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The Tavern » Dungeon of Graves, Party of Six » 5/17/2018 5:30 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 13

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Players are currently developing their first victims, er, characters. I'm imagining that the region I've chosen to slot Rappan Athuk in Hyperborea is similar in climate to the Chesapeake Bay region of the US, bordering on the subtropical. I'm choosing to start the campaign during early-mid Summer, monsoon season, so I'm imagining a choppy sea, hot and humid forests, sodden swamps, lots of mosquitoes and rain, but cool and slushy further inland (north).

Hyperborea » A question about the setting as a whole » 5/16/2018 1:24 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 13

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Ghul wrote:

Yeah, it's not an open source game for anyone to develop. But anyone can use the same open source materials that we use, as found in the SRD, to come up with their own stuff. If I ever do initiate a third-party publishing license for AS&SH, it would likely be for the creation of adventures that do not include setting development: sword-and-sorcery adventures with suggested (not specific) locations on the map.  
 

 
That's kinda what I was driving at. I wouldn't suggest anyone should touch the packaged setting of "Hyperborea" outside of Northwind with intent to sell. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/nervous.png


An example of what I was talking about was like how Kobold Press uses the Pathfinder rules for their own setting of Midgard. They don't develop anything related to Paizo's Golarian setting, which, other than the stuff from the OGL, is PI.

 

The Tavern » Dungeon of Graves, Party of Six » 5/14/2018 1:02 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 13

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And I'm looking very forward to running this thing! There will, ideally, be adventures happening outside of the dungeon as well. Places to stretch the legs. Most of these will be drawn from other classic modules with some alterations. For example, there on the map is Siltmire, an ersatz coastal community that has a sinister secret involving a strange high house in the mist.

The Tavern » Dungeon of Graves, Party of Six » 5/11/2018 7:46 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 13

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Wow, that filled up quickly! Got my first six (maybe 8) players... I'll probably post the play by play here, if anyone is interested.

The Tavern » Dungeon of Graves, Party of Six » 5/10/2018 1:40 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 13

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Here are some maps for the campaign. I didn't strictly make these, just futzed and butchered existing material, so I hope they are okay to share.

This shows the coastline where I located Rappan Athuk in Hyperborea. To make it gel with the maps in the module, I needed a mostly straight coastline of approximately 150 miles (just over 6 hexes on the Hyperborea map). I was about to give up until I noticed the strand I finally located... interestingly oriented left to right on the Hyperborea map. I had been looking at up-down coastlines because that is the orientation used for the module's wilderness maps. What's great about it is that I'd forgotten that "North" on the Hyperborea map points to the pole, which, if you locate the Rappan Athuk coast on that peninsula, keeps the north pointing compass on the module maps correct.

https://i.imgur.com/ScCOwGy.png


Here is a the zoomed in map of what I anticipate the extent of the sandbox. I expect that Rappan Athuk, while central to the campaign, won't be the only thing the player characters want to do. There will be lots of side operations in neighboring lands, especially if they want to establish a stronghold.

https://i.imgur.com/7OUwSPv.png


Finally, here is the player map. Straight from the module, but I had to remove some areas of the wilderness further back from the coast to place it on that particular peninsula in Hyperborea. In this, I was also fortunate, because it turned out there weren't many particular "adventure sites" placed by the modules in those areas. It did require me to put a town there unmentioned in the module, lest the "coast road" just lead inexplicably into the ocean.

https://i.imgur.com/S7z2e7I.png

The Tavern » Dungeon of Graves, Party of Six » 5/10/2018 12:52 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 13

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This is getting good and I'm both flattered and bolstered by your enthusiasm Brock!

Sorcery » Goodberry versus Create Food & Water » 5/09/2018 8:52 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 11

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Ghul wrote:

Yes, and "fresh" is the operative word here. Typically speaking, I give freshness a five-day shelf life on most berries. After that, they are spoiling and no longer fresh. 

I've been a produce merchant. Berries are very quick to spoil, even with modern refrigeration, fungicides, and whatnot. They quickly absorb fungus from nearby fruits, and it spreads on them like wildfire. I've seen an entire cooler display of blackberries go from "fine" to "covered in white gunk" in the span of an  8 hour shift. I'd give a few berries kept in some sweaty hippy's mojo sack an hour or two at most.

