Saturday, 1 May 2010

Varlets and Vermin 1.0

I've always felt the lack of lower level monsters in any setting; but especially the old school with its stripped-down lists.

Dungeon referees who want something a little spicier than rats, skeletons and kobolds should therefore consider my new pdf supplement, available to download here absolutely gratis: Varlets and Vermin. It's a collection of monsters and related ideas for challenge levels 1 and 2, written for Swords & Wizardry but easily adaptable to other systems.

Please let me know what you think and if you find it useful. Thanks!

25 comments:

  1. Hey, thanks for this. I haven't digested it all yet, but the Man of Wounds looks pretty intriguing, I might use him.

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  2. I just finished reading through this, and I'm going to be making use of a number of your creatures. I also really like the Man of Wounds, and the rat variants are all pretty cool too.

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  3. Thanks guys. The MoW pretty much flowed from that old medical woodcut illustration you see on the cover. Just think of him as a "Nilbog with pedigree" ... ;)

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  4. The sections on lesser undead and limiting the threat of stronger monsters were good. Useful and free can't be beat!

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  5. Excellent stuff, thanks!

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  6. Sounds really great, but I am having trouble downloading it. The Mediafire link times out.

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  7. Very nice! I particularly loved the Man of Wounds, and the mimicking stone golem. They'll definitely be seeing action in my game soon.

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  8. @sycarion - Sorry about that. I notice some blogs have pdfs directly downloaded from links - does anyone know if Blogger has a file hosting system? Otherwise, you can mail me at Rogersebastian (the usual google mail address) and I will send a copy.

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  9. Thank you very much! Lots of fun and just my kind of grungy low-level goodness.

    I especially like the diffent strategies for humanoids and the ten tamed titans. Brilliabt stuff!

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  10. Thanks Roger, it seems to be working now. Maybe it was something local to here and not a mediafire issue.

    Anyway, this is a phenomenal PDF. I like everything in here, even the barrel beast. To echo what others have said, I like the Man of Wounds.

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  11. Looks cool, thank you very much!

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  12. Is the artwork you used available on the net? If so, where?

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  13. @ sycarion - There is something about the barrel beast, isn't there? He started out as a parody of the "screw you" DM kind of monster, based on one character in a clipart font, for a board game I was developing (and still hope to publish one day), then took on a life of his own...

    @ anarchist - They are from a variety of sources - Google image search for "public domain", specifying black & white in advanced search, plus whatever other words you like. Many of the weirder ones, and the header of this blog, are from here:

    http://www.godecookery.com/macabre/macabre.htm

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  14. @Roger I once used to be one of those DMs that used a Mimic to induce fear. I began introducing them when they complained that I was 'too obvious'. After the first two mimics, my friends began to expect a Mimic. The fighter would give the next few treasure chests a good whack. For the non-Mimic treasure chests, this sprung a trap. So then the party decided that the thief should poke at the next one with a ten foot pole. It set off a time-delayed trap. Then they attempted to simultaneously cast Hold Monster while the thief attempted to Disable Traps.

    The treasure chest was an illusion that sat above a weight-based trap.

    After this, we went back to our gonzo Spelljammer meets planar travel meets Conan campaign with few complaints. (We rotated DM duties, so I had a similar thing done to me as a player - we all had a big laugh.)

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  15. Nice work! I just started work on a new dungeon and am using a few of these guys to spice things up!

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  16. I only just got around to looking through this - well done and useful, thanks! I'll be using one or more of these to flavor up the low level adventuring.

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  17. Whoa. This is some inspired stuff. I really love the use of old illustrations and although I've only skimmed this, it looks seriously inspired. Great work!

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  18. I used the man of wounds in my game last night and it took a few rounds before my players figured out they needed to remove the weapons, but it was quite a "lightbulb" moment when they did. Thanks again!

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  19. I tried downloading this, but mediafire timed out. I noticed others had the same problem. If you want to host it somewhere with fewer problems check out rpgfiles.org or google docs. In the meantime, is it possible to get a copy of the file?

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  20. Managed to get a copy downloaded, despite all the problems with mediafire.

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  21. Sory about those problems Bob. I have now changed the links here and in the sidebar to a Google Docs copy of V&V, just like all my other downloads.

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  22. Excellent stuff! Just stocking my first megadungeon and this will be invaluable. Cheers!

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  23. These have a lovely tonality; I will be porting them over to GURPS Dungeon Fantasy

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