Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Moon Maiden By Edgar Rice Burroughs For Your Old School Sword and Planet Campaign

 The Moon Maid remains one of my all time favorite series of the Edgar Rice Burroughs. This is a classic series of exploration set within the world of 2026.
The Earth is expanding out into the stars and mankind has exchanged knowledge with Barsoom. Both worlds are the richer for the experience. War, poverty, etc. are pretty much banished and mankind has mounted an expedition to Barsoom.
 Things go terribly wrong.
According to wiki :

"As evident from its name, Under the Red Flag was originally set in contemporary Soviet Russia, with the Bolsheviks as villains; as this was not popular with the publishers, Burroughs transferred it to a science-fictional setting, with the evil Communist-like "Kalkars" taking over the Moon (in the first part) and then the Earth (in the second part, with the help of a renegade Earthman) and being finally overthrown in the third part." 
The Moon Maid.jpg

THE PARADOX OF THE MOON by  Den Valdron addresses some of the major concerns about using this classic. 
The Gygaxian biology and other paradoxes of the series are also settled as well LUNAR LOST WORLDS by Den Valdron

Using The Moon Maiden In Your OSR games

The  Moon Maiden and its follow up Red Hawk are part of what might be considered one of the alternative time lines that ERBs wrote and designed. His moon was not only active and dangerous but part of a push for a very invasive people who not only bred with Earth women but ruled the Earth in Red Hawk.
There's a post apocalyptic feel to the books as if Earth was on the edge of something very catastrophic and The events of Red Hawk simply pushes it over into the void. Believe it or not these books would make an excellent setting for a 'Mutant Future' game. The action takes place within the interior of the Moon and not on its surface.
Much of what we see of the Moon is a dying ecology and a race of people ready for expansion or extinction. The humans come right into the middle of this mess. This is a perfect time for adventurers to stumble into this mess. What happens after the events of Red Hawk though? What possible treasures are left on the moon? 

"the Kalkar movement despises the official elites and preaches their destruction, while at the same time establishing themselves as a secret elite with the trappings of populism.   The old ruling class, isolated, inbred and largely incompetent, are no match for the new populist movement and fall, one by one." 

So what possible hidden fortresses, palaces, and store houses still exist? 
 The Moon of 'Red Hawk' might be thought of as the ultimate megadugeon with many of the monsters of OD&D taking over the ecological niches of the original ecology. Perhaps brought in by other invaders who see the Moon's value in both strategy and as a tactical position.
Lost  Worlds interior worlds, weird nobles,a host of monsters, and warlike race of warriors & warlords, as well as megadungeons with political intrigue. The Moonmaid and Redhawk have OSR campaign ready to roll. What more could you want?
Let's throw in ERB psyche powers as well! 
 We see astral teleportation also making its appearance in the Moon Maid. This allows us to throw in a few familiar OD&D faces. 
The idea of astral teleportation is one of ERB's finer literary inventions and it also crosses over with much of the material of OD&D. This allows many of the astral critters of D&D fame to play into a lunar campaign. 
There are in fact way too many uses for the Moon Maid and Red Hawk to be put down in one blog entry. Think of this as one in a series and this is only a quick introduction to the world of the Moonmaid by Edgar Rice Burroughs. 
 You can download the book right here from Project Gutenburg Australia. 

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