I know, I know, I promised a look at "Gygax Magazine," issue #2, but I received a first-rate Birthday present . . . "The Manor!" Yes, Tim Shorts, that crazy, nut of a guy – of Gothridge Manor fame – sent me a collection of his e-zine, "The Manor," for my birthday. How do you respond to something like that?
Okay, my first – and as far as I can tell, only – complaint with "The Manor," issue #1 is that, on page 3, Tim made this promise: "There will be naked women if I can sneak them past Ivy." Then what does he go and do? He not only dedicates the issue to Ivy, but he makes her a Proof Reader! Yes, you heard me, a Proof Reader!
So much for ever seeing naked women in "The Manor!" Humph!
Tim gives us a nice little first level encounter with "The Salt Pit." (pages 4-8) Given my recent post about Salt, however, I would have to say that no salt mine is "too small for the local nobility to take notice," Tim. When salt was once used for money? Hell, they'd notice alright! But that's just nit-picking, because it's an excellent little "one off" adventure.
Jason Sholtis does need to learn to distinguish between a Lizardman and a Troglodyte, but his artwork is very nice otherwise, I wish I could draw like that! Hey, if I don’t find some fault, you guys are going to think I was bribed to write this! LOL
Jason also comes up with some interesting "finds" in the beastie's lair! Roll a d12! (page 9) I won't swear to it, but I think Jason must be the author of The Dungeon Dozen, another blog I enjoy. I'll have to ask . . . unless he shows up here to claim credit, of course!
The "Ghoul House," set in modern day rural Pennsylvania, is suitably "horror," I just need to set it a little further back in time. Like Science Fiction isn't my genre, "modern day" isn't my "when," but the setting is well presented and the story is one I can easily "get into;" A Necromancer seeking Lichdom! Woo-hoo!
Then there's the Poem for the Umber Hulk, by "Rusty Battle Axe." (page 13) If Tim supports inter-species Romance Poetry, then perhaps I could submit a short story! I mean, just recently a dwarf was grappling a darkmantle in one of my campaigns and, well, I couldn't be sure just what they were doing! So don't call me xenophobic!
Then we come to "20 Random Forest Encounters," real "drop ins." I mean these things will fit into any campaign, any setting, anywhere. Well done, Tim! Of course, the encounter "Round Bread and Stew" I credit to Ivy, after all, she's been on bread making roll lately . . . although I haven't heard Tim talking very much about her stew. Hmm. I'll have to see if she post anything about stew over at The Happy Whisk.
(Did you know that in nearly every list of sexiest comic heroines Wonder Woman ranks in the top five? And in most, she's #1! Ever seen The Whisk's avatar?) Hehehehehe!
Then we have our insert-able "odd character" in "Oren's Boots." I know Tim intends it to be an Adventure – and it serves that purpose very well – but I can see plopping Oren, Laura and Gerald into any village in my campaign world. This simple Adventure Path could easily become something major to involve my PCs in. Tim provides a marvelous foundation for the construction of a much larger Adventure.
After reading "The Manor," I began to think; "Hey! I can do this!" I mean, if Tim can do it, then surely I can do it. That's when I remembered, Tim has Ivy. I don't have anyone to encourage me like that. Think of all that motivation! I can hear Ivy now: "Are you finished with that thing yet!? We're expected at my mother's in an hour!"
Nope, no one to encourage me like that around here. Then there's the reward for a job well done . . . all that wonderful homemade bread! I don't have Tim's problem in that regard. You see, no one's going to notice an extra ten pounds around my middle!
Not in this lifetime, anyway.
Overall, "The Manor" is a superb little e-zine and I can't wait to dig into the rest of them, while eagerly awaiting issue #6!
Okay, next time, "Gygax Magazine," issue #2.
Then "The Manor," issue #2.