Monthly Archives: October 2010

Booty And The Beasts: Booty!

Booty Call! Booty and the Beasts Magic Items

You know, there’s plenty of web sites and articles out there describing the more outre critters to emerge from the game of Dungeons & Dragons over nearly four decades, but magic items get short shrift, and I have no idea what a “shrift” is, but it’s clearly got a +2 size bonus to Armor Class. (The jokes don’t get any better, folks. You’ve been warned.) This is a shame, because, looking back on my munchkin days… and I do not mean my time writing “The Rainbow Connection“… the “bling”my characters were covered with was far more important than their mostly non-existent personalities. Let’s face it, if you’re in the kind of game where galactic dragons and dredbots can be expected to show up, you want a lot more on your side than a “Dagger +1, +2 vs. Amphibians”. You want a mote of galvanic scintillations or a United States Army Pulse Rife.

 

 

Despite what you’re thinking, this is not something used by the Queen of Lust.

Oh, if you somehow got here following some kind of weird link to “booty call”, this article is part of a series discussing the 1979 highly unofficial Dungeons & Dragons supplement “Booty And The Beasts” by Fantasy Art Enterprises, with art by the justly iconic Erol Otus.

Read on for the booty! (And the gumbos. Please read on for the gumbos.)

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Booty And The Beasts, Part VI: Robots

Booty And The Beasts, Part VI: Robots

(A quick note… some readers seem to be having word wrap troubles with this article… I’ve check on 3 different browsers and it looks fine on all of them to me, and there don’t seem to be embedded control characters or mismatched formatting codes or whatnot. If anyone is still seeing wrap issues, please let me know OS and browser you’re using, thanks.)

And now… the end is near… and so we face… the final cur (screeeee!)

Nah, we still got the “Booty” to go.

But this is the finale of the monsters. From egg people to mingo snails, from womb lice to galactic dragons, you have seen a glorious sampling of the many wonders offered by Erol Otus, Paule Reiche III, and the rest of the gang at Fantasy Art Enterprises. We finish up with a look at robots. Not “living constructs” or “steam golems” or anything like that, but robots — clanking, whirring, buzzing, robots. Also killing. Did I mention killing?

This kind of blend of out-and-out sci-fi with pure fantasy, without any feeble excuses like “elementally powered trains” or “spelljammers” or whatever, was one of the hallmarks of “first wave” gaming. (“Old School” has too many contradictory meanings, it seems.) It was part of the very earliest versions of D&D — the Temple of the Frog in Blackmoor probably opened the floodgates — and it showed up again at times, such as the astoundingly classic “Expedition To The Barrier Peaks”, but it faded pretty quickly, and it’s rare to see it nowadays in its rawest form, unencumbered by such trivialities as “logic” and “internal consistency”. (There was a vaguely defined but widely shared assumption among a lot of older gamers that Your D&D World was just this world, you know, in orbit around some sun, and there was a galactic empire out there, and every so often some high-tech doodad would land in D&D World, and that’s where all this came from. Gnomish tinkers and the like came much, much, later.)

Before we go on to the descriptions, remember the Three Laws Of D&D Robots:

  • A robot must always kill a PC, and not permit, through inaction, a PC to live.
  • A robot must misinterpret the orders of a PC so as to enforce the First Law.
  • A robot must preserve its own life, unless doing so would keep it from fulfilling the First and Second laws.

(Seriously, my semi-regular DM back in High School was a big Larry Niven fan, and any time you found a semi-aware high tech item and tried to get it to do anything, he pulled from “The Soft Weapon” and had the thing decide that any show of ignorance on your part was proof you were unauthorized and it would then kill you. If that failed, any time the thing was damaged, it would go mad and try to kill you. You may have heard nightmare stories about “wish lawyers”, but such player-vs.-DM battles of wits and wording over wishes (today’s post is brought to you by the letter ‘w’) had nothing on our efforts to get a robot we found in one of his games actually work for us.)

Read on for Robots!

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Booty And The Beasts, Part V

Booty And The Beasts, Part V: Parasites

Or: “Dude, You’ve Got Crabs. Like, 5 Hit Dice Crabs”

So, welcome back to the walkthrough of “Booty And The Beasts”, a highly unofficial supplement for “fantasy role-playing games”, by which we mean “Dungeons & Dragons”, published in 1979 by Fantasy Art Enterprises and featuring some of Erol Otus’ most classic early work. This time, we will look at the chapter on “Parasites”, which only makes sense, it being election season and all.

