17 February 2011
Dyson's Dodecahedron is a new ezine for Classic D&D type games from Dyson over at the A character for every game blog. Each issue contains 12 pages of interesting content for old school style games, and issue two is out this month, here's my thumbnail review:
At just under 2mb in file size, the pdf is a quick download, and with the exception of the cover page, the whole thing is fairly printer friendly. The cover art appears to be a stock woodcut type image, depicting an odd renaissance or victorian urban scene, but doesn't really relate directly to any of the articles, so printing the zine without the cover isn't going to really hurt anything.
Rolled a One!
This intro editorial is pretty par for the course, some notes on publication issues and comments on the origins of the articles.
Elemental Lore - Summoning Elemental Subtypes
This is a great article expanding the options for summoning elemental creatures, including ways to customize the creature summoned with a non-standard (yet relevant to the element in question) ability or two. If you also have access to the long out of print Different Worlds magazine (some of which are available on their website), the first four or five issues had extensive articles about magic user subtypes, based on the elements, that would work great with this material in creating some interesting PCs or NPC villains.
Merchant Princes - Traders with Class
An article describing a new PC class, the merchant prince, a thief variant with some minor magical ability. While the overall concept might work in a setting like Glantri in the Known World, I found the spell lists to be a little random and lacking a cohesive theme. Some tinkering with the lists to include nonstandard spells might fix that though.
A quick random table that expands the 'bandit' result on a random encounter chart to give a little more flavor to the result. Are these common highway robbers, or deserters from the royal army? Roll a d12 and find out.
Lair of the Spider Flayers
In this adventure, a set of caves in the local woods has become the lair of a pair of eccentrics with a grudge against the local spider population. Can the PCs discover their secret and defeat them? The adventure is scalable for just about any party level, and would make a nice one or two session side trek in most campaigns.
A set of 'template' style options for creating variations on the standard playable races. A nice way of melding the more modern variety of races found in newer editions of D&D with simple old school mechanics.
Overall, the material is pretty interesting and generally useful, and a great result for a one man 'zine.
I'm not going to get in the habit of assigning actual ratings to material, it's not my intent to pick favorites, or unfairly critique worthy material that just didn't interest me.
So, the verdict is, it's a quick download, with some interesting content, give it a look. If it doesn't interest you, you didn't waste more than 15 or 20 minutes, but I expect you'll find an idea or two worth borrowing.
Download your copy at the A character for every game blog, and dont forget to check out Issue 1 of the 'zine as well.