Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Being the Official Discussion Forum for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea™


Visit us at the HYPERBOREA web site!




You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

General Discussion » Some NPC questions » 1/11/2018 6:19 pm

rhialto
Replies: 9

Go to post

Brock Savage wrote:

I use this as a rough gauge for level demographics in Hyperborea. I hope you find it helpful, it uses Conan and Thoth-Amon as examples.

Thanks much, extremely useful! I will show this to my group, so they understand how lucky they are to be 7th level...http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

General Discussion » Some NPC questions » 1/11/2018 10:21 am

rhialto
Replies: 9

Go to post

Blackadder23 wrote:

The vast majority of NPC's in 1e are assumed to be 0 level "normal men" (which means not only that they haven't gained levels, but that they can't gain them); it's later versions of the game that have a lot of non-adventuring "classes" with levels (3rd level "experts" and "nobles" and the like). Comparing Swampgate and Hommlet, I don't believe AS&SH is greatly different from 1e in this respect. There are some classed NPC's of various levels, but most are "normal men" of 0 level.

If I wanted to give an NPC special skills or abilities, I would just do so; NPC's in Old School games don't have to follow the same rules as PC's. I probably wouldn't give 0 level NPC's any special combat bonuses. They might have a fearsome reputation against other 0 level NPC's, but in my view even 1st level fighters are "chosen of the gods" (until the gods decide to let them die from a giant centipede bite, of course) and should be able to put 0 level combatants in the shade. Just my opinion!

This: even 1st-level PC's are a cut above the vast majority of NPC's, and only truly extraordinary NPC's should have a class and level above 0. With respect to the Hyrkanians example I'd probably describe them using Parthian shots, other trick shots, etc. (i.e., some of the AS&SH advanced combat maneuvers) without penalty, but no bonuses. Leaders would be the only ones with a class and level, much as followers attracted by PC's of high level.

Rules Discussion » Running past foes » 1/02/2018 4:43 pm

rhialto
Replies: 12

Go to post

Put me in the "some other manner" camp of "situation dependent": depends on how big the gap is, how the action is described by the player, what the other combatants are doing, etc. When all that is known I'm on the side of Extraordinary Feat of Dex (or Str, if someone described their action as bull-rushing their way through): it uses the RAW, and I like to encourage my players to be imaginative and creative when describing their heroic actions.

Rules Discussion » House Rules? » 12/31/2017 8:56 am

rhialto
Replies: 74

Go to post

cudgel wrote:

I like the idea of necromancy pushing your alignment into the chaotic and or evil realm. This reminds me of the alignment system from Stormbringer. In that system there is only law and chaos, though you ca subscribe to balance and be somewhere between. At higher power characters have to choose. Until then your actions move you closer to one of poles or you strive for balance and stay in the center. All magic is chaotic and the use of magic moves you to chaos.

Something like this could be a good house rule. No good or evil, the only alignments are Law, Chaos, or Neutrality.

Law is not necessarily good, a rigid and unforgiving enforcement of rules is very oppressive.

While chaos is not necessarily evil, imagine wild primitive people and druids.

I actually started my Atlantis game using Stormbringer 5th edition, then switched over to AS&SH a few years ago: I originally only had the Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic alignments, but have since reverted to AS&SH RAW. But it worked just fine, with the only difficulty being acceptance of the house rule by my group.

Announcements » HYPERBOREA: Beasts and Cannibals » 12/23/2017 12:09 pm

rhialto
Replies: 18

Go to post

Having played in The Anthropophagi of Xambaala a couple of years ago, I greatly look forward to these.

Rules Discussion » Rolling Attributes » 12/20/2017 5:44 am

rhialto
Replies: 43

Go to post

Handy Haversack wrote:

I guess I'm super lucky in that none of my players ever played the newer-school games. But to me this sounds awful. Maybe I just embrace a higher-lethality game, but I find that the blowback is worse when the carefully crafted character dies an hour an in than when the third or fourth "set of stats waiting for a post hoc story" makes it to second level.

I don't know. I feel like even my letting them roll 4d6 is super indulgent and obviates even having dice at all!

It's possible I'm a bad person?

