Oct 28, 2022

A Real Life Dungeon Adventure Inside the Pyramid

 This virtual 3d adventure into the great pyramid of Giza is like a real life dungeon exploration. I can imagine a party of adventures, the fighter in front, wizard and cleric in the middle, thief watching the back or scouting side passages. This is what it would really feel like!

There are other tombs to explore in virtual 3d on this site as well.


Oct 27, 2022

Beastie of the Week: Mesmerizing Winged Death Roach

Mesmerizing Winged Death Roach
Tiny Beast, Chaotic, Underworld

No. Appearing: 3d6+1 (6d6+1)
Armor Class: 17
Hit Dice: 1hp
Move: 30’ (60’) flying
Attacks: 1 bite
Damage: 1d4 piercing
Save: 15
Morale: 6
Treasure Type: Nil
Intelligence: 2
XP Value: 15

Mesmerize: the fluttering of the death roach’s wings is hypnotic, target must save vs. spells or fall into a trance for 2-5 rounds. While in a trance the victim will not defend themselves so they get no DEX adjustment to AC.

These bioluminescent insects often infest caves and dungeons. They will use their wings to mesmerize a victim and then the entire swarm will latch onto them and nibble until they are filled.

Oct 26, 2022

Oct 25, 2022

Project Update - Gunslinger Critters and Loathsome Horrors

 If you saw Monday's post about Damage Types in the B/X sets you know I'm deep into writing up monster descriptions. I was rereading the basic B/X books, in particular the introduction to the monster entries to see how Tom Moldvay, David Cook, and Steve Marsh handled those sections.

The Stat Explanation section for monsters (or Critters as they are called in Gunslinger) has been written with quite a bit of refinement. I really dug into the past editions of the D&D game for inspiration. Even including 5th edition, which I think handled monster stats very well. This is an area of Gunslinger I am really happy with how it came out.

The write up of this section serves multiple purposes as I will also be using this in future Beasties books. It is an attempt to make the monster descriptions even more universally useful regardless of your preferred edition. The next Beasties book is called Beasties: Loathsome Horrors and is designed to be used with Gunslinger if you want some Eldritch Horror like monstrosities to challenge your player's cowboys and natives characters with. Like all Beasties books it is designed to work with virtually any OSR system that is compatible with the original fantasy game.

You can see previews of this new Beasties book in the recent Monster of the Week posts. And yes I'm experimenting with AI art. I figure horrific tentacle beasts are kind of the ideal subject matter for where that tech is currently at. Of course I'm painting on top of them quite a bit, so don't think for a moment this is me being lazy. It is still a lot of work cleaning them up. I'm not using AI art in Gunslinger, it is all hand drawn.

Gunslinger comes with plenty of critters! This new Beasties book is just an added bonus for those interested in getting it.

Oct 24, 2022

Disambiguating B/X Damage Types

I was reminded of how far ahead B/X was for its time while reading the monsters section in the Basic and Expert books for research for the monsters in Gunslinger (where they are called Critters). Different types of damage are succinctly described in game terms as a handy reference. This is the beginning of the systemization of damage in D&D. Comparing this with damage types in 5e there are only a couple in common, and arguably a third.

Continuous DamageFire
Energy DrainNecrotic

5e has come a long way in clarifying and categorizing damage types, while B/X conflates damage types with attack types and with what would come to be called Conditions. The only shared damage types are Acid and Poison and possibly Energy Drain. Of the remaining types Charm and Paralysis are Conditions in 5e. Charge, Swallow, Swoop, and Trample are combat attack actions. 

This leaves Continuous Damage and Energy Drain. Of these two types Energy Drain has fallen out of favor (as if it was ever in favor!) and Continuous Damage which is really something of a modifier you could theoretically apply to any damage type.

If we look at Energy Drain a little closer it does exist in 5e, but in a very different form called Life Drain. It is sort of a condition/action hybrid. As a damage type it is similar to Necrotic damage. This is what it does:

Life Drain: Necrotic damage. The target must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or its hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the damage taken. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.

At first glance reducing hit point maximum may seem a bit lame, not as scary as losing a whole level like in B/X. But it is far easier to calculate and more immediate, you can lose quite a bit of time looking up what it means to reduce a character's level. Also, it is scarier than you might think to the player as it reduces how much they can heal.

To disambiguate the Damage Types as listed in B/X it would look something like this:

Damage Types

  • Acid
  • Continuous Damage
  • Poison
  • Energy Drain


  • Charm
  • Paralysis

Attack Types

  • Charge
  • Swallow
  • Swoop
  • Trample

I quite like this list and think it is a good start to creating a system of damages, conditions, and attack types. There is a clarity of thinking here that 1st Edition AD&D could have benefited from. Well, we did eventually get that in 2nd edition. Maybe a bit too much.

One other interesting note is the order the damage types are described in. They are not alphabetical in the book, so they come across as random train of thought. What is it about those early D&D books and the random inconsistent use of alphabetizing?

Oct 20, 2022

DriveThru RPG Books on Hold

DriveThruRPG has upgraded the paper they use in their Print on Demand books. The paper is thicker, so this affects the size of the covers, in particular how wide the spine is. So all the covers of PoD books have to be updated for the covers to fit properly. Some interiors are affected as well.

