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?

Rules Discussion » House rules and changes to rules » 9/04/2019 10:24 am

Q-sub
Replies: 27

Go to post

mabon5127 wrote:

Characters begin with HP equal to Constitution.
As characters level, they re-roll HP dice and only begin to increase total HP when the dice roll (+con mod) is greater than their Con attribute.
HP over Con attribute restores overnight with a good rest. HP up to their Con restore more slowly like normal HP.
...
Not original, I stole the idea from somewhere.

I really like this idea, Mabon, and just might steal it for myself!  :-) A 20-hp kicker may be appropriate for Hackmaster but it's a bit much for this game (unless, like Spider of Leng, you use full exploding damage dice AND up to x5 crits… then your PCs might need it!)

A compromise, which I've settled on for my upcoming PbP game, is to give each PC a permanent kicker of ½ CN, rounded down.  It should prove helpful at low levels and less noticeable later on.  Of course, the sauce is there for both goose and gander in terms of leveled NPCs.

Some of my other house rules (and I'm trying to keep this a tight list – we already have a great system to begin with!):

Thief abilities (Table 11).  I'm borrowing from AD&D 2e and later editions the idea of customizing thief skills somewhat.  Instead of the fixed +1 bonus for high attributes, the character gets a pool of discretionary points equal to (DX-10) plus the # of bonus languages from his IN.  Each point improves a chosen thief ability by 1-in-12, with a cap of +3 to any one.  This applies to all thief subclasses except bards, who get (DX-10)/2 plus # lang's since they have fewer thief abilities.

(Ex. a thief with DX 13 & IN 13 gets four points; he can use 3 to raise Climb Walls to 11:12, and the remaining 1 to raise Decipher Script to 1:12, or apply it to any other ability except Read Scrolls which is locked until 5th level.)

Runegravers.  I am toying with the idea of adding 8 more runes, thus making the complete Elder Futhark available.  I'll probably sound this out further in another thread…

Armour (Table 46).  Again inspired by

Rules Discussion » House rules and changes to rules » 9/04/2019 7:44 am

Q-sub
Replies: 27

Go to post

rhialto wrote:

No, you weren't misreading my post at least, and I think you're right now: it just seems like a sequence, since they're not alphabetically ordered. Now that I reread the Initiative section on p.244 it's clear that within a Phase the priority of determining action sequence is 1) Highest Initiative Roll, 2) If same Initiative Roll, in order of Dexterity Score, 3) If same Dexterity Score, Simultaneous. Thanks!

Although I'm a few months behind, Rhialto, I'm really glad you brought this up.  All this time, I've been interpreting the text the same way you and Jimm.Iblis did!  As you said, if the melee–missile–magic–move order on Table 89 isn't a sequence, then what is it?  In hindsight, it might just be the order of greatest frequency; i.e. since melee attacks are the most common activity in combat, and so on.  Perhaps my clue should have been that if this were indeed a 2x4 action sequence, the rules would speak of *eight* phases, rather than two.

I'm now looking forward to trying the 'true' AS&SH two-phase system… but I'm also considering making an exception for combatants with readied missile weapons (arrow nocked, crossbow loaded and aimed, Radium pistol charged and aimed, etc), and allowing such weapons to fire in 'phase 0' before any initiative-based actions.  The quick and the dead, indeed.  Or should we give this advantage only to warriors with mastery in the given missile weapon (à la AD&D weapon spec)?

~ sub

Play-by-Post » New PbP on Discord » 9/01/2019 8:12 pm

Q-sub
Replies: 2

Go to post

Chainsaw wrote:

Sounds fun! Can I participate as a viewer/reader only?

Hi Chainsaw, glad to have you, but I guarantee it'll be more fun if you roll up a toon and play!

Just curious, are the pubbed adventures a factor in your decision?  I'm already considering a tack to making up my own stuff instead, now that I'm looking at some free time opening up.  A short plot or two tied in with a roomy Underborean pile...

Anyhoo, check your PM for invite.

~ sub

Play-by-Post » New PbP on Discord » 9/01/2019 8:51 am

Q-sub
Replies: 2

Go to post

To all Adventurers,

I will be starting a AS&SH play-by-post game to be hosted on a private Discord server (used by my fellow gamers from the Dragonsfoot forums).  For those unfamiliar with Discord, it's a chat application that we find is very easy to learn, well-suited to PbP and particularly to posting and responding on a mobile device.  If interested, reply here and once qualified I will PM you an invite link.

