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Hyperborea » MUVIANS moving in » 10/13/2021 4:49 pm

mabon5127
Replies: 7

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Ghul wrote:

Yes, the CAS story was inspirational, but I wasn't attempting to emulate it. Much like Atlantis, the location of Mu has been imagined and reimagined many times. In my conception, as detailed in the Gazetteer, they were once coevals with Hyperborea, Atlantis, and Lemuria, but they regressed overtime and abandoned their technology, simplifying their lives and (inspired by a Vance story) boiling down their language to a limited number of words. Still, like the Atlanteans, the technological artefacts of their ancient past may be discovered in hidden places of the realm.

Mu elders long for the days when the roots of Hyperborea shook and split, rising up at the commands of their forbears! Or so it is said...
 

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » Two New Subclasses: The Sciomancer and the Gloomhaunter » 3/18/2021 7:24 am

mabon5127
Replies: 13

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The Black Lightening spell is a much more interesting spell than the typical lightening bolt or fireball!  I would let that go to 3rd level!  I'll look at the rest later but love Black lightening. 

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » Bard's Countersong Ability » 2/19/2021 8:34 pm

mabon5127
Replies: 4

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Ghul wrote:

Harpies, lamiae, greater gorgons, etc. Other bards, too! Not just any sorcery that has, say, a verbal component. The important distinction about this ability is that it can be done as soon as it happens, regardless of initiative.

That being said, players kill me -- what they complain about. So, the bard can use any weapon, has all these thief skills, casts spells from two schools of sorcery, and has special unique abilities. And yet... this class stinks! I don't get to do what I want! Ha!

Mesmerize once per day is plenty....

There are often areas that simply produce discordant sounds of alien nature that the Bard is able to protect the party from. I have also had the bard able to participate in rituals with NPC's as well as leading ceremonies etc. This is role-playing but useful non the less!

Literary Inspirations » Tales of Attluma » 2/02/2021 12:13 pm

mabon5127
Replies: 3

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rhialto wrote:

Eirvit wrote:

Maybe we should start a DMR Books reading club channel.

Indeed: I'm reading The Eye of Sounnu now (well-written, with a subtle humor of Vancian stamp), from DMR. I'll have to check out Renegade Swords.

The Eye of Sounnu was great.

Literary Inspirations » Poul Anderson » 1/23/2021 11:29 am

mabon5127
Replies: 4

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Spider of Leng wrote:

Just added The Broken Sword to my Amazon cart, as they have it available in a cheap paperback.  Will read it once I finish re-reading the Dark Elf trilogy by Salvatore.  I haven't read much by Anderson; just his Conan book and some of the short stories from Thieves' World as I recall.

Broken Sword is on its way from Abe books! Thanks all for the recommendations!

Literary Inspirations » John Carter of Mars » 1/21/2021 7:38 am

mabon5127
Replies: 19

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Spider of Leng wrote:

Sadly; I'm not in Annapolis anymore but I'd be up for Skyping or Zooming in if you guys play again.  Incidentally, over the course of several adventures last summer and fall, our whole AS&SH party got killed.  So we've been playing other games the past few months. 

What other things have you tried? Were these campaigns influenced by your reading as well?

Literary Inspirations » John Carter of Mars » 1/21/2021 7:37 am

mabon5127
Replies: 19

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tomas wrote:

One of the few good things to come out of last year is that I reconnected with my college buddies and we have been playing AD&D every Friday night via Zoom. It can get awkward with showing maps, but in general it works fairly well.

Yup, Roll 20 allowed our group to stay partially connected during the worst of the lockdown! 
 

Literary Inspirations » John Carter of Mars » 1/20/2021 9:06 am

mabon5127
Replies: 19

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Eirvit wrote:

rhialto wrote:

Hmmm, well I think Vance is definitely an acquired taste, and it's a very different taste from Tolkien (I also appreciated the recent books his son published, and have half a mind to re-read the Silmarillion). The two authors really seem to have opposite ethoi, and with Vance some of the pleasure is the command of language and sly humor.

I don’t disagree with this at all! I hope it’s understood that the Spider of Leng and I merely were describing our reading preferences, not gatekeeping or establishing any kind of “literary hierarchy.”

Everyone's opinion is most welcome!
 

