Sunday, February 13, 2022

Axian Library Preview: A d12 Table of Magical Mishaps

  Here's a d12 table with twelve Magical Mishaps for your OSR game of choice, wether is Old-School Essentials, Labyrinth Lord, Sword & Wizardry, or any other clone of OE, B/X, or BECMI Dungeons and Dragons.

These are a preview from the new, alternate Magical Mishaps table that will be included Axian Library, currently on Kickstarter.

Of course the full table will include 100 results, to complement the original table from Wondrous Weavings Warped and Weird, totaling 200 different effects!

They are, in turn, a functional part of the whole alternate arcane magic system detailed in Wondrous Weavings Warped and Weird, which empowers the the players of magic users to break the rules of magic, if they are willing to take some risk....

These mishaps have effects that are not "Spell range is reduced by 10%". Who needs these? I don't. I want  actual consequences and the possibility to create fun, interesting, challenging situations that push the game and the story on.

Hope you'll like them!

d12 Magical Mishaps

Roll a d20. If the listed effect affects the target, and the intended spell didn't target a creature, the effect is applied to the caster.

  1. The target transforms into a number of little frogs equal to their current hit points, for 1d6 rounds. The target’s consciousness controls all the frogs at once, and may speak (and cast spells) through one frog per round. At the end of the effect, the target’s hit points are equal to the number of surviving frogs. Frogs have the same statistics as normal rats, except they inflict no damage (and no poison).
  2. All creatures within 100’ of the target (included) take on the illusory appearance of the caster, for 1d6 rounds.
  3. The floor 100’ around the caster becomes covered with…. Roll 1d6. 1: 500,000 copper pieces; 2: Scrolls with scrawled portraits of the target; 3: Cream; 4: Oil; 5: Pillows; 6: Caltrops. 
  4. The caster (with all their equipment) becomes a lesser Djinni for 2d6 rounds or until its Hit Points are depleted. While transformed, the caster is unable to cast spells, but acquires all the characteristics and abilities of the Djinni. Lost Hit Points don’t carry over when the transformation ends.
  5. The target becomes made of 5,000 tiny diamonds for 1d6 rounds. If killed before the effect ends, the diamonds become permanent and are worth 20 gp each.
  6. The caster becomes immaterial and cannot affect, nor be affected by, the physical world. They can move through walls, and interact with other immaterial beings such as ghosts and spirits, and can attack them as if their attacks were magic weapons. The effect lasts until the character makes a save vs spell (one attempt per turn).
  7. Supernatural darkness gathers around the caster. Anyone seeing them must save versus paralysis or be paralyzed with terror. Paralysis is broken if the caster goes out of sight, or when the darkness dissipates after 1d6 rounds.
  8. A red cap appears on the caster’s head and other heads within 100’ (this includes statues, paintings, and so on). Any headgear previously worn disappears, and reappears in place of the red caps after 1d6 rounds.
  9. All the humanoids within 100’ of the caster (included) become ethereal together with their equipment, except for their bones. For 1d6 rounds they can act as skeletons, with the same game statistics and abilities, except they are not considered undead. Any hit points lost as skeletons are carried over when the effect ends and the bones are reabsorbed within their de-etherealized bodies. Boneless creatures are unaffected.
  10. All items held by a hand within 100’ of the target (included) become flowers. The original items reappear in place of the flowers after 1d6 rounds.
  11. The target is wrapped in iron chains fastened with four padlocks, and is unable to move and act.
  12. The spell appears inscribed on a scroll wrapped around the target’s head (or the caster’s If the target has no head, or there is no target). The target is blinded until they spend one round to unwrap the scroll.

If you like these, go check out the Axian Library for LOTS of similar content, optional rules, and more!

Saturday, February 5, 2022

My Personal Zine Month OSR/OSE Round-Up

Zine Month has begun, and a lot of cool projects have launched!

As the ZiMo page currently displays more than 100 projects, and might probably hit 200 soon, I've decided to collect here the OSR / Old-School Essentials projects I find most interesting. Let's start!

The Big List

Old School & Cool Vol. 3

This third installment focuses on high level play. Since Old-School Essentials limits characters to level 14, OS&C3 offers options for further character development, including spells, magic items, and monsters, gods, and also an adventure.

Aberrant Reflections

A low-prep, system-neutral, mirror-themed dungeon adventure, inspired by Zelda and Metroidvania games, with art by Jacob Fleming (the Tower Silveraxe guy). 

Brewkessel #2: School of Spellcraft and Sorcery

The second issue of this modular, Hogwarths-gone-crazy megadungeon, with the option to also grab the well-received issue 1. For Old-School Essentials.

