Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Sword & the Sorcerer - Sequal...

After more than 2 decades, the sequal to The Sword & The Sorcerer (1982), "Tales of an Ancient Empire" is filming. It is even being helmed by the original director, Albert Pyun, who is a sort of modern day Roger Corman. Some production clips from the film can be seen here.

I have to say the original film is a guilty pleasure of mine; though often reviled by more critical folks, I found it to be enjoyable, funny, and escapist. And lets face it, pulp fantasy films aren't exactly a power-genre in Hollywood. Probably, we're never going to see a 200-million dollar big-budget version of Lankhmar starring Tom Cruise, The Rock, and Selma Hayek (does picturing that film make your blood pressure rise?;). Compared to fantasy with more universal appeal, like Lord of the Rings or Narnia, dark Sword & Sorcery is a niche within a niche (something us old-school gamers should be familiar with).

And so I embrace the occasional, and admittedly cheesy, strait-to-DVD genre film that comes along, a custom I've been following since that first string of "Sword & Boob" films from the early 80's.

The clips linked above look ok. I imagine an aging Kevin Sorbo traveling around with a group of beautiful, young female warriors holds a certain amount of wish-fulfillment for many of us;)

I just hope Pyun tones down the feaux-Enya a bit.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mapping that Megadungeon

At first, the prospect of mapping a Megadungeon can seem like an extrememly daunting one. Megadungeons are typically considered to be a minimum of 5 or 10 levels, and sometimes even more. Factor in that there can be hundreds of rooms on each level, and the task quickly begins to look insurmountable.

Obviously, one "fix" a lot of DMs take is simply to make the dungeon smaller. Say, 30 or 40 rooms per level, thereby making the mapping a bit more manageable. But then, its not really a Megadungeon anymore.

The best way I've found to manage that heavy mapping load is simply to change your perspective on what exactly needs to be mapped. Most DMs I've spoken with running Megadungeons will tell you that they're running it about 33% pre-planned, 33% random charts, and the remaining 34% "on-the-fly". Why?

Because that's the way we run most Campaign Settings.

The Megadungeon isn't a tournament module, where every 5' step needs to be carefully planned out. It isn't even a normal adventure, where most stuff is planned out, with a wandering monster table thrown in for good measure. Megadungeons are living, breathing, Campaign Settings. They change, sometimes from session to session. They are ultimately indefinable, as extensions of the Mythical Underworld. They are necessarily mutable, as the best and most memorable Megadungeons are influenced by the whims and wants of the players in the campaign.

Map your Megadungeon the same way you would your campaign setting. Start with a familiar "home town" area they're going to frequent. In most cases, this is the main entrance to the dungeon and the main connection points. Sketch out a rough idea of the scope of the campaign setting, er Megadungeon. Then add detail as you need it, and as the characters journey. Map possible areas of further exploration a little at a time, in between sessions, so that mapping goes back to being a fun, relaxing pasttime, rather than a chore.

There are only two parts of the Megadungeon that should be even remotely set in stone (ahem;):

1. Where the players have already been. They're going to be mapping it too, so don't be too cruel and change everything every time they walk through the caverns on level four. Try and keep things fairly constant where the players have already been, and if you do change something in that area, make it for a good anf fun reason, like giving them a mystery to solve. It can be a good idea to collect the players' map at the end of every session, especially if they've ventured off into an area you havn't fully mapped yet, so you can go ahead and copy their map down on your own "official" one.

2. Places you think are friggin' Cool. Those "iconic" locations within your Megadungeon. The center points in between all those empty rooms filled with wandering monsters and random traps and tricks. The places where you really let your creativity shine as a DM. You don't have to map everything between the Entrance and the Hall of Shattered Thrones anymore than you have to detail everything between Verbobonc and Hommlett unless your players are going to be traveling there sometime soon.

An example map: That roughly rectangular blur above, if you click on it, will enlarge into an early version of the the first three levels (plus two sublevels) of my 10-level Megadungeon, the Forsaken Halls. It serves mainly to detail the "big" locations (with cheesy names to remind me what's there) in the dungeon, and the main connections between the levels. Those crosshatched areas between the big chambers can be interpreted as "dozens of minor rooms, chambers, and caves" and get detailed as needed. For instance, the area on level one that looks like a cross with a star in the middle (The Halls of Madness, as they are known to the players), actually fills an 8"x11" sheet of 8-square-per-inch graph paper and has about a hundred or so rooms. Its been the most extensively explored area of my Megadungeon, and is therefore the most extensively mapped. I have about three sheets of the same size filled in, and a dozen more with just the main areas and connections blown up to the proper scale, waiting to be filled in and detailed as necessary.

