Monday 18 July 2022

In the Hall of the Third Blue Wizard Issue 1 - PDF Released

Issue 1 of my new 'zine, In the Hall of the Third Blue Wizard, is now available for purchase in PDF at the noisms games website. A print edition is soon to follow, but bear in mind that many copies are spoken for by Kickstarter backers. 

The PDF is 222 pages long and contains 95% OSR materials (including my "The Devil in the Land of the Rushes", an experiment in creating gameable stuff that is also enjoyable to read as fiction), 5% OSR-adjacent short stories, and beautiful art. 

Contents include:

  • 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.
  • And more!

Please spread the word if you find it a worthwhile purchase.


  1. Fantastic product. Hoping for many happy returns!

    1. Aw heck - my apologies to Ivan. I just ranted on the wrong thread. In the Hall etc indeed looks fantastic. Looking very much forward to the paper copy!

  2. An excellent analysis (i.e. fantastic product hoping for many happy returns) - at this point to me the really hokey BAD CGI seems preferable to the wll made stuff, as it "lets the light in" a little to the uncanny underdark and like you said one can fill the missing bits in yourself like the good little rendering engines humans are

    and I count 8 reasons right here from the Wikipedia article, so you're on your way to 13:

    "In February 2022, a spin-off television series was announced to be in development 1. A part of a "multi-pronged approach" for television projects 2, the show is described as the "flagship 3" and "cornerstone 4" live-action series, of the multiple projects in development 5; while the series will "complement" the film side of the franchise 6. Rawson Marshall Thurber is set to serve as creator, writer, executive producer, and showrunner 7 and (sic) the series, in addition to directing the pilot episode. Various networks and streaming companies are bidding on distribution rights 8."

  3. Also, hey Hasbro! How on earth don't you have a trilogy of movies laid out fat like bull-calfs for burnt offerings (and I know MM came first ye recalcitrant groggies)

    Dungeons & Dragons 1: the Player's Handbook

    Wherein the ingénue Lady Katrine Klabberfist, abruptly orphaned by her treacherous Uncle and his slaughtering Warblades, learns how to be a good little murder hobo at the feet of a procession of aged archetypes (a pugnacious fighter, a sneaky thief, etc, or whatever the 5e equivalent), she reimparting in them some of the vitality that a lifetime of dungeon delving and gold won and lost has slowly sapped.

    Dungeons & Dragons 2: the Dungeon Master's Guide

    Wherein they finally enter a dungeon proper (the titular "Dungeons" in movie 1 being merely a vehicle for a running joke where the thief character is continually arrested and escapes), find the treasure (act 2) and then realize they are didn't bring enough torches and it's Aliens all over again

    (special bonus Appendix N credits section where a bunch of benchmark fantasy film clips rolls by like the Oscars in Memoriam - Hello Thief of Bagdad 1924 AND 1940!)

    Dungeons & Dragons 3: Monsters and Manuals

    er . . .

  4. I did not break free of my writers block to contribute but I must congratulate you on a job well done. Review at some point.

    1. Great! Thanks - looking forward to the eventual review.