Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Zombie Terror

Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

Although zombies may be a bit overplayed here in the prime material plane, the actual idea of fighting a zombie must be terrifying.

Let’s imagine we are the standard 1st-level party playing themselves AD&D: we have a cleric with a mace, a fighter with scale mail and a battle axe, a ranger with a bow and 15 arrows, a thief who isn’t good yet, and a magic-user with feather fall he can use once a day. We are stumbling through a local tomb and run into 3-24 zombies. Our very by-the-book DM rolls his eight-sided die and there we go: 19 zombies.

Yes, we always get initiative. Yes, our cleric might have a chance to turn 1-4 of them, and the thief can hide in shadow and backstab for double damage, and the ranger can shoot arrows into three of them, and the fighter can chop up a couple, but that leaves somewhere between nine and ten of them left. Our fighter is only two hits away from being dead, and once he goes down, it is all over.

Take Sides

Saturday, October 22nd, 2022

Who ya got: Hobgoblins or goblins?

On one side, we have representatives of the leg breakers, the skull smashers, and the slow killers. Best dressed, in my opinion, of the humanoids with their fondness for bright, bloody colors and black leather. Not many members of the slow killers showing up to melee wearing khakis or anything earth tone. They do, however, enjoy living underground, which maybe explains the colors. That way, when the inevitable cave-in happens, someone can find you.

On the other side, we have the children of the soil, the true offspring of Maglubiyet, goblins. One step, at least, up the social organization ladder than kobolds, and significantly more likely have taken a bath in the last two year. Two steps down, at least, from flinds, who tell gnolls what to do, and we all know what gnolls do to goblins. Goblins also can live underground, and they are probably even less disciplined miners than hobgoblins, so their version of OSHA is undoubtedly quite busy.  

Me? I am taking the easy way out and going with the duergar.

Occult Burials

Friday, October 21st, 2022

I never was much into clerics as a player, but they are quite useful when you are actually on adventure of them what with their healing and so on. Since I have been reading the AD&D 1st-edition core books this time through with more nuanced eyes, I have found another something out about clerics.

In the few times I played a cleric, never once did I use Speak with the Dead. Sticks to Snakes? Yes. Curse? Yes. Speaking with a pile of bones? Never. Upon rereading the spell, I noted that if I somehow got to 21st-level, I could ask seven questions of someone dead 1,000 years. That is a long time.

Still wouldn’t use it. If I am a 21st-level cleric, I got better things to do. Like spending time on the astral plane with five of my closest friends, thanks to my astral spell.

Merzotna Potrova

Friday, October 21st, 2022

It isn’t surprising that berserker is a Perverse Osmosis song, an entry in the Monster Manual, a subclass in later D&D, and probably a whole lot of other stuff. The berserker has a thing–going berserk. After that, who knows? Sometimes awesome, sometimes not. To quote my own band, “Friend or foe//No one knows.”

In looking at the Monster Manual, I noticed that they arrive in groups of 10-100. Take a moment and think about that. If you had a true by-the-book DM making this encounter, they would roll their two ten-sided dice, see the results, and you might find your merry band of a couple 3rd-level magic users, two 4th-level clerics, and a 5th-level fighter or thief about to get berserked by 65 berserkers. Although most of them have low hit points, any band of 60 or more has 10th-level fighter with two 7th -level underlings leading the charge. There also is a good chance that there will be a 7th-level berserker cleric with underlings.

I am not disparaging any man, beast, halfling, half-halfling, or anything, but hold person, four or five magic missiles, and splint mail+1 aren’t going to hold up against this berserker tribe. It doesn’t really say if you can surrender to berserkers, but they are of human intelligence [I mean, they do fall under “men” in the Manual] so I bet you could. They would take all your stuff except the splint armor since they scorn it.

Death Uncaged

Also, real life greetings to our friends in Merzotna Potrova. They are living in Kyiv right now, so it is obviously quite complicated living there. Here’s hoping that our Ukrainian brothers and sisters are alive and well and thrashing.

Well I Seldom

Tuesday, October 18th, 2022

I have been reading the Monster Manual, Fiend Folio, and Monster Manual II for almost 40 solar cycles. Only today did I realize that Fiend Folio is very anti-demon and anti-devil, despite its well-earned reputation as the book with almost no good monsters.

Demon: Lolth
Devil: Styx

That’s is it, my friends, that is it. There are as many demons are there are dire corbies or doombats.

Never crossed my mind until today. Part of the reason is how much space is given to the demon amulet. Easily could have put two other actual demons in that space or one with a rad picture.

I can jump 40 feet