Sunday, March 19, 2023

From Pathfinder & 5e to OD&D/White Box: FMAG


Back in 2015 our gaming club made the switch from Pathfinder 1e and D&D 5e to Original Dungeons & Dragons in the form of an OD&D retro-clone White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game, and we have never looked back. Our ALMOST Campaign lasted 5+ years of weekly gaming- having started near the end of 2015 and if all goes well and the gang continues to have a great time and be equally invested, our new PATHOS Campaign will hopefully run just as long.

While many games in the OSR scene have come and gone White Box has stood the test of time, and I hope to see it continue to do so for many more years to come. While our games do use the White Box retro-clone we also pull in many elements from Original D&D.

I cannot recommend this game enough as it as an absolutely terrific rules set.

Redemption's Outfitting & Trading Post

At the entrance to the Arcadium in the Grottoes where life has avoided taint, there is an outfitting and trading post ran by the Mercenary Rage. It is the last bastion or civilization before the Arcadium and is manned by 45 Mercenaries working for Rage. Originally intended as a base it now specializes in the selling of supplies for forays into the Arcadium and outfitting those who are daring enough to risk expeditions through the Eastern Breach to the distant lands beyond. The Outpost also specializes in the buying of items uncovered within the Arcadium. There is taxation on anything that leaves.

The mercenary company is not hostile to adventurers and any that fall out of line are quickly disciplined by Rage.

Rage: A long grey mane hangs over his shoulders partially covering a scarred face that has seen many battles. Calm and collected he runs an outfitting business selling supplies to adventurers that seek entry into the Arcadium and keeps things civilized as he takes a percentage of everything claimed here.

Commander Rage

AC: 14 (5)
HD: 3
Attack: Weapon
Special: None
Move: 12
Save: 16
XP: 60

Guards: Rage is protected by 2d6 hired Mercenaries that stand guard near him.
(See Mercenaries below)

*Magic Weapon: Rage carries an ancient, rusted magical sword strapped to his back but does not use it in combat, due to fear of suffering Arcadium Taint from handling it.

* Sword of Bimmn: +1 Intelligent weapon grants 1 additional attack /day. Or roll on Table: 59 pg.123- Magical Unusual Weapons.

Mercenaries (45)

AC: 12 (7)
HD: 1
Attack: Weapon
Special: None
Move: 12
Save: 18
XP: 15

Lucky: The Traveling Merchant

Consider yourself Lucky when Lucky appears. A lone roaming merchant granted safe passage by all and revered by many. His whistled tunes lead him to the right place at the right time. He always seems to have what you need. And if he doesn't have it he can get it. A pure soul without a bad bone in his body. He is too trusting and comes off as childlike in his mannerisms and naivete. He only wishes to help and loves what he does, taking great joy in roaming the land and mapping it's features. Tips are greatly appreciated and may even bring good luck.

Lucky: The Traveling Merchant

AC: 13 (6)
Hit Dice: 1+1
Attacks: None (he doesn't believe in violence)
Special: Bad Luck
Move: 12
XP: 15

Lucky always carries a dozen items at any given time and is fully stocked on the essentials: Water, Rope, Rations, Lanterns, Torches, Cooking ware, medicines etc.

He also has a great passion for cartography, and maps of the land can be purveyed from him for the right price, as he doesn't like to part with his great works.

There is almost nothing Lucky cannot purvey and though it may take days, weeks, months, or even years, once a deal is struck Lucky always delivers.

Bad Luck: Should anyone rescind on their deal with Lucky, bad luck shall haunt them. And though Lucky has no control over fate he offers fare warning as it saddens him to know what is to come.

Many have struck deals with Lucky only to rescind upon delivery and gone on to suffer unseen financial hardship, ill health, the loss of home and loved ones and even execution for crimes not committed through false accusations readily believed.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

The Orders Top 5 Favorite Things About White Box

With so many great OSR games out there why has The Order embraced Whitebox: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game as our game of choice and what is it about the game we love so much that we have run a weekly game using it for the past 5+ years.

Well I though I would share The Orders top 5 favorite things about this game.

Top 5 Favorite Things About White Box: FMAG

1.    We absolutely love the unified skill for the Thief. Nobody ever wanted to touch the Thief class in my Swords & Wizardry Complete games so I always house-ruled the unified saving throw as also serving as a unified skill for Thieves.

2.    It's conciseness. To paraphrase from the introduction " The conciseness of White Box is a breath of fresh air after the voluminous and verbose trend in modern fantasy role-playing games". Less is truly more in this case. The game offers enough to spark the imagination and then gets out of the way. What you wont get are pages and pages on monsters, their histories, their lairs their legendary actions and so on and so on. For anyone who doubts conciseness I highly recommend you check out some of the Lamentations of the flame princess books or even Mork Borg. One brief but evocative sentence can inspire a unique and memorable encounter or even an entire 4+ year campaign.

