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10/17/2014 9:39 pm  #1


Judge's Guild Wilderlands

We decided to take a short break from my "Tales of Old Earth" campaign, where they have been adventuring (and for a few of the unlucky - dying) in Hyperboria for the last 10 sessions, so I broke out my Holmes/OD&D rules and had them make new characters for a short Wilderlands campaign. I have only really started reading about the Wilderlands over the past few months. I'm not one for pre-published settings, but we're digging into our old school roots and looking at things we might have missed over the past 30 years. My players are rabidly "human-centric" in there character choices... as we got to it one of them asked "can we use the AS&SH rules?"

We've played 3 sessions and the rules fit perfectly. All I had to do was swap in the crazy Wilderlands human races and port over some demi-human "monsters" from the 1e MM. I know this isn't really a big revelation, but I just wanted to share - the (original) Wilderlands is wonderfully weird, steeped in OD&D flavour, and not afraid to mix things up a bit, which is what drew me to AS&SH in the first place.

 

10/18/2014 7:49 am  #2


Re: Judge's Guild Wilderlands

The whole thing passed me by, even though I started gaming in 1981. It was never sold in any of the shops I went to as a teenager, and it wasn't in the Sears catalog. I remember seeing the ads and wondering what it was, but I never bought any JG materials until the 1990's with the rise of the internet and eBay. Since then, I've used some of it in my own campaign. Specifically, Caverns of Thacia was a lot of fun for us.


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

10/18/2014 9:13 am  #3


Re: Judge's Guild Wilderlands

Great post, Pandelume! Like Jeff, I never experienced Wilderlands growing up (started gaming in 1989-1990), but I do like Caverns of Thracia a lot and have a lot of good friends that swear by Wilderlands (tacojohn, for example).


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

10/18/2014 12:15 pm  #4


Re: Judge's Guild Wilderlands

I, too, have never been exposed to the JG stuff. I have certainly heard good things about their product, Wilderlands, Traci a and Overlord particularly. Now that some of these have been made available on DriveThru, I may pick them up and have a look.

Anyway, I have found that AS&SH provides a perfectly good rules platform, regardless of the setting you are using. It's definitely my system of choice. If you need demihumans, they can be pulled from old-school system of choice fairly easily.


ravengodgames.blogspot.com ~ cartography, writing, game design
Author, Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess
 

10/18/2014 1:09 pm  #5


Re: Judge's Guild Wilderlands

Thanks for all the great comments! It's weird... I think my parents bought me my 1e DMG from that very same Sears Christmas catalogue (I had completely forgotten about that)!

When I finally found my first gaming store years later, I would scoff at the JG stuff as being cheap knock-offs and ignored it. Now that I'm older, I regret that response. There's a lot of cool ideas in their stuff that I'm mining for my homebrew, which I think was probably the point. As I get older, I'm finding that I'm attracted more and more to a certain flavor or vibe (writing style, art, Appendix N-type inspiration) that I get from certain gaming products - old or new. That certainly wasn't the case 20 years ago.

Agree about the system - I'm thinking of posting a review somewhere when I can find the time to do it justice. There are a lot of subtle, brilliant hidden gems in the mechanics that I think some of the reviews I've come across have missed (just my humble opinion). And I think it's been mentioned before elsewhere in these forums, but running this game has gotten some of my players (who are younger than me) to read the classic stories that inspired it. Being an older player from the early 80s, that alone has been my favorite part, so chalk me up as being an AS&SH fanboy...

     Thread Starter
 

10/18/2014 9:22 pm  #6


Re: Judge's Guild Wilderlands

Pandelume wrote:

Thanks for all the great comments! It's weird... I think my parents bought me my 1e DMG from that very same Sears Christmas catalogue (I had completely forgotten about that)!

When I finally found my first gaming store years later, I would scoff at the JG stuff as being cheap knock-offs and ignored it. Now that I'm older, I regret that response. There's a lot of cool ideas in their stuff that I'm mining for my homebrew, which I think was probably the point. As I get older, I'm finding that I'm attracted more and more to a certain flavor or vibe (writing style, art, Appendix N-type inspiration) that I get from certain gaming products - old or new. That certainly wasn't the case 20 years ago.

Agree about the system - I'm thinking of posting a review somewhere when I can find the time to do it justice. There are a lot of subtle, brilliant hidden gems in the mechanics that I think some of the reviews I've come across have missed (just my humble opinion). And I think it's been mentioned before elsewhere in these forums, but running this game has gotten some of my players (who are younger than me) to read the classic stories that inspired it. Being an older player from the early 80s, that alone has been my favorite part, so chalk me up as being an AS&SH fanboy...

 
Great post!  I've actually done the opposite. I have played some other systems and taken the players to Hyperborea.  Typically one shots but always returned to my regular campaign using the ASSH rule set.  I do especially like the very original classes and the sense of immersion you feel when using them.

Morgan


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

11/02/2014 1:55 am  #7


Re: Judge's Guild Wilderlands

Where would be good places to put JG Dark Tower in Hyperborea?
 

 

11/03/2014 1:10 pm  #8


Re: Judge's Guild Wilderlands

k2h2m3 wrote:

Where would be good places to put JG Dark Tower in Hyperborea?
 

Brigands Bay . . . Vikland . . . maybe work it in with the subterranean Kimmerians? Maybe near Nod's Chain, between the Kimmerian steppes and Gal?

 

11/03/2014 4:49 pm  #9


Re: Judge's Guild Wilderlands

Although I've read the Hyperborea campaign material twice now there has been a good amount of time in between. At this juncture I'm just looking for ideas to narrow it down.

 

11/04/2014 7:50 am  #10


Re: Judge's Guild Wilderlands

My introduction to D&D involved the Wilderlands.

In the late 70s (A Farewell to Kings by Rush had just come out, so 77/78), I used to sneak down to my cousin's basement where he and his stoner friends played D&D on a ping pong table.  I never played (I was 8 or 9), but I thought it was pretty neat.  

About 10 years ago, he told me he ran CSIO/Wilderlands, using OD&D, with parts of Greyhawk and Blackmoor, and of course, the JG material.  Back in the day, he said the local hobby shop had all/most of the JG stuff as it came out, and he picked up a bunch of it.

As a result, I picked up some JG stuff, and have read through it from time to time.  It's kinda like the background radiation of D&D for me.  I can't place my finger on anything that the JG stuff has had a direct influence on my way of playing the game, but I'm sure it's there somewhere.

It's interesting to note that the same hobby shop is still open, though I don't think they do games anymore, just model railroad and RC planes/cars/boats.  It is the same hobby shop my Dad bought me my first gaming material: the Modlvay Basic set and a few weeks later, 1st ed Gamma World.
 

 

1/19/2015 4:59 am  #11


Re: Judge's Guild Wilderlands

I could definitely imagine using the JG Ready Ref Sheets for rolling up some interesting things in a Hyperborea campaing. I'm thinking particularly of the underwater stuff, or some of the city tables. 

 

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