Demi-Human Crafts

I feel the OSR has failed me. I am disappointed.

Spending all this time and energy sifting through the old game materials, all this time and energy coming up with interpretations and extrapolations and gonzo extensions, and where is the attention to demi-human crafts? Why is this not a feature of ongoing OSR discussions? This is a serious lapse.

In the Mentzer Dungeon Masters Companion: Book Two on page 21-22 you will find discussion of “Demi-Human Crafts.”

Dwarves get a Forge of Power that can be used to construct a dwarven lens. It concentrates and distills darkness itself to form the Oil of Darkness that makes rock ships, boats of rock that move through stone and carry 10 dwarves each.

Elves get a Tree of Life to make lightboats. These can fly through the air as long as they are in sunlight, and they can carry 10 elves each. The Tree of Life also lets them make magical bows, arrows, and swords.

And now it’s time to get WEIRD.

Halflings get a Crucible of Blackflame, a 4 sided pyramid. Inside is the blackflame. It is reverse of normal flame, black and emanating darkness and coolness, and “shadows” of light. It burns stuff that isn’t flammable, and doesn’t burn stuff that is. It does cold damage, same as fire does heat damage.

This can be used to make a web of shadow to collect moonlight oil, which is stored in the darkness. But the moonlight oil, rubbed on stuff, lets it fly in moonlight.

The Crucible of Blackflame also lets them make magical daggers, slings, swords, and halfling gear.

That’s almost three columns of utter weirdness, codifying stuff that I just don’t see in OSR projects. It is peculiar as hell, totally distinctive, and the sort of thing you base settlements and quests around.

OSR creators! Get to it! I want to see this stuff cropping up in your work! It’s part of the strange legacy of D&D, all the way from 1984. I look forward to seeing what you can do with it. =)

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