Monday, August 13, 2018

Mementos on Display in the Dungeon Overlord's Sanctum

Unrelated pic of a man-ape demigod from
Odious Uplands

1. Collection of severed heads, various states of decomposition, lacquered, mounted at eye level, arrangement leads through sanctum to bed/sarcophagus like seductive trail of rose petals (of evil)
2. Giant stone coin takes up whole corner of chamber, currency of extinct weird titan civilization, used in previous epoch by evil sorcerer as down payment to Industrious Humanoids on dungeon construction, stolen back after murderous double-cross (as explained on informational plaque) 
3. Patch of living turf, grass, decorative plants from Overlord's once-bucolic native land (now a blasted hellscape), bathed in magical sunlight, lovingly tended with nice set of garden tools
4. Cheap trophy from adolescence for Best Eviscerator in conspicuously empty trophy case
5. Bleached dragon skull with mother's fabulous magic sword still embedded in cheek, bits of mother still present between teeth, converted to hold candles as per chandelier, suspended above dining table 
6. Entire party of adventurers taxidermied in group action pose on raised dais w/dramatic lighting
7. Bathysphere from adjacent dimension, alien conditions maintained within, occasionally weird faces press up against the foggy porthole, used to be great conversation piece, now Overlord drapes guests' cloaks over it
8. Overlord bronzed own hand, hung it on the wall after it was severed in unholy pact with famous demon (later replaced with animatronic prosthetic)
9. Chunk of frozen lightning on pedestal, gift from over-amorous sorcerer acquaintance
10. Enshrined in display case: rod and whip from evil father's child rearing kit
11. Bodies of all dungeon pets preserved in walk-in freezer, organized in chronological order, get more horrible as time goes on
12. Painstakingly detailed kill diary records history of Overlord's many, many murders, diagrams and hand-scrawled illustrations throughout, left out openly on coffee table to invite perusal

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Dying Utterances, The Wizard

He will not be missed

Battered ruthlessly by the adventurers after losing initiative, the wizard goes down, writhes momentarily in an expanding pool of hit points on the spattered dungeon floor, takes in what must be a final breath, then gestures feebly for you to come closer and heed these final words....

1. "The scroll...teleport coordinates to secret lair...they are them...CHOKE"
2. "You must find my daughter...and destroy her before its too late....GAK!"
3. "My turncoat henchman has the keys to the dungeon....URRKKH!"
4. "Do not sell this ring under any circumstances! YOU MUSTN'T....blearghhh..."
5. "They will come for me now....THE DOORWAY! THE DOORWAY! uhhhhh....hhh"
6. "Harvest my brain and take it to the Tower of Science. They will reward you.....(shudder)"
7. "Fools! I was actually Lawful Good...hack...sputter"
8. "The open volume on the pedastal...close it quickly...don't look-k-k-kkkkhhhh"
9. "I'm sure you can't wait to search my body...well go ahead, thieves (explodes)."
10. "Excellent, excellent, the change comes over me now...immortality is mine (eyes turn red)."
11. "I've set my spell book to self destruct unless you answer its three pain-in-the-ass riddles....heh"
12. "I must tell you (wheeze),,,the demon's (gasp) name..(cough)...his name is...(death rattle)"

Monday, August 6, 2018

Not Actively Trying to Kill You in the Swamp

1. Polite leeches attempt to strike bargain, claim to provide healing of minor wounds in exchange for small blood meals
2. The Bathing Folk loll about listlessly up to their necks in the muck, fish with toes, only say stupid things
3. Methane powered rocket shrimp explode from surface at high velocity when started, then come down gracefully aided by spiraling propeller tails
4. Plumber gnomes wear hip waders, run pipes to and fro beneath the surface to channel mucks, mires, bogwaters, sloughs about for a purpose only they know
5. Hypo-lilies dissuade unwanted approaches with sudden spinning, strobing prismatic emissions
6. There is a protected cove to which a star descends from the heavens each morning to sleep, stars know well and can tell of the past, present, and future with equal alacrity
7. Hidden colony of gastronomes convinced the diverse bounty of the swamp provides greatest culinary adventure
8. Society of intelligent parasites occupies a great burrow, await the return of their ages-gone host, a colossal primordial crocodile, in the meantime they've developed agriculture
9. Sessile in maturity, thousand-tongued frogs are all that stand between biting fly-induced intolerable misery and certain death by biting fly
10. Bog horses: giant catfish follow a predictable daily migratory pattern, don't mind or notice human-sized creatures hopping on board
11. Swamp penguins of stark green and white fling themselves down muddy embankments, spear fish/fight off threats with one of three distinct beak shapes: fauchard, glaive, glaive-guissarme
12. The Mother of All Ducks

Friday, August 3, 2018

(Mostly) Harmless Denizens of the Weird Forest

In the strange lands devoid of squirrel, chipmunk, bunny, mole, vole, mouse, deer, moose, fox, or raccoon.

