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14 June, 2009

Today’s Tabbloid

ROGUE FEED been destroyed during the turmoil that ended the Eldritch dominion
over the world. The Thulians in their latter days followed in the footsteps
Grognard’s Grimoire: Shoggoth of the Eld and created their own shoggoths and it’s these creatures this
JUN 13, 2009 04:55P.M. entry describes. Eldritch shoggoths are vastly more powerful and would
have correspondingly more impressive statistics.

Shoggoths, though amorphous, generally cover a 15-foot diameter circle

and can attack opponents from any direction. Attacks that roll 4 higher
than the needed number (or double the number required to hit) result in
the shoggoth’s enveloping its target and drawing it into its body, where it
will be wholly digested in 12 rounds. Fire and electrical-based attacks do
only half damage to shoggoths, as do all non-magical weapons of any
sort. Shoggoths regenerate 2 hit points per round and this regeneration
stops only with the creature’s death; nothing else will impede it.


A Point of Dissatisfaction with

JUN 13, 2009 04:09P.M.

I’d mentioned in a previous post some changes I was thinking to Swords

& Wizardry to accommodate my growing sense that the core rules, as
written, don’t quite jibe with my desires of a referee. As I pondered these
changes further, I realized there was another set of mechanics I wanted
to change: saving throws.

Shoggoth For reasons I don’t quite understand, S&W uses a single saving throw
rather than several, as did OD&D and AD&D (and as do OSRIC and
Armor Class: 6 Labyrinth Lord). At first, this didn’t bother me very much. Indeed, I was
Hit Dice: 12 starting to feel that the reduction of saves to a single number for each
Attacks: Pseudopods (3d8) class was actually an improvement over the original mechanics. Having
Saving Throw: F7 been immersed in Tunnels & Trolls recently, I pondered some interested
Special: Immunities, Regenerates possibilities that a single saving throw afforded me.
Move: 10
Challenge Level: 15/2900 XP But something about it still nagged at the back of my brain and I fond
myself wondering more and more about the advisability of reducing all
Nightmarish congeries of self-luminous protoplasmic bubbles, forming possible saving throws to a single number. Efficient though it may be, it
temporary eyes and pseudopods as necessary, shoggoths are eons-old also eliminated one of the more eccentric mechanical elements of D&D,
creations of the Eld, using them both as servants and as the raw material something that gave each class a lot of distinctiveness. In S&W, as
from which they fashioned many other aberrant servitors. Fortunately, written, clerics are hands-down better than all the other classes when it
these original shoggoths — true horrors! — are rare, most of them having comes to saves and that just feels wrong. I particularly miss the way that
old school fighters had the best saving throws versus breath attacks,

Today’s Tabbloid PERSONAL NEWS FOR 14 June, 2009

which always felt right to me given all the tales of dragon slaying.

So, I’m thinking of re-instituting saving throw categories into my game.

As Jeff Rients has nicely shown, however, D&D‘s saving throw categories
have never been exactly consistent. That means, if I want to use
categories, I’ll have to decide which ones I’ll go with and then build the
tables for myself. I don’t mind this, especially since Jeff has come up
with a bunch of unified categories that might work nicely with
Dwimmermount’s swords-and-sorcery with a dash of science fantasy. I
still haven’t completely made up my mind yet on the specific categories,
but I am rather strongly committed to ditching S&W‘s single saving
throw, which no longer sits well with me. I admit it’s purely a question of
“feel,” but I realize now that I prefer having more than one type of saving


Every Now and Then ...

JUN 13, 2009 10:00A.M.

... we need a reminder of just how awesome Dave Trampier’s artwork


In a hobby whose history is riddled with missed opportunities and short-

sighted decisions, surely the loss of Dave Trampier must be judged one
of its greatest tragedies. To this day, if someone utterly unfamiliar with
Tramp, you are missed.
D&D wanted me to point to a single piece of artwork that summed up the
game, I’d point to Trampier’s Players Handbook cover, which in my
opinion has never been surpassed in its brilliance. But then he had so
many superb pieces of artwork, almost any of them would suffice to
illustrate the game’s heart and soul, such as this favorite of mine (as it is
of many gamers):