Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Favorite Non-Existent DIY D&D Products

-Yoon-Suin Encounters. Just single page monster + how you meet that monster encounters for Noisms' Weird East setting. You managed to get the whole setting with no maps or demographics or any of the usual connective tissue. Every page creepier than the last. And it was weird how fast crab-men stopped being funny.

-The Fiend Manual: that monster book co-authored by Taichara, Anarchist, and Rolang. Micro-hydras, humor-sucking snakes, and geometric elementals. Rock.

-The Valley of Blue Snails Miscellany. Man, I loved that book--I know a lot of people said it was just what was already on the blog but better organized, but I don't care: random character generation charts, eerie versions of old monsters, and all done with a fuckload of charm, that thing was great

-The Vaults of Nagoh Gigadungeon. The only high-level adventure that really did it for me, and I liked how the only way from one plane to the other was through the dungeon. The Crystal Needle Triarchy terrified my players.

-Tao's Complete Same Universe Wiki. I'm glad they gave him that grant, otherwise it probably never would've gotten it finished. I'm not sure I ever used any of it, but it was comforting to know that if I ever did need a hexmap of Madagascar with random encounter tables and statistically-balanced reactions for each possible encounter, it was there.

-The Thool V. Algol War Sourcebook. Once they got Moebius to illustrate it, it all just clicked. The Pellatarrum Mercenaries supplement definitely had its moments, too--trolls as solidified ooze--definitely stole that one.

-The Fortress of Various Mutilations by Joesky and Telecanter. The ultimate puzzle-grinder dungeon. I know that a lot of people found the hand-photoshopped pictures in the player-handouts disconcerting but, hey, fuck them. And Joesky's read-aloud text was priceless. Many a drunken one-shot was scraped together from bits of this dungeon.

-Jeff's DM Notebooks. Some people bitched about how they were hard to read, but I liked how they just published them flat-out with no formatting or anything. Full of inspirational stuff--it's interesting just to see the process, and the margin notes ("Plasma ferret: y/n?") were gold.


  1. I need some of your Cough Syrup Of Brilliance.

  2. That Valley of the Blue Snails stuff is really great isn't it? Totally concur and anything comrade Telecanter mixes up is good by me. ;)

  3. I'm surprise you left out Poor Richard's Almanack of Random Rules, designed for gonzo randomizers, that not only has an easy to use system for randomly changing the way the game works as it progresses, but also comes with a white-out pen and magic marker because it even contains rules for randomly modifying its own rules (and so on ad infinitum).

  4. Oh yeah, these are on the virtual shelf right next to Castle Greyhawk, Plane of Shadow, the new, extensively edited, edition of Lejendary Adventures, and Tom Moldvay's Descent Into the Red(More Like Magenta) Box that Christian at Destination Unknown just blogged about. A good DIY addition to the professional stuff.

  5. Off topic, but congrats to Kimberly!

  6. Thanks for the kind words. The material on my blog was actually written to be a printed supplement, but my market research indicated no one would buy it, mainly because I wanted it to be statless.

  7. Don't forget James Raggi's Ultimate Old-School Supplement: 200 blank pages, plus 10 pages of him swearing at you for wanting it all done for you.

  8. -The Thool V. Algol War Sourcebook. Once they got Moebius to illustrate it, it all just clicked.

    The world where this exists is my true home.

  9. This post heralded my discovery of Blue Snails.. I can't believe I hadn't read that before. It's, clearly, all that and a bag of chips.


    I'm actually beside myself with glee that you like my ideas, Zak. Just for that -- and because you encouraged me to join Facebook, which has helped my professional writing career to take off -- I will work my ass off to make that book a reality.

    Why "mercenaries," though? It has a good ring to it but it sounds more like a bestiary.

  11. @Erin Palette

    Because the Algollians used the Dendrite Slime Warp to gate in Pellatarrian soldiers because, since they were composed of matter from another dimension, Thoolian magic wouldn't work on them. Duh. Don't you remember?