1. Arboreal armadillos scramble up and down treetrunks with impossible nimbleness
2. Tiny forest pachyderms trumpet and stampede to little effect
3. Wingless pixies swing around from tree to tree like tiny Tarzans
4. Semi-boneless cats slither around swiftly with nominal aid from adorable vestigial paws
5. Tree cucumbers extrude their stomachs rudely, like getting licked by a horse
6. Mouse-sized shell-less turtles in their hordes nibble indiscriminately on this and that, move in concert like flock of birds
7. Brightly hued nectar sipping honey bats abide in their tree-top hives, behavior guided by their noble queen
8. In the fall and winter huge fuzzy cuddly caterpillars gnaw down great oaks beaver-like, in the spring and summer huge kite-winged firefly moths illuminate the wood
9. Monkey-wrench apes descend nightly to obsessively disassemble anything wrought by human hands (including unstitching garments, uncorking wine), then laugh about it until just before dawn
10. Arm-length mantises keep a respectful distance while munching the heads off of wingless pixies, at night they play their wings like violins
11. Forest clams mimic tree fungus until prey animals perch on their open shells, also known to throw surprise muscle punches at humans who get too close/screw up their action
12. Rat-sized stink pigs contentedly oink, reek while scavenging, harbor perverse affection for iron rations

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

I Didn't Know Elves Could Do That

Random Elf Powers
1. Following a full 10 minutes of uninterrupted meditation, able to levitate 6" off ground in lotus position
2. Charm up to 1d4 squirrels, chipmunks, bunnies, mice, moles, voles, shrews, or hamsters (saving throw applies) once daily
3. Glean adequate nutrition from diet of rough vegetation as per grazing herbivore due to 1d4 extra stomachs
4. Adept at semi-useless slight of hand skills i.e. the old coin in the ear trick
5. Command human children once daily (saving throw applies)
6. Start small fires using only dry kindling and their mind
7. Speak with bugs despite their almost complete lack of anything interesting to say
8. Take on convincing human personae as per method actor, but must stay in character all the time like Daniel Day Lewis until insufferable
9. Appear to win arguments with humans using bewildering elf logic
10. When available, able to ride dolphins like Sea World act
11. Change skin, eye, hair color overnight at whim, may also grow super-long beard overnight for dumb laughs
12. Never have to visit the privy

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Dungeon Management, Poor

"I don't know where the god damn secret entrance is."

1. Dungeon Overlord has lost master set of keys, now accidentally locked in on level 10 with other denizens, becoming increasingly irritated with one another
2. Approved leave of absence for significant portion of minions just before wave of dungeon plague sweeps over the remainder
3. Following minion insurrection, pressed into duty new humanoid forces difficult to distinguish from one another, turns out half were carrying offspring and need to lie down quite a bit at this point and not too keen on staffing guard rooms
4. Logistical snafu prevents shipment of minion chow from arriving on time, cannibalism now openly discussed
5. Trap equipment failure on level nine due to lax, negligent upkeep, mechanisms jammed with dead adventurers, important security measure now compromised
6. Key dungeon staff embroiled in clique-war, Overlord attempts to intervene but ends up killing scads of them in frenzy of retribution
7. Lackluster hiring practices leads to sub-par magical support services, unreliable non-board certified sorcery
8. Citing incompetence, dragon on level 8 declares itself the new Overlord, demands abdication, has been secretly bribing denizens for months now
9. Failure to allocate necessary funds for weird tadpole extermination weeks ago results in psychedelic giant frog infestation on all levels in pools, streams, basins, etc.
10. Waste materials piling up all over the place after accidental release of experimental caustic war gas destroyed all the omniverous sewer monsters, up to 3 feet deep in some 10 feet-wide corridors
11. Decision to pursue rumored location of powerful relic in previously unknown "11th level", instead delved too deeply and released a horror currently depopulating the dungeon
12. Drunken boasting at annual Dungeon Overlord conference inadvertently reveals location of ingenious secret entrance, now circulated far and wide among scoundrels, ne'er-do-wells, villains, and ultimately adventurers