Literary Inspirations » John Carter of Mars » 1/20/2021 9:05 am

mabon5127
Replies: 19

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tomas wrote:

mabon5127 wrote:

Hopefully, once this current issue is past we can gather again with tomas for a one shot. 

I'm looking forward to continuing the adventure. 
 

Great!  I would love to begin playtesting the second section in person.
 

Sorcery » Unsafe casting, extra spells, and miscast ideas? » 1/18/2021 8:07 pm

mabon5127
Replies: 14

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rhialto wrote:

mabon5127 wrote:

looking forward to seeing Through the Sunken Lands in print the PDF is great but I'm old and prefer books.

Me too, though it wasn't so bad on my iPad. I have the idea to use it for a Khromarium-based campaign now, using the playbooks as the background generator, then letting folks pick their AS&SH class.

I always thought this would be a good idea and it looks like they have done the work!

Sorcery » Unsafe casting, extra spells, and miscast ideas? » 1/18/2021 1:20 pm

mabon5127
Replies: 14

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rhialto wrote:

gizmomathboy wrote:

Yeah, Vancian as the norm with the ability to do something desperate with a chance of spectacular failure/success seems about right.

Have some kind of roll that determines if it's a critical success or a critical failure. One could even use the woe and crit tables we already have as a guide.

If the spell does damage then that's an easy thing, if not, maybe the duration or whatever is modified accordingly.

I'm not sure I would use it, but it seems like a simple mod that is closer to what Hyperborea is than a jump to something DCC-like.

Yeah, I might be trying to create another class in another thread, but I'm doing what I can to work within the bounds of the system and the systems it drew from. :-)

Through Sunken Lands and Beyond the Wall are good models: Spells are Vancian (memorize, #/day, casting works unless caster is disrupted), but Cantrips (minor, non-damaging magic) and Rituals (lengthy casting times of 1hr./level of ritual) are rolled on a characteristic score or less = success basis, with failure meaning some Ref-generated side effect or loss of all magic the rest of the day (Cantrips) or success with unforeseen side effects (Rituals). Very easily added to AS&SH.

looking forward to seeing Through the Sunken Lands in print the PDF is great but I'm old and prefer books.
 

Literary Inspirations » Imaro » 1/17/2021 5:12 pm

mabon5127
Replies: 1

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I had Nyambe a bit ago and it was lost in a culling of d20 product...It was a solid product but we downsized and so did my collection.

Literary Inspirations » John Carter of Mars » 1/17/2021 5:07 pm

mabon5127
Replies: 19

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rhialto wrote:

mabon5127 wrote:

Hopefully, once this current issue is past we can gather again with tomas for a one shot.

I'm hopeful, too! Still have my half-blood Pict Runegraver ready to go...
 

Nice!

General Discussion » New Class: Tinkerer » 1/17/2021 11:50 am

mabon5127
Replies: 41

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rhialto wrote:

My Weird Scientist summary: "WotRP" is Warriors of the Red Planet, which has level-based (1 - 6) weird science/pulp gadgets which mimic sorcery effects.

GREAT GAME! shout out for using this and for this great writeup for the Relic Hunter or whatever you end up calling it!

General Discussion » New Class: Tinkerer » 1/17/2021 11:48 am

mabon5127
Replies: 41

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francisca wrote:

BlackKnight wrote:

How would the Tinkerer have this knowledge?

Trial and error.  Perhaps a guild of folk looking to restore ancient tech as much as they can.  Perhaps knowledge passed down by a dozen generations of those lucky enough to reproduce before they offed themselves in a some comically horrible fashion?  A secret society?  Who cares, if it's fun?

 

Its the same way the Ranger is better at fighting those otherworldly beings! Trained by the previous generation of Rangers and a light salting of trial and error!
 

Literary Inspirations » John Carter of Mars » 1/17/2021 11:40 am

mabon5127
Replies: 19

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Spider of Leng wrote:

Well, I finally read some of the John Carter novels after getting the first 5 in an omnibus edition for Christmas.  Much like Jack Vance, I'm glad I read them, but I doubt I'll read any more or even re-read these ones.  Plenty of action, I guess, but not much character development and the stories tended to be pretty repetitive.  Actually they remind me of Vin Diesel movies.  Buddy action pieces pretty much designed to go from chase scene to capture to chase scene to fight, then repeat, with a smattering of romance that reads like it was written by a teenager.  But hey, at least I can say I read them.