By keeping a list of encounters, traps, treasures, and room descriptions handy, I can place these rooms wherever I want, as needed, without being contstrained too heavily by a pre-planned map. The Megadungeon has so far grown organically, and as it has deveolped primarily through play, I can run many sections of it by memory as I run different groups of players through it, adding a little more detail each time as I go. Just like a Campaign Setting. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Swords & Wizardry in Print!

Mythmere Games has partnered up with Black Blade Publishing to get Swords & Wizardry in print and in game stores. Go here to order your copy, or let your FLGS know to order it for you. Also available now is Knockspell #3!

Congrats to all involved with this!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Some details on Hex-mapping

Thanks to John for pointing out this interesting little page, which gives some helpful notes on scaling your home-made hexagonal maps, drawn from a variety of old-school references.

And here's a link to a printable, 30-mile hex divided into 1 mile hexes. I used to use a lot of these to blow up regions when I was running Greyhawk. I have some pretty good one of the Pomarj and the principality to the South of it, I'll try to find for scanning and posting some time.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sad FLGS story....

The other day I happened to be in the neighborhood of one of the older gaming stores in town, and one that I actually assumed had closed a couple of years ago. I was surprised while driving by to see the flashing neon "open" sign in the window, so I popped in to kill the remainder of a lunch break.

The store itself is a pretty stereotypical "down-in-the-dumps" gaming store. Dark, dusty, lined with shelves full of mis-matched random product, but in a good way. I browsed around for awhile, and feeling like I should help support the business, picked up a copy of Hackmaster Basic, which I had been pondering ordering online anyways, a 1st print box set of Gamma World, and a stack of 70's comics (which I love to read... for the ads!), about $60.00 worth of stuff in all.

I approached the man at the counter, who looked like he was obviously the owner and sole employee of the place. He rang me up, and I whipped out my visa to pay...

"Sorry, I don't take credit cards," he says.

Bewildered, I looked out the window (this was not a particularly safe part of town), "do folks carry a lot of cash around here?"

He looked at me, perplexed. Sadly, I had to put back everything but the old comics (not wanting to have to deplete my cash reserves so early on a Friday), and left feeling a bit let down. What if someone wanted to make a really big purchase in his store (he had quite a few boardgames running on average $80, and lots of miniatures which are expensive these days)? That seemed like begging for failure. (While leaving, I heard him turn down yet another sale, some young kids wanting to buy a bunch of dice!)

I mean, we all know what a hard time game stores are having these days. Why make it harder on yourselves, guys? My company takes credit cards, and we're not even a retail business; its something that happens once or twice a year. We use a online service that charges like 1% for the transaction. I thought about going back with the web address for the credit card processing company we use, but honestly don't know whether this guy would take offence. If he really wanted to make big sales, wouldn't he have researched this himself already?

The moderately successful gaming store in my area takes all forms of payment, of course. Anyone else have a store in their area that seems determined to fail?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bring back Korgoth!

Most of you have seen the pilot for Korgoth of Barbaria by now. What you may not know is that the series was shelved before the pilot was even aired (for a variety of rumored reasons, some of them fairly insulting to fans of the Sword & Sorcery genre). Even "Assy McGee" got a couple of seasons (yep, "Assy McGee", good call, guys) :\

At any rate, some folks have taken the time to start an online petition in an attempt to get the ball rolling on this again. Proabably futile, but who knows? If you liked the Korgoth pilot, take a moment and add your name to the list!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Here is the "official" Beyond the Black Gate Swords & Wizardry Thief, for your downloading pleasure: Link

I know a few S&W and OD&D fans who are against the Thief (as a dedicated class at least), but I don't mind if a player really wants to run one. I'm a big fan of pulpy, thiefly archetypes like Vance's Cugel and the multitude of cowardly and conniving thieves in REH's Conan stories.

