Wednesday, May 21, 2008

You Don't Get More Old School than Wild Pigs

Here's a very short excerpt from something I've written for the second issue of Fight On!

0716 Wild Boars

A small herd of 6 boars (3 HD each) roams this area. The boars are generally hostile to any creature that disturbs them and will attack on sight. These wild beasts subsist on a number of local plants, but take particular pleasure in consuming a mushroom that grows along the edge of the nearby river. Besides being tasty, when ingested, the mushrooms create an effect similar to that of a potion of heroism. When encountered, there is a chance (1-2 on 1D6) that the boars will have recently consumed these mushrooms and thus will be under their effects; referees should adjust the combat capabilities of the boars accordingly. If the characters can find where these mushrooms grow (referee’s discretion), they may harvest them for their own use. The effect noted above fades if the mushroom is not consumed within six hours of its having been harvested, however.


  1. Elf scout: Wild boar ahead. Could be trouble.

    Halfling: Did you say truffle?

    (rimshot, hasty exit)

  2. Me likey. Especially the mention of a river on that level. My inner Crab-man just smiled. I'm looking forward to The Darkness Beneath project.


  3. I apologize if I am being presumptious here. Maybe this is not in fact part of TDB?

    Either way, cool stuff!


  4. Very nice. Look out it is Super Pig! I can see it now:

    Brave Fighter: "MMMM Roasted Boar!"
    Cautious Magic User: "I don't know, those boars look mean."
    BF: "Mean?! Come on their pigs for Crom's sake. Let's eat 'em...:
    A few rounds later...
    BF: "Get 'em off me! Get 'em off me!"

    --Mike D.

  5. As an AD&Der who never played OD&D, this is exactly the sort of mechanics-light description that would not alienate me if I read it in a "generic" old school adventure.

    I don't have to worry about converting anything. I just pull out my dusty old MM and flip to the right page. There's nothing I don't recognize or have to interpret, and I don't even need to know whether the "boar" is more or less the same creature in OD&D, C&C, or whatever. If it seems too powerful/weak for my system or group, I just drop or add boars (or the 'shrooms, whatever).

    I won't say that this is ideal for me, because the ideal (for me) would be everyone switching to "my" AD&D rules and writing material accordingly (legal and other considerations notwithstanding). But, since the effort here as I understand it seems to be to hit the "baseline" that all old school OD&D-derived systems share, it's just what I'm looking for. I could easily use this with B/X D&D, AD&D 2e, or even Runequest or Stormbringer with very little additional effort (i.e., it's fairly obvious what a potion of heroism would do, even if I've never heard of one).

    In fact, I just bought the first issue of Fight On! based on your post. If this is the sort of thing that is being printed therein, I'm game.

    Sorry to ramble; point being, leave the rules out, and give me just enough to run the encounter in whatever system I'm using. Bravo.

  6. I apologize if I am being presumptious here. Maybe this is not in fact part of TDB?

    It's actually part of my article, "The Outdoor Map," which is, among other things, an homage to Bob Bledsaw and the hexcrawl.

    But never fear: there is in fact a river running through my level of TDB. :)

  7. Sorry to ramble; point being, leave the rules out, and give me just enough to run the encounter in whatever system I'm using. Bravo.

    Ramble away: that's what these comment boxes are for, after all. Why should I have all the fun?

    Glad you approve of the format. It's a work in progress for me, but I believe I've begun to hit upon an approach that will do what I want, namely make anything I write accessible to anyone who plays a pre-3e version of D&D.

  8. Didn't the G-D series just list hit points in the encounters?

    Hell, I wonder if without the spell lists (and some monsters), traditional D&D game info has any real IP at all.

  9. I don't have access to my G or D series modules at the moment, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if they listed only hit points for the monsters. That was pretty standard during the OD&D era and, while those modules are technically AD&D since they post-date the PHB, they're early enough that the "old ways" hadn't yet died out.

    As D&D's IP, I think you raise a very good point. I am sure that WotC is well aware of this point too, which is probably why they've completely reinvented the game for the new edition.