The other catch is that I plan to run published adventures (loosely tied together with sandboxy events) for the sake of a few new players. A suitable applicant will be able to handle spoilers if already familiar with eg. "Rats in the Walls" and "The Moss-Hag of Lug." Hopefully you'll still be entertained... after all, the murky jewel of Hyperborea shines strange from each of its myriad facets!

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » When can you take a subclass? » 4/11/2019 7:42 pm

Q-sub
Replies: 11

Go to post

Iron Ranger wrote:

Spellbinder wrote:

So, instead of a lvl 1 Fighter, I could play a lvl 1 Barbarian instead.

If your rolls qualify, you should play a lvl 1 Barbarian instead, but always a good idea to check with your DM to see if Barbarians frequent the environs or one can be worked into the game.

And if the Referee says "no" to a Barbarian, I question whether he can even call his game AS&SH...  =D

General Discussion » Introduction Thread » 2/21/2019 8:58 pm

Q-sub
Replies: 536

Go to post

Chainsaw wrote:

Q-sub wrote:

Thanks Chainsaw! I appreciate your kind words over at DF as well.

Sure! What's your handle over there?

Wow, so sorry I missed this earlier!  On DF I go by 'subaltari.'
 

Rules Discussion » My Tentative Houserules. What do you think? » 2/21/2019 8:54 pm

Q-sub
Replies: 19

Go to post

Spider of Leng wrote:

He was avenged, however, as both bone golems in the room were similarly destroyed by criticals inflicted by the PCs.  That at least made his death epic and memorable.  They limped back to Helix laden with booty and using an unseen servant to carry the corpse...

Always bring an unseen servant spell.  Whether it ends up being the loot or your friends, you'll be using it http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cool.png

Rules Discussion » My Tentative Houserules. What do you think? » 2/03/2019 7:23 pm

Q-sub
Replies: 19

Go to post

Handy Haversack wrote:

FLAILSNAILS: This is a wonderful tradition that grew out of the community of online gamers where you can use your character from whatever your home game or system in a given DM's game of whatever. So like I have a 4th lvl. BD&D thief that has played in a bunch of different homebrew systems, Traveller, etc. And the DM will do their level best to give you XP that translates into your system.

I didn't know that, thanks Handy!  This sorta describes the current PbP I'm in, where characters from all OS editions are allowed and everyone levels up after each "7-room dungeon" episode.  It's worked fine except for the time someone wanted to bring in a 5e character...

Rules Discussion » My Tentative Houserules. What do you think? » 2/02/2019 9:12 pm

Q-sub
Replies: 19

Go to post

joethelawyer, on a less critical note (pun intended!) I said I'd share some thoughts on your other house rules.  Let's start at the top...

"This is a non-flailsnail game."  Whilst I'm no more a fan of flail snails than I am of flumphs or lava children, I'm not sure what you mean here. 

West Marches.  Had to look this up, pretty cool.  Reminds me of a persistent setting I used to play in back in the OpenRPG days.  I have to say, the prospect of a true "living campaign" with a large player/GM base, set in Hyperborea and using AS&SH rules, really sparks the mind!

Bonus XP.  I like these rules.  

Leveling Up.  Looks ok, though I'm puzzled why the time and cost requirements would decrease at higher levels, rather than the opposite.

Carousing.  Will this be Drunken Debauchery, or something of your own devising?

Crits:  we already talked about them, but I want to give your random hit locations a mention.  When I first saw it I said "hmm, a d20 hit location chart?  I could use this!" ... and then I saw the results for right & left ass cheek. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/stoned.png


Combat rules:  Don't seem too much different from the core rules, but I didn't look very hard.

Equipment:  the scarcity of steel (or is it all metal?) reminds me of Tekumel.  For clarity, is the cost studded leather, which has a bit of metal in it, also x10?

~ Q-sub

Rules Discussion » My Tentative Houserules. What do you think? » 1/29/2019 4:17 pm

Q-sub
Replies: 19

Go to post

The supercritical rule does stand out from the rest of them http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cute.png
 If you haven't already heard it, Joe, there is a statistical argument against critical hits which has made the rounds of OSR forums.  Basically it says that any crit system which applies to all combatants will endanger the PCs vastly more than the monsters.  I'm not sold on the actual statistics, but I agree that any crit rule makes combat more deadly for PCs.  Your aim appears to be to inspire players to take combat more seriously, but I think you can do that without going to the extreme of a possible 120x damage on one hit (or 60x max damage -- the theoretical outcome of rolling five 20s in a row in your game!) 

