Into the OSR is an occasional series in which I write up some of the creative decisions I have made in the preparation of my old school sandbox D&D style fantasy RPG campaign. The rest of the series can be found here
Having stalled on the front-loaded preperation work involved in the Gygax ’75 protocols, I decided to just start running a game in the little bit of setting I had dreamed up just to see how far I would get.
Turns out quite a long way… I will doubtless write a bit more about this campaign in future but I wanted to write a bit about the law of unintended consequences and how one single alteration to the experience rules combined with a bad ruling can result in a campaign that goes to some really weird and unexpected places.
So this post is a combination warning and war story about how I started a campaign based upon Conan the Barbarian and wound up running The Wire.
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Watching the Detectives is a series of posts about drawing inspiration from fictitious paranormal investigators, occult detectives, police psychics, and monster hunters. The rest of the series can be found here.
As of 2021, Phil Rickman’s Merrily Watkins series runs to fifteen books, a short story, and a photobook describing some of the locations to feature in the series. The books are set in rural Herefordshire and revolve around a female vicar, her friends, and their tendency to run into a variety of occult menaces including ghosts, demons, and satanic cults.
I decided to begin the Watching the Detectives strand by writing about the Merrily Watkins books as they are quite unlike any other paranormal investigation story. If this were an elevator and you were a cigar-chomping Hollywood producer, I would pitch the series by asking you to imagine what it would be like if Miss Marple joined the cast of the Archers as village exorcist.
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