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Being the Official Discussion Forum for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea


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Literary Inspirations » Ranking Appendix N Authors » 10/12/2021 8:11 am

Yeah, it's somewhat of a shame that they aren't turning one of the posthumous Tolkien books into a movie rather than the weird dumpster fire that Amazon is producing, but I understand it's because the Tolkien estate only sold the rights for Hobbit & LOTR.  These later ones would all make good movies with their narrower scopes.  And yeah, there are some pretty good historical inspirations out there for gaming. 

Literary Inspirations » Ranking Appendix N Authors » 10/11/2021 5:43 pm

Not for me, man.  I read LOTR for probably the 12th time this past summer, albeit the first time in 20 years, and still enjoyed it far more than anything by the like of Robert Jordan, George Martin, etc.  I also really like the Silmarillion & re-read that last year, though it's a tougher read of course.  And far superior to the other Appendix N authors in my opinion, but I'm a historian by trade and I think it's that deep history that appeals to me.

Literary Inspirations » Ranking Appendix N Authors » 10/08/2021 7:43 pm

I think you're the first person I've ever encountered who ranks The Hobbit above LOTR & The Silmarillion.

Music » Inspiring Metal Music » 10/06/2021 6:59 pm

Spider of Leng
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Just discovered these guys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB8fl8QbSc8&t=100s

Apparently they have several earlier albums as well.  Fun stuff.
 

The Tavern » Greater Baltimore Area? » 10/03/2021 10:32 am

I wish I still lived out that way.  I've done a bit of gaming recently on roll 20, but I find VTT gaming pretty unsatisfying. 

Literary Inspirations » Ranking Appendix N Authors » 10/02/2021 8:26 am

Good points.  The main problem I see with much of today's fantasy is the fact that either due to pressure from the publishers or the authors own desires, you have way too many series that are way too long.  The reader gets buried in names and plot hooks that won't show up again for several books.  The Wheel of Time, for example, is just plain awful.  14 long books that should have been 3.  In one case an entire book is just the previous book from the perspectives of different characters!  I didn't finish it, thankfully, but it may be the worst.  George Martin can't finish his series because even he can't keep track of all the characters and plot lines.  Other series, like Shannara & the Drizz't books, just won't end, presumably because the lcd fantasy folks keep buying them. So I'm with you on that front.

Literary Inspirations » Ranking Appendix N Authors » 10/01/2021 7:13 am

Yeah, I found Vance's writing to get old pretty fast.  Especially in Dying Earth.  I read the Planet of Adventure series first and found that one a little better, but the Cugel stories in particular just drag on.  And since he doesn't bother describing lots of things that get weird names it's sort of like "why bother mentioning them."  It's like reading Dr. Seuss without the illustrations.

As I think I mentioned here, Poul Anderson (Broken Sword) is just a meandering Avengers movie.  The John Carter novels are a Vin Dielesque series of loosely connected chase scenes.  Fritz Leiber is just dull beyond belief, with the Lankmar stories essentially being boring "buddy cop/heist" stories in a Medieval setting.  For Saberhagen I read the Changeling Earth and it felt much like many of these others.  A vague setting, lots of rather pointless chases with anti-climatic endings and ridiculous coincidences.  Most significantly a rather underwhelming big bad in the Orcus non-character.  I get that's partly the point, but meh. 

I read Zelazny's Amber series (or at least the first few books) a long time ago so I don't recall much beyond finding it slow.  Moorcock was too whiny, emo goth for my tastes.  Lord Dunsany, like William Morris, is just a bit too archaic, though there are some brilliantly evocative images in their books.

For the most part, with the exception of Leiber I do like some elements in most of these authors' works, but I just don't idolize them to the extent so many do, with the exception of Tolkien and, to a lesser degree, Lovecraft.  And of course many people can't stand them.

Literary Inspirations » Ranking Appendix N Authors » 9/29/2021 7:47 pm

Despite my long love of D&D and fantasy literature in general, I realized a couple years ago that there were quite a few Appendix N authors I had never read.  Growing up in the 1970s-80s, I had read mostly fantasy fiction from that era (Piers Anthony, David Eddings, Stephen R. Donaldson, etc., with a couple notable exceptions like Tolkien.

So I decided to dive into the Appendix N authors and frankly, found most of them rather disappointing.  Partly the writing styles, partly the ridiculous or non-existent plots and the general repetitiveness of some of them.  Reading lots of these books were like watching one of those Fast and Furious movies.  Fun for awhile, but get old rather fast.  Anyhow I decided to rank the authors I've read, with 5 as the highest and 1 as the lowest.  Note that I haven't read every book by every author, but in most cases I've at least read one of the classic works.  This may be a bit controversial, but it's just my opinion after all & I'd love to hear how others view these classic authors.

Poul Anderson--2
Edgar Rice Burroughs--3
Lin Carter--3
L. Sprague de Camp--3
August Derleth--3
Lord Dunsany--2
Robert E. Howard--4
Fritz Leiber--1
H.P. Lovecraft--4
Michael Moorcock--2
Andre Norton--2
Andrew Offutt--3
Fred Saberhagen--2
Clark Ashton Smith--3 [Technically not Appendix N, but should be]
J.R.R. Tolkien--5
Jack Vance--2
Manly Wade Wellman--2
Roger Zelazny--2

Thoughts?
 

General Discussion » Introduction Thread » 9/05/2021 11:01 am

Spider of Leng
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Welcome to the fray!  Great group of people here and the creator himself maintains a very active presence on these boards, which is pretty cool.