I do like your example of the two bears in the pit.  Let's try a test I'll call "what would Conan do" (WWCD, if you will)!  Would Conan have simply jumped in the pit and taken the claw and bite damage?  Probably not; in fact, any D&D character worth their salt would try other things first -- spells, missile fire, poisoned meat, or good old flaming oil.  And if we're talking the real Conan he would have pulled a trick like decapitating both bears with one swing in mid-jump, or knocking their heads together and letting them tear each other apart.  But, if it came down to Conan having to take some paw hits, he'd be ducking and weaving, trying to minimize the hits.  This is modeled in-game by taking 10 or so points of damage when he actually had 50+, as do many heroic level characters:  after all, hit points are "the ability to withstand and minimize physical damage through a combination of experience, fitness, physicality, skill, and no small amount of luck" (2e rulebook, p.130).  To put it as crassly as one gamer I know, Conan enters the bear pit with a large reserve of "luck" and leaves it with a few scratches and a lot less luck.  On the other hand, a chance crit by one of the bears could make it a very bad

General Discussion » Introduction Thread » 12/30/2018 8:34 pm

Q-sub
Replies: 536

Go to post

Thanks Chainsaw!  I appreciate your kind words over at DF as well.

Oh and I hope every one had a Merry Christmas, happy Yuletide, or a Festivus for the rest if you, as appropriate.  🎄🎁

General Discussion » Introduction Thread » 12/27/2018 6:30 am

Q-sub
Replies: 536

Go to post

Hi!  I looked for this thread, but failed my Test of Intelligence to find it until after I'd already made a few posts on other boards. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cute.png


So here's me:  as a young lad in Upstate NY in 1977 I was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons, grumbled over the "new rules" (AD&D) but made the transition in 1979, and aside from a bit of Holmes I simply skipped over anything Basic or Expert until the OSR era.  Probably my greatest influences in the game have been the writing of David A. Hargrave (Arduin), Bob Bledsaw (JG/Wilderlands), and the artworks of David A. Trampier, Liz Danforth, and Michio Okamura.  Other early likes were Traveller and The Morrow Project.  Around 2006 I rediscovered Call of Cthulhu with a vengeance and dutifully read up on Lovecraft, but haven't got much of the works of CAS or REH under my belt... yet.

Having always preferred the older games and editions I found my way to Dragonsfoot, where it seems there has been a perpetual tension between bug-fixing 1e and publishing/playing the perfect retro-clone.  AS&SH for me addresses both schools and, at first glance, requires almost no tweaking of its own (as for the lack of elves and dragons, I for one don't miss 'em!).  Incidentally, I first learned of the existence of AS&SH from Matthew's blog.

In full disclosure I have yet to play a live game using AS&SH, but I've had some time to read through the books and ruminate on the rules.  I look forward in the near future to opening new threads on various aspects of the rules and setting.  It's likely you may at some point realise that I don't know what I'm talking about -- consider that a personal invitation to share your own tabletop gaming experiences!

Iä Xathoqqua!

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » Human racial mods? » 12/26/2018 5:52 am

Q-sub
Replies: 29

Go to post

DMPrata wrote:

They’re not perfect, but I feel pretty good about the overall symmetry:
Common: fighter, magician, cleric, thief
Amazon: paladin, cryomancer
Atlantean: illusionist, legerdemainist
Esquimaux: monk, bard
Hyperborean: warlock, witch
Ixian: necromancer, priest
Kelt: ranger, druid
Kimmerian: cataphract, pyromancer
Kimmeri-Kelt: barbarian, scout
Pict: shaman, assassin
Half-Blood Pict: huntsman, purloiner
Viking: berserker, runegraver

Nice distribution, DM!  This turns out to look a lot like the list I came up with. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cool.png
 The difference is that I covered only the nine 'pure' races, leaving the hybrids to be more generic.  (And as a tenth race, I am toying with my own take on Muvians).  So my Esquimeaux tend toward the huntsman and shaman classes, Kelts produce druids and bards, and for the Picts I picked the barbarian and witch.  Assigning the more specialised sub-classes (legerdemainists and purloiners!) to a particular race has been a bit harder...

DMPrata wrote:

Caveman wrote:

I kind of agree, should not huntsman and Cryomancer be better for a snow dwelling person?

