Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Iron Maiden's Eddie the Head for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition


Flash Gordon: Lion Men for Old School Essentials

Lion Men for Old School Essentials

"Thun and the other Lion Men are depicted as human-like aliens, but with orange skin and leonine tails. The Lion Men are shown as living in tents and using "Space Gyro" aircraft, which are capable of defeating Ming's rocket ships in aerial combat. The Lion Men also have access to artillery, and are shown to own a mortar gun capable of destroying a small city. Thun helped Flash Gordon twice in stopping Ming marrying Dale. Thun and the Lion Men appeared on a semi-regular basis in the later Flash Gordon comic strips."

AC 7 [12], HD 2 (11hp), Att 1 × pistol (1d10), THAC0 15 [+4],  
MV 90’ (30’), SV D9 W10 P9 B12 S10 (MU9), ML 11, AL Lawful, 
XP 2,300, NA 1 (1), TT A, B, G, N, O

▶ Leader: Groups are led by a lion man with 16 hit points. The leader gains a +1 bonus to damage rolls.

▶ Lion Man Royalty: A 4HD (22hp) royal rules a lion man pride. The royal gains a +2 bonus to damage rolls.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Marvel Monday: Doctor Doom for Old School Essentials

Doctor Victor Von Doom for Old School Essentials

"King of Space." "Master of the Sun." You claim such vast domains. Is it to balance your small souls? Could I not lay claim to the light and the void, if I wished it? Have I not earned such titles? I, who have mastered all arts, all sciences, all secrets? Whose technology and magic cross the stars as easily as they scramble an alpha telepath's mind? Who would dare to say I have not earned the right? Yet I am king of a simple nation. On a simple planet. A beloved garden tended by iron hands. And the only title I have ever claimed... is doctor."

AC -1 [21], HD 9 (40hp), Att 1 × pistol (1d10), THAC0 15 [+4],  
MV 90’ (30’), SV D9 W10 P9 B12 S10 (MU9), ML 11, AL Lawful, 
XP 2,300, NA 1 (1), TT A, B, G, N, O

> Spells: Has three 1st level, three 2nd level, three 3rd level, two 4th level, and one 5th level spell memorized (choose or select at random). Additionally, he can cast detect magic, magic missile, read magic, and shield without memorizing them.

>Flight: Flies at a speed of 180' (60')

> Class: Usually treated as 3rd level fighter, but may be of any class and level.

> Knight and retainers: Accompanied by three 3rd level fighters (knights), up to 3 2nd level fighters (squires) and up to ten 1st level fighters (retainers).

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Cryptid Con

As a kid, the TV show In Search Of led me do further reading about cryptids, forteana, and high strangeness and I've been able to share that interest with my family. Yesterday and today we spent at the 4th Cryptid Con in Lexington, KY (little over an hour away from Boone County KY where I live) and it was just a total blast.

I've been to plenty of gaming conventions and I've worked plenty of comic conventions and there is nothing quite like Cryptid Con in my opinion. From my experiences, the comic and gaming industries are filled with large egos and plenty of drama and there has been none of that at any of the Cryptid Cons I've attended.

Even people with TV shows like Ghost Adventures and Finding Bigfoot are not only very easily accessible but really cool to talk to. You aren't going to be in long lines to have them charge you for an autograph and get a pic with your phone you are going to stand right next to them and talk to them or run into them in a restaurant or a hallway and they seem to be having as much fun as I am. I realize cryptids are a niche within a niche, but in 2021 its really cool to have nothing but positive experiences with like-minded, kind people.

One of the things that I feel makes this community so cool is that its predicated on listening to other people's experiences--yes, it might be a ghost, a snallygaster, or an alien but even the biggest names at the show have to listen to other stories for their job. And I think the world could use a lot more of that. Someone to listen to you and someone to say, "I get you, I might not have had your experience, but I get you and you are not alone."

