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Announcements » Website Updates » 5/13/2018 2:08 am

Brock Savage
Replies: 14

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I'm hoping the AS&SH community makes some submissions that see publication. 

General Discussion » Holy Idiot of Xathoqqua » 5/12/2018 6:05 pm

Brock Savage
Replies: 22

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Ember the thief tackled the guy as soon as soon he broke out the tambourine and started singing. The party proceeded to loot the barrow mounds above the dungeon with impressive speed and efficiency, keeping me busy and ensuring I lacked sufficient mental bandwidth to engage in shenanigans. Alas, their haste led to their undoing, as the barbarian inexplicably neglected to heal his wounds before engaging a flock of stirges. He will be missed. 

The holy man, who goes by The Sage, is now going to be a regular in my campaign. 

The Tavern » Dungeon of Graves, Party of Six » 5/09/2018 11:18 pm

Brock Savage
Replies: 13

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Hi Jimm, here are some character ideas. Lemme know if they are appropriate for your vision of Hyperborea. All of them but the magician have a death wish in some form another. I felt that was fitting for someone voluntarily entering the Dungeon of Graves. 

The Berserker
Concept: Brute
Background: Bred to die for the entertainment of others in the fighting pits of Khromarium, the fact that you're up and about doesn't bode well for your former owners. You are utterly fearless in the face of danger but wary and superstitious around sorcery. Being illiterate and homeless, adventuring is your best path to staying free, warm, and fed. Your fighting madness, hard drinking, and love of gambling promise an interesting life. 
Appearance: A scarred hulk with fists like lunchpails, hard grey eyes, square jaw, and a shaggy mane of straight black hair.
Race: Kimmeri-Kelt
Gear: Greatsword, hand axe, cæstuses, mammoth hide loincloth and boots, helmet, bottle of rotgut whiskey, knucklebones

The Warlock
Concept: Brooding Anti-Hero
Background: You are a Hyperborean, a descendant of the ancient race of gaunt, pale-skinned sorcerer-kings and witch-queens who ruled the world in millennia past. Born the last scion of a decaying branch of a great noble family, House Vheez, your mother died in childbirth and your father blamed you for her death. While lacking love and companionship, your childhood was a time of sorcerous education and martial training. Ousted from your ancestral home and made a pariah by your cousin in a stunning betrayal after your father's death, you have neither lands nor wealth to your name. You wander the world offering your services as adventurer and mercenary to support yourself while seeking peace for the angst you bear.
Appearance: Like most of his race, exceedingly tall (nearly 7'), gaunt, and pale with straight golden hair. His dour countenance is punctuated with brooding violet eyes and a piercing stare.
Race: Hyperborean
Gear: Rune-etched longsword, ancestr

General Discussion » Hyperborean Encounter Tables 2! » 5/07/2018 6:56 pm

Brock Savage
Replies: 36

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gizmomathboy wrote:

I've taken BA's wonderful encounter tables and webified them:

I'm about 80% satisfied with them. There are improvements I would like to make but it does what I would like it to.

Bookmarked, thank you. 

Sorcery » Goodberry versus Create Food & Water » 5/07/2018 3:00 pm

Brock Savage
Replies: 11

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Thank you for weighing in on this, gentlemen. Is it safe to assume a caster can't game the system with fresh inedible berries such as juniper or mistletoe?

Sorcery » Goodberry versus Create Food & Water » 5/07/2018 2:19 am

Brock Savage
Replies: 11

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Goodberry renders most food management or survival challenges trivial (I don't find a 1st level "spell tax" very interesting or challenging) and renders a 3rd level spell, Create Food & Water, nearly obsolete. As far as I can recall, this has been true in every edition of D&D I have played so I concede there may be a good reason behind it. Thoughts?

Hyperborea » A question about the setting as a whole » 5/05/2018 12:59 pm

Brock Savage
Replies: 13

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gizmomathboy wrote:

There is also a etymological difference between Hyboria and Hyperborea.

The land of Hyperborea and the sorcerous Hyperborean race is a thing in Howard's work so, at least for me, that is where the initial confusion lay. In fact, the mention of Hyperborea in the title is what led me to check out AS&SH in the first place!

Hyperborea » A question about the setting as a whole » 5/05/2018 3:39 am

Brock Savage
Replies: 13

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Hey man, welcome to the boards. As a big fan of Howard's Hyborian Age, at first glance I was also confused. Long story short, there is no connection as far as I can tell with Howard's Hyborian Age or Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperborea.

