On the OSR New Wave, Greg Gorgonmilk
Gorgonmilk brings out the dungeon hipster in me. His first post that really captured my attention was the Memory Cell chart. This is a big group of cells that represent the wizard's brain, and each spell has a shape. I ran it (in spite of the work it required) to a fair amount of success. The wizards fretting over having to lose experience or skills taking up space in their brain, not leaving enough space for the spells was great fun.
He followed it up quickly with the Crypt Cockerel which is a bad-ass Dungeon Chicken.
In the words of Dalt Doogins the Delfer, the notorious explorer and tomb-pilferer: "I'd trade ye five cowardly henchmen for a single, seasoned crypt cock. For one, the fowl is smarter. For another, he's more loyal. And of course he'll taste better when ye've reached the end of yer rations."
Is there a more cool sentence in Dungeons & Dragons? Perhaps, but they are not frequent. I've been a follower ever since.
Oh, and he got a little project called Petty Gods into peoples hands, and has a Expanded version coming very soon.
Welcome to the OSR New Wave; an interview with Greg Gorgonmilk.
Pitch me on you and your blog right now before I get bored and stop reading this article!
Gorgonmilk is part-my-blog, part-community-bullpen where a bunch of OSR people put book and pamphlet projects together.
Which cartoon not named "Dungeons & Dragons" is most like Dungeons & Dragons?
First thought is an 80s-era anime called BASTARD! about a megalomaniac wizard named Dark Schneider (no joke) who looks like the lead singer of a hair metal band. He kicks a lot of ass across a pseudo-Medieval backdrop and gets a lot of tail. It's what any D&D magic-user would fantasize about when he's not busy memorizing spells or cowering in the back.
If you ran across a group of baby orcs in a game; what do you do with them?
Eat them, obvs. HA! (But seriously -- baby orc ribs are excellent.)
What is the most important house rule or change you make to the game?
My number one house rule is: No fudging dice on my side of the screen. I try as much as possible to adjudicate situations through random rolls. Once I start asserting my own will over the flow of the campaign, it begins to lose all pretense to simulation and becomes a big fantasy wankfest. Like a WOD game or something.
What's your favorite edition and why?
OD&D for the simple reason that it's the most bare bones ruleset out there and totally open to customization. Holmes D&D is a close second -- really it's just a better-organized re-write of the original.
Really all classes should be open to thievery, so it seems limiting to confine those rules to a single class. Clerics should be altered to fit the setting. There's nothing wrong with the traditional faith-healer archetype, but why stop there?
What are your thoughts on the proliferation of rulesets for sale?
The hobby was always naturally diluted by homebrew systems -- some of these (e.g. Arduin and RuneQuest) grew into their own games. The difference now is that it's much easier to get your homebrew stuff published in an attractive format. So the change is aesthetic, in my opinion.
How long before the inevitable saturation occurs and we go though the classic fox/hare die-off?
That's already happening.
Do you get to play?
Every couple weeks or so, which is only slightly less than when I was a kid. When I'm running a campaign I like to have a couple weeks to mull the events of the last session over.
What is your favorite class?
Magic-user. They're such useful little weirdos. A whole party of them is feasible, whereas a bunch of fighting-men without any magical back-up would be severely handicapped.
Gary Gygax becomes ridiculously wealthy and builds a D&D-theme park in Wisconsin. Things go really well until the bodies are found in the steam tunnels beneath Tiamat's Temple... Oh, Gary. How could you?
What is the worst player you've ever had?
The one who has too many preconceived notions about "fairness" and "game balance" and "why the DM can't stare at my tits".
What is your favorite base version to use?
OD&D -- though I am really warming to ACKS and may go that route for a while.
You gain the ability to summon anyone living or dead, and if they are dead, grant them a permanent corporeal form. You take this radical power and do the only logical thing with it. Build a bunker where you force anyone you wish to play Dungeons and Dragons with you. Who do you summon? Who is the DM and what are everyone's characters?
H. P. Lovecraft is behind the screen, with Clark Ashton Smith whispering in his ear. I'm sitting next to Jack Vance and Joseph Campbell, while Carl Jung sits across from us.
Which is best: Adventure, hexcrawl or mega dungeon? Why?
All of them mashed together. Because.
What is your own personal appendix N?
This can change over time, so lately I'm thinking Moorcock's Elric books, Leiber's Nehwon stories, Jack Vance's Dying Earth (of course), and Howard's Conan stories. All of them have reasonably detailed settings that are not over-weighted with background and feature adventures that I could easily see played out in a D&D campaign.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I'm going to edit three more books in the vein of PETTY GODS. The next is UNDERWORLD LORE, which will focus on generating subterranean settings and stocking them with all manner of goodies.