This box set was developed by Bruce Heard & it contains tons of new character options, skill packages, even a new class in the form of the warrior elf. So why mention it now?! Well after talking with friends last night about the box set there was a set up that a friend had that involved taking a mini dungeon from X1 Isle of Dread by David Cook, Tom Moldvay then connecting it with the Hollow Earth. The idea was to take a much more Clark Ashton Smith approach by using the island as the remains & echo of a once incredible surface civilization. The Basic Dungeons & Dragons line from '85 to the early 90's supported the idea of this sort of a sandbox approach to running campaigns. Mixing & matching old school resources to create a unique campaign whist taking the players on a grand adventure. But is there a horror lurking just below the surface of the Hollowed Earth?! Could its influence be growing like a cancer on the surface world of your campaign.
But surely this couldn't work for an OSR game? Well in point of fact the more traditional Dungeons & Dragons lore can have the isle of dread popping up many places. The Sea of Dread and the Thanegioth Archipelago can easily have gate ways stretching into the deepest places of the other planar regions. This sort of thing is detailed in the vaults of Pandius site's download The Sea of Dread pdf.
The monstrous & mind-bending creatures known as kopru could well be the remains of a very dangerous life form that the upper world knows nothing about. This fragment of a once planar spanning empire still exists in the Hollow World & its evil might be growing there could be other such fragments of it. And there are in my own home games but we'll get to that in other blog entry. The empire of the Kopru adds a whole different & dangerous factional element into Mystara's Hollow World. Sure for now they maybe isolated but its only a matter of time before these horrors begin to intrude on the rest of the Hollow Earth itself & then the rest of Mystara or perhaps even your own home games?!
Perhaps down in the Hollow World the PC's begin to stumble across an advanced civilization with incredibly warm waters & a series of rumors surrounding the place of the incredibly accurate prophetic powers of its seers. In actuality this city is the feeding stock of the Kopru who use the locals as both food source & standing army to conquer the surrounding countryside. Perhaps they're looking to expand their holdings! But what if the mind being influence of the Kopru is only the beginning?!