Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Many Facets of The Free D20 Adventure HS4 The Lost Caverns of Acheron By Wm. John Wheeler & Its Use In OSR Games

"Know, O prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and in the years of the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars - Nemedia, Ophir, Brythunia, Hyperborea, Zamora with its darkhaired women and towers of spider-haunted mystery...” In the Graaskal Mountains south of Hyperborea there is rumored to be an ancient hoard of unsurpassed value, a treasure of such fame that scores of adventurers have perished in search of it. Find the perilous Lost Caverns of Acheron and you may gain the hidden wealth of a long-dead civilization — if you live! "

I've gotten a lovely shout out from Tim Brannan of the Otherside of the blog today about his use of this blog's Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea campaign resources. He's planning on running the  Adventures of the Hyborian Age website's D20 Sword & Sorcery adaptation of S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth back in the days of D20 Conan. The result was Wm. John Wheeler's HS4 The Lost Caverns of Acheron. Now I've run this adventure extensively using the  AS&SH system for DM Steve's group of players. Now this was not without issues and they included the following because of the D20 system:
  1. Scaling the PC & monster  experience system for a smooth transition & converting over the monster's stats into a more sane AS&SH OSR set up. 
  2. This is an upper level slice & dice D20 module and should be for King Conan level PC characters 
  3. Module should be set within Conan's Hyboria setting & its saturated in the material. The author knows his stuff. 
  4. This is a campaign module & I strongly recommend running this the  Adventures of the Hyborian Age other adventures. 
  5. Have lots of other PC's standing by this is a deadly adventure. 
So after dealing with conversion issues, delays, monster stats, etc. I decided to run Wm. John Wheeler's HS4 The Lost Caverns of Acheron with a sensible D20 OSR system. Enter Castles & Crusades which is a proper OSR system easily able to accommodate the whole of the HS4 adventure in spades. 

For those of you who are doubting me of the easy of this check out the Realm of Dungeons & Dragons blog entry from 2010 for converting D20 over to Castles & Crusades ; "
For those of you who doubt it as easy as people claim, or want a formulaic way of converting Monsters and Scenarios to Castles and Crusades - presented here are some guidelines.

These ideas were originally posted on the Goodman Games Forum way back in 2006 by Chris Rutkowsky (who did the conversion of the Mysterious Tower from d20 to Castles and Crusades, and has written an original module using the Castles and Crusades system for Goodman Games).

If the monster you want to convert is not in the Monsters and Treasure Book, the easiest way is to consult your AD&D/D&D Monster Manuals and find the Creatures entry in there (or the NEAREST suitable entry) and use those stats."

So the HS4 The Lost Caverns of Acheron plays easily & smoothly but there are several things that bug the high holy Hell outta of Amazing Adventure! rpg players. How is my modern character going to get to Hyboria? The answer comes in the form of Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique & its Free D20 Zothique download. A sorcerous gateway from Zothique to Hyboria allows the PC's to get into the Sword & Sorcery realm.

'But, but, your betraying your OSR roots ??!' Yeah, I heard that BS for far too long because the OSR has been made on the back of D20. The fact is that AS&SH's adventures work quite nicely with Dungeon Crawl Classics & so will  with a bit of work.

Now with all of this surely you couldn't use HS4 The Lost Caverns of Acheron with the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Rpg? Well, don't be too sure. The fact is that with a bit of scaling of levels down to thirteen, the expansive second edition monster listings, the expanded treasures of AS&SH, etc.  Yes with an educated guess I think that it is & that Tim Brannan was on the right course. See I ran HS4 The Lost Caverns of Acheron with first edition AS&SH but the second edition game greatly expands upon the original system.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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