Dolmenwood & Necrotic Gnome Productions

Voros

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There's a great sale on all the Dolemwood Wormskin zines and material on RPGNow, including pdf only or pdf and print.

Might as well make this our Necrotic Gnome Productions thread as well, to discuss the B/X Essentials releases. The B/X Monsters release will be out any day now, Gavin shared the cover recently.

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Baulderstone

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Figures it would happen when I am tight on cash. I have everything in PDF, but I'd be happy to have all this stuff in print as well.
 

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Baulderstone

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Tell me more about it. What issues of Wormskin are worth getting? Anything else from them worth picking up?
I'd say they are all worth getting. The magazine covers the area known as Dolmenwood, which is small enough to make it relatively easy to insert into the campaign of your choice. Its a fairy forest with a number of factions present. A typical issue will introduce new classes of the area, provide information on a faction there, introduce new monsters, and describe local flora and its properties. There referee's map is free here. It uses the B/X rules.

It's the kind of thing where if you like one, you will want them all.
 

Nick J

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For what it's worth, I'm adapting the setting for Elric!/Magic World with a dash of Renaissance firearms thrown in. I'm reshuffling many of the politics and factions to my taste, but it's a remarkably good fit. Luckily for me, Mr. Norman has focused less so on mechanical widgets, and really poured his effort into evocative hex descriptions, NPCs, and the tone.
 

Ronnie Sanford

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For what it's worth, I'm adapting the setting for Elric!/Magic World with a dash of Renaissance firearms thrown in. I'm reshuffling many of the politics and factions to my taste, but it's a remarkably good fit. Luckily for me, Mr. Norman has focused less so on mechanical widgets, and really poured his effort into evocative hex descriptions, NPCs, and the tone.
Tell us more! Oh by the way it’s nice to see another Magic World player. That and CoC are pretty much all we play these days!
 

Nick J

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Tell us more! Oh by the way it’s nice to see another Magic World player. That and CoC are pretty much all we play these days!
Hmmm, it's about a 9 page conversion document at the moment. Mostly I just altered character creation to account for the new cultures/species. I give my own take on a Magic World Grimalkin, divide Highwolders and Brackenwolders into their own distinct ethnic groups with slightly different cultural skills. Sort of codified the various magic traditions: Witchcraft=BRP Witchcraft, Drune=Modified Deep Magic (and they are almost exclusively an NPC faction), Dwarves are Runecasters, fairies use Fey Magic from Advanced Sorcery, "Elves" as PCs are more like the Halflings from Jack Vance's Lyonesse novels; essentially indistinguishable from normal humans, but with some fey blood and some latent magical powers (Elves as Gavin Norman lays them out are far more fey and I borrowed heavily from the Sidhe in Val-du-Loup). The Church of the One True God is a faux-christian, "Thirty Years War" religion that is staunchly anti-magical/anti-heretical, a little corrupt, and borrows heavy inspiration from movies like The Witchfinder General. Toss in some Cakebread & Walton Renaissance firearm rules and season to taste.

I didn't imagine it being of interest to anybody else but myself, but when I'm done ironing out the kinks I'd be happy to share it with you or anybody else (I've also been working on a version of my form-fillable character sheet tailored for the aforementioned species/cultures, that will automatically fill in the notes section with the appropriate skill adjustments, special abilities, and rules alterations to hopefully cut down on having to flip through a rules document during play, but it's not quite done yet.)
 

TristramEvans

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The concept here really interests me, even though I probably don't play any of the games it's written for (I get the impression it's statted for OSR?). But may pick up for the background/fluff alone, though it's certainly out of this month's budget, what with the Hellboy KS and two other Kickstarters ending in the next two weeks, and the usual flurry of ebay purchases...
 

Ronnie Sanford

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Hmmm, it's about a 9 page conversion document at the moment. Mostly I just altered character creation to account for the new cultures/species. I give my own take on a Magic World Grimalkin, divide Highwolders and Brackenwolders into their own distinct ethnic groups with slightly different cultural skills. Sort of codified the various magic traditions: Witchcraft=BRP Witchcraft, Drune=Modified Deep Magic (and they are almost exclusively an NPC faction), Dwarves are Runecasters, fairies use Fey Magic from Advanced Sorcery, "Elves" as PCs are more like the Halflings from Jack Vance's Lyonesse novels; essentially indistinguishable from normal humans, but with some fey blood and some latent magical powers (Elves as Gavin Norman lays them out are far more fey and I borrowed heavily from the Sidhe in Val-du-Loup). The Church of the One True God is a faux-christian, "Thirty Years War" religion that is staunchly anti-magical/anti-heretical, a little corrupt, and borrows heavy inspiration from movies like The Witchfinder General. Toss in some Cakebread & Walton Renaissance firearm rules and season to taste.

