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9/05/2014 1:15 pm  #1


Primeval Thule

Anyone familliar with the Primeval Thule setting? It's described as Conan meets Cthulhu, which does sound very interesting, but I havn't really heard much else about it.


"Steel isn't strong, boy. Flesh is stronger. What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?"

Spriggan's Den
 

9/05/2014 2:14 pm  #2


Re: Primeval Thule

I've looked at it and it seems pretty cool.  Obviously the setting is similar in many ways to the one in AS&SH.  The art is less eye-gougingly bad than most modern RPG art.  It didn't give me the uncontrollable urge to vomit as most things associated with Pathfinder do. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/stoned.png

It is a little weird that they describe it as "Conan meets Cthulhu", because it reminds me a lot more of Clark Ashton Smith's interpretation of Hyperborea.  Not that this is a bad thing, of course. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png

Last edited by Blackadder23 (9/05/2014 2:23 pm)


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

9/05/2014 2:36 pm  #3


Re: Primeval Thule

It's not what they call it themselves, but what other people have refered it as. People who might not be in-depth experts into the finer details of the genre. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png


15€ really isn't that much for the pdf and at 270 pages it's a good amount of content. I am really tempted to get it on a hunch. And maybe be one of the first to tell people what's actually inside it. (Which one might call something to be expected from the publishers for a product that's not lying out in a store to flip thorugh...)


"Steel isn't strong, boy. Flesh is stronger. What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?"

Spriggan's Den
     Thread Starter
 

9/05/2014 2:53 pm  #4


Re: Primeval Thule

It's not at the top of my list, but I'll probably get it at some point so I can mine it for ideas. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

9/05/2014 2:57 pm  #5


Re: Primeval Thule

I don't intend to use it. But I am trying to read about any good barbarian setting to get ideas for my own. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png


"Steel isn't strong, boy. Flesh is stronger. What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?"

Spriggan's Den
     Thread Starter
 

9/07/2014 10:13 am  #6


Re: Primeval Thule

I got the Pathfinder version (seems easiest to convert), and it's really good. I love it.

It's pretty clearly set in the world of Conan and Kull, but introducing a new 5th continent of Thule, which is modern Greenland. It's largely covered by jungles, but also has some cold regions as well. In addition to Howards gods Mithra, Asura, Ishtar, and Set (among others), it also includes many of Lovecrafts Great Old Ones, like Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath. But I feel a good Dark Sun influence as well. Originally the home of serpentmen, rakshasa, and elves from another dimension, it was colonized by humans from Atlantis and one of the few surviving remnants of Atlantean culture, 300 years after the continent sank. (Putting it somewhere between the days of Kull and Conan.)
Dwarves, elves, and halflings do exist, but the dwarves don't tolerate any visitors, the elves seem to be one or maybe two generations from their ultimate disappearance, and halflings are so rare and reclusive that many people think they are a myth.

The aim appears to be quite low-magic, and magic items and gold seem to play almost no role and are more of an afterthought. Players can play spellcasters, but those are rare in the world and considered suspicious. The monsters are pretty much standard fare, but include a good deal of lovecraftian horrors that are in the Pathfinder monster books (but also online fo free).
More than character classes, characters seem to be defined by Narratives. They are like backgrounds or kits that add a fee minor abilities, but the book makes it clear that it's much more relevant for the interaction with the world if you're an atlantean noble, barbarian hunter, or a pirate, than being a rogue or a fighter. Classes say what abilities you have, Narratives say who you are and what you do.

I still have only parts of the whole thing completely, but so far I love the idead. For example, the last remaining city of the elves is called a city in decline, but it seems more like a city that has already been lost. The city, and the elves as a whole, hadn't been doing so well even before the atlanteans first appeared to colonize Thule. Now the gates and harbor are heavily guarded by half-elves who let almost nobody in. Inside the city is almost deserted and falling into ruins, as the majority of the population spends almost all day passed out from black lotus. The streets are empty and strange winged creatures are seen high up amongst the spires of the ancient towers. It all started when a cult of Nyarlathotep appeared in the city, which now seems to have it almost entirely under control. The only commerce in the city is the import of food and more black lotus, which is paid for by the export of jewels, antiquities, and luxury goods, as the locals sell any valuables they still have left.
I love the idea of sending a group of PCs to the city to get some mystic lore from a permanently hammered sage, or to steal an artifact from a half-abandoned castle, while evading monsters that roam freely in the streets and trying not to draw suspicion from cultists of Nyarlathotep.

