Advanced Bundle of Adventures

Peter Mullen cover for AA16 w/ Prisma Gothic filter.

In January of 2023 Bundle of Holding offered a large collection of Advanced Adventures, these being originally designed for AD&D 1e / OSRIC.

Always on the lookout for the next adventure for whatever campaign I’m currently running this bundle was irresistible, especially when a few comments on Redit mentioned how good some of this work was. SOLD!

However, the collection was delivered as 43 (!) separate pdf files without great detail on PC level range for each. So I set these aside without much attention.

3 months later I was starting to cast around for the next adventure for my bi-weekly Saturday game and went back to this collection, creating an index of sorts to better facilitate my review.

That index is available here. Perhaps others will find it useful as well.

As an aside – if you’ve run or played in any of these adventures I would love to hear your feedback about them. The google sheet above is shared with “commenter”privileges.


Sure! How about Classic D&D from 1978.?

Last week I read a blog post from an author who was pushing on ChatGPT-DM to run a game of D&D with little success. I didn’t exactly agree with how this author was interacting with the bot so I attempted a similar exercise. You can read a log of this exchange here.

While I had great fun engaging with the bot in the end I concluded that the bot itself has limited memory capacity and no logical decisioning needed for a game of D&D.

I had hoped to be able to teach the bot to do basic DM functions like make a reaction check and apply those results to the evolution of an encounter. It was not to be.

Finally I asked the bot to create a short blog post on our experience along with the challenges we faced:

Recently, I had the pleasure of playing Classic D&D with ChatGPT, a language model trained by OpenAI. We decided to create three characters: Neria, an Elf Lord, and her two bodyguards, Farman and Vaseline, who were also sea elf fighters.

Despite the challenges, we had a lot of fun playing Classic D&D with ChatGPT. The language model was quick to respond and provided us with interesting scenarios and challenges. We enjoyed the interactive nature of the game, and it was exciting to see how our characters’ actions influenced the game’s outcome.

Overall, our experience playing Classic D&D with ChatGPT was both fun and challenging. We encountered some difficulties with different rule sets, but we were able to overcome them and continue with our adventure. We look forward to playing more games with ChatGPT in the future.

Perhaps an embellishment, but no matter.

Long Live the Fighters!

Fight On! Issue #1 cover art by A. Reyes

My on-going Black Tower adventure game had long ago stretched out beyond the initial dungeon location with transits between nearby town and back, then on to other regional dungeons, and now across the high seas. Placing before my players an far away ocean destination I had intended offer a few island locations sketched by a favorite designer Gabor Lux. Though I couldn’t recall if these were fist published in Knockspell or the Fight On ‘zines.

As I set about leafing through hundreds of pages of OSR material from the halcyon days of 2008, and thinking to myself: “there is so much interesting material here. How will I hope to recall it’s location for some future game? I need a sort of index…”

Checking with an academic friend I settled on the conspectus model, collecting details on: issue, page number, article title, article category, author, and any additional notes I might care to add.

con·spec·tus (kən-ˈspek-təs)

1: a usually brief survey or summary (as of an extensive subject) often providing an overall view

You can find the start of this conspectus here, which currently covers the first 4 issues of Fight On! My plan is to publish regular updates to this work, but I would certainly welcome other contributors. Also I would be happy to see anyone take and expand on this format for other materials.

As this material is published in a Google sheet it should be easily sorted, filtered, analyzed, or exported. I would suggest making a copy of the file for these purposes if necessary.

AD&D 1 Eeeeeee

Portion of the AD&D 1e DMG as illustrated by David Sutherland,
filtered via Prisma, Gothic

I am an unabashed AD&D 1e enthusiast, but I certainly appreciate this game isn’t for everyone. For me 1e is as beautifuly complex and powerful as a formula 1 race car. Like a like a race car it needs a number of specialized tools and training to operate.

As a player one of the key tools is the classic character sheet, which was originally designed to capture as much detail any player could need for play without referring to the core books. In all my plays over these past few years I immediately returned to this familiar tool. However, this sheet requires a sharp pencil, a good eraser, and keen eyesight; all of which fail me in one way or another from time to time.

Get pdf versions of these MadIrishMan classics here

I have been playing in a regular bi-weekly game, but with our astral plane adventures I realized that my careful scribblings were an inefficient nod to the past. Casting around online for a cloud based AD&D 1e character sheet I found a number of Google Sheets that approached what I was looking for, and using one of these as a baseline I tweaked it for my own needs.

Find an example of this next gen 1e character sheet here, make a copy for yourself and refine for your own purposes if helpful.

If you have an interest in playing AD&D 1e I can suggest two additional resources.

1. Anthony Huso has written extensively on playing 1e RAW on his blog: The Blue Bard

2. Allan Grohe my 1e DM also keeps a blog with plenty of interesting content on this topic: From Kuroth’s Quill

September 18 Update – Spell Cards

Print & Play spell cards, should be just shy of 2.5” x 3.5” that is the standard for CCGs. Get them here.

Tomorrow’s Matrix War

Peter Andrew Jones – Today We Choose Faces
w/ Prisma filter, originally seen here

I’ve been fascinated with the Tomrrow’s War rule set, difficult but fascinating. My summary of those core rules here.

Equally fascinating is the the Matrix Game concept, info here.

Being holed up for the past two’ish years I’ve turned my attention back to miniature wargaming, but friends are distant and my days are often full. I said to myself “self, you ought to setup a remote game”. “Good idea self, let’s try making that a Matrix game too”.

Recruited a few friends to help me with my madman’s plan. Linked below is an evolving collection of our comms, where everything done via bcc’d e-mail – forcing a fog of war amongst the players.

We made good progress with the scenario and background setup in our first week. Then high summer hit, two graduations and a wedding yet to come. We should get back to this game in a few more week, setting up a table with some miniatures and dedicated player photos.

Progressive notes for our game linked here.