The Mirror of Malatesto

An art-heavy, grim dark adventure, introducing a whole setting via a catacomb crawl scenario. For OSR games (and 5e).

Planar Compass Issue 3

Perhaps the most beloved Old-School Essentials zine? Each issue further develops their weird astral setting with more and more gameable stuff. This issue offers 2 new classes, monsters, adventure seeds, and more.

The Toxic Wood

Perhaps the most anticipated OSR zine? Lazy Lich has spoiled us with awesome stuff already, and I guess here's more coming... as soon as it launches.

Barkeep on the Borderlands

The title and art alone are a winner. A system neutral pubcrawl scenario + toolkit. Worth saving for later!


While I'm not a big Mork Borg fan, this blends it with the Quake video game. Pure genius.

Delver #4

The fourth issue of a beloved zine series with lots of tables for Old-School Essentials.

Candle: Fantasy Audio Magazine Issue 2

A cool COMBO of printed zine with Old-School Essentials articles and stuff + audio cassette with fantasy music. I'm also a contributor! (For the zine, not the cassette).

Axian Library

zine anthology in hardcover for Old-School Essentials, full of tables, options, and fun. Well this is my zine month project. If you're reading this blog post but have never heard about it, it means I should have spammed harder!


A risograph-printed weird fantasy megadungeon adventure by Vasili Kaliman (Singing Flame),  coming soon, for Old-School Essentials.

Downtime in Zyan

A zine presenting a system of downtime activities for OSR games, written by Ben Laurence (Through Ultan's Door), with amazing art by Evlyn Moreau.

Humble Beginnings

Six starting areas, each with a map, a starting town, rumors and encounters, for Old-School Essentials. 


A 24-page with a fantasy gonzo setting, amazing art, and an original system mixing OSR, Savage Worlds, Fate, and more. Yummy. Plus the PDF is $1. Smart move!!


The adventure game set in the mythical age sung by Hesiod and Homer, with its own system, influenced by Into the Odd and Cairn.


A weird hexcrawl (complete with sites and dungeons) with fungal folk, mineral shambler giants and rat folk. Designed for Cairn, by Perplexing Ruins.

Special Mentions

The following projects are not OSR, or not ZiMo proper, but I find them cool so why not post them here?

Pamphlet Islands

A series of OSR islands on pamphlets, easy to print at home! By Italian designer Danilo Moretti (featured on Knock! magazine issues 2 and 3). Not a ZiMo project but 100% in the zine spirit. Go check it now because it's the very last few hours!

Attack from Space

A combat rpg of Knights vs Aliens, powered by the LUMEN system by Gilarpg (which I've just discovered). With a clever art direction!

The Royal Cartographer

A worldbuilding/mapmaking RPG for 1-4 players about the imprecision of maps. I like map-making games: you make maps you can use in other games!

Knock! 3

Well, not officially ZiMo and, due to sheer size, hardly a fanzine, the Knock! magazine (or rather MEGAZINE) is the elephant in the OSR zine month room, so to speak. If you're reading this blog, I guess you don't need me to explain what it is.

The Stuff I've Missed or Forgotten

I urge you to go to the Zine Month platform and check what's going on. New projects keep coming every day!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

10 QUESTIONS TO: Andrea Sfiligoi

Andrea Sfiligoi is a man of many talents: designer of miniature games, RPGs and solo games; fiction writer, illustrator, translator, and also publisher, with his Ganesha Games brand, of his games as well as other authors’.

One feature I love of his miniatures games is that they are generally simple and accessible, and can be played with any minis you have around.

His games include the acclaimed Songs of Blades and Heroes skirmish/war game, the astoundingly successful Four Against Darkness game line, and also my favorite skirmish game Battlesworn.

He’s also recently tried his hand at children's books with the recently published What To Do When Mr. Blue comes to Town, which he created together with his wife Anna.

But who is Andrea? I’ve known Andrea personally for about 10 years now, as we’ve met in several gaming cons in Italy, and I’ve known him as a designer since the ‘90s, when I was a teenager reading gaming magazines, and he was just starting his career as a game designer writing gaming articles and adventures on those magazines.

He is a gentle man, and a vegetarian and cat lover; a gaming enthusiast in the broadest sense of the word, always happy to share ideas, collaborate, or just discuss gaming.

He moved to Kharkiv, Ukraine a couple years ago, and he got married last summer!

Ok, so let's start with the questions!

