Tim Shorts Archive

  • Starter Adventures (OSR) This compilation of beginner’s modules clocks in at 51 pages, 1 page front cover,1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 47 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, we begin with a brief introduction that sets the stage – this pdf offers 4 brief, introductory one-on-one gaming scenarios/encounters for each of the 4 core classes – fighter, cleric, magic-user and thief. Then, we get a fully depicted starting tavern and an introductory module intended for a group of adventurers. The rules default employed within would be Swords & Wizardry Complete, and we get, where applicable, solid maps for the encounters/areas. There are no player-friendly versions of the maps […]

    Starter Adventures (OSR)

    Starter Adventures (OSR) This compilation of beginner’s modules clocks in at 51 pages, 1 page front cover,1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 47 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, we begin with a brief introduction that sets the stage – this pdf offers 4 brief, introductory one-on-one gaming scenarios/encounters for each of the 4 core classes – fighter, cleric, magic-user and thief. Then, we get a fully depicted starting tavern and an introductory module intended for a group of adventurers. The rules default employed within would be Swords & Wizardry Complete, and we get, where applicable, solid maps for the encounters/areas. There are no player-friendly versions of the maps […]

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  • Stone Fields of Azoroth (OSR) This is a bit different: The Stone Fields of Azoroth represent a mini-sandbox of sorts, and the deal includes 3 different pdfs as well as a .png-map. Said map depicts the village of Bad Water and looks charmingly hand-drawn. Much to my chagrin, no player-friendly version sans numbers and the like is included.   Rules-system wise, these pdfs adhere to Swords & Wizardry, though, as always, adapting the content to another old-school rule-set is pretty simple. AC is presented as ascending. Magic items are bolded in text. Monsters get full stats, while NPCs note their class levels, if any, and their actual profession in the context of the village. Now, this bundle of sorts presents […]

    Stone Fields of Azoroth (OSR)

    Stone Fields of Azoroth (OSR) This is a bit different: The Stone Fields of Azoroth represent a mini-sandbox of sorts, and the deal includes 3 different pdfs as well as a .png-map. Said map depicts the village of Bad Water and looks charmingly hand-drawn. Much to my chagrin, no player-friendly version sans numbers and the like is included.   Rules-system wise, these pdfs adhere to Swords & Wizardry, though, as always, adapting the content to another old-school rule-set is pretty simple. AC is presented as ascending. Magic items are bolded in text. Monsters get full stats, while NPCs note their class levels, if any, and their actual profession in the context of the village. Now, this bundle of sorts presents […]

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  • The Manor #9 (OSR) The 9th installment of the Manor-‘zine clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 24 pages of content, laid out in 6’’ by 9’’ (A5), which means you could theoretically fit up o 4 pages on a given sheet of paper when printing this ‘zine.   Now, first things first: Unlike previous iterations of the ‘zine, this one assumed the Swords & Wizardry Light (SWL) rules set as the default OSR-rules-set employed. As always, conversion to other old-school systems remains relatively simple. Upgrades to Swords & Wizardry Continual Light (SWCL) are simple enough, but are not done for you […]

    The Manor #9 (OSR)

    The Manor #9 (OSR) The 9th installment of the Manor-‘zine clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 24 pages of content, laid out in 6’’ by 9’’ (A5), which means you could theoretically fit up o 4 pages on a given sheet of paper when printing this ‘zine.   Now, first things first: Unlike previous iterations of the ‘zine, this one assumed the Swords & Wizardry Light (SWL) rules set as the default OSR-rules-set employed. As always, conversion to other old-school systems remains relatively simple. Upgrades to Swords & Wizardry Continual Light (SWCL) are simple enough, but are not done for you […]

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  • Execution Corner (system neutral) This little pdf clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This is essentially system neutral, sporting no rules-relevant components, but the supplement obviously works bets in quasi-medieval settings.   Now, if you’re even halfway familiar with the history of the penal system, you will know that, at one point, we realized that basing a penal system solely on corporeal punishment, instead of focusing on reeducation and rehabilitation, would in the long run hurt society. I’m not going to bore you with a summary of Foucault’s Surveiller et Punir (Discipline and Punish), as pretty much […]

    Execution Corner (system neutral)

    Execution Corner (system neutral) This little pdf clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This is essentially system neutral, sporting no rules-relevant components, but the supplement obviously works bets in quasi-medieval settings.   Now, if you’re even halfway familiar with the history of the penal system, you will know that, at one point, we realized that basing a penal system solely on corporeal punishment, instead of focusing on reeducation and rehabilitation, would in the long run hurt society. I’m not going to bore you with a summary of Foucault’s Surveiller et Punir (Discipline and Punish), as pretty much […]

