The OSR PIT Zine is ALIVE! Now open for submissions

Greetings denizens of the Pit,

The concept of a community-created zine came up earlier this year, and a lot of good discussion spawned from the idea. The general consensus was that the zine will be split into two parts; the first revolving around the setting, and the latter portion of the zine will be dedicated to miscellaneous articles on different stuff on the OSR sphere. After some internal discussion, graphic design work, and planning, we are finally ready to start putting this thing together!

Slots and Spreads

The zine is going to be 48 pages + cover. With the Table of Contents/credits taking up two pages, that leaves 46 pages of content or 23 spreads. There’s two different types of slot you can sign up for, a single spread (2 pages) or a double spread (4 pages). 11 single spread slots, and 6 double spread slots are available.

Signing up

If you want to reserve a slot: reply to this post with the type of slot, and the content you’re going to create. Adding some specifics is encouraged, as other contributors could draw inspiration or avoid redundancy based on what you’re writing. In the reply, also indicate whether you have access to a layout software (Affinity Publisher is ideal, but Indesign templates are on the way). You’re only allowed to sign up for one slot but this might change in the future.

If you’ve contributed already…

Some members here have already brainstormed some tables, monsters, locations etc. If you’re on the list below, sign-up for a slot already :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


We’re aiming for the zine to be roughly 50/50 in regards to setting stuff/misc OSR stuff though it’s not a problem if either side garners more submissions. Teamwork is encouraged. Templates (.afpub) and assets (.afassets, includes tables and picture frames) are included in the Google Drive link below. Please use the text styles and formatting included in the template. Also if you sign-up for a slot, try your best to fill up the pages (e.g. try not to sign-up for a double spread and then only use three pages).


Once you’ve finished your submission, upload it here.

When uploading there’s a folder for both .afpub and .pdf so please put your submission in both with the correct file format.

If you don’t have access to layout software, you can upload your submission to the ‘Need Template’ folder and someone with the proper tech can help you out. Once all submissions have been uploaded, the plan is for a master-layout person to compile all the files into the final zine; ordering the various articles in a sensible arrangement.

Deadlines: TBD, but assume late August for submissions, and late September for layout team/finalizing.

Fonts you’ll need:
Book Antiqua (Text)
IM Fell DW Pica (Title)
Art Stuff, (@LF_OSR)

Live Slots

Single Spread

  1. Willow Review by @maderschramm
  2. Stepwell adventure by @LoneArchivist
  3. Resource Table + Art by @LF_OSR
  4. tentative Spell Components by @Vacuumjockey
  5. @Lazy_Litch
  6. Angler Bullfrog by @FilthPig
  7. d100 Oddties by @MrVekyl
  8. Digmaids by @thekernelinyellow
  9. Archaeology/Excavation rules by @bordercholly
  10. 3d20 dungeon-room creation by @Spwack
  11. d20 Tunnel Denizens, Dangers, and Encounters by @reptilianesoterica

Double Spread

  1. Rules for Exploring the Tunnels by @Max
  2. Queen Flesh’s dungeon by @Nyhur and @LF_OSR
  3. Old Wizard’s tower scenario by @Lancraft
  4. Mini tunnelcrawl by @SunkenPlanets
  5. Snowman by @bullshark
  6. Reserved for Introduction to Pit

One 2-page spread please for my review of Willow by @Lazy_Litch, thanks!


Hey guys! Nice little thing you’ve got going here! I’d love to participate with some content but I have a million projects in the works, so instead I can offer my layout expertise, in case anyone needs some help!


Whats the paper size on a single page?


6x9. With no headings/pictures, you can squeeze a max of around 500 words into a page.

i would like a double slot then. “Rules for Exploring the Tunnels”. i will do my own layout (afpub) and im available to help others with layout too.


@Kingroy23 So what do you need if we’d like to contribute a spread? Just a comment to that effect? If so I wouldn’t mind contributing something.

Also, your .afassets file looks like it is dependent on a font some people may not have. May wish to include a read me on where to get that font if it’s free and available for commercial licensing.


Yep, that’s the idea, just let us know what you plan on doing and grab the templates from the G Drive link.
Good thinking with the fonts.
Book Antiqua (Text)
IM Fell DW Pica (Title)

That’s a cool idea. Regarding the setting, I think we definitely need a writeup that gives a big-picture overview of the hub-world tunnels concept.

@Kingroy23 Sounds good. I already got the templates.

