East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Face to face with the Owlbear

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I just wrote a short D&D-like scenario featuring an Owlbear.

OwlbearFor the uninitiated, the Owlbear is often considered one of the five silliest monsters in the old Dungeons & Dragons canon. But exactly because of this, I have a soft spot for it in my heart.

I was asked to participate in a project for a free, limited print campaign to celebrate a nice independent retroclone at the next Lucca Comics & Games fair…
The game, by the way, is called Antiche Leggende, and you can find more about it here.
And so they asked, and what the heck, I decided I’d do it.
How long can it take, to draw together a 2000-words maximum scenario in the style of the old Red Box?

One evening talking about it with my brother, and then two hours to type the thing down.

And it was a blast – this short little thing features a small village to explore, a social interaction scene with a deceptively innocuous character, a brawl, a trip across the wild, a mysterious dungeon, random encounters and random treasure, and then features two of my signature elements as a game designer
. the horde of small, weak humanoids that can simply overwhelm the heroes with sheer numbers
. the big, bad, powerful, what-the-heck-is-that?! final monster


The scenario is now in the hands of the editor, and I hope it will – once it’s cleaned up and set straight and published – provide a lot of fun for the players that will get a copy of this campaign.
Sometimes it’s good to go back to the basics.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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