I didn't imagine it being of interest to anybody else but myself, but when I'm done ironing out the kinks I'd be happy to share it with you or anybody else (I've also been working on a version of my form-fillable character sheet tailored for the aforementioned species/cultures, that will automatically fill in the notes section with the appropriate skill adjustments, special abilities, and rules alterations to hopefully cut down on having to flip through a rules document during play, but it's not quite done yet.)
Very interesting! Did you make Deep Magic for NPCs only for balance reasons? In one of our long (2 years playing every week) Magic World campaigns we use Deep Magic (heavily modified) and it definitely changes the tone of the game. Wizards are just SOO powerful
 

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The concept here really interests me, even though I probably don't play any of the games it's written for (I get the impression it's statted for OSR?). But may pick up for the background/fluff alone, though it's certainly out of this month's budget, what with the Hellboy KS and two other Kickstarters ending in the next two weeks, and the usual flurry of ebay purchases...
It is statted for B/X, but that's such a stat light version of D&D, that there is plenty of non-mechanical content to convert to something else. If the setting looks good to someone, I'd recommend it regardless of the system they wanted to use it for.
 

Nick J

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Very interesting! Did you make Deep Magic for NPCs only for balance reasons? In one of our long (2 years playing every week) Magic World campaigns we use Deep Magic (heavily modified) and it definitely changes the tone of the game. Wizards are just SOO powerful
I'll still allow Deep Magic for PCs although,I have some tweaks in mind for the next phase of our campaign: I'd like to make Deep Magic a skill (INT-based,starts at 0%) and only once that skill gets to 101+ (arete) can they specialize in additional glyphs and/or spheres (limited by the number of effects on the Effect Die Table from pg. 105 Advanced Sorcery). I'm also going to include a fumble table (inspired by your Second Way magic system and an irrational love of Dungeon Crawl Classics magic). I think this will give a greater sense of progression, and adds an element of risk (for potentially greater rewards) compared to the formulaic and predictable Sorcery system.

For the Drune it's more about what they can specialize in: (the spheres: Earth, Fire, Flora and Spirit, as well as the glyphs: Transmutation, Direction, Summoning and Dismissal are easier for them to work than others). A Drune Occupation skill list would probably be something like: Casting, Disguise, Nature, Navigate, Potions, World Lore, Move Quietly and one personal choice. For a PC to ever play a drune would have to be a very special case, and the player would know up front that there is a price on their head.
 

Ronnie Sanford

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I'll still allow Deep Magic for PCs although,I have some tweaks in mind for the next phase of our campaign: I'd like to make Deep Magic a skill (INT-based,starts at 0%) and only once that skill gets to 101+ (arete) can they specialize in additional glyphs and/or spheres (limited by the number of effects on the Effect Die Table from pg. 105 Advanced Sorcery). I'm also going to include a fumble table (inspired by your Second Way magic system and an irrational love of Dungeon Crawl Classics magic). I think this will give a greater sense of progression, and adds an element of risk (for potentially greater rewards) compared to the formulaic and predictable Sorcery system.

For the Drune it's more about what they can specialize in: (the spheres: Earth, Fire, Flora and Spirit, as well as the glyphs: Transmutation, Direction, Summoning and Dismissal are easier for them to work than others). A Drune Occupation skill list would probably be something like: Casting, Disguise, Nature, Navigate, Potions, World Lore, Move Quietly and one personal choice. For a PC to ever play a drune would have to be a very special case, and the player would know up front that there is a price on their head.
I love hearing about people using Deep Magic. It doesn’t get enough love. Have you ever read Enlightened Magic by John Snead? I am incorporating his rules in a CoC game that I’m looking forward to. I hoping to add a world of darkness kind of feel.
 
