Showing posts from July, 2011

Blackmarsh: Now for Warlock

Well, I've had a week to re-write Rob Conley's Blackmarsh for use with the setting implied by the Warlock rules. The primary changes are that most references to elven rulers and the Blackmarsh Rangers now refer to the Church (i.e., The Temple of the Eternal Flame), while mentions of viz as a magical substance were eliminated entirely. I decided to leave the references to Thoth in place, treating him as a false god of a past age, only worshiped by those poor souls who have yet to be redeemed by the Church. There are also a few minor changes to creature and character stats to better reflect rules of the Warlock system, although these are easily to overlook for the most part, should you wish to use the revised setting with another system.

The resulting setting is somewhat reminiscent of a fantasy Crusader state, with the Church being the last line of defense against the forces of Chaos (e.g., barbarians, demons, undead, etc) in the region. I think it's a little bit different …

Sidebar: Technical Difficulties

Blogger's Followers gadget is malfunctioning something awful, so I'm monitoring it closely. I figure that it's more a display of vanity than anything else, so I probably won't miss it much if I have to remove it. If you want to follow this blog and you can't find the button to do so, just do it the old-fashioned way and bookmark it in your browser!

In the beginning. . .

So, as I mentioned previously, when I first read Warlock, it just 'clicked' with me, pressing all of the right buttons for what I want in a fantasy game. Notably, Warlock fixed many of the problems that I had with OD&D (1974), leveling the playing field for all classes by implementing a new spell system for Magic Users (and other spell-using classes), introducing special abilities for fighters, and specialty clerics. I knew right away that I wanted to play it. I also knew right away that I wanted to remain true to the rules as written, using the implied setting elements therein (e.g., the religious orders detailed in the Clerics document). This presented a bit of a conundrum.

While I wanted to remain true to the Warlock rules as written and the implied setting therein, that implied setting information was the only setting information that I had access to. I didn't (and don't) have access to any documents detailing the actual setting for the ongoing Warlock campaign…

Warlock: What is it?

I know, the world already seems pretty crowded with D&D variants, but Warlock really does something for me. I've played Castles & Crusades, Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, and a handful of other retro-clones, but none of them seemed to do it just right. Warlock does, at least for me. So, what is Warlock and why does it press my buttons?

Well, it's probably best to start off by telling you what Warlock isn't. Warlock isn't a clone of D&D - it's more an outgrowth of Original D&D (1974), building upon that system's assumptions and rules. Indeed, first published in 1975, Warlock has been around almost as long as D&D. It made its first appearance in The Spartan 'zine (Issue #9) as "Warlock: or How to Play D&D Without Playing D&D" and was later expanded and re-published by Balboa Games as "The Complete Warlock" - since that time it has been played and revised almost continuously.

The current version of the W…