11, 8

Damage: Bite 1d6

Move: 180’ (60’)

Save: F:1

Morale: 8

    The wolves will fight only long enough to escape the room at the first opportunity. The skeleton in the iron-barred cage is human, his battle axe rusting by his side. The smaller skeletons are giant rats that the wolves caught and ate from the rat tunnel that opens into the room. The water puddles are from water trickling down the stone walls.

 Treasure: None

 Rat Tunnels 9: “A small 2’ to 3’ tunnel leads into darkness…”

     These tunnels are quite small, only 2’ to 3’ wide, opening occasionally into wider tunnels. A human trying to crawl through these tunnels will have a 10% chance of getting stuck per turn cumulative. IE: Turn 1: 10% chance, Turn 2: 20% chance. These tunnels are the lair of three giant rats.

3 Giant Rats:

AC: 7

HD: 1d4

HP: 3, 3, 2

Damage: 1d3 + Disease

Move: 120’ (40’)

Save: F:1

Morale: 8

 Treasure: In the cave marked x, buried in a hole.

A necklace set with emeralds (1200 GP), Fire opal encrusted dagger with a silver blade (400 GP).

 Room 10: “Once the secret door is discovered and opened, a swarm of angry, buzzing flying creatures try to attack, from the small 10’ x 10’ room.”

 9 Stirges:

AC: 7

HD: 1*

HP: 8, 7, 7, 6, 6, 6, 6, 5, 5

Damage: 1d3 After a successful attack, attaches and sucks blood for 1-3 points of damage per round. Flying stirges gain +2 on first “to hit” roll due to speed.

Move: 30’ (10’) Flying 180’ (60’)

Save: F:2

Morale: 9

 Treasure: None

 Room 11: “In this small 10’ x 10’ room a grotesque demon face is carved into the stone wall. It is about two feet high, and is about-face hight from the floor on the wall opposite of the door. The mouth of the demon face is a dark opening, behind it’s wicked fangs.”

    If the demon face carving is touched, a stream of noxious purple gas billows forth from the mouth. Anyone in the room must (Save vs. Poison) or die.

 Treasure: None


The Hidden Tomb of Slaggoth the Necromancer…

     The long lost Tomb of the evil necromancer Slaggoth, is buried deep with in a cavern complex. The caves have become the home of a trio of ogres and their band of goblin henchmen. The goblins guard the entrance by watching through a small crack in the rock above the entrance, alerting the other goblins when anyone approaches the entrance. The goblins will then unleash a small pack of wolves that they have chained in the front caves against the intruders. If the wolves are not enough to repel the intruders, the goblins will send a runner across the wooden rope bridge to the ogre lair to warn their masters and will use ambush and retreat tactics to slow down the intruders. In the ogre cave is a massive steel door that leads to the hidden tome of the evil Necromancer Slaggoth. They have never been able to breach the door, so the tomb has remained untouched. Rumors of a key to the steel door is hidden somewhere in the caves, but has yet to be found. What horrers lie within Slaggoth’s tomb? Who is brave enough or foolhardy enough to find out?

     This is another new map I drew over the last two days. Click on the imge for a full page PDF, as always enjoy.

Slaggoth Tomb

Village Morph Dice

Dyson’s Delves

Heros and Other Worlds

Zak S. Vornheim

About this blog

    This blog came into being after I discovered the OSR blog scene. I was inspired by Dyson Logos and his blog, specifically his geomorph project. Check out his awesome work: "Dyson's Dodecahedron" The style and the simple elegance of his 10 x 10 squares put me on a mapping roll. I have blatently (...and respectfully) emulated his style and now have pages upon pages of geomorphs. Along with more location specific maps in that same style.

   My intent for this blog is for it to be more than just maps and geomorphs. However, for now, I'm just enjoying this burst of creativity inspired by Dyson and the entire OSR community.

RSS Dyson’s Dodecahedron

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Society of Torch, Pole & Rope

RSS Risus Monkey

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Sword & Shield

  • DIE 20! April 4, 2020 (Unknown)

RSS Green Skeleton Gaming Guild

RSS …lapsus calumni

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Jeff’s Gameblog

RSS Dungeon of Signs

RSS Playing D&D with Pornstars

June 2022

Blog Stats

  • 96,390 hits