Monday, July 30, 2018

Dragon Behaviors, Other

1. Compose works of dragon music for human choir, generally variations on the mind-bending reptilian dirges of their forebears, but vary wildly to the trained ear, human critics characterize these works as "unbearable dragon rackets"
2. Coin stacking to incredible heights, gigantic teetering coin castles reflect incredible skill, knocking them over: not recommended
3. Activate instinctual, introspective psychological self-analysis, painstakingly rewire mental arrangement to achieve ultimate draconic serenity over course of decades, abide forever at peace with universe, can only be attempted once hoarding instinct has been spectacularly fulfilled
4.  Craft epic-length seductive mating dances of astonishing complexity, inscrutable to humans, express full range of reptilian emotions, plumb the alien depths of the draconic condition, lots of subtle wing movements
5. Human husbandry: breed human slaves for various pleasing physical traits like prize roosters ("Look at the plumage on that one"), enthusiastic in attempts to attain/maintain misguided theoretical "ideal" conditions for thriving human population ("How charming, they're forming one of their little heirarchies")
6. Write trashy novels inscribed in ancient draconic cuneiform on huge clay tablets with claw-held stylus, devoted to genre work, tales loaded with dragon sex, violence, objectionable humanoid stereotyping
7. Devote selves to martial art of fine-tuning breath weapon: super-fine beams of tremendous range, extra broad cones for short range, machine gun pulse discharges, controlled bursts of lesser destructive power but increased times/day
8. Create claw-hewn sculptures: monumental in scope, jagged, severe, always abstract but give off unmistakeable totalitarian vibe
9. Hobby brewing of virgin blood-based potables, hoard recipes, virgins like gold
10. Pursuit of advanced mathematics, erect colossal abacuses, kidnap, enslave teams of talented human mathematicians (such as there are), eventually able to perform dimension doortime stop, gate, etc. by completing mental equations
11. Attain complete mastery of bodies at cellular level though meditations lasting years, achieve near-immortality, unlock ability to outmatch cephalopods at camouflage, color strobing, artistic rearrangements of scaly epidermis
12. Some dragons keep pets

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Sorcerer Never Leaves Home without It

Humanoid minions, inability to suffer fools gracefully: the sorcerer's curse

1. Full fifth of booze magically condensed to fit in thumb-sized vial for discrete post-casting stiff ones as needed
2. Semi-animate shrunken head of former mentor for consultation
3. Two sets of goggles: one that magnifies as per binoculars, the other does the opposite
4. Set of normcore regular joe clothing magically folded a zillion times and crammed into tiny chamber in ring like The Flash, unfolds explosively upon utterance of command word
5.  Fake suicide tablet to be deployed with maximum histrionic performance, renders form seemingly lifeless for period of 10 minutes, during which body exudes intolerable stench: a deal breaker for most looters and dungeon predators
6. One potion erases all spells from memory, follow-up potion contains liquefied memorizations of alternate spell set, saving throw vs. involuntary 8 hour nap required
7. Pocket-sized habitarium loaded with fireflies genetically modified to self-immolate like huge match heads upon command
8. Single-use explosive dagger detonates ten seconds after successful stab, works best when embedded in the back of an arch enemy
9. Invisible full-body hazmat suit with invisible filter mask attachment, proof against limited exposures to most slimes, oozes, puddings, jellies, noxious chemicals, airborne spores, etc., underlings die like dogs wondering why the sorcerer seems unaffected: priceless
10. Satchel of false credentials for several identities in each of the major kingdoms with notarized proof of alignment as appropriate
11. 1000 gold piece diamond secreted between cheek and gum
12. Golden crown riven in twain, automatically fuses back into original condition when placed upon the head of rube the sorcerer wants to convince is one of those Hidden Monarchs

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

They Keep it in the Sack with the Other Jewels

1. Odin's blackened thumbnail, lost in domestic dispute with Thor, of inestimable value to collectors of Norse ephemera
2. Keys to working motorcycle with full tank on Dungeon Level 9
3. Tiny gem-encrusted sarcophagus of the Micro-Paleo Pharaoh complete with wee animate mummy (disease-free) who shrieks out for vengeance if released
4. Single platinum coin from million year-old civilization, works in all coin operated machines and always ejects through the change chute
5. Pair of lozenge-shaped Digestive Aids of the Gods, swallowed fragment enough to eliminate need to consume food but kills the subject in a fortnight
6. Super-genius cockroach encased in amber but still more than willing to field questions (telepathically) about science and philosophy
7. Salt shaker-like container loaded with the crystaline Essence of Pure Deliciousness
8. Shard of solid sun fire in heat-proof box, burns like hell if opened
9. Polished stone False Eye of the Gorgon: if installed into empty socket mimics Medusa's gaze
10. Fossilized angel egg (still viable)
11. Hand-sized ingot of totally impervious, utterly unworkable space metal
12. Leather pouch with ounce of stardust within, scintillates brilliantly if sprinkled, causes permanent condition of levitation if ingested (straight up to the heavens unless somehow anchored)