How cool is that? I watched people from every walk of life hang out and create memories with each other instead of finding ways to divide themselves further. It was cool. Really cool. Heck, the Cryptid Con in 2018 was where I met the extradordinary Eric Bloat of Bloat Games. We missed him this year, but may next year y'know?

I realized years ago that what works for me isn't by any means universal. I sell comics books and DnD for a living. My wife, my kids, and I are always together (we home school). And when it comes to the paranormal and fortean I'm big kook. I hope that all of you find something that...heals you the way Cryptid Con me. This life is short and these times are strange and its good to know you fit somewhere.

Be good to each other!

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Warlord: Deimos for Worlds Without Number

Deimos for Worlds Without Number

HD: 6
AC: 13 
Atk: +2

Dmg: 1d6 + 1 (+1 mace/orb)
Shock: 2 / -- 
Move: 30'
ML: 9
Instinct: 2
Skill: +2

Save: 9+
Effort: 14

• Weilds an Orb that gives him +3 Effort per day and is a +1 mace. 

Partial Arcanist and a Parital Necromancer.

• Prepares 2 first level and 1 second level Arcanist spell per day.

• Knows the following 1st level Arcanist spells: Energetic Construct Evocation, Evoked Image Projection, Manipulatory Shadow Manifestation, Neural Burn Cascae and cast six 1st level spells per day.

• Knows the following 2nd level Arcanist spells: Blindside Skip, Concussive Pinhole Gate, Ghost Fild Emission and can cast three 2nd level spells per day.

• Can prepare six Necromancer spells per day with a max level of two, and cast three spells per day. Typically prepares: Command the Dead, Enfeebling Wave, Final Death, Query the Skull, Raise Corpse, Terrible liveliness.

• Necromaner Arts: Cold Flesh, Red Harvest, Unaging.

"Initially Deimos used advanced New Atlantean science to achieve his ends, later he became an adept of black magic. Deimos was a high priest of the kingdom of Thera who used knowledge hidden in the legendary Scrolls of Blood to ascend to the throne of that city-state. Not content with a single city-state, he plotted to conquer all of Skartaris only to be foiled by Travis Morgan—now known as the Warlord.”

(If you like this post and others like it and have an extra $1 a month, please consider becoming a Patron of Cross Planes on Patreon.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Warlord: Hyaenodons for Old School Essentials

Scavengers and hunters in groups called “clans”. Live in hot regions, typically in savannah or scrublands. Often, thought of harbingers of evil or ill omens.

AC 4 [15], HD 4 (18hp), Att 1 × bite (1d6+2), THAC0 15 [+4],  
MV 130’ (50’), SV D9 W11 P12 B11 S14 (6), ML 8, AL Neutral, 
XP 400, NA 0 (1d4+1), TT P

> Coordinate: Communicate messages such as the location of prey, warnings, anger, and even frustrations through giggles, laughs, and barks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Inhumanoids: D'Compose for Stars Without Number & SIlent Legions

D'Compose for Stars Without Number

HD: 11
AC: 15
Atk: +8 x 2 
Dmg: 1d8 + 2, Shock 3/AC --
Move: 20m
ML: 9
Skills: +3
Save: 10+

• When a creature takes 7 or more damage from D'Compose it must make a Physical save or transform into a zombie. The only way to end the transformation is to expose the zombie to sunlight.


HD: 1
AC: 10
Atk: +1 
Dmg: 1d6
Move: 5m
ML: 10
Skills: +0
Save: 16+

D'Compose for Silent Legions

AC: 0
HD: 11
Atks: Claws +8

Dmg: 1d8 + 2
Move: 60'
Morale: 9
Skill: +1
Special: Undead, Skeletal, Immune to firearms

Madness: 1d6 + 2
Save: 10+

• When a creature takes 7 or more damage from D'Compose it must make a Magic save or transform into a zombie. The only way to end the transformation is to expose the zombie to sunlight.


