Tag Archives: Booty And The Beasts

Necromican, Level 10 And Up!

Necromican, Level 10 And Up

What Do You Mean? Nine’s As High As Spells Go

Nope, These Go To Eleven Twelve

Necromican

Necromican

OK, Boils and Ghouls! The last part of this series covers the seriously munchkin stuff, without the John Kovalic art. For earlier parts of this series, click one of the preceding words, each one takes you to a different part. For this part of this series, keep reading.

This booklet shows off one of the best parts of Old School Gaming — sheer over-the-topness, for when Power Word Kill and Wish just aren’t good enough. If you’re fighting galactic dragons, after all, they’re not! Forget all that Fantasy Fucking Vietnam and “let’s pour water on the floor and see how it pools” crap. In this kind of Old School play, if you wanted to find a pit trap… nah, you never wanted to find a pit trap. You were too busy casting Summoning Of The Black Hole. Not a euphemism.

As usual, this will be a selected subset of the wonderment that lies within, not an exhaustive repetition of the contents.

Tenth Level Spells

Duplication

This spell creates 1-4 duplicates of the caster, without his magic items. It’s not clear if this means that if he’s wearing a magic wizard robe, and nothing underneath it, his duplicates appear with a non-magic version of the same robe, or naked. I suppose it depends on the emotional maturity of the DM and his fellow players. Given the state of gaming culture at the time…

Player 1: Oh, I know! I’ll cast Duplication!
DM: OK, you get (roll) 2 duplicates. They’re naked.
Player 2: (Snorting laugh) Dude, we can see your thingie!
Player 1: Can not! Shut up!
Player 3: Oh, gross! Isn’t your magic user 30 or something? That’s ancient!
Player 2: Yeah, I bet it’s all warty!
Player 1: SHUT UP!

The spell also notes, wisely, that duplicates cannot duplicate themselves. Hey, it was the first thing I thought of, and I guarantee you that line was added after the first time the spell was used in play to create Infinite Magic Users, presumably with infinite warty thingies. (Would “Infinite Warty Thingies” be a good name for a band? Probably not.)

Cube Of Space

This spell create a 10′ by 10′ by 10′ cube around the caster. Each face of the cube is a “portal into deepest outer space”. So, someone shoots an arrow into the cube, it goes into space, and possibly hits a small space-worm, who just says “Oh no, not again.”  Anyone charges at the caster, they’re tossed into space. It’s a one-way trip; the cube can’t be re-entered from the space side. It’s not clear, from the description, if the caster can fire out of the cube or not, which is kind of key. If they can, they can sit there like an artillery unit and blast the crap out of things. If they can’t, this is mostly defensive.

Excellent Prismatic Spray

Roll To See What Drop Off

Roll To See What Drop Off

Why should Gary Gygax be the only one to rip off Jack Vance? This spell is actually closer to the one in the Dying Earth novels than the AD&D spell of nearly the same name. Perhaps that’s why this one is the Excellent Prismatic Spray. (Coming soon: Enterprise Edition Prismatic Spray, Prismatic Spray Lite, Prismatic Spray for Workgroups…) Anyway, you cast this spell at a single target, and it dices him into 1-10 pieces, and you roll on the accompanying chart to see which pieces they are. For non-humanoids, you are instructed to “simply draw charts similar to this one”.

It’s kind of worth noting that there’s no specific rules for the damage done by any part being lopped off, or any other effects. “OK, you’re dead.” “Why?” “You got both your legs chopped off! And your thingie!” “So, I didn’t take any damage.” “Yeah, but you’re totally bleeding everywhere!” “Since when? You never bleed from wounds in D&D. I just have to crawl!” “No, you’re dead!” “Are you still mad about that pizza thing? I told you, I thought you’d taken your slice. Give it a rest, man.” Also, does a roll of 8 mean you lose your fingers? What if you were holding your hands in a different position, because, like, I totally was. My hands were nowhere near that ray.

Maturation

When this spell is cast, the players stop seizing every opportunity to make lame double-entendres and try to reasonably evaluate rules conflicts without rancor or hostility. I seem to have constantly saved against it.

