|cover to Black Pudding Heavy Helping |
System: Labyrinth Lord / Doomslakers (OSR compatible)
Black Pudding Heavy Helping vol. 1 is a collection of the first four issues of the Black Pudding zine edited and mostly written by James V. West.
Black Pudding is a series of cartoonishly illustrated light-hearted material for B/X Dungeons & Dragons clones, such as Labyrinth Lord, Old School Essentials. It includes lavishly illustrated character sheets for a broad range of OSR games, character classes, monsters, magic spells and spell books, magic items, and dungeon adventures. It even includes West's house rules sets which altogether make an entire OSR clone, Doomslakers.
Collecting the first four volumes of Black Pudding gives you substantial book, it weighs in at 127 pages of nothing but content.
Black Pudding doesn't take Dungeons & Dragons too seriously. Most of the content is lighthearted, silly, or exaggeratedly over the top in Saturday morning cartoons meets heavy metal kind of way. And well the compiled additions give you an entire osr role-playing game, the content is perfectly compatible with Labyrinth Lord and similar B/X clones. It is material that is ideal when you want to play a game no you don't want hard feelings as your characters are crushed by the meat grinder. And where you want a laugh at over the top crazy scenarios.
What I Loved
|One of many awesome Character Sheets|
From Black Pudding ©️ J.V. West
The sheets include specific ones for single saving throw games like Swords & Wizardry and the OSR clone in Black Pudding. It also has level zero sheets for Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, and character sheets both with and without spaces for race for use with either AD&D or B/X clones.
I don't like every class in Black Pudding, but the good ones easily outnumber the bad. My favorites of the classes are the ones that really tap into the pulp fiction inspirational materials for Dungeons & Dragons. I would be very happy to run a campaign full of black knights, chainmail chicks, shield maidens, wardens, blind guardians, and sinewy barbarians. They each feel fun and well-designed. They're just a mechanically a little tougher than the base B/X D&D classes to enhance the puply feel, but are far from superheroic.
I also appreciated the classes that pastiche some of my favorite '90s subcultures. There's a witch that is most clearly borrowed from the culture around Wicca in the 90s, and the Raven Heart, and almost perfectly typed black magic wielding goth girl. It is like seeing my high school clique expressed as D&D characters.