Well, for one, this is Hyperborea — everyone’s a snow-dwelling person! Also, though, cryomancers are Lawful (or Neutral), and the Kthulhu-worshipping Esquimaux tend toward Chaos.

On the other side of that coin, what sort of people living in a frigid land become pyromancers?  This vexed me a bit, but your choice of Kimmerians (revering a god of fire and the forge) is a good fit.

~ sub 

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » Human racial mods? » 12/17/2018 6:45 pm

Q-sub
Replies: 29

Go to post

After further consideration, I may just assign each race a default secondary skill (which can be chosen in lieu of rolling a random skill) and one bonus weapon skill. 

On a related note, I'm thinking of creating a chart to give each starting character a random ability, bonus, or item.  This is inspired partially by the NPC appendix to Ben Ball's excellent Hyperborean Encounter Tables, but more by the tables in Arduin Grimoire Vol. I, by the incomparable David Hargrave.

Hyperborea » The Keltic God Nodens? » 12/16/2018 6:27 pm

Q-sub
Replies: 8

Go to post

When I hear the name Nodens, I envision an imposing fellow (indeed Kelt-like) with steely eyes and hoary beard, careening across the wintry plains in a strange sort of chariot drawn by hardy boreal critters...

Why, just put a red robe on him and he can be the main NPC in my upcoming holiday module http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/devious.png

Sorcery » The Dark Treasury » 12/15/2018 9:12 pm

Q-sub
Replies: 31

Go to post

Spider of Leng wrote:

As promised, I'm going to start uploading my write-ups on the Dark Treasury.  Feel free to crib/steal whatever you'd like. 

Hi Spider!  I'm late to the game, but found your work very inspiring -- i.e. I might just crib a thing or two! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cute.png
  And in the interest of open discussion, I hope you don't mind if I share a few thoughts of my own.

Spider of Leng wrote:

The Seven Cryptic Scrolls of Shan 

I noticed your change to the traditional spelling of "Hsan" to "Shan" and wondered, is there any connection to that other Shan, aka the insects from Shaggai?  Many works of art and writing could actually be the product of Shan infesting the human authors, particuarly works that celebrate chaos, depravity, suffering, Azathoth, or the pursuit of extreme sensation/hedonism.  But the Seven Cryptical Scrolls seem to be more on the systematic and comprehensive end of the scale, so perhaps they don't fall into this category. 

I do enjoy your correlation between the men of Leng and Tibetan mystics, who by some accounts have a powerful connection (or opposition) to Mythos forces. 

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » Human racial mods? » 12/13/2018 9:14 pm

Q-sub
Replies: 29

Go to post

Thank you for the kind responses.  I do see, in particular, that adding incentives to pick certain classes might be a bad idea in a game with a large (and well-balanced) class selection.  I also appreciate those of you who've helped to reinforce the open-system concept of AS&SH. 

This leaves only the question of the one potentially crunchy ability -- can Atlanteans breathe underwater?  But I see that's already been discussed, (topic id=743)

 

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » Human racial mods? » 12/10/2018 8:17 pm

Q-sub
Replies: 29

Go to post

Hello!  I'm a fairly recent fan of AS&SH, and brand new to the forum.  

While browsing round, I found some past discussion of porting demi-human races into the game, and this idea clearly draws mixed responses.  What more interests me is the idea of assigning variant game stats and modifiers to the 12(+?) established human races of Hyperborea.  I'd be surprised if no one else had made house rules for these, or at least thought about it.  

Examples could include, but not be limited to attribute bonuses; Esquimeaux might get +1 CN, +1 WS whilst Kelts get +1 ST and +1 CH.  Vikings advance faster in the berserker and runecaster classes (needing only 80% of the listed XP per level).  All Esquimeaux, regardless of class, have weapon skill in the long spear and are able to train and drive dogsled teams.  And Atlanteans (as hinted by the rules) can breathe indefinitely underwater, but suffer penalties if not immersed regularly.

The designer(s) obviously decided in favor of making the races homogeneous, stat-wise.  The choice of race in AS&SH is intended mostly for roleplaying "fluff" and cultural nuances.  But whereas race is essentially an optional block on the char sheet, it also appears to be a very popular element of the game, if posts here are any indication!  So I'm not saying the game needs racial stats, but it's already a familiar concept:  and not just from dealing with race rules in traditional high-fantasy games.  If memory serves, at least one iteration of the Conan RPG offers modifiers for the various Hyborean Age races.

Iä Xathoqqua!

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. ©2019 North Wind Adventures, LLC.