The Jaws Of Set

OK, so, this is awesome. Giant invisible snake jaws appear, biting your enemies for 1-100 points of damage. 100 hit points (remember, this was an era when the largest red dragons had only 88 hit points), moves at double speed, teleports without error, and has AC 2+2, which is AC 0, not AC 4. If you don’t understand why, you’re not Old School. N00b! The summoned jaws last until destroyed, which means, you’ve got invisible jaws that do 1-100 damage and can teleport to any point you wish and go chomp. I wouldn’t memorize any other 10th level spell. Seriously, can you imagine having… wait, how many 10th level spells do you get, anyway? There’s no rules for magic-users in this book, and none of the official D&D books gave you more than 9th level spells, no matter how high level your character was. Sigh. Yet another example of where the local house rules were so internalized the authors forgot to include them.

Eleventh Level Spells

Green Beam

I can only imagine this spell was created by DMs for use against players. It targets a magic item, and de-magics it. To restore the item, you need three simultaneous wishes, each cast by a magic-user, not from a scroll or item. This reeks of the got-you-last one-upmanship that most Monty Haul games reached in their final stages. It was very rare for monsters to have magic items in those days, so this is either DM vs. player or player vs. player magic. As is…

Magic Nullification

Simply nullifies all magic items, weapons, armor, power, and abilities for 1-6 rounds, save for half duration. Again, the main focus here seems to be to let the DM kill a player… I mean, a character… who is wrapped in so many magic items they can’t be easily thwarted.

Call Of The Comet

You call a comet. You designate a landing zone within 240′ of you when you cast it, then skedaddle. 1d6 days later, a comet appears. Based on the roll, it can be anything from pea-sized, doing 1d6, to 100′ feet in diameter, doing 100d6 and leaving a mile-wide crater. (Presumably, it does the damage to everyone within a half mile of the impact point.)

Probably really sucks if you wait six days then get a comet that’s about as impressive as a slingshot pellet.

For the mid-range effects, a standard issue fireball does about as much damage and doesn’t take days to show up. This spell is one of those “But.. but… it’s a comet!” things, where the sheer awesomeness of the concept distracted the designers from the utility of the spell itself.

Mass Insanity

This spell causes 10 x the caster’s level people within a one mile area to go insane, rolling on a chart to determine Paranoia, Schizophrenia, Sexual Perversion (what? No detailed subchart for that? Son, I am disappoint), etc. The description notes that it’s useful for livening up dull little hamlets. (And possibly dull little MacBeths, I suppose. Badum BUM!)

Twelfth Level Spells

The Sorcerer’s Spacecraft

A magical spaceship

Spelljammer, This Ain’t

So, how do you get into space to fight Galactic Dragons? With this, of course, which makes this an amazingly stupid spell to cast. Why give the DM any excuse to throw one of those TPK nightmares at you? Anyway, conjures spaceship, magically controlled flying saucer, top deck is good for cocktail parties which are things the typical D&D player of 1978 may have heard of but would never be invited to, speed is 10 million MPH, which pretty much means it’s limited to in-system travel (kind of surprising, really, you’d think there’d be an FTL drive. Maybe the designers thought that wouldn’t be realistic. You laugh, but I’ve seen far sillier debates).

Genocide

Ah, now we’re getting somewhere! Uhm… no we’re not. This spell kills 10 times the caster’s level in humans. (Only humans? What if I want to destroy the Elven Menace, before they destroy us?) Assuming that casting 12th level spells requires being 24th or 25th level, that’s still only about 250 people. That’s not “genocide”, that’s “a typical summer in Chicago”. There are many less powerful spells that will kill many more people. The spell also notes that “a save results in no effect”. Does this mean each target saves individually? Damn, that’s a lot of rolling.

The Black Forest

This spell conjures ham, pickles, assorted mustards, and… no, wait. This spell creates a square mile of Evil Forest, which is exactly what you need to surround your Evil Wizard Tower. It springs up overnight, and also gives you 1-100 giant spiders, 1-100 evil ents, and 1-100 orcs, all under your control. Nothing in the spell description says it can only be cast in specific locations, so I’d cast it in the heart of a major city. In one night, the entire city is destroyed by the magical trees, and the survivors are hunted down by my spiders, ents, and orcs. Bwahahah! I’ll bet I kill a lot more people than that “genocide” spell does. Oooh, what a misnomer! I’m still pissed at that. Nearly as pissed as I was that time I went into the “Virgin Megastore”. Talk about false advertising! Where was I?