Up to recently, I've just been handing out a copy of the Thief page from Labyrinth Lord (I use the Elf from that book as well), but wanted something a little more Swords & Wizardry flavored, if that makes sense at all! For my version, I tried to keep it simple, like the existing classes, and to let it operate within the existing rules for finding traps, etc, as much as possible.

Any feedback is appreciated!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New section at BtBG - "the Shoulders of Giants"

If you look at the right side of the blog here and scroll down a bit, you'll see a new list of links labelled "The Shoulders of Giants - Wisdom from the Masters." The links here will take you to several message board Q&A's where you can read what folks like Gygax, Arneson, and Bledsaw had to say about the origins of the hobby, like this one.

You could literally spend days going through these, and there's lots of cool stuff to be found and discussed within these postings. I think these are an important historical resource for our hobby, and hope some day to see someone archive and collate all these for posterity!

If you know of a good, extensive Q&A or history thread I've missed and would like to see listed here, please let me know.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Art of Dave Trampier

One of my "holy trinity" of D&D artists (Trampier, Otus, Sutherland), Dave Trampier had a knack for not just producing fantastic art, but for really capturing the "feel" of old-school gaming in that art.

Does looking at this stuff make you want to break out the dice Right Now?

Galaxy Laser Team - Thanks, Jesse!

Jesse was kind enough to send me a box of these great little figures; now the junior Ravyns and I are having a (ahem) blast with them!

I even brought a few into the office to amaze and annoy my co-workers with...;)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

An Interesting Article

This article made the rounds a few years back, and paints an interesting picture of the early days of Wizards of the Coast (pre-TSR Acquisition). Keep in mind this is by an-ex employee, so I can't attest to the veracity of any of it, but it's intriguing nonetheless. While the debauchery level runs high, it does make one wonder what WoTC, and D&D itself, would be like today if they had not been sold to a big boy like Hasbro.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

BtBG Reader - The Pastel City

If you recall from this post, a little treasure I came across recently was "The Pastel City", by M. John Harrison. Having never heard of the author, I picked it up solely on the strength of the cover, which features a rangerish-looking fellow riding into a wasteland, out of a futuristic steel city. At the bottom of the cover was a little blurb that appealed to my interest in mixing sci-fi and fantasy: "Far in the future, gallant knights in armor battle the wild forces of a dying technology".

Released in 1974, the book is a charming and succinct (174pages) work of science-fantasy that covers a surprising amount of ground. The premise of Harrison's universe is a familiar one to fans of Jack Vance's Dying Earth: the Earth is at the end of its days. Mankind has peaked, traveled to the stars, and then receded. Most knowledge has been lost, and men eke out an existence, scavenging the wastelands for the technologies of higher civilizations long ago fallen.

Every so often a new golden age is achieved from out of the savagery, as is the case with the heroic king Methven Nian, and his doughty knights the Order of Methven (or simply, The Methven). But king Nian is dead now, leaving a strong illegitimate "heir" and a weak legitimate one to battle over the remains of the decaying kingdom. The Methven are old and scattered, lost in their own pursuits as their legacy falls towards an inexorable doom.

The story centers on tegeus-Cromis, once the greatest swordsman of the Methven knights, who lives in self-imposed exile on the edge of the crumbling empire. An violent incident strikes near to home, making him realize just how bad things have gotten while he's been away, and he strikes out to fulfill his bond to his dead king and protect the legitimate heir. Along the way he collects what few remaining Methven he can find, and sets out to find a means of overcoming the awful technological evil the pretender to the throne has unearthed in the northern wastelands. Tragedy and betrayal are common in this adventure at the end of time, and the outcome is not what you would assume.

Harrison's writing style is enjoyable and descriptive, somewhere between Moorcock and Vance if you go for such comparisons. At one point the Methven must venture into a post-apocalytic swamp:

"In the water thickets, the path wound tortously between umber iron-bogs, albescent quicksands of aluminum and magnesium oxides, and sumps of cuprous blue or permagranate mauve fed by slow, gelid streams and fringed by silver reeds and tall black grasses... Charcoal grey frogs with viridescent eyes croaked as the column floundered between the pools. Beneath the greasy surface of the water unidentifiable reptiles moved slowly and sinuously. Dragonflies whose webbing spanned a foot or more hummed and hovered between the sedges; their long, wicked bodies glittered bold green and ultramarine; they took their prey on the wing, pouncing with an audible snap of jaws on whining, ephemeral mosquitos and fluttering moths of april blue and chevrolet cherise."

