Monday, September 12, 2016

Old School Mini Adventure Campaign Set Up & Realms of Crawling Chaos By Goblinoid Games

Take one Nineteen Sixties classic Saturday cartoon add in some OSR flavor & stir heavily with some popculture and top with some Lovecraft?? You've got the makings of a retro adventure campaign.

When it comes to vintage cartoons there's nothing like the classic 60's Spider Man Cartoon with its popculture ear worm of a soundtrack to bring on the nostalgia factor. This episode has all of the makings of a nasty little adventure location to drop your players into.

So last night I was watching a bit of the original Sixty Seven Spider man cartoon, specifically the second season episode titled Neptune's Nose Cone about a downed satellite in the Antarctic ocean  which was launched into low Earth orbit to measure the Earth's magnetic field ( this was the Sixties & the space program was a 'hot new thing' then). There's some exposition on J. Jameson who sends Peter & some hot shot female plane pilot to find the rocket's nose cone to scoop everyone. Two seconds later we get to an island in the Antarctic ocean, the plane of course crashes. We're left with Peter changing into Spider man to go find Penny ( the pilot) whose going to be sacrificed to the volcano god by a tribe of green skinned mutant neanderthals. This isn't a cartoon that wastes time at all! But its really that island that got me, this weird  tropical island in the middle of  the Antarctic ocean populated by hordes of mutated monsters from out of time's abyss. These things look like they came straight out of the AD&D 1st edition's Monster Manual. The backgrounds, the weird sky effects, the monsters all of this could only come from Ralph Bakshi who was in charge for the second and third seasons, and he added his own psychedelic flare to the cartoons. There's a whole weird sword & sorcery lost world  feel to the island. I'm not the only blogger who thought so either.

That island, its tribe, those creatures, the temple, etc all had me thinking about that place's location in the Antarctic ocean. This place isn't the Savage Land which apparently the production company didn't want to use. The Marvel universe is dotted with thousands of lost world islands, and all kinds of weird forgotten race fragments for their super heroes to stumble upon. But what about your old school adventurers? What other possible explanation could there be? Well when it comes to lost worlds the speculative adventure fiction of the Antarctic is rife with them. But in particular for my campaigns its the work of HP Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness that for me has the answer.Scattered around the ocean out near and around Anaractica are the remains of the Elder Thing's experiments, laboratories, & other artificial zones left behind before the cycles of cold would claim them. A good example of such an environment is the '57 Land Unknown which sees a party of cast ways from an expedition lost in one of these prehistoric pockets of madness. This could technically be the same island that periodically gets cleared off by the volcano & then resettled by mutant tribes from neighboring islands. As for where the dinosaurs come from that's for tomorrow's blog post but back to the island for a moment. The artificial environment has all of the hallmarks of  an Elder Thing affair. The weird biology, the man eating plants, and even the weird Lovecraftian god thing.

This of course brings up one of my all time favorite Labyrinth Lord books Realms of Crawling Chaos which has all of the ingredients for adding in your Lovecraftian bits and pieces to add into making your own lost  island location. The book is perfect because it has eldritch relics or Lovecraftian magic items are treated too, along with an extensive system for randomly creating new ones.This makes those forays onto such an island for a party a very dangerous proposition. The book in fact could be used to generate a band of mutated adventurers from other islands.

In fact with Realms of Crawling Chaos added to Rafael Chandler's 2016 supplement "The World of the Lost"   entire lost world ecosystems could be devised with adventure races, prehistoric monsters, and all kinds of weird lost world creations with a Lovecraftian flare. And that quick your ready for a Lovecraftian mini adventure setting! In fact this island could be used as a location that can be visited by adventurers LoFP style throughout history.
Of course I recommend rereading HP Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness for inspiration for this.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.