Monday, February 13, 2017

Adapting The Free Leigh Brackett's 'The Stellar Legion' Novella To The 'Old Venus' Campaign Setting

I've been a bit more elusive on social media lately, I've been getting my old OSR science fantasy on more. Last I picked up an old planetary tale of thunder & blood pulp planet tale in the form of 'The Stellar Legion' a tale of  'The Stellar Legion'.  The Stellar Legion is about one of the more settled areas of  Old Venus, & the issues that the Legion is having with one of the native populations of  alien lizard men. These tribes conform to many of the standards of  Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea  style lizard men with one or two exceptions. These native populations have the ability to throw a 1d6+2 damage electrical bolt by touch  like an electric eel or three times per day throw a bolt 10 to 15 feet.  They also have the ability to breath underwater closer akin to a salamander or amphibian. Since Southern Venus is completely swamp & wetlands the Nahali are perfectly suited to their environment. 
"The Nahali, the six-foot, scarlet-eyed swamp-dwellers, whose touch was weapon enough,
 praying to their gods for rain. When it came, 
the hot, torrential downpour of southern Venus, 
the Nahali would burst in a scaly tide over the fort." 
They have many of the standard abilities of D&D style lizard folk except for the
fact that they brew their own alcoholic beverages known as 'swamp juice' 
& there are tribes that barely tolerate the alien & human settlers. But clearly they want to
 exterminate the humans from their planet. The story does not contradict any of the other 
Brackett stories or novellas in her solar system cycle of literature. It does contradict the
 Clark Aston Smith 
Venus story, 'The Immeasurable Horror' or does it?  In the story Venus is a planet of extreme life
 form violence with a fungal eat or be eaten edict. There is a giant Lovecraftian (Smithian?) god
 thing at the top of the food chain. Its an incredible concept but is it always going to be there? 
You can read 'The Immeasurable Horror' on the Eldritch Dark website 
And there's further Old Venus action by Clark Aston Smith with  A Voyage to Sfanomoƫ 
If you've studied fungal & plant life on Earth many of these life forms have a cycle of activity, 
growth, death, & rebirth. Perhaps this alien apex predator does as well? If there are different 
ages or seasons on the planet perhaps our god thing dies for a few thousand or more years. 
Does any of this contradict say Edgar Rice Burroughs Amtor Venus stories?
I think Pirates of Venus might be situated at the very edges of the age exploration of
the planet. 

I don't want to get into the Citadel of Lost Ships by Leigh Brackett yet.
 I'll get into that novel tomorrow, instead let's dive back into background of the Stellar Legion 
as a OSR style faction. The Stellar Legion is willing to take anyone who signs up with them
 in a French Forgein Legion styleorganization. They'll erase your past mistakes if you fight on their
 behalf of the Stellar Legion ala again The French Foreign Legion.
 But what does this really mean & against whom are you really fighting? Well if we begin to look
 deeply into the cast  of the characters of the short story these are not nice people at all. 
The Stellar Legion are interplanetary psychopaths, scum, & the vermin of the Old Solar system. 
But their excellent fighting force. So what does all of this have to do with 
Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea? Quite a bit, as I said yesterday 
Hyperborea or my version of it is out by Saturn. There are adventurers, magicians,etc. who have
spread throughout the two planets because of dimensional doors that occasionally open.
These are the front line rank and file that get called in & you know there are going to be Amazons,
Hyperboreans, and all of the AS&SH mixed in with low canel Martians, Venusians, and 
others  many others. This is the perfect place to introduce
 Night Owl Workshop's Colonial Trooper to such a gaming world. Remember we're using a 
combination of AS&SH &  
Warriors of the Red Planet. Colonial Troopers would be a supplement for such a
gaming campaign. This is not the prime system. It would add that touch of the military
 post apocalyptic
without adding another element to worry about. 

What about domain level play surely there isn't enough meat here to promote that 
level of play? Actually when we begin to fade back into Edgar Rice Burrough's Venus
books we see there is plenty of room for Adventurer,Conqueror, King to have its
place according to Wiki;"Their nations are rather loosely connected, partly because
 the geography is strewn with impassable mountains, impenetrable forests, and 
unnavigable seas (which Napier nevertheless passes, penetrates, and 
navigates), and partly because Amtorian maps are inaccurate. In spite of
 their relative isolation from each other, a worldwide language is 
current among all peoples. The level of culture runs the spectrum from 
savagery to advanced technology; some nations possess a longevity serum,
 atomic ray guns, and nuclear powered ships. (Interestingly, Burroughs 
speculated on Element 93 being used for nuclear power, specifically, 
for RTGs; in reality, certain uranium and plutonium isotopes are used.)
 Radio is unknown (the ships are reduced to communicating by flags), 
and there are no native aircraft; Napier designs and builds the first, 
based on Earth technology." This gives plenty of areas for the PC's to make 
their mark on 'Old Venus' but why are their corporations, military interests,
etc. interested in 'Old Venus?' For that we go back to H.P. Lovecraft
 'The Walls of Eryx'. Not only do we get another alien race of Venusian Lizardmen 
but we also get power crystals that can power all of the retrotech 
science fantasy devices of this campaign.
Venusian Man-Lizard (by Michael Bukowski)

Surely this could not incorporate any more ideas about Old Venus? Well hang on. 
What about the Planet Of Peril series by Otis Albert Kline? The ancient past of 
Old Venus makes this planet a hot bed of interplanetary intrigue filled with 
ancient alien castles, ruins of ancient sciences,powerful Lovecraftian gods. 
These are just the type of places that are perfect breeding grounds for ancient 
Lovecraftian & demonic cults. Surely Dark Albion's Cults of Chaos is the perfect
supplement to blend in here. 

Once again we see the blending of these old school sources to create a unique gameble whole. There's more to come we'll be talking more about Venusian peoples, factions, Lovecraftian horrors, and more tomorrow. 

Leigh Brackett's 'The Stellar Legion' Novella Can Be Down Loaded Here!
 post is not an attempt to violate the copyrights or trademarks of any 
of the films nor properties named in this post. All ideas are for a 
private table top rpg campaign. None of the ideas or opinions expressed 
in this post are meant to violate the trademarks nor copy rights of any 
of the table top rpgs discussed nor are they in away responsible for the
 thoughts or opinions of the author. The writing, ideas, and opinions 
are copyrighted and trade marked to the author and Dark Corner 
productions. This post is for entertainment & educational purposes 

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