Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Enjoy the New Year!

[D20cember] UK2 The Sentinel and UK3 The Gauntlet

Published in 1983 and 1984, UK2 The Sentinel and UK3 The Gauntlet (also known as The Alderweg Series) were a product of the UK branch of TSR. And they were different but excellent modules. Both dealt with the continuing animosity between two magical gloves, one sided with good (The Sentinel) and the other with evil (The Gauntlet).

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a review of either of these modules on, so I was reduced to the multiple reviews on Amazon (1, 2)

Friday, December 30, 2011

[D20cember] EX1 Dungeonland and EX2 The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror

EX1 Dungeonland and EX2 The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror were a series of modules that mixed Alice in Wonderland with D&D. Written by Gygax and published by TSR in 1983, they were definitely a different experience. I remember being run through this series and having a great time.

While has no reviews, Grognardia has a retrospective (1) on Dungeonland.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

[Atomic Thursday] Battletruck

Battletruck! A science fiction adventure of the near future!

With a hero named Hunter, how could you go wrong?

Oh, and the guy with his hands on his head, next to the mook Straker kills, looks a lot like Snape!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

[D20cember] B4 The Lost City

B4 The Lost City was a Basic D&D module published by TSR in 1982. It starts with the PCs lost in the desert and finding the entrance to a mysterious lost city, filled with weird peoples and horrible creatures. For some reason, this module is really cool to me but I don't remember ever playing it. has one review (1) and Grognardia has a retrospective (2).

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

[D20cember] T1 The Village of Hommlet

T1 The Village of Hommlet was written by Gary Gygax and published by TSR in 1979. And it's considered to be one of the finest modules ever produced (at least by me) and a marked contrast to module B2 The Keep on the Borderlands. The detail of T1 compared to B2, including named NPCs, is the least of it. Whereas B2's main focus was on the Caves of Chaos, T1 focused equally on the town and the dungeon. has two reviews on this fine module (1, 2).

Monday, December 26, 2011

[D20cember] B1 In Search of the Unknown

I got this module with the "Blue Box" for Christmas in 1979. And we played it all to hell. In fact, we wrote all over it in pencil, then erased that, then carefully cut paper and taped it in for use all over again, removed the old paper and did it all again. I think I still have it but have retired it - I picked up another "use" copy a few years ago. has one review (1). Grognardia has a retrospective (2), another post on the characters from the module (3), and lost Trampier artwork (4) that apply to the module.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

[D20cember] Blue Box D&D

Christmas 1979: my brother and I received the Holmes' Dungeons and Dragons Basic Set (aka the "Blue Box" edition) and the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual. I even have pictures of my brother and I looking through it that morning.

We'd been playing D&D since 1978 but never owned any of the books or even any dice, until that Christmas.

The box set came with actual dice and B1 In Search of the Unknown (so it must have been the 4th printing) and it was frigging beautiful to my 11 year old self. Now 32 years and countless RPGs later, it's one of my favorite holiday gifts.

Happy Holidays, folks. Keep safe and make some game memories!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

[D20cember] OD&D Supplements

I only have the first two of the OD&D Supplements - Greyhawk and Blackmoor. I plan on picking up the other three: Eldritch Wizardry; Gods, Demigods & Heroes; and Swords & Spells, but I'm in no rush. The prices are too high for me yet. has one review each on the first three supplements (1, 2, 3).

Friday, December 23, 2011

[D20cember] Imagine Magazine (UK)

Imagine Magazine was the UK TSR house magazine from April of 1983 to October of 1985. Thirty issues (and one special) were published and I had never heard of it until I found five or so issues in a junk game store in Portland, Oregon in the early 90s.

It was different, definitely different. Plus it had a new campaign world called Pelinore, based around a city called the City League (the city stretched a league in every direction).

Of course I picked it up. And I have many more of them, including the special issue, but not a complete set. Not yet.

Unfortunately, has no reviews on this fine magazine but the Acaeum has a short blurb on it (as well as pics of the issues).

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Festivus!

Happy Festivus!

Enjoy the day! The Airing of the Grievances! The Feats of Strength!

[PB&J] Peanut Butter Burger

Opening the ancient grimoire again, I found one spell specially prepared by a mighty wizard now passed on. This wizard, one Elvis of Graceland, supposedly created this recipe after a revel.

The peanut butter burger.

One burger
One hamburger bun

Prepare burger as usual (I recommend toasting the bun for a nice touch). Spread peanut butter on one bun and ketchup and relish on the other. Add the burger and enjoy.

[Atomic Thursday] Dune Warriors

Dune Warriors, with David Carradine. He's a mysterious stranger with a sword, amidst the ruins of the world, fighting other guys with swords and cars!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

[D20cember] Caverns of Thracia

The Caverns of Thracia was a Judges Guild module published in 1979. This module was one of my first forays into gaming at a game store - my brother and I had just gotten Blue Book Basic D&D and the AD&D Monster Manual for Christmas 1979 and my mother took us to a game shop (and paid $5 each) for us to play the game. The GM ran Caverns.