Soul Drain Deflection

This spell lets you pick someone else to be the target of any soul-draining effect cast on you. There’s no indication they need to be willing, or get a saving throw. The possibilities for amusement should be self-evident.

Summoning Of The Black Hole

A black hole is summoned. All in the area are sucked into it, and deposited into deep space, requiring three simultaneously cast wishes to bring them back. Presumably, they also get killed in the process of going through the singularity, though that’s not spelled out. (Argument time!) Those who do make their save are merely compressed to a piece of matter about a millimeter in size. I’d guess you only need a single Wish, or even a bog-standard Resurrection spell, to restore them to life.

And So, It Ends

Thus, we come to the end of the Necromican walkthrough. I really wish Fantasy Art Enterprises had made more books. There are rumors some of them went on to real jobs, or might have met girls, or otherwise were distracted from producing works of singular awesometude. Sic transit gloria mundi.  (“Gloria is ill on the subway on Monday.”)

Oh, and this is for an earlier spell, and I think I may have included it anyway, but, just in case I haven’t, here it is:

Thoth Amon's Organ Request

Thoth Amon’s Organ Request

Necromican, Level 8 And 9

Necromican, Level 8 And 9

Featuring Benign Boots

Necromican

Necromican

Wow. I just checked and realized the last post in this series was written almost a year ago. Fortunately, that wasn’t the last time this site was updated, though it seems that way at times. I’ll try to do better after GenCon. My imaginary audience needs real articles, damn it!

Should I keep y’all in suspense, or should I just jump, right now, to the single best part of this section, and perhaps of the entire book, the illustration for the Benign Boots? Well, unfortunately, I apparently already posted the illustration long before I got here. Also the two articles I mentioned being in progress over a year ago are still in progress. Wow. My laziness astonishes even me.

Ah well, here it is again.

Benign Boots by Erol Otus

Lorraine Williams Still Would Not Have Approved

For those just wandering in from some random link, this article is part of a series looking at the wonderful (that should be read, by the way, without sarcasm or irony, because it is wonderful, in every way, full of wonders) classic old-school, and highly unofficial, supplement, “The Necromican” (note spelling, compare to Lovecraft), produced by Fantasy Art Enterprises in 1979. This was one of two such books they produced, which is a deep pity, as they could have gone on to all manner of greatness. The other was the even more astounding and wondrous Booty And The Beasts.

(You can see the first part of the Necromican review here , the second part here, the third part here, the fourth part here, and the fifth part here.)

Variable Shape Fireball

One of the classic problems with “Let’s pretend” games that don’t come with volumes of rules that resemble calculus textbooks crossed with Sports Illustrated’s Chainmail Swimsuit Issue is the constant arguing and fighting. (“Bang bang! I got you!” “Nuh uh, you couldn’t see me!” “Could too!” “Could not!”). In modern games, these kinds of childish disagreements are resolved objectively using cover and concealment rules. (“Hah! I shot the orc!” “No way, you couldn’t see him!” “Could to!” “Oh yeah? Look. The rules say to draw an imaginary line for any three of four corners which bisects the center of the figure…” “Nuh uh, those rules have been errata’d. You draw a line from the center of one square to the center of the other and if it passes through fewer squares than the average of your Wisdom and BAB you can roll 1d4 and count off counter-clockwise (clockwise in Australia) until you…”)

Yeah. Anyway, back in Ye Olden Dayse, one of the biggest sources of Creative and Imaginative Immersive Roleplaying Not Rollplaying was “Arguing over whether or not the stupid magic-user blasted you with his fireball.” This spell in the Necromican settles that, by allowing the M-U to specify any imaginable shape for his fireball… well, fireblob, really, I guess… so long as it remained contiguous, with the specific and explicitly noted purpose of excluding the MU’s friends, which , I feel obliged to note, did not necessarily mean “all members of his party”. (This particular distinction would one day be reborn with D&D 4e and discussions over who counted as an “ally”. Actually, come to think of it, it still shows up in Pathfinder, as I often need to decide if a particularly dubious NPC counts as an “ally” for purposes of buff spells.)

