Monday, December 13, 2010

The Other Side blog: Red Sonja

Posted stats for Red Sonja using Spellcraft & Swordplay.

The Other Side blog: Red Sonja


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Masters of the Mind: Psionics!

Now in production: Masters of the Mind, an original edition psionics supplement which will be compatible with Labyrinth Lord, Advanced Labyrinth Lord, and OSRIC, but should work with any old-school simulacra game.

As with Spellcraft & Swordplay, this particular supplement came about "by accident," as I was writing an exegesis on the original psionics rules in Supplement III. I discovered, upon reading, that the only thing difficult to grasp on the original rules was the presentation. Once I had read them through several times, they seemed quite easy and it struck me that it's rather a shame that a good presentation wasn't ever put out there; they may have been adopted into many more games. That's my goal here, to put forth an easy-to-grasp version of these rules that will enhance and expand your old edition fantasy games.

The work will include a restatement and reorganization of the original rules for psychic powers for the game, in as clear and concise a presentation as possible. There will be four sections:

Part One: creating the psionic character will include guidelines and rules for bolting psionics onto your game, the effects they have on existing player character classes, and how to obtain and improve psionic powers.

Part Two: Psionic Powers will include power lists, Psionic Strength Point costs for use, and detailed descriptions of all powers.

Part Three: Psionic Combat will explore the use of psychic attack and defense modes, and how mental battle between two psychics works.

Finally, the Appendix will include a wealth of suggested house rules, expansions, and modifications so that these can be ignored by purists or incorporated to whatever degree one desires. Also included here will be guidelines for using the Psionics rules with Spellcraft & Swordplay (indeed, I would be remiss if I didn't include this).

Elf Lair Games is pleased to be creating our first supplement that will make use the Labyrinth Lord and OSRIC open licenses.

There is no set release date for the booklet yet, but it is coming along, with Part One complete as of this writing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Alternate Combat System

So as I've been working on Twelve Parsecs, an alternate combat system has come to light for O.R.C.S. (the engine that powers ELG's games). A number of people have told me their one issue with S&S is that they dislike consulting attack matrices for every attack.

This is rather mind-boggling to me, as it really takes no longer than consulting your attack bonus and performing the calculations every time you attack, but I have heard the complaints.

As such, a new entirely optional combat system will be added to S&S in future releases. It brings combat in line with the ability check system from the rest of the game, and borrows heavily from the "Target 20" concept of A/OD&D combat (so it should still appeal to old-schoolers, I hope).

How it works is thus:

1. Instead of an attack matrix, players make a standard ability check to hit (usually Dexterity, though Strength is recommended for heavy, 2-handed weapons), attempting to get 11 as always. Characters still get any "attack bonus" listed on their level progression chart. Thus, a third-level warrior still gets 3 attacks with one at a +2 (or 2 at +1, as he sees fit).

2. Each weapon, instead of a unique matrix, has a flat attack bonus. A long sword, for example, attacks as +4.

3. The attack roll is then modified by subtracting the opponent's AC.

Example: A character who is a third level thief with a Dex of 16 attacking an opponent wearing Plate Armor (AC 8) would calculate his attack as follows:

2d6 + 2 (Dex) + 2 (Level 3 Ability Check) +1 (Level 3 attack bonus) + 4 (Long sword) - 8 (opponent AC).

The total, then, would be 2d6+1, as the -8 cancels out the rest of the bonus. It ain't easy to damage someone in plate armor with a long sword.

If the opponent was wearing studded leather armor (AC 3), the total attack roll would be 2d6 + 6 vs. TN 11 (a pretty fair chance to hit).

Keep in mind also that in most cases (Wizards excepting) a third level character will have at least two attacks.

Just a preview of something that's come up in design. Still needs a shake down and the bonuses tweaked for proper probabilities, but it seems solid on its core. Please note, also, that this will not replace the default combat system. The Attack Matrices will remain--this is presented as an option for those who prefer bonus calculation to table consultation.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Eldritch Witchery preview: The Succubus

Hello! Tim Brannan here again to give you a sneak peak at some of things I am working on for Eldritch Witchery!

Sympathy for the Succubus

Succubi are set to appear in the upcoming Spellcraft & Swordplay supplement Eldritch Witchery, as soon as I finish writing it.  Among other things, EW will also feature Demons and Devils.  Succubi are the daughters of the Queen of Demons.


