15 September 2019

Saving Throw - new OSRIC zine to support Usherwood Publishing's Jim Kramer

Saving Throw is a new zine dedicated to OSRIC and AD&D 1st edition gaming, and it's being produced to support James D. Kramer of Usherwood Adventures, who is battling through his third round of brain cancer treatments.  

Saving Throw cover art by Alex Zisch
Saving Throw cover art by Alex Zisch

I've known and worked with Jim for more than a decade now, and he has been an integral member of the old-school gaming communities that spawned the OSR:  his work to layout OSRIC is reflected in the standard version available on Lulu, the high-end Black Blade/Usherwood hardcover OSRIC edition, as well as his highly-usable OSRIC Pocket SRD digest-sized softcover book, also available in a layflat spiral-bound edition.  And it doesn't stop there!---Jim has built  .epub and .mobi versions of OSRIC, laid out the six issues of Knockspell Magazine, written and published the Bone-Hilt Sword Campaign, and created several stand-alone adventures and supplements, too.  

Jim's contributions to OSRIC and old-school gaming in general are quite extensive, so a group of folks at the Knights & Knaves Alehouse gathered together to help support him and his family.  Here's the product announcement from Guy Fullerton of Chaotic Henchmen Productions, who coordinated this project: 

Saving Throw — a fundraiser fanzine to help James D. Kramer

You may know Jim Kramer from his Usherwood Publishing modules & supplements, or his work helping produce works like OSRIC and Knockspell. You probably didn’t know Jim had multiple brain surgeries to remove tumors, and the battle has gotten much harder. To help Jim and his family during this difficult time, a group of his friends, collaborators, and first edition enthusiasts banded together to make this fundraiser fanzine, where all royalties go directly to Jim and his family.

This 60+ page issue of
Saving Throw contains:
  • Introduction by Ron Redmond
  • Island Tables - random generation/inspiration tool by EOTB
  • Sorcerer’s Stone - dungeon level by Keith Sloan
  • Trolls of the Simpolo Swamps - leech-mated trollish variations by Joseph Browning
  • Perladon Manor - adventure module by Gabor Lux
  • By The Runes - fiction by Dan Rasaiah
  • Magic Item Intrinsic Material Values - variant magic item value rules by Guy Fullerton
  • Goblin Garbug Cavalry - new monster by Andrew Hamilton
  • The Tiled Labyrinth - mini-dungeon by Guy Fullerton
  • Lotus Blossoms - magical and special properties of these exotic flora by Keith Sloan
  • Burly the Baker - ready-to-use NPC and cantrips by Gary Francisco
  • Darkworld Troll - new monster by Bryan Fazekas
  • Offig’s Tomb - treasure map by EOTB
  • Lizard Man Lair - outdoor module and new monsters by EOTB
  • Mephitic Geysers of the Intaglio Rift - treasure map by Allan T. Grohe Jr. (“grodog")
  • The Mere Beneath - dungeon level by Guy Fullerton, Allan T. Grohe Jr. (“grodog"), and Henry A. Grohe
  • Sarendra’s Crew & Kelurrin’s Crew - ready-to-use NPC parties by Allan T. Grohe Jr. (“grodog")
  • Rescue from the Sanctuary of the Leopard Goddess - dungeon module by Matthew Riedel
  • Featuring illustrations by Jimm Johnson, James D. Kramer, Wind Lothamer, Gabor Lux, Denis McCarthy, Peter Szmer (soon), Del Teigeler, and Alex Zisch

For the lucky price of $13, you get two treasure maps, three referee tools, five new spells, six modules, at least nine new monsters, twelve ready-to-use NPCs, and more. Plus the knowledge that your purchase helps a family during a difficult time.

Thank you!

Note: We plan to make a print version available soon. When it becomes available, will send DriveThru coupon codes to everyone who purchased the .pdf so they can get a print version at a discount.

Note #2: We are still in the process of gathering artwork for some of the articles, so don't be surprised by any of the blank spots. We will notify everybody when we update the .pdf with new art, and you can download the latest version from your library.

Here's a preview of one of the earlier drafts for my "Mephitic Geysers of the Intaglio Rift" treasure map:

Treasure map to the Mephitic Geysers of the Intaglio Rift by Allan Grohe
Treasure map to the
Mephitic Geysers of the Intaglio Rift
by Allan Grohe

Please consider purchasing a copy of Saving Throw to support Jim and his family!


  1. What a great project, and for a great cause! I'm delighted to order a copy!

  2. Will you be doing a second volume? I'd love to donate some maps if it would help.

  3. My personal favorite module of his is Arachnophobia! I dig the creepy feel of that adventure. Great post Allan, thanks!


Please be respectful and civil in your commentary. Inappropriate comments may be edited or deleted as dictated by the whims of Balo, Chief Jester and Editor for the Lords of Chaos.