The Lumberlands – An OSR forest setting – Black Hack Conversion part I

There’s a really entertaining little OSR zine called the Wampus County Travel Guide 1: Lumberlands (DriveThruRPG / itch.io) by Lost Pages games. It’s a system-agnostic setting for any fantasy game, though it’s clearly intended for some kind of OSR system. It’s set in a vaguely North American forest setting, with influences from old lumberjack lore. It avoids most of the standard D&D tropes, so there won’t be any treants or elves in this forest. It’s got sort of a comedic Paul Bunyan tone to it.

I’m planning on running it, so I’m creating a conversion for my favored OSR system – the Black Hack

Here are my favorite bits of the zine:

  • Gunkeys! The stubborn, mule-like mounts for Lumberjacks & Lumberjills. A table of Gunkey personality types is provided .
  • Squeamish – A company logging town to serve as a base of operations for the players, with notable townsfolk and places of interest.
  • The secrets of the mysterious Sasquatch (I don’t want to to spoil it – it’s my absolute favorite bit)
  • A hidden Squirrel City with complicated squirrel politics
  • A fun list of unique forest monsters – Slubberdegullions, Genius Flytraps, Bubbalisks

As mentioned, the zine has no stats, so I’ve decided to use the Black Hack OSR ruleset (DriveThruRPG) to run this. I’ve made Black Hack versions of all four character types – Lumber/Fighter, Lumber/Thief, Lumber/Wizard, and Lumber/Cleric. (all the images are from the book – it has great illustrations) I’ll add some conversions of Lumberlands monsters for a followup post.

Lumberland Black Hack Classes

Lumber/Fighters

Starting Stats

Starting Hit Points (HP): roll 1d4 + 6
Starting Hit Die (HD): 1d8
Usable Weapons & Armour: Any and all
Attack Damage: See ‘Scrapper’

D6Trophy
1Bare-knuckle Boxing Belt
2Wooden Nickel
3Ship in a Bottle
4Silver Bullet
5Ancient Arrowhead
6Old Badge

Equipment

Every Lumber/Fighter starts with a distinctive and personal tattoo, which the Player should design and also choose a body location. Has climbing equipment. Also choose to start the game with either A or B:

  • A – Lucky Flannel (AV2), 2 hatchets, 2d6 coins, A chaw of tobacco
  • B – Lucky Flannel (AV2), forestry axe (large weapon), 4d6 coins, pulp magazine

Feats of Strength

In social settings, a Lumber/Fighter can get an Advantage by performing a physical stunt to impress the public. Player must invent a suitably impressive stunt, then make a successful STR roll. If it works, all social rolls (persuasion, intimidation, etc.) for the day in that location will be at Advantage.

Pulpwood Toss

When in a forested area, the Lumber/Fighter can automatically find a log to throw as a weapon. Nearby range.

Scrapper

A Lumber/Fighter has a ‘pool’ of Damage Dice (d6s) equal to their HD. When making an Attack distribute any number of these Damage Dice among any number of Nearby targets.

For each target the Player assigns the Damage Dice, the Player must come up with an exciting and bespoke narration for the Attack. Make an Attribute Test for each target to see if it is hit, if so, roll the Damage Dice assigned to it and reduce its HP by that amount.

The pool of Damage Dice resets at the start of the Lumber/Fighter’s Turn.

When you Gain a New Level

Acquire and share a number of Experiences equal to your current HD to advance a Level. When you gain a Level:

  • Roll a d20 once for each Attribute – if you roll over, it goes up one point, make an extra roll for one Attribute of your choice.
  • Gain 1HD – Roll 1d8 with Advantage to gain that many additional maximum HP.
  • Gain a Damage Die.

Lumber/Cleric

Starting Stats

Starting Hit Points (HP): roll 1d6 + 4
Starting Hit Die (HD): 1d8
Usable Weapons & Armour: All blunt weapons, cloth, leather
Attack Damage: 1d6 or 1d4 if unarmed

D6Holy Symbol
1Dreamcatcher
2Bezoar
3Cornstalk Doll
4Lucky Coin
5Silver Acorn
6Scrimshaw Idol

Equipment

Every Cleric starts with a Good Book containing 1d4+2 prayers of your choosing from levels 1 & 2 (p.27). Has climbing equipment. Also choose to start the game with either A or B:

  • A – Lucky Flannels (AV2), Maul, 2d8 coins and purse, Dr. Andral S. Kilmer’s Swamp Root (Healing potion), can opener
  • B – Dungarees (AV1), Sledgehammer (2 handed, Large weapon), Well-seasoned frying pan, bottle of maple syrup, fiddle

Banish Undead

A Cleric may spend an Action to Banish all Nearby undead by testing their WIS and adding the Creatures’ HD to the roll. For full Banish Undead rules see Black Hack book p.15.

Cast-Iron Stomach

Roll with Advantage when making a CON Attribute Test to resist poisons or being Paralyzed or impeded.

