Ian Woolley Archive

  • Keep of the First Scion (Troika!) This zine-style 2-page dungeon clocks in at 2 pages; these can theoretically be folded, with 1/3 of the first page being devoted to the front cover.   So, there is one thing you need to know about this, and it can be a deal-breaker for you: while the text that explains the premise and background on the first page is properly printed, and so is the explanation of the NPCs, the actual stats of the adversaries faced herein are depicted in a scan of hand-written notebook pages; the map of the complex to be explored also is hand-drawn and scanned in.   Why is this relevant? Well, the handwriting was REALLY hard for me […]

    Keep of the First Scion (Troika!)

    Keep of the First Scion (Troika!) This zine-style 2-page dungeon clocks in at 2 pages; these can theoretically be folded, with 1/3 of the first page being devoted to the front cover.   So, there is one thing you need to know about this, and it can be a deal-breaker for you: while the text that explains the premise and background on the first page is properly printed, and so is the explanation of the NPCs, the actual stats of the adversaries faced herein are depicted in a scan of hand-written notebook pages; the map of the complex to be explored also is hand-drawn and scanned in.   Why is this relevant? Well, the handwriting was REALLY hard for me […]

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  • Ætherjack’s Almanac #1 – Engines & Elementals (Troika!) The first installment of Ætherjack’s Almanac clocks in at 2 pages – these are intended to be printed and folded in the middle, essentially providing 4 pages, with one devoted to the front-cover.   The ‘zine starts with a new background – the unemployed drive elemental: You see, in some savage spheres of the humpbacked sky, elementals are imprisoned in engines, but thankfully, you hail from a more enlightened place. You were at once licensed, bonded and insured. The possessions provided include some fractions of a mortal soul, an expired Intersphere work permit, undue overpaid traffic citations – there is a playfulness here that I rather enjoyed seeing. The Advanced skills section […]

    Ætherjack’s Almanac #1 – Engines & Elementals (Troika!)

    Ætherjack’s Almanac #1 – Engines & Elementals (Troika!) The first installment of Ætherjack’s Almanac clocks in at 2 pages – these are intended to be printed and folded in the middle, essentially providing 4 pages, with one devoted to the front-cover.   The ‘zine starts with a new background – the unemployed drive elemental: You see, in some savage spheres of the humpbacked sky, elementals are imprisoned in engines, but thankfully, you hail from a more enlightened place. You were at once licensed, bonded and insured. The possessions provided include some fractions of a mortal soul, an expired Intersphere work permit, undue overpaid traffic citations – there is a playfulness here that I rather enjoyed seeing. The Advanced skills section […]

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  • Axes & Orcs Compendium Volume II: Science-Fantasy Potpourri Backgrounds (Troika!) The second Axes & Orcs Compendium clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page artwork inside front cover, 2 pages of editorial, leaving us with 20 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The back cover sports the stats for the plasmic cannon – a weapon that requires two hands to use, holds 3 charges, and ignores 2 armor; a damage table is provided, starting at 4 on a roll of 1, and escalating to 30 on a 7+, making it a very powerful weapon.   This book contains a whole new d66 table of backgrounds, Troika!’s combination of race and class, essentially doubling the […]

    Axes & Orcs Compendium Volume II: Science-Fantasy Potpourri Backgrounds (Troika!)

    Axes & Orcs Compendium Volume II: Science-Fantasy Potpourri Backgrounds (Troika!) The second Axes & Orcs Compendium clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page artwork inside front cover, 2 pages of editorial, leaving us with 20 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The back cover sports the stats for the plasmic cannon – a weapon that requires two hands to use, holds 3 charges, and ignores 2 armor; a damage table is provided, starting at 4 on a roll of 1, and escalating to 30 on a 7+, making it a very powerful weapon.   This book contains a whole new d66 table of backgrounds, Troika!’s combination of race and class, essentially doubling the […]

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  • Axes & Orcs Compendium Volume I – Non-Human & Monster Classes (OSR) This supplement clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 21 pages of content, laid out for 6’’ by 9’’/A5, so let’s take a look!   This supplement is intended for generic OSR, and does not subscribe to a single rules-set, which can be a bit of a detriment, considering how the power-levels of e.g. B/X and OSRIC can diverge, so that’s something to bear in mind. “Skill”-like abilities are noted as x-in-6-chances, with initiative and surprise being assumed to have ascending values; similarly, saving throw bonuses are noted with plusses, with the classes doing something relatively smart, namely referencing e.g. […]

    Axes & Orcs Compendium Volume I – Non-Human & Monster Classes (OSR)