Even though my brother and I had started playing in 1978 in a home-brewed dungeon (I was a Halfling and he was a Magic-User), so D&D wasn't new, I still have a soft spot for Caverns.

The revamped Judges Guild published an updated module through the Sword & Sorcery (Necromancer Games) imprint in 2004.

There are few reviews for this module. Grognardia has a retrospective. The Alexandrian has an actual play using OD&D rules. And Retro Roleplay has the cover blurb.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

[D20cember] The Lair of Medusa

Lair of Medusa is a 16 page generic D&D adventure module written in 1982. Published in Canada (Burnaby, B.C. in fact), it was the first produce from DELF (and if I recall correctly, the last). The art inside included pieces by Eric Hotz! If you don't recognize the name, try looking at Harn products from the 80s.

What's it about? Well, evil medusa takes over a king's castle/cave complex. Enter the PCs years later to slay the beast and free the kingdom.

I am not surprised that there are few reviews on this one.

Monday, December 19, 2011

[D20cember] Dragon Magazine Archive

Much to my enjoyment, I picked up the Dragon Magazine Archive (1999) new and haven't regretted it at all. Containing the first 250 issues of Dragon Magazine as well as the complete Strategic Review issues, all in PDF format, it's a wonderful collection that allows for good reading and info diving. has two reviews (1, 2) and is reportedly a rare find.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

[D20cember] White Box OD&D

A pic of my actual copy!
The one that started it all. Yes, I have a copy and it's in pretty good shape. I think it's the 6th edition (1977-1979) because of the starburst on the box cover.

How did I get it, you might ask. Well, one day, I helped a friend clean out his storage locker. A bunch of game books were there that he wasn't interested in, so I got the lot, including this gem. has three reviews (1, 2, 3)! Yay!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

[D20cember] Dungeon Magazine

I've been a collector of Dungeon Magazine since about issue 30. I have most of the issues, except for some of the first few (I have No. 1 on PDF from one of the Dragon magazine promos) and am missing a bunch from the end of the print run (it went to issue 150 in 2007 before WOTC turned it into an online product). Acaeum has a small blurb on it and a partial issue listing.

Starting in 1986, the magazine was mostly black and white and contained adventures from such greats as Willie Walsh, Grant and David Boucher, John Nephew and Ted James Thomas Zuvich.

After Paizo Publishing started publishing in 2002, they went full color (I don't remember which issue), which, while nice, made copying the maps problematic and had more "Rock Star" authors. has one review on the Savage Tide adventure series (1) from issues 139 to 150. And if you are interested, there's an index of all the adventures available here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

[D20cember] Beyond Countless Doorways

Beyond Countless Doorways is a D20 supplement published by Monte Cook's Malhavoc Press in 2004. Believed by many to be the 3.x D&D book for Planescape-like games, after all, Monte Cook gathered Planescape alums Wolfgang Baur, Colin McComb and Ray Vallese together to write it.

There's one review on (1).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

[Atomic Thursday] Steel Dawn

In 1987, Patrick Swayze and Anthony Zerbe starred in Steel Dawn! Another Mad Max lookalike movie, it also had Arnold Vosloo (aka The Mummy!).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

[D20cember] Creature Crucible

The Creature Crucibles were four supplements(PC1 Tall Tales of the Wee Folk, PC2 Top Ballista, PC3 Sea People and PC4 Night Howlers) published by TSR between 1989 and 1992 that added PC races, magic items and spells, and situations to Mystara.

I have not been able to find any reviews on these books but Wayne's Books has a more complete description for them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

[D20cember] Return to Keep on the Borderlands

I picked up a copy of Return to Keep on the Borderlands (1999) at Half Price Books and found it a fitting tribute to the original. The Keep and Caves of Chaos environs are more detailed and NPCs are named. Plus there's a whole new bunch of monsters and alliances.

Two reviews of this fine module are on (1, 2).

Monday, December 12, 2011

[D20cember] TSR Silver Anniversary Collector's Edition

Sometimes connections are everything. A very good friend who was working at WOTC at the time provided me with a copy of the TSR Silver Anniversary Collector's Edition (1999), as well as a copy of the Last Unicorn Games Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium (2000), but I'll talk about that later.

The Silver Anniversary Collector's Edition contains a veritable cornucopia of early TSR games and modules: the J. Eric Holmes "Blue Book" D&D Basic Rulebook and modules which include B2; the Giant Series G1, G2, G3; I6 Ravenloft; and S1; plus a never-before-published bonus module L3 Deep Dwarven Delve.

Each of these reprints comes exactly as the original, with the exception of a Silver Anniversary logo on the cover. This is by far one of my favorite D20 products.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

[D20cember] B2: The Keep on the Borderland

Yes, I have a copy of this module. In fact, I have several different editions (check out Acaeum on the differences), including the one that came in the Silver Anniversary Collector's Edition (1999).