3.    Price Point. The fact that you can buy this book for the price of an americano is a true service to the gaming community and I both thank and salute Charlie Mason for providing the game at cost. On top of that your getting a Players Handbook, Monster Manual and DM's Guide in one easy to carry book that provides a lifetime of fun. To date I think I have easily purchased over 30 of these for my gaming club and as gifts. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the gang pull out their dog eared, highlighted copies on game night.

4.    Size. Love that White Box: FMAG is digest sized. It is so easy to carry a half dozen of these to game night. Hell a copy will even fit into my pocket if I wear the right pants.

5.    Ascending Armor Class. While I love me some Old School OD&D I embrace Ascending Armor Class like a comfortable pair of Pajama's. I just want to wear them all the time, or rather use Ascending AC all the time. It's just easier, combined with the fact that I run games for a lot of people that are new to the hobby and well, it's just easier to grasp while making for an easier transition for those that play newer editions of D&D or Pathfinder and play in my games.

Arcadium ~ Gorgillaz of Thaos

Gorgillaz Of Thaos

AC: 16 (4)
HD: 13
Attacks: Fists (2d6) Bite (2d6)
Special: Immune to fire and normal weapons
Move: 15
Save: 6
XP: 3,600

Giant Golemn Gorillas with skin of hard molten rock. They are under the command of ancient and evil Lich (Thaos). Bound by the enchanted chains around their necks and used to pull their masters floating towers around the Arcadium. They travel through the tears in reality that frequently rip open within the Arcadium.

Arcadium ~ Giant Carrion Crawler

Giant Carrion Crawler

AC: 12 (7) Head & Legs: 16 (3) Body
HD: 9
Attacks: 6x Leg Strike (1d6+1) Eat (1d6+2)
Special: Surprise, Impalement
Move: 20
Save: 10
XP: 2,800

Surprise: 2in6 chance of surprise

Impale: Carrion Crawlers use the fog covered ground to their advantage striking out with their needle like legs to impale victims. If two or more attacks are successful the target is unable to move unless a successful strength check (roll under) or save is made allowing the victim to break away. Upon a failed save the Carrion Crawler will start eating it's victim for 1d6+2 damage per round. On average they are 20 feet long but can grow up to as long as 50 feet.

Arcadium ~ Crowmaloch


13 (6)
HD: 4
Attacks: 1 bite (1d6),claw (1d6)
Special: Drop (1d6) dmg per 10ft.
Move: 4 (fly 18)
Save: 15
XP: 500

Crowmalochs have been exposed to the powers of Ruathain that leak from the towers above.  Nearly twice the size of a large man, with a 12ft. wingspan, they swoop down to attack and try to carry their victims away.

Drop: On a successful attack they may attempt to carry their victims off and/or drop them. On a successful save players may break away from their grip falling to the ground.

Arcadium ~ Giant Ariel Insectoid

Giant Ariel Insectoid

AC: 12 (7) Head & Legs: 16 (3) Body
HD: 7
Attacks: 6x Leg Strike (1d6+1)
Special: Impalement
Move: Fly 20
Save: 13
XP: 2,000

Impale: The insectoids 30ft. long legs unexpectedly strike out from the cover of cloud to strike. If two or more Leg strikes are successful the victim is impaled and unable to move unless a successful strength check (roll under) or save is made allowing the victim to break away.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Praxian Sphere

Praxian Sphere

AC: 9 (10)
HD: 1
Attacks: Tendril (1d6-1)
Special: Split
Move: 9
Save: 18
HDE/XP: 1/10

The Praxian sphere appears to be a translucent, iridescent bubble, two feet in diameter. It moves by
floating through the air, and attacks by extruding a thin tendril that it stabs at its opponent. Contact with the sphere or its tendril causes 1d6-1 points of damage, as it absorbs its victims life force and memories which are then displayed within the sphere. The sphere is incapable of harming undead or constructs, only living creatures.

If the tendril is damaged, it will merely absorb the damaged tendril and lash out with a newly extruded one.

The sphere is a hollow bubble, and when attacked will split into two. Further attacks will continue to split the Praxian sphere.

If a PC is reduced to 0hp they lose all memories and it will take 1d20 days to recover them.

Malignant spheres are immune to sleep, charm, and other mind affecting spells.

From Pathfinder & 5e to OD&D/White Box: FMAG

  Back in 2015 our gaming club made the switch from Pathfinder 1e and D&D 5e to Original Dungeons & Dragons in the form of an OD&...