    Axes & Orcs Compendium Volume I – Non-Human & Monster Classes (OSR) This supplement clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 21 pages of content, laid out for 6’’ by 9’’/A5, so let’s take a look!   This supplement is intended for generic OSR, and does not subscribe to a single rules-set, which can be a bit of a detriment, considering how the power-levels of e.g. B/X and OSRIC can diverge, so that’s something to bear in mind. “Skill”-like abilities are noted as x-in-6-chances, with initiative and surprise being assumed to have ascending values; similarly, saving throw bonuses are noted with plusses, with the classes doing something relatively smart, namely referencing e.g. […]

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  • Maiden of the Shrine of the Snubbed One & Friends (Troika!) This supplement clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 6 pages of content, with each page containing one new Troika!-background, so let’s take a look!   Okay, so the first thing you need to know here, is that this is a satire-product spoofing certain individuals in the OSR/indie gaming scene. In its original iteration, this was clearly a satire in the tradition of Juvenal, i.e. designed as a take-down. Most of the backgrounds made fun in a scathing and entertaining way of some gaming tropes in a parodist manner…but two of the backgrounds featured in said original iteration were obviously very […]

    Maidens of the Shrine of the Snubbed One & Friends (Troika!)

    Maiden of the Shrine of the Snubbed One & Friends (Troika!) This supplement clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 6 pages of content, with each page containing one new Troika!-background, so let’s take a look!   Okay, so the first thing you need to know here, is that this is a satire-product spoofing certain individuals in the OSR/indie gaming scene. In its original iteration, this was clearly a satire in the tradition of Juvenal, i.e. designed as a take-down. Most of the backgrounds made fun in a scathing and entertaining way of some gaming tropes in a parodist manner…but two of the backgrounds featured in said original iteration were obviously very […]

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  • The Panopticium: An Entry from the Soggy Warlock’s Compendium of Curious Creatures (system agnostic) This pdf clocks in at 2 pages – 1 page is an interesting artwork/hand-out-style version of the creature, the other page contains the text.   The pdf does not note a particular system or presents stats per se – instead, it lists the numbers that may be encounters, the suggested level range, and for Armor, it notes e.g. a name and then (as plate); similarly, weapons note analogues, like stating that it works like a two-handed sword. So yeah, you’ll need to do some adjustments.   The creature notes special defenses and attacks – in the former case, the creature here notes e.g. that they are […]

    The Panopticium: An Entry from the Soggy Warlock’s Compendium of Curious Creatures (system agnostic)

    The Panopticium: An Entry from the Soggy Warlock’s Compendium of Curious Creatures (system agnostic) This pdf clocks in at 2 pages – 1 page is an interesting artwork/hand-out-style version of the creature, the other page contains the text.   The pdf does not note a particular system or presents stats per se – instead, it lists the numbers that may be encounters, the suggested level range, and for Armor, it notes e.g. a name and then (as plate); similarly, weapons note analogues, like stating that it works like a two-handed sword. So yeah, you’ll need to do some adjustments.   The creature notes special defenses and attacks – in the former case, the creature here notes e.g. that they are […]

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  • The Nautilium: An Entry from the Soggy Warlock’s Compendium of Curious Creatures (system agnostic) This pdf clocks in at 2 pages – 1 page is an interesting b/w-artwork/hand-out-style version of the creature, the other page contains the text.   The pdf does not note a particular system or presents stats per se – instead, it lists the numbers that may be encounters, the suggested level range, and for Armor, it notes e.g. Unarmored or Dressed for a Ball (as leather or mail); similarly, weapons note analogues: Attacks with their opium pipes are resolved as though they were black-jacks; radiant pistols use the stats for crossbows. So yeah, you’ll need to do some adjustments.   The Nautilium are essentially a highly-sophisticated […]

    The Nautilium: An Entry from the Soggy Warlock’s Compendium of Curious Creatures (system agnostic)

    The Nautilium: An Entry from the Soggy Warlock’s Compendium of Curious Creatures (system agnostic) This pdf clocks in at 2 pages – 1 page is an interesting b/w-artwork/hand-out-style version of the creature, the other page contains the text.   The pdf does not note a particular system or presents stats per se – instead, it lists the numbers that may be encounters, the suggested level range, and for Armor, it notes e.g. Unarmored or Dressed for a Ball (as leather or mail); similarly, weapons note analogues: Attacks with their opium pipes are resolved as though they were black-jacks; radiant pistols use the stats for crossbows. So yeah, you’ll need to do some adjustments.   The Nautilium are essentially a highly-sophisticated […]

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