I cannot speak for Ghul, the author of AS&SH, but I am guessing it was a deliberate choice not to tie Hyperborea directly to any existing canon to ensure every DM could more easily make the setting their own. Details have purposely been left vague and most of the background material is written from the perspective of fallible mortal sage. This isn't Golarion or Forogtten Realms with a vast body of work objectively describing every nook and cranny (thank goodness!); a random selection of 100 DMs will have 100 different visions of Hyperborea. 

That all being said, I have purposefully made my Hyperborea connect with the works of Howard, Lovecraft, and C.A.S. There is nothing preventing you from doing that, either. It a simple matter to rule that the Kimmerians descended from a lost tribe in the Hyborian age, the Ixians are the Stygians invigorated with the blood and culture of other races, and the Vikings are in fact Howard's Aesir and Vanir. Hell, in my world Lovecraft's Yig and Howard's Set are one and the same, just as Tlakk-Nacha is the true name of Zath. One of the perks of being a DM is fine-tuning settings and background to make that perfect blend! 


Swordsmen & Sorcerers » Perfect Party? » 5/05/2018 3:08 am

Brock Savage
Replies: 20

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Spider of Leng wrote:

Having just bought the game, we are just putting our first party together and it looks like this:

Canwulf, a Viking berserker from Vinland
Gwynwog, a Half-Pictish Scout from the Savage Boreal Coast
Hawkwind, a Keltic Huntsman from the Gal City region
Drago, a Hyperborean Pyromancer (Twin brother of Dragyana)--From Khromarium
Dragyana, a Hyperborean Cryomancer (Twin sister of Drago)--From Khromarium
Tinniktet, Esquimaux Shamaness from the Plain of Leng, Follower of Ythaqqa 

I am digging that party makeup. Let us know how it works out and welcome to Hyperborea!

General Discussion » Frostbitten and Mutilated » 5/04/2018 6:29 pm

francisca wrote:

who wrote it?

A guy who goes by Zak S. who is apparently a big deal in some OSR circles.

Rules Discussion » Once per day... » 5/03/2018 9:19 pm

Brock Savage
Replies: 10

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Iron Ranger wrote:

DMPrata wrote:

I think that’s a subject for referee discretion. Personally, I would rule once per 24-hour period after a normal sleep cycle (so no 11:59 P.M. followed by 12:01 A.M.).

Makes sense for berserker rage. How about when a magic item is in control? Like a ring of invisibility? Same thing?

Like DMPrata said, you could make the recharge time thematic if you don't mind adjusting for Hyperborea's crazy day and night cycle. Dusk or midnight would suit a ring of invisibility. Dawn might be common for items forged before the coming of the Ashen Worm.

General Discussion » Frostbitten and Mutilated » 5/03/2018 1:52 pm

Has anyone read this campaign book and does it have any content that's appropriate for Hyperborea? An OSR  campaign book about Vikings and Amazons in a frozen land sounds promising but I've sunk too much money into gaming pdfs I'll never use.

Hyperborea » Underborea? » 5/02/2018 7:55 pm

Brock Savage
Replies: 12

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My version of Underborea is a Mythic Underworld inspired by Philotomy's Musings

As for the actual underside of Hyperborea, I think Chainsaw expresses the idea better than I can.

Chainsaw wrote:

I imagine the underside of Hyperborea as a vast expanse of jagged, mountainous stalactites hanging down miles long, some inhabited by the deepest-dwelling denizens of the Underborea - research facilities of wicked sorcerer-scientists, nightmarish lairs of the worst demons, ancient spaceports for extraplanar invaders, cursed temple-tombs of long-dead gods, abandoned prisons brimming with damned souls, etc. Maybe others are active volcanoes, spewing hot lava into the Black Gulf (the beginnings of new asteroids, moons or even planets) or huge hives releasing horrific abominations into the Black Gulf.

The entirety of Hyperborea itself serves as a cosmic petri dish for Yog-Sothoth.  

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » Perfect Party? » 5/02/2018 2:46 pm

Brock Savage
Replies: 20

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I like my players' characters alot

Crixus, a Barbarian and popular pitfighter

Kay, a Half-blood Pict Ranger and de facto leader of the group.

Ceril the Hyperborean Warlock, a brooding anti-hero and exile from House Vheez.

Ember the Thief, an agent of the Courtesans' Guild.

I am quite pleased that the party composition wasn't gamed for maximum optimization (I get enough of that playing Overwatch). I'd gently suggest cleric to a new player but they could play anything they want and the group's still solid.

As far as optimization goes, you can't go wrong with one from each of the four basic food groups of Fighter, Magician, Thief, and Cleric.