Let us begin with a song:
All things scabbed and ulcerous,
All pox both great and small.
Putrid, foul and gangrenous,
The Lord God made them all.
(Monty Python’s Flying Circus)

There is no denying this: Parasites are among the most squicky things on Earth, and many of them are far nastier than anything most game designers’ sick imaginations could come up with. I especially like the worm that eats a fish’s tongue, then attaches itself to the fish and become the tongue, so the fish can’t live without it. Whee, fun! Sadly, parasites in most RPG material are reduced to some abstraction of the disease rules or show up on page 74 of “The Complete Guide To Tavern Wenches” (Table 7-D, “Morning After Effects”) or are otherwise not considered in the category of “things to kill”.

Not so for Erol Otus, Paul Reiche III, and the gang at Fantasy Art Enterprises! Read on for more, and for one of (IMO) Erol’s best illustrations… and given the body of the man’s work, this is no small praise.

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Earth Delta Design Diary 10/13/2010


Earth Delta Design Diary 10/13/2010: Quillrays

 

ixitxachitl lolcat

 

(Earth Delta, for anyone who arrived here because they typed some seriously warped things into their favorite porno search engine, is Lizard’s take on post-apocalyptic, Gamma World style roleplaying using the Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition rules.)

OK, with Beta 1C happily posted, it’s time to get back to work. While I have a bunch of notes on some interesting new weapons I want to add, and I need to review paragon level powers and come up with some new Paragon Paths (and maybe focus in on Techniques, mostly neglected for the past several months, and I should decide to either whip them into shape or delete them for now), I really need to begin filling out paragon-tier monsters, both as challenges for high-heroic characters and because they’re the most gaping wound in the paragon tier. Everything else at least had something — mutations, tech, powers — but if you want to run a level 15 game, you’ll be leveling up monsters or rapidly converting creatures from the Monster Manual, neither of which is entirely suitable.

So, naturally, with a desperate need for paragon-tier monsters, I spend a bit of free time while a long data processing task executes designing a trio of heroic tier menaces.

Booty And The Beasts, Part IV

Booty And The Beasts, Part IV: Demons

With Bewbage! (Boobage? B00bage? Someone help me out, here…)

Presenting part IV of my walkthrough of “Booty And The Beasts”, a classic 1979 supplement for “Fantasy Role-Playing Games”, by which we mean, “Dungeons & Dragons”. Prior parts covered Creatures Of The Land, Creatures of the Sea, and Creatures of the Air, so now we get to demons! Not “Baatezu” or any crap like that, but DEEEEMONS. That eat your soul! Nom nom nom!

One of them is the Queen of Lust.

You might be old enough to remember that picture of Loviatar in the original “Deities and Demigods”, or full frontal nudity in “Fineous Fingers” in The Dragon, back when it was “The Dragon” and not “Dragon” and certainly not “Dragon_364.pdf”. Back in the good old days, and this is why they were good, we got actual breastage in our fantasy gaming. And it wasn’t like breasts were commonplace back then, before the Internet.

The head shot, as they like to say in modeling ads. For more…

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Booty And The Beasts, Part III

Booty And The Beasts, Part III: Creatures Of The Air

With Galactic Dragons

What’s Not To Love?

Welcome back to the third installment of my walkthrough/review/look at “Booty And The Beasts”, a classic unofficial Dungeons & Dragons supplement from the late 1970s. The earliest days of roleplaying games were filled with serious high weirdness, unfettered by such shibboleths (I think the shibboleth is a 12 hit die monster that lurks on the astral plane, but don’t quote me) as “balance”, “playability”, or “common sense”. In short — they were totally freaking awesome, dude!I somehow managed to be a teenage Dungeons & Dragons player throughout the 1970s and early 1980s without smoking pot or listening to heavy metal, but books like “Booty And The Beasts” provide a sort of psychic contact high (and, I guess, contact deafness).

Finally got Ye Olde Scannyr working, so I can provide some excerpts. This is important, as one of the greatest things about this book is the Erol Otus artwork. Erol’s art practically defined the zeitgeist (that’s a type of lesser demon, usually found on the 19th and 20th levels of the Abyss, treasure type Q) of the era, and I think you can pin the point at which D&D started to “grow up” at the time when TSR decided his services were no longer required.

Since I know the short-attention span types of the web don’t read much unless they see pictures to break up the text, here’s an Egg Person from Venus:

Egg Person From Venus

Red on to learn more about him! Her! It! Whatever!

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Earth Delta Beta Release 1C

Earth Delta Beta Release 1C

Scavenger, Scholar, Savage, and Ranger for Earth Delta

Woohoo!

After way too long, a new beta of Earth Delta! And in case you’ve missed me whoring it out for the past nine months, Earth Delta is Lizard’s take on post-apocalyptic mutant adventuring, ala Gamma World, using the Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition rules. You know, just like the one WOTC is doing, except mine is taking longer to complete and doesn’t have collectible cards.