Monster Analyzer

This spell creates a 10 foot long spiked club and shoves it straight up the monster’s… wait… no, I’ve seen too many movies with ‘clever’ titles. This spell analyzes the monster, revealing hit points, AC, immunities, and so on. Again, it’s interesting that we see an example of the repeated pattern of spells substituting for missing non-spell mechanics, in this case, some means to measure character knowledge of monsters.  (We had two ways to do it. One, the player memorized the Monster Manual, and/or learned by having various characters die, then, through a sort of Akashic memory, having his next character know what killed his previous character, and, two, the DM ruthlessly snarling at you if you showed knowledge your character didn’t have. I don’t remember ever being told to “roll an intelligence check” to determine if my character knew something.) Anyway, this spell might make a lot of sense, but not as an eighth level spell. Even in munchkin games, you did not have high level memorizations to waste on a spell like this. First or second level, sure. It was probably eighth level because “Try to hit the players with a monster they don’t know everything about” was a big part of the meta-game, which was a lot more competitive back then.

Unrequested Ethereal Ejection

This sounds like something you tell your doctor about in strict confidence, and hope he gives you the pills himself rather than making you bring a prescription to your pharmacist. Casting the spell requires the somatic component “Honest, honey, that’s never happened to me before.” Sigh. Well, actually, it sends the target to the ethereal plane, which means it should be called Unrequested Ethereal Insertion, which I’m pretty sure is a Class-D felony that carries a minimum 5 year penalty. The spell gleefully notes that “none of the victim’s accouterments accompany him, so the target appears on the ethereal plane quite naked.”

Benign Boots

You’ve seen the picture, now read about the spell! This spell creates magic boots around your feet. When you die, the boots transport themselves and the corpse onto the astral plane and then run at triple speed to a predesignated place of safety. I’m not sure how much good this would do if you’ve been disintegrated or had your legs sliced off, but that’s what DMs are for, to make these kinds of judgments without needing mounds of tedious special-case rules, and then listen to the players whine about them. I suspect the main use for this spell was to get your body away from your fellow adventurers before they looted your corpse.

Level 9

Gaze Of Cthulhu

This spell gives you the face of Cthulhu, so, everyone around you passes out with fear and wakes up gibbering. (Save for stun.) It’s not 100% clear if the “wakes up gibbering” is permanent, but it’s strongly implied. Notable mostly for the fact that this book was published two years before Call of Cthulhu really brought Lovecraft’s work front-and-center in the RPG world, and a year before TSR’s Deities and Demigods, which is what introduced most of us ignorant young savages to the Elder Gods. In other words, the Lovecraft references in this and B&TB shows they were ahead of the curve.

Hope

Sadly, there is not a corresponding spell called “Change”. Anyway, this spell is “like the wishes granted by genies”, except, instead of saying “I wish…” you say “I hope…”, and there’s a 50% chance of the spell working. Which might be kind of cool, except that, by the time this book came out, the “Wish” spell, which was also 9th level, had been part of D&D lore for years, appearing in Greyhawk in 1976.  There’s no modifiers to the spell that make it superior to Wish, except that Wish will incapacitate you for 2-8 days and this will only do so for 1 day. (So, really, you could play the odds and cast the same Hope every day until you got it. On average, you’ll have less downtime.)

Desolation

This spell kills all non-magical plant life in a one-mile area. The description notes “…this spell would not kill ents, but would destroy the forest they were living in.” Yeah. Yeah. How’d that work out for Saruman? Why not just call this spell “Summon pissed-off trees”?

Perilous Parasite

This is basically a “drain stats” spell, with the nice special effect of creating a parasite inside the victim’s skull and the text notes that said parasite is only detectible by cutting open the victim’s head and looking inside. I’ll take the stat drain, thank you.

Superb Submersible

Ixitxachitl

Ixx-ticks-ack-ittil?

This spell creates a small, magically powered, submarine with a depth ceiling (depth floor?) of 360′ and a duration of four hours, which leads me to wonder how many DMs gleefully sat there while the players dithered and dilly-dallied and counted out their copper pieces before announcing “Spell’s over, you’re 360 feet underwater, and look, here come some Ixit… Ixitch… Ixchitz…. Evil Manta Ray People!”

These guys. Right here.  Or, better yet, any of the horrid undersea things from Booty And The Beasts.