AC: 8
HD: 1
Atks: Bite +0

Dmg: 1
Move: 20'
Morale: 12
Skill: +0
Special: Undead, Skeletal, Immune to firearms

Madness: 1
Save: 15+

Long ago, D'Compose, along with the other Inhumanoids, engaged in a titanic battle with the Mutores. However, the sun paralyzed him, allowing the Mutores to send him falling in into a pit of amber, trapping D'Compose for much time.

(If you like this post and others like it and have an extra $1 a month, please consider becoming a Patron of Cross Planes on Patreon.)

Monday, November 15, 2021

Marvel Monday: Omm for Hyperborea

for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

No. Encountered: 1
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Size: L
Movement: 50 
Dexterity: 18
Armour Class: 5
Hit Dice: 7
Attack Rate: 1/1 (bite)
Damage: 2d8
Saving Throw: 7 
Morale: 9
Experience Points: 255
Treasure Class: C, G, X

Omm was one of Gaea's earliest spawns and it was worshipped as a god millennia ago, spawning a race of "Spider-People", which were enemies of the equally monstrous Serpent-Men of Set. During the Hyborian Age, the Spider-God was worshipped in the Zamoran town of Yezud, while in Artallus, a town in northern Zamora, the Spider-God was known as Arachna.

If you like this post and others like it and have an extra $1 a month, please consider becoming a Patron of Cross Planes at Patreon.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

The Modern Flesh Golem for Lamentations of the Flame Princess


The Modern Flesh Golem AKA Eldo for Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Armor 14, Movement 45’, 7 Hit Die, Attacks 2 with fist 1d6+4 or weapon+4, Morale 10, Climb 3, Sneak Attack 5, 
Stealth 4, Undead, When Eldo slays a sentient being roll a d6, on a 1-4 he inhales the target's soul and gains 1d8 + the number of HD the creatue had in Hit Points. He can exceed his maximum HP this way and any points in excess of his maximum fade an hour later.

Doktor Tabitha Kelp-Murrow, the Director of Surgery at the Royal Medical School for the last 8 years, was found dead on her estate yesterday. She was violently murdered, having been literally ripped limb from limb sometime after receiving dinner in her workshop around 8pm. Staff reported that she had essentially been living in her workshop after the death of her husband, Lord Jonathan Murrow, nearly three weeks ago.

When questioned by detective Guillaume Saint Cloud, the Doktor's staff said she had been consumed by grief at Lord Murrow's sudden death and that they were all "terribly worried about her". Long-time butler, Nathaniel "Natty" Winthrop told the detective he had approached her about her behavior and that she broke his nose telling him to "piss off" going so far as to threaten to sack him for his familiarity.

Several workers of the estate also mentioned that Maud "Absinthe" Rosewater, an old friend of the Doktor and Lord Murrow's from their time at university, had essentially moved into the workshop with the Doktor the day after Lord Murrow's funeral. Rosewater, the daughter of Lord Ephram and Lady Miriam, has troubled past and has been investigated for theft, grifting, and assault with many suggesting that her family's standing is all that has prevented her from being prosecuted.

Those same workers have also claimed that "associates" of Rosewater were seen bringing "cartloads of stuff, really foul-smelling stuff" deep into the night for weeks now.

The constables are currently seeking Maud Rosewater for questioning as she has not been seen since the murder.

Chief Constable Anyotta Calgary has said that this case is of the highest priority and has warned that witnesses should report any sightings of Maud Rosewater and that they should not attempt to interact with her.

Tabitha and Maud have been on again off again lovers since university with Tabitha marrying Murrow to enhance her career as a surgeon while Maud is a natural practitioner of magic who has made many self-destructive decisions in her pursuit of that knowledge.

Several months ago, Maud, who had taken the name Absinthe within the mystical underbelly she inhabited, sought out Tabitha for help as she had stolen a talisman from a necromancer named Grimme and he had hired brigands to find and capture her. Using her professional reputation and her husband's family's wealth she was able to negotiate a way to return the talisman to Grimme and to pay him off.

