Dolmenwood: Trolls and Ogres


I've known for a long time that both trolls and ogres lurk in the Dolmenwood. I've also known that these beasts are somewhat different to their standard D&D cousins. New research has now revealed the following details about them -- adventurers beware! (Stats to be determined some time in the future.)

Trolls
A race of hulking, obese monstrosities native to Fairy. In height, they are two to three times as large as a human, and many times greater in bulk. Their flesh is like clay and utterly hairless. If a limb is severed, it can be reattached without harm. The teeth in their great maws are flat, grinding molars. They do not eat flesh, but subsist solely on mosses. The profusion of moss in Dolmenwood -- and especially the prevalence of varieties infused with arcane energies -- attracts them to graze in the mortal world. Their most favourite delicacy is the flavour of moss that has grown on the corpses of sentient beings. This leads them to murder. The mere touch of a troll causes moss to take root and sprout in mortal flesh. Trolls are creatures of the dank and dark. Their greatest weakness, in the mortal world, is direct exposure to daylight, which turns them into stone within 3 rounds. Trolls are thus found lurking in shaded regions of the wood, often taking shelter in caves or beneath bridges during the daytime. They are slow-witted but devious creatures, whose voices carry the power of suggestion.

Ogres
Likewise, are hulking and obese, similar in size to trolls. Ogres, however, are a twisted race of mortals. They are grotesquely hairy and exceedingly ugly. Fangs jut higgeldy-piggeldy from their wide mouths. Their heads are adorned with horns that vary from individual to individual: they may number one, two, three, or four, and may be stunted, twisted, or curled like rams'. Ogres are carnivores specialising in the digestion of humanoid flesh. They hunt mercilessly, delighting in rending sentients of lesser stature limb from limb, or in capturing them alive, to be later roasted over bonfires or boiled in great cauldrons. Their hateful and wicked nature makes them favoured servants of the Nag-Lord, in Dolmenwood.

B/X Essentials: Monsters -- Writing Complete!


It's been a long, hard haul, but I'm delighted to announce that my completely fresh Open Game Content rendition of the classic Basic / Expert monsters is complete!

The complete text is online here.

What's new about this?
Haven't there been a zillion rewrites of these monsters for all different editions of D&D since the dawn of time? Indeed there have! But my new rendition is a bit different. The major focus is on usability as a reference during play:
  • Bullet points formatting: The original B/X monsters are written up in a "wall of text" style, making it rather difficult to pick out all the pertinent information quickly during play. My new write-ups break down each monster's description into a set of bullet points, making it much simpler to get an overview of the creature's abilities, at a glance, and much quicker to jump to the text for the appropriate ability, as needed.
  • Everything in one place: There are no "see X" references to be seen. Everything you need to run each monster is right there in one place. This means that you never need to flip back and forth between pages to look up rules for monsters' abilities. (For example, the description of the rules for monsters' swallow whole ability is repeated in the description of each monster that has that ability.)
  • Terse writing: Phrasing is kept minimal, for rapid reading during play.
  • Full detail: And yet these are full write-ups, not merely super minimal stat blocks. The full information is presented, including descriptions of the monsters' appearance, habitat, behaviour, and so on.

So what's next?
Proofreading is beginning, then it'll be onto layout, illustration, and then publication as the fourth book in the B/X Essentials product line. (More information on B/X Essentials.)

Necrotic Gnome One Page Dungeon Contest Prizes



Necrotic Gnome Productions is proud to sponsor the esteemed One Page Dungeon Contest in its tenth year!

Necrotic prizes in the treasure hoard:

  • 1 print-on-demand collection of B/X Essentials. (Core Rules, Classes and Equipment, Cleric and Magic-User Spells.)
  • 5 PDF collections of B/X Essentials.

Forthcoming Adventures in Dolmenwood


As I mentioned last year, there are several new adventures set in Dolmenwood in the works. My own adventure (the one about a fairy banquet, market, and ball) has unfortunately fallen by the wayside, as I've had to focus on other things. However, two other cats have come up with the goods. Here's what we have in the works.

(Both adventures are suitable for 1st - 2nd level adventurers, and are expected to come in at around 40-45 pages. To be published in digest-size print and PDF.)

The Fungus That Came To Blackeswell
By Yves Geens

What's that you say? Doesn't an adventure with that name already exist? Didn't Bryce Lynch write a glowing review of it and include it in his "the best" category? Why yes, you are correct! This adventure was published some years back as part of the Psychedelic Fantasies line. I read it at the time and it immediately shouted "this could be set in Dolmenwood!" to me. I suggested this to the author, Yves Geens, and he obliged by coming up with a new edition of the adventure, specifically set in Dolmenwood.

Check out Bryce's review of the original version of this adventure here.

Synopsis: An isolated village in the sodden lowlands of Dolmenwood is overrun by fungus of a wildly varied and nefarious nature. The inhabitants are reduced to either vicious fungal drones or cowering shut-ins. Can YOU save the day (should you care to)? How can YOU profit from the unfortunate situation (should this be your thing)?

Status: Draft layout almost finished. Play testing to begin soon.


The Wicked Child of Swynethorp
By Kyle Hettinger

Synopsis: A young lad, the son of a minor lord, has gone insane, running amok in the local village. Rewards are offered, doctors and priests are consulted, but none can figure out what ails the boy. The sinister truth will take adventurers into a strange mirror world, ruled by a fairy lordling dubbed The Prince of Looking Glasses. Can YOU restore the lad to sanity and claim the reward (should you care to)? How can YOU profit from the unfortunate situation (should this be your thing)?

Status: Draft layout in progress. Play testing to begin semi-soon.

Looking for Dolmenwood Play Testers!


Edit: I also posted this on google+, and the response has been swift and vigorous! The need for play testers has now been met :)

Looking for play testers!

There are two Dolmenwood adventures in the works, and both are nearing the stage where they'll be in need of some play testing. I'm looking for a few DMs who would like to run these adventures and give feedback. I'm looking for detailed feedback (on how the adventures work in play, along with any suggestions for things that could be tweaked), more than just a simple "it was fun".

In return for your help, you'll be credited in the module and will get a free PDF copy and at-cost print-on-demand copy of the finished thing.

If you're interested, send me a line (comment here, email, g+).