Demon Summoning A

This spell summons one of four demons, statted out in the book. The spell lasts 24 hours, and the demon will vanish at the end of said time, whether it completes the task or not. The demon is obliged to try to complete the task, though, not just hang around and wait for the clock to run out. Anyway, what make this spell interesting is that the type of demon you get is random, and the tasks each can perform are not identical. In other words, you might want a demon to do some particular deed, then get one which can’t do it. So, basically, this spell is for people who want to summon a demon and then decide what to accomplish with it. I guess it might make sense to have a list of tasks, at least one of which is suited to each demon you might summon. Oh, one of the demons, the imaginatively named Dark Demon, requires you to sacrifice the soul of a close friend when it is summoned. So, never summon without your buddy! (Also, have a large supply of ‘close friends’. The problem is, as I see it, that the demon requires genuine sacrifice — you really have to like the guy. So this means finding a lot of people you genuinely care about, and somehow managing to keep genuinely caring about them while knowing they’re all potential demon fodder.)

And Onwards

Now, you might think that with ninth level spells done, we’re done, but oh no! This was the late 1970s, an era when everything went up to Eleven…or in the case of the Necromican, up to Twelve. (Twelth level spells, that is!)

Necromican, Level 4

The Necromican

Necromican

Necromican

Level 4

OK, this is, I think, the first real, content-laden article written for the “new” mrlizard.com . (Much like the new boss, it’s pretty much the same as the old boss.) Anyway, we (by which I mean ‘me’, in much the same way that ‘we have to clean out the garage’ means ‘you have to clean out the garage’ in wife-speak)  are continuing our walk through the pages of the Necromican (note, no “nom”, no “con”), the 1979 highly unofficial supplement for Dungeons & Dragons published by Fantasy Art Enterprises. Levels 1-3 were covered here.This section covers level 4. I’m trying to do more, shorter, articles to give this blog the illusion of life. Hmm… if no one sees the illusion of a tree falling in the forest, does it make a sound? Of course not, moron, phantasmal force doesn’t produce sound, you need audible glamer (sic) for that!

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Galactic Dragon

Booty And The Beasts — The Complete Epic Saga

In honor of finally getting content (mostly) moved over, themes set, plugins plugged, and all of that, I am posting a link to the “complete” Booty and the Beasts review/walkthrough — all eight inconsistently named parts!

Creatures Of the Land — Fungus Men, Neutronium Golems, Living Hills, and more!

Creatures Of the Sea — Sonic Fish, Deadly Diatoms, Neptunians, and more!

Creatures of the Air (and Space): — Galactic Dragon!!!! (And more, but, really, the Galactic Dragon is all you need.)

Demons: Queen Of Lust. And some others. But mostly, the Queen of Lust.

Parasites: Spine Crabs, Macrosites, Womb Lice, and, yeah, more!

Robots: Drillbots and Dredbots… and more!

Magical Booty: Gumbos, gumbos, gumbos. And the Wand of the Marrow Squid. And more!

Tech Booty:Lasers, Masers, and the Multi-Eye People of Algol IV. And more!

And as a special bonus… the first part of my review/walkthrough of the Necromican, the companion volume of spells!

Necromican Levels 1-3

Necromican, Part I

The Necromican

Please note the spelling. There’s no “nom” (make your own lolcat joke) and it’s “can”, not “con”. Also, did you ever notice it was “Joo-ib-il-ex” and not “Joo-buh-lex”? This has nothing to do with the Necromican, it’s just a random observation.

Anyway, the Necromican is one of two seriously unofficial Dungeons & Dragons supplements produced by Fantasy Art Enterprises back in 1979, the other being, of course, Booty And The Beasts. (That’s part 1 of, believe it or not, 8. Read all 8 parts. Then get back here. There may be a quiz.) The Necromican is, as you may have guessed, a book of spells, ranging from such simple first level magics as the Spell Of Good Grooming to such puissant (thank you, Gary Gygax, for doing to my vocabulary what McDonalds did to my waistline) thaumaturgies as the 12th level Summoning of the Black Hole. These mighty magics are…

Huh? Yes, 12th level. As I was saying, these spells…

Yes, it was written for “Most Fantasy Role-Playing Games”, and that meant “Dungeons & Dragons”, just as surely as when you hear someone complain about “International Bankers”, what they mean is, “Greedy Jews”.

Yes, the Player’s Handbook only went to ninth level. So what’s your point? The Necromican goes to twelfth level (which makes even the “These go to 11″ joke not work, because these go to twelve). Do you think we were bothered by such trivialities? It was pretty easy to extend the spell chart, following the same pattern, to allow for 10th and higher level spells. How do you think we were supposed to deal with things like the Galactic Dragon? With “Magic Missile”?