Amazingly, for such an old module, there are three reviews (1, 2, 3). And, I'm not too proud to say, I wrote a bit about using this module in alternate setting in Issue No. 3 of my old 'zine One Thousand and One Nights and One Night Campaign Design 'zine.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

[D20cember] Tegel Manor

Tegel Manor is a module published by Judges Guild in 1977. Several revisions were published in 1980 and 1989. I managed to pick up a copy of the 1977 edition in the late 90s for rather cheap, but, unfortunately, it was extensively marked with pencil. Despite erasing all the pencil, the indentations remain. However, even with the damage, it is still a valued part of my collection.

Grognardia has a retrospective on the module, but, alas, has no review.

Friday, December 9, 2011

[D20cember] Planescape Campaign Setting

One of my favorite D20 games is the Planescape Campaign Setting. The box set was published by TSR in 1994 with exclusive art by Tony DiTerlizzi. The setting dealt with planeswalkers, focusing on the city of Sigil, the city of doors.

With this game came a new view of the Planes in D&D and a fun vocabulary. There are 4 reviews on (1, 2, 3, 4) as well as one supplement (5).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

[Atomic Thursday] 20 Years After

This movie from 2008 is on my queue to see. If you've seen it, what was it like (Rotten Tomatoes has nothing on it)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

[D20cember] The Years Best D20

Malhavoc Press published the Years Best D20 in 2004. I found a copy in a used bookstore in Victoria, B.C. a few years ago. I used the Nightmare Collector monster in a Savage Worlds game a few years ago to great effect. The PCs managed to defeat it, with some serious damage to their psyches. has one review (1).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

[D20cember] Mutants & Masterminds

As an unabashed fan of Green Ronin products, I picked up Mutants and Masterminds at the advent of 2nd edition (2005). I found a cheap copy of the 1st edition (2002) book first then got the 2nd. In the years since, I've collected many of the supplements for it as well but haven't gotten the 3rd edition (2010). has a bunch of reviews (1, 2, 3, 4), including a paired review with Silver Age Sentinels (5) and the 2nd edition (6).

Monday, December 5, 2011

[D20cember] Iron Heroes

I recently picked up Iron Heroes, a supplement to D&D 3.x, written by Mike Mearls and published by Malhavoc Press in 2005. As an alternative to standard D&D, it presents a game focused more on action than gaining magic items. Interesting, no? has several reviews (1, 2) plus Mastering Iron Heroes (3).

Malhavoc no longer produces it and supposedly it's now at Fiery Dragon Productions but there doesn't seem to be much going on. There is a faq for the game, however.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

[D20cember] The Masque of the Red Death

The Masque of the Red Death was a Ravenloft supplement box set published by TSR in 1994 and based on the 1842 short story by Edgar Allan Poe. Set in the 1890s on this Earth, the setting was gothic in nature and had an evil force known as the Red Death. A decade later, a 3.5 edition D20 supplement was published by White Wolf.

I have the box set and a few of the TSR supplements for it but not the 2004 White Wolf book. I have found several reviews (1, 2) plus another on the 2004 book (3).

Saturday, December 3, 2011

[D20cember] Jeremiah the Role Playing Game

Back in 2005, Mongoose published Jeremiah the Role Playing Game, based on the TV show. The system is D20 based, with specific character classes based on archetypes that appear in the show. A single supplement called Thunder Mountain was published the same year (and seems, by forum posts, to be a good supplement).

As a fan of post-apocalyptic games, I picked it up a few years ago - but for cheap. I had watched a few of the first season episodes and read the comic it was based on (still have a few around somewhere). It's on my Netflix queue but I haven't gotten the time to watch it yet (that and Jericho).

I searched around for reviews but only found forum posts on it (1, 2, 3, 4).

[1938] Horses

Many tacticians believed that the horse's role as a military vehicle was done by the end of World War I. At the start of the conflict in 1936, mounted cavalry was quickly re-implemented by all sides because, despite wanting armor and trucks, the horse was actually more readily available in parts of Britain.

While the Household Cavalry, consisting of the Blues and Royals and the Life Guards, already have horses, and excellent horseflesh at that, many of the other units range from old plugs to the cream of upper-class stables, with the majority being draft horses or country-bred nags.
Horse thievery, as expected, is now an acceptable (and common) method of warfare.

Friday, December 2, 2011

[D20cember] My Collection

I'm going to dedicate D20cember 2011 to the various D20 games in my collection. There are a lot of game books in that category that are on my shelves.

I'll try to find reviews on the games, as usual, or at the very least, some information.

[Quotes] Sophocles

"I am the child of Fortune, the giver of good, and I shall not be shamed. She is my mother; my sisters are the Seasons; my rising and my falling match with theirs. Born thus, I ask to be no other man than that I am." -- Sophocles