Tuesday, 19 April 2022

On Being Shameless

There are 10 days to go until the end of my Kickstarter campaign for Issue #1 of my zine, In the Hall of the Third Blue Wizard. We are now well and truly funded (approximately 250% of the target having been obtained at the time of writing), and are drawing close to the single stretch goal - if the campaign hits £8,000, I will include in the zine my never-released sophomoric effort "The Devil in the Land of the Rushes". This is largely unseen, although I did make a post containing some of it here. To cut a long story short, it's a hex map in which the devil has caused time to stand still, thus foiling an imminent assassination attempt 11,111 years in the making.

I recently did an interview with my friend Dan, which you can access at his blog. True to form the conversation rambles a lot, but does include some info about the zine. 

In preparation for the interview I also sent a list of thumbnail descriptors for Issue #1 of the zine's contents. These are they:

  • The Well at the World's End by Roger Giner-Sorolla - an essay about the William Morris book of the same name, and how to use it to inform old school play, complete with a usable hexmap and key.
  • Offspring of the Siphoned Demon by Ben Gibson - a dungeon based on that oldest of old favourites, the prison of an ancient demon. 
  • The Chevrelier by Brian Saliba - a clever piece of flash fiction, or a micro-story; if I described it in any more detail, the description would be almost as long as the story itself. 
  • The Beloved and Oft-Recounted Tale of the Marvellous Birth by JC Luxton - a story I recently described to a friend as being "Like Little, Big but good". 
  • The Cerulean Valley by George Seibold - a genuine old school hexcrawl, containing everything one could possibly need in such an offering: a near-perfect example of its type (and worth the price alone for the beautifully evocative monster name, "The Nightening Beast"). 
  • The Black Pyramid by 'Terrible Sorcery' - a jungle temple built over the cave of a gigantic carnivorous worm which was worshipped by an ancient cult; D&D's answer to a Werner Herzog film? 
  • The Hollow Tomb by Harry Menear - described by its own author as "if Chekhov or Gorky wrote as part of the OSR (and were much, much worse) they might have written this". Be that as it may, it's an extremely well-written and put-together module. Again, a near-perfect example of its type. 
  • A Turn of Fortune by Jose Carlos Dominguez - an excellent example of an almost non-violent puzzle adventure. 
  • She Who Came Once to Oldgraves by Autumn Moore - a really exceptionally good entry in the "dungeoneering fiction" genre I seek to nurture; it has shades of Gene Wolfe, I thought. Whoever Autumn Moore is, they've got talent. 
  • Winter in Bugtown by J. Colussy-Estes - it's an underground city inhabited by various sentient insect races and it has "mothman necromancers". YOU HAD ME AT MOTHMAN NECROMANCERS.
  • The Garden of Khal-Adel by Zane Schneider - a whimsical-in-the-right-way adventure, about music and sorrowful giants and...flumphs. 
  • The Thirteen Dwarves by Jason Blasso-Gieseke - anything I say about this story will spoil it, so I can't say anything, really. 
  • Moonrhythm Mire by Dave Greggs - a bizarre and brilliant feast for the senses; OSR DIY D&D turned up to 11.
I think the contents are a nice spread of the fantastical, weird, beautiful, horrible and humorous, and the total word count will be about 55,000 words, 45,000 of which are usable in your game. You can't say that's bad value for the price of two large quarter-pounder-with-cheese meals and a six-pack. 


  1. Really can't wait for this. All of these sound excellent.

  2. Oh cool! I did not even know about this. I'll try to get something up for you on Friday.

  3. Looking mighty good there! How large is all that stuff when you cram it in a book?

    1. 55,000 words would be the lenght of a short novel. Not sure yet as not been through layout.

  4. Put these descriptions on the Kickstarter page, man! That’s how you move product. This sounds good. Good luck!