So far, this setting looks amazing. If I were not currently running a game in my homebrew setting, I'd be immediately asking my group to at least do a couple of Thule one-shots.
In fact, I think I might actually do ask them if they would be up for a one or two session game in the elven city.


"Steel isn't strong, boy. Flesh is stronger. What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?"

Spriggan's Den
     Thread Starter
 

9/08/2014 8:55 am  #7


Re: Primeval Thule

Sounds interesting.

 

9/08/2014 11:31 am  #8


Re: Primeval Thule

The only real issue I am seeing with it so fat seems to be a lack of culture. There's a great amount of very interesting cities and dungeons, that immediately make me come up with two or three cool adventures I could run there with only one paragraph of description. The density of ideas compressed into the amount of text is outstanding.
But there seems to be only very few information about how the people of Thule live. How they dress, how their society is structured, what their soldiers and warriors look like, and what the values and and priority of their cultures are.
Many highly praised sandbox settings have even less information on these things, so it's probably not a thing that would worry most people. But personally it's an aspect of settings that interests me the most, so I would have loved to see some more in this regard.
The material is great for one-shot adventures and has enough stuff to do lots of them in a series. But for longer storylines that involve characters into things that are going on in society, it's a bit lacking.  There's really cool cities, but their description primarily deals with things that are important to use them as adventuring sites. They are fascinating environments that can be a great change from dungeons and wilderness, but not so much about the people, other than questgivers and villains. (Which again, are mostly pretty interesting.) Which I believe is actually what the designers meant to do. It even says that Thule is made for episodic adventures.


"Steel isn't strong, boy. Flesh is stronger. What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?"

Spriggan's Den
     Thread Starter
 

9/10/2014 1:58 am  #9


Re: Primeval Thule

How much of the book is mechanics and statistics? How usable is it for someone running ASSH or another S&S game like Crypts and Things or Magic World (with a different system). The blurb for Thule attracts me like a honey does bees but I would want some utility out of it.

 

9/10/2014 5:31 am  #10


Re: Primeval Thule

Almost nothing. For most NPCs, there aren't even classes and levels given, that's entirely up to the GM. The one new mechanic are Narratives, which are kind of like backgrounds or kits. In the Pathfinder version, each Narrative gets a character a small skill bonus and a special ability at 1st, 6th, and 10th level. However, these are not really important. What matters much more is how the Narratives outline the characters background, role, and social standing. There is stuff like seer, barbarian hunter, temple agent, ice raider, star lore sage, atlantean noble, and so on. Even when you completely drop the special abilities completely without conversion, you're not losing much. The rest of the Narratives is still very useful.
Other than that, there are stats for mi-go, nightgaunts, and star beasts, but these are mostly already covered by AS&SH. For the beastmen you can just use vruumis, which are basically the same thing.
There are a couple of magic items, but they serve mostly as inspirations for GMs, and generally characters are not meant to have many of them to begin with. But I guess they would be easy enough to convert.

So basically, you could run a game without doing any converting at all.


"Steel isn't strong, boy. Flesh is stronger. What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?"

Spriggan's Den
     Thread Starter
 

9/10/2014 3:21 pm  #11


Re: Primeval Thule

You are making it sound more attractive. Thanks for the info.

 

9/18/2014 1:24 pm  #12


Re: Primeval Thule

I bought this and looked through it.  It has some good stuff in it.  The WoW-isms made me want to retch until I die, but I'm used to that with Pathfinder products.  The biggest disappointment for me was the map.  It's very bland.  It almost looks like a modern road atlas. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/errr.png

Other than that, a good product and a nice sword and sorcery setting.  It's similar to Jeff's version of Hyperborea in some ways, but in other ways very different.  Not bad at all. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

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