Memorizing Prayers

Once per Day, a Cleric may spend an Hour memorizing a number of prayers equal to their Level, from scrolls and books. A Cleric can only memorize prayers of levels up to and equal to their current Level (Black Hack book p.27).

Invoking Prayers

A Cleric can spend an Action on their Turn to cast a prayer from memory. Once the effects are resolved, the Cleric should make an Attribute Test – adding the prayer’s level to the roll. If they have already cast the spell this session this Attribute Test is made with Disadvantage.

If they fail, the prayer is no longer memorized, and the Cleric cannot cast the prayer until they memorize it again. For expanded spellcasting rules see Black Hack book p.15.

When you Gain a New Level

Acquire and share a number of Experiences equal to your current HD to advance a Level. When you gain a Level:

  • Roll a d20 once for each Attribute – if you roll over, it goes up one point, make an extra roll for either Strength or Wisdom.
  • Gain 1HD – Roll 1d8 – gain that many additional maximum HP.

Lumber/Thieves

Starting Stats

Starting Hit Points (HP): roll 1d6 + 2
Starting Hit Die (HD): 1d6
Usable Weapons & Armour: All one-handed axes, all bows, daggers, cloth, flannel
Attack Damage: 1d6 or 1d4 if unarmed

D6Lucky Charm
1Loaded Dice
2Jackalope Skull
3Faded Photograph
4Prison Tattoo
5Marked Cards
6Rabbit’s Foot

Equipment

Every Lumber/Thief starts with climbing equipment. Also choose to start the game with either A or B:

  • A – Lucky Flannel (AV2), 3 Throwing Axes, Boots with a good luck charm on them
  • B – Denim Overalls (AV1), bow & arrows (Ud8), 3d6 coins, lock picks

Talents of an Arborial Nature

Roll Attribute Tests with Advantage when performing the following Actions:

  • Delicate tasks
  • Climbing Trees
  • Listening and eavesdropping
  • Moving silently and unseen

Eyes in the Back of Your Head

Roll with Advantage when testing Dexterity for initiative when in the forest.

Dirty Low-down Backstabber

If a Lumber/Thief has Moved silently to get behind a Creature, and they are unaware of the Lumber/Thief’s presence, the Lumber/Thief may make an Attack that automatically hits and deals 2d6 + the Lumber/Thief’s Level damage.

From Parts Unknown

At the start of the gaming session roll 1d10, if the result is below your current Level – you can customize or entirely change your Background.

Always a Way Out

Regardless of what the Lumber/Thief is carrying, they have a hidden metal file concealed on their person.

When you Gain a New Level

Acquire and share a number of Experiences equal to your current HD to advance a Level. When you gain a Level:

  • Roll a d20 once for each Attribute – if you roll over, it goes up one point, make an extra roll for either Dexterity or Wisdom.
  • Gain 1HD – Roll 1d6 – gain that many additional maximum HP.

Lumber/Wizards

Starting Stats

Starting Hit Points (HP): roll 1d4
Starting Hit Die (HD): 1d4
Usable Weapons & Armour: Cloth, one-handed axe, staff, dagger
Attack Damage: 1d4 or 1 if unarmed D6

Familiar

The Lumber/Wizard can choose or roll randomly on the table of familiars in the Lumberlands books (pg 43)

Equipment

Every Lumber/Wizard starts with a Spellbook containing 1d4+2 spells of your choosing from spell levels 1 and 2 (p.26). Has climbing equipment. Also choose to start the game with either A or B:

  • A – Cloth robes (AV1), pike pole, 2d8 coins & purse, pocket watch, banjo, bag of magic trinkets
  • B – War-Bonnet (AV1), Bowie Knife, 4d6 coins & purse, bag of hard candy, pipe, packet of magic mushrooms

Lucky Find

If you roll a 1 for starting Hit Points -generate a random magical item from Black Hack book p.114-115 as part of either of the starting equipment choices.

Memorizing Spells

Once per Day a Lumber/Wizard can spend an Hour memorizing a number of spells equal to their Level, from scrolls and books. A Lumber/Wizard can only memorize spells of levels up to and equal to their current Level (Black Hack book p.26).

Casting Spells

A Lumber/Wizard may spend an Action on their Turn to cast a spell from memory. Once the effects are resolved, the Lumber/Wizard should make an Attribute Test – adding the spell’s level to the roll. If they have already cast the spell this session this Attribute Test is made with Disadvantage. If they fail, the spell is no longer memorized, and the Lumber/Wizard cannot cast the spell until they memorize it again.

For expanded spellcasting rules see Black Hack book p.15.

When you Gain a New Level

Acquire and share a number of Experiences equal to your current HD to advance a Level. When you gain a Level:

  • Roll a d20 once for each Attribute – if you roll over, it goes up one point, make an extra roll for either Intelligence or Wisdom.
  • Gain 1HD – Roll 1d4 – gain that many additional maximum HP.

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