Oddly, I love these novels for the very reasons you state! I think you summed up the Planetary Romance genre pretty well. Lots of action, fighting, chasing, and such.  I appreciate the thriftiness of language that tells a tale of action, romance, violence, cruelty, and loyalty! I get from the tales just the right amount of "character development" to set my mind to the task of enjoying a couple hours of escape from the mundane. I would say that "Mars" has influence my gaming over the years and for the better I think!

Hopefully, once this current issue is past we can gather again with tomas for a one shot.

 

General Discussion » Orienting the players... » 1/04/2021 7:28 pm

mabon5127
Replies: 21

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rhialto wrote:

Ghul wrote:

For years we've been promoting the game as "Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy," but lately I've been considering adjectivally expanding that catch phrase to "Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Science-Fantasy." The simple addition of "Science" creates broader streams of information for the reader, further emphasizing our thematic flexibility. Meaning, a referee can embrace all the aspects of sword-and-sorcery and cosmic horror, but there is also a bit of that "sword-and-planet" component here, with radium pistols, laser crossbows, anti-grav belts, sky ships, and so forth.
 

I like this idea a lot, and it's one of the aspects I've played up in my Hyperborea: the Atlanteans (and Hyperboreans before them) had access to high-tech (what you mention above), and in my game even more advanced things, with a sword-and-planet flavor. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

I agree with the above change. It better represents the world I run and the feel of the book.

General Discussion » Orienting the players... » 1/01/2021 7:10 pm

mabon5127
Replies: 21

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Ghul wrote:

You know that glazed expression on your players' faces when you've carried on explaining something for far too long? I'm trying to avoid that, though providing useful content at the same time.

Great for Convention games! Being excited to express the different kind of world that Hyperborea is often leads to a firehose of info to players that just want to read their character sheets and know what dice to roll. This boils it down very well.

Rules Discussion » XP for places and new things » 10/01/2020 6:03 am

mabon5127
Replies: 26

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rhialto wrote:

mabon5127 wrote:

Brock Savage wrote:

HI Antalon, Jeff Reints also inspired me to incentivize exploration and, to a lesser extent, extraordinary experiences with small XP rewards. However, like others suggested in this thread I recommend significantly reducing the value of your rewards. This is only my opinion but keeping players hungry for XP and gold encourages them to explore and seek adventure for more (one of many reasons I don't like milestone XP)

I just started a new campaign and went in the opposite direction. They gain a level after each adventure, with adventures taking about 3-4 sessions. We are not tracking xp or gold for that matter.

I do something similar: never track XP, just level up after several sessions. We do track gold, though, as they're getting near the level that strongholds/guilds/temples/towers will become important.

I run into that awkward period during a campaign where characters end up with of with lots of gold and nothing to spend it on. They don't act like adventurers, more like stingy accountants. If you're 5th level and have 18k gps why in the heck are you leaving home. Sorcerers have reasons but a fighter? I could be the gm that uses taxes, thieves, levies, training costs, etc to balance the scales or just let the player decide in what way they expend the excess. They are much more imaginative than I and end up with lots of contacts and NPC interactions I would never think of. I'm still working out how they will afford the stronghold and how they can upgrade equipment consistently etc.  

Rules Discussion » XP for places and new things » 9/30/2020 9:28 am

mabon5127
Replies: 26

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Brock Savage wrote:

HI Antalon, Jeff Reints also inspired me to incentivize exploration and, to a lesser extent, extraordinary experiences with small XP rewards. However, like others suggested in this thread I recommend significantly reducing the value of your rewards. This is only my opinion but keeping players hungry for XP and gold encourages them to explore and seek adventure for more (one of many reasons I don't like milestone XP)

I just started a new campaign and went in the opposite direction. They gain a level after each adventure, with adventures taking about 3-4 sessions. We are not tracking xp or gold for that matter. Its assumed they go on the next adventure after becoming broke! In general they can improve equipment and gain resources based on level but the need for cash drives them to adventure. There is time between adventures to give time for making potions and study etc. In about two years real time we may actually see the 12th level!
 

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