Saturday, October 15, 2016

Commentary On The Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 2nd Edition Cover Art Release & Upcoming Kickstarter.

I wrote about the fact that I've only been waiting & watching for three Kickstarters as well as the way of the Dying Earth genre in the back drop of fantasy especially Sword & Sorcery. Well I've been thinking about undead, vampires, & monsters because after all its Halloween. Then two things have happened this Saturday one Russ Nicholson dropped this piece of  monster artwork into the second edition Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea mix.

The second was the reveal of the cover artwork of the second edition of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea by Charles Lang. "Charles Lang is the cover artist for the second edition of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. As a follow-up to his painting that was featured on the original boxed set of AS&SH, this new painting takes our hero (and his cast of companions) into some bold action and adventure in the hoary wilderness of Hyperborea, illumed by the light of a bloated red sun."

Our Kickstarter campaign goes live this Friday, October 21!"  The cover was released today and its taken everyone in the OSR by surprise especially the AS&SH fans.

Charles Lang the same artist who did the first edition cover with the horned barbarian warrior has graced the second edition with a new leveled up version facing a sword & sorcery horror against what looks like the backdrop  Hyperborea version of  The Keep on The Borderlands. Personally I love the fat bloated red sun drenched landscape with an armored Amazon warrior in the background. Sword and round shield in hand ready to kick ass as she leads more hirelings to the fray even as the wizard's magic missile arcs to strike home! The fact that the game is sticking close to its swords, sorcery, and weird fantasy byline roots makes me very happy. When the second edition was announced I have to admit I was intrigued and repelled by the idea of a second edition. Would it live up to the production values of the first edition? Could these editions be cross compatible or would there be drastic editorial and edition changes? Happily these fears were waylaid when I spoke via pm on Facebook with Jeffrey Talanian. Why because AS&SH follows a long tradition of Sword & Sorcery fiction that traces its roots all of the way back to the pulps of the Thirties! This is Vol. 28, no. 1, July 1936 of Weird Tales the first appearance of Red Nails by Robert Howard the father of Conan.
 The 2nd edition of AS&SH is going to follow in the foot steps of the first edition adventures:

  • Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes™ (Talanian)
  • Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess™ (Salvador)
  • Beneath the Comet™ (Ball)
The game AS&SH often seems to use the Robert Howard conceit," that civilizations carry the seeds of their own destruction. Howard found in the lost city genre a vehicle for expressing these views." Many of these adventures follow in that grand tradition as well as the Atonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. Red Nails was the blue print for that along with "Solomon Kane explored the lost African city of Negari in "The Moon of Skulls", published in Weird Tales in 1930. In this tale we can discern the influence of She by H. Rider Haggard[5] and the lost city of Opar that appears in the Tarzan novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs[6] Howard's Negari is ruled by the seductive queen Nakari, recalling Haggard's Ayesha and Burroughs' La of Opar."

For many dungeon masters Red Nails was a game changer because it created a mega dungeon campaign setting that could be used for a wide variety of adventure venues from dungeon crawling to full on full urban sword & sorcery war gaming. AS&SH takes the idea of the hex as campaign and magnifies it into a campaign world space where adventure locations such as the city of Xuchotil could be dropped into the mix without nary a campaign ripple.
So now we're getting an expanded book with some of the top talent in the fantasy art field, the writing and design work of Jeff Talanian, and a whole new prospective on the world of Hyperborea. I can't wait till this Kickstarter breaks the surface of the OSR in the coming days. Here's a back cover study that Charles Land did for the new second edition  hardback.

You can find out more information at the G+ Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea group.

Or through the North Wind Adventures website here.
By the way I have no affiliation with the North Wind Adventures company nor Jeff Talanian expect as a fan and player of his games which I bought and continue to play and support on my own.

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