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Adventures » Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess [spoilers therein] » 9/20/2019 8:11 am

Awesome stuff!  This will be our group's next module.

General Discussion » First Session Zero - feedback (long) » 9/13/2019 6:41 pm

Outstanding and perfectly captures the spirit of "rulings over rules."  If it's in character and makes sense, let them try it.  I hate that skill/feat crap that over burdens so many so-called "modern games." 

Forum Troubleshooting » Password Recovery Problem » 9/13/2019 6:30 pm

Yeah, it happened to me last week for a couple days, then inexplicably I was logged back in....we're all just pawns of the Great Race I guess.

General Discussion » First Session Zero - feedback (long) » 9/10/2019 9:29 pm

Funny; I can still only roll stats in the "proper" order:

And for my D&D derived games, this shall remain the case, though I'm not above adding comeliness for AD&D if it's on the character sheet....

Rules Discussion » House rules and changes to rules » 9/04/2019 8:27 pm

Regarding my 20 hp kicker houserule: If the players are legit rolling,after a few levels, with the exception of mages to some extent, it's not that much of an advantage.  By the time the characters are 6th level or whatever they are generally the same as pcs who would have high "normal" hit points.  But it is immensely helpful for surviving the first couple levels, unless of course, you get a massive critical. 

On a related note, I recall back in the day when people always seemed to have characters with near max hit points and swear they legit rolled them.  The worst was a guy with a barbarian PC with 18 CON (of course) who had 176 hit points at 10th level!  He claimed all the d12 rolls were legit.  And according to UA, barbarians got double hp bonuses for high constitution.

Sorry for the digression; always interesting to see other people's house rules.

Adventures » Kraggoth Manor » 8/10/2019 11:10 pm

Yeah, all the PCs are currently 6th level.  So that sets them up perfectly for "Forgotten Fane" and "Beneath the Comet" in advance of the two on the current KS.  Then, whoever survives will be in my Labyrinth Lord cross-over Dark Treasury fetch quest finale.  So far the AS&SH party has done considerably better than the LL group.  None of the original party members has died here whereas the other group lost 3 of their original 8 members, though they picked up a couple hirelings.  It'll be interesting to  see who makes it to that last set of adventures, which is written for levels 12 and up.

Adventures » Kraggoth Manor » 8/09/2019 8:46 am

Yeah, the goal is to go through all the published adventures in preparation for my own Dark Treasury campaign.  They've been a bit lucky so far, with no deaths, though several near misses.  Our house rule is down at 0 HP and dead at -10.  Three have been within this threshold over their careers.  Luckily, the shaman wasn't one of them.

Looking forward to the new KS adventures.  Seeing that monster crab on yours I'm wondering where the party can get a huge tub of butter....

Adventures » Kraggoth Manor » 8/09/2019 12:05 am

Our group finished Kraggoth Manor tonight and it was quite the romp.  It really reinforced how much more capable parties get by the middle levels when they have mages with more powerful spells and a fair number of magic items.  Some highlights below [SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T PLAYED THE MODULE YET]

They really made use of the magic/technological items they've acquired.  In this adventure they made short work of the trolls with the flamethrower from one of the earlier modules {Desert Dunes?}.

Since they had multiple levitation/flying spells and devices, it was easy for them to land on top of the towers, take out the ape shaman and fight their way down.

Inside the group's scout used his ring of invisibility to sneak around and back stab the camulon.  With our house exploding die rule he took him out in one strike.

Their cryomancer has two wands of freezing and isn't shy about using them.  The shaman has the Staff of Stygian Purpose and their pyromancer has pretty much all offensive spells.  This trio was devastating to the foes in this adventure.  The scariest moment was when the exploding skull knocked the cryomancer unconscious.  She would hae died had it not been for the shaman.  That trap was deadliest encounter of the adventure for the group.  They also had some trouble with the scything automota. 

They used their radiation grenades from one of the earlier adventures to seal up the ichor pit and the cylinder, which I thought was clever.  The men of ash and flame were iced by the cryomancer.  Throughout the other encounters they made effective use of potions, dusts of disappearance etc.  Reminded me of the Joker's line about wonderful toys from that first Batman movie.  Still a fun time.  Forgotten Fane will be next.

Music » For All You Soldiers of Fortune Out There » 8/06/2019 7:36 pm

Many of you undoubtedly know this Deep Purple classic with David Coverdale (yes, that David Coverdale) on vocals, but I've been listening to it a lot lately:

Great adventurer vibe....

Hyperborea » Is Hyperborea In The Deep Future And Other Speculations? » 8/01/2019 8:36 pm

I'm totally in favor of the simplified non-combat resolution systems, especially in just using common sense.  It's amazing to me how so-called "modern" games slow things down with a raft full of skill checks and die rolls for things that could be easily role-played or handwaved with common sense.  Adventures in Middle Earth for 5e is especially bad in this regard.  Amazing how many mechanics they burden that game with to convey what they deem the proper Tolkien feel.  I far prefer the flexibility of AS&SH wherein we can all easily establish the flavor for our own games and just create simple rulings.

As far as my campaign, as I think I noted here before, I just dropped Hyperborea into the north pole region of my existing campaign world of Krysonia.  By sheer coincidence ( dare I say shared genius?) I already had two moons in my campaign world so it made sense on that level.  But rather than the Saturn connection, I always conceived of it as alternate/parallel to our world so I never clearly established what the other planets are.  But I had already incorporated lots of Lovecraftian and S&S elements into my D&D games so when I learned about AS&SH, it was a no brainer to adapt and bolt onto my existing campaign.  Thus far it has been fantastic. 