1 Hello Andrea. Let’s talk about your work as a designer and publisher. How did you start? What was the first game you released? Have you ever tried working for other publishers, or has self-publishing always been your only preference?

My first self-pub game was Song of Blades and Heroes in 2007, which actually was designed as a short filler between games of DBA. But many years before that, I wrote and illustrated a supplement about demons called Inferno for the French rpg Simulacres, which was published in Italy by Nexus, and I wrote several articles for GURPS on Steve Jackson Games’ Roleplayer and Pyramid Magazine.

After my first few games were successful, I was contacted by Osprey and wrote three titles for them: “Of Gods and Mortals”, “A Fistful of Kung Fu” (which got nominated at Origins) and “Rogue Stars”.

2 We can say Song of Blades and Heroes is your biggest hit among your miniatures games, with dozens of supplements derived rulesets. Why do you think it has been so successful? 

I guess it was the first miniature-agnostic system that became very popular because it was published at the right moment, and because it tried to solve the many little obstacles that people have when playing miniature games.

What have you learnt about design since its release?

I think I didn’t really learn anything major – I fly by the seat of my pants and just use my intuition. I just try to design games that I would like to play. I am lucky that there are many gamers with exactly the same taste.

 And what about publishing?

Oh I learnt about formats, distribution, and how to save money. The most likely mistake that a new publisher can make is to spend too much money. This business is small and you need to watch your dollars.

 (Bonus question: How many miniatures have you got?)

Painted? I think about 5000. Unpainted: better not ask.

3 You told me Four Against Darkness is, by far, your best selling game, with several thousand copies sold, lots of expansions and spin-offs, and a bunch of localizations. What has been the key to such a glaring success, in your opinion?

It’s a solo game that puts together some of my favorite games: the simplicity of Tunnels & Trolls, the collectability of Fighting Fantasy, and a simplified version of the Red Box.

4 What’s your advice for aspiring or beginning designers and self-publishers?

Read and play what has been done before!

5 Kickstarter, and crowdfunding in general, has become more and more important for tabletop games. What has your experience been with the crowdfunding campaigns you ran in the past?

We used crowdfunding when we needed to produce expensive stuff like miniatures, but probably I am not going to use the platform anymore. It’s too crowded, too easy to make financial mistakes, and, for books, I really don’t need it. I just write, illustrate and publish.

6 Do you see the whole crowdfunding scene changing anytime soon? How would YOU like things to change? 

I don’t have any special ideas about crowdfunding. I continue to support original, grassroots ideas as a backer, and I hope this will continue. I would like a new platform that worked together with paypal and filtered out big companies, but I understand this is not going to happen because money talks…

7 I know you are always working on more and more games. What can you tell us about your future gaming releases?

4AD will be released in many different languages, thanks to the excellent work of MS Edizioni in Italy that acts as my agent for international rights. This takes a bit of my time. 2022 will see both new releases and new editions of old titles. For sure there will be a new revised “all in one book” edition of Song of Blades and Heroes, and we have no less than 25 books for 4AD in the pipeline.

8 As your online shop shows, you are very open to collaborations. Should anyone reading this interview be interested in working with you on any of your games, what should they do? Are you currently interested in content writers, illustrators, designers, playtesters?

Playtesters always. Illustrators no (I do art myself to keep the costs down). We have so many games in different stages of production that any proposal will have to wait for a long time, but we do accept new writers now and then. The best thing is to study what we do and send me a short synopsis (DO NOT WRITE THE WHOLE THING!) and email it at .

9 “What To Do When Mr. Blue comes to Town” is a completely new type of thing for you. How have you come to this? Are you planning more children books?

I studied children’s illustration and book production and I have been somewhat active in this area, occasionally painting illustrations for other writers. My wife has plenty of fresh ideas and is learning illustration so we just decided to try something together. She writes a story, I edit it, she paints some illustrations in gouache that later I refine digitally, then I do layout and we send the whole thing to an external editor. We want to produce a catalog of about 10 picture books and a game-book for children and see how they sell. We want to diversify and try different niches.

10 How do you see the future of miniature games and rpgs, let’s say in 10, or 20 years?

If I knew I would write games for the future :-) I think the current trends will continue, and 3d printing will be a powerful factor that should be considered even in rules design. For example, I think of games allowing players to print their own equipment upgrades to their figures.

11 I know, they were supposed to be 10, but I have one more question before we say goodbye. Please point us to a song you think we should listen to.

I like songs that tell a story. For people who love cats, “In Dreams of Mine” by Faith and the Muse is just perfect

Thank you Andrea! Hope to see you again soon at some gaming con!

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