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  • The Manor #8 (OSR) The 8th installment of the Manor-zine clocks in at 26 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 25 pages of content. The pages are laid out as 6’’ by 9’’, which means you can fit up to 4 pages on a sheet of paper when printing this.   All right, so this installment of the Manor takes a distinctly different focus – this time around, we focus on crunchy components. The first article, penned by Douglas Cole and Peter V. Dell’Orto, deals with old-school grappling presenting two alternative systems to handle the rather infamous issue. We first take a look at the shortcomings of the grapple options available […]

    The Manor #8 (OSR)

    The Manor #8 (OSR) The 8th installment of the Manor-zine clocks in at 26 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 25 pages of content. The pages are laid out as 6’’ by 9’’, which means you can fit up to 4 pages on a sheet of paper when printing this.   All right, so this installment of the Manor takes a distinctly different focus – this time around, we focus on crunchy components. The first article, penned by Douglas Cole and Peter V. Dell’Orto, deals with old-school grappling presenting two alternative systems to handle the rather infamous issue. We first take a look at the shortcomings of the grapple options available […]

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  • Where is Margesh Blackblood? (OSR) This adventure clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/introduction, leaving us with 10 pages of content, all of which are laid out in the classic 6’’ by 9’’ old-school standard. Got that? Great, so let’s take a look!   Now, this was originally submitted to the One-Page-Dungeon-contest and seems to have done well there. Anyways, the adventure is basically a combination of 4 different hideouts, with 4 rooms each. The hideouts all come with basic cartography done in paint, which may not be too aesthetically-pleasing, but it does the job and the maps specify the respective grid – so already something that many maps fail to do.   Formatting-wise, monsters […]

    Where is Margesh Blackblood? (OSR)

    Where is Margesh Blackblood? (OSR) This adventure clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/introduction, leaving us with 10 pages of content, all of which are laid out in the classic 6’’ by 9’’ old-school standard. Got that? Great, so let’s take a look!   Now, this was originally submitted to the One-Page-Dungeon-contest and seems to have done well there. Anyways, the adventure is basically a combination of 4 different hideouts, with 4 rooms each. The hideouts all come with basic cartography done in paint, which may not be too aesthetically-pleasing, but it does the job and the maps specify the respective grid – so already something that many maps fail to do.   Formatting-wise, monsters […]

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  • The Manor #6 (OSR) The sixth installment of the OSR-zine „The Manor“ clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page introduction, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 24 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   It should be noted that the editorial sports a content-warning this time around – this issue of “The Manor” deals with mature topics – not in an explicit manner, mind you, but enough to offend some people. If you’re particularly prude regarding depictions of sexuality, you may take offense regarding the one picture herein of a spider/lady hybrid, which features exposed boobs.   The issue includes a new class designed primarily for NPCs – this would be […]

    The Manor #6 (OSR)

    The Manor #6 (OSR) The sixth installment of the OSR-zine „The Manor“ clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page introduction, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 24 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   It should be noted that the editorial sports a content-warning this time around – this issue of “The Manor” deals with mature topics – not in an explicit manner, mind you, but enough to offend some people. If you’re particularly prude regarding depictions of sexuality, you may take offense regarding the one picture herein of a spider/lady hybrid, which features exposed boobs.   The issue includes a new class designed primarily for NPCs – this would be […]

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  • The Manor #5 (OSR) The fifth installment of the Manor zine clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page introduction, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 24 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The first chapter of this installment provides 4 different villains, illustrated with great b/w-artworks by Jay Penn: Here, we can find Morton Millwater, formerly an elf, who had to learn via near-death experience that he is, indeed, a half-troll, awakening to cannibalistic impulses. A truly vile dwarven cleric sworn to Eternal Darkness has become the sworn foe to his people. A true professional kills to hone his craft and leaves compensation for bereaved victims, but is probably the […]

    The Manor #5 (OSR)

    The Manor #5 (OSR) The fifth installment of the Manor zine clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page introduction, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 24 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The first chapter of this installment provides 4 different villains, illustrated with great b/w-artworks by Jay Penn: Here, we can find Morton Millwater, formerly an elf, who had to learn via near-death experience that he is, indeed, a half-troll, awakening to cannibalistic impulses. A truly vile dwarven cleric sworn to Eternal Darkness has become the sworn foe to his people. A true professional kills to hone his craft and leaves compensation for bereaved victims, but is probably the […]

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  • The Manor #4 (OSR) The fourth installment of the Manor-zine clocks in at 39 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page introduction, 2 pages of advertisements, leaving us with 34 pages of content, laid out in 6’’ by 9’’, meaning you can fit up to 4 pages on a sheet of paper when printing this out.   All right, this installment of the Manor comes with two distinct chapters: The first of these would be an adventure/environment to explore, and the second would be a mini-bestiary of sorts, one that contains no less than 9 new creatures, illustrated by Jason Sholtis and Mike Varhola. Each of the monsters comes with a full-page b/w-illustration, an original piece, mind […]

