Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Three Sided OSR War Hits Hyperborea - Dark Albion & Astonising Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Campaign Mash Up Setting Idea Using The Beneath The Comet Adventure By Ben Ball

So I've been racing through thought exercises in my mind about this upcoming campaign that I've gotten approved in the local hobby shop & how I can run it. But I'm beginning to rethink the sword & sorcery gambit for a bit of the old black powder OSR magic especially after reading Adventurer, Conqueror, King's Guns of War.
So the other night I was reading through the Dark Albion setting book and Cults of Chaos, then letting my eyes settle on Beneath The Comet. The Beneath the Comet adventure by Ben Ball. This particular adventure adds in lots and lots of new details on the Hyperborea campaign setting that is essential to the world of AS&SH. Beneath The Comet features some wonderful illustrations by Johnathan Bingham, & Del Teigeler along with lots wonderful cartography by Ben Ball, Glynn Seal (monkeyblooddesign.co.uk). The front cover is evocative and well done by Peter Mullen. the basic plot of Beneath The Comet goes something like this;"For weeks the Comet has blazed in the sky above Hyperborea, inspiring widespread superstitious dread and fear of some star-borne contagion. Under the light of this harbinger from the Black Gulf, the PCs have come to Bogrest, following a magical treasure map that reveals great wealth buried in the Lonely Heath north of the village. Finding that treasure will be no simple matter, however, for Hyperborea is a weirder and deadlier place than ever beneath the Comet. It is suggested that if this adventure is used with the Hyperborea setting, the default starting point is the small village of Bogrest in the wild depths of the Gal Hills. With some modification, Beneath the Comet could be set in any rustic portion of Hyperborea or any old school campaign. As an adventure set  in Hyperborea designed for from four to six characters of 6th through 9th level which lives up to the challenge for players"

So what does this have to do with Dark Albion & Guns of War? Quite a bit actually, because Hyperborea might be one of those 'lands of opportunity' for the the Yorks and Lancasters. There's plenty of reasons for this: 

  • An abundance of nature resources, gold, oil, woods, tons of opportunity 
  • The comet is seen as a sign from the heavens on both sides and is far more then either side bargained for
  • All three sides have the magical means of bridging the planar gap and dimensional divide to exploit the Hyperborean setting.   
  • A population of slaves & exotic races ripe for exploitation 
  • Swaths of arcane secrets & black magick as well as technological wonder weapons to give each side an advantage. 
  • Lots of acrage to settle brand new kingdoms & colonies of course all of this might go out the window should the PC's get wind of it. 
  • The PC's of Ancient & Accursed Terra get wind of the colonization of Hyperborea & the rulers want the place for themselves. A set up for a 'battle royale' across the planar & dimensional divide & war breeds opportunities for both sides or is it the Hyperboreans who stand the most to gain?
There are lots of unresolved plot hooks that have happened in past games of Beneath The Comet; I've got a stack of materials & plot notes that scream to get resolved. In Beneath The Comet Jeffrey Talanian  has  adventure has a totally different set of parameters then many early adventures for AS&SH; on hand it serves a solid old school adventure fleshing out its adventure locations, setting information,adventure encounters, and generally fulfilling quite nicely all of its intended adventure goals. This makes it rife for exploit by a dungeon master ready to go that extra mile. Because Dark Albion's NPC's are lower level & switch sides frequently through out the Rose War the idea of a multiple level chess game of opportunity & double dealing makes me happy. This a guns & black powder game with a twist or two in the wind where the players smell blood and cut necks. Does this make the Dark Albionians 'the bad guys'; well that might be a bit too simplistic of a label. The Hyperboreans have the magic advantage as well as the home court territories. So its anyone's home game for the war, yet.

The Terrans from my own game are going to be going for the same things that their counterparts would be looking to exploit. So the race is on! But what about the issue of black powder weaponry? Its just not as big an advantage as it might at first seem. Both sides are engaged in powder & sword on both sides of the equation. So only time will tell where this might end up. The real winners might be the Hyperboreans who could gain the secrets of black powder or is it regain?!
So what would I be using to run this heady mix of OSR goodness? Probably Adventurer,Conqueror, King's system since I've invested the time & materials to it. But time will tell how this turns out. Its simply an idea that occurred this morning to me.

The Siege of Orleans from 1429 demonstrates how this might actually turn out folks.

GRAB Beneath The Comet  HERE


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