As for timing, I portray Hyperborea as having been created by a rip in the space/time continuum so that it's possible to find technologies from a multitude of real earth historical eras.  In the later versions of Kyrsonia's chronology we have gunpowder weapons, cribbing from Warhammer, but they are dangerous and unpredictable and mostly used by dwarves, gnomes, and derro.

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » Demihumans! » 7/25/2019 2:07 pm

And, there are the "other" demi-humans, like half-orcs, or half-daemon picts, if you will.  The leader of the Faceless Masks, an order of assassins and Nyarlathotep worshipers in our version of Fazzuum, happens to be a half-orc.  So I think that creative integration would work fine and not "break the game," if that's a concern.

Rules Discussion » XP for Magic Items (was "The Town of Swampgate question") » 7/24/2019 10:40 pm

We do it all pretty evenly with a couple exceptions.  Players who are exceptionally clever and/or do something really selfless or heroic or role play really well might get a bonus from the DM.  And you get xp for delivering or receiving criticals.  It's 50 xp per degree of crit delivered (2-5xdamage) and 100 xp per severity level of critical received.  So you could theoretically get 1000 xp for surviving a crit that inflicted 5x normal damage.

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » Demihumans! » 7/22/2019 12:23 pm

Yeah, it is easy enough to make "gritty" demi-humans who fit the setting.  One of my old characters was a gnome gladiator (Hackmaster rules) whose tag-team partner in the arena was a minotaur.  His specialty move was a tumble into a groin strike.  In one adventure he lost his foot so he just carved another out of a piece of wood and stuck it on the stump!

In our current Labyrinth Lord/AS&SH mashup campaign, one of the PCs is a female half-elven samurai who wields a Highlander inspired dragon katana.  So she's pretty bad-ass. 

I'm sure I'm in the minority on these boards, but I enjoy demi-human characters.  That being said, thus far I've pretty much kept them in my original setting.  I dropped Hyperborea in as the north pole of our existing world so it's difficult to get there and vice versa.

Announcements » HYPERBOREA: Otherworldly Tales » 7/21/2019 8:42 pm

Almost hit the goal already.

Sorcery » The Dark Treasury » 7/19/2019 11:38 pm

After taking several months off due to a plethora of family and work commitments, I finally got around to working on my Dark Treasury campaign the last couple days.  So I've outlined the magician Uriah's birthday party, where he receives a copy of The King in Yellow from a mysterious monk from the land of Mimana.  The monk claims he found the book in the library of an ancient monastery in the yeti infested Yuanshan (Ape Mountains) range.  Incidentally, one of the highlights of the birthday party is an eerie concert played by Uriah's Viking Bard bodyguard and sidekick, Lemmy, who claims to have been touched by the starry wisdom of the Men of Leng. 

Rules Discussion » House rules and changes to rules » 7/19/2019 9:00 am

I think somebody referenced non-weapon skills above, didn't they?  Frankly, we still use the old AD&D 1e/BECMI non-weapon proficiencies/general skills.  They simply tied them to ability scores.  Roll under your ability score on a d20 and you succeed.  Easy.  So if it's a charisma-based skill like bargaining, roll under charisma and you succeed.  You can buy ranks or the DM can assign modifiers for difficulty.  You start with 4 skills and gain 1 at 4th, 7th, and 11th levels.  In AS&SH these are partly determined by your secondary skills background so if it was, say, hunter/trapper your skills would involve survival, tracking, etc.

Rules Discussion » House rules and changes to rules » 7/19/2019 12:35 am

Yes, damage dice explode.  So if you roll 8 on a d8, keep rolling until it's not a 8 and add up the results.  But this also applies for healing spells so they can be more effective too.  As for crits, it's pretty simple.  Natural 20 is a crit.  For spells if the save roll is a 1, that's a crit.  Then you roll another d20:
1-15: x2 damage
16-17: x3
18-19: x4
20: x5

As for dying, at 0 hp you're unconscious and have a number of minutes equal to your CON score to be raised to 1 hp.  At -10 you're dead.  If you take more than 50 hp of damage from any 1 attack, you must make a system shock roll to survive.  And save or die poisons etc. still kill you.  None of this 5E multiple save crap.

Also, all PCs get a 20 HP "kicker" at 1st level.  I cribbed this one from Hackmaster.

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » Demihumans! » 7/17/2019 10:36 pm

Having recently read some of the Shannara books, making gnomes twisted and evil and prone to chaos could certainly work for Hyperborea. 

Rules Discussion » House rules and changes to rules » 7/17/2019 10:33 pm

Yeah, we ignore the phased combat system entirely and just play it like Labyrinth Lord/Basic D&D, except that we roll d10s for initiative by side.  Determining who exactly goes in what order after that is based pretty much on common sense/position in the encounter.  Our other big house rules are exploding dice and more lethal criticals than in the RAW.  I also now use a hit location die (courtesy of the 2d20 Conan rpg) to describe the crits.  And yes, 20 always hits (and causes a critical) and 1 is a miss and a fumble.  Other than that, we pretty much follow the RAW.

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » Demihumans! » 7/13/2019 6:39 pm

mordegast wrote:

Thread resurrection: I’ve been thinking about this a lot, not because I want demihumans in Hyperborea, but because This rule set is my favorite of all the editions or clones of D&D. I’m about to run Highfell, and while running it in B/X or LL would be easy, knowing there’s a rule set I enjoy more is gnawing at me.

You already got Highfell?  Still waiting on my copy.

As for demi-humans, I'd say they're easy enough to incorporate.  I'd use approximations of their Labyrinth Lord advanced classes if you want to limit what they can play.  But some of the pseudo multi-classes here, like Purloiners, could work well for elves, for example.

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