In a fantasy world with giant insects, I wouldn't want to be the one carrying extemely fragrant little balls of candy, either.
 

Sorcery » Goodberry versus Create Food & Water » 5/09/2018 8:44 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 11

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And don't forget they are non-existant in extended delves underground. Dungeoneering 101. Don't eat the little brown berries.
 

The Tavern » Dungeon of Graves, Party of Six » 5/08/2018 9:42 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 13

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Let me know if your schedule opens up. I don't doubt that the turnover for this meat grinder might skew a little high.

The Tavern » Dungeon of Graves, Party of Six » 5/08/2018 2:17 am

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 13

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It has been weeks at sea since you and a group of friends set out from Port Zangerios to Dagon Bay. There, near a region called the Forest of Hope, you and your companions intend to claim Castle Calaelen, the deed to which you have recently inherited.

All you know of the property is that it was built centuries ago by an eccentric Hyperborean noble named Orlinde Calaelen. Lady Maybeth, a descendant of hers, was the last of the Calaelen line to occupy the castle before she sold it to finance an expedition into one of the subterranean ruins about the region.

The deed, which also names you "Lord (or Lady) of The Forest of Hope and its surrounds" went through various hands before finding its way into your family's possession. As near as you are aware, you alone amongst your family have shown interest in claiming the title, and the property that goes with it. Not knowing what to expect in this, your first sojourn to the mainland, you gathered together a few adventuresome souls from amongst your extended acquaintances, to aid in surveying your new property.

You and your fellows packed your belongings and booked passage from the rough-and-tumble "City of Masks" (Zangeiros) aboard the trading vessel Red Gull, with eyes toward carving from the frontier a kingdom of your own, and ears full of tales—legends of wealth won from the crypts and catacombs of civilizations that fell even before the Green Death. Certainly, you could do no worse in that city of cutthroats, slavers, and whores you so recently inhabited.

And just now, hours away from your destination, you have had your first taste of adventure in the form of a puzzle to consider. The Captain, a swart and homely half-Amazon named Antigone, has informed you that the crew refuses to sail closer to the mainland, but she'll put you on a jolly to Zelkor’s Ferry. When asked what was the meaning behind this blatant breach of the terms you'd  negotiated with her back in Zangeiros was all about, the Captain spat in

Hyperborea » A question about the setting as a whole » 5/06/2018 12:38 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 13

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None of which is to say that you couldn't use the mechanic of the game for your own campaign set in Howard's Hyborian Age, which I and a few other refs here have done with great success. Truly, the game mechanics work well for any gritty Sword and Sorcery setting. I'm betting that in the next few years some third party publishers may capitalize on the idea and introduce alternate or converted settings using the AS&SH rules.

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » Perfect Party? » 5/02/2018 5:24 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 20

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I'm looking for new players for my game but we recently had a barbarian, a barbarian/thief, a legerdemainist, and a shaman. It worked out okay. One of the things I'm loving about the old-school renaissance is that these games don't require one to master the character and party optimization mini-game that's been the norm in every iteration of D&D from Third Edition on. Players play what they want and succeed by their own skill. So I guess the answer is, I don't think anything is missing. The players can all be fighters, for example, if everyone is having fun, nothing else is needed.

General Discussion (Off-Topic) » A Needed Retro-Resurrection » 5/01/2018 3:12 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 6

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Its kind of odd that 80's retro sci-fi is trending but not sword and sorcery.

Did it really go anywhere? I mean Hercules and Xena were huge. Lord of the Rings won the Oscar. The Hobbit followup made a ton of cash. Now there's a Rings tv show. They're even trying another D&D flick in 2021. You may not get that style of filmmaking back but your sword and sorcery doesn't seem to be going away.

Tolkien and D&D is definitely not sword & sorcery. Herc/Xena... maybe? Sword and Sorcery is a pretty specific subgenre of fantasy. Think of it this way. General high fantasy can get a G to PG13.
Sword and Sorcery needs an R. That's why it was captured so well in the 80s. You had directors who cut their teeth on 70's exploitation given minimal budgets by the studios to turn up the blood, boobs and sleaze. And it was friggin' awesome.

