Draugr & Draculas is a one shot zine written by my friend Josh of JHLB Polytechnic and Bernie The Flumph. Last week I reviewed the first issue of Josh's zine, Crepuscular, if you if you missed it, check it out.
There is 60+ pages of amazing content packed into this little zine. Josh did every piece of art except for one, which was done by industry icon, Bradley K, McDevitt. I love Josh's style. Here's what you're getting if you pick this up.
- Draugr - three pages of undead viking goodness. There are stats for Draugr, Greater Draugr, Druagr Lords, and the unique Draugr Queen they all serve. There's a phenomenal piece of art for her.
- Draugr Karl ("Free Man") - This class allows you to play an undead viking. While they are free-willed they still serve their Queen. They have some really cool abilities and eat flesh. What more could you want in a class?
- Pagan's Well - Pagan's well is an adventure site. It has a cool map and 12 encounter locations. Adventure hooks are also provided.
- Satanic Pacts - You made a deal with the Devil, now what? This short article describes how you can make a magical bargain with Satan and gifts he can grant you. There are many cool ones and the names are often humorous or related to pop culture. I think Red Right Hand and Black Phillip were my favorite names. I really enjoy the art for this entry.
- Vampires - This is a discussion about what vampirism is and how it affects mortals. It divides vampires into two groups (weaker plebs and older patricians). There's a lot of lore and flavor about them, including how to combat the blood suckers. Note: There are powerful vampires that don't fall into these categories.
- Count Dracula - The Lord of the Night gets a few pages of content specific too him proper. We're presented with his background, a secret origin chart (which has some fantastic ideas), and his stats. As you'd imagine, he's a quite the challenge to face.
- Dracula's Minions - several pages are devoted to Drac's chief minions, which are a hunchback, wolfman, fish-woman, invisible wizard, his brides (three vampire plebs), and three disciples (vampire patricians).
- Dracula's Castle - This sections starts with a fantastic centerfold map that shows the 36 major locations for the Count's castle. There is a random encounter tables, a spooking happenings table, and the major rooms get brief snap shots. It also looks like a map from one of the Castlevania games.
- Vampire Hunter - This class is phenomenal class uses a whip, fights as a fighter, saves as a cleric and can do whip tricks (which basically function like Mighty Deeds of Valor from Dungeon Crawl Classics). They are also strong willed, have true faith, know a bit of folk magic that helps them face the undead, and have a talisman tied to their quest to slay the vampire scourge.
- Elizabeth Bathory - Bathory is Dracula's pupil, but eventually betrayed the Count and became his great rival. She's quite powerful, serves Lamia, and uses the reanimated corpse of her former lover as a bodyguard (stats given). Elizabeth's art is the one piece not done by Josh. It's a great piece and Bradley outdid himself. I do admit it feels just a little out of place though because it's not the same style as the rest of the book. Not a critique of the piece though, it's awesome!
- Bathory's Blood Magic - A few pages are devoted to the blood magic of ancient Lamia. It can be unlocked by a unique spell that can only be cast by women.
- New Spells - Five new spells are presented, they very in level, though one is extremely powerful. My favorite is a tribute to Radu of Subspecies.
- New Magic Items - The final section details four new magic items. One is a valuable tool for those that face evil, two are related to the Draugr, and one is the very sword wielded by Count Dracula!
If you can't tell, I absolutely love this zine! Josh really outdid himself with it and the book is worth more than the Kickstarter of post-Kickstarter price, in my opinion. The artwork is phenomenal and there isn't wasted space. The inside covers contain the location maps found within the tome.
I'll be honest this made me smile too:
I'll be honest this made me smile too:
The picture of my name in the Special Thanks To: section also leads me to one last thing I wanted to mention. This zine can easily be used in any old school game, but was designed with Lamentations of the Flame Princess in mind. Josh includes a note about what that means.
If you've ever wanted to play a Castlevania campaign, this zine is for you. The pdf will be available at the JHLB Polytechnic publisher page on DriveThruRPG soon.