Gods! Kids these days.

I think I’ll start with a look at the first level or two of spells. As with the Booty and the Beast articles, I won’t be listing each and every item, just calling out a few I think are particularly interesting.

IMPORTANT WARNING!!!!

Much as the creator of Dilbert has been accused of undermining the Worker’s Revolution by appearing to mock pointy haired bosses but actually is a tool used by the capitalist pigs to divert the rage of the oppressed (and when the guys in IT rise up to rebel, watch out!), I have recently been informed that my purpose in life is to “destroy” old school gaming and that when I write articles such as this, or the B&TB series, I am “denigrating” this style of play by focusing on the “sophomoric” aspects, or, as I would call them, the totally fracking awesome aspects. So if you read this and you are filled with a sudden desire to pitch your old D&D books out the window and go play, I dunno, “My Life With Master” or something, or maybe decide the most fun you could possibly have would be a three hour long argument over how to apply the rules for grappling with multi-armed creatures with reach in D&D 3.x, then it’s clear I’ve succeeded in my fiendish plot and have twisted your mind against anything that comes in a Little Brown Book. On the other hand, if you respond to these articles with “Dude! Where can I get a copy of this?”, then I’ve failed, and will undoubtedly be ordered to report to my secret Illuminati masters for re-assignment.

Remember: I secretly HATE the Necromican, and Booty and the Beasts, and All The Worlds Monsters (haven’t done that one yet, but it’s on the agenda) and the Ready Ref Sheets (ditto) and all the other stuff I’ve carted around with me from when I was an 8th grader in 1978 until now, and I spend 1-2 hours writing these articles, for no pay (I’ve earned about ten bucks from Google ads in three years. Trust me, this is “for no pay”), just to FOOL you into thinking that these books and systems are things which have tremendously influenced me and helped shape my writing style and vision. I am LYING when I say I am still awed and amazed by the breadth of creativity and passion displayed by Gary Gygax and Dave Hargrave (among others, but those two remain the twin ruling gods in my pantheon). My whole purpose in life is to MOCK their work and DESTROY their legacy.

Just so we’re perfectly clear. I would never wish to be dishonest. Oh, wait… according to my stalker critic, I am innately dishonest, so I guess that doesn’t work, either.

Oh well.

Just read on, and I hope you enjoy the article while I POISON YOUR MIND WITH MY LIES!

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Booty And The Beasts, Part VIII: Technology

Booty And The Beasts Part VIII: Technological Items

“And now… the end is…” Wait, I did that bit already?

Tyler's Genitals Are Drilled Off

Alright then! Well, this is the end, the final, the ultimate, the conclusion, the finish, the… boy, online thesauruses…thesauris..thesa… collections of synonyms are great! Anyway, this section covers technological items from Booty and the Beasts! What’s Booty and the Beasts, you ask? It’s not a new cartoon on Adult Swim about a hot girl who travels the country solving mysteries with a bunch of cliched monsters ripped off from Universal Studios, though, now that I think about it, that’s not a bad idea. Someone pitch it to them. Nor is it a rap album. It is, rather, an seriously unofficial supplement for Dungeons & Dragons, published in 1979 by Fantasy Art Enterprises, wonderfully illustrated by Erol Otus, and it features such amazing creations as the Galactic Dragon and some slightly less amazing creations such as the Gas Bag Neck People.

Those would be the “beasts”; this is the “booty”, the treasure, the loot, the bling, the swag, the… OK, enough thesaurus jokes. (I’m pretty sure the thesaurus was a 12 hit die dinosaur in the original Monster Manual, come to think of it). The first part of the booty articles covered the magical items; this part covers the technological items. Yes, technological items. You see, back in the good old days, we didn’t worry about “cohesiveness” or have any weird forge games which were tightly focused on playing one type of character through one type of story. We used D&D rules as a sort of semi-generic system into which we could toss anything we could imagine, and we could imagine quite a bit. Mixing tech and fantasy was commonplace, and Booty & The Beasts both fed off and fed into that zeitgeist. (Really, it all probably started with “Temple of the Frog” in Blackmoor.)

Anyway, from Pulse Lasers to Plasma Blades, they’re all in here… read on!

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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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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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