Friday, March 30, 2018

More Violence & Madness From SC3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks By Gary Gygax Part II

"This western area, particularly the mountain fastness which separates  Bohemia from the Dry Steppes, has long been renowned for the generation of the most fearsome beasts, and it has been shunned accordingly -- save a handful of hardy souls with exceptional abilities.
 Bohemia has been plagued by a rash of monster attacks of horrid aspect and only a group of adventurers with the most skill, daring, & courage can take on this threat! "
 The Warden goes down over the forests of Germany but that's only half of the adventure. Bits, pieces, & whole wrecks of space craft have gone down into Bohemia, even all of the way to the Russian Steppe. And there are mechanical things, horrid monsters, and strange diseases plaguing the countryside! "

So my afternoon was shot to Hell & back today because of a special delivery but that's alright. The RPG Pundit was kind enough to provide me with exactly what I needed to torture my players. So we've been speaking about S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks By Gary Gygax & I mentioned that there were other chaser ships, engineering ships, & robotic manned drone ships. Why Bohemia? Because during the Thirty Year War Bohemia was plagued by a series of UFO incidents recorded in myth & legend. 

The Thirty Years War devastated Europe across the board leaving it vulnerable to the forces of  forces of darkness but this isn't our world. I've run a ton of Lamentations of the Flame Princess & their adventures. One thing I've learned is that real world history doesn't equal out to the adventure setting being our own Earth. "Thirty Years' War was a war fought primarily in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. One of the longest and most destructive conflicts in human history, it resulted in eight million fatalities mainly from violence, famine and plagues, but also from military engagements."  That is a lot of destruction & plenty of opportunity for monsters, mayhem, & even science fantasy technology lost to the fog of war.

Life however at home went on & deep in the wilderness of Bohemia monsters straight out of legend were terrifying the local countryside. Strange items, artifacts, & mechanical monsters were found in odd places. Here's where the  RPGPundit Presents #19: Frantabulous Gonzo Robot Generator
comes in very handily. This is a fourteen page pdf that has tables to randomly generate anything from a mindless rampaging drone robot to a maliciously intelligent A.I. robot of the most horrid aspect. Its not that expensive of a pamphlet and it can be used with any OSR based or other old school style game. But I digress. 

Why not simply use the robotic life forms that are presented in S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks? Because its so iconic of an adventure module that you as the DM need to present some other options.  The fact is that for the Lion & Dragon retroclone the Rpg Pundit presents series is a low cost support system that can really bring home the old school monster bacon without breaking the bank.
So when during the conflict can this happen? Anytime really but during the latter half of the Bohemian Revolt puts it nicely into perspective.  Even if the dates conflict with when the 'Warden' comes down in the hidden valley in The Black Forrest in Germany. There are going to be ships falling from orbit for a long while. Staging this during the latter half of the Bohemian Revolt gives the whole perspective.

"In the east, the Protestant Hungarian Prince of Transylvania, Gabriel Bethlen, led a spirited campaign into Hungary with the support of the Ottoman Sultan, Osman II. Fearful of the Catholic policies of Ferdinand II, Gabriel Bethlen requested a protectorate by Osman II, so "the Ottoman Empire became the one and only ally of great-power status which the rebellious Bohemian states could muster after they had shaken off Habsburg rule and had elected Frederick V as a Protestant king".[38] Ambassadors were exchanged, with Heinrich Bitter visiting Constantinople in January 1620, and Mehmed Aga visiting Prague in July 1620. The Ottomans offered a force of 60,000 cavalry to Frederick and plans were made for an invasion of Poland with 400,000 troops, in exchange for the payment of an annual tribute to the sultan.[39] These negotiations triggered the Polish–Ottoman War of 1620–21.[40] The Ottomans defeated the Poles, who were supporting the Habsburgs in the Thirty Years' War, at the Battle of Cecora in September–October 1620,[41] but were not able to further intervene efficiently before the Bohemian defeat at the Battle of the White Mountain in November 1620.[42] Later, Poles defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Chocim and the war ended with a status quo"
You have huge swaths of history & time when various other worldly factions can interfere with the comings & goings of humanity. Then there is the matter of whose using whom. We know for a fact that 
the Averoigne region survives due to the efforts of the Amber royal family. But we also know that a wide variety of black wizards of  CAS's Maal Dweb status might have also had a hand. If the demi god Egg of Coot had its tendrils in the background who knows what else might have been playing up the violence of the Protestants & the Catholics?   There were rumors of  the Habsburgs having several otherworldly ties to dark forces throughout in the political press of the time.  If these are the chess pieces then the adventure locations are the board.
These wrecks that have come down from the sky present unique adventure opportunities to both players & dungeon masters. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog entry there is ample opportunity to add in some high end science fantasy weapon technologies in the form of
RPGPundit Presents #3: High-Tech Weapons

 What I haven't mentioned is that this system enables a DM to have a complete listing of blasters, lasers, & more including some heavy weaponry that should be used with a bit of caution. Equipping your robotic horrors is going to be easy because this stuff is all for both old school & OSR systems!
All of this continues on in the steppes of Russia where the weirdness continues as robotic horrors ravage the countryside in search of both biological, technological, and mineral resources to help repair 'The Warden'. There are myths & legends concerning certain types of giants & other horrors unleashed during the events of the Thirty Years War there. These could be more other planetary biological specimens released by the wreckage of the space craft.
This would not be the last of the effects of the appearance of the Warden as we shall see.

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