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Ronnie Sanford

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I haven't read it . . . I suppose it's time to check Chaosium/eBay/DriveThru/Amazon.
I have highly praised Enlightened Magic on other forums but know that it isn't as flashy as Deep Magic or the Sorcery rules in BRP/RuneQuest/Magic World. There's no throwing fireballs or casting protective shields. Instead magic is VERY, VERY subtle as it would have to be if it existed in the real world. The closest example I can think of is the rituals used in the movie the craft. Two reasons. #1 Englightened Magic uses rituals as the magic did in the movie. #2 John Snead the writer is from my understanding a Wiccan Priest and he has wrote a system of rules that reflect what a Wiccan or hermetic system might look like if it stepped up a bunch.

A few things to know about Enlightened Magic / Sorcery (John correct me if I get something wrong):
  • Enlightened magic comprises Enlightened Sorcery and Enlightened Alchemy.
  • Enlightened sorcery is divided into three circles which must be learned in order. The first circle is casual magic, the second is ritual magic and the third is high magic. The difference in these is mostly in terms of the amount of time the magic will take to cast and the rituals and preparations required. Casual magic is very limited but it can be cast quickly and with no preparation. Ritual magic requires more preparation (which can take a lot of time), more ritual and more time to cast (maybe 30 minutes to cast a spell) but is considerably more powerful. High magic can do nearly anything but requires more ritual and preparation than the other circles. It also takes longer to cast.
  • Characters cannot learn a new circle until they posses a skill of 75% or more in the previous circle.
  • Magic operates much like other systems in that you make a skill role and spend power points (Magic Points in Magic World)
  • Living things resist enlightened sorcery earning a roll on the resistance table POW versus POW (If I remember correctly).
  • Calculating the POW of a caster is different than most systems because certain rituals, locations, and dates modify the POW score used.
  • It's important to emphasize that the results of magic spells (1st, 2nd, or 3rd circle) are ALWAYS subtle. If you cast a high magic spell to get wealthy, a pile of gold will not appear before you, but the lottery ticket you find later in the garden will pay off. Similarly you can't blast a fireball at an enemy but you can make it where he trips and breaks his neck the next time he goes down the stairs.
In short if you want a system that models what people think of as modern day occult this is the system to use.
 
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Voros

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Gavin has posted that his new adventure Winter's Daughter is almost ready for pre-order. Offset printing so the quality should be the shit, hopefully it is a reasonable price as it will be produced in Europe. Smartly he is producing an OSR and 5e edition.

He's also working on a revised version of B/X Essentials now called Old School Essentials. I remember him discussing the name change on G+. Basically he wants to make the game as accessible as possible and B/X was too insider baseball.
 
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Séadna

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Very interested to see the advanced classes book he is working on. Rather than a straight conversion like Labyrinth Lord he has reworked the classes to make them "more B/X".

Hopefully the 5E version of Winter's Daughter will get the Dolmenwood setting a bit more notice, as a dark fairy tale setting I think it'd be a good intro to weird fantasy to those who haven't tried it.
 

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Gavin has posted that his new adventure Winter's Daughter is almost ready for pre-order. Offset printing so the quality should be the shit, hopefully it is a reasonable price as it will be produced in Europe. Smartly he is producing an OSR and 5e edition.

He's also working on a revised version of B/X Essentials now called Old School Essentials. I remember him discussing the name change on G+. Basically he wants to make the game as accessible as possible and B/X was too insider baseball.
Ascending AC as an optional rule is a good call. I imagine that the planned Kickstarter campaign will do well.
 

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Ascending AC as an optional rule is a good call. I imagine that the planned Kickstarter campaign will do well.
If he added an optional single save he would basically have created my ideal D&D clone. Also yay A5 single hardcover.

Edit: Well, actually, I'd also like optional alternatives to demihuman level caps.
 

Séadna

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If he added an optional single save he would basically have created my ideal D&D clone. Also yay A5 single hardcover.

Edit: Well, actually, I'd also like optional alternatives to demihuman level caps.
Single save and Ascending AC can be found in White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game.
 

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If he added an optional single save he would basically have created my ideal D&D clone. Also yay A5 single hardcover.

Edit: Well, actually, I'd also like optional alternatives to demihuman level caps.
I did some proofreading on the spell book for the Essential series, and Gavin is very serious about it being an accurate retroclone of B/X, down to even wanting preserve ambiguities in the text, so single saves would be too big a change. The only reason that ascending AC (as an optional rule) is sneaking in is that it doesn't change the probabilities of the system at all. Slipping in your own Single Saves is no big deal though.