If you're looking to run a Thundarr-style campaign, you can do a lot worse than reading this book for inspiration.

Harrison still lives and writes in England, and there are apparently two further works that follow "The Pastel City"(though City is a complete novel in and of itself), making up a trilogy referred to as the Viriconium Sequence. After this novel, I'm definitely hungry for more, and will be keeing an eye out for these.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Eco-terrorists and Flying Staves

I took a drive west down the ever-entertaining I-90 into Pennsylvania Saturday to check out the Erie Day of Gaming. It was a nice little convention, no nonsense, just folks at tables playing and learning games. I got to talk shop with Rob Conley for a while (who has a nice surprise for you Wilderlands fans forthcoming!) before rolling up a character and joining Joe and Tim for his noon game, a playtest of Tim's forthcoming C&C adventure, run with S&W liberally houseruled, almost Arduin style, with stuff from Rob's own Majestic Wilderlands.

I ended up with Jex, a Mage of the Order of Thoth (fans of the City State will no doubt be familiar with the massive temple of that order). Jex and his companions, a berserker bodyguard and a priest. We set out in search of a missing Thothian brother and became embroiled in a little village's pollution issue, ending up venturing into a mine. Spell selection is everything in old-edition D&D, and Jex... chose poorly. He entered with a full complement of mind-bending spells guranteed to let him master any mortal foe, only to face wave after wave of mindless undead!

Fortunately, Jex was, albeit unknowingly, equipped with a potent magical artifact: the Staff of Flying! Upon a roll of a natural "1", this powerful stave flies off in a randomly determined direction, to lie undisturbed in a far corner of the chamber, ignored by all until the end of combat. Through some lucky rolling, Jex got to enjoy this puissant ability about seven or eight times over the course of the adventure.

Sans both spells and staff for most of the adventure, Jex was left to improvise as he could, which enventually paid off: a well-timed foot slid out into the path of the fleeing bad guy at the climax of the adventure sent him (triiip!) sprawling onto his evil face, leaving him vulnerable to the violent attentions of the two berserkers. Town saved, staff collected, shoe inshrined for future generations to marvel at. :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Help! Does anyone remember...?

I'm trying to track down a toy I had when I was a kid, because I think my boys would enjoy them. They came in a bag like, and were roughly the same size as, the stereotypical "plastic army men", but they were Science Fiction versions! If anyone knows the name of these maybe I can track them down on EBay or see if the manufacturer is still around. IIRC, each bag contained several of the following:

Big turtle-shell alien w/claws
Werewolf with laser rifle
"Princess Leia"-type girl w/gun
Human w/blaster pistol
R2D2-style square robot
Earth Astronaut w/vacuum cleaner looking thingy

I know there were a couple of others, but I'm sketchy on the details. The figures came in white, black, hot pink, and day-glo green.

Anyone remember these?

Update! PatrickWR was kind enough to point me at this site, with everything you need to know about these fun little guys (pic now added above). Its funny that my recall of these (listed above) was pretty accurate, but I apparently blocked out the fact that the "Leia" figure does not, in fact, have a ray-gun, but a cash register instead! And how could I forget Darth Fuscia?

Now I just have to figure out where to buy some of these, I've never seen them in dollar stores as some folks have reported :(

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Back From the Future - Speeding up 4E Combat

There seems to be a bit of cautious curiosity in the old-school blogosphere lately concerning 4E, with most of the "cautious" aspect seemingly directed towards the perceived drastic change in flavor from traditional D&D and the sometimes overbearing length of combat time.

While most old-school DMs can adjust flavor in-play at will (for any game, not just 4E), getting those combat times down to a palatable length is more of a challenge. With the rules-heavy later editions especially, houserules can become overly complex in a hurry, so my "fix" for combat length was to come up with a simple, 3-step procedure for making combat faster, but still dangerous and challenging. The most obvious root cause of long combats turned out to be the surprisingly large number of hit points 4E monsters get. Its not unusual for an orc to have 50-60 hp or even more, for instance. Despite that, 4E PCs are still doing pretty much the same amount of damage with the basic longsword hit that they've done since OD&D.

