Occasionally something shows up out of the blue and cries out to be adapted for Mazes & Perils. The first issue of the OSR-themed zine Black Pudding from designer J.V. West is one of those things that has done just that.
Have you seen this thing? If not, I recommend you head over to RPGNow and grab a copy as a Pay What You Want product. I’ll wait… Here’s the link (or click on the cover to the right).
[insert foot tapping and poor whistling here]
Ok, you have it? Awesome. Go ahead and flip through to look upon the awesomeness. I’ll wait again…
West has a bit of the comedic style of Will McLean from the old DMG. (See some examples of his and other artists’ work from that great book here in this post from Dungeon’s Master a while back.) He includes a crazy mix of classes, rules, monsters, weapons, character sheets, and even an adventure that would work in a variety of OSR games systems.
Now I want you to turn to page 3 to look upon the beauty that is the “Sinewy Barbarian.” This is a simple class that would be just as at home in the Lost Age world for Mazes & Perils as it would for anything else.
To make it work, you could use the basic rules and just go with D6 as the hit dice (or use the optional variable hit die rules and use the D10 the write-up uses). Everything else might work. He would certainly clean-up in battle with the “Hard as Steel” ability which adds Str & Con mods to AC. A character with an 18 Strength and 18 Constitution with a sword and shield would quickly go from an 8 AC (shield only) to a 3 (Plate mail). Crazy!
And that ability is countered a bit by the “Savagery” ability, where if you miss, you lose your AC mods for 1 round.
It’s actually pretty well built. I can see Ahnold the Barbarian terrorizing my campaigns any time now.
Or, if you prefer your heroes straight out of Brom paintings or Robert E. Howard stories (great overview of the chain-mail bikini in this article), you can play the aptly named “Chainmail Chick” class on page 2. She gets similar bonuses to her AC (“Battleclad”), plus she’s hard to hit (good looks are a wee bit distracting) and she heals fast (“Heart of Iron”) because scratches and scars are sexy, but broken bones aren’t. Heal fast my dear!
And on page 6 you have the “Sword Slinger” class, who wields two weapons and is pretty badass. As they go up in levels, they gain extra attacks – as many as 4 at level 14, which is killer. And with Dexterity as their prime score, they can add that mod to their attack rolls (“Finesse”), can parry blows, block arrows, and more.
Even if you aren’t a fan of the art (really?) and only use a few parts of the 28-page tome of goodness, there’s plenty of food for thought here. Grab a copy. Toss a few bucks to J.V. West, and enjoy the ride. This is part of the fun of the OSR movement. Why not enjoy some fun bits and pieces for your own game?
What? You didn’t grab it? Here’s the link again (or click on the cover in the upper right!).
I look forward to reading more of these!!!