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Found Among the Regular Scrolls

Barbarian heroes of the Odious Uplands, not big readers

1. Semi-accurate map of juicy nearby dungeon now stripped clean of treasures by expedition of famous evil sorcerer, haunted by noxious gas-giants summoned for spite on the way out
2. Rolled canvas with mind-bending original painting by infamous sorcerer of invisible stalker completed just prior to mysterious disappearance
3. Fancy map of the world prior to most recent global catastrophe, if scratched in certain spots with the edge of a coin paint rubs off to reveal precise locations of dungeons, lost treasures
4. Sealed by wax impressed with chief devil's signet (summons mindless devils of vengeance if broken), contract signed in blood between Lord of Hell and Lord of the Next Manor Over
5. Recipe for griddlecakes of temporary invulnerability (served for breakfast, works until lunchtime), must be dressed with syrup derived from ultra-rare iron oak, only known living specimen in Mad Gardener's mountain top greenhouse 
6. Writ of passage through forbidden zone now dividing the realms of Order, signed by evil God Queen herself, presumably still honored by monsters and humanoids that would otherwise annihilate human travelers, potential new trade route!
7. Map indicating position of ancient lost treasure some 500 feet beneath the local Lord's manor (appropriated from previous Lord, now deceased), accessible via unknown shaft concealed beneath floor in busy concubines' chamber
8. List of prominent citizens (including relatives and known associates) believed to be fomenting armed uprising against beloved regional potentate
9. 100% accurate diagram of the Planes of Existence, totally at odds with currently accepted schema
10. Complete plans for manufacture of dungeon hovercraft, technological innovations carefully explained, requires ample supply of antigravistone believed in hoard of prominent dragon
11. Official court papers declaring status as non compos mentis, rights and property forfeit, signed and notarized, name of subject left blank
12. Instructional poster w/pointers for locating, exploiting nerve-cluster known to temporarily reduce dragons to quivering heaps when struck with blunt force at just the right angle 

Saturday, May 26, 2018


Pretty Sexy

AND HERE: OU Players Guide
AND HERE: OU Print Pack


A bunch of artists/writers/hobbyists working in the DIY D&D/OSR/WHATEVER mode found each other, had a baby, and its a comic book. I guess once you're DIYing one kind of thing, the next kind of thing over is that much easier. We have decided to table plans to form a band for the time being.  

James V. West, Jeff Call ,Stefan Poag , Karl Stjernberg, Trey Causey, Luka Rejec, and yours truly all contributed art and stories to this subterranean-themed anthology.

As it happens, my story (scripted and lettered by Trey Causey) takes place in the Underworld of Operation Unfathomable. That's right friends, a crass as-you-like genuine product tie-in (who am I?!?).  

Available in digital download and Print on Demand from HERE: 


Issue two is already in the works, with most of the contributors to issue one set to return. I will be doing the art for a story written by Billy Longino called Love Dart, featuring Pain Train, the heroic figure pictured below.

On the bloody, brutal road to self-actualization

Monday, February 5, 2018


It's an old school Underworld setting and adventure location in the form of a 108 pg PDF, souped up with hyperlinks (including a fully clickable map), jammed to the gills with bizarre denizens, weird situations, random occurrences, and several Underworld godlings and their unsavory flocks. Game stats are for Swords & Wizardry, but for heaven's sake, its so adaptable to the OSR-type game of your preference as to be almost effortless!
Mighty Jez Gordon did the handsome layout and crafted the two-page Underworld map (see a slice of it below). 

Perhaps you are so old school as to eschew the electronic books: a print edition will become available as soon as we get and approve a print proof (be assured I will mention this here on the blog).

This is just a small sample.

It's also loaded with art by myself, Stefan Poag, Chris Brandt, John Larrey, and Karl Stjernberg.


Stefan brings it (that's the googolpede, by the way).

A purveyor of potions atop her glutton-newt.

Choose your words wisely when parlaying with the Colossal Sorcerer.

If you like this blog, chances are you will enjoy this adventure.