The compromising factor in this is that 4E characters have a modest selection of "powers" at their disposal which, among other effects, often double or even triple damage output. The problem is, once those powers are used up (comparable to Vancian casting), combat is reduced to what is referred to as "The Grind": PCs chipping away at that orc's remaining 30 hp's (or worse, that Otyugh's remaining 235hp!) at a rate of 5 or 10 points of damage per round.

My solution?

Brutal 4E

Step one: Reduce monster hit points by half.

Step two: Increase monster damage by +1 per 2 levels. (as in, a 6th level monster is +3 damage with all attacks.)

Step Three: All attacks are "High Crit". (Standard crits in 4E do max damage, whereas High Crit attacks due max damage plus another roll of the weapon die.)

And there you have it.

It should be noted that, unlike monsters, PCs in no way need their hit points to be halved. 4E characters are pretty soft on hit points already, albeit on a more gradual curve from low to high level. Step two and three increase monster damage, which is already pretty devastating to PCs, and most monsters have special, more dangerous, attacks they can only access when "bloodied"(at half their starting hps), which they obviously gain access to a whole lot faster when they start out with half to begin with! PC fatalities may actually increase, if they aren't careful.

With regards to those PC powers, their value increases drastically under Brutal 4E, and players will begin to manage their expenditure more wisely, rather than using them all at once just to get through the first encounter they run into.

I came up with the houserule over a year ago (and have seen evidence of other DMs trying it out) and used it with both my Wilderlands and Forsaken Halls Megadungeon sessions (both sadly languishing in Hiatus Limbo), and it increased average combats per 4 hour session from 1-3 up to 3-5. More encouragingly, from my perspective anyway, it took enough of the emphasis off combat that the PCs spent more time exploring, investigating, and interacting. That, I suspect, is a favorable result for most old-school DMs.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Does your gaming group look like this?

Does it? (Click on image for larger version)

Nothing makes a Tekumel Caste-Warrior ensemble complete like sunglasses!

This is from a link from Grognardia, btw.

I have to say, in 30-odd years of gaming, I've never been to a session where anyone dressed in costume as their character. This seems to be a common stereotype of gamers (a certain episode of Reno 911 comes to mind), but I thought it based solely on myth/assumption (or convention shenanigans)!

Have you ever gamed in costume, or with a group in costume?

If so, please share your story!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The One-Page Wilderness

Sean at Bite the Bulette has done a very nice one-page Wilderness, inspired by Will Douglas's Northmarch. I hope we see more of these from the old-school blogosphere!

I did a sort of "one-sheet" Wilderness a while back, when I was putting alot of stuff together for Microlite20; a campaign setting on one (front and back of a) sheet, called Lands of Lyrion. You can gaze upon its pulp-fantasy-inspired cheesiness here.

I think I might do a similar one-sheet for my mystery campaign mini-setting discussed here, just to see what it would look like. Sort of like Lyrion, but on a smaller scale, I'd want a tiny bit of detail on the towns and cities, some "lurid lairs", and perhaps a small pantheon of deities.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Healing in a Low-Magic Campaign

Wanting to run a campaign based on a low-magic, Sword & Sorcery, genre can be difficult with regards to healing. Most class-based, old-school games hang healing solely on the shoulders of a "Cleric" or other priestly class. This includes not only healing generic hit-point damage during an adventure, but also stuff like poisons, diseases, etc. The result of this is that adventuring parties often feel the need to include or hire one or more Clerics as a sort of walking band-aid.

The Cleric as a class concept has its genesis in the "holy" knightly orders of the crusades. It is intended to be a warrior-priest (this is important - clerics weren't necessarily supposed to end up as "divine wizards") with a selection of protective magics. Naturally, the limited number of spell slots and fire-and-forget nature of Vancian casting means most of those "protective magics" get ignored in favor of memorizing the all-important cure spells. It wasn't long before this trend became obvious and Paladins were introduced to occupy the role the Cleric was originally intended to fill.

All that aside, a DM running a campaign steeped in the lore of Leiber, Howard, Vance, and so on, has little use for Clerics or Paladins from a genre standpoint. The "priests" of the genre are usually more accurately represented by the Magic-User class. But a DM wanting to omit the Cleric altogether from the campaign is basically consigning the players to short lives at worse, and short adventures at best.

