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The Forgotten Smugglers' Cave: Index of Posts

An index of posts describing the Forgotten Smugglers' Cave, an adventure for Holmes Basic characters levels 2-4.                    ...

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Gary Con XIV games I'm running

Next month Gary Con returns from the ether to the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva,  for the first time since the pandemic started. I'm registered to attend, and have rescheduled the same games that I originally had planned to run at Gary Con XII, back in 2020. Each is a Holmes + OD&D game, and this will be the first time I've run two different scenarios at a single con.

Expedition to Skull Stack Crater is on Friday morning from 8 AM to 12 PM. The event listing can be found be found here. This is a scenario that I originally wrote and ran a number of years ago as part of my continuing annual kids' campaign, now revised as a convention scenario:
"Join an expedition to Skull Stack Crater to recover the legendary Spear of Decree, stolen from the Realm years ago by skull-masked raiders who then vanished from history. Your party has followed an old map to their hidden lair on an island in a water-filled volcanic crater. This 3rd level adventure from the Zenopus Archives celebrates the 40+ years of the Holmes Basic D&D set. Characters provided."
In Search of the Brazen Head of Zenopus is scheduled for Sat night from 7-11 PM. The event listing can be found hereThis is the same scenario I ran twice at Gary Con XI in 2019, including once in the same time slot:
"Meet at the Green Dragon Inn and return to the dungeon under the ruined tower of the doomed wizard Zenopus to search for his legendary talking mask, forty years after adventurers first braved the passages. Play as Boinger, Zereth, Murray, or another character from J. Eric Holmes' stories. This adventure from the Zenopus Archives celebrates the 40+ years of the Holmes Basic D&D set." 

General event registration opens up today at 12 PM Central Time; this is also known as Silver registration and includes the vast majority of badge holders. Due to the newer system of staggered release of seats for registration, there will be at least one more seat available for every game at the con when registration opens today, including my games.

Other Gary Con links of interest:
Gary Con website
Badge Registration
Full Schedule of Events (searchable)
Grand Geneva Resort website
Facebook Group

According to the Events schedule, there are 32 games with system listed as "D&D (Original)", including mine.

Other GMs on this list include paleologos of the OSR Grimoire blog (2 linked sessions, which I plan to sign up for), Paul Stormberg (2 sessions at the old Gygax house at 330 Center Street in Lake Geneva) and 5 sessions from Tim Kask. And Muddy at OD&D Discussion is running two Blueholme games. And there's also a Ruined Tower of Zenopus game by captcorajus, who runs the RPG Retro Reviews channel on YT.

Are any other readers of this blog going?

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Superb Owl Sunday

Giant Owl by Darlene

Here's my pick for today's Superb Owl:

 "Giant owls speak their own language ... [t]hese creatures are intelligent and will sometimes befriend other creatures" --- Gary Gygax, from the entry for Giant Owl in the AD&D Monster Manual, 1977

There was no illustration accompanying the Giant Owl entry in the original Monster Manual, but one by Darlene (attributed at the time to Darlene Pekul) was included in the Dungeon Masters Guide in 1979, on page 184 beneath the table for "OUTDOOR RANDOM MONSTER ENCOUNTER TABLES: Arctic Conditions", which includes a Giant Owl among the entries; presumably this represents a Snowy Owl variant.

Find more "Superb Monsters" from the Monster Manual here:

d20 Unexpectedly Intelligent Monsters in the Original Monster Manual

Friday, February 4, 2022

Article in KNOCK! #3


"3D rendering" of KNOCK! #3

KNOCK! is a still newish "zine" that describes itself as "Compendium of Miscellanea for Old School RPGs". I put "zine" in quotes because each issue runs over 200 pages, making it more of a book. Two issues are already out, which still can be purchased via the website of the publisher, The Merry Mushmen (issue #1 is only available digitally at this point). 

The Kickstarter for the third issue of the "zine" KNOCK! has just gone live, and this one includes an article by yours truly. Part of the goal of the publication is to reprint "nearly-forgotten blog posts" and this issue I'm honored that they asked to include my 2013 article "One Hit Point Monsters", which I revised for them. As full disclosure, they pay authors per page of content at a rate based on the success of the KS.

Find the Kickstarter here:


The promo video - featuring awesome music - can also be watched here on Youtube.

There's a "Zenopus (homless seer)" quoted in there, but that's not me.

And publishers are promoting the KS on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Reddit