General Discussion » ​Campaign Management Tools » 5/01/2018 7:02 pm

mabon5127 wrote:

I use a product called Campaign Logger to record various campaign items, places, and NPC's and how they interact with each other. 

During a game I record some notes, forget to record most, then wait too long to write them down during the week then several days before the next game I ask my oldest daughter what happened..... 

Thanks I will check out Campaign Logger. I am very fortunate to have a diligent veteran player who helpfully records everything of importance.

Jimm.Iblis wrote:

There is absolutely nothing I recommend more highly than Scrivener.

Wow, that's high praise. I will try to take a look at it tonight. 

General Discussion » ​Campaign Management Tools » 4/30/2018 10:35 pm

What tools do you use for campaign management?  I'd love to hear everyone's tips and tricks
At the time of writing my "DM Bible", hacks, adventures, notes, pdf documents, and damn near everything else is organized in Microsoft OneNote. My hundreds of OSR docs are stored in Google Drive.
When I run a game I use 3x5 cards, 3-ring binders, and ye olde pen & paper along with hardcopy rule books and miniatures. My girlfriend and I are tactile gamers and don’t use electronic media at the table (it just doesn't work for me, for the same reasons I prefer tabletop games to Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds).
I recently bought the World's Greatest Screen and it's decent. You might get sticker shock at the price but I find value in its long-term utility and flexibility.  I'm also too lazy to kludge something together myself. 
When I need to share a document with players, I use Google Docs.
Right now I handle downtime, adventure seeds, post-game wrap-up and announcements through email but I'm looking for something better. Obsidian Portal looks okay but I am open to suggestions.

General Discussion » Making stuff up on the spot » 4/30/2018 8:12 pm

gizmomathboy wrote:

I'm not sure I could do a "made up on the spot" dungeon for very long.

I did however do "random monster safari" a lot for one campaign. That was mostly because the party wanted to go from point A to very distant point B. Just used random encounter tables and ran it from there.

I'm the same way. I can run a game indefinitely with some terse notes, 3x5 cards with monster stats, decent random tables, and engaged players. I find 100% "made up on the spot" improvisation exhausting because my alcohol-soaked brain only has so much bandwidth.

General Discussion (Off-Topic) » A Needed Retro-Resurrection » 4/30/2018 1:44 am

I am unsure why Hollywood tastemakers have not given 80's sword and sorcery a reboot. Maybe it's for the same reasons that metal isn't very mainstream, either. 

If there's going to be a resurgence of 80's style sword and sorcery, the right time seems to be now. Most of the original childhood fans are at their peak buying power.  Hell, Ready Player One is a big budget movie whose sole schtick is packing as many 80's references as possible in a scene (did anyone catch the Tomb of Horrors reference?). 

General Discussion » Holy Idiot of Xathoqqua » 4/30/2018 12:40 am

Brock Savage
Replies: 22

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Thanks again for the ideas guys, with an especially big thanks to mabon5127 (I am shamelessly stealing some of your ideas). 

I refined my rough idea of  "idiot" into that of  a former priest of the Xathoqquan Orthodoxy who wanders Hyperborea as a deranged alcoholic mendicant known only as "The Sage". He's kind of like a 1990's Gary Busey if he was a defrocked homeless priest who can actually cast spells if his brain happens to be firing on all cylinders that day. 

Utterly fearless and convinced of his indestructability combined with no "filter" that prevents impulsive behavior. 

It's unclear if he lacks self-awareness or simply gives no fucks but the end result is the same. 

Openly disdainful towards followers of other religions. Half of the town outside the dungeon happens to worship Yoon'Deh. 

Breaks out a tambourine and sings at the most inappropriate of times. 

Frequently black-out drunk by noon. 

Devout citizens think he is a holy man and bring him offerings of food and drink while asking his blessing.

Critters walk, crawl, slither, and fly out of the swamp to hear his rambling, incoherent sermons. 

If the players are insane and sleep in the nearby swamp or dungeon, his presence draws a huge number of small slimy amphibians overnight. They infiltrate all backpacks and clothing leaving nothing unspoiled. 

Claims he is on a holy pilgrimage to an undisclosed landmark deep within the dungeon. 

Holds animated conversations with people who are not present. 

Actually knows some spells but poor memory, alcoholism, and madness ensure his spellcasting is a liability and not an asset. 

Gear: Prayer book, staff, robes, tambourine, begging bowl, Incense of Meditation, three bottles of excellent whiskey, wooden statue of Xathoqqua (50 lbs)

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