The front cover (featuring my 'Footprints' logo) is Erik Wilsons Respite in the Midst of Chaos a fine piece of dark gritty medeival fantasy art. Its blood-splattered heroine is oddly at odds with Steve McFadden's Editorial about getting kids involved in D&D. It's a feature of early D&D art that it is a reasonably bloodless affair, combat is couched in abstract language 'Hit Points' not 'Wounds', the cover speaks to the more grimy, underground New Wave OSR D&D aesthetic than the classic clean (A)D&D of Elmore or Easley, and the gore not all that suited for children. Not a criticism, there is room for many playstyles and aesthetics, interested to see these ideas contrasted.
It really must have been mushroom season, first I find a copy of Attack of the Fungoid Trolls, Otherworld release Andrew Mays terrific Myconid miniatures, and in Dragonsfoot I find Steves bizarre Fungal Sloth creatures that live on mushrooms and produce hallucinogenic faeces, like an evil consciousness rewiring Kopi Luwak. But what saves the Fungal Sloth from being a potentially gimmicky excuse for an Edward de Bono exercise in 'creativity' that much OSR D&D seems to fall foul of, into something extra-ordinary is that takes the idea that extra step further and builds the creature into the economy of the Underdark, making the Sloth faecal matter an important potion ingredient. Not only is the Fungal Sloth a strange beast and potentially amusing encounter, it can be easily integrated into a campaign world and adds a whole stream of adventure hooks and world building apparatus. Bravo!
Alan Powers Centaurs. Rather than the learned scholars or harbringers of chaos that Greek myth has them, Powers creates Centaurs as a kind of communal druidic folk, I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but this treatment of the centaurs remind me of Fanticides Liberi. It's well thought out and references useful material from Dragon and other sources.
|via Einar Olafson|
Ian Slaters Slayer Character offers an interesting variation on the fighter-subclass, with specialties in killing certain species. Hunter .
Darren Dare's No Bones About It adventure location of a wizards tower, a nice location, the maps are clean, and the header graphic is wonderful. It's a neat little bare bones that could be easily picked up and integrated into any campaign. There's no weird mcguffin or gotcha to overburden it, and if anything lends itself to naturalistic world-buildlng where there just is stuff to be explored, rather than everything being the slave of narrative. Refreshing and nice!
And there's a bunch of other cool stuff too, but seeing as it's free you can just download it and make up your own mind. Footprints #23 is free and can be downloaded from http://www.dragonsfoot.org/files/pdf/FootprintsNo23.pdf