Tales from the Manhole Cover


Oldhammer, OSR, Tabletop Gaming

From Gutter With Love

During the intervening downtime Krodofel, angling for forbidden meats, ran afoul of a mysterious butcher and found himself dangling in a cage.

Against their better judgement, the party set out to rescue him.


To Zyan At Last

Sunday saw a very special session of my regular Ultan's Door campaign. Not only were we taking our first steps into the marvelous and terrible city of Zyan Above, we also had two new players joining us, and everyone else was playing a new character, as the main group will still not arrive in Zyan for some time.


Realms of the Dead

Character death is often held up as a positive feature of OSR games, sometimes associated with a degree of machismo and the idea that without the possibility there's no challenge or interest. I don't believe this - video games manage to have challenge with no real possibility of failure, you try again until you get it right. Stories where you know the hero is going to survive can still be tense and interesting. There are other stakes.


Experiences vs Experience Points

The system I'm using for my current game is based on the Black Hack, and perhaps my favourite part of it has been the experience system. In place of XP certain actions count as 'experiences' and are recorded on the character sheet. Players can check off a certain number of them to gain a level (in BH equal to their current level, though I'd suggest equal to the level you're trying to reach.)


Friendly, Yet Bitey

Mermaids are hypersocial carnivores. They feed exclusively on land-dwelling mammals, including humans and demihumans.