All I know is I like every bad dice roll more than any bad person.

Yes, carefully-crafted characters are simply one way to play, but they're as old-school as Call of Cthulhu or RuneQuest. But the blowback consequence is spot on, and the chief reason I don't run that style of game.

Rules Discussion » Rolling Attributes » 12/20/2017 5:36 am

rhialto
Replies: 43

Go to post

mabon5127 wrote:

rhialto wrote:

One idea I liked from the old DragonQuest game was rolling to see what your point total was, with fewer points allowing a higher max in any attribute, and more points having a lower max in any attribute. Something like that would be interesting to try, and still sort of grognardish. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smart.png

I remember that system and that mechanic!  Played a lot of Dragon Quest back in the day. Lots of fun but it did read like a legal document.

Indeed, and yet still a solid game for a particular style.

Rules Discussion » Rolling Attributes » 12/19/2017 3:19 pm

rhialto
Replies: 43

Go to post

One idea I liked from the old DragonQuest game was rolling to see what your point total was, with fewer points allowing a higher max in any attribute, and more points having a lower max in any attribute. Something like that would be interesting to try, and still sort of grognardish. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smart.png

Rules Discussion » Rolling Attributes » 12/19/2017 5:58 am

rhialto
Replies: 43

Go to post

DMPrata wrote:

Don’t forget the 2:1 attribute adjustment. One can roll 3d6 or 4d6 in order and still modify the character to be closer to his desired ideal—just at a cost compared with a player who takes what the dice give him.

Yes, I often forget about this, and will remind them next time.

Rules Discussion » Rolling Attributes » 12/19/2017 5:57 am

rhialto
Replies: 43

Go to post

mabon5127 wrote:

Interesting story. I wonder how often players are successfully converted to OSR from the newer games?

Well, to be fair, it took me quite a while, and a couple of things stand out: a successful introduction to Classic Traveller (which I also run for them), and the ability to highlight how AS&SH accomplishes similar effects with much less overhead than PF. For example, Fighters are the best at fighting, without having decision trees (feats) at every level; the non-standard task resolution allows them to leverage their backgrounds to attempt just about anything, without a prescriptive list (skills) to consult; and tactics are easier, since there are fewer tactical factors to consider, though the chief one is still one's imagination. 

Rules Discussion » Rolling Attributes » 12/18/2017 6:04 pm

rhialto
Replies: 43

Go to post

Grimmshade wrote:

I guess I'm the hippy, although I prefer punk. Even though I come from the dawn of the RPG, I generally allow point spread assigned Attributes. Three reasons for this:
1) We play pulp / heroic Conan type campaigns.
2) My players (and I) have a character concept going into the game, and don't do great with the "play what your delt" philosophy.
3) We all roll like crap most of the time. If those Attributes in the original post were from our group everyone would have at least 3 or 4 Attributes of 8 or less. Seriously, rolled characters in our group start out below any of the NPC's found in the town and adventure in the 2e book. I'd prefer they all get to play characters more like the pregens in the 2e book (all of which have fairly good Attributes).

Just my anti-roll 2 cents.

(I freely admit that the downside is that nobody ever plays the old worn out soldier, or such. It's hard enough however to get players accepting that rogues and wizards aren't super combatants like most "modern" games.

My group tends towards this too, but they have other opportunities to indulge this way, so I was able to convince them to try 4d6 drop lowest, in order, "just this once". I may have meant "once" as in "in all my AS&SH campaigns", but even I don't know for sure.

Rules Discussion » Rolling Attributes » 12/18/2017 5:59 pm

rhialto
Replies: 43

Go to post

mabon5127 wrote:

[
I think players invest more in characters they like.  If they focus on crummy attributes then I as the DM won't have fun either. I had a player roll up a cryomancer with a 7 strength and 7 dexterity.  He is embracing this as part of his character.  Would he have been happier with a 15+ in each of those? Maybe, but that is the type of player he is.

I get to play on occasion under another DM so I get to understand the players position.  Its helpful when I run.
 

