Thursday, January 12, 2017

More New Ice Kingdoms OSR Sourcebook Commentary

So the other day I was zipping around the various Facebook support groups & Mad Martian Games's Christopher Barnhart made the official announcement;"If the tracking is to be trusted, the proofs should be at my house tonight when I get off work. Therefore, provided there are no issues, we should start fulfilling orders tomorrow night.
We will be working our way down from highest level backers to lower level backers. Breaking them up into groups so we can tackle all the fulfillment in one weekend.
Then we can proceed to finish up the three adventures, the art book and the map supplement for Into the Mournwood. Then I can get some rest before tackling the Bestiary and the next Kickstarter (once we see what the IRS does to us!)"

So is there a difference between this book & the Black Edition that Mad Martian sent me? In a word yes according to Mad Martian's RW Stenberg "Yes! more art! more reference! Better words! 196 pages of snow covered viking goodness!" In addition according to
Christopher Barnhart, the new color edition is still b&w interior but this edition is a more refined and edited version of the Black Edition with additional information, the finished product. The Black Edition was an early release of an incomplete edited manuscript." For the moment I'm good with my copy of the Black Edition that Mad Martian had sent me.

Congrats to the backers & those of  you who supported the Ice Kingdoms Kickstarter. Recently, I've been rereading the book at various intervals and dipping my dungeon master's wick in. Think of that what you will. But seeing the color book has me looking & wanting but I have some reservations. But these aren't what you think.
See its like this, Ice Kingdoms is a great setting with lots of fantastic Dungeons & Dragons style races, monsters, PC class options, etc. but its really its own world with lots of interesting kick ass sword & sorcery  details but it needs to stand on its own terms. The more you delude & mix this setting there's something of a loss that can happen here.
This was one of the reasons why in the last commentary that I made about mixing Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea with the Ice Kingdoms I stated keeping things separate from each other.

Many of the familiar D&D  setting details might look familiar but they've been given a brand new & somewhat unique spin through the lens of the fantastical aspects of Norse Mythology with some Greek, Arthurian, Celtic, Germanic and Russian Mythological influences  which makes a huge difference to how they can impact a campaign. In other words if your going to do an Ice Kingdoms game then set it within the Ice Kingdoms themselves or take bits & piece of the setting for NPC's,  monsters, adventure locations, but keep the Ice Kingdom's flavor.

So why I'm holding off on the jumping on board with the new rule book? Well because I want to do this setting and world justice. There's a certain amount of unique Viking style trappings about the setting and simply dropping it into a game as another sword & sorcery cookie cutter OSR product doesn't do me or my players any good. Digesting a world setting means getting into some respect for the amount work & passion that the writers & creators have done with the Ice Kingdoms. By distilling that into a home brewed adventure then a DM has not only a unique voice but his own take on an OSR setting. This is one of the corner stones of the OSR, taking an existing product or setting and putting your own stamp on it to make it yours. The Ice Kingdoms seems ideal suited for just this sort of gaming.

I'm kind of excited to see where Mad Martian is going to take the Ice Kingdoms & it should be a unique ride to say the least. The colour edition looks most excellent. The world of Eordan is very well laid out and I can't wait for the next chapter of The Ice Kingdoms.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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