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?

11/05/2017 9:20 am  #21


Re: Demihumans!

I also have a strong urge to use ASSH for more high fantasy campaign settings and have been pondering which rule-set to pinch demi-humans from.

Labyrinth Lord and Swords and Wizardry both seem a bit too basic and lacking in flavour for my taste. The other system I considered is Adventures Dark & Deep.
I'm loath to introduce something that might upset the rules-balance of ASSH.

Any chance of high fantasy optional supplement Jeffrey? http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

 

Last edited by AxBattler (11/05/2017 9:21 am)

 

11/05/2017 5:53 pm  #22


Re: Demihumans!

I do have them on my blog as options for Astonishing Swordsmen And Sorcerers of Hyperborea on my blog.

That said I've already got a player intrigued by the dangerous elf idea so I'm going to make a detailed re-write of demi-humans for Astonishing 2.

Edit: After all: Dwarves and Hyperborea: A Fictional Iceland Baedeker Guide https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IPQGPY6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_ss6.zbR9X17GF

Last edited by bat (11/05/2017 6:55 pm)

 

11/06/2017 6:16 pm  #23


Re: Demihumans!

I often wonder how people see the Lord of the Rings as 'high fantasy' considering that it is a story of loss, horrible alchemical experiments (Saruman creating the uruk-hai), and the reduction of the world from one of wonder and magic to the mundane world we have inherited. It is fairly low magic and dismal. Defeating the great evil still ruins everything. In essence, the world became what the goblins wanted, one of noise, pollution, destruction, war and machinery.

 

11/06/2017 6:42 pm  #24


Re: Demihumans!

bat wrote:

I often wonder how people see the Lord of the Rings as 'high fantasy' considering that it is a story of loss, horrible alchemical experiments (Saruman creating the uruk-hai), and the reduction of the world from one of wonder and magic to the mundane world we have inherited. It is fairly low magic and dismal. Defeating the great evil still ruins everything. In essence, the world became what the goblins wanted, one of noise, pollution, destruction, war and machinery.

Can you give an example of a literary work that you would consider to be "high fantasy"? http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

 


"The fear of death, its risk each time, is one of the most stimulating parts of the game. It therefore behooves the referee to include as many mystifying and dangerous areas as is consistent with a reasonable chance for survival." - J. Eric Holmes
 

11/06/2017 7:08 pm  #25


Re: Demihumans!

I would consider Earthsea high fantasy. And The Hobbit (which is told from Bilbo's point of view, The Red Book of Westmarch has several writers, which may have taken the sense of wonder that Bilbo had out of it). The Silmarillion is also high fantasy, with magic all over the place. Most of Dunsany's stories I would also consider high fantasy, and even Shannara. Edding's Belgariad. Heck, the Elric stories are very high fantasy, with pacts to elementals and forces of Chaos here and there, magical artifacts abound and Tolkien just had ONE ring, Elric has to deal with TWO swords.

 

11/07/2017 1:26 pm  #26


Re: Demihumans!

Thanks. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

So your yardstick for "high fantasy" would be related to the number of magic items and/or magic spells in evidence? I would guess the people who categorize LotR as "high fantasy" are using a different yardstick (specifically, I believe they are probably considering fantasy with a "legendary" or "mythical" tone to be "high fantasy", while fantasy with a "grittier" or more "naturalistic" tone is considered "sword & sorcery").

Last edited by Blackadder23 (11/07/2017 1:26 pm)


"The fear of death, its risk each time, is one of the most stimulating parts of the game. It therefore behooves the referee to include as many mystifying and dangerous areas as is consistent with a reasonable chance for survival." - J. Eric Holmes
 

11/07/2017 3:59 pm  #27


Re: Demihumans!

No, I was being a smart apple about the swords.
To me Lord of the Rings is just a dismal tale of loss.
Now gritty is different, I'd put Glen Cook's Black Company series into the gritty category.

 

11/07/2017 4:34 pm  #28


Re: Demihumans!

I consider High Fantasy to be anything where the world is drastically different than ours.
LotR with armies of monsters and Demi humans,etc.
I don't consider Game of Thrones high fantasy, even though it has an undead army and dragons, because it's still recognizable as similar to the real world.


"But not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood" -REH
Rambling Conan Blog

 
 

11/13/2017 1:49 pm  #29


Re: Demihumans!

In Lin Carter's Imaginary Worlds he goes into some depth regarding Fritz Leiber's term, 'secondary world' which just means a world like ours with recognizable things in it like horses, trees, rivers, gnomes, things we see or know are in this world as well. I believe that this is the root most often used in fantasy tales, high, low or in between. 

 

11/21/2017 12:01 pm  #30


Re: Demihumans!

High Fantasy = Save the World
Sword & Sorcery = Save Your Ass
 


"I, Satampra Zeiros of Uzuldaroum, shall write with my left hand, since I have no longer any other, the tale of everything that befell Tirouv Ompallios and myself in the shrine of the god Tsathoggua..."
 

11/21/2017 12:02 pm  #31


Re: Demihumans!

Aaaaaand on topic:

Demihumans are restricted to Underborea.

No halflings... this ain't your mother's Shire.
Elves aren't immortal fey... they're all Undead.
Dwarves are per AS&SH. Or they're rock-creatures... that worship Medusae.
Gnomes are... on the menu.


"I, Satampra Zeiros of Uzuldaroum, shall write with my left hand, since I have no longer any other, the tale of everything that befell Tirouv Ompallios and myself in the shrine of the god Tsathoggua..."
 