Demi-human caps, they really don't make that big a difference in B/X. One thing a lot of people don't consider is that there is no universal XP chart for classes. If you look at the actual numbers, elves and dwarves may have fewer levels, but they take longer to rise to the highest level. When an elf hits their maximum level, and cleric only has one more level to go, A thief has one and a half levels left, and fighter has two. Dwarves are roughly in the same position. It's not like there is a long period in the game where everyone is leveling except for the demi-humans if you stick to the levels covered in the B/X books.

Halflings are certainly a different case, in that they hit their max long before anyone else, but then again, they hit name level with land and a domain long before anyone else.
 

dokel

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Demi-human caps, they really don't make that big a difference in B/X. One thing a lot of people don't consider is that there is no universal XP chart for classes. If you look at the actual numbers, elves and dwarves may have fewer levels, but they take longer to rise to the highest level. When an elf hits their maximum level, and cleric only has one more level to go, A thief has one and a half levels left, and fighter has two. Dwarves are roughly in the same position. It's not like there is a long period in the game where everyone is leveling except for the demi-humans if you stick to the levels covered in the B/X books.

Halflings are certainly a different case, in that they hit their max long before anyone else, but then again, they hit name level with land and a domain long before anyone else.
Sure, I'm aware of the actual numbers. My own feeling is that it's not a big deal until it is - for one thing it's only likely to come up in long term play. But when one player's halfling character caps out at 120,000 xp when everyone else still has multiple levels to go I would usually houserule something. Still I'm happy to agree to disagree as I feel this is something that has been debated to death and, frankly, each to their own.
 

Mike the Mage

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I love Dolmenwood and it has been adopted by another great setting: Midderlands. The Expanded Midderlands mentions that Dolmenwood is in their version of Ireland.

Midderlands is a bit darker in tone (almost like old WHFRP) but it if you like Dolmenwood, Midderlands is worth checking out.

I also recommend the Gardens of Ynn, just cos it has a similar vibe.

B/X essentials has done a free PDF book just on Dolmenwood races too.
 

Nick J

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Winter's Daughter,the new Dolmenwood adventure, is out in PDF.


I comes in both B/X and Fifth Edition flavors.

I'm probably going to wait until the print version is available for this.
If I read Gavin's pre-order page correctly, if you want the smyth bound hardback A5, it's going to be a very limited run. That said, I'm sure there'll be a POD version through DriveThru like all of his other stuff.

 

Baulderstone

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If I read Gavin's pre-order page correctly, if you want the smyth bound hardback A5, it's going to be a very limited run. That said, I'm sure there'll be a POD version through DriveThru like all of his other stuff.

You know, I'd forgotten the pre-orders for that were already up. I actually ordered the print version earlier this month.
 

Nick J

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It's worth putting this in here for the curious. The organization, editing and presentation of information in Winter's Daughter is a thing of beauty. It's so easy to quickly pull out not just important mechanical information, but also the flavor text is evocative, and gloriously terse. This is going to be so easy to use at the table.
 
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Baulderstone

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It's worth putting this in here for the curious. The organization, editing and presentation of information in Winter's Daughter is a thing of beauty. It's so easy to quickly pull out not just important mechanical information, but also the flavor text that is evocative, and gloriously terse. This is going to be so easy to use at the table.
I've only had a chance to skim it so far, but even that was enough to really impress me. I'm really looking forward to the complete Dolmenwood books.
 

Rich Harkrader

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Count me in. I'm not sure yet if I should pledge for the box set or the tome... :sweat:
I think I'm going with the box. That would make it easier to share the various booklets at the table.
 

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Been out of the OSR loop a bit. Anyone care to give a vague run-down of the mechanical differences (if any) between TSR B/X and the Essentials line?
 

Rich Harkrader

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Aside from including ascending AC as an optional rule, I don't think there are any mechanical differences between original B/X and Old School Essentials. It's mostly just laid out and organized better.
 

Baulderstone

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Been out of the OSR loop a bit. Anyone care to give a vague run-down of the mechanical differences (if any) between TSR B/X and the Essentials line?
The main intent of the Essentials line is to be accurate to the original B/X rules, down to even leaving in the parts where the rules are ambiguous.
 

Voros

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The stretch goal intro adventure with art by James V. West (Black Pudding, The Pool) and maps by Karl Stjernberg sounds great.
 
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