#App: 1
AC: 7
Move: 90' / Fly: 120'
HD: 6 (25)
Attacks: Claw/Claw/Special (2 dagger-2)
Special: Fly 120', Energy Drain (kiss), Darkvision, Dominate, Magic Resistance (fire), Immune to mundane weapons
Treasure: 6
XP: 345

These female demons are not found in great numbers and never working together.  They claim to be the daughters of the Demon Queen, but this is a claim the Demon Queen herself neither supports nor denies.  In any case these demons, while not physically very powerful, are capable of controlling other demons that are far more powerful.  Succbi are charged with the tempting of mortals, a task they relish in.  They appear as unearthly beautiful women (or men if needed), in their true form they stand 6' high and feature small horns, a tail and large bat-like wings growing from their backs.
A Succubus can cause Darkness 5', have Darkvision, can Dominate any one (1) PC and can become Incorporeal at will.  The Succubi lures her victim into acts of passion and drains their life force with a kiss.  This Energy Drain takes 1 life level/hit dice.  She can also use the following spells as a Witch (wizard) of 6th level, Charm Person, Detect Good, Continual Flame, ESP, Clairaudience, Hold Person, and Polymorph Self. Succubi also have Spell Resistance against fire based magic.  If pressed they can attack with two claw attacks (dagger -2), if each attack succeeds then she can also grapple for her energy drain attack/kiss.
A succubus can gate in another demon (expect another succubus) ... details in Eldritch Witchery.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spellcraft & Swordplay Old School Omnibus Editions

A few people may note that there appear to be "new" versions of S&S available through our store and the Old-School Renaissance store. I wanted to clarify that this is not the case.

What I have done is "re-skin" the pocket editions as the Old School Omnibus Edition of S&S and the Old School Edition of Monstrous Mayhem.

Why do this? A number of people were adamant that we leave the digest-sized "revised versions" of S&S available when we came out with the Deluxe Edition. I did so, but it's caused some confusion as to the differences between the two versions. This way I have re-skinned the books with different covers, and clarified that the digest-sized S&S is nothing more than the Old-School Edition in one book, and the digest-sized Monstrous Mayhem updates the Old School Edition of S&S to the Deluxe Edition, plus adds some extras.

I think it's a bit clearer as to the differences this way, but I also don't want to mislead our customers into thinking there's a new revision out to buy. The ONLY DIFFERENCE between the Revised and Old School Omnibus editions is the cover.

As always, our Lulu store is at

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Update on Apotheosis: The ability score section is complete, as are the cultural benefits/drawbacks, and the following character classes are done:

-Sorcerer (plus Necromancer and Druid Elite Paths)*
-Warrior (plus Borderer Elite Path)
.....*still need to finish spell lists/descriptions.
-Multiclassing rules

Long way to go, yet. Fortunately the rules themselves are coming pretty much straight out of S&S, so that's a big chunk covered.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Apotheosis: The Dreaming Age

A Roleplaying Game of Swords and Sorcery

Millions of years ago, the world was ruled by demons from the Deeper Dark. Then came fire from the sky and disasters that changed the stars. The Ancient Ones are gone. Now is the age of humankind, and these first heroes will one day be remembered as gods...if they survive that long. Fans of Howard, de Camp, and Carter should love it!

Such is how Apotheosis is advertised in our product list. I've received a number of questions about this recently so I thought I'd let you all know I have begun putting my notes together for Apotheosis. It may be renamed to either The Dreaming Age or The Wasted Lands, as I understand there is already a game out there called "Apotheosis."

There is no release date for this as yet.

Let me re-iterate that: There is no release date for this, yet.

It's going to be awhile. I've only just started cobbling it all together. If you want to know what it will look like, however, take my Age of Conan stuff, mix it with my Wasted Lands stuff, remove demihuman races, change the gods to high-powered NPC warriors, thieves, assassins, sorcerers, and emperors, shake well, and season to taste.

My plan at this point is to include brief writeups on the world in the core book, then eventually release full world books for each area, which will be largely system free so that they can be used with any system you a point. Each will likely, for example, include monsters with S&S-specific writeups and generic notes about their power levels for use when converting to other fantasy systems. I'll have to kick it around a bit first and see.

I also need about $5,000, give or take, to get it done properly, and who knows if or when that will happen.

But there you have it. The Apotheosis of Elf Lair Games has begun ;)

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