Friday, January 6, 2017

Gathering The Old School Sword & Sorcery Parts & Pieces For Old School Campaign Mini Events

So last night I took a night to myself & watched a couple of sword & sorcery flicks with my dad. He's been unwilling genuia pig when it comes to some of these films for years. So we started with Ralph Bakshi's Fire & Ice and it took up a good portion of the night as I was taking notes & such. There were two things that struck me from this viewing. The incredible background artwork in the animation of the previous civilization's ruins which seem to flick by in an instant & the abundance of cavemen. Cavemen who are Necron's lap dogs in Fire & Ice. So I slowed things down in my mind's eye & got off the merry go round of social media & thought about how this was film was put together. Fire & Ice came out a year after Arnold Schwarzenegger's Conan in 1983. So it really had an impact for sword & sorcery influences on me for the Eighties & I decided to get back into it

Frank Frazetta's cover of Caveman (cover art for Creepy #15 and Creepy #83)

Throughout the artwork of the film of Fire & Ice there are these incredibly lush ruins in the jungles surrounding the country around Firekeep. As a kid I wanted to know to whom those ruins once belonged. Well last night I cracked open two books first was my copy of Astonishing Swordsmen of Hyperborea and those Hyperborean ruins in the jungles clicked.
The second thing I did was reread Gamma World's GW1 Legion of Gold which essentially is one of the seminal Gamma World first edition  modules written by Gary Gygax.

Then I started thinking about basic dungeon design & how to keep things simple. GW1 Legion of Gold is simplicity itself. It clearly outlines its adventure targets, PC goals, and adventure paths for the party. The fact of the matter is that you can take GW1  set it in another country of a campaign & still have a sword & sorcery setting with little issue. This is something I done in the past with Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea in the past when I ran out of adventures & had experienced AD&D players.
Yes, you can adapt a post apocalyptic adventure  for science fantasy gaming. But I digress here. Basically what I want to do here is to boil down the essence into a dungeon & its not rocket science.

So I quickly whipped out my copy of Adventurer, Conqueror, King & back checked a few of the monsters from it because the original rules are spun down  from B/X & Labyrinth Lord & sure enough almost every monster is there. So taking Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers I did a bit more checking and cross referencing & sure enough all of my old favorites are in there as well. So we quickly write out a few NPC's, & adventure goal then its all easy. Now its a numbers & adventure goal  of mapping everything out, placing the monsters, the treasure, & bang the adventure encounter is ready to go. Add in background as necessary and open but keep everything simple for a one shot game event.

Now I've got to talk with the hobby shop owners make sure I've got a system that they sell. I don't want to step on anyone's toes because I don't want them getting pissed off. The name of the game when approaching a new venue is manners across the board and common sense. I can't stress this enough. Make sure if your going into someone's house that you know their rules & communicate with them. Your gaming in someone's business & therefore you might be messing with their livelihood. So have to approach these venues with this in mind.

Let me also say this to the OSR; if you don't like a game system that someone's running or its not to your taste too bad. There are as many flavors of OD&D,AD&D, Retroclones & every edition of game systems  in between out there; all of them are valid & your play experience will vary.

Coming Up Putting Together The Map, the Encounters, and notes for this Mini Adventure Event!

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