White Dwarf’s Treasure Chest

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Here’s another School of Magic for spells-without-level Lamentations.


White Dwarf’s Treasure Chest



This school is named after the source of its secrets, a box of sheafs and scrolls stolen from the White Dwarf of the Isles. Some say he wants them back; others call bollocks to that.

When determining a 1st Level Wizard’s initial spells, treat results of additional levels – whether higher or lower – of The Hellwalk Spell as duplicate rolls; increase or decrease (50/50; 65 rolls around to 1, and vice versa) by one until you land on a spell not yet known.

In case you want to use this list (with its 10th level spell) [and The Necromican (which contains numerous spells up to 12th level!)] in a conventional spells-per-level manner, here’s an extension of the Magic-User table for Lamentations:

Also, adhering to the method and manner of one’s School of magic has its benefits; researching familiar spells – ones you’ve seen cast or ones you know about but just don’t yet understand – takes less time and incurs less cost. Use this modified spell research table (per the one on page 82 of Rules and Magic) for such work:


You can find, I’m pretty sure all, the spells on the list HERE.

[Note: I’ve got a couple more Schools to post. Once I’ve done that I’ll put up a full list of Schools with some ideas on how to use them.]

Remember, Remember the 5th of Moldvember!

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Today is November 5th. It’s Tom Moldvay‘s birthday. He’d have turned 70. Sadly we lost him when he was only 58.

That’s him there, seated in the middle. [I was directed to this pic by my friend James Maliszewski (of Grognardia, Dwimmermount and The Excellent Travelling Volume).]

Note the moustache.

I’m celebrating mister Moldvay’s birthday today by adding a pair to his roster of Giants In The Earth.

“In the name of the Council of the Treaty for the Safety of the World, …”

… I give you Garth Nix’s Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz:

[I’ve bought or borrowed — libraries, man, they’re the best — all seven (to date) of the Hereward & Fitz stories. I hope you like what I’ve done with them.]

This duo is best suited to — and I’ve statted them for — Lamentations of the Flame Princess. The foes they fight, and the weapons they wield, are a perfect fit with Lamentations. But be advised my intention here is to reveal as little as possible about their shenanigans. Read the stories; they’re fun.



Wonder & Wickedness really is the way to go with Mister Fitz. Marrying the idea of sigils to that of sorcerous needles is a pretty simple thing and it delivers in a big way. After all, while this sorcerous puppet isn’t quite “a nuclear weapon that grants wishes,” it does come pretty close.

And speaking of the foes they fight, you really do owe it to yourself to get a copy of Petty Gods. It contains a campaign’s-worth of godlets and godlings; never again will you cast about, in need of a “listed entity under the Treaty” for your heroes to bind, break and banish.

Oh, and if you’re in the mood for urban adventure, I recommend you explore the City of Dolmvay. I like to place it near Dwimmermount. (I’m a bit of an autist when it comes to alliteration.)

So again, Happy Birthday Mister Moldvay!

[P.S.: I was going to write up Gardner Fox’s Niall of the Far Travels, to address the et al. in his Appendix N listing. That didn’t go as well as I’d like so he’ll have to wait. Maybe til next year?]

Younger Sindbad

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For those of you who like your Giants in the Earth a bit leaner, here’s a younger Sindbad the Seaman. This version’s timed to possibly his second, but probably his third, voyage.

Sindbad the Seaman-young01

If you really want to jazz him up you can give him a flying carpet or dancing scimitar or something. Those aren’t in the stories, but — to paraphrase Papa Lazarou — they’re your stories now.

There Were Giants In The Earth

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or, Happy Birthday Mister Moldvay!


I’d like to see the interwebs celebrate the life of Tom Moldvay for his birthday upcoming on Monday, 5 November 2018.

Let’s raise up a host of heroic Giants in the Earth!

Tom Moldvay’s (and Lawrence Schick’s) Giants in the Earth is one of my favourite article series from the early days of Dragon magazine.

Their first hero – Cugel the Clever, no less – appeared in Dragon 26, dated June 1979. Moldvay’s last – Tiana Highrider – was published in Dragon 48 in April 1981.

Dragon 30 printed this (excerpt from a) letter in “Out on a Limb” (top) and this comment by Gary Gygax in “From the Sorcerer’s Scroll” (bottom):

Below is the reply Schick and Moldvay wrote – in Dragon 37 – about their process for writing up heroes for Giants in the Earth:

Here is their hero level guide from that article. I cleaned it up, filled it in and added DCC. Experience point- and level-wise most of the OSR simulacra fall somewhere between the O- and AD&D values. I built my hero (see below) using Lamentations of the Flame Princess, which hews pretty close to the AD&D numbers. Lion & Dragon is more like DCC. You get the idea:

And here’s the list of characters they knocked together as possible future contenders. I’ve struck through the characters that were covered in later articles. Still leaves a bunch. And it looks like only six of the remainder are denizens of Appendix N:

As a matter of fact, only a few of the Giants hailed from Appendix N sources. The majority are from other stories and myths, books I like to call Appendix Non. I’d like to see more Ns appear so I’m going to stat up Niall of the Far Travels to fill the “Fox, Gardner. … et al” slot. I’ll be posting him on Mr. Moldvay’s birthday. In case you want to add another N to the list:

After Dragon 42 Roger Moore wrote more and more of the Giants. And the series stopped running altogether after Dragon 64. Then in Dragon 70 (pg 14) Moore wrote the article “Giants can be Awful or Awe-ful.” It presents some thoughts on what to do with these heroes in your campaign. It also includes a list of all the Giants that were published plus some other Giants-like articles that followed. Moore’s piece is the last word on Giants in the Earth.

Other than – and after they wrapped – Giants in the Earth, Dragon made two more attempts at something similar. Larger Than Life was a column that appeared only twice and Lords & Legends took all of three kicks at the can.

Posted below is a pdf list of all the characters published by Moldvay and others in Giants in the Earth as well as all the heroes done in Giants-like articles. I didn’t include any heroes statted after 1st edition AD&D (round about Dragon 143). Likewise, I didn’t include any characters that were game-derived; so no Elminster, for example.


I also compiled a list of all the heroes in the original version of Deities & Demigods. Hero Fight, GO!


If you do post a Giant (and ping me) I’ll copy/paste it into a group pdf and put it on the site, probably a week or two after the 5th; that’ll give me time to gather them all.

In the meantime, here’s a hero from Appendix Non, by way of Lamentations:


[Read the book here.]

Oh, and if I haven’t already mentioned it, The Dragondex is an absolutely amazing resource. Go, seek, find, enjoy.

[Edit: There have been comments (both recently and over the years) about the high levels of Giants in the Earth characters. Schick and Moldvay do address that in their article in Dragon 37; indeed, comments like those are why they included the level breakdown chart above.

To help illustrate that things did in fact temper over the course of issues, below is the list of heroes and their levels Roger Moore included in his piece from Dragon 70. There is a general trend of levels dropping out of the 20s into the teens (and even single-digits) as time goes on.

I think 10 to 15 levels is a reasonable range for heroes with a number of trials and ordeals under their belts. After all, they are supposed to be outstanding.]