Friday, December 13, 2013

Free Sword And Planet Classic - Escape On Venus For Your Old School Sword And Sorcery Campaign

I remember the very first time I encountered the Edgar Rice Burroughs Venus books. It was the summer of 1980 when my father gifted me his copies of the books. They were very strange departure from the John Carter Barsoom books. At the time all of my D&D buddies were reading about Barsoom and I wanted something diffferent. Boy, did I get it. I got 'Wrong way Napier' who crashes on Amtor (Venus a hot and fetid classic science fantasy world) and gets embroiled in the local politics in a big way. 
It's only vbery recently that I've gotten into the Fantastic Adventures version of the story that is available for free download via Gutenberg Austriala
Right over

A  much completely detailed  background of the stories are available right over
The complete series of books goes something like this. 
In 2011, the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate commissioned a sixth Amtor novel, Skies of Venus, from writer Neal Romanek.

Edgar Rice Burroughs created a very complex world that is ripe to be used by DM's in their private OD&D style campaigns for science fantasy. Only now are these books being recognized as a classic side note in the writings of ERB.  A site to a film called Piates of Venus has been curning out some pretty interesting artwork and it looks like the film might be getting a release in 2014. More information from wiki: 
In 2004 film rights for the entire Venus series were secured by Angelic Entertainment, Inc. a film production company based in San Diego, California. Carson Napier (formerly announced as Pirates of Venus) is to be the first film put into production. A screenplay forPirates of Venus was completed and registered with the Writers Guild of America in September 2007. Bruce Pobjoy, Head of Production for Angelic Pictures, states that their intention is to be loyal to the integrity of Burroughs' writing, while at the same time updating, and modernizing the story for today's sensibilities, and sophisticated movie audiences. The film will utilize digital techniques such as used in Sky Captain and the World of TomorrowSin City and 300 to display the exotic world of Amtor hidden beneath Venus’ clouds.[1] [2] The film is expected to be released in 2014.[3]
 You can see more over 

The basic background of Amtor goes something like this according to Wiki: 
The Venus Series by Edgar Rice Burroughs is a science fantasy series consisting of four novels and one novelette. Most of the stories were first serialized in Argosy, an American pulp magazine. It is sometimes known as the Carson Napier of Venus Series, after their fictional main character, Carson Napier. Carson attempted a solo voyage to Mars, mistaken navigational calculations finds himself heading toward the planet Venus instead. The novels, part of theSword and Planet subgenre of science fiction, follow earthman Napier's fantastic adventures after he crash-lands on Venus, called Amtor by its human-like inhabitants. Unlike Barsoom, the desert planet of Mars, these stories are set upon a waterworld. Most of the events of the series take place on the island of Vepaja, the kingdom of Korva on the island of Anlap, and the city-states of Havatoo and Kormor on the tropical continent north of Vepaja.
As is common in Burroughs' works, the hero is bold and daring, and quickly wins the heart of the Vepajan princess (or janjong) Duare, though class prejudices long inhibit her from expressing her love. Napier meets many varied peoples, including the Vepajans, refugees from an overthrown empire; the Thorists, thinly disguised communists who ran the Vepajans out of what is now the Thoran empire; pirates; the super-scientific eugenicists of Havatoo; thezombies of Kormor; the fascistic Zanis of Korva; and the hideous Cloud People.
In the course of his adventures within the series, Carson Napier becomes a pirate (twice), escapes from the dread Room of the Seven Doors, and is finally made a prince, or tanjong, of Korva after the overthrow of the Zanis. Napier also rescues princesses from incomparable dangers innumerable times.
Using Atmor For Your Old School
Sword and Sorcery Campaigns 

The Venus of Kline's imagination and Edgar Rice Burroughs is a pretty happening world. This is a world of swordmen, adventurers, pirates, inhuman tribes and a brutal sun capable of snuffing out all life in an instant by an uncaring sun.
This is a world of stark contrasts where adventurers from a game like Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea are going to make little difference. This is  world where there are possibly thousands of micro cultures each isolated from each other by the very nature of the oceans, explosive weather patterns, and cultural isolation that seems inherit to its people. 
This also happens to be a world of declining cultures, lost super science, and psychic powers as well. When Napier reaches Atmor the place is in steep decline. By the time of the Venus of Planet Stories and other pulp magazine we come into a colonial peroid Venus.
 I happen to think that this is also a Venus that has been extensively terraformed by ancient Atlantian or Lumerian technology.  There is amaple evidence to suggest this in several of Den Valdron's articles over at ERB magazine.
There is a further connection to Barsoom through the Gardens of Dejah's Thoris and another possible way for PC's to become involved in going to Venus for a wizard or other patron to harvest some rare flower, man eating horror, or other ingrediant. An angle I've used several times inspired by this article also from ERB magazine.
 Many of the tribal society and cultural idosyncsies of Atomor are covered

What really separates Atmorian books from some of the other ERB series are the technologies. This is where a link between the 'magic items' of a game such as AS&SH really shines. Atmor is  world where declining technologies are still in use but they are slowly being lost upon cultures that no longer value them. A very solid article by Bill Hillman goes into much more detail
There are lots of potential and possibilities when using ERB's Venus for Sword and Sorcery gaming. There are several methods of getting their already built into the D&D and its retroclone systems.  Dimensional doors, spells, artifacts, lost Venusian artifacts, and so forth.
 There is endless potential for parties of adventurers to get in way, way, over their heads on Kline's or Burroughs Venus not to mention the incredible wealth of old school science fiction and fantasy that takes place upon the fetid planet of our imaginations.

This blog article is not an attempt to violate the copyright holders trade marks or copyright merely an article for entertainment purposes. AS&SH is clearly owned by Northwind Productions and has nothing to do with this blog or its owner's content. I have merely put forth an entry meant to educate and entertain my audience. 

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