OSR Experiments #24: Preview of "Shadows of the Haunted Keep"

Happy Independence Day! Unless you're British, of course.

Thought I'd share with you a preview magick item from my upcoming module Shadows of the Haunted Keep. A retro-style adventure kit for Dark Dungeon – with OSR stats too. Enjoy.

 Book of Confusions
Usually a tome of this sort has a name like “Booke of Ultimate Knowledge”, or “The Compleat Enchantre”. The tome intrigues the reader to the utmost, and makes him or her believe that he can do anything. Accomplish any goal, solve any problem. But the how is complex, and the more the reader reads, the more complex it becomes, until in practice the reader wastes all time and accomplishes nothing. The reader will experiment with the knowledge in the book, and talk, write and think endlessly, but all ideas will be misguided gibberish of no use.

A casual reader must roll 6+ on WIL to avoid being sucked in by the book. A reader who takes the time to study the book must roll 9+ on WIL. One who tries to read it from cover to cover must roll 12+.
To break the curse of the book, it must be burned, which the reader will violently resist. Or the affected reader could be blessed on 12+ to be released for a day (after which the book might be burned), or 15+ to be released permanently.

For old schoolers who use a D&D remix: any serious reader must save vs. spells or suffer the effects. A remove curse spell is the way to get rid of the book. Be sure to entice players to read the book by suggesting that it might have very powerful magick and knowledge inside. Such is the power of the book.

Image is a remix of the CC image of a latin dictionary by Dr. M Gossler. This image remix also belongs to our Creative Commons.

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