General Discussion » ​Campaign Management Tools » 5/01/2018 3:00 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 6

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There is absolutely nothing I recommend more highly than Scrivener.

General Discussion (Off-Topic) » A Needed Retro-Resurrection » 4/28/2018 9:57 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 6

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The first entry in this article about lost 80's movie tropes got me thinking.

If you don't want to click it, here it is:

Swords, Sandals, and Sorcery

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/5cff92f6-7d5e-4a06-839b-876ca7506bc8/scale-to-width-down/627
Clash of the Titans.The 1980s were absolutely filled with films about muscular men (and sometimes women) brandishing huge swords to do battle with evil sorcerers. The biggest and best of the genre was Conan the Barbarian, the movie that made a star of Arnold Schwarzenegger and spawned sequel Conan the Destroyer and spin-off Red Sonja. The decade also gave us Clash of the Titans, The Beastmaster, Krull, Hawk the Slayer, Deathstalker, Fire and Ice, The Warrior and the Sorceress, and The Sword and the Sorcerer. Every few years the genre gets resurrected, most recently via remakes of Clash and Conan, but the heyday of swords, sandals, and sorcery is long gone.

My first thoughts were, "man, it was f-ing great being a fantasy nerd kid in the 80's". My next thought was "no wonder this is my favorite genre." My last thought was this: if 70's - 80's style horror can come back, not just in popularity but also in presentation (i.e. Stranger Things), why not sword & sorcery? I personally think those films, particularly Conan, benefited from their shoestring-budgets and reliance on grindhouse-style methods to sell the sex and brutality. Now that it appears the trend in horror is to return to its exploitation heyday, and I hope it won't be long before fantasy makes the same turn.

Sorcery » Spell Recovery » 4/24/2018 3:22 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 50

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After playing about a 1/2 dozen sessions as a 1st level witch-man in under_score's campaign, my attitude is shifting about letting mages multi-cast their spells. I'm having fun, roleplaying my character's mysterious airs, and having his two hirelings protect him until he unleashes his sleep spell. For sword-and-sorcery, at least, old-school spellcasting limits are perfect.

Bestiary » MMM - Mini-Monster Manual » 4/03/2018 10:13 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 14

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How's this for a reskinned, weird-fic friendly version of an owlbear? or Perhaps something new?

Artist=Denis Zhbankov

http://i63.tinypic.com/j912dw.jpg

Rules Discussion » Escaping "engaged in melee" as a spellcaster » 4/03/2018 8:26 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 41

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I was originally just going to pop in and say, "cool! you used my converted boar-things!" also let you know I gave them the wrong treasure class, and subsequently fixed it so they were better bugbear analogs in Hyborian/Hyperboriaen/Lemurian type settings.

But also, I'm going to try to answer your question, because no one else has, and preface this by saying I have a tendency to sound like a jerk when I'm making a case on the internet so I rarely do so. Please forgive me in advance if this sounds shitty. I'm sorry. I'm an emotional mansplainer.

I think the answer you need to hear is simple:

You just make a ruling.

You decide when the situation comes up. Only then. Not before. Not after. You don't need to tell the players how you might possibly rule on some future potential circumstance. You, the Referee, decides, and the players must respect your ruling and the game moves on.

Old school games and their rules are never going to cover every straw man scenario and they aren't meant to. Digging up hypotheticals is a waste of everyone's game time. One of the mottoes I've seen for OSR games and D&D pastiches, and I remind my players of this a lot because my group have all been playing a very tactical game (Pathfinder) for years, is "rulings, not rules." Again, your table, and your players need to understand that you make decisions as circumstance requires in the moment. It need not even be the same decision you made in a similar situation before. It might be different in another situation. You as the DM don't owe them anything but a world of adventure, danger and rewards. Consistency is considered best practices as a DM, but it isn't necessary. If you must explain your rulings or settle a hypothetical, outside the game is the time to do it. Table time is too precious.

