Hathluu (a Pale House for Opherian Scrolls)...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

This week, we're serving up a NEW PALE HOUSE for BoP: Opherian Scrolls for use in your own campaigns: HATHLUU is a lesser-known house, being concerned with torture and interrogations, but also ritual sacrifice, which figures prominently even in Youngling culture. As such, they serve Uku Utargarath, a demon lord especially fond of graven images and depicted in numerous altars and the elaborate temple in Yaminse. His servants perform UKU'S OFFERING, allowing them to sacrifice once per day. UKU'S OFFERING allows the user to convert a single slain enemy, although never any undead, into a BOON; usually, a bit of fantastic good luck within the same game day. The power of this is always proportional to the strength of the sacrifice made. Note that for game purposes, a bound/helpless captive can be slain instantly, and that an agent of Uku will usually appear... UKU (Goru/Goruku/Urukurum) is a huge (12' tall) demon clad in the skins of former enemies, all inscribed in runes detailing their confessions gained through torture. In combat, he attacks with his single horn for 1d6+1 damage or his whips, a successful hit from which extracts a single confession from its victim and incapacitates them for 1d6+4  rounds from the horrific pain inflicted.


Not the OSR's Middle Ages...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

OK, maybe this isn't relevant to some (most) of you.  But we hit the forums sometimes, and we occasionally run into those who mischaracterize old-school gamers (us) as grumpy relics resistant to new ideas.  But it's just not true.  And it never was.  Consider... 

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We're Still Not Convinced That RPG's Were Originally Converted Wargames (Braunstein Edition)...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

Several months ago, we posted our assertion that modern role-playing games weren't really converted wargames after all, and it met with pushback given that  D&D billed itself as rules for fantastic medieval wargames, and that the hobby's pioneers were all wargamers and simulationist of some stripe. And ...

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The Braunstein Experiment: Wesely Weighs In...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

Last week we talked about how

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When Gaming Went to War...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

OK, so I was ambushed. Only it wasn't my first time... In April, 2003, I was deployed to Iraq as OIC of a small combat weather team embedded in the 159th AVN BDE of the 101st ABN DIV (sorry, the contractions stick with you). We were part of a ...

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The Real Roots of Role-Playing...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

With the release of "Dave Arneson's True Genius" by Rob Kuntz, we have a book asserting that Arneson did something special. Well, no disagreement here! In fact, that's probably an understatement. Arneson pretty obviously did something incredible and for which our entire hobby is rightly indebted. Glad to ...

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The Diceless Dungeons Are Here!

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

Inside every old-school game is a diceless system waiting to get out, and so we're proud to announce the release of our digital version of Diceless Dungeons! Because diceless gaming is just about as old-school as you're gonna get. After all, decision-making, exploration, and role-playing are the foundations ...

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The Tale of the Type (and Why We Love It)...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

In the 70s, there were no personal computers, so anyone who wanted to make nice-looking manuscripts at home needed a

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Archworld (or How OD&D Was Made)...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

Yesterday, we talked out manual type as the poor-man's typesetting, and while we rarely post any kind of next-day follow-up, we had to today. I talked a little about local game designers who typed up their rules, photocopied and stapled them, and sold them in Ziploc baggies at the ...

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Death by (Game) Design...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

OK, so at this point we all know the drill.  Old-school characters are free to try just about anything and stand or fall on their own merits, unlike those entitled new-schoolers who get a trophy just for showing up and can't even think of trying something not on their ...

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No, the DM Is NOT Your Peer...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

Some (more than a few?) gamers are profoundly uncomfortable with the greater agency and judgemental authority referees are given, especially in old-school games. Or, as my brother observed way back in 1979: "But the DM could say anything and the whole thing just breaks down and becomes unfair over time ...

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The Sad End of a D&D Era (in Art)...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

In my 39 years of gaming, I've seen a lot of artwork. And as far as D&D is concerned, I've identified discrete periods that define the illuminations of the game: THE CORE RULES (1974): To call the art in the original D&D rulebooks amateur is an ...

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On the Origin of the (Demi-Human) Species...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

Face it, most of us in fantasy games (sci-fi is another matter) imagine humanity, and the various non-human races, as products of a

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Victims of Torture (Gaming Edition)...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

Ok, so death happens in games.  That's a given.  But maybe there are fates worse than death, at least while it's happening.  And maybe instead of death, your character is

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A Barons of Braunstein Update!

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

So first off, the new and improved Appendix II (Tactical Combat) offers alternate rules for greater lethality reminiscent of what we attempted in Opherian Scrolls, but also a table of situational modifiers tied to specific weapons when wielded in certain ways. Now combat is faster and more deadly. But only ...

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The Methodological OSR?

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

So there's this ongoing discussion (and one fairly recently)  about the OSR (Old-School Renaissance) and what it means or should mean, or whatever. And sometimes, it devolves into horrifying exchanges by people who I can only assume labor under the delusion that gaming, however fun, is, well, important. That ...

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That Rule Ain't Old-School! (Not!)

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

Nothing too big, folks.  Yours truly is sleeping off a weekend at KantCon, where we play tested an upcoming adventure for Diceless Dungeons.  We had a great table with a

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My First Time (Toys Without Tots)...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

Remember your first time? The excitement? The sweat? No, not that first time. The other first time. I mean, when you first realized that you were a gamer. So, testimonial.

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Homunculi (for Diceless Dungeons)...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

OK, no dissertation this week, just a little something for Diceless Dungeons; a sorcerous companion that can be magically fashioned, albeit with difficulty, from a forbidden tome that will only be found on adventures (a dragon's hoard perhaps)...

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Tekumel and the Power of "Maybe"...

Tue 29 August 2017 by Olde House Rules from Pits Perilous

We're back from a much-needed break - and maybe we go to a monthly format again.  But until then, we 

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