Grimme's older brother, Eldo, was dying and the necromancer had tried and failed twice to transfer the man's soul into a new body as the necromancer's powers were waning as he had gotten older. Tabitha concocted a plan where she would use her medical skills and Asbinthe's magic to do what Grimme could not do for Eldo. Tabitha's husband, John, had tolerated the affair between Tabitha and Absinthe but had grown weary that they had not had children and had told her it was time to produce an heir for the Murrow line. He even hinted that he had the pull to force the police to prosecute Absinthe the next time she broke the law in pursuit of her magical knowledge. Tabitha hypothesized that she could kill Murrow, prepare his body for the ritual, and payback Absinthe's debt to Grimme and afterward, the two women could be together.

The Doktor's plan worked as she poisoned her husband over two months using specific toxic components for Absinthe's necromancy and Grimme's people dug up Lord Murrow's body and provided the final ingredients for the ritual.

Two hours after midnight, Eldo's mind was successfully transferred to Murrow's body with Tabitha and Absinthe exuberant that their plan had worked. Unfortunately, Grimme had ordered Eldo to kill Doktor Kelp-Murrow, knock Absinthe unconscious, and steal Tabitha's notes for the ritual. All of which, Eldo did with his newfound undead strength and vitality.

Eldo's illness was very painful and while the surgery and occult ritual were devastating the state of undeath is intoxicating. He wasn't supposed to kill the Doktor but she began telling him what to do, which reminded him of Grimme, and when he grabbed her she came apart like a rag doll. He actually saw her soul begin to go into the light and inhaled greatly causing him to...absorbed...consumed...her very spirit. He'd tried cocaine and even morphine and neither could match what experienced. When Absinthe began screaming somehow he managed to simply knock her out instead of ripping her head off and after a few minutes he gathered what he hopd were all of the Doktor's notes and then threw the witch over his shoulder and bolted into the dead of night.

Gimme was always special, being a warolock and all, and though Eldo loved him he was tired of being second fiddle. Before he'd gotten sick Grimme would talk about increasing the territory of their gang, the Violet Dawn, by going to war Witches of Walson Brown but he'd stopped that as Eldo got sicker. But Eldo might not even need Grimme to tear that coven apart...

Absinthe Rosewater

12, Movement 30',            3 Hit Die, Attacks 1 with weapon or spell, Morale 8, Languages 3, Stealth 2, 3rd level Magic-User, Ring of Protection +1, Wand of Magic Missles 4 charges


Armor 15, Movement 30’, 6 Hit DieAttacks 1 with weapon or spell, Morale 9, Languages 5, Sneak Attack 1, Stealth 3, 6th level Magic-User, Ring of Invisibility 1/day, Locket of Mirror Images 5 charges, Wand of Hold Person 6 charges, 

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Krampus for Old School Essentials

Krampus is a magical entity and malevolent devil who has been exiled from Hell for a crime he cannot remember. Krampus punishes "bad children" by abducting them in the night and feeding on them while posing as an older human male within a village or city. He moves from locations several times a year as he attempts to track down a fellow devil to gain entrance back to Hell.

AC -1 [20], HD 6 (27hp), Att 2 × claw (1d6), THAC0 13 [+6], MV 120’ (40’), SV D10 W11 P12 B13 S14 (6), ML 10, AL Chaotic, XP 400, NA 1 (1), TT V

> Change Visage: Can alter appearance to appear human.

> Fireborn: Immune to damage from fire.

> Questing Beast: Searching for other devils so he can demand that they return him to Hell.

>Something is Killing the Children: Prefers to feed off of children.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Review: Evils of Illmire

We recently ended our latest Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition game and it was my turn to run something. I really wanted to run a Hex Crawl and had an acquaintance tell me how much they enjoyed running Hot Spring Islands as a busy Dungeon Master.

I asked for some recommendations and ended up reading The Dark of Hot Springs Island, Slumbering Ursine Dunes, and the Evils of Illmire

While Hot Springs Island was pretty darn cool its nested tables' use at the table worried me. This is no slight to the module just how unorganized I can be. 