This means all the books are on hold until they go through the printer's approval process. It will take some time to get them all updated.

 In the meantime they are still available on Lulu: https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/studiodenmark

Compared side by side the Lulu books have always seemed just a tad better. Hopefully with this upgrade the DriveThruRPG PoD books will be just as good, or even better!

Oct 19, 2022

Warduke Wednesday

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Coloring Book: The Crown of Rulership cover art by the outstanding Earl Norem (1923–2015, aged 92), known for his striking Savage Sword of Conan covers, as well as many other illustrations for Marvel Comics.

Oct 18, 2022

Projects Update


Random Tables
Random NPC generator
Critter Stat Block explanation
Treasure Table (tailored to the western genre)

Good progress on:
Random Adventure Hooks (I'm aiming for at least 20 good ones)
General editing throughout the book, I keep combing through for typos and areas for the text to be more clearly written.

ART! This is the biggest remaining task at this point.

New Additions:
I realized the Movement rules needed some improvement, so rewrote that section.
Intoxication rules.


Detailed Outline completed
Each chapter is researched and blocked-in, what remains is fleshing them out, which is the bulk of the writing.


I haven't posted any Valkyrie descriptions in a while, but this is being developed concurrently with the Book of Valkyries art book. It is a lot of research and sketching.


Some excellent progress on this high fantasy gonzo setting. I've been working on this world for nearly 40 years so I'm always thinking about and designing this place. My home D&D games are usually set here. The first draft text is roughed in. I'm currently working on maps - some of which are the Wizard Towers I've been posting. 

Join the forum and talk about games and stuff: https://nightowlworkshop.freeforums.net/

Mystery Map - Psionic Tower of Xuj the Wicked Wanderer


Oct 12, 2022

Warduke Wednesday

 Ultimate Warduke

The new Warduke figure looks badass. 

Oct 6, 2022

Gunslinger Intoxication Rules

So much carousing was going on each game (by the characters of course!) that it became clear that Gunslinger was going to need intoxication rules. After searching through various sources there really weren't any particularly satisfactory rules I could find. The 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide pg 82 has some that are workable but could use refinement. I wrote these up for playtesting. They're still a bit rough but have potential.

Drink Strength

Weak: each counts as 1 point of intoxication. Such little alcohol most people can drink a lot and at most get a buzz, unless they have a particular vulnerability to alcohol.

Mild: each counts as 2 points of intoxication. This is beer and wine.

Strong: each counts as 4 points of intoxication. This is hard liquor.


Intoxication Threshold: your character can drink up to their Constitution score in alcohol points before beginning to become intoxicated. Intoxicated characters will have "Liquid Courage" and may behave foolishly as well as having some penalties to certain actions.

Tipsy (CON) the character will have -1 to Dexterity based efforts. Intoxication lasts for 3 hours after the last drink.

Drunk (CON x2) the character will be at disadvantage with most tasks that require Dexterity. They will have Liquid Courage giving them +4 Morale. Intoxication lasts for 5 hours after the last drink.

Blackout (CON x3) the character goes beyond just being drunk to blacking out and becoming unconscious. Those with alcohol tolerance may remain conscious but will act like a different person, with sometimes very dark and dangerous proclivities. Intoxication lasts for 7 hours after the last drink.

Detoxing and Hangovers: stimulants such as coffee will reduce the intoxication period by ½ (after the last drink). Intoxicated characters must save vs poison or get a hangover, leaving them at -1 to Dexterity and Intelligence based checks for 1d4 hours starting 4 hours after the last drink.

Long Term Effects

Alcoholism: Must make a DC 12 vs Wisdom to resist a drink. This DC increases by 1 for each level of alcoholism the character has. 

Alcohol Poisoning: Drinking a tremendous amount for a long period of time can lead to liver failure and poisoning. In some cases habitual drinking can lead to death if the character stops drinking, instead of slowly easing off. In either case save vs. poison or die.

Liver Damage: Extended heavy drinking for years can lead to severe liver damage and the character will start showing the signs of jaundice. Eventually this will lead to alcohol poisoning and death.

Jaundice: The skin turns yellow as the liver begins to fail.

Other Factors

Alcohol sensitivity: This has nothing to do with tolerance. this person has reduced resistance to the effects of alcohol and will get drunk faster. Someone with this condition exhibits symptoms that range from a red flush face to severe nausea depending on the severity of their alcohol sensitivity when they consume alcohol.

Alcohol tolerance: Tolerance is how resistant to becoming intoxicated someone gets when consuming alcohol. This person has increased resistance to the effects of alcohol and will take longer to get drunk. Treat each drink as ½ the points of intoxication.

Alcohol intolerance: this person has reduced resistance to the effects of alcohol and will get drunk faster. Reduce the threshold by ½ (treat Constitution score as half rounded down for purposes of determining intoxication).


The folks over at ODD74 forum had some good input:

And this old thread helped too

So I'm thinking of simplifying this even further. Each drink roll 1d4, add the total. Add +1 (or more) depending on the strength of the drink. When you reach your CON you're intoxicated. Same progression and effects as above with CONx2 and blackout at CONx3.