Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Two Free OSR Resources For Liars, Cheats, Con Men , & Old School Thieves

 Right now I've been in the midst of a busy season getting ready to spring some surprises on some of my players. I was speeding around G+ because let's face it I loath social media & try to stay off of there as much as I can. But one thing I did run across is a possibly one of the best resources for D&D style PC thieves that I've seen in awhile. This is " The London Guide and Stranger’s Safeguard against the Cheats, Swindlers, and Pickpockets (1819)"

If you haven't seen this book then go grab it, I'll wait. This is one of the best OSR books that you can get for your games on thieves, pick pockets, thieves guilds, etc. and not just for Eighteenth century London campaign  or a Call of Cthulhu game adventure set during that time period. Much of the material for criminals is perfect fodder for old school adventures.
This book has set ups for crimes, thieves cant and what it sounded like, crime hooks for adventures, keeping adventurers safe & it can be used to set up adventure locations for old school games or even crimes in progress. This book can also be used by players who want to add a bit more of a dimension or two with their specialists or thieves. You could even set up a confidence game or two on unsuspecting NPC's if your dungeon master is game for it.

Want thieves cant words, phrases,etc. this book actually has you covered.

Want a Con to separate your PC's from their hard one treasures and gold? Take your pick because they're all  in this book! How do Fagan style thieves guilds actually operate? There's a ton of information about exactly those sorts of operations in this book & they are perfect to spring on players who haven't got a clue about these! There are some great chapters on
“Out Door Delinquencies”, “Inn Door Tricks”, “Miscellaneous Offences”, “House-Breakers”, “Minor Cheats”, and “Of Conspirators and Informers”, containing within them a multitude of sub-chapters including the rather wonderfully titled offences of “Smashing”, “Greeks and Legs”, “Private Stills”, “Bon Ton”, “Box Lobby”, and “Pretenders to Literature”.
You really can't beat this for adding a ton of atmosphere & colour to old school adventures. Just make sure you don't get taken in by a pair of cheats yourself.
You Can Down Load This Book Right Over Here 
The second resource that I came across is a the The Newgate Calendar (1795)
great collection of stories, accounts,etc. of crimes from 1795 London New Gate Prison. This book according to the Public domain review contains,"  tales of both famous and lesser-known criminals from the 18th and 19th centuries and named after Newgate Prison in London, the Newgate Calendar became one of the most popular books of its day, said to be as much a part of the British household as the Bible."

This book is perfect for creating thieves, criminal, or specialist  NPC's of many varieties or crimes as adventure hooks for old school games. A marvelous heinous book as a resource for all kinds of unsavory types of adventures! This isn't one for the kids either. Consider yourselves warned.

You Can Download
The Newgate Calendar (1795) Right Over Here

Special thanks to The Public Domain Review & keep em rolling folks!

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