    The Manor #4 (OSR)

    The Manor #4 (OSR) The fourth installment of the Manor-zine clocks in at 39 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page introduction, 2 pages of advertisements, leaving us with 34 pages of content, laid out in 6’’ by 9’’, meaning you can fit up to 4 pages on a sheet of paper when printing this out.   All right, this installment of the Manor comes with two distinct chapters: The first of these would be an adventure/environment to explore, and the second would be a mini-bestiary of sorts, one that contains no less than 9 new creatures, illustrated by Jason Sholtis and Mike Varhola. Each of the monsters comes with a full-page b/w-illustration, an original piece, mind […]

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  • Knowledge Illuminates (OSR) The freshman offering by Tim Shorts clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 24 pages, laid out in 6’’ by 9’’, which means you can fit up to 24 pages on a given sheet of paper when printing this out – provided your eyes are good enough, that is.   Now, the rule-set employed here is Sword & Wizardry, the pdf assumes silver standard and the pdf assumes a skill challenge-like system more in line with new school gaming – d20 + character level + attribute bonus – simple and concise.   The pdf includes a few pieces of supplemental content: The […]

    Knowledge Illuminates (OSR)

    Knowledge Illuminates (OSR) The freshman offering by Tim Shorts clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 24 pages, laid out in 6’’ by 9’’, which means you can fit up to 24 pages on a given sheet of paper when printing this out – provided your eyes are good enough, that is.   Now, the rule-set employed here is Sword & Wizardry, the pdf assumes silver standard and the pdf assumes a skill challenge-like system more in line with new school gaming – d20 + character level + attribute bonus – simple and concise.   The pdf includes a few pieces of supplemental content: The […]

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  • The Mini-Manor #2 – The Flayed King (OSR) This FREE mini-adventure clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This adventure contains slightly mature themes. Nothing grievous, but if you’re really easily offended, you may want to look elsewhere. Personally, I consider this to be pretty much PG 13. The module assumes S&W rules and should best suit a party of 4 of about 3rd – 4th level characters; depending on player-expertise, lower level PCs may survive.   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump […]

    The Mini-Manor #2 – The Flayed King (OSR)

    The Mini-Manor #2 – The Flayed King (OSR) This FREE mini-adventure clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This adventure contains slightly mature themes. Nothing grievous, but if you’re really easily offended, you may want to look elsewhere. Personally, I consider this to be pretty much PG 13. The module assumes S&W rules and should best suit a party of 4 of about 3rd – 4th level characters; depending on player-expertise, lower level PCs may survive.   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump […]

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  • The Mini Manor #1 – Faces Without Screams (OSR) This little pdf clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 17 pages of content, laid out in the tradition 6’’ by 9’’ standard that means that you can fit up to 4 pages on a given sheet of paper, should you choose to do so.   First thing you should know: This adventure is intended as a solo-adventure, i.e. one GM and one player. It is also written in a somewhat stream-of-consciousness-style, which does not automatically distinguish between prose and descriptive text, though the formatting does highlight important bits […]

    The Mini Manor #1 – Faces Without Screams (OSR)

    The Mini Manor #1 – Faces Without Screams (OSR) This little pdf clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 17 pages of content, laid out in the tradition 6’’ by 9’’ standard that means that you can fit up to 4 pages on a given sheet of paper, should you choose to do so.   First thing you should know: This adventure is intended as a solo-adventure, i.e. one GM and one player. It is also written in a somewhat stream-of-consciousness-style, which does not automatically distinguish between prose and descriptive text, though the formatting does highlight important bits […]

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  • The Manor #3 (OSR) The third installment of the OSR-zine „The Manor“ clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page back cover/advertisement, leaving us with 29 pages, which are laid out for an A5 (6’’ by 9’’)-standard, which means you may be able to fit up to 4 pages on a sheet of paper when printing this one out.   The pdf is an evolution in comparison to the previous installments of the magazine, in that it subscribes to specific systems.   First of all, the pdf does contain a new class for Blood and Treasure, the Monster Hunter devoted to Adzeer, God of the Hunt. The class has requirements of Strength and Wisdom […]

    The Manor #3 (OSR)

    The Manor #3 (OSR) The third installment of the OSR-zine „The Manor“ clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page back cover/advertisement, leaving us with 29 pages, which are laid out for an A5 (6’’ by 9’’)-standard, which means you may be able to fit up to 4 pages on a sheet of paper when printing this one out.   The pdf is an evolution in comparison to the previous installments of the magazine, in that it subscribes to specific systems.   First of all, the pdf does contain a new class for Blood and Treasure, the Monster Hunter devoted to Adzeer, God of the Hunt. The class has requirements of Strength and Wisdom […]