I’m thinking something surrounding the concept of Stepwells. Maybe an adventure with a bit of implied setting.

I’ll take a single spread slot if that sounds good.

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I’ll take a single spread! I’ll revise my resource table and get some artwork goin’. :crossed_swords:

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I have some nice rules for spell component use, but they’re only roughly a single page/<500 words. So, you need some filler?

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Nice, what kind of spell components are they?

Non-specific is what they are! :wink:
Seriously though, they’re some rules for using and managing non-specific components for spell-casting, that I made up for my own campaign. I posted them on Reddit a short while ago, and surprisingly many people liked them! :confused:

So I thought i’d write them up for this OSR PIT thing I just learned about. This is what it looked like on Reddit:

The Black Hack solved my problem with spell components…!

In every edition of D&D I’ve ever played, spell components have always been politely ignored - except when a particular spell called for something special, like a well-built miniature chest or a 1000 GPs worth of diamond dust etc. But TBHs Usage Die pretty much solves this issue.

Behold - my stuff!

Component(s) Usage Die Cost Enc.
A pocket full 1d4 1 -
All pockets full 1d6 10 1
Large purse, messenger bag, etc. 1d8 100 1
Backpack or large custom-made bag 1d10 500 2
Essentially a portable multi-drawer cabinet 1d12 2500 3

When plundering an enemy wizard, I generally allow people to go one die size up i.e. Spoogy the Spellslinger plunders a fallen enemy, and that allows him to bump his 1d6 components up to 1d8. You get the general idea.

Edit: I’d still keep the ‘special requirements’ for spells like Stoneskin etc. though - this is for all the other spells that require non-descript components. You know what I mean.

Edit: seeing it like this, it does need a few more lines of detailing. But you can see what I’m going for.

Ok cool so its like the more spell components you have the better the benefits to your spells or something? - but the components are non specific ?

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Nah, it’s a throwback to the old AD&D days where spells required 1-3 types of components: Verbal, Somatic, and Material. Verbal and somatic components take care of themselves, but the spellslinger has to carry stuff like small amounts of ostrich semen, bat guano, pieces of copper wire, the eye of a newt, etc. around to use for powering his spells.

And it’s a freaking drag to keep track of, so no one ever did or does, apart from stuff that was detailed in the actual spell description (The small chests, matching rings, etc).

So the way I use it in my campaign is by requiring spellslingers to carry a component purse around, represented by a Usage Die (Black Hack Usage Die) and every time they cast a spell successfully, they roll their Component Usage Die. If they roll a 1-2 they downgrade their UD as usual, but also forget that spell until they’ve had a long rest. When the UD runs out, they’re out of components and can’t cast spells (that require material components) until they’ve resupplied.


I could go for a single column. I’ve got a small scenario focused on an ages old wizard’s tower that has fallen -though it remains greatly intact - and a miniature civilization has taken root inside the now sideways fallen tower.

Also, I do have Affinity Publisher.


Also, after reading as many of the past posts as I’ve had time to tonight, are we aiming for this to be Norse/Viking centric? If so I could easily put some Vanaheim hooks into it or somesuch.

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Giant dead lights angler bullfrog

Single spread.


I’m new to this community, and I don’t know if this disqualifies me from a submission. All the same, here’s my idea for a single page spread: a d100 list of oddities/scraps/odds and ends found in the tunnels.

I was inspired by the idea in the setting thread about how the network of tunnels could lead to any number of different settings/planes/dimensions. The list would be suitably weird. I envision it being used as a “What’s in their pockets?” table, or a list of items players can find or trip over while running from monsters down dark passageways. Sometimes valuable, sometimes useful, sometimes neither, with plenty of things that make the table go “Where did this come from?” which would then inspire further tunnel explorations.

I’m thinking things like

  1. Small golden pickaxe head, dented like someone actually tried to use it
  2. Cluster of small jade stones, oddly warm to the touch
  3. Scrap of parchment covered in an ancient language. The ink is still wet.
  4. Crude tin snuff box, with the initials JTL. Empty.
  5. 5 ft of strong spider silk thread. Nearly invisible at certain angles.

Etc, etc. Now that I think about it, I could dig into well-known OSR adventures and pull out little bits and bobs from them to seed the table with.

I also have Affinity Publisher, but I only recently purchased it and only barely know how to make it do what I want. Other than something I threw together for the 1 Page Dungeon contest a couple weeks ago, I haven’t done any layout work.