„Guests for Dinner“ is a pay-what-you-want, OSR-fantasy dungeon crawl that weighs in at 10 pages, 7 of them including the little OSR run-in-dungeon it is, as well as a quick guide to a nearby town, how and why the dungeon is what it is, and a small (half page) primer on „character-funnel-type play“.
The dungeon itself pretty much what one has to expect from such a limited format: it includes a total of eleven encounter areas, each with its own (rather) brief description. The map is functional and not a bad one, but I miss a scale or a size description. Not that it is overly important (there is a grid and every GM can easily decide upon the measures that fit his or her needs best), but if sizes were been mentioned somewhere in the module, I missed them.
That being said, the module has a horror touch to it that keeps it from being „just vanilla“. While me, as a „horror-film-friend“, had a lot „deja-vu“ during the read, I guess that this icing on the cake takes „Guests for Dinner“ one notch above the middle ground. You will for sure get a „been there, done that“ feeling if you are accustomed to contemporary horror films, but the fact that you have eaten a steak before will not change the fact that a nice piece of steak is a nice piece of steak. And the meat that is there is nice. Of course, the format means that you only get the general ideas and have to work on the rest of it, but the ideas are good and they are all -linked- into the background/synopsis of the adventure. A GM who wants to build up on what is there will have an easy time doing so.
The module may be used as a one-shot, as the start of a campaign or adventure group, or as a „one on the side“ thing that just happens to a group between other adventures. It seems to be excellent as a one shoot for one evening, as it literally drops the characters into the action right from the start.
All in all, I say give it a look and if you actually use it for an evening of entertainment, give some money, too.
Not every encountered should mean trouble or harm to the PC, otherwise the players will start to shun every event to the best of their abilities (and rightly so!). Thereby, I offer you six beneficial events for “vanilla” fantasy OSR games.
The Spider-Wretches are a breed of mutants I came up with when I wrote some additional scenes and encounters for Rivals for Glory. They aren´t very original, but if you search for some filler-monsters to populate parts of your underground tunnels, ruins, vaults and ruins with, they are as good as anything else you might have already thrown at your PC.
The legends and myths of old greek and other ancient civilizations are full of heroes and anti-heroes who have abilities and powers beyond the pale, powers which were often the result of kinship to a god or half-good, a gift of one or something that had been stolen from them. Our more modern stories, like the adventure and fantasy novels (and comics) of the pulp-area, feature such powers as well, but their relation to gods and tribe totems is a more blurred one.
So why should we as GM, as the storytellers of our time, not use such mighty powers as well?
Lamentations of the Flame Princess and some other OSR games suggest to use (slightly) alternate versions of our own world as backdrop for adventure games. This approach has a lot of advantages, as everybody is able to read up on a given area via wikipedia.org or other websites like this one (for the Tudor Area). And the real world was (and is) a grim-dark place for sure: there was the 30-years-war in Germany, the reign of the black plague in Europe, life in Paris during the time of musketeers was filthy and cruel, the “northmen” still were vikings as the first christian missionaries arrived, the Conquistadors were terrible savages in their own right, etc. Using the real world leaves a GM with a problem in regard to one class, so: clerics, due to their healing spells.
Time for another release. This time I leave the post-apocalypse and the weird realms of dark-fantasy behind me for a while to enter the Kingdom of Vanilla Fantasy in order to release Codes of Conduct.
This title provides you 35 possible principles for (guess what?) codes of conduct. A GM that wants to create a special “code of honor” for a PC class or an NPC caste (or complete fantasy folk) may use them for inspiration, players who want to flesh out a personal code of behavior for their PC (either as part of a “disadvantage” or for the roleplaying experience of it) may do so, too.
Some of the entries include [optional suggestions] (always written in brackets, like those in the example). Those should be filled with something that fits the game world and the character in question. Below you will find the first 15 principles, so that you get an idea what this is all about.