Slumbering Ursine Dunes is phenomenal and was the in the lead at first. It is a Point Crawl, which means it focuse more on locations than an entire hex and I think that is better suited for how my mind works and how much I improvise at the table. It is really gonzo, which I love, but it felt small compared to Evils of Illmire.

For $5 the Evils of Illmire presents 19 Hexes to explore and 12 Dungeons to explore and they are laid out well, easy to print out and perfect for a busy DM running a weekly game. Also, I really enjoy the style of illustration used within the module and it really adds to the atmosphere of the product. Further, the organization really works for my brain and style as a DM. You get digital files of important in-game props and dungeons and though the module is designed for Old School Essentials, DnD B/X, or Labyrinth Lord it includes conversion files for Dnd 5E, Dungeon World, and Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells. 

In my opinion, Illmire is closer to a Point Crawl than a Hex Crawl but its probably best described as a hybrid approach.

This is the Player's Map of the Region.

There are lots of neat extras that you are provided with such as character sheets, pregen characters with optional illustrations, and a GM Screen Insert for you to print off with lots of useful info about Illmire the town. There is an excellent Player's Guide to help fill out why a character would come to Illmire and how their journey to the region went. 

Again, Hot Spring Island and Slumbering Ursine Dunes are very worthwile products but Spellsword Studios is on my radar now and if you are looking to add to a game or start a new game I urge you to pick Evils of Illmire up. I can't recommend it enough and it is a steal at $5.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Wish Upon a Demon Queen

This past Friday we finished our Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Campaign. We'd left Avernus months ago after freeing the city of Elturel and redeeming Zariel and after several years of peace discovered that our Bard's Mother, a Matron of the 8th House of Menzoberranzen, was creating monsters and unleashing them upon the surface world. This led us to Waterdeep, the Underdark, and then to most famous city ruled by Drow.

My character was a Divine Sorcerer named Clete and I really enjoyed playing him. He was an asshole through and through, even after his alignment shifted to Lawful Good, and our characters became a kind of family, though highly dysfunctional, I'm sure you saw that coming. Clete was a no good liar, lazy, a rule-breaker, and motivated by platinum, he didn't get out of bed for gold. He was my second character, I had made a Light Cleric from Elturel who had never experience night do to the Companion that guarded that city and he died quickly but heroically...mostly.

We knew the things were going to be tough when our DM let us level to 17 as we began to fight in our Bard's Mother's home. It was my fault because Clete walked up to our Bard's half-sister and invited her to aid us in killing her Mother. We made it out of the next two fights and even unleashed Zariel on the forces of the 8th house who were also battling the forces of the 9th House who were willing to work with us.

We then knew things would get worse when our DM leveled us to 18 before the final fight. Having access to Wish is a hard thing to pass up even though I've always wanted to cast Meteror Swarm and should have taken Heal.

Our tactics were poor and most of the party was down before the Bard's second turn and he cast Wish to bring our people back and transport, not banish, her lackeys which was promptly Wished away by his Mother's own action.

Our group are pretty good at 5E, we understand how to play our characters and understand the rules very, very well, its a daunting task for a Dungeon Master, but David, our current DM, really got the math working on the Challenge Rating system and we had some tough fights.

After the Matron's own Wish everyone at the table was pretty darn hangdog and now it was my turn. I should have taken Heal. I wanted to take Meteor Swarm. I took Wish.

And this time the Matron didn't have a 9th level spell slot.

Once we were all back up and her lackeys were down the Matron went pretty fast.

While we knew this was the last session we were still kind of surprised by it. Not 100% sure where we go from here long-term. I think I'm going to run a playtest of Robert Scwhalb's Shadow of the Weird Wizard and then maybe a new DM takes over.

No matter what we'll always have that session where three Wishes were cast to win the day.

Thundarr the Movie

As a life-long comics fan and a retailer with a quarter century of experience, I was today years old when I discovered that Buzz Dixon and ...