12/08/2017 4:06 pm  #32


Re: Demihumans!

bat wrote:

For the second edition and second campaign go I am going to include these races, not as playable options, as I'd like to, but as they are portrayed in myths and legends and in S&S stories, on the fringes. As creatures to avoid or appease. Gnomes become Nisse, Elves deadly creatures of the forest, Dwarfs become more martial and less of a degenerate race.

I have done something similar with my Conan comics influenced Hyborian Age campaign--currently using Dungeon World but I'm swooning with love for the AS&SH system... I personally believe demihumans can work in Sword and Sorcery, even in Conan's world, with some heady qualifications and warnings. I was pleased to see that AS&SH's conception of dwarfs was very similar to mine! Here is a link to my campaign's demihuman page.
https://bonesofbabylon.obsidianportal.com/wiki_pages/Races
 


"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
 

12/09/2017 8:19 am  #33


Re: Demihumans!

The way I get the Conan world is humanity is alone, versus the dark cosmos and the hordes of unspeakable things which occupy it! Still there is of course entities that work for good, though rare and like Yag-kosha, but still an alien and he still came from a world of cruelty and was fleeing it.

I not opposed to people creating their worlds the way they wish to create them, Celtic myth includes elves and Norse of course includes dwarves. There also has been a few statements in Howard's Conan works of the concept of goblins, but whether they exist or not is another matter.

It is just I prefer, the doom and gloom feeling of isolation in the dark ....

The truth is I enjoy the Lord of the Ring format, just not in the Hyborian Age and not think it works for Hyperborea, either.

 

 

12/09/2017 9:54 am  #34


Re: Demihumans!

If I were to add elves to my fantasy games I would make them akin to Melniboneans. In fact, the Hyperborean race in my campaign was influenced by the Melniboneans both as a nod to classic Sword & Sorcery and to ensure they are truly distinct from "lesser men". The Melniboneans are a highly decadent long-lived sorcerous race in decline, proud of their heritage and disdainful of "lesser races", and possessed of a perverse morality that the "sub-humans" would find baffling or frightening. It seems like a perfect fit for the Hyperboreans to me.

My biggest issue with demihumans in fantasy is that they suffer from "humans in funny suits" syndrome, where they think and act just like humans with exaggerated cultural or psychological traits. It's especially grating when people apply 21sh century sensibilities and morality to the mix. 

Last edited by Brock Savage (12/09/2017 10:08 am)

 

12/09/2017 2:45 pm  #35


Re: Demihumans!

Running a public ASSH game and I only had one person ask to be an elf (and they will be a Hyperborean) and nobody wanted to be a gnome, much to my chagrin.

Oh, there will be demi-humans, weird and alien types in the background, ready to foil the plots and schemes of those humans!

HUMANS!

 

12/09/2017 4:24 pm  #36


Re: Demihumans!

Brock Savage wrote:

<snip> the Hyperborean race in my campaign was influenced by the Melniboneans both as a nod to classic Sword & Sorcery and to ensure they are truly distinct from "lesser men". The Melniboneans are a highly decadent long-lived sorcerous race in decline, proud of their heritage and disdainful of "lesser races", and possessed of a perverse morality that the "sub-humans" would find baffling or frightening. It seems like a perfect fit for the Hyperboreans to me. 

Moorcock's Melniboneans were indeed a major inspiration, so you are spot-on, Brock.
 


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

12/11/2017 9:12 am  #37


Re: Demihumans!

Ghul wrote:

Brock Savage wrote:

<snip> the Hyperborean race in my campaign was influenced by the Melniboneans both as a nod to classic Sword & Sorcery and to ensure they are truly distinct from "lesser men". The Melniboneans are a highly decadent long-lived sorcerous race in decline, proud of their heritage and disdainful of "lesser races", and possessed of a perverse morality that the "sub-humans" would find baffling or frightening. It seems like a perfect fit for the Hyperboreans to me. 

Moorcock's Melniboneans were indeed a major inspiration, so you are spot-on, Brock.
 

I've kind of doubled down on this and, mythically at least, the Hyperboreans at the height of their power made the Melnibonéans look like a bunch of chumps. A cosmos-spanning empire of radically self-willed sorcerer-narcissists. The fun part is that the time spans of some of the groups they had contact with have trouble taking into account the few thousand years of human time since the Hyperboreans declined and so still show up on Hyperborea expecting things to be a mite different.

 

12/11/2017 8:43 pm  #38


Re: Demihumans!

If you can accept an octopus or elephant-headed alien in weird fantasy, I don't see much reason to exclude isolated divergent humanoids that are statistically elves or halflings, even if they aren't specifically called that in the fiction. I like how orcs are presented as swinish savages. I would have hobgoblins too as mi-go agents.


"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
 

12/12/2017 6:18 am  #39


Re: Demihumans!

Yeah, if you've got orcs, the cat does sort of seem out of the proverbial bag, so to speak. I've toyed with some limited introduction of them. Perhaps a group of them enter a cave and exit into Hyperborea, becoming a lost tribe. Not the gnomes though. Unless the orcs need some crunchy snacks. 

 

12/12/2017 11:09 am  #40


Re: Demihumans!

I don't know. I think there's a pretty major difference in degree between sponge-headed aliens and elves or hobgoblins. The latter carry an accreted shell of gaming history that was part of what drove me away from other games and to AS&SH in the first place. I just find it much more interesting to have people choosing to serve the mi-go than monsters.

Though I also haven't used Hyperborean orcs since the first few sessions we played. Much happier using ape-people or other, more specifically AS&SH threats. Also, I think my players like quoting Planet of the Apes: The Musical.

 

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.