If you want to use an AD&D-derived system like Astonishing..., explain to your players that you'll rule, fairly, based on th

Bestiary » MMM - Mini-Monster Manual » 4/01/2018 6:37 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 14

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From the same article, because who doesn't need a super-tiger? Basically I added a few Hit Dice to Jeff's core rules Tiger.

Cave TigerApp 1 (1d4) ⁞ AC 5 ⁞ MV 50 ⁞ HD 8 (hp 36)  ⁞ ATT 2 claws (1d6+1) and bite (2d6+1) ⁞ SA/D: +2 surprize; rake (4d4+2) ⁞ SV 13 ⁞ ML 10 ⁞ INT animal ⁞ DX 14 ⁞ SZ L ⁞ TC - ⁞ XP 840 ⁞ Instinct: ferocious, fearless predator
This powerful feline predator moves with a deadly grace, its reddish-orange fur slashed with black stripes.

  • chance to surprise increased by 2.
  • Should both claws hit, the animal automatically rakes for 4d4+2 damage.
~ Adapted from "Tiger," Talanian, Jeffrey P. Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of HYPERBOREA™ A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy. 2nd ed. North Wind Adventures, LLC, 2017.
https://i.imgur.com/TRLAyV6.png

Listverse wrote:

This is easily the most obscure cat in the list, being known from fragmentary remains which have yet to be formally described. I should mention that the “Pleistocene tiger” is not a separate species, but rather the “early version” of the same tigers we see today. Tigers evolved somewhere in Asia about 2 million years ago, specifically to prey on the enormous diversity of large herbivores living on the continent at the time. Tigers are the largest felines nowadays, with large Bengal and Siberian males reaching up to 300 kgs (661lbs) or more. However, during the Pleistocene, the food supply was greater, and so the tigers themselves were bigger. Some fragmentary remains (including massive jaws and fangs) have been found in Russia, China and Java, suggesting that these “Cave tigers” could reach up to 490 kgs (1080lbs) in weight, being worthy contenders for the title of largest cat ever. ~ Listverse, "10 Huge Prehi

Bestiary » MMM - Mini-Monster Manual » 4/01/2018 5:58 pm

Jimm.Iblis
Replies: 14

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Haven't posted in awhile. Was looking at giant lagomorphs because of Easter, but came across this far more fascinating creature...

Giant CheetahApp 1-4 ⁞ AC 4 ⁞ MV 50 (sprint 150) ⁞ HD 5 (hp 20)  ⁞ ATT 2 claws (1d4) bite (2d6) ⁞ SA/D: +1 surprize; sprint; rake ⁞ SV 14 ⁞ ML 8 ⁞ INT animal ⁞ DX 12 ⁞ SZ L ⁞ TC - ⁞ XP 300 ⁞ Instinct: fierce carnivore
This large, sleek feline has a golden coat spotted with black. Its long and powerful legs are obviously capable of great speed.


  • Because of their camouflage coloration and hunting skill, they surprise on 3 in 6.
  • These felines can burst into triple speed, a 45" "sprint" for 3 rounds. They must rest 3 turns before again sprinting. Cheetahs can spring 10 feet upwards or forward as much as 20 feet.
  • If both forepaws hit during an attack, the cheetah automatically rakes with its rear claws for 2d4 damage.

~ adapted from "Cheetah." In Monster Manual II, by Gary Gygax and Jeff Easley. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR Hobbies, 1983.

listverse wrote:

The Giant Cheetah (Acinonyx pardinensis), belonged to the same genus as our modern day Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), and probably looked very similar, but it was much bigger.

At around 120-150 kgs (265-331lbs), it was as large as an African lioness, and was able to take on larger prey than its delicate modern day counterpart.

The Giant Cheetah was also adapted to fast running, but there’s some debate on whether it could run as fast as the modern Cheetah, due to its larger weight, which, according to some, probably made it somewhat slower.

Others, however, have suggested that the Giant Cheetah, having longer legs and bigger heart and lungs, was probably able to run as fast, or even faster, than the cheetah does today – that’s over 115 kph (72mph)! The Giant Cheetah lived in Europe and Asia (from Germany and France to Ind

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