Here are some options I've used with my Swords & Wizardry Wilderlands campaign, in which none of the three PCs are clerics.

Basic Healing:

After a combat, damaged PCs may spend one turn on "first aid", healing 1d4hp of damage sustained in that particular combat. This is acually an old house rule I first noticed in the old Judges Guild "Ready Ref" Sheets, and just this house rule alone improves play regardless of genre, as it also frees up Clerics to exploit a wider variety of spells. Personally, I find it also better reflects the nature of hit points themselves, in that they are a more abstract form of damage, representing not just actual wounds, but fatigue, bruising, and even combat ability. The left-over damage after the 1d4hp of first aid represents the actual injuries that will require rest or more intensive healing.

PCs regain lost hp at a rate of 1d3hp per day of rest. This is a healing rule I've adopted from the Moldvay Basic book, and far preferable in my opinion to the more common 1hp/day standard. It's faster on average, and gives the player's something to do every day (roll a d3) rather than just saying "ok, I'm down 6hp, so I rest for 6 days". Also, I consider "day of rest" to be "day spent back in town/camp". No one gets any rest down in the dungeon while nervously anticipating the next wandering Umber Hulk encounter. PCs are welcome to drink, wench, shop, and divvy treasure while "healing", provided there is a comfy bed at the Inn to retire to at a reasonable hour.

PCs regain lost hp at a rate of 2d3 per day under care of a physician. Sometimes, PCs don't have all the time in the world, or are too seriously injured, to play man-about-town. A physician does require his patient to get complete bed rest while under care, and costs roughly 1gp/hp healed. Some adventurous physicians can be lured out on expeditions at a rate of 20-50gp/day (plus cost of poultices used and the standard 1gp/hp healed as a "tip"), but will never venture into actual dungeons, rather remaining at "base camp". Such field physicians sometimes also require the aid of one or more assistants at a rate of 1gp/day.

PCs may be cured of non-magical diseases and poisons under care of a physician. Treatment typically takes 3d4 days and costs roughly 50gp/HD of the creature that inflicted the injury (for instance, disease from a giant rat costs about 25gp to cure). Again, this requires complete bedrest, and a tip of 1gp/hp cured is recommended.

Death and Negative Levels:

PCs reduced to 0 or fewer hit points die in 1d6 rounds. This represents the time the PC gets for someone to help stop the bleeding, pull out the arrow, etc, before actually dying. This is totally at the referee's discretion, of course: In cases where the damage inflicted is catastrophic, such as being reduced to -30 hp by a blast of dragon breath, the referee may rule that there is nothing left to heal! This is another discovery from those ever-helpful Ready Ref Sheets.

PCs may regain levels lost as result of supernatural level-draining effects under the care of a qualified physician. Perhaps the most radical of these houserules, its nonetheless a good idea to have something like this in place for any campaign that doesn't have a high-level cleric in every town. Regaining lost levels takes 1 week of complete bedrest for every level lost, and costs 1000gp per level lost. Treatment must begin within one month of the loss, or level loss is permanent. Only physicians with a working knowledge of the supernatural (such as witchcraft, sorcery, religious mysteries, herbalism, etc) may render such treatment.

Non-magical Healing Potions and Poultices:

Another good way to supplement the Cleric-free party is to make available some simple herbal or medicinal remedies. Some examples might include:

Poultice of Healing (50gp): This is a creamy, salve-like poultice that is applied directly to a wound. It heals 3-6(1d4+2) points of damage and prevents scarring. Such a poultice is only effective on an individual once every 24 hours. A second application is only half as effective (round fractions down), and further applications have no effect whatsoever, until 24 hours has passed.

Anti-Venom, Weak(25gp): Imbibing this fluid within one round of poisoning allows the poisoned victim an immediate second saving throw against that poison.

Anti-Venom, Strong(200gp): Imbibing this fluid within one round allows the victim an immediate saving throw at +4.

Cleansing Remedy(100gp): Imbibing this foul herbal concoction within 24 hours of contraction of a disease thoroughly and noisily flushes out the victim's system (which may be inconvenient in certain circumstances), giving them an immediate saving throw against the disease with a +2 bonus.

Veritus Charm(500gp): This holy charm, if worn openly around the neck, allows the target of level draining attacks (that wouldn't normally allow a save) a saving throw at -2 against level drain.


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