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  • Cave of Seiljua (OSR) This is a one-page-dungeon; as such, the dungeon and all text literally fit on, well, one page. There are no stats here, with monster-names bolded instead; the map is hand-drawn, in full-color, and surprisingly well-done – while a player-friendly, key-less version on a second page would have been appreciated, I still was positively surprised by the map.   As per usual, I don’t expect a pdf of this brevity to provide earth-shaking stories or the like. The adventure assumes a gold standard. Spells and magic items are not perfectly formatted.   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion. … .. . Okay, only GMs around? Great!   The […]

    Cave of Seiljua (OSR)

    Cave of Seiljua (OSR) This is a one-page-dungeon; as such, the dungeon and all text literally fit on, well, one page. There are no stats here, with monster-names bolded instead; the map is hand-drawn, in full-color, and surprisingly well-done – while a player-friendly, key-less version on a second page would have been appreciated, I still was positively surprised by the map.   As per usual, I don’t expect a pdf of this brevity to provide earth-shaking stories or the like. The adventure assumes a gold standard. Spells and magic items are not perfectly formatted.   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion. … .. . Okay, only GMs around? Great!   The […]

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  • The Manor #2 (OSR) The second installment of the OSR-zine The Manor clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page editorial/ToC, leaving us with 23 pages of content. Front cover and advertisement/back cover are its own pdf; additionally, we get an alternate layout to print this out in booklet form: You know, first and last page on the same page, etc. – that is pretty damn cool!   Now, it should be noted that this pdf does assume a silver standard and does not subscribe to a particular OSR rules-set. AC is provided both for ascending and descending paradigms and HD and HP are noted, melee damage types are generally not differentiated. Similarly, it is not defined which type of saving […]

    The Manor #2 (OSR)

    The Manor #2 (OSR) The second installment of the OSR-zine The Manor clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page editorial/ToC, leaving us with 23 pages of content. Front cover and advertisement/back cover are its own pdf; additionally, we get an alternate layout to print this out in booklet form: You know, first and last page on the same page, etc. – that is pretty damn cool!   Now, it should be noted that this pdf does assume a silver standard and does not subscribe to a particular OSR rules-set. AC is provided both for ascending and descending paradigms and HD and HP are noted, melee damage types are generally not differentiated. Similarly, it is not defined which type of saving […]

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  • The Manor #1 (OSR) The first of the OSR-zines of the Manor-series clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page advertisement,  leaving us with 19 pages of content, laid out for digest size (6’# by 9’’/A5), meaning that you can fit up to 4 of these pages on a sheet of paper when printing them out.   The material herein assumes a silver standard and assumes a generic OSR-system, claiming no explicit compatibility with one of them. Presentation-wise, we get ascending AC, no differentiation between melee damage-types. Slightly odd: While certain terrain features note the type of save required to resist a given effect, creature statblocks don’t note this. That being said, it is […]

    The Manor #1 (OSR)

    The Manor #1 (OSR) The first of the OSR-zines of the Manor-series clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page advertisement,  leaving us with 19 pages of content, laid out for digest size (6’# by 9’’/A5), meaning that you can fit up to 4 of these pages on a sheet of paper when printing them out.   The material herein assumes a silver standard and assumes a generic OSR-system, claiming no explicit compatibility with one of them. Presentation-wise, we get ascending AC, no differentiation between melee damage-types. Slightly odd: While certain terrain features note the type of save required to resist a given effect, creature statblocks don’t note this. That being said, it is […]

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  • Narcosa (OSR) This massive book clocks in at 108 pages, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 1 page weird glyphs, leaving us with 104 pages of content. The full-color cover artwork is included as a jpg and the scale-less map is also included thus. I own the softcover print version of this book, which sports the map as a back cover, just fyi. I will base my review mostly on the print version. While there is also a hardcover version, I do not own it.   This review was sponsored by one of my generous patreons, to be undertaken at my leisure.   “Someone has read Carcosa!” Ouch, ouch, ouch…hey, I promised I’ll use that quote! Anyways, this book […]

    Narcosa (OSR)

    Narcosa (OSR) This massive book clocks in at 108 pages, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 1 page weird glyphs, leaving us with 104 pages of content. The full-color cover artwork is included as a jpg and the scale-less map is also included thus. I own the softcover print version of this book, which sports the map as a back cover, just fyi. I will base my review mostly on the print version. While there is also a hardcover version, I do not own it.   This review was sponsored by one of my generous patreons, to be undertaken at my leisure.   “Someone has read Carcosa!” Ouch, ouch, ouch…hey, I promised I’ll use that quote! Anyways, this book […]

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