I think it's important to discuss this before the game begins: I did with my group, knowing they were more familiar with Pathfinder and it's stultifying build process (IMO, of course http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/tongue.png
) and attribute budget. I'm okay with the latter, but asked them to trust me on the rolled attributes option. Now that they're all 6th-7th level the investment is there, and when they narrowly dodged a TPK this past weekend I could tell how much: they asked for a break to regroup right after, and discussed just how closely they all came to making up new characters...

Rules Discussion » Rolling Attributes » 12/18/2017 2:27 pm

rhialto
Replies: 43

Go to post

I've told my players that what mostly makes them heroic, and a cut above the NPCs, is their level: that neatly encapsulates all the intangibles that elevate them above the madding crowd. If they also happen to have some good attributes that's a bonus, and more in the vein of Conan, Kane, John Carter, etc. Which is fine, too, if that's the tone of the game.

Rules Discussion » Rolling Attributes » 12/17/2017 3:22 pm

rhialto
Replies: 43

Go to post

Interesting approach, and similar to what I did: 4d6 drop lowest, but in order. Everyone wound up qualifying for the class they wanted, and the party has a Fighter with Str 11 and Legerdemainist with Con 17. And one of the nice things about AS&SH is that, for example, the Fighter with Str 11 is still the best combatant, due to Great Mastery with Bastard Sword. In fact, my group is more familiar with Pathfinder, and they have remarked how different this is. One of our youngest players (13), who was guest-playing the Fighter (and has now assumed the role full-time), said "This is not an optimal Fighter build." Very true, because it's a randomly-rolled character, and still perfectly enjoyable. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

General Discussion » Hyperborean Encounter Tables 2! » 12/16/2017 7:46 am

rhialto
Replies: 26

Go to post

Thanks BA23 and Handy: nice collaboration.

General Discussion » Pre-emptive die rolling » 12/13/2017 8:12 am

rhialto
Replies: 9

Go to post

I admit I've never heard of self-assigning rolls, and your first three bullets capture the way I play. So, IMHO, you'd be better off establishing that as the Rules of Play, and not allow self-assigning rolls. 

General Discussion » Sorcery in the original Conan stories » 12/09/2017 9:00 am

rhialto
Replies: 58

Go to post

Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures has an interesting take on magic: Cantrips require a roll to cast (under Int or Wis), Spells work as per normal, and Rituals require an hour/Ritual level to cast and a roll (again vs Int or Wis). A failed Cantrip roll means the player can choose either to lose their ability to cast sorcery for the rest of the day, or some DM-chosen mishap occurs; a failed Ritual roll means the Ritual still works, but with some DM-chosen side-effect.

Sorcery » AS&SH 2nd edition Prayer Books » 12/07/2017 7:06 pm

rhialto
Replies: 5

Go to post

I have broadly re-interpreted the rule as: any sorcerer can study any sorcerous script (magician, cleric or any of the sorcerous subclasses) and attempt to learn its secrets, with some attendant risk. The chance to learn is based on the Magician/Cleric Chance to Learn New Spell (d% vs. Int or Wis, as per Tables 4 & 5), the risk of some misfortune striking is a Non-Standard Task resolution (throw of x-in-6, as per p.137) and then avoiding the misfortune triggers a Sorcery Saving Throw.

This is part of my general "Yes, but..." attitude when it comes to rules: you can try just about anything, but there's usually risk.
 

Rules Discussion » Common Tongue » 12/06/2017 4:37 pm

rhialto
Replies: 30

Go to post

jcstephens wrote:

Koine Greek would probably be the closest historical equivalent:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koine_Greek

 

Thanks, very interesting. Solidifies my choice of "common regional tongues", though I guess technically they'd be "supraregional".

Sorcery » AS&SH 2nd edition Prayer Books » 12/06/2017 4:32 pm

rhialto
Replies: 5

Go to post

So I've been slowly reading the hardback and came across the passage Jeff hinted at in this thread about Clerics appropriating prayer books of other Clerics (p.137 of 2e). I like the rule, and have been using something similar for all Sorcerers in my game. Just curious if others have been using this very loosely-described rule?

Board footera

“Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea”, “AS&SH”, and all other North Wind Adventures product names and their respective logos are trademarks of North Wind Adventures, LLC in the USA and other countries. ©2017 North Wind Adventures, LLC.