Rules Discussion » Combat question » 8/04/2021 8:14 pm

Dungeons & Dragons effectively ceased to exist in 1997.  Luckily, various stalwarts, including our own Mr. Talanian revived its spirit and wrenched the dice away from the soulless abominations that continued to masquerade as D&D after TSR.  It's like Hitler's National Socialism.  You might call it socialism, but....https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/devious.png

HYPERBOREA 3E » What makes it a Third Edition? » 7/25/2021 8:41 am

Spider of Leng
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Ghul wrote:

With the inclusion of more Lemurian culture in the core game (and not mostly limited to the adventure module, Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess), we've added the Lemurian deity Boetzu, which might fit what you seek:

BOETZU, “The Celestial Serpent”
Deity of Law associated with the sun, light, law, agriculture, society, protection, duty,
enlightenment, and the circle of life. Boetzu is said to manifest in the guise of a gargantuan,
serpentine dragon, or as a grizzled old sage.
 
Typical Clergy: clerics, monks, paladins, priests, shamans
Typical Followers: any (esp. Lemurians)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

For combat, we were more easily able to spell out the things you can do within the framework of these broad categories: melee, missiles, magic, movement, and other actions.

While we don't have specific simulations spelled out in detail (i.e., Billy's cataphract makes a charge attack with a long spear. although his side lost initiative, and the lizard-man javelin wielder should go first, the referee is using the first strike rule, so Billy's cataphract gets to go first because of his weapon's larger weapon class), I do feel that the format and explanatory text makes each aspect of combat much more understandable than in previous editions. 
 

New deity sounds good; I know at least one player who will like him. 

As for combat, I don't recall ever reading the combat sections closely.  We just play it like we've always run D&D and have had zero issues with that.  Others outside my regular group that I've played with do the same thing.  I suppose if you're new to the game or older editions of D&D it might seem confusing.

General Discussion » Introduction Thread » 7/23/2021 10:22 am

Spider of Leng
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Ghul wrote:

bald_headed_yeti wrote:

Recently started playing ASSH and backed the 3E KS, really like the the rules and I'm running a solo game elsewhere but have expanded to include a map of Greyhawk..

Thanks!

Welcome aboard! I feel like a bald-headed yeti myself. I've lost all my hair on my head, and I think it slipped down to my back. TMI? 

At least you've still got just the two arms.
 

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » Thaumaturgical Warlocks and Legerdemainists » 7/19/2021 11:28 am

Funny; just sketching out some character possibilities for an OSR mashup (Hyperborea/Labyrinth Lord/Swords & Wizardry) down the road and one of the PC's will be a Half-elven Illusionist/Thief, so basically a Ledgerdemainist, but I decided we should call him a Mountebank because it sounds cooler. 

Definitely like these titles.  Reminds me of 1e.  Much cooler to say "I'm Akazzikus the Conjurer" as opposed to "I'm Akazzikus the 3rd level magic-user."  DCC retains the level titles so I try to encourage my players to use them in the game for added flavor.

Literary Inspirations » Dying Earth KS » 7/17/2021 10:35 pm

I'm back and forth on DCC.  It's got a cool vibe and I really like a few of their tweaks and incorporate them into my other OSR games.  But it can be a bit clunky at the table as there are tons of charts & tables that can slow things down.  On the bright side, you can buy the paperback version of their rules for around $20.  But, as I said, I think it's easy enough to pillage from there and port it to Hyperborea.

Literary Inspirations » Dying Earth KS » 7/17/2021 11:25 am

Yeah, I'm going a bit crazy with Kickstarters lately.  The best thing about this one is that it's looking like we'll have our stuff in a few months.  The DCC one has a projected September 2022 delivery date.

Literary Inspirations » Dying Earth KS » 7/16/2021 9:11 am

Many of you may already know about this & I certainly don't want to distract you from the KS here, but FYI Goodman Games' KS for The Dying Earth boxed set & modules is also currently running and may be of interest to folks here.  It's written for DCC, but conversions to Hyperborea aren't that hard.  From their preview videos, it's looking pretty cool.  I've backed it and the KS here so I'm putting my money where my mouth is.  They also recently released an Empire of the East supplement, which ties into Fred Saberhagen's trilogy.  So there's lots of Appendix N gaming goodness to be had out there these days.

HYPERBOREA 3E » HYPERBPREA 3E Kickstarter Campaign Launching Thursday, July 1! » 7/03/2021 8:11 am

So Jeff will take a stretch limo to Gamehole Con and bring all the new books with him?

Announcements » HYPERBOREA 3E! » 7/03/2021 8:07 am

I actually like character sheet pads on slightly more durable paper, but pdfs will do.  And, as I've said before, I greatly prefer the 2 page sheet so I'm glad to see it here.   I'll live with the extra spell sheets or bust out my classic Armory sheets from the early 90s which have ample room for spells on just two tightly designed pages.

HYPERBOREA 3E » HYPERBPREA 3E Kickstarter Campaign Launching Thursday, July 1! » 7/01/2021 8:39 pm

I have to admit this almost slipped my mind tonight.  But I'm in at the Metal level.  Looking forward to some leatherette goodness.

HYPERBOREA 3E » What makes it a Third Edition? » 6/29/2021 8:26 pm

Spider of Leng
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Please tell me that Men of Leng, etc. are not becoming "persons of Leng" or some other politically correct term.  I'm in on the KS for the new edition of The One Ring and they dropped the alpha rules today and people are actually whining because "Men of Bree" is a culture, as opposed to calling them "Bree-folk," or some other supposedly more progressive & inclusive term. 

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