Friday, 14 November 2008

300 Text Files and Other Strangeness

It's all Zach's fault. Putting up a link to 300 RPG related text files culled from BBSs during the 80s and 90s. Almost all of these are 'relevant to my interests', coming as they did during the era at which TSR was at its zenith, and I just can't stop browsing. Some of the files are brilliant, some of them are weird, some of them ridiculous; all but a tiny minority are wonderful.

A few favourites:

1 - The curiously entitled Complete Guide to AD&D Alchohol for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (is that a tautology? It's definitely something) by some forgotten genius by the name of Reid Bluebaugh. Alchohol is the great love of my life after food, sex and D&D (okay, and the missus), so I'm especially interested in supplements which contain chapters on Popular and Strange Alchohols Amongst The Worlds, When the Still Explodes, and Getting to Know Your Booze, as well as monsters such as the Giant Alchohol Ant and magic items like the Ring of Wine Changing. Whatever Mr. Bluebaugh is doing now, I wish it had been him who'd designed 4e.

2 - A short file describing a magic item called the Bag o' Wondrous Items, which produces everything from 10' poles to star trek phasers to baskets of radishes to randomly generated golems.

3 - A probably-broken but undoubtedly cool new class of Dwarf mages called the Dwarnoi, who can turn stone creatures like a cleric can the undead.

4 - 'How to Join the Center for Monster Control'; rules on becoming a member of a secret society controllers. A mere 500sp entrance fee is required - along with a go-ahead from the 'board of magocratics'.

5 - A kind of manifesto for Cyberpunk games called Cyberpunk: The Rules. I'm particularly intrigued by rule number 9: "Crossbreeding produces mutation". Not so much a rule as a... motto?

6 - Rules on the Grenade weapon proficiency for 2e AD&D.

7 - An especially necessary supplement, given the proclivities of certain members of the hobby: The (more or less) Complete Guide to Hygeine for Fantasy Role Playing Games. First chapter: When Do Adventurers Go To The Bathroom? This one has Mr. Reid Bluebaugh's fingerprints all over it, but the author isn't credited.

8 - Literally dozens, if not hundreds, of new spells.

9 - First in a series of Netbooks of Plots, containing such gems as Help the local good, but dying, wizard to attain lichdom and You are assigned to protect a person, but don't let them know you're protecting them.

10 - A miscellany of stuff for a certain gonzo AD&D setting, called (of course), The Rhyme of the Ancient Spelljammer. New items include The Pangalactic Gargleblaster (there's that Reid Bluebaugh again) and the Dispel Magic Grenade; new monsters include the Holomath (which appears "as a very large balloon or ball, with a mouth-like opening in front", floating around in wildspace, and can blow out a cloud of gas for awful effects).


  1. If you dig the stuff off of that list, you might want to take a look at "The Warehouse" txt file over at, assuming you haven't seen it already.

    It's more conspiracy/weird science rpg oriented, but a very similiar relic from the days of the floating .txt file.

  2. Oh wow, great link!

    I actually printed out the Guide to Alcohol back in the day, very soon after getting on the Web for the first time. (In fairness, I didn't know you could simply save files--I thought you had to print out everything you wanted to peruse later. Ha!)

    Anyway, I remember we actually used it in play once or twice. Someone's PC got roaring drunk at a tavern, then had "the squats" for 1d4 days afterwards. Good times.

  3. Yeah, it looks to be down right now. I was able to access a cached version:

  4. Hey, I got the link from Jonathan Drain! Blame him!

    I wonder if we overloaded it....

  5. Seems to be back up now.

    I remember seeing this site before. I was always fond of the file full of characters inspired by Metallica songs.

    Oh man, I absolutely must expand on that now and write stuff for the albums they released after that file went up. That would rule.

